2 Year Plantbased/Vegan Journey Update

My 2nd Year in a Nutshell

This time of the year is very special to me. Thanksgiving of 2016 was the year I decided I wanted to make changes towards living a lifestyle that coincides with my ethics and beliefs. For me, that was transitioning towards a vegan diet/lifestyle. This lifestyle resonated with me because to me, veganism is basically the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated” and that extends to all living things. I over that past two years, my eyes have been opened to how conditioned we have become to taking lives for our own momentary satisfaction. I didn’t want to be a walking contradiction. How can you preach about being compassionate and love animals, but you’re selective of what animals you practiced your compassion towards?

I had been watching all sorts of documentaries and most of them revolved around animals and health. After years of basically unconsciously brainwashing myself by watching documentaries like What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Earthlings and so I decided it was take to make the change. Watching Earthlings was my major tipping point. I couldn’t believe how blind I was to all the animal cruelty in the world. How could I willingly allow this to happen and be part of all the destruction?  

So for about 1.5 years I was following a strict vegan diet and lifestyle. To say the least it actually was a little difficult in the beginning. Not so much the food part, but more so undergoing major life changes and having family and friends who don’t share the same views as you. Or at least just don’t see eye to eye. There was a lot of confusion, questions and even some hostility. To this day I still struggle with family and friends when it comes to my new lifestyle

I’m coming up on 2 years now. Where the last half of the second year I became more lenient in my diet and lifestyle. I wanted to find balance and make the right connections. Over the last 6 months, I’ve allowed myself to do the follow:

  • Consume dairy (more frequently than not)

  • Consume eggs (less frequently)

  • Consume seafood (more frequently than eggs, but less frequently than dairy)

  • Use Leather goods (they were past items and/or gifts given prior to my transition)

  • Went Crabbing and Fishing

  • Nibble on a small piece of meat (probs as many times I can count on my hands and the pieces were probably like the size of a thumb)

To be frank, I allowed myself to do this not entirely because I let myself go but because I’m still trying to make connections. I understand what the industry of animal agriculture does, but I found ways for me to justify what I was doing.

When it came to dairy and eggs, I’m just weak. I love pizza and I love baked goods annnnd it’s kind of an out of site out of mind kind of thing. When it’s baked into a muffin or cupcake, you don’t know it’s there. And when it came to dairy, it really was mostly just cuz I was eating pizza. I would pick off all the meat and then keep a majority of the cheese. Recently though, I have been reverting back to taking off the cheese completely.

When it came to eating seafood, I felt it was more okay because I wasn’t supporting the seafoods commercialized industry. Instead, I was being more sustainable and actually going out and getting these things….with the exception of calamari. Since this source of sustenance was sustainable and the animals were wild I justified my decision to consume them because I was living more like a hunter gather and not just driving over to the supermarket to purchase a dead carcass. After consuming seafood a few times a week I started to cut back again. I started making more of a connection with them. If you have been with me throughout this journey you know I have said this a few times, “I’m still learning to make the connection with them.” Living in Alaska, we were raised to go fishing, it was a fun activity families would do together. So there’s some emotional attachment to it. You’ve probably also heard me, “I don’t think it’s fair for me to pay someone else to do it. If I can’t stomach taking a life, then I shouldn’t be consuming whatever it is.” This was the case when it came to seafood since we were brought up fishing or even going crabbing.

It was easier for me to give up consuming chicken, cow and pig because I had never taken their life. I wasn’t brought up in an environment where we prepared them for consumption. I was disconnected when it came to the process of food to table. I believe everything was all fine and dandy because that’s how we were conditioned. Like they were living an amazing life and when the time came for them to pass, they were just sourced as food. Of course, after watching Earthlings, I saw the truth and I couldn’t be another bystander to keep living my life as I always did.

Now there were a few times where I did consume actual meat though. To my defense, they were very small pieces and it was more of a way to see if my taste buds had changed. As a matter of fact, they have.

Here are a few things I learned during this process

  • My taste buds have slightly change

    • When it comes to textures and taste I noticed my pallet is more sensitive to animal based meats now. I found I don’t’ like the texture anymore nor do I even enjoy the flavor. Now it tastes minerally like blood and the texture grosses me out now because I noticed, unlike with most plants based proteins, it got stuck in my teeth and having it leftover in my mouth just, yeah idk. It’s not hot lol.

  • I noticed I got sick or my body wasn’t up to par on days I consumed anything animal based

    • I actually just recently came to this conclusion because a couple weeks ago I kind of noticed that I would have these allergy attacks the day of and day after whenever I consumed dairy (aka, when I had pizza).

    • I solidified this assumption because last week I went to the hospital with my friend for lunch. I got the garden burger togo and we took our food back to our office and ate. After a few bites into my garden burger, I had a feeling that maybe it wasn’t a garden burger. The texture was slightly off, a little more chewy than the garden burger normally was. I proceeded to finish the burger because I thought to myself, “they wouldn’t do that, it’s the hospital. They know their ish.” About 1 hr later the sneeze attacks started rolling in annnd guess what, I got sick over the weekend -_____-

    • So in conclusion, I noticed I get sick and my immune system takes a dip anytime I consume animals

  • Alternatives are WAYYYYY better now

    • Within just one year, I’ve noticed that alternative meats and diary have been on top of their game! A year ago, when I first started trying alternative meats and dairy – gross, Idk the texture and the taste was off. Because I didn’t like them, I resorted to making my own and sticking to the very select few of the ones that I did like. Only time I would try something different is if someone else had it. I found the regular hot dogs are much better now, they don’t taste like plastic lol and the cheese is way better! Before I HATED the cheese so I stayed away from it. But my friend introduced me to Miyokos and REINTRODUCTED to Follow Your Heart Cheddar Cheese and I actually liked.

    • I also have tried a lot of different veggie burgers and if you know my I’ve been eating a lot of burgers, so I’ve had my fair share of taste testing of those. So far, I basically enjoy them all because they all have their own purpose, but my all-time favorite so far is the Beyond Burger. VEGGIE GRILL!

    • Soooo things next year for alternative meats are looking VERY bright!

  • You can still gain weight on a vegan diet

    • I constantly say this, but you can still gain wain, not lose weight or be unhealthy on a vegan diet. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t meant it’s any better for you. Some vegan food is processed just like other foods are processed.

    • I went through a phase where I would eat anything, I didn’t care if it was healthy or unhealthy. If it was vegan, I’M EATING IT. Of course, that bit me in the ass because I started gaining weight and had to get back on track again be eating better foods and more whole foods. You’ll see in my What I Eat videos, there was a point where I was calorie counting because I was trying to get my body right for a family reunion. AIN’T NOBODY WANNA LOOK LIKE AN UMPLUMPA MEETING THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS WHOLE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR THE FIRST TIME!

  • You become more creative with your food

    • Well, for me at least. I’ve noticed that I’m more open to trying different things and combinations. As long as it’s vegan - GIMMA ALL DAT

    • Sometimes I make weird combinations like ______ buuuut you can’t knock it till you try it!

    • I’ve also had ketchup…yes, ketchup. If you know me, you know I HATE condiments. HATE them. DISPISE them. Ryan sneaks them into is foods, like his sauces, when he cooks and I eat them. Surprisingly, I end up liking it too. Like I said, “out of sight, out of mind”

  • Learning to Compromise

    • This diet/lifestyle asks you to compromise and find balance with those who are part of your life.

    • Ryan and I, omg….we would fight all the time about food. There would even be some almost breaking points where we would both consider ending things because of the different lives we were starting to live. But I think after a few years of adjusting, we’re getting there and we’re finding balance when it comes to food.

    • I’ve learned to just pick at my foods. I’m starting to be very big on, This time of the year is very special to me. Thanksgiving of 2016 was the year I decided I wanted to make changes towards living a lifestyle that coincides with my ethics and beliefs. For me, that was transitioning towards a vegan diet/lifestyle. This lifestyle resonated with me because to me, veganism is basically the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated” and that extends to all living things. I over that past two years, my eyes have been opened to how conditioned we have become to taking lives for our own momentary satisfaction. I didn’t want to be a walking contradiction. How can you preach about being compassionate and love animals, but you’re selective of what animals you practiced your compassion towards?

      I had been watching all sorts of documentaries and most of them revolved around animals and health. After years of basically unconsciously brainwashing myself by watching documentaries like What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Earthlings and so I decided it was take to make the change. Watching Earthlings was my major tipping point. I couldn’t believe how blind I was to all the animal cruelty in the world. How could I willingly allow this to happen and be part of all the destruction?  

      So for about 1.5 years I was following a strict vegan diet and lifestyle. To say the least it actually was a little difficult in the beginning. Not so much the food part, but more so undergoing major life changes and having family and friends who don’t share the same views as you. Or at least just don’t see eye to eye. There was a lot of confusion, questions and even some hostility. To this day I still struggle with family and friends when it comes to my new lifestyle

      I’m coming up on 2 years now. Where the last half of the second year I became more lenient in my diet and lifestyle. I wanted to find balance and make the right connections. Over the last 6 months, I’ve allowed myself to do the follow:

      • Consume dairy (more frequently than not)

      • Consume eggs (less frequently)

      • Consume seafood (more frequently than eggs, but less frequently than dairy)

      • Use Leather goods (they were past items and/or gifts given prior to my transition)

      • Went Crabbing and Fishing

      • Nibble on a small piece of meat (probs as many times I can count on my hands and the pieces were probably like the size of a thumb)

      To be frank, I allowed myself to do this not entirely because I let myself go but because I’m still trying to make connections. I understand what the industry of animal agriculture does, but I found ways for me to justify what I was doing.

      When it came to dairy and eggs, I’m just weak. I love pizza and I love baked goods annnnd it’s kind of an out of site out of mind kind of thing. When it’s baked into a muffin or cupcake, you don’t know it’s there. And when it came to dairy, it really was mostly just cuz I was eating pizza. I would pick off all the meat and then keep a majority of the cheese. Recently though, I have been reverting back to taking off the cheese completely.

      When it came to eating seafood, I felt it was more okay because I wasn’t supporting the seafoods commercialized industry. Instead, I was being more sustainable and actually going out and getting these things….with the exception of calamari. Since this source of sustenance was sustainable and the animals were wild I justified my decision to consume them because I was living more like a hunter gather and not just driving over to the supermarket to purchase a dead carcass. After consuming seafood a few times a week I started to cut back again. I started making more of a connection with them. If you have been with me throughout this journey you know I have said this a few times, “I’m still learning to make the connection with them.” Living in Alaska, we were raised to go fishing, it was a fun activity families would do together. So there’s some emotional attachment to it. You’ve probably also heard me, “I don’t think it’s fair for me to pay someone else to do it. If I can’t stomach taking a life, then I shouldn’t be consuming whatever it is.” This was the case when it came to seafood since we were brought up fishing or even going crabbing.

      It was easier for me to give up consuming chicken, cow and pig because I had never taken their life. I wasn’t brought up in an environment where we prepared them for consumption. I was disconnected when it came to the process of food to table. I believe everything was all fine and dandy because that’s how we were conditioned. Like they were living an amazing life and when the time came for them to pass, they were just sourced as food. Of course, after watching Earthlings, I saw the truth and I couldn’t be another bystander to keep living my life as I always did.

      Now there were a few times where I did consume actual meat though. To my defense, they were very small pieces and it was more of a way to see if my taste buds had changed. As a matter of fact, they have.

      Here are a few things I learned during this process

      • My taste buds have slightly change

        • When it comes to textures and taste I noticed my pallet is more sensitive to animal based meats now. I found I don’t’ like the texture anymore nor do I even enjoy the flavor. Now it tastes minerally like blood and the texture grosses me out now because I noticed, unlike with most plants based proteins, it got stuck in my teeth and having it leftover in my mouth just, yeah idk. It’s not hot lol.

      • I noticed I got sick or my body wasn’t up to par on days I consumed anything animal based

        • I actually just recently came to this conclusion because a couple weeks ago I kind of noticed that I would have these allergy attacks the day of and day after whenever I consumed dairy (aka, when I had pizza).

        • I solidified this assumption because last week I went to the hospital with my friend for lunch. I got the garden burger togo and we took our food back to our office and ate. After a few bites into my garden burger, I had a feeling that maybe it wasn’t a garden burger. The texture was slightly off, a little more chewy than the garden burger normally was. I proceeded to finish the burger because I thought to myself, “they wouldn’t do that, it’s the hospital. They know their ish.” About 1 hr later the sneeze attacks started rolling in annnd guess what, I got sick over the weekend -_____-

        • So in conclusion, I noticed I get sick and my immune system takes a dip anytime I consume animals

      • Alternatives are WAYYYYY better now

        • Within just one year, I’ve noticed that alternative meats and diary have been on top of their game! A year ago, when I first started trying alternative meats and dairy – gross, Idk the texture and the taste was off. Because I didn’t like them, I resorted to making my own and sticking to the very select few of the ones that I did like. Only time I would try something different is if someone else had it. I found the regular hot dogs are much better now, they don’t taste like plastic lol and the cheese is way better! Before I HATED the cheese so I stayed away from it. But my friend introduced me to Miyokos and REINTRODUCTED to Follow Your Heart Cheddar Cheese and I actually liked.

        • I also have tried a lot of different veggie burgers and if you know my I’ve been eating a lot of burgers, so I’ve had my fair share of taste testing of those. So far, I basically enjoy them all because they all have their own purpose, but my all-time favorite so far is the Beyond Burger. VEGGIE GRILL!

        • Soooo things next year for alternative meats are looking VERY bright!

      • You can still gain weight on a vegan diet

        • I constantly say this, but you can still gain wain, not lose weight or be unhealthy on a vegan diet. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t meant it’s any better for you. Some vegan food is processed just like other foods are processed.

        • I went through a phase where I would eat anything, I didn’t care if it was healthy or unhealthy. If it was vegan, I’M EATING IT. Of course, that bit me in the ass because I started gaining weight and had to get back on track again be eating better foods and more whole foods. You’ll see in my What I Eat videos, there was a point where I was calorie counting because I was trying to get my body right for a family reunion. AIN’T NOBODY WANNA LOOK LIKE AN UMPLUMPA MEETING THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS WHOLE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR THE FIRST TIME!

      • You become more creative with your food

        • Well, for me at least. I’ve noticed that I’m more open to trying different things and combinations. As long as it’s vegan - GIMMA ALL DAT

        • Sometimes I make weird combinations like ______ buuuut you can’t knock it till you try it!

        • I’ve also had ketchup…yes, ketchup. If you know me, you know I HATE condiments. HATE them. DISPISE them. Ryan sneaks them into is foods, like his sauces, when he cooks and I eat them. Surprisingly, I end up liking it too. Like I said, “out of sight, out of mind”

      • Learning to Compromise

        • This diet/lifestyle asks you to compromise and find balance with those who are part of your life.

        • Ryan and I, omg….we would fight all the time about food. There would even be some almost breaking points where we would both consider ending things because of the different lives we were starting to live. But I think after a few years of adjusting, we’re getting there and we’re finding balance when it comes to food.

        • I’ve learned to just pick at my foods. I’m starting to be very big on, “beggars can’t be choosers.” Plus, I see it as a way to show people you don’t have to miss out on everything when it comes to events with food. You can always pick things out. Yes, it’s contaminated. Buuuut it’s a step forward, it makes life easier on everyone and it’s almost like an introductory step for those who are interested in the lifestyle.

      These are some of the things I learned so far. Still an ongoing process to becoming 100% vegan and living a life that coincides with my ethics and beliefs, but HEY - at least I’m taking steps towards my goal. We all make mistakes and we just need to learn from them. We all learn and adapt at different rates. As much as I’d love to be one of those overnight vegans, that’s not me. I’m still selfish and I’m not ashamed to admit it, but at least I know that and I’m not afraid to admit my flaws. Being able to point out my flaws and embrace them is what will help me to grow from them as I pursue and carry on through my journey.

      Now with year 3 of this journey I want to set more measureable goals. I want to be able track when and if I consume anything animal based and if I do I need to keep it within an 80/20 ratio. For a whole year I will live and consume an 80% plantbased/vegan diet and lifestyle. The other 20% allows me grace. That way, when the next year comes around I can reduce that ratio as the years come until I am 100% vegan mind body and soul J.

      I feel like this make sense to do because the first year was all about learning and seeing how long I could last. I found that I was able to last a year and a half(1.5). The second year (more like 6 months) was more of allowing myself grace to explore this new lifestyle and see if this was really something I wanted, which in fact is something I want to stick. The third year and years after that are going to be my process of working towards living this lifestyle sustainably, comfortable, happy and fulfilled!

      I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring. I’m excited for another year of learning about myself and my body.“beggars can’t be choosers.” Plus, I see it as a way to show people you don’t have to miss out on everything when it comes to events with food. You can always pick things out. Yes, it’s contaminated. Buuuut it’s a step forward, it makes life easier on everyone and it’s almost like an introductory step for those who are interested in the lifestyle.

These are some of the things I learned so far. Still an ongoing process to becoming 100% vegan and living a life that coincides with my ethics and beliefs, but HEY - at least I’m taking steps towards my goal. We all make mistakes and we just need to learn from them. We all learn and adapt at different rates. As much as I’d love to be one of those overnight vegans, that’s not me. I’m still selfish and I’m not ashamed to admit it, but at least I know that and I’m not afraid to admit my flaws. Being able to point out my flaws and embrace them is what will help me to grow from them as I pursue and carry on through my journey.

Now with year 3 of this journey I want to set more measureable goals. I want to be able track when and if I consume anything animal based and if I do I need to keep it within an 80/20 ratio. For a whole year I will live and consume an 80% plantbased/vegan diet and lifestyle. The other 20% allows me grace. That way, when the next year comes around I can reduce that ratio as the years come until I am 100% vegan mind body and soul J.

I feel like this make sense to do because the first year was all about learning and seeing how long I could last. I found that I was able to last a year and a half(1.5). The second year (more like 6 months) was more of allowing myself grace to explore this new lifestyle and see if this was really something I wanted, which in fact is something I want to stick. The third year and years after that are going to be my process of working towards living this lifestyle sustainably, comfortable, happy and fulfilled!

I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring. I’m excited for another year of learning about myself and my body.

T H A N K Y O U
Thanks so much for watching and I hope you enjoyed. Leave any future video or recipe ideas you would like to see in the comments below!

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