Being vegan, by definition, means a person who does not consume any meat products. That said, being vegan is more than solely about what foods you do or don’t consume. Veganism is a lifestyle.
When I decided to venture on my health and wellness journey, I began to pick up many vegan eating habits. However, through speaking to other vegans and going to vegan festivals, I began to realize that being vegan is about so much more than if I eat meat or not.
I began this journey because my body began to reject meat products. It was not by choice. The more time I spend adjusting to this new diet, the more I learn about its intent.
A large component of veganism is about filling your body with things that are good for it and that make you feel healthy both inside and outside. With that comes other, non-food related components.
In this post, I want to talk about the exercise component of being vegan.
In an effort to make my body feel good, inside and out, I personally need to work out. When we work out, the activity releases dopamine within our bodies and that induces happiness. This explains why my mood instantly increases after a good workout.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, I use exercise as my escape. I can eat all the healthy, fresh food in the world, but it is that combined with exercise that keeps my mind at ease. When I am doing a workout I love, I feel invincible. My phone is tucked away, and I can focus solely on myself.
This outlet used to be Cardio Barre and has since transferred to Soul Cycle. While a separate Soul Cycle review is on its way, it is imperative to write about it now as well because that is the only way that I can relay to you how much exercise (Soul Cycle in particular) has positively shaped my life.
When I lost the ability to eat many foods, I found a home in the kitchen, finding new foods to cook. This activity is fun and allows me to show a creative side of myself that usually lies tucked away. However, it is not always enough to clear my head. When I get anxious, this seemingly random burst of thoughts floods my mind. It seems as if there is nothing that can barricade them. I begin to overthink and question everything I can.
Although I have a therapist who has helped me through lots of mental blocks, I had no other outlet to release this tension within myself on my own time. That is, until I started going to SoulCycle. The whole idea behind SoulCycle is that you are empowered while you are working out. You are being positively reinforced with inspirational speeches as you are cycling. This combination of working body and soul allows me specifically to release my own tension.
I am working hard, sweating more than I probably should be. But I love it. The instructors encourage positivity and healthy living, two things that the vegan lifestyle often preaches as well.
Exercising, no matter what kind, heals the body, mind, and soul. It works out your physical body while challenging your mental state, releasing endorphins that heal the soul.
Exercise is a crucial aspect, in my opinion, to living happily. Because that’s all we want right? In this wild ride of life, we may strive for different things. But everyone wants happiness… right? Life is kind of like a cake. You need certain amounts of ingredients in order to make it just perfect. It doesn’t always come out like it does on the box, but that’s ok.
Every cake is different, just like every body. Funny how I’m using a cake metaphor when talking about healthy living…. I know for me, being meat and dairy free is one aspect of my recipe. Another is exercise. Mix those two together, and I have an extremely solid base to live my happiness.
So, you don’t have to work out in order to call yourself vegan. Working out just adds another component of that healthy lifestyle we are all working towards achieving.
My name is Gabriella. Join me on my health and wellness journey as I discover foods that not only please my taste buds but my stomach as well!