Today I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about a choice my husband and I made almost two years ago. One that, at first, was more about health, but slowly, over time, has become so much more about who I am as a person, who I've always been, and my core values.
I really haven't spent too much time talking about why I am vegan. When I decided that I wanted to get certified as a health and wellness coach, I knew that my diet and lifestyle choices were something that would be an integral part of my business, but how exactly, I'm still not sure. It is ever evolving (just like me) and I love the doors it has opened for me and the relationships I've built.
Below I share a video. I promise it isn't over the top. It's a cartoon so it can't be that bad, right? It highlights some pretty important information and really what is the core reason as to why I don't eat animals.
As I mentioned above, almost two years ago my husband came to me with the interest in going vegan. At first I was hesitant, not because I didn't see that value in it but more because I was scared of the changes that would undoubtedly come with giving up all animal products and at the time, I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do it.
I have always eaten a well rounded diet, playing around with vegetarianism for many years because it just felt 'right' to me in my heart. However,I always thought you had to eat meat and dairy to be 'healthy.' So not the case.
After my husband finished the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, he had made the decision that this was the lifestyle for him and I decided to go along with it. We agreed to try it out for a month and reassess after 30 days. We never looked back.
It wasn't until we started to give up animal products that I realized several things were also changing with my body. First, my skin cleared up dramatically. I have always had adult acne, usually flaring up worse when I ate certain things like dairy and gluten/wheat but didn't really put the connection together until after I removed both from my diet. I also noticed that my weight didn't fluctuate anymore. My body found it's natural rhythm and I never feel bogged down after a bigger meal. I feel light and content but never over the top full and heavy.
The biggest thing I noticed was how much a vegan lifestyle resonates with my personal values. I am a huge animal person and in retrospect, eating animals never really made sense to me or made me feel good about myself. However, I believe honesty is so important and so today I feel it is really important for me to share that I still struggle with a few things; namely, honey and the occasional shrimp. Don't ask me why shrimp but it is something I still crave every few months. At first I would beat myself up if I had a bite off someone's plate but recently I realized that it is my ultimate goal to eventually be 100 % animal product free however, I also want to give myself a little bit of room to be human and occasionally flawed. After battling food issues for many years, the last thing I want to do is make myself feel like I'm being deprived of anything. I know one day I will not have those cravings any longer.
The funny thing is, about two months before my husband and I went vegan we purchased 26 baby chicks for the purpose of butchering and eating their eggs. My husband even took a chicken butchering class so that we could be more proactive about knowing exactly where our food was coming from. However, things changed and we were left with a bunch of chickens. We also had just bred our seven Ewes (female sheep) and a few months later (unbeknownst to us) we would triple that number leaving us with 21 sheep.
Eventually we ended up selling all the chickens except for four of them that we keep as pets. I really struggled with getting rid of most of our chickens as I knew I wouldn't have full control over what happened to them and it's a decision I still regret to this day. We didn't have the space or the means to keep them I did my best to find them a good home. However, we did kept all the sheep and I named each and every one of them. Apart from being my pets, we use them in our family vineyard as an organic way of fertilizing and keeping the cover crop down when the vines are dormant throughout the winter. During the summer months they roam amongst the pastures grazing, sun bathing and living the good life.
As much as being vegan is about what my soul wants, it was also one of the healthiest choices I could have made for myself.
About nine years ago I had surgery to remove a precancerous polyp from my colon and was diagnosed with a genetic condition called HNPCC or Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer. This condition significantly increases my lifetime chances of many cancers but primarily, colon, uterine and ovarian by up to 80%. After reading The China Study and learning of all the scientific research, I realized that to give myself the best shot of being cancer-free for a lifetime, I needed to give up the foods that have been scientifically proven to increase those odds; animal products such as meat and dairy.
I know many people have mixed feelings about diet and health and all I can say to this is do your research and listen to your instincts. Sometimes we don't have a logical explanation as to why we do things but have an intense feeling in our stomach that it's the right choice. For me, I had both.
Over the last two years I've experimented with some incredible recipes, learned to 'really' cook and have been blown away by how a well-rounded whole foods diet can effect so much of your overall well-being and I'd love to help you learn to eat this way too.
Ask yourself this; do you want increased energy, clearer skin and brighter eyes and to feel light and satiated after meals? Does eating meat not sit well with you but you are confused about how exactly to eat?
Are you interested in learning more about a vegan lifestyle and diet but are overwhelmed by the idea of changing? I know I can help you. Even if you don't want to go full board vegan but want to learn more about implementing some of these dietary changes into your week I can absolutely help you with that as well.
I invite you to reach out to me to learn more about transitioning into a plant-based, cruelty-free diet. Signing up for a FREE 30 minute consultation is easy and the best way to talk about intentions and learn a little more about eating clean, whole foods. Click here to Sign up here