Last updated on February 21st, 2021 at 04:27 pm
This article is a guest post from Kiana Cook—a Chicagoan, free spirited, teacher, and dancer. She takes pride in holistic modalities to integrate mind, body, and soul wellness. For her, it is a lifelong journey and not just a destination. She has a plant-based diet and follows a vegan lifestyle.
I got a hunch to reduce my meat intake around 2015. A hunch. I had watched no movies or videos that advocated against eating meat and dairy, yet. I hadn’t thought of myself as an unhealthy person, and I didn’t have any surface level health issues that I thought needed help from a plant-based diet. Just a hunch. Best hunch of my life.
I eventually became vegetarian for real on January 1st, 2017, and I haven’t looked back since. Slowly…but surely, I began reducing dairy in my diet as well (my “veganism” has no official date that I can pinpoint).
I definitely began to identify as a vegan. I finally saw the movies and videos that showed the mistreatment of animals, describing the mucus, and expanding on industrial farming. Veganism eventually was not enough for me.
I still had acne, food addiction, and low bowel activity. Even though I thought of myself as someone who became conscious of what I put in my body, there was still room for improvement. I refused to take pain relievers anymore, which caused me to have painful pms symptoms. After a horrible episode during one of my cycles, enough was enough — I wanted to find solutions.
It brought me to the realization that what I eat affects my cycle, my skin, my bowels, my hormones, and more! For me, becoming vegan was not enough for my body to experience optimal health. I was eating heavy vegan meals that comforted me, which included processed “replacement meats and cheeses.”
No wonder I didn’t notice major differences in my health from meat-eater to vegan!
Becoming plant-based (eating a diet of whole foods) helped clear my skin from an increase of raw fruits and vegetables, helped me get my bowels moving more (important and possibly the result of better digestion), and helped me shed some extra pounds effortlessly. I also benefit from it with more mental clarity and an improved mood. Of course, cooking more of my own meals became a huge part of my life and it became a pass-time I really enjoy.
I encourage everyone to become more plant-based regardless of if they eat meat or not. The less processed your sustenance is, the better.