I am so happy you are here! My name is Denise, an ethical vegan and creator of WelcomeTree Farm and The Sunshiny Vegan. In April of 2014, I declared to my family, I am letting go of all animal products. Who will join me? My daughters were already vegetarians, and my husband is always supportive, so there it began. I’m not saying it was easy at first, with those first days of ornery cheese withdrawal (I am not kidding) and that lingering feeling that our plates were always missing something. I mean, what would we sprinkle on our tacos or pour on our cereal? What would we eat at the friend’s house who only acknowledged the carnivores and vegetarians (how dare you not eat cheese). As our vegan days turned into weeks and the weeks to months our plates began to feel complete, the cravings disappeared and our questions were answered.
Food has been a centerpiece of my life since I was a little girl, starting with an eating disorder at the age of 4; hiding food under my bed, binging with my afternoon cartoons, and being completely consumed with food. I was overweight most of my life and never felt at peace with food. I made progress in the rooms of Over-eaters Anonymous in my adult life, yet did not find lasting results until I became vegan. I know now addiction is a two fold problem: substance addiction and a disconnection between the values of our mind and soul. It is simultaneously heart-breaking and utterly fulfilling to let your heart grow into deeper compassion.
You might be wondering what you might find here:
1) Delicious, healthy, organic recipes that have been tested (sometimes unknowingly) on my family and friends.
2) Great resources about veganism, compassion, organic farming, etc… that I just have to share with you!
3) How to be a bad-ass activist who isn’t sad and/or pissed off all the time.
4) How to raise happy, healthy children who choose to be vegan.
5) These are a few of my favorite (vegan) things…
6) A place to connect with a bunch of amazing people.
Since becoming vegan in April of 2014, I have embraced my Compassion Super Power!
I have lost 40 pounds since becoming vegan, eating the most beautiful and delicious food of my life. My cholesterol has normalized, blood pressure lowered, sex-drive increased, anxiety reduced, and my thyroid function has returned to normal (and did I mention my sex drive:) I have a healthy relationship with food and am passing that new relationship onto my children. I wake each day with purpose. It really is a miracle!
Again, I am so glad you are here. We need each other. I know I need you. There is such intense pressure to eat animal products and vegans are sometimes discriminated against. I suggest diving into the science and spirit of whole food plant-based eating by reading, watching documentaries, and listening to podcasts as much as you can. Each time I read the words of another vegan, I am re-energized and am increasingly encouraged that this choice is not only good for us, but for all living beings, including our planet Earth. Here is a list of my favorite plant-based books, videos and websites:
- The Veganist by Kathy Freston
- Forks Over Knives (film)
- Forkes Over Knives Recipes
- The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Gliddon
- PeTA’s Vegan Starter Kit
- Caldwell Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease program
- The Food revolution Network
- Dean Ornish Website
- Carnism by Melanie Joy (Ted Talk)
- The China Study by Colin Campbell
- Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur
Veganism can sometimes feel like a lonely road. Here is a great article I found that left me feeling empowered and kinda not giving a flying fuckatooski if I was alone or not. It helped me remember that I am an innovator, a power-player, and trail-blazer. I wake up each day and do this vegan thing like it’s no big deal, but it is. It’s a really big deal. It has a profound impact on so many parts of my life and the world around me. I am a Vegan Badass.
If you have any questions or comments, please use the form below. I would love to connect with you no matter where you are on your path. Also, if you are looking for more whole food, plant-based ideas, come check out The Sunshiny Vegan.
With peace and compassion,