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Why I Decided to Switch to a Vegan Diet

For months now, I have received many requests to write about why I decided to go vegan. The reason I waited so long to post about it, is because I wanted to make sure that this was something I was really dedicated to, and it wasn’t just a “let’s see if I can do it” type of challenge for myself.

As it turns out, being vegan is absolutely something I want to do. I am 100% dedicated and committed to eating a vegan (or “plant-based”) diet, and I have been doing so for about 6 months now.

Becoming Vegan

Why go vegan?

Back in September of 2013, I stumbled upon a blog post of recommended documentaries about eating. The first one on the list was called Vegucated. I loaded it up on Netflix and sat down to watch it. Just over an hour later, I vowed to eat a vegan diet – and I have been doing so ever since.

I saw things that I cannot un-see on the documentary. Horrible, sickening things. But – I’m glad I watched it, because it changed my life (for the better). I learned so much about the animal cruelty that is involved in factory farming. It broke my animal-loving heart, and after watching that documentary, I’ve never been able to look at animal products the same way as before.

Since then, I’ve watched a few other great food-related documentaries: Food Matters, Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives, just to name a few. Forks Over Knives is one that I recommend everyone watch (you don’t have to see any animal cruelty, thankfully).

So, what do you eat?

A common myth about veganism is that you eat nothing but fruits & vegetables all day, every day. While it’s true that I eat a ton of both – I certainly eat more than just fruits and veggies.

In fact, since switching to a vegan diet, I find that I have so many more options in the kitchen – even though I’ve eliminated quite a few things from my diet. I have learned that there are so many food options out there, and many of them are absolutely delicious!

And the best part? I can still eat all of the foods I love! Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, scrambled “eggs” – even bacon! There are a ton of options available for vegans these days.

Blueberry Coconut Muffins

Sweet Spicy Mixed Nuts

Vegetable

Oatmeal Goji Berry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Does it cost more money to eat a vegan diet?

In the beginning, it cost us much more money, but this is for 2 reasons:

1 – My husband and kids were still eating animal products.
2 – I had to buy a whole bunch of new products that I had never (or not often) had on hand before (nutritional yeast, Daiya cheese, almond/soy milk, vegan butter, nuts – especially cashews, etc.).

Now that my whole family eats a plant-based diet, our grocery bill has stayed the same, and sometimes it is a bit more than what we used to spend. This is because going vegan led me to learn more about food, and I’m now very selective about the things I choose to eat.

Not only do we eat a vegan diet, but we also purchase quite a bit of organic produce, and as I’m sure you’re aware, organic produce is not the cheapest. However, we are not willing to eat poor quality produce just for the sake of saving money, so we do spend a bit more to eat better quality fruits and vegetables.

I often shop at Sobeys and Organic Garage for our produce, as I find the have the best quality for the price we are able to pay. We buy a lot of produce every week (we are big on juicing, too, so we go through produce quickly). I would say that our produce is about 75% of our grocery bill. For a family of 4, we spend about $150-$200/week on groceries. This includes health & beauty items, cat litter, household items, baby items and all of our food.

What are your favourite vegan products?

These are the food/beverages that I absolutely love and use on a regular basis:

  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Cashews (to make cheese)
  • Agave
  • Earth’s Balance Spread
  • Vegenaise (better than mayo!)
  • Daiya Cheese Shreds
  • Daiya Cream Cheese
  • Daiya Cheese Slices
  • Silk & So Good Soy/Almond/Coconut Milk
  • Ground Flax Seeds (to make “eggs” in baking/cooking)
  • Tofu
  • So Good Almond “Ice Cream”
  • Beans, Beans, Beans! (especially chickpeas and black beans)

Vegan Foods

3 things vegans are sick of hearing

Just for fun…

  1. Where do you get your protein? Answer: lentils, beans, nuts, tofu, quinoa, soy milk, broccoli, spinach, and a ton of other sources.
  2. I could never give up cheese (or bacon). Answer: Of course. Almost all non-vegans say this. EVERY time you talk about your diet. And it’s annoying every time.
  3. Aren’t plants living creatures, too? Answer: Yes, but plants have no central nervous system or sensory organs, and are biologically incapable of feeling pain. You cannot seriously compare the pain and suffering that a pig/chicken/cow/turkey goes through to that of a plant.

How do you feel now?

It’s been 6 months since I switched to a plant-based diet, and I can honestly say that I have never felt better – both physically, and mentally.

I lost about 10 pounds in the first month, which was a bonus, and that was without any effort on my part to lose weight. Simply eliminating animal products, and eating more fruits and vegetables, helped me to shed some unwanted weight.

Mentally, I feel as though I have so much more clarity now. I can work for longer stretches without feeling drained, I dream bigger dreams (and actually accomplish them!), and I have more energy than I’ve ever had before.

Happy Vegan

This “diet” has completely changed my life for the better. I would never, ever go back to the way I was eating before.

Vegan Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about eating a vegan diet, here are some resources that I highly recommend:

There are also a bunch of vegan “support” groups on Facebook that are very helpful, especially in the beginning of your vegan journey.

Comments

  1. Heather R

    Thank you so much for this information Cassie. I really need to watch that video although I’m scared to. My husband grew up on a farm and i know I could never convert him but its me that prepares the meals and at the very least I could makes positive changes for both myself and the kids, and change things up a bit for him as well. I had wondered what it did for you and I’m happy to hear the benefits you’ve gained since switching.

    • Cassie Howard

      I understand that you’re scared to watch it – I went into it not knowing what I was going to see, and it was horrible. But – I’m glad I saw it. I really did need to see those things in order to truly understand how these “products” are made.

      If you’re scared to see the animals, I suggest Forks Over Knives. That documentary is mostly facts, no sad animals to watch suffer.

  2. Save Big Live Better!

    Wow! I’m definitely going to have to check out that documentary! We still eat some meats, but have already been eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and organic on the big ones!
    Vegan is a big commitment, that must be some movie! LOL, can’t wait to watch, and am almost a little scared at what I’ll learn:P

    • Cassie Howard

      I’m so happy to hear that you’re eating more fruits and veggies – and some organic ones at that!

  3. SeriousSally

    Thanks for your honest, non-judgmental take on the vegan lifestyle. I’ve been really curious how it’s changed your life and your post is super informative. I’m totally one of those annoying people that can’t imagine life without cheese, but your post is quite inspiring and clearly there are many benefits to be had with the dietary changes. All those recipes look fabulous BTW.

    • Cassie Howard

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Sally. I appreciate it. I was hesitant to write this post, because I feared that people would think I was going to be judgmental to those that don’t eat the same way I do. I’m glad I was proven wrong. πŸ™‚

  4. Nicole B

    Just to point out, a lot of those documentaries are filmed based from an USA market. In Canada we do things differently here. We have smaller operations, both in slaughterhouses and in farms, different laws pertaining to these operations, hormones/anti-biotics in food products, etc. And we have more options available to us to get our meat from smaller independent farms, where the animals live happy lives in the pasture and are slaughtered more humanely than is portrayed in most documentaries. Many of these farms you can even visit and spend the day exploring. I used to be vegetarian for various reasons, one of which was the PETA type videos showing horrible things. After wondering if these videos were even remotely true, and doing a little footwork of my own, I’ve found out with my own eyes that the two countries do things very differently.

    • Cassie Howard

      Very good point, Nicole. Canada is certainly MUCH better than the US, in terms of farming. However, I must disagree with you that animals are slaughtered more humanely here in Canada. My father used to work at a slaughterhouse – and from the stories I was told, the slaughter is just as bad here (and in my opinion, there is no such thing as “humane” slaughter).

      Though things may be “better” in Canada, they are still not right.

  5. teachermum

    I applaud your efforts-that is a fairly major change! And to do it with kids…that takes an extra measure of sturdiness around comments, I imagine!

    I’ve seen Food, Inc but not that one and will add it to my queue.

    I’m not inclined to go vegan, per se, but aim to eat foods as God made them and avoid processed things, even vegan. Boy, that is no easy task anymore-how sad!!! Stop messing with the food, people! We have sourced grass fed/finished beef and can get some chickens from them but they only have so many at a time so it isn’t feasible to stock up on them, nor are whole large chickens freezer-packing friendly! We’ve been eating less chicken than normal as there isn’t much else to choose from at the moment. I don’t want organic, I want properly raised/fed chicken. I’d love to find someone with eggs again, the family we used to get eggs and chickens from moved off their farm into town…boohoo.

    We don’t have cow’s milk in the house and haven’t for over 15 years as it isn’t a friend to our family (oh the calcium comments…). Getting grass-fed raw milk is way too expensive at the moment and a hassle-would have to drive over an hour away every 2 weeks to get it. We should cut back on cheese too, I need to find some without colour added.

    Going organic? Nice idea but the selection here is horrible. I’d have a much more limited diet, the produce is barely half the size if you are lucky, and always double the price and oftentimes about quadruple. No organic producers at our market either. I will buy it if it is on sale for near what I buy regular stuff for but that doesn’t happen very often.

    Haha, protein…that is the nutrient you need to worry about the least! Odd how no one ever asks about your B12 levels! I have a daughter who goes vegan whilst in the States as the dairy and meat there make her sick. She would here too…if she weren’t so lazy LOL.

    • Cassie Howard

      I completely agree with the processed foods! I try to keep them to a minimum. Most of the food we eat is not processed, but it is very hard to find sometimes!

      I’m surprised people don’t often ask about B12, too! I take a supplement for that. πŸ˜‰

  6. Rachel

    As someone who grew up a cattle farm I can tell you that much of the meat you find in the grocery actually comes from family farms where animals are treated humanely. Animals are treated with medications when they are sick, are housed with many other animals and have their bedding replaced/refreshed on a regular basis. In addition, open-air barns where the animals have fresh air constantly and can see outside without a window in the way and are exposed to sunlight are becoming more and more common. Many times animals do go outside as well and t is still commonplace to see cattle or sheep in the fields. In these open-air barns yes there are pens but they are not individual pens and the animals are never isolated from each other. They are fed good healthy food on a regular basis that if possible we grow on our own farm. Yes sometimes calves are fed milk replacer (made from real cow’s milk powder). As farmers it is in our best interest to keep our animals as healthy as possible. The only reason an animal is killed if it isn’t for meat is if it would be more humane to do so than to keep it alive and cause it undue suffering in that way. Please don’t believe much of what you see in the videos put out by animal activists if you really want to know what occurs on a farm ask a farmer πŸ™‚ I agree with Nicole B that the way animals are slaughtered is much more humane than many people realize. The animals in most slaughterhouses these days are slaughtered in such a way that they feel no pain.

    As for organic produce many of the produce not marketed as organic is actually raised without pesticides but because of how difficult it is to prove this it cannot be sold as such. In fact you will generally get a better product when you buy regular produce because they haven’t been eaten by bugs or infested with fungi. In my opinion organic isn’t worth the money and as long as you wash your fruits and vegetables with soap and water you will get rid of any trace amounts of pesticides/herbicides on the fruits and veggies. I just wouldn’t recommend buying produce from some of the countries with less stringent laws.

    Whatever you choose to do I would just say make sure you look at all the facts not just one side of the argument (animal activists or farmers) and check our government websites and peer-reviewed journals to see. I think the key is moderation in everything and saying that I see no reason why meat and dairy products should be cut out of our diets.

    • Angela

      Amen to your post. Balance in a diet is the key. Going vegan is a personal choice, but please don’t make the rest of us who are not feel grossed out with meat products.

  7. Kaitlyn

    Thank you so much for sharing your story about moving to a vegan diet. I have been vegan for over a year now and love this way of eating. I also love the community of people I have met as a result of this life. I hope you and your family can go to a vegan food festival they are great places to build community and find AMAZING food. Toronto Vegetarian Association has a great festival every September and its free!
    Thanks for your story and keep up your reciepe sharing it inspires others to expand their idea of the tasty and amazing food vegans eat.

    • Cassie Howard

      I love the community, as well! My husband and I are planning to go to that event in September. I’m so excited!

      • Sharon

        Niagara VegFest is being held in St. Catharines on Sunday June 1st. A fantastic event!!! If you come, stop by the Health Nut Vegan Food booth and say hello to me!

  8. erin

    I’m glad you were open-minded and compassionate enough to become vegan. Killing is killing, and the humane myth is not something any animal lover or environmentally-minded individual should ever accept.
    If you want to cut costs a bit more try the recipes for vegan cheese, butter, etc. from the Gentle Chef. Some recipes are posted on the website, but the cookbooks are so handy, especially the ‘Non Dairy Formulary’. In my home we found the Daiya cheeses (and their ilk) reasonably good but pricey, so we’ve gone towards making our own.
    There are also some very simple recipes for cheezes on the ‘one green planet’ website. Even making one’s own plant-milk is very simple>
    Keep up the good work!

    • Cassie Howard

      Thanks so much for the tips, Erin! I have a bunch of cheese and milk recipes I’m hoping to try soon. πŸ™‚

    • Rob B

      Hi Erin,

      Any chance you would share your Daiya cheese recipe ?

      Thanks so much,

      Rob B

      • erin

        Rob B, Daiya is actually the brand name of a very popular vegan cheeze that can be found in many grocery stores. They put out a number of varieties, and even have a line of gluten-free, vegan pizzas.
        To make cheeze from scratch, most folks (vegan and non-vegan alike) are wowed by the Gentle Chef;s recipes. They’re pretty simple and so tasty! I can’t break his copyright by posting recipes from his cookbook on here, but here’s a link to the cheeze section of his blog:
        http://thegentlechef.com/blog/?cat=4
        I hope that’s of some help to you!

  9. Jennifer L.

    Good for you for making these changes. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your change to a vegan diet. I also juice daily and eat a primarily plant-based diet (not totally vegan). What I’ve noticed about this way of eating is how much more enjoyment I get from my food now and how much better I look. It’s so easy to stay my ideal weight and my skin looks so much better. I look forward to more of your articles and healthy recipes. Thanks!

    • Cassie Howard

      Happy to read your comments, Jennifer! I totally understand what you mean about your skin. My skin has never looked better!

  10. Lar

    I wouldn’t mind reading a post on why you eat organic produce. It has been very well proven that it is not pesticide-free; takes more farmland to grow; produces smaller yields and contributes greatly to world hunger. Especially true for movements against all organic or gmo food production, as this is what allows most of the world’s ppl to be fed for what they can afford (think- china and India)

    • Lar

      *against all Non-organic and gmo

    • Cassie Howard

      Sounds like a great idea for a post, Lar. Thanks for the idea!

    • Debbie

      I agree. I live in an agricultural area of BC that is know as the “Organic Capital of Canda”, and, in the 6 1/2 years we’ve lived here, have realized what a scam it all is. We will not buy into the organic hype, but instead prefer to label our produce (we have 5.5 acres of mixed soft and hard fruit trees) as no sprays or chemicals. In fact, our tag line is “produce grown the old fashioned way”.

  11. Sameen

    I would be interested in reading further posts on what is the price range of some products and how much would be a good price on organic produce. I am also interested in looking at your grocery shopping price and photographs, so I get to know the pricing.

    • Cassie Howard

      Thanks for the comment! I will keep that in mind. πŸ™‚

    • Gena

      I would love to see this as well!

      Loved reading this post, Cassie! I am trying to do more vegan or at least vegetarian meals these days and hope to one day be completely vegetarian or vegan!

  12. Margie B

    Thank you for this! I’ve been trying to eat more vegan the past 6 months or so and incorporate vegan suppers 3-4 times a week. So while not totally vegan (tough to get the whole family on board), I try to incorporate it when I can. The best site for recipes ( I’ve found is Oh She Glows) everything I’ve made has turned out fantastic!

    Thank you for the vegan recipes, keep them coming!

    • Cassie Howard

      Thanks for the comment, Margie. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve incorporated some vegan meals into your routine – that’s great!

  13. Shannon

    I hope that in your research on your road to veganism, you also looked into what kind of effect soy can have on your body (and in particular your young children’s bodies), as well as soy and corn production’s effects on our agriculture. I’m not telling you to start eating meat again, but soy and corn aren’t that great for you, either. FWIW, I buy grass-fed/free range meat directly from a ranch. The animals are treated very well. I don’t like the idea of eating meat (I don’t eat much of it as it is) and I don’t do any dairy. It’s what I need for my own health.

    • bp

      That’s a really good point. The “healthy” argument for not eating meat/dairy hardly holds up when they are using soy/corn as evidence for “clean” alternatives.

    • Cassie Howard

      We don’t eat much soy/corn products. πŸ™‚

    • erin

      There are a lot of myths out there. Here’s a very good article addressing some of the misinformation that’s been distributed:
      http://freefromharm.org/vegan-diets-sorting-nutritional-myths/
      I hope you’ll read through it.

  14. Karen

    Chai seeds also great for make eggs for baking. Thanks for the great info

    • Cassie Howard

      They do! I use those as well. πŸ™‚

  15. Carolyn

    Good for you for going vegan. I’m vegan too and so is my 16 year old daughter and it’s the best thing I ever did for myself, I wish I would have discovered this sooner! You are lucky that your whole family has switched, my husband is not interested in giving up his processed meats and cheeses so cooking dinner is lot’s of work since I have to make something different for him… I’m hoping one day he will give up that stuff.

    For me it was Forks over Knives that made me want to make a change. I’m a huge fan of Dr. Esselstyn, especially since heart disease and hearts problems run rampant in my family.

    • Cassie Howard

      Thanks for sharing your story, Carolyn! So happy to hear that you feel good about going vegan. I don’t know anyone that has switched to this type of diet and regret it! Don’t try to convert your hubby, let him see how happy and healthy you are and if he’s ready to see the same benefits, I’m sure he’ll give it a try. πŸ™‚

  16. Tiffany

    Congrats on your very positive, healthy life change!
    If I may be so bold as to caution you sligtly … broccoli and spinach are certainly not good sources of protein. Depending on how it is prepared:

    Broccoli 1-3g protein/half cup (and this is the same for spinach) Quinoa 2g/half cup cooked (which is comparable to rice)

    http://hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/pdf/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/nvscf-vnqau-eng.pdf

    Given that the average adult female needs about 46g protein/day, you would certainly need to eat a lot of these lower sources of protein to meet your needs!

    Compare the above lower sources of protein with:
    Lentils – 13g per 1/2 cup
    Navy benas – 15g per 1/2 cup
    Almonds – 8g per 1/4 cup
    Tofu- 21g per 3/4 cup

    For a fantastic review of the benefits of a vegan diet and how to follow the diet safely for adequate nutrtion, see this video by Registered Dietitian, Brenda Davis, here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2WlohiWnzE

    Here’s to healthy eating!

  17. David McNally

    Congrats on your decision. I am a convert of Vegucated too. It’s exactly what you said. You can’t unsee those things. Forks over Knives is excellent too. Two guys in my office went plant-based after I did. Others are curious. We are starting something, eh? Best wishes!

    • Cassie Howard

      Yes, seems like plant-based is more popular these days, I love hearing that! πŸ˜€

  18. Rob B

    Across the road from me is a newly built chicken farm, which houses 14,000 broilers. I was just wondering If say a few chickens are sick how does the farmer go about figuring out which ones are to be treated as to not infect the others.
    I believe we are not that naive! The farmer has to treat ALL of them, sick or not.
    Another thing that I have noticed is that the shed has ZERO windows. I guess because the broiler chickens are only there for 6 weeks before being slaughtered why give them the chance to look outside. Also I’m sure when the time comes to gather up these 14,000 chickens from the shed to the transport truck, they will be carefully moved one by one as not to hurt them anymore then they have to because the majority of them will not be able to stand up on their own because of the size they have become. We all know that’s not the case because Time is $$$.
    Also how is it possible to grow these little chicks to the size needed for slaughter in just 6 weeks.(again time is $$$) Cheap feed = cheap chicken.
    I am thrilled that a lot more farm animal abuse videos are making their way to the media. Videos Do Not Lie. People do not kid your self “Humane Meat” is a myth. It just makes people feel better about eating animals and costs more.
    Also please explain to me why animals are still transported in such extreme conditions either -30 or +30. People, next time you are on the highway and pass one of those transport trucks carrying animals Please take note of the open air trailers, imagine how cold/hot it must be for the pigs and cows especially this winter.
    Try it yourself next time its -30 outside take a drive on the highway but turn off your heat and roll down ALL of your windows and tell me how comfortable you are.
    Animal abuse does happen in Canada, Don’t believe me checkout:

    http://www.mfablog.ca/2013/12/2013-a-game-changing-year-for-canadas-farmed-animals.html &
    CBC’s Show Market Place: http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/undercover-investigation-reveals-horrific-conditions-within-egg-industry-1.1503296

    I have been Vegan for the last 5 years and have never felt better!
    I am more active now then ever!
    Go Vegan, For the Animals, Environment,Your Health and because you care about ALL animals Not just cats and dogs.
    Please visit some of your local animal sanctuaries and see how animals should be treated. With Love and Compassion NOT for Money and Profit.

    Here are some great websites:

    http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2011-episodes/superbugs-in-the-supermarket
    http://www.eggmcmisery.ca/
    http://www.mercyforanimals.ca/pigcruelty/
    http://mercyforanimals.ca/
    http://www.veganhealthandfitnessmag.com
    http://veganbodybuilding.com/
    http://nutritionfacts.org/
    http://engine2diet.com/recipes/favorites/
    http://veg.ca/

  19. Tazim

    Hi – I have been vegan for almost 13 years now and really don’t miss anything I ate before that I can’t now. I haven’t yet made vegan cheese – but think I’ll pick up some cashews and try that out some time to make a “cheese” sandwich or mac n’ cheese.

    • Cassie Howard

      Try it! Cashew cheese is amazing! I have also made tofu ricotta which is yummy. πŸ™‚

  20. Vicky

    A diet concentrated on dairy, soy products, nuts and grains… sounds like a prison sentence to me. All the things you should keep to a minimum in your body.

    • Cassie Howard

      I don’t consume any dairy. πŸ™‚

    • Andrew

      From Cassie’s description, it sounds like her diet is focused on fruits and vegetables (75%), with soy products, nuts and grains being included in there. I don’t know according to whom it is that we “should” minimize these things in our diet, as Health Canada and the great wealth of nutrition studies emphasize the value of whole grains for heart health, and healthy fats and proteins from nuts and seeds. Soy also gets a bad reputation from many disreputable “health” journals online, but it really is a valuable staple in the diets of many long-lived, healthy people.

  21. Amy OBrien

    Make sure you are taking a B12 supplement as this is not available in a vegan diet. A deficiency can result in migraines and a deadly anemia.

    • Cassie Howard

      B12 can be found in a few things I consume (nutritional yeast, soy milk, a few cereals), but I also take a supplement. πŸ™‚

  22. michelle

    Another good documentary is fat sick and dead. I want to try and slowly get my family eating a more plant based diet. Problem is that my husband would never completely give up meat and my son is an athlete and needs to eat crazy amounts of protein before a competition. But I am trying to cut out as much as possible

    • Cassie Howard

      Yes! Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.. that’s what got me hooked on juicing. πŸ™‚

      • Valerey

        Yes! Just watched that 2 weeks ago, and since that first day, DH and I ahve been juicing (well, smoothy-ing!) tons of spinach, celery, and tons of other vegetables and fruit. We “juice” 2 meals a day, with lunch being whole foods. I have never felt so energized!! My laundry and dishes are actually DONE! πŸ™‚

  23. christine

    where in the world would I find quinoa in the grocery store..I have been looking and cant seem to figure out in which aisle it would be.

    • Cassie Howard

      It depends on the store. Either the “health food” aisle or the aisle with pastas and rice. The Bulk Barn also carries it, as does Costco. πŸ™‚

    • Caroline Moustache

      I usually find it next to couscous, it’s often in “Casbah” brand cardboard boxes. Sometimes it is in the natural foods aisle. You can also get a huge organic bag of quinoa at Costco and that is the best price.

  24. Kim

    I think it is fantastic that you’ve become more educated and active in your eating choices! It’s great to see that you are making better food choices for your family, and yourself. As much as I used to be a vegan for 10 years, (and I still think that it’s a better decision than to eat meat from large scale grocery stores) I realized that it isn’t for everyone, and ultimately not for myself. I applaud those who do this for their love of animals.

    Today, I have moved on beyond labelling myself a vegetarian, vegan, or whatever. I just eat healthy. And what does that mean? Well, for me it means no processed foods what-so-ever. It means making everything, and if my great-grandmother wouldn’t have recognized it as food, I don’t eat it. I buy locally, and I support my local farmers which is a great advantage that we have here in Canada! I only eat organic, and I don’t expose myself to any more chemicals than I have to… Which also means I do NOT use makeup, or toiletries that are not organic. It was a big transition, but in the end- it can be cheaper to be organic!

    One thing I noticed about your food though… You seem to use a LOT of soy to make up the majority of your protein, and you buy processed items like Veganaise to substitute for mayo, etc. Did you know that “Soy Good” contains many chemicals, including Carrageenan (seaweed extract) that is a known carcinogen? Soy is also one of the most altered foods, and there are many scientific documents stating that it can cause estrogen dominance in women, and lowered testosterone in men. I urge you to read this article: http://wellnessmama.com/3684/is-soy-healthy/

    For myself, I steer clear of anything unnatural and chemical laden. That is the most important thing that rules what I put in my mouth, and my family’s stomachs. If its in a box or a can, it’s probably not good for you. Believe me, it’s the best thing I have done. I understand it’s not for everyone either. But I urge you to read the following literature:

    * The Beauty Detox- Kymberly Snyder
    * The Organic Lifestyle Magazine http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/
    * The Environmental Working Group(EWG) “5 things you should know about GMOs” http://static.ewg.org/reports/2012/goodfood/pdf/five_things_gmo.pdf
    * The EWG’s Dirty Dozen

    I know that it’s a lot to take in, but I thought that I should point out that just because it’s vegan doesn’t necessarily mean its healthier. It just means that you have to be more aware, and know where your food is coming from and made. Chemicals make people heavier, not naturally sourced foods.

  25. Amanda

    What a great gift you have given your family! I am not vegan, but eat a very clean diet and do use a lot of vegan and vegetarian recipes. I can’t express how much I love this post. I don’t like to judge people based on what they are eating or what they can afford to feed their families but so many of the things available with coupons aren’t what our bodies need.

  26. Sharon

    I have been vegetarian since I was 12 years old, and my teenage daughter became vegan overnite a couple of years ago after watching Forks Over Knives. I slowly transitioned to veganism, and have been so for about 1 year now. When choosing nuts, I always source raw nuts which have so many more nutrients than roasted nuts. Another amazing “superfood” that we use alot of is coconut oil and coconut syrup (instead of agave) These are SO good for you, and coconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer, and also great as an overnite hair treatment (of course it needs to be washed out the next morning) Give coconut a try! The health benefits are amazing.

  27. Erin

    A great (and beautifully illustrated) vegan recipe blog:

    http://theveganstoner.blogspot.ca/?m=1

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