When people tried to sell me on the whole vegetarian/vegan thing, everyone says, “Oh you’ll drop weight immediately! Your skin will clear up. Rainbows will sprout outside your window! Everything will be better.”
Every person’s experience is different. But I can tell you that with mine, that totally didn’t happen.
In fact, my skin in this moment is probably the worst I’ve ever seen it.
I do have to admit that soon after switching to a vegetarian diet, I had two very stressful jobs. In the first one, I never slept. I also ate more sugar than I’ve been used to eating (at both jobs) mainly just to stay awake!
Also, just because I’ve been enjoying a vegetarian diet (and doing a generally healthy job), that does not mean I’ve cut out all the stuff that’s bad for me. I still indulge on some greasy chips (mmmm chips). As I said, I still have sugar. (Oreos are vegan!)
I’m still generally trying to take care of myself, and not constantly eat Oreos or anything. (Actually, I’ve done an exceptional job of staying away from Oreos, if I do say so myself… I have not done a great job of staying away from Isabella’s Vegan Cookies (sold at the mart right by my subway stop).)
Anyway, I’m just saying, that my hypothesis is that it’s not a vegan diet that clears your skin and makes you lose weight. It’s a healthy diet. A vegan diet certainly could be that. In many ways, I think a non-plant based diet could be that too. So, I don’t necessarily thing just a plain ol’ blanket vegan diet is the answer to all health and skin problems…
As I mentioned, I’m pretty darn healthy for the most part. But I bet if I cut out that last bit of sugar and such that perhaps my skin would indeed be clearer. In fact, during my first vegetarian/vegan challenge, I did one of those meal order services where everything was only made with fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Nothing was processed. No sugars added. And my skin looked pretty darn great.
So, I think that’s the real secret. No sugar. No greasy potato chips. Aye, aye, aye, people. I’m getting better all the time with my diet. When will the changes ever be enough?!
Even though, for the most part, I haven’t really lost any weight, I have maintained. I’ve lost almost 70 pounds to date. (Crazy to think about, huh?) And I did transition to a meat-free diet slowly while I was losing weight. So, I guess I can’t say definitively whether a planet-based diet has a large effect on weight.
It also didn’t really seem to affect my numbers as far as blood pressure or any of that. I had a huge workup for trying to give a kidney to a stranger. They tested basically everything about me. I was only a few weeks into vegetarianism at that point, so I doubt my body had really made any changes… But, the results were good, as they’ve thus far always been at doctor’s appointments.
Again, I don’t have incredible exact before and after numbers to work with here. And I didn’t do the tests deep enough into vegetarianism to know if anything changed. But basically, I feel healthy. I don’t think anything got worse because of vegetarianism. So, that’s awesome!
Also, the nephrologist told me that statistically, kidney donors on plant-based diets do better than those who are meat eaters. So, there’s that.
As weird as it is to admit it, I’ve actually sort of enjoyed being a vegetarian. I feel like I’m making good choices for the environment, and it’s not nearly as restricting as I thought. So, yay!