During the week before Thanksgiving, I was buying a bunch of meat and cheese alternatives in an effort to select the best tasting products to use during my first Vegan Thanksgiving. That, of course, meant me eating up all these highly processed products over the next couple of weeks. The result of eating all that refined, salty, starchy/sugary, oily food? Reduced energy levels, a 5 pound weight gain, and acne breakouts! I had also spent so much on packaged foods that I couldn’t afford to buy many fresh foods. This led to me feeling pretty low, lethargic, and I slacked off on writing up regular posts for this blog. I also began to think negative thoughts about my appearance and began to believe that I would never regain my healthy, athletic self.
As I wallowed in self-pity, I came across a discussion on veganforum.com about “lazy vegans”. Because humans naturally stereotype others, vegans that are sickly, pale, under or overweight can unfairly contribute to the “omnivore’s argument”. I choose to abstain from animal products because I don’t want to be part of the demand for things that harm other sentient beings. Of course, I hope that others will be compassionate and choose this lifestyle, as well, once they become educated on what animal product industries do. But, I’m sure I would make a poor example of what a healthy vegan looks like. After reflecting on this a while, I thought it was time to get off this unhealthy ride that I was on, if only to set a good example to others thinking of living a more compassionate life.
This past weekend, I finally ran out of all the packaged, processed foods. I made my usual grocery list and started restocking on veggies, fruit, and beans. In the first day of going back to eating whole, fresh foods, I felt more energy and clarity of mind. Just four days later I’ve lost those 5 extra pounds, haven’t had any new breakouts, and feel more motivation to use my time productively.
I am more convinced than ever that what we eat strongly affects not only our health, but our minds and spirits!