I am exposing what I have been hiding for quite sometime. I don’t really know why I was hesitant to tell most people this… judgement? rejection? But I am going to be totally transparent and share what I believe in and why veganism is what I have chosen for myself.
Let’s get into the background information as to what lead me to this…
I initially became interested in a plant-based diet ever since I stumbled across the book “How Not To Die” by Michael Greger M.D. also founder of http://nutritionfacts.org/. Because I am going to school for dietetics, it’s not surprise that I am a total ‘nutrition nerd’ and probably could use a shirt saying so, haha. I am currently still working on finishing it but after the first few chapters, it opened my eyes. I could not believe some of the things the meat and dairy industry do to animals and to the food they make from them. Along with reading this book I have searched through several articles and scholarly journals, watched a few documentaries, and sought advice from some of my vegan friends.
The answer could not have been more clear to me that this was the lifestyle I wanted to begin.
For the as long as I can remember, dairy has not cooperated with my body. Whenever I would use to eat it, my stomach would bloat the size of a watermelon and I would get really gassy, sometimes causing stomach pain. And I can’t just blame greek yogurt (the worst offender) but all the foods that contain animal products: eggs, cheese, protein bars and powders, some breads, packaged food items, dressings, crackers, you name it.
When I went to the doctors a few months ago I had a high amount of protein in my blood (see post) and I knew something had to change. I first stopped eating protein bars and whey protein powders but I still didn’t always feel too great. Super full and bloated all the time, low energy, constipation, and I am going to be quite honest that I was eating protein bars just because I thought they were healthy and were doing my body good as to “make muscle gains”…. but little did I know they were not doing me any good. What my body was truly asking for was for REAL FOOD.
I remember having chicken for dinner one day and while I was eating it I realized I actually had no appetite for it. I was just eating it because it was there but so many other things could have been more satisfying for me. The next day I decided to try a vegan diet to test how hard it would be. To my surprise, it was actually super easy.Therefore, I tried it for a week. Let me tell you that by the end of that week I was feeling on top of the world. Could not believe all the energy I had all day and I literally think I pooped 3 times one day… TMI I don’t care, I share 😉 I already loved plant-based foods so making this change was not hard at all.
While some of you reading might have your own strong opinion on this topic, your feelings are 100% valid, but let me explain to you further. Yes, I USED to have eating issues. Yes, there are days that I admit are not perfect, I’m human. No, I am not using this to relapse into restrictive behaviors. That is not what a vegan diet is about. It’s about how it makes you feel. Compassion for animals. Doing what I feel is right in my heart. Unless you are going vegan in means to lose weight or avoid foods, a vegan diet is not restrictive. In today’s age, there are sooo many alternatives out there. Vegan ice cream, mac and cheese, pizza, burritos, chocolate, tempeh bacon, ANYTHING can be made vegan. You can eat an abundance of plant-based foods with this lifestyle. In regards to all the stereotypes, a vegan diet is not eating lettuce all day.
And guess what? I have not lost weight since beginning this. What has happened:
- increased energy levels
- more “regularity”
- doubling/tripling my carbohydrate intake
- fear of carbs/sugars has diminished
- my mind is free from obsessing about macros/calories
- i feel happy and less stressed out
- discovered my love of dates and bananas (erry day)
- sleeping much better
- less bloating/constipation
Do I recommend this for someone recovering from an eating disorder? It’s all in context. Ask yourself WHY you are truly doing this. Everyone is different. Different needs, bodies, mentalities, values, desires… so just because I am choosing this, doesn’t mean you have to. If you ever consider a change like this I highly recommend you a ton of research before even thinking about it. There are a lot of factors to consider and things you must know so you can ensure you are keeping your health in check.
I was thinking about doing a Q&A in the next week or so for people with any questions or concerns about veganism in general. You can literally ask anything you want to. Comment below or shoot me an email at email@example.com. These will be anonymous so I won’t put your name in the Q&A.