As you know if you have read previous posts, I started a weight loss journey three years ago. I lost 110lbs over the course of a year. Along with the obvious physical changes with weight loss, there are also mental changes. The way I look at food today, compared to three years ago, is a total turn around. I have gone from a lover of sweets and baked goods and overeating to a whole food, plant based, vegan diet. I once would take leisurely walks for exercise, now I get out and run for forty plus minutes four times a week. I still enjoy a good walk, but now prefer running (good grief, at one point in my life I would never have imagined my future self writing that!)
Anyway, over the year of weight loss my diet changed, not all at once, but week in and week out it just kept changing, it evolved into a healthy way of eating. I use an app, Myfitnesspal to track my calories, I have logged in daily now for 1,028 days, it is like my conscience when it comes to food choices. I was quite shocked at how many calories were in a number of my favorite foods, that was the first eye opener, no wonder I got so overweight, I simply ate over large portions, often times refilled my plate, and I ate food that was high in fat, sodium, sugar, and all of it over processed and high calorie and the result was obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and chronic pain.
As time progressed, I would say six months into my weight loss, my diet was very healthy, lots of vegetables, some fruit, oats everyday, salmon, chicken, tuna, and greek yogurt. I got to 130 lbs, and have maintained my weight for two years now. My relationship with food changed, the foods I eat are satisfying, taste good, are filling, blood pressure and cholesterol are excellent, I exercise and feel fit and now have a BMI of 18.5.
For most of my adult life I have suffered from Rosacea, I found on my weight loss journey that a number of foods aggravate it, I think because I tend to eat the same things it is easy to find the culprit if problems arise. For example, for a number of months I ate a spinach salad for lunch almost every day of the week, it had four handfuls of spinach, a tablespoon of blue cheese, blackberries, and usually a boiled egg, or salmons, or chicken. My Rosacea became wildly enflamed during this time, I started googling to find out if foods triggered flare ups, well it turns out some foods are high histamine, spinach is one of them. Blackberries and blue cheese are also trigger foods for flare ups. I stopped the salad and at that point, two plus years ago, gave up cheese and spinach. My Rosacea improved, a number of months later I added spinach back to my daily diet (I really like it), within two weeks I had a massive flare up. Bye Bye Spinach. Fast forward another year, at that time I was months into a love affair with Chobani plain greek yogurt, I ate two pots a day everyday. One week at the grocery store I thought, this is ridiculous, I am spending $15/week on yogurt so I didn't buy any. After a few weeks my Rosacea was for the most part completely gone. The yogurt was the only dairy product I consumed regularly. I decided to stay off the yogurt, but after a few months I bought seven pots, I thought I would just have one a day and see what would happen, by the end of the week I had a Rosacea flare up. So, after all of these years of suffering (a bit of a strong word, but you are very conscious of Rosacea and people ask why your face is so red etc.), I found the culprit for me is an allergy to dairy.
By the spring of this year, I had given up chicken and tuna, and only regularly consumed Salmon, otherwise I was for all intent and purpose a vegan. I was having more and more concerns about the level of heavy metals in the fish, plus I ate way more than the recommend amounts as I ate fish every day. I gave up Salmon, and at that point became vegan. I would never have imagined on the day I decided to change my life and start to lose weight that I would end up being a vegan runner, life is crazy like that sometimes. I feel good, have a great sense of wellbeing, I am glad nothing has to die to feed me, and I feel in the best shape of my life and I am in my early fifties.
And that folks is how I became vegan.