So…I’ve been meat-less, (mostly) dairy-less, all-natural, organic, clean eating (phew, that’s a mouthful!) for a little over 90 days now. Although, I have had a few setbacks (the 2wk bing I went on when Girl Scout cookies came in, there so hard to say “no” to!) I’ve been pretty faithful & stringent on sticking to my lifestyle change (I refuse to call it a “diet”). It’s only been within the last month that I’ve really started to see heavy results, mostly because PEOPLE are starting to see results & that’s making me notice more; making me feel accountable because pride won’t let me fail.
I’d love to tell you that its been easy, but it hasn’t. It’s been an acquired taste cutting out all the additives & preservatives (not to mention cutting out dairy), at first I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this, food tastes so different when you realize what its supposed to taste like. As I’ve stated before, I’ve been making almost everything homemade & not buying as much processed/chemical-induced shelf items. The first time I made vegan mayonnaise I didn’t think I could stomach it, but after it sat overnight in the refrigerator & the flavors combined, it was actually really good! I’ve made a few batches since then & experimented with adding more of this, less of this, molding it to my tastes & I’ve finally settled on a recipe that I’m very pleased with. Sometimes the stuff I make is so good that I can’t even believe its healthy for me! (truth be told, sometimes they’ve been so bad that my dog wouldn’t even eat the leftovers—my black bean meatballs are a great example of this, major yuckage!) I’ve also noticed that my taste buds have changed since switching to plant-based, where I used to crave sweets (okay, I still get the chocolate cravings), I now crave certain fruits & veggies (my banana cravings have finally tapered off, I had to limit myself to 3 a day because the price of fresh bananas was killing me when I was eating 3 for every meal!). And (fortunately) summer is coming up so my constant love of tomato’s will be satisfied by a simple walk out to my garden (can’t wait!). I’ve cut out all refined & processed sugar (with the exception of organic molasses & pure maple sugar) & have substituted it with fresh honey, this was a big obstacle at first because I was NOT a fan of honey…now I love it! My favorite way to eat bananas has become sliced with some honey & cinnamon…can’t. get.enough!
The results: I’ve lost just shy of 50#’s, although some of that weight (5-10#’s), fell off between Sept-Dec. when I gradually started weeding out unhealthy items from my diet before my full-fledged commitment in Jan. Even though I (unfortunately) have not noticed much of a difference in my skin tone, (but I’m also very self-conscious about my skin & very critical), I’ve had other people point out that my skin looks clearer & not as red, however, I’m not pleased with the results. I’ve got severe allergies (big time!) but they don’t seem to be as bad this year as in past years. I wish I could say that I’m not experiencing them at all (since it is spring—pollen & hay count is up, most dreaded time of the year), but I haven’t had any need to take my prescription allergy pills so far at all this year. I’ve also added an extra 1/8 of a mile (mostly uphill) to my hiking course & have started taking yoga classes. And for the first time in years, I can feel muscles starting to build & can see my skin tightening & toning up. This almost makes me want to cry because I LOVE the outdoors (I, literally, cannot stand being indoors for to long) & now I have the energy to enjoy even more hours of sunshiny days.
I truly believe that positive vibes & energy is contagious. I’ve had so many friends & family that have begun to make healthier eating decisions in their own lives & its great to have a network of support for each other. I’ve also had to realize that I can’t beat myself up when I slip, if I want a cookie (or a box) that doesn’t mean I’m a failure & have to stay stuck in that mindset & give up. When the holidays came around, I ate what I wanted to (and I even had some macaroni salad that had tuna fish in it, my first dose of meat all year)…but the day after Easter, I got back on track. I remember the very first time I fell of a horse, I mean really fell where I got hurt, & my aunt made me get right back on (didn’t want to & fought her on it), but I did and 20years later I still have that passion for horses & riding that could’ve ended from one bad fall.
Through this experience of eating healthier, feeling better, taking care of ME…I’m finding out how much I’m worth it. That God doesn’t make mistakes, HE created ME in his image & He’s left me the responsibility of taking care of His most prized possession & the vessel that He’s chosen to fulfill a piece of His greater plan….ME.