Hello there! Thanks for stopping by.
I’m Natalie, my life consists of fruit and family, there could not be a more fitting title! I am a stay at home mom of 3 beautiful little ones, a happy wife, an athlete in training, youtuber, health coach, a person not searching for – but choosing and creating health and happiness.
I now want to share my vegan story with you, so you understand how I came to this lifestyle and what drives me forward.
My journey begins in childhood, where I developed a sincere love for animals. I grew up eating them because it was the normal thing to do.
I was a happy kid.
Fast forward to adulthood.
I graduated with a Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. School. Work. Party. Sleep. Repeat. That about sums up my teens and early twenties.
I married my love D in 2008. Not long after we began a family! After our first was born I quickly settled into my new role as a mama, I loved every minute of it. I seemed to have a natural urge to be a ‘crunchy’ mama as they call it, drawn to many aspects of attachment parenting. Soon after arrived our second bundle of joy. Two children was the game changer, my life was 1000% mothering. I noticed my health suffering and I became ready for a drastic change. I was eating junk food excessively, gaining weight (over 40 lbs from my original pre-baby weight), not exercising, and feeling constantly mentally and physically exhausted. Could this feeling have been from mothering a newborn and a toddler? Possibly, but I felt there was more to the story.
One afternoon in 2012, I found myself captivated while casually watching a tv show about the benefits of a ‘vegan’ diet. Kathy Freston was a guest, her glow, and zest for life was undeniable! The following day I read her book “The Veganist” and decided I would try a vegan diet for the next 30 days. No animal products, and try not to eat too many potato chips, was the plan.. I just wanted to shed a few pounds and have more energy. I knew that by default I would not be eating tubs of ice cream, pepperoni and cheese pizzas, etc. I had no idea this would become the beginning of a complete overhaul of my diet and life!
I had dabbled in vegetarianism briefly in the past, so giving up meat wasn’t overly difficult. BUT CHEESE.. CHEESE! How was I going to survive without cheese for 30 days? I knew if I wanted my life to change, I HAD TO CHANGE. The month began, and I took it one day at a time. One of the early challenges included opening my eyes and heart to the suffering of animals in the meat, dairy, and egg industries. I decided it was necessary to watch videos of where my food had been coming from, rather than completely ignoring it any longer. I will now tell you how I gave up cheese fairly quickly, and why I am not a vegetarian. It was a deeply profound moment I will never forget. While holding and breastfeeding my two month old perfect little baby, I watched videos of people taking calves from their screaming mothers shortly after birth. They (the mother cows) scream, they literally scream. Babies become veal, and grieving mother cows are milked until the process is repeated. Once they reach a certain age, they too are sent to the ‘kill floor’ to become beef. Same for goats & lambs. My heart broke, from one mother to another. I could not, cannot, imagine a more horrific existence on this earth. And that was the end of cheese. I apologize if this is not what you were expecting to read in this section. It was simply a defining moment in my journey, as it was the moment the ‘diet’ became a lifestyle. Choosing not to contribute to animal cruelty, while taking care of my own health (countless benefits of living dairy-free!) with every meal of every day, is the best feeling in the world!
I spent a great deal of time researching the human body, nutrition, disease prevention, diets of of other cultures and civilizations, etc. I took the Plant Based Nutrition Course offered through eCornell and the T.Colin Campbell Foundation. I learned a great deal from the books written by Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neal Barnard, T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. John McDougall.
After 30 days I had gone down several sizes, my energy levels were through the roof. Life was looking up. I allowed myself to prioritize my health, and my family benefited as a result. Our kitchen was stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables unlike ever before, and things like quinoa and lentils made their way into the pantry.
My family has always been supportive, and I am truly grateful for that. I too support their choices, and the paths to health and happiness they have chosen.
Over the years I have improved my vegan diet, as health is very much a priority for me. I focus on eating whole foods, including an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables every single day. Recently I have been eating a raw vegan diet, and my goodness, what a difference! Eating foods that provide my body with everything that it needs, and nothing it doesn’t, has allowed me to reach and surpass both physical and mental goals I set for myself.
Our third child was my first fully vegan pregnancy. It was by far my healthiest, and most manageable in terms of symptoms. I gained weight gradually, my blood work always came back normal, I had no complications, I had no swelling or leg cramping (painful/uncomfortable symptoms which I experienced with my first two), and my labour and birth was wonderful! To this day I have had a plentiful milk supply, all powered by plants.
Being vegan is A JOY, and certainly not a sacrifice. I love having control of my mental and physical self, through the foods I choose to eat. No more numbing my feelings with food, no more addictions, no more guilt. Four years and counting.. this vegan story of mine does not have an ending, it is ongoing!
I am grateful that you have taken the time to read this, THANK YOU!