How Healthy are Vegans?

I am an unhealthy vegan! I enjoy sugar-loaded treats and simple carbs! My diet contains a lot of vegan junk food and crap! I also don’t exercise much! I am 50lb overweight and my cardio health and general stamina are poor! I also have an autoimmune disorder that has hindered me!  My BMI is 31.8 and I am obese class 1! So …

How healthy are vegans? Well, this vegan? Not very! Venus Williams? Very healthy! The basic vegan diet and lifestyle are really healthy, physically, emotionally and mentally BUT just like anything, it can be made unhealthy!  

Do you want to be healthy?

This, regardless of your lifestyle choices, is what it boils down to the choice to be healthy or not! Every day I make choices that determine my health and well being! I do have an autoimmune disorder that causes joint pain and fatigue and also rashes and allergy symptoms, I am sun sensitive and sleep deprived, sometimes I am in so much pain I could happily slice off limbs!

BUT the choices I am making are not helping! Venus Williams also has an autoimmune disorder, unlike me, she doesn’t seek sanctuary in junk food she worked on her nutrition and started following a raw vegan diet and because she is feeding her body well she is thriving and sustaining her tennis career!

I am sluggish, tired, fat and not happy about it! My disorder is being somewhat controlled with medication and I have been to physio to strengthen the muscles around my joints, especially my knees and hips!

I am feeling mentally better and ready for a change! I have been fearful as I don’t want to get that sick again! But I have decided its the right time to push myself, I have been gradually increasing my activity but it’s not enough… a bit of yoga here, a brisk walk there … I’m ready to be that healthy vegan!

Mental health.

It is hard to be mentally healthy if you aren’t being authentic. I follow a vegan lifestyle because I can’t support animal cruelty or the destruction of our planet! If I do things which don’t support my core beliefs my mental health will suffer, I will be conflicted and spend time concocting arguments in my head for why I am not fully committing!

It’s exhausting to not follow your truth! And, mental health wise, it is damaging! Now our ‘truth’ might evolve and change as we grow, that’s normal and healthy. I used to be a meat eater and think it was a healthy wholesome way to eat … and I thought margarine was from the devil and butter so much nicer and natural! And cheese? well, cheese was life!!

I have evolved my thinking and moved to veganism and it sits well with my soul! But being so unhealthy, not taking care of the vessel I have been given to see me through this life is becoming an issue!

I am championing animal rights and welfare, pushing for change to protect our poor worn out planet and yet I feed myself foods that I know are not healthy or kind! This is not good for my body or my mental health! Its a conflict and one I am going to resolve!

Physical Health!

So I have posted my stats above and it makes sad reading! I have decided to make changes and make them now! So what will change?

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Rest
  • Mindfulness
  • Hobbies

If I don’t fuel myself well I can’t get good results! I am very sensitive to sugar and simple carbs! They affect my mood, physical health, and sleep! They also aggravate my illness! So why do I still go there? I’m not sure! I like the happy feeling I get when I eat them! I like the taste and texture BUT all the pain and ill health they bring isn’t worth it!

So why? I have a theory that I don’t like to ‘feel’ I don’t want to feel uncomfortable emotionally the trade-off of feeling uncomfortable physically has been worth it up to now! I don’t want to deal with my emotional pain so I eat it! I anesthetize my emotional pain! I am becoming more emotionally mature and dealing with the trauma and pain I have been through and so maybe that’s why I am thinking about this more!

Perhaps instead of focussing on the negative … if I can’t have this then I will feel this… I should think if I eat this nutritious food and fuel my body I will be able to do this and I will feel that! I am certain Venus Williams didn’t think about what food she was ‘giving up’ I think she thought about what she would lose if she didn’t make that change! I am not in her position of what I will lose I need to look at what I will gain!

If I fuel myself well I will be able to exercise well! My body will get stronger, I will likely sleep better, I will feel happier from all those lovely stress busting, happy hormones being released!

I love to run but haven’t for years! I have run a marathon but many moons ago, I am slow and never going to be great at it BUT I love the feeling of freedom and peace it brings me!

I love yoga … as a child I loved gymnastics and pushing my body into different shapes and yoga feels good to me…

I love cycling it reminds me of being free as a child, whizzing around enjoying the breeze and speed! I love that you can be with others but you can’t really chat!

I love weight training but haven’t trained for a few years! I am naturally quite strong and I love challenging myself and doing better than last time!

I was always quite ‘sporty’ and active as a child and I crave it, but I don’t trust my body and I fear pain! However, it is part of me and therefore my soul cries for it!

If I eat well and exercise well I will likely sleep better! Oh, the joy of falling asleep quickly and staying asleep! Please God let that be a side effect! But resting is also important, just re-charging during the day and giving your body. soul and mind regular breaks!

It is not about rushing from one thing to the next ticking it off a crazy list like a maniac! Mindfulness requires us to observe our behaviour, our surroundings, the people we are with, the task in hand… This helps us to evolve and grow, to reflect and tweak. To fully enjoy or experience whatever is in front of us. Even if experiencing is somehow painful it still needs our attention, our inquiry, our thoughts! I am terrible for getting through a day having just done stuff whilst churning over thoughts that are on repeat! It is not helpful and doesn’t serve me if I were to observe and be mindful in my actions some of my behaviours would change simply because I would challenge my thoughtless actions and maybe change them and get different results.

It is not all about work and producing ‘something’ either… hobbies can help us relax and soothe our soul! I love to play guitar and sing… I’m a legend in my living room! I am not aspiring to be famous I just love doing it and so it’s not going to produce anything tangible but it soothes my soul, it releases tension, it calms my mind, it refreshes me! and that’s enough!

So I’m thinking… imagine I made those changes, imagine I let go of fear and excuses and actually started living my best life! Imagine I tended to those areas of my soul I was neglecting! Imagine I just did it! What will happen? I might get a knee injury and have to change the exercise I do for a while! I might sleep so well I won’t know what to do with my new energy! I might have to buy a whole wardrobe of ‘new’ clothes to fit my new body! I might feel emotions I have avoided for so long and heal… I might evolve and grow, I might live really really live! Its got to be worth a shot!

So how healthy are vegans? As healthy as they choose to be!!!




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