Here is my story.
My name is Chandler Parsons and I am a 29-year-old living in a small town called Bondurant, in the heart of Iowa. I have a wife (same age), 2 and a half-year old son named Harper, 6-year-old pug named Tootsie, and a newly adopted puggle named Lily.
I was first introduced into the vegan world back in 2011. I went through a painful nose surgery in order to remove nasal polyps, which left me sitting in a chair for a week. I’m a fairly active person so sitting in a chair 24 hours a day became quite boring. I had to find something to fill my time so I stumbled upon the power of instant videos through Netflix. I started watching a few TV shows, but then noticed the documentaries section. I believe one of the first ones I watched was Forks Over Knives. After about 20 minutes in, I began asking myself some very difficult questions. (No one likes questioning the integrity of one’s beliefs!) The documentary really started to resonate with me since I was already pretty big into environmentalism, I just didn’t realize how destructive the factory farming industry really was, not only to our health, but also to animals and the environment! This is why Paul McCartney wrote: “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”
My wife was originally not on board and was quite annoyed with my new insights. Over the course of a few months she slowly started to change her thinking. I think this was hard for her because she grew up in a standard American house eating meat, and her father also worked in the meat department at the local grocery store. At this time she was pregnant with our son and after he was born we decided to go cold turkey (no pun intended). This was completely overnight which I do not recommend at all.
We had a few miserable weeks of recipes that were time intensive but didn’t taste the best. In retrospect, I think our taste buds were just so used to the vicious triangle: sugar, fat, and salt. Once we started to get a few recipes that we enjoyed each week, things started to get better. Once my son was weaned from the bottle, he began eating the same food as us. He has not had any trouble growing normally (although he is on the lower end of the weight scale but this is because the average weight of American children is getting increasingly larger!) Our pediatrician isn’t concerned and is actually supportive of our lifestyle choices. He is extremely active and quite intelligent (although I might be a little biased on that one!)
Both my wife and I were able to effortlessly shed a decent amount of weight within a few months of my son being born. I have never felt better. Not only do I have more energy, but I have increased mental clarity as well. I am starting to get into different aspects of fitness and have high goals of running marathons and competing in triathlons and possible amateur bike racing! The sky is the limit when you nourish your body with great food! It all starts with what you put in your body. The journey has only just begun…