I was really into heavy weightlifting and became obsessed with researching nutritious foods. I ate chicken, sweet potato and asparagus for almost every meal. I knew that veggies and fruits were vital to a well rounded diet, and I focused on living a healthy lifestyle, but somehow I kept experiencing issues with fatigue, mood swings, and indigestion.
One day, I finally decided to try something I had heard of a few times before that could help solve all these negative symptoms. I cut out all dairy and gluten products from my diet. I did this for a month. Strictly. The results were amazing! I felt SO much more energy, clear headed, and my digestion was better than it had ever been before! I was so happy to finally find a way out of these issues I had battled for years.
After completing the month of my dietary experiment, I decided to finally reward myself with some bread (not gluten free, might I add). To my surprise, I still felt amazing. So the next day, I added some dairy to my diet to see how I felt with that.
Not so good.
I decided to slowly ease off of dairy until i finally had zero intake of it. It wasn’t hard, knowing how much healthier and cleaner I would feel without it. Before much longer, I was completely dairy free and NEVER looking back.
After a while, I decided to stop purchasing my own meat products due to expenses and cooking convenience. Beans, legumes and nuts were just so much more nutrient dense and much easier to prepare on the spot. They also tasted better when reheated in my meal prep. I would treat myself to some meat if I was out eating with friends, or if I was somewhere with limited options.
I considered myself to be “vegan” at home, with the occasional indulgence in meat or eggs when outside of my home. However one day, my whole perspective changed.
I came across a quick five minute video of the dairy industry (which I already was extremely jaded towards… for obvious reasons) and it explained how cows are consistently inseminated and fed growth hormones in order to produce the milk that people consume every day in cheeses, butter, cream, milk, yogurt, protein powders, etc. My heart was breaking and head was shaking. I couldn’t understand why anyone had ever thought that this was something acceptable to do to another living being!
Then it explained how male cows (that can’t reproduce and lactate) and female cows that give out due to over-usage are slaughtered and used in the meat industry. Insert more shaking of the head.
I was done. I couldn’t do it anymore. Why did I feel like eating meat every once in awhile was a “treat”? When in reality, it was my pocket condoning a terrible act of cruelty. This was no treat. This meat on my plate... was a business. I felt horribly guilty. I couldn’t let myself continue to say “yes” to something that was hurting so many other beings and even contributing to huge climate changes and other environmental issues (watch Cowspiracy, do some research!).
My journey towards this lifestyle, beginning with a little bit of research, curiosity, and my abandonment of dairy, started two years ago. I have never been so in tune with how my body feels, and so proud of my choices and a way of life. Not only have I made the decision to be a “plant based vegan” for the animals, the environment, and for a progressive world that needs people to take initiative, but also for myself.
So that when I am in a restaurant, or cooking at home, or out at a cafe, I can make decisions for myself that I know will provide me with success. Success in a healthy lifestyle, a clean body, a positive influence, and a happier, conscious me.