For anyone who doesn’t know me or my family, I can tell you that recently we have gone through some pretty drastic, yet undeniably gratifying, lifestyle changes. Up until six months ago, I was a pack a day smoker and an avid Pepsi drinker who’s favorite food group was ‘deep fried.’ My metabolism was always enviable in that I could eat an entire large pizza to myself and stay skinny. After a while, however the novelty of being able to stuff my face full of garbage and remain petite wore off. I started to wonder what exactly it was that I was really putting into my body.
On Instagram, and other social media platforms, I was bombarded by pictures of smiling, healthy, happy faces abound. I wondered why my family didn’t seem or feel that way. I wondered how we could find peace and happiness and balance. After basically stalking a few stunning and health-concious celebrities, I discovered that many of them were vegan. I shuddered to think of that dreaded ‘v’ word. You see, my idea of a vegan was always comically related to someone who did cross-fit: overwhelmingly in your face and fanatical. Not to mention dedicated in a way that this family was not used to being or seeing.
At first, I laughed it off. There was no way on the face of this green Earth someone like me could give up basically everything she loved. Then I quit smoking. I honestly just decided one day that I didn’t want to be the mom who took smoke-breaks anymore. So I stopped, cold-turkey. And I felt… great. The initial withdraws were bad, but I got over it and afterward I felt like a changed woman. Food tasted different, things smelt different, and I had so much more free time to spend with my daughter and husband during the day.
That was how, what I refer to as ‘the change’, started. A few weeks after quitting smoking, I started to notice a change in the way our food tasted; how chock-full of artificial flavor it was. This junk-food tasted good no doubt, but it was also starting to taste… false, somehow. I needed something else, something more. I wanted to be a pillar of health for my family.
Eventually, we cut out refined sugars and preservatives. Suddenly we were buying fresh, local produce and meat. I saw an even bigger difference in the overall health and happiness of my family. My daughter had more energy and vitality and my husband and I were becoming closer and more playful. A few weeks later, we cut out dairy, eggs, and meat, looking to make the full transition into vegan-ism. It’s been a challenge, especially for a family that was so used to binge-eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew until we were in sugar comas, but it has been wholly worth the sacrifice (if you could even call it that). We have cheat days (I cannot completely give up eating pizza yet) and it’s been difficult some days (period cravings, anyone?) but we’re trying, as a family, and isn’t that what matters the most?
Karly is a dedicated mother, wife, and almost vegan. She likes to write, sling drinks (as a professional bartender), and listen to music as much as she used to enjoy steak.