Why I Switched to a Plant-Based Diet

Why I Switched to a Plant-Based Diet

Firstly, please let me say I feel EXTREMELY vulnerable posting this, but I feel that in the name of health and happiness, I would share this part of my life.

I never in a million zillion trillion years would have thought I’d ever have the confidence to post a picture of myself in a swimsuit. But, I also got this swimsuit for free from a company called Malibu Coastal – and I wanted to express gratitude to them by giving them a shout out. Thank you kindly! 🙏🏼😄

My family and friends that I hadn’t seen in a while started commenting on the fact that in the last year, I have lost a bit of weight. Which is true, but it didn’t happen overnight, that is for sure.  It maybe took a little over 1 year of consistency and self-control.


I have had body image and weight management issues since high school really.  Most of the time growing up, I felt shitty about myself when I looked in the mirror. I felt like the overweight sister of the family. And was always thinking of food as my enemy.  It wasn’t fun. And it wasn’t healthy. But that’s just because I wasn’t truly taking care of my body, instead just hating it and wanting it to change.

At my college grad party in 2014: (from left to right: Courtney (older sis), Me, Stephanie (lil’ sis), Mom)

Even when studying Health Science at Chico State, I thought I was health conscious, but I was far from it. I continued to eat lots of unhealthy foods and drink heavily probably 4/7 days of the week. This would then lead to myself being less active, as well as creating a lot more stressful situations in my life. It wasn’t until I cut back on the partying, started farming last summer, and eating an organic, plant-based diet did I start to notice a change.

Granted, I also try to live a very active lifestyle, trying to get some type of exercise daily.

But the biggest change I feel I can attribute to my ‘transformation’, if you want to call it that, is cutting out processed foods (at least 90% of the time) and eating mostly plants!  This includes meat, dairy, and gluten for me.

This amazing, sunshine human – Hannah – who I was lucky enough to work with, inspired me to make this lifestyle change at the beginning. She is beautiful inside and out – with one rockin’ yoga bod! She is also one of the nicest humans I have met on this planet. Love you, Hannah! ❤️

The other thing that made me commit to this change was what I like to call ‘THE FEAR’.  Also known as, I got myself crazy paranoid and scared about skin cancer over the summer.

Farmers are out in the sun ALL DAY. Yes, hats are very handy. But I kind of prefer to have a free head.  😜 I felt I was getting new freckles and moles quickly and it was freaking me OUT man!  Also, because I had a past of bad sun care – using tanning beds, sitting in the sun for hours without sunscreen, what not.  Also also, because in 2018 I did not have health insurance.

I didn’t have the money to go see a dermatologist about these moles.  I didn’t know who to talk to about all of this. I was TERRIFIED that my one love – 🌞🌞SUNSHINE 🌞🌞-was actually killing me and I wouldn’t know. I would want to sit in the sun a bit because I love it.  But then I would get scared and start crying sometimes. It was awful. I asked my parents what to do an they said we could look into seeing doctors if I came home.  I still didn’t even when visiting and kind of continued to be slightly less paranoid as winter came.

While in Florida, my paranoia and fear came back, and one night, I finally broke down to my Grandma.  While crying (I really don’t cry that much, though it seems like it in this story), I told my Grandma about my fear and showed her my moles.  She quickly assured me that all of mine look fine and that I shouldn’t worry. I didn’t have any ‘scary-looking’ ones, she explained. She goes to a dermatologist each time she goes back from Florida, so I trust her judgement.  Thank you, Grandma! 🙏🏼 Isn’t family the best?

Here’s a good source of information if you want more yourself:

https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer

Wow, side story there.  My bad. But anywho, so while I was having my hypochondriac scare, I decided, ‘Well, I guess if I knew I was sick, what natural things can I do personally to heal myself or fight of disease?’  And that’s when I really started getting into health. And how food really is medicine!

WHY EAT LESS DAIRY?

If you do your research I read a lot about how dairy causes inflammation in the body. Not to mention, the hormones they give to animals on ‘bad farms’, I’ll call them.  You know, the ones where they actually don’t give any shits about the animals on them.

Well any unnatural thing they give to the animals to increase their size, production, what not – you are ingesting that when you eat the dairy items produced by the animals milk.  Or at least that’s how I look at it. Unless you know for a fact that it was produced on farms where they treat their animals correctly. Although, sometimes you can be deceived, as I was at Tillamook Creamery (sorry, not sorry for calling you out). I explain in my post below:

Tillamook Creamery – A Dairy Lover’s Dream

The hardest part was giving up ice cream (I love you).  But I really didn’t necessarily ‘give up’ anything. I’ll still allow it every so often, since I am grateful not to have a serious dairy allergy. But this would be maybe one meal, one day a week.

Here’s another source explaining dairy dangers, if you please to read more from a M.D.:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8646/the-dangers-of-dairy.html

WHY EAT LESS MEAT?

The meat, well that wasn’t too difficult, as I kinda didn’t eat a lot of it to begin with – because it’s just cheaper to not.  And again most meat, the cheap kind that you find in grocery stores/fast food joints, is produced on these awful farms where they just abuse the animals.  It’s all very sad. Plus, I believe humans were never made to eat meat every day, all day. Native Americans would hunt for meat and it would be more rare to eat it.  

Not to mention, the meat production industry is awful for our planet! But that’s just want I believe, you do your own research!

Not to mention, the meat production industry is awful for our planet. So ya, my body and my conscious just started feeling better with meat and dairy out of my life.

Here’s some more info for ya:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20874/11-great-reasons-to-eat-less-meat-even-if-youre-not-ready-to-go-vegan.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/21/lifestyle-change-eat-less-meat-climate-change

WHY EAT LESS GLUTEN?

The gluten was a hard one to kick.   I love bread. I truly do. Sometimes I used to have dreams that I was eating loads of bagels and pastries and pizzas.  My love for bread went deep into my subconscious lol. But I wanted the self control to just say no. To commit to health.  

To be honest, I didn’t really do much research on this one, but I figure that most things that have gluten – breads, pastries, pizza, what not – also have added sugars, which I try to avoid as well.  Plus, it just goes back to not understanding/knowing how it was made. I just cut out anything that had any form of processing.  Bread doesn’t grow on trees. I have also heard that people with a gluten-intolerance can actually eat bread in other countries, such as Italy. So maybe there’s just an issue with how it’s made here? Hmm…

Anyways, I just tried cutting down on it as an experiment and now I simply feel better when I am not eating a ton of bread in my diet. This book has been on my must read list for awhile, which I’m sure would fuel my anti-gluten fire:

You decide what is best for you!

WHAT MY DIET CONSISTS OF

Now I’m also not saying that this is how everyone should eat.  Every person is different, I’m just sharing my story.

So when I say that I don’t eat gluten, dairy, or meat, people’s next question is (like my own Dad):

“What the hell can you eat then?”

And it almost makes me laugh every time.  (And maybe sometimes roll my eyes 😒, but I a working on that).  Because, DUDE, I can eat a lot of things! Here’s a list of everything I eat:

  • BEANS
  • RICE
  • QUINOA
  • OATS
  • AVOCADO
  • BERRIES
  • BANANAS
  • PINEAPPLE
  • PEANUT BUTTER
  • ALMOND BUTTER
  • ARUGULA
  • KALE
  • SPINACH
  • BEETS
  • RADISHES
  • CUCUMBERS
  • WATERMELON
  • COCONUT
  • SQUASH
  • ZUCCHINI
  • TOMATOES
  • POTATOES
  • ONIONS
  • PEPPERS
  • ALMONDS
  • PEANUTS
  • WALNUTS
  • PUMPKIN SEEDS
  • PISTACHIOS
  • CASHEWS
  • DRIED FRUIT
  • ORANGES
  • FISH
  • CERTAIN SOUPS
  • And not to mention all the vegan imitation products galore!

I think you get the point. 😉

Michael Pollen said it best:

“Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”


Ahhh so colorful & delicious!!

Farming last summer truly opened my eyes to the plethora of all natural food out there!  And when it’s organic, you know it was also made in the most natural way – not hurting the planet or your body.  I started eating from the farm and feeling the healthiest I’ve ever been! Best food out there for your body is local and organic – so look up your nearest Farmer’s Market!

Now that I feel healthy and energized due to this plant-based diet, I no longer crave unhealthy foods as much.  I know my body and it freaking loves plants! It doesn’t feel too good anymore when I start incorporating these other foods in too large of quantities.

Ya, I joke sometimes about being a ‘fake vegan’.  And it is kind of what I am. Even though I feel strongly about all of this and know what is best for my body, I’ll still occasionally go buy ice cream when I want it, or eat the chicken and cheesy potatoes my Grandma makes on Easter.  

But only little portions, and always mostly vegetables. It’s where I have finally found my happiness and made peace with my body. I feed it only things I know are helping it… 90% of the time. Because, sometimes you gotta live a little.  At least that’s how I feel and what works for my lifestyle.

Some may think I’m ‘too skinny’ now, but that’s just their opinion. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, but it will not affect my new lifestyle change. Because this plant-based diet has transformed me into my happiest and healthiest self. ☺️  Which is to attract more things in my life to be happy about! Yay! #lawofattraction

I don’t know what sizes I am, I usually wear comfy, stretchy pants.  I don’t know what my weight was then and I don’t know what it is now.  Because I don’t weigh myself ever. That’s just a number. What really matters to me is feeling comfortable in my own skin.  In my home – my body.

#healthiswealth




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