My Old Self
This picture on the right is me. I was 50 Pounds or 22 kilograms over weight. I ate the typical standard American Diet which for me consisted of about 90% fast food including Taco Bell, In N Out, McDonald to name a few. I know that there are many people that have the same or similar diet. I know because I ate the same as my parents and I ate the same as my friends. I fit in and we rarely ever discussed healthy eating habits as that was seen as ” un-cool”. I may not look very unhealthy on the outside and I may look like a regular American, but what you can’t see is the suffering on my insides. How could you? You do not know my blood test, doctor’s notes, drug prescriptions, or mental health. Did you know The average number of prescriptions per capita in the U.S. was, on average, 12.2 per capita in 2013. Trends indicate that the number of prescriptions per capita increases with age. Those aged 65-79 years utilize, on average 27.3 prescriptions per year. The number of prescriptions filled in the U.S. has increased in recent years. Source here.
I first heard about veganism through my Uncle, my dad’s brother. He went Vegan when he was a little boy because he went hunting with a family member and witnessed a rabbit scream in pain when being slaughtered. This led him down the now familiar path of eliminating the cruelty of animal products from his lifestyle. That’s all I really knew about him growing up, and they ate alot of tofu! My dad was the total opposite of my Vegan uncle. We ate animal products every single meal and BBQ more animal products on the weekends. So naturally I followed in my father’s footsteps and never questioned where my food came from. I was a good boy and always followed what I was taught. My father was a hard worker and we didn’t have extra food, so we ate what we were given.
Getting Diagnosed with a Chronic Disease
So, when I was 25 my Standard American Diet eventually caught up with me. I found myself doubling over in pain and unable to walk. I went to the hospital to find out what was wrong. I was diagnosed with an “autoimmune disease” as they called it. It is called Ankylosing spondylitis (pronounced ank-kih-low-sing spon-dill-eye-tiss), or AS, is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. The only option the doctors gave me was to take a drug called Humira. The cost of this drug was $4,000 USD per month. I could not afford it at the time. What the doctors failed to tell me is that there were alternatives to this drug that could cure my disease. The main reason they did not tell me is that they do not make any money off natural remedies and they are trianed in medicine and not in nutrition. These options don’t make hospitals money. plain and simple. 4 years later I started taking the Drug as my new insurance covered the drug.
Why I went Vegan
Once I started taking the drug, Humira I started experience some pain relief in my spine. I was feeling very optimistic. The function of the drug, not one of the many many side effects, is to weaken the immune system to “prevent the immune system from attacking the spine”. As you can imagine, with a weakened immune system, any common cold can make me seriously sick. And that is exactly what happened! I got the cold and with a weakened immune system, I was destroyed and felt incredibly ill for 3 weeks straight. I couldn’t get out of bed, I lost my voice, I could not stop coughing and vomiting. I immediately stopped taking the drug. I was miserable and I was seriously afraid for my life because it was the first time I had ever been sick to the point where I wasn’t getting any better for weeks on end. I told myself that I would do anything to get better. Then when I was losing all hope, someone recommended me to watch a documentary called What the Health on Netflix. This film examines the link between diet and disease, and the billions of dollars at stake in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industries. After watching this, I decided to try cutting out animal products from my diet for the first time in my life. I was scared, but committed to doing anything to get healthy. After about 1 week, I started getting healthy and wasn’t sick any more. the pain in my back went away, and I felt the best I’ve felt in my entire life. 2 years later and my biggest regret is i didn’t do it sooner. Now I spend my free time educating others on how to live their best life without harming others. Have a listen to my Podcast or follow me on Instagram or YouTube!