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My Digital Notebook
I like to be sure, real sure about the decisions I make. So I listen to my gut, pray and look for proof that I am on the right track. Here are my notes…
I love that so many people are interested in the healthy vegan or plant based diet. Hearing folks say they are moving from meatless Mondays to only meat and dairy for dinner to only on the weekends is exciting. Veganism can be lonely so come on over to the other side!
However, the greatest benefits come from lifestyle change not just a diet change.
The most successful vegans have realized some key things that make plant based living enjoyable and not a necessary burden. Your new set of principles (the reasons you made the switch) and understanding of how food affects our bodies should be married with some key lifestyle changes.
Here are 4 things you need to know to successfully transition to a vegan diet...
I get it. Making healthy transitions is hard and sometimes expensive. I still struggle with it. The reason my kids are have dealt with severe tooth decay is probably because when meat and dairy went down grains went up. We were eating oatmeal daily, a few times a day as hot cereal, pancakes (flour), granola bars, smoothies, burgers, etc.
It's okay. You will figure it out. Through all of my reading and discovering I have never heard of anyone causing irreversible damage to their bodies by going vegan. With the right stuff you can heal almost anything.
So if we're going to do things differently, we gotta do things differently. Let's stop trying to marry old habits with new principles. It doesn't work.
There's a lot of hype today about veganism and plant based diets. I love it. The more we talk about it, in good and bad ways, the more folks get interested and look into it themselves. People are switching over for many different reasons. The most common include a desire to do better for our environment, save the animals, lose weight, reverse disease and illness, and be/get healthy to prevent disease and illness.
Can you guess my reason?
When I found out I was pregnant in 2013, I dove head first into learning what alternatives existed for pain management during labor and delivery because the conventional plan for birth was out of the question. I was scared and determined to do something different.
As I researched, it was clear to me mainstream media, the medical profession and the government were not sharing the truth about living a healthy life, about prevention and alternatives to toxic medicines and treatments. I thought if they are hiding the truth about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, what else were they hiding? I learned how birth was supposed to go and thought what other natural processes are we jacking up with our conventional intelligence?
From there I took a deep dive into all things natural and I decided to live a natural life. I went vegan, stopped relaxing my hair, changed my products (cleaning, body, etc.), cloth diapered and more.
To me a natural life meant God's intention. How could I live as close to what God, my creator, originally intended for me to live? (Since we've gotten soooo far from perfection, there are exceptions and adaptations yet I believe the closer we get the better off we'll be.) It meant going back to the basics and only using conventional solutions in emergencies and when natural solutions were unknown.
Long story short, I became a vegan to save myself and my kids. I wanted my kids' default to be healthy choices. I wanted to live as long as I could and not die from something preventable. In 2004, my 37 year old father died of a sudden heart attack. Years earlier he had been diagnosed with a rare heart condition that two of his brothers and mother later died from.
The animals and environmental benefits are important but byproducts of health decision for me.
Let's be clear being vegan does not mean you are healthy. It means you don't consume animal by products. Sugar, alcohol, and processed foods are still harmful and should be avoided or at least consumed in moderation. I'm 4+ years in and I struggle with sugar addiction, eating leafy greens EVERY day and avoiding processed foods.
It's a learning process with a serious learning curve. Though I struggle, I continue on because I was struggling in the other direction before the switch. At some point what I was eating would have led me to noticeable unhealthiness. The struggle now is leading me to full functioning of my body and life giving principles to pass on to my children, grand children, etc. The struggle is real and so will the benefits be.
I coach women to prepare for and thrive as mothers via birth, breastfeeding and parenting education and self-care events. I am a Black crunchy momma that has something to say about how we create life, give birth, what we eat, how we connect with each other, and relate to $$.