What began as nothing more than a bet with friends quickly unfolded into an unexpected and complete change in Indigo Murray’s own personal definition of health. Murray, a Penn State senior studying philosophy, is a health influencer with a passion for living and actively sharing what it means to live a well-thought-out and healthy lifestyle through clean eating.
Her journey to better understanding what ‘living healthy’ truly means began three years ago when she and a friend bet each other not to eat meat for two weeks straight.
“I decided to go along with the challenge not knowing that it was going to be the springboard to another realm of understanding,” Murray says. “At first I was trying to eat a vegetarian diet because it became a personal goal of mine and I didn’t want to give up on myself and revert back to eating the foods that I did. As time went on, I gained a better understanding of what healthier eating means.”
While her journey of transitioning into that healthier diet was not easy, with her unwavering dedication, Murray began to view her diet change as a true form of self-love and care. Her diet evolved into something that allowed her to better connect with herself, providing her with more of an opportunity to tune into her own body by eating only what was best for it.
“I choose to eat a healthy diet because I couldn’t go back to eating eggs and cheese and other dairy products and meat — I’ve learned way too much about the way these foods affect the body to want to put them into myself again.” Murray says.
As her clean dieting became a bigger part of who she was, it became clear that her passion for striving to achieve new levels of wellness would soon begin to influence others. Her role as health influencer developed when her diet-fueled focus on health and wellness began to inspire both family and friends to follow down her path.
“I also choose to eat a healthy diet because I know it inspires my family and friends. I choose to eat a healthy diet so I can answer questions friends have about what they could do to improve their diets,” Murray says. “I eat the way I do so other people don’t have to go through such a lengthy and frustrating diet transition.”
Getting down to the specifics, Murray’s diet closely follows vegan guidelines, but, as a whole, she wouldn’t call it completely vegan. A firm believer in the benefits of using honey, Murray shares with VALLEY that while she may change her mind in the future, she believes it’s ethically okay to use.
Murray believes that health is one of the most important aspects of all of our lives and encourages each of us to learn to maintain and appreciate it. Her journey has taught her more than she could have ever imagined about what health means when it comes to eating well, but also when it comes to maintaining a truly healthy lifestyle. She now understands it takes much more than only eating better to be able to truly live better, and that almost everything that we choose to surround ourselves with contributes to that.
“Health isn’t just about the foods I eat, it’s also about the products I put onto and into my body — the types of music I listen to, the environments I put myself into, and the thoughts I have about myself and about others,” says Murray. “We don’t just consume with our mouths — we consume with our eyes, our ears, our skin and with our minds. Health is about overall wellbeing in my opinion — eating well is just one of the ways I make sure I’m good.”