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!
My path to a vegan diet started when I learned about the environmental impacts of animal agriculture. I’d never liked meat much, and I’ve been allergic to dairy since I was born, so it wasn’t all that difficult for me to start cutting back. Luckily, my husband, Phil, was on board because we’re both concerned about environmental sustainability.
The shift started gradually, but there was a day when we actually made the switch official. We were having dinner with a friend, and he ordered a vegetarian dish so we got talking about it. Since we had been moving towards it for a while, we decided it was time to officially say we were vegetarians. That was in September, 2007.
About six months later, we realized that all the same issues surrounded eggs and dairy. As I said, I’d always been allergic to dairy and we didn’t eat eggs too often, so a vegan diet was a fairly minor shift for us by that point, and made total sense.
Although we started out with the motivation of reducing the environmental impacts of our lives, all of the other issues reinforced our decision: health, animal cruelty and social justice.
We weren’t healthy vegans right off the bat, and that’s something a lot of new vegans and vegetarians struggle with. There were a lot of things we learned along the way, and we tried all different kinds of approaches – raw food, green smoothie cleanses, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, etc.
Through all that, we slowly found our way to the diet we eat now – whole foods, and plant-based. I started to feel a lot more energy and Phil’s lifelong acne cleared right up. We haven’t been sick at all – not even colds or flu, even when we stayed for five nights with Phil’s sister in a tiny apartment while she coughed and sniffled like crazy.
Feeling so awesome made me want to share with others. That was my goal in starting my websites – to share how amazing you can feel on a whole foods plant-based diet. And how fun, easy and delicious it can be.
There are some things people need to know to get to a healthy vegan diet. The ‘healthy’ part is important, because that’s what will allow you to be successful long-term with your choices.
Being as healthy as I can possibly be is the best way to set an example, and it also gives me the energy and nourishment I need to do my work to my full potential. Showing others how to be healthy eating a vegan diet is my way of spreading positive energy and contributing to them reaching their full potential.
I’m so grateful to Heather for sharing her story! Be sure to say hello and let her know you appreciated it on twitter @heathernauta. Heather is also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, showing you how to have fun while making simple, fast, incredibly delicious, nutritionally-balanced meals that leave you and your family satisfied and full of energy at www.HealthyVeganRecipes.net. She specializes in working with vegans and vegetarians who need a vegan diet plan that’s healthy and nutritionally complete, with a focus on creating long term healthy eating habits at www.HealthyEatingStartsHere.com.
Feeling inspired? Do you have a story to tell? Please read this post and learn how you can be part of the Vegan Testimonials Project. There are also some interviews about the project that you may enjoy. Kasey Minnis (@veggiemightee) interviewed me for This Dish is Veg. Ashley Flitter also interviewed me about the project on The Unintentional Vegan. And I just finished an interview with Jamessina on Jamessina.com.