Why I Went Vegan and My Tribute to Jake

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far!

I have been in kind of a funk lately, and I realized it was because I was coming up on an anniversary of one of the worst days of my life.  Two years ago yesterday, I lost my best friend and fur baby, Jake.  Jake was the most incredible dog I have ever known and was part of our family for 11 years.  Not only was he part of our family, but was basically a child to us (since we don’t have human babies).  He was there when I woke up, went on every trip with us, spent the entire day by my side and snuggled against my stomach all night long.  Jake was never grumpy and was always filled with unconditional love, compassion and the energy of a puppy (until his last week on this planet).

Jake became ill in September 2016.  We had noticed a small lump on his paw, which we were praying was just an infection.  Unfortunately, after many round of antibiotics, it didn’t go away and testing came back positive for cancer.  We ended up amputating his toe to try to stop the spread and were initially successful.  All of the margins were clean, and his blood work and X-rays were impeccable.  We had many long months of bandage changes and keeping him calm, but were optimistic about the future.

Right after Thanksgiving, Jake developed a cough that wouldn’t go away.  We finally took him into the vet one late Monday night and were praying that maybe it was a cold or even whooping cough.  When the vet came back in with the X-ray results, she just said, “You guys, I am so sorry.” Jake’s lungs were completely filled with cancer and there was truly nothing we could do.  She said it could be weeks, months or even years but she really didn’t know how long he would make it.  Jake was gone by the following Sunday.

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What I didn’t realize at the time, was that losing Jake would transform the rest of my life. Not only because this was my first real experience with death, but also because he helped me discover my true passion: saving animals and helping people.  You see, when I watched Jake suffer and take his last breath, I realized that I never, ever wanted to contribute to another animal’s suffering for as long as I live.  I also realized at that moment that ALL animals want to be loved, feel fear and want life.  There is no difference between a dog, chicken, cow, pig, sheep, fish, cat, horse, donkey, etc.  So why would I fight so badly for one while paying someone to torture and kill another?!  At that moment I became VEGAN and later discovered animal activism.

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I will miss Jake every day for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for the lessons that he taught me.  It’s amazing how one, little, 30 pound dog can change your life forever <3. Thank you buddy!

 

The Happy Healin’ Vegan

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Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having the most gorgeous day 🙂  I wanted to share a new, exciting venture that I am going on….

A few months ago I started feeling unsettled.  Although I absolutely love my career and clients, I felt like there was something more that I needed to be doing.  As someone who completely believes that there is a power greater than us (I’ll refer to it as the Universe, but it can be whatever you believe in), I started asking for help.  I journaled, mediated and tried to surrender my career to the Universal energy.  Then one night when I was taking a shower, because all of my answers come to me in the shower, it came to me….

I will become…….The Happy Healin’ Vegan!!!  And just like that I was flooded with purpose, emotions and tears of joy.

You see, two of the worst (and somehow most inspirational) days of my life took place over the previous year:  the day that I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and the day that I lost my dog (and best friend).  Throughout my Lyme journey I have healed my body with proper nutrition, rest, meditation and a positive outlook.  With healing the grief and sadness of my lost pet, I have realized my true aching to help and rescue animals.  In addition, I have gone back to my vegan roots.  I will never aide in the suffering of another animal after watching my boy struggle to breathe.

I am extremely passionate about spreading my message, helping others heal from illness, and to educate the world about animal cruelty and how we can make a difference.  But I need your help…..

With any new idea, there are so many different ways of approaching it.  And in the world of social media, there are only so many things that you can do at one time.  I would love to hear from you to see what your needs are.  Which do you need help with: fitness, nutrition, healing through food, meditation, becoming more happy, vegan recipes, or anything else?  I am here to help you 🙂  In addition, would you rather that I create a separate website for this cause?

Thank you so much for all of your direction.  I am truly excited to see where this new purpose takes me 🙂

 

My Loss and Tips on Dealing with Grief

Hello friends,

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2017!

I normally try to stay extremely upbeat and positive with my posts, and I promise that I will be back to those soon.  However, before I can move into this year I wanted to share this post with you.  Please forgive me 🙂

For me, as well as for many others, 2016 was a year filled with sadness and heartbreak.  There were many close to my heart who suffered great losses and I too lost a dear, loved one. I experienced my first real grips with death when losing my dog, Jake.  I know that some may be thinking, “come on, it’s just a dog!” But for me, Jake was my best friend.  He was in my life for over ten years and was honestly my child (since I haven’t been blessed with a human one yet).  We did absolutely everything together and no person will ever love me with the unconditional love that Jake did.  Plus, this was my first true experience with death and watching someone have their last moment on this planet.  It’s a tragedy that will take me a long time to get over.

I could go on and on about my Jakey but that is not why I am writing this.  I am here to give you my tips on how I am dealing with grief.  I share this with you for two reasons: 1) I know that so many people are suffering from grief right now.  If I can help you with even one of my tips, my job here is done. 2)  It’s cathartic.

Here are the tips that are helping me deal with grief:

  1.  Go Outside.  There is something about being outside that reminds me that the world is so much bigger than me.  It reminds me that there is good in the world, regardless of how sad I am in the moment.  Put your feet in the sand, look at the trees and flowers, breathe in the fresh air.  Staying inside and dwelling on our sadness never helps.
  2. Move Your Body.  For me the thought of doing a difficult workout during a period of grief is unbearable.  However, it is crucial to get out of your own mind and to move your body.  Increase those endorphins with some Yoga or go for a walk.
  3. Eat Healthy Food.  I know what you’re thinking, “all I want is comfort food when I am sad!”  I did too…pizza, soup, french fries!!  But did you know that some foods can actually make us more depressed?  Try to get in some veggies and healthy meals.  Also, try to throw in some grounding foods like sweet potatoes or beets.
  4. Talk to a Friend.  If you are lucky enough to have a good friend who will listen, talk to them about your feelings, experiences and memories.  Do not bottle it up.
  5. Take Care of Yourself.  Remember that grief can actually have a negative impact on our health.  We saw this through the passing of Debbie Reynolds after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died.  Self care is crucial during this period.  Take baths, increase your vitamins, get extra sleep, journal, meditate, etc.
  6. Remember that You are Human.  This tip is the most important of all!  There are days where I forget that death is a part of being a human being.  I try to be strong and hide my feelings but it is crucial to allow ourselves to feel the way that we are feeling.  If you are sad, it’s okay…more than okay….to cry.  It’s okay to be angry, tired, confused, depressed, selfish.  Feel the way that you need to feel to get through this.

 

I hope that some of these tips can help you through your healing.  If you are suffering the loss of a loved one, please comment below and share your story.  We can get through it together 🙂

I hope that this can be a wonderful year for everyone and I will be back with some happiness and joy soon 🙂