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Op-Ed

Becoming Vegan

Being vegan is an entirely different lifestyle than one would think. Never being restricted from foods in the past and then jumping into eliminating all animal products was a huge switch back for me.

For me it was not the meat as much that I was constantly finding myself craving, it was the little things such as butter and cheese. It became difficult to find snack foods around the house, I eventually had to go to the store to buy my own personal snacks with the appropriate ingredients.

Eating at home is easy and no thought is needed, although I struggled with suddenly becoming the “difficult” guest at dinners or evenings out. Convenience foods got a whole less convenient.

What people are not aware of before becoming vegan is the amount of time it takes to evaluate, plan, and execute food that contains the right amount of calories and nutrients your body needs.

Within just the first week of becoming vegan is when I realized that being vegan does not necessarily equal healthy. Fries, Oreos, pop tarts, and many snack foods are “vegan” but not healthy or contributing to your body in positive ways. You can eat vegan and still chow down on fatty junk food.

Depending on your reasons to becoming vegan if you do it correctly you see the benefits in your skin, hair, energy levels, etc. My skin has become extremely clear from blemishes and rough patches, I more moisturized and my normal time that I take to get ready for school has been cut in half. I no longer wear as much makeup products and I have less stress about covering up blemishes.

Being vegan is an awesome lifestyle with many benefits, but to stress enough the importance of knowing how much your calorie intake should be and how much protein and nutrients you need to continue living a life with a strong immune system and muscle growth is extremely necessary.

Being someone who is an extremely active person and an athlete I have to make sure I am giving my body enough protein to compete competitively and also be able to live life with a healthy body.

Losing weight is also another huge reason people become vegan but do not let that be an excuse to slowly stop eating anything at all. You will get sick if you slowing starve yourself thinking you can not eat anything because you are “vegan”. Eat a LOT of food, you need to eat a lot of HEALTHY food and exercise for a healthy way to lose weight.

Being vegan will help you achieve the body you want while also making you way more awake and lighter on your feet. I also find that I am a lot happier and everything I do I get more passionate.

If becoming vegan is a choice you have been wanting to make check out these links below to learn more about what foods to eat:

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/1227/everyday-cooking/vegan/

http://www.vegkitchen.com/vegetarian-tips/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20773383,00.html

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