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  • Hi, I’m Whitney Lauritsen. I’m 28 years old, and I’ve been vegetarian for about

  • eight years now. I went vegetarian really out of curiosity. It was inspired by a friend

  • who was vegan. And it just felt so good to me on so many different levels. Intuitively,

  • I just knew that it was the right thing for me. It felt good for health reasons; it felt

  • good for kind of spiritual reasons, compassion, environmental. The more I learned about it,

  • the more excited I became about it, and it took over my life in all the greatest ways.

  • About six months after I went vegetarian, I decided to give veganism a try, which means

  • I stopped eating dairy products, so no milk, no cheese, et cetera, no eggs. I also hadn’t

  • been eating fish since I went vegetarian, and I also cut out other things out of my

  • lifestyle like animal-based clothing, like leather, silk, wool, et cetera. Any body products

  • – a lot of body products are tested on animals or use various animal ingredients.

  • I cut those out. And I just started looking at my whole lifestyle as a whole and just

  • starting to realize how much animal products are incorporated into our lives and really

  • trying to just get rid of it. The reason I did this was first, out of curiosity. But

  • then when I started reading about it and doing research, meeting other vegans and really

  • understanding that I realized again, just like vegetarianism, it just made sense on

  • kind of like an intuitive level. I felt like the compassion side of it and the environmental

  • side of it were even more impactful than just being vegetarian. About a year ago, I decided

  • to make another adjustment to my diet after doing some research and speaking with friends,

  • and this time, I decided to give up soy and gluten. You probably already know what soy

  • is, but gluten is a protein found in a lot of processed foods like breads and pastas.

  • And I decided to experiment with it because I just am always looking for ways to really

  • improve my health and simplify my diet and look my best, feel my best. And when I took

  • gluten and soy out of my diet, I instantly felt those benefits. With gluten, I quickly

  • lost kind of like excess weight and kind of like swelling reduced. I think I kind of had

  • almost a bloated look sometimes, and the gluten just likeonce that was gone, the bloating

  • and swelling, the extra weight was gone. With soy, that really improved my digestion altogether.

  • I’d always kind of struggled with soy, but just kind of felt like it was part of the

  • vegan diet and didn’t really feel like it was worth giving up. I didn’t really know

  • what I would eat besides soy because there are so many different types of fake meats

  • out there or various products with soy in ittofu, of course. But when I took that

  • out, every time I ate, I just felt great all the time instead of having indigestion or

  • bloating or gas or any of that. I’ve experienced so many health benefits since going vegetarian

  • that I can't even remember all of them off the top of my head. The first thing that comes

  • to mind is weight loss. When I went vegetarian, I just started shedding pounds simply from

  • giving up meat. When I went vegan, even more so. And then like I mentioned earlier, when

  • I went gluten-free, even more so. So I discovered that it really tied into the specific foods

  • that I was taking out of my body, plus the foods that I was putting into my body. And

  • likewise, because of how healthy I’ve been eating, I feel an increased vitality in general.

  • My energy levels went up. I rarely get sick. If I do, it’s just for a very brief period

  • of time. My skin, my hair, my nailsall of that just is flourishing and thriving.

  • Digestion as well, especially when I cut out soy out of my diet. Personally, it wasn’t

  • working for me. So I think what the biggest thing for me about going vegan is that it

  • inspired me to really start thinking about the food I was putting into my body, and because

  • of that, I really started to learn a lot about nutrition and how it interacts and make my

  • body healthy. Getting protein has never been a problem for me as a vegan. In fact, I’ve

  • been to a lot of different doctors and theyve never told me that I have a protein deficiency.

  • And I’ve discovered that most Americans actually get more protein than they even need.

  • The vegan diet is full of protein because all plants contain protein. It varies depending

  • on what variety. Legumes typically have the most amount of protein, so whether it’s

  • beans or even things like peanuts, tofuall of those different sources have huge

  • amounts of it. My favorite thing to do is to just go to the grocery store and just wander

  • around the bulk section, which is like grains and beans and nuts and all sorts of things

  • and just kind of pick out a bunch of things and then go home and make it. And I’ll go

  • into the produce section and do the same thing and just find all sorts of good-looking vegetables

  • and fruits and take this all home and find a recipe and put it together. I have new foods

  • all the time, all different types, whether it’s American food, ethnic food. Sometimes

  • I’m just creative; sometimes I use a cookbook. But I’m never bored, and I can eat out at

  • all sorts of restaurants. So even though I’m a vegan and I don’t eat gluten and I don’t

  • eat soy, there’s just like, endless amounts of food available for me. Whenever I go out

  • to a restaurant that serves meat, it’s not really a big deal. I look at the menu. A lot

  • of menus have vegetarian options; some even have vegan options listed right on there.

  • But even if they don’t, I can just look down and pick out different ingredients. And

  • if I’m communicating well with the server, I can ask them to ask the chef if they can

  • put together something for me. Sometimes I’ll just tell them to make whatever they want

  • and I’ll give them my specifications and really be clear about my diet. Other times,

  • I’ll ask if they can do something specific. Many menus, especially if they have a vegetarian

  • option, I can just take off like, cheese or something. If I’m taking out gluten, I’ll

  • just have a salad somewhere, sometimes soup if it’s a gluten-free soup. But most restaurants

  • have salads; most restaurants have some sort of vegetable dish. It’s such a common thing

  • to be vegetarian in this country, no matter where you are in the country or even in the

  • world, actually, that people understand it. They will understand what my diet is, and

  • theyre willing to accommodate. Ultimately, what I’ve discovered on this journey of

  • being a vegan is just how good it makes me feel on so many different levels. It’s made

  • my entire body feel good, and I feel good on a compassionate level for the animals.

  • I feel like I’m doing something really good for the planet. I feel like it brings me closer.

  • I have all these amazing conversations with people. The reasons for being vegan for me

  • just go on and on, and I can't imagine not being a vegan. In fact, I became so passionate

  • about it that I started a website called Eco Vegan Gal just over two years ago, and I started

  • realizing that I’m really passionate about educating people about how to be healthier

  • and how to be kinder to the planet. And I feel like being vegan and environmentally

  • friendly go hand in hand, so if you're an environmentalist, vegan is a great choice

  • because it really helps bring sustainability to a new level. If you're a vegetarian or

  • a vegan, you can start to understand how that affects the planet. And like I mentioned earlier,

  • just giving up meat or dairy for a day or a week really makes a big difference. In fact,

  • if you want to learn more about it, you can go visit my site, but I really just want to

  • encourage you to try it. Whether you're inspired by this video or other things on this YouTube

  • channel, it’s really not as hard as it seems and every little bit helps. So give it a try

  • even for a week. I would encourage you to try it for a month to really get the full

  • feeling of it, whether that’s vegetarian or vegan. Try a lot of different foods, talk

  • to different people, do research, read books. Really get yourself into it so you get a full

  • understanding and you're not just thinking about misconceptions and stories youve

  • heard because it’s a great thing, at least for me. I love being a vegan.

Hi, I’m Whitney Lauritsen. I’m 28 years old, and I’ve been vegetarian for about

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B1 vegan vegetarian soy diet protein felt

A Vegetarian to Vegan to Gluten-Free Journey for Health, Compassion and Environment

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    Hhart Budha posted on 2014/06/16
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