Vegan Diet Benefits

7 Benefits Of Adapting A Vegan Diet

Becoming a vegan has allowed me to gain a better understanding of health and nutrition.

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This past July, I watched a Youtube video about a college student that decided to eat a vegan diet on $5 a week.

The Youtuber did this so she could understand what it was like to eat a vegan diet if you were in poverty. After watching the video, I realized that I too could do something like what she did.

Being in college isn't cheap, and if I could save money by changing my diet and utilizing natural foods in multiple ways, then it would be worth it.

Before adopting a veganv diet, I was a vegetarian for two years. I also didn't drink milk or eat cheese (I know, weird! But I have never, ever liked cheese), so the transition to a Vegan diet was more of an educational journey, rather than fighting cravings.

1. I experience minimal bloating.

Before eating a vegan diet, I would bloat after eating anything. I could eat carrots, broccoli, an apple, eggs, whatever it may have been, I would bloat to an uncomfortable level that I would need to lay down.

Now, my uncomfortable bloating is only contributed to my menstrual cycle. Sometimes I do bloat after eating, but it is resolved within an hour and doesn't cause me the discomfort or pain that it once did.

2. My water retention is lower.

After becoming vegan, I have noticed that I do not carry as much water weight as I did before. I believe this is because the foods I eat are natural, and typically prepared by myself, so they are not processed. The elimination of processed foods in my diet means my sodium levels are much lower than before, hence causing me to retain less water.

3. I am more lean.

My vegan diet has allowed my body to even out in ways I could never achieve with a vegetarian diet - even when I was working out consistently. My natural body shape is more obvious because of my vegan diet.

4. I don't ~need~ to exercise to stay lean.

Since August, I have probably worked out approximately 30 times. I'm a busy gal. With that being said, in the past, only 30 times within 4 months would have been the end of the world for me.

I have noticed that because of my current diet, my body weight doesn't fluctuate as much. If it does fluctuate, it is because of my hormones, rather than my diet.

5. A Vegan diet is environmentally friendly.

I know there is research done on both sides (meat eaters vs. vegetarian/vegans) arguing which diet is more beneficial for the environment.

Personally, I waste less eating a vegan diet. Mostly because 90% of the foods that I eat are are not perishable. The only foods I need to worry about wasting are fresh fruits and veggies, which are easy to eat and use up if they are looking not-so-healthy.

Also, most of the foods that I purchase come in cans or produce bags, which are easily recyclable.

6. I have clearer and healthier skin.

I have never had a problem with acne or poor skin, if anything I have redness and a few breakouts here and there. My skin is also drier, so if anything, it will peel before it will ever glow.

However, after eliminating dairy out of my diet, I have noticed that my skin is clearer, not as red, and has a glow to it.

7. I save money being a vegan.

I save money because 1) eating out is challenging. Most places do not offer vegan options as main courses, so if I do eat out, I typically eat the most basic salad on the menu. (Which is actually perfectly fine with me, I'm naturally a picky eater, so I would choose this option anyway).

I also save money because my diet consists of staple foods. When I go to the store, I usually buy black beans (no salt added, of course), plain tomato sauce, and brown rice. That alone is under $4, and I can usually get a few meals out of it. The most expensive part of my grocery shopping is the spices I buy to spice up my meals.

Spices I've also learned are a healthy and natural alternative to achieving different types of meals.

For example, if I want Italian tasting food – I can add Italian spice blend or oregano to my meal.

If I want something spicier, cayenne is a great choice.

All come with great additional health benefits.

I think people are quick to assume that a vegan diet has to be more expensive than a meat diet because of the alternatives for meat products can be expensive. This is true. If you were to only eat meat alternatives (for example, tofu, veggie bacon/sausage, almond milk yogurt, ect.) then yes, it would be more expensive.

But if you only add those things to natural staple items like beans, rice, peanut butter, bread, vegetables, fruits, nuts, ect., then it is a cheap diet.

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How To Order Vegan Like A Boss At Dutch Bros.

Coffee is a plant. And plant eaters need their fix, too.
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Recently, at my local Dutch Brothers Coffee stand (shoutout to Monmouth Dutch Bros.!) they put up a sign with allergen information, to make it easier for the gluten, soy, and lactose intolerant.

Not only is this considerate as all get out, it also makes it immensely easier to order as someone who eats a plant-based diet.

Which is just the most obnoxious way of saying that I'm a vegan.

Now that this information is available at stands, it's much easier for my fellow herbivores to make delicious new combos without worrying about accidentally ingesting milk or eggs. But I'll make it even easier: here are my favorite vegan orders at Dutch.

1. Mochas

The chocolate sauce is dairy free! Rejoice! Flavored mochas are so creamy and delicious... Especially with coconut milk (it has the most fat content of their alternative milks).

Here are a few of my favorites:

"Grasshopper" (dark chocolate and creme de menthe)

"Double Torture" (vanilla mocha with two extra shots)

"Black Forest" (dark chocolate and cherry)

And last, there's no name for this one, but an English Toffee Mocha is to die for.

2. Iced teas

As long as you avoid the occasional special with white chocolate thrown in, you should be good here. However, they can be quite sweet and if you're like me, that's not ideal.

In general, my tip is to order half sweet, but here are my two favorite, less sickly sweet orders:

A plain, pink grapefruit green tea

"Ray of Sunshine" (blackberry, peach, and grapefruit)

3. Lattes

Now, with no sauce (chocolate, caramel or otherwise) these will be less creamy, but also less sweet! If that's your dig, here you go:

"Nutty Irishman" (Irish cream and hazelnut)

"Amaretto" (almond and cherry)

"Islander" (chocolate macadamia nut, vanilla, and coconut)

4. Chai

Now, this is where it gets tricky. If you believe honey is vegan, then you're good to go; if you're not on the honey train, then chai is a no-go for you.

But for those who love themselves some bee-juice, I have two words for you: dirty chai. (A chai with espresso shots tossed in.)

It's a plain and simple drink you can get anywhere and adds no sugary syrup. Frankly, the Dutch chai is sweet enough, you really don't need any flavors added. However, I find that I do need the added espresso shots to balance it out. Plus, you get that added caffeine kick, and who doesn't love that?


Hopefully, this gives you some ideas for next visit, so you can do more than the (very safe) soy vanilla latte. Go forth and caffeinate!

Cover Image Credit: Monmouth Dutch Bros. | Instagram

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7 Vegan Foods That Don't 'Taste Vegan,' AKA Like Grass

Some vegan foods I recommend to everyone I know because they're just that good.

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Over the two years I've been vegan, I've tried some not-so-tasty vegan foods, and I will admit that. But, I've also had some of the best food I've ever had in my entire life, even before I was vegan.

Some vegan foods I recommend to everyone I know because they're just that good.

Here are X vegan foods that, as a non-vegan would say, don't "taste vegan."

1. Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettlecorn

Angie's BoomChickaPop

Oh my days, this stuff is heavenly.

Crunchy, crispy, sweet, salty, and, in case you're wondering, vegan.

This snack is also gluten free, kosher, non-GMO, whole grain, and free of high fructose corn syrup.

2. Dark Chocolate Oreos

The first package of these I bought disappeared in a few hours. They're hundreds of levels above the regular chocolate creme filled Oreos. Imagine the cream on the inside of the cookie was just as chocolatey and rich as the cookie itself, and just a touch sweeter: that's what the dark chocolate filling tastes like.

Seriously, these are so freaking good.

3. So Delicious Salted Caramel Cluster Non-Dairy Ice Cream

So Delicious / Instagram

This is, hands down, my favorite ice cream on the planet.

Chock full of chocolate covered cashews, layered with ribbons of salted caramel, and loaded with more chocolate chunks, all stirred into a creamy, dreamy delightful cashew-based frozen dessert, this "ice cream" is a salty and sweet lover's fantasy come true.

And that's a fact.

4. Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's / Instagram

Imagine the most chocolatey chocolate ice cream you've ever had.

Take that, make it more chocolatey, and throw in über-chocolatey brownie chunks. Then you'll have this almond-milk-based treat.

Without a doubt in my mind, this is the best chocolate ice cream I've ever had. And I've had dark chocolate gelato on the backstreets of Pompeii. This beats it.

Bonus, Ben & Jerry's supports fair trade farmers with their sugar, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, and bananas, and uses non-GMO ingredients.

Even if you're a vegan-dessert skeptic (which you shouldn't be) Ben & Jerry's also uses cage-free eggs and implement a program they call "Caring Dairy" to ensure that even their non-vegan products keep in mind the importance of our animal friends.

5. Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs Vegan White Cheddar

Hippeas / Instagram

These are the closest thing to Cheetos in a vegan diet... except they're better than Cheetos, if you ask me.

These are non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, and free of both soy and nuts, so they're suitable to pretty much any allergen restriction or diet. They also have a high protein and fiber content.

6. Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Beverage

This is just super delicious chocolate milk, without any nasty hormones or cholesterol and it's also soy free. Need I say more?

7. Oatly Oat Milk

Oatly / Instagram

The absolute best dairy-free alternative for dairy is oat milk. There, I said it. I honestly prefer the taste of it to all milks, animal- or plant-based. It's got a taste you can only understand if you've tried it, and Oatly makes the best oat milk.

It's perfect for coffee, in a smoothie, in cereal, or on its own. It's that good.

Of course, there are plenty of other vegan foods everyone can enjoy, like guacamole, french fries, plain potato chips... the list could go on. However, these are seven things that are vegan that, if you haven't tried, I suggest you run to your nearest grocery store to try. Now.

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