My Vegan Journey - The How and Why

Carly talks all the time about being vegan but in this episode she shares how exactly she became vegan. In honor of World Vegan Day (November 1st) she details how her initial reasoning for the vegan transition was health but issues like animal cruelty, environmental rights and more quickly came into her consciousness. Carly also gives her secret to not only helping in the vegan transition but for STAYING vegan.

Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!

Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly. And I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Thank you for joining me for another solo Sunday episode, whether it's Sunday evening, you're getting ready for the week, Monday morning, you're on your way to work, or whatever day This podcast is found you. I'm really glad you're here. So usually at the beginning of these solo episodes, I've been reading in Apple podcasts review of the week from listeners. But this week, I wanted to do something a little different. I mentioned it in some of my interview episodes, and it comes up casually, that I am a certified yoga instructor. But I wanted to make sure that the listeners know that because everything is online right now, including my yoga classes, that if you're ever interested, you can always join, and you can reach out to me for more information.

So I wanted to read a review from a student of mine, to give you a little taste. So this review says, I loved yoga with Carly. As I get older, I'm not quite as flexible. And Carly was very aware of different levels of fitness and modified them for all levels. She is a lovely, positive and encouraging woman, I encourage you to try one of her classes. Thank you so much for that review. It's really fun to get reviews from students who have been in my classes for a while and you can really get a sense of the vibe that I try and create even though it's through zoom, it's not the same. But that means that you listening, if it's at the right time for you, wherever you are, you could join and that's really exciting.

So today, when I'm recording, this is November 1, and it is world vegan day, I always forget about this day. But my Instagram was blowing up with all the amazing vegan people I follow, reminding me that it is world vegan day. And as I was thinking about recording this solo episode tonight, I realized I haven't actually done just a short episode fully on how I became vegan. I talked a lot about it. Obviously, I talked a lot about it with my guests, it comes up in some of my solo episodes, I did an episode about the angry phase of becoming vegan and more of that, but really saying how I got here, I think is helpful for other people who are still in that phase of, I don't think I could ever do this, or where do I start or any of that. So I think I have to admit that it started. Actually a long time ago, the seed was planted. I mentioned my best friend and a lot of interview episodes. Shout out to Michelle, who has dealt with me for a very long time, and has been my best friend since we were like eight. And she went vegan in middle school, way ahead of the curve way ahead of all of us, me for sure. She was vegetarian when we were younger, she went vegan, and she was vegetarian a little bit. And now she's been vegan for such a long time. So I didn't know what that word meant until she introduced me to that. And she is a very inspiring person for a while because of her.

I tried to be vegetarian, it didn't last long. But I think that I have to admit that seed was planted in me a long time ago. But it took a long time to keep with the metaphor to grow and to be nourished, because I didn't fully understand. And like many of us, I didn't really want to know the realities of what was going on. So learning about it felt a little scary to me. So cut two years later, I am in undergrad and my stomach and my digestion is getting worse and worse and worse. I'm in pain all the time. And finally, we figured out that I am lactose intolerant. And I just want to note that we figured that out literally because my mom said, I wonder if you're lactose intolerant, like some of the people on your dad's side of the family. I went to the doctor I got ultrasounds, they put me on this different medication for all these different things they thought was going on in my stomach And not one person said, What are you eating? Or what are you not eating? Or how's your diet? One doctor actually told me that everyone's pendulum of digestion is different. And maybe mine just swings a little wider. And I was like, that just doesn't seem right.

But I didn't really know to question things. And I do want to note too, that it's not to any fault of a doctor. I'm not saying they were vindictive, and wanted me to suffer through lactose intolerance. But as some past guests have noted, and as I hope to talk about more and more in this podcast, because I think it's fascinating. Doctors in our country don't get much information on nutrition. So food was not a question that came up, which is wild. So after all, that, literally per the suggestion of my mom, I cut out dairy and felt amazing, which the bar was low. So I felt better. And if I was going to have dairy, I would take those pills, lactose lactaid lactaid, that would help you digest lactose, which now that I think about, it makes my stomach hurt. But it's just what I did at the time. So no judgment for past kartli. So that's kind of what started the food journey.

That's when I started to pay attention to more of what I was eating. But honestly, I cut dairy out, to some extent, but I really relied on those lactose pills. But it did make me start to have to read all these food labels, because they put milk powder in the weirdest things. So I did start to pay attention to a little bit more of what was in my food. And then I just slowly started being dis interested in a lot of meats. I was kind of picky about that stuff growing up anyway. So it wasn't a huge deal for me to cut out red meat. I did that. And I started just slowly kind of pulling away from meat in general. And at one point, I had declared that I was pescatarian. So I didn't have any meat except fish. And then I really cut out dairy almost entirely and just a few times would kind of cheat and take pills and have dairy especially if we were eating out or something like that. And then finally, I just dove in to the health and wellness in a different way in a more holistic way and more of a nutrition way. And I learned more about plant based eating. And I kind of realized that I was almost there anyway, I didn't really eat eggs anymore. They started to gross me out. I was eating fish once in a blue moon and I was barely eating dairy. And when I learned about nutrition, and I started reading and following people on Instagram, I just thought I'm I think I'm done. Like I think I'm vegan. So it was truly the health and really my own body and well being that started at all. And that's okay.

I think there is some weird shame in the vegan world or community about people not wanting to say I started for me like it's supposed to be this poetic moment that you started for the animals or the environment or there are a lot of those stories. Of course. Like if you remember if you've listened to Jen Rivera Belle's first interview her and her then boyfriend now husband had a pet pig they got and all of a sudden realized they couldn't eat meat. So like there are those stories but sometimes it's just for your own health and that was your intro in that was mine. But then I kind of dove down the wormhole. So I went vegan. And immediately after I kind of declared this is official, I went to my first veg Fest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which was so so so fun. And then that I really then just dove in. I started learning about the environmental effects and the animal agriculture and all of that and it just became crystal clear to me that this was a choice I was making and it was a choice I was never going to go back on so help came first. I think the environment was number two I did a series of blog posts about this a while back you can check out on my website in fact meant was second, because then I started really caring more and more about the environment.

And I don't know if it was moving back to Grand Marais and being back in this beautiful place that I get to call home. It just that connection made a lot more sense to me suddenly, and I wanted to do all that I could to make a difference. And being vegan is a huge, huge way to look out for the environment. And then the third thing was the thing I had been avoiding, since my dear friend Michelle, started talking about veganism when we were younger was the animal rights issues. And I think that was because I just didn't want to think about it. And I also didn't want to think about the fact that I had participated in that system that just felt so gross. But that's all we know. So if that's all you know, why feel bad about it. It's what you do when you learn these new things. And when you get new information, that's what matters. But don't beat yourself up for partaking in some of these things. In the past, when you didn't know, you literally didn't know, I had no idea, the torture, that animals go through the complete torture that animals go through for five minutes of eating a burger, or whatever it is. So that was kind of the path of those three main pillars that the vegan community talks about his health, environment and animals. And I'll say that, since then, I thought for a while those are the three things like those three things are really what matters. And those are what I'll talk about if people ask. But in the last couple years, especially in the last, I would even say six months, just this world's awakening, I really dove into how being vegan and how these choices intersect with other issues of social justice.

So for example, workers rights, the people that are working in these factories that are really dangerous and unsafe and unhealthy, or fashion. So wearing leather or wool, those industries are brutal, they're so brutal. And we just get a nice, cute picture of happy sheep frolicking through a field, but they're not that happy. So I have been diving in even further into all of the intersecting issues. And like I say all the time, you just realize when you dive into things, that there's never a single issue, they're all connected, literally all connected. So that being said, that's a lot of things to think about. That's really overwhelming. Here's what I like to tell people. And this works with a lot of different things. But I think specifically it works with trying to be vegan, or if your goal is to be vegan, but you think it's really unattainable, or you can't stick to it, or whatever it is. You have to find your why. And I say this a lot. I say it in other circumstances as well, really, you have to find your why to make any change.

If you're going to make a change, you have to really connect and ground down in your why, why are you doing this? And not only that, but that is what keeps you there. That is what keeps you in the habit. That's what keeps you vegan. So initially, my why was I want to live longer. I learned about the connection between plant based eating and the health of our brain. And this was after taking care of my grandmother who has Alzheimer's for years. And that really that was it for me. If I can eat plants, and I can better protect my brain. And I can at least stave off getting Alzheimer's. That's it. That's enough. That's my why when I think of her, that's why I choose this lifestyle and that's why I talked about it. That's why I talk about it. So that was that first why that made a lot of sense to me. And when it's hard or when you're out to eat and you're like great.

The only thing and thing on this menu is french fries and a side salad and anybody who's already vegan is laughing because that is like a real experience. Often it's getting way better. But side salad and fries is like a vegan tradition when you go to certain restaurants, because that's all we can eat. Um, you have to find your why and in those moments where like there's nothing here to eat or whatever or this is really hard or my friends are making fun of My family doesn't get it. Whatever the circumstances, you can think of that Why? And then you're like, you know what, that's why it's worth it. It's worth it because of this. And that can ground you down. And my y's have changed and shifted. I mean, my grandma and the health of my body, and my brain is my biggest one that really keeps me going.

But now I have a lot of why's that connect to that, you know, the environment and future generations and workers rights, and animals and all of it? So what is your entrance? If you are interested in this way of eating and living and being in the world? It's more than just food? But maybe that's where you start? Maybe your why is? I don't know, maybe my story about Alzheimer's made you think of a family member? Or maybe you have struggled back and forth with eating healthy your whole life and you want to eat more plant based? Maybe you think of it that way. Whatever it is, what is the why that like, truly lights you up? Not just like, I want to lose five pounds, but like, what is the why that makes you think Yeah, oh, that's right, I'm gonna do this, and I'm gonna do it damn well, because that why matters to me. So I want you to think about that if you are thinking about trying to be plant based, or whatever it is really, but specifically in this conversation being vegan, what's your why it will make all the difference in your transition.

And per usual, I am here to help. That is why I'm here. That is what I love doing when I get DMS on Instagram about recipe suggestions, or can you suggest some people to follow I love that it lights me up. And I am a certified health coach as well. And I am very soon going to be rolling out some one on one options and just some introductory options for people who want a little help, but they might not want to do like a whole coaching plan. So if you're interested in working with me, even though those things aren't out on the website yet, reach out to me if you're listening and you want more info and I can message you or email you or whatever it is and talk to you more about that. So that is a brief overview of my vegan journey for this world vegan day and also how to stick with it because that is the crucial part how to stick with it. Find your why and you won't struggle.

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless. If you are enjoying this podcast, hit subscribe wherever you're listening. If you want to help me get this into the ears of more listeners, send it to a friend text it to a family member share on social media. I love when you all share which episode you're listening to on social media. It is so fun, I get so excited. So please keep doing that. And if you really want to help me out, head over to Apple podcasts and leave a review and you can be read on air as a review of the week in the future. Until next time.