By KELSYE ACKER
CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Ga. — Karen Civil has just finished out her 90-day vegan diet, which is a diet devoid of fish, meat or poultry, as well as meat byproducts.
She successfully transitioned — with no warning — from a full-on meat eater to a meatless madame. She admitted that willpower is what brought her through.
“The first week was definitely hard because it was kind of like I never wanted to be that person that was being too picky or reading labels,” Civil said. “I had to do my research. I was definitely hungry. It has its good sides and bad sides.”
She tells a story about how her dad was taken back about her new diet. When she got sick, he suggested she eat steak and macaroni and cheese so she could feel better.
But Civil didn’t give in to the temptation by taking his advice.
“Dad, a clogged artery is not going to fix what I have,” she tells him. “We all watched ‘Soul Food.’ We saw how that movie ended. As much as nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room, understand that she died from diabetes.”
Civil’s healthy lifestyle journey came with a benefit that can make one who’s suffering through a weight loss diet reconsider.
She lost more than 30 pounds, though she said it had more do with her getting healthier.
Outside of her vegan friends, Civil was able to get more motivation to stay the course of her 90-day period with the help of apps like Pinterest and Instagram.
“Technology makes things easier,” she said. “Because you have so many apps and you have so many things that tell you where to eat.”
Avoiding the consumption of meat and its byproducts has recently built an increase in the availability of plant-based dining options since millions of adults in the U.S. are currently not eating fish, meat or poultry. Those same individuals are less likely to have heart disease, cancer or Type 2 diabetes.
The American Heart Association reports that 49 percent of women from age 20 and over have cardiovascular disease, and only 1 in 5 are aware of their signs and symptoms of a heart attack.