My Plant Based Journey
One of the most common questions I get asked is “why did you go vegan?” For me there’s not one particular reason and it wasn’t something that happened overnight.
When I was 15 years old, I was put on the pill due to a large ruptured ovarian cyst. The pill did a great job of ‘masking’ the symptoms however in 2012 I developed a migraine where I lost part of my vision temporarily. From that point, I was told that I was no longer allowed to take the pill due to an increased risk of a stroke. That same day, I stopped taking the pill for good. I was so upset, if only I’d known at the time what a blessing it would turn out to be.
Initially, I didn’t suffer many side effects from removing the synthetic hormones from my body, however a few months later, I started to develop painful cystic acne on my cheeks and along my jawline. This really affected my confidence. I was 20 years old and thought I had well and truly outgrown acne.
In the months ahead, I spent thousands of dollars of skin treatments and supplements. Some eased my acne slightly but nothing got rid of it completely. I started doing my own research and found studies that showed dairy was very inflammatory and can cause skin issues. I decided to eliminate dairy from my diet and sure enough, slowly, my skin started to clear!
My journey towards an entirely plant based diet continued in the months and years ahead, with the elimination of red meat from my diet and eventually chicken. I had started to watch documentaries and videos online of animals suffering and I made the decision that I didn’t want to contribute towards that any longer.
If I’m honest, I struggled with being vegetarian in the beginning. I had no idea what to eat if I wasn’t eating ‘meat and veggies’ for each meal. I found myself eating more bread and pasta than I normally would. As my journey progressed, I found some fantastic vegetarian/vegan bloggers & websites online. My eyes were opened to just how much food was out there that I could eat. I started cooking with legumes, quinoa and lots of herbs and spices; foods I had never eaten in my life but actually loved!
After fully adjusting to being vegetarian, I made the decision to eliminate cheese. I never ate a lot of cheese, only really from a cheese board at a gathering or with friends so it didn’t feel like a big loss to me.
Eggs was the trickiest food for me to eliminate. I was exercising a lot and found eggs were so convenient for my lifestyle. I would have boiled eggs as a snack, poached eggs on toast for breakfast, a veggie omelette for lunch or dinner. That was until I literally woke up one morning and said to my partner ‘I’m not eating eggs anymore, it doesn’t feel right’. It was like a light bulb moment and I thought ‘how can I be so firm in a decision to not eat meat or dairy, yet contribute and put my own money towards the suffering of hens?’
And there it was, with the elimination of eggs, I was now fully vegan and loving my new plant based lifestyle.
Switching to a plant based diet is certainly a shift in consciousness; once a person truly acknowledges the suffering of animals involved for humans to eat meat, dairy and eggs, it becomes impossible to turn a blind eye to it.
It has also been very well documented that a plant based diet is highly beneficial for human health and for the reversal and prevention of many health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
The impact meat consumption has on the environment has been talked about a lot in recent years and it has been said that the single best thing each of us can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to eat a predominantly plant based diet.
I am vegan for my own health, for the animals and for the environment. It is something that aligns with my own personal morals and values and it feels so so right for me. It’s up to all of us to do our bit to make the world a better place.