a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy productsMany Vegans choose this diet, as well as a lifestyle without fur, leather, or other animal-produced products, out of a concern for animal suffering. Now, I'm as compassionate and animal loving as the next vegan, but I have to admit that my motives are a little more personal.
I can't remember a time when "get healthy and lose weight" wasn't one of my New Year's resolutions. I've done the yo-yo dieting, the exercising, even went vegetarian a few times. But nothing ever worked.
The first part of my decision clicked when I was traveling. I was on this amazing adventure, visiting both coasts of this country and trekking all the way across Canada, I was walking more than ever and eating good, quality food. And yet... I still felt kinda sluggish and my skin was being a nightmare. Something just wasn't working.
The second part of my decision clicked when I was at a friend's booksigning. While she was busy talking to fans and signing books, I wandered around the store. There, on the front table, was The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. I hadn't heard of the book, but I love her and knew she was a very vocal vegan. I flipped through and it looked interesting. Just not interesting enough to buy at full price.
When I got home to Oklahoma, I ordered the book on Amazon. (The devil, I know, but so much cheaper!) I read through it. Half of the book is recipes and half is an explanation of how much healthier a plant-based diet is for the human body. And how many health problems--from heart disease to diabetes--can be improved or even cured by eliminating animal products from the diet.
That decided it. All of a sudden everything clicked into place. I didn't make the shift overnight, I waited until a Monday, but I signed off on meat and dairy. As a lifelong cheese lover, I thought this might be hard. But you know what? I haven't craved cheese once. (Until I found this awesome pizza recipe, but it uses soy cheese!) I've been to busy cooking delicious, healthy, filling and fulfilling meals. I'm actually taking joy in shopping for and preparing food.
I'm not being ultra-strict about the dairy yet--like the veggie crumbles for my vegetarian chili have tiny amounts of milk and egg--but I think I'll get there. And, for now, this is enough.
The funny thing that the food isn't the only change that clicked into place. I've also sworn off soda--I've been drinking tea and juice and, gasp, water. I'm being more productive with my days--I finished the first draft of the first Medusa girls book a month early! And everything just feels ... right.
Hopefully, you'll see the results over the coming months and years in the form of more blogs, more books, and less TLC. Check back often and I'll keep you posted.