Early March I started my Easter Lent for 48 days. During Lent, consumption of red meat, dairy products, and eggs are not allowed. Fish is allowed, but only seafood that does not have a backbone. So my diet is primarily seafood and greens. Even though I practice Lent every year, I don’t always last the whole 48 days. This year though, I stayed committed and determined to finish it. I still have 17 days to go, but I wanted to share some of the changes I have seen my body go through and how a meat and dairy-free diet has benefited my overall health. I have also written a blog post about the Benefits of a Clean Eating diet if you are thinking of reevaluating your diet. Continue reading below for an in-depth review of what happened to my body after not eating meat and dairy.
Not Eating Dairy and Meat Helped With My Weight Management
During the pandemic, I gained 23 pounds. Even though I embraced this weight gain it took a toll on my body. I was eating so much processed food, my red meat consumption had drastically increased and my dairy intake was way more than my body could handle. All this not only lead to my body being inflamed but I also gained so much weight. Within the first couple of weeks of going on a meat and dairy-free diet, I lost 7 pounds. Since then I lost more weight, but I have now plateaued, which is fine since I didn’t start Lent as a means to lose weight. But eliminating meat and dairy from my diet kinda acted like a domino effect for my weight management. Going on a non-dairy diet meant I can’t eat all the desserts I was eating before. Obviously may desserts I love have dairy or eggs in them which I can’t have. So now, not only I have eliminated dairy from my diet, but I have also decreased my carb and sugar intake.I am mentioning this so you have the full picture of why I have lost weight as it is not dependant just on one element.
My Gut Health Drastically Improved
Before eliminating dairy and meat from my diet I used to experience bloating, severe stomach pain, and cramps including growling almost every day. Even my face looked puffed. Now, I haven’t had any of those symptoms for months and my gut health is so much better. I noticed that my stomach wasn’t as bloated as before within a few days. The body digests red meat more slowly than it does other foods, same with dairy, so it seems this was a major setback for my gut health before. The constant growling has gone away and even though I am not necessarily eating more fiber, it just feels like my gut health has improved overall. And since my gut health has improved consequently my mood has also improved since I am not in pain all the time.
Eliminating Dairy And Meat From My Diet Increased My Energy Levels
I think my body was having a really hard time digesting the meat and dairy I was eating which led me to feel fatigued not just after eating but all the time. Before I started Lent, after a meal I would always feel fatigued or would want to take a nap. This caused major disruptions in my workflow, and honestly, it was annoying because food is supposed to give you energy, not drain the life out of you. Since I started Lent though I don’t get that sluggish feeling after I eat a meal. By focusing on more wholesome, nutritious food and eliminating meat my energy levels are much closer to where I want them to be and my mood is more stable throughout the day. Before I felt like I was going through a rollercoaster of moods especially with that “hangry” mood.
My Skin Is Glowing
Since eliminating dairy and meat from my diet, I had this sudden urge to drink a lot more water than I used to. This came with a number of benefits. Hydration is key for glowing skin and this is not an urban myth. It is just a fact. My skin feels and looks a lot more refreshed and vibrant. A problem area for me before was my eye area, and now as time progresses of being in meat and dairy-free diet, I am noticing that my under-eye black circles are getting better and puffiness has almost disappeared. I do use an under eye cream but I have been using it for months and I only started to notice a difference when my diet changed. Overall, my skin just feels healthier and my body not as inflamed as before. I also haven’t had any breakouts since I eliminated dairy from my diet even when it is that time of the month which is unusual. So I have gone months acne-free!
So that’s what happened to my body after I stopped eating meat and dairy. Obviously, health and wellness affect us all differently, same with our food choices. I am not an advocate for not eating meat or dairy, but I am a believer that once in a while we need to give our body a break and reevaluate what is affecting our health, especially in my case when I had so many gut issues. Will I go back to eating dairy and meat after Lent? For sure. But the past couple of years I have been more conscious about my meat consumption and how it affects not just my body but also the environment, and the negative impact meat consumption has on our climate. Being conscious of our food choices should be on everyone’s agenda. Your body is your temple, and if your health is not amazing, everything else in your life also starts falling apart too.