To Be or Not to Be Vegan

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I have never been a vegan pusher, but when the chance came to veganize my husband for 30 days, I was overjoyed that he accepted the challenge. I wanted to see how he felt, how his overall health changed and how it changed our relationship?

My husband decided to go vegan for 30 days in honor of a local festival called Vegfest, and, maybe in honor of me too. I have been vegetarian ever since he has known me (almost 20 years) and turned vegan almost 10 years ago. He nobly walked quite a few miles in my shoes and feels great as a result!

So, what were the outcomes of this 30-day adventure? Would he stay vegan? How does he feel? What were the healthy side effects of his veggie-filled lifestyle?  What did he crave? Did he feel lethargic? I know many of you consider going vegan so here is the lowdown on how he feels, what it has changed in his and our lives and why you should fill your day with more veggies!

My husband was under the careful watch of Dr. Kristen Bentson who made sure he stuck to a healthy and nutritious 1800 calorie diet that included enough protein, carbs and fat to help him get through his long work days and crazy commutes into NYC! He never felt tired and often felt more full after eating his fiber-filled plant-based meals.

As a vegan, you tend to simplify your food intake since many foods have hidden dairy and other animal by-products. You end up needing to inspect each food label before eating. During these inspections, you begin to notice the many other hidden ingredients that plague our food: all the preservatives, chemicals and hidden sugars. My husband began to notice this as well. Going vegan didn’t just change his perspective on meat; it changed his perspective on food.

Overall, he feels great and better than ever, but unfortunately does not plan to stay vegan. However, he has eaten very little meat since he has had the option. He has chosen fish rather than meat and eats vegan the majority of the time except when dining out. This is a big change for us considering I always made him a meat and/or cheese filled entrée for dinner. He now realizes that vegan is a meal option not just an appetizer.

He is loving veggies and also now realizes how many calories are in many of his favorite non-vegan foods. He lost 17 pounds in 30 days! After he ate his first meal with meat, he said he felt like he was in a “food coma.” Not sure when he will subject himself to that again, but it was awesome that he realized the impact that food has on the body.

How often are we impacted by what we eat and what we put into our bodies, but blame it on other things? As fall approaches, take advantage of all the produce that will be available to you. If you are here with me on the East Coast, try a variety of apples, squashes, pumpkins, pears, carrots, beets, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, concord grapes, figs, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower… Have fun with it and try to go vegan for a meal, a day or maybe longer.

Laurel Attanasio is a 500-hour certified yoga/Pilates teacher and health and wellness enthusiast who wants to help people become happy, healthy and whole. She is also certified by Jessica Bellofatto and Gina Bradley to teach Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga. Laurel has also had the pleasure to study one on one with Sadie Nardini and travel with her as an assistant. She teaches classes locally in Bethlehem, PA, workshops nationally and retreats globally. She loves assisting her students in becoming stronger, relieving stress, preventing injury, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Join Laurel for her New Year, New You Yoga Retreat in Tulum. For more info visit:   Website: www.laurelattanasio.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurelAttanasioYoga



Researchers Find Gut Microbiota and Mental Health Connection

broken glass colon

Groundbreaking new studies are revealing the connection between gut health and mental health.

Researchers have known about the connection between the bacteria that live in your gut and the brain for some time, but when it comes to how closely they’re connected science has just scratched the surface. Now in a systematic analysis published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review researchers looked at 26 studies that assessed the role gut biology plays in anxiety and depression.

The findings showed people with anxiety and depression had different levels and types of microbes in their gut, compared to people without anxiety and depression. The digestive tract of people with anxiety and depression contained more pro-inflammatory bacteria species and had less of the type of bacteria that help regulate the central nervous system.

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