Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's MY Body & I'll Feed It What I Want To.

Where to start?

I am a HUGE believer in plant based eating & the ability of plant foods to heal people. I greatly look up to veg wellness warriors like Kris CarrJess Ainscough & T. Colin Campbell. I love ALL animals (Okay, excluding snakes/spiders.. Just, eww.) & think "traditional" methods of farming animals, pumping them chock full of chemicals & the violent way they are treated & slaughtered, is inhumane.

I've had issues stabilizing my hormone levels since I can remember (Think back 8+ years ago to when I was a wee little 9th grader).. When I found the veg diet, I thrived. I was lean, happy, running faster times, feeling all around great. Honestly, I flourished on this lifestyle & advocated it (STILL WOULD/DO!!) for just under 4 years before beginning to experience some negative symptoms from those darn cray cray hormones..

I noticed small things over the 2013 winter months thru to now.. Rapid/unexplained weight gain & holding onto fat in places I normally do not. Sporadic bloated stomach- I'm talking 7 months pregnant belly, by no exaggeration! Roller coaster energy levels/drive to do things. My skin is broken out to no end. Sharp tummy pains & stomach aches all day, erryday. All the injuries running.. Seriously, ALL of them. Back, knee, feet, etc. Need I go on?

Did I ever intend upon eating animal based protein again? Nope.

Do I think factory farming is nasty? Sure do.

Do I intend to eat animal protein for the rest of my life? Just depends.

It seems silly that I am here feeling like I need to explain/justify why I am beginning to add animal protein back into my diet.. Some people seem to think I'm jumping straight from being a bunny food munching vegan into a meat stacking Paleo gal. It's not nearly that simple though..

This decision has been on my mind for months now. First it was eggs. I felt like my body was telling me to eat them since May. Now before you think I've lost my marbles.. I am a firm believer that in the same way the body can heal itself, when you are in tune with your body's natural hunger signals it can tell you what and how much to be eating. Let's talk eggs for example. In my pre-vegan days, I was not a huge egg gal. Actually, I was highly sensitive to them & could only eat them in cooked/baked items without getting stomach aches, gas, etc. So when I felt that my body was telling me to start eating them again, I too was all kinds of skeptical.. I added them back into my diet slowly in mid-September 2013 & have had no stomach issues to date.

Now why would my body be urging me to eat eggs, you ask? Obviously I can't be sure of this.. But in order to produce hormones our bodies need adequate cholesterol. Our bodies are fully capable of producing sufficient amounts of cholesterol on their own. While on a vegan diet, you're not taking in outside sources of cholesterol, but instead relying on your body to produce its own necessary amount. Like I said, normally this is perfectly okay & an extremely healthy way of living, but for a girl who has had troubles stabilizing her hormone levels on and off for 8 years, maybe that is a sign my body hasn't been producing appropriate levels of cholesterol on its own all along.

When there is not enough cholesterol, an alarm goes off in the body, strobe lights flashing & the body falls into crisis mode. Stress response releases corticoid hormones that help to redistribute cholesterol, causing a triage effect to then occur, rationing cholesterol to areas of the body that need it & in consequence the body is working under undesirable conditions. Cholesterol is needed for the body's repair system in order to uptake serotonin, for proper initiation of Vitamin D & hormone production, as well as regulation of blood sugar, inflammation, etc. Simply said, without adequate cholesterol, ain't nothing working right!

So it only makes sense that my body would be leading me back to taking in outside sources of cholesterol to fix that imbalance.

So why not stop at just adding back in eggs?

Imagine getting stomach aches from basically everything you eat. You're supposedly eating all of this food that is so good for you, the best/most healthy possible diet you can eat, but you are dealing with tummy aches the majority of the day. How fun does that sound? Exactly, not very. I'm experimenting with my diet to:

1.) cure my sensitive tummy issues 
2.) stabilize dem crazy hormones naturally & for good! 
3.) get rid of the PCOS-like "symptoms" I've been dealing with

It is hilarious though.. I didn't realize it would be such a big deal to other people that I've made some changes to my diet. Yes, yes.. I've come to be known as "the vegan" amongst my friends & acquaintances alike, but the mixed response I've gotten from people has been quite entertaining. Most people have been supportive, but just taken off guard or curious as to why I've decided to make some changes. There have been plenty of people who say, "What?! You can't do that!", whether they are vegan or not themselves. & many many people who act like I've suddenly "seen the light" & are excited to hear how I'm doing, what I've tried eating, etc. Love it, hate it, couldn't care less what I'm eating, I'm making changes for myself to be the healthiest & happiest I can be. The vegan diet is amazing, I've loved it & plan to eat that way most of the time still (& may go back to it completely depending how I feel/results of my "experiment"). I don't want this to become a vegan vs. carnivore issue. I believe each person has their own specific "best" way of eating for them if they key in intuitively to their body's individual needs.

What I've learned is it is best to not label my diet. I will continue to have my food blog with a goal of advocating natural wellness & healthy nourishing recipes like I always have, but my recipes and perspective will be more broadened. I'm using all the research specific to me & my needs to formulate a diet I think will help with what I've been dealing with. Bye-bye sugar, bye-bye gluten, hello to a little responsibly sourced and raised animal protein.


Here's to a few positive weeks of detoxing followed by some, hopefully, successful months of experimenting & tweaking of my diet! =)

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