Four years have already flown by and I sitting here reflecting on all the moments I can recall. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to attend Biola where I have met some of the greatest people, got to understand what the Christian community feels like, explore Los Angeles, grow in my faith, prepare me for graduate school, and more. As tears stream down my face, I wanted to post a final collage from senior year.
When I first tell people that I’m a vegan, their response is, “Why?” and, “For how long?” So I have decided to finally write about my vegan journey. It first started freshman year of college in August of 2015 where I needed a change in workout style and what I was eating. The cafeteria food seemed to make me sick and I had never truly enjoyed the taste and texture of meat, fish, and poultry. After talking with my new friend, Faeln who has been vegetarian since she was a baby, I was influenced to cut animal’s out of my food pattern.
When you’ve only had meat all your life, it is hard to think of meals without animal in it. It can seem overwhelming and scary, but all it takes is research and connecting with other vegetarians to find new dishes to make. I have noticed a reoccurring pattern of when I speak with people about my lifestyle that they immediately try to defend the reason why they eat meat. Let me note right now that I do not and will never judge anyone by what they eat. Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean I expect everyone else to cut meat out of their meals.
*** If you are planning on going vegetarian or vegan, make sure that you do it right. There are plenty of people who are vegetarian/vegan that are living unhealthy and not making sure they are keeping a balanced lifestyle. Like what? A vegetarian/vegan can be unhealthy? YES! So please, please, please do your research on processed foods and where to get proper protein, carbs, fats, etc. ***
After a year of being vegetarian, I felt my body becoming lactose intolerant. To avoid becoming sick so often, I chose to try cutting out milk products. This lead to me eventually taking out all products produced from animals (this includes eggs). I instantly felt a change in my health and how I viewed the food I was putting into my body.
However, I am not writing this post to convince you to change your lifestyle or start a new diet. I wanted to share my story, inform people on the difference between a vegetarian and vegan, include some benefits, and hopefully spark conversation. If you have ANY questions about my journey, do not hesitate to email or comment below.
Vegetarian vs. Vegan
VEGETARIAN: No animals like fish, meat, chicken, and shellfish
VEGAN: No animals AS WELL AS nothing produced from an animal like eggs, milk, and honey (Honey is debated in the vegan community, but I chose to eat local honey to help my allergies)
3 Main Reasons
- Vegan’s don’t get enough protein – FALSE!!! Vegan’s get plenty of protein from sources like beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, black bean burgers, quinoa, buck wheat, soy, and more. Studies have actually shown that American’s are probably eating TOO MUCH protein primarily from animal sources. (Articles – https://melmagazine.com/youre-eating-way-too-much-protein-3a3c3eb7e4c7 // https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/well/eat/can-you-get-too-much-protein.html // http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit-protein // https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/know-your-nutrients/do-americans-eat-too-much-protein // https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/5/1554S/4650421)
- Vegan’s only eat salad – SOOO FALSE!! Vegan’s can still enjoy food, we actually eat a LOT of it. We can also still eat sweets don’t worry.
- Being vegan is a diet – It depends. Some people do a vegan diet for a month while other’s consider being vegan as a lifestyle. For myself, being a vegan is a lifestyle since I eat this way every single day rather than just cutting out animals and animal products for a select amount of time.
- All vegans are hippies – False. Becoming vegan is actually a rising movement.
- Vegan’s only want to talk about being vegan – False. Not every vegan wants to discuss their lifestyle. And those that want to discuss being vegan do it because it’s part of their journey.
- Vegan’s hate non-vegans – FALSE FALSE FALSE. This is not true at all! Vegan’s are actually judged by non-vegans more. Becoming a vegan is a personal choice and we do not judge, or want to be judged by others for choosing what we eat.
- Vegan food is boring – Uhh heck no. If you’ve seen my vegan Instagram page (katiekimikoeats), you can tell that vegan food is very colorful and flavorful. Don’t knock it till you try it!
- Reduced risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer
- Help decrease animal cruelty such as small pens and cages that animals are forced to live in and the slaughtering of animals
- Reduce the environmental footprint
- Lower blood sugar levels and improve kidney function
- Can help lose excess weight
- Healthier skin
- Longer life
- And SO MUCH MORE !!!
AGAIN, if you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to reach out. I would love to share recipes and more of my journey with you.
Feel free to follow my vegan Instagram page: katiekimikoeats, and my fitness Instagram for more updates: katiekimikofitness
Featured Image from: https://www.veganmotivation.com/what-is-a-vegan/
Life is crazy huh? As I sit here reflecting on the last 20 years of my life, I am reminded of all sorts of memories. Some include struggles while others involve triumph. Every second I have spent on this earth is such a blessing as well as all the people that have entered this crazy 20 year journey with me. Thank you to my friends and family for always sticking by me through the ups and downs. Here’s to 21 and more adventures to come.
I created this list of 21 things I have learned while entering this age of 21. Enjoy!
1) Love others. No matter what, show the love you wish to recieve
2) Be bold! Take that job, go on that date, maybe even go skydiving spontaneously because life is too short to have regrets
3) Being uncomfortable is okay. This is actually where you learn and grow the most
4) Even if you fail, keep going
5) Treat yourself!
6) Love who you are who God created you to be
7) Life is too short not to eat good food
8) Avoid being ignorant. There is so much more to life when you open your mind
9) Travel whenever possible
10) Taking care of your body is crucial. This could involve working out, eating right, and even resting
11) Aim big. You can do absolutely anything you put your mind to
12) Laugh so hard you can’t help but cry and gasp for air
13) Weird is good
14) Cherish your family. They’ll be there for you even when it feels like your world has turned upside down
15) Instead of saying, “I have to ____” try saying “I get to____”
16) Hard work and determination goes a long way
17) Sometimes the only thing to do is let go, and let God
18) Embrace other cultures
19) Aim to live in the present
20) Remind yourself of all that you’re grateful for
21) The unknown is scary but also thrilling
Cheers to 21. And cheers to the past 20 years that have shaped who I am today.
December 2nd // Notting Hill, London
One time wasn’t enough! Back again for an afternoon in Notting Hill surrounded by friends, the smell of warm food, and lots of little shops. Anna planned the day as one last hooray in a new part of London. The day was filled with shopping, crowds, rings, glasses, coffee, and laughter. I’m starting to comprehend the fact that I leave this magical city soon and head back to California in two weeks. I am making a promise to myself right now to enjoy every last second here and soak it in all. Stay tuned for the last few adventures abroad!
November 29th // Richmond Park, London
Just a morning in the park. Richmond Park is located about a mile away from campus, however, Faeln and I have been so busy with other travels and exploring the city of London that we have failed to make an appearance to Richmond Park. However, today was the day. We woke up early (crazy I know), put on layers of clothing, and set out for the day with our friend / flat mate Sydney. She was our tour guide the whole morning, showing us where all the deer were and letting us visit her favorite spots in the park. The weather was absolutely perfect with the sun being out and us not freezing to death. We shared many conversations about life, reflecting on our childhood and also dreams for the future. The three of us ended up walking about six miles, forgetting where we were or what time it was. These are the best mornings, in the company of friends and surrounded by nature.
November 22nd // London
Fae and I went to a new little coffee shop today as suggested by lots of friends. We ordered out Avocado toast, caught up on life, then continued on paper writing (coffee was well needed at this point). The small shop offered us food, warm drinks, a place to talk and work on our papers with the distraction of adorable babies running around. If you’re in the London, Hammersmith area, be sure to check out this cute cafe!
November 20th // London
Reservation for four please. Since we arrived in London, Faeln and I had been dreaming about going to Sketch. For those of you who don’t know what Sketch is (gasp!), it is a beautiful spot in London for afternoon tea, dinner, and a bar surrounded by all sorts of artwork. You can make reservations for afternoon tea or dinner in different styled rooms if you wish, but be sure to book in advance as they get busy fast! The room was ate in is called The Gallery, classified as a “Modern European Gastro-Brasserie” where everything is pink, artsy, and beautiful. 239 pieces from David Shrigley’s exhibit hung on the walls and captured my attention immediately. Not only was the dinning room stunning, but also the one of a kind bathrooms that you’ve probably seen all over social media. When you first walk in, you feel as if you’ve stepped into a space ship or a futuristic world beyond what you ever imagined. There are pods, bathrooms actually, on the right and left hand side. Feel free to walk around, take a typical picture, and enjoy a room you’ll probably never see again.
Overall, Sketch was even more than I imagined it to be. I HIGHLY suggest going if you’re in the London area and making reservations in advance. Enjoy!