I have not always been vegan – though I would never have considered myself a carnivore. I ate meat if I had to – it was never my first choice. Seafood was never top on my list either because I am allergic to shellfish and seriously how much canned tuna can a person eat?
While growing up with two brothers, my parents would have beef or chicken every night. Every meal consisted of potatoes, veggies (seldom green) and meat. Of course with the glass of milk and slice of bread. I am actually not knocking it – we weren’t rich so that was actually a pretty good meal for what we all knew back then. But I dreaded the meat. My father used to say all the time “you’re so deprived, you get steak and potatoes every night!”.
I eventually grew to tolerate meat and particularly burgers but I would rather have had a bowl of cereal for every meal than meat.
Now in my early 50s, like many people my age, things start to not work as well. My health isn’t what it used to be and honestly worse than many my age. With several autoimmune disorders and resulting issues because of those disorders, I began my search to feel better. Medication was not the answer. They only seem to create more issues – seriously prednisone is a pandoras box. Sure it can reduce inflammation but it is worth the harm? Some days I would say yes while other days the answer was a clear and emphatic NO!
Many bright minds have created a wealth of resources to help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disorders. It is never “healed” but being in remission is really desirable. Additionally, I have my Ph.D. in natural health so I took great pleasure in diving into all of the research. My focus landed on the China Study.
My world was not only turned upside down but I felt renewed and hopeful. Since then I have been following a vegan diet. I wish I could say I was 100% compliant but I work long hours and have many stressful days especially with COVID. Sometimes I just didn’t have the time to plan as appropriately as I could have with just an extra 15 minutes. I try very hard to not let that be an excuse. To clarify I almost always was eating vegan but believe it or not there is still a healthy vegan versus junk food vegan…
I have watched so many documentaries regarding veganism and the animal rights activist approach is appalling. Although I didn’t become vegan as an activist – it is easy, really easy, to never ever touch animal products again after watching some of these films. Right now I am listening to the Happy Vegan and sure I can press a button and fast forward through the gory details but I can’t close my eyes to what is real and an accurate portrayal of what is really in our food and where it comes from and how it happens.
In the 30 days I have been vegan (sometimes not the healthy vegan options) I have lost 15 pounds, sleep much more soundly and easily, more patience and definitely better able to focus. The focus issue is huge. My particular autoimmune issues make it very difficult to focus. I am thrilled to have that back.
I find so much pleasure in eating. Before I would just run through a fast food restaurant and eat while driving. Now I don’t eat until I get home or have time to do it right. I may have a piece of fruit or something but when I eat – I eat some great meals. If I can’t actually sit down and really enjoy my meal for what it is rather than just chowing it down – I don’t bother. And when I do sit down – it is like I am in my own meditative state. Just me and my food and only food that actually fuels my body. I’ll tell you – it is a great feeling mentally and physically.
Do I cheat? Yes. But it is rare – very rare and sometimes it is still vegan just not as mindful a choice. For example every night I have rice cakes. First of all I love them but there is really no value to them. The value for me is that my dog loves them to so we share them…. What dog loves rice cakes?
In conclusion – I absolutely love my new vegan lifestyle. The food is plentiful, amazing, filling and healthy.