After seeing my results from eating 100% vegan for 21 days, and NOT changing my exercise habits at all, I knew there was some firm connections with diet ALONE and achieving weight loss. But I also believe that God put animals on the earth for more than just to look at and be part of an ecosystem. I know there are those who believe that animals are not to be used by the human race- and I’ll admit that this blog is not for you. HOWEVER- that being said, I learned through more reading and research and looking at study after study showing results in large populations that eat a lot of animal products vs those that do not, there are some facts worth taking into account. Those that ate a lot of animal products were not as healthy (and when I say healthy, I mean longer life spans, better immunity, less cancers and heart disease per capita) as those that didn’t. That’s the bottom line of that issue.
I also did a little more searching into my own religion which has a book of scripture that includes a section we call “The Word of Wisdom” which includes some guidelines to keep our physical bodies healthy. It states that animals can be used by man for sustenance, but only in times of famine, cold, and even then, sparingly. I also remembered and studied more closely the story of Daniel in the Bible (see Dan 1) when the king wants him to join with them in eating meat and wine as the staple of the meals. Daniel expresses a desire to have the opportunity to show the king that there is another way to sustain life and have strong bodies which consists of consuming water, seeds, legumes, fruits, etc without meat and wine. After a time trial, the king sees the positive results and stamina from Daniel’s diet in his own guards and men and proclaims that his way of eating is indeed superior.
So with my religious beliefs to back up the facts I was reading, seeing, feeling, and experiencing, I decided to back off my consuming of animal products to minimum for the long haul.
I also had my amazing chiropractor working with me and helping me supplement my liver needs and get my female hormones and systems some boosts with correct herbal supplements and organ adjustments (yes, he’s cool like that- doesn’t just crack bones, he can also adjust organs). He also confirmed to me yet again that animal products do indeed cause a level of inflammation (sometimes very high) in human bodies and that by taking them out, I would naturally feel less pain, aches, and even have less allergies due to a lot less inflammation and better blood flow and nerve reception.
And when I started eating 100% vegan I realized plenty fast how much animal products I had been eating! Milk on my cereal in the morning, some cheese and lunch meat at lunch with bread (made with eggs and milk), maybe a string cheese or yogurt in the afternoon or granola bar (made with milk a lot of the time), and definitely the possibility of milk and cheese and meat or eggs at dinner— and probably a good chance of a treat later 2 days a week or so that was ice cream, brownies, or no bake cookies. And I hope you’ll admit, that I’m not the only one that eats this way. Cuz from what I’ve observed in my 30 years of life- I wasn’t alone in my over indulgence. 🙂
So I got the diet part right. Less animal stuff, more fruits of the earth will sustain life just fine. But I still had the sugar issue to deal with. I was an addict remember?
What I learned about that, was that it is ok to have a little bit. It was ok to have a treat once in awhile. I love chocolate and to this day I have chocolate almost daily. But how much? Just a little. A (yes, that is singular) chocolate kiss, a teaspoon or so of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, a few M&M’s, or a yummy Lindt truffle every now and then. So don’t swear off the sweets forever, that will lead you down a dark and scary path! Lol! Just have ONE of something instead of half the container. Mmmmm. I might just be sucking on a Hershey’s kiss as I type…..you smell it don’t you……. ha!
But to be clear- sugar addiction, which is the forerunner for food addiction, is REAL. Study after study confirms that when a human ingests sugar consistently or even just a comfort food which often is loaded with sugar and empty carbs, it creates the same sensation as hard drugs such as heroine, cocaine, and meth. There are studies to show that even the mere sight or smell of your favorite treat will up your dopamine brain levels! The sugar goes in, opiates that tell the brain that things are alright start firing and all the sudden life is going to go on- and that you should definitely put that into your body again, and soon.
It’s real. Food addiction is real, and like I said, most people will deny they have a problem, bury the information under their bed, and when the next morning comes they grab that donut or sugar cereal, get a burger and fries for lunch, and settle into the evening with their soda and homemade deep and cheesy casserole. And will probably follow that up with a beautiful bowl of ice cream or a cookie (or two.) But it’s not to sustain their lives. It’s because they wanted those foods. They made that choice all on their own. I had been making that choice too. But no more!
Knowledge was giving me power, and I could feel it!
So after all of this study- my husband and I (yes, he was onboard with me through all of this) decided that my family and I had to reduce our animal and sugar intake. And no sooner had I decided this, than my children came home from school with colored worksheets depicting the five food groups that the USDA has declared is the glove for all US citizens to fit into nutritionally. But I knew better this time. And I even did research on who pays for the MyPyramid and MyPlate campaigns… and guess what?….. There is more lobbying from dairy farmers associations and politics that go into it that you’d like to realize (to send it into American minds) that put it together- rather than science. I will probably write a whole other post just on that!
I discovered that there are only 4 food groups. Proteins, Fruits, Grains, and Veggies. I neatly outlined our new way of eating for our family through my own illustrations on a poster board and we had a special family night focusing on this, and teaching my kids that what they learn at school isn’t always the best way- and that for our family, this was the best.
And I continued to lose weight focusing on the FOUR food groups, and after 3 months I had lost 25 lbs and 26 inches. No magical pill, no gym memberships, no superfood shakes, no extra $ expelled, just using the knowledge I had found.
But in the back of my mind always loomed the question about my blood sugar and insulin problem… was my body really ok in that realm? I knew I would need another blood test to see if my Diabetes course had indeed reversed as that book had claimed……
Stay tuned for part IV!