I was always very sensitive to food. Ever since I was a little kid I could never have dairy, beef or pork. They hurt my stomach and caused a lot of nasty problems. When I was in my late twenties I decided to go vegan. I really only had to give up chicken, after all, and I hated ingesting all those hormones and chemicals that were pumped into the poor chickens. Plus, I hated that an animal had to die just because I couldn't resist a chicken tender (still a craving I get, I'm sorry to say!) I was getting increasingly heavier and I was addicted to fast food, donuts, and chips, the usual suspects. I hated how much control food had over me. I decided I would change. Well, I did change for about 1year or so. I lost some weight, stopped eating so much junk, and cleaned up my diet. But slowly, I slid back into old habits. I still had trouble resisting fried food and all that junk I used to eat. So the weight came back and I found myself feeling sluggish, hating that food had so much control over me, and inching my way to 300 lbs. Then my life changed overnight.
In February 2017, when he was only 42, my husband of 22 years died in his sleep, laying right next to me. His heart just stopped. I went to bed on a normal night and woke up next to my best friend dying before my eyes. Needless to say, it was an extreme shock that I am still trying to process 6 years later. This was a huge turning point in my life. I became very paranoid that the same thing would happen to me. That I would just not wake up one day. Maybe, the choices that I am making on a daily basis have actual, real-life consequences- isn't that a novel thought? There was also a little thing called March 2020 that happened. If you go through a global pandemic and don't come out the other side a different person, then I don't know what to tell you. My parents moved in with me and my sister, who had been living together since Ian died. They are in their early seventies and while they don't have too many major health issues just having to face the reality that some of what we deal with as we get older is of our own doing made me much more aware of what I was doing to myself. I understand that some things are genetic but not everything and certainly not my obesity. So, it was time to make a change again but this time things were different, they had to be. I was truly doing it for my health and not just the scale like last time. If there is something I can do to prevent future health problems you better believe I am going to do it! So, I started to research healthy diets and being a vegan. That's where I came across the term whole-foods plant-based. It immediately clicked with me. This is when I discovered that it was the whole-foods part of being vegan is what I was missing last time. I knew one of my problems was my addiction to fast food and processed food. There is so much processed vegan junk out there and I knew that I had to start eating whole foods and cut out all the processed crap.
My transition to whole-foods, plant-based happened both slowly and quickly. The slow part was transitioning to whole-foods. Cutting out processed food like frozen vegan Mac and cheese and learning to make my own "cheese" sauce came over time. While the plant-based part happened overnight. I immediately cut out all chicken, turkey, egg, and any other animal product I was eating.
Over time I have learned tons of tricks and tips for making amazing tasting, fulfilling and healthy alternatives to what I used to eat. It takes time, some experimenting, and creativity (which is my favorite part!) to find substitutes for all our old favorites but it is well worth it!
Occasionally I may post a recipe or tips that I've created or learned over the years so be on the lookout for that!