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Plant-based Diaries: Entry #0001 – How it all began pt. 1

Some time ago I mentioned that I was giving the vegan diet another ‘go’. Well, that is still my story and I am sticking to it.

Before providing you with regular updates, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you how this journey of eliminating meat began for me.

Many people ask me why I am so interested in this ‘healthy’ thing. My answer has soooo many layers. I am going to share a few with you (the most poignant) to help you understand my purpose.

Timeline

People talk about the things they “tried” in college all the time. I tried the vegetarian thing and typically gave up meat for Lent. I noticed a change in me, my skin…just everything and I was intrigued.

2002 – Also, while in college my grandmother passed away of diabetes. She also had a heart condition. I used to watch her give herself insulin shots when we would stay over and I would say “I’m not doing that when I grow up.” She just had to have something sweet and thus she was the grandma that made all the multiple layer cakes and things. Gosh, I miss her. She was in her 60s when she transitioned.

Losing her hurt. I remember where I was when I got the call. I had questions, but you know how black folks don’t talk about things like this. I had to gather what I could, mourn, grieve, heal and move on.

Lessons: Pay attention to your family health conditions. Take notice of what you were taught to eat and/or have accepted as “good”. Question if it is really all that “good”.

2002 – I read, researched and eliminated pork from my diet. Mind you, I am allergic to seafood and that only leaves a few meats (chicken and turkey).

2006 – My Father became my Ancestor. My Daddy was a fried-chicken eating man. Our house smelled like fried chicken! It was bad! He ate the typical country boy diet – fried chicken, pigs feet, fat back, pork rhines…all of it! Being his child, guess what…I ate pretty much the same stuff (minus pigs feet). I know he had high blood pressure and a few other ailments that he would share with us. He would not only share the ailments, but also articulate the reason for his ailments and it was the food! The doctors told him what to cut back and he chose otherwise. He wanted to do what he wanted to do and would say so unapologetically.

My father left this earth at the young age of 48, yall. My world was officially rocked.

Lessons: Rebelling against what’s best for your health only hurts you and your loved ones down the line. Wanting what you want, everyday…can lead to some serious health conditions and irreversible damage. I want to be here for my children and my grandchildren. I don’t have to do the same things my elders did. I have a choice. Traditions led to loss in my world.

The Prelude

For the next several years, I continued to toy with the vegetarian thing. I went back and forth. I read things. I experimented, but I was just not all that serious. I loved Wendy’s and Philly Cheesesteaks and…things that tasted good! Grease and sugar…fried and salted…that was all I knew…

As I got closer to 30, my body began to react to meat in ways that it never had…

To be continued…

 

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