My Health Journey that lead to a Vegetarian Lifestyle
By: Mary Jean Marquez
Society is drastically changing in the way we think about food, health and animal welfare. My own journey has been interesting, and I suppose similar to many of you. What started as a quest for better health, has lead to my passion of helping all animals.
I was raised a meat eater. Every single day we ate some kind of meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with some sort of side loaded with cheese, gravy, and very little or no vegetables and never fruits. Meat was just the main food on our plates and in myHispanic culture every type of meat-food, even beans were fried in LARD! As an adult, my heart was not liking the years of consuming the overload of fatty meats...and the scary thing is, I had no idea my heart was in trouble! I was 50 lbs overweight and my body was feeling those extra pounds.
I had a wake up call when my only brother suddenly died of a heart attack when he was a young 46 years of age in 2011. He and I were only one year and four months apart.
When I was 48 years of age, shortly after my brother died, I strongly felt in my heart that I needed to go in to see my doctor for a physical. I was very surprised to find out that my cholesterol levels were "dangerously high" as my doctor phrased it. She wanted to immediately start me on a regime of cholesterol medication and some others, but being the stubborn person that I am, and not wanting to get addicted to medications and more afraid of the deadly side affects, I convinced my doctor to give me a chance to try to get my cholesterol levels under control with diet and exercise. Thank God she did give me that chance. She gave me a certain amount of time to do it, and I happily share that I did, and I do not have to take medications. I buckled down and got it done! I am now (at time of this blog writing) 51 years of age and feeling better than ever in every way!
The first thing I did was prayerfully educate myself on coronary disease, foods...and was lead to a wonderful book titled "Eat To Live" by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I devoured this book, and realized that I needed to make serious changes in the way I thought about food, and my eating habits. I had to throw out all the lies-old information, and renew my mind to new information-truth. I now "mindfully eat with purpose!" I have a renewed commitment to myself and family to live a longer and healthier lifestyle while helping God's animals and environment. I have totally revamped the way I eat and lifestyle. I no longer eat any type of meat, rarely eat eggs or cheese, and cut out all fast foods!
I also started drinking a lot more water daily, which helps with your entire body. I never had a problem with drinking sodas, sweet drinks...I always drank water with my meals or when thirsty, but I was not drinking nearly enough. I encourage you energy drink/soda...drinkers to cut it out, and replace all that poison with pure clean water! You will be happy you did in the long run!
There are three lies about food that I want to focus on, because these are the lies I believed and were making my body sick!
Lie #1: I was taught and believed that I needed to eat meat to get the proper protein. That is a blatant lie! There are so many vegetables and other plant based foods...that you can get your daily protein intake from, plus so many added benefits that you don't get from meat/eggs.
Lie #2: I was taught and believed that I had to drink milk and eat cheese/diary products everyday to get the proper calcium. Another blatant lie! There are plenty of vegetables, fruits...that you can get your calcium from with the added benefits that you don't get with milk/dairy products. I no longer drink milk, I drink Almond Milk, and rarely eat cheese. These changes have been vital for my body; many ill symptoms in my body have ceased, especially in my stomach/gut!
Lie #3: I was taught and believed that I had to eat fish at least twice/three times a week in order to get Omega 3...another blatant lie! You can get the proper healthy Omega 3 and others by eating flax seed with your foods and or flax seed oil, and other plant based foods...without the unhealthy levels of mercury...from fish.
I can go on and on about all I have learned, and the changes I have made, however I encourage everyone reading this blog to please take charge of your own health. Do your own research and begin to educate yourself, and do what is right for you and future generations.
Another vital change in my lifestyle has been incorporating daily exercise. Exercise is a must to keep your body strong, and don't let anyone or any quick results gimmick tell you otherwise. Find what you enjoy and switch it up so it doesn't become monotonous.
My tip for you is: Listen to your favorite music and workout outdoors when possible. Music gets your soul pumped up and ready to go, and the sun/fresh air gives you revitalizing energy!
The bi-product and beauty of my healthy eating habit changes is becoming a part of a rapidly growing group of people who care about, and love animals. I had no idea of the cruel/inhumane treatment animals suffer, or the inhumane conditions they are forced to live in at the hands of cold hearted people, whose bottom line is the dollar, and not the welfare of the animals they abuse and kill. This information came as I began to do more research on where my meats-food was coming from. I was shocked and disgusted to say the least, and I simply don't understand how or why the owners and employees...of meat companies-farms/dairies/chickens/fish...are allowed to do so! It has to stop!
My ultimate goal is to live the Vegan lifestyle, which I am very close to, as I continue to educate myself and learn. This has been an amazing journey so far, and I am so blessed and excited to share my success with you, and let you know that it is possible to reverse bad health to good health if you do the work, and make the right healthy changes. I am in the toddler stages of this new lifestyle and have so much more to learn and experience. I will continue to share my progress, experiences, passion, and compassion with you all.
I pray this blog will encourage you to make the needed changes that will help your health in every way. "CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST" and together you can come up with a good, healthy, and safe plan for you to begin your journey toward a healthier happier lifestyle, while saving precious lives, and making a difference for the environment.
"One day, and one change at a time!" -Mary Jean Marquez
God bless you always!
Mary Jean Marquez
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