Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you become a vegan?
In what feels like another lifetime ago, I used to be a strictly meat-eater. I would go to BBQs at my friends’ houses and my plate would be filled with only meat, I ate a McDonalds sausage McMuffin every single morning before work and my favourite dessert was ice-cream.
One day, while I just finished my third year of university, I was working at a job to complete an internship as part of my degree. I was working a job that I was very unhappy at and realized when I finish school in a year this is what I have to look forward to. For. The. Rest. Of. My. Life. I felt uninspired; I didn’t know what I wanted to do when school was over and was having an existential crisis. Naturally my brain told me to slow down, and I made myself think about what makes me happy, truly happy in life, it could be anything. When I thought really hard about it I realized that animals make me happy. Once I established that while I was eating my McDonalds sausage McMuffin I threw it in the garbage, called myself a hypocrite and quit meat, dairy, eggs, and all animal products that day cold-turkey. I didn’t go vegetarian first, I didn’t slowly stop eating red meat, I went from carnivore to herbivore all in one day.
If I loved animals, and they were what make me happy in life, I knew I couldn’t eat them anymore. Having my personal values align with my actions brought me authenticity, which made me feel like this is the person I’m meant to be, this is who I am. My undergrad degree was in geographic analysis and as a geographer studying environmental sciences, being vegan also supported my beliefs of living sustainably and protecting the environment.
I won’t sugar coat how the transition was from eating primarily meat to vegan. This was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when vegan restaurants were unheard of and I had no idea how to cook. I remember being in a grocery store looking for something to munch on and I broke down crying right in the dairy aisle because I couldn’t eat anything I was used to eating. I felt very anti-social because I felt like I couldn’t go out with my friends or family for their birthday dinners because I wouldn’t be able to eat anything. So one day in my fourth year university (4 months after going vegan) I had a mental breakdown, which wasn’t completely out of the norm for me, but it was a bad one. I was stressed from exams, life; I was screaming, crying, punching the walls and fell to the ground. My mom and husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) picked me up and said enough is enough you need to eat something. So we all went to Swiss Chalet I got a quarter chicken dinner, ate it all and realized it didn’t make me feel any better. The chicken didn’t do anything for me and I didn’t miss eating meat at all. That was the last time I’ve ever eaten meat.
Since then I had to research all the vitamins, proteins etc. I need to thrive on a vegan diet, I went to see a naturopath doctor, I taught myself how to cook and I retaught myself how to live being vegan, whether it’s when I’m travelling or in social situations. I made new friends who share the same beliefs as myself and married the man of my dreams who is also a vegetarian.
The main reason I went vegan was for the animals, but after educating myself its also for the environment and my health too. Ps. In speaking about being authentic and true to yourself, my favourite dessert is still ice cream, except the ice cream I eat now is SO much better.
How long have you been a vegan for?
I have been a vegan since the summer of 2012.
What is your diet like?
Although I try to keep my diet as delicious as possible my body loves simplicity when it comes to food. I always start my weekday with a green smoothie for breakfast. The smoothies are banana/avocado based, have some kind of greens (kale or spinach), fruit, flaxseeds/flaxseed oil, and chia seeds. By mid-morning I have a tea, usually green tea or jasmine. My favourite thing to make for lunch is a salad of some sort filled with greens, quinoa, raw/cooked veggies and sometimes fruit (I also always make my own dressings because even the ‘healthy’ and ‘organic’ salad dressings have a lot of oil in them). Then for dinner I usually have my go to meals like pasta, veggie burgers, stir-fry, soup, and I try to change up the flavours every week. For example, one week I’ll have pasta with tomato sauce and another week I’ll have pasta with pesto sauce. For dessert, I really love having a couple pieces of dark chocolate or a fruit salad with some chopped mint leaves. On weekends I live a different lifestyle so I have time to make and enjoy pancakes, French toast, or a smoothie bowl for breakfast. Then for lunch and dinner I eat at a restaurant or experiment making food in the kitchen. My main goal to my diet is to eat as little from pre-packaged food as possible and eat as much whole foods as possible.
Do you take any supplements?
I started taking supplements long before I went vegan because my mom is a health nut. Today, I have my own ‘medicine’ cabinet full of supplements that change daily depending on how I feel. I also go to a naturopath doctor who prescribes me certain supplements. The supplements I take most frequently are Iron, B12, omega-3, and Probiotics.