FEATURE: Judy Brangman, M.D.

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I initially decided to try a vegan diet because I started to gain a few pounds. Also, my mother had been saying for years that if I stopped eating dairy that my acne, nasal congestion, and allergies would resolve. So I initially tried a vegan diet to lose the few pounds. I also hoped that my allergies and acne would clear up. I tried it for one month at a time, off and on, without really committing to it. I gradually started to incorporate more plant foods into my diet starting in 2012. Cheese was the hardest thing to give up. I initially thought that baking and cooking without eggs would be challenging, but I soon found that it is not that difficult to bake the same items without eggs and have a similar texture and taste. It just takes some creativity and experimentation. The main benefit that I noticed when I stopped eating dairy was that my acne completed resolved and my skin cleared up. 

Also, I completed a course in plant based nutrition and learned about the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry, as well as the health benefits. I also started to research how animals were treated on CAFOs. Since 2013, I have learned so much about plant based nutrition and the benefits for our health, the environment, and animal welfare. It is also the most compassionate and kind diet for our environment and all animals. I feel better, sleep better, and have more energy on a vegan diet.

Some people may feel that a vegan or whole foods plant based diet is restrictive. However, I see it as freedom.

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