5 unlikely things I experienced on a plant-based diet

I was as surprised as you are…

by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

February 2017 I joining the club: The Plant-based diet eating revolution

‘Everyone’ is doing it, and what’s more, raving about it. So I wasn’t going to take their word for it. I was going to give it a go.

I will be honest, I felt very unsure. Being an avid gym junkie, we are super conscious of getting our protein macros covered and to be frank, it seemed almost impossible to do this without meat. But I did my research, collated a swag of recipes and embarked on this journey nonetheless. I will mention that I was sitting on the fence for a few years before I made the jump…

Like any new eating protocol, you need to give it more than a day to see a difference, but I committed 6 months and was then going to make the assessment. Now honest disclosure, I went from eating meat 2–3 times a day, to eating fish on rare occasions. So I wasn’t completely plant-based, but it was a significant transition and here is what I found:

1. My body composition significantly changed

You heard it here folks! You are as surprised as I was. To give you the backstory: I had reach a stalemate in my body and fat loss goals. I was diligent to my diet and training, which included a high volume of meat. Before you attribute my weight loss to a drop in calories, I more than made up for those calories in beans, legumes and copious amounts of vegetables and fruit. Another interesting fact is that the scales only shifted around a kilo, but my clothes and mirror said otherwise.

2. IBS symptoms have somewhat vanished

Not wanting to overshare, but those of you with Irritable Bowel syndrome can empathise how tricky it can be to navigate the waters of a delicate digestive system. However after going to a predominantly plant-based diet, I experienced less cramping and embarrassing gassy moments and my bowel movements were more regular… (unless I decided to hit anything gluten or occasional dairy treat, then I would know about it of course!) My usual bloated and protruding tummy is now much flatter than before, which is so nice.

3. Developed a deeper level of compassion for animals

Though I wasn’t initially motivated to refrain from eating meat for compassionate reasons, I was soon mindful of the impact that my dietary choices were having on other living creatures and the environment. The thought of eating animal flesh started feeling wrong to me and still does.

4. I had greater amounts of strength in the gym and energy in everyday life

I felt this ‘lightness’ in my body that was previously experienced on rare occasions. Further on this, I am pushing heavier weights on a plant-based diet and recovering from exercise much faster.

5. A dramatic drop in estrogen levels

I had my estrogen levels tested previous to starting a plant-based diet and they were WELL above the healthy range. This was affecting my moods and dramatically affecting my cycle ie. heavy flow, large clots, fluctuating mood swings and call for strong painkillers every month. A few months into eating a plant-based diet, my blood estrogen levels had dropped to a healthy range and my cycle was now way more manageable. Not perfect, but streets ahead to where I was.

I would be amiss of me to neglect to say that a plant-based diet hasn’t been a magic wand to erase all ailments from my body.

I still have some pimples on my back and on my face where others have shown dramatic before and after photos of glowing skin changes. Others claimed their mood and sleep have significantly improved. I have found anxiety and insomnia are still very much an issue for me.

Now nearing 2 years eating a plant-based diet, I can categorically say that this is no longer a ‘fad’ and I have fully embraced this way of eating permanently. If you have been sitting where I was almost 4 years ago, perhaps you could take the plunge today?