Kaylee's Gluten-free, Vegan Diet
At 5'4" I more than maxed my weight out in high school at a whopping 193lbs. I can't remember a time when I didn't struggle with my weight. The dieting began in 3rd grade. I attempted weight watchers, and the Atkins diet behind my parents back. I tried any weight pill I could get. All this struggle only resulted in my weight decreasing 20lbs, gaining 30lbs, decreasing 30lbs, gaining 40lbs. Saying that I was self-conscious would be an under statement. When I was 18, and in my senior year of High School, I enlisted in the Army National Guard. That was the beginning of a long quest for health- lean and sustainable health.
Four years later while I was in massage school a reaction-that I would later discover was to laundry detergent- led me to a Naturopathic [doctor specializing in natural methods/treatments rather than standard Western medicine - Maria] who started me on an elimination diet and eventually led me to stay gluten-free. Immediately I lost 20lbs and felt amazing. At that time I also cut my dairy intake drastically.
Now let me emphasize I had maybe one person who really believed in a gluten-free lifestyle and I was on my own. People acted like I was crazy when I told them of the reactions I developed and the emotional instability it caused when I gave in and ate gluten. They couldn't understand how I wasn't diagnosed with Celiacs Disease and would still choose a gluten-free diet.
After graduating from Massage school, I went to work for a chiropractor who was passionate about natural health and educating patients with nutrition classes. 1 1/2 years after that I was introduced to Maria who was passionate about a raw vegan gluten-free lifestyle.
"Oh, I don't eat that much meat, and I work out a lot so I can't give up meat completely" were what I know now as one of the classic American replies to someone who is vegan.
A few months later I watched Food Inc. the movie about our American food industry. As soon as it was over I needed an intervention from how disturbed I was so...I went to the Farmer's Market, where I hoped Maria would be. And she was. From then on I mostly ate fruit all summer long with eggs for breakfast, and meat occasionally at BBQ's. In late October I took a visit to Alabama to visit some family and was pleasantly surprised to see my aunts juicing and ranting about phytochemicals. Dr. Joel Furhman and the movie, Forks Over Knives, where huge influences on their diet beliefs. By the time I left Alabama and after watching Forks Over Knives, I knew I had to at least try 30 days of being vegan.
I lost 12lbs in my first week! It's been 6 weeks, now and I'm definitely not going back! My skin is clear, my weight is stable at 135 and slowly melting. My recovery time from work outs is unbelievable. The whites of my eyes are so clear. My pores are smaller, and my skin (after the detox pimples faded) is radiant.
It is so helpful to have people in my life who believe and acknowledge how incredible it is to be on a whole-foods, plant-based diet. So thanks to Maria and Ben, Sheila (my massage teacher), Aunt Dorothy and Aunt Alice, and thank you God for the beautiful food you gave us from the earth.