Here we go! I’m starting, for about the tenth time, my plant-based lifestyle. I’ve previously done this, however, I have succumbed to temptation on several occasions. Going out for food and drinks has become a staple of mine and my partner’s life. With both of us in full time, stressful jobs, it’s easy to say forget it and just go out for some fast food. And fast food, as we all know, is not at all plant-based. To add to the struggle of sticking to this lifestyle there’s the fact that my partner is not at all plant-based and eats meats and cheeses multiple times per day (add candy, cookies, and other processed foods to that list). But, I won’t push my lifestyle onto him.
Why am I going plant-based?
At the age of 5 I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since that age I’ve undergone many treatments, multiple medications, and have tried many different approaches. I’ve been on medications which lower your immune system, increase chances of developing cancer, contribute to hair loss, make you nauseous, etc. To top it off, somewhere along the way of all these chemicals entering my body, my body decided that IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) was a fun addition to the mix.
I have also grown up in a home where traditional medicines were favored. My parents were never happy giving me medications with such scary side-effects. Thus, I’ve tried everything from massage therapy, acupuncture, to herbal medicines.
When I heard about plant-based diets and the effects on health, I was sold. I mean, whats so hard about eating better and feeling good? I never liked taking my medications anyway…
Where it began
End of August 2015. My boyfriend had left for the UK to work as a teacher. I was joining him in a month after visiting my grandmother on the other side of Canada for her birthday. I was finishing up at work and had a lot of time to think about my health (what was going to do for medications in another country?) and was struggling to keep a weight that I was happy with (I wasn’t overweight, but I was gaining weight, and I wasn’t happy).
My roommate at the time watched the Forks Over Knives documentary, and started bringing up facts for what she had researched and read about. Finally, I caved in and watched the movie as well. And I was sold. Staying healthy and improving my health just by eating healthy? What could be simpler?
The transition was not difficult at the start. With me being on my own and buying my own groceries and preparing my own food, I simply bought all of the fruits and veggies that I wanted. I wasn’t tempted by meats or dairy or other animal based or processed products, not even chocolate! The thought about what they did to my body was enough to repulse me from buying those things. Within a month I had lost 10lbs, started having regular bowel movements, improved the look of my skin, and felt better overall.
Where it fell apart…
Yes, my dedication did not stick. On my trip across the country to see grandma there was a lot of fast food. Sure, I made the healthier choices (oatmeal for breakfast instead of a bacon sandwich), but there were still struggles. Eventually, I had to give in and have milk and meats and processed foods. Particularly on the day of celebration. I wasn’t going to be rude and refuse food that had been prepared. I tried my best to maintain my plant based lifestyle, and was successful for the most part.
Finally, the day came to come to England. And this is where the trouble began. My boyfriend took me out for a traditional breakfast on the first day, and me being sleep deprived and hungry (and always having wanted to try the English breakfast) caved and had it. After that day, there were a lot of tastings of meats and candies and animal products. This eventually lead to my feeling crappy, bloated, and gaining weight again.
Everyone makes resolutions for the New Year, so why not me too? I’ve had incredible success with the plant-based lifestyle previously, I can do it again. 2016 has started off okay. I’ve definitely been better with eating healthier, however, the indulgences and straying away from plant-based have been too frequent and too extreme. Thus far I’ve been indulging on the weekend with my boyfriend. We go out for pizza or tacos or other non-plant based food, and I struggle to stay committed to eating healthy. My solace comes from knowing that during the week I am 100% plant-based. So for me, that’s a start. Hopefully with this blog I will feel motivated to stick to the diet full time and I will be accountable.
My hopes for this blog are to post my meals and how I’m doing with weight and overall health. So, let the good times roll!