I used to eat meat.
As a kid, I ate hamburgers, like most people. But then, for some reason, which I cannot remember, I came home from summer camp at the age of twelve and told my parents I was a vegetarian.
But here was the problem: I hated vegetables. So my dad convinced me I could add Chicken McNuggets, Filet of Fish, processed cheese, and turkey sandwiches into my newfound phase, or I’d get zero nutrition. Funny. But I consented.
When I was twenty years old, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and told that my intestines were on the wrong side of my body. If you too have been diagnosed with IBS, it’s agony. My stomach was literally twisted in knots and a constant wreck.
Bloated, gassy, constipated. Yeah, it sucked.
But I figured that was my destiny. After all, my dad had diverticulosis, a horrible disease in the large intestine. He suffered, so I guess I figured I would too.
It was an ever-learning process, but over the next twenty years, I slowly woke up.
No dairy for me.
Gluten-free became the norm.
Organic was a necessity.
Greens were my staples.
And then it was time to say bye-bye to the fish and the birds.
I had to. It became of utmost importance to me to get the toxicity out of my body and heal my gut from the onslaught of constant torment. Call it a nutritional upheaval. Whatever you want. I was going vegan, baby.
It was an interesting process.
As I took the dead food out of my diet, my body started to crave more and more live, raw food.
My palette corrected itself to the tastes of nature.
At first, I didn’t think I’d feel satisfied. If I was eating like a bird, wouldn’t I feel hungry all the time? But after some experimentation, I quickly discovered that the fiber and nutrients from all the produce, seeds, and nuts were extremely satiating.
As I began to incorporate more and more healthy, live enzymes into my diet, I began to think about all the crap I used to eat. And my crazy rationale. Like the time I was sitting in a restaurant and freaked out about a tiny little lettuce leaf bug on my mustard green which accompanied a rather large chicken. I thought to myself, “Man, I was trippin’ over a lettuce leaf bug, but I was about to eat a dead bird. Okay, that made sense.”
I was finished treating my body like a graveyard. I was housing my body with only natural whole foods that didn’t require a dump truck or trash compacter to process.
Over a very short time, my body began to heal.
No more bellyaches or constipation.
Instead, I was surprised by the lightness in my gut and the poops I was able to take after every meal, just the way our bodies were designed to operate.
What you choose to eat and how you choose to nourish your body is your choice. I am not here to try and convert you to my way. But what is important is to be able to acknowledge how you feel after you eat. What do certain foods do to you? And how do you feel with or without them in your diet?
Food is medicine, and the right kind of relationship with food can make an impact on your health.
I was not able to afford to stay on the traditional American diet and call that living. I was slowly dying inside. Now, I eat foods that are local, in season, mostly raw, and organic. And I feel fresh and alive.
You are what you eat, so consider choosing. What’s your health worth to you?
I have just shared my personal story of why I became a vegan. Have you been considering experimenting with the same? Not sure if you can make the leap? I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.