Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top 5 Reactions to "I'm vegan!"

The last thing you expect when you take charge of your own health and take the path of a plant-based journey is to receive harsh criticism. I know I've mentioned in passing that I've had to deal with some negativity and other reactions, but I haven't fully explained this phenomenon. Here are some of the things that I have encountered when people discovered I had gone plant-based.

1. "You're taking this too seriously." Yes, I now take my health more seriously than ever before. Here's why: my grandma was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a decade ago and my mom received the same diagnosis in January 2012. See the pattern? I'm trying to break it. I thought by being young, I was essentially bullet-proof. The real story: my health had been on the decline since college. Now, my health has significantly improved and I'm nearly at "optimal" levels for all of my bloodwork, which is impressive compared to my results in January 2011.

2. "Where will you get your protein?"I've answered this question already in another post, but I'd like to take this moment and ask anyone who's thinking that, "Why do you think I need meat to obtain my protein?" I don't remember hearing this information ever in my life, but there are many other foods that provide the right amount of protein. Too much animal-based protein in a diet can actually contribute to severe problems like osteoporosis, cancer, impaired kidney function and heart disease.

3. "I'll have to eat enough meat for you and I both!" I was shocked when people said this, albeit jokingly. The reasons why I have cut animal products out of my life can easily be explained in the Forks Over Knives documentary, which is on my blog to watch for free. If you're feeling blah and don't know why, consider checking out the documentary and see what it's all about. Whatever you do, don't double up on your meat intake just because of me!

4. "[Insert illness or health-related problem] runs in my family!" I understand the link between genes and illnesses, but I also have researched and discovered the benefits of a plant-based diet in relation to illnesses—both as a means to prevent and reverse problems. When my mom called and told me that she had type 2 diabetes, I selfishly thought, "Well, I must be next. It's inevitable!" as I tossed my hands into the air. However, one month later at a fateful appointment, my weight inspired me to take action, and since February 2012, my health has reflected my change in numerous ways.

5. "This is dangerous for your health!" I pretty much started to freak out when people told me that what I was doing was dangerous. What did I do about it? I promptly found a plant-based doctor and remembered that I was eating nothing but fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds—healthy food. No one thought it was dangerous when I ate myself into this mess through fast-food drive-thrus, unhealthy eating habits and a general disconnect with my health.

I really don't want to come out of this post as seeming negative, but when you're battling cravings, reversing 20+ years of eating habits and trying to hold it all together while people that are close to you are not being supportive, well it just sucks! So that's what this blog is about. I'm here to support YOU in YOUR journey! It's inevitable to run into these responses early on, but once people start to see your results, they will start to ask questions and will want to learn more. Be patient and be kind—these people care for you. Don't let it affect your progress. Your health is too important!

Looking to go vegan? Check out these related posts below!

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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