I became a vegan in 1989 at the age of 18. I was brought up on a very unhealthy, junk food diet. I routinely started my breakfast with Fruit Loops or some other horrifically malnourished cereal. As a teenager, I began reading the many health benefits of a whole foods vegan diet and because I was already a huge animal lover I was really drawn to this way of eating and living (John Robbins’ book Diet For A New America led me to a steadfast vegan existence).
I eventually got rid of what I refer to as my “dairy face” (puffiness in the face) after becoming vegan. Dairy is quite mucus forming and wreaks havoc on the glandular system- particularly mine. I saw a huge difference in how my body responded not just to the eliminating of meat, but particularly the dairy. I don’t crave, whatsoever, the animal foods I grew up with. Meat- no brainer- no thanks. The absence of dairy, however, was harder in the beginning for me (the natural chemicals in the cow’s milk is considered to have opiate-like qualities and can be highly addictive).
Now that dairy has been completely gone from my diet for so long, I don’t have the tiniest bit of cravings anymore. Over time your tastebuds and cravings change dramatically- even the emotional ones. I am so emotionally divorced from consuming animal foods that it’s neither a challenge nor a discipline. Because I’ve been vegan for so many years, my comfort foods have changed- they are all vegan. My dad once said to me sometime ago “I admire you, you have such self-discipline (in regards to being vegan).” I explained to him that is not the case at all. I’m not an ascetic, I love vegan foods, and I find the thought of eating animal foods (particularly meat/flesh) repulsive. Probably something my dad can’t quite comprehend. I would bet he still sees me as an ascetic, but that’s okay- at least he willingly eats whatever I prepare for him (he loves my oat burgers).
I enjoy food more now than ever. Before, I needed all my foods to be either highly processed or deep fried and saturated with condiments, salt, and sugar in order to enjoy them. Today, I salivate over my grapefruit or whatever fresh fruit I have first thing in the morning and my tastebuds are well aware of it. My conscience is well aware too. The selection from the plant kingdom is endless. My health is benefiting from my diet- my fuel- that I feed myself. Along with yoga, walking, deep breathing, and other forms of exercise, my body, mind, and Spirit are responding in a most appreciative way.
My total cholesterol is 138.
Note: There is not one documented case of someone dying of heart disease with
a cholesterol level of under 150.
High cholesterol (and heart disease) is common in my family – both my father and mother’s side. Yes, we inherit our family’s genes, but we also inherit our family’s diet and lifestyle. I have, since adulthood, respectfully declined the “food” inheritance and adopted a whole foods vegan diet.
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Meet Carrie (& Jeff’s) son, Henry, here.