US Excited to meet other Vegans!

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Hello everyone! My name is Jessica and I live in Phoenix, AZ with my amazing husband and 3 beautiful dogs. 😍 I joined the forum to gain knowledge from others and gain a better understanding of the Vegan lifestyle along the health-related aspects. I have followed a strict keto diet for the past year and lost about 15 pounds. However, I am a runner and after being on keto for that length of time, I still feel like I had less energy than before and I felt like I would eat too much protein due to convenience if I wasn't constantly tracking macros. I was vegetarian for two years about 10 years ago, but I wanted to make a change to completely plant-based excluding dairy etc. and become strictly vegan going forward. I became concerned about the harmful health effects of eating meat and animal products and prefer to follow what my body tells me I should have. I feel amazing since becoming vegan and am so thankful for the all of the Vegan options in restaurants and grocery stores. I am excited to meet some new people and to also hear about your experiences!
 

Ahimsa

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Hello everyone! My name is Jessica and I live in Phoenix, AZ with my amazing husband and 3 beautiful dogs. 😍 I joined the forum to gain knowledge from others and gain a better understanding of the Vegan lifestyle along the health-related aspects. I have followed a strict keto diet for the past year and lost about 15 pounds. However, I am a runner and after being on keto for that length of time, I still feel like I had less energy than before and I felt like I would eat too much protein due to convenience if I wasn't constantly tracking macros. I was vegetarian for two years about 10 years ago, but I wanted to make a change to completely plant-based excluding dairy etc. and become strictly vegan going forward. I became concerned about the harmful health effects of eating meat and animal products and prefer to follow what my body tells me I should have. I feel amazing since becoming vegan and am so thankful for the all of the Vegan options in restaurants and grocery stores. I am excited to meet some new people and to also hear about your experiences!
Hello, I've been an ethical vegan for around 30 years. My reluctance to participate in cruelty having always far outweighed my dietary concerns. However, from what I have learned in more recent years about the dangers of eating meat and dairy would have turned me to a plant based diet without doubt, especially if I lived in the US, as animal products there are far more dangerous than those in the EU. One particular consideration when consuming meat and dairy as a regular part of our diet is that we do not always know if we have something wrong with us, something we are making worse with high fat/cholesterol rich foods. I'm talking mainly about genetically inherited heart disease and cancer, both of which we can have an inherited propensity for, no matter what we eat. In my case, I discovered last year that I needed open heart surgery despite being very fit all my life and having very little in the way of symptoms and no obvious risk indicators, like being overweight or having smoked. In fact, it was only a matter of months from the onset of angina like symptoms to my operation and the only thing that accounted for the heart disease was a history of it on my mother's side of the family. So, in a nutshell, we not only have to consider what to eat to keep us healthy, but also what we have to eat to slow down and prevent the exacerbation of what may be inherited health problems. In the words of my doctor, if I hadn't been a vegan for most of my life I would, in all probability, be dead by now!
 
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Hello, I've been an ethical vegan for around 30 years. My reluctance to participate in cruelty having always far outweighed my dietary concerns. However, from what I have learned in more recent years about the dangers of eating meat and dairy would have turned me to a plant based diet without doubt, especially if I lived in the US, as animal products there are far more dangerous than those in the EU. One particular consideration when consuming meat and dairy as a regular part of our diet is that we do not always know if we have something wrong with us, something we are making worse with high fat/cholesterol rich foods. I'm talking mainly about genetically inherited heart disease and cancer, both of which we can have an inherited propensity for, no matter what we eat. In my case, I discovered last year that I needed open heart surgery despite being very fit all my life and having very little in the way of symptoms and no obvious risk indicators, like being overweight or having smoked. In fact, it was only a matter of months from the onset of angina like symptoms to my operation and the only thing that accounted for the heart disease was a history of it on my mother's side of the family. So, in a nutshell, we not only have to consider what to eat to keep us healthy, but also what we have to eat to slow down and prevent the exacerbation of what may be inherited health problems. In the words of my doctor, if I hadn't been a vegan for most of my life I would, in all probability, be dead by now!
Hi Ahimsa,

Thank you for sharing your story and your motivations for maintaining a vegan lifestyle. I completely understand where you are coming from and agree that the lack of standards for animal processing, care, etc. are substandard in the US and I am happy to do my part by not contributing to those government-driven industries anymore. That is unfortunate you had to have open-heart surgery, but it sounds like it could have been much worse! I think it is important that we try to control the one part of our life that significantly affects our health being our diet to help limit the potential issues we are likely to encounter due to genetics. That is excellent you have been a vegan for most of your life and I wish I became one sooner, but better late than never! Was your family vegan or vegetarian when growing up or did you decide to become vegan on your own?
 

Ahimsa

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Thanks for replying J. My parents weren't vegan or veggie, such lifestyles/diets were rarely heard of in those days. I became a vegetarian in my teens as I couldn't bear the thought of participating in the suffering if animals. Strangely, I didn't make the same connection with dairy products until many years later (must have liked cheese and ice cream too much! Lol). I did, however, make the full connection when I went to study philosophy, although I'm sure that more intelligent people can get to be vegans without going to such lengths, lol. Anyway, if there's no history of serious illnesses in your family you've nothing to worry about, but if you have, then forewarned is forearmed as they say. 🤔
 
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Thanks for replying J. My parents weren't vegan or veggie, such lifestyles/diets were rarely heard of in those days. I became a vegetarian in my teens as I couldn't bear the thought of participating in the suffering if animals. Strangely, I didn't make the same connection with dairy products until many years later (must have liked cheese and ice cream too much! Lol). I did, however, make the full connection when I went to study philosophy, although I'm sure that more intelligent people can get to be vegans without going to such lengths, lol. Anyway, if there's no history of serious illnesses in your family you've nothing to worry about, but if you have, then forewarned is forearmed as they say. 🤔
That is interesting and I like hearing others' reasoning for why and when they chose to become vegan. Most of my family and friends just simply eat the same as the way they grew up (lots of meat, heavily processed foods, fast food, minimal veggies). I have always been a strong believer in questioning things and not accepting something just because everyone does it! :rolleyes: I agree that does go along with education and the more we are exposed to new ideas and that allows us to make better decisions. I try to share my expanding nutritional knowledge with my family without being pushy and they can decide for themselves if they want to make a change. :)
 

Ahimsa

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That is interesting and I like hearing others' reasoning for why and when they chose to become vegan. Most of my family and friends just simply eat the same as the way they grew up (lots of meat, heavily processed foods, fast food, minimal veggies). I have always been a strong believer in questioning things and not accepting something just because everyone does it! :rolleyes: I agree that does go along with education and the more we are exposed to new ideas and that allows us to make better decisions. I try to share my expanding nutritional knowledge with my family without being pushy and they can decide for themselves if they want to make a change. :)
I'm fortunate in that my wife and daughter are vegan, and I have no other family. Living with non-vegans can be difficult but change doesn't come to everyone at once, if it comes at all. Anyway, I have accumulated a lot of relevant information over the years so if you ever need any advice please feel free to ask, I may even be able to provide it! Lol. 🤔
 
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The dead Man

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Pleased to meet you Jessica. I have wanted to be vegan since I was a teenager back in the eighties, mainly for the animals but also the environment. I spent most of my life struggling and failing just to be ovo-vegetarian. Once I understood that my problem was the labels vegan, vegetarian and omnivore were restricting me, I set out to explore the world of plant foods without "Thou shalt nots" making things difficult. In other words, I didn't try to be vegan - I just chose to enjoy plant foods as much as possible. After nearly a month, I looked back at my diet and realized that apart from one omelette and a couple of portions of yoghurt, I had been vegan without even trying. That's when I made the decision to go the whole way. It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been worth it and it gets easier the longer you keep to it.
 
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Pleased to meet you Jessica. I have wanted to be vegan since I was a teenager back in the eighties, mainly for the animals but also the environment. I spent most of my life struggling and failing just to be ovo-vegetarian. Once I understood that my problem was the labels vegan, vegetarian and omnivore were restricting me, I set out to explore the world of plant foods without "Thou shalt nots" making things difficult. In other words, I didn't try to be vegan - I just chose to enjoy plant foods as much as possible. After nearly a month, I looked back at my diet and realized that apart from one omelette and a couple of portions of yoghurt, I had been vegan without even trying. That's when I made the decision to go the whole way. It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been worth it and it gets easier the longer you keep to it.
Nice to meet you as well! That completely makes sense and is a smart way to approach it. By not restricting yourself, you don't feel like you are missing out while still trying to adhere to a plant-based diet as much as possible. Only to find out you were pretty eating vegan most of the time! I have also been trying to focus on the things that I am actually able to have as opposed to the things I cannot, glass half full approach I guess! :grinning: I love dining out on occasion and have been checking out menus before I go and we are fortunate to have several vegan options and restaurants in Phoenix so it makes it easier. I am always able to find options even when traveling and go straight to the grocery store when I go out of town to get some easy snacks. I can see how the longer I'm vegan, the easier it will be and I won't even have to think about it. :)
 

The dead Man

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I love dining out on occasion and have been checking out menus before I go and we are fortunate to have several vegan options and restaurants in Phoenix so it makes it easier.
I'm lucky to be living in Sweden where 10% of the population are vegan or vegetarian. It's really easy to find vegan options when eating out as the vast majority of restaurants cater for vegans and there are quite a few totally vegetarian or vegan places. If I have more money next year, I intend to go out to eat more often. :)
 
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