My Vegan Journey
Posted on September 03 2021,
I always considered myself someone who liked to eat healthily and by nature, I was curious about this diet/lifestyle. I began by asking her the usual questions that I now receive when I tell someone I have a plant-based diet: “where do you get your protein?”, “can you be an athlete/train and be vegan?”, “what about fish?” ..etc...I did not think too much of it. I was eating at the time what I thought was a healthy diet. I was aiming for what is known as a Flexitarian Diet; a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation. During our studies, while going out to lunch etc., I would sometimes try vegan options and was surprised how there was no difference in taste from animal based options. Though I thought the concept was good, I was not convinced the vegan life was an easy change or lifestyle to follow, thus, life went on.
An eye-opening situation that made me go from Flexitarian to Full Plant-Based, was when I got the results from my annual blood work and my cholesterol was sky-high.
My doctor and I had a conversation about my diet and exercise. She determined my level of activity definitely had no part in it, as I was very active (I'm constantly training; I recently participated in the Midnight Sun Marathon), so we focused on diet. I really didn't know why my cholesterol was so high except now I realize I was eating lots of eggs and lean meats (the latter in moderation). This event motivated me to do something about it, as there is a history of heart disease in my family. In parallel, a few weeks later I saw The Game Changers documentary on Netflix. This caused me to further research the plant-based diet. The scientific evidence was overwhelming and there were so many benefits from not only cholesterol and heart health but prevention against cancer, diabetes, aging brain health, blood pressure, immunity, etc…
Transitioning to a fully plant-based diet was a long process that took several months and many long conversations with my today business partner on where to find options for certain foods. Examples tofu scramble, agave substitute for honey, and Impossible Burger, to name a few.
After earning my MBA, I knew I wanted a business that was positively impactful while benefiting consumers. Up to that time, I had gone plant-based for health reasons, but I was still unaware of its environmental benefits. I soon learned that going plant-based is also more efficient, and therefore more sustainable, than animal farming. An eye-opening documentary, Cowspiracy, really made me aware of the problems with factory farming. Apart from its cruelty to animals, factory farming is decimating the planet’s resources, negatively affecting the environment. This again shifted my focus to a plant-based lifestyle, a small change and decision that I could make to contribute to the well-being of the planet and animals.
Together with co-founder Desiree Mora, I started to contribute to the idea and creation of VictuaLiV, a brand focused on providing essential vitamins and nutrients necessary when living, or transitioning to, a plant-based lifestyle. I was committed and motivated to start a supplement that was transparently sourced, simple, and affordable to assist all who were on or becoming plant-based.
Through scientific research, we discovered 9 essential nutrients that are limited in plant-based sources: Magnesium, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K2, and Omega 3,6,9.
Getting enough of these 9 nutrients daily can be challenging, especially in the beginning of your transition as you learn where to find alternate plant-based sources and incorporate them into your diet. For example: many associate salmon/fish as a good source of omega 3. As I discovered chia is a good source of a plant-based omega 3; just one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds can meet and exceed your daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids, however, you may not be having chia seeds every day. As you learn to incorporate plant-based foods, the vitamins and nutrients in VictualiV help close any gaps you may have.
Why the name VictuaLiV ??
Victual means food:
“Victual is a fancy word for a very simple thing: any substance that can be used as food. Everything in the food pyramid is victual, and whatever you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are victuals. Words that apply to victuals are eatable and edible” (food or provisions for human beings)
In modern Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish "liv" meaning "life", “lifestyle"