On Being Vegan | Finding Health Through Plant Based Nutrition

On Going Vegan

.On Being Vegan

How I’m finding health through plant based nutrition

On Being Vegan

I am setting goals and experiencing empowerment these days! 

It feels good taking control over food and my health. It feels good working on something positive. It feels good expanding, learning new skills and learning new foods, new ingredients, new recipes, and new ways to cook and eat.

It is exciting discovering more and more all the good foods the Lord has provided over all His creation.

The color in this world seems to be exploding in front of my eyes.  Did you ever think there may have been a reason God made fruits and vegetables so lovely to look at?  I love walking into the grocery store seeing the colors of all the good foods I can eat!!!  

When you see and experience the good that is possible from eating healthy, real food as a proclaimed, dedicated vegan, you realize what you set aside is inconsequential compared to the joy and excitement of doing good things for yourself. I just don’t count the changes as discipline. I count the changes as blessings.

I don’t know about you, but I wanted those blessings.

Going vegan wasn’t actually that hard for me. 

I needed to lose weight.  Boy, did I need to lose weight! 

I’ve been on a low carb diet, thinking I was eating healthy, for close to a decade (or more).  Yet… while I found good weight loss for a while, I found myself having more and more difficulty with my weight.  I FELT like I was eating healthy and in fact, in many ways, I was. If you go back and see what I posted on my social media accounts, could see what I read, heard my conversations with my husband and kids, etc., you would know I ALWAYS have had health on my mind. 

I knew all about (and worked hard on) the ideas of macronutrients, micronutrients, nutritional supplements, natural cures, natural healing, all kinds of natural protocols, superfoods, gut healing, bone broth, green cleaning supplies, homemade olive oil skin sprays and coconut oil products, organic foods, and diets (specifically low carb diets or lower carb diets including the Paleo Diet, Keto or Ketogenic Diet,  Wheat Belly Diet, Low Carb High Fat Diets, cooking based on the Low Glycemic Index, using recipes for Diabetics, (I’m not diabetic but the recipes are lower carb many times), the Atkins Diet, etc, etc, etc.). 

I was also incorporating the Trim Healthy Mama meal plans idea too more recently.  However, I was so mentally disrupted by the idea of carbs that I loved the Trim Healthy S meals (the lower carb recipes) while shunning the Trim Healthy E meals (the ones that were a little higher in their carb count.  Tons of Trim Healthy Mama S meals (with few to no carbs and fat to satisfy) and no energizing E meals (with some healthy carbs and lower fat) is not how Trim Healthy Mama works its magic!  LOL 

Yea, I was a good carb watcher.  I told people we “watch our carb intake”.  In reality, I was obsessed with living the low carb life.

Yet, I started gaining weight throughout the years, and I started experiencing health issues. 

I wrote those two things in that sentence above – gaining weight and health issues – together in that sentence above, and in many ways they are connected.  Yet, in some ways, I’m finding them to also (I say ALSO) be two separate issues.  For the sake of simplicity here, I’m just going to combine the two issues here, and I’m sure that will make sense to many.

I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism 7 or 8 years ago, one of the “faces” of an auto-immune disorder, auto-immune disorders seemingly-exploding health issues for many today.  

Here came the Armour Thyroid prescription.  I felt OK with that at least, thinking my doctor was leaning towards the more-natural prescription treatment for those with hypothyroid disorders. 

Then, during one of those every-six-months blood tests and physicals I was enduring to monitor my under active thyroid, my doctor informed me he was seeing early stages of a fatty liver.  He suggested a liver detox and a period of taking Milk Thistle supplements. 

Oh, I’ve always been a big guru on health supplements, at least still at that time, and another supplement to clean out the junk my body was accumulating seemed good to me. 

Yet with the not-the-best-but-not-the-worst plan of action, I never felt any better, and nothing seemed to get better (or worse)… on paper anyway. 

I pretty much blamed it all then on an aging endocrine system, messed up hormones and, in all actually, that probably was playing a part in my life and health therein.  Unfortunately, I was accepting the concept that I had to grow older and thus had to deal with age-related deterioration.   (I’m learning now life doesn’t have to be the way I thought it would be.)

On Going Vegan

I pigged out on a recent breakfast buffet at a hotel during Christmas… and I did not gain a single pound over the trip thanks to the plant based food I ate!

Back to my thyroid diagnosis and my battle with faulty what-evers…. 

A small light came on and some change of thought came when a new thyroid test revealed my thyroid was actually producing the proper amount of thyroid hormones.  It was just that my body was not properly converting the T4 hormone from my thyroid into a T3 (an energy) hormone to be sent throughout my body, the rest of my body simply rejecting the hormones I actually had to use. (That’s called Reverse T3 or Reverse Triiodothyronine.)  No wonder I was still tired all the time!  

I said to my doctor…  actually I said to myself….  so why am I taking more of a hormone product (even though it was a natural hormone product) when I already have that hormone and just can’t convert it? 

I’ve GOT to get my body in better working order, I was thinking. 

I’ve GOT to start losing weight, and WHEN THE WEIGHT IS OFF, my body will start to heal itself, I was thinking. 

I’ve got a story to tell about how I became a vegan and some insight as to how to start eating vegan, how to become plant based, at least in the way I started.  I believe I have some learned lessons and insight as to how to get healthy eating habits and even now some about how to lose weight as a vegan. (I’m still getting there, but I do have some already to offer others.) I think I may have to save that for another day, or other days, more likely 

However, before I leave here, I would like to share with you all that you don’t need to lose weight and THEN start your journey to get healthy.  You can begin to heal yourself, heal your life and start getting healthier AS you eat more plant based food.  

But is that easy?

Plant based recipes and plant based products abound.  You can easily buy plant based products online or at your local health food stores (many in even regular grocery stores).  There are tons of recipes that are vegan and even recipes that are vegan and gluten free on Pinterest and in vegan cookbooks. 

You may be thinking salad, salad, salad, bananas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and salad for dessert… but really… being vegan encompasses the world of real, whole foods that abound on this planet. 

If you don’t believe me, check out vegan cookbooks.  There are tons of vegan cookbooks for beginners even to help you get started in a strong, plant based way.

Here’s one!  (Click to see more).

 

If you are thinking about starting a vegan diet, a diet that excludes meat, animal by products, dairy products, and eggs… or even if you are just wanting to move to a plant based diet somewhat to reap the health benefits that come with all those healthy foods, you should know veganism is not only healthy, it is actually fun… and exciting. 

Yes, the science for plant based nutrition and health through nutrition IS there.  God’s pharmacy is incredible! 

All science aside though, if you have been functioning on what many now call the “Standard American Diet”, you have perhaps come to overlook the beauty and taste… and joy… of eating of the abundance God placed on this earth for our needs (and enjoyment).  

What’s more, if you’re eating the Standard American Diet, my guess is that making a change to eating plant based foods, or at least eating mostly plant based foods, will open your eyes and expand your skills as well as desires.  Really!  

I am certainly not the only one who has come to discover how wonderful it feels to take a step such as my husband and I have.  Yes, my husband and I are both vegans and yes, we are both losing weight on a vegan diet (although I have a lot more to lose then he does).  I read a great article today that really reflects the great changes I have gone through since changing what I eat and changing how I live life in the kitchen (and elsewhere). 

As I read the article, I kept thinking…  I want to share my own joy with those I know. 

So here we are!  🙂 

It’s actually fun feeling more in charge.  

It is FUN getting healthier.  

And it’s fun to eat great food. 

It’s easier to do than you might think too.  

Don’t worry, I’ll have another post on that idea.

However, before we go….  

Here’s the article I saw today which I still want to share.

You can read it at the link here: 

EAT THE RAINBOW The philosophical case for going vegan is about pleasure—not preachiness

     -by Sandy Grant, Philosopher, University of Cambridge  

Going Vegan

I can not emphasis how great that article above is.  Please read it if you have the time.  (Link above)

As I mentioned above, I better get going, at least for now, but I will be back, and I will share some more about this topic with you (along with other topics, just like we always have). 

Blessings, 

Chris Abercrombie Stevens

Editor and Publisher of The New American Home 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

 

See more vegan cookbooks at Amazon!