Experiencing a whole-food, plant-based diet has been one of the most exciting and nourishing journeys of my life. There is a myth about a plant-based lifestyle, claiming those who follow it are missing out or giving up something. For me, food is a total adventure now, and I eat more diversely than I ever have, feeling healthier than ever before.
I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to experience this.
Let food be an experience.
I am fortunate in that all of my dietary experiences in life have been incredibly beneficial and empowering. I have never been a fad diet person, and because my nutritional experiences were always longterm lifestyle changes, I reaped benefits many haven't given themselves the chance to experience.
My first encounter with the power of plant foods was in my senior year of high school. My family got really into juicing, and before I knew it, I was drinking a 16oz cup of carrot juice, and a 16oz of greens-based juice every day. The change in my energy level as a track athlete was shocking.
I carried on the juicing into my freshman year of college, as an 800M runner on the track team. At this point, I dropped red meat and was eating tons of veggies. This, alongside with my juicing supplements and methods, had an incredible impact on me. Out of the entire team, I was one of few never injured, never sick, and my recovery time was about 24 hours, versus days of increasing soreness from before. I was training with upperclassmen, and I felt incredible.
The human diet was never meant to be a sacrifice or a short term fad. Our daily meals allow us to experience the bounty of nutrition.
Following a plant-based diet is not about what you can't eat. Hopefully, my experiences serve as a reminder instead, of all the things you can eat.
By senior year I left the track team and was working two jobs, volunteering, and doing everything else I could to get into medical school. It was exhausting. I was supplementing with plant-based juice products, eating "white" meats and fish, and plenty of vegetables. I felt healthy but tired. I felt there was not much I could do; my hectic schedule was just something to get used to. Fortunately, I came across a documentary that made me rethink what I was eating. Maybe I shouldn't accept the constant fog of exhaustion that my crazy schedule had me under. For health reasons, environmental reasons, and many more, I decided in December 2015 that I was going to go completely plant-based. I have never looked back. I lost 10lbs I didn't even know I had to lose. As a runner, this struck me as odd. But my body transitioned and fell into its natural shape. I didn't need caffeine, excess sugars, and no longer had to force myself to get through a workout. This new body changed my experience of running, I no longer ran because I had to, but because I had so much energy it was a must! I ran faster and easier (wishing I knew this as an athlete!). The best way to describe it is I felt...brighter. Lighter on my feet, clearer in my head, just this all-around brightness that enveloped my mind and body, and shone radiantly from my skin and hair down to my feet. It wasn't long before friends and family were asking what I do differently, and I became passionate about nutrition. Everyone deserves the knowledge to change their health for the better.
Thankfully, my experiences have been nothing short of amazing. I have mental clarity like never before, energy I never want to lose, and a sense of self that is empowering. Food is empowering, and in the craziness of our everyday lives, many of us have lost sight of that. So I am here to share all of my thoughts and experiences, to help anyone willing to transition to a plant-based lifestyle.