How Going Vegan Has Improved My Health

Hello everyone,
Happy Wellness Wednesday!
I just realized today that it has been almost two years since I went vegan. Honestly, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here are some of the health transformations that I have had since making the switch:
 
I healed from Lyme disease.
 
I no longer need to take thyroid medication (which I had been on for almost 17 years!).
 
My skin has improved greatly.
 
My bloating has decreased and my digestion has improved.
 
My asthma is gone.
 
I have a ton of energy!
 
My joints no longer hurt.
 
My periods are no longer debilitating.
 
I look forward to cooking (before I went vegan I couldn’t even boil water!) and love that I have found passion in my life!
 
There is absolutely no turning back!!! I cannot wait to see what my vegan future holds…
Have you had any health transformations since going vegan?  
I would love to hear them!
Or are you ready to make the vegan transition for your health?  I am here to help you anytime you are ready!

Quick Arms and Abs Workout

Do you ever get tired of doing the same workouts over and over and not seeing the results you want?!  That was me a few weeks ago.  I was stuck in the same routine and realized that my body wasn’t changing because I had plateaued (you have to keep your body guessing in order to become stronger and to see results).

So, I went from circuit training and HIIT workouts to doing Tabata.  And I have to say that I love it!  I look forward to my workouts and I do feel that my strength has increased.

Tabata is basically doing one exercise for a designated time amount, having a small break, and then performing the same exercise again.  There are many different styles of Tabata.  Lately, I have been doing one exercise for 20 seconds, with a 10 second rest in between, for 8 rounds.  Other variations include doing an exercise for 50 seconds, with a ten second rest or even one exercise for 50 seconds and another for 10 seconds.  There are many variations but the key is repetition!

I have two Tabata workouts on my Youtube playlist and think that they are both effective (although I am a bit biased :). ). Here is the Arms and Abs Tabata if you want to give it a try.  All you need is a pair of dumbbells (or water bottles), some comfy clothes and some water.  In addition, this workout is less than 20 minutes so it can easily fit into a busy day.

Have a great workout and please let me know how you feel about Tabata ❤

My Lyme Disease Journey (On My 3 Year Anniversary)

Hello everyone, I hope that you had an amazing weekend!  I cannot believe that it is Monday again and how fast time flies.

This morning I woke up and realized that today marks three years since I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  This day and the three years since have been kind of a roller coaster but I wouldn’t change any part of it.

IMG_0935 In a Tree

When I got out of bed this morning, I felt incredibly grateful.  I slept through the night, was able to stand up without muscle pain, and could walk into the other room without extreme fatigue.  These were all things that I couldn’t do three years ago.  I was also extremely confused, angry and scared when I first got my diagnosis.

I remember the phone call from my doctor like it was yesterday.  We had been through months of various tests without any leads: blood, ultrasounds, urine, physical examinations.  After months of frustration (and years of pain!) my doctor said to me, “I don’t think you have it, but let’s test you for Lyme just incase.”  When he called on October 29, 2015 he was elated that we had finally found something!  He called it “acute Lyme” and thought it would be easy to treat.  It would require just one, maybe two, rounds of antibiotics and I would be good to go.

Unfortunately, this was not the case.  After a few rounds of antibiotics, I still had leg pain, digestive distress, severe fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and brain fog.  We tested my blood once more and the results for Lyme actually came back negative.  My doctor said this was great but that I would probably have symptoms for the remainder of my life.  I was extremely upset and discouraged.  I tried to shrug it off and ignore the pain but it only increased and it was becoming difficult to live my normal life (and to keep teaching fitness classes every day!).  Plus, I was extremely discouraged and lonely.  I would lay in bed crying every night.  Why did this happen to me? And how could one little tick change my whole life????

Luckily, I didn’t have to feel so alone.  I was able to find a vast online community who offered suggestions and support.   In addition, I met a woman in our neighborhood who had been struggling with Lyme for years.  She was able to offer some advice for treatment and we decided to start seeing the doctor that helped her cure her illness.  For the first time in a long time, I was hopeful for a positive outcome……

More tomorrow on how I treated Lyme Disease. Stay tuned ❤

 

 

Surprising Health Benefits of Going Vegan

I originally made the full transition to a vegan diet in 2016 after my dog died.  When I was watching him suffer, I realized that I never wanted to contribute to an animal’s suffering for as long as I lived.  I also made the connection that “meat” came from an animal, an animal who was tortured and killed for my five minutes of pleasure.

Although the animals were absolutely enough to keep me vegan for the entirety of my lifetime, I truly love the health benefits of being vegan as well.  I had hoped that I would feel better but some of these benefits were truly unexpected.  My body has completely transformed inside and out.  I will take you through some of the major health benefits that I have experienced over the last two years.

IMG_0960 In a Field

Lyme Disease Remission: for those of you who haven’t been following my blog for long, you may not know that I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2015 (for more information on this please click here). I had awful symptoms including severe leg pain, digestive distress, anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, memory loss and fatigue.  I spent $1000’s on treatment and at one point was taking over 90 supplements per day.  Within a few months of switching to a vegan diet, almost all of my symptoms disappeared.

Less constipation and bloating:  okay this may seem like TMI, but going to the bathroom is a really important part of our health.  On a diet that consists mostly of animal products, we are not getting the fiber that we need (meat, dairy and eggs contain 0g of fiber!!!!).  This can lead to constipation and bloating.  (Side note: did you know that a healthy person should go to the bathroom 3 times per day?!).  Going vegan definitely helped me with this issue.

No more thyroid pills: just like many people around the world, I was put on thyroid medication at a very young age. I had been taking thyroid medication for 15 years prior to going vegan.  After a year of being (mostly) a whole food plant based vegan, my thyroid had healed itself and my doctor took me off of my medication.  No more of those nagging pills!

Clear skin and strong nails: this one may not seem very important but I am sure that most of us know what it feels like to wake up with a giant pimple on the center of your face!  It can truly halt your confidence and put a damper on your day.  Whenever I would consume dairy, I would almost immediately develop cystic like acne on my face and body.  My skin has cleared up dramatically since being vegan.  In addition, my nails are stronger than ever!!!

Less pain during that time of the month: I can vividly remember the days of curling up in a ball on the floor because my menstrual cramps were trying to kill me!  This would happen every single month and I truly dreaded my period.  Nothing seemed to help including Midol or chocolate.  Although I still get a tiny little cramping, it is nothing like it used to be.

Transitioning to a vegan diet has truly been one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I love the feeling of saving animals, but it has improved my health dramatically, and in only two years.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds and to see how my health will improve from here.  I bet that it will just keep getting better and better ❤

I would love to hear from you; what health improvements have you seen from switching to a vegan diet?

 

Wellness Wednesday Spotlight: Dementia, Aggression and High Blood Pressure

Today’s Wellness Wednesday Spotlight is from my friend and fellow activist, Heather Priddy.  Please read this amazing story about how a plant based diet helped heal her mom’s dementia-related aggression and high blood pressure.

 

Name: Heather Priddy and Barbara Priddy (Mom)

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“Mom and I were Vegan 3 years (I went vegan when I switched her diet). The health benefits were that she no longer had borderline diabetes. Her high blood pressure had been a problem that required medication for years but within no time her blood pressure was normal. She had actually almost entirely stopped eating before the switch. After 2 bites of her favorite foods she’d say she was full and refuse to eat, but after switching her to a Vegan diet her appetite returned and she’d even often want seconds.

The biggest change that I really didn’t expect was that her aggression associated with her dementia (sundowning and such) disappeared 100%! Before feeding her a plant based diet she would get very mean and aggressive any time, a few times a week. All episodes lasted anywhere between 1 and 3 hours and often happened when she started screaming in the middle of the night, including getting out of bed and throwing my tarantula’s cage on the floor and smashing it, biting, punching, kicking…….. ALL OF THAT WENT AWAY!!!

She went back to her sweet self. A few months in, I gave her 2 meals with chicken (she could only feed herself if it was hand held food) and her aggression came back.  I never gave her animal products again. After her death earlier this year, my sister told me that Mom was lucky I was her caregiver, because I switched her diet since “every time she ate eggs or meat she got aggressive again”. My sister watched Mom when I went to ComicCon and had decided since she was her daughter too she could feed her what her family was eating. The aggression came right back so she fed her a Vegan diet the rest of her stay!”

Do you have a Wellness Wednesday story about how a vegan diet impacted your life?!  Please contact me.  I would love to feature you!

How one woman healed her menstrual pain by changing her diet…

Hello everyone and happy Wellness Wednesday!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday Spotlight comes from my friend and fellow activist, Lindsay Mitchell.  Below is her story of how changing her diet helped decrease the pain of her monthly menstrual cycle…

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY SPOTLIGHT Lindsay

 

 

“I’ve been vegan for 1.5 years. Before I went vegan I suffered from severe menstrual pain. My periods would basically cripple me so much so I couldn’t even move without agonizing pain. I’d get very bad headaches, and irritability and I took every pain med under the sun to ease the pain but nothing helped. Furthermore, they would last an entire week and be very heavy. The only thing that has kept me from work or sent me home from work aside from an injured neck, is the pain of my period.”

“Since I have had a whole food plant based approach to my diet, the pain of my menstrual cycle is virtually diminished. It was noticeable within the first couple months of a shift in my diet! It is now very light, only lasting but a few days and the pain is not completely gone but more of just a mild annoyance. That may not seem like much, but if you’ve ever experienced chronic symptoms due to your menstrual cycle then you know it’s actually HUGE deal.”

 

Do you have a Wellness Wednesday story that you would like to share?  Please contact me to featured. ❤