About Me

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Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
I have been an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for a few years and am considering making the switch to a full Vegan diet. I decided to become a vegetarian because I could no longer disassociate the meat on my plate from the loving, kind and peaceful animal it had once been. I have always been an animal lover, so I guess this was a natural progression. I am not a diet or nutrition expert by any means, I am just a woman on a mission to eat better, feel better and live better.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Decision

I made the decision 18 months ago to become an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian.  The main reason I came to this decision was because I am an animal lover, and I could no longer separate the protein on my plate from the lovely living creature it had been.  I am also very disheartened by the treatment of the animals produced for food in this country, not to mention all the steroids and antibiotics given to these animals so the "farmers" can reap the greatest reward.  All life should be cherished and respected, and that is no longer happening in the food industry.   

I also made the decision based on health concerns.  I watch the news everyday and see too many stories about the overall increase of health issues facing our nation, from an increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism to the increasing number of both children and adults being diagnosed with diabetes.  I personally believe there has to be some correlation between these issues and the foods, beverages, supplements and medications we consume.  

So why did I continue to eat eggs and dairy, you may ask, when I am aware of how factory farm animals are treated?  I did so because I felt too overwhelmed making the switch to Vegan right away.  I wanted to ease my way into it.  And let's be honest,  while there are many delicious Vegan substitutions you can use for the taste and/or texture of meat protein, the options for dairy substitutions left a lot to be desired.  At least they did when I had tried them years ago.  But this has apparently changed, and they really are quite good.  Although, I still tell people who are considering switching to a Vegetarian diet not to try the meat substitutions until after they have had no meat for a while, so they're not doing a side-by-side comparison.  I believe you will be more successful that  way.  It is a difficult change to make going from eating meats, cheese, eggs, and drinking milk to going without, and finding substitutions to supply the same nutritional values, but it can be done.  

I try to stick to a "whole foods" diet as much as possible, meaning little to no processed foods, but this can be very difficult.  Especially when I am the only one in the household who follows such diet restrictions.  So, when I do eat prepared foods, I try to find the healthiest versions possible.  One brand I love for prepared meals is Amy's Kitchen.  They make some of the best frozen foods, soups and sauces I've ever had, and they do so in a healthy way, with as many fresh, unprocessed ingredients as possible, and they cater to the vegetarian/vegan diet.  

So, I have finally made the decision to try the fully Vegan diet.  I am still a bit intimidated, but not nearly as much as I was a year and a half ago.  I decided it might be easier if I wasn't doing it alone, so I created the Vegan Challenge event on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/237554403026181/) and invited several of my friends. As of today, there are 12 people joining me in following a Vegan diet for one week, June 3 - June 9.  I believe it will be easier if I have a support system in place for when I am having a difficult time following the diet restrictions.  It will also be a great way to share our stories of what we tried that was successful, and what were total failures. 

I welcome you in joining me for the Vegan Challenge, and thank you for supporting me through my transition.  I remain hopeful and positive that I have the strength and willpower to do this, and I remain......the Wishful Vegan.


  1. Hi Cari! I typed a comment and think I lost it... If I'm repeating myself, that's why... Lol! First let me say I love what u have written and totally support you in your efforts to go vegan! I started researching food sources and benefits of a vegan diet a little over a year ago when someone extremely close to me was diagnosed with cancer. 'Treatment' was started using conventional medicine, but we found that these methods were only focused on treating symptoms & not curing underlying health issues of deficiency & toxicity which in my opinion seems to be the case with much conventional medicine... Just my opinion though. My fiancé started doing some research not only to help my family member but also for our own health & the health of our loved ones. We discovered 'The Gerson Therapy' , a lifestyle & nutrition based therapy that literally heals your body from the inside out. Check out the Gerson Institute's website for educational information, books, dvd's, vegan recipes etc. it's awesome! If you haven't already seen the movie, 'The Beautiful Truth' you should check it out. It basically talks about the Gerson Therapy from the viewpoint of a 15 year old home schooled student from Alaska & it's awesome! You can find it on YouTube or Netflix... Highly recommend it! Also, I was turned on to a blog called 'The Wellness Warrior' last fall. Her name is Jess. She's a gorgeous, young lady from Australia, who is healing her body using the Gerson Therapy. Her site has tons of delicious vegan recipes, inspirational material, health care, organic gardening, skin care, ideas on meditation, spirituality, overall health & well being. In case you couldn't tell, I LOVE her site... I hope you will too! I started changing my diet gradually over a year ago... Started making over my pantry & fridge... I even drive 3 hours each way from Roswell to Albuquerque to buy my organics each week! I have adapted a diet much more whole foods & vegetarian based, but haven't been disciplined enough to go totally vegan... Not sure if I ever will, but I know the health & well being benefits are significant so I really am ready to give it a shot! Thanks for inviting me to be a part of your vegan challenge. I'm stoked!! ;) Dawn

    1. Thanks, Dawn! I will definitely look into your suggestions. I have heard of the Gerson Therapy before, but have never looked into it. I still consider myself a "newbie" at being vegetarian as I am still trying new things and finding new products, but I am definitely interested in the Vegan diet. I'm glad you're going to help me do this for a week! I wanted to give it a try, but I didn't want to do it alone because I was pretty sure that would make it far too easy to fail. If I can make it through this week fairly easily, I will continue for as long as I can stand it. Hopefully that will be a long, long time.

  2. Hi Cari! I was on the Wellness Warrior site yesterday & looked at savory recipes & there was one for the raw brownie, yum! And one for raw taco fiesta... Looks delish! Can't wait to try it... Check it out! It's fun looking for new recipes to try out. I've found you can google something like vegan curry recipes & several sites will pop up... So much available out there... Awesome time to be doing this challenge with so much readily available! Have a great day!! :)