With every change their is a journey, a process by which you arrived at your current situation. Along that journey choices are made, decisions debated, regrets surmised, and hopefully ultimately growth achieved. Our journeys all appear different, follow different paths, take varying forks in the road but in the end we can end up at the same destination.
The destination for myself and my family is a vegan lifestyle. No not a diet, truly in every sense of the word a lifestyle. Diets are temporary, lifestyles are permanent changes, the way in which you live your everyday life with no foreseeable end in sight.
My “healthy lifestyle” journey started so long ago I dare not put a timeline on the beginning. First it was a few organic fruits and vegetables which morphed into all organic fruits and vegetables. Then it became non-GMO and organic everything, meat and dairy included as well as all grains, flours, everything. From there we began raw dairy and meats straight from the farmer. For a while as we lived and enjoyed the organic, raw, and meat from the farmer lifestyle I thought we had arrived. Truly arrived at the ultimately healthiest lifestyle we could achieve. I was baking my own crackers, making our butter, enjoying fresh raw buttermilk, growing our own garden and canning/preserving like a mad crazy woman. I enjoyed this life I truly did. Then it happened.
We made a decision. Our life took a different path. We moved.
Gone were my raw dairy and meat farmer sources. Gone was my bi-weekly shopping routine. We returned to the chaos of Southern California and my life turned upside down. Then it something else happened. My husband and I finally sat down and listened to his parents go on and on about their vegan “diet”, or so they called it. For months leading up to this conversation, I had greatly reduced my personal meat consumption, never having consumed nearly normal the amount of dairy that the average american “enjoys” everyday. My meat-loving husband on the other hand hadn’t even considered a change such as this. The turning point came when my in-laws returned from a week long cruise in which they heard lectures from leading vegan scientists and doctors such as T. Colin Campbell Ph D. and Caldwell B. Esselstyn MD. After this cruise my once steadfast Father-in-law had made the choice after hearing the evidence to remove all animal protein sources from his diet, something that his wife, my mother-in-law had done quite some time ago. If his Dad had made the choice, that was enough evidence for my husband to try vegan for 21 days. Yes, this lifestyle started with a simple 21 day pledge to remove all animal protein from our diets.
With 7 kids, a family of 9 to feed, my menu plan went straight out the window. Now what?
Onward we marched though and those 3 weeks turned into months. We started seeing changes almost immediately. I started to lose those extra pounds I couldn’t seem to shake after having 3 kids in 1 year. My husband, an adult-onset type-1 diabetic, noticed changes in his blood glucose levels within just 3 days for the better. 6 weeks into the journey, he was able to reduce his daily insulin intake from over 20 units per day previously to 3 maybe 4 units all day, not including a long acting once daily shot he has to take. This personal evidence alone was enough to make us new believers in a vegan lifestyle. At that point it truly had become a lifestyle. How could we go back to feeding our bodies animal proteins when the health benefits were staring us in the face. Why would we intentionally poison our bodies with something that was clearly exacerbating my husband’s diabetic condition?
The journey to a vegan lifestyle has been paved with ups and downs, lessons learned, and experiences encountered. As a large family Mom, I’m not only changing my own eating habits but I am creating lifelong lifestyle habits for my children. We are raising the next generation of health conscious, healthy living minded people. We are working to educate our children on the whys and hows of our new found health freedom, they must acquire this knowledge if they are going to put it into practice in their own adult lives and families.
Why health matters?
Health matters because we’ve one got one body. One life, one life to live the best we possibly can. Food is our fuel and our daily choices either power our bodies or drag them down. Health matters because healthy living is a lifestyle not a diet.
This blog was born out of a a long history of education both in biology and nutrition that has culminated in the healthiest and happiest I have ever personally felt in my entire life, nearly 40 years (ouch did I just say that?). Honestly though, I mean every bit of that through and through. My weight is under control, my emotions are not all over the place, all in all I can feel that my body is functioning the way it was meant to live.
Through this platform I will explore a myriad of aspects living a vegan lifestyle, share with your healthy, affordable, and easy to prepare meal ideas, and most of all I want to come alongside of you and help you on your journey to a healthier and happier life.