I have another wonderful vegan testimony for you! If you are not familiar with Vegan Story Time, it is a series that I started so that people could share how and why they became vegan. If you’d like to participate, check this out and don’t hesitate!
Today, I’m sharing Kate’s story. Kate is a very passionate writer, and she has amazingly yummy recipes on her blog, The Vegan Wayfarer. I mean, seriously, double chocolate covered strawberry cake and apple and white bean cake? I wish she was my neighbour so that I could talk literature while eating her delicious cakes with her. Anyways, here is why and how she became vegan!
I became a vegan for both reasons of health and reasons of conscience. I was in my early
thirties and dealing with an arthritis problem that was becoming serious. I was experiencing pain in my joints and in the bones of my hands and feet that was getting so bad that, whenever the weather turned even mildly wet, I could barely walk across the floor. I had trouble using my hands and could not handle the weight of a blanket on my feet. I was worried I was going to end up in a wheelchair for the greater part of my life and was willing to do whatever it took to avoid that fate. I began to research which foods would not cause an inflammatory response in my body and came across veganism.
I’d always respected in those who’d committed to a vegetarian or vegan diet but believed- as do many, I think- I couldn’t get the nutrition I needed without eating meat and dairy products. It was also normal to eat meat, wasn’t it? How could I give up chicken or beef? And yet, my studying had raised questions I had trouble answering. Why did I choose to eat some animals while the thought of eating others horrified me? Was perceived intelligence of the animal the criteria I was basing my diet on? The more I learned, the more I realized I had to make a change.
Fortunately, nutritionists like Julieanna Hever and Ginny Messina were there to assure me I’d get everything I needed from a vegan diet and they were right. I’ve been vegan five years and have never had a problem with low protein or missing vitamins. The arthritis in my hands and feet has vanished and I’ve been able to turn my attention to other health problems previously treated with medication. This lifestyle also reconciles with my conscience and I know that, for me, there is no going back.
I have many things I consider ‘staples’ in my vegan lifestyle. A can of organic chili beans (I like Westbrae Organic Vegetarian Chili Beans) can be added to a bowl with couscous and steamed broccoli for a meal that’s faster (and healthier) than any so called ‘fast food’. Miso paste is so versatile and I use for many things besides miso soup. I’ve already posted my Spicy Mac recipe made with white miso paste.
One of my most useful items is not food, it’s a tofu press. I didn’t think I needed one when I first became vegan. I used two plates and heavy books to press tofu and then dealt with one side collapsing and the books crashing to the floor. Finally, I broke down and purchased a press. It isn’t fancy, it cost me less than $20.00, and is worth every penny. I highly recommend getting a press if tofu is a regular part of your diet. Slide the block in the middle, tighten the screws, and the tofu can be set aside with no danger to the floor. The press gets out more liquid than books and plates ever did; something you’ll prefer if you’re like me and like a chewy texture in salads and stir fries. Now that I have it, I don’t know what I ever did without it!
Ouh! That tofu press sounds amazing! It might be in my next order! I hope you enjoyed Kate’s story, I find it very touching and encouragin. If you want to check out her writing and thoughts, you can check out the Renaissance Woman. If you are more interested in her recipe, check out The Vegan Wayfarer. Finally, you can also find her on Facebook.
If you feel like sharing your own vegan story, please contact me! I really love sharing these so keep them coming! Cheers!