I once was vegan and I am proud that I was one. But it wasn't easy in becoming one. My behavior change was very difficult and it was an everyday battle and war with my mind and body. It took more than discipline, though, and I must say that I am proud that I ate vegan.
Veganism is a lifestyle so I have to say I ate vegan but in general, I do say, "vegan me, please". I will paraphrase what veganism is, vegans do not use, consume, or purchase
products that exploit or cause harm to animals rather if its food, clothing, or any other purposes.
I started experimenting in my undergrad years with a few diets or a different way of eating. This one semester during my undergrad years, I sat by a vegan everyday in class while taking a required Health Studies course; which explored the food and health issues of today and the diseases that are associated with things we consume as well as our genetic make up.
I was very intrigued by how many people in my class were dieting or limiting what they ate due to their health problems that is commonly associated with food and drinks.
I was so geeked to try something new especially since I was learning about health behavior modification that I started to eliminate meat and other heavy foods during my week in class. I felt a lot better when I did limit what I consumed. I restricted my intake of sugar, meat, eggs, diary, bread, and pasta. I felt like I was a teenager again. I looked the part as well as feeling great physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was curious more than anything, to say the least, that I was really able to change my mind and behave a certain way. I studied behavior modification, health belief models, and how to change behaviors personally for myself. All my studies were purposefully for me to use to increase my health and wellness but most importantly I will help others and generations after I leave this lovely Earth.
I proceeded with the diet intake and I got a lot of backlash from my family members. They weren't so fond on my choice of not eating when food was readily available to me. My family and friends couldn't believe that I would take this route of not eating things that I always grew up on and learned to love, especially during the holidays.
Being vegan is not an easy task. I was very prone to give up at any moment. I just wanted to dabble in any and everything especially and more specifically grilled hot dogs, beef hot dogs, I love them. I was so used to having a piece of meat in my mouth that I didn't know any other way to live. It seemed as if I was living to eat not eating to live. But as I reflected on all the things I was consuming I knew it was a great thing to do.
I remember going through some stress that really questioning my existence. I always had some problems with digesting my food, going to the bathroom on a regular basis, as well as not being a person to drink more than 8 glasses of water a day. I was going to the doctor to get checked out due to a gene mutation, called BRCA1. This mutation is the start of breast cancer basically puts me at a higher risk than an average female that may develop breast cancer in a life time. This mutation came from my mother, she passed before her 36 year-old, she died when I was seven. Remind you that I had two kids, 2-3 part time jobs, and going to school an hour away to further my knowledge. I was worried, scared straight, of my test results.
During this great semester, I learned more about food, diary, and wellness. I told myself that I was going to curve my chances of beating cancer so I started by limiting what I consumed and what I put on my skin, and in my mind. I wanted to live and not die. I was only 27 years old when I started my health strike, but I had already found out about the gene mutation prior. I really had a feeling that I needed to take some action in my own hands going forward.
When I reflected on the results the doctor gave me it felt as if I had been diagnosed with the breast cancer without a written or verbal diagnosis. There was a few doctor visits that I had which we talked about removal of my ovaries, uterus, and a mastectomy, removal of the breast, which I was supposed to do a prevention plan requiring me to have these surgeries before I turned 31.
All the while, I was still traveling an hour to go to class, taking care of two kids, running up and down the highway, trying to make ends meet, and all the while studying. I was stressed, depressed, and desperate for a change. Eliminating meat, dairy, and eggs; oh I forgot cheese, is very hard. Limiting my sugar in my sugar intake was even more difficult. But one thing for sure I learned about being a super consumer and I had to make a choice to be proactive when it came to beating this myth, which I call it, especially since I know that just going off the statics alone will only keep me blinded with the facts that all persons who have a bad gene may die from that gene mutation.
For some reason, I knew I could overcome this. I could overcome all that my mother went through. I knew I was the ONE, the chosen one, and the one in my family to bring this to light that was always hard to uncover or either hard to actually believe that one could live and fight for another day. I set out to make my life a lot healthier from then on. Previous years I stopped smoking and eventually I stopped drinking as well because it started to make me feel so sick. But, I never gave up. I never surrendered. I will always prevail. I'm not going to stop. I couldn't stop. I had kids. I had a life to live after after 36. And I am writing about it right now. But back to my point, the fact that we are so easily and overly consuming a lot of things like food that we should not be eating on a daily basis such as sugar, caffeine, and etc.
Needless to say, every one is different when it comes to their diet and lifestyle. I figured the way to let everyone know I am not eating the same thing they eat, is to say it loud I am VEGAN (I'm no longer a vegan as of Jan 2020, that is another blog, but yea). I ate vegan food but I don't live the vegan lifestyle yet. That lifestyle is extremely difficult since the American Standard Diet lies about what one should and should not consume. I still considered myself eating as a vegan because it was the best explanation to most. I did utilize honey, meat broths, and some by products of animals but I recognized that I had more food sensitives than I used to have. I was very mindful and discipline but that came over time. I know most products that are available now were not when I started such as vegan cookies, pizzas, and pastas (some of the vegan products needs a quick reference check when it comes to products that are in the packages).
Last but not least, I want to praise the vegans, vegetarian, pescatarians, and other diets that may help them. I'm praising my people that eat to live longer and better lives. I am praising those that had to struggle with food sensitives for decades and they finally figured out what there body needed in order to heal. I praise those that are helping others find the solutions to the gut problems. I know that these issues like diseases start from what we consume which mucus and our gut has something to do with it all. Most doctors wont tell you this nor will they let you know that the issues could've started as soon as you were born. The praise goes to the ones that are strong, disciplined, and taking control of their health. In conclusion, we weren't born vegans but we were born to forever change.
Be great in your own body find out what your genes and DNA needs to cleanse and heal your body.
If you are interested in some Vegan options:
Vegan soul food has become more popular check this link out https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2015799155099967
Another video to watch https://sweetpotatosoul.com/2015/07/what-i-eat-in-a-day.html
If you are interested in the Paleo or Keto diet options:
Another article to read https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb