Veganism is deeply rooted in our family infrastructure. My husband Kenny and I have enjoyed being vegans for quite some time now. It has been about 6 years for Kenny, and going on 3 years for me. I had tried being vegetarian during college after watching "Vegucated" - however, I failed after 6 months and went back to eating white meat, as many often do. Although I had a natural inclination towards wanting a more plant-based lifestyle, I must admit that meeting and falling in love with Kenny gave me the extra motivation that I needed. I was young, fresh out of college, and ready to learn how to cook and try new things. It did not take me very long at all to make the transition!
We recently had a baby girl, Ida Billie (she is now 4 months), and we will be raising her as well as any future children on a vegan diet as well. I had a very healthy vegan pregnancy, successful natural home birth, and am exclusively breastfeeding Ida without any issues. Plants have fueled me well into motherhood, and they will continue to do so.
I grew up eating the standard American diet. As a child and teenager, I regularly struggled with miserable seasonal/animal allergies, sinus infections, eczema, and my nose was stuffy almost constantly. I now know that animal products, especially dairy, was to blame for a lot of that suffering. I am no longer on western allergy medications that merely mask symptoms rather than actually heal and eradicate the root issue. I have not had a sinus infection since going vegan, and I can enjoy hours of fun time with cats and dogs without any suffering. Kenny, on the other hand, was raised vegetarian and decided to go vegan on his own at age 28. While he was not as sick as I was growing up, his health has improved dramatically after eradicating dairy and eggs as well.
I am still constantly learning about nutrition, plants, and the human body. In addition to the peace of mind and relief that comes with eating a green and cruelty-free diet, I must say that my favorite part of being vegan is the way in which it has lifted my consciousness in other aspects of my life as well. When my seasonal allergies do occasionally still bother me, I now reach for nettle tea or infused onion water rather than a Zyrtec. When I am feeling stressed, I know that lavender and chamomile will lift my mood in no time, rather than feeling desperate to have a glass of wine in order to get through the day. This week, I finished straining my very first batch of Fire Cider, which I will use this fall/winter if I get a cold rather than Dayquil. And if I do ever get another sinus infection - I will be using essential oils, not antibiotics and steroids.
When you love the plants, they will love you back.