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lifestyle

4 Things That Happen to Your Body When Switching to a Plant-Based Diet

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So you’ve heard of plant-based eating, but don’t know what goodness to expect after making the switch?

Give me 5 minutes of your time and read on for 4 effects you can expect when transitioning:


MORE ENERGY-

This is an incredible result that plant-based newbies rave about! Depending on your lifestyle before transitioning, the change in your energy levels can be drastic. Attribute it to more nutrients, quicker digestion, increased complex carb intake, stable blood sugar and/or better sleep.

Relying on fresh, whole foods and juices for lasting energy is much more effective than starting the day with sugar-laden caffeine and relying on processed snacks whenever the cravings strike. The longer you keep up with these healthy habits, the more you will notice you no longer need the energy drinks, coffee drinks and sodas to keep you going.

In short, you can expect to wake up refreshed and have more energy throughout the day. Win!



CLEAR SKIN-

For people who have suffered from acne or dull skin since adolescence, this result can be life-changing. Dairy is a common culprit for breakouts and acne, so removing animal products from your diet can help change your skin ASAP.

Also, your skin is the largest organ of your body which reflects your inner state. If you are loaded with good nutrition, hydration and rest— your skin will glow.

Get those vitamins in and show off that gorgeous, clear, shining skin!



WEIGHT LOSS-

Losing weight can feel like a losing battle at times, doesn’t it? What if I told you that eating more food and making conscious replacements to the foods you love could make weight loss almost… effortless? I know it sounds too good to be true, but weight loss without the deprivation is a beautiful side effect of a plant-based lifestyle.

Why? The foods you will be eating in abundance (i.e. fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, foritfied nut milk etc.) are nutrient dense and calorie poor. This means that you can consume larger quantities of these whole foods and still use more energy in your daily activity which results in weight lost.

Also, by focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as juices and smoothies… you are bulking up on the high water content and feeling fuller, longer. The volume of the foods you eat has an effect on how much you end up taking in at each meal, which is why common advice is to have a salad, soup or glass of water before dinner to eat less calories overall.

Bottom line: don’t obsess over calories and focus on health over appearance. However, if you follow a whole foods, plant-based diet and give your body what it needs it will likely shed the extra pounds without cutting back on portions.


QUICKER DIGESTON-

If bloating, constipation or digestive woes affect you on a daily basis, then you might find some relief with a plant-based diet plan. Unlike the short digestive systems of carnivorous animals (like lions), our tracts are long and winding and perfect for a more herbivorous eating style.

Meat, fish, eggs and dairy can be taxing on your digestive system and spend way too much time breaking down. On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables essentially fly through your tract with high water and fiber content which keep you regular and bloat-free.

Most Americans are too focused on whether they are consuming enough protein when the fact is they typically over-consume proteins and fat and are lacking adequate fiber. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes to have a balanced diet that sweeps your intestines clear of any debris and keeps bathroom trips short, regular and effortless.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine by thy food.
— Hippocrates

These four points are just the tip of the iceberg lettuce when it comes to how plant-based living can help your body. (Also, that was for the sake of punning please stick to dark leafy greens!)

Beyond these benefits many people experience immediate improvements in health markers, reduced or eliminated need for prescription medications, better sleep, mood and mental health improvement as well as the reduced costs of plant-based groceries and healthcare expenses.

Before beginning this lifestyle, it is best to speak with a holistic doctor, nutritionist, dietician or certified health coach (like myself). If you could use some help making the change send me a message or sign up for my monthly newbies coaching program here!

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5 Steps to Minimalism for Beginners

Minimalism. It’s everywhere right now— from design to capsule wardrobes to decor and everything in between.

You might be wondering…. what exactly does it mean to lead a Minimalist life?

While a minimal life will look different for any particular individual, essentially it’s a way of living that is intentional and much simpler than the “more is more” mantra of the Material Age. It’s choosing to recognize what brings real value and purging what is mere distraction. It’s decluttering your world to allow space for what matters most to you.

One common misconception is that in order to be a “real” Minimalist, you must live in a tiny house with no vehicle and only enough belongings to fit into a backpack (or you get the idea). In reality, we share our homes and lives with other people, place value on different objects and have various requirements in our everyday lives. (i.e. needing a car to take kids to school).

Being a Minimalist does not mean your world will feel empty and your days full of sacrifice. Quite the opposite. It’s taking an honest inventory of what you have acquired and relieving yourself of having to hold onto things that do not add true value. If your collection of books brings you joy or your love of cooking equals a kitchen of many tools… then by all means keep them. However, we often find ourselves living in a home where every square inch is filled with things we do not really need nor use.

By ridding yourself of the duplicate items, unnecessary junk, clothes you never wear, papers and photos that could be scanned, DVDs and CDs that could be made digital, toys your children have outgrown and other clutter you will feel a sense of relief. Imagine no longer feeling the need to maintain, clean and organize all the things that you currently own?

If you are ready to take a few steps into simplifying your life, then take a deep breath and complete the following:

  1. Toss Duplicates- If you have more than one of any item, donate the others (if in good repair) or responsibly dispose of them. Do you really need 3 black cardigans? Multiple copies of the same book? 2 ice cream scoopers? Give them to someone you know that will receive more value from them or donate them.

  2. Go Digital Wherever Possible- Clutter in the form of receipts, paperwork, old mail, DVDs, CDs, magazines, books, journals etc. can really take over even the neatest of spaces. Scan any important documents and receipts so you can shred the physical copies. Plus side? They are safer in digital form. Choose to download or stream music, movies and books whenever you can. Do not allow mail to pile up on your desk, counter or dining room table. As soon as mail arrives— handle it, toss it or scan it!

  3. Detox Your Closet- While capsule wardrobes are the ultra-minimal way to possess clothing, there is no need to jump there immediately as a beginner. Start by arranging toss, keep and donate piles. First, skim through all clothing, shoes and accessories for things you no longer like or fit. Do not keep clothes that are not flattering or that you are saving for when you “might” need them or can fit into them. Second, remove anything that you have not touched in the past 90 days. We typically wear the same outfits and jeans over and over without noticing the other items in our closet. Now is the time to rid yourself of what no longer suits you! Third, go through your remaining pieces of clothing and make sure you are 100% in love with each and every one. Minimalism is about having less of what you don’t adore and making sure that everything that remains is perfectly you!

  4. Have Everyone Pitch In- Not everyone in your home will necessarily be ready to minimize now that you are! In order to get some help with your efforts, have conversations about why you believe simplifying your possessions will improve all of your lives. Do not dominate the decluttering and be sure everyone feels apart of the decision-making. Let your kids feel the altruisim of donating toys and clothes that will better serve the less fortunate. Help your spouse organize their things and make the act of organizing a fun, group effort. After all, you are doing this to have more time for what matters— like spending time with family!

  5. Ease Into It- There is plenty of time to research Minimalism and become more comfortable with paring down. Do not make the task of decluttering a chore or you will not want to continue! Focus on the benefits you will experience: less stress, lowered anxiety, more free time and more attention to what you value. Take your time and find a level of Minimalist living that works for you!

Affirmation: “I choose to focus on what is truly meaningful. I simplify my possessions so they do not possess me.”