Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Happy June everyone! I hope you all are having a great time as we kick off summer, and I have something really really exciting for you this month..
As you know, June is National Fruit & Veggie Month, and how perfect is it that June also happens to be the month that my family celebrates our 5 year anniversary of being a plant-based, vegan family?! We think that's pretty cool, so we decided to bring you a series of interviews from each of my family members, exploring each person's journey to becoming a plant-based eater.
You guys get to hear my perspective all the time, and while of course I think it's great that you are here, listening, and engaging with me, I also think it's really important to hear this perspective from other people, too.
Episode 53 is the first of the "Vegan Family Interviews" on Be Well With Steph, The Podcast, featuring My Mom! Let's go!
Plant-Based Family Interviews, #1 - My Mom!
Steph: When I first came to you (after accidentally watching "What the Health") and said, "So I watched this crazy documentary and I think I'm going to try to stop eating animal products", do you remember what you thought?
Mom: As we all know, you are always seeking new adventures, so I thought, okay, so this is the new thing that Stephanie is going to do. But, I loved it! I was totally in. Anything we can do to help each other be better, eat better, it was very exciting for me. I thought that it could benefit all of us in some way. I actually was reeling with how I could make it work for all of us. I already hadn't been eating meat for the last 20 years but it was such a huge leap for all of you.
Steph: You were a vegetarian for 20 years, what were you eating then?
Mom: I was eating what everyone else was eating, like the side dishes. But I also did eat a lot of eggs & cheese at the time. So that was the transition for me, eliminating those things from my diet. I thought that would be the hardest thing at the time, was giving up the eggs & dairy because I thought I needed that protein. But it didn't take me long to realize that I actually didn't at all.
Steph: If you had to give the way you eat a label or description, what would it be?
Mom: Well, that's easy: REAL FOOD. Plant-based, vegan, yes.. but real, whole food. Food that looks like food - not food that's out of a box. And also, I would say, anything goes. If it's healthy & it tastes good, it doesn't matter what time of day or what pairs with what, anything just goes.
Steph: In the beginning of adopting a plant-based diet, what felt hard?
Mom: I was worried, at the time, about feeding my family & making them feel satisfied. I was the main cook, and I was concerned especially about Dad who was a huge meat eater at the time. But, again, it didn't take very long to see that it wasn't actually that much of a challenge.
Steph: Have there been any surprising benefits from eating a plant-based diet?
Mom: Most definitely - and thinking about this almost brings tears to my eyes. I thought that I was going to struggle with my blood pressure for the rest of my life, I thought I just inherited it from my mother, and I was going to be on medication forever.
But today, after becoming much stricter with my diet, I am officially off blood pressure medication!
It's such a huge relief. It's been 3-5 months since I last had to take that medication. And, I also have more energy than I have had in a very very long time.
Steph: What tips of advice could you offer people who are interested in being vegan/plant-based?
Mom: Don't stress about it. In the big picture of life, with all that's going on in this world right now, this doesn't need to be one of those stressors. If it truly is a struggle for you, reach out to someone! There's so many people in this community that want to help you succeed in being healthy.
Secondly, pick out the whole foods that you like. Whether its rice, beans, potatoes, whatever. Just know what those are, and keep them around. Canned, fresh, whatever!
Steph: Is there anything else you've learned in the past 5 years that you'd like to share?
Mom: Time moves quickly. Anything can change on a dime. So, it doesn't have to be something that you've planned on, things change. And every day, is a precious gift. And there's always something we can do to better ourselves, to help others, and sometimes it starts with being healthy. I think my job, is to be as healthy as I can & to help my family be as healthy as they can so we can continue to be there for each other & for others.
Life. Is. Short. You don't want to wait. You just want to do it. You want to do it now. NOW is the time to be healthy. Because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.
When we feel better, we can do the things that we want to do so much better. When you wake up in the morning and you feel like crap, you're not going to want to do the things or take care of your family.
Steph: Do you think you'll ever change the way you eat again?
Mom: I'm always looking to change, and always looking to see what I can do to be better, but I will never go backward. I'm always looking toward being cleaner & healthier.
Steph: What are 3 of your current favorite foods?
Mom: I love potatoes, I am a human so every once in a while in the form of chips... but my 3 daily staples would be potatoes, tofu, and avocado. Any of those, in any form, any combination, with any food.
I will just end with saying I cannot even believe that we made it this far! We did it as a family, and that is such a blessing, and a joy, and I'm so looking forward to what else we have coming!
Thanks for joining my mom & I on this journey through her plant-based lifestyle.. Did you learn something new?! Have you been thinking about the transition to a plant-based lifestyle? Let me know what's holding you back so I can support you.
Find my mom, Sharon, on Instagram: @shouldabeenchef
Honorable Mention: Big Big Table, A community cafe in Buffalo, NY who's mission is "providing Buffalo and Western New York with accessible, affordable, nutritious and delicious lunch. With pay-as-you-can pricing and a significant volunteer component in day-to-day operations, everyone is given a chance to earn what they need by giving what they can."
You can donate right to Big Big Table & help them continue their mission.
Looking for a community to support you, share questions & ideas about plant-based living? Join my Facebook Group!
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Prefer to listen to this topic? You can, here!
(I elaborate a lot more on some of these important, ideas, too.)
I would really love to know what you thought about this episode.. What did you learn that surprised you, or what resonated with you the most? Are you looking forward to the next one? Let me know in the comments! ♡
You are worthy of living and capable of creating a healthy lifestyle you love. 🤍