Sunday, February 25, 2018

Why I Switched for Good and Went Vegan for Life

I'm really excited to share a little more of our vegan family story with everyone. We joined up with and a coalition that includes OM Foundation, Olympian Dotsie Bausch and her non-profit organization Compassion Champs so I could talk about how going vegan has had positive impacts on me and my family. I went vegan a little over 3 years ago and I will never ever go back to consuming dairy products nor will I feed them to my family. Here is why I made the switch for good.

I was raised vegetarian because we didn't want to hurt animals. I had grown up thinking it didn't affect animals to take milk and it was normal and healthy to consume dairy products long before we found out this was scientifically false but it couldn't have been further from the truth.

My mom had switched to a vegan diet and was pressuring my vegetarian husband and I to go vegan after learning the truth about how animals were treated. I did some of my own research and found out that not only do they have to take a cow's baby away from her to get the milk but ALL newborn males are murdered almost immediately after birth!

After 6 years and several cycles of being inseminated by human hands, having their babies taken and milk pumped dry by machinery, all mother cows who reach middle age are forced into a slaughterhouse. As a breastfeeding mom, I could feel the anguish.

We LOVE animals! We don't want to hurt them.

All of us are shocked and outraged when we see animals treated badly. Not only is animal agriculture inherently abusive, but the mass consumption of factory farmed animals and the production of animal products like milk and cheese is arguably the number one cause of climate change. An individual or family can make a significant impact by switching to a plant based diet.

Also consuming animal products increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer among other serious health issues. There is absolutely no need for animal products and especially not milk and cheese in our diets. It is pure junk food for a human child or adult.

For us, there's a good chance our consuming dairy products was causing everything from acne and indigestion to difficulty getting pregnant.

Since it is not healthy, I did not want to be a hypocrite as a vegetarian environmentalist, and there is no nice way to consume animals...

I decided it was time to cut out ALL milk and dairy from my diet.

OUR Positive Changes since going vegan:

First Week vegan... We got pregnant with baby #2!! I finally went FULLY vegan and we got pregnant after trying for a year. The vegan diet has been proven to be healthy for all stages of life and it is highly recommended to eat a healthy diet while trying to conceive so maybe it is more than a coincidence for me.

Just home from the hospital with this little cuddlebug!

No Iron deficiency! My second pregnancy I was not iron deficient (for the vegetarian pregnancy I was!) I was drinking green smoothies and snacking on vegan pumpkin seeds in chocolate.

Healthier Birth - We had an easy birth experience and zero complications (both me and my first newborn had fevers and they took him to NICU for a couple hours) *I understand pregnancies and births are different but these are my experiences and I feel it is significant enough to note the differences in my experiences.

Larger Baby - My vegan pregnancy was healthy full-term, and this baby was larger than my vegetarian baby.

No Breastfeeding Issues and no spitting up at all (vegetarian baby had both issues)

My husband and I look younger. I get told I look 10 years younger than I am. I had the woman doing the birth certificates at the hospital give me the once over with attitude when she saw my birth date because she didn't believe I was nearly 40.

We lost weight. We settled into a happy weight that was 15-20lbs less than our vegetarian happy weight.

We get sick less. It has been almost a year since I've been sick besides a few days of cough with no other symptoms.

No more intestinal issues for me! I have done weeks and weeks of traveling overseas and never once had my intestines jacked up like I used to.

No missed school or doctor visits - Our kids have had a total of 1 ear infection which went away on its own overnight in 2 years. The kids have not even had more than a runny nose or cough this year and nothing has kept them from school or activities sent them to the doctor or the hospital.

We tried new foods - Not only can you make vegan food which is similar to the animal foods you may like with all the great subs and recipes (See our Recipes Page) but there are so many great things I've found since going vegan like hummus, avocado, nut cheeses, etc.

Healthy Grown-ups - My husband was the only manager that rode around on a bicycle when he was on his construction site. The rest rode around on golf carts. He never suffered from an after lunch lag where everyone else needed coffee. He would work 12 hour days also biking both ways through the city to and from the train station. I rode the kids to and from school on a bike every day as a 41 year old mama but I had a little help from my battery!!

We Save Animals - They say the average omnivore consumes 200 animals per year and we consume zero.

Definitely not rabbit food. Not really all that "healthy" either but just to show that there is plenty of vegan comfort food out there.

The WORST thing that happened was... Wish I had gone vegan sooner. 

I was annoyed with myself and that I didn't switch to a plant based diet sooner. I made such a big deal about how I couldn't give up cheese and once I did it was no big deal!

The BEST thing that happened was... The Guilt-free Feeling

I think the biggest and greatest result of going vegan (besides Baby D :) was losing the personal guilt feelings about what I was eating and where it came from. I didn't know what a positive an effect that feeling or LACK of feeling would have on my own emotional well being. Many people describe a "light" feeling. I can fully love without exceptions. My heart is open yet my belly is still full!

Don't just take it from us. 
Some of the healthiest and most athletic people in the world are vegan!

Check out this commercial that aired during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Olympics which shows 7 vegan Olympic athletes. It was made to counteract false and misleading Milk lobby commercials that were airing during the Olympics using athletes to make claims that dairy is necessary and healthy.

Check out the #Switch4Good Olympic PSA video:

These are the vegan athletes featured in this commercial:

Dotsie Bausch – silver medalist cyclist, 7-time U.S. National Champion, former world record holder and two-time Pan American gold medal winner
Rebecca Soni – former competition swimmer and breaststroke specialist who is a six-time Olympic medalist.
Seba Johnson – the first black woman to ski at the Olympics and the youngest in her sport
Kendrick Farris – three-time Olympian and the only USA male weightlifter to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games
Kara Lang – 2015 Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer and 2008 Olympic soccer team member
Malachi Davis – 2004 Olympic sprinter


*BONUS* Tips to Go Vegan:

There are so many subs on the market for milk, meat, and cheese. Have fun buying every plant-based product you can find and testing it out.

Enjoy seeking out and trying new plant based foods. Hummus, nuts, legumes, tofu, nutritional yeast, and avocado toast became life to me after going vegan.

All Vegan Italian Deli sandwich

Follow accounts on Instagram by searching the hashtags #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat

Search "vegan recipes" on Pinterest

On a budget? Go on Youtube and lookup "cheap vegan"

If you have something you feel like you "can't give up" make that the last thing you give up while you cut out all other animal products. Keep trying recipes and substitutes until you find what works.

Some foods just need a detox period. Cheese has been found to be as addictive as heroin!

Allow yourself to mess up without giving up.


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