Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why we do it

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional. I'm not perfect. I try my best to balance loving on my kids, spending time in the kitchen, exercising my body and mind, and being there for my husband. 

We started this journey to a healthier lifestyle many years ago after finding out what "trans-fat" really was. And it's taken us on a journey I never thought we'd be on. Plant-based eating is what's working for our family, now. It's not for everyone, but with this blog, I hope to inspire people to eat more nuts, fruits and veggies, and most of all, try new things. 

As far as how we've changed since adopting a plant-based life, it's been amazing. Now, I didn't have the best diet before. My last taste of beef was a double Sonic cheeseburger, for crying out loud. We ate plenty of dinners that came from boxes and ate out at least 5 times a week. Now, we "eat out" maybe once a month and all of our meals are made from scratch in my kitchen. But I love doing it, and as a stay at home mom, I make the time. 

Now, a little about us.

My 8 year old, who is high-functioning autistic, was non-verbal until 4. Right around the time we started cutting out junk, food dyes, fast food and preservatives, he started to say a few words. He also has a sensory disorder and used to hate textures of food that weren't crunchy. He wouldn't touch vegetables (even potatoes!), and hated all fruits. Slowly, with lots of patience and hard work, we got him to try new things. A carrot here, maybe a bite of an apple there. We just set good examples, and in the end, he chose what he wanted to try.  He's still very picky, but understands why we should eat healthy things, and not cookies, crackers and chips all day. I can happily say that he's doing amazing now and will eat almost all of my meals without a fight. He also talks a mile a minute now and knows his stuff when it comes to math and science. 

Almost two years ago, my 6 year old fell off the ladder of his bunk bed and onto his back. He started complaining of pains, and ended up vomiting and was very drowsy. He was admitted to the hospital, where we found out he had ruptured his left kidney. It turns out, he was born with a pinch in his ureter (the tube that connects your kidney to your bladder) and that had caused his kidney to swell and eventually, burst upon impact. We decided to try and save the kidney. The next year and a half proved to be extremely tough, he went through 6 surgeries and we'll found out soon how well his kidney is working, if at all. BUT all of our doctors have said that his healthy diet (the kid eats bell peppers like apples) has aided tremendously in keeping his right kidney in awesome condition, helped in his recoveries and in his overall health. We have to keep his one good kidney in optimal health, and a plant based diet is doing it.

My 1 year old is a thriving, happy little girl who loves beans, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and getting into her brothers things. ;)

As for my husband and I, we are both runners and practice yoga. My hubby has seen his weight and blood pressure drop since eating healthier. My adult-onset asthma and anemia aren't around anymore and I no longer need caffeine to get through the day. We don't just eat a plant-based diet for health, but that's a whole other post. ;)

For us, this way of eating works. We love that our bodies feel healthier, our carbon footprint is smaller, and fewer animals are harmed because of our daily choices. I hope you learn some tips or try new things. Most of all, love others, love the earth and love yourself.

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