Hello everyone. 🙂
Today I am sharing part II of the mini series I am doing on the Whole Foods Plant-Based diet. Today I will be sharing my own personal testimony of what it has been like for me growing up on, and still almost always adhering to (staying with) this diet as an adult. As a reminder: I’m not a health professional, but I have been blessed to learn a lot about healthy eating and I am grateful to be able to share what I have learned. I respect and appreciate the medical establishment and what I will be sharing in this series is not a substitute for professional medical help.
I hope that my simple testimony will be inspiring to someone. 🙂
As a very young child, my family were lacto-ovo (sometimes also called “ovo-lacto”) vegetarians. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lacto-ovo%20vegetarian My parents had both been raised eating meat, eggs, dairy and plant foods, but by the time I came along, they were first pescatarians https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pescetarian, and then they soon became lacto-ovo vegetarians. I’ve never intentionally eaten any meat: fish included.
As my parents continued to transition our family towards a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet, we went through a phase of eating some veggie meats. Veggie meats, or meat analogues, are meat substitutes made from plants, and some of these products also include eggs or dairy. Although veggie meats taste good, they honestly aren’t that healthy and I don’t recommend them. These foods are highly processed, and foods are healthier in their more natural states. Furthermore, veggie meats are expensive. All and all, I don’t think veggie meats are a very good bargain: either for your pocketbook or for your health. I do eat vegan veggie meats every now and again when I don’t have better options, but I generally stay away from them.
When I was 5 years old, my family began moving more closely towards an actual Whole Foods Plant Based Diet. We ate less processed vegan food, and ate much more food made at home from simpler, more natural plant ingredients. From this point in life, we quickly landed at a Whole Foods Plant Based diet, which most of us still follow to this day. I will insert here that veganism becomes expensive when you eat lots of veggie meats, store bought dairy substitutes, store bought packaged vegan meals and the like. This kind of veganism is almost definitely out of reach for a low income family, in my humble opinion and it isn’t as healthful besides. It is cheaper to buy your own simple plant based ingredients and cook your own food.
(Note: I will soon research what kinds of healthier foods people on food-stamps and/or those who depend heavily on food pantries and churches may have access to. At this point I’m not sure if people in these situations will be able to eat a 100 % Whole Foods Plant Based diet, but I do believe that people can always make positive changes. ) Back to my story. 🙂
During this time, my family (composed of my father, mother, my five year old self, my three year old brother and my 18 month old sister) transitioned to a two meal a day plan. All of us did, and we were quite okay. None of us ate any snacks and I don’t remember being hungry or without energy. From the ages of 5 and up, I have continued to eat 2 meals a day with no snacks. During a time of difficult issues with chronic nausea, I ate 3 meals per day (and mini meals for a shorter period as well) for about 3 years.
Since ~ 2017 however, I have been back on a two meal a day, no snack plan (except for during short periods where I have had difficult nausea problems and have had to eat three meals) and two meals a day works great for me. When you avoid snacking and only eat at meal times, you give your stomach time to rest. When you skip the third meal, you give your stomach a chance to rest all night. The little chart towards the end of the following article will give you a sense of how long it takes for your stomach to empty. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/transit.html
Whole plant foods keep you full longer. Throughout all the years I have been doing this, when I eat my two temperate and satisfying Whole Foods Plant Based meals, (and I do not snack-I don’t even drink juice or non-dairy milk in between meals) I do not feel hungry. I have adequate energy and I feel very content. In fact, I even went through puberty and most of my growth spurt (I’m 5’9) on a Whole Foods Plant Based diet with two meals a day and no snacks (not even juice or non-dairy milk).
This being said…I realize that some people have such high energy requirements that two meals a day simply won’t work for them; I realize that people with gastroparesis https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355787 may have to be very careful about this as well and I also realize that people with diabetes need to be very careful and some may not be able to eat two meals a day or to do entirely without snacks. I myself have not always been able to eat just two meals a day, as I’ve mentioned above. Fanaticism and extremism are not good. We need to use good common-sense and lots of wisdom in the way in which we eat. I realize that I have taken a diversion from my story, in a way, in order to talk about the infrequency at which I eat, but I wanted to share this information. Back to my story…
At age 12, I began to own my dietary choices. I gave my heart to the Lord again at this age, and one of the expressions of this renewed consecration was that I wanted to please God in the way in which I ate. I had been eating an excellent diet for most all of my life, but I did eat things that I knew were not good when I was away from home. In fact I craved things that were unhealthy and took great delight in being able to eat them. Now, I decided that I would no longer do this, and praise God, I have stuck to my commitment on the vast majority of occasions. I do eat things that I know are not ideal when I do not have better options, but even then, I try to make the very best choices that I can make.
I have dealt with a lot of nausea and food aversions (and no, I’m not pregnant and never have been!) since my mid-teens, and, although this issue is not pleasant, it has definitely helped to make my previous struggles with having strong cravings for unhealthy food almost non-existent. There can definitely be bright sides to unfortunate issues in life.
I hope that my simple testimony has been inspiring and thought provoking. I believe that following a two meals a day, no snack Whole Foods Plant Based Diet dietary plan has greatly increased my level of self-control in life in general. I am willing to think and plan, to sacrifice and to deal with inconveniences. I am willing to be different from others and to disagree with others while still being respectful of them, through Jesus’ strength.
As a nineteen and twenty-year old young lady living away from home, by God’s grace I did my best to stick to the healthy dietary lifestyle I had been raised with. I am grateful that I did not pick up bad dietary habits while I was away from home, even while most of the other people around me were not eating as healthfully. God also gave me the strength to make moral decisions to participate or not participate in various activities. When I moved home again at age twenty and attended a local, community college for two years, I still maintained my dietary integrity and by God’s grace, I maintained my relationship with God too, despite myself, because of the incredible love and mercy and through the strength of my amazing Jesus.
I believe in commonsense. I believe in the mercy of God. I believe that God honors us for doing the best that we can with what we have. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Corinthians-8-12/ I am grateful for God’s lovingkindness and patience as He helps us to learn and grow. I am grateful for the victory over wrong lifestyle practices, and other besetting sins that we humans struggle with, that God freely offers to all of us. I am grateful for God’s love. I am grateful for Jesus. Courage!