Welcome to Livin’ on the Veg! My name is Olivia. I believe that when we make consumer choices that take into account the health of our bodies and the well-being of animals and the planet, then we are acting in a way that is truly in alignment with our values. In my experience, not only is a vegan and green lifestyle the most ethical choice, but it’s more interesting, satisfying, and fun!
My vegan journey
8 years ago, I decided to become vegan in order to stop being complicit in the abuse and exploitation of factory farm animals, even though I had no one in my social network who was vegan and I knew little about the vegan lifestyle.
At the time I had been struggling with my weight, in addition to having serious bouts of anxiety and depression. After a week of being vegan, my mood dramatically lifted and I felt euphoric for no apparent reason. Without any effort, I quickly lost several pounds and was down to my ideal weight in a matter of weeks.
The biggest surprise, however, was discovering that I enjoyed vegan food so much more than foods containing meat and dairy. As someone with a limited experience of vegan food, I had braced myself for the likelihood vegan food would be too boring and bland. It turned out that on a vegan diet I was able to appreciate food in a way I never had before. A whole new world of delicious and healthy food opened up to me, as I started embracing vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Though I had never cooked prior to becoming vegan, I soon found myself cooking up a storm and making delicious meals that my meat-eating friends and family enjoyed. And because I was fortunate enough to live in New York City, I was able to discover many of the amazing vegan restaurants the city has to offer.
There were some challenges to being vegan initially – namely that I was a young professional with limited time and money. A lot of the vegan recipes I came across had long lists of ingredients, required various kinds of appliances and utensils I didn’t have, and left the kitchen a complete mess. Back then, I also knew little about nutrition, so in the beginning I ate a fair amount of processed, not necessarily healthy food, such as soy crisps and vegan ice cream. Gradually, I learned more about nutrition. I experimented with both macrobiotic and raw diets, eventually settling on a diet that incorporates both raw and cooked whole foods. In my free time, I also developed a repertoire of healthy and easy vegan dishes which I’ll be sharing here.
Veganism and the environment
Growing up in New York City, I always felt like something was missing and noticed that I was much happier when I was in nature. These days, I try to balance city living with making an effort to get outdoors during my free time. After becoming vegan, I learned about how factory farming catastrophically impacts the environment, and that by being vegan I was taking the biggest step I could to minimize my ecological footprint.
However, being vegan isn’t enough. Collectively, our society needs to be mindful of how we use up natural resources, and how our consumerist mindset effects the environment, wildlife, and future generations. While I’m far from perfect, I continually try to think about ways I can lessen my impact on the environment and to hold myself accountable for my choices.
Recommended posts for getting started
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Please be advised that I generally prefer to find health and nutrition-related articles to link to on my own.