Why I Went Vegan

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It wasn’t ethics that brought me to veganism. I just needed a solution to my problems and I was willing to try anything. I was at the end of my rope. I couldn’t take the discomfort or the self-consciousness anymore.

On a daily basis I battled poor digestion, which led to stomach-aches and putrid gas and bowel movements. (and what are you supposed to do when you constantly need to pass gas at work in an office setting?) My face suffered too. Pimples covered my chin and forehead and were starting to spread to my cheeks. These were the large, painful pimples that looked like marbles under my skin. I was mortified.

Every solution I tried, failed. I became frustrated and discouraged. Until one day, my husband, James, mentioned veganism and told me to watch Freelee the Banana Girl’s YouTube videos. He told me about her before but something was different this time. This time I was in a frame of mind where I could receive what he was saying. I think that’s key: you can hear something a hundred times, but until you are ready for change and willing to accept help, you won’t hear the message.

So, what did I have to lose? Soon, I became consumed by Freelee’s videos and the knowledge she had to offer someone like me. I spent hours watching all of her videos starting at her very first upload. I was inspired and finally felt like there was a true solution to my problems.

It was April 2015. The month my life would change forever.

Before I cut out animal products, I ate chicken pretty frequently.  I rarely ate any other type of meat, maybe a turkey burger here and there. My biggest vice was dairy. Cheese and ice cream were the main culprits. There was no way I could give those up. Little did I know how easy it would be.

At this time, I was already having a smoothie for breakfast every day. It was (and still is) my favorite meal of the day. So I felt like I had a pretty good starting point. I began incorporating more fruits to replace my non-vegan lunch and then I focused on taking out the animal products from my dinners. It was a pretty fast transition from non-vegan to vegan because I had the motivation. I knew the sooner I went fully vegan, the sooner my body would be healed.

Below is an excerpt from a journal I kept during my transition to veganism. In this entry, I documented the ailments I fought and what I hoped to achieve through a vegan diet, so down the line I would remember where I came from.

I have a lot of issues with my body that I hope to heal by eating cleaner: my gas smells really bad, same with my poop; I get really bloated after I eat; I always have allergies and am full of mucous; my face breaks out; I get sick really easily; I’m always tired.

I want to protect my body from disease. I know that what I put in my body now will affect me positively or negatively in the future and I want to help my body as much as I can.

I want to connect more with God through food, the food He created for us. I want to eat as much God-made food as possible.

Thank you, hubby and Freelee, for inspiring a life change that would transform who I am as a human being.

What’s your “going vegan” story? Share in the comments.
Haven’t written your story yet? Voice any thoughts or questions and let’s get your vegan journey started.

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70 thoughts on “Why I Went Vegan

  1. Hello. I’m so glad I found your blog. I am thinking about going vegan largely because of severe bowel issues caused by coeliac and a few other autoimmune issues. I’ve grew up in a vegan household so it is easier for me to be a vegan then it is for me to not be a vegan. If I don’t think about it I will naturally avoid dairy poultry and other animal products. The only problem is that because of digestive and nutrition issues, I rely largely on bee products to get all of my vitamins and minerals. I guess that would disqualify me from being a vegan but I’m very much interested in relearning early habits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow it’s so gratifying to be one of the people to guide you on your path back to veganism. You are the type of person I had in mind when I decided to start my blog. I want to help you as much as I can so any feedback, questions or suggestions you have, please share!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. So true. I’ve noticed that a lot of animal eaters look puffy and worn down. Veganism breathes new life into the body…and the mind too. So you actually feel healthier, lighter, more youthful.
      Congratulations on your progress!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I turned vegetarian 6 years ago after I started doing yoga; it was for ethical reasons but also health after I did my research. Transitioning to vegan I found a little harder but again, ethical reasons all the way. The health, & environmental benefits are the best bonus though! I often have people ask me why I’m so happy all the time, and I definitely attribute it to eating so much fruit, veggies, and other plant foods. 🙂 Before I did I was depressed, lethargic and had little self-confidence because of stomach issues too!

    I’m glad you made the switch to veganism and that you feel so good for it! X

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is awesome! I have an extremely similar story, the health issues the same, and never able to fully work them out! I just started my blog, and I’m so thankful for your follow, and I’ve followed you too! You have some great content, keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah? How long have you been vegan? Hopefully you don’t have to deal with those issues much longer. I know how frustrating it can be.
      I’m so excited to see the content you post.
      Thanks for following!

      Like

      1. It’s funny that I am (practically) a Vegan and your site is exactly the sort I would like for general info. Perhaps analytics flung us together. God help me if it was based on my Google searches – as a writer I often research so could end up with anything! Ha – have a lovely day.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for sharing!

    I found veganism to help get past an eating disorder and took a more ethical stance on it later on. But I am in love with the lifestyle and all the compassion that it stands for!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is great. Although I am not a vegan, I was a vegetarian in my younger days for about 8 years. And I can relate to healing through foods. I try to eat as clean as I can, as I have developed sensitivities to foods as I have aged. I watched an interesting video about back pain and eating meat (linked in my article “Curse the Pigeon Pose”) and was thinking maybe I should give that another try! Looking forward to hearing more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow 8 years a vegetarian. That’s a long time. What made you reintroduce meat?
      It’s amazing what ailments people have healed through a vegan diet. Check out my post: My Epic Vegan Fail. I have a link in there to a similar video to what you mention.

      Like

  6. Thank you for following my blog 🙂

    I’m so glad I’ve come across your blog because I was trying out veganism for similar reasons!! I have always been a lactovegetarian my whole life. Having had to restrict my diet further due to coeliac disease – eventually I became used to it because I felt that my health was on the mend again.

    But more recently, I had started experiencing symptoms again and this time, it included dry, itchy patches on my eyelids and other places. I tried veganism for 3 months and I did feel better. Although the dry, itchy patches weren’t going. Just 2 weeks ago, I broke the vegan diet and started eating cheese again. It’s a bit of a tricky one because I’m trying to put on weight but it just seems impossible. Even more impossible without cheese. And i just love cheese and haven’t found the right substitute. However, the panic attacks and anxiety is back..as well as the mega bloating, cramps and constipation.

    I love how you said that you need to be ready for it.

    I’ve mentioned it to my GP and he wasn’t really bothered. I keep asking for a lactose intolerance test but they don’t let me have one. The GP mentioned that I need to be careful of alternative milks such as soya milk as that too has traces of lactose in. How pathetic. I know he’s wrong but he’s so unaware! I mentioned it to the consultant (who probably gets paid a heck of a lot) I see (once every 6 months at the hospital after being diagnosed with coeliac disease) and I was left frustrated and angry because after explaining the symptoms I feel after milk for example, his oh so blunt reply was “it doesn’t take a genius to see that dairy is a problem here. If you think you feel ill after consuming any dairy products, it’s simple. Don’t eat them’

    I did ask how this would have an impact on my calcium intake and health of my bones and stuff (bearing in mind I had been told I have osteoporosis too because my coeliac had been undiagnosed for so long)..but he said my intakes of calcium and other vital vitamins and minerals will not be affected if I ate loads of broccoli in particular.

    I left that appointment angry, feeling belittled and wanting to cry.

    Rant over lol. The moral of the story is to always listen to your gut though..as it seems like Dr’s won’t!

    I look forward to reading your posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing all of that. It sounds like you have quite a few good reasons to try veganism again.
      Your weight gain for instance. If you eat a proper high carb low fat vegan diet, your body will naturally gain or lose weight depending on what weight you are created to be. So many people lose weight for example because they are overweight. I actually gained a few pounds. Not fat though. Tissue that my body needed. The thing about trying to gain weight with cheese is that cheese is all fat so you will be gaining fat, and that’s no good. Have you tried the cheese substitute Daiya? I think it tastes better than dairy cheese.

      After several months on your vegan diet, reintroducing dairy can definitely bring back bloating and constipation etc.

      I agree. It’s very sad how uneducated doctors are. I try to avoid them as much as possible because I feel it’s a waste of time and money. I can just do research myself and treat whatever I have.

      Definitely do some research on calcium. There have been studies that show dairy is actually bad for your bones and body. Check out this video from Dr. Greger: https://youtu.be/rxnBDDqXSjk

      Yes, always listen to your gut. Do what feels right for your body and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. It’s amazing what we have been conditioned to think is true and right but is actually false and harmful.

      Good luck and stay in touch! I’d like to hear how your journey goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mango, take care for your VitB12 levels. Humans store up to several years supply in their liver. If you don’t replenish with mushrooms, pils, or animal products like eggs, you will run out slowly and develop problems with your nervous system et al. Vegans often do not identify the cause correctly because the problems appear such a long time after them going Vegan.

    Like

  8. [Mango]:
    “The thing about trying to gain weight with cheese is that cheese is all fat so you will be gaining fat, and that’s no good.”

    No. Whenever I want to lose weight I cut down on carbs, and replace by fat.

    Why does this work? Simple: After a night of sleep you run on fat burning alone because your carb storage does not last 8 hours even while sleeping. Now what’s the difference between burning fat from fat cells, and fat from cheese? No difference. Same metabolism.

    So let’s assume I avoid carbs for the day, and eat just cheese. I will produce no Insulin, it’s not needed for fat burning. No Insulin means my blood sugar level never drops quickly. I will get no cravings for carbohydrates. Meaning, overall I will consume LESS calories.

    This really works. I tried it a few times. (Breakfast: Coffee and some cheese. Maybe bacon with it. Not so bad.) On such days I will add a little bread or so in the evening, I don’t want to force my body into a zero carb mode.

    Well anyway. Eating fat does not automatically make you fat because your body burns fat. Excess carbohydrates on the other hand are TURNED into fat. Simple to demonstrate; just eat only carbs in large amounts and check whether your fat cells multiply. They do.

    Like

  9. What a wonderful post! I’m so happy that the vegan diet was able to help you. I haven’t seen much of a change since being vegan to be fair other than I have tons more energy (which is always a good thing!). I went vegan purely for the love of animals – it made the transition super easy for me. Thanks again for the post, it’s always lovely to hear a fellow vegan’s story 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      What did you used to eat for breakfast? Could you make that…just vegan?
      I find that smoothies are the best for me. Nothing’s better than a straight shot of fruit to the body and brain first thing in the morning. I write this as I sip on my smoothie 😉

      Like

      1. I guess before going vegan, I loved bacon and eggs for breakfast (the thought of this now makes me sick lol) – I am still getting used to tofu (I have seen tofu scrambles on youtube) and not a fan of mock meat. But I agree with you! I will stick with delcious smoothies!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey there friend firstly im also a mango lover!
    Im so happy more and more people are begining to heal themselves the right way (through natural foods). I wanted to ask have you cured all of your bodily problems? I know it can be a long journey of discovery learning what works best for you.
    Well done and keep up the work

    Kindest
    Scoff – Natural Health 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey fellow mango lover! I wouldn’t say that I am 100% perfect. Every now and then I do still get some stomach issues. But I think it has more to do with what I ate that day or the day before (as much as I love it, vegan cheese doesn’t seem to sit well with me). And I would also like to get my body strong and healthy enough that I rarely get sick. I get sick a couple times a year (just a cold) and am actually sick right now.
      Overall though, I’ve experienced a huge improvement.

      Like

  11. Hey, I really enjoyed reading this post! I completely agree with the line “you can hear something a hundred times, but until you are ready for change and willing to accept help, you won’t hear the message”. I am a big believer that you can’t change someone else’s mind… they need to want to make the change themselves, it needs to come from a personal, almost selfish place in a way! You need to change for you. People can be very stubborn (including myself in this) and don’t generally want to listen to someone else telling them how to live!

    It’s interesting that you went vegan from being omni before, I imagine that would be more difficult than vegetarian to vegan as I did! Even I struggled with that and was ‘veganish’ for a while, cutting out most but not all dairy products. My story is here!
    https://veganhighfives.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/why-am-i-veganish/

    🙂 Anyway, congrats on finding a new lifestyle that makes you feel great!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey!!!!! I love this post. I happened to stumble upon it when going through vegan recipes. I hope everything still going well!! I was vegan for about 2 years, but then slowly added dairy and fish back in, so now I identify as pescetarian. Being vegan worked SUPER well for a short period of time, but I think my body couldn’t maintain long term with my lifestyle. But some people can definitely do it! How is it still going? Also, I’m actually doing a giveaway for lightlife and nasoya products on my site right now if you are interested! Not to be all promotional, but I thought they may be something you would like!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hay! I’m glad you found my site! I’ve got some tasty and easy recipes for you.
      Being vegan has totally changed my life for the better and I’m never looking back. That’s great that it worked out for you, of only for 2 years.
      I’ll be sure to check out your giveaway. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi this is so inspiring, actually i have been a vegetarian for 7 years but the transiting to vegan is something i have never had in mind. I love real cheese and eggs too much! I did it for animals mainly but be meat free has help my health too even though i have to take iron and Vitamin B and sometimes Calcium. Definitely im going to share part of your post in my new blog is always interesting hearing about good life changes.Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 7 years is a long time! Good for you for making such a fantastic commitment. I’m so glad you’ve seen an improvement in your health. And hey, you’ll go vegan if and when you feel like it’s time.

      Thank you for sharing my post! I’ll definitely be over to your blog to check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My husband and I are just getting started, but I am looking forward to depriving myself…of arthritis pain, intestinal gas and bloating, continued heart disease and obesity! I was so pleasantly surprised at how easy it feels. No cravings, and I had been eating obscene amounts of milk chocolate daily for as long as I can remember!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I love the way you said that. Welcome to the family! I’m glad you’re finding it so easy! I mean, really, there’s a vegan version of everything these days so even if you do want some milk chocolate, you’ll be able to have some!

      Do you have any questions or need tips for anything? I’m here to help!

      Like

    2. Oh and PS. That’s so cool that you and your hubby are doing it together. It’s so fun to discover new foods and learn new things with your spouse. My hubby and I transitioned together too. It made our marriage even stronger!

      Like

    1. What a fantastic question. In my opinion, I would consider someone vegan if they didn’t eat animals but still wore leather and all that. However, I have heard it said that those people should be called “Plant-based” and that a person is only a true vegan when they do not eat or use any animal products. It’s really up to your own interpretation.
      I personally feel it’s less about labeling myself a vegan and more about how I feel about my choices having the knowledge that I do. Hypothetically, if I feel guilty buying a leather belt because I know and animal had to die for it, then I shouldn’t buy it and instead make choices that I feel good about.
      I think if you stop eating animal products for health reasons, you’re less likely to stop wearing leather, fur, etc. until you make the ethical connection.

      Liked by 1 person

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