Twenty-something, married, still trying to figure things out. Industrial Engineer by schooling. “Wellness Warrior*” by calling. Passionate about wellness and natural solutions. I believe in the body’s infinite wisdom in its ability to heal itself, given the proper care. I myself am a gluten-free, soy-free (almost) vegan. What this means for me is no dairy, organic eggs once or twice a week, and good quality, organic meat one to three times a month. There is no perfect diet, and this is what I’ve found to work for me.
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I grew up as your classic 90’s kid. Captain Crunch, school lunch pizza, fries, and a carton of chocolate milk to top it off. My mom used to tell me I would turn into macaroni and cheese because I ate it so much. There was more of the same as I became a teenager. By my hand, my diet included a lot of ramen noodles, boxed macaroni and cheese (yes, more still), frozen chicken nuggets, and nutella sandwiches. The only vegetables I ate were canned green beans and the steamfresh bags of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower covered in cheese sauce, which hardly even counted. However, I must give credit to my mother for getting some real food into me most nights with her home cooked meals.
My first change came at 17. I switched from cow milk to soy milk. Why? Somehow I made the connection that cow milk upset my stomach. Next, my first salad at 18. Granted, it was mostly iceberg lettuce and doused in ranch dressing, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. Shortly after this time, I went off to college. Suddenly, I was on my own, and out of necessity, I began to cook. It still wasn’t perfect, but I was at least eating real food all the time. I started making smoothies, fried rice with frozen vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. I snacked on nuts and popcorn. This was the norm until I started dating my now husband.
In school for Exercise Science and a former triathlete, he knew a thing or two about healthy eating. He introduced me to things like kale and quinoa. We began making healthy meals together many nights of the week, and it sparked in me a new passion. Slowly, I found new foods (vegetables!) and began experimenting. I cooked every night.
Somewhere in my third year of college, I made the connection between wheat and my grumbling gut, so I gave up gluten, and I felt better. 6 months later, I found The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. I became an (almost) vegan. Again, I was feeling more vibrant. However, I relied heavily on soy products to fill the gaps. Around this time, eczema appeared on my forearms and back. It took me almost a full year to make the connection. By this point, I had grown to LOVE tofu, so this again was another transition. Since then, I believe I have found my way. I’ve settled into a balanced, healthy way of eating. Creating something new in the kitchen has become one of my favorite things to do.
Along the way, I read many books and watched many documentaries. After all, how could I have done “vegan” the right way** without doing research? From there, my interests slowly snowballed into a full blown love for everything wellness. Exercise, spirituality, greener beauty products, cleaning with natural products, essential oils, homeopathy, etc.
While my love for exercise isn’t as strong as it is for my husband’s, I have found a place in my life for it. I work in cardio, resistance, and yoga for a well-balanced body. For me, exercise is a necessary component to total wellness, but it is still only one piece of the puzzle.
I feed myself mentally and spiritually by spending time in silence, reading books, and watching the trees sway.
*Thanks to Kris Carr for this term!
**The right way: REAL food; not oreos and potato chips. Because, really, they’re “vegan” food.