I officially went wheat and gluten-free at the end of summer 2010, after 6-9 months of battling the diet. While I was wheat-free for most of it, sometimes time, convenience and money got in the way of being truly gluten-free. I was not aware of the many resources there were available on the internet for help, and my family doctor certainly did not advocate that I completely remove gluten and wheat from my diet. Eventually though, I made the switch and did it. It did not take long before I noticed how much better I really felt in my own body. And that is why I have stuck with it.
Less than six months later, I noticed that my issues with dairy had only gotten worse. I had instances of lactose intolerance through middle school and high school, but normally it could be solved with a lactaid pill, or incorporating the dairy into larger meals. I still remember my last Reese's peanut butter cup. Although I had been living primarily free, there were things (think: chocolate bars!) that kept me from being 100% dairy free. But finally, I was able to admit to myself that the lactaid no longer worked as well as it had before, and that the chocolate bars were truly what kept me from getting completely healthy and feeling great in my body. I am now 100% dairy free.
But why plant-based? I truly feel that a plant-based diet is the best diet there is out there. Not only do I eat well, but I get to eat often and not feel guilty about what I eat. I get to explore other foods and get more creative. I spend less money, and the urges for unhealthy snacks have (almost) gone away.
I was a vegetarian on and off most of my life. While it was not condoned during my home life growing up with my family, I urged to be a vegetarian. After leaving home and moving out on my own, it took a little while for me to settle into the diet. Convenience and my work at a fast-food restaurant meant chicken burgers and unhealthy foods. While I mostly stayed off red meat, I would still allow chicken, turkey and fish, as long as there weren't any bones. I am not sure exactly when I stopped eating chicken and turkey, but soon I dropped them both, along with eggs. Dairy I only ate in small amounts every so often, like feta cheese, butter on my toast, and chocolate bars, until I dropped it entirely. Eventually though, in at the end of summer 2011 I would drop all animal products altogether.
I also think that a plant-based diet is the healthiest way for one to eat. There are many examples of people dropping meat from their diets and loosing a ton of weight and getting healthy. I am not one of those weight-loss miracle people. I have always struggled with being underweight, and it was my weight that prevented me in the past from truly embracing a full vegan diet. I am here to prove that anyone can thrive off of a plant-based diet. I would like to show them through careful examples, and not through unhealthy discourse and rhetoric like the stereotypical "vegan" label.
Through this blog I intend to provide resources for others like me to truly embrace the way they and their bodies want to eat.