VEGAN?

Hey guys! I know I’ve been posting to my Facebook page a lot about my new journey into the world of a vegan. I’ve had a couple questions from friends and family so decided to fill you in on a few things…

Vegan collards and radish

Vegan collards and radish

WHO: Heyyyyyyyyyyy y’all!

WHAT: With so many different fads and diet trends out there I think it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s just temporary when someone announces a change in their exercise or eating habits. I made the mistake a few times of using the hashtag #veganchallenge. What I meant is that making this drastic change has been a huge challenge. It’s been hard; but more than that it’s been renewing, rewarding, refreshing, an empowering. In this season this is my LIFESTYLE. I’m choosing to put “kind” foods into my body. I’ve chosen to listen to my body when it tells me what it needs and specifically when it tells me what it can no longer take.

WHERE: In my belly!

WHEN: I do not actually know the answer to this question. Now, would obviously suffice; but the ‘until’ part is still up for discussion. That discussion is simply between me, my body, my doctor, and God. As long as eating vegan is safe, beneficial to my body (and more specifically to the body growing inside of me throughout this pregnancy), and continues to be a positive impact on my life I suppose I’ll keep up with it.

WHY: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow…” Mark 4: 3

A sower plants so that good things may dwell from that which he has planted. When we eat we can think of our food as a seed. Our food will dwell in our bodies for some time and then create many different reactions from it. The seeds (foods) that I was putting into my body had begun reaping some not so great reactions. Even food that I’d eaten my whole life just no longer felt so great going in to my body anymore. For starters I’m lactose intolerant and dairy in general just isn’t my friend. When I crave dairy I crave it BAD. By bad I mean I crave the 6 cheese ravioli, stuff crust pizza, multiple slices of NY style cheese cake… well you get the idea. The easy answer would be to have a little self-control. Respect your body enough to choose healthier options. Well I tried that. For a long period of time; but I could see my body clearly showing me that the healthier options were appreciated but my body needed a complete cleansing. I’ve continued to eat food that contained milk and cheese since I found out about my intolerance, but I learned to pace myself and eat smaller portions of these types foods spread out. Before jumping into a strictly vegan diet I noticed my tolerance becoming more sensitive. So sensitive that I began to become nauseous after having certain dairy products (before and after pregnancy). After becoming pregnant I had serval times where I experienced vomiting after eating certain products high in lactose. It took a few times to see the pattern but once I removed dairy from my menu I could immediately feel a change.

Then there’s meat and seafood. Honestly I probably eat meat 2-3 times a month. People would ask me all the time if I’m a vegetarian, and I would just say kind of. Sometimes I would go multiple weeks without having had any meat or seafood and I wouldn’t even notice. I only eat chicken and shrimp. I don’t like the taste of any other meat. I’ve tried it and yes in multiply forms, flavors, textures, you name it. Again I know MY body and I listened; it was clear from a very young age that I needed to stop trying and listen to my body and stick with what I know. What I know is that I like chicken and shrimp. I started eating chicken in it’s healthiest forms. Mostly chicken breast, grilled or baked, with no sauce just mainly peppered and sometimes with fresh lemon squeezed over it. Sometimes this wouldn’t bother me; other times it would leave me with a stomach ache and feeling sluggish. I dropped chicken from the menu and started to feel better. I was shocked especially since for a while I was pairing chicken with salad, spinach, and fresh cut vegetables. I wouldn’t think that the small amount of meat I ate would have any effect on the way I felt but it did. So I listened. Honestly I feel fine after I eat shrimp. Even when I get some of my favorite indulgence: Olive Garden Shrimp Fritta and King St Grille Fried shrimp. I just figured since I’m so far in to the vegan world I might as well fully embrace it for a while. Honestly shrimp has been on my mind. I’ve thought about making it a “cheat treat” every now and then.

A friend reminded me the other day that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So I figured I would wait a month or a little longer before even considering a small list of “cheat sheet” items. Again its’ about what works for my body. My doctor previously gave the okay for shrimp once a week or so, but I’ve been very strict with this diet. I check every ingredient. For example the funyuns I picked up the other day went to my hubby after I read that they use buttermilk powder in them. I don’t eat vegetables that have been cooked in the same oil as meat or dairy products. My body has thanked me in many different ways: I have more energy, feel better, and it really is empowering to have such control over what you put into your body and to be purposeful about your diet. I went 2 weeks of only getting sick once or twice and I knew it was because of the pregnancy and not because of my diet.

Most of all this is my choice. If I sit at a table with people who order a large steak or mozzarella sticks I don’t get offended. I know I’m being more kind to the earth with this lifestyle but I don’t judge anyone for their carnivorous meal plan. I’m also not pushing anyone else to jump into this journey with me. I give info to people who ask that’s about it. I’m comfortable and my baby is too. That’s the importance of it. I know my healthy choice will be inspiring to my children. I’ve started strong and I’m going to stay strong and purposeful no matter what’s on the menu.

With Grace & Love,

LaVondaMarie

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