Plant Based Prerogative

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Food and I have not always had the best relationship.

When I was a toddler I ate a bowl full of strawberries that made my face and neck swell with a bright red rash. When I was 7 I had my first (and last) bite of lobster that sent me into an awful allergic reaction. When I was about 12 I realized all the reactions I was having were seafood related... Caesar salad dressing, Worcester sauce (and any BBQ sauce that included it), anything fried in the same fryer... when I was 21 I reacted to red wine. And then dairy. I went through the last year and a half writhing in pain after drinking milk or a big bowl of ice cream and acting like it was worth it. I kept thinking, “Why God? Why would you make me so limited? Wasn’t it enough to take away what I was already allergic to?”

At almost 23, I decided to take a good hard look at my choices. I realized I wasn’t limited but in fact, open to a whole new world. I could adopt this way of life that highlights a whole slew of things I could have and left out almost all the things I couldn’t anyways! I made the choice to start the journey to a Plant-Based diet, starting with cutting out meat altogether and replacing cow’s milk with almond milk. (Not to mention all the other great reasons like helping our environment, the farmers, the animals, and my long term health.) All the data is there. If it’s something you’re interested in learning about there are excellent documentaries on Netflix that got my wheels turning. One film I found really gripping is “Eating Animals” that shows how many aspects there are to people consuming meat in this modern age.

For years I was terrified (and still a little am) of trying new things. I was so afraid that my face and throat would swell and I’d break out in hives. It got to the point where at school lunches I would eat maybe a bag of chips. Every time I put food in my mouth it was this fixation of “will this hurt me?” Slowly, food became a major anxiety trigger for me. Which I guess isn’t hard to imagine when your fiance eats crab legs, drives three hours home from Maine, kisses you on the cheek and your whole side of your face blows out in hives. True story!

This new year, I’m so happy to say I’ve never had a better relationship with food. I went from thinking it was something that could kill me to something that now energizes me and brings me life! I find myself actually trying new things and feeling better for it. Yesterday I had avocado for the first time and I felt awesome afterwards! Today I made my first smoothie bowl (pictured above). I know it may not seem like much, but I’m working over this once huge fear and trigger of mine. By getting rid of meat altogether and starting this journey towards a more plant-based life, I’ve gained so much and expanded. I’m sure there’s days where I’ll slip up in the process but I will have grace with myself and fuel this body, this temple, with food that nourishes.

So far, I haven’t felt like I’m limited or restricting myself at all. If anything, I feel like there’s so many ways to be more creative with my food now. Plus we are living in a time when new companies are coming out and creating unreal substitutes. For example, Gardein’s Beefless Ground? Oh yes hunny, I’ll take a veggie taco with that in it ANY day. Or their Crispy “Chicken” Nuggets? They are so deliciously spot on, I just had some with Ketchup actually for an after dinner snack. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of plants and beans and these substitutes with protein… That seems to be everyone’s concern when I tell them I’m not doing meat anymore. Yes, I am still getting plenty of protein!

Are you vegetarian or vegan? If you are how long have you been? Please share all the yummy recipes, I am so open to them!

What are your New Years Resolutions? Let me know, I love hearing from you!

All the best,

Kels

Kelsey SwinburneComment