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Wendy Werneth on Dodging Dietary Bullets Through Compassionate Eating

by on December 08, 2015

wendy-wernethHere’s Wendy’s story, in her own words:

My journey began in November 2013, when I witnessed my father’s slow and painful death from diabetes-related complications.

I knew that I didn’t want my life to end that way, and this awareness of my own mortality also brought with it a gradual recognition of the power of food and the essential role it played in my health.

I’m not sure how I ended up there, but in May 2014 I found myself listening to a telesummit called the Food Revolution Summit, hosted by father-and-son team John and Ocean Robbins.

John and Ocean interviewed a number of doctors, dietitians and activists – people who I now know to be luminaries in the field of plant-based eating.

At the time, though, I had no idea who they were. One of the few names I did recognize was Hollywood celebrity Alicia Silverstone, and it was her talk that left the biggest impact on me.

A few weeks later, I stumbled on her book The Kind Diet at a used book sale and bought it on a whim. I didn’t think I would ever be able to go vegan, but Alicia brilliantly gave readers the option of “flirting” with the vegan lifestyle, and that was how she drew me in.

The more I learned about the health benefits of a plant-based diet and about the horrible and needless suffering caused by animal agriculture, the more I was convinced that being vegan was the only way of living that made sense to me.

But I had major fears to overcome, the biggest of which were the fear that being vegan would ruin travel (one of my biggest passions) and that my husband (who cooked all our meals) would be resistant to the change and it would put a strain on our marriage.

In September 2014, I set off on a three-week trip around Greece and decided to give vegan travel a trial run. As it turned out, my fears surrounding travel were completely unfounded. Not only did being vegan not ruin the experience, it actually made it about a hundred times better!

I learned so much about the country and its culture through its food, and I discovered traditional dishes that most tourists are completely unaware of. Veganism became a window through which I could explore the world from a whole new vantage point. All that was left was to pluck up the courage to tell my husband.

As it turned out, I didn’t have to. While we were in Greece, he brought it up himself and said that I shouldn’t continue to eat animal products if I didn’t want to. I was so relieved!

While the transition wasn’t always easy, he gradually built up a repertoire of delicious vegan meals that we both enjoy, while at the same time making changes to his own diet.

And then, on 1 December 2015, he announced that he too was vegan!

I’m so glad I didn’t let those fears hold me back, because what once seemed like an impossible change has brought so much joy, peace and purpose to my life. I want everyone to be able to experience this same joy, which is why I created my blog, The Nomadic Vegan, where I aim to show the world how fun and fulfilling vegan travel (and vegan living in general!) can be.