Vegan Like Me aims to profile fellow vegans, from all walks of life from everywhere in the world! We’ve all been beginners and I think its important for folks to hear people’s stories in order to motivate themselves to keep going. This feature is intended to do just that. If you are vegan and would like to participate, get in touch with me and I’ll be sure to send our questionnaire along to you.
Where do you live? Astoria NY
How long have you been vegan? ”2 1/2 years”
What inspired you to take on a plant-based (vegan/vegetarian) diet? ”I became a vegetarian over 20 years ago. The story i know is that i was about 14 years old and saw my mom making chicken … something clicked and I realized that the chicken, the animal, was the chicken for dinner. I’ve always been an animal lover … and from that day forward, I haven’t eat meat. I’m thankful to 2 friends in particular who helped me eventually make the shift from vegetarian to vegan. I think I was blocking out the reality of the dairy industry and other animal products… as I continue to learn more, I’m able to make more conscious and compassionate choices.”
What do you love most about being vegan? “I feel good about the food I eat, how it helps the planet in some small way, and that it is a compassionate, thoughtful lifestyle.”
What three items do you always have in your pantry? “Peanut butter, chickpeas, and salsa.”
What is your favorite vegan comfort food? “Melted Daiya cheese on pasta or bread. Or, a tempeh reuben sandwich. Or a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Hard to choose just one!”
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking on a plant-based (vegan) diet? “It’s a process… take one (baby) step at a time. Reflect on your choices and feelings, and be kind to yourself…. it’s a must if you’re going to make a lifestyle choice that’s compassionate to other living creatures.”
Do you find anything difficult about being vegan? “”Not really. Sometimes eating out in a restaurant with a group of people can be challenging but I am OK with having less food options and sticking with my beliefs. I’m currently working on refraining from buying leather shoes. I don’t buy other leather products … but making the shift with shoes has been a little harder.”
Any other comments you or words of wisdom you would like to add? “”I’m a licensed psychologist and also a certified yoga teacher. I developed a program to bring mind-body health into early childhood education (think preschoolers learning more than just downward-facing dog, but breathing and meditation too!) www.growingchildyoga.com.”
Thank you SO much, Ilana! I hope my vegan parent readers take the time to check out Ilana’s yoga program for kids.