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Going back to basics

source: Tribune News Services
source: Tribune News Services

I began struggling with my weight in my youth, tormenting myself for years feeling “fat.” I just wasn’t happy with my looks. After many unsuccessful diet regiments I was unable to keep up with, I decided it was time for me to make a permanent change in my lifestyle.

The truth is I was just trying to change the way I looked, not the way I was feeling. I was focusing on the outside rather than the inside. I never really thought about changing my lifestyle for health reasons other than vanity.

During one summer I visited my hometown in (Mexico), and my mother suggested we visit a doctor that specialized in Holistic medicine. Holistic medicine is used more often than Western medicine in Mexico. The doctor explained to me I needed to go back to the basics if I really wanted to change. He told me that my health would benefit from avoiding anything that came from animal products.

When he told me I had to stop eating meat I was just crying inside. I’m Mexican. Tacos are made of beef, pozole has pork in it, tamales are made of chicken and arroz con leche is made with milk. All my favorite foods that I loved, I wouldn’t be able to eat because they were very unhealthy.

The doctor suggested I try a vegan diet for a while, and then it began, the war between my appetite and my self control. I’ll tell you, it was not easy. I had to empty my pantry and take out all processed food, candy and cereals. It was dreadful, but after a week or two I started feeling so much better.

The first week of being a vegan I realized a big change in my mood, my energy levels went up, and I had lost a few pounds in the process. In time I learned I didn’t need to stop eating and kill myself with hunger, instead I choose healthier foods like fruits and vegetables.

Being vegan has change my life for the better. I’m more aware of what I put in my mouth, and I also learned that when someone really wants change in their life, they can do it. It’s not easy, but it is possible. I think when we have real motivation and strong determination we can accomplish the things we want to.

I’m not saying everyone should be a vegan, but we can make big changes when we put our mind to it.

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