The How, What, and Why of Our Decision to go Plant-based

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed a shift in my nutrition. If you’re a new reader to my blog, this may all be new news to you relating to a segment of the lifestyle we lead in my home regarding nutrition. After getting tons of questions about our eating habit shift, I decided to throw the details into a post so that anyone who wants to read the HOW, WHAT, and WHY of our decision to go plant-based can learn through our experience which may not be unlike that of many families in the universe.

HOW it all began:

My experience with nursing a brand new baby was one of the most difficult experiences I’ve had in my mothering life. HERE I opened up about my decision to stop nursing, but let me explain what rose to the surface as a result of that experience.

The difficulty I have nursing didn’t just come from my inability to produce easily, it came from the realization that my diet was impacting my little more than I could have imagined. I would like to think that my diet was a healthy one. I ate ‘clean’ sources of protein from white chicken meat and seafood; I stopped eating red meat for the most part around the time I had the little. Vegetables and fruits were a huge part of my daily intake; I made sure to avoid high levels of sugars in them as well. Cheats were and still are a part of my weekend enjoyment, but aren’t a daily focus of mine. I only ate dairy off and on with pizza nights and candy sneaks.

I had to dissect my diet to see what the heck was making my baby sick to the point where she was having massive diarrhea and couldn’t keep food down. I eliminated all forms of dairy. Approaching the end of our nursing experience, it was a smart decision on my part.

The fun part came when the little started being able to eat solids.

Looking for finger foods that were easy to eat and make for my now-toddler, I prepped [what I thought to be] healthier options. Organic chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, and steamed broccoli were some of our go-tos as she approached the age of 1.5-2 years old. In the beginning, there were not noticeable issues with anything she ate including peanuts of shellfish. Yet, the stomach issues continued. The diarrhea reared it’s [literally] ugly head and my sweet girl would wake up in puke after no clear signs of other illness.

Something was still wrong.

WHAT did I decide to go?

Enter: the elimination diet.

I tell my clients and friends to drop down to a vegan diet whenever they have gastro-intestinal issues. Start from the basics and then add in foods to see what the issues are. It still boggles my mind that I made this recommendation and knew that a vegan diet was one without anything other than positive impact, but still I went onto eat foods that didn’t’ sit well with me. Leave it to my little one to change my ways more solidly.

WHY we decided to keep going:

Why change something when it’s working for you? Eating no dairy and no animal products at all did something for each of us in my household. The little one had no stomach issues anymore, started pooping more normally, and had her spunky energy back. Hubby had less need for insulin nor corrections to his blood sugars when eating vegan and eating more often. I have felt amazing and don’t see any negative repercussions to the change to our food intake.

If something isn’t working, I always say to change it up. If something is working, in regards to workouts and nutrition, we should do what works for us!

WHO do I hope to impact by sharing this?

I’m not the person who’s going to judge anyone who’s not vegan or force anyone to become vegan. If anything, I’ve been asked boatloads of questions about our experience and am always happy to share the benefits this shift has given us. What I hope you learn is that you can do what works for you. Whenever you dig into your diet, make sure it makes sense.

WHAT I hope YOU learn from our experience?

Are you getting a balance of macronutrients to fuel your body and replenish your energy substrates?

Are you able to look at carbohydrates as a macronutrient and not a ‘bad” food group?

Are you eating in a way that benefits your body and isn’t a way someone else ate that you’re emulating?

Is the way you’re eating sustainable for the future of your own health along with the health of the world around us?

Are you selective with the sources you get your food from or are you eating on a whim?

Are your eating decisions based on seeing food as fuel or seeing food as comfort?

It’s time for us to RETHINK PROTEIN (Click to check out Rethink Protein gear for yourself!)

In what ways can you reevaluate your diet so that it makes sense to you and your goals right now for wellness?

Katrina is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist, Nutrition Coach, Group Fitness Instructor, and Wellness Educator also studying to complete her Master of Science degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion to focus on issues related to Health Equity. She holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and the University of South Florida. She also has an Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design and is a content creator and host of various video series online. Katrina Pilkington is a global wellness educator bridging gaps with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through coaching as an adaptable champion of change. Her goal is to lead her community by example and relatability to shift the culture in wellness to be one of belonging and accessible means. Her goal is to use her experience coaching and mentoring to lead her community by example and use relatability to shift the culture in wellness to be one of belonging and accessible means for those who are the most underrepresented and marginalized. Katrina has a passion for working with others to find their deep meaning to take care of themselves inside and out to the best of their ability using the means they have access to.

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