I’m a vegan and health-food nut trying to survive in the world of BBQ, Cheese Grits and Bacon Wrapped Everything! I was raised most of life in South Carolina, eating throughout my childhood as most do their entire lives…meals filled with meat, processed foods and vegetables. Even the vegetables I consumed growing up were cooked in cheese or butter. Not only was I eating an unhealthy diet, I also was a victim of solid marketing campaigns such as “Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner” and “Got Milk.” I believed that foods derived from an animal were necessary to a healthy diet. I had never heard of a “vegan” and I questioned the protein source and malnutrition of any vegetarian in which I came in contact. Luckily for me, my world changed in a single day.
In college, I was hospitalized due to an excruciating pain in my lower abdomen. After weeks of testing, hospitalization and a few visits with a nutritionist, I was told I could not digest animal protein properly, causing infections, fatigue, malnutrition, problems with my internal organs and a host of other issues. The only solution I was given: A Vegan Lifestyle.
I wish I could say the transition to a vegan diet was a painless and easy process for me, but it was quite the opposite. I struggled for months, if not years, on grasping the new lifestyle. At first, I felt restricted and lost. I wandered around the grocery store aimlessly, desperately searching for food to fill the void I felt inside. I had no friends or family living locally that were interested or educated on the vegan lifestyle. Most were just as I was before my sudden change in lifestyle, ignorant and misinformed about veganism.
Overtime, I realized that to survive as a vegan, I had to educate myself on why eating this way was beneficial for both body and mind. Once I understood the clear-cut, scientific health benefits to eating a plant-based diet, my everyday life became much easier. I found myself dedicated to eating foods that not only made me a healthier, but were also tasty and satisfying. I came to find out that almost everything I thought I knew about nutrition was rooted in misconceptions provided from big corporations and marketing campaigns.
5 years later I am feeling better than ever. I grew up with terrible allergies, which are now eliminated. I require less sleep, have more energy, my attitude is much more optimistic and can’t remember the last time I got sick. I work hard everyday to educate myself on nutrition and I try to find new recipes to make mealtime more fun.
I understand the struggles one can face as a vegan, especially if you are surrounded with friends and family that are still living on food derived from animals. When I switched to the vegan diet, I struggled to find a central place to find great recipes that still represented home cooking, paired with health and fitness information. I started this website to share recipes, scientific health research, fitness information, and personal stories about real life experiences! If you are thinking of making the switch to a healthier lifestyle, I encourage you to try life as a vegan for 30 days. Keep me posted on your journey, and I am happy to provide as much support as possible. Regardless of your current diet, everyone can learn something from reading this website…so enjoy!