Although I was a thin child, I felt ill most of my life. I caught viruses at least 6-8 times per year, had a very sensitive stomach and would get frequent heartburn. I maintained my weight through high school and started to eat a little better, not so much for health, more for appearance. About a year after school I started to put on a bit of weight, eating more fast food and going out for desserts, treating myself almost daily with the standard North American fare. Over this time I gained 25 pounds and and my Body Mass Index was 25. Accompanying the weight gain were daily stomach pains and extremely low energy levels.
Since I was still looking for an energy boost, I began taking vitamins. It started with a multivitamin, but a few trips to the health food store, and the associates can have you convinced you need half of the products in there. Even though I took copious amounts of vitamins for years, I didn't feel much of an increase in energy.
On May 1, 2008 I decided to become a Pescetarian, which meant I would still eat fish, eggs and dairy (although I already switched to a plant based milk), but no other animal products. I felt a lot better removing such a large range of animal products from my life and enjoyed introducing new and exciting food to my diet.
After three years of a Pescetarian lifestyle I decided to give up fish and become a vegetarian, it was hard at first since I had always loved fish, but it was loosing it's luster. I discovered what I really liked about fish were the family memories associated with it. Giving up fish made me realize that I had emotional ties to it and was part of my problem with emotional eating. Just like I lost the craving for salmon, I soon lost the craving for eggs. During this transition, I gave up oil, another processed food. My energy levels really started to improve.
After a bit of searching for healthier desserts I could create for my Dad, I stumbled upon Happy Herbivore. I was amazed at how many desserts I found without butter, oil and overly processed flours. Then I discovered the rest of the website, delicious breakfasts, lunch and dinner recipes, informative blog posts, minimalism, herbies of the week and so many inspiring ideas and people. Happy Herbivore started my journey to becoming the energetic girl I am today. With the tools that Happy Herbivore gave me and after reading The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, I decided to give up all dairy and become a plant based vegan. It was a little hard at first for me socially, but has been worth every awkward moment. I feel too wonderful to not learn how to overcome social situations. I've also realized that people are usually just curious and it was me that was feeling awkward about it. Now I'm proud to be plant strong!
|Finishing the Grouse Grind hike in NorthVancouver, BC.|
|Eating lunch at the top of Mt. Cheam, Chilliwack, BC.|