i used to consider my self a “vegan supporter”. whenever someone was vegan i cheered them on and followed that with” i could never…. “i love a good steak / sushi / weißwurscht”…. or “i have too many dietary food restrictions, not eating animal products would make it too difficult / impossible!”…. or “i only rarely eat meat and make sure to not reject eating any part of an animal, to make the most of it’s death”…. or “my partner is definitely never going to be vegan, which makes it harder”…. or “my therapist advised me against it” (i was seeing her for my extreme food-anxiety (more about that for another post) and she didn’t think i should be putting up more rules for myself.)
now all those those statements sound like excuses and i see now that i was just not ready for it. at this point, i also want to say that this is not a post to make you adapt a plant-base, or vegan diet, but rather share how it has healed me and has potential to do the same for you. before i continue, i also want to mention that every body is different, needs different things and which is something only you can find out for yourself. i do encourage you to do so!
so here is a quick overview of the resources that made me want to try being plant-based and the steps that followed.
how netflix helped me be plant-based
i watched the documentary “fork before knife” and then “game changer”. the tests and examples shown in these documentaries really stuck with me and other than documentaries that are pro high-fat-low-carb diets like palio or keto, these pro plant-based / vegan documentaries focus on the health of the entire body and how it heals illnesses and diseases, not as much on weight loss, or vanity. i am not saying that palio or keto is bad and i also love learning about them, but it breaks down to: it is debatable how good and/or humane eating animals is…. but there is nothing and no one who would disagree that eating plants is good for you. eating plants are good for humans, motherearth, and especially for the animals who would otherwise land on your plate.
how i accidentally became plant-based
after watching these documentaries, doing my own research and talking to my vegan friends, i was going to “be vegan” during the week of my level 2, intuitive thai therapy training. on the third day(!) i knew i was going to stick with it. i felt a new sense of awareness that i had never experience before. when i was not sleeping i was fully awake! no grogginess, no brain-fog, no sluggishness. later i also noticed that when i would fall out of my routine of practicing yoga regularly, it was much easier to start again. it’s like my default fitness level is higher and i therefor don’t have to work hard when i’m pulling myself out of a slump. so my week-of-being-vegan turned into a full plant-based lifestyle, that i have kept up since early december 2019.
how being plant-based helped my mental health
my therapist worrying that i was “using” veganism to add yet another restriction to the food i would let myself eat, was a valid point. also, i have come far enough in my journey of healing form the chains and strain my unhealthy relationship with food
had has (healing is not linear) on me, that that did have me concerned….. but i can honestly say that since that first day that i swore off animal products, i have taken a big step away form food-anxiety. practicing intuitive eating has become the norm (yes, of course i have slips, not to the extreme as they were, though) and undeniably-unhealthy cravings are a thing of the past.
how being plant-based helped my physical health
intestinal permeability, more commonly known as “leaky gut” (sounds so gross, i know….) is believed to be the source of all autoimmune diseases. it’s real. i had it. for months, i had extremely(!) sensitive, itchy skin that would swell up at the slightest touch. related to that, (waning: this might be t.m.i.) for may years i have suffered form chronic constipation. but, all that fiber in plants…….. i’m just saying that i have been a lot more regular since being plant-based and i hear the same from every single one of my vegan friends.
disclaimer: everybody is beautifully unique. and i am an advocate for holistic healing, that is tailored to each individual body. and you can disagree with me when i tell you that humans don’t actually need animal protein, or that our digestive tracts has more in common with an herbivore and very little with a carnivore, but you can’t argue with me that there is nothing and no-one that says eating plants is not good for you.
how my love for steak and salmon do not tempt me
yes, i was known for my love of a good, bloody and i mean really bloody bistecca fiorentina, a whole fish grilled over the open fire, and prosciutto di parma, but when salivate over those dishes, i think to myself “maybe i have eaten animal-product X enough times and most likely the next piece of X will not be better than all the other times i have had X.” the more and more i don’t eat meat, the more and more i see pieces of raw meat in the butcher section as animal cadavers and not “food”. sorry, i had to go there.
how only eating plants made me a better cook
i totally geek out on learning as much about vegetables and fruits as i can and have more control over what is going in my body (no worry about if those organic carrots are full of antibiotics) and don’t need to shut my eyes from where my food came from (like i do when i see images form slaughterhouses, or animal transports pasting me on the highway). “only” using plants in the kitchen has expanded my horizon of dishes i conjure (frying up eggs, or salmon steak is easy, but also boring), i feel more freedom in the kitchen (you can’t really go wrong when sautéing, or roasting veggies), and my culinary exploration is endless (plants are so much more versatile than they get credit for). i even had to start a new instagram account @kitchen_madeau to celebrate mother natures bounty and the results of my intuitive cooking exploration.
why i consider myself “plant based” and not “vegan”
there are different definitions out there and i believe that everyone can define “what” they are themselves, or better yet…..don’t need to label themselves at all. but for the sake of clarity: vegans don’t eat any animal products, but there is noting that (by definition) “keeps them” from eating processed foods (doritos, coke, and that “butter” they pour over your movie theatre popcorn = “vegan”!). being “plant based” defines that i not only eat plants without exception, but i also do not eat foods that are changed (very much) form their natural state. the way mothernature made it is already pretty perfect. i do also still have leather shoes (if i believe in the brand like tripped or mohinders) and i will by honey (from local beekeepers), which vegans will probably frown upon. having said that, “vegan” is a more common therm and even though it can have negative connotations (you probably know what i mean…) i do use the therms “vegan” and “plant based” interchangeably to describe myself.
in the comments…. i would honestly love to hear your experience with this topic, any questions i have left unanswered, or arias you would like to hear more about.
*while you were reading this, you probably noticed a couple spelling and punctuation mistakes. i am very dyslexic and no not have a proofreader. i want to raise awareness for dyslexia, challenge you to read past the mistakes and not let it affect how you perceive my credibility, or smartness. i am not ashamed of being dyslexic, but grateful that is gives me an advantage of how i see and perceive the world.