My journey to Plant-Based. Part 1

I've been completely quiet about this on the blog so far because everything was so new and I wanted to see if this was going to stick or fail. But I'm finally ready to share what I've been doing and why I haven't posted any recipes lately, though I've been cooking up a storm.

In short I have become a vegan. I eat a completely plant-based diet, no animal products at all go into my body. Here is the story as to why I decided to switch from the standard American diet (SAD) to a vibrant abundant plant-based lifestyle.

Eating vibrant colorful food in abundance makes you feel vibrant and colorful. You are what you eat!

Over the past few months I've made some pretty major changes in my life concerning what I eat. This past fall I went into the doctor for some pain in my thumb that I embarrassingly enough thought might be from being on my phone too much, but to my surprise I was diagnosed with Gout. Gout is a form of arthritis. It comes from having high uric acid levels in your body and this creates crystal like formations around your joints causing a lot of pain. Usually it occurs in the big toe but mine was mostly in my right thumb. I've had arthritis since I was 11 in most of my major joints but this was a new one to me. At that Dr.'s appointment I also discovered that my blood pressure was higher than it ever had been (it was always perfect in the past even during pregnancies), my cholesterol was heading in a bad direction, I was 60 lbs overweight (which I already knew!), and the big kicker was that I was .4 points away from being pre-diabetic!

Even though I was in pain from the gout all I could think about was that I was almost diabetic. I had always wondered about diabetes but never thought I could actually come close to having it. Even though I had gained the least amount of weight with my third pregnancy I already had so much from the second that the measly 11 lb gain from the third completely put me over the top. I was in pain all of the time, I knew I wasn't supposed to be that heavy and my body was screaming at me. But I just didn't know what to do. I had lost complete control of what I was eating and had some how slipped into binge eating and I was scared to death of not having any control.

The Dr. had prescribed an arthritis medication for me that I was supposed to take everyday. We ended up having trouble with insurance every time I went to pick up this medication and I hated taking pills everyday, so all of that combined with my declining health, I knew I had to do something once and for all but I didn't know what that was or when I was going to be ready to do that. Oddly enough I actually look at my Gout diagnosis as a blessing now because it has started me down a path that I never would have imagined. Gout is a food related disease and it really hit me that you are what you eat. The main thing you need to stay away from with gout is red meat, it causes high uric acid levels. So that was my first step on my journey. I cut out red meat, it was super easy, I just replaced it with ground turkey and chicken in any recipe that called for ground beef. At the time we were eating too much spaghetti with meat sauce and hamburger helper (I  know, mom of the year right here). But I was exhausted all of the time and it was a favorite dinner that the kids loved and would actually eat. Little did I know that I was killing myself with my food choices.

100% Cherry juice and carbonated beverages are supposed to help fight uric acid levels, so I combined the two for a tasty spritzer.

Soon after that I decided to figure out how to make boxed meals from scratch because I knew we were eating way too much processed foods. Thanks to Pinterest that was super easy. I pretty much looked up whatever we were eating from a box ( hamburger helper, rice-a-roni, etc.) and found lots of recipes from scratch. Then I started to incorporate Meatless Monday into our weekly menu. Again this was super easy there are so many delicious vegetarian dishes out there, our whole family enjoyed this.

Then sometime after that "the major change" occurred. We had decided to down grade our cable to the most basic local channels to save money and get rid of junk TV and we decided to try Netflix. Always being someone who was interested in being healthy, I was 40 lbs lighter before my second child,  I was hardcore into lifting, running and eating clean. I felt great but once I became pregnant everything fell apart big time. Anyways back to what I was saying, I was interested in losing weight and nutrition; and I always like learning new things. So I started watching a bunch of documentaries and then it happened, I watched Forks Over Knives (free on Netflix). Something inside me clicked but I felt I needed to keep it secret because my husband still isn't on board fully. He fully supports me and my efforts but he himself isn't ready to make any "crazy" changes. This was sometime in early January 2014, that whole month I couldn't get Forks Over Knives out of my head. So I immersed myself into learning more about the plant based vegan lifestyle. I tried to be a vegetarian for a week when I was like 12 but when I went over to a friends house and her grandmother got mad at me for not eating the meat she had prepared I thought it was too difficult and quickly gave up. So not eating meat wasn't a foreign concept, but veganism was. No eggs? No milk? No butter? No CHEESE? Excuse me, I eat that stuff with every meal, how am I going to live and....be happy?


  1. Hi Heather,
    It is so great that you shared your journey to a plant-based diet on your blog. We are indeed what we eat and so many illnesses are caused by food and can thankfully many health problems can be reversed by eliminating certain foods and adding others. I am so glad that you found this out for yourself. I grew up keenly aware that almost everyone on my mother's side of the family suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Many family members complained about arthritis pain. While in college I was exposed to vegetarian, vegan and macrobiotic diets and their health benefits and this changed my life. I was determined not to follow my family's health history and so far I have been fortunate. My plant-based diet has enabled me to avoid diabetes, arthritis high blood pressure and high cholesterol and I am thankful. I am so delighted that you shared your plant-based diet journey with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I look forward to reading Part 2!

    1. Thank you so much Deborah! I'm so glad I found your blog! I look forward to connecting with more health seekers through your link parties. I wish I would have known about this way of life sooner, but I'm so thankful to have this knowledge now. Thanks for reading!