Mamatoga Fit Tip: Can I Go Vegan?

“A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.

Why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

~from the website Vegan Action at

We will get back to talking about protein and meal planning next week. But today I would like to briefly tell you about my visit to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. I went there yesterday, to volunteer with a friend. It was a really amazing day.

We stayed for about four hours and helped out with some chores. Mostly we raked hay and cleaned up a lot of animal droppings. I know it doesn’t sound all that exciting but we did it amongst goats, and cows, and pigs, and chickens, roaming cats, ducks, and turkeys. It was just lovely.

Have you ever had a pig waddle over to you excitedly? Have you ever had a goat bump you for attention, or a sheep spontaneously nuzzle its head affectionately in your lap? I experienced all of those things yesterday, and more. I worked amongst smart, quirky, funny, unique, individualistic, personalities. Just like you and I, each animal had their quirks and their tendencies.

I am not saying it was just this one experience that brought me to today’s topic, veganism. I have been interested in making the switch since the first time I visited the farm, maybe a year and a half ago. I have read all the books about the horrors of factory farming, and I often post articles about the horrific things that are being put into our food supply, all for the sake of making more money.

It has just been a really long, transitional switch for me. But I think it’s time. I think I’m ready.

For any of you who have been following my food log on my Real [Fit] Life blog, you will quickly see this is no small deal for me. I currently eat meat or fish every day. I am going to need to educate myself more too.

For me, I think I just know too much at this point to turn a blind eye anymore. Seeing those animals and how much they are like us, it made me feel all the more resolute in the fact that they need all the more protection.

For more information about the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary you can go to this link. It’s a great place to take the kids! In addition, the site is also a great resource for reading about the realities of factory farming, the cruel, inhumane conditions the animals are kept in, and the horrific ways the food we eat, and feed our kids, is produced. It isn’t a happy story, but it is important to know where our food comes from.

I will keep everyone posted on my progress switching to a vegan diet. I am excited and nervous. But that’s the way I always feel when I start out something new that will be life changing and positive, so it’s all good.

The saying goes “you are what you eat.” I believe that to be very true.

To read more from Jeannine check out her blog Real Fit Life here!