I wanted to make my first plant-based living experience blog about someone special, so I decided to start with my sister. My sister Rachel has been a vegetarian for four years. She is a high performance triathlete who competes representing Canada in Continental Cup races across the world. She meets all of her caloric and protein needs off of a plant based diet.
I decided to talk to Rachel first because my sister is one of my favourite people in the world. She is resilient and never quits. She can train harder than anyone I have met. She sees a goal and she always goes for it.
She went vegetarian about four years ago, and she did so quietly. She never told anyone she was making a dietary change, and didn’t make a fuss about it. She decided she wanted to change something about her lifestyle and just did it. To me she is proof that you can be a high-performance athlete and live a plant based life!
Type of Plant Based Diet: Vegetarian
Timeline: Vegetarian 4 years
Question 1: What made you decide to go plant based? Was there one specific moment or several moments?
I met a cow, it reminded me of my dog. My dog at the time was getting older, and I was really aware of how lucky I was to have him in my life and that I didn’t feel ready to lose him. I knew my dog had feelings and that his life was valid. When I saw the cow and was reminded of my dog I was no longer able to differentiate between why I ate one and not the other. Realizing that animals had feelings and becoming aware of some of the practices behind animal consumption made it uncomfortable for me the next time I had a burger. After that, I no longer ate meat.
Question 2: What was the first step you took towards going plant based?
I just stopped eating meat. I did it all at once.
Question 3: What was the hardest part of going plant based?
Going over to other people’s homes for dinner, and not wanting to be difficult or offend someone for not eating their meal.
Traveling to places where Vegetarian meals are hard to find, for me the hardest was finding vegetarian meals when I traveled to Romania for a race. Not every country makes plant based eating as accessible as Canada.
Question 4: What is your favourite part about going plant based?
I’m not contributing to slaughtering animals, as well as the positive environmental impacts from consuming less meat.
Question 5: Have you learned any plant based tips and tricks you would like to share with us?
I like to bring a main course vegetarian option to a dinner event, that way there is definitely something for me to eat.
If you are traveling somewhere new, look up restaurants before you get there. At least for the first night, so you know somewhere to get a meal.
Questions 6: What is the one thing you wished people knew about being plant based?
It’s your choice. There is nothing wrong about making a choice that you feel good about.
Question 7: Do you have any advice for those who are just starting out on their plant-based journey?
Not Really, In North America it’s not that hard. There are a lot of meat alternatives that taste great.