Hello! I was born to my funeral director and previous fitness fanatic father, and my I.T consultant mother who has struggled with her weight since the birth of my younger sister. My sister came soon after me and we became a strong family unit, the four of us against the world. But despite the emotionally healthy aspect of my family, we had a horrible secret - our nutritional values were completely out of whack.

I have always been around the same size despite my unhealthy food choices and years of this did damage to not only my body but my mind. To be completely honest, this is something that I have only told professionals behind closed doors - I was a part of the online 'Pro-Ana' community, on-and-off, from age 15 to the beginning of this year. For those that don't know what Pro-Ana is, it's pro-eating disorders.

I had to completely cut myself off from that world at the start of this year because I simply couldn't handle it anymore. So for me, this blog is more than just a 'health and lifestyle' blog - it's a new beginning. Through my new beginning I plan on learning as much as I can about nutrition, eating right, providing my body with healthy fuel to fuel a healthy mind.

Thankfully, I've been able to influence my family, my sister and parents are slowly welcoming the vegan lifestyle - thankfully, as it is going to save their lives and give my children grandparents that live into their 90's (which I love having currently - I love my Oma!)

How the vegan love affair began...

My relationship with meat was always bound to be a short-lived affair. I can't pin point exactly when my love of animals came to be, my first memory would have to be begging my parents for a dog when I was 3. Within a year I had a new jack russell x maltese puppy, Tillee, who was my first best friend - I was told that she was the runt of the litter and that she cost my grandparents nothing to take her off the hands of the mother's owner.

As the years past, I spent time on various family member's and friend's farms - playing with the sheep, feeding the cows and chasing chickens. After watching the elusive episode of The Simpson's, in which Lisa becomes vegetarian, something in my mind clicked - but I didn't do anything about it.

When I was around the age of 14, I started to become more and more interested in becoming vegetarian but didn't really think I could do it - I thought it would be simply 'too hard'.

Fast forward one year, I was in home economics class where we were cooking a non-vegetarian dish and a fellow classmate, a vegetarian, was using tofu instead of chicken - I was intrigued.

Soon after I went on a school camping trip and our guide was a vegetarian. After a few nights of watching her eat our meals minus the meat I began to wonder if it really was as hard as I though, and then one night she made a vegetarian version of spaghetti bolognese - using falafel mix, she asked if anyone would like to have some of hers instead - I said yes. A night later, we had another guide join us who told us that he only ate meat of animals he had been able to kill himself - then it hit me. I could not kill a pig, chicken, a lamb or calf if faced with the task.

When I arrived home I ate my last McDonald's quarter-pounder and went home and started researching, soon after I watched Meet Your Meat for the first time... days later told my parents that I wanted to try being vegetarian - they told me years later they had thought it was a simple teenage phase. As the years progressed I was an unhealthy vegetarian, but a vegetarian none-the-less.

In 2011, I decided that is was time to take the next step, veganism! Which at first seemed like an overwhelmingly daunting task, that I failed at first time round, but after my second try I was sold - it actually turned out to be the greatest food adventure of my life! I had never experienced such flavours and textures until taking the vegan plunge!

How Vegan Rehab came to be...

Since becoming vegan, my life hasn't exactly been a plethora of health food, it was more along the lines of healthy junk food junkie. My final year of high school turned me into a fully fledged sugar and caffeine addict, more than in the years past. I could not function without my morning coffee, my lunch time cola and my 6 to 8 cups of tea after school, with 2 sugars and soy milk per cup that is! So daily I was consuming anywhere from 474 to 594mg of caffeine and between 110 and 130g of sugar per day... and that is if I only had one can of Coke per day.. some Friday nights I would drink 2 litres by myself.

It's a wonder my teeth didn't fall out! I was consuming almost a kilogram of sugar per week in just liquids alone! Add this to eating whatever I like, when I like, and I am sure my body must have hated me. Thankfully I still remained a 'healthy' size despite all my vices - by healthy I mean I could always fit into a size 12AU pair of jeans - however my body wasn't healthy, and my mind was suffering because of it.

Years of undiagnosed mental illness, including those revolving around food, cause me a lot of pain. I had to do something to get out of the harmful cycle I was stuck in - I began learning about nutrition, something that gave me peace of mind that what I was doing was right - although I did push myself to not feeling guilt when eating junk food so much so that it became acceptable to fuel my body with crap.

So in August of 2012 I decided enough was enough, I wanted to get fit and healthy (in case of a Zombie Apocalypse - I wish I was kidding) and to set an example for my family and friends, that good health is the good life.

I plan on making 2013 the year of complete mental and physical health! It's going to be a long hard road - but I'm glad I'll have some friendly people to talk to along the way.

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