If you are on the fence about whether or not to try a vegan diet, hear me out!
I am one of those people who enjoy a vegan diet rich in healthy foods because it works for me.
Like everyone else, I dislike it when vegans lecture others on what to eat.
I was taught that if your message is quality, people will accept it naturally.
If you have to jam an idea down someone’s throat, then it is not a very good idea.
I believe that everyone is free to eat what they prefer.
However, we must also remember there is no running from our choices.
- Demystify the vegan diet
- Discuss delicious vegan options
- Explore the fantastic health benefits of veganism
How I found myself on a vegan diet
I am confident, motivated, handsome, and charming, but as far as endocrine system genetics go, I did not hit the jackpot.
I was born with an autoimmune condition most people know as diabetes.
Diabetes causes your pancreas to malfunction or even shut down.
If you are unfamiliar with its function, your pancreas creates insulin.
Insulin is a hormone your body produces to help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
My parents died when I was a small child, so medical care was not always available to me.
When I did go to doctors as a child, I would receive abnormal lab results for blood and urine samples.
My legal guardian did not heed the doctor’s concerns regarding my health.
In my late teens, I wondered why I had pain in my lower back, felt fatigued, was thirsty all the time, or why I urinated so much.
I was hospitalized a few times in high school but remained unaware of my condition.
I suffered from ketoacidosis, but the doctors did not figure that out.
As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know.
I was never educated on what diabetes looks like, how to recognize the symptoms, or how it manifests.
Another saying suggests ignorance is not an excuse.
In college, I lifted weights, played basketball, and was a bouncer at a club.
I am six feet tall and, at the time, weighed 315lbs.
I ate double meat cheese steaks and lived to visit the buffet at Golden Coral.
Eating this way only exacerbated my diabetes
Where I am from, vegans and vegetarians are laughed at.
I come from a traditional African-American household where meat was the norm.
If somebody in my house got served a meal with fruits, vegetables, and grains, they would think something was missing.
At one point, I remember feeling like I had a stomachache every day.
One day, I looked at a plate of leftover meatloaf, and something inside me clicked.
Nobody in my household or neighborhood was vegetarian, but as I gazed at the meatloaf, my higher mind spoke directly to me, and I put down the fork.
From that day on, I would drop eating meat.
As time passed, I realized that dairy and meat were synonymous with health risks because they inflamed the body.
Inflammation is a no-no for anyone with an autoimmune condition.
I believe the message to stop eating meat and adopt a vegan lifestyle was direct communication from my higher self.
Dropping meat and dairy and switching to a vegan lifestyle helped my body cope with diabetes without me knowing I had diabetes!
My endocrinologist suggests that this choice added years to my journey during a time when my lifestyle was lowering my life span.
Demystify the vegan diet
Look, I get it.
When most people think of vegan food, they think of rabbit food.
They think of slices of celery, carrots, and lettuce.
My wife and I laugh at the responses we get from family and friends regarding food.
My family is African American, and my wife’s family is Puerto Rican and Dominican.
All of these cultures have rich, diverse histories with food.
Many of these histories involve meat.
Whenever we visit relatives, we get the same story:
“I just don’t know what you people eat.”
“Can you eat anything other than salad?”
“Oh, we have bread; do you want bread?”
These questions come from a place of genuine care.
We understand that the idea of vegan food sounds foreign to some, but vegan food is simple and delicious.
All it takes is a little know-how and familiarity.
With minimal effort, finding a vegan diet that works for you is easy.
Vegan food is delicious, offers a variety of flavors and textures, and has many health benefits.
Vegan diets can give people the balanced nutrition they need to feel amazing and reclaim their health.
Veganism: A delicious smorgasbord of diverse choices
I have always been intrigued with the idea of the smorgasbord.
A smorgasbord is an ancient Swedish tradition where people would use old bread as plates.
The old bread from the days before would eventually harden.
Inedible bread had little value.
However, if you allowed the bread to harden and then placed various hot and cold dishes on top of the bread, you were on to something!
Eventually, the food’s heat, moisture, and steam would soften the bread and make it edible.
Veganism is a smorgasbord of opportunity.
The more colors on your plate, the larger the variety of nutritional value.
So many fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and other foods are healthy and taste great.
Here is an example of a typical day for me:
I will have a bowl of grits with nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil for breakfast.
On the side of my grits will be sauteed zucchini and tomatoes;
A handful of fresh cashews with a side of blueberries round out the plate.
My plate has green, red, white, yellow, and blue.
In the afternoon, I’ll have a veggie sandwich (tomato, pickles, vegan mayo, onion, avocado, kale) on gluten-free bread with a side of plantain chips.
I enjoy baked sweet potato, lentils, sauteed spinach, cucumber salad, and sliced avocado with sunflower or pumpkin seeds for dinner.
For dessert, I like frozen berries with gluten-free granola.
Every day, all of my meals are diverse and full of flavor!
A well-done vegan lifestyle results in guilt-free eating and less stress.
Eating should be an experience that brings you joy and supports your health.
Guilt-free eating transforms into inspirational eating.
Every time I eat, I am inspired because I know I am doing something extraordinary for myself.
My vegan diet supports my well-being.
Explore the fantastic health benefits of veganism
Veganism is a delicious lifestyle with many benefits.
Our health is essential, and we can lose it if we take it for granted.
Your body is similar to a well-run machine
I like to use the automobile as a great analogy.
You know that your car or truck requires the appropriate fuel to run efficiently.
You can’t just put any old liquid in your car as fuel.
If you put bleach, dish soap, or vanilla pudding in your vehicle’s fuel tank, you will not get the performance you desire.
Our bodies are similar in this way.
If we put non-energizing or junk fuel in our reserves, we will not get the performance we desire from our bodies.
Similarly, we will not get an ideal performance if we put in excessive amounts of foods that should be consumed in limited quantities.
Our overall health is held accountable by our diet.
All protein comes from plants
In the movie Idiocracy, part of the humor is that the entire population has been over-advertised by various agencies.
Sports beverage companies make a point to focus on how electrolytes are necessary to fuel your body.
The public in the movie eventually believes that electrolytes are a cure for everything.
They even water their crops with sports beverages and wonder why they have a global food shortage.
Idiocracy is satire, but in the real world, many people misunderstand protein.
People from Hong Kong, The United States, and Australia consume significantly larger amounts of protein than the rest of the world.
If you ask the average American the most crucial part of their diet, they would answer with protein.
Ditch the processed meat and dairy and embrace a vegan diet
People associate protein with meat consumption, and most people consume processed meat.
All meat is not the same.
The wild goat that your uncle shot is not the same meat as the pepperoni on your frozen pizza.
The aisles of most grocery stores are full of cold cuts, burritos, hotdogs, hamburgers, and other forms of processed meat.
The World Health Organization classified processed meat as a carcinogen.
Overdependency on processed meat in your diet decreases your chances of avoiding preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
It also increases your chances of developing cancer.
Embracing a vegan diet allows you to avoid foods that harm you and embrace foods that help you.
A diverse vegan diet helps the body to:
- Clear acne
- Promote flexibility
- Avoid inflammation
- Increase self-esteem
- Regulate blood sugars
- Increase energy and stamina
- Detoxify organs and systems
- Decrease the need for medication
- Increases feelings of fullness with fewer calories
Have you ever wondered why some of the largest, most powerful animals eat mostly vegetables or even exclusively vegetables?
The animals that humans consume either eat other animals that eat plants or eat plants directly.
All protein is sourced from the world’s flora; it comes from plants.
It would benefit the world if people knew they could get just as much protein by consuming certain natural foods like greens, berries, beans, and other plants.
Not only does eating a diverse variety of foods increase your health, but it improves our overall quality of life.
Ethically sourcing and mindfully consuming your food benefits everyone and everything.
I eat a vegan diet, which helps me manage my blood sugar levels as a person with diabetes, keeping me healthy.
A vegan diet saved my life.
You can check out more about a vegan diet might help you in this article from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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