My Vegan and Raw Journey
My journey into a plant-based lifestyle began on April 14th, 2012, when I was just 13 years young. My diet prior to a plant-based diet was the Standard American Diet (or SAD).
At an early age, I was insecure about myself and I lacked confidence in my own skin. I wasn’t happy with my weight and body image, and I knew something had to change. Although I was told otherwise by family and friends, I knew I was fat, overweight and insecure. I ate everything from pizza, cookies, chips, gluten and wheat-filled bread, ice cream, burgers, chocolate, candy, cereal, sandwiches, and fast foods like Chinese food, McDonald’s, Chic-Fil-A, and other processed junk foods. I knew eating processed, junk foods were not healthy for my body, but I ate them anyway.
This was me on the SAD. This is how I used to look and this is an example on how my plates used to look. What you see on the plate is, brown rice, HALF of a banana (I know, how silly is that?! My family would eat half of a banana instead of a whole one sometimes :/), cheesy spinach on top of meatballs. My cheeks were chubby in this pic and I had fat on my stomach. I even crossed my arms so I would cover my fat from my stomach. It was quite embarrassing for me at the time. I wore XL sized t-shirts before as a meat-eater. I know… hard to believe, but it was true. :/ I’m a size small now
This was a meal on the SAD. Do you notice the vitamin pills in the background? My family used to take one every day (including myself) just so we can “stay healthy”. My old diet was quite SAD & typical… I used to be one of the biggest meat-eaters in my house (my dad was also a big meat-eater!). I wouldn’t finish a meal if it didn’t have any meat on it, and this would drive my mom crazy..
Me 13 years young, holding my dog. I was not yet vegan at the time.
Me as a meat-eater again. I was very insecure about myself in this picture.
My Face/Acne Transformation
Luckily, I didn’t suffer severely from acne. I had gotten small (sometimes big) pimples all over my face, but nothing severe like most people get. I used to get blackheads, too. My mother used to tell me that the chocolate made me breakout, while my dad would say otherwise. I’m a chocoholic. Always was, always will be. However, it wasn’t the chocolate‘s fault that made me breakout… it was the sugar and milk IN the chocolate that causes breakouts, NOT the chocolate! It’s a myth when people say, chocolate gives you acne.
I remember getting acne on my face literally every week, and it was bothersome. Who wants to walk around with acne on their face? I know I sure didn’t! So to try to get rd of it, my mom bought me these facial cremes that had like a hundred toxic ingredients in them! The cremes we not doing my face, my body and the planet ANY good! Our skin is the largest organ. Everything we put on it only takes 26 seconds to enter in our bloodstream. So, if it’s only for ‘external use only’, why would it be safe to put on your skin? Either way, it’s going inside your skin —internally…
Then, my mom suggested that I used Proactive. I used Proactive for about a month, and I was still getting pimples on my face. Despite all the ‘amazing’ testimonials out there that people’s skin cleared up using the products, I just wasn’t buying the hype, as the products didn’t work for me. Although, I was getting less pimples using Proactive, I still didn’t achieve clear skin, which made me skeptical.
After going vegan, I started breaking out more then ever! I didn’t get it at first, but then I learned my skin was detoxing. Since my skin was exposed to a lot of chemicals, I was detoxing it all out, which showed on my face through pimples. This was completely understandable to me, and I learned to accept it at the time. My face cleared up completely when I went fully raw. I was thrilled; this was the first time my face was clear, and as you can image, I finally gained confidence in my own skin.
I was born with a heart defect (known as ‘Patent Ductus Arteriosus’ or PDA), which caused me to have open heart surgery as a baby. I had a weak, yet strong heart. Luckily, I didn’t have heart disease or a heart attack, but I knew if I continued on eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) I might have gotten one or the other. Sometimes, I would suffer from severe heart/chest pains, especially every time I would run or do any physical activities. I used to think that exercise was making my heart condition worse, not realizing it was actually doing good for my cardiovascular health.
My before and after photos! (Left picture): me as a meat-eater; (right picture) me as a raw vegan weighting 100 pounds!
So, I was smart enough to adapt a vegan diet at a young age with my dad. Boy, am I glad I did ! I learned more and more about how becoming vegan is better for the animals, our health, the planet, and the environment. I went vegan for 4 months, then I took my diet to the next level: fully raw vegan!
I became a raw vegan on August 16, 2012, and started a 30 raw challenge with my dad. My dad and I began learning and researching the vegan diet, when we came upon the raw vegan diet. We found these very inspirational raw food RAWksters on YouTube who motivated and inspired us. The first two mentors (along with many other greats) we found on YouTube were Dan McDonald, AKA ‘The Liferegenerator‘ from Regenerate Your Life and Kristina Carillo-Bucaram from FullyRaw and Rawfully Organic. After watching their videos, we felt inspired to go raw. In fact, I felt so inspired by Kristina to go fully raw, that I actually inspired my dad to go and stay raw! I felt their energetic, loving energy, and they looked amazing; I wanted to feel and look that same way, too.
Going raw vegan was the best health decision I’ve ever made. I’ve never felt more alive, confident and happy in my life! Going fully raw has helped me gain confidence, awareness, enlightenment, and a whole nother perspective on life. I was no longer insecure about myself, and I gained a whole lot of confidence in me. I felt really passionate, inspired, motivated, happy, excited, amazing, and thrilled to be alive, living the I am today.
After coming off the vegan diet and transitioning to raw, I began noticing a significant difference. I lost weight and looked and felt RAWmazing. I gained confidence in my skin and I started to love my body. I lost a total of 40 pounds on a plant-based diet! I now have increased energy, more stamina, don’t wake up tired or moody anymore, I love to exercise and be active, I run longer distances without getting tired, I am more closer to nature, my mood has improved (Im much more happier and at peace) my hair, skin and nails have gotten stronger (my nails don’t break or bend easily as they used to before when I ate the SAD); I have more love in my heart, more mental clarity, and the list goes on and on.
I looked and felt epic; eating a vegan and raw foods diet gave me the confidence I was looking for. I no longer get chest pains, and my heart feels so much healthier. My eyes even changed color to very light brown, to an almost an amber color. The black outer lining of my eyes changed from black to blue! I was amazed.
I love this raw vegan lifestyle! I don’t believe in counting calories; I believe in counting nutrients and colors. When you eat the rainbow and live living foods, there’s no need to do so. Thus, none of my recipes on my blog will provide the exact nutritional values, just nutritional benefits. 😉
What I Eat in my Diet
My diet is simple and I eat the way nature intended: fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – all in their pure, raw, organic, fresh form. I’m mostly a fruitarian; my diet consists of predominantly fruits (high-carb), while incorporating vegetables and keeping my fats low. I eat 100% raw because my mind, body, soul, and cells feel its very best (and happiest!) when I eat this way, and it boosts my performance, mood and energy levels. Raw foods is LIVE foods, and it sure makes me feel ALIVE! You can read more about my diet here.
Just because I eat plant-based, doesn’t mean my eats are mundane or depriving. My diet and this lifestyle are the exact OPPOSITE of that! This lifestyle is all about abundance, pleasure and enjoyment. No deprivation, whatsoever. Coming from the Standard American Diet, I’m talking out of experience…
As a meat-eater, baking was one of my favorite hobbies. Although I’ve always been great with following recipes, I never understood or knew why my cookies wouldn’t turn out right. I revamp old recipes (especially my favorite) and rawify them. Most of the recipes I rawify look, taste and resemble the traditional recipes, which is the funny part! (and you’ll see this on the recipes on my blog).
My creativity has even increased now that I am a raw vegan. Creating recipes comes naturally for me, and I very much enjoy it. Most of the recipes I create were created through motivation and inspiration (which is not hard for me to find).
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a mega sweet tooth. Luckily, that sweet tooth stood with me, because I enjoy sweets more than ever now! Literally, everyday. Fruits are nature’s candy, and it’s the best sweetener alternative. I used to love to eat brownies, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and all things sweet. When I first transitioned to a vegan diet, I thought I had to give all those foods up. Of course, I did in a way, but what I didn’t know at the time was, I can create a healthier version of those unhealthy foods and feel completely GUILT-FREE afterwards! For instan
That’s the sweet thing; I can still enjoy sweets, the healthy way, without sacrificing my health. I strongly believe healthy CAn be delicious. My first ebook shows this epically…
My goal/mission is to motivate and inspire as many people as I can to eat a wholefoods, plant-based diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, and less cooked foods. My wish is that everyone to feel RAWmazing like I do. I want to make the world a happier, healthier and better place. Thus, I am being the change I wish to see in the world. Eating raw is FUN and not boring at all. Give it a try, and you’ll see improvements like you wouldn’t believe!
I love this raw vegan lifestyle! It’s because of this lifestyle, I have found my authentic self, have more love, patience and compassion in my heart; and feel excited about life. I wish everyone can feel the way I feel right now, and that’s why its my motivation to spread the word and share my love for this lifestyle with you all. I am so thankful and grateful for this lifestyle. It’s the best things that has ever happened to me towards my health.
Thank you for reading my story! I love and appreciate each and everyone who follows my journey (or not!).
If you want to keep up with me daily, follow me on social media! I’m very active there 😉
I am building a for my blog, and gathering all the questions. If you have ANY questions for me, please Contact Me. I’ll be more then happy to respond. If you have ANY questions you would like to ask me, or just have something sweet and kind to say, please feel free to email me or post a comment below. Thanks
MILIANY IN THE PRESS