November 2015, I declared “ I’m not eating meat anymore.” My family was like “What the heck, you crazy lady!!” I never really liked the taste of meat, but cheese ugh! Loved it!! Anyway, I declared myself a vegetarian and 100% stopped eating meat. Then, I began studying for my holistic nutritionist certification. After learning about the benefits of a plant-based diet (and the diseases/problems that animal products cause), I proclaimed our house free of animal products. That day, I packed up all the meat, cheese, dairy, and eggs and gave them away. At that time, I was in it for the health benefits, but as I researched and learned more I find myself pushing for the environment and the animals as well as the health benefits. I shared what I was learning with my family and they knew they needed to make the change as well, but it didn’t come without resistance.
I get asked a lot how my family feels about eating plant-based…so, I decided to interview them and let you hear their answers.
Me: What did you say when I said I’m not eating meat anymore?
Saul: That’s fine but I’m going to eat it.
Me: Did you think I was a crazy when I declared I was getting rid of all the animal products in our house?
Me: Do you think I’m crazy regardless of the food?
Me: Were you mad at me when I said I wasn’t cooking meat anymore?
Saul: I was.
Me: Why were you mad?
Saul: Because I liked meat, I lived on chicken
Me: Did you think you would survive without meat?
Saul: No, because I was like “What the hell am I going to eat?!”
Me: Saul, did you think you would still be able to do all the physical stuff and still have energy without meat?
Saul: No way. I said what everyone says “I won’t get enough protein.”
Me: Eastyn, do you hate all the food I cook?
Eastyn: No. Some, but not all haha.
Me: What are some of your favorites?
Eastyn: I like the mushroom potato stroganoff (This kid hated mushrooms). Your pizza is good, roasted buffalo cauliflower mac n cheez and burritos.
Me: Saul, you lost a lot of weight when we first transitioned, why do you think that is?
Saul: I still eat a lot of calories every day, but I guess it was the animal products that kept the weight on. I struggle now to eat enough calories to maintain my weight because the foods I eat now are not as calorically dense as the meat and oils I used to eat. I run, cycle, and weight train a lot so I need to eat a lot of calories each day. I’m always eating.
Me: Do you find you have more energy now?
Saul: Yeah. I don’t feel like shit all the time after I eat. I used to have a big meal and feel shitty and tired afterword, but now the foods give me energy. I feel like I recover a lot quicker now after activities…like, I don’t get as sore. If I do get sore, it’s better in a day rather than a few days. I feel like I make gains more quickly, too.
Me: You run a 50k every year and do a lot of mountain bike races. Do you feel any improvements since going plant-based?
Saul: In terms of cardiovascular endurance, I feel way better. And energy and physical endurance, I feel extremely better…I feel like I could go forever, but my knees don’t agree with that haha.
Me: Eastyn do you have any problems going places with friends or do your friends have any problems with it?
Eastyn: No. I usually take food with me when I go to friends’ houses. The parents are always really nice about trying to make or get food I eat. My friends are usually curious about what I eat and always seem to want to try it.
Me: Do you hate being plant-based? And why or why not?
Eastyn: No. I eat a lot of different foods now. They are healthy foods so I’m proud of that. I used to think if you were vegan you ate disgusting food and ate like a rabbit. But I’ve learned that there are so many good foods.
Me: Do you feel like you are missing out?
Eastyn: Not really. Pretty much anything that isn’t vegan, we can find an alternative or you can make it.
Me: Do you feel any different eating plant-based?
Eastyn: I feel like I have more energy. I hardly ever get sick and when I do, it goes away a lot quicker.
Saul: I feel like I rarely get sick now. A cold now, is like a one day thing.
Me: How about mentally, guys? I feel like you both have become less aggressive and calmer.
Saul: Yeah, I definitely don’t get as mad as easily. I feel calmer.
Eastyn: Yeah me too.
Me: After a year and half, do you still want meat?
Saul: No. I’m not interested. I really don’t think about it most of the time. Although, when someone is eating pizza I feel like I could go for that haha. But I think that’s a mental thing from the social aspect.
Me: Do you feel like you are missing out socially.
Saul: Initially, yes. I would just not bother even going out with people because I felt excluded. But now, I’ve learned what to eat when we are out and everyone is really great about choosing places where we have options.
Me: Do you get any push back from friends and family?
Saul: Oh yeah. People are always saying “you won’t get all the vitamins you need” or “you won’t get enough protein”.
Me: Do you think people are more receptive to our lifestyle than they are negative?
Saul: Yeah because everyone will do the initial poking fun at it, but I think that is just their way of opening up the conversation to talk about it. They are curious.
Me: Will you ever you go back to eating animal products?
They are not big talkers, but I hope this has shed a little light on how they feel about living plant-based. It's like any other big change in our lives, at first, it seems scary and insurmountable. As we move forward and persevere, it gets easier and easier; then, before you know it, this is the new normal and your life is so much better.
Thanks for reading!!
Peace, Love, Plants,
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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