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How This Nurse's Change in Diet Transformed Her Mind, Body, and Soul

Written by Caroline DiNicola Fawley
How This Nurse's Change in Diet Transformed Her Mind, Body, and Soul

As we at MamaSezz well know, changing to a plant-based diet can change your life in ways you never expected. In this series, we talk with some of the world’s most soulful, dedicated (and often funny) individuals. We get to hear their stories of suffering, transformation, and service — and we learn how food is an essential part of their journey.

This week, we talked with Christy Cole, a registered nurse, yogi, and owner of @urban.veggie.

What prompted your interest in a plant-based diet?

I was initially intrigued about a plant-based diet back in 2011 after going through a health scare that had me functioning at a fraction of my former self (I am talking incapable of getting up the stairs independently versus conquering fourteeners like I had previously been doing "on the reg"). That scare was enough for me to "double down" and re-evaluate what I was doing with my life.

What was life like before starting your plant-based journey? 

I am a nurse, and as you may have guessed, I tend to be a “Type A” personality by nature — often finding myself over-committing, and attempting to tackle an ever-elongating checklist of things to accomplish. While I feel very proud of all that I achieve in any given day, there is validity to the statement that there can be “too much of a good thing,” and I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that pretending to be “Superwoman” didn't result in excess stress.

As I am sure many caregivers can relate to, we do an excellent job looking after others, but don’t always excel at taking care of ourselves. Although I frequently encourage others to relax, to take time for themselves, I often struggle with applying my own advice in this arena. Personally, I have found that I am able to meet the “checkbox criteria” of health (I eat well, I exercise, I go to the doctor, I clean with natural products), but I don’t always take the time to focus on my emotional needs — to breathe, to meditate, to center...

What happened?

I have SLOWLY come to realize that health is an all-encompassing harmonious balance between spirit, mind, and body. IT IS NOT A CHECKLIST. It is an ever-evolving entity that touches every aspect of our lives.

It is our relationships, our jobs, our friendships, our workout routines, our diet, our body composition, our genes, our religion, our physical habitats, our hobbies, our sleep habits, our stress levels, our relaxation techniques, our experiences, our attitudes, and ultimately our outlook on life.

So a few years later, steadied with a new mindset, fantastic yoga instructors, and the support of the “peanut butter to my apples” (my amazing husband), I have been catapulted into the plant-based "yogi" lifestyle — a life that is free of the "guilt" or "shame" associated with self-care or self-love.

It is pretty incredible how nourishing your body with "good fuel" and a few deep breaths can center your thoughts, calm your body, and bring focus to your entire life. It has transformed me into the woman I am today.

How were you able to stick with such a dramatic diet change?

I eat a plant-based diet because it feels good in my body.

“No judgment of any kind for those that choose differently — I simply consider food as our ‘fuel’ and our body as a Ferrari... ***Wouldn't you use the best fuel you know for your Ferrari in order to have the best performances?" - Rosaria Mazzon

That being said — take a moment…Reflect. What do you “ingest” on a daily basis? What do you read? What do you hear? What do you watch? What do you see? What do you taste? What do you feel? What do you consume? What do you surround yourself with? What feelings do you take on? What do you put on your body? Who do you surround yourself with? How do you train your body? What narrative do you tell yourself?

“My body is the shape I live in, and it shapes the way I live.” - Raquel Welch

How did a plant-based diet impact your health and life?

yoga

I now own and operate @urban.veggie

​I am a woman of passion. I like to get my hands dirty. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Love is my anthem.

I believe that there is nothing more beautiful than someone following their "spark," their heart, their "true north." So I seek to inspire, to empower. 

I work with my hands. I put pen to paper. I create sculptures. I handcraft cards. I give away little pieces of my heart. 

I smile at strangers. I compliment what I like. I refer to people in terms of endearment. I say “thank you” and genuinely mean it.

I believe that what you put out into the world comes back to you. Kindness is magic, and grace is contagious. In order to positively impact in someone's life, you don't have to have all the answers. You don't need fame, fortune or followers — you just have to care.

I believe that it costs nothing to dream, and everything not to. I am not afraid of doing the work — leaning into the uneasiness, opening myself up for potential “failure”. Rather, I am afraid of not trying — of looking back and thinking "what if." 

I am not a victim of circumstance; I choose the life that I lead. I may not be able to choose the cards that I am dealt, but I can choose to make the most of them. I will not allow autoimmune disorders, heartbreakers, liars, cheaters, or thieves steal my joy. I will not let the world make me hard. I am the author of my story, the CEO of my life, the artist of my canvas — and I am going to create a masterpiece. The only person that I am destined to become is the person I decide to be.

So…

I eat slowly, sing loudly, hug tightly, and breathe deeply.
I rock messy buns, hats, scarves, layers, and the quasi-frequent F-bomb.
I celebrate the “wins” — big ones, small ones, and everything in-between.
I embrace my old soul, waking before the sun peeks its head out, and often going to bed soon after it sets.

I am a work in progress. I am an optimist. I am soft. I am vulnerable. My heart is easily broken. But there is strength in my fragility.

I am a Lover. Dreamer. Wife. Friend. HealthNut. OutdoorEnthusiast. Yogini. Nerd. Optimist. Vegan. Upcycler. RegisteredNurse. YogaTeacher.. Artist.

I am @urban.veggie and I am yoga. #IAmHer

 "Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it"
~Heather Morgan

Have Your Own Plant-Based Transformation?!

Tell us all about it! We'd love to know how a plant-based diet changed your life and health. Send us an email at heartbeetgang@mamasezz.com to share your story.

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