There are hundreds of reasons why I went and stay vegan. And yet it seems that nearly every day something pops up that is completely unexpected, a happy finding of another reason why going vegan completely changed (and saved) my life.
Up until recently my relationship with food was really hostile. I loved food but I HATED food. Me and food had this really love hate relationship going on. I was addicted to food, I used food as comfort, I used food to punish myself, to reward myself and every thing in between. I did not have a healthy relationship with food. I’d crave bad food, I would be mad at myself for eating something “I wasn’t supposed to”. I would worry about how many times per day I was eating, what I was eating, how much I was eating, how many calories I was eating, how many points, carbs, proteins, I was eating. I was CONSTANTLY thinking about food. And life was miserable. All of the diets I went on just got me thinking about eating more and more and made me angry at the food that got me to the place where I was.
And then I went vegan. I can’t tell you exactly when it all changed for me, but recently I realized that I am no longer in anyway controlled by food, emotionally or physically. I do not crave bad food, I never want to binge or eat something that is ‘bad’ . I don’t count calories or anything else for that matter. I don’t eat till I’m completely stuffed , I don’t eat when I’m sad or anxious. This is a drastic life changing thing for me, because since I was about 11 I’ve used food to self medicate, and now, I’m free of that.
I’ve tried every diet from Atkins to the Zone, I’ve read every single self help book there is, I have been to a ton of support groups, therapists, and have thought I was a complete loser for not being able to figure out my food addictions.
As it turns out, this entire time, it was the food I was eating that was causing my addictions to food. That in turn made me obsess over food even more, which caused a lot of undo hardship, when the answer was really simple: don’t eat foods that have drug like effects. Animal products (ESPECIALLY DAIRY) have a lot of chemicals which cause chemical dependency and addiction. Dairy is the biggest culprit of them all, and I’d say that if you want to go vegan slowly, give up dairy first not last. It’s harder than anything else, and will take the longest (generally) to get yourself off of. I won’t get into all the reasons why you should not eat dairy, but I will say that if you are one of those people who has a bad relationship with food, cut the dairy, and those issues will magically start disappearing. (well not magically, there is a lot of science behind it all).
Let me set something straight here, I’m not just talking about animal products. There are plenty of things that are ‘vegan” that are crappy for you. Diet soda for instance is death in a can. Yep, DEATH in a CAN. If you are drinking or eating anything that has fake sugar – just stop. In fact, go right now and throw it all out. And deal with the bad detox you will have. Just deal with it. There are about 300 or so side effects to fake sugar that should make you wonder why it’s legal, and one day we can get into a really long talk about all off that and you will be even more SICKENED by how people get away with the crap they sell you.. But for now let’s talk about how diet soda makes you fat and diabetic. You drink diet soda, your taste buds say “OOOOH SUGAR!” your body says “Sugar! We need insulin!” your body then pumps out a TON of insulin because your taste buds told your body “HEY BODY SOMETHING REALLY SWEET IS COMING!” and then your brain says “SCREW YOU! I totally tricked you, there is NO sugar!”. But guess what ? Your body doesn’t just put that insulin back where it came from. Nope, it floats out there to do one of 2 things. It will make you really hungry because it needs to attach itself to something, and because diet soda is really sweet to the taste buds there is A LOT of food that you will now need to consume to make that insulin happy. And your body won’t be craving good food, it will be craving more CRAP. OR you don’t eat and the insulin floats out there and do you know what insulin is? Growth hormone in your belly. It MAKES you fat. DIET SODA makes you fat.
Rant over. Kind of, don’t you dare tell me that you are addicted to diet soda and want me to feel bad for you. Get off the crap. End of story, don’t tell me it’s okay in moderation, it’s not, it’s fat and diabetes in a can. Not to mention about 300 other bad things that it causes down the road.
I was once addicted to it, so I know it’s hard, but I know that it’s not impossible. I also know that if you stop eating crappy foods addictions to other things (like diet soda) will be a lot less.
The less chemicals and hormones you consume the less likely you are going to be addicted to other things, the less likely you will be addicted to food. I mean when are you going to binge on kale? And if you do? You’d have to eat a LOT of kale before anything bad happened.
I always thought I’d struggle with food. I thought it was going to be this ongoing hate relationship where I would eat, feel guilty, and then eat more anyway. I thought I would always have to be so strong and full of will power. It was when I went vegan that my life and my addictions started to change. And I now feel like a free person. I’m no longer imprisoned by my addictions to food. I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat what I need to eat. It turns out our bodies tell us what we need and when we need it. There is nothing really tricky about it. I eat lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans and go figure my body feels a lot better. I am no longer attached to food in the ways that I once was.
Not to mention that I sleep better, don’t have heart burn, my energy is always good, and all of that makes my body want more and more HEALTHY and good food. We were never meant to crave bacon cheeseburgers. The only reason why we crave crap is because it’s full of chemicals that cause us to crave it. Even if you have it every so often, it takes your body days to repair and rid yourself of all of the chemicals you have consumed. Simply, it’s just not worth it.
And I will say this a billion times, until you want to smack me. IT IS EASY. Going vegan is the easiest thing I’ve done. I love food now, in a completely different way. I still love to cook and to eat for that matter, but it’s all in a healthy non guilt ridden kind of way. I feel good when I eat now, I feel alive and healthy and light. When you eat you should feel great, nourished, healthy, light and it should give you energy. If eating is not doing that for you, you need to change the way you eat. Eating is to nourish your body, to feed cells, to give you energy, the effect of eating should be just that. And I can tell you that eating animal products has no good effect on your body at all. Our bodies were NEVER meant to consume animal products (after we have stopped nursing from our mothers milk that is). And the more you try to force your body to do something it was not intended to do, the worse it gets. When you go vegan, you aren’t doing anything drastic or revolutionary. You are doing what your body was intended to do, and doing what is NATURAL.
All of those food addictions that you think you are a loser for having? Blame the chemicals, and then get off of them, and know that you will detox for a few weeks. Understand that this detox is because all of those bad foods have chemicals and hormones that your have been forcing on your body have messed with everything including your central nervous system. It will take about 3 weeks before it’s all out of your system. But that’s it. Three weeks, and you will be free of all of it. Not to mention that you will start to reverse and heal a bunch of nasty health problems that staying on an animal based diet will eventually cause.
Every day I’m amazed at my life right now. I’m amazed how healthy and alive I feel, how every thing about me has changed. All of those addictions were causing so much unnecessary hardship in my life including diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue , hormonal issues, emotional and physical dependencies, and I was miserable. Going on a plant based diet did more than turn my diabetes and weight around, it’s turned my life around, it’s made me a different person, a person that I like a lot more.