03.05.15

MY VEGAN LIFESTYLE

image1-2I remember the night I decided to become a vegetarian like it was yesterday.  Tim and I had just watched Food inc. I was on the ground crying and asked, “What the hell is wrong with our world?”  I vowed from that moment on to never eat a piece of meat ever again.  Tim was VERY reluctant for me to take on a full vegan lifestyle so it wasn’t till one year later after reading the book Skinny Bitch that I asked myself, “What the hell is wrong with me?” I would never take an animal shove it in a cage and beat it myself so I thought why am I supporting industries that do this day in and day out.  I am aware not all meat/dairy industries behave in this manner but it’s nearly impossible to know the source of everything I consume so it was more logical to omit them both completely.

I have to begin by saying the vegan diet is NOT for everyone.  I will never pressure my beliefs on anyone or judge any of you for what you believe or choose to do this is just for those interested in how I made the transition.  I will keep all emotions out of it and understand my choices are based on my beliefs of equality among all living things.  If you don’t believe in or want to learn more about veganism–then by all means you don’t have to read any further. 

The transition was literally seamless and I’m thinking being a vegetarian already may have made it this way.  I read every book, watched every documentary and studied all the health risks and benefits in and out.  It’s the nurse in me.  I made sure I wasn’t reading any studies sponsored by meat industries or radical animal rights activists.  Just plain matter of fact information.  Turns out being vegan is quite healthy when done correctly.  We can live and sustain life on earth just as efficiently, if not better than those who eat meat.

I’ve seen diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer take over peoples lives for a solid four years.  It was hard and scary and I knew I wanted to do what I could to better my own body.  Prior to becoming a vegan/vegetarian I suffered from severe anemia.  My levels were so low the doctor was shocked I was presenting as well as I was.  When I became veggie I was more aware of what my body needed and my blood levels were healthier than ever before.

People tell me all the time what great self control I have but it has nothing to do with self control when it’s ultimately what you believe.  We understand our friends and family have made it possible for us to sustain such a lifestyle.  These are always the “hardest” moments when you are out of your own home and in places where you don’t have 100% control over what is placed in front of you.

Greek people live on meat for those of you who may not know but surprisingly everyone took on a little part to make sure I was always well fed.  My grandma didn’t really get it and when I told her I didn’t want any chicken she sat there and stared at me for a good 15 minutes, turns to my mom and in Greek says, “That’s it, she’s anorexic”.  We all laughed and tried as best as we could to explain to her what it is I eat and don’t eat.  In our religion we fast for 40 days before Easter which is basically a vegan diet, no eggs, meat, diary of any sort.  She all of a sudden loved the idea of this and was cooking up a storm for me.

Tim’s family couldn’t be any more of a support either.  Every time we are in town the whole entire world stops and everything is vegan.  Even his extended family brings dishes to Christmas and other holidays making sure I’m able to eat it.  I remember it was his sisters birthday and because we were in town my mother in law made her a vegan cake–this was hilarious.  Apparently vegan cake doesn’t taste as delicious as regular cake to some.  Poor girl.

Here are some facts and suggestions I can make for those of you interested in taking on a more vegan/veggie lifestyle.


Why be Vegan (Reworded from PETA)?

1. Healthier You

2. Good for our planet.  The meat industry is one of the largest contributors to global warming.

3.  Meat is actually gross.  It is usually covered in feces, blood and other bodily fluids.  Meat is the number one cause of food poisoning in North America.

4. Pigs are smarter than your dog.  Can you imagine roasting your cute little Chihuahua on a spit? Okkk, perhaps this is pressuring my beliefs.

5. All the cool kids are doing it: Here is a tiny list of celebrities living a veggie lifestyle: Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Al Gore, Flo Rida, Tobey Maguire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Underwood.

6. The food is better than you think.  Honestly, I hate boring salads and I rarely eat them.  There are so many variations to meals that you would be so surprised it was even vegan.  My husbands employees will often come for dinner and have zero idea they are consuming a 100% plant based diet. If you check out my Pinterest I have a lot of amazing recipes.

7. More Energy.  When you fuel your body with rich nutritious foods your body has no choice but to feel more energized.

Thinking of going vegan?  Here are some tips to get you started.  This article here is also really helpful.

Calgary’s vegan circle of restaurants isn’t very big but no matter where we go there is ALWAYS something I can eat.  If you explain what a vegan is restaurants are always willing to make it work.  We have a lunch reservation today where they are preparing a complete vegan meal for us, can’t wait to share how amazing it is!  Hope this helps, Eleni xo. 

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