I’m Desiree Rodriguez and I am a Wellness Advocate and the Founder of Rican Vegan.
I wasn’t always in the best of health. Throughout my life when people looked at me they thought I was in great health because I did not look extremely heavy on the outside, but on the inside I was unhealthy. After switching to a predominately whole food plant-based diet I was able to improve my overall health dramatically. I felt and looked better than ever and then I thought to myself, why aren’t more people eating this way? They could solve most of their medical conditions and feel better just by eating whole foods.
Promote eating a plant-based diet while empowering and inspiring you to better yourself. I want to show people who are sick of having a medical condition achieve a better quality of life that doesn’t require taking medication. That’s why I created this blog, Rican Vegan, for the food lover who wants to transition to eating plant-based food that is healthy and flavorful. I help them heal their medical conditions by demonstrating how plant-based foods can be used as medicine to cure their disorder.
My Journey To A Plant-Based Lifestyle
In recent years, I’ve transformed my eating habits from eating anything and everything that was available on the supermarket shelves to mainly a plant-based diet. For as long as I could remember I always had a love for food. Food was always on my mind and I preferred eating fried foods, all kinds of meat and seafood, cake, cookies, ice cream and everything else that is full of fat and sugar. Vegetables were never a priority on my plate and I only ate them when they were breaded and fried or covered in cheese.
What I didn’t realize was that these types of foods were actually affecting my body without me realizing it. I suffered from several types of allergies, dry patches of skin would appear on different areas of my body at random times and out of nowhere I would break out in hives. I never made the correlation that these symptoms were the consequences of my eating habits. When I would go to the doctor to see why I was getting these symptoms, I was just prescribed medication to treat them. My doctors never dug deep to find the root of my conditions. It was easier for them to keep prescribing me medication as a temporary fix. I did not want to rely on taking medication for every little condition I had to only have it come back if I missed a dosage.
Growing up in the Puerto Rican culture I was exposed to a number of traditional meals that my family made that were full of flavor but also full of fat, sugar and carbs. I witnessed firsthand family members becoming overweight and developing high blood pressure, type II diabetes, high cholesterol and having to rely on taking multiple medications to control these conditions. I was told that this was a normal part of getting old and to get ready because the same will happen to me when I get older. When I heard this I asked myself, why would I want to live like that? I knew that when I got older I want to live my life and be able to enjoy it without worrying about when I have to take a pill. I made it my goal to break this vicious cycle of illnesses that plagued my family but at the rate that I was going, I was about to fall into the same trap if I didn’t change.
Me before eating a plant-based diet
Me after eating a plant-based diet
Don’t Forget to Follow Me
I had no idea that real food could be used as medicine until I saw several documentaries on how people cured themselves from various illnesses by eating a plant-based diet and how processed foods really affect us in the long run. I decided to give it a shot to see if only eating plant-based foods would work for me too. As a result, I lost 20 pounds that has stayed off. The dry patches of skin have disappeared and haven’t returned, I no longer break out in hives and my allergies are now under control without any medication. I have more energy than I did before without taking any energy supplements and my muscles do not get as sore as they used to after exercising. When I saw how this changed my life, I knew I couldn’t go back to the way I used to eat. I felt so much better now than I did before!
When I made the decision to continue eating a plant-based diet I didn’t want to abandon the Puerto Rican food I grew up eating at all so I decided to incorporate those flavors into healthy plant-based meals. I began developing my own recipes and veganizing family recipes to be flavorful, nutritious and plant-based. I wanted to share my journey of transitioning into a plant-based diet and provide inspiration and tips to those interested in taking their own journey to better health.