Today, I eat meals made strictly from plants. The majority of which are in their whole, unprocessed form. Think hearty salads, sweet potatoes, smoothie bowls, and soups rich in texture and flavor.
My diet was not always like this. In fact, it was nowhere near what it is now. I use to loathe vegetables and anything green. Now, I think getting greens in is one of the most important things I can do for myself, and I enjoy it.
The majority of the meals I consumed growing up consisted of processed frozen “food,” grilled cheeses, tortilla chips with cheese on them, BBQ bacon cheeseburgers, mac n’ cheese, mounds of processed sugar and refined carbs… you get the picture.
It wasn’t until almost 3 years ago I decided to start eating a vegan diet after watching a documentary called “Vegucated.”
Previously, I was treating my body like a garbage can, and completely oblivious and/or too stubborn to do anything about it.
As a side note, I was vegetarian before becoming fully vegan. Even then, my meals were heavy with processed foods and laden with cheese. It wasn’t until a good year into veganism my diet began shifting into fully plant-based.
I am forever thankful for how much I have grown and learned since then. Now, instead of a wasteland I feel like a nurtured garden. Now I feel like I can live life and function properly (most the time- let’s be honest). I’ve begun eat because I love myself and wish to take care of my body. Not because I feel my appearance is “wrong” and I should work to change it.
I use to be strung up on weight loss and looking a certain way. I would binge after starving myself and try fads that did more harm than good. I had to completely reprogram my way of thinking.
When I eat plants, I feel good. I have energy when I eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
I feel even better when I get rid of the processed foods and focus on eating food in its whole, natural form.
Now, I don’t have to worry about weight loss. The food does it for me. I’m clean from the inside out, I can eat as much as I want and not feel like as if I were run over by a semi with a whale inside of it, and the increased energy makes me more productive and willing to workout. This, in turn,reduced my stress levels and adrenal fatigue (a major factor in holding onto excess weight/bloating).
Since adopting a vegan diet full of various plants, I have also been able to heal myself of leaky gut and IBS. I was told I would have to avoid grains, beans, legumes, most fruits, even coffee.
I healed myself naturally, keeping all of the foods I love and enjoy, and instead focusing on cleaning up my diet as much as possible. This means removing processed foods, and even possible emotional triggers that would lead to stress. This, however, is an article in itself and I will save it for the future.
Instead, I conclude in my endless gratitude to have discovered veganism, the joy and creativity that goes into a plant based diet, and for every mess up along the way that helped me realize that THIS is what is best for me (and the planet!) I cannot recommend a whole food, plant based diet enough. I have lost weight, cleared my skin, naturally increased energy, healed IBS and leaky gut, and transformed my self image from one of loathing to pure love. All with the help of mother nature.