What comes into your mind when you hear the word “Vegan?” Maybe you’re thinking about Miley Cyrus, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Ellen Degeneres, and the list goes on. So, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jill, and I cannot live a day without my vegan smoothie.

Life of a Vegan

I am no model or celebrity. My Instagram is not filled with life quotes. Although I am a very healthy person, I do not have the curves of a Victoria’s Secret model. I am a marketing manager who wakes up at 7, clocks in at 8:30, and goes home fulfilled at the end of the day.

On weekends and holidays, I spend my free time climbing new peaks and our little mountaineering group of 10 friends is initiating efforts to preserve local wildlife.  Especially after finding out that a local species of elk is endangered, and this lovable mammal is not just unique to our region, but also a vital part of the ecosystem.

How and Why I became Vegan

Two years ago, I was in charge of organizing a series of events that stretched for two months. The demands of my job drained my love for it and my usual enthusiasm towards meeting people. 

I always had this eagerness to entertain people, curate memorable events, and make things special for everyone. So, when I found myself dispassionate and out of ideas, I knew that I needed to embark on a journey of self-discovery to get back my spirit and restore my love for the things I do.

I discovered this farm retreat house near hills, where everything was so laid back and beautiful. There I savored the beauty of slowing down and doing nothing for days. I felt reconnected with myself. And I rekindled my love for meeting new people.

I opened myself up to new adventures, helping on the farm, and watching animals, especially those goats which were remarkably taller. 

In my tour of several farms, I was drawn into a chicken coop. At least 300 chickens lived in partitions the size of a regular fridge’s freezer. They sat there all day, listening to music, eating laying pellets, and producing eggs to be collected by their caretakers. It bothered me that their entire life was spent in that box.

Vegan Community

The idea of veganism is not new to me. Two of my mountaineer friends are vegan. I have always taken it as something to admire them for. But I never considered it for myself despite several invitations. 

One of them was Ted, who co-founded our local vegan community. Ten years ago, he bought a mini pig that grew into a 300-pound hog. Ted lost his appetite for the family’s usual weekend barbecue.

Ally, on the other hand, was raised in a vegan family. Her father died of a heart attack when she was young, and since then, her mother has vowed to be vegan.

Discovering Vegan Food

“Veganism is never about forcing yourself to eat rabbit food. On the contrary, it encourages you to become more involved in the creation of food. And then you will that will change your life.”

This was the best advice I received at the start of my plant-based journey. 

I took on an active role in the creation of my own food, starting with a small garden on my balcony, which blossomed over time. 

My friends were very enthusiastic in handing me tempting vegan food recipes. My options were almost endless. Black rice, quinoa, chia seeds, avocado; you can do a lot with them. 

There was a bit of anxiety and discomfort at first. Eventually, I found myself healthier, happier, more energetic, and with glowing skin.

I kept on finding new ways to enjoy food, and every discovery is a priceless experience.

Vegan Smoothies

Who doesn’t love smoothies? They are among the easiest food to whip up in the morning, and a great way to infuse healthy fruits into our diets. It’s also an invigorating snack. Make a good cup and every sip feels like heaven. The good news is, there are a lot of delicious purees that are 100% vegan.

I discovered Drinkfit Fruit First Smoothie Mix during my second year of veganism. I have tried all the flavors, and I have my favorites.

Banana is my ultimate choice. It’s so yummy! And you can always add strawberries, cocoa, avocado, oats, almond butter, or anything! With Drinkfit’s Banana Vegan Puree, you can make a different smoothie every time.  

Mango is another favorite. I can close my eyes, take a sip, and picture myself cruising in the Caribbean. Add some peaches, dragon fruit, and pineapple, and you have a tropical superfood. 

So far, I have collected all six flavors from Amazon. I have my fruit smoothie bar at home, where I prepare special batches for my family and friends. All the tropical vibes!

When I need an extra boost, I add creatine to my usual cup. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that gives me a burst of energy. Many vegans recommend it. 

Vegan Meditation

Another activity that has been helpful for me was meditation. I realized that veganism isn’t just a diet. It is a lifestyle of wellness, of choosing things that are good for the mind and body. It is being conscious of the food we eat, the amount of exercise that we do, the thoughts we let in, and the purpose we pursue. Veganism takes in everything good so that our lives can become more meaningful.

Meditation is great with the vegan lifestyle because it rids me of stress, which causes me to have carb cravings. 

Finding Your Purpose

Veganism became possible for me because I have it in my heart to be kind to everyone, including nature and animals. It became sustainable because, in my love for the outdoors and protecting wildlife, I met like-minded people. We made each other’s journey fun.

At the end of the day, Veganism for me is about kindness and pursuing a purpose of making this world better, one positive habit at a time.