Updated: Jun 29
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'