The Sweet Fit Vegan

My adventure's in transforming me from top to bottom, inside and out.

A Me I Never Know I’d Need To Meet

It was January 22, 2014 and I knew few things for certain: My oldest had just turned 9.  My youngest would be 3 in just a few months.  I was at the heaviest non pregnant weight I had ever been: 171 pounds!  I had given birth almost THREE years before, and I still hadn’t lost any of the weight.  I guess I was beyond calling it “baby weight”, wasn’t I?  I was also certain that I was about to change my life for good.  Having just seen my 11th PETA video in a row, I had thrown my hands in the air and sworn off eating meat ever again!  (The video had been pigs in a slaughterhouse that turned my stomach!)

The next few days were pretty easy.  I would make a big meal for my family that consisted of either chicken or turkey (never really were big into beef or pork), with vegetables, some potatoes or rice, and some rolls.  I would simply eat the sides.  It may not seem like it was much, but it satisfied my hunger.  In the first week, I had 1 serious urge to eat meat (when I cooked garlic crusted tilapia), which I quickly regretted.   I quickly found meat alternatives (thank you Tofurkey, Gardein, and Wegmans for having those delicious options!) to eat with my meals.

A short 5 months later, we took a day trip to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, Ny and had the utmost privilege of meeting, petting, feed, and simply being with animals that were saved from Factory Farms.  There, we got to be in the presence of and pet cows that were happily grazing in field, chickens that strolled the same lanes we did, pigs that cared less if you curled up in the hay beside them, goats that were content to be in your company, and turkey’s with attitudes that portrayed that of the Stooges!  It was that afternoon that I had my awakening- Why?!  Why do we use them?  They are beings with souls.  They are babies, and mothers.  They are, of all things, survivors!  I could not bare the thought of using another animal for a product that didn’t belong to me.

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Farm Sanctuary 2014

Farm Sanctuary 2014

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Having given up meat, now dairy, eggs, honey and all other animal products, I found myself watching even MORE documentaries, rewatching others.  Food, Inc, Supersize Me, Farmeggedon, Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, and Vegucated being some of the most influential.  Not only that, but reading EVERY food label.  I used to walk through a grocery store and have my “go to” foods- I knew what we ate, knew where to find it, knew how much it would cost!  Not now!  Now, I looked at ingredients, and if I didn’t know what it was, I would look it up.  If I didn’t like the way it sounded, I started weening off of it and eating something better and healthier.  Over the months I would start to look at protein and sugar content as well.

Wny VegFest 2014

I was incredibly lucky to find a local Vegan Facebook Group that helped answer what I’m sure was an overload of “Newbie Questions”, but they were all super helpful and supportive!  I was honored to be a part of WNY’s Inaugural VegFest in Buffalo, Ny (bringing some delicious Vegans sweets).  These milestones had opened an amazing door for me, introducing me to some awesome people who would further change my life – I just didn’t know it yet!  The months after that, I learned even more- some food coloring actually stemmed from animals, as did confectioner’s sugar which is used in cookie decorations and rainbow sprinkles!  I started looking at all my personal care products too, which was a lot harder than I thought since you really can’t pronounce most of the ingredients on the labels.  (I’m still learning about these all!)

I quickly learned that eating and living healthier doesn’t have to be difficult.  It’s about knowing what you’re eating, where it comes from, and how it’s made!  Just from giving up eating meat I lost about 30 lbs.  I never thought I would say that: “I’ve lost 30 lbs this year” .  I say it out loud sometimes and it still doesn’t seem right.  But I know it is- I can feel it.  I feel lighter, I have more energy and sleep better.  I have less headaches (and I suffered from many!) and that feels GREAT!  I feel like I’ve cleansed my body of 30 lbs of nothing but “Yuck” ! I know I could never go back to eating milk and all those nasty hard to pronounce chemicals.  Don’t get me wrong, I still crave chocolate (I’m human!) and cookies about EVERY day of my life, but that’s where being a vegan baker comes in handy!

To a new year, improved health and happier life…. I invite you back!

Live Heatlhy, Be Happy

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