Welcome back for Part 2 of my Plant-based Family Interview Series! We had the pleasure of chatting with my mom last week, & this week we are hangin' out with my sister Sara for her 2nd feature on Be Well With Steph & to celebrate my amazing sister's birthday WEEK :)
If you listened last week you know that we're hitting 5 YEARS, this month, of being a plant-based, vegan family! So, my hope is that you enjoy getting some different perspectives on plant-based lifestyles aside from my own.
This is Part 2, Episode 54 of Be Well With Steph the Podcast, featuring birthday-girl Sara!
You met my mom, now time to hear from my sis!
Plant-Based Family Interviews, #2 - Sara!
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?
Sara: It didn't seem too crazy to me because as you said in the last episode Mom had been a vegetarian for 20 years already & I actually had a few times in my life already where I was completely dairy-free. So when you said you saw the documentary the first thing was: there are some things you can't un-see. The other thing for me was having health issues like digestion & neck/shoulder pain (that was so bad I had almost given up playing music), so I thought, you know what, I'll try it!
There was no part of me that thought it would stick, but I also didn't think it was going to be hard.
Giving up music because of the pain I was having seemed like a lot harder of a choice to make than giving up eating meat.
Steph: If you had to give the way you eat a label or description, what would it be?
Sara: My intention is "whole-foods & plant-based", which I think at least 50%-75% of the time I do a good job of that. 99% of the time I would say "vegan" except for honey, which I do eat. But, my intention is to eat as much whole-foods & plant-based as I can, but I have an odd schedule & appetite "things", & I just do the best I can!
Steph: At the beginning of adopting a plant-based diet, did anything feel hard?
Sara: It was an adjustment, really only due to having to read labels more carefully, & having to ask people what was in their food..... which was really a 2-second inconvenience so no, it really wasn't that hard.
And to me, committing to being fully plant-based (and I'm always running around & terrible at planning ahead), is sometimes more challenging - just because of who I am that makes it hard to fully commit to that. But being vegan? That part is not hard.
Steph: Were there any surprising benefits from eating a plant-based diet?
Sara: My digestion is forever changed. I have chronic digestion issues that are never going to completely go away. But just from paying attention to what I'm eating & of course removing animal products from my diet has totally changed my digestion.
I mentioned I was having trouble with my neck & shoulder pain; I had been to 13 physical therapy appointments & tried an array of medications - anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, etc.. and none of it worked. I could not use my left hand at all, I couldn't move my left arm above my head, it was serious.
It took literally 2 weeks. I woke up 2 weeks later after going "cold-turkey" off animal products and I was able to lift my hand above my head. And it's been fine ever since.
So, when I started the transition going to plant-based eating I really didn't think it would last very long. Because I thought, "who can go that long without eating pulled pork?"
But, then I didn't really miss pulled pork, because there's pulled jackfruit... and... I could raise my arm above my head. So.. I'll never go back.
Steph: What tips or advice could you offer people who are interested in being vegan/plant-based?
Sara: First would be: tofu is your best friend. Buy a tofu press & learn 6 different ways to season tofu. Keep snacks in your car. Don't worry about being perfect: commit to it, yes, sure, but if you're literally starving & all you have is your friend's pizza, just pull the cheese off & eat it. Don't let yourself be hungry or deprive yourself.
Steph: Is there anything else you've learned in the past 5 years that you'd like to share?
Sara: People can be really mean about you being vegan. And that's a THEM-problem. I know people who've been vegan or vegetarian that went back because of the comments people were making, or people not being accommodating.
Also, mind your own business & don't be the kind of vegan that's trying to change the way everyone else is eating. Lead by example & don't shove it in people's faces.
Steph: Do you think you'll ever go back to eating meat again?
Sara: No. Why would I?
Steph: What are 3 of your current favorite foods?
Sara: Can tofu be all 3 of them? But seriously, tofu, pasta, and pretty much tofu & pasta. For the record, I do eat fruits & vegetables. I'm known for loading up my pasta with tons of vegetables and GARLIC!
Thanks for celebrating Sara's birthday week by listening to this episode on her journey to plant-based eating. I hope this inspired you and made you feel safe to step outside your comfort zone & try something new.
Sara isn't just a hilarious vegan but also an amazing singer/songwriter & our podcast editor. Give her the best birthday gift ever, and follow her on social!
Check out her website, with her latest album "100"
Follow her on Facebook!
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Listen more on Spotify
And, as always don't forget her audio editing skills on
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(I elaborate a lot more on some of these important, ideas, too.)
I hope you learned something new today, or found something to take with you. Let me know in the comments! Or, if there's something more you want to hear, LMK that too ♡
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