Vegan, Family of Three
A journey of improving health for myself, my boyfriend, and his four-year-old son.
Where I sit today is a complete 180 from where I was at this time last week. I recently watched a new documentary on Netflix titled, What the Health. It struck up a conversation between my boyfriend, who has done the juicing fasting inspired by Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and myself, who once tried vegetarianism for four months about 8 years ago.
Truth be told, while watching this film, I was scarfing down a big, juicy burger from our favorite restaurant, Five Guys. A place where I would order two double patty burgers with cheese and ketchup, fries, and an Oreo Milkshake.
We were tired, depressed, struggling to see positivity, but also filling our stomachs with fast food, tacos, bacon, ice cream. These foods that I was raised on alongside home cooked meals and fruits and veggies were now my only source of energy.
Prior to this documentary, prior to our discussion, I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression, looming on the edge of severe anxiety and depression. As in, if I had one more "bad" day in the two week period, than I would be considered severe instead of moderate. I had no energy, no ability to focus on what had to be done. I stopped writing. I stopped caring.
I'm now on Zoloft, 75mg a night, the standard starter prescription for newly medicated patients and started seeing a therapist, Lauren, who matches my interest in learning with her wealth of knowledge. For two months, I have been crying in counseling, still waking up in the middle of the night, and feeling waves of ups and downs. I started meditating before bed, which helped me fall asleep faster than ever before. Slowly, I was building myself up and finding myself able to escape the whirlpool of negative thoughts, the kind that just send you down into a dark spiral.
But Zoloft's commonly known for one noticeable side effect: drowsiness. So while my mental health was slowly improving, my energy and motivation weren't anywhere near the levels I recalled having as a teenager. I wanted to balance everything, and so, after learning what What the Health had to say, along with the determination of my partner, I have decided to switch over to an all-plant-based diet.
My partner, Zach, has a four-year-old son as well. An energetic tyke who loves super heroes, Mario video games, and Dr. Seuss books before bed. While he's only with us for half the week, we decided that we wanted him to join in our lifestyle for the days that we had him. Because as much as we love him, we were not giving him the proper nutrition that he needed.
Hotdogs, cereal with milk, chicken nuggets, chips, and anything sweet were his top choices for food. He'll eat an apple and he'll eat peanut butter, but try to get him to try anything new and he'll put up a fight. He's set in his ways, and unfortunately, we weren't good at being set in our ways.
It'll be hard at first, but we know now is the best time to start for him. We want him to grow up and grow into a healthy lifestyle, one that doesn't require second thought because it's been engrained in him (what an excellent, unintentional pun!).
We're still going to let him eat those other products, but no longer in our home. If his mother chooses to give him Happy Meals or such, that is her decision and we won't be forcing her to make the same decision as us.
We're doing this together, as a family, and we're full steam ahead.
We're invested in trying out the vegan recipes the internet has to offer, including kid-friendly options that the little guy can help us cook. We're trying different products, different fruits and veggies, and we'll be sharing it all here!
Stick around if you want to follow our adventures!