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.

47 Comments

  1. This is great, congratulations!!! And you can see the change it has made, your skin glows now!!

    I have always toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian but I love diary (cheese) and though I don't eat red meat or pork, I still my chicken seafood and turkey meat. There are times I go days without eating any meat, but I know it's more to being a vegetarian than not just eating meat, but I do want to start buying more organic foods and get away from alot of processed foods. I love fresh fruit and vegetables, can eat those all day, but I want those to be more organic too.

    I do have a couple of questions:

    When it comes to snacks what do you eat? I like snacks I can eat with tortilla chips or pita chips.

    When you do eat/drink milk products what kind do you eat or drink? I like to make smoothies to supplement for one of my meals, but I like to add yogurt to mine.

    Do you mind sharing some of the recipes you and your friend use, I would love to try some of them?

    Carsedra of:
    http://www.embracingtherealme.com/
    http://sweets4yourtooth.blogspot.com/

  2. When it comes to snacks what do you eat?

    Great question! I love humus which I eat with organic corn tortilla chips or sweet potato tortilla chips. I also hit up a local vegan bakery from time to time if I get a taste for something sweet or make vegan banana bread which is fantastic. I always keep nuts in the house and popcorn but not microwave air popped popcorn.

    When you do eat/drink milk products what kind do you eat or drink?

    I don't drink cows milk at all, I most eat cheese and have eggs on ocassion. I like organic almond milk or soy milk. Almond milk is great for smoothies if you don't have a nut allergy. If you use yogurt, try to use non-flavored organic yogurt less sugar and calories. It taste bland as hell alone but in a smoothie it's great. I use to buy this brand http://www.stonyfield.com/products/yogurt/smooth-creamy/fat-free/plain

    I mostly pin all my veggie recipes on Pinterest which you can see here http://pinterest.com/curveebeauty/food-fascination/

    I also use FoodGawker to find recipes and I use this blog to get fantastic vegan recipes http://www.theppk.com/blog/

  3. Oh congrats to you!!! What an accomplishment! I was a vegetarian as a teenager for four years until I was pregnant with my oldest son. Two months ago, my husband and I decided to go vegetarian again after watching a million documentaries on the subject. The kids are doing vegetarian also. It hasn't always been easy for the kids, but as of right now things are great! They eat a TON more veggies and fruits and they love tofu! Who'd have thought?? I love being a vegetarian! It is the healthiest way to go I think. And you look AMAZING now!!! Keep up the great work!

  4. Thank you Frannie! It's great that your kids are down for the cause, I love that. *off to visit your blog*

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am experiencing some of the same digestive issues that you spoke of and am wondering what it is that is causing these issues. I love chicken and seafood too much to ever give it up(at least I don't think I can) but I think I could live with out beef. I don't eat pork anymore which to my surprise was very easy to give up. Anyways, I've been following your blog for a while and you have always looked great! Congratulations on your success and the inspiration.

  6. I didn't think I could give it up either but food shouldn't make you feel terrible at least I don't think so. It took me awhile to get to this point and I feel too good to ever go back to putting my body through that again. Do a little research on how food is processed and how meat should be consumed after it has been slaughtered. I didn't really have a problem with meat just the way it was being processed before it go to me.

  7. nice! shout out to supanova!! he's awesome. i havent read the book yet, but i will definitely get it soon.

  8. I am not considering becoming a vegetarian or vegan at the moment, but I LOVED reading about your journey. Bravo to you dear!!

  9. Crystal S

    yay to vegetarianism!! I became a vegetarian almost 12 years ago and it has been a wonderful journey. I have now ventured into veganism. Cheese was by far the hardest thing to kick…come to find out there is sometime in cheese that makes it addictive!!

  10. I know!!! I have the hardest time staying away from cheese, lol. I am glad to know I am not the only one.

  11. Right now I'm doing following a raw food/vegan diet to go along with a full body detox I'm doing. It's been one week. I've cheated a few times, but I'm eating WAY less meat/dairy then ever before. I'm not yawning as much as work. Hopefully I can continue this diet pattern when the detox is done.

  12. Thank you for writing this it is so motivational! I have been back and forth on the idea of vegetarianism for a while now but this helped to give me the push I needed. I am definitely downloading "The Remedy" to my nook. It seems like it is the jump start I have been looking for.

  13. Monique R

    Thanks so much for posting this. I've been toying with the idea of a vegetarian lifestyle but I'm not sure where to start. Your post is very inspiring, letting me know that its possible without having to take drastic measures. I'm downloading that book now.

  14. girlwonderful

    Good for you! i was a vegetarian for some years in college & there wasn't near as many interesting things to eat. We try not to eat meat every day & I'd like to cut it back even more. This may be the kick in the pants I need 🙂

  15. Thanks for the info. and book reference, you've inspired me and I didn't know you were a vegetarian.

  16. Congratulations and thank you for the information. I had been struggling with living healthy until I realized that I didn't have to go beast mode. Little changes like cutting down on sweets, not eating as much fried food, cutting out beef and drinking more water; worked for me. In about 6-8 months I dropped from 289 to 224. I still struggle with being consistent in my working out but I definitely feel better about myself with sticking to those changes. Eating healthy is definitely a life style change and we have to be willing and steadfast and remember to pace ourselves. Thank you for being an inspiration to continue to strive to live well.

  17. Thanks for the info. I have some of the same issues. Will definitely check the book out!

  18. yolanda eason

    Congrats girl!! Thanks for sharing!! You look fabulous!!

  19. Happy Vegiversary 🙂 I have been a pescatarian for over a decade and also go raw from time to time and as you have and will continue to find, it gets easier and easier especially considering how there are now so many more options than it was back in the day when i started.

  20. Love this .. DO you think you can do a part two and share what you eat for a day or some of your favorite meals?

  21. Thank you! I need to do some raw food research, maybe I will start out trying it a couple days out the week.

  22. Nice outfits bajan. Curvatude? Just curious if you lost weight in your lifestyle change over 10 years?

  23. OMG!!!!! This was me –

    "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…"

    It's amazing that someone else felt my pain, literally. I allowed this period to go on for so long that I almost thought it was normal. The most embarrassing moments came during eating out. It was rare that I could eat out and not have to use the bathroom before leaving the restaurant. I finally went to the doctor and he diagnosed it as IBS. He wanted to get to the root of the problem by having me take various tests. At the time, I just so happened to do an elimination cleanse. Oddly, I stopped having these stomach pains and the need to go to the bathroom minutes after eating. I gradually added everything (gluten, some dairy, sugar, etc.) back except meat/seafood and I have never had that problem since. I never continued with the tests to find out the source of the problem. However, it's been 4 years and I have never felt better and never returned back to eating meat/seafood again.

  24. Candy Coated Cashmere

    So by now you now I'm stalking all your wellness posts lol! Thanks for pushing me to go back to my veggie ways!

  25. Congrats on your weight loss! I am not consistent with my workouts either but I have managed to lose 20lbs and maintain the loss. I love how I feel so even if I don't workout I make sure to eat appropriately.

  26. I was back and forth as well, it really helps having someone to back you up as well. Let me know how you like the The Remedy.

  27. Adult acne is the worse I had no idea where mines was coming from. Since I have changed up my eating habits it hasn't been an issue for me anymore. I hope you get find out what is causing yours as well.

  28. That sounds great! My bestie did a raw food detox for an entire month. She is a beast I can't wait until I am at that level.

  29. nice! shout out to supanova!! he's awesome. i havent read the book yet, but i will definitely get it soon.

  30. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am experiencing some of the same digestive issues that you spoke of and am wondering what it is that is causing these issues. I love chicken and seafood too much to ever give it up(at least I don't think I can) but I think I could live with out beef. I don't eat pork anymore which to my surprise was very easy to give up. Anyways, I've been following your blog for a while and you have always looked great! Congratulations on your success and the inspiration.

  31. I didn't think I could give it up either but food shouldn't make you feel terrible at least I don't think so. It took me awhile to get to this point and I feel too good to ever go back to putting my body through that again. Do a little research on how food is processed and how meat should be consumed after it has been slaughtered. I didn't really have a problem with meat just the way it was being processed before it go to me.

  32. Oh congrats to you!!! What an accomplishment! I was a vegetarian as a teenager for four years until I was pregnant with my oldest son. Two months ago, my husband and I decided to go vegetarian again after watching a million documentaries on the subject. The kids are doing vegetarian also. It hasn't always been easy for the kids, but as of right now things are great! They eat a TON more veggies and fruits and they love tofu! Who'd have thought?? I love being a vegetarian! It is the healthiest way to go I think. And you look AMAZING now!!! Keep up the great work!

  33. Thank you Frannie! It's great that your kids are down for the cause, I love that. *off to visit your blog*

  34. When it comes to snacks what do you eat?

    Great question! I love humus which I eat with organic corn tortilla chips or sweet potato tortilla chips. I also hit up a local vegan bakery from time to time if I get a taste for something sweet or make vegan banana bread which is fantastic. I always keep nuts in the house and popcorn but not microwave air popped popcorn.

    When you do eat/drink milk products what kind do you eat or drink?

    I don't drink cows milk at all, I mostly eat cheese and have eggs on occasion. I like organic almond milk or soy milk. Almond milk is great for smoothies if you don't have a nut allergy. If you use yogurt, try to use non-flavored organic yogurt, less sugar and calories. It taste bland as hell alone but in a smoothie it's great. I use to buy this brand http://www.stonyfield.com/products/yogurt/smooth-creamy/fat-free/plain

    I pin all my veggie recipes on Pinterest which you can see here http://pinterest.com/curveebeauty/food-fascination/

    I also use FoodGawker to find recipes and I use this blog to get fantastic vegan baking recipes http://www.theppk.com/blog/

  35. CarsedraG

    This is great, congratulations!!! And you can see the change it has made, your skin glows now!!

    I have always toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian but I love diary (cheese) and though I don't eat red meat or pork, I still my chicken seafood and turkey meat. There are times I go days without eating any meat, but I know it's more to being a vegetarian than not just eating meat, but I do want to start buying more organic foods and get away from alot of processed foods. I love fresh fruit and vegetables, can eat those all day, but I want those to be more organic too.

    I do have a couple of questions:

    When it comes to snacks what do you eat? I like snacks I can eat with tortilla chips or pita chips.

    When you do eat/drink milk products what kind do you eat or drink? I like to make smoothies to supplement for one of my meals, but I like to add yogurt to mine.

    Do you mind sharing some of the recipes you and your friend use, I would love to try some of them?

    Carsedra of:
    http://www.embracingtherealme.com/
    http://sweets4yourtooth.blogspot.com/

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