In The Beginning: becoming a Whole Food Plant Based Vegan
I get a lot of people who ask me why I changed my eating habits around. Why I stopped eating meat and dairy and any animal by products? Why organic? Isn't it hard? Don't you miss cheese? The list goes on and on.
My journey all began roughly two years ago as I was a very sick person. Mentally and physically. I had just completed my first (and only) fitness competition and my body and mind were hurting. I felt lost. My body had done a complete 180 over night after the show. I was starving, depleted of proper hydration and nutrition, and all I could think about was stuffing my face with junk food. Not real food. Not fruit or veggies or nuts and seeds. Just junk. And so, that's what I did. Day after day - it was a horrible cycle. I stopped working out for a short time. I felt too embarrassed to show my face in the gym. I was bloated. I was tired. I was weak. All the "post competition" fear I had, was coming to life and I felt completely out of control one day to the next. I started shutting down at home and at work and towards family and friends. I had to face the music - I was depressed. I wanted nothing more than to just disappear.
Now, I am a pretty insightful person (or so I like to think) and in my darkest moments I remember thinking, Why do I feel this way? Because I gained a few pounds? Because my body was hurting? I had everything I really wanted in life at the time. Two healthy, happy sons (Wyatt, 8 and Brody, 3). A loving husband, an up and coming new career, a beautiful roof over my head and fanatastic friends and family who were always there for support. Why did I feel so alone? What was going on inside me that made me feel so unwell?
After weeks which seemed endless, my husband finally "forced" me to see my doctor. Of course the first things she recommended was medication and that just wasn't going to fly with me. I'm someone who doesn't even like the idea of tylenol for a common headache. So we had a good chat and she recommended a book to me (Feeling Good) which I then ordered on Amazon that night and patiently waited for its' arrival.
In the meantime, a good friend of mine who knew I was struggling had recommend a few documentaries for me to watch that I might find intriguing. Food Matters, Food Inc., Vegucated, GMO, OMG, and Cowspiracy. Over the weeks I began to watch them one by one and I was as blown away with the things I just never had thought about when it comes to food and mental and physical health. I always came from the belief system of "calories in vs.calories out" and not so much about where the calories came from and what these so called food like products could be doing to contribute to my mental and physical health.
And with that, my journey began. Immediately I rid myself of chemically processed packaged foods and sugars. That was NOT easy - but a story I will share on another post in the future; second to that came letting go of both meat and diary and immediately increasing my consumption of fruits, veggies, pulses, nuts, and seeds.
I can truly say within the first week my physical body was changing, I felt lighter, my digestive system was working on the regular (something I had never experienced) and although mentally I had a ways to go, over the weeks I did begin to start thinking more clearly.
Now remember, this is just the beginning and there is so much more to share. I know my story begins being 100% about myself and my health and nothing to do with the well being of animals or our environment - but I can tell you, stick with me here - that connection was made and a HUGE part of why I am still living this amazing lifestyle.
So to answer the questions above - do I miss cheese? Of course not, because I still eat it - just not in the form made from animals. Why organic? Well me and my family choose organic where ever possible as pesticides contribute to nutrition depletion in our food, they are harmful to our bodes, and harmful to our planet. Wherever possible we choose organic. Is it hard? Noooo way! There is such an abundance of whole food plant based foods out there. It is easy peasy. And why I stopped eating all animal products? For my health, for the environment, and number 1 ...FOR THE ANIMALS. We do not need to eat them to survive and they deserve their life just as much as any one of us.
Stay tuned. I will be posting share worthy recipes...workouts...and more real life moments along the way!
Happy Plant Eating Everyone!