You are what you eat. It’s true. Have you ever noticed how you can feel or act different based on what you ate? Try it some time. It’s amazing when you really pay attention. Most of us don’t, we just eat because we are hungry or because we think we are hungry or because the ad we just heard on the radio made us hungry.
Years ago I kept a food journal just for a short time and wasn’t too serious about it. I did it, put it away and forgot about it. Years later when we were moving I found it. My entries showed that I ate bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, several hot dogs for lunch, or Philly cheese steak sandwiches. My journal also talked about having stomach aches and not feeling good.
What’s ironic is that when I was reading this, I was vegetarian and starting to pay attention to what I ate and how it made me feel. At the time of writing the journal, I paid no attention to it and when I moved to a vegetarian diet I didn’t even remember writing it. I laughed reading the journal as I knew exactly why I didn’t feel good and had stomach aches, it was the food!
I became vegetarian because of the quality of the meat. I questioned how good it really was and what it was doing to my body. I wasn’t unhealthy, but I was starting to get concerned about my health and wanted to take preventative measures. Then I began to wonder about the quality of the dairy products I was eating and decided to try a vegan diet for a three month trial.
Before diving into a full on vegan diet, I read and researched for more than a month to make sure I was going to do it in a healthy way. Just because someone eats vegan doesn’t mean they are healthy – have you seen vegans who eat pasta, faux meat products and potato chips? In my research, I learned a lot. I knew I needed to eat a wide variety of plants and whole foods.
My three month endeavor was amazing. I felt so light, had so much energy, slept better, never had the full stomach feeling where you know you ate too much and I was happier. My three months trial in 2010 continues to this day. Since that trial started, I have not intentionally had any animal product in my diet.
My diet is plant-based, mostly whole foods (not processed), mostly organic and I have fun trying new recipes. It doesn’t take me any longer to cook than when I ate meat, it might take a little thinking ahead so I can soak beans. I get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the variety of foods I eat and never get bored with my options.
I’m not out to convince everyone to eat a vegan diet. I highly encourage it though, or at least try it out for some time to see how you feel.
What started off as a quality of food issue, turned into so much more. Along the way I learned how food is so much a part of your health, how the food we grow affects our environment and planet, how animals are mistreated, and how the food industry plays a role in how we eat and live.