What I learned in 10 years of being a vegan

Today, Friday, January 13, 2023, marks ten years of me being a vegan. It has been an interesting decade. Over the past ten years, I learned how to reverse type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and morbid obesity. I also learned that changing your diet can change your life in very unexpected ways.

I had no idea that a healthy whole food, plant-based (vegan) diet would be so effective in dealing with my health issues. I was pleasantly surprised and extremely happy that my health improved so quickly. I wasn’t prepared for the comments from others on my diet choice to improve my health.

As my health improved my financial health took a nosedive. As a food and wine journalist, my readers were confused as my new outlook on my health was reflected in my articles. While being teased by chefs, fellow journalists and readers, I realized that my choice to put my health above all else would be financially devasting but, worth it for my long-term health.

Through this process, I learned how to eat healthy on a food stamp budget and even got to share my thoughts in a white paper for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Instead of shame, I learned that I was in the company of Viola Davis, Oprah Winfrey, and Moby who had all been on food stamps at one time in their lives.

As I struggled to find my voice in this, I kept true to my decision that a healthy whole food, plant-based vegan diet was the way to go.

If I had to do it all over again, would I?

Yes. But, . . .

The initial process of going vegan was easy but, the support that I truly needed when I needed it was not. I was shocked that people were so upset about what I chose to eat. I was upset at judgmental vegans that thought that I wasn’t “vegan enough” if my decision to change my diet was to improve my health instead of the plight that animals go through. I am a firm believer that all roads lead to Rome. You can’t possibly advocate for animals if you are too sick because you didn’t take care of yourself. You can’t help the planet if you are sick. Bickering between vegans is stupid. It doesn’t matter why a person decides to go vegan. The point is that if they do, everybody wins! The animals, the planet, and your health ALL improve when you decide to adopt a cruelty-free, healthy, plant-based vegan diet.

We all evolve and I have too. Now, I practice a high raw vegan diet. My diet is comprised of homemade vegetable juices, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for my main meals which also include nuts, seeds, and sprouts. My cooked meals are flavorful and natural (not processed vegan junk food). Do I indulge myself in some processed vegan items? Sometimes, I find that I enjoy food in its natural state and my body responds better to a diet where I can recognize and pronounce the ingredients.

Please join me as I raise a glass of kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, and apple juice as a toast to good health.