Welcome to my page! This is my first official post on the web real estate and I’m super excited to share my world of healthy vegan living with you!
Maybe you’ve always struggled to lose weight and keep it off too.
You’ve heard about veganism but you’re not quite sure what it is or how to start.
You care about all animals, you don’t want to harm the environment, and you want to be the best version of yourself both physically and mentally.
If you love being healthy and stay in shape while adopting a vegan lifestyle, then you’re in the right place!
If you’re a brand new to veganism, start here.
I wanted to have my first blog post be a little about me and my journey into the vegan world and how I can help you overcome the challenges along the way. In future posts, I’ll share how you can overcome the toughest times that you’ll go through as a vegan. I’ll also share the easiest and healthiest ways to lose weight and to keep it off too!
The entire journey so far has been a MAJOR life experience, to say the least!
My name is Ghazal (pronounced like the deer gazelle!). I’m married to my amazing husband and we live with our little munchkin fur baby Diamond.
Let me first start with what exactly is veganism? It’s basically refusing to exploit any animals to be used for food, clothing, experimentation, or any form of entertainment.
In general, it’s choosing not to eat foods that don’t have any animal products, wearing things like leather or fur, buying anything that’s animal tested, or going to zoos and circuses. Everyone has their own personal reason as to why they went vegan – the animals, the environment, health reasons, or all of the above.
All of my life I considered myself in-shape, despite eating at fast food joints and restaurants with friends for most of my 20s. But it eventually started to catch up with me as I got into my late twenties. And as a person who never had to watch what I ate, it was hard for me to restrict myself to certain foods and force myself to go to a gym.
I went through a really bad phase of body image issues that I had never experienced before. I didn’t like my body or how I looked.
And let me clarify that it doesn’t matter if you’re considered skinny or fat by society, you could still have body image issues.
My whole wardrobe changed from stylish and chic to baggy and comfy. And the more my now-husband and my mom would criticize my outfits, the angrier I became with myself and my body.
I felt my body had given up on me.
That’s when all the health issues also started to catch up with me.
I was having major skin breakouts (which I never had before), gained weight, started having digestive issues, became sensitive to dairy and learned all about IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) the hard way.
I was always trying to lose weight. I couldn’t remember the last time I was actually ‘OK’ with my body. I jumped on every fad diet bandwagon to end up right back at square one. It never seemed easy to lose weight and I dreaded the gym.
After a few years, I started to look into alternative medicine.
I first went to a Chinese medicine doctor, paid $100 for the visit, was given a $50 bag of an earthy herbal concoction to boil into a tea and drink it twice a day to help with my health issues. I couldn’t even bear the smell let alone cook it in my house and drink it twice a day so I just flushed it! Yup, $150 down the drain.
I started working out pretty much six days a week for six months. I even hired a personal trainer for once a week. But I didn’t notice any major changes in my health.
Then a friend recommended that I see a naturopath and start a ketogenic diet.
For those that don’t know about the keto diet, it’s basically the exact opposite of a vegan diet. You eat a diet that is very high in fat (particularly animal fat) and extremely low in carbs. It forces your body to use ketones instead of glucose to burn energy which in turn helps you lose weight if done properly.
That was probably the fastest way I had ever lost weight.
And by that point, I was struggling with my weight for a couple of years. I was so excited about my new discovery that I started sharing all of my results with anyone that would listen.
It was exactly what I was looking for.
I was very strict with it for about three months until I just wasn’t enjoying the foods anymore. There was way too much animal fat, meat, and dairy to a point that I was storing bacon grease to cook all my other foods with! Yuck!
But my body was constantly hurting from the inside.
Fast forward almost six months after I had started the keto diet in early 2017 my sister, who’s almost ten years younger than me, announced that she was a vegan. It was a huge shock for all of us in my family.
We all believed that she wasn’t eating enough protein as is and that became our first concern that we hounded her with – as any typical non-vegan would.
She started sending us videos and articles that started it all.
Shortly after, I became a vegan on April 24th, 2017.
I remember the date exactly because it was a Monday and hubby was starting a new job. It was a cold-turkey decision that I knew would be hard but totally worth it.
I never even knew what a vegan was up until that point! I knew there were people who were vegetarian but I had never met one.
My sister was actually the first person who introduced me to veganism and I’m so thankful that she did because things have never been the same since. This was the first video (graphic) she showed me.
It was as if all of my life I had a film covering my eyes so I saw the food industry in a blur.
For the first time, I felt that I saw the food industry with crystal clear vision.
It’s crazy to think that I was in my late 20s when I first discovered how food had ever ended up on my plate. Until that point, I had a faint idea but I think I was too scared to find out.
I feared the unknown.
What I found was horrifying. The videos I saw, the studies I read, all gave me a scary wake up call. I’ve always loved animals and was astonished by the fact that all my life I was supporting an industry that did not care one bit about the animals.
I learned how we’re destroying our environment at such a rapid pace and we’re doing it every single day.
I also learned that so many of the health issues that took the lives of my family members were due to diseases that came directly from the meat and dairy industry. Things like diabetes, stroke, cancer, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure to name a few.
I did not want to be a part of that statistic. It was a dark period of time.
But it did get easier – a lot easier!
Since then I’ve lost over 30lbs and I don’t have to work as hard to maintain my weight!! All of my digestive issues are gone so I don’t have to worry about a flare up at a family function anymore. I’ve never felt better and it’s been the easiest ‘diet’ I’ve ever been on.
I live happily with my non-vegan husband. Which comes with its own challenges that I’ll get into in later posts. But hubby and even some of our friends and family have drastically cut down on their meat and dairy intake.
Our sixteen-year-old dog is also a vegan and she’s the happiest and healthiest dog! Although she’s only been a vegan for about two years.
Some fun facts about me:
So in a nutshell, that’s how this blog was born. I wanted to start sharing my challenges and successes with those of you who are going through the same thing. And those just starting out on their journey that might be feeling confused, frustrated, and just overwhelmed by all the new info.
At the same time I want to focus on helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle as a vegan. Because there will be hard times. It’s just nice to know that you’re not alone and that someone else has gone through it too and can help you do the same.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments. Have you struggled with being a vegan or losing weight or maybe both? Feel free to also contact me here.
With love for all,
I am a true believer in improving your health by what you do on a daily basis. I am a health advocate and believe that you can achieve any health-related goal based on your diet and daily habits. I am still relatively new (coming up on two years and counting!) to the vegan world and would love to take you with me on my journey!