FEATURE: George Jones

My journey to veganism initiated from a place of vanity. I will humbly admit that as a teen and young adult, I suffered from acne to the point where it consumed and isolated me from being my true outgoing self. I visited multiple dermatologists, and was prescribed methods and medicines all varying in side effects and costs. I thought, "There must be a better way." As a naturally curious person, I conducted my own research and stumbled on various skin blogs where people spoke about dairy and the connection to it and skin irritation. I'd consumed dairy once a day in one form or another. Pizza being my favorite food and mozzarella sticks a close second. So in that moment, I decided that if I was going to spend all this money and time trying to fix my skin, I could at least omit something for a week just to see what works.

 In less than a week, my skin was brighter and my acne was at an all-time low, thus began my new love for food education. Food had the power to clear my skin? What other magic tricks did the food kingdom offer? At this point, I am around 26 and have been working out regularly and an avid runner at about 5-7 miles a day. Always looking to better my time, I found through multiple fitness publications that many runners do not eat meat. I admittedly struggled with the idea for two months, and figured I could start with red meat. Within a month, I shaved a solid minute and a half off of my 8.5 mile. I was head over heels, and didn’t feel I was missing anything not eating burgers. I kept this up, and vegetables became required versus optional.

October 4th 2015 I made the decision to move into vegetarianism. I purposely did this around the holidays when I knew it would be the most difficult. It was easier than I thought. I am not the type of person who enjoys food comas. My family laughed it off, but over the next year I felt and looked better than I did my entire life. October 4th of 2016 I made the decision to move into veganism. I watched Earthlings on YouTube, and learned the unquestionable connection to food, nature and unity. In October I also achieved my certification through AFPA as a Nutrition and Dietitian.  I had been vegan for months at a time during my vegetarian era, but pizza was the ONLY thing I could not live without. I found vegan pizza, and said "well, that’s that." It has all been organic, and easy. The health benefits are obvious, and the simplicity of which I approach food makes for a very enjoyable lifestyle with endless options. The powerlessness of big business over what I consume and how I live, evoke a slight courageous and rebelliousness that I love. Veganism has shown me the beauty of nature to heal and grow and love.

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