Veganism kind of fell into my lap by accident. I’m so glad that it did and I’d love to share my story with you! In August of 2013, I think I was researching dietary “cleanses” when I stumbled upon one that Oprah did back in 2009 called the 21 Day Wellness Cleanse from the book Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston.
It wasn’t your typical juicing fast cleanse, but instead advocated for eliminating Gluten, Alcohol, Caffeine, Animal Products (meat and dairy) and Sugar for 21 days. I loved the book and as Freston explained why animal products are hard on your body and how you should give yourself a break from them, I contemplated “Well, if it’s that bad for me, why wouldn’t I just give them up for good?” As an animal lover, I’ve always felt guilty about eating animals and their products anyways. Since I had just begun doing super high intensity workouts (P90X) I was really worried about how going vegan would affect my ability to get the muscular physique I was working so hard for. I belonged to a facebook group for people doing P90X and so I posted the question, “Hey, I’m thinking about going vegan. Do you think this will affect my results?” Some people said yes, some people said no and to my surprise someone responded, “You’ll actually get better results! Did you know that Tony Horton is vegan?”
WHAT?! Tony Horton, the ripped instructor in P90X videos, is a vegan? I couldn’t believe it. I did my research and found that yes, most of the time Tony is vegan. He actually calls him self a flexitarian because he’s vegan 90% of the time. He gives himself the wiggle room to cheat here and there when there are no other options. Then I found that out I found out that tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams were vegan and there’s actually all kinds of vegan athletes, like Rich Roll, Mac Danzig and body builder Jim Morris. That was enough for me and on August 31, 2013 I just decided to do it.
I read the book Vegan for Life Everything You need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant Based Diet to make sure I was getting enough protein and vitamins.
I watched the documentaries Vegucated and Forks Over Knives and I started getting really educated about the harm that has been caused by the consumption of animals; not only to our bodies but to our environment. I couldn’t believe I had believed the lies for so long. It didn’t take me long to realize that I’d be vegan for good.
People always ask me how do you feel? The answer is, I feel great. By the time I started veganism, I had made so many positive changes in my life that I was already feeling awesome. I really feel like it was hard for me to feel any better than I did already. I was just glad that I continued to feel good, that my workouts were not compromised by my diet and that I was continuing to gain strength. Here are my photos after doing P90X for 3 months and Veganism for 2 months:
The best part about being vegan is how clear my conscience feels. According to the United Nations, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. Read more about how animal products lead to global warming here. I also can now truly call myself an animal lover since my diet does not in any way shape or form contribute to an animal’s suffering, pain or death. One book I would like to read is called Why We Love Dogs Eat Pigs and Wear Cows which offers an absorbing look at how humans can so wholeheartedly devote themselves to certain animals and then allow others to suffer needlessly. Really a fascinating subject if you ask me. People so weird sometimes!
All in all I’ve had a great time with being a vegan. I’ve made some friends that are vegan and discovered great vegan restaurants on Oahu. Finding veg friends is easy on www.meetup.com and you can find veg restaurants on www.happycow.net. I feel healthy, empowered and really proud of myself. I hope that my story has inspired you and feel free to ask me any questions! Even a small shift towards a more plant based diet is a positive change that will increase your health and reduce your carbon footprint!