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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 September 10, 2019

        7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

        7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

        Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

        Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

        This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

        One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

        Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

        Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

        1. Gratitude

        Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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        The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

        Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

        So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

        Gratitude-Quotes

          2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

          This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

          For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

          What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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          Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

          3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

          This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

          Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

          An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

          Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

          write down goals

            4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

            According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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            There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

            5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

            Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

            Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

            6. Rise Earlier

            The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

            For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

            So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

            Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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            7. Listen to Uplifting Music

            Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

            Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

            It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

            Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

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            Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
            [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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