The story of the month for March 2010 comes from Megan McMurray from Decadently Raw.
Megan’s story is such a pleasure to feature as she is an example of how anyone can go from eating the standard American diet to eating based on the ultimate in optimal health and nutrition.
Her work with Decadently Raw is as good as it sounds. Megan is an expert in making organic, raw, vegan, desserts and chocolates that are nutritious and exquisitely delicious. The images alone of her homemade treats speak for themselves! The ingredients are all top quality, raw, vegan and organic. So for anyone in doubt if eating healthy can also be delicious, Megan’s story and life passion prove even more how possible that is.
Here is Megan sharing her evolving wellness journey with us all:
Area(s) of My Health and Wellness that Needed Change
I grew up eating the worst ever. I was only concerned with taste, not nutrition. Fast food was basically the base of my food pyramid. I drank at least 3 sodas a day and snacked on potato chips, heavily processed foods and hostess cupcakes.
Surprisingly, I was not overweight; I was in high school and still young enough that my body was able to keep up. It wasn’t until college that I ate my first salad and being a collegiate athlete it was important for me to stay fit. Watching what you eat was a difficult lesson for me to learn because I was always trim no matter what I ate. It wasn’t until years later, after my college soccer days were over, that I finally understood the relationship between what you eat and how you feel.
While living in Boulder, Colorado I became aware of the fact that our teeth are not designed to eat meat. That discovery threw all my other diet beliefs into question. I gave vegetarianism a try and after losing 15 pounds effortlessly, I was convinced that there were others ways to live that make you feel better and give you more energy. Not to mention, having the relief from being tied to the extremely negative karma that came from eating factory farmed meat.
Right after moving to California, I was introduced to eating raw and becoming vegan was the next step for me. I struggled for a while because I was heavily addicted to the casomorphins in cheese but found that eating avocados really helped cut out the craving. I decided to change from eating the Standard American Diet to eating 100% raw because I understand that our bodies are designed to eat plants, nuts and seeds. From our intestinal tract to the design of our teeth, it all points to a herbivorous pattern of sustenance.
I wanted to eat food that fuels my body and keeps it looking nice for many years to come. I would be lying if I said that my vanity did not play a role in my decision to eat raw, but it’s a good thing because I have never felt or looked better and each birthday I do not cringe when I blow out the birthday candles.
Strategies I Implemented & Their Results
Changing the way I ate was the most difficult thing I have done so far. I had to rewire my brain, taste buds and digestive system. I had to learn an entirely new way of preparing food and do all of that while being immersed in a culture that thrives on tempting us with high fructose corn syrup, cheese and processed foods.
Strategies for sticking to my goal were reading books about healthier living and hanging out at places where there were full of people with similar goals, like yoga studios and raw or vegan restaurants. I also ate avocado with sea salt in place of dairy and I would cut up fruit (grapes, blueberries and bananas were my favorite) and freeze it, that way I could snack on when I wanted something like ice cream.
The best strategy I found was substitution. I found suitable substitutions for every “food drug” there is. My favorite by far is raw chocolate! Instead of eating chocolate that is cooked, full of dairy, processed sugar and artificial ingredients, you can have pure, natural, raw chocolate and it actually tastes better. If you are not able to go buy it at your local grocery store, you can easily make it at home. My favorite source is Ultimate Superfoods.com, they have all the ingredients to make the best raw chocolate ever, right in your own home.
How My Changes Benefitted Me
I fit into clothes I wore in high school, that right there is amazing to me!
I have tons of energy, clear skin, I can sleep 6 to 7 hours a night and still have enough energy to keep going all day. I haven’t been sick with a cold in over 5 years and I forget what it feels like, really.
I also eat far less food now because my body is so well nourished after a snack I feel satisfied. I also experienced a change in mind set, when I realized I deserve the best, that is what I would get. Life just keeps getting better and better because I keep treating myself better and better.
Next Steps on My Health and Wellness Journey
I plan on water and juice fasting to detox and get the remainder of the McDonalds residue, pesticides and whatever other toxins are still laying dormant in my body.
Yoga, stretching and rebounding are part of my current fitness routine and I plan on keeping those activities up. Reading and researching is always part of my path and I am currently studying to get my Masters degree in raw, vegan nutrition. That way I keep up with cutting edge health and nutrition information.
The biggest goal I have is to be happy and spread the love through the world, I believe that is the best way to achieve health and wellness.
Wisdom & Inspiration for Others
Understand that you deserve the best, you are worthy! Worthy of love, fun, joy, health and you deserve to be happy, it took me a long time to truly believe that. Eating bad foods because you are sad is only punishing yourself.
Every second is a new opportunity to create the life you want. I wrote down a list of my goals in the present tense like I already had them. Statements like “I have the best body ever” and “I am having the most fun ever.” I read those every morning and soon I reprogrammed my brain to get those things.
If your internal dialogue is “I am fat” that is what you will be, but if you say “I am losing weight everyday” that is what will happen. Your mind is a very powerful thing and you have to get it under control, what you think, you are, so pay attention.
I also recommend reading books and surrounding yourself with positive supportive people during the beginning of your transition, don’t let others bring you down. Most importantly, figure out what you love to do and do that as much as possible. Greet each day with love in your heart and you can accomplish anything!