Becoming Vegan

I was a huge meat eater, I was a big twinkie and Coca Cola eater too.  I used a New Year’s resolution to catapult myself into a healthier diet.  I went cold turkey from meat and dairy as my method and really limited my Coke (drinking) habits. Changing what I ate is akin to changing my habits.  When looking at changing habits, one can also consider doing it gradually, but when doing that, it’s good to have clear plans and deadlines.  But in many respects, everything we do can be considered a step whether small or big and there is always another level.  For me my plan back in 2012 was to be completely vegan (no animal products including no eggs, milk or honey) at home, and sometimes allow for eggs, milk or honey when out of the house so that I don’t create a fuss with restaurants or friends.

When I made the drastic change from steak and pizza to a vegan diet. I allowed myself to eat as much as I wanted (and it’s pretty much the same way now), and I noticed some changes in myself.  In the first 2 months, I felt cravings for meat, milk, cheese, etc. But gradually, I noticed that my taste buds changed.  I was able to taste more subtleties in vegan food I was eating.  After about 3 months, I no longer felt like I had a need for steak and pizza – perhaps it’s like breaking an addiction.  In fact, it was around that time, I started thinking differently about the meat, it became more like “animal flesh” – just something that didn’t sit easily with me.  And also twinkies became too sweet for new taste buds.  It is interesting that taste buds do change!  I loved experiencing a “new” palette of flavors to enjoy – perhaps all these flavors had been dampened by my previous eating choices.

I had my reasons in 2012 for wanting to become vegan.  My main reason at the time was for health reasons.  I was overweight, and I had incredibly horrible blood pressure – as a doctor, it’s embarrassing to find out that I had the worst blood pressure I’ve ever seen in a walking person and it was strange that I was still alive.  I kept checking my blood pressure in denial thinking that perhaps the equipment was broken.  I registered blood pressure of 180/110 regularly back then.  My other doctor colleagues thought I was exaggerating or concerned that I was going to get a stroke any minute.  Now after changing my dietary habits, it’s more like 130/80 – still not perfect, but a big improvement. You may have other reasons for becoming a plant based eater, like another family members wants to try it or perhaps it’s compassion to animals.  Later in my journey, which started for health, it became more of a concern for reducing my footprint on earth and for compassion to animals.

More to come…

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