Please enjoy this guest post from Noelle aka An Opera Singer in the Kitchen regarding her journey to veganism.
November marks my FIRST complete year of following a vegan diet. I am an opera singer married to an aspiring conductor and even though these two lifestyles come together very nicely our eating lifestyles are so different. When I approached my husband about changing my eating lifestyle he did not know what was coming. I had been a vegetarian for two years back in 2005 but incorporated meat back in my life after I started dating my husband. After a year of marriage, my diet was in hysterics. I was suffering from migraines, digestive issues, and moodiness. When I switched to a vegan diet I slowly started seeing changes, especially after adding vitamins, minerals and more. As of last night, my husband told me that he can tell how quick I am on the racquetball court because I am not out of breath and I am living healthy. Even though my husband chooses not to be vegan, he enjoys all the dishes I prepare that are vegan, even requesting them again.
I know it sounds so cliche’ but I really was moved by Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet and nearly read the entire book on a flight back from Houston last year November 2009. Before dating my husband I had been focusing on a vegetarian diet but was easily swayed by stress to eating lots of dairy and unhealthy foods. After I started dating my husband I decided to give up my healthy eating. What did that do for me? I went up 2 dress sizes before the wedding and it got worse after the wedding. I added diet colas, meat, dairy, and too much sugar to my daily diet. As a result I suffered horrible migraines, worse than my normal heat and exercise -induced headaches, and decided it had to be diet-related.
After a year and a half of being married I sat with my husband and told him I needed to make drastic changes in my life. I was not a happy person around him at times because my food choices were making me a moody person. I think the fact that I cried showed him how serious I was being wanting to change my eating habits, he just wanted to make sure it was not going to affect what he was going to be eating. It was hard at first trying tomake 2 meals an evening, cooking meat for my husband and making an all-vegan meal for myself.
I am an experimenter when it comes to cooking so I knew that I was going to have fun making new meals. The more I tried the recipes in the The Kind Diet the more I knew what type of recipes I needed to make. I started substituting cheese for vegan cheeses, even though Daiya was not out yet. I purchased tofu, Match vegan meats, and Field Roast sausages and added more fruits and vegetables to my diet. As soon as I eliminated the diet colas and the increased amounts of sugar I lost my first 20 pounds.
I know it is hard for people to realize that I did not become vegan because of the pain caused to animals, but I know that in my becoming vegan I am not supporting the pain caused to animals. My becoming vegan was a personal conviction to become a healthier eater focusing on whole and natural foods. Every day is one step towards supporting the love of all God’s creation and if it means eating from the fruits of the earth, I will do that.
After visiting a naturopath in July 2010 I found out I was B12, Vitamin D, iron deficient. I added a whole vitamin and minerals regimen and started enjoying protein shakes and a more focused meal plan. I have been working out consistently at a gym daily and feel better than ever! I continue to strive towards my goal of not being deficient in an area and being at my goal weight. Being vegan is the best thing that has happened to me!
Being vegan has tremendously improved my migraines, increased breathing support for singing and changed my whole emotional well-being too!
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