Five short years ago, my journey toward a healthier lifestyle began as a quest to improve my family’s digestion issues. During that time, I began to ask many questions, research endlessly, and teach myself how to cook.
I couldn’t deny the evidence suggesting that a plant-based diet might get me where I wanted to go: optimal energy, weight loss and disease prevention. In fact, I learned that many of our chronic ailments and diseases today can be avoided by diet and lifestyle changes.
Ultimately, my family’s health was restored with some simple diet changes.
But there was a larger shift happening. Eating higher quality food was not only bringing about a healthier version of myself but also a more confident, truer ME.
My switch to a plant-based diet was the result of my research on prevention, but I've learned (and experienced) along the way that there are many other benefits of eating this way. Here are six types of positive results that I didn't expect, but that helped me feel even better about leading a plant-based life.
1. I'm doing some good for the environment.
Did you know that our insatiable appetite for animal protein contributes 50% more greenhouse gases than our planes, trains, trucks, cars and ships? Yikes! Needless to say, I was thrilled to learn I could do something for our environment even if I only cut out 1-2 days of meat per week.
2. I feel more connected to my spiritual self.
Eating the Standard American Diet means not nearly enough fiber. And that equates to sluggishness. When your body is better able to cleanse itself, space is opened up within. From my experience, upgrading your diet naturally brings about a desire to connect to our source and our highest self, which is what we’re here to do, right? Be our truest selves and share our gifts with others, yes?! Are you with me?
3. I'm a more compassionate person since I’ve stopped eating meat.
This isn't to say I didn’t care about animals before, but I didn’t know (and probably didn’t want to know) what was actually happening to the cows, pigs, and chickens so that I could have my three squares a day. Two billion animals are tortured and killed every week for delivery to our plates. It’s unfathomable.
4. I'm saving money.
Eating whole grains, beans and legumes as the base for many meals is actually a cost savings. I tend to make up for that difference by buying more organic produce, but I'm comfortable knowing it’s an investment in my long-term health.
5. It's enhanced my creativity.
This may go hand-in-hand with spirituality, but in my experience, cleaning up my diet has brought about such profound change in my creativity. I used to consider myself a left-brained, logical type but I've tapped in to a whole other side of myself that I didn’t know was there. New ideas are coming at a rapid pace these days.
6. I've lost weight.
Vegetables, fruits, grains (I prefer gluten-free), beans and legumes are less caloric AND very nutrient dense ... WIN-WIN for weight loss. I've never felt deprived while eating this way, and in fact, I feel satisfied more quickly because my body is telling my brain it's gotten what it needs. I've grappled with about 20 excess pounds after having children, and by eating this way I'm finally getting back to where my body should be.
A few short years ago, I would have scoffed at the possibility of eliminating most meat from my diet. Today, I’m a firm believer in the power of plant-based eating. I love supporting others in finding their own winning combination.
Did you switch to a plant-based diet and experience any of these same benefits? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.