When I heard first heard about the idea of going vegan years ago, I thought it was only for "rich people". Seriously. I thought organic was only something hippies did, and the word "compost" was something only a farmer had. 15 years later, not only am I vegan, but I only purchase organic and having a custom compost built in my backyard. I decided to try vegan the first time as an experiment for one week and then document the week after. I loved it so much, I stuck with it for months. Then, I became lazy. Instead of eating veggies and fruits, I ate a lot of "junk vegan food", like over processed soy products, microwaveable everything, not taking my vitamins, and what could be a sea of Diet Coke. I was sick, tired, losing my hair, and having blotchy skin.
So, I stopped with the "vegan". I didn't just go back to eating meat, I revolved to a full 180 degrees. I gained back my 40 lbs lost, and I no longer had blotchy skin or hair loss. I did however have oily gross skin with oily hair. You really are what you eat. Of course, with eating gross food comes feeling gross. I got sick. My pancreas, kidneys, and colon were so swollen I had to get surgery. I felt like this should have been a slap in the face with a cold pizza, but instead I grabbed that pizza and ate it, and no not just metaphorically. My diet didn't change much for 2011.
My vegan diet was accidental. I cut out meat for the holidays and I felt better. I cut out dairy. I began implementing raw food in my family's diet. I upgraded our CSA to the largest size they had. I discovered veggies I never knew existed, embarrassingly. I grew up on a good diet, but not enough to know what the difference was between the classes of squash. I have my own reasons to go vegan. It's not for the weight loss, that is a plus, but it has a lot to do with my own personal health.
I'm tired of being tired. I'd like to go out with friends and not wonder if I'll have to get sick. I'd like to plan a baby and not worry about doubling my chances of diabetes. I'd like to wake up not wondering how many aspirins I'll be taking. I'd like to know the food I'm eating will beat the cancer that runs in my family rather than feeds to it. I can go on and on. I'm still getting used to the lifestyle (I just peeled my first onion last week and it was a tear jerker- zing!), and I'd like to do it without sounding so darn preachy about it, you know? I remember reading about a healthy lifestyle and rolling my eyes, scoffing at a the computer screen, wondering if I should sign up the blogger for the cheese of the month club as a joke. I can't afford to be whine like I'm 10 years old because I'm actually an adult (don't let the pink hearts and Hello Kitty fool you). I should be mature enough to stop complaining about veggies and exercise. I even went back to those blog posts years ago and read the healthy posts as an inspiration with a different perspective.
The 10 year old in me feels so fancy when I see that huge salad and thinks this is for "rich people", but really I am. I'm getting rich in health. And that's enough to stop playing with my food and eating it.
I have some strong women with strong opinions reading this blog (amen!) and I realize everyone has a different story for going vegan, and not being vegan, and this is mine. I'd appreciate all the support!