I always enjoy hearing the stories of those who read my blog. I urge any other readers to reach out to me so that I can share your triumphs and challenges that we all face in our lives, whether it's through our plant-based journey, road to financial happiness, or our adventures into minimalism. Whatever the story, it always put a big smile on my face to know that other readers out there are relating to my own life, and are learning something in the process.
When Kristin reached out to me, I was excited to see if she'd share her story with all of you.
LRJ: What made you decide to go plant-based and change your diet?
LRJ: What kind of health problems have you experienced in the last few years and what led you to change your ways?
It truly wasn't until my little man was old enough to eat solid foods with us that I decided to change my eating habits. Since he has a severe dairy allergy, I couldn't see fixing two separate meals for three people. With the hypertension and my little one's dairy allergy, it really became an obvious choice to change our eating habits. Also, I was diagnosed in August of 2012 as pre-diabetic with the recommendation to start medication for that issue. Having seen my father and his father deal with diabetes in their later years, I knew I didn't want to do the same thing. Another reason for making the change.
LRJ: What have been the biggest health benefits or changes that you've noticed since changing your diet?
LRJ: Did you face any challenges in the beginning?
Second, I didn't enjoy cooking in the least when I first started. I had no confidence so I really never knew if something was going to taste good or not each meal. Thankfully, I've been blessed with a wonderful husband who is very supportive of our change. He has definitely given me the confidence to at least attempt everything once. I will say, though, the "No-Cheese Sauce" in the Forks over Knives cookbook has been shelved indefinitely. Not going there again any time soon. :)
Third, I'm not the healthiest person on the planet. But even my healthier friends were challenging me on cutting out meat. And it seems that even now I'm often left to fend for myself because of a lack of understanding. In fact, I had someone ask me if I didn't believe that God wants us to eat meat. And I had someone else who wanted to bring us lunch one day and decided on roast beef & ham sandwiches. Not sure what you say to that except "thank you."
LRJ: Tell me about your blog, Unexpectedly Expecting. What inspired you to create this blog?
So I decided to start a blog to record my growing belly along with milestones. All of our friends and family knew how strongly we felt about not having children so they sincerely wanted to know how we were handling this change in our lives. And as this country goes, you just don't live close enough to the ones you love for them to be involved in your lives. So, the blog started. Now that I have a very active toddler, it's been more difficult to get the blogs posted on a monthly basis. I do what I can and post when I have the opportunity.
LRJ: I'm childless but incredibly interested in raising my future son or daughter as a vegan. Does your son Noah like to eat plant-based meals?
LRJ: You also mentioned you were delving into minimalism. What brought you to that, and how has that affected your life?
Some things have been easy to cut out, like eating out and travel. We've also cut out our home phone and only have cable internet. When we cut our cable off, we thought that would be the end of our lives. But there is way more content on the internet that's free than we ever thought possible.
I even started making my own laundry detergent with your recipe. And I'm looking to make soap and shampoo soon to help cut those disposable costs. We're always looking at ways to cut out revolving expenses like our trash pickup (we can take it to a friend's dumpster) and putting up a clothesline to help cut energy costs this summer. But God has been so good to us by taking care of our finances. We actually have been able to give money to others on many occasions and are more free with our possessions than ever before.
LRJ: What advice would you give to others who are considering making a lifestyle change, whether into a plant-based diet or minimalism?
If you can afford to take some short cuts, do that by buying the pre-cut veggies at the store. And don't get overwhelmed. I am definitely much faster at throwing a meal together now than I was six months ago. One thing that helps me is to always have some rice or other grain already made on hand. Brown rice takes up to 45 minutes or longer to cook. If you can have it done and in the fridge or freezer waiting for you to make your meal, all the better! Again, just take it slow and do what you can.
LRJ: You've obviously had some big changes over the last couple of years. Looking back, what would you say is your proudest accomplishment in your journey?
LRJ: Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks again to Kristin for sharing her story! Check out her blog, Unexpectedly Expecting, to keep up to date on her journey.