How it Happened
For me to change my way of eating to such a drastic extent of becoming vegan may and did seem a bit extreme to others. People have watched me from a distance perhaps not thinking I could sustain this way of eating as I loved eating meat, chicken, fish, ice cream and the like.
I Love To Eat
In fact, as my mother put it once, “We, as Italians Live to Eat. Bill, my husband, on the other hand, Eats to Live.” He does not enjoy food; neither do a couple of our children. They consider it an imposition if they have to stop what they’re doing to eat because they are hungry. Foreign concept to me. Really, really foreign concept to me!
There isn’t much in the way of food that I do not like. I like to look at food, prepare it, talk about it, smell it, savor it going down, and have been known many times to even discuss a meal after I’ve eaten it.
It Has to be Well-Balanced to do You Any Good
Quite contrary to what some think, eating a well-balanced vegan, plant-based diet, and I do stress well balanced, there is no vegan low energy. Those who are vegan and plant-based eaters report that they have more energy, not less. I, too, am healthy, full of energy and feeling quite well, thank you and thank God.
In fact, my recent blood work all came back very normal. No thyroid issues, AIC (3 month insulin report) excellent, and arterial screenings reported low risk for cardio vascular disease. My protein, calcium and B12 were also normal.
You can eat junk food and still be vegan. But you MUST eat a well-balanced diet in order to remain healthy.
It Just Happened
Becoming vegan wasn’t something I planned, it rather just happened. It all started with a book I’d read, Brain Trust by Colm Kelleher. The subtitle intrigued me: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease.
This book made such an impression on me and by the time I finished it, I was resigned to never eat beef or pork again. During the entire next year, still not eating any beef or pork, I continued to study, read, research, watch DVDs, attend seminars and talk with people, hearing many testimonies along the way. It had become quite a passion and a pass-time.
Continuing to Learn
Some time later, Bill and I, one evening, happened upon a PBS Special by Gary Null, PhD, nutritionist, scientist and lecturer. We sat mesmerized for two hours watching his lecture on health and how important it was for us to eat in a vegetarian manner. I truly had no intention of becoming vegan and changing my way of eating. I really and truly did not; still, I was interested. I was learning and I was truly taken with what he had to say. Over the course of several months, we watched many other health and food-related lectures.
One morning, I woke up and a decision had nested its way into my mind unbeknownst to and unbeckoned by me. In addition to not eating beef and pork, I found myself planning to stay away from chicken, fish, wheat, sugar and coffee.
Oh my gosh! I was becoming vegan and didn’t even realize it. And that was really the beginning. Did Bill ride along with me? Nope! But he was learning what I was learning and perhaps maybe at a later date he will?
And so, for several years now, I have not eaten any beef, pork, chicken or fish. I have not eaten butter, cheese or eggs. I was not only becoming vegan. Now I was vegan. Wow! How did that happen? And that’s how subtle it all was.
But in the back of my mind was probably why I really became vegan.
You might consider the my health history.
Being in Control
I don’t have animal products if I can at all help it. That is, unless, of course, they show up hidden in foods when I am not aware—for example, when eating in restaurants or eating at the homes of others.
When I am in control, however, I eat organic only and no animal products whatsoever. With all that I don’t eat, I am often asked the question, What DO you eat? Oh my goodness! There is a plethora of food without animal products that is absolutely delicious. Some I had never eaten nor had I been aware even existed. And, yes! They are full of all the nutrients our bodies need to survive, contrary to the opinion of many. Studies are proof positive!
Check out the wonderful recipes in my book,
Becoming Vegan in my early sixties seems like it might have been a crazy, radical thing to do. But, honestly, I’ve never been happier about my diet, my health and the fact that I can stay thin which has always been an important goal of mine. I actually feel like I’m getting younger. Really!
When my granddaughter, Kerigan turned 13, she said to me, “Nani, I still don’t feel 13. I feel younger than 13.”
I said, “Kerigan, I don’t feel 73 either. And I think no matter how old, you will always feel younger than you really are.”
This was news to her.
Of course, it goes without saying, that goal of being thin also includes being and staying healthy which is really the MOST important.