I seriously couldn't imagine where I would be if I weren't eating a plant-based diet. Even after 4 years, I don't miss any of the foods I used to eat. We are so fortunate to be living in a wonderful time, where vegan options are becoming more and more bountiful. And eating vegan is becoming more "normal".
It seems like a lot of plant-based eaters I talk to have stories about turning around a health issue, and I guess I'm no different. My vegan journey all began with an overwhelming convergence of things happening in my life - a herniated disc in my lower back that left my left leg partially numb, and then a terrifying diagnosis of Melanoma. All within one week. Fortunately, I had just seen the documentary Forks Over Knives, and had started to navigate the world of vegan eating myself. It really hit home how much impact nutrition plays in our lives. Did you know that people eating a plant-based diet are 40% less likely to get certain cancers, like breast and skin cancers? Those are the odds I want on my side. Starting to eat clean vegan meals also gave me a feeling of having some control in an otherwise chaotic time for me. The better my nutrition, the more my health improved, and after changing what I eat, and how, I am now cancer free, and excited to share my plant-based journey and all the recipes and helpful tips I've learned along the way. My hope is that it just might change someone else's life too — maybe even yours!
I have lived in Laguna Beach most of my life. I grew up in Massachusetts, and Western New York, but I always felt drawn to the west, and landed in Southern California 35 years ago. It wasn't until I found Laguna that I felt truly at home. I have been married to my husband Dion for 27 years and we have two grown sons who are off chasing their dreams too. And now that they have left the nest, I have more time to dive into my own plant-based passions — behind the camera, in the garden, at the stove, and at the computer. Wherever this vegan lifestyle takes me, I hope you'll join me. Life is always better with friends!
It's not about being perfect. Even though I strive to be 100% plant-based, I know how hard it is to achieve that every second of every day. So just relax and enjoy the journey instead of worrying about perfection. In fact, my husband and I recently stayed with some of our dearest friends who knew I didn't eat meat . They went out of their way to make me feel welcome, by fixing a beautiful eggplant parmesan dish just for me. They didn't realize, however, exactly what vegan means, and that cheese is not a vegan option. So, instead of saying no, I just scraped off as much cheese as possible, and ate what I could, and raved about how delicious the dish was. After all, how can you not appreciate that kind of thoughtfulness? I know some in the vegan community might be offended by this. But I just couldn't hurt their feelings after all of that effort, just for me. Sometimes a little flexibility is needed, especially when it comes to friendships. There really is no "vegan police", we set our own goals and standards, and do the best we can in every given moment. Just find the greenest path that works best for you, and remember that we all travel down that path in our own way.