It’s funny, I don’t view being a plant-powered wellness professional as anything special. But it seems to make a statement. As a lifelong vegetarian, I had to learn about nutrition since childhood. Not because I had to be mindful about getting enough nutrients – it was to answer everyone else’s questions!
Living as a vegetarian, and now a vegan of seven years, the amount of misinformation out there still shocks me. That’s why I legitimized my knowledge by getting certified in Plant-Based Nutrition three years ago, and am now embarking on a second qualification.
Movement has always been a big part of my world: from loving Jane Fonda as a kid in the 1980s, to discovering dance and theatre. Food was never a health concern to me, but an ethical one: I wouldn’t eat anything that had to die. I was accustomed to being the only vegetarian, and it never occurred to me to be bothered by it. As a result, I’ve never faced the social issues that so many people worry about when transitioning to a vegan diet. I treated it much like a child would if they hated onions, and it was never a problem at my friends’ homes or at school. If there was only pepperoni pizza and soda available, I drank the soda and didn’t make a fuss.
It wasn’t until I began living on my own that I started to care more about healthful eating. I experimented with calorie counting, raw foods, portion control, and studied the response of my body. Fitness also called out to me because of my dance background, and I started to build an incredibly rewarding career. Teaching came naturally, and I discovered all sorts of specialized techniques like Pilates machines, suspension straps, and aerial fitness.
When I was 24, I found myself in an emotionally vulnerable state and was reading Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston. There was chapter regarding food and spirituality. There was no new information there, as I had heard a few things about the dairy and egg industries. I had become passive in my vegetarianism. It was such a part of me that I didn’t even think about it. But, in that moment, I felt a switch. It was an instant change. My only regret is not starting sooner! In three weeks, I lost seven pounds, my energy went up, and I felt more proactive in every choice that I made each day.
Never in my life have I been deficient in any nutrient. My social life has never been impacted by my food choices, even as I become a much more vocal advocate for animal rights. And I LOVE to eat! Now I’m a wellness professional with a purpose: to educate others about the truth regarding nutrition and the ethics of food. And to show that I am stronger and more flexible than most of my colleagues! Thanks to my mother’s vegetarian pregnancy with me, and my lifelong commitment to animals, no one can claim that I built my health on meat. While this is not impressive (OF COURSE vegan is healthy!), I know that it’s my responsibility to live veganism out loud! And I’m bringing everyone with me!