Sister Vegetarian Speaking Appearances!!!



Purchase Sister Vegetarian's 31 Days Book at these locations:

http://www.amazon.com/
http://www.lanternbooks.com/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Ask your local book store to order it for you or carry the book!

National Magazines, Radio Shows and Speaking Engagements:

My book Sister Vegetarian’s 31 Days of Drama-Free Living: Exercises and Recipes for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit (Lantern Books) made Veg News Annual top 12 book list for 2012.

Thank you everyone for your support of making my book within Veg News top 12 book list for 2012. Thank you also for helping to keep the healthy revolution alive, moving, and touching many lives going forward :) Link here at Veg News for reviews of the top 12 books :) Thank you :)

I am in Veg News Magazine's March/April 2012 Issue on Page 90!!!! A wonderful review is given of my book Sister Vegetarian's 31 Days of Drama-Free Living! To find out where and when you can purchase your Veg News March/April issue, Link here to the international and award winning vegan magazine which is available in 38 countries!

May 27, 2012 - Speaker at the New York City Veggie Pride Parade. Link here for details.

Link here for my 2/29/12 Progressive Radio Interview on the station's show "It's All About Food" with the show's host Caryn Hartglass.

I spoke at the 10/9/11 Baltimore, MD/DC Area 1st Annual VegFest sponsored by Open The Cage Alliance (click here for official VegFest Website of speakers and entertainment). My "Victory" speech can be viewed on You Tube (click here for speech video)

Other speaking engagements included the Oct 27-29 DC event for Farm Sanctuary's National Conference to End Factory Farming where I will spoke on Day 3 (Oct 29) at on the Plant Based Living Panel:Diet As A Tool For Change. I was joined on the panel by NY Times best- selling author and nutritional researcher Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Link here for my speech in transcript form.


Sister's Vegetarian's Book Information

* More Sister Vegetarian Book News!

2013

Lantern Books has come up with a new e-book entitled "Recipes for the Vegan Table: A Lantern Sampler." One of the recipes from my book Sister Vegetarian is listed along with a recipe from vegetarian Sir Paul McCarthy...you know him as a Beatles member :-)

Here's the information about the book and the link to download the book and recipes:

" Recipes for the Vegan Table: A Lantern Sampler by Carol J.... Adams, Donna Beaudoin, Patti Breitman, Kate Jacoby, Brian McCarthy, Paul McCartney, Kumuda Reddy .....

With so many cookbooks out there, what's a vegan—or aspiring vegan—to do? Lantern Books has the ideal menu: Start with a flavorful appetizer from famously longtime vegetarian Sir Paul McCartney, continue with a mouthwatering entrĂ©e from The Sexual Politics of Meat author Carol J. Adams or "Sister Vegetarian" Donna Beaudoin, add a scrumptious side from Chef Brian P. McCarthy or Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. Kumuda Reddy, and finish up with a delectab...le dessert from Kate Jacoby, co-owner and pastry chef of the cutting-edge Philadelphia restaurant Vedge. All of the recipes in this sampler are healthy, tasty, and easy to make, ensuring that your meal will be both cruelty-free and delicious. So draw a chair up to the table and find out what the joy of vegan cooking is really about!(less)"

Purchase at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BP10K4O

Black Expressions Book Club
(http://www.blackexpressions.com/)
made Sister Vegetarian's 31 Days of Drama-Free Living their alternate book selection in March 2012!

What a joy to know that I have become a part of your family through this book which acts as your daily guide, daily inspirational and motivational tool. To conquer challenges in all aspects of your life. To encourage you to be encouraged that the sun shines even when the clouds are gray, and that joy always comes in the morning if you should falter and trip along your vegetarian or vegan journey! It's okay to be you. Be yourself, and you shall not fail in this beautiful life-long vegetarian or vegan journey. Remember, it's a lifestyle, not a temporary diet or a temporary solution. It is a part of you as you heal yourself, heal the environment, and save animals. Do you ask yourself, what have you done for me lately when you are always helping others and forget about your well-being? Then, pick up a copy of Sister Vegetarian's 31 Days of Drama-Free Vegetarian and Vegan Living today, and let your mind be blown to the endless possibilities of what a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle can do for you! ~ Donna M Beaudoin "Sister Vegetarian"

Disclaimer: Sister Vegetarian is a blog based on my vegetarian and vegan experiences and journey as well as others' experiences. I am not a medical, nutritionist, or exercise specialist; so, please consult your physician before starting any vegetarian and vegan lifestyle and exercise program.



Sunday, January 31, 2010

Monday's Inspirational Thought of the Day

You were not put on this earth to simply work for a living.
Discover what you were meant to do, and do it.
~ Tavis Smiley

Friday, January 29, 2010

Memories of Old School Ways, Barry White, and Luther Vandross

There is something to be said for old school ways. I grew up when you still had home line telephones and no cell phones. When you had a choice between the dial pad being rotary, or the new touch pad. When people did long-distance calling either very early or late at night to watch the money. Homes did not have microwaves, and food was reheated on top of the stove or in the oven. Children coming up now will not even know what a home phone looks like, and some even own their own cell phone by age 7. Some will not even know the meaning of home-cooking.

Old school ways taught you to survive. I think about this now as the area I live in is preparing for our first major snow storm of the year. The storm is threatening to shut down power as it did in 2002 when power was shut down for as little as 4 days for some or 2 weeks for others (in a major city). I listen to some of the 20 something young women, and it makes me sad that old school ways of cooking your own food, and eating out less (or, not at all) is not a part of their daily, weekly ritual of eating right. Just because you may order healthy foods in a restaurant, this does not mean it is healthy. Many restaurant foods are overly processed, over salted, and cooked in unhealthy oils.

Memories of old school ways flood my mind, and make me smile. I thank my parents and grandparents for instilling in me old school ways; but, back then it was not called old school ways. It was just called "survival skills", or "how to just live." How it came to be known as old school ways today bogs my mind...I know...it's just not taught anymore in the homes. We let technology run our lives; and, that will be a downfall one day when the children coming up today will have no common-sense skills. I see it happening now around me with young employees.

I believe that some of the "Old School Ways" that should still be passed on to our children, nieces, nephews, and grand-children include (but, does not incorporate everything because that will require a book on my part) the following:

1. Cooking for yourself and/or family instead of eating out daily. Eating out daily, even as a vegetarian, is unhealthy. Cooking at home, and having family dinners even at the dinner table brings the family together in conversation, fun, and love. We pay attention more to each others' needs, and do not answer the phone while eating: A rule that ran my household as a child and I still practice today. Single Sisters? When I was single, I still cooked at home, ate at the dinner table, and did not take calls while eating. I lit candles as a single person when I ate alone and treated my meal as though it was still a family affair because we as individuals deserve the love, respect, and joy associated with winding down after a long day to a home cooked meal in peace.

2. Old school blenders: Powerhouses that did not die in a year. Not too many choices of functions. Just did the job. Why not purchase a basic blender that gives you the choices you need rather than too many functions you will never use. Chances are, it may last longer.


3. Bringing your lunch to work. At least you know that you will always be eating healthy, and know what you are eating.

4. Heating up frozen leftovers or leftovers un-frozened on top of the stove instead of the microwave. I cheat sometimes and re-heat my home-made stews in a microwave, but I am going back to old school and heating it up on the stove. No radiation, and it tastes better.

5. If using a microwave, heat your food on a plate-NOT plastic,paper plate, or the plastic container you stored your food in. Plastic and the chemicals transfers to meals when heated in a microwave. Take your frozen or leftover food out of the storage container and place it on a plate. It tastes better, and less of a chance for it tasting like plastic and chemicals from the plastic being transferred to your food when heated up.

6. Let Your Meal Make Love to You: As in Sister Green's section, to be eco I suggested eating with cloth napkins and not paper napkins daily. Let's take it a step further, eat with cloth napkins and plates daily (not paper plates). Think in terms of Luther Vandross and Barry White. Let your meal warm you, caress you, talk to you, make old school love to you (not, sexually sisters but think in terms of old school sweet talking and putting a smile on your face), and show you a proper date rather than it telling you when you're done eating "wham bam thank you mam!"- Yes, I had to go there but it also relates to your meals.


I do not want a "quickie" for a meal that leaves me wanting more in a couple of hours. I want a slow meal that wines and dines me. One that fills me up, and leaves me satisfied. One that doesn't leave me craving for more after an hour. I want a meal that knows how to treat a sister, and that means a meal that's dressed up and makes me feel good.


Think about it sisters.


7. Purchasing more fresh produce to make meals from scratch than processed foods (yes, vegetarians can be guilty of purchasing processed foods rather than cooking).

Picture: similar to my old 1975 orange stove.
Not my stove. Picture found at Retro Renovation


8. Using a basic stove rather than a futuristic version that requires a re-reading of the user manual every time you turn on the stove; or, maintenance more than you want because it's just too finicky. I had to purchase a new stove 2 years ago after my 1975 GE stove gave out. It worked awesome, and cooked as though it was new. It was a basic electric stove and oven that was a beautiful orange from the early 70s...you, know...when everything in the 1970s kitchen was orange and gold. Sure it did not go with my redone kitchen of red, silver, and black after we removed the 1975 wallpaper; but, I kept it because she cooked fantastic. I hated to replace her, so I used her daily until one day she told me it was time to part. She no longer turned on, and it tore me up inside to shop for a new stove. I was not happy with any of the shiny, computerized versions in the store; but, I had to make a decision because eating out for meals was something I did not do. I actually had a tear in my eye when the delivery men from Lowes Hardware brought our new stove, and took her away. One of the delivery men actually fell so in love with her that he said he may be able to fix her, and may take her for himself if we did not mind. He said they did not make such powerhouses anymore. That made me actually tear up. There is something to be said for old school. She was family. Sure she was a stove, but a beautiful, unique, orange of a stove that was always on time and I always knew she would never falter in making a meal. I did not immediately give her away for the newest, shiniest thing on the market when I also heard from others that new computerized stoves they purchased had stopped working in 2 years (as my former Director at a company had purchased a $2000 stove that died in 1 year).

There is much to be said for old school ways, traditions, survival skills, or just plain living...whatever you want to refer to it as depending how you grew up. I can go on, but you get the point.

Let's not be so quick to put aside old school ways for the newest, brightest, technological improvement on the market. Heah...I do not even text. I own a basic cell phone, and that suits me well. If you want to speak to me, do not text me. Call me. Speak to me face to face. Say hello...say how are you doing and I'll ask the same. Don't send me text annotations of BTW, IMO, LOL, and BFF. You may be my BFF but don't text me...you won't get through. If you are my BFF, I want to speak with you and know how you are doing. I block my texts because a phone call will do. It's just old school, my sister.


~ Donna M. Beaudoin "Sister Vegetarian"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday's Inspirational Thought of the Day

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. . . spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”
~ Susan Taylor, Essence Magazine

Inspirational Thought of the Day

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wednesday's Inspirational Thought of the Day:

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
~ Albert Einstein (Fun Fact: Albert Einstein was a vegetarian)

Inspirational Daily Thought of the Day

If you follow Sister Vegetarian on Facebook or Twitter, you've noticed that I feature an inspirational thought of the day to re-energize and renew you for the day, to wrap up your evening, or the day ahead. I will also post the daily inspirational thoughts on this page also.

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

"Sister, the world might try to put you on a road that you don't like. First stop and look behind you. If nothing back there makes you want to return, then look ahead. If nothing ahead beckons you enough to keep you going, then you have to step off that road and cut yourself a brand new path."
~ Maya Angelou, From Hallelujah! The Welcome Table

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just Do It! Adventure at 43


Enjoy my story at Sister Vegetarian's Mind, Body, and Spirit for prepping for the Black Mountain Crest Trail. The hardest trail in the US. At age 43, I will attempt this trail in a few months and summit 12 peaks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It Takes a Vegetarian to Raise A Village: Take A Stand



Where do you stand?



“Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.”


~ Susan B. Anthony


I have my weekly grocery shopping down to a science. Add things to the grocery list held by a magnet on my refrigerator; write food items on the list according to the aisles in the store that I have memorized from visiting that grocery store for 8 years; making sure I say my weekly hellos and engage in small conversations with the produce staff, store manager, and cashier; and, lining up the reusable cloth grocery bags to stack and carry the groceries without overburdening the bag handles or crushing perishables. I have grocery shopping down to a science so much that even when having small conversations with staff, I know how long I will be in the store. What I did not count on was an extended conversation with the cashier on vegetarianism. He asked me about cooking brown rice, after ringing up the brown rice, collards, kale, spinach, eggplant, apples, chickpeas, dry beans, and other tasty fruits and vegetables in my cart. He wanted to know how long he should cook brown rice after seeing that my entire cart was filled with healthy food to maintain my health, mind, spirit, and body. He said he is eating more vegetables and grain. I asked him if he was a vegetarian, and he quickly straightened his back. He responded with wide eyes resembling a deer making a decision after seeing approaching headlights before crossing the road and a tone of voice representative of a child trying to cover up some reprimandable action, "No! Why would I want to do that? Are you a vegetarian?" I could have said "Yes I am," and be done with the conversation because I already was running over on my "down to science time for grocery shopping" by this extended small talk that went past the small conversational pleasantries. My old self, would have just said, "Yes, I am," pay for my groceries, and leave the store.

The new self is more aware of the health problems associated with eating meat, and the many health studies linking colon cancer to meat that I although I initially hesitated on speaking further on the subject of vegetarianism, my mind knew that I had a duty to speak up as a spokesperson and proponent of eating healthier to heal and maintain the body's health.

I never considered myself a spokesperson for anything, but in living the vegetarian lifestyle and seeing first-hand how my body's ailments had disappeared, I knew that I was not meant to keep this wisdom and information to save someone's life to myself.

As Susan B. Anthony said, careful people cannot be about change but those who speak up when they know a wrong exists, can bring about change. In the 1974 Essence Magazine Article about Vegetarianism that Breeze Harper of Sistah Vegan posted on her Twitter Page a year ago, if people like Dr. Alvenia Fulton, Dick Gregory,Lola Falana, Members of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Cicely Tyson, and Taj Mahal did not stand up and speak for vegetarianism, many African Americans today would never know the health benefits or would be slow to come to realize the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

As vegetarians, we become spokespersons and proponents of vegetarianism. Our lives are living examples and speak the truth for the health benefits derived from living a vegetarian lifestyle. You do not need to make your point by hollering from the rooftop, or giving a speech at a podium. Just by a small conversation in a grocery store, you can change someone's life. I went further with the cashier on the medical studies by Physician Max Gerson who proved with over 150 cases at a Congress Testimony that juicing and an organic vegetarian diet had cured over 150 of his patients from cancer. I pointed out that my neighbor's sister who was cured of breast cancer...not by surgery or medical treatments...but, by organic vegetarian fresh foods and juicing.

I know what you are saying...was there not a line waiting in back of you at the cashier. To be honest, that was the first time I did not have a line form. The grocery store was basically empty at 6:30 PM after work on a Friday.


When the universe wants you to say something, all the stars line up right and you have your platform to speak your words of wisdom and guidance to help someone in need.

And, he was in need by the look on his eyes and the tone in his voice as we spoke on vegetarianism. Somehow, my "down to science" time in the grocery store, no longer meant anything. Sure, I was starving for dinner; but, somehow, nothing mattered anymore per dinner or getting home in time record from grocery shopping. My husband even waited patiently as I spoke to the cashier; and, even also offered what he learned by viewing movies with me about GMOs and vegetarianism. I left the cashier with much to think about. He thanked me as though he was accepting an award and told me that he "WILL" look more into vegetarianism. He said that I have opened his eyes and explained things about vegetarianism that were myths heard and believed about vegetarians, and living a vegetarian lifestyle.

You know, it felt good to speak up. Donna a year ago, would never speak up. Donna 10 years ago would be too shy to speak up for something I believed in. I want others to be healthy, and benefit from this vegetarian lifestyle. I want others to be healthy.

What people are getting from the physicians are not information telling them how changing their diet to vegetarianism will save them and may even get them off of their medications. Our physicians and pharmaceutical companies are legal drug lords and drug dealers who want to pump us up with medicine as bandaids rather than telling us what is causing the problem, how it can be prevented, and healed. Why not enforce proper vegetarian diets that can heal, extend our life, give us more energy, and get us off all or some of the medications. We must think for ourselves, and research. Never take what a physician says as a death sentence.

Just to share one story at work. A new medical assistant joined our ENT practice, and she has been a vegetarian for a year. She said she had stomach problems and the doctor wanted to put her on medication for life. She decided to take matters into her own hands, and researched vegetarianism. She decided that she did not want medication for life, and chose LIFE through vegetarianism. She is now cured without any incidents of the stomach problems that plagued her. Imagine if she decided to be on medications for life. Many medications tend to start other illnesses of the body when trying to treat something else.
Let's choose LIFE by choosing to be spokespeople, and proponents for vegetarianism.

We are not on this vegetarian journey for ourselves; but, our actions influence the actions of others. As the old African Proverb says, "Its takes a village to raise a child;" then, so goes it for vegetarianism: It takes a vegetarian to change and raise a village.

~ Donna "Sister Vegetarian"

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's like we are living in "The Matrix" or Living in "Zion"














Science Lab (GM Foods) vs my local farmers:

picture of produce I purchased at my local farmers market from the owners of L&G Farms and Wise Farms (Non-GM)


“We are growing crap. The corn has no nutritional value”… Farmer from the documentary “King Corn”

After taking a bite of the corn, the documentarian of King Corn stated that the corn “tastes like crap….No it tastes like paper.”… “King Corn” documentary

“The farmers markets were another step to giving people an opportunity to take more power over their own lives-and also to provide another outlet for organic produce. That is important because the production and distribution of food is increasingly being monopolized and controlled by large corporate structures, large financial structures.” ~ Jerry Brown, California Attorney General and People Rights Activist


Genetically Modified Foods (also known as GM or GMO, Genetically Modified Organisms), sounds like something out of “The Matrix” movie. Those who live free of technological control as in the movie “The Matrix” are those living a life of organic freedom, free thoughts, free control of one’s mind and what one puts in ones body. In “The Matrix” movie, they called it living in Zion-a community free of technology control.

In 2010, we are not far from this concept of living in Zion vs. living in technology controlled means (GM Foods). The way GM foods have made its way into mainstream America without the average individual having no concept of how far reaching GM foods stretch from simple items as the non-organic tofu vegetarians eat to the Big Macs “not yet set free of meat constraints” that carnivores consume. The US government first introduced GM foods mainstream into the food system in 1994 starting with a tomato, called Flavr Savr. GM tomatoes have made its way into our non-organic tomato based products such as canned tomato soups, tomato pastes, and all varieties of canned tomatoes. GM foods have touched the big crop of corn whereas the GM corn is also used to make fructose; artificial sweeteners; corn syrup as used in sodas and non-organic fruit juices; preservatives to preserve frozen foods, packaged, and processed meals; fed to cows and chickens raised for killing to sell in grocery stores where these animals are sick from the GM corn before they are even slaughtered for shipping to stores; cooking oil such as vegetable and canola oil that are used in homes for deep frying, baking, oven frying, and more; and, names that sound like you need a Rosetta Stone foreign language course to pronounce and spell the names on boxes of food, frozen foods, and breads on grocery store shelves.

Just to illustrate the expanse of GM foods, in 1996 a few million acres were planted to GM Foods. By 2002, the acres planted to GM foods was well over 120 million acres concentrated in only 4 countries where the US grew 68 percent of the crops (source: Food, Inc. by Peter Pringle). US’ neighbor Canada only grew 6 percent of the GM crops which left Argentina with 22 percent and China 3 percent of the GM crops. The 1 percent of this total 99 percent was concentrated in small areas elsewhere globally.The US was the ring leader in this GM takeover.

Those who choose to live free of technology created foods are those living in “Zion” and still had free thought in my opinion. Freedom to choose life and health.

It has been documented that GM foods cause many health ailments and carry carcinogens and which may explain an increase in cancer that is rising at a fast rate, especially amongst the younger generation of 20 to 30 year olds. In the movie King Corn, it was stated that this current young generation of 20 -30 something year olds will live a shorter life than their parents and grandparents due to the abundance of consumption of GM foods. Max Gerson, a physician in the 1940s, who testified in front of Congress in 1946 with over 150 documented cases that an organic vegetarian (mostly vegan) and juicing diet had cured his cancer patients of colon, pancreatic, breast and other cancers, as well as other ailments as diabetes, knew then that our diets were changing by the introduction of chemicals in crops even back then. He mysteriously died of arsenic poisoning after that Congress testimony. Hmmm. Interesting. His daughter does carry on the organic crusade for curing cancer and other ailments through organic foods, and not surgery. As a matter of fact, my neighbor’s sister was cured of breast cancer in less than a year. The minister of the Hallelujah Diet was also cured of colon cancer. Both took the route of no surgery. No Chemo Therapy. An organic vegetarian diet and juicing was their medicine as Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food.” So, what GM foods are doing to our bodies, organics are and can cure through a proper diet meant to increase the good cells to fight the bad cells (bad cells that took over the body from this technology aged society where chemicals have become the mainstream and acceptance for some in foods).

The US started this entire GM Foods campaign because they believed that not only in the US, but the rest of the world, produce and food production could not keep up with population growth. Scientists and large corporations with other means than people’s welfare in mind, want us to believe that we will run out of food so artificial growing of food at faster rates controlled by chemicals implanted into the genes of food would create a vast supply of food to keep pace with the growth in population. Why not invest in techniques to grow more foods organically by researching better crop rotation methods? Why institute chemicals into foods to make foods grow faster, bigger, and more where taste and nutrition is left out.

It is time to take control of our lives. We as vegetarians may feel we live in “Zion” as in The Matrix though our freedom to choose to control what we eat rather than be controlled by what we eat; but, think twice. What you may be putting in your body as a vegetarian, may also include some of the GM foods. It is a hard task in choosing non-GM foods since even many beloved pre-packaged vegetarian and vegan meals contain these GM by-products as preservatives. The best thing we can do is to read labels more closely, and make wise buying decisions. Check your labels if not buying all organic. If too many ingredients listed sounds like you need a translation dictionary, then bets are, you may be eating a GM food or GM by-product. Here is a Non-GMO shopping list to help you shop for non-organic and organic products that do not contain GMOs.
Remember, don’t forget the local farmers because their crops are more than likely non-GMO, although you still must watch out for the pesticides if not buying organic from local farmers:

Learn more about the GM Food Industry and fight back through these resources below:

I watched these Documentaries via my Netflix Watch Instantly:
1. King Corn
2. Food, Inc
3. The Beautiful Truth (Max Gerson curing cancer patients organically)
4. The Gerson Miracle

Books:
1. Food, Inc.
2. Seeds of Deception
3. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating
4. Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods

Educational Website and Videos:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Marathon Walker's Story of her Path to Vegetarianism


A picture collage of Deb Rucker's Walks

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of Sister's readers, Deb Rucker, about her journey to vegetarianism. Deb, a 52 year old Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy, is an inspirational and amazing woman who completes a 2-day (39 miles) or 3-day (60 miles) marathon walk once a year, as well as other walks for causes. Deb is also a talented knitter, crocheter, cross-stitcher, and "Craft-a-holic" who can be found at her blog Stitches of Heritage and on the knitters/crocheters website Ravelry .

Deb tells her story in her own words on how vegetarianism has changed her life positively. Enjoy this beautiful inspiring and motivational story from Deb Rucker.

You have been a vegetarian for 6 years, what prompted you to lead a vegetarian lifestyle?

My mother has survived 2 bouts with colon cancer. My doctor recommended that I begin testing at age 40 and I procrastinated. Finally had my first colonoscopy at age 46 and was astounded that the cleansing process took a full 3 days. I realized all that “stuff” I was eating wasn’t being digested properly. My test results came with a picture of my colon that was clean and healthy, so I decided to keep it that way.

Did you stop eating meat cold turkey, or was it a gradual process with the end being your goal to be a vegetarian?

I stopped eating meat immediately while I researched my options. I already knew most of the data on red meat but was disturbed by the additives, steroids, & preservatives used to feed and process other animals. Fish seemed to be the lesser of all the evils but the water quality they survive in led me to cut that from my menu also.

Did you start out as an ovo-lacto vegetarian, or another type of vegetarian or raw food purist?

Why did you choose that particular vegetarian style? I chose to keep milk, eggs & cheese in my diet so I am an ovo-lacto-vegetarian.

When we become vegetarian’s, one positive we report is more energy; however, how else did your body, mind, and spirit change?

The most immediate change was the elimination of the daily headaches I had suffered from for years. Had been diagnosed with migraines, and later - stress headaches. Taking at least 2 daily doses of aspirin became part of my routine. When my diet changed, the daily headaches were eliminated.

Did you seek out a vegetarian support group locally; online; family; or, motivated yourself with inspirational and positive mantras, books, meditation and/or prayer?

What type of support group did you seek out? Becoming vegetarian was also the lifestyle change I needed to lose weight. I spent years in and out of Weight Watchers trying to lose the excess 50 pounds I carried, but not fully executing the program. My initial integration of Weight Watchers and vegetarianism was not successful. It is a misconception that just because you are vegetarian, you are eating healthy. I literally gained weight during the first month from eating too many starches (i.e., rice, potatoes, noodles) to reach the feeling of fullness. My leader was instrumental in helping me learn the proper food balance and in March 2007, I met my goal and became a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers.

You complete a 2-day (39 miles) or 3-day (60 miles) marathon walk once a year. What started you on this beautiful yearly accomplishment? How long have you been competing in marathons?

My Aunt Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. It was a personal challenge to train and complete the full 39 miles as a celebration of her survival. The fundraising commitment intimidated me, so I sent out requests to everyone in my address book. The response was phenomenal and many folks told of their family & friends who had won or lost the battle. I put all those names on my walker placard so they were with me every step of the way as I joyfully finished the entire 2 day walk, vowing it was a one-time event. The following year, my aunt underwent a double mastectomy & I learned firsthand of all the research & technology funded by the BC organizations….. so I walked again. In 2005, I challenged myself to walk both the Avon and Komen walks – a total of 99 miles. A friend from high school volunteered to host a dinner party & silent auction to help my fundraising. That night was my first time meeting his friends, but they embraced the cause and we raised the entire commitment required for me to walk in both events. During the last 3 years, I’ve been joined by some of my “Weight Watcher Sistahs” from the online message boards. Just like me, they walk cause they can’t walk away! My aunt is now a 7-year survivor but several others that I initially walked for have succumbed to the disease. I continue to walk with those names on my placard & in my heart every year.

Do you participate in the same sponsored marathon every year. If not, how do you choose what marathon to participate in?

Can you describe the type of marathon you participate in (i.e. local walking marathon group, cancer foundation, heart and stroke foundation, US Marines-Walk Marathon in October, Boston Marathon-Walk Marathon in May, NY Marathon-Walk Marathon in Nov, etc) In addition to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and/or the Komen 3 day, I participate in the annual Koman Race for the Cure (5k), Fannie Mae’s Help the Homeless Walk (5k) and the Veteran’s Walk (5k).

Do you need to “Qualify” for the marathons?

If so, what is the “Qualify” criteria? The fundraising commitment ranges from $1,600 to $1,800 per year.

What is your training program for the marathon (meals, exercise, etc)?

Do you train only when a marathon approaches, or do you incorporate marathon training into your daily exercise program? Training is endurance related. I walk a 2-mile neighborhood route daily. On the weekends, I extend that distance by walking along the bike path on the local parkway. When I achieve 15 miles in one day, I’m fully trained.

Have you won any awards for the marathon; or, is the marathon award itself the personal satisfaction you receive for a great achievement and an inspiration to others?

No awards, just the blessing to be healthy enough to continually complete the walks and the ability to inspire others to contribute to finding a cure.

Do you have any family members living at home who are vegetarians? If so, did you inspire them to start or did you start together? If meat eaters are living at home with you, how do they feel about you being a vegetarian, and do you hint often of the energy and healthy mind, body, and soul as a vegetarian?

My family consists of strict “meat-a-tarians”. My mother quipped that during my first vegetarian year, she expected me to pick up a chicken wing any day. Both daughters have their own households, but we gather often around the table. They applaud my decision to live vegetarian and are aware of the health aspects and how it has improved my life. I am proud when they request that I make one of my vegetarian dishes. The grandkids eat at my house often & are routinely exposed to meat substitutes. They don’t even blink at having soy sausage, Sloppy Joes/spaghetti with “crumbles” & vegetable lasagna. I take pride that the 7-year old now chooses spinach pizza.

Do you cook dinners daily, eat at vegetarian restaurants more than cook at home, or is it almost equal?

I cook at home much more than eating out.

If a meat eater lives at home, do you cook for them; and, do you find cooking for a meat eater a challenge when you know the positive benefits and body changes of living a healthy vegetarian diet?

The meat eater in the home cooks for himself. I cook meat for get togethers/parties and do not find it a challenge. The vegetarian lifestyle is a personal choice and I welcome the opportunities to highlight and communicate its benefits.

What is your favorite vegetarian meal?

My favorite meal is a seasoned mix of tomatoes, corn, black beans, spinach, peppers & onions served over brown rice.

Please add anything else that you would like non-vegetarians and vegetarians to know about in order to inspire, motivate, and provide a proudness of “our vegetarian story.”

Thanks for the opportunity to tell my story. The reasons for living the vegetarian lifestyle are as broad as the benefits that it brings. Being able to relate to one person’s experiences often sparks someone else’s interest.

Thank you Deb for sharing your story. I know that it will encourage, educate, inspire, and motivate our vegetarian and non-vegetarian sisters. Your heartfelt words have definitely touched someone's life, and renewed their spirit. ~ Donna "Sister Vegetarian"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! Happy 2010!

May you have peace, health, happiness, and joy! Make this year a year of sharing your vegetarian success with others, and change a life positively!