Becoming vegan after my eating disorder

kale

Don’t restrict. Ever.

That’s basically the number one rule of eating disorder recovery. You eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Craving a mega size chocolate bar instead of spinach salad? Go for it. Half a pizza for breakfast? You bet.

The goal is to unlearn all your restrictive habits. To remind yourself that eating is necessary, and better yet, enjoyable! Recovery is all about finding balance and letting go of control.

But what if I want to be vegan now that I’ve started getting over my eating disorder?

I’ve read infinite articles, blog posts and commentaries on the controversy of becoming vegan after an anorexia. I know that most experts highly recommend NOT going vegan. I know that it’s risky because in a sense, it’s another form of restriction. I know there’s a chance it could trigger me back into my disordered ways.

I know all of that and yet, I still want to give it a chance. Maybe I’m really stubborn, maybe I like a challenge, or maybe I just want to prove I can do it.

Whatever the reasons, I’M GOING VEGAN.

For real this time. Like a true, kale-loving, falafel-eating, tree-hugging, yoga-doing vegan. (Please don’t be offended by the ridiculous amount of stereotypes I just used). Seriously guys, I’mma do this veganism thing. Because honestly, life with an eating disorder sucked and I need something new to get me excited about food. Something that makes me feel good about food. Something that heals my insides AND my outsides.

Something like becoming vegan!

Have any of you become vegan after suffering from an eating disorder? I’d love some motivation or tips : )

XO, Andie

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Mirror talk: how yoga can make you feel beautiful

Like most women, I have struggled often with body image. I’ve been through self-hate, eating disorders, obsessive exercise, emotional eating, you name it. It’s been a rough journey back to loving myself and my body. To be honest, I’m definitely not 100% there yet. I have more “fat” days than I care to admit and sometimes, I just can’t stand the girl in the mirror.

But there was one main thing (besides the love of my family) that helped me get to where I am. That helped me realize my body is beautiful and capable.

That thing is YOGA.

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It’s hard to explain the effects of yoga- you just have to experience it for yourself. When you get really into your practice, your mind is completely focused on the movements, the gracefulness, the flow. You stop looking at your body in terms of fat, cellulite, and saddlebags. Instead, you see your body as an amazing thing that has the ability to mold and stretch. You no longer stress about the lack of a gap between your thighs. Instead, you learn to appreciate the muscles in your legs that allow you to hold warrior pose for 10 long breaths. Your body becomes something so incredible.

So for every woman out there who wants to cry when she looks in the mirror, who uses the words “fat” and “ugly” when talking about herself, who thinks life would be so much better 10 pounds lighter… I really encourage you to try yoga. It won’t make you feel like a supermodel over night and it sure isn’t the perfect solution. But, as a girl who has hated her body with a passion for awhile, I can honestly say yoga works. Whenever I’m having a bad day in terms of body image, I always do a short yoga practice and it brings me out of it. Yoga is such a beautiful thing, just like your body. Embrace it : )

 

Lots of love!

Stop breast cancer… go vegan!

Last week, I bragged about how October is all about vegetarians and vegans because its Vegetarian Awareness Month. Well, turns out this month is about something else equally important. It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I found an interesting article over at the Sacramento Bee that ties these two awareness initiatives together and it got me thinking… could going vegan really make a difference in stopping breast cancer in its tracks?

 

Why is a meat-heavy diet not so good?

Animal foods high in fat increase estrogen levels, making cancer cells grow faster. In fact, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, of the famous documentary Forks Over Knives, claims “no chemical carcinogen is nearly so important in causing human cancer as animal protein.”

Why is a plant-based diet better?

A vegan diet (whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, soy, all that yummy goodness) is high in phytochemicals, which are known to reduce inflammation in the body and get rid of carcinogens. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider the statistic that vegans are 40% less likely to get cancer than non-vegans. Also, cancer cells struggle to survive in an environment with plenty of oxygen. Eating unprocessed foods and avoiding carcinogens help oxygenate your body and encourage an alkaline balance.  And it helps much more than you think. A Harvard Medical School study of 90,000 women revealed that those who ate the most meat were almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer.

With all of that in mind, start loading your plate with a few more veggies and, if you don’t want to go full out vegan, at least cut back on animal products. Then pin on your pink ribbon and go support all the beautiful breast cancer survivors out there!

Other sources: Natural News

Omega 3 fatty acid benefits & sources

Omega 3 fatty acids are all the rage in the health world right now, causing people to flock to their local grocery stores and stock up on pounds of salmon. As a vegan, you may be feeling a little left out. Not to mention a bit concerned. With all the good stuff those Omega-3’s give us, how can vegans get their share? Luckily for us, there are a few “hidden” sources of Omega 3 fatty acids that fit perfectly in our lifestyle. First let’s check out why we need those fatty acids.

BENEFITS:

– Prevent heart disease and blood clotting

– Reduce inflammation in your body

– Stimulate production of leptin, a hormone that regulates your metabolism

– Boost your cardiovascular system

VEGAN SOURCES:

– Flax seeds

– Walnuts

– Chia seeds

– Soybeans

– Canola or olive oil

– Dark, leafy greens like kale or collards

So how much do you need to eat? Recent studies have recommended approximately 2 grams daily which equates to a tablespoon of flax seeds. What an easy way to get your omega-3’s and boost your overall health!

Sources: WH Foods | Vegan Health