I have struggled with my weight through my adolescence and my adult life. Unfortunately, like so many teenage girls, I struggled with body image and negative self-talk. I have come along way and continue to work on this. However, finding a comfortable weight continues to be an issue.
I absolutely have a complicated relationship with food. I am an emotional eater and turn to food when I am stressed, sad, emotional or hormonal. I am completely perplexed by people who “forget to eat” or by my step-son who has said “eating is boring.” I feel like I am constantly thinking about food; “What am I eating next? How can I veganize that recipe? What will my meal plan this week be?”
I am continually working to have a more balanced relationship with food.
I think there is the misconception out there that being vegan=being healthy/skinny. I know I myself have bought into this myth, at times and rationalized poor food choices with “well, at least it’s vegan.”
I often have felt that being vegan was a get out fat jail free card, since I was eating ethically, it should not matter what the calorie, carb, fat, sugar or sodium content was. I think in the vegan world, we often take our health for granted and believe that because we do not eat animals, that automatically makes our food choices healthy. I have fallen into this myth for too long and it was not until I noticed some changes in my health and weight, that I started thinking more about the actual nutrients I was eating.
I have a long, entangled love affair with junk food. When I was a teenager, I loved fast food, chips, candy and all sorts of fatty Mexican foods. Those cravings have definitely decreased, but not eliminated completely. I have fallen into the vegan junk food frenzy, many times. I love veganizing my favorite dishes. I like showing people that being vegan does not mean you have to be deprived. I like proving you do not have to sacrifice taste for ethics and I like experimenting with how to make food taste better, and still be kind to all my animal friends.
veggie dogs + beans + beer
my veganized Alfredo pasta (click here for recipe)
feast with almond cheese spread, sautéed mushrooms & hummus
However, sometimes, I go a little too far.
Doomie’s vegan Big Mac
Real Food Daily’s Nachos
My love for all types of food and eating has led to packing on some unwanted pounds, decreased energy, digestion issues (which have lead to some skin issues) and overall blahhhness.
It has taken me a long time to realize and admit this, but just because a food is vegan, does not make it automatically health.
I really hate admitting this, because it takes away my care-free excuse to eat vegan pizza, chips and Uncle Eddie’s vegan peanut chocolate chip cookies.
I am now on a mission to clean up my diet, eat more whole, unprocessed foods and most notably, decrease my carbohydrate intake and increase my protein.
I am a carbaholic and naturally gravitate towards breads, pastas and grains.
Buuuuuut, it is definitely time for some changes, so stay tuned as I make a more conscience effort to cut down on my processed, carbohydrate intake and increase my protein.
Any advice is welcome!
For a much more eloquent, comprehensive, in-depth discussion of veganism and failing health, please click here for Sayward’s post, Facing Failing Health As A Vegan.