So if you know me personally you will probably be thinking why vegan? I have told a few friends, colleagues and family and I am getting the reactions I expected: "Vegan? There's no fun in that!" "What are you going to eat?" "You are going to fade away!" Where will you get your protein and iron?"
Now, let me say that in order for me to make a decision like this, I did think it through. I explored the health benefits, the actual food I can eat and decisions I would have to make in social contexts. Iron can be found in leafy greens, citrus and beans. As for protein, one cup of lentils has about the same amount of protein as a piece of steak except without all of the fat and cholesterol!
Hmmm let me think... Do I want to live longer, stronger and healthier? Yes please. The assumptions of a vegan diet is hilarious, people think all I am going to eat is salad... Umm boring! I am asian there is no such thing as boring food in an Asian's kitchen hehe.
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Why I am vegan
- To be healthy physically and mentally
- To cure my eczema
- To support the rights of living, breathing, childbearing animals have the right to run free. I watched Earthlings and I will never look at the piece of meat the same way again.
Those are only some points, but they are the main reasons.
My Journey to Veganism
Almost two years ago I was in my prime, healthy, energetic, and overall happy. Sadly in June, last year my Grandpa, my Mum's Dad, was growing very ill. A few weeks later he passed away, and left a huge emptiness in my soul. Most of the pain I felt was my Mum's pain. To see the person who bathed you, fed you, and loves you unconditionally in such pain and grief was heartbreaking.
My Grandpa Paul, was a hardworking, loving, wise and well respected man. He was a seaman who travelled all around the globe, he always made sure his family had the best things in life and was successful enough to be able to retire comfortably at the age of 40. I have been fortunate to have been gifted his wise philosophies in life, passed down from my mother and will be passed down to my children and future generations. I know I am still young but can fully credit my success to my Grandpa Paul and my Mother.
How does the loss of my Grandpa connect to my veganism you ask? Well, the two weeks of his funeral in the Philippines could have been one of the toughest times of my life. The pain, grief and reasons behind his death ate my soul, sadly Grandpa had not left a happy man. When I returned back to New Zealand, I felt empty, I was lost, damaged, and scarred. I did have the unconditional love and support of Jake and my family but this pain was too hard to bare. This is when I started eating, eating and eating more. I wanted to numb myself to try to forget the experience. I started to pull away from my friends, and ate at every opportunity I could find. The only things that would get me through the day was my beautiful partner, my class, and my family. They were constant reminders that I needed to go on, but the eating didn't stop.
|Left: Jan 2012 Right: June 2013|
During the one year anniversary of my Grandpa's passing, and twenty kilos later, I had finally made the decision to stop abusing myself and move on. It was very hard at the start, as a bad habit is not easy to get rid of. My eczema was in the worst condition that it had ever been, due to what I was putting in my mouth. I started by going on a Paleo diet which focusses on a 'caveman' style of eating: Meat, egg, fruit, veg and nuts - no grain or wheat allowed. I did this for about three months and saw no change in my skin and was not feeling 100%.
A few weeks later my uncle (dad's side) in the Philippines was diagnosed with a serious illness. My Dad being a proactive man wanted to do everything to find a natural cure, that did not involve medicine. He showed him the documentary 'Forks Over Knives' and my uncle was willing to give it a go. Forks over knifes explains the negative effects animal protein has on the body, with removing this protein from our diet it has been proven to cure many diseases. Having said this, my Dad, his wife and my little brother took the pledge to eliminate meat from their diet in order promote a healthy lifestyle. At first I knew I should have been doing the same, but it took me a while.
Ten days ago, I decided to go on a juice detox to get rid of all of the toxins in my body and reboot my life. I had fresh fruit and vegetable juice five times a day with plenty of coconut water and lemon water in between. My juice detox helped me reflect and truly assess what was important, and it was then that I made the decision to go vegan and eliminate all dairy and meat products.
It is now day ten the last day of my juice fast and I am feeling, energetic, positive, motivated, mentally focussed, healthy and I have also lost 7 kgs! I am a happy woman, and am looking forward to my new life as a vegan. My life changing decision is dedicated to my partner, my mother, my family, my friends, and to my dear Grandpa Paulino Soliano xx
I hope you are inspired and can understand my decision, either way I don't mind, its my life, my body and I choose what I do with it.
|This is not a recent photo, but my motivation to get back to being me again :)|