I am Plant-Based… and why it’s not Just a Fad

Yes, I have become one of those people I used to unabashedly mock while sitting with my friends over a charcuterie plate. I am now plant-based. I eat a diet that is free of animal products.

It was one month after my Ironman and one month of eating whatever I wanted without exercising. I called it my guilt-free month. Although it was indulgent, to me it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. My body still felt serious aches and pains from the Ironman, my brain was foggy, I was always exhausted despite sleeping a ton, and instead of the joy of guilt-free indulgence I felt irrationally grumpy.

That’s when a plant-based diet became an idea worth trying. I told myself, “Just give it a month, I’m not training right now, I’ve got nothing to lose.”

The first week I had so much energy I would wake up at 4:30am ready to tackle my day. Within a few weeks, my chronic digestive issues had almost disappeared.

A few months in, my hair, nails, and skin had all improved. My brain was processing at a higher vibration and honestly I had never felt better or more high on life. I was sold on this diet.

I charged ahead alone for a few months before my boyfriend started seriously inquiring about what I was doing, and after the persuasion of a few key documentaries, Food, Inc., Cowspiracy, and Earthlings, he decidedly jumped the fence over to Team Plants.

The more I researched and read the more I understood the environmental and ethical reasons why a plant-based diet is truthfully the ONLY way to go. I won’t go into it here, but if you are interested, check out the documentaries above. Your life will forever be affected.

The bottom line is, you honestly can’t be an animal lover in any capacity if you eat any animal products and a plant-based diet is the only truly sustainable way to feed our species without continuing to destroy our Earth.

You don’t need meat to survive and thrive. You don’t need the massive amounts of protein society says you need.

A Plant-based lifestyle is not always easy. Especially on the weekends, especially at group outings, especially while traveling. And the fact that cheese is an ingredient in pretty much everything is demoralizingly brutal. It also wasn’t as easy while my boyfriend thought bacon was a food group before he came to his senses.

I am not perfect in how I have adopted this lifestyle, but now that I have an understanding of all the benefits in this decision — health-related, ethical, and environmental — there is no turning back. I am re-affirmed in my decision every single day and try to make the best possible choices to this belief.

And I must admit, while the health benefits are what intrigued me to try something new, it is the ethical and environmental benefits that truly compel me make the right choice every single day in avoiding foods with ingredients that come from animals. Surprisingly, it turns out I am more driven by compassion and the desire to change the trajectory of the destruction of our planet.

With this knowledge and my own personal experiences, I can never look at a steak, a piece of sushi, or the beautiful cheese stand at Whole Foods ever the same again.

Believe me, a plant-based lifestyle is way more than just a fad. Take note, friends.

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