Eating a Plant-Rich Diet

At the beginning of 2022, my commitment to the year was to eat a mostly plant-based diet. Unlike most resolutions, this one I was motivated to keep. The main struggles I needed to fix: cystic acne (that not even Accutane, the supposedly acne cure-all could clear), an unhealthy relationship with food, low-energy, chronic migraines, and low self-esteem. A plant-based diet seemed like a step in the right direction, but I had no idea how it would actually impact my life. Studies show many benefits of a plant-based diet:

  • Plant-based foods have no cholesterol, so will naturally lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States
  • Plant-based diets lower blood pressure, leading to decreased risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attacks, and protects your kidneys
  • Plant-based diets are naturally lower in saturated fats (saturated fats can raise LDL cholesterol)
  • Plant-based diets have the ability to reverse chronic conditions, such as Type II diabetes and heart disease. This, in turn, will lessen the amounts of medication needed (and save money!)
  • Eating Plant-Based helps to lose and manage weight, without the stress of counting calories. The average person eats about 3 to 4 pounds of food per day. The majority of plant-based foods (excluding healthy-fats, like nuts, oils, and avocados), have less than 600 calories per pound. This means that if you eat until you are satisfied, you will still be eating close to basal metabolic ranges and the caloric needs for exercise, without needing to pay attention to how much you are eating. 
  • Plant-Based diets are anti-inflammatory, reducing pain and symptoms of chronic illness
  • Eating plant-based has been shown to improve mood, sleep, and energy levels
  • Plants contain important vitamins and minerals that keep many of our bodily and metabolic functions running properly

With a better understanding of the benefits to eating plant-based, I started 2022 eating no meat, dairy, or egg, and successfully made it the entire year limiting or completely eliminating these foods. Here is what I discovered throughout my year, and why this is a lifestyle I have so joyfully adopted.

  • My skin has remained clear since February (after 7 years of struggling)!
  • I no longer have menstrual cramps (is that too personal for a blog?)
  • I have not had a single migraine in over a year (this is one of my favorite things)
  • I have lost weight, even through periods of little-to-no exercise
  • I am so joyful, more confident, and have such a healthy relationship with food
  • I maintained and even gained muscle mass, despite not eating meat
January, 2022- Before Eating Plant-Based and after 2, 6 months rounds of Accutane (my poor liver!)
6 months later, fully plant-based, no make-up, and so joyful!

Eating a plant-based or plant-rich diet has many benefits that have completely changed my relationship with food. Whole-food, plant-based and limiting foods with artificial ingredients worked best for me, but, the most exciting part of integrating more plants is finding a healthy diet that you can joyfully stick to, does not feel restrictive, and helps you to meet your personal health goals and needs. 

Happy plant-eating!

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