- 20-something living in the heart of Greenville, SC.
- I love to cook, but I am terrible at baking! (Thank goodness for my husband – he’s a pro!)
- My husband & I rescued a lil’ pup named Poppy (JK, she was definitely the one to rescue us.)
- First time mama bear to my beautiful little boy named Freddy.
- Thrift-store fanatic!
My vegan story:
Making the decision to give up all animal bi-products was possibly the hardest decision I’ve made in my entire life. After eating a standard American diet, I was a die-hard cheese lover and most of all, LOVED seafood.I’ve always cared for animals, but my journey did not start with the desire to be more compassionate. I loved animals in the sense that I loved my pets. To me, my pets were animals that didn’t deserve to be eaten, but all other animals were fair game. I don’t mean for that to sound dramatic, but honestly, that’s the mentality growing up with a “normal” diet.Being more compassionate is definitely a goal for me, and I strive to be more conscious about my decisions, the way I treat other beings (both animal and human) and the way I talk to people every day. For me, going vegan, or as I like to also call it, plant based (sorry if this angers anyone) has had amazing influence on my soul, my actions, and my thoughts.
Before giving up meat and dairy – and let’s face it, I AM NO WHERE NEAR PERFECT when it comes to this. Accidents happen as go and you learn a crap ton stuff because of it. I’ve trained myself to automatically ask the ingredients of something when dining out, when shopping, and when eating over someone’s house.
For the longest time I was super embarrassed – yes, embarrassed – to ask about what’s in the food. After a few months, and the amazing support of my fiancé, I came to realize that this is my life and my body. My one and only body, which is part of what inspired the change in the first place, and that I have the right to respect my body and ask before putting food inside of it.
There is NOTHING wrong with showing your body respect.
Take the best care of it, you have the ability, and the CHOICE to do so.
I was done being lazy with taking care of my body. I read, watched, learned about both sides of the food spectrum that society has created for us. You’re either a health freak or your not. Well, I call bullshit to it all. All that matters is how you feel. Not numbers on a scale, not your pants size, and most certainly not how you think you look. What matters is how good you feel.
Do you get a stomach ache or major gas after eating meat or dairy?
Do you wake up feeling sic? (low or high blood sugar)
Do you feel groggy after eating fats, even “healthy” fats for lunch?
Do you “need” caffeine?
Do you lack motivation to get your body moving for at least 20 minutes a day?
Do you lack motivation for life in general?
Do you feel bloated 80% of the time?
And these were only a few questions I began to ask myself. I still continue to experiment, try, record, and learn new things every day to help my body feel it’s best.
I am in no way going to suggest giving up meat and cheese. I am not going to suggest giving up gluten. I am not going to suggest sticking to your current lifestyle if it doesn’t bring you good feelings every moment of every day.
I started my plant-based journey to heal myself. This is what has worked for me in the past few months and I plan to continue my journey. My compassion has grown to new levels, my patience has shown itself, and I am loving the body I was given.
My relationship with food hasn’t been the best throughout the years. While I am thankful to not have developed any harmful physical tendencies, I know that mentally I haven’t been in the right place since puberty. I’ve tortured myself with my thoughts, hating myself for eating and looking like a “cow”. In my mind, I’ve always been the larger one, and even when I was at my most fit, I STILL thought I was fat.
Well, the best part about being able to admit and pin-point bullshit society standards is accepting the fact that sure, people have curves.
People have curves of all shapes and sizes. And they are all beautiful.
The funny part is that though my cholesterol is lower than everyone else in my family’s and my boobs have no problem filling out bikini tops, I still felt shame. I let media and society get to me and the journey to being able to admit that has been a rough but beautiful one.
Growth is always possible. Growth is a choice.
Those are very personal things that I can openly say that I am proud of now.
My stomach isn’t flat, but my energy is high and I get at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, not with the intention of becoming a body builder, but simply because that’s what makes me feel good.
Having energy is one of the best feelings in the world. My allergies have reduced severely, and I am learning to eat when I am truly hungry.
Now, the paragraphs above were actually written a few months ago when I was super new to this journey. Now, after getting through numerous family gatherings surrounded by meat and cheese and after experiencing a ridiculous amount of benefits, I am happy to say that I am more proud of my choice to live the vegan lifestyle than ever before.
No joke guys – remember those awful allergies I’d suffer from all day every day? Well, after a few months of living a vegan lifestyle, I barely go through a box of tissues a month. That is seriously a ground-breaking phenomenon for anyone that knows me and my reputation with allergies.
When I look at meat and cheese, all I can think about is the disgusting processes behind those foods and how harmful they truly are to the human body, the planet, and animals.
I’ve grown to realize how hard it is to understand and be open minded to new “extreme” lifestyle changes. I was there, and I had the same opinions towards veganism when I first heard of it.
So what made me dive off the deep end into this lifestyle change?
To start, my health. I was so tired of suffering. I was tired of giving all my energy towards worrying about my relationship with food, my body, and my mind. I’ve been vegan for almost half a year, so don’t get me wrong, I’m still striving for a healthy relationship with food. But after this experience for the past several months, the improvements I’ve experienced thus far are drastic.
I was also tired of the negative energy I would continuously give off towards not only myself, but my fiancé and my pup. I would let negativity from others dig deep into my soul and I would suffer. Thanks to this lifestyle, the main focus is compassion and with that, I’ve learned to not only show more patience and optimism towards others, but to also myself. Thanks to my supportive fiancé, the experience has been nothing but beneficial for everyone.
I am very lucky to have him in this journey.
After of what seemed like a lifetime of living with these issues, eventually you’re going to either grow tired to the point of needing change or you’re going to let your body, heart, and mind continue to suffer.
I also have to admit, the relationship I have with my beautiful pup has turned into a connection is unlike anything I’ve experienced before with a family pet. She is pure joy, and her energy gives me so much life. I can hardly wait for the blessing of experiencing this beautiful energy our children will one day share with us, and most importantly, this world.
I could seriously rant about my experiences all day with my new lifestyle change and how it’s helped me grow from my past. My love for sentient beings has evolved into a passion that drives each breathe I take.
If you’d like to talk more, please comment below or find me on instagram @thehippiebiscuit – I’d love to connect!
Until next time, lower the stakes and choose happiness.