I started reading articles, studies, web pages and books about the negative effects of animal protein in the body, and the more I learned, the more sense it all made to me. For example, why do we think that if we eat animals that have antibiotics and hormones in their systems, we will not have them in ours? It just made sense that my body has its own hormonal balance and I don’t do it any good by adding more hormones.
At that time, all I knew was that I desperately needed to clean out my body and start fresh. I did slowly start to get healthier, having eliminated the animal foods, but I still ate lots of seeds and nuts, and avocados, and some packaged foods, and I started to put on weight. I was always tired even though I sold it that I was a happy and healthy vegan. After two years of not feeling healthy and happy, I realized I had put on almost ten pounds.
But I was vegan: I was eating lots of veggies and fruits, I cooked every day, and I had given up sugar. Then I decided to go raw vegan, since I was struggling with my weight, and thought that going raw would help (I saw lots of skinny people who followed a raw food diet, and I wanted to be one of them).
I ate raw fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts (lots of seeds and nuts, as I was starving all the time). I actually ran my first marathon on raw food, but still didn’t lose weight. After the marathon I went back to cooked vegan food, and because I still couldn’t lose weight, I decided to ditch grains. This idea came from my childhood, when everybody was telling me the only way you could lose weight was by skipping carbs. But there was still no weight loss.
After three weeks, I had had enough. Here I was, running a lot, eating vegan and not losing the weight. I mean 123 pounds was not a lot, but at 5’2” tall, I wanted to lose about ten pounds. I decided to add whole grains back into my diet after coming across Dr. McDougall’s website. What he said immediately made so much sense: that regularly consuming high-fat, high-calorie plant foods (and overly processed foods) would stall weight loss. So I ditched my daily handful of nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocado.
Then a miracle happened: After two and a half years of being vegan, I started losing weight. In four months I went from 123 to 110 pounds. I couldn’t believe how much of a difference it made to ditch the high-fat plant foods from my diet.
Now my lifestyle is a simple, whole-foods, low-fat vegan one. I eat mostly whole-grains (quinoa, brown rice), baked sweet potato, veggies, fruits, and lots of beans and lentils. I prepare a breakfast of oatmeal cooked in water with fresh fruit. I only steam, bake, grill or boil veggies, or I eat them raw. I love beans; I make them in every form I can think of, including hummus with garbanzo beans, but with no tahini at all (I just add a little extra water and it is as creamy as it would be with the high-fat tahini).
I am so happy to just have a clean, simple plate of low-fat food with no added oil. It took me almost three years to get here, but it was worth it! I will surely stick with this diet. It just gives me so much energy, and for the first time in my life I love the way I feel and look.
I just wanted to share this with you, because you are the only blogger that eats the same way I do. I read other blogs, but even though they are vegan, their recipes do not line up with the way I eat now. I love your simple foods. Thank you for reading my story, but most importantly, thank you for living a life that is so inspiring.
—Ildiko (Dallas, Texas)