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I love animals as much as the next person, but I have to be honest. I did not become a vegan because I wanted to save animals; I became a vegan because I wanted to save myself.
In 2010, I was overweight and decided it was time to make healthier choices and lose weight. I joined a gym, did Zumba, counted points and lost forty pounds. I felt great but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to lose more but I was tired of dieting and being hungry. I splurged one day and ate a burger, then I was instantly overwhelmed with guilt. I made myself throw up and continued to do so after almost every meal for two years. I felt tired, weak, moody and emotional all of the time but convinced myself it was the price to pay if I wanted to stay thin.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I was able to think clearly and stop my bad habits. I continued to keep my habits behind me after having my son because I was breastfeeding and knew I couldn’t risk my milk supply. When I weaned my son at eighteen months, I no longer had an excuse and my bad habits reemerged, especially since I had not lost enough of the babyweight for me to feel comfortable.
>> Read more: Adult Eating Disorders: The Scary Truth
Any mom with a toddler can tell you that it is exhausting and you sometimes feel like there isn’t enough coffee in the world. Well, when you add in dieting, binging and purging, you are hardly able to function. Having an eating disorder was always dangerous but when you have children, things are put into a different perspective and I realized how selfish I was being. I needed to find something to help me; that something was becoming a vegan.
A main trigger for me was that feeling of being full or feeling like I overate. It was a feeling I felt often after eating a burger or pepperoni pizza. So, I went cold turkey (not literally) and cut out all meat, eggs and dairy. At first, I thought salads were my future but I quickly learned that there are tons of delicious foods, products, and recipes that are vegan-friendly. You’d also be surprised to learn some of your favorite products are vegan, like Oreos!
Maybe becoming a vegan isn’t for you but you can always try some healthy vegan swaps, or maybe even a weekly Meatless Monday. Here are a few easy and delicious swaps to try if you’re considering vegan.
1. Almond milk: It can be used in smoothies, on cereal or by itself.
2. Soy milk: Soy is a good substitute when a recipe calls for milk and you don’t want that hint of almond.
3. Bananas or applesauce: These can be used to substitute eggs and/or butter in baking.
4. Avocado: Mashed avocado is a great mayo substitute on sandwiches.
>> Read more: 10 Best Ways to Eat an Avocado
5. Portobello mushroom caps: They can take the place of meat in a burger and still give you the same effect.
Are you up for the challenge?