In January of 2015, I broke a complicated bone in my foot, and it still hadn’t healed by December. That meant I wasn’t able to live the active lifestyle I was accustomed to. I felt out of shape and lethargic. My eating habits had spiraled out of control, a side effect of spending more time at home. When I got the go-ahead from a physiotherapist to start longer walks and return to weight classes, it was an ideal time to start fresh. So, I made a big change.
I knew I wanted to return to a plant-based diet, and this time I decided to go full-on vegan. I had tried this twice before, ill-prepared, and had failed within a few weeks. This time I had a few years of research under my belt.
Ten weeks into the journey, I feel amazing. People tell me my skin is glowing, I’ve slimmed down, and my energy is through the roof. I need less sleep and my mood is relatively stable throughout the day. I finally feel like this is something I can healthily maintain.
I don’t want to be sanctimonious. I’m not perfect. I have a favorite pair of leather boots. My own reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle are some physical, some financial, some spiritual, and some ethical, but I realize that it’s not for everyone. I would never tell anyone how they should eat, or why. Some people's health doesn’t allow them to give up animal products completely.
No matter your choices, I challenge you to think harder about where your food comes from, to buy locally when possible and to cook more humanely raised (and hormone-free) animal products. Labels like “free range” don’t always tell the whole truth.
If you are considering a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or just want to adopt a less animal-centric diet, take these five insights from my journey into veganism as free wisdom for your own.