This may come as a surprise and complete shock to those who know me. Many know that I am a CHEESE head! I love all things dairy even though I’m lactose intolerant. I have learned a few tricks (lactaid) to help me enjoy dairy despite my intolerance. Well, the time has come for me to break up with dairy for good *sigh*. It has been a week and 4 days on this vegan journey and so far so good!
Before going vegan I wrestled with the idea of going vegetarian while laughing at the thought of being vegan. “There’s no way I can give up my cheese”, I said to myself often, not realizing that God had a different plan in mind. I’ve read about and knew (from being an Adventist all my life) the health benefits of eating according to God’s original diet – fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains – but just the thought of giving up my beloved dairy was out of the question. I LOVE food, especially all things not good for you lol. I love pizza with extra cheese, I love fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, salmon, mozzarella cheese sticks, turkey burgers with cheese, all things Mexican with sour cream and Italian with extra cheese lol. I love it all but I knew I would soon have to change my eating habits.
I’ve decided to go vegan for my mother-in-law, Laverne Gilbert. A couple weeks ago my MIL and I drove to Ikea in Atlanta. During our drive we talked about healthy eating and how we knew that changing our diet would eliminate and reduce health related issues. My MIL has sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that affects many organs in the body like the lungs and lymph nodes, and she said that she believes if she changed her eating habits and went vegan, following God’s original health diet, that He would heal her body. As long as I’ve been with my husband I’ve seen his mother in and out of the hospital and at home sick due to the symptoms and other ailments caused by sarcoidosis and the medications that the doctors have prescribed. She said that she had a desire to go back to her vegan lifestyle but that it was hard because majority of the people around her aren’t vegan. It’s hard to maintain that lifestyle when you’re the only one in your home/day to day doing it.
That night I prayed and asked God to heal my MIL. I asked Him to heal my body as well and to help me live a healthier lifestyle. I remember the Lord telling me that I knew what I had to do – change my eating, and that He would do the rest. That next morning I talked to my MIL and asked if she was still serious about going vegan (maybe she had changed her mind lol). She told me she was still serious and I told her that I was tired of seeing her sick, I wanted to see her get well and feel better and that I had decided to sacrifice my cheese and chicken (lol) to help her maintain her veganism. She needs the support to stay on track and I not only want to see her get well but I want to start feeling better and I want to maintain a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family. We don’t realize how the unhealthy foods we eat are killing us. All the cheese, the dairy, the meat – at the end of the day none of that stuff is really good for us. All the nutrients we need, including protein, can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, contrary to what many of the fad diets and “health experts” say. I’m ready to lead a healthier life, be an example to my family and friends and reap the benefits.
I’m learning to look at food differently. Most of us live to eat, we don’t eat to live. We don’t look at food as fuel or nourishment. Food is comfort, it temporarily heals pain, it makes us happy, it accompanies entertainment. When we get together with family and friends, food is usually involved. When we go out to watch a movie or watch a movie at home, we have food. When we go to basketball/football games, there’s food. We look forward to eating. It makes us feel good. But just imagine how much better we would feel if we ate the right things, if we didn’t overstuff ourselves and truly took care of our bodies. Just imagine not getting the “itis” after a good meal, not feeling sleepy and passing out after dinner. Food shouldn’t do that to us, well the RIGHT food shouldn’t. Our bodies were designed to heal themselves, fight off sickness and diseases but only if we feed ourselves the nutrients it needs to do what it was designed to do. I’ve decided to try God, try it His way and see what changes will begin to take place in my life and the life of my MIL. I’m ready for clearer skin, I’m ready for these random internal pains to go away, I’m ready to not be sick with a cold every other month, I’m ready to lose some weight. I’m ready for a change and I’m ready to see a change in my MIL 🙂
I will be updating you all on #myveganlife, any challenges I face along the way, recipes I try and changes I experience in my health. Follow me on IG to take a look at some of the food I’ve enjoyed since becoming vegan. If you’re a vegan, I’d love to hear about your journey – comment below.
Until next time…