Thursday, March 13, 2014

Netflix Changed My Life

When I first started incorporating vegan meals into my diet, I didn't quite know where to start. I honestly had never even thought about becoming vegan before in my life. I had always had a not so great relationship with food, whether it was withholding food in the morning to "save calories" for later in the day, trying the next fad diet, or stress eating until I could not stuff anything else in my mouth. I even went through a brief period of unhealthy binge eating and purging. Although it was not severe and did not last very long, it nonetheless affected how I saw food. I was known to follow the pattern of restricted eating and/or dieting and then I would go on vacation and eat anything and everything I wanted to try while away from home. This pattern was very unhealthy and affected my self-esteem and how I saw food. It stressed me out and I lived in an all-or-nothing mentality rather than eating to nourish my body.

I wanted to share my journey with you all to show you that you really can get past that and learn how to eat in a healthy way. It took me years to figure out how to find a balance with what I was eating. I no longer beat myself up over eating something that I "should not be eating". I think that balance is key when finding peace with food. Of course I have had my days where I do not eat completely vegan, but as long as I am nourishing my body and eating in a way that makes me feel good, I feel at peace with food. I live on my own while I am at school, so I am completely vegan then. I cook for myself and never have meat or dairy in the house, but there are some days when I am with friends or family and if there is nothing else to eat, I have eaten a small amount of dairy or meat. I want to be completely vegan eventually, but I also do not think that diet has to be an all-or-nothing thing; you should do what makes you feel your best, and if you "slip up" and do not eat as best as you would like, just eat healthier the other days. I think that listening to your body is the most important thing.

Hopefully I can inspire some of you to embrace a healthy lifestyle and incorporate some more vegan meals into your life, even if it is just one day a week.

I have always had a passion for food and now am very interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian so that I can help others find their way to a healthy way of eating. I know how much it has changed my life and made me feel so much better about avoiding/not consuming animal products. Watching some documentaries really changed my view of the whole meat and dairy industry. I think everyone should watch them!

Here are some of the documentaries on Netflix that I watched at the beginning of my journey into becoming vegan:
Food, Inc.
Forks Over Knives
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Food Fight
Hungry For Change
Jamie Oliver's TED Talk
Food Matters

These documentaries made a huge difference for me and helped me learn how to eat to nourish my body. They opened my eyes into the world of dairy and meat production; it is appalling what they put the animals through. I still do not understand how it is allowed. I also have learned to buy organic (when I can) and local ingredients. I love going to the Farmers Market on Sunday mornings to get fresh produce for the week. It feels good to know that I am getting my food in a sustainable way that supports local farmers. I feel very fortunate to live in California where produce is so readily available. I now avoid all the processed food in the grocery store and primarily make my own recipes rather than buying prepared food. I find that this is the best way to know what is in my food and I can avoid chemicals and ingredients that I do not want to consume. I am also more conscious of food labels and I read every label before I buy something. This might seem a little obsessive, but you would be surprised how much sugar is in everything, from tomato sauce to cereal to milks. I find that making something myself is really rewarding :)

I hope that you all can get something out of my journey and learn along with me! I know there is so much more that I want to learn.

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I can certainly relate to this! It was not until I started incorporating wholesome, nutritious meals into my routine and not calling it a diet that I really learned how to consistently eat healthy.
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 I thought this was appropriate since I am studying Psychology! I think Hippocrates was onto something :)