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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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