When I had reached one of my highest weight’s I have ever been in my life, I knew I had to do something different. I was at 155 pounds and I was tired and hungry all the time. I work in retail at a grocery store, so any of the hot meals you can get are all fried chicken and french fries. I would eat chicken almost every day or order take out and eat unhealthy somewhere else. It was eating a whole in my pocket as well as making me heavier and heavier, and all I wanted to do was EAT MORE and MORE. My boyfriend Matt is very much more disciplined than I am, and he was trying out the Keto diet. I figured I would give it a try; you can basically have all the good stuff any and every meat with a whole bunch of fat! So, lots of cream and cheese and bacon, wow it was awesome! I tried it for about a month and I lost 10 pounds, and then plateaued, so it got stagnant fast. One of my favorite foods all of my life has been carbs, and not having those was super difficult for me to continue. I was headed down to Louisiana, to my hometown and I could not do it anymore. I quit! The food where I am from in New Orleans is the best of the best, I could not resist splurging on some tasty treats from home. Once you have a cheat day on Keto, you must wait 5 days to go back into Ketosis which is hard if you do not eat enough fat with your protein. Not only did I feel guilty for quitting my diet, I also gained all of the 10 pounds back that just took me a whole month to lose and gained it back in 2 weeks. Every single week I would feel guilty about the way I was living and would want to change. My friend’s stopped having faith in me to be able to lose the weight, because I talked about it so much but could never change my actions. I finally hit a moment where I saw in my friend’s eye one day, “Yeah right, you’re going to try and lose weight and give up once again”. I got angry at myself and said this is the moment when I start. In March, my daughter and I were going to move in with Matt, I figured that would be the perfect time to try out becoming a vegan. He is my greatest supporter, so if he could show me how to eat and what to eat it should be a lot easier. We started off by going through Ray Cronise’s book The Healthspan Solution and looking through all of the recipes with pictures that looked so good and interesting to try. My favorite
part of this book was when they had the entrée recipes section and Ray called them sides. I
thought it was odd at first, but Matt explained it to me. If you make your main dishes all of the sides you normally eat which is vegetables, then every main dish is your sides. I got to eat big portions, so I was excited that I could eat however much I wanted and did not have to worry about counting any calories. My first true vegan meal was Taco Casserole. The recipe was not very difficult to make, it did not use any dairy or meat and it was pretty amazing. I knew that once I started there was no turning back. I only ate between the hours of 1-9 pm, and when I did eat it was entirely plant-based food. I made sure to plan each and every meal I wanted to make on my days off, and made sure we had enough to have for leftovers to take to work with me, when I felt like I needed something. Getting through the first week, I knew that this was something I could not only do, but also get excited about how it was about to change my life.