[This post has been updated as of 2/2012]
Why this blog?
I’m often asked questions about the way I eat & exercise, so I decided one of the best outlets to answer those questions is with a blog (to learn a little bit more about me, go here).
In early 2006, my life changed.I was pregnant with my second child and for economic reasons, was considering a midwife assisted home birth. At my first meeting with my midwife, I was asked if I had any health problems or issues with the my first pregnancy.
Yes, I told her. I had high blood pressure, in my 3rd trimester of my first pregnancy.
My midwife told me I could not have a home birth if I had toxemia, or any other condition that would label me as “high-risk.”
Terrified, I told her that I was told there was nothing I could do about the high blood pressure, it just seemed to happen to a lot of first-time moms, but could happen with future pregnancies without warning.
She gave me a different perspective: You can choose to have or not have high blood pressure based on what you eat.
I ate really healthy….didn’t I? And I still “got” high blood pressure, I thought.
In retrospect, I’m appalled at the amount of processed foods, meat, dairy products (I’ve gotta get my protein and calcium, right?), and sugar I consumed.
Determined to have a successful home birth, I took her advice and began to read everything on plant-based diets & vegan nutrition.
I started with Sugar Blues and then The China Study, per my midwife’s recommendation. That began my journey. I have since read all that I have been able to read on the subject (check out my Amazon store for books and cookbooks I recommend) and tried a lot of vegan recipes.
From that beginning, I began to change the way I ate, and the way I viewed food. I decided after the birth of my second child that I would make my dietary changes permanent and stick with a vegan diet.
Fast forward, nearly 6 years later.
I’ve since had my second baby, and a third, and a fourth and did so naturally. I did not have any problems with any of those pregnancies and all babies are healthy, happy and growing like they should.
I am active, healthy, and filled with energy, despite having four children, being a stay-at-home mom, and a part-time fitness instructor. Although I never considered myself overweight, my body has drifted to a weight that seems most natural, and is about 30 pounds lighter than my first pre-pregnancy weight. I attribute all of this to the change I made in my diet.
I am a whole-foods vegan (a plant-based diet, free from dairy or meat) with the philosophy that as your body changes with the seasons, so does the food you eat. I believe in instinctive eating, learning to connect to your body and give it what it needs without going crazy in the process.
I try (key word is try!) to eat seasonally (lots of fresh, raw, fruits and veggies in the spring and summer, and denser foods like legumes and grains in the winter), with the emphasis on simple, unprocessed or minimally processed foods. I admit, I like (love!) to cook, but I’ve learned to streamline the process of cooking so that I have more time enjoying the other things in life.
Being a vegan sounds extreme for some, but I know first hand, that what you put in your mouth, affects every facet of your life.
I used to feel sick and bloated after nearly every time I ate (pre-vegan days), now I feel light, energetic after eating and my food cravings are no longer. Not say I don’t have “moods” or a desire to eat a specific food, but no more ice cream binges or late-night pizza runs.
Now that I have some distance from the way I used to eat, I see that I over ate all the time (I was overfed and undernourished) as my body was desperately trying to get nourishment from the over processed things I would put on my plate.
For me, being a slave to my stomach and eating food that hardly resembled it’s original state, seems to be the more “extreme” way of eating, if you want to look at it that way. Many times people will say, “Oh I just could never give up cheesecake,” or ice cream, or whatever it may be. I don’t think I’m giving up anything, I’m just making room for so many better options that don’t have any side effects.
I no longer eat Hagaan Daz ice cream or a chicken sandwich from McDonalds. But there are no longings for those days. I have replaced those things with even better things. I still eat ice cream (non-dairy, of course) and have discovered so much variety beyond chicken slathered in grease.
I hope to share with you some of the insights and tidbits and have made my life more rich and worth living.
If you’re not vegan or even vegetarian, I hope you’ll still read. There’s so much you can do to better your quality of life, even if you choose to eat meat or dairy.
I’m glad you’re here, please follow, comment and/or ask away!