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Health and Wellness

5 Ways Cutting Dairy & Meat Out Of My Diet Benefited My Health

A healthy body is equivalent to a healthy mind.

5 Ways Cutting Dairy & Meat Out Of My Diet Benefited My Health

About a year and a half ago, I decided to become ovo-pescatarian. Essentially, this means that I limited my diet to strictly eggs, seafood, and plant-based nutrients. Naturally, I have gotten a lot of shit about it from family and friends claiming me to be a pseudo-vegan, and although I plan to eventually become fully vegan in the future, the progression towards that status is a long process. At the same time though, I have seen tremendous changes occur in my body as a result of my diet. Although there is a lot of criticism towards people who choose to live plant-based or even without the likes of dairy and meat, there are plenty of undeniable benefits.

1. Better weight maintenance

Initially, I chose to change my diet for health and moral reasons. It was a very slow process at first, but eventually, I committed to completely cutting out dairy and meat forever. Although these foods are high in protein, they are also notorious for being high in fat as well. When I would eat these foods, I found my weight to be constantly fluctuating which led me to be in a perpetual state of unhappiness. By limiting my diet to consist of vegetables, eggs, and seafood, I have lost a lot of unwanted weight, while simultaneously maintaining lean muscle. Not to mention, these foods are high in vitamins and nutritional value, yet, proportionally lower in calories compared to meat and dairy products.

2. Healthier skin and nails

Before this dietary transition, my face looked...dull...for lack of a better word. It was littered with acne, acne scars, and unattractive blemishes. Not to mention, it was twice the size as it is now. My hair and nails were also a problem. They would grow slow and very unhealthily. Now, my face has never been clearer. Several of my friends, and even my boyfriend, occasionally comment on the "natural glow" it has attained since my diet change. I have also noticed that my nails and hair grow exponentially faster than they ever did before. When they grow, they grow stronger and healthier as well. Overall, limiting the number of toxins that I allow to enter my body has had profound effects on my external appearance, as well as the efficiency of my internal functioning.

3. Higher energy levels and healthier feeling body

Coupled with working out, this diet has given me higher and longer lasting intervals of energy. Before, I remember eating things that contained meat or dairy and simply feeling sluggish and bloated after. It would take a few hours for me to digest these foods, and in the time being, I felt completely gross. Even when I went to workout, I noticed I would cramp up more and lose energy very quickly. Now, I have more energy waking up, which evidently lasts me longer throughout the day as well. I did not want to lose an income of protein completely, so by including eggs and seafood into this diet I have food thats high in protien to last me during my strenuous workouts, as well as fruits and veggies to hold me over in between meals. All in all, my body feels healthier, fuller, cleaner, and more energized longer than it did before.

4. Money saving

Almost always, people will argue that diet changes require a lot of money, especially if plant-based nutrients are involved. Yet, from my own experience, these claims could not be any farther from the truth. A pound of fruit or vegetables is marginally cheaper than a pound of meat or cheese for instance. Cereal, bread, pasta, and grains are also cheaper by the pound than the latter. Learning how to cook at a very young age also helped me with this dietary transition. By knowing how to cook, and likewise knowing what to cook, I have been able to keep the cost down and nutrition high in my own grocery shopping and cooking experiences.

5. Giving back to the Earth

As many people are starting to become aware, eating meat and dairy pays a heavy toll on the health of our own planet. It takes more water to sustain livestock than it does a pasture of crops. At the same time, many if not all factory farms are notorious for their inhumane treatment of the animals they raise. Netflix's "What The Health" documentary helped awaken me to the backstage horrors of the meat industry, which eventually kick-started my inspiration to cut these foods out of my life. If the whole world cut back, or even cut out these foods, we would see a global change and a more efficient way to sustain human life. By eliminating the consumption of these foods you do your body, the Earth, and animals a cosmic favor.

Now, almost two years into this change, I have never felt better. I also think that this change has had a profound impact on my mindset as well. By doing my research and talking to like-minded people, the horizons of my viewpoints have expanded. I have gathered knowledge from several animal rights activists groups, as well as helped raised awareness about the benefits of saving these animals. The way I see it, a healthy body is equivalent to a healthy mind. Our bodies are temples and we must live with them, so why not treat ourselves with respect?

February 2017 to August 2017 post diet change.d Hannah Westphal

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them

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