After eight months of eating a diet without any animal products, I took a blood test that convinced me the vegan life is the best way to live.
I recently visited my physician after years of avoiding the doctor’s office. I was afraid that I may have been deficient in some nutrient or that I may be suffering from an illness. I didn’t feel too well during college, as I smoked cigarettes often and practice many bad habits. But, to my surprise, the blood tests came back completely normal, which is the best thing I could have hoped for. The doctor ordered the following test for:
- Vitamin B12 and folate
- Vitamin D
- CBC (white blood cell count)
- Liver enzymes (AST, ALT), glucose (sugar), kidney test (GFR/creatinine) and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.)
- A lipid panel (cholesterol)
- A urine analysis
Blood Drawn and Test Results
Besides almost fainting when having my blood taken—which is a completely different story—everything turned out “within normal range.” My only concern would be my glucose levels, but even that, while high, was still in an acceptable range. I was ecstatic when I heard the news. Learning about my progress only encouraged me to continue pursuing this type of lifestyle. As an example of the type of food I eat in a day, I’ve attached an image of my recorded intake from cronosphere.com for a normal day with a workout.
It’s a common myth that vegans may experience deficiencies in calcium, vitamin B12, iron and protein. My diet trumps that myth. My blood test results prove that even the most unorganized, smorgasbord-of-random-fruits-and-vegetables style of a diet can be well balanced and contain all the vital nutrients needed to maintain a healthy life. It’s all about trying and making the better choices.
Good Health Takes Effort
In addition to maintaining a plant-based diet, I also went to the gym four to five times a week. Some workouts were intense and some weren’t, but I maintained consistent with my workout routine. As much as a vegan lifestyle can improve your health, it’s truly a marriage between nutrition and fitness that ensures a healthy life.
Shedding fat and seeing improvements took a while—which can be attributed to my lack of exercise due to a knee injury—but I see results. I am stronger. I feel healthier. I am happier.
I know initially I promised for only six months and that I’d go back to a pescatarian diet, but I’ve fallen in love with this lifestyle. I’ve only just begun my health journey, and I plan to be vegan for as long as I remain healthy. I have no desire to ever want to eat meat again.