Can you believe that it has been an entire year since I went vegan?! Me either!

I am so happy to be celebrating this momentous occasion with all of you!

I hope I have inspired at least a few people to eat at least a little more veggies and a little less meat. If you’re wondering about me and my vegan journey then read on. If you don’t give one hoot then wait for the next post honey and I’ll take care of you.

So, November 2016 I went on a huge documentary bender and it ruined the meat, dairy, and egg industries for me. I was horrified with the way the animals were treated and the conditions they were living in. I think the documentary that hit me the hardest was Cowspiracy. I would definitely recommend giving it a watch.

I’ve learnt a lot about how most people, especially here in the USA, over consume these products any way. Dairy, especially cheese, and meat are very hard on our bodies. They are difficult for your body to process, they have a very high nutritional density with low nutritional benefits, and they are associated with numerous diseases when overconsumed. According to heart.org “The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats – which are found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods. Decades of sound science has proven it can raise your “bad” cholesterol and put you at higher risk for heart disease. “

I also never realized how severely the massive amounts of farm animals we are raising affected our environment. According to http://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching  “Cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, accounting for 80% of current deforestation rates. Amazon Brazil is home to approximately 200 million head of cattle, and is the largest exporter in the world, supplying about one quarter of the global market. Approximately 450,000 square kilometers of deforested Amazon in Brazil are now in cattle pasture.”

http://www.fao.org/docrep/ARTICLE/WFC/XII/0568-B1.HTM  says “Since the 1960s, the cattle herd of the Amazon Basin has increased from 5 million to more than 70-80 million heads. Around 15% of the Amazon forest has been replaced and around 80% of the deforested areas have been covered by pastures (approximately 900 000 km2).”

I really liked this article on http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/ They introduce their article by saying “You may think you live on a planet, but really you live on a gigantic farm, one occasionally broken up by cities, forests and the oceans. Some 40% of the world’s land surface is used for the purposes of keeping all 7 billion of us fed — albeit some of us, of course, more than others. And the vast majority of that land — about 30% of the word’s total ice-free surface — is used not to raise grains, fruits and vegetables that are directly fed to human beings, but to support the chickens, pigs and cattle that we eventually eat.” Actually the entire article is very interesting and I would recommend reading the whole thing if you have time.

I want to do what I can to help make this world a better place for myself and everyone else.  I also want to make myself healthier and happier.

Over the past year I’ve gone from about 48% body fat to 41%. I am giving body fat percentage because I actually weigh almost the same as I weight lift and have been working with a trainer to build muscle mass.

I will tell you in the last year that I have had more energy, needed less sleep, and had better skin. The skin thing is a big deal to me. I am in my 30s and have adult acne. No one wants acne but especially as an adult. I have noticed a huge drop in break outs since giving up milk products. I’m now trying to reduce my sugar intake as well as I’ve heard that can make a big difference too.

I sleep about an hour less than I did before going vegan. It’s been nice to have the extra time to put towards other activities. Sometimes I feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day lol.

Now I will admit that I’m what I’ve heard termed a Paris Vegan, which I’ve gathered to mean that I may on rare occasion have something with egg, dairy, or meat in it. I do not know anyone else that is vegan or even vegetarian. My family and friends are all big meat eaters and I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. So sometimes if they make a pot of beans and put ham or bacon in it to flavor it or they put cheese in the salad or someone makes a birthday cake with eggs, I say oh well. I am happy with the fact that I am lowering my carbon foot print and doing my part as best I can. To me it’s okay to eat those things in small quantities on occasion. I am happy and very proud of my choices and experiences this past year.

Please leave me comments if you have any questions or you would like to share your experiences with being vegan.