I’m a former meat and cheese lover that truly never thought I’d see the day that I cut mozzarella sticks out of my life. My goal with this blog is to help people transition to or maintain a vegan lifestyle, even when they never thought they could! I tell everyone that if I can do it, you can do it- and I truly mean that. I love creating recipes (especially coming up with new ways to veganize my once-favorite dishes), sharing my knowledge of skincare and beauty, and reassuring people that veganism isn’t a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. It’s 100% okay if your version looks different than someone else’s! The end-goal is the same, and I hope this blog helps you in your journey, even if it’s in the smallest of ways.
I’m 27 going on 80 and I grew up in Boise, ID as the middle child of two sisters. Yes, I’m the black sheep of the family *pause for surprised reaction*. I live with my amazing fiancé, Cody, and our two golden retrievers that I would quite literally die for. Their names are Poppy and Finley, and you can scroll to the bottom of this page for some grade-A cuteness of the two of them! I’ve been a licensed Aesthetician for 8+ years now but I stopped taking clients when I knew we would be moving around for Cody’s job. However, I still love trying new skincare/makeup and sharing that passion with people! (Luckily we live in a day and age where there are tons of vegan brands that make amazing products). When I’m not making Cody try whatever new recipe I’ve concocted for the week; I keep myself busy with crafting, watching true crime, doodling on my iPad, tending to my many plants, studying astrology, or playing Super Mario. A serial hobbyist, if you will. I’m also a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, which is a passion I followed after transitioning to veganism. I love learning about the ways food affects our bodies.
So- Idaho isn’t the first state you think of when you imagine a vegan utopia, right? You would be correct- because I was raised to love all of the foods that I don’t even think twice about today. I came home from school and guzzled a giant glass of milk every day, and for dinner my Mom would rotate between chicken, steak, or the dreaded pork chop. I thought nothing of this lifestyle, because not only did I assume my parents knew best- but it’s what we were taught our entire lives growing up. Milk = calcium = strong bones. Meat = protein = strong muscles. Fast forward to 15, and I made the audacious decision to be a vegetarian. This lasted for around 6 months, after being nagged every day from my family about when this “phase” was going to be over. Without the support of people around me, especially at a young age, it was nearly impossible to maintain. I went back to my old way of eating and thought about going veggie many times over the years, but with my love for pizza, burgers, and Costa Vida sweet pork, how could I ever make the change? I knew I loved animals and wanted to change- but I could never get past what I would have to give up.
For me, the “switch” was actually pretty quick and without much transition in-between as far as my way of eating went. That’s pretty on-point for my personality, I’m either balls to the walls or completely uninterested. Love that journey for me. I decided to *officially* change my lifestyle due in part to my job as an Aesthetician. What does being an Aesthetician have to do with being vegan? I know- weird connection. However, I was having an insane amount of clientele coming in and complaining of breakouts. We would address the outside (products, skin routine, keeping dirty objects away from their face, etc.), but the vast majority of the health of your skin comes from within. Most of these women had one major thing in common- consuming dairy products on a regular basis. Now, it doesn’t take a licensed Aesthetician or doctor to know that dairy products take a toll on our skin. Unfortunately, because of the way we produce our food in this day and age, cows are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. So my suggestion to my clients was to cut dairy out for 30 days and reassess afterwards. The overwhelming result? Clearer skin and less breakouts. After a while, I realized I couldn’t confidently recommend my clients cut dairy out of their diets when I was one of the worst offenders. I had to be practicing what I preached. Then I thought- why stop there? If I could cut out dairy, which was arguably (for me) the hardest part of being vegan, why couldn’t I just cut out meat too? It was literally like a lightbulb went on in my head. I finished what I had in my house, and the rest is history. I can confidently say it is the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.
While my switch to veganism came about in an odd way, my reasons for staying vegan are health, ethical, and eco-aligned.* I am one of the 1 in 10 women that suffer from PCOS, which takes a toll on your hormonal and metabolic systems. Eating a plant based diet has helped me control the side effects that come along with this illness, as well as other health issues. In addition to my health, I love animals, and I realized I couldn’t truly do right by them by contributing to an industry that was based on the exploitation of them. It’s also a well-known fact that one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by limiting or eliminating your consumption of animal byproducts, and I’m also incredibly passionate about environmentalism and I think we all need to do our part in respecting the earth.
Even if you’re not looking to make the switch to veganism just yet, and simply trying to make small changes along the way, I hope you’re able to find something that inspires you here. Follow me on Instagram and feel free to send me a DM if you ever need advice or a helping hand! I have total faith in you and your journey!
*There are many resources I urge you to seek out that will help you on your journey towards veganism as they have helped me on mine. For health and wellness, I recommend Forks Over Knives and The Game Changers, for ethical material, I recommend Earthlings and Dominion, and for eco-based documentaries, I recommend Food Inc. and Cowspiracy.