A little introduction

I began my foray into mindful eating in early 2005.

I was a freshman at a university in Canada, thousands of miles away from my sunny home in The Bahamas. My first "real" winter had brought on depression, at least 15 pounds and increased my reliance on alcohol and junk food.

But aside from weight loss and vanity I had no interest in healthy eating or a clue what that really meant. To me healthy meant a tasteless iceberg lettuce salad along with some unseasoned fish or bland chicken. But something happened in 2005 that changed my outlook.

I was in the second semester of a biology class that focused on chronic diseases, diseases the human body essentially makes as a result of genetics, diet, lifestyle and environmental exposure.

After reading dozens of scientific articles which found that a vegetarian lifestyle significantly lowered the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and hypertension, I decided to take the plunge. My family has a history of diabetes and I was determined I would not let my body succumb to the same fate.

My new interest in vegetarianism led me to PETA's website and from there I discovered the cruelties in factory farms and the pain most animals go through to get on our plates. I was filled with resolve that I would never hurt another animal intentionally.

I immediately gave up meat and scoured the internet for vegetarian recipes. In a few clicks, I opened a world I had never given thought to before. I discovered over the next few months that my veggie recipes tasted better than my meat dishes. And without much effort, the weight fell off me. I felt healthier, leaner, more in tune with nature - like I was doing something worthwhile.

Once I came home from uni, I was faced with never-ending questions about my diet from friends, co-workers and family. Back then it was (and in most cases still is) weird to be a vegetarian/vegan on an island that has abundant seafood and a population with a taste for meat.

Over the years I've had a few missteps and relapses, but I know being a plant eater is the best route for me and I can't see myself ever reverting to the life of an omnivore.

That said, I hope to use this blog to inspire others to eat a plant-based, vegan diet and show that herbivores are not so weird after all.

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