I feel like these last 2 & 1/2 months have just flown by!  Although, looking back to when I had my ACI knee surgery on May 6th, it does feel like I've been in recovery longer than 2 & 1/2 months.  It's been pretty tough at times but I'm glad that I've been able to remain so positive.  I knew going into this that 6-8 weeks of no weight bearing on my right leg would be hard but I didn't imagine that it was going to be as hard as it was!  After about a month I was getting anxious to get up and get moving but unfortunately I couldn't just yet.  Most of my days were spent lying on my back while hooked up to my CPM & DVT machines while watching television.  It may sound fun to most people to lie home all day and watch television but believe me, it's not!  I think the hardest part was not being to take care of myself like I was used to and not being able to help out with things around the house.  I hate asking for help and I can be extremely stubborn.  So, it was hard to hand everything over to my husband; especially the cooking and cleaning!  Bless my husband's heart for being so incredibly patient, understanding, and willing to take care of me.  I don't know how I could've gotten through all of this without him!

So, for the first month or so we mostly ate vegan convenience foods and very simple homemade vegan meals.  I had to talk my husband through step by step directions on how to prepare the homemade meals...it was pretty comical at times!  I think the hardest part for him was the grocery shopping because I'm usually the one that does the shopping.  So, sometimes he would come home frustrated because he was reading the ingredient list on a lot of items to ensure that it was made vegan but other times he would come home excited with new vegan treats that we haven't tried yet!  After about a month of this vegan convenience eating I found my body really craving more whole foods. 

I love the fact that there are vegan convenience foods on the market because sometimes in certain situations you need them but I don't think I could eat off of these every day!  I found myself lacking energy and just not feeling 100% when eating mostly vegan convenience foods but my body has never seemed to thrive on processed foods anyways.  However, I would much rather eat vegan convenience foods vs. non-vegan convenience foods because when I was a not vegan and I would eat heavily processed foods I always felt sick!  I would end up with horrible stomach aches, other unmentionable issues, and I would feel terrible.  I have found that I do NOT have those types of sensitivities with vegan convenience foods; it's more of just a slight lack of energy.  Once I was more comfortable and mobile, I started to go grocery shopping with my husband and whiz around on one of those motorized carts!  I'll never forget the one day when we were grocery shopping and an elderly gentleman pulled up next me in his motorized cart and asked, "You want to race?"  I couldn't stop laughing!  I thought it was so cute!  Anyways, the more whole foods that we incorporated into our diet the better we both felt.  I chose simple meals that didn't take a long time to make or didn't include much prep work.  Most of these meals can be found in the "30 minutes or less" archive tab.

Right now, I've been learning how to walk again!  It's a bit harder than I expected but I'm determined!  I've been using one crutch for getting around the house for as long as I can tolerate.  Each day seems to get better than the last!  I've been able to tolerate spending more time in the kitchen to prepare meals; Although, I still need some assistance from my husband but it feels great to be back in "my place" (the kitchen).  Cooking for me has always been a stress reliever and a way to express my creativity.  I love that I'm still able to do so by cooking tasty vegan food!

I'm looking forward to a lot of new things in the very near future!  In 1 month I should be walking without the crutches and able to finally drive!  I'm excited to explore & create more vegan recipes and I'm extremely interested in incorporating more raw foods!  As always, I will be keeping you up-to-date with my progress and new vegan recipes!

Okay, so I'm new to blogging.  How new?  Well, let's just say this is my first time blogging and creating a page.  I really want to do this because being vegan is something that I'm extremely passionate about and I'd love to share my experiences to motivate, educate, and inspire people. 
This blog is a long one as it describes my transition but I hope this helps you!

Before going vegan I was mostly vegetarian with the
exception of fish, chicken, dairy, and eggs.  Occasionally I would indulge in some other type of meat but my main focus was on being as vegetarian as I could!  I've always eaten more on the healthier side but I did have moments where I really loved to indulge.  My biggest downfall is
sweets!  Oh chocolate, how I ever so dearly love you but you put the weight in my caboose!  Ugh, let’s face it...we all need some type of little indulgence here and there because that's what keeps us going.  A little bit of chocolate never hurts as long as it's in moderation.  I'll address this sweet tooth issue in a different blog post because I found a way to cure it!

In November 2012 I had an unfortunate mishap with my
right knee where I twisted it and it ended up creating a full-thickness cartilage defect on my right medial femoral condyle.  I had to undergo arthroscopic surgery to "clean up" the area and to remove a flap of cartilage that was catching.  I was out of work for 4 weeks and bored out of my mind.  So, Netflix quickly became my best friend!  I started watching all of these videos on the food we eat and about veganism.  It quickly sparked my interest.  One of the first videos I watched was "Fat Sick & Nearly Dead".  Now, I wasn't overweight at the time and nor am I now but I was seeking a way to live a healthier lifestyle.  So after dropping hints to my husband that I'd love a juicer for my upcoming birthday, my wish was granted.  I didn't do anything crazy like a juice fast but I started to incorporate a juice at breakfast time and in the afternoon as a snack.  The benefits were amazing!  I felt like I was on fire with the amount of energy I had!  I did this for about a month before making my next step.

I started to transition into veganism slowly.  I just wanted to see if I felt any different.  After watching "Vegucated" on Netflix, I immediately stopped eating meat.  I was literally traumatized!  I always knew that animals were never killed in a humane way for food but something about this movie just hit a soft spot in my heart.  Besides, how do you kill an animal in a humane way?  The truth is that there is and will never be a humane way to kill an animal for food.  This movie also offer insight on the term "free range" and it also touches on how cruelty is still displayed on grass fed animals (such as how they perform
castration of calves which is typically done by a rubber band that is pulled tighter and tighter until the testicles fall off).  Then I had watched the movie "Forks Over Knives" and this was my final straw!  Dr. Campbell connects the dots as to how what we eat can cause diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  Both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer.  My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 and my father was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of prostate cancer at the age
of 59.  My Mother made a full recovery and has been cancer free since her treatment.  My Father is still fighting the battle but he is doing well.  When my Father was diagnosed with prostate cancer it hit me really hard.  I was bewildered that both of my parents were diagnosed with some form of cancer and yet we did not have a history of those types of cancer in our family.  Although, on my Mother's side we do have throat and lung cancer but those were most likely induced by smoking and/or drinking.  So,
this movie "Forks Over Knives" really hit home for me because heart disease, cancer, and diabetes run in my family.  Heart disease is the main killer in my family and that's always been a concern of mine.  This movie
offered insight on how I can prevent all three o these diseases and if there is anything that I can do to prevent this then I WILL! 

So I then began to phase out milk, dairy products, and any animal by-products slowly.  Once the milk ran out, the cheese was gone, and the animal by-product stuff was out, that was it!  I wasn't going to buy more animal products anymore!  I felt like this type of transition was perfect
for me because it allowed me to take everything like a grain of salt and it helped to build a greater determination.  Getting rid of the meat and milk was easy for me!  I LOVE almond milk and this is coming from a gal who used to polish down a gallon of milk per week! 

I stumbled upon a great source in the beginning of my transition at
www.healthyeatingstartshere.com.  This woman is amazing!  She's a holistic nutritionist with amazing recipes!  She cooks more with whole foods and mostly no processed foods.  I started out with her recipes when I first started eating no meat and I was transitioning into veganism.  I was having such a hard time finding realistic and satisfying recipes when I first started out and I almost gave up until I stumbled across her blog.  If it wasn't for her, I would have never started!  I loved her recipes because most of her recipes didn't call for weird ingredients that I haven't heard of or that I wasn't ready for.  Her recipes introduced me to quinoa, which I never heard of but it's readily available.  Even Pick N' Save carries it in their bulk department!  I remember roaming the aisle of the grocery store and scoping out how easy this vegan transition would be and much to my discretion it was easier than I thought!  I never knew that the grocery
store carried lentils, barley, quinoa, veganaise, non-dairy cream cheese, etc.  Then again, I never looked because those ingredients weren't what I typically cooked with.

I was skeptical about giving up my cheese though.  Cheese is another love of my mine and I couldn't fathom not having it but I was ready to take that step.  I stumbled across The Vegan Zombie on YouTube (and found their website at  
http://theveganzombie.com/) and I discovered Daiya cheese (soy cheese) and oh man, was I hooked!  You’re telling me that I can be vegan and have my pizza too?  Heck yeah!  HIs pizza recipes are amazing!  Rather, all of his recipes that I tried are amazing!  I love that the recipes are fulfilling and my husband enjoys them.  I owe it to The Vegan Zombie for helping me out during this transition because if it wasn't for him, I think my husband would've made me stop cooking vegan!

I then hit the jackpot on Pinterest for more recipes!  It's like a vegan paradise!  That's been the best source because of the volume of recipes and the variety. I'm usually on
there every other day pinning new recipes to my boards so that I have a variety to choose from.

After this whole transition into being vegan, I was amazed with how great I felt!  It was as if my body had an awakening!  My energy level increased, my skin cleared up, and I had a glow.  People were even noticing the difference.  Odd thing is, no
matter what vegan thing I ate, I never had that sluggish feeling anymore!  I'm too far into this to turn back.  I will be honest though, I am not a strict vegan.  I will eat things that contain honey (although I haven't since I started) and I will consume products that are made vegan buy may be processed on equipment that also processes milk and egg products.  I find that this gives me a bigger variety to choose from.  However, I only do this if I can't find a truly vegan alternative.

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