Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Going Vegan

image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

I know this post may seem a little bit out of the ordinary for me (and I apologize!), but I thought I would stop and inform you on a little big change happening in my life.

For the last couple of months, I have been dealing with some health implications - that of which I can't seem to find the answers to. My weeks have been filled with numerous Doctor visits, an abundant of tests, and a whole-lot-of "I don't know what's wrong with you". As you can imagine, this has been quite stressful and completely frustrating for me. But then three weeks ago, I found hope.

As I was bed ridden and browsing Netflix (the usual) , I came across a couple documentaries that completely sparked my interest (especially since I am a Nutrition minor and health freak). The first was, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, a documentary about a 40 something Australian man who completely restored his health through a 60 day juice fast. (absolutely inspiring! just got my own juicer too!) The second one was Food Matters, a documentary about the importance of eating raw foods, and using nutritional therapy over conventional Western medicine. And finally, one that I completely fell in love with, was Forks Over Knives, a film on the power of eating a plant-based diet and the health implications that can follow from eating animal products. It is life changing. I suggest everyone see it :)

Since watching these three documentaries, I have been on the road to cutting out all animal products. I have been successful with now being dairy-free for 2 weeks. However, the meat - yeah, that's a different story. Trying to limit my consumption as much as possible, but after growing up on hamburgers, meatballs, and chicken my whole life - it ain't that easy! 
But, to make things a heck-of-a lot easier, I have been reading Alicia Silverstone's incredible book, The Kind Diet (referenced here). This book is eye-opening! And it completely struck home with me. It has already given me so much hope for my life and for my health, and I can't wait to read more.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this. But I will stop here, ha!
Have you seen any of these documentaries? What are your opinions on all of this? Any recommendations? The whole discussion of going vegan and switching to a whole food/plant-based diet completely fascinates me, so I would love to hear your stories! :)

Will leave you with this quote, 

"Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food."
~Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine

Have a beautiful day & Happy voting!

25 comments:

  1. i really applaud you for making such a big change! while i'm not quite ready to jump on the vegan [ok or even the fully vegetarian] band wagon [i like-a the meat, and cheese too much], my amazing younger sister was, and she's been vegan for 2+ years now. not only has she lost weight [if that's your thing], but she's much healthier and has a ton of energy. one quick tip from watching her transition, make sure you're getting enough protein via supplements! good luck!

    thesecondbestblog.com

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  2. This is such an exciting change you're going through, and I'm sure you'll see so many benefits soon! I've been health-conscious for a long time, but only a few months ago I started to really delve into the subject and read and learn a lot about it...and now it's my favourite thing to talk about! :)

    Sadly, I haven't seen any of the documentaries you mentioned (though I really need to now!), but I've seen Hungry for Change which is made by the same people who made Food Matters, and it was so incredible! In it they mentioned something that I couldn't agree more with, which was to focus on adding more of the good stuff in (and not on cutting out the bad stuff) because it will eventually crowd out the bad stuff...I think that could help you with eating less meat...as long as you always have meat-free recipes that you enjoy, over time you won't feel the need to eat meat anymore.

    Also, I've been following Alicia's blog for a while now and recently watched an hour long video of her talking about her book and her lifestyle which made me love her even more, but unfortunately I haven't got my hands on her book yet...though I'm hoping maybe it'll show up under the Christmas tree this year?!? :P

    Well, I seem to have gone on and on already so I'll stop now, but I'd love to talk more if you're interested...these changes are always easier when you have extra support :)

    Hope you're having a great week and feeling much better!

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  3. Has going vegan helped with all of the Heath issues you were having? I think it would be so hard to go completely vegan! I'm not a big meat eater but dairy would be hard for me to give up. I love cheese too much! Haha

    Xo

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  4. Love this post - mostly because I am vegetarian and sometimes contemplate going strictly vegan, & also because I just watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead & it pushed me to use my juicer MORE!

    I also highly recommend trying the Whole30 for 30 days (whole9life.com). A group of bloggers and I completed it in October & even though it was hard (at times!) it was also fairly easy, & it made you look at food differently, crave healthier options, & want to put nothing but good, whole foods into your body. In regards to NO meat, try checking out vegetarian options - I love tofu, tempeh, & hate to admit, even modified "fake meat" every once in awhile.

    Keep us posted on your progress & feel free to join the Whole30 group on Facebook to get some inspiration!

    Allie at www.alliewears.com

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  5. I've seen Forks over Knives and really liked it! I was actually going to suggest it when I started reading your post until I got to the part where you watched it! I have a congestion issue. While I wasn't able to cut out meat and dairy at all really (and I applaud you for doing it!), I have reduced my meat in take considerably. I also learned a lot from the guy who was allergic to the fat in milk. Since switching to a milk with a much lower fat percentage, I find my airways are much clearer.
    Good luck!

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  6. I just watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead last night and it was great. I've seen Forks Over Knives previously this year and it was also great. I will look into the third one mentioned. I know I cut a majority of meats out of my life, but I find it difficult to give up cheeses (especially goat cheese). I do not eat any other dairy products. I love eggs too and eat them about four times a week.

    I can, however, limit myself to portions of every other week or so. I would probably use it as a reward system for starting out (I've gone two weeks without a slip-up and now I can eat this steak and potatoes). I do want to do a juice cleanse for a week and I'm borrowing my sister's juicer this week. Here's to a clearer digestive tract!

    www.katskull.com

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  7. I have seen a few of these documentaries and I am currently studying Nutrition in college so you do have to be careful about everything you are seeing. Many of these documentaries and things like that are meant to sell these types of lifstyles and you need to make sure you are getting all of the right information. I would recommend that you go get a book and read about the nutrition side of becoming vegan. A book that is not written by a celebrity or has lists of brands that you should be buying (like skinny bitch). One thing about this type of lifestyle is that you are going to have to put A LOT more planning into your diet to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs. You will probably end up needing a Vitamin B-12 supplement, or will need to buy certain foods that are fortified with B-12 because it is only found in animal products. I do hope that this helps (I am not a dietician or nutritionist by any means but I have studied this a lot and this is one of the main things we talk about) and I hope that you are okay!!

    xo

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  8. I saw Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead awhile ago as well as a few other documentaries about food and found they are so interesting! I recently read a post about juicing on The Daybook and have been researching it and thinking about it for the past few weeks (so let me know if you do it and what you think!).

    I give you so much credit for going to dairy free. I feel like it's something I should do, but it would be so difficult for me. Lately I've realized how much dairy I eat on a daily basis and have been thinking about how it probably isn't very good for my health. I totally stand by the thought that we need to take care of ourselves with food instead of medicine. I think a healthy diet solves SO many problems! The work and dedication is the hard part, but it's totally worth it.

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  9. I watched "Forks Over Knives" and found it really interesting, scary! I've cut out meat that's not organic from my life and it has helped a little, but I have heard going vegetarian (dunno about vegan) really will boost your energy. Congrats on your food realization!

    -Brittany of @suburbchicblog
    http://suburbchicblog.blogspot.com

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  10. I have heard such great things about Forks Over Knives, I must watch! Please keep us updated with how veganism goes for you. I struggled trying to make the change a few years ago and would love to see your journey through.
    xoKatie

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  11. so proud of you, lauren! i am 100% organic and mostly animal free myself, although i believe everything must come in moderation. i love those docs, too - so inspiring. i have a smoothie every morning with my green mix (chlorella & spirulina, probiotics etc.) and that makes me feel AMAZING. adding apple cider vinegar to my morning routine has also made a huge difference in my health. keep at it, lolo! x

    http://www.thesparkle.net

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  12. Major respect to you! I tried doing a fruit and veggie cleanse for a week and barely lasted 3 days! haha

    XO Katie
    allglammedupstyle.com

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  13. Congrats on going Vegan! My best friend from law school is vegan and I am in awe of her healthy lifestyle! Nutrition is so important and there are so many genetically modified foods. The food we grew up on is definitely not the same food we eat now! Keep up the good work and stay motivated :)

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  14. For a very long time I was in and out of hospitals and doctors offices, not knowing what was wrong with me. I have crohns (they eventually figured it out!) and have done research on what diets can help someone like me, with an autoimmune disease. If what you are dealing with could be something autoimmune, I also recommend you look into the specific carbohydrate diet. They use it for crohns, celiac disease, and even forms of autism! Its basically eating clean and no processed carbs.

    Ilyssa
    www.homewardfound.com

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  15. hey doll - hope this diet helps with your health issues! are you going completely vegan, or just a vegan-diet? b/c i'm fairly certain you're not ready to part with that alexander wang bag ;)

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  16. If you are in need of a little scare to help you give up the meat, try reading Eating Animals. It made me go vegetarian about 4 years ago and will change your life. I know too much about how conventional meat is raised in the US and there's no way I could go back to eating factory farmed animals.

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  17. I definitely support your decision! While I'm not vegan or vegetarian I am dairy free & gluten free because I had constant stomach problems. Diet is definitely the answer to a lot of problems.

    xo Jackie
    ...livingaftermidnite

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  18. You may also be interested to watch "Dying To Have Known"!

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  19. I love this post! Congrats on choosing to go vegan! 'The Kind Diet' is the book that did it for me. I've been a vegetarian for almost 2 yrs and try to be as vegan as possible. Dairy is the hard part for me, so I call myself "vegan-ish." ha.
    You should check out 'Crazy Sexy Diet' by Kris Carr... it's fabulous!

    Good luck, girl :)

    http://www.thesparklediary.com

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  20. My boyfriend and I are trying to change our lifestyle too!! since we live in the same area I would HIGHLY suggest Merrit Vegan in Sunnyvale and Good Karma Vegan Cafe in DT San Jose (those are our FAVS) GO You!!!! Im excited for your journey!
    -devon

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  21. this is a fantastic post! I have the opposite problem than you. - meat was surprising easy to give up but I'm having a hard time saying goodbye the cheese. I think that I may pick up the Kind Diet book

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  22. I've struggled with some chronic health issues for the last few years, mostly chronic pain, and when my doctor suggested doing an elimination diet, I felt like it couldn't hurt, so might as well try, right? I found out I was reacting to gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, and shellfish. It's honestly mind-boggling how much better I've felt the last 6 months from not eating those foods.

    All of that said, basically, I think there's a huge correlation between food and health, and I hope the Kind Diet helps you get healthy again!

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  23. I'm so excited for your new journey!! Good luck and keep us updated!!

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  24. Good luck with your new adventure, hope your new take on food is going well. About a year ago, I started only eating seafood and vegetables. Cutting out chicken and other meats didn't bother me much. I found I was feeling "lighter". I would love to hear about how your new vegan diet aka way of life is working out. I have always thought it would be somewhat difficult to go out to eat with that. However, I do think it would be a great life choice. As for now, I am thinking my current choices are working for me, but I am looking forward to seeing how your new diet works out.
    Best,
    Sloan
    http://sloansymington.blogspot.com/

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