The Vegan Domino Effect — Part 1 

dominoes

Going vegan can open the door to more positive lifestyle choices for those willing to adopt it as a way of living. Here is part 1 of the lifestyle changes I’ve realised so far.

 

The Domino Effect

Going vegan has been the biggest and most positive change in my life to date. It’s a decision that has opened the door to numerous other positive changes in my life. The shift in focus to a healthier and more harm free lifestyle seems to have promoted other positive lifestyle habits too. 

dominoes

Willingness to Change

I’ve always been a firm believer in personal change. If you are not happy with an aspect of your life then change it. This is what inspired me to quit my job at 20 years old to go to university. It’s what inspired me to quit my job again at 27 years old to go travel around Asia and leave my comfortable life in England behind. It’s what inspires me to stay out in Asia to work, travel and explore and why I have no plans to go home anytime soon. 

Once you are willing to change with a desire to grow and the ability to accept new experiences then the resources you need to develop yourself gradually fall into place. When I talk about growth, I am talking about personal growth; empathy, confidence, effective listening, healthy habits, being proactive, willpower, self-discipline and mindfulness. 

Here are the first 5 positive lifestyle changes I have realised as a result of going vegan:

 

1. Being Healthy

Vegan doesn’t always mean healthy but if done right it will probably be far healthier than your normal diet. Before going vegan just over 11 months ago, I was a slightly chunky 85kg. I’m now a healthy 72kg and back down to a 32 waist.

I’m now very aware of the choices I need to make in my life to be a healthy individual. Self-discipline and being able to say ‘no’ to food and drink is a life skill that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

 

2. Productivity

At the beginning of my transition to vegan, I felt more and more desire to wake up earlier and be more productive with my day. I noticed that my sleep patterns were improving and as a result. I was naturally waking up feeling rested around 7am. As a result of better sleep, I became way more productive with my day. Now I have to-do lists, aims and objectives not just for each day but for the year.

 

3. Food Relationship

I have established a better relationship with my food. You are probably wondering what I mean by this. 

Growing up, somewhere along the way I picked up bad eating habits. Scoffing down my meal without it touching the sides was the worst habit. Little did I know this habit is a classic sign of a bad relationship with food. It’s a form of instant gratification and lacks respect for the food I’m eating and my body. This bad habit is directly linked to many weight, gastrointestinal and flatulence issues.

Creating a better relationship with food is all about taking your time, tasting every bit of your food, smelling it and slowly eating it. Chewing up every last bit until ready for proper digestion. If, like me, you currently eat to fast then breaking this habit is not a quick fix. It’s still an ongoing issue for me now. 

Another sign of a bad relationship with food is rewarding yourself with bad foods. I think everyone knows what I mean here. A classic example is going to the gym in the morning and then eating crap food later in the day because you ‘deserve’ it. This is also an ongoing habit I am trying to cut out. 

 

4. Listening to My Body

I never really understood the idea of listening to your body, I just thought it was nonsense. It’s only recently that this new ability has come into my life.
 
With a plant-based diet, I feel my body is functioning more efficiently. I’ve recently adopted the ability to understand what my body requires to satisfy its needs (not wants). I understand when to stop eating, I understand what not to eat and I learn from my mistakes. It sounds obvious but it’s interesting how many people are unable to make these choices when it comes to their diet.
 
This understanding of your body goes a long way in ensuring your body runs at an optimal level.

 

5. Less Alcohol

Once I adopted the vegan diet I continued to drink pretty much the same as I always had. However, now I am coming up to my one year anniversary of being vegan I am consuming less alcohol per week. Being healthy and having a healthy body does not mix with poisoning your body with alcohol and my body is now physically telling me the day after. It’s not a hangover, more like a deep disappointment in myself.
 
I’ve seen a lot of guys on Twitter recently say they went tee-total after going vegan and it was the best decision of their lives. The term #straightedge exists for those that are vegan but also abstain from alcohol, drugs and smoking. For me, I’m not quite ready to do that just yet but it is something I willing aim for.

 

And You?

Let me know what positive lifestyle choices you have picked up or would like to pick up. I will be back with part 2 once I have realised some other changes i’m still working on!