August 19, 2011. It is a date that will now forever be in my mind. It was the day that I (sort of accidentally) became a vegetarian. I started with an experiment on making a full vegan meal, and a plan to a journey to make more vegan foods/meals. That meal turned into a full vegetarian day/week/month. Less than 2 months later a You Tube video by Gary Yourofsky changed my path into seeing how far into veganism I could go. I NEVER thought a year later I would have fully given up all meat, dairy, and eggs. It never even crossed my mind that I would at one point get so frustrated I almost threw in the towel and never spoke to another vegan again, only to find in the midst of the chaos the most supportive blog/person/group that would push me to go further than I ever would imagine. I never knew that being able to speak to this vegan cookbook author/blogger would inspire me so much that I would become giddy when we started emailing each other one on one and she asked me to moderate one of her new Facebook groups. Feeling not only so physically healthy from adopting this new diet but emotionally and spiritually healthy...no, ecstatic...on a daily basis was beyond my realm of thought. Then, when people started reaching out to ME and telling me that I inspired them to start eating healthier, that I made it look delicious and actually POSSIBLE to them, it was beyond my wildest dreams. My decade long dream to make a difference in the health of people started becoming a reality, one Facebook friend at a time.
One year later, I look back and can't believe how far I've come. My diet is not the only big change that has happened in my life in the last year by a long shot. But this change has helped to keep me grounded during all the chaos in my life in the last year. From my mom being diagnosed with multiple eventually life ending illnesses, the struggle to move her here from 2 1/2 hours away into a permanent nursing home, from major changes in my job and (very hopefully) my career path, moving and combining 2 households and 3 senior alpha cats and thinking I was going to lose the oldest on multiple occasions and the struggles to keep her alive and healthy...and that's just the tip of the iceberg! The one positive thing has been this diet change and the new found health and vitality I have found with it. I want everyone to feel this good physically and spiritually, because you don't realize how amazing it is until you get to this point!
So I want to thank everyone out there who has supported me and cheered me on throughout this journey, who didn't pass judgement but asked questions and inquired about it. Even the ones who made no changes in their life but just wanted to learn more out of curiosity. You kept me inspired and going when others who passed judgement and pointed fingers, even unprovoked, tried to push me down. And for those who have said they were inspired by my journey and have made healthier choices themselves because of me, you have given me more inspiration and joy than you will ever know! One year down, many decades to go. :-)