Name: Donna Michelle Beaudoin
Occupation: Writer by night; Medical Administrative Manager by day
Website: Sister Vegetarian
How long have you been vegan? And what inspired your journey?
I wavered for years in this lifestyle since 1996; but officially made my transition for life in February 2009. That time was plagued with many bumps and side stepping, but I made it through those times a stronger vegetarian and now, vegan. A quote from Vivian Greene sums up our initial decision to walk the path of vegetarianism and veganism, with its good and initial bad times of family not supporting our decisions, “Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I developed my website, Sister Vegetarian, to give others a fighting chance to take back their health through vegetarianism and veganism.
Has veganism enhanced your health? Why or why not?
Yes, vegetarianism and now, veganism have enhanced my health! First, I went back down to a size 4. Within 3-1/2 years I had increased from 110 lbs to 150 lbs, size 4 to size 14. I always exercised, but still gained weight. I had stomach issues. The physicians could not figure out what was wrong after many tests, so I decided to put matters in my own hands. In the past, I remembered that when I did live a vegan lifestyle, I was full of energy and healthy. I switched back for my health…for me.
I ate 90% vegan meals as a vegetarian. After just 1 week, my body felt better. After 2 weeks, I was energetic and the pains that I experienced in my stomach, back, and legs stopped. My weight also began to drop. I am now healthy with no old or new problems, and I am more physically active. I now run occasional long distance marathons, hike and backpack mountain summits of over 6200 feet. I am no longer plagued with hereditary stomach issues. And, I have not had a cold or flu virus in over 2 years!!! Awhile back, I did a blog post on my health problems and how vegetarianism and veganism cured them. Feel free to check it out for more details!
In retrospect, how do you feel about meat? Or do you have any thoughts on America’s meat industry?
I believe that meat causes many of the illnesses that we have as a nation and in the world. Read the book, The China Study – a 40 year scientific study of nutrition. In the book, you will see that countries that do not have meat as their main diet, do not experience the same level of heart disease, diabetes, and cancers that we do in this country.
Was there a community of black women that helped you along your meatless journey? And if not, what are you doing to change this for others?
My great-grandmother ate mostly vegetarian. She never became sick until she caught pneumonia (and passed) at age 100. My great-grandmother ate beets and drank beet juice weekly. She also drank lots of “pot likker,” as the old folks would say, which is the liquid from cooked greens. I also eat a lot of beets, greens, bean soups with greens, and greens soup. My mother started my love of vegetables as a child, and my great-grandmother solidified that love! My mother introduced me to beets, eggplants, greens, Swiss Chards, and various bean stews. Therefore, I do not believe that children are finicky eaters. Children become finicky eaters due to parents who do not like certain vegetables or parents spending too much time at fast food places as a poor substitute for nutritious meals. I am living proof that children do love beets and other uncommon vegetables. You just need to introduce it to them in a loving and caring way. Remember, when you become a vegetarian or vegan, you are a role model to your children, nieces, nephews, aunt, uncles, mom, dad, siblings, friends, and the world. I have readers from Japan and China who have told me that they thought Americans ate only processed foods until they read my blog, and saw the light of truth. Become a community and world role model – become a vegetarian or vegan for life!
Look out for Donna Michelle Beaudoin’s upcoming book, Sister Vegetarian’s 31 Days of Drama Free Vegetarian and Vegan Living. She can be reached via Facebook, Twitter, or at SisterVegetarian[at]aol.com.
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