On Saturday, November 20, 2010, Barbara went vegan "Cold Tofurkey" for the animals, after watching the documentary, Earthlings.
But the seeds of the idea of going vegan sprouted a couple of months before that for the now 63-year-old from from Jersey City, N.J. Barbara told me that's when two other women at work decided to go vegan for 30 days.
"I had a conversation with them about how they went vegan and later saw the outcome of their 30 days which was a kind of glow and good feeling about them that inspired and intrigued me," she said.
After that conversation at work, Barbara spent the next month or so reading blogs and articles, seeing the documentary, Food Inc. and reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, which contained the 30-day plan the 2 women at work had used to go vegan.
"I knew nothing about veganism until then, she explained. "I had no plan to change my lifestyle which was total carnivore - mostly poultry, fish and dairy but little red meat - for 57 years."
How Barbara went vegan overnight
On November 19, 2010, Barbara watched Earthlings (also recommended by the 2 ladies from work) and the next day, she became a vegan without knowing exactly what to do.
"After seeing that film, I just knew I could no longer eat and live the way I had been because I had walked through a doorway of knowing the truth and there was no turning back."
People ask her all the time if going vegan overnight was a hard transition, but her answer remains the same:
"No - not at all."
Although she says she did go through a heavy-duty detox phase initially which lasted about 3 months.
"My body just didn't understand what was going on, but I never had problems finding food or had issues about what to eat. I just pushed on."
Barbara says that once she stopped relying on animal products, there was so much more food to choose from.
"Whole Foods became a lifeline. I started cooking much more. At first, I did find substitutes for how I used to eat - like faux turkey slices so I could make a sandwich, and faux cheese so I could have grilled cheese. But I really enjoyed discovering new veggies like kale and chard. I had always loved veggies but didn't realize how vast a range there is to choose from."
Unexpected health benefits of going vegan
Once she had the food thing handled (within the first 6 months), she began to learn about the health benefits which she hadn't even considered. After all, her decision to go vegan was based on the plight of the animals involved in what most Americans eat, wear and use every day.
By the time Barbara's next annual physical after going vegan rolled around, her cholesterol dropped from 192 to the 170 range and stayed that way until 4 months ago when her annual physical blood test results showed it dropped again to 148. Her blood pressure also dropped quickly back to around 110/70.
"Just before going vegan, my blood pressure was at 130/90 and beginning to move into an area of ill health and possible medications," she said.
At age 63, Barbara's year-round allergies have lessened so much since going vegan that she doesn't need to take allergy medications any longer. Chronic back and neck issues she's had since her 20s have tapered off in the past several years and her back hasn't gone out in over 3 years.
Barbara is not strictly a whole food, plant-based vegan but it is her ultimate goal.
"I eat mostly veggies, legumes, seeds, some fruit, tofu, tempeh and way too many sweets," she explains. "But I could live on vegan cheese on a toasted bagel with tomato and green iced tea!"
How does it feel to be a vegan?
"The more I read and learn, and the more vegan people I meet and vegan groups I participate in, the stronger my sense of calm, lightness and rightness becomes," says Barbara.
"Going vegan was actually the best and most profound decision of my life. Now I have a legacy of saving the lives of many animals, lowering my carbon footprint and having a kinder, gentler existence. No matter what comes, I will always feel at peace inside about this life-changing choice."
I think all of that is what that vegan glow in Barbara's picture is all about.
Since her transition, Barbara has become a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator and a Reiki Master.
Want to take back your health eating this way
but need help to get the health & weight loss results you really want?
Schedule a free Plant-Empowered Woman Activation Call with me to:
-CREATE a crystal clear vision for the healthy lifestyle you want free of the health conditions and limiting beliefs that are dragging you down
-UNCOVER hidden challenges sabotaging your health and weight loss efforts
-LEAVE this session with a plant-based plan...renewed, inspired and ready to reclaim your health quickly through a whole food plant-based vegan diet and lifestyle
With Love, Broccoli & Vegan Weight Loss Magic ✨
Vegan Coach Naomi :)