DAY 7: This is by far the best issue of Vegan Health & Fitness yet. More pages are dogeared than aren’t. Not only do I get Spring Fever with all the photography by beaches or pools, oodles of inspiration from varied articles and interviews, especially with Alexandra Paul, and smoothie and salad recipes, but echoes of the surprising effect becoming a vegan had on me ring through the magazine. They continue to validate the profound experience of several vegan friends and myself.  Some answers to the question, “What have been the biggest benefits that you have noticed?”:

First Lady Mandy Smith (wife of Marshall, TX’s vegan mayor, Ed Smith): “My skin cleared up! Even as a vegetarian I had terrible skin with constant breakouts. I thought that was for teenagers. It didn’t stop until I took dairy out of my diet. It also cured my severe monthly cramping and other female problems. Most importantly, it cured my son’s life-threatening asthma, which no medication was helping.”

Marshall, TX’s Fire Chief Reggie Cooper: “By far the biggest benefits were getting off diabetes medications and feeling better overall.”

Professional Vegan Bodybuilder Korin Sutton: “The thing I love about being vegan is that I feel lighter, cleaner, healthier, and I am living a cruelty-free lifestyle. Once I went vegan a lot of things in my body started to change, such as my looks, feelings, and my way of thinking. I might sound weird (or might relate to a lot of people when saying this), but I feel that I have grown closer to the Earth. I have become more spiritual and have a better connection with other living beings.”

Training and Nutrition Advice Blogger Melissa Hauser: “Eating a vegan diet makes me feel vibrant and floods me with feelings of compassion! Although I’ve always been pretty healthy, veganism really makes me realize ‘you are what you eat.’ I fuel my body with fresh, nutrient-rich foods, and in return I feel vibrant, healthy and energetic. I’m also amazed at the deep feelings of compassion and love that now emanate throughout my life that stem from this way of eating.”

Ed Bauer: “The best thing about being vegan is knowing that I am part of an ever-increasing global shift that treats all living creatures with dignity and respect. The more we shine as individuals, the greater our impact in creating this change.”

I want to share these responses because the growth of compassion, love and closeness to the natural world are priceless benefits of veganism that aren’t discussed enough. My experience isn’t an anomaly; it’s the norm. And–letting the geek in me shine–as Gandalf says, “That is an encouraging thought.”

Lack of communication is unhealthy.

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