Monday, September 6, 2010

13 Unexpected benefits of this new diet

I changed the way I ate in the middle of May 2010, so it's been about three and half months. (For the specific reasons as to why I started and what's my diet consists of, please visit the "About Antidisestablishment Vegetarianism" section of this blog.) I'd seen significant change in how my body felt a week or so into changing my diet. I've already mentioned about my increased energy level and better-feeling skin. As I keep my commitment longer, I've witnessed many more side benefits I hadn't expecting at all. Here are some of the things I noticed:
  1. A sense of empowerment - When you are on any kind of special diet, there are a lot of things you are not supposed to eat. You could have a "I can't have this and that" view, but I would say "I won't have this or that because it's not good for me". It's really empowering. 
  2. Lower grocery budget - This would depend on how you do your grocery shopping and what you include in your grocery budget currently. In our case, it lowered our grocery bill when we stopped buying organic animal and dairy products. (They are really expensive, but the regular ones are just flat out bad for your body.) I don't include the cost for dining out as a part of our grocery budget when it's something we'd planned to do, but I DO include it as a part of our grocery costs when we just eat out for convenience because we didn't plan our meals. It is, in fact, very inconvenient, but when you are on almost vegan diet, there are not many places you can make quick stop to eat. (Note: Your grocery bill will go up for the first month you change your diet since you have to vegan-ize your pantry.)
  3. My husband lost 14 pounds and his cholesterol level went down 40 points (without even trying) - Yay!
  4. Free from (some) guilt - I don't know about you, but I love animals. Somewhere in my life I thought it was cruel to kill animals though it didn't stop me from eating their meat. I think I made unconscious decision to ignore my guilty feelings. I don't accuse people for eating animals at all, but I think people should know that they have a choice. I still eat fish, too.
  5. Feel more connected to nature - I pay more attention to what is in season and what is locally grown. I even started to grow some of my own vegetables. 
  6. Better palate - Okay, I admit that some vegan food tastes pretty awful... but what I want to address here is the fact that your ability to recognize and appreciate flavor of ingredients increases as you start eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. I have experienced this and also heard about the same experience from others. One day, you realize... 'wow! Tomatoes have this flavor that I've never tasted before!' I think just like many things with our body, our taste buds have been desensitized from all the bad stuff. If you are using my recipes (or other vegan recipes) for only occasional healthy eating, you may find some of the recipes pretty bland...this is why.  
  7. Making new friends and connections - People love to talk about food! You will also meet some interesting people...
  8. Quicker grocery shopping trip - You can simply just ignore 70-80% of grocery store. That bag of cookies or box of ice cream will no longer have your name on it.
  9. No more feeling bloated - Oh, don't you hate that bloated feeling after a wonderful meal...?
  10. No more constipation - All that wonderful fiber...
  11. No more greasy dishes to wash - Hallelujah!
  12. My garbage doesn't stink - no more rotten smell from meat packages in my garbage bin
  13. Your mother will be proud of you - After all these years, you are finally eating more vegetables...
    I won't say it will be easy to stick to your diet, but I gave up a little and gained a lot!

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