Finding Jess "Be the reason someone smiles today"

- Duluth, MN -
Your life as a Christian should make nonbelievers questions their disbelief in God.
spring has sprung
stay mindful

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1. rejuvenate and purify

2. flush the body and rid of impurities

3. awaken and heal digestion

4. eliminate bloating

5. nourish and repair with high quality nutrients

6. boost immunity and energy

7. strengthen the mind-body connection

8. bring awareness + mindfulness to food and eating habits

9. refresh skin’s radiance and healthy glow

10. improve lifestyle habits

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"food is fuel. food is energy. food is nourishment."

November 16, 2017 - Vegan queen

Family dinners and gatherings always included meat, always. Meat was the “main staple” and we didn’t have any vegetarians in the family. My sisters and I drank cow’s milk with dinner every night while growing up, because milk has “calcium” and that is what you are supposed to drink in order to grow big and strong, right? Well, that is what most parents are led to believe. Although cow’s milk is meant for baby cows like breast milk is meant for infants. Weird to say but when you think about it, the concept just makes sense.

The word “vegan” never came up until one of my elective classes during college at St. Cloud State University, Environmental Ethics. I chose this class not realizing the sadness it would entail, and the emotions it would stir up. My professor was 100% vegan in every aspect of her life. From cruelty-free toothpaste to clothing to cleaning products, and obviously food.

Much of my time spent in that class was me trying to distract myself, trying to spare my brain from any more torturous images and malicious videos. I thought about removing myself from the class but I was too lazy to look for other options that counted as two requirements. Even though my professor was wacky, I couldn’t help but admire her. I had never met anyone like her before, let alone a vegan. Her pure love and respect for the animals, for her health, for nature and for our planet opened my eyes.

When I reminisce about my courses at St. Cloud State, her class sticks out in my mind. My heart carved out a spot for her and the perspectives she taught me. From that point on, I dabbled with vegetarianism, but I wasn’t in tune with my body like I am now. I wasn’t fully connecting the dots… yet.

Last night was a Thursday. I was sitting at Caribou and I decided to do a little research on vegetarianism and the transition to veganism during my small break from studying. This “small break” turned into an hour or so of browsing pages and pages of Pinterest, following their links, and jotting down notes and tips from experienced vegans. But I couldn’t help but witness unnecessary animal suffrage, beatings, and slaughtering.

As much as I didn’t want to think about it, this was real. I could see the animals suffering from anxiety, fear, and immense pain. They knew what was coming and could sense it. How could they not? I saw absolutely unnecessary, heartless acts being performed and it brought up real human emotion that stems from instincts. Raw emotion, real happenings and video footage led me to this

I sat there thinking about what our world has come to. Then feeling disgusted with society. Disgusted with myself as well, that I had been so ignorant and oblivious to what was happening behind slaughter house walls but mainly behind big corporations. That the big-name meat and dairy brands are powerful, full of lies and are absolute experts with their marketing and labeling. That for the most part, there are no happy cows or free-range chickens (unless you have a chicken coop in your backyard). That cage-free doesn’t mean what we think it means. That we don’t know any better because we are swarmed daily with happy dairy ads, commercials and marketing schemes. That factory farming is very much existent, not to mention all the hormones and antibiotics that they pump into the animals to keep them from getting sick and to speed up the growth process, which is all too common, and is also powered by the big-name brands connected to the government. That our food has become so processed and nutrient-lacking, we think we are eating healthy from the labels and what society says (got milk?), when we are actually missing the point completely, and it’s not our fault. That we don’t need animal products to thrive. Animal protein consumption is causing disease left and right due to the acid forming properties in the body. That plant based eating can resolve numerous ailments in millions of people. I wanted nothing to do with meat or cheese or milk or any of it.

This realization was pretty empowering. It led me to a turning point in my life.

Living vegan is unfamiliar for many people, ad going vegan doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. It’s back to the basics. It’s simple. It’s delicious. It’s real. It’s not processed. It’s whole foods from nature and ultimately, what you make it out to be. Most people would shake their heads and say they don’t want to see it or hear about it, they just want to enjoy their cheeseburgers and milkshakes and be oblivious like everyone else. That used to be me until I took a risk that was out of the ordinary, uncomfortable and far from the norm. It’s easy to eat at a classic restaurant or pass through the drive-thru and make traditional family recipes… but it’s also easy to whip up a delicious, nourishing vegan meal in 5 minutes.

People don’t see it that way though. Humans stick to what they know and don’t want to go through extra trouble if they don’t have to because they’re lazy and tired! They’ve given up. That is no way to live life though, we deserve way more than that. We have one shot. One life. One body. Being vegan is not as hard as society makes it out to be. Vegan is new and unfamiliar, that’s all – just like anything else. It’s not about deprivation, dieting or counting calories, it’s about adding in foods your body will love and will recognize as actual food that it can use. Real, living, colorful, whole foods found in nature.

The biggest benefit for me after reducing my animal product consumption was the feeling of clear, glowing skin with a healthy tone that I’ve never had before. My skin is no longer dull, it’s smooth and improving everyday. I don’t have to wear as much makeup as I used to. Energy has been another major plus. Because I am feeding my cells food that it can utilize as fuel, my body functions better than ever – especially my digestion. I swear I can feel the vitamins buzzing through my veins. I can feel the energy from the food. More energy means more high quality exercise too. Strong is the new sexy!

I want everyone to experience these positive changes. My mindset is more positive but there is a new spiritual light inside me. I believe that’s because I am no longer consuming foods that are filled with anxiety, fear and pain. Following my intuition is my driving force, and my intuition is crystal clear. For the most part, I feel well and energized every single day. Who knew our bodies could feel this good?! They are meant to feel like this, I swear.

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"We love, because He loved us first." • 1 John 4:19

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Created with images by M. Keefe - "Yellow Patch" • Capri23auto - "tulips colorful tulips schnittblume" • Marion Michele - "Tree by Water" • Lukas Budimaier - "Vegetable Market"

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