Why I Decided To Radically Change My Diet And Embrace Kale

12 Feb

 

Pretend that chicken was tofu and that'd be an example of a salad I've been eating!

The easiest thing to say is that over the past few weeks I have started to resemble a vegan. I can’t fully claim that I am an actual vegan because I still eat honey and wear leather shoes and all of that. And while I feel bad when I hear that animals are mistreated, it’s not the primary reason that I chose to do this.  I’m not making a political statement. It’s not because I’ve finally let the land of fruits and nuts get to me, as some of my Midwest friends and family have begun to think. I’m not exactly “allergic” and I’m not silently judging others who decide to indulge in cheese and meats and the like.  

 

I have made a radical change in my diet, choosing to eat a whole foods plant-based diet because I want to believe that I am my own best doctor. It’s because I don’t like the idea of having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life if there is another option. It’s because I’m starting to believe that food is actually SPIRITUAL and I’m starting to consider the idea that my body is a temple. What I put into it is important. It’s not just a garbage dump and just because I’ve been blessed with genes where I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight for most of my life, I can’t afford to take my chances anymore.  My body is not cooperating.  I have a kidney condition that has something to do with an abundance of protein. It’s not life threatening today, but it raises my blood pressure as a result and will likely deteriorate my kidneys quicker than most peoples. In 20 years, that could be bad.  So I have to change something. 

 

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written about this because it’s been so much a part of my life. But maybe it’s been that I’m so busy trying to figure out what to eat and trying to pay attention to what I’m putting into my body that I haven’t had as much time to write.

 

Whether it’s watching documentaries like “Forks Over Knives” or “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” or reading cookbooks about plant based whole foods or vegan diets (did you know that there’s a difference? Neither did I until recently), or figuring out the whole protein debate and trying to determine who is right, I’ve been busy.

Look at all those vegetables!

 

Changing your eating habits is HARD. I’m not going to lie. It’s tough. I used to sneak to Wendy’s on a midnight run with my roommate on many occasions. I had a birthday party less than 90 days ago that was solely based on grilled cheese! But here I am. Discovering lentils. The joy of mushrooms. Juicy blood oranges. Pears! Polenta. Sunflower seed butter. Sweet potatoes made into hash browns (kind of gross. Need a new recipe). Vegan cookies from Trader Joe’s (an indulgence). Vegan enchiladas (so good!). Kale on pizza (so fabulous!). And nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. So much to learn about food. It’s as if I have a new kind of adult education class that I myself am developing for myself.

 

The good news is, I feel great. I have more energy than I’ve ever had. My stomach doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. According to my blood pressure monitor, my BP has decreased a bit. Whether it’s enough is TBD. I don’t know how my kidneys are doing but this week I’m going into the lab for some follow up tests. I’m praying for less protein. I’m praying that this works. And for now I’m just trying to take it one meal at a time.

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One Response to “Why I Decided To Radically Change My Diet And Embrace Kale”

  1. SAMANTHA February 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Great post!! About a year ago I didn’t even know what kale is, and now i consume it DAILY!! Love me some kale juice, kale chips, kale salad etc!! Good luck to you on your eating healthy journey!!

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