Well, this is my first blog post that I’ve made publicly about becoming a vegan. I can honestly say I never expected to be at this point in my life. And I’m glad I’m here.
So, how did I get here?
First off, a bit about me and my husband. If you read the About Me page you’ll see that I am married to a great guy named Levi. Levi is outgoing and happy and the life of every party. He also has Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Both of these conditions are caused by his highly sensitive intolerance to gluten.
Levi was diagnosed early in adulthood, at 19, but has only recognized the importance and need of a gluten-free diet in recent years. Our household became a strictly gluten-free household in 2007. That’s not to say that either of us has not had gluten since then. There are occasions of cross-contamination, and mistaken label-reading, and so on. For the most part, we are strict.
I say ‘we’ because I follow Levi’s gluten-free diet almost 100%. I do this because I want to support him. I do this also because I don’t want to cook two different meals. And I do this because it’s easier than worrying about cross-contamination when I slice gluten-free bread on a cutting board that had gluten on it.
So, that’s the gluten-free part of this blog. What about the vegan part?
Well, that’s a bit more recent. A lot more recent actually. We began to suspect that Levi was allergic to dairy after he was still experiencing allergic reactions when on a completely gluten-free diet. We could not identify any sources of cross-contamination and it led us to believe, as I have for some time now, that he was allergic to something else. One of Levi’s older brothers was diagnosed with an allergy to dairy products. That was my first thought.
In researching dairy-free, gluten-free diets, I realized that maybe a completely vegan diet wasn’t such a bad idea. Initially, I felt that if it was going to help us health-wise then that would be the only motivating factor for sticking to a diet that I felt was probably going to be strict and restrictive. I was wrong.
A good friend of mine lent me a book. She didn’t say much other than that it changed her life. The book? Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. My friend is vegan and when I mentioned to her my reasoning on trying a vegan diet, she wanted to show me even more compelling reasons why I should and why I could stick to it forever.
Read this book if you haven’t already. It is written with swear words and slang, so I hope you aren’t offended that I recommend it. But it is the most researched book regarding a special diet that I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a ton of books, believe me! I laughed, I cried, and I literally almost hurled when I read through the book. The writing style is quick-witted, the stories and experiences heart-wrenching, and the corruption and greed of humanity is sickening and horrifying.
I finished reading the book and echoed my friends words that it had literally changed my life overnight. It took me 3 hours to read it, cover to cover, and the moment I set it down I could not ever consider putting any animal product into my body ever again. The value I place on the lives and quality of life for animals is just too high to ever consider it.
The health reasons, the moral reasons, the humane reasons. There are so many and I encourage anyone who is unsure, skeptical, or just plain a doubter, to do your research, and learn for yourself what you are putting into your body, and what it took for it to get to your plate before you open your mouth and put it in.
So, here I am. I am a new vegan. My priorities for a gluten-free household haven’t changed. So I started this blog, because that’s just what I do. I am a writer and I need to write about this and I need to share this with people.
I plan on posting recipes I find, recipes I experiment with, and my own bits of thought and feeling.
P.S. On a side note, we haven’t yet learned if Levi is allergic to dairy as well. He will be visiting a naturopath in the very near future to undergo more allergy testing for a conclusive result.