I am happy to report I celebrated my two year vegetarian anniversary this past Monday! Never in a million years did I think that becoming a vegetarian would make such an impact on my life. Let me start from the beginning. Right before my 30th birthday I started to get acne along my jaw line. At the time I just figured it was hormonal and it would go away. Fast forward nine months later and my entire jaw line and forehead were covered in acne. After trying everything and visiting the dermatologist I decided I need to make some drastic changes in my diet. In addition to that I was having major stomach problems. I couldn’t ever enjoy a meal because before I was would finish eating or two minutes after I would be in the bathroom. I also had to blacklist certain restaurants because they would leave me praying to Jesus because I was in so much pain. I wasn’t doing anything different but my body just wasn’t the same so I decided to stop eating meat and dairy on May 13, 2011.
In the beginning I started out by practicing veganism, I really went hard and stayed away from seafood, dairy products and meat, which lasted for about six months. After speaking with my bestie (she’s a diehard vegan) and really researching the practice, I decided veganism just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t quite ready to make that plunge fully. I slowly started eating fish on occasions and eating foods containing dairy from time to time, which makes me a pesceterian/ovo-lacto vegetarian.
The number one question I usually get from everyone after they find out I am a vegetarian is “how do you feel or did your body go through any changes?” Of course! I was no longer bloated all the time, which I had never thought I was bloated until I wasn’t anymore. I no longer had to take fiber supplements. I wasn’t gassy all the time. I stopped getting the bubble guts after eating restaurant food. My acne started clearing up (Proativ also contributed to that). I didn’t have crazy PMS anymore, and my flow was much lighter. I also started to lose weight, which wasn’t a significant change or at least I didn’t think so until my family members and friends started to make comments about how I looked.
So those are all the fantastic changes I noticed after making the decision to become a vegetarian/pesceterian/ovo-lacto vegetarian. On the other hand I am always hungry! I swear I eat about five times a day. I have to cook just about every day because I don’t rely on processed foods anymore. Every week I plan and prep my meals for the following week. My grocery bill increased and then decreased. Prior to me giving up meat completely I eliminated beef and pork from my diet and only ate organic foods, which isn’t cheap. Once I gave up meat completely I figured my grocery bill should decrease, right. Nope it was just about the same, I was buying more organic produce to supplement for not eating meat. Anyone that shops at WholeFoods knows that buying food from them can put a hurting on your pocket! But a few months into my journey I noticed clean eating was catching on fast and the demand for organic foods was increasing. This was actually great for me because Publix (local grocery store) started carrying more organic produce and foods at a lower cost in comparison to WholeFoods. I also took it a step further and found local farmers markets that sold organic produce. My grocery bill went from about $150 a week to $60!
There further I get into this journey the easier it gets. I do go through my lazy phases of not wanting to cook. It is also hard trying to come up with new creative ways to eat vegetables but overall becoming is a vegetarian was the best decision I could have made for myself. I take pride in knowing that I do a great job of taking care of myself. It’s so hard undoing everything you have ever known about food and make a complete lifestyle change.
I am blessed to have an awesome partner in this journey who is my BFF Tanya, she is always helping me and putting me on to new things. We are always bouncing ideas off of one another and exchanging recipes. She has really educated me about so many things, its unbelievable to me sometimes that I was able to make this change with her help.
I hope this was helpful to those of you that have asked questions about my diet. I am no expert but I do what works for me. Everyone has to start somewhere, but you never know how far you can make it if you never actually start.
Speaking of staring points the first book I read when I decided to give up meat was The Remedy by SuperNovaSlom. This book has so much great info, I recommend it to everyone that needs that extra push. Not saying vegetarianism is the best but adding more vegetables to your diet can’t hurt right? I also watched Fast Food Nation, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc. and a few other food documentaries.
I didn’t cover every little detail of my journey so if you have a question about something in particular leave it in the comments below or send me a message via the contact page.