Disclaimer: I'm not a food photographer, so my photos are going to stink. Just fair warning! Suggestions for improvement are certainly welcome though!
Vegan, plant-based, whole foods... Call it many things, but to me, it is a diet free from animal products, based on unprocessed plant foods. Why such a change from the Standard American Diet (SAD)? I'm a serial dieter, without a good track record. I have finally found a diet in which I truly enjoy the food and have made a lasting, permanent change. I've tried just about everything in the past, up to and including gastric bypass surgery. At my worst I was just shy of 300 pounds on my 5'2" body. Unhappy, unhealthy, and unfit to raise a young, very active, son. I'll never say I'm sorry I had the surgery. I do believe it was what I needed to get the weight off and finally know what it feels like to be a healthy weight. However, it is not the magic answer. After losing 150 pounds and keeping it off for about 4 years, about 50 pounds crept back on over the course of the next 3 years. Bad habits made their way back into my life and a change was needed. I turned to my old faithful low-carb diet full of animal fats, meats, processed meats, cheese, butter, and oils. Only this last time, it didn't work - AT ALL! Two months of religious low-carbing left me at exactly the same weight as what I started. Then it happened... the light bulb came on. My best friend started the Fuhrman/Eat to Live plan. I was very skeptical at first, but once I saw the results and success he had, I decided to try it myself. At first I was of the mindset that I would just try if for a while and see if I could lose some weight, and that I never intended to become a vegan. Here I am, about a year later, and feel like I've made the full commitment and have no intention of ever going back. I've lost
I do not follow any one specific diet. I have read lots about the plans of Fuhrman, McDougall, Esselstyn/Engine 2, etc... I feel like I follow a plan similar to a combination of all of them. The best way to describe my eating is plant-based and whole foods nutrition, with no processed foods, added sugars or oils and controlled amounts of added salt. Many experts in the plant-based health movement advise to eliminate salt also. I am not strict about that, maybe because I have no issues with high blood pressure or hypertension. My recipes include salt or salty ingredients for a specific purpose - seasoning. These dishes are not salty - they are seasoned.
What started out as a change purely for weight loss and improved health has morphed into including environmental and cruelty-free concerns. I do not preach. Everyone chooses their own path and I respect that. But once you embark on a vegan diet, your eyes are opened up to a whole host of other issues you never knew existed. I leave it to you to learn and become more enlightened on your own, as I have.
I sincerely hope you find some yumminess in my posts and would love to hear from you about your own journey or comments on this blog. Thanks for stopping by!