July 2003 had been an important summer for me. I had spent a full year on Weight Watchers and I had made my goal to lose 50 lbs. WW taught me how to portion foods and how to be able to eat real food in the real world but WW didn't teach me nutrition. WW basically teaches you that you can have anything you want as long as you portion well... it really doesn't teach you what you should eat.
One day, I was sitting in my kitchen eating a piece of grilled chicken and one of my dogs was nearby, staring at me, begging. All of a sudden, a thought entered my head, a thought I had never had before in all my 33 years - 'you'd never eat a dog so why are you eating a chicken?'
That day it seemed like my brain had suddenly turned itself on and was actually functioning. Of course I knew meat came from animals but I guess I hadn't ever given it a second of thought. Not one second.
The next day, I was vegetarian.
I was an overnght vegetarian too... there was no back and forth or easing into it. I did it full-on and the dead flesh of an animal didn't pass my lips after that day. I still continued to eat dairy products and eggs. I figured since no animal was killed for those products then they must be ok. I lived happily in that fairytale land for 7.5 years.
However, I had started to gain back some of the weight I had worked a full year to lose and altho I knew it was happening, I didn't do much to stop it and before I knew it, I had regained about 30 lbs of the 50 lbs I had lost. I was unhappy and mad at myself for letting it happen.
In May 2010, Weight Watchers was no longer working for me. It's a great program but progress just flat out stopped for me and I was frustrated. I'd lose a couple pounds and gain them back. I started to look at other diet programs and plans. I found Jackie Warner and I bought her book "This Is Why You're Fat" and the information in that book started me on a journey to find out what kinds of food I should be eating and shouldn't be eating and why. Jackie's plan was based on 'Clean Eating' which led me to the Eat Clean Queen herself, Tosca Reno.
I picked up Tosca's book and quite a few books on nutrition and I ultimately discovered that many of my problems were do to processed foods, dairy products and refined sugar. I discovered that processed foods are full of chemicals, dyes and crap that no one should ever be consuming. I discovered that sugar is a toxin that is poisoning us. It's added to practically everything. I discovered that dairy can cause terrible diseases and lead to obesity.
I finally opened my head to the fact that the dairy industry was cruel and that it wasn't ok to consume dairy products and eggs. I learned that in order for a cow to give milk... she had to be pregnant, just like a human and that her baby is stolen from her at birth (and sent to become another dairy cow like herself or to slaughter as veal) because then the milk can be given to humans to drink. Cows don't just produce milk, folks. I learned about the horrific treatment at egg farms and how cage free and free range certainly don't mean cruelty free.
The more information I read, the more I discovered that the way to be healthy and fit and free from disease is to follow a 100% plant based diet. To test my theory I decided to go dairy free and egg free for a week and I told myself that if I didn't notice any differences then I'd go back to eating dairy products and eggs.
That day was August 6, 2010
Once I had shed the dairy and eggs it was like a fog was lifted. I started feeling better, (less headaches, more energy, better overall well being, no stomach problems) looking better (no skin issues, I thinned out) and I had a clear conscience because nothing I consumed was hurting an animal in any way. Nothing.
I'm down 18 pounds and I'm in the normal range for my height and my BMI is also normal. I'd like to lose another 7 lbs but I'm not stressing over it. My cholesterol numbers are excellent.
My goals are simple.. to look good in my clothes, to be free from disease, to be free from prescription medication as I grow older and to feel great. I am 41 now and I've come a long way since my epiphany at 33!
This blog is to help you start your journey to better health and a plant based diet.