Published March 2018
My spiritual life was the biggest motivator to adopt a plant-based diet. In 2005 I had an “a-ha” experience that shifted my spiritual journey to it’s core. I came to the realization that nature and what is “natural” is balanced and in harmony with Life (the way God created it to be), and so in order for me to live a happy, healthy, balanced, and purposeful life, I needed to embrace the way God created me to be and live – pure and natural. I took this LITERALLY!
The first thing I did was cut off my relaxed hair because I wanted my hair to be in it’s pure form, sans chemicals. Next, I changed the things I put on my body, and started using all-natural products. At some point, I realized that what I put INTO my body needed to be in it’s pure form as well, so I ate organic versions of everything I’d always eaten – including organic meat, organic dairy, and organic processed foods.
After re-reading Genesis in the Bible, the verse that stood out was “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” (Gen 1:29). That was all the convincing I needed to transition to a vegetarian diet, and did so the following year. I still consumed animal products like dairy and eggs every now and then, and I was okay doing so at that time.
I continued my lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for 5 consecutive years until 2012. That year, my husband of 7 years and I separated and divorced. My divorce was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging for me, and eating “pure” was the furthest thing from my mind. I had to figure out how I could best support myself and our 2 children as a single mom. I consumed mostly vegetarian food out of habit, but please believe there was some bacon, chicken, and beef sprinkled in here and there!
I, am what you call an accidental vegan (laughs). I found a book called “The 80/10/10 Diet” by Douglas N. Graham and read it cover to cover in the summer of 2017. It was the first time I heard of humans being classified as “frugivores” and not “herbivores”. Then, I watched “What the Health”. But what solidified my jump to “veganism” was taking a trip to Kingston, Jamaica to visit a friend of mine for a week. After a series of strange events, I was not able to get a hold of the jerk chicken or saltfish and ackee as I imagined! Instead, I found myself foraging for wild mangoes, starfruit, acerola cherries, and eating fresh pineapple, papaya, REAL oranges (because real oranges are green in color) and coconut. By the time I returned home to the US, I just decided to continue to eat mostly fruits, minimal processed foods, and no animal products.
Weight release is an obvious result of this diet change. What I find the most interesting is how clear and focused my thinking has become. I also notice that my skin is clear and glows. The health of my yoni (ahem – lady parts) have improved and my menstrual cycles are shorter, lighter, and without cramping. Most importantly, my joints don’t ache like they used to. The foods that I consumed before created a lot of inflammation and mucus in my body which contributed to the ongoing achy feeling I had. I feel lighter in all facets of my being.
We have an unhealthy emotional connection to food, and food-like substances. What has been helpful along my journey is to address how and why I pacified my emotions with certain food. Really examine why you eat what you do; what are you really craving? Is it love? Security? Happiness? Belonging? Chances are, you’re eating to fill what cannot be helped with food. Address that emptiness first, and it will free you up to eat more consciously. Also, surround yourself with things to inspire you to continue your plant-based journey. Make it a point to watch the documentaries, read the books, follow people on social media who are doing it, attend vegetarian-related events, and meet up with like-minded individuals.
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