Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Changes since going vegan

To think that i have been a vegan 7-8 months now is kind of crazy. Ive never been anti vegan, but i just never thought it was possible for myself. I thought i wouldnt be able to eat the right energy amount, i would feel restricted and also i didnt want to be a vegan. I wasnt stupid, i knew about the meat and dairy industry and knew about the animal suffering and abuse but i wanted to just push it aside and think "what does one person make a difference." I wasnt ready or willing to make the choice to change - everything happens in the right time. But also that the choice to go vegan was made for ethical reasons not because i wanted to eat healthy or eat a bunch of salad and say no to certain foods - i think that if i had gone vegan the years before i actually did, i dont know if i could have done it in a healthy way.

I dont think everyone can be vegan or that everyone will go vegan, but i do think everyone can make small changes and choices in their daily life which makes a difference and that is what i want to promote and inspire people to do. I dont want to push veganism upon people, but i want to inspire people to make small changes. Infact something which makes me super happy is that the 3 different people i have shared living with, i have managed to inspire them to eat more vegetarian/vegan meals... just from me doing my own cooking and giving them advice and tips when they have asked. Just as simple as making my vegan meals has inspired them to go to the store and buy vegetarian products instead of meat and buy alternative milk and yoghurt products and try more vegetarian meals. It makes me so happy that just those small differences have an impact and hopefully it has been/will be long term, and not just the weeks/months i shared accomodation with them. But also that my sister has now begun thinking more about the products she buys and is going to start buying cruelty free products after all the talking i did about it during Christmas, as well as my mum being a little more open to vegan meals (shes been a lacto-ovo vegetarian.) It makes me smile when i think about those small changes i have inspired people to make!

I personally think that being a vegan is rather "easy" for me because 1) i know about nutrition and enjoy baking and cooking so that making meals isnt hard for me. I dont lack creativity and i eat varied and know about nutrients and vitamins so that i dont lack anything (Hopefully.). But if someone knows nothing about nutrition and hates cooking they might just live off of noodles or potatoes and that can lead to consequences and that the diet isnt long term, as well as if people eat plant based and eat far too little then it wont be long lasting either. But also i am aware of the fact that i live in a very priviliged country where the demand for vegan food and products is high so it feels like every month there is new vegan products for me to try and buy. As well as many cafes and restaurants offering vegan options so that i dont feel restricted socially - and in that sense i am so so lucky. And not to mention that i am priviliged enough to have the economy to buy fake meats and vegan cheeses and products. Because even if you dont need them, its always fun to try and have as options, but they are more expensive that meat or dairy there is no denying that. I know that my monthly food expenses are double or tripple than what my friends spend 1) because i buy vegan alternative products as well as 2) having a high energy requirement = needing to buy more food to give me the right energy intake and 3) priortizing food before clothes or alcohol etc

I dont ever want anyone to feel guilty if they cant be 100% vegan or 100% plant based, instead just eat a few vegan meals each week if possible and try to buy cruelty free products and that will make a difference!!! :)

But i thought i would write about some changes ive noticed since going vegan!!

- Less stomach pain - apart from the times i eat too much fiber or beans or lentils which havent been cooked properly.

- More spots... This is a negative, but i have to add it. Whether its from stress or caffeine or my diet, i dont know... but i definitely have more spots now than before (if anyone has advice about this, just comment below!)

- I like food which i didnt eat previously. I didnt like potatoes, cheese or pate. But now i LOVE potatoes and i actually like vegan cheese and vegan pate!

- I eat alot more carbohydrates than previously. I also eat more varied and colourful and try new foods alot more often than i did before.

- I cant watch food challenges or cooking shows anymore - im ok with watching baking shows, but not food shows.

- Physically? Energy levels, recovery from exercise? I really dont know and cant answer this. I dont know how my energy levels were before and i cant compare them because energy levels go up and down all the time based on different factors and life situation so i dont think its comparable. As well as i was very depressed before i made the choice to go vegan so compare myself now to then isnt so "fair" or just.

- I feel more caring about animals. I have always loved animals, but now i feel like i care about all animals more.

- I can get extremely upset sometimes when i think about all the animal suffering and abuse and how little i can do and that can definitely weigh heavy on my shoulders sometimes. But like my mum tells me, i can only do my best and inspire people as much as i can, and i cant help others if i decide to hide under the covers and cry because everything feels so awful.

Other changes.....? Well i am sure there are plenty but i cant think of any more right at this moment. But if you have any questions or wonder if i have noticed changes in anything or if my views or opinons have changed etc just comment below and ill try to answer in another post!! :)

Or if YOU have gone vegan or just begun eating more plant based meals have you noticed any dfferences, positive or negatives?













15 comments:

  1. Hi Izzy!! Although I'm not vegan, or vegetarian, I do eat a mostly plant based diet. Mostly because I'm obsessed with carbs!!! My boyfriend and his family are finally seeing that, as well as my roommates! I live in the U.S. and although a lot of people here are vegan, vegetarian etc., food still costs a lot, especially for a poor college student haha. 2 of my roommates are Asian and have milk intolerances etc. so they drink a lot of milk alternatives. Before this year (2016 I guess) I had never really tired milk alternatives except sweentend vanilla soy milk and I didn't like it that much. They can also be twice as expensive, if not more, than regular milk. However, a few months ago I decided to buy my first carton of soy milk! (The other I drank at a dining hall) I got the unsweetend version to try something different and it was pretty good (not because it's lower in calories but because the sweetend kinds just taste weird to me). However, around this time I also started hearing about soy and how it's not the best thing for you (opinion??) so the past 2 weeks I've gotten almond milk! I get the unsweetend kind and my store only has it with a more expensive brand than another which they stock only the sweetened kind but just not a big fan of sweetend milk (I feel like my sugar taste buds have changed since I've gotten older. Like I never used to like dark chocolate but now I love it. Not sure if it's related to my ED in the past but considering I like a lot of other things I used to hate, probably not??) Not sure how long I'll keep it up since it's $4.89 or something U.S. and I can get so much more for that but, still, kind of exciting!! :p I hope you have a good day!!...or night :p

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  2. I'm no vegan, but my university has an all-vegan dining hall and I usually eat there because it's the best choice ethically (and the food is really good.), and I notice I have so much more energy and get to try so many interesting new foods. It's also amazing to see how many other places you can get nutrients like protein other than animals.

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  3. I've become a vegetarian over the last year, and I eat vegan as often as I can! I just have a couple of protein bars with whey to finish up :) then I will hopefully become a full vegan!

    I've noticed that I get waaaaaay less acne. I mean, I never had much to begin with, but my skin is just always glowy and smooth and nice.

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  4. Definitely less tummy pains and an overall better digestion. Eating more varied foods and also foods that I haven't tried for a long time. Being more creative with what I cook - no longer sticking to the same old dishes but trying new things. My partner (an avid meat eater) has also taken an interest in what I have been eating and has said he will have the same as me a few evenings a week! never thought that would happen! More awareness that the majority of people just consume too much fast food and meat that is really not good for them and is not necessary. That there are alternative ways of eating a healthy diet. How much fun it is creating a dish from scratch without all the jars and ready brought stuff. Trying out new vegetables and finding that I`m actually spending less each week now.
    So lots of positives! The down side is that theres not any good shops that sell specifically vegan products like you have in Sweden and it certainly isn't catered for very well in cafes and restaurants - but that could well change, who knows? Gluten free products used to be on prescription only but now they are widely available in most shops, so change can and does happen:)
    I owe my change of eating habits to the inspiration you have given me Izzy and I can safely say that it is the best thing I have done for a long time ! so thankyou so much :)

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  5. Since I was little I've loved animals, hated things that damaged the environment and always tried to save water, electricity, etc. I grew up with a family that loved their meat & dairy, so I did too. At 12 I decided to become vegetarian, because my ED, I didn't want to be fat like my parents and grandparents! (Although my cousins eat a lot of cheese & meat and are thin but they are also athletes)

    I've been forced to eat meat on 5 hospital admissions, and I started eating chicken & fish at home for a while - but that was my ED too because it was high protein with little fat!! But on 7 admissions they let me be vegetarian.

    My journey with vegetarianism has been long & rocky but now the only animal product I consume is yoghurt but I may expand that to eating things that contain dairy & eggs (like cakes, cookies, etc) to challenge ED, but still be 80 % vegan at home (and look for vegan options that still challenge ED). 5 years of this is too long!!!!

    I have inspired my mum to eat mostly vegetarian, though she buys chicken & tuna for my brother and has meat socially. But the small changes make the biggest differences!! Imagine if everyone (who could afford to) ate vegetarian once a month, the amount of meat that could be saved in a year!!

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  6. I would like to know how to have high carb snacks around 500 cal... I'm trying to face my fear of carbs but I don't know what to have (savoury?) And how to get to 500 cal without animal products?? I can't have wheat, rye, barely, corn and large amounts of oats because of fructan & fructose malabsorption and I get terrible pains & gas when I eat over a 1/4 cup of oats, any ideas??

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    1. Have a baked potatoe!! Either sweet or regular. I perfer sweet but they're both around the same calorie wise. If you get one big enough if can be around 500 calories. Or add nut butter to a smaller one for some protien. Personally I do peanut butter. Or you can use other topings like cinnamon, chickpeas etc. Be creative! (coming from a non-creative person haha). Or, not sure how you are with fruit but, you can do a fruit salad with a yogurt alternative. Pineapples, bananas and apples are all pretty carby I believe. Also, I only add the pb or yogurt because I find that I can't eat just straight carbs without feeling satisfied. Good luck though :)

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    2. Have you tried gluten free bread/crackers? That as a sandwich or toasted with peanut butter will easily reach 500 cals as gluten free bread tends to be higher in calories than normal bread

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    3. Have you tried oatcakes? They are delicious and very nutritious

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    4. Like the anonymous above suggested, sweet potatoe with nut butter and banana is a good snack, or even just sweet potatoe/potatoe with avocado or some other sauce. Otherwise maybe you can make vegan rice pudding, that is super delicious and top it with some jam or banana (if that isnt too much fructose). Or try gluten free oatmeal with toppings? Or make your own bread with the flour types you can have, or what about pancakes with the flour you can use/digest? Otherwise chickpea cookie dough or raw food bars or even flapjacks? (Though maybe the dried fruit is too much fructose....?)

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    5. Also there are things like quinoa pancakes, sweet poatoe pancakes, spinach and potatoe waffles, potatoe "cakes" or even home made cookies using flour or chickpeas etc

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  7. Hi Izzy - how are you today? I hope you are well and having a good week!
    With regard to your point about getting spots whilst following your vegan diet there are several things that may or may not be contributing to them.
    First is soya - you have recently come off the pill haven't you so your natural hormones are still balancing themselves out. Soy can apparently cause further hormone imbalance where hormones are already disrupted - causing spots. Another possible is carbs - if you have made changes to your diet to include more carbs then your body could well be still adjusting to your intake and that can cause spots. And lastly - processed foods. If you eat a lot of processed foods rather than "whole" foods then they can also cause spots. Tips are to cut back on certain things in your diet and see if that makes any difference to your skin. But ofcourse theres every chance that none of these things are the reason and your spots are occurring just because! I would hazard a guess, and it is a guess - that you are getting more spots simply because 1) your body is probably still adjusting to a new diet and new foods and an increase in more fruit and veg, so it is sort of "cleansing itself" and also no doubt down to the stress you have been under with your uni work. You will probably find that your skin will settle down without you having to make any changes to your food intake but if you`re interested in following these pointers up just google "why am I getting spots on a vegan diet" and all the info is there.
    Personally, since cutting out meat and dairy and eating far more veggies my skin has actually improved. It is a far better tone now and a lot clearer, so its obvious different people react in different ways!
    I hope this is of some help to you :)

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  8. Do you feel better for eating more carbs? You didn't eat as much before and I was wondering if you noticed a difference? Also do you think it has made a difference cutting out all the dairy - quark and things you used to eat?

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    1. Yes at the moment i feel great eating the way i do. I do eat more carbs now than i did before, but the macronutrients are still very balanced as i have a high fat intake as well so i dont feel like carbs take over either, so its a good balance for me right now. :)

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  9. Hi Izzy - when you first started eating vegan did you find that the increased amount of vegetables left you feeling and looking bloated/caused water retention? I ask because since I have been eating plant based meals my lower stomach (around my belly button) is permanently round and I look pregnant! I am drinking enough fluids to help with the fibre increase so its not that and I haven't had any trouble going to the bathroom. Will this pass as my body gets used to the new diet or will I always get this? It just makes me feel so miserable and uncomfortable.
    Thanks for your help.

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