This post is one of vulnerability and sharing, in the hope that you too can take something with you on your health, and life journey.
For those of you who know me, or who have been following my work, know that I choose a wholefood plant-based diet (WFPB). NOT AKA a vegan diet.
Yes, there are differences.
Often individuals who choose a vegan diet may do so, particularly for ethical reasons, however, their health then suffers, as they may not be educated on what foods they need to eat. This can often lead to hot chips and processed foods, full of salt, sugar and oil. But they are not eating animal products right!?
I don’t like to use labels, as for me it is not a diet, but a lifestyle. But FYI: A WFPB diet contains no oils (nope not even olive or coconut oil), or processed foods of any kind. Think olive (WFPB) and olive oil (not whole, but a part of a whole plant, therefore NOT WFPB). Of course I am human, so there are times when I eat out (my man and I love breakfast out together!), so I cannot control what foods are truly WFPB in these cases.
Some people may think so… But for me it is a lifestyle, and I never once have felt deprived with this way of eating, since September 1st, 2014. See the backstory here, and also here (since the latter post I have been entirely eating a plant-based diet, no animal products at all).
So Tara, what do you even eat?
Just have a look at my recipes page and you will see the plethora of foods that I LOVE!
But like anything in life there comes a time where you need to ‘find’ yourself, find out what works for you, and times that you are challenged.
It is in our challenges that growth occurs, and we must welcome it.
So let’s really get into the reason I am here sharing with you today….
I spent over 12 years suffering with eating disorders. I remember the day that I got home from school in year 8, and something clicked in me…
I. AM. NOT. ENOUGH.
I. CANNOT. COPE.
I. NEED. TO. GET. RID. OF. THIS. FOOD.
It was a year in my life that school was challenging… friendship and families were being torn apart and I felt out of control. It was on this day, that I realised I could control how I felt, I could control the craziness that was my teenage years… through control what did and did not enter my mouth.
See more on eating disorders and my turning point in 2015 here.
My bulimia and anorexia lasted up until the end of year 11, when I realised I could not function, let alone get through year 12. It was at this point, at 17 years old, that alcohol became my vice… my escape.
During university this became more extreme, and study, work and drinking (plus highly processed foods) became my norm. I put on 20kgs. When things became really out of control in my life, there would be times, where I would revert back to the bulimia, however, this had no impact on my weight. It just made me feel better… so I thought.
After university, I lost the 20kgs, though diet and exercise, and as I was looking better, I was feeling better and my eating disorders were not rearing their heads as much…
Until 2012, when I moved to the Gold Coast. This move, really hit me hard. I was so far away from my friends and family. And again, the bulimia returned. It was not until I started my own network marketing business and entered the personal development world, that the bulimia and anorexia all stopped.
YES. IT STOPPED!
Just like that. For the first time in 25 years, I realised that I was not my thoughts, or my past and I was the only person that could manage MY emotions, and in a positive way!
While I had apparently recovered from my eating disorders, I still had negative thoughts around food and exercise – I have to diet and exercise or I will get fat.
Then I was really saved…. a 21 day ‘Vegan’ challenge though my health coaching course (more on this in the blog I mentioned about, it’s all here). I knew the benefits of removing animal products from my diet, but honestly, I was pretty clueless. So I spent more time educating myself on this way of eating and this is why I choose and advocate WFPB.
However, what I have come to realise is a WFPB diet is so much more than health.
Big statement coming up, but…
WFPB enabled ME to overcome MY eating disorder.
’02: Unwell year 10, ’09: Post uni, ’15:WFBP
There it is. The truth of it all in black and white! This massive ah-ha in my life only came to surface this week when my beliefs and values were challenged, and I had the fleeting thought of, if not WFPB then what!?
Eating a WFPB diet is the first time in my life that I have been able to LOVE food, to cherish it, to get excited about it, to not see it as something that makes me fat! I don’t count calories, or points, or fixate on portion control. I eat amazing food that fuels my body! And I move my body, because I choose to, and enjoy it. I no longer smash my body to get the calories out!
Please know, I am not here to push WFPB down your throat. I want you to make a decision that is right for you.
Do your research and try it for yourself (watch out for my 21day WFPB program coming out in 2017).
Here are some of the amazing WFPB gurus I follow:
- Dr Greger: http://nutritionfacts.org/
- Dr Klaper: http://doctorklaper.com/
- Rich Roll: http://www.richroll.com/
- Plant Based Health Australia: http://drmalcolmmackay.com.au/
Want more information?
Join me on Wednesday April 5th at 8pm AEDT for a FREE webinar: ‘Green Eating with Tara’ where we will explore the benefits of a WFPB lifestyle, and my journey over the past 3 years.