5 Benefits to Becoming a Vegan

A week ago, I made a small change to how I eat. I never like to follow food trends and I HATE being a control freak when it comes to food, but I decided to become a vegan. I once lived as a vegetarian for nearly six years, so I knew that I could handle the whole plant-based diet thing. But why exactly did I make the switch?

Photo: Green Prophet

As much as I never want to admit I used to eat my feelings, I did sadly. Last semester I was so busy that I’d often cope with stress with fast food and other less-than-healthy options (aka fast food: Wendy’s, Sonic, Taco Bell, ugh you get the picture). I was raised almost never eating such foods all the time, so I knew I was in need of a health kick. So it’d occurred to me that veganism was to not only going help me get healthy again, but also cut fast food out of my diet. My weight and physique weren’t really problems; my energy levels, skin and attention spans were. Not to mention, eating fast food was also eating away at my bank account -- not good either!

Giving in to this increasingly trendy way of eating has done a lot for me in just one week. I am not saying that everyone should go vegan, I’d just like to celebrate the things it has done for me. But if you would like to try it, then look forward to these benefits:

1. Groceries are actually cheaper!

Nobody likes to spend money on food in college. Prior to this week, I’d spend more than $100 to buy food for myself whenever I went shopping. Now, I spend a fraction of that cost whenever I shop at Kroger! Why? Meat products cost a lot, produce and grains do not -- those gems are staples to any vegan diet.

Normally, I’d buy foods that made me feel good as opposed to ones that actually fed me properly. Grocery shopping always reminded me that pizza was better than a boyfriend, Nutella was the only thing that understood me and always say please to mac and cheese.

2. You can eat more!

Meat and cheese come in small servings that are filled with calories while plant products often don’t! Remember, just an ounce of cheese equals the same amount of calories as a large handful of berries. Wouldn’t you rather munch on something that gives you nutrients than take a bite of something that makes you feel guilty?

I was surprised to find that I could actually veg on the couch, eating apple slices and carrots while watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians reruns. I couldn’t do that when I’d eat buffalo dip for comfort!

3. Food cravings? What are those?

Do people crave cheese or are they lacking sodium? Probably the second one! Everyone fears veganism being the cause of pizza cravings, but those actually stop happening after going vegan since you won’t be eating those foods.

I could have sworn that pizza ads on TV would make me upset after making the switch, but they don’t. I, for once, can look at a picture of foods that contain animal products and not care at all. I used to crave so many foods just by looking at them but not anymore!

4. Understanding hunger vs. boredom.

If food cravings are not an issue, then why would eating ‘to feel better’ happen? Since my cravings are gone, there’s no longer a need to reach into the fridge when there isn’t anything else to do. When bored, there are actually fun activities to do (not ice cream sundaes to inhale).

I always had to be eating prior to this change. Now I can spend time focusing on the activities that matter: writing this article, having a conversation with my friends and painting to name a few. Putting it this way, I can enjoy my day now!

5. Shopping is now an option.

That pit stop at the “BK Lounge” (aka Burger King) cost nearly ten bucks. That swing by Sonic ate up every penny and any trip to Tim Horton’s was a waste of time. Wouldn’t it have been great to save that money for an extra round at the bars or a massage before a big exam? Probably.

I’d spend nearly $25 each week with the amount of fast food I would eat. If I could sit and add that money up at the end of every semester, I’d be able to buy so many other cool things!

GIF: giphy.com

Um, yeah… first week vegan, so far so great! Perhaps you also want to enjoy these changes, too.