The beginning of my vegan journey

I have something very bold to announce (at least I think it’s bold!) I am going to start following a vegan diet.

The definition of vegan is eating only a plant-based diet. No foods or products that come from an animal. No eggs, cheese (that one will be hard), meat, fish or dairy. You may be wondering why I have made this decision since I have never been a vegetarian or anything so extreme. Here is my thought process.

It all started about 3 weeks ago, when my 48-year-old niece Jennifer came over for a family barbecue. She looked fantastic. I mean – she always looks beautiful, but she looked different. She was calmer and thinner and her skin and hair looked healthier. I asked her what was going on? She told me that she and her husband Rollie had been following a vegan diet for about three months. Sure, she had lost a few pounds, but more importantly, she felt so much better!

Then, I was at a produce conference 10 days ago, and I ran into my friend Patrick, who is from Florida and in his early 60s. He looked different – rested and calm. I asked him what changed and he told me that he had been following a vegan diet for about three months and I could not believe how much energy he had!

I have to admit it was a big shock to me that he, of all people, would follow a vegan lifestyle as my first meal with him was a big fat steak at one of his restaurants. Patrick is in charge of purchasing for more than 2,000 restaurants across the United States.

Patrick pulled me aside and talked to me with more passion and commitment than I had ever seen from him before. He told me to try juicing first (processing fresh vegetable and fruits into juices at home to cleanse my system) and then to watch the movie “Forks Over Knives.

“Call me after you watch it,” he said to me.

I do recommend that you go on iTunes and buy the movie “Forks over Knives.” Watching it convinced me why I should change my diet.

Check out the trailer here:

When I got home last week, I started doing some research. As I shopped at my local Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods – I found out there is a lot of information about veganism. Even the guy at my local Trader Joe’s volunteered to help me. He told me he has been a vegan for 15 years and said, “Don’t worry, you will have plenty of food choices. And BTW – there is plenty of protein in fruits and vegetables!”

That seems to be everyone’s big worry – getting enough protein. I admit that was one of my big worries. But the more research I do, the less I am concerned about that.

When I thought about being a vegan, I was a bit scared. OMG I can’t have a steak. Or my favorite cheese! Or milk chocolate! But then I realized – I can do anything for a month!

So, my commitment is to be a vegan for the entire month of August and  chronicle my journey for everyone here! Since everyone who reads my blog is interested in fruits and vegetables, eating healthy, and having a long, happy life, I think my observations and experiences will provide some insight.

So, please stay tuned as I share my journey with you!



8 thoughts on “The beginning of my vegan journey

  1. I’ve been doing this for a month too….and it has been a lot easier than I thought! I miss cheese the most, and soy cheese, just doesn’t cut it….so I avoid things that I used to eat WITH cheese so I don’t miss it so much. Wishing you much luck on this journey, and will look forward to reading more.

  2. Karen, I look forward to following your journey –don’t forget to tell us what you are eating and if you have replaced foods like cheese with anything.


  3. Hi Karen,

    You got my attention with this goal. Really, I will follow the process and as other said would be great to know about the food and dishes.


    From Ecuador!!!


  4. Hi Karen,

    Soak raw cashews in water for about an hour. Put them in a food processor with some fresh red pepper and you have Red Pepper “Cheese” dip. I took this to a New Year’s party and no one knew it wasn’t cheese!

    Terri (Stoner) Langhans
    Gluten Free, mother of a vegetarian

  5. Hi Karen, I see that you are going “vegan” for a month. There is an amazing vegan chef that has a line of amazing food, it’s called Vegan Heights. Should I see if he would be willing to provide you with samples of his food? You will absolutely LOVE all of his food some of which is selling at Whole Foods.



  6. Congrats Karen!

    Eat living foods to live…eat dead foods to die …this is what i was told about 10+ years ago. I’m not a vegan but 70% of my diet is fruit/veg based. This prompted me on a wonderful culinary journey. You and your career as well as your blog are truly inspirational.



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