My Journey to Veganism
If I could go back to 12 years ago to when I first heard the word “VEGAN” and look at myself now; the woman I’ve become, I would’ve never believed it. I had a friend named Jordon that mentioned his friend being vegan. “What the hell is a vegan?” I asked. “A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat meat, chicken, dairy or eggs” said Jordon. “What is there left to eat then?” I replied “Fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds” said Jordon. At that time in my life veganism was not for me.
Growing up in an Ecuadorian household, pork, beef, chicken, fish, dairy and eggs was normal thing to eat. I was never a big fan of meat and chicken. The texture was awful; I just couldn’t chew or swallow it. I remember sitting at the dinner table for HOURS with my mouth full of meat, unable to swallow but being forced to finish every morsel of food on my plate. Talk about torture! I did like fish though as It was easier for me to eat and I loved dairy and eggs. Over the years I did acquire a taste for certain meats.
During my High School years and early 20’s this typical American diet eventually caught up to me, which did not sit well with my body. I started having stomach issues at the age of 13. Through my teenage years and early 20’s I would make many visits to the doctor. Eventually I was referred to a specialist and had a colonoscopy done. All results were normal, but least once a month I would get stomach aches that would have me doubled over in excruciating pain and cold sweats. Doctors could not figure out the problem. In my mid 20’s I got into fitness. I upped my protein to 100g a day as per my personal trainer’s request. I would eat tons of egg whites, grilled chicken, grilled fish, yogurt, protein powder, protein supplements, you name it, I’ve tried it all. My body changed for the better. I was strong, I had muscles, my body was on point. On the outside everything looked perfect, on the inside though I was dying. I had low energy and even more stomach issues. I decided to see a specialist and have colonic hydrotherapy done. That’s where they use water to flush you out. I don’t want to get too graphic here but I hope you catch my drift. The specialist mentioned the word “VEGAN”. He also said the key to proper digestion would be to eliminate meats, dairy, eggs, pretty much anything animal based. He also mentioned “RAW VEGAN” and at the time I still wasn’t ready for the change. It found it to be very drastic and was scared of the change. And seriously RAW VEGAN????? Like why would anyone want to eat raw vegetables??? After seeing the colonic specialist I decided to give vegetarianism a try. This lasted 2 weeks. I had gained weight after eating lots of dairy, pasta and very little vegetables and fruit. I find this very common when someone transitions from being meat eaters to vegetarianism.
When I was 33 my stomach issues got worse and I would get very sick after each meal. My food was not digesting properly and I would stay full for the entire day off of just 1 meal. Since doctors were no help I decided to listen to that voice in my head that told me to ditch the meat and chicken. I became a pescatarian for a little over a year. In March of 2014 I had a health scare that made me turn completely vegan. I transitioned into veganism very easily. I bought a juicer and was juicing up to 2 times a day and I ate fairly well. Once I got comfortable with veganism I started eating lots of processed vegan foods. Foods that didn’t sit well with my stomach. Though my stomachaches were completely gone, there was still discomfort with bloating and such. I kept getting signs that led me to look into raw veganism. It was a bit scary but I decided to give it a go and went to the farmers market and stocked up on fruits and veggies. Each night I would meal prep to bring fresh fruits and veggies to work. I thought it would be a challenge to work a 9-5 and be fully raw but it wasn’t so bad. I’m currently 90% raw vegan and occasionally enjoy eating a cooked meal. I do my best to stay away from processed foods. It’s not always easy but I don’t punish myself for cheating now and then. If you’re wondering how my health has been…well I feel amazing. No longer suffering from my stomach issues. Although when I do eat processed foods during my “cheating” my belly does feel bloated but I always hop right back to my raw eating. It just goes to show how much better my body does eating fully raw. My skin is clear, my weight has stayed under control and I have so much energy. I’m a better mother to my twin girls and have more patience, more focus and I’m able to look at the world with compassion and a more positive outlook.
I chose veganism for my health but so much more has came of this lifestyle. My compassion towards animals has increased so much. I’m so proud of myself that I’m no longer partaking in an animal cruelty lifestyle. Most people have no clue what these animals are going though just so that ppl can have a piece of meat on their plate or eggs and dairy.. I’m also more aware of how I treat mother earth. Most people have no clue how much impact their desire for meat is doing to our environment and clean water. Veganism has so many benefits, not only for your body but for the entire world. I’m able to sleep at night knowing that I’m living a cruelty-free lifestyle. Just remember, even though you’re not physically killing an animal you’re still partaking in this holocaust just by eating animals. I will blog more about the animals and the environment another time. I will leave off by saying that I’ve never felt better, I’m glad I made the choice to change my eating habits and will never look back to my old lifestyle. This was my journey. <3
Love and Light,