My Food Journey
I love food. For most of my life, I followed the Standard American Diet more than I wanted to admit. I looked for the "healthiest" options that still added up to mostly a bread, cheese, and soda diet. When I saw something marked vegan I figured it wasn't for me - I wasn't in that club. Now I know, it's not about being in a club. Anything marked vegan is for everyone, no matter their regular eating habits. Vegan is simply an indication that no animal products are involved in that food. Nearly all of us eat vegan food on a daily basis.
Growing up with iceberg lettuce and canned green beans, I wasn't at all thrilled with vegetables. By the time I was an adult, I tolerated an occasional salad and that was about the extent of my veggie consumption. I ate burgers fairly regularly because I thought I actually needed them, since I was anemic. Doctors told me that my kids and I needed dairy for calcium, so we made sure we ate cheese and yogurt daily. Late one sleepless night, the documentary Forks Over Knives provided information that led me to reconsidering all of that. One of the main points I learned was that plant-based whole foods are where the nutrients are, and as humans we thrive on them. I dug deeper, and found all sorts of helpful information that led me to where I am today: happier and healthier - in fact, feeling better than I realized I could possibly feel. I took the Rouxbe Forks Over Knives cooking course led by Chad Sarno and began to realize how wonderfully delicious and beautiful veggies can be. Gradually, I began eating more of them. I started creating plant-based alternatives to cheese and other foods we had been eating a lot of, and eventually I just didn't want any more animal-based foods.
Shifting the way I eat has brought energy into my life I didn't know could be there. My enthusiasm for food has actually increased - again, a big surprise! Now that I've made the decision to eat more whole plant-based foods and less processed, I realize that I no longer have extreme junk food cravings, my heart is no longer beating out of my chest for no apparent reason, my insides no longer feel hyperactive while I’m supposed to be at rest, and my patience in general has grown tenfold - especially since getting off of sugary sodas. I’m now into fresh herb- and fruit-infused water, and don’t have any desire to go back! My throat is no longer swollen and hoarse and my stomach pains went away - all from giving up dairy. Oh, and I've lost weight. I'm a believer. I only wish I'd realized sooner how delicious real food can be! Fortunately, my kids did. They've made the choice to be 100% plant-based on their own. Yes, really! I made a point not to dictate (I'm not saying it was easy) and they each made the choice in their own time.
I am learning more all the time about what works for me and my family, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you. I'm so inspired to take charge of my own kitchen now and maintain a plant-fueled lifestyle rather than yet another diet. I've found this way of life to be so much more delicious, doable, aligned with my values, simple, and filled with positive results than any diet I've ever tried. And it helps the planet! For me, it’s like discovering the missing puzzle piece of my life.