Early in 2012 I started reaching out to vegan friends on twitter to ask them to share their testimonials. My hope was that by getting vegans to share their stories we could educate and inspire others and give people first hand accounts to replace perceptions or stereotypes. I’m incredibly grateful to those that have participated. Their stories speak for themselves! If you enjoy the series please let us know!
I’d like to start by thanking Peter (@readyforplanb) for inspiring me to write this blog. As many of you know, I’ve been going through a nutritional transformation over the last few months. Well actually, I should say my nutritional well-being has been evolving for over a year to date.
This really all began due to my son’s skin condition, eczema. He had been struggling with it and as a result it was recommended that he go on a gluten free diet. Even before this recommendation, I was interested in a gluten free diet because of my sensitivity to many foods. I decided that in order to make my son’s transition as easy as possible, I would join him on his journey. So as a result, my son and I began our gluten free diets together. His skin cleared up almost completely and my stomach issues pretty much vanished! I want to thank @GFDougie for all his support and information, I’ve really learned a lot from him!
A few months ago, I came across a very inspirational person, Brendan Brazier (@Brendan_Brazier). I picked up one of his books, “Thrive Fitness”. The more I read the book, the more I wanted to know. Brendan is a Vegan Triathlete. I’ve run a couple marathons, a few half-marathons and this summer I’ll be cycling in the Ride To Conquer Cancer (200+km over two days). I feel like I’m grooming myself to compete in a triathlon…eventually (still need to work on the swimming). I ended up reading all of Brendan’s books and the more I read, the more my kitchen began to change.
In October, I was given a copy of Forks Over Knives (@ForksOverKnives). For those of you that have not seen it, you absolutely must! For many people this will be an eye-opening experience. For me, it was simply more push in the direction I was already pursuing. It is a very inspiring documentary that up to now I’ve shared with at least 100 people I know personally, and I continue to do so.
I guess October was a pivotal month for me and is when I began my quest to a vegan lifestyle. I can be a very black and white person; for many things I can simply turn them on or turn them off. In this case however, I wanted to take it slow, I also was alone. My wife and 2 kids were not onboard. I was ok doing this on my own, but did want support from my wife. While she did support me, she was not on the same page as me…until she read “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin. She also went on to watch Forks Over Knives and began to understand what was going on in my mind (and our kitchen).
I’ve become vegan and my wife is vegetarian – almost vegan. Our kids are kids and still eat whatever we can get them to eat! They do eat healthy foods as that’s pretty much all we have in our kitchen. It’s awesome to see both of them sitting in a chair eating their “Kale Pops” – which are raw Kale eaten off the stem. Whenever they are hungry and are asked what they want to eat, they almost always ask for a fruit or veggie.
Our meals have been a blast! – full of color and flavors. We make a wide variety of meals that look like restaurant quality with awesome presentation. Some meals take a bit of time and work, but they’re always well worth it. I have posted a lot of our meals on Twitter/Facebook and some recipes on other blogs we’ve posted. Many of the meals we make come from recipes in Brendan’s books, various websites, and Vegan cookbooks. As time goes by, it becomes easier for me to put meals together and do my grocery shopping. Oh and I think my grocery bills have gone down a bit as well.
Physically my mother says I look too skinny and I’ve lost too much weight (whose mother doesn’t say that?). The truth is, over the past few months I have in fact lost a few pounds on the scale. However, my energy levels have been higher than ever, my recovery time from training sessions have been shorter than ever, and I’ve been sleeping very well (except for when the kids wake me up). I continue my training in the weight room maintaining a lean muscular frame, I run regularly, and I’ve started to really get into cycling…of course I continue to play ice hockey weekly. I feel great all the time.
I’ve been sharing my experiences with family and friends. It’s always funny to hear their questions, concerns and comments. I’ve been laughed at, been told I’m crazy and nuts, and have been told it’ll never stick. I’ve also been thanked, asked how people can better implement what I’m doing for their own lives and I’ve been admired. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
I must say that Twitter has really made a difference for me. I was always against social media, but now I am grateful for it. I have learned so much by meeting such interesting people and continue to meet people that are full of knowledge and have great ideas. Thank you for your ongoing support, motivation, inspiration and recipes!
If you’ve ever thought of making a change, stop thinking about doing it and take a small step in that direction. You can’t run before you can walk, so start small and over time, it’ll happen. If you need help, support or ideas I’m always just a tweet away!
You can follow Adam on twitter @chaimdog
If you’re feeling inspired and want to submit your own vegan testimonial please read this post. You can also read the interview Kasey Minnis (@veggiemightee) did with me about this project on This Dish is Veg.