6 Unexpected Life Transformations From Becoming Vegan

 becoming vegan…

oh, the strange and unexpected things that happened to my character

  • ONE

  • I was initially attracted to veganism for health reasons, then I gradually molded into an ethical and eco-conscious being.

  • I first became vegan for the health benefits. People who were vegan seemed to be thriving as they lost body fat or maintained their weight with ease. Plus the plant-based vegan diet scores brownie points for being the only proven diet to reverse heart disease. The China Study’s longevity research found animal protein to be the main villain behind cancer and heart disease, making a plant-based diet seem like a superhero to my eyes.
  • I must admit, I already let go of my meat-eating, omnivorous diet years prior. So yes, my transition was a tad easier than yours if beef is on your menu for dinner. But the pescatarian transition wasn’t easy either. Having to let go of salmon and SUSHI — my favorite food on earth at the time — was a challenge.
  • Challenged accepted — and it was worth it. I couldn’t believe my energy level spike. At the start of my plant-based journey I was running 6-10 miles without stopping and lost weight! Amazing, right? Eh… not when you were already borderline underweight.
  • I dropped veganism for a short period of time. I blamed the diet for leading me to becoming severely underweight at 97 lbs.
      1. Long story short, I mentally struggled with eating eggs and fish again — I emphasize, I had a REALLY hard time. That’s when I realized the ethics had kicked in. You see.. when you become vegan, you take pleasure in researching more and more about the lifestyle. You feel good knowing that you are saving the lives of animals — and even plants, the ocean, the earth and humans!
      2. So I dropped my foolish and selfish mindset about my weight — and welcomed veganism back into my health and my heart.
      3. Now I’m a HEALTHY plant-based vegan for not only the health benefits, but for ethical and environmental reasons.
      4. It’s funny how I gradually 
      5. became more eco-conscious with every action I take.
      6. Good-bye leather jackets, sorry double toilet flushes, op! I’m off – and must turn off the lights. Op! And grab my bike — why pollute the air? The store is only a mile away.
  • MY AHISMA TATTOO — SANSKRIT FOR NON-HARM; HAVING COMPASSION FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS INCLUDING YOURSELF
  • TWO

  • I not only have new found compassion for other lives, but for my life.

      1. Not only did I grow more compassionate toward animals and human-kind, but my own self.
    1. My tattoo: AHIMSA — sanskrit for non-harm &&& inspired by the idea that all living beings carry a spiritual energy; and to hurt another is to hurt oneself.
      1. I think back on the person I was before I was vegan — and dear, oh dear, I was vicious. Hiding behind a fake smile that did not have enough love or courage to be who she wanted to be. She was following the path of least resistance to make everyone happy… but herself. Then she would take any pain or annoyance she bottled up and throw it at her own reflection in the mirror.
      2. I think with the consistent practice of ahimsa, yoga and plant-based eating — she transformed into a woman who loves herself.  
      3. I’m unable to provide an exact roadmap that connects the dots between plant-based eating and self-love… but I have complete faith that the universal forces conspire if you do something good for all living beings.
      4. I practice compassion for all living beings — therefore, I grew compassion for myself. 

      5. Maybe karma
      6. Maybe it’s law of attraction
      7. May it’s just a placebo effect
    2. But that’s what happened. Ahimsa has helped me serve a greater purpose on this blog.  To help you implement as many self-loving and ahimsa practices as possible.  
  • PLAYING AROUND AT DESA SENI
  • THREE

  • This unexpected compassion for myself welcomed a stronger sense of self (a deeper love and connection with my spirit)

      1. I’m not implying that every vegan is a more spiritually awakened person — if one’s ego is identified with veganism, than one is detached from spirit.
    1. “Ethical vegans” that feel inclined to impose their beliefs on others to enhance their vegan narrative are not the examples of vegans I am talking about. Luckily, they’re more conscious than meat-eaters on one level, but judge other vegans on many other levels. Isn’t not eating, wearing or using anything derived from an animal enough? You can honestly never be vegan enough for some.
      1. I AM not a vegan yogi. I AM me — I AM a soul — I AM a being — a being that prefers the vegan yogi lifestyle at this time in my life. I think Eckhart Tolle would shake his head if I were to promote identifying as anything. And I know that makes me sound like a hypocrite as this is an oxymoron to my title. But being vegan is a choice — NOT an identity. Choosing to live both of these philosophies at this time in my life has strengthened my connection with my sense of self in this human form. I know where my values and principles stand. My values are not my spirit, my ethics are not my soul, but they do help guide me to be a better version of human on this earth — (from my perspective, anyway — hunters may have a different perspective).
      2. With all of that being said… When you embrace your passion, your values, your small community of like-minded homies, it enlightens a stronger sense of self — especially when you know you make up only 2% of the world’s population. Knowing that you’re not influenced by society’s standards brings a stronger sense of self.
      3. The fact that the opposing beliefs of society, family and friends can’t impinge on your lifestyle is liberating for the being. Even if it makes going out to eat more challenging. It’s worth it. Because it plays a major role in making YOU the unique individual you are today.
      1. I know vegans advocate the ability to eat an abundant amount of plant-based food without gaining weight.… and I stand by this to an extent. While it’s true that vegans do have more room to add to their plate because they’re not eating saturated fat and the protein derived from animal, they still need to be mindful of portion sizes. Pretty sure anyone can gain some — a decent amount of weight eating 5 buckets of peanuts — eh hem , DAD! Overeating any calorically dense food can tax the waistline. But it’s hard to overeat lower caloric foods — i.e. vegetables — the main source of most vegan’s diet.
      2. A lot of healthy plant-based vegans eat an unlimited amount of greens. Greens are loaded with nutrients, high in water content and low in calories.
      3. What do your bank and belly have in common?

      4. They both look better with an abundance amount of green. 

      5. If vegetables are the main source of your diet then you can afford to stack your plate. In fact, you should just to make sure you’re getting enough calories for energy and to maintain a healthy weight.
      6. And luckily plant-based vegans have a beast of a metabolism and digestive system —  Eating wholesome, plant foods is the magic elixir to a maintaining a healthy, ideal weight for your height.
    1. BUT to maintain or LOSE this weight, vegans must be mindful of their sweets, grains and nuts portions — just like our omnivorous friends.
  • INGREDIENTS FOR MY VEGAN PROTEIN DONUTS 
  • FIVE

  • My ingredient detective skills grew to an impressive level 

    1. I’ve been an ingredient detective since the start of my health journey 4 years ago, when I lost 50 or more pounds. I became a loon about every ingredient I put in my body — and I’ll be honest, that part of my character hasn’t completely died. I truly take pleasure in reading ingredient labels.
    2. I used to check to make sure the intimidating ingredients were only natural or non harmful additives. For example, sodium bicarbonate is another term for baking soda. I’m okay with sodium bicarbonate.
    3. Today I still make sure that I don’t have anything artificial, but most importantly, to make sure nothing  derives from an animal.  No meat, no fish, no eggs, no milk, no dairy — just plants. 
  1. Ingredients like chicken, beef, shrimp, eggs, yogurt and milk are obvious. But here is a short list of ingredients that some vegans should know not to eat:
  2. carmine
  3. casein
  4. collagen
  5. gelatin
  6. keratin
  7. lactose
  8. lard
  9. whey

Lengthy list of animal-derived ingredient via peta.org

    1. Grocery Store in Bangkok, Thailand
    2. SIX

      I see grocery stores and plant-based restaurants as my other Disneyland

Seriously, I can spend hours upon hours at the grocery store. Using my new found ingredient detective skills to check every label and throw every new healthy, plant-based vegan item into my reusable grocery bag.

I realized this was a problem when I spent over 3 hours wandering around a Whole Foods for pleasure.

When I travel to new places, the first thing I google are the city’s “vegan restaurants”. Then I check the menu, compare prices, see if they have ingredients, read their reviews, scan their Instagram, stalk what their customers have posted on Instagram — it’s a process, a tad excessive. But I love it. And that passion led me to create my Healthy Plant-Based Vegan Food in Ubud series. Now I’m adding more from other cities I”m visiting on my solo female journey. These restaurants deserve my stamp of appreciation for making plant-based eating easy, accessible and enjoyable for all. I also want to share the best options for you when you travel to the city. 

What unexpected life transformations occurred when you became vegan? I’m interested.

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Hope this helped, my friend.

Thanks for reading!

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xo & namaste