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7 Changes You’ll Undergo When You Stop Eating Meat

7 Changes You’ll Undergo When You Stop Eating Meat

It is always said that going vegetarian will make you lack important nutrients. While the American Dietetic Association clarified that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”. A study done in 2013 also proved that vegetarians live longer than non-vegetarians by almost 20%. Below are the specific great changes you’ll undergo when you stop eating meat.

1. Your Skin Will Start to Glow

The benefits of going meat-free can be external too. According to holistic nutritionist Susan Tucker MD, the founder of Green Beat Life, the higher amounts of minerals, antioxidants, and fiber included in plant-based diets help detoxify and lead to clearer skin. Plant-based diets can lead to the clearing of common skin problems like eczema and acne.

2. Your Body Will Be Less Acidic

Tucker explains that processed foods, and animal products, like milk and cheese, lead to an acidic environment in the body. Over-acidification causes commonly felt symptoms like nausea, fatigue, headaches, and fogginess. Plant-based diets are more alkaline, counteracting over-acidification and its unwanted symptoms. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and sprouted grains can help boost energy and clarity.

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3. You’ll Start Consuming the Right Types of Protein

A common misconception of transitioning from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one is that your body won’t receive the protein it needs to function properly. McMacken explains that the average meat and vegetable eater consumes more than 1.5-times the amount of protein it should from animal sources. Excess protein is then stored as fat and can result in weight gain and more serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The protein you consume from a plant-based diet actually helps prevent a number of chronic diseases. According to Janice Stranger PhD, author of The Perfect Formula Diet, the longest-living people on earth receive 9-10% of their total calories from protein. The average American now receives roughly 15- 20% of their total calories from protein.

4. Your Cholesterol Levels Will Decrease

Like inflammation, high blood cholesterol levels can lead to stroke and heart disease. Animal products, like meats and cheeses, are high in the saturated fats that cause high cholesterol and ultimately harmful heart conditions.

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According to McMacken, studies consistently show that those who switch to a plant-based diet undergo a blood cholesterol drop of up to 35 percent. Plant-based diets are low in saturated fat and high in fiber — two characteristics that lead to dropping blood cholesterol levels.

5. You’ll Probably Lose Weight

There are a number of ways to lose weight when choosing a plant-based diet. Many lose weight when they first make the switch due to finding their protein in lower-calorie food sources, like tofu and other vegetarian-friendly products.

A recent study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that participants prescribed a vegetarian diet experienced an average weight loss of 7.5 pounds. Meals high in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains can lead to even more rapid weight loss.

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6. You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Common Diseases

One of the biggest perks of making the change to a plant-based diet is that you’ll reduce inflammation in your body, and ultimately, reduce your risk of many serious diseases. According to board-certified internal medicine physician Michele McMacken MD, those who eat diets full of meats and highly processed foods experience elevated levels of inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to autoimmune diseases, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and a number of other serious conditions.

Naturally anti-inflammatory plant-based diets are full of phytonutrients, like antioxidants and fiber. They typically include fewer dietary elements that lead to chronic inflammation, like saturated fats and toxins.

7. You’ll Feel Better About Your Impact on the Environment

Choosing a plant-based diet has as much of a positive impact on the environment and wildlife as it does on you. According to a 2014 article published in Pacific Standard, animal agriculture is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The animal agriculture industry causes more greenhouse gas emissions than can be linked to all forms of transportation.

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The industry uses an irreplaceable amount of the earth’s forests, water, and wildlife habitats. Choosing to go plant-based means you’re taking a stand against the destruction of earth’s resources and its inhabitants.

Tips for Achieving Your Goal

Stopping your meat consumption “cold turkey” may not be easy. However, the Vegetarian Society offers some helpful tips for first-timers making the transition to a plant-based diet.

  1. Don’t feel like you have to make every change at once. If you’re having trouble cutting out meat entirely, start by reducing your meat consumption one meal at a time.
  2. Ask your doctor or a nutritionist for help. It can be difficult to know exactly how to stay healthy and energized on a plant-based diet at first. A qualified doctor or nutritionist can help you determine the difference between healthy choices and not-so-healthy ones.
  3. Go easy on yourself. It’s not easy for anyone to switch their diet in a day, so don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling to make the change. Go easy on yourself, give it another try if you have a “cheat day,” and refer back to the benefits of going plant-based for inspiration.

(https://www.vegsoc.org/goveggiehelp#)

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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