Veganism Changed My Life: Could It Be For You?
Michelle Hunt tells us how she got on when she transitioned to veganism two years ago.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
A vegan does not eat anything that is of animal origin. Vegans will not use animal-based products for clothing, or any other purpose. A person can become a vegan because of ethical reasons involving animal rights, for environmental factors, or for better health.
How Veganism Changed My Life
When I tell people I’m vegan I immediately see them recoil, clearly taken aback by the fact that I would consider something so extreme. The general assumptions being that it’s a diet I choose to follow to aid restriction and ensure low-calorie consumption, or the alternative: That I’m a die-hard animal and planet lover who is about to bombard them with all the ethical and environmental reasons they should live like me.
I chose to become vegan essentially for the potential health benefits which it offered. Having suffered from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders from about the age of twelve up until I hit my early twenties, my digestive system fought against my desire to gain weight and improve my physical health during recovery. It had borne the brunt of years of abuse and the only options furnished by doctors were long-term medication or surgery, neither of which guaranteed relief.
The Alternative Route
Finally stepping away from the medical profession just over a year and a half ago, I sought the advice of a herbalist who suggested that the removal of animal protein and wheat could potentially solve a lot of my issues. Needless to say, those around me were highly sceptical and apprehensive seeing it as a potential hazard to the final stages of my recovery rather than a means to improve and promote it.
A couple of weeks of confusion ensued, seeking out alternatives whilst at the same time revelling in the immediate health benefits. Not only did my digestion improve, I felt psychologically at peace, my headaches dissipated, my skin cleared up and I began to look forward to eating rather than it being a chore that inevitably led to extreme pain and lingering discomfort.
Feeling so much more positive encouraged me to explore alternative foods. Seeking out new ways of cooking, hunting down vegan-friendly recipes inevitably led me to food blogs. I was immediately enthralled and pretty soon after got to work on setting up my own blog.
My diet became more varied and nutritionally rich than ever before, far from the perceived restricted nature of the vegan way of life. I embraced new foods at every given opportunity without the anxiety I had experienced for the best part of my life. Veganism not only improved my physical health, but it allowed me to get through the final stages of my recovery. I now feel at peace with food, my body and my mind.
Now studying nutritional therapy, I’ve begun to explore and understand the additional long-term benefits that following a plant-based diet proffers. The inherent power of food over the body and the way it functions, reacts, and is maintained is astounding. It changed my life.
The meal of the day, which I most feared and never paid a great deal of attention to in terms of variety, has now become my favourite … breakfast! In years gone by I completely sidelined it, preferring to save up my minimum calories for the latter part of the day. From no breakfast to the whipped and overnight oat, breakfast bake and pancake queen!
You can find delicious recipes and inspiration at Michelle’s blog Peachy Palate.