Doughnuts, cake, cinnamon rolls, apple croissants, cookies, chicken minis, salmon, french fries pasta, and sweet tea summarizes my old diet.
Growing up I always had TONS of food in my house, but not healthy food. Far far from it. I thought it was normal, I never thought anything about it.
My friends always loved coming over because we had so much junk food.
When I was a child I did not digest meat very well. Every time I ate steak or pork I would stay up all night feeling so sick then usually throw up. I also had horrible acne and visited the dermatologist every couple of months.
After seeing doctors at Chapel Hill and many dermatologists, my problems were still not fixed. It never dawned on me, or my parents, to simply cut out meat.
Eventually my poor stomach toughened up and began digesting meat better, and I was put on accutane for my acne so it seemed like my problems were finally solved.
I didn’t want to stay on accutane forever because it made me extremely moody and I thought my acne was gone so I got off of it.
Man, oh man, did it come back with a vengeance!
Instead of listening to my bodies signals (symptoms) telling me I wasn't giving it the proper nutrition, I just simply shut my body up. Now it was mad.
Fast forward to my senior year in college to when I started dating my Vegetacouple partner in crime. Once he started seeing what my diet entailed he was shocked. He couldn't believe how I only drank sweet tea or sprite, or how I was able to eat so many sweets without gaining a pound.
Since I never gained weight, even without ever working out, I didn't see what the problem was.
He kicked my butt so I started (very slowly) making changes to my diet. First I cut out the sprite and sweet tea and only drank water. I had headaches and felt absolutely horrible because my body was coming off of a sugar addiction! Thankfully I started seeing great results and had more energy, which completely shocked me.
So after being pressured to be better, I started being more conscious about what I was eating.
I always followed tons of animal Facebook pages like PETA. All of my friends know I’m the crazy animal lover... but I never thought about taking animals out of my diet. Partly because it is engraved into our minds that we MUST eat meat to survive. Blah blah blah.
I started thinking more and more about how sick I got as a kid after eating meat, and I started actually watching the bad abusive animal videos. Then I started thinking about how I had heard some people say dairy can give you acne.
So one day it all clicked. I had an AH-HA moment. Meat and dairy were the culprits behind all of my problems!
But... I still went on to eat it all.
Except this time it was different... I couldn’t eat meat or chicken without (gross alert) gagging. I could not believe it. It was as if my brain and stomach had made a connection and knew this is not good for me, get it out.
Finally that is when I turned pescatarian. I cut out all meat, pork and chicken, but I still ate eggs and fish. I was pescatarian for about 6-10 months before turning vegetarian. Once I decided to go vegetarian I started learning so much about our diets, what is actually healthy and what isn’t and most importantly I felt A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
Unfortunately, one thing was still lurking... my horrible acne.
I tried everything from expensive creams, pricey UV light treatments, birth control and like I said before - accutane.
Deep down I knew dairy was causing my acne, but my favorite food in the whole world was nachos and queso. I could never give it up. Until I finally started learning about all of the options out there. I started buying vegan cheese and my acne lessened.
It didn't disappear because I was still eating dairy when I went out eat at restaurants.
Eventually I couldn't ignore everything I learned and witnessed. I saw everything from the suffering of the dairy industry to watching documentaries about food. After about a year-long transformation, I had enough. I stopped making excuses and put my health and the animals before my cravings and appetite. I WENT VEGAN.
Best decision I have ever made in my life - and most importantly for my life.