Sunday, December 19, 2010

looking back

As the year comes to a close, one cannot help but look back and reflect over it's happenings.  I went through so many changes it is amazing to me.  A year ago at this time, I was struggling with knowing I needed to do something different in my nutrition, but not being sure as to what I WANTED to do.  I never saw myself as a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.  Yet I had a sense of a health crisis mounting against me.  I do not know why, I just absolutely knew in my heart that I was at a crossroads and if I didn't change something now, then later I would pay drastically.  You'd think that having this forewarning, I would have been eager to change my ways.  This is not the case however, and it was with a grudging attitude that I made my plans.  Like most things I do, I researched and used tools that presented themselves to me.  This came in the form of a high school classmate, Tess Challis, who wrote a beautiful, witty "how to become healthy" (which is vegan) recipe book.  The book is: Radiant Health, Inner Wealth by Quintessence Challis.  After much inner turmoil, and an admirable attempt by my sister-in-law's family to eat vegetarian for one month, I decided that it would not hurt me to dedicate 1 month to eating vegan.  Why did I go to the seemingly extreme of vegan?  Well, that was all part of my research.  I wanted to start all the way, and if I felt it wasn't worth it, I could add things back as I wanted.  I also included eliminating all unnatural ingredients and chose organic products.  Please understand, I ate (and lovingly enjoyed) all the bad foods one is warned against.  This was not easy for me and I am not someone known for my willpower.  I was going for total health, which included weight loss in my case.  It has now been almost a year since I've eaten meat and dairy.  I loved meat, i still do, but at this point in my life, I do not think I will eat it again.  Definitely not like I used to.  For me, the results of my one month commitment (that has lasted a year and counting) have been too conclusive.  Another book that I read months after starting my new way of eating, cemented in my mind that how I eat is the best for my health.  That book is: The China Study by T. Collin Campbell.  Not a book designed to start a diet fad that will earn the authors millions of money in a diet craze, but rather a book written by a research scientist who has devoted most of his life in the study of nutrition and it's effect on health.  He very simply tells you how to eradicate heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer growth.  I know the effect the vegan diet has had on my health.  I was once a slave to my allergies and often down with upper respiratory infections as well as hordes of "colds".  In this year, I have taken no antibiotics.  I have had 1 stomach flu, and have had 1 cold (just a couple weeks ago) that lasted only 3 days.  Hippocrates said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".  I find that this seems to be quite true.  I have had my failures this year, as well.  My finding out that Oreo cookies are "vegan" and potato chips and Fritos too, have made me understand that yes, there can be unhealthy ways to eat that still fall under vegan.  It is a continuous journey I am on.  I don't think there will ever be a moment that I cross a finish line and declare myself at the end of my total health quest.  But I am enjoying the trip and my success has out weighed my failings. Good luck to you on your journey, wherever it takes you.  Listen to your body always and you will not go wrong.  I wish you all happy Holidays and a wonderful and prosperous 2011.  Look for my blog on January 16th, which will be my 1 year anniversary!! :)


  1. Dani, That is moving and touching. I am so thankful that our jouneys have caused us to meet. You continue to be an inspiration and bring a smile. love you and thankful to call you friend!

  2. Happy almost anniversary...I am so proud of you choosing to listen to your body! I love ya.

  3. I'm sooooo proud of you. Keep up the good work!