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From Omnivore To Vegan: 12 Vegan Health Benefits That Surprised Me

From Omnivore To Vegan: 12 Vegan Health Benefits That Surprised Me

Going from an omnivore to a vegan is a pretty difficult and radical transition to make. On the face of it, it seems easy, but there are cravings and foods that just taste so good some people find them hard to give up (bacon, for example). Personally, I had a lot of trouble giving up double decker tacos at Taco Bell. If you need a little motivation, here’s a reminder of the vegan health benefits.

1. You’re probably going to lose weight

Cheese, meat, and eggs all have one thing in common: they’re high in fat. That bacon cheeseburger tastes really good but it also contains a bunch of fat. The average bacon cheeseburger has nine grams of saturated fat and a whopping 20 grams of regular fat. Never mind the cholesterol, we’ll talk about that in a minute. When I went vegan, I went from 210lbs to about 170lbs in 15 months. It’s not as dramatic as some people, but still pretty good.

2. You’ll feel less bloated

This was the first thing I really noticed when I went vegan. When you eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains, you’re eating more fiber. Fiber helps move things along down there and keep your digestive tract healthy. The result is feeling less bloated. It’s a really nice feeling too.

3. You’ll have more energy

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vegan health benefits

    When you switch to being a vegan, you inevitably eat more fruits and veggies. This provides you with natural carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which help boost your energy. Many people have reported that they wake up, have their morning smoothie, and are bouncing off the walls before too long. Of course, you should also be careful. The change can also give you too much energy and give you a case of insomnia. Make sure you’re working off that extra energy!

    4. Your skin will clear up

    Meat means grease and grease getting into your pores will give you the kind of acne teenagers have nightmares about. You’re consuming less fat, which means healthier blood vessels, which in turn means your skin is getting more oxygen, which is important. Let’s not forget all those vitamins and minerals in the fruits and veggies that you’ll be eating instead of meat, either. Most of those have various skin-improvement properties.

    5. You’ll get sick less often

    I’m not talking about cancer or heart disease, because we’ll talk about those later. However, thanks to the increase in nutrients and decrease in fat, grease, and things that are bad for you, you’ll have a stronger immune system. That means fewer colds, fewer flus, and you’ll be less likely to catch those nasty bugs everyone is getting. You’ll also be far less susceptible to things like food-borne illnesses because you can’t get sick from eating undercooked chicken if you don’t eat chicken.

    6. You’ll have a reduced risk of heart disease

    There are studies out there that do state that a little bit of animal protein is good for you. However, people generally eat entirely too much meat and that’s why so many people are getting heart disease. Vegans eliminate the risk of overeating meat entirely and thus they have a lower risk of contracting one of the major diseases associated with overeating meat.

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    7. You may have a reduced risk of a bunch of cancers

    Studies have shown that you can reduce the risk of many types of cancer by switching to a vegan diet. There are a myriad of reasons but the baseline reason is that you’re getting more nutrition overall and that includes more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You are also eating less junk food and less processed foods, which have also been loosely linked to contributing to cancer.

    8. You’ll be reducing the bad things

    vegan health benefits

      Most vegans eat whole foods and that means they don’t eat processed foods. Refined sugars, refined grains, trans fats, and other things that come from processed foods have been linked to everything bad under the sun. When you go vegan you’ll be cutting these things almost entirely out of your diet and that means you’ll be healthier overall and at risk of fewer diseases.

      9. The culture will likely lead you to improve in other ways

      When people go from omnivore to vegan, they learn that there’s a culture associated with it. Once they quit the processed food, they quit the smoking, become more health conscious, and exercise more frequently. While quitting the processed foods is a huge deal, quitting smoking and exercising have an equally impressive list of health benefits. When you go vegan, you may as well join the culture because it can be as equally good for you as the diet.

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      10. It’s an easier diet to follow if you have diabetes

      When you have diabetes you have to stay on a certain diet so you don’t aggravate your condition any further. According to a number of sources, a vegan diet helps keep your numbers where they need to be and it’s easier to adhere to (for some people) than the diets suggested by the American Diabetes Association.

      11. You may be able to prevent macular degeneration

      While fruits and veggies won’t prevent time’s natural way of making your eyesight worse, a vegan diet consuming plenty of them can make the process take place more slowly. More importantly, it can help you prevent diseases of the eye such as macular degeneration. Especially if you eat leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.

      12. You’ll probably live longer

      vegan health benefits

        While studies seem to have conflicting information about how long the vegan diet will extend your life, pretty much all of them agree that it will. Of course, as we talked about earlier, there is that culture that makes you quit smoking and exercise more too. Between that, those healthy veggies, and eating less toxic foods, you end up with a whirlwind of tangible health benefits that logically add up to living a longer life.

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        There are plenty of arguments to use a certain diet and vegan is no different. Just keep in mind that a lot of these health benefits don’t just come from the fruits, veggies, and grains but also from not eating as many processed foods. If you have any other awesome health benefits, let us know in the comments!

        Featured photo credit: Cook Eat Delicious via cookeatdelicious.com

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        Joseph Hindy

        A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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