I Just Celebrated My 1 Year Vegan Anniversary
by Bryce Purvis
So on March 1st 2013, I decided to become a Vegan. As I reflect and look back, every reason I made the big decision to become a Vegan has very little to do with why I am still a Vegan today. Back last February, I was having a discussion with my yoga instructor here on Oahu and he was discussing how much his flexibility improved once he made the decision to become a Vegan. The discussion piqued my interest so I decided to start researching vegan nutrition and wow, was I surprised at how ignorant I was on the subject. Now, I have been in the fitness and nutrition field since 1993 so I should have really been more educated on the subject. To say the least, I knew absolutely nothing! So, like any good student, I spent the next 3 weeks researching and reading everything I could find on vegan nutrition.
My mission become borderline obsessive for those 3 weeks I was doing my research. See, the problem was, my vegan nutrition plan needed to be built around my lifestyle and needed to be more for an athlete. Everything I was finding wasn’t conducive to my lifestyle. As a man, I didn’t want to have a lot of soy in my nutrition plan. If you don’t know, and I’m sure some will argue this, but soy has a tendency to raise estrogen levels in men. So, I wanted very little soy in my program for the obvious reason and everything I was reading, had a lot of soy products included in the nutrition plans. By the end of the 3 weeks, I felt pretty confident that the Athletic Vegan Nutrition Plan I had finally built for myself would be best suited for my needs and included very little soy.
The transition over to becoming a Vegan was very easy for me. For one, I always look at food as fuel and not as food. I want to put the absolute best fuels in my body so it runs efficiently. To be honest, the first couple weeks were tough and not because I was craving meat or the other things in which were cut out from my prior nutrition plans, it was just the fact that body was making the adjustment to not having some of the things it was use to having for the prior 39 years. My energy levels were way down and I wanted to sleep a lot to say the least, but after that 2 weeks, I did a complete 180 and it all started to come together. After 6 weeks, I had a drastic weight loss of 14 pounds which concerned me so I made an appointment with my Doctor to get blood work done. I have to proudly say, he was amazed when the blood work came back perfect and my cholesterol had dropped considerably and to healthy levels without prescription meds I have to add. Man, I was completely stoked that my decision to switch to a Vegan lifestyle would impact my health so quickly.
Let’s take a step back to the original reason why I decided to become a Vegan. Now, one of the things I had learned while researching vegan nutrition was that every food had what is called an “IF Factor”. IF for inflammation and what I quickly realized is that a lot of the foods I had been eating prior to being a Vegan were very inflammatory. So another part of my research and planning was to make sure that my plan was very anti-inflammatory and that was exactly what I did. Within weeks, I was blown away on how much my flexibility had improved and especially how much my yoga practice had really improved. Now that it has been a year since the change, my flexibility has improved 100 fold. There are times when I am completely shocked at how my yoga practice has evolved in the last year.
So now that it has been over a year since I made the decision to become a Vegan, what has really changed about me? SO MUCH! Besides the improved flexibility, I am a so much calmer. I’m sure my pranayama and yoga practice helps with that as well. As I became more calm, my overall vibrations have really evolved as well, especially toward the music I listen to. As a life long metal head, it’s hard for me to be calm when I’m blaring metal or hard rock all the time. Now don’t get me wrong, I still listen to my favorite metal and hard rock bands but I have to limit it. Plus, I’m not sure the punk deep inside me will ever leave, nor do I want it to. But, I do keep him tucked away and only let him out on certain occasions. LOL! As my vibrations continue to evolve, I have discovered some amazing new bands and artist and a lot of older bands that I had overlooked over the years.
What else? I am definitely way more compassionate and loving. Toward animals, toward people and toward the environment. I am very careful what I put out in space, especially with my words. Anyone who knows me, knows I had a terrible mouth on me. Every other word used to be a cuss word, so I have really worked hard on eliminating cuss words from my daily vocabulary. I guess that leads into me having a heightened sense of awareness now. Things that I would usually overlook before I become a Vegan now seem to really affect me in either a positive or negative way, but at least now, I am very aware of what is going on around me. Now, I really put in the work to try and figure why those things affect the way they do and believe by doing the work I have done emotionally and spiritually, I have become a much better person in all aspects of my life.
Honestly, I probably could go on and on, but as I close here, becoming a Vegan has been the best thing I might have ever done for myself and has become much more than just becoming more flexible. I feel a million times better physically, emotionally and spiritually. Being a Vegan isn’t for everyone, nor do I push the lifestyle on anyone. It is a difficult choice to make, but in the end, it was the right choice for me.