Do any of these images look familiar to you? Do any of them strike a chord?
Each of them, at different phases of my life, have meant something foundational or confirming for me. Taking a stroll down memory lane, as you all know this a part of manifesting and working towards becoming your most authentic self, I thought back to when I graduated from college. A whole fifty pounds heavier, yes, fifty, I made my way back home to New York from Hampton University. Ready to conquer the world, my weight gain was the least of my worries. I was a young, fly, brown girl, ready to take on my next chapter. That, I was. What I was not ready for was the increasing number of cancer diagnoses in the individuals around me and around everyone else that told their story.
Why were there so many people being diagnosed with cancer? Why was cancer now the number one killer in humans? What was really going on? This actually scared the heck out of me!! Being the me that I am, I began my research. In my deep dive, my findings led me to believe that the hormones, food and environments in which the animals we eat are being injected, eating and living in, is what highly contributed to cancer in all humankind. Implications from my findings included further research around changing my lifestyle towards cutting out animal products and the walking into my life of the book, Skinny Bitch. Engaging in this text, sent me over the edge. It went deeper into the world of livestock and the industry of such as well as the connections between consuming animal products and the effects on our bodies. This confirmed everything that I found in my research. The absolute next day, I stopped consuming all animal products. I just couldn’t fathom eating anymore animal products after knowing what it was doing to my body and what it was doing to the people around me. The cancer and other health ailments that consuming animal products caused. I was turned out! I was a VEGAN!!
That is….until…..medical doctors cohearsed me to incorporate meat and dairy back into my life. Six years into living a plant-based lifestyle and a roller coaster of dramatic weight gains and losses, facial and back acne, abnormal hair growth and missed menstrual periods, they wanted me to eat like a “normal” person as they contributed all the aforementioned ailments to my lack of animal product consumption. Complying with medical direction, I began to eat corpses and puss-filled diary products once again. A year and a half in, still suffering, and suffering even worse, the change back to a carnivore diet had not changed a thing. What was really going on? Tests, doubt, and bouts of depression later, I couldn’t take it any longer. Something was wrong. There were no answers for me. Only struggle and hurt as I continued to suffer from what I wouldn’t want my worse enemy to suffer from. Finally, after two years of what seemed to be about one hundred doctors, I.found.out. You have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS.
Two more years of consuming animal products, suffrage and no positive changes…..no periods, ugly black facial spots, weight gain and limited loss at this point, two surgical procedures, one on my ovaries and one on my stomach…..I wanted a change.
Going back to my research findings, I decided to watch the popular documentary, “What the Health”. All this did was confirm my findings once again, just as Skinny Bitch did years prior. Now incorporating research on PCOS, I combined what I found from both topics and decided to try what I could to increase my health, prevent cancer and other negative health ailments and rid myself of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I went VEGAN, again.
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan.
When you do not eat any animal products but still use or wear some form of animal products, you are considerably eating a plant-based diet. A vegan, in the exact defining of the word, is someone who does not consume any animal products or utilize any animal product in their lifestyle. Therefore, although I consider myself a vegan, I do indeed still have shoes in my closet, bags on my racks and some coats that have some sort leather or animal related material in it. At this point, I live a plant-based lifestyle. It is my goal to be a full and true vegan in the near future. Currently, I look for brands and companies that have products that are true animal and cruelty free!! As I continue to find them, I will share with you all!
A plant-based lifestyle can be one of the healthiest ways to live. It should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. As a result of a plant-based lifestyle often relying heavily on these healthy staples, they tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. Healthy plant-based diets are abundant with vitamins B1, C, and E, folic acid, magnesium, and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats.
A plant-based lifestyle can reduce the risk of mortality from conditions such as:
Type 2 diabetes
Ischemic heart disease
Some cancers including prostate and colon cancer
A plant-based lifestyle can be healthy for anyone of any age, including children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly. It’s important to note that living such a lifestyle, you need to pay special attention to avoid specific nutrient deficiencies. There is little risk of deficiency in a well-planned plant-based diet. (www.ilovevegan.com)
According to vegan.com and my personal experiences, here are some ways to start incorporating a plant-based diet into your lifestyle:
Choose a day or two to be animal free:
Most of us have heard of #meatlessmondays and have even tried it a time or two. This is a way to assist in your transitioning by taking it in practice once or twice a week. If you feel like you can go a bit further than that, try “Vegan before 6”, created by Mark Bittman. This is where you follow a totally vegan diet until dinnertime, and then eat whatever you like for the rest of the evening. Just don’t go on a crazy binge!
Cultivate the habit of trying and cooking new foods at every opportunity:
Sample new plant-based meals and foods as much as you can! You can try at least five new vegan foods each week. You’ll discover a steady stream of foods you love. Week by week, these items will begin crowding out the animal products that are currently in your diet. Before long, anytime you get hungry the first food that comes to mind will be vegan. Also, start collecting and experimenting with vegan recipes that appeal to you. Find a few different quick and easy vegan meals that you enjoy and get comfortable preparing them. Get trying and cooking!
“Veganize” your shopping list:
As you are writing out and planning your grocery list, make it a goal of yours to add 10% more of plant-based items each time you plan. Begin incorporating more whole grain, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu onto your list. Find a resources at the link to help you with building a health vegan grocery list.
“Smartize” your mental on plant-based lifestyles:
Read, watch, learn. Seek out vegan/plant-based documentaries, books, magazines, websites, blogs, forums, and people. They can offer valuable insights, support, and will help you to feel more confident in your small changes and transition.
Cow’s Milk, Nah!:
An animal should only drink its own mama’s milk. Therefore, unless you’re still drinking your mama’s milk, you definitely shouldn’t be drinking anybody else mama’s milk. Switch out milk for a non-dairy alternative such as almond or soy. This is an easy switch for most people but there’s a lot of options from almond, rice, coconut, oat, hemp and soy. Therefore, I suggest that you experiment to find which you like best.
Here are a few of my favorite plant-based foods and recipes to get you moving towards a change:
If you chose to lean towards a plant-based or even a full vegan lifestyle, remember, every little step counts. Whether you take one day off of animal consumption, go vegetarian, or just make small changes to cut down your consumption animal products, you are taking a step in the correct direction. Try to stay clear of labeling yourself based on your diet and lean more towards eating healthy!
Have fun and get creative!! Take your time, make some mistakes, learn from them, and move on!! Discover new foods and new places as you embark on you journey as you gain pleasure from the new foods and meals that you are enjoying!! Your effort and growth will beam!!
The more plant-based foods you try, the easier it becomes to avoid animal products. No matter what your choice is, be sure to eat and live a healthy lifestyle of your choice, all of course while being,
Unapologetically Me. Unapologetically You. Unapologetically Us.
Shop the Look:
Please click on the images below to shop my outfit. My dress and hat are vintage. The dress is a button down denim dress and I have included some links for some similar items. The Mickey ears beret is pretty unique and there is nothing around that comes similar to it! :/
Also, my Miu Miu Prada boots are from about four years ago. Yup, yup. Old schoolies, well kind of lol. I have linked some similar ones, as similar as similar can get when it comes to these.
Don’t forget to tag me and hashtag #inspiredbynova if you purchase any items from my look! OR if you are inspired by me in any way!!
Happy Shopping!! :D