I was that young teenager standing infront of a small town KFC trying to convince people how miserable the food they were about to eat was. I was also the teenager who put signs on her families lawn to help end the Canadian seal hunt by signing a petition. I was also the young adult who would go to local punk shows armed with PETA flyers and vegan chocolate mousse to bring people over to the vegan side. Most of my life I have spend battling against the masses to eat healthier, and in a small town this is no easy task. But I laboured on and I became a moderately healthy (what, Tofutti Cuties aren't healthy?) vegan. Then I moved to the big city, and there were restaurants where servers knew what the word vegan meant, and tofu wasn't some weird thing that no one bought in the grocery store.
It was in Toronto that I started my vegan healthy living blog, firstname.lastname@example.org, and really became focused on health and nutrition. I finished what I had set out to do when I ventured to Toronto, which was to finish my Biology degree, and then I kind of got stuck. "What do I do now?" was pretty much my mantra. I had a biology degree, a serving job at a meat-loving greasy restaurant, a failing and draining relationship, a love of fitness, and two awesome fur babies. So I threw out the bulk of those, and kept the good ones. I figured that I loved fitness so much, why not make it a full time career. I quit the serving job and began offering personal training at GoodLife fitness.
GoodLife fitness changed my world, and not for the better. The fitness industry is amazing at its ability to make you forget your morals and ethics and hop on whatever health bandwagon they have going on. Or maybe I'm just gullible, who knows :) . My training expertise was in olympic lifting. I like to lift heavy things, and try to constantly strive for new records, so the idea of being a certain size or having a particular body fat percentage was never on my mind. That was until I got deeper into the training world, I had trainers left and right telling me their views on nutrition and training , that my body fat was too high, that my training was wrong….you get the point. It wasn't long until I threw away my vegan choices and started eating meat, and pretty much only meat and nuts (aka. Paleolithic) It was awful, my skin was disgusting, my hair started breaking off and I was SOOOOOO cranky and stressed. I needed 3-5 coffees a day just to function in a socially acceptable manner. And forget about my workouts, I grew so confused with everyones "better" ideas that I just sort of gave up.
Things continued like this for a few more months and then I had a reality check. I was diagnosed with Chrones disease, and really had to figure my shit out. I knew that my new career path wasn't working for me, but I didn't know what I was "meant to do with my life", so I felt guilty to myself and my family for leaving it. I met my husband in those few months, we dated a month, moved in together, dated 3 more months then got married. Pretty amazing. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be anywhere close to the where I am now. He told me to quit that toxic work environment, start up the blog again, and take some time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. While I still don't know, I have a way better idea about which direction to go.
I love cooking, and photographing it. I love creating recipes and trying other amazing bloggers recipes. I fell back in love with exercise and I fell thankfully back in love with vegan foods. But this time, veganism didn't make sense to me the same way it used to, Raw hit me right on the head and gave me Oprah Winfreys "Aha moment". As my fitness goals increased I started recognizing that the better food I got into me, the better my recovery time was, and the better my bowels were. Say goodbye to the feeling of wanting to crap your pants 24/7. My skin has never been better, my hair never softer, my mood happier, and my energy levels are through the roof! I went through my own sort of crack withdrawals when I gave up coffee, had headaches, the shakes, everything. But after supplementing with enough green juices that I started to question whether poop was meant to be green, I began to I feel energized from 9 am-12 pm.
Ideas of going back to school for nursing floated around and it seemed like a very great idea for future financial security. But a little miracle happened. I picked up a magazine and saw a little ad for a raw desserts class and went online to research more about it. Perusing this website I found out that there was a certified culinary program for Raw foods, and I got so excited that I tried to call everyone I knew (mom, dad, husband) to tell them about this amazing opportunity. Unfortunately no one answered their phones, but I did get in contact with Husband by running to his martial arts class in the rain and telling him by spitting out words at 4829392 miles a minute. When I was done we were both so excited! Him and I agreed that this was the most perfect form of education for me EVER. It seemed like Karma decided to dish out all the good stuff it had been holding onto for me and give it to me in one big shot.
Once it was decided that this is what I really wanted to do I started thinking about the possibilities afterwards. I could really focus on my blog and start making meal plans for people, and start thinking of product ideas for when my husband and I open our own Juijitsu gym where I hope to sell healthy raw meals to go for the athletes. This program is exactly what I need, and what my life has been waiting for. It feels like I've spent the last 10 years leading up to it.