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Confessions of a Vegan: The beginnings

#vegan #veganism #journey #digestivehealth #ibs #ibswarrior

Vegan confession #1: Yeah, I grew up eating meat. In addition to lots of fruits and veggies of course. But, I used to enjoy steak, chicken, and seafood. I liked the idea of vegetarianism and veganism as I got older because of the positive impact it has on the environment, but I always thought to myself “Damn, that is one restrictive way to live your life!”. Little did I know things were going to start to change during my undergraduate years. I started developing a host of digestive issues, ranging from indigestion to distended bowels. I was so confused. Wasn’t I eating healthy? I was active and prepared a majority of my meals at home, always taking care to buy organic, grass-fed, wild-caught. After countless years of going to a myriad of gastroenterologists, endoscopies, and colonoscopies, it was found that I had precancerous lesions in my digestive track and a nasty, incurable condition known as IBS, which affects between 25 and 45 million Americans every year.

I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and do some investigative work into my condition. I did allergy panels, and lactose/sugar tests. I found out that I was severely lactose intolerant so that was eliminated from my diet real quick and I noticed a difference in my skin, and experienced less indigestion after meals. I continued trying different elimination diets, to identify what else might be irritating my gut. Over the course of a year, I slowly cut out meat starting with red meat, then chicken, then seafood, and finally eggs.

Over this course of time, I noticed a huge difference in my health. I no longer felt this anxiety of how I was going to feel after meals, I was more satisfied after meals because I was consuming more fiber than ever, and best of all, my IBS symptoms had ceased. I have been vegan now for two years and it has kept me feeling energized, has allowed me to gain more muscle mass than before, and allowed me to develop a healthier relationship with food. And my skin got so much better. Like SO much better! Of course, it has taken me time to understand where I may need to supplement to be sure that I am getting enough B12, amino acids, and other vitamins and minerals that can be lacking in a vegan diet.

One thing is for sure though: I do NOT feel like I am missing out on anything! I have become so much more creative with cooking and I have actually increased the variety of foods that I was eating. Looking forward to sharing more about my vegan journey, tips, recipes, and more with you all!

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