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!

 

What NOT to Ask a Woman of a Certain Age

Happy Healin’ Vegan is a blog that will help you “create a happy and healthy life.” Although I intend to maintain a positive space, I will also share parts of my story that we can all learn from. This blog is a vulnerable one for me but is hopefully something that can help us all grow as happy and healthy individuals.

 

As I reflect back, I realize the most difficult part of being in my 30’s has definitely been not having children. And this was not because of my desires to have a baby, but because of society’s expectations for me to do so.

It was literally the day of my 30th birthday when people started sending diaper coupons to my email and when people started asking the “none of their business” questions regarding my fertility. In the six years since then, people have said things to me like, “You’re not getting any younger,” “Have you been to the doctor,” “Being a mom is the greatest gift in the world,” and my all-time favorite, “If you’re not going to use your uterus, maybe you should just have it removed!”

Maybe part of it was my fault. I always loved children and was a nanny who couldn’t stop raving about what Bobby or Tiffany did or said during my workdays. It was only natural that I would get married and immediately have children. But as I grew up, my desires changed. I longed to have a successful, life-changing career. And being diagnosed with an incurable illness was an obstacle that put being a mother on the back burner.

I am not saying that I don’t want to have children (Lord knows that I have been saddened and have cried with every baby announcement that has come my way). However, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that my time will come if and when it is right. In the meantime, not being a mother doesn’t make me any less of a person….or a WOMAN. I have amazing gifts to offer, a kind heart and a passion to heal the world.

The bottom line is that a woman’s desire to have a child is no one’s business, except those that she decides to share her aspirations with. It’s not a question that you should ask or a subject to comment on. You never know what that person is going through or how long your questions will stick with them. So next time you meet a childless woman in her 30’s, ask her about the weather, about her job, or about her pets…Do not ask her if she is having children. If you are someone she wants to discuss it with, she will bring it up.

 

 

The Lyme Interview (part 2)

 

Hello lovelies,

As promised, here is the second half of the Lyme interview with Victoria from Lemons ‘N Lyme.

I love this half because you see a much more vulnerable side of Victoria as she discusses the best and worst parts of having this illness.  In addition, she explains how you can prevent getting Lyme Disease.  This is a good one to watch before those warm, tick-infested, summer months.

I hope that you enjoy it!

The Lyme Interview (part 1)

Hello wonderful people,

I hope that everyone is enjoying this gorgeous day!!!

I am so excited to share a collaboration that I have just finished with Victoria from Lemons ‘N Lyme.  When I was first diagnosed with Lyme, Victoria was one of the first people I met.  She is one of the most genuine people in our community  and her vast knowledge of treatments and Lyme is amazing!  I immediately felt comforted by her story……not to mention that her blog is pretty phenomenal with the delicious recipes for every diet type (vegan, Paleo, you name it!).

Here is the beginning of her story including her symptoms, her treatments, diet, detox and so much more.  We will release part 2 of the interview next week.

I hope that you enjoy it and that just maybe you will learn something new about Lyme Disease.

 

Why I Became Vegan (for the final time!)

 

 

Something that has always been a struggle for me is finding a good mix between my diet and my HUGE compassion for animals. I would turn to a vegan diet and then freak out about the lack of protein with my active lifestyle (I have now learned that vegans can absolutely get all of the protein they need).

There were definitely moments and lately, a huge turning point in my life that lead me to kick meat out of my diet for good. Check out what these moments were and “Why I Became Vegan (for the final time!)” in the video below.

 

 

*I would LOVE to hear from you. Have you ever considered a vegan diet? And if you are vegan, what was the turning point for you?

My story has been published…have you read it yet?!

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I am so, so, so excited (did I mention that I’m excited?!) that my personal story on body shaming has been published by a wonderful blog (Healthy is the New Skinny).  If you haven’t read my blog, My Struggle with Being Perfectly Imperfect, please take a moment to do so.  Empowering women, teens and girls is something that I feel extremely passionate about.  I hope that together we can decrease violence, bullying and body shaming.

Please SHARE my post (on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter) and together let’s take a HUGE stand to be #perfectlyme 🙂

You can view my post on my blog or at http://www.healthyisthenewskinnyofficial.tumblr.com.