Mental Health

Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

I received products from Juice Beauty but all opinions are my own.

My first exposure to animal cruelty was when I was very young.

Actually, I grew up with this kind of “cruelty.”

I am a third world village girl and for us, this is not just part of tradition but also means of survival. We slaughter animals and we turn them to food.

I am a witness to how poor we treat our pets and it’s normal for us to hit them if they don’t behave in such way we want them to. As if they have a mind capable of thinking and the ability to express what they want and protect themselves.

If I didn’t move abroad, my mind wouldn’t be opened. I guess that’s how clueless I was with how the world works.

I thought I would never leave our little village.

I remember one of my cousins who refuses to eat pork because he witnessed how the poor pig’s dear life was taken.

This didn’t rattle me.

I continued eating meat.

I only stopped in an attempt to lose weight and crash-dieted my way through it.

When I got hit by depression and the last thing that I worried about was how I looked, I stopped going to the gym and just ate whatever makes me feel good. The more calories the better.

For unknown reasons, it just felt so satisfying or even comforting.

I ate and ate but the more I ate, the guiltier I felt because I know, deep down inside me, it is not healthy.

I became more depressed.

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My confidence vanished.

My glow was gone.

My acne started coming back from all the unhealthy fats, hormones and toxins I allowed inside my body.

My skin just became dull.

My mood has gone sour.

I rarely went out.

Just like that, I let go of my healthy and active lifestyle. It stopped being the focus.

I need to start healing and recovering which is still a struggle. I needed to find joy in my everyday life and I can’t thank my boyfriend enough for wanting to fast last Easter. I didn’t have any doubt that he can do it but I doubted myself and my ability to stick to it given my relapsing depressive state.

I told him to count me in. It took so much will power to convince myself that I am ready for such a big leap like this but it is the challenge.

I immediately purged my fridge to officially commence the challenge .

Mental Challenge

The first three days was the hardest.

I was eternally hungry.

I couldn’t decide if I was experiencing meat and cheese separation anxiety or withdrawal syndrome. I needed to feed frequently. I must feed frequently.

By this time, I already started loathing cooking and cleaning up the mess after. I was thinking about the fastness in just grabbing a bread, a slice of salami and cheese and I’d be ready to go but not this time.

For unclear reasons, first world country’s time runs faster that I could hardly keep up.

I wanted to quit but I instantly thought of my boyfriend. He’d do it and I will chicken out? Just the thought made me feel insulted. I wasn’t sure if I was competing with him or the unreasonable side of me.

And how about all the mushrooms and chickpeas that I bought? Should I just throw them away?

Not ready to get defeated, I continued snacking on bananas which was the fastest to grab. Launching this blog plus my other gigs are getting on the way and I am always hungry. I am dealing with taste fatigue so as I binge eat my bananas, I also silently wish that I don’t get tired of it too.

During this first week, I needed to pass gas a lot of times. I was gassy and bloated due to the increased fiber intake. I turned to a fart and burp machine.

I also made frequent trips to the loo. It was such a hassle.

It was also hard not to get jealous when I hang out with friends and cousins and they merrily devour meat and cheese and I couldn’t.

The Slight Change

Somewhere on the second week, I stopped feeling the bloat.

I actually feel lighter. Somewhere I couldn’t touch nor pinpoint, I felt clean.

Going to the loo first thing after opening my eyes in the morning became a normal thing and a part of my morning routine.

I stopped getting my second serving of my morning coffee or after my afternoon nap. I also didn’t feel the need to nap at all.

Feeling the difference, I sat and actually made a meal plan.

I realized I stopped craving for sweets and didn’t buy any on my last trip to the supermarket. I also didn’t buy chips.

I also noticed that eating bread made me feel funny so I stopped eating it too.

I started feeling a different kind of energy. I actually don’t feel as exhausted as I used to.

Next thing I knew I was baking and wanting to make banana and apple chips. I am finding joy in peeling, slicing and lining them nicely in the baking tray for the oven.

Happy Skin

On the third week, I went out with my cousin and she noticed that my skin has a different kind of glow. I said I am only eating vegan.

Not only that, I am also sleeping better and without having to resort to this calming supplement which is like sleeping pills but its task is just to make me tired so I can be drifted to sleep. I stopped taking that and I felt more rested when I wake up in the morning.

Even if I was consuming an exaggerated amount of chickpeas, mushrooms and tomatoes, I don’t feel any guilt compared when I was not eating vegan.

Normally my anxiety attacks when I binge eat but not when I’m eating plants. Maybe because I know, deep down, plants are healthy.

My depression created havoc on my monthly period too but it seem to come regularly and without PMS and crazy cravings.

Surprisingly, my mood didn’t swing.

Though I didn’t lose weight, my clothes fit better.

One day I made a mistake and accidentally ate something that says vegetarian on the package. I didn’t have to wait for so long before I made the trip to the john. Vegetarian doesn’t mean vegan and there was normal milk in it.

My stomach didn’t react so well so I spent few hours curled up on the sofa. At this point, my body has started treating normal milk as a foreign object. I need to be careful in reading labels.

Vegan Beauty

Somewhere between the forth or fifth week, the little rashes on my forearm and neck started to fade. Looks like me and Gluten are not a good fit. I already know that for a fact but it is really hard to kiss German bread goodbye. Not with all of their wide and delicious selection.

I also took this as a sign to change the products that I use.

I started with my shampoo and conditioner. Though as first they made me feel a bit sticky and my curly hair looked flat and lifeless, they were actually a good start. It was just maybe silicon and chemical withdrawal but after a while, my hair has gotten healthier.

Like my initial skepticism in eating vegan and trying vegan hair products, I also had a little concern about using vegan cosmetics for their lasting power but Juice Beauty‘s SPF 30 Oil Free Moisturizer, Satin Lip Creme and Mascara proved me wrong.

Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

I have been using them for a week now. They feel so natural and like a second skin.

Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together
Raw Photo

Juice Beauty’s SPF 30 Oil Free Moisturizer gives me a different kind of glow. It’s like I am wearing a foundation and even if I walk, sweat and stay out the whole day, it stays in place. It is so perfect for summer because it is SPF 30.

Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

Their Phyto-Pigments Satin Lip Cream isn’t sticky and it feels so light. I love how it accentuates and compliments my Asian skin tone and gives me a fresh, no-make up look.

Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

Their Phyto-Pigments Ultra- Natural Mascara is ultra natural for a reason. It is so easy to apply. I love that the brush makes it a breeze to apply. It also makes me feel assured that I am not sacrificing my eyes and my skin for beauty’s sake in using their products.

Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

Juice Beauty is cruelty free and has fast international shipping. They are on Instagram and you can check all their products at www.juicebeauty.com.

Going Vegan Vs Eating Vegan

Me going vegan doesn’t mean ditching all my leather possessions. I am eating vegan and using vegan and cruelty free products for my holistic health.

I am a minimalist and I don’t find the need to buy new stuff because I turned vegan.

Though I am not so strict and would still give in to little treats here and there, eating vegan makes me feel lighter, calmer, more productive and in alignment with my values. Health benefits are just like gold icing on top.

I realized that consuming heavily processed and unhealthy food changes brain chemistry and greatly affects my mental and emotional health which is really bad in my journey to recovery.

If my new lifestyle also supports animal welfare, then it makes me feel even better that I am hitting not just two birds in just one stone.

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Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

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5 thoughts on “Veganism: The Journey that Holds my Holistic Health Together

  1. Thanks for sharing this post. I went to a Vegan market today and enjoyed much of the delicious food on offer. There were vegan cream-donuts, ice-cream, creamed rice balls. Everything was delicious.

    I’m am very interested to hear more about your cultural journey with veganism (mainly because of what I’ve experienced in developing countries I’ve traveled to).

    You talked about how your village treated the animals etc. What was it specifically that helped you see things differently? Was it one event that changed things – or the loved you received back from animals – or a series of experiences. I’m very curious about your journey. Also, how your veganism has been received by your family members and if you’ve been able to make any impact on your village? So many questions.

    Please share more.

  2. Thank you so much, Karletta.

    I started seeing things differently when I started having a dog. My family didn’t want to have the dog inside the house but I insisted. This was also the time where I started becoming vegetarian.

    I left to work in Malaysia and the next thing I knew, my dog didn’t come home anymore. I was heartbroken but I needed to move on. I moved to Germany where people are concerned about animals and some are vegan to protect animals which is eye opening for me.

    I must say that because I don’t live in our little village anymore so I don’t know what impact my veganism has to them. I am away from my family but all they know is that I only eat Vegan and vegetarian for health purposes. Also, I am not so strict because it is really hard to say no to German sausages. I do it mainly for my holistic health. I find out that have lesser anxiety attacks when I eat vegan. =)

  3. I strive to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. I believe that is the healthiest diet that will offer the most long term health benefits. I do my best, but haven’t completely made the switch. I would love to be a vegan, but I can’t live without a splash of real cream in my coffee. I only drink 1-2 cups in the morning, but it has to have real cream in it. I’ve tried all the plant-based, non-dairy creamers and they just don’t cut it for me. In a perfect world, I would give up my morning coffee for celery juice, but that’s not the world I live in right now.

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