I Thought I Was Okay...

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Dietta Roddie
Breast Cancer Survivor
Vegan Health & Wellness Coach
Author of Fighting Like a Girl: A Battle Guide for Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Living and eating healthy has been a focus for me most of my life. Even as far back as High School, my weight and what I had on my plate was almost an obsession. The major problem I had however, was being consistent. 

 

For years, I rode the roller coaster of eating what I considered healthy (salads, no fried foods, no or very little sweets), to falling back into the routine of eating what I considered unhealthy (lots of sweets, fried foods, bread and pasta). 

 

The bright spot in this cycle is that I have always seen the value in eating vegetables. Even when eating poorly for a while, I would work on getting some vegetables on my plate to balance things out. In spite of the inconsistency of my diet and back and forth with my weight loss and weight gain, this pattern of eating seemed to serve me well for many years of my life. At least that is what I thought. 

 

In my late 30s and most of my 40s I added alcohol to my diet and lots of it. Although I experimented with drinking in High School, I did not indulge in it again until my late 30s. Add to this a highly stressful job, a poor relationship with God, other toxic relationships, wounded emotions and a poor self image, and you have a recipe for disease and disaster. However, on the surface everything seemed fine. 

 

 

I Found Out, I Wasn't

Eventually, I re-established my relationship with God, broke off the relationships I needed to and stopped drinking alcohol…yep even wine! I also started to work on healing the wounds of my soul but I recognize this as a journey. But, these life changes did not prevent me from walking through a storm that took my breath away and tried to also take away my life. 

 

I was in the process of making plans to relocate from Florida back to Kentucky, to be closer to my family. Little did I know that this relocation was needed in more ways than one. Before leaving I discovered a hard lump in one of my breasts one day in the shower. I took note of it but it did not register that it could be life threatening. I made an appointment to see my OB/GYN but she did not even alert me to the danger of this growth. She simply told me to have it taken out. To me, that is all that would be needed. 

 

After relocating and getting settled, thankfully I made an appointment to get the lump removed. What I learned on the day of the consultation would change my life forever. From that moment life went into high speed and I moved through 6 months of chemotherapy, behavioral treatment,  surgery and radiation. Thankfully, I had a positive response to treatment and today I am cancer free. 

 

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Several months after completing treatment I received a Survivor Packet. This packet includes basically a history of what took place over the course of treatment as well as suggestions on remaining well. At first, I struggled to read through it. Once you have been in that place, you don’t really want to go back. Not even for a visit. So I skimmed through it. However, eventually I gained the courage to not only go through it, but read it. When I did I discovered that a plant based diet was a recommendation. And it literally jumped off the page!

 

What really made this impactful was the fact that when I read this information I was on a personal fast. I was doing a spiritual detox and abstaining from meat for 40 days. This turned into me not going back to meat after reading the information I found in my packet. Eventually, I transitioned from a plant based vegetarian diet, to a vegan diet. 

 

Since making this transition I have learned a multitude of ways to enjoy food. I won’t say I never miss meat. But, I have learned to enjoy plants more. And eating food that is good for me makes it taste even better. If you are a believer in the Biblical explanation for creation, you will see how our bodies were designed to eat plants. Plants were created for food, but animals were not. (Genesis 1:29-30)

 

Eating Plants Makes Sense

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I am not here to debate whether or not we should eat meat. But I am here to point out that when we put things into our bodies that our bodies aren’t designed to ingest it can be a breeding ground for sickness and disease. Eating plants helps our bodies to operate in the way they were originally designed. 

 

I am a firm believer that sickness does not have to be the norm. As we grow older I don’t believe that we have to just accept that we have to leave the earth because we are sick. I believe that God created us to be healthy, not sick. But, we have to do our part. 

 

When I first started Grown and Vegan in the middle of 2021, I wanted to share my journey of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. And I wanted to connect with others who were on this journey to gain inspiration and knowledge for success. Since then I have learned a lot about cooking vegan food that tastes amazing and is nourishing. And I have gained skills through trial and error in making this transition into a lifelong journey. 

 

For me, being vegan is all about health. People become vegan for many reasons, but my main goal is to utilize food as medicine and equip my body to operate and function as it was designed to do. And I want to help others to do this too. Unfortunately, because of some of the strong opinions about not eating meat and the almost legalistic approach that some have towards this lifestyle, some people feel turned off by it. Or, they feel defeated before they even start. I think this sadly keeps people who could greatly benefit from this lifestyle away. It is my goal to hopefully change that. 

If you are interested in learning more about how you can work with me to help you make this positive change please go here.