Spotted Arrow

2017-11-19

Why I Eat Plant-Based

You don’t know much about me and my lifestyle. This article aims to teach you a bit about who I am as a person and also to provide exposure to the vegan diet.

Now let’s give this some more context. My family raised me on the standard American diet. If there is such a thing. I drank milk, ate meat, loved bread, and consumed lots of sugar. I ate at Checkers, Hardee’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s. When I wanted to eat healthily I would go to Subway. I would eat anything and everything up until I got to college. At college, I saw a lot of eye-opening documentaries about animal agriculture. This turned me off from eating industrial meats, eggs, and dairy. Instead, I started eating the organic versions. Not every time though, but a majority of the time. I stopped eating at McDonald’s and instead was going to places like Chipotle.

I kept up this type of diet until 2011 when I self-diagnosed myself with candida overgrowth. The main symptom I encountered was brain fog as well as severe fatigue. I changed my diet once again to a high protein and low carbohydrate akin to the paleo diet. I completely removed milk during this time but kept cheese and of course eggs. I also removed wheat as I was having a negative reaction to it. I mixed in natural anti-fungal medications and after about 4 years I started to recover. When I say recover I mean I had fewer bouts of brain fog from candida die-off. When I started to introduce more carbohydrates into my diet without signs of brain fog I knew I was on the right path. I then became more comfortable with modifying my diet to fit a more natural lifestyle. But I wouldn’t eat meat at every sitting. I declared myself a flexitarian: sometimes eat meat, sometimes not. I was fine with eating meat for a couple reasons: (1) meat kept me full for longer, and (2) I have reactive hypoglycemia. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar drops after eating a meal high in carbohydrates and/or sugars. It was a way for me to keep my blood sugar stable which was important to me. Also, the candida/paleo diet helped me to recover from an illness that was very devastating for me. I thought it would continue to be that way.

Let’s fast forward a few more years to 2017. I am a web developer and for anyone who knows the industry then knows how stressful it can be. During the day I am successful. I am on task and I work towards completing the goals for the company every day. But at night something was wrong. My heart rate would race and there came a point when I started feeling my heart skip a beat. It was quite strange and I knew something was wrong. I needed to change something but I didn’t know what. Around that time a friend told me about the documentary “What the Health.” I watched it and took it all in. The fact that major health organizations take money from the meat industry did not surprise me. What did surprise me was the research surrounding the effects meat has on the human body. And it was all coming to a head because now I had the problem. So about a month ago I became a vegan and I haven’t looked back. I don’t have any heart issues and now it’s easier than ever to sleep at night and feel well-rested in the morning.

But now that I am following this diet I realize there is more to it than health alone. A vegan diet affects not only your own health but also the health of the planet. Which to me makes it even more endearing. I don’t want to depress you about the facts, I am sure you can do that on your own time. But I do want to bring up one tactic that multi-billion dollar corporations use when their product is being attacked: doubt. This is the same tactic the cigarette industry used to conceal the link between cancer and smoking. It’s sad to say, but I fell for this tactic. If you have ever read a news article saying eggs, butter, or pork is healthy then you know what I am talking about. Meat companies paid for research studies, not to prove meat was good, but rather it was not as bad. These “research findings” would get picked up in the news so I would hear what I wanted to all along. Now that I know this information, as George Bush would say: “fool me once…shame on you. Fool me…you can’t get fooled again.”

As I said at the outset, this article is to tell you more about who I am and to provide exposure for veganism. Veganism is not only a worthwhile diet but also a worthwhile cause. I am not asking anyone to become vegan. That is not my style. All I will say is listen to your body and it won’t steer you wrong.