transitioning to a plant based diet, vegetarian, health

Transitioning To A Plant-Based Diet

transitioning to a plant-based diet, vegetarian, health

I’m starting to transition to a plant-based diet. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while and had introduced a couple of “no meat meals” a week in view of trying to be a little healthier. Well, after having some health issues of late, I’ve now drastically upped that number to 100% of my meals.

To give a very brief and condensed version of the story (and apologies if this is TMI for some of you – you have been warned!) – I have struggled with increasing severe period pains, and in December and February it reached it’s peak. I was doubled over and crying out with pain, and in February the pain was so bad it made me throw up and took a couple of weeks to recover enough to the point I didn’t need to take pain killers daily. I’ve never experienced pain that bad before in my life so I knew I had to do something about it as it was definitely abnormal.

Alongside seeing several doctors and having multiple tests (which I’m still undergoing), I also started doing my own research. One website led to another and somewhere along the way I came across this article that talked about a link between animal products causing inflammation in the body and period pain. Having already been intrigued by a plant-based diet I decided to cut out all meat, at the very least up until my next period, and just see what happened.

plant-based meals, recipes, vegetarian, briam, vegetable stir fry, avocado pasta

Well I can report that I feel amazing! Before I started getting this severe pain I still used to get pretty bad cramps which would sometimes result in time off work and having to alternate paracetamol and ibuprofen for days just to take the edge off, and I haven’t even had that pain! I had back pain for one day (it previously used to last at least 2), and felt a bit tired (just on my period), but other than that I’ve felt great!

I was worried I might get hungry, but I’ve just made sure to load up my plate with veggies in the evenings and I haven’t felt hungry once. I’ve not even been having afters like I normally would, and only craved meat a couple of times in the first couple of weeks of being strictly no meat. I’ve even discovered a couple of new favourite recipes! I’ve been posting pics of some of my meals on Instagram, so follow me over there if you want to see what I’ve been eating (the Briam is a particular favourite!).

This past period has been the best I have felt in years and I couldn’t be happier. Whether or not it’s a coincidence I can’t say for sure, but I do know that I will be continuing to keep up with my plant-based meals. Let me know if you would like a post on what I typically eat in a day, or what my weekly evening meals are. Also let me know if you have any great recipes for me to try so I can expand my collection of favourites!

plant-based diet, health

How I Use Coconut Oil

how i use coconut oil

I mentioned in a video a couple of months ago that I was having issues with certain products and wanted to head down a more natural route. This is going to be a very slow process for me because, let’s be honest, I can’t afford to get rid of all my current products and replace them with more natural versions all at once!

One of the first things I did was switch over to using coconut oil for my cleanser and I thought I would share with you how exactly I use it for that purpose as well as other ways I incorporate it into my life in case you were intrigued or were thinking of trying it out yourself.

How I Use Coconut Oil

Face Cleanser
I’ll start off with this as it’s what I use coconut oil for most often. Basically, to use it as a cleanser it’s a simple as massaging it over your face and using a damp, warm cloth to wipe it off. I take about a thumbnails worth of the solid oil, warm it up slightly with my fingers and massage it over my face and down my neck. I use this over my eye area too and it’s very effective at removing waterproof makeup, the only downside to this is if it gets into your eyes it can make them a little blurry but it doesn’t make them sting at all. Once I’ve spent a minute or so massaging the oil in, I then take a flannel, hold it under the hot tap (or shower head usually), and wring out the excess water. I place the flannel over my face for a few seconds before using it to wipe away the oil and makeup. I then repeat the process once more to ensure I’ve got all the makeup off my face and cleansed it. The oil works by breaking down the makeup and lifting the dirt and oil from your skin, which then gets wiped away with the cloth. My face is left completely clean with a little bit of residue from the coconut oil, which helps add moisture to my skin (an added bonus!). I do only use this at night because of that residue but I love this as my cleanser and haven’t had any breakouts since using it!

Hair Treatment
This is a more common use that you’ve probably heard of. The molecules in coconut oil are small enough to get inside the hair shaft and nourish it from inside the strand (as opposed to some treatments/conditioners that just smooth down the outer surface). There’s a couple of ways I use it as a hair treatment – one is to apply it to my dry hair, prior to washing it, and leave it to sit for as long as possible (sometimes wrapped in a towel to keep the heat in). I’ll try to leave it on for at least an hour before shampooing and conditioning as normal. I do find I need to shampoo twice otherwise my fine hair ends up looking a bit limp and greasy.
Another way I use it is mixed in with my regular conditioner. This is great for those times when I feel like my hair needs a little extra TLC but I don’t have the time to do the above for whatever reason. All I’ll do is mix a little bit of coconut oil with my conditioner in the palm of my hand and apply as normal. I’ll try to leave that on my hair for a few minutes whilst I wash the rest of me and then rinse it out. My hair always feels so, so soft when I use coconut oil on it.

Body Treatment
I recently found coconut oil works great when mixed in with my body wash! I’m not sure if it would work the same with all types of body washes but I mixed a small amount of coconut oil with my shower gel, really mixed it well together in my hands before washing my body and it felt really luxurious. Whilst the shower gel was cleansing my body, the oil was stopping it from getting dried out and it seemed to work really well. You can also use a tiny bit of coconut oil as a moisturiser for any particularly dry patches once you’ve got out of the shower and that works well too.

Of course, you can always use it with food, whether you want to add it to smoothies, bake with it, or use it to cook with. Ben and I love using coconut oil when cooking veggie stir fries, use can cook on high heat, it’s said to be a healthier oil to consume, plus it just adds a lovely taste to our food. There’s lots of ways you could experiment with adding coconut oil into your diet, a quick search on Pinterest will give you lots of inspiration.

how i use coconut oil

So that is how I use coconut oil in my day-to-day life. For reference, I use the Groovy Food Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Let me know if you have any other ways you recommend trying, and let me know if you try out using it in one of the ways I’ve mentioned!