Hi! My story begins at the tender age of ten when I was having terrible stomach aches. After allergy testing, I quickly discovered that I was lactose intolerant and allergic to beef ( or one of its protiens…I can’t remember, I was 10). After this was discovered, my mom and I stopped drinking liters of homogenized milk a day, and tried some milk substitutes (all of which I hated). We replaced hamburgers with chicken burgers and ice cream and pizza were off the menu. Basicly everything a 10 year old loved to eat was a no no. It wasn’t hard to give them up though, when I quickly noticed how my stomach aches stopped. One time I decided to have a huge ice cream cone, knowing the repercussions, because I thought is was going to be worth it…it wasn’t.
After a few years of eating like this I slowly tried reintroducing some of the foods that I was allergic to. To my surprise, I didn’t have reactions any more! But, the years of not eating beef had influenced my taste buds, so cravings for burgers were never there. Cheese and ice cream on the other hand, where a joy to eat again!
In my teens, I became mostly pesco-pollo vegetarian and never ate pork or beef. The reasons for my food choices were simply that I didn’t like meat that much. I continued eating this way untill my early 20’s.
When I started dating my husband I would spend most weekends at his family cottage. His mom, an incredible cook would whip up dinner for the family at 7 every evening, and ask me what I wanted (as Lincoln had told her I didn’t eat red meat). I would always reply the same “I’ll just eat what ever you have”. But, she would usually cook a chicken breast for me. Eventually, after being exposed to delicious looking slow cooked ribs, steak and pork tenderloin every weekend, when the questions came as to what I’d like to eat, I just replied “ribs”. I remember the first time I ate ribs at the cottage. They were amazing and I couldn’t believe I was missing out on these for so long! Eventually, my meat-eating became more and more of a regular occurrence.
Moving to Vancouver and working with healthy Vancouver types in my office started to influence my eating habits (I guess I’m pretty easily swayed when it comes to food..haha). At lunch we would talk about different recipes, whole foods (sometimes the store, sometimes the eating philosophy), and recycling or biking or something typically west coast. I began eating steel cut oats rather than instant oatmeal, going to the farmers market, and really started thinking about what I was putting in my mouth. All of the sudden a switch flipped, and I wanted to be engaged in what I was eating, and not just jamming food in my mouth ‘cuz it tasted good.
I started thinking about what I was eating and where it came from. Slowly, I made changes. Buying only free range, organic, cage free grain fed (and any other type of adjective that puts a positive spin on eggs) from the farmers market, much to Lincolns chagrin (“but these are $5 and the ones at the store are $3”, he reminded me of this EVERY TIME we bought eggs). Looking for grass-fed Pemberton, B.C. beef, organic chicken, line caught salmon, the list went on and on and it was getting expensive. Of course we would get the roasted chicken for $7 from Costco every now and then. Then one day I stumbled upon my now favorite blog, Oh She Glows . I started trying some of her delicious vegan recipes and began eating less and less meat…and saving a bit of money along the way.
Board one evening and browsing Netficks I decided to watch hungry for Change. This one documentary lead me to really take a look at what I was putting into my body. Then I watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and became even more interested in how diet can change your health…and your body. I wanted to lose some weight and decided that my new years resolution would be to go completely vegan for one year!
So January first of 2013 was my first day being vegan, and I haven’t looked back. I have had some drunken pizza encounters, and a chocolate bar mishaps here and there, but over all I am trying my best to eat a completely plant-based diet. Eating vegan has been rewarding in so many ways.
The first few weeks of being vegan were the toughest, but I kept reading (check out the library for tons of interesting books on being vegan. The China Study is a must read!) and doing research to help me keep motivated. The first change I noticed was that my belly became flatter almost immediately. I lost 8lbs within the first 2 weeks (which has stayed off). I felt lighter and no longer lethargic after eating. My energy levels increased and my mood has become much more stable (I can be a touch moody sometimes 🙂 ). One of the best side effects is that now I feel like I’m connected to what I’m eating. I can think about my food, and not feel guilty about where it came from, or how it was raised and then killed. Becoming vegan for the year, has been the best change I have ever made and I think it will be a life long way of living.
I have decided to start this blog because of all of the questions I get about being vegan. Some people look at me like I’m some kinda of freak when I tell them I don’t eat cheese or drink milk (sorry but…why am I the weird one for NOT drinking the stuff the comes out of a cow?). Others become intrigued when I say that I’m going to pass on that because there are animal products in it. Either way, when I’m eating with people for the first time, the topic of being vegan always comes up. People are curios, and many of them have lots of questions about what I eat and do I wear leather ( I do by the way, but only if it was already in my closet or if it’s a vintage find), and am I healthy, and why did I decided to become a vegan etc, etc, etc. I want to be able to answer all of these questions here, and I hope that people become inspired to make a change in their diet, and through that, in the lives of many animals, the planet and their own health.