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HCLF Veganism: The Real Experience

Updated on February 6, 2016

Why I went vegan

Like many other people around I developed a lactose intolerance. It was extremely uncomfortable and I did not know what to do. I had previously tried being vegan, however due to reasons I'll explain later, I did not continue in the lifestyle for very long. I decided that I had nothing to lose and that I should try it again; I never had been a very big fan of meat and only ate it about once a week, and with the newly developed lactose intolerance it was easy for me to make the change. The difference in my digestion and over all well-being increased immediately, and I could not help but wonder why I had not stuck with it the first time?

Ignorance creates struggle

The first time i tried veganism, I decided to join the lifestyle strictly because of ethical reasons. I did not do any research about how to be vegan, and what one needs to do in order to stay healthy. I briefly looked up what vitamins I should take and just went from there. I started to lose weight immediately, which I was elated about. I thought it was strictly because my diet was far healthier than what it was before. I lost about 12 pounds in a month; I went from 130 pounds to 118. At first it was great, but then I started getting very irrational cravings, All I wanted to due was eat a fatty slice of pizza, or a breakfast sandwich. I also started to feel very weak, and could physically see that I was unable to lift as much weight as I previously could. Because I did not do any research, I thought my vegan diet was the problem. In a way it was the issue, but it was not the food that I was eating, but it was because I was not eating as many calories as I should have. My body was starving, and I had no idea.

My vegan food haul from the local farmers market that only costed me $16; who said veganism was expensive?
My vegan food haul from the local farmers market that only costed me $16; who said veganism was expensive? | Source

Veganism revisited

My first try at veganism lasted about two months. When i decided to give it another go, I looked into different YouTube channels and Instagram accounts in the vegan community. I discovered the controversial vegan YouTuber Freelee the Banana Girl. She helped me have a better understanding of how much I should be eating, and what types of food I should be avoiding. Of the late, she has been known mostly for her critical videos of celebrities and other YouTubers, but what really got me hooked were her videos showing what she was eating. She has created the Rawtill4 diet plan, and now has an ebook with recipes. For the most part the diet is exactly what is sounds like; one is supposed to eat only raw fruits and vegetables until around 4 o'clock, and then a high carb low fat vegan meal for dinner. I did this for a long time because her videos were all about not calorie restricting in order to lose weight. She was the first person I had ever seen to address the amount of calories a normal person should be eating everyday. I was never a crazy dieter, but I was always under the impression that 1200 calories were what a female needed for the day. She then explained how it was actually 2000. On Rawtill4 I was losing about a pound a week, because of this way of eating is meant to show long-term results. After a while I started really craving cooked foods earlier in the day.

Vegan banana nicecream
Vegan banana nicecream | Source

Cooked or Raw?

I started to explore other vegan YouTubers, both searching for new inspirations and because I was not a fan of Freelee's critical videos. I then discovered Happy Healthy Vegan and Highcarbhannah. I binge watched Ryan and Anji for days; their videos were entertaining, educational, and less harsh with their criticisms. HCH gives her experience in life from addiction to different vegan diet plans in such a relatable way. These two channels are great for people who want a positive outlook on the vegan lifestyle. One does not have to constantly judge non-vegans in order to get their point across, thus creating the "angry vegan."

I still eat raw foods, but I had switched to a more starch based diet, similar to that of HCH. She follows the Starch Solution by Doctor John McDougall. I personally have not had the chance to read it, but he explains the benefits of eating a starch based diet. For me, I feel more satisfied eating this way. After i stopped Rawtill4 my weigh tloss stopped for a long time; when I started the more starch based diet I started to lose weight again. In total I have lost about 15 pounds in the last 11 months. I am not very strict about how much fat I consume and am guilty of buying vegan junk food, so my weight loss is not drastic. Of course we all have something to work on. Even with my consumption of some junk food and fats, I have never felt as good as I do today. Veganism gets a bad name from various different activists but the community is fantastic once you find the right part for you. Overall for myself, I have seen nothing but positive results in my physical health but also my mental health as well. I am much more sharp and have far more emotional stability than I did before. This lifestyle is something one should consider for their health, the environment, and as always the animals.

Vegan mashed potatoes and gravy
Vegan mashed potatoes and gravy | Source

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