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.

IMG_3585

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.

IMG_3586

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!

 

Surprising Health Benefits of Going Vegan

I originally made the full transition to a vegan diet in 2016 after my dog died.  When I was watching him suffer, I realized that I never wanted to contribute to an animal’s suffering for as long as I lived.  I also made the connection that “meat” came from an animal, an animal who was tortured and killed for my five minutes of pleasure.

Although the animals were absolutely enough to keep me vegan for the entirety of my lifetime, I truly love the health benefits of being vegan as well.  I had hoped that I would feel better but some of these benefits were truly unexpected.  My body has completely transformed inside and out.  I will take you through some of the major health benefits that I have experienced over the last two years.

IMG_0960 In a Field

Lyme Disease Remission: for those of you who haven’t been following my blog for long, you may not know that I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2015 (for more information on this please click here). I had awful symptoms including severe leg pain, digestive distress, anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, memory loss and fatigue.  I spent $1000’s on treatment and at one point was taking over 90 supplements per day.  Within a few months of switching to a vegan diet, almost all of my symptoms disappeared.

Less constipation and bloating:  okay this may seem like TMI, but going to the bathroom is a really important part of our health.  On a diet that consists mostly of animal products, we are not getting the fiber that we need (meat, dairy and eggs contain 0g of fiber!!!!).  This can lead to constipation and bloating.  (Side note: did you know that a healthy person should go to the bathroom 3 times per day?!).  Going vegan definitely helped me with this issue.

No more thyroid pills: just like many people around the world, I was put on thyroid medication at a very young age. I had been taking thyroid medication for 15 years prior to going vegan.  After a year of being (mostly) a whole food plant based vegan, my thyroid had healed itself and my doctor took me off of my medication.  No more of those nagging pills!

Clear skin and strong nails: this one may not seem very important but I am sure that most of us know what it feels like to wake up with a giant pimple on the center of your face!  It can truly halt your confidence and put a damper on your day.  Whenever I would consume dairy, I would almost immediately develop cystic like acne on my face and body.  My skin has cleared up dramatically since being vegan.  In addition, my nails are stronger than ever!!!

Less pain during that time of the month: I can vividly remember the days of curling up in a ball on the floor because my menstrual cramps were trying to kill me!  This would happen every single month and I truly dreaded my period.  Nothing seemed to help including Midol or chocolate.  Although I still get a tiny little cramping, it is nothing like it used to be.

Transitioning to a vegan diet has truly been one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I love the feeling of saving animals, but it has improved my health dramatically, and in only two years.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds and to see how my health will improve from here.  I bet that it will just keep getting better and better ❤

I would love to hear from you; what health improvements have you seen from switching to a vegan diet?

 

Healing From Allergies, Asthma and Acne With a Vegan Diet…

There are so many benefits to switching to a vegan diet including incredible, health transformations.  For Wellness Wednesdays I want to feature those who have healed from an illness, disease or health issue from simply changing what they were eating.

Today’s Wellness Wednesday Spotlight comes from Kathleen Kastner, my inspiring friend who has been vegan since 2002. Below is her story:

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY SPOTLIGHT

“I’ve been vegan since 2002. I was already vegetarian due to my love for animals and fish. I was having allergies, asthma and acne and was on an inhaler and nasal steroid. My doctor never asked me the four magic words, ” What are you eating?!”

I learned about the book called Diet for a New America by John Robbins and decided to go vegan to see if it would help my health issues, and it worked! Turns out I was allergic to the dairy. My skin cleared up and I got off my allergy and asthma medicine.

Once I learned about the cruelty of the egg, dairy and veal industry I became vegan for ethical reasons. Veganism is my passion and purpose in life: for the health, the animals and the planet!”

 

Thank you so much Kathleen for sharing your story with us.  If you want to learn more about Kathleen, please visit her Instagram: @Kathleenvegan or check out her Youtube channel.

 

Did you heal a health issue by switching to a vegan diet?  If so, I would love to feature you!  Please send me a message ❤ 

How one cow changed the course of my life!

Do you ever get those wonderful memories that show up on Facebook?!  Although they can be kind of irritating sometimes, I love the one that showed up yesterday.  It was the memory of meeting Fatih, the cow that changed the course of my life!

IMG_2397.JPG

“How can a cow change your life?!” you may be asking yourself.  Well, before I tell you about Faith, let me give you a quick summary of my life at that moment.  At this point, I had lost my dog about a year prior and had become vegan because of the connection I had made (realizing that all animals felt pain, experienced fear, and wanted to live).  However, I hadn’t yet learned about the dairy industry and would still indulge in a giant pizza a few times a year.  I also knew that I loved animals, but until Faith, I had no idea what it felt like to love a cow!

My mom and I drove about an hour away to a beautiful animal sanctuary in Temecula, California.  The incredible owner, Jen, introduced us to all of the animals and told us a little about each of their stories.  She shared how and where they had been rescued from and also a bit more about the animal agriculture industry.  I was horrified and saddened by each of their stories, but also felt overjoyed when I saw how much they were loved and cared for at Sale Ranch Sanctuary.

After we met the horses, donkeys, goats, pigs and chickens, we came upon a giant cow and her best pig friend, Cherry.  I was so thrilled, and a little intimidated, to meet my first cow.  Jen invited us into the pasture with Fatih and encouraged us to get close to her.  I have to admit that I was hesitant to get near this enormous animal.  But as I did, I immediately felt comfortable and so incredibly happy.  Faith let me scratch her chin and then she kissed my face.  At this moment, I was in love!!!  I realized just then how similar Faith was to my big puppy who was at home.  She was incredibly docile and just wanted to be scratched.  I never wanted to leave the sanctuary and told my mom how badly I wanted my own cow rescue the entire drive home 🙂

IMG_2398

Like I said, the owner of Sale Ranch told us a bit about each of the animal’s stories and about the industry and I was shocked by Faith’s journey.  She was dumped at a sale lot along with her brother because they had “no value” to the industry.  Her brother didn’t survive but Faith was lucky enough to be rescued.  We also learned about the horrors of the dairy industry….

Quick Synopsis of the Dairy Industry:

Dairy cows are artificially inseminated on what the industry refers to as “rape racks.”  They will become pregnant for 9 months, just like a human, and when their baby is born he or she will be ripped away from their moms (they don’t want the baby calf drinking the milk intended for humans…).  The mom will bellow for days!  If the baby is a boy, he will most likely be killed for veal.  If it’s a female, she will have the same fate as her mother.  All dairy cows become “spent” at around 4-5 years and will be killed for beef.  For more information click here

images.jpeg

I had no idea that any of this torture existed and just like many, I thought that having cheese once in awhile was harmless.  The second I learned the truth and met Faith, I made the decision to never “cheat” with dairy again.  From that moment there would never again be any milk, cheese, yogurt, whey, cream cheese, ice cream, etc.  I was 100% vegan and was never looking back.

Faith also changed my life because I realized how badly we need to be fighting for these animals.  These sweet animals are being tortured and killed every day and for what???  At this point, I couldn’t be silent anymore.  I knew that I had to speak up.  I wasn’t quite sure how yet, but I wanted to scream it to the world……..  I suddenly realized my life’s purpose (this part of my life) was to be an animal activist.

My life had been given meaning and it was all because of meeting one magical cow!  I will truly be grateful for her and for this day for as long as I live.

***Have you ever had the opportunity to meet a cow in person?  Please comment below.  I would love to hear your story.

Why I Went Vegan to Heal Lyme Disease

Hello lovely people,

It has been about 2.5 years since I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, and one of the most powerful tools I used to heal was to go vegan.  In this quick video, I will explain why I made this choice and how it helped me heal.

Please share with anyone who has Lyme, another chronic illness or is curious about going vegan.  Thank you for all of your support ❤