This week marks my two-year vegan anniversary – or veganversary! I don’t know the exact date I became vegan but I do know it was this week two years ago because I remember my husband and I had just come back from visiting my grandfather and his wife in Vermont. Our visit with my grandparents helped me realize that although I was vegetarian and thought I was eating healthy, I was still feeding my body food that it rejected, like dairy. My grandfather’s wife helped show me how eating whole foods that are unprocessed can have a positive impact on my health. At the time, I was drinking soft drinks with fake sugar, putting low-sugar creamer in my coffee, and eating dairy. She pointed out to me that I was putting food in my body that I had no idea what the ingredients were, let alone able to pronounce their names. I went home from that trip thinking more about the pills I was taking to help digest the dairy I was eating and decided it was time to make a big change so I could start feeling better. I came across an article about Scott Jurek, vegan ultrarunner, and I figured if this superstar athlete could be vegan, why couldn’t I?
When I was vegetarian I mainly cooked vegan at home because of my lactose intolerance, so when I went vegan I wasn’t too worried about what I’d eat under my own roof. I was more concerned about ordering when eating out or sharing a meal at friends’ houses. In the beginning I had some bumps along the way, not realizing that some things had dairy in it, but for the most part I was getting the hang of it. And I felt better than ever. No more laying on the couch in agonizing pain because of my lactose intolerance.
To help the process of following a vegan diet, I started reading tons of books and watching documentaries on Netflix. That’s when I realized there is so much more to veganism than the diet. I became involved very quickly in multiple animal rights organizations and the rest is pretty much history.
Over the same holiday weekend where we came home vegan two years ago, my husband and I found ourselves visiting New York this year. We were there to spend time with my grandmother who had just lost her husband, who I had known my whole life. Al was a wonderful person who helped shape me to be the person that I am today – among many things, he inspired me to travel, encouraged me with my fundraising efforts for various nonprofits, and fully supported my animal rights activism. Al will be missed dearly. Despite the circumstances of the visit, we had a really great time with my grandmother.
During the time spent in New York, we had the opportunity to finally meet Jasmin and Mariann from Our Hen House, in addition to one of the other board members and an advisory board member of OHH! I have been working with Our Hen House for almost two years now, yet have never met them face-to face. We ate at Blossom and had an amazing time! I’m so lucky to have them in my life – they have helped me along my vegan journey more than they’ll ever know.
This blog has served as an outlet for me to share my experiences and connect with so many people – it’s been quite the adventure! In the beginning of this blog, I mainly posted vegan recipes and any new findings I had as a vegan (cruelty-free make-up, compassionate clothing, etc.). Then the blog morphed into more about my activism in animal rights and the ways in which I was standing up for the voiceless. I also posted some about running, fitness, and health. Now, going into the third year of the blog, I haven’t been posting as frequently, but I hope that this year I can deliver a more robust platform that covers a wide variety of vegan topics. Whether you’ve been with me and this blog from the beginning or you’re just now hopping on the Running on Vegan train, I hope you continue to be a part of my journey.