A little bit about me (and hopefully a little about you!)

My oldest daughter, Amalia and I creating a ruckus in the kitchen. She loves to help. I have no idea what she looking at.

[Remember this post on why I became vegan?  I’ve updated it, so check it out!]

I hail from the great state of Washington. I call this place home, even though I have lived in Provo, Utah for the past eight years.

I grew up surrounded by lush, cultivated, grape vineyards, apple orchards, and fields of corn, asparagus, and wheat.

I have seven siblings. And oodles and oodles of cousins (49 to be exact). I grew up with a love of earth, family, and work.

I love design and architecture (my husband and I are particularly fond of renovated older homes and currently live in one that was built in 1890).

I love all things beautiful and most appreciate beauty when it comes in unexpected ways.

Sometimes I’m messy, but I like clean spaces. I like to know where things are. And I can’t stop moving. I like movement.

I enjoy cooking and food, but I don’t want them to take over my kitchen or life. I don’t consider myself a chef or a foodie, I’m far too pragmatic for that. But I do want my food to satisfy, to taste delicious and be presented in an appealing way.

My favorite kitchen tools are my blender, my can opener (couldn’t live without it), and my salad bowls. Some of my favorite foods are things like
this, and this. And I love anything sweet!

I have
four children and have been married for almost eight years (I got married young).

I am a
Mormon. My faith gives me perspective and hope.

I’m also vegan. I became vegan in 2006,but the process was a transition.

I’m not “granola.” I like to garden and I do shop occasionally at my farmer’s market but I don’t consider myself a locavore. Or 100% organic. I use a microwave and I’ve been known to even eat food from a can.

I like yoga but I’m not a yogi (a word of warning, this YouTube video is hilarious, but contains a little swear in the title of the video as well as at the very end of video).

I use the label vegan with some trepidation because labels can often be misleading or misrepresent a person’s true intentions. As a vegan, to the extent that I am able, I do my best to avoid consuming animal foods/products, but I’m not a perfect vegan.

I never want to be in your face, obnoxious, or self-righteous.

I’d like to think even though I’m not the most talented, or the best, with time, effort and a lot of hard work, I can do great things.

I teach fitness classes. This has been our bread and butter (vegan butter should I say?) as I have helped support my husband through his undergraduate studies and law school (which he just completed in 2011).

I am AFAA certified, yoga-alliance certified, and have been teaching for as long as I have been vegan. I have taught fitness classes at Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, the LDS Missionary Training Center, various community centers and for a corporate wellness program.

I teach most formats including aerobics, step aerobics, kickboxing, muscle toning, Pilates, yoga, and water aerobics.

I think formal exercise is an amazing way to reconnect with your body and feel good. I love teaching because I feel like I can help people become more confident as they learn to love movement and I have some strong opinions about why people
need to exercise.

I studied English (emphasis on literature) in college with minors in theatre studies & art. I attended various community colleges,
a small liberal arts college, and then finally completed my bachelor’s at Brigham Young University.

My attention was always too fractured for me to have ever been much of a spectacular student, but I enjoyed learning despite my (what I thought at the time) lack of intellect or talent.

I love reading. I like reading novels, but these days I read mostly newspapers, magazines, and blogs, things that can be done in short snippets of time throughout the day.

I’m a fan of Theodore Dreiser & Thomas Hardy (both naturalist authors) & John Grisham (just a great storyteller & writer).

I like people (I love people!). Relationships are what makes my world go round. I never tire of meeting people. I want to know what a person thinks, what they do, why they do it. Knowing people and staying connected helps keep me happy, even though I’m not always the best at it.

My favorite times of day are early mornings and evenings after 8 o’clock.

I love holding my children and making them laugh. I love how much energy they have. I want to always have children around me to remind me what it means to be alive.

I did not start out with the intention to become a “blogger,” but rather I just wanted to share my experience. Along the way I have realized it’s a lot of work and it’s a little scary (you’re totally putting yourself out there) but despite this, I like (I think it’s safe to say, I love) blogging.

The best thing about blogging is you, the reader. I love knowing there are others out there who value the same things that I do, and struggle some of the same issues.


I’ve told you a little about me, now it’s your turn. Tell me a little about YOURSELF. (Please, please, pretty please?) I’d love to know all about you. Do share (please?).


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  11. Cozette
    on July 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm said:

    Hey I just stumbled upon your blog and im loving it!

    I became a vegetarian when I was 13 and it was one of te best decisions I ever made. When I was 14 (earlier this year) I found out I was lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, and allergic to cocoa. I still eat eggs and honey and stuff…plus the occasional frozen yogurt (i pay the consequences) so im not a vegan. Maybe when im older. Your blog has really helped me!! Thanks so much haha. Still living and getting used to the lactose free, gluten free, vegetarian life.

  12. laurie
    on June 16, 2012 at 9:19 am said:

    Hi! I LOVE eating a whole foods, plant based diet and get so excited when I am in the kitchen creating fun new recipes that are yummy and healthy. I guess I’m not a “total” vegan because I do eat honey and wear leather, but I don’t eat dairy, eggs, or meat. I am Mormon and live in Utah where I hike every day and love skiing and biking as well. I’m 51 years old and have been married for 31 years. We raised our 4 kids mostly in Asia and have lived in China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong for a total of about 23 years. My husband and I love to travel the world and have been to every continent and to over 100 countries. We are avid scuba divers and love nature and being outdoors. I love the earth and all creation and feel like we should be good stewards. Eating a plant based diet is the healthiest way to treat the earth and our bodies and is the most kind to animals so it makes we feel happy. I too have wondered why we don’t fully embrace the Lord’s counsel in the Word of Wisdom and refrain from eating meat. It makes sense to eat it in time of cold or famine when other types of food were not easily grown or found. But now we can make better choices with the variety of plant foods we have to eat year round. Thanks for your example and your blog!!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 16, 2012 at 11:50 am said:

      Laurie, I like what I’m hearing! Sounds like we have a lot in common. I have the same view regarding the WOW. You are an amazing woman–active & well traveled. What took you all over the world. Your travel resume is impressive! So glad you found my site. Nice to meet you & welcome 🙂

  13. Kylie Ryann
    on May 9, 2012 at 4:04 am said:

    Hello-My name is Kylie and I found your blog about a year ago when I flirted with vegetarianism but didn't stick with it more than a week. I too have a blog (although I wouldn't say I'm a blogger because I am terrible at regularly updating) on which I would post recipes that I tried and loved. I'm a Dietetics student at Arizona State University and I've been interested in nutrition for many years. Therefore, many of the recipes on my blog are healthy, but not necessarily vegetarian or vegan.Well about 3 weeks ago, I saw your post about how Carrie Underwood and other celebrities were vegan on my blog reader. I was simply curious as to why people become vegan- I could not fathom why people would give up dairy… well in short I have done a TON of research since then. I first read about the ethical reasons related to the treatment of animals- how they are treated alone made me sick and I immediately didn't want to eat meat or animal products. But then as I did more research on the health benefits (I am even reading The China Study right now- amazing) I became completely hooked on a vegan diet. I absolutely love to cook so this is a little scary for me because there are a ton of new products and things I've never cooked with or eaten before but I've never felt so passionate about something ever before in my life and I feel so good about this transition.I, too, am Mormon and have lived in Mesa, AZ, my whole life minus 2 years in Provo at BYU. I transferred to ASU in January 2011 so I could marry my husband in March 2011 and so we could live close to our families. My husband is supportive of this transition but is still a meat-eater. He is applying for dental school next month so right now he is studying like crazy for the DAT. I teach piano lessons and coach high school cheer and we'll both graduate from ASU this December. I'm so excited I found your blog because I feel like I can relate to you! Even though we have no kids yet, we are trying to get pregnant, so hopefully we will soon :)Thanks for all of your great posts and advice! And sorry this is such a long post!

  14. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 21, 2012 at 2:40 am said:

    Mamablouse: Welcome aboard! It's quite a learning curve for most, but sounds like you're on the right track! No doubt a cleaner, healthier diet will help your son with his health issues. Sorry to hear about your mom and dad. You're definitely doing the right thing to get your diet in a good place. It will help all aspects of your life for the better.

  15. mamablose
    on March 21, 2012 at 2:29 am said:

    Hi All-We're fairly new to this lifestyle…as in 2 wks, but we've dabbled in it before. We have 2 boys (4 & 1. The oldest has severe food allergies & used to have everything that went with them (GERD, asthma, excema, etc) which is what sent us on our first plant based journey. His doctors were floored with our progress! As he started to grow out of allergies, our diet gradually got messier- now he only has a dairy & nut allergy. After my mother's recent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her lung, we've recommitted to getting back on the wagon! My dad passed away 2 yrs ago after living with MS for 28 years (my whole life), so this vegan, whole food diet is our plan to stand up to my crappy genes and feel really good while doing it!!! I came across this site as part of my recipe searching and am so happy that I did! Thanks!!

  16. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 18, 2012 at 5:15 am said:

    Amealia: The changes you're making really take a lot of courage, so kudos to you for doing that for you and your kids. Diet is major medicine, and I know it can help you feel better.About the sack lunches, oh, it can be daunting. I'd recommend keeping it simple and if your kids don't mind monotony (mine don't in fact, my son is fine with PB & J and a piece of fruit and a whole grain granola bar for lunch every day), rotate the same few lunches for them. It's fun to be creative, but if you don't want to get overwhelmed and you want the changes to stick, it's better to keep things simple at first, and stick to what they really like. Thanks for sharing, and good luck in your recipe hunt (there's no shortage of good recipes out there, that's for sure).

  17. Amealia Schreiter
    on March 18, 2012 at 12:58 am said:

    My name is Amealia, and I am a wife and mother of 2 children. I have a 15 year old son and a 5 year old daughter. About 6 months ago I got tired of feeling sick and always being in pain. I did not feel like the pills the doctor loved to give me did anything for my health and wondered if there was another way. I started researching food and health which led me to Forks over Knives. After watching this movie about 2 months ago I started changing the way I ate, and they foods I served my family, but not until this week have I decided to go to a vegan diet. It has been a long road, trying to find ways to make the change as painless as possible for my family. I will admit that I still buy some processed foods for them, but try my best to serve primarily a whole food vegan diet. I am currently on the hunt for recipes. I have found it most difficult to pack lunches and snacks for my kids while they are at school that they will like!

  18. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm said:

    Hi all!Jennifer: Congrats on your vegan wedding! So glad you're enjoying a nice, warm winter. Welcome to the blog.Kelly: Congrats on your 3rd! It's quite a step, but one that is well worth all the work. And I can relate to picky behavior. My kids all have their days. But we're working on it :)Amy: Sorry your husband isn't too supportive. But way to go for showing commitment despite opposition, especially setting a good example for your son. He's lucky to have you! Glad you could stop by and share a little about yourself.Angie: Happy birthday! Good luck with the adoption process, I know from friends who've done it that it's a lengthy one, but I have no doubt you'll be equal to the task. Adoption or no, children don't come easy or free, do they?Lindsey: You are a well-armed woman. Sounds like you've got the knowledge and you're definitely on a good path that is working for you. Way to go, and glad to have you as a reader. Rachel: Happy to have a fellow blogger reading! I like your approach–we could all be a little more frugal I'm sure. I look forward to following your blog! Thanks for reading.

  19. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family
    on March 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm said:

    I am a vegetarian mom of 3. I am working my way towards vegan, but like you I like to be careful with labels. I feel I am much better at listening to what I should be eating versuses mass consumption which was my life a couple of years ago.I want to be a good example for my children, and I think I am accomplishing that very well (along with my husband).I live in North Carolina which is home to a lot of meat and that makes things difficult at times to find restaurants but it means we cook at home more thus saving us money (which is a good thing).I am excited to have found your blog and look forward to each new post 🙂

  20. Lindsay
    on March 13, 2012 at 5:45 am said:

    I’m Lindsay. I’m 29 years old, LDS/ Mormon, married for ten years, and have four children, ages 8, 7, 5 and 10 months. I live in Lehi, Utah. I’m from Florida but I have lived in Utah for nine of the past twelve years (two years spent living back in Florida and one year in central California). I attended BYU and will someday go back to finish my degree in family history (only 15 credits away!)I explain my diet as “mostly vegan.” I began eating “mostly vegetarian” two years ago and have been reading your blog ever since. I’m far from perfect. I have had fish occasionally. But more recently, stress and emotions have sent me too often to unhealthy fast food choices with meat (burgers) and cheese (pizza). My biggest problem though is with desserts/ sweets and emotional overeating. I have a ways to go with that. My goal is to most often adhere to oil free/ McDougall/ Esselstyn. Our kids eat this way at home, but when others are serving them meals, they eat meat and cheese. My husband eats mostly vegan as of the last 8 months. He travels often for work, so he eats out a lot, and though he was eating my way at home, on the road was different – burgers, fries, etc. He found out his cholesterol was very high and was told to get on medication. It does run in his family, but he read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Esselstyn and knew he could control it with diet. So he went for it whole heartedly for ten weeks and his cholesterol went from 253 to 179! And that was just diet, he didin’t exercise, though he intended to. We were thrilled, but like I said, we’ve had a few slip ups lately. Your blog is so encouraging and just what I need to see that I can do this. I’m so glad you are posting more frequently. Thank you for the motivation you give me to do this!

  21. angie
    on March 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm said:

    i am 33 (this week!). i was a vegetarian for a few years in my late teens early twenties. when i chose to serve a mission and knew i'd be eating daily in the homes of hispanic people i decided to give it up for a while. 🙂 it ended up being quite a long while after becoming acquainted with carne asada! about a year and a half ago i started trying to clean up my diet and decided to be a vegetarian again. i currently live in northern idaho. i teach preschool just across the border in washington. my husband graduates with his master's this spring and who knows where we'll be headed then. the world is our oyster!we are working on getting our adoption profile up. we have been trying to start our family for about four years and it looks like adoption is the way that's going to happen right now. we are excited and anxious and praying for a baby to enter our lives soon!i love learning about a healthier way of living and i so appreciate your blog and all the information you share and the great recipes. thank you very much for the effort and love you put into your blog!

  22. Anonymous
    on March 12, 2012 at 12:12 am said:

    I'm Amy. I live in Ohio. I have been vegetarian since I was 8 and my teacher taught us the meat came from animals. About 5 years ago I read the China Study and became vegan right away. My 8 year old is vegan too. My husband is not. He won't even try my vegan cooking. And I love to cook and bake and try new things. I love going to Wellness Forum in Columbus for classes. Your blog is one of my favorites to read. I am excited for all of your changes.

  23. yummykiwi
    on March 10, 2012 at 2:12 am said:

    I'm Kelly from Michigan. Momma to 2.5 beautiful babies – #3 due in May. Ready for the big 3-0 next month!!Vegetarian since I was 14. On/off flirtation with veganism for several years. Never liked milk… but cheese? Oh yeah. This pregnancy has given me a TERRIBLE lactose intolerance issue. Trying to feed my children healthier foods – the 4 year old is SOOOOO picky!Just somehow fell into your blog about 3 days ago and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Thanks for all the inspiring posts 😀

  24. Jennifer
    on March 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm said:

    I'm Jennifer, new to your blog. I've been a vegan since November. At first I did it for my health, but it has become more for the animals now. I am constantly looking for new vegan recipes, which is how I found your blog. I have a 5 year old son who I am trying to transition to a plant-based diet, but I get a lot of resistance from his father (we are divorced). I'm getting married in July and we are having a vegan wedding which I am so excited about! We live in Ohio and have been enjoying the nicest winter I can ever remember.

  25. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm said:

    Tina: Thanks so much for your compliment. One thing that I try really hard to emphasize, my philosophy, you could say, is that I believe in change through enthusiasm and optimism, rather than negativity and guilt. SO thanks, I'm glad it's of use to you–that's what keeps me going!Packer family: Wow, you sound amazing! 5 kids! I'm sure your house is full of love and lots of energy. You inspire me with your convictions–not everyone will act on something they feel like they should do (ie. their moral conciense is telling them something). Way to go for having the courage to do what you know is right for you and your family. Glad to have you as a reader! (and I'm jealous of your warm weather, but not jealous of the insane heat in the summertime!).

  26. Packer Family
    on March 7, 2012 at 3:24 am said:

    Hello! I have been reading your blog for a while now:) I love it:) I am an LDS mom of 5 kiddos. I am 26 and my kids are 5, 4, 3, 18 months and 2 months:)We have been Veetarians for 5 years now(my husband included) I love to Garden and raise my chickens:) We live in Phx Az we get to garden almost all year which means lots of fresh organic produce:) I became a vegetarian because I read the Word of Wisdom and was very confused at why we still ate meat so frequently as a church. The more I prayed and read I realized that I needed to think for myself. Now I love eating healthy and struggle with sweets! Grr those dang sweets!! I feed my children much better then I feed myself and I hate it but I don't want to give them the same bad habbits I have:( I also teach Preschool from my home and love it! Children give me so much energy and I love to watch a child learn! So That's me I guess! Love your blog!

  27. Tina
    on March 7, 2012 at 3:10 am said:

    Just as an addendum to my earlier introduction, I thought I'd mention that one thing I really appreciate about your blog is that it motivates me to do better but doesn't make me feel bad for where I am now. So thanks for that upbeat tone. I enjoy your blog a lot!Tina

  28. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 4, 2012 at 12:30 am said:

    Atwood-family-of-5: I love knowing there are readers out there who AREN'T vegan. This is part of my intention of my blog–to draw in people who aren't vegan but want to incorporate more vegan foods into their life. I love having you comment, and looks like we're in a similar boat with young children. Going from 3 to 4 kids is a ton of fun–the older kids absolutely will love the baby, plus now you have more help than ever with a baby, so good luck with that. Nice to officially meet you!

  29. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 4, 2012 at 12:25 am said:

    Corenes: Welcome! So cool you are making the transition while you're kids are so young. I know, first hand, that's the best way to go! As far as the wheat/nut sensitivities, my 1 year old is in the same boat. Which leads me to believe perhaps it's a great idea for all babies to not eat these foods until they are a bit older. Early introduction can lead to problems now and later, I've found. Not to worry, with gluten-free being all the rage these days, it's not too hard to find gluten-free anything. Thanks for sharing, and welcome to the blog!

  30. Corenes
    on March 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm said:

    My name is Corene and I have 3 kids (1, 4, &5). My family and I transitioned to a plant-based diet nearly 2 months ago. Yours was one of the first blogs I found when looking for some help/support with our new lifestyle and I've learned so much! I would have to say our transition as been mostly easy. My husband was not only supportive, but was excited about the change. My kids have been eating amazingly well. My son does occasionally tell me that he misses his cheese, but he loves to weigh himself daily and tell me that he is growing because he is eating his vegetables. My youngest was just diagnosed with a wheat and nut allergy, so I am back to learning a another new way of cooking for her. Thanks for your great blog!

  31. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 2, 2012 at 1:54 am said:

    Hi Rebecca! Love Portland, it's only about four hours away from my hometown growing up, so we went there a lot. Definitely a veg friendly place to be. You home school too? That's awesome. And I completely agree with the 20 cakes and 2 salads thing. Often I will go to church potlucks and there will be one or two salads there (one of them being mine!). I always make sure to take a salad, otherwise there might not be anything there to eat. Nice to meet you!

  32. Rebecca
    on March 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm said:

    Hi, I'm Rebecca, I'm a mom of 5, I homeschool (4 school-age, 1 baby) and live near Portland, Oregon. We've been vegan for about 18 months and I just did a food intolerance test and so I'm now vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, oat-free, and more. I'm lucky to live in Oregon where there are lots of vegan-friendly stores and restaurants, but we live in a small town that is much more traditional and conservative, so I still have to hunt for the good stuff. I'm LDS, too, and the hardest thing to deal with as a vegan are the church events! For example, at the Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet this week they had taco salad, so I brought a veggie chili to go with the provided chili con carne and it was a hit! The whole pot was gone, along with all the toppings. There were about 20 cakes and 2 small bowls of lettuce. ??? Something is wrong there! Anyways, I found your blog from my SIL Sarah G and I enjoy your recipes and food ideas! 🙂

  33. Atwood-Family of FIVE
    on March 1, 2012 at 1:30 am said:

    Hi there! I've commented several times on your blog. I'm a mommy out in IL. I have 3 kiddos-an almost 6 yr old girl, a boy who just turned 3 this week and an 8 month old baby girl. We hope in the next year or so to expand to a family with 4 kiddos so wait and see what happens in the next few years! I am not a vegan, I'm not even a vegetarian, but I find myself agreeing with veganism on an ethical and health level. I often cook vegan and I use lots of vegan products (soy milk, almond milk, earth balance spread, etc.) My husband is super supportive and he often asks for vegan meals! When we do eat/buy meat we buy it from a "local" farmer who treats his meat humanely in life and slaughtering. It's also organic and is fed what Mother Nature intended it to eat. I love your blog-I love getting ideas for healthy meals for myself, hubby and the kiddos. Every time I read it, I'm inspired to cook something whole food, plant based, so I thank you for writing your blog because it encourages me so much to take better care of myself and my family.

  34. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm said:

    Welcome Steph and Meggie! Steph: The labeling is tricky, eh? Whole foodist seems a little elitist. Vegan, well we all know of a few animal rights extremists who fall under this category. So what do we say? Plant-based seems to be fairly accurate but I'm crazy about the term myself. Good for you for wanting to make healthy, energy promoting changes!Meggie: When did you get married? Congrats! I've missed seeing you around campus! Thanks for the compliment, you were an excellent student yourself.

  35. Meggie
    on February 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm said:

    I'm 22 and my husband is 26 and we're both vegan. I have taken some exercise classes from Janae at UVU (she's amazing!) and when she were doing the McDougall Program I took some cooking classes and health classes from her too. I'm excited to see her blogging again and love all the healthy food!

  36. Steph
    on February 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm said:

    I'm Stephanie and I currently live in Las Vegas. We have been slowly making an eating transition for about two years. I don't love the term vegan because it carries so much other baggage. But I do love eating whole, plant foods and I can see the change it is making. I enjoy getting ideas and motivation from reading your blog.

  37. Anonymous
    on February 29, 2012 at 2:48 am said:

    Hi, I'm liz and I have commented a few times anonymously. I am 28, married with 2 boys (2.5 years and 8.5 months) both of whom have food allergies, including wheat, dairy, eggs, and some nuts. I was previously of the Weston A. Price mentality but was converted when a friend shared Eat to Live with me. I initially wasn't interested until she told me she had lost 16lbs following a nutritarian diet and I made the switch out of vanity because I was trying to lose baby weight. My husband loves the diet and the 25lbs he's lost in 8 months even though he used to love cheese and meat. I graduated from BYU law school a few years ago and immediately moved back home to Colorado. I made the decision to stay home with my boys and I absolutely love it. I love feeding my family healthy food and seeing my 2.5 year old gobble down a plate of broccoli. I too found your blog by googling lds vegan or mormon vegan or something like that. I really identify with you and I am absolutely thrilled that you'll be posting more often.

  38. Joya
    on February 29, 2012 at 2:02 am said:

    I'm Joya. I'm 38 and have 2 boys, one is 7 and one is 18 months. I've been married almost 16 years. I love to play piano and violin and our family does revolutionary war re-enacting as a hobby. I have been a vegetarian my whole life but didn't become mainly vegan until about 3 years ago. That's about the time I found your blog and I absolutely love it!

  39. Tina
    on February 29, 2012 at 1:19 am said:

    I'm excited to see the changes coming to your blog! Keep doing the recipe posts–I just love your ideas. In fact, I have two newly roasted sweet potatoes in my fridge right now, ready for a yummy Sweet Potato Breakfast tomorrow morning!To introduce myself, I'm a whole foods vegetarian mom trying to turn vegan. Just finished a 16-day cleanse and am feeling re-energized and re-motivated to give it a try. We don't drink milk but I've struggled to give up cheese without a good replacement. But seriously, I'm doing it this time.Not that you asked, but I'll make a request for more posts about teaching young kids to be polite while telling others what we do/don't eat. I've spent a lot of time talking with my kids about why whole wheat is better than white or why we don't eat sugar, etc. But whenever they pass up a food at a friend's house or tell their teacher they don't want the Valentine's Day treat, it comes across as a rude, "We don't it eat cuz it's not healthy." True, of course, but not socially acceptable! So any help on that issue would be great!

  40. Kelly L.
    on February 29, 2012 at 1:09 am said:

    Hello! I subscribe to the RSS feed to your blog and am glad to hear you'll be posting more often as I enjoy the information and humor you share with us.I live in San Francisco, currently stay at home with my 2 little boys (2 & almost 5) and am, gulp, 40. We have wonderful vegan restaurants. In fact, my husband just came home from work with lunch leftovers from a vegan soul food place called Soully Vegan! I'm originally from CT/PA, though.My oldest has egg and cow milk allergies, so it wasn't until I found that out, while still nursing him, that I explored a vegan diet. My main challenge at the beginning was baking, since I LOVE to bake and wasn't sure how to do it vegan. I've learned so much from blogs like this, as well as The Joy of Vegan Baking, Veganomicon, Vive le Vegan, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.We aren't a vegan family, but we often eat vegan meals. I figure that we're on the right path, anyway, and hope to keep moving toward a more vegan lifestyle. Your tips are sure helping.Other than that, I'm interested in hiking, camping, music, and trying to be green (and forgiving myself when I'm not!).I look forward to more of your informative posts!Kelly

  41. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm said:

    Sarah: Yay! We have a Texan representative. I didn't think there was such a think as a vegan Texan. I'd think they'd run you out of the state if they found out :).Have you checked out Chocolate Covered Katie? Her blog is an absolutely fantastic resource for anyone wanting sweet and healthy vegan treats.Don't worry, you don't have to be "perfect" to be a vegan, just like you don't have to be "perfect" to be a Christian. So cool that you home school, do you blog much about your experience? I'd like to go back to homeschooling some or all of my kids when someday when the time is right.Welcome to the blog, you sound like you'd make a great girl friend (are you an attorney then?). Tiffany: That's hilarious that you're a Taco Bell manager AND vegan. Proof that despite environment, you can still make good choices. That's great that your husband is supportive. Isn't it amazing how there are so many approaches to a vegan diet, and reasons for going vegan? I'm definitely not the PETA type (in fact, I completely object to the way they go about doing their activism, which is just plain wrong sometimes). Glad to know there are so many people out there like us!Good luck finishing up school. I've lived the married/student/working/kids life for so long, it's going to be a bit startling once my husband is finally in his career. Well worth all the sacrifice, and we've got plenty of good memories mixed in with all the hard work. I'm so happy to meet you Tiffany!

  42. TEN
    on February 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm said:

    I'm originally from Utah, but currently live in Idaho while my husband finishes up school at BYUI. We've been married for a little over 3 years now (we got married young, too lol) I am trying [not always perfect] to live a whole foods vegan diet, I made the transition about 5 or 6 months ago. My husband has not joined me, but is supportive. No kids yet. I am an assistant Manager at Taco Bell (if that isn't the most ironic thing you've ever heard of?) while husband is a student. Not exactly my dream job, but it does actually pay well and has taught me a lot of skills that I can take with me elsewhere, if needs be. When I first transitioned to vegan I searched for "vegan mormon" and your blog came up and I have been a follower ever since! You are the person I have found that I connect the most with as far as the reasons why I have chosen to cut out animal products. I always look forward to new posts and recipes and am way excited for your little "face lift"! -Tiffany

  43. Richard & Sarah Moore
    on February 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm said:

    Hi! I live in Austin, TX and am a wife to my best friend and love. We have three kids, ages 11, 10, and 2! The older two are boys…so we have an itty bitty princess on our hands with the youngest :)I became vegan (I also hesitate to se that word, since I am not a perfect one) about 8 weeks ago :). Before that, I ate very healthy, but started to experience issues with dairy. After a decline in my overall sense of well-being, I decided to cut meat as well and see how I did. I feel fantastic! It might sound silly, but I also love the challenge of creating a varied vegan diet using healthy foods 🙂 Guess that is the analytical side of me that no longer gets exercised as an attorney! When our family moved to Austin last June, I decided to stay home with the kids…we even started homeschooling! I have a serious love affair with desserts…so, I try to create a healthy one a few times a week (or more)…I have a favorite vegan dessert blog that gives me lots of inspiration!My kids and husband still eat an omni diet, but my daughter likes my food better (ha!). :)The first recipe I made from your blog were the nacho taquitos…my kids loved them! Score! :)Oh, and I am not Mormon, but I love my church and my relationship with God is what most fulfills me in life.Looking forward to the more regular posts and the site facelift!! Sarah(moorefamilytx.blogspot.com)

  44. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm said:

    Welcome Kelly Ann & Marissa! Now the real question is, do you think after all these ladies, there exists even one male reader out there? And if so, would he be brave enough to comment? Only time will tell, huh?Kelly Ann: You are officially invited over to my place for facials. Oh, how I could use a good one right now! That's so awesome that your whole family is vegan, even your dog (what do you feed him? I've heard that these animals do exist…). I agree with you about the raw. I think it sounds really cool, kinda exotic, maybe a little sexy. But when it comes down to the practical, day to day living of it–it just isn't a good fit for me. Too many foods I would have to give up that I'm just not willing to (I don't believe there's a compelling reason to either)! Glad to have you as a reader Kelly Ann.Marissa: Congrats on your third. That is exciting. It's fun to know that there a quite a few readers out there who are pregnant and doing a vegan/plant-based diet. I'm so glad you got to watch Forks Over Knives. It's a fantastic show that gives a lot of umph to the plant-based argument. And like you've experienced, there's no arguing with how you feel once you make some changes. Nice to meet you and thanks for your gratitude, it means a lot. Please let me know if you need any help/insight into how to make the pregnancy doable on a plant-based diet. I'd like to help any way I can. Welcome again.

  45. Marissa
    on February 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm said:

    When I got shingles a little over a year ago at the age of 29, I knew something had to change. My mom has been a reader of yours for a little while and had done a lot of reading on a plant based diet. I decided to try for myself and I have never felt better! I too am LDS but I live in Kentucky. I don't know a lot of other moms out there who follow my view on a plant based diet so I have really enjoyed coming to your blog to read- and so glad you will be posting more! Right now I am pregnant with my 3rd and am still following a whole foods plant based diet. Support is hard to find and I struggle with that sometimes. My husband (a former body builder who HAD to have his protein powders and steaks) finally converted to the plant-based thing about a month ago after I started watching Forks over Knives per YOUR RECOMMENDATION!! I knew he wouldn't watch if I begged so I just started watching it and he got pulled in. Having his support has been amazing and he is a GREAT cook! It's made living this lifestyle so much easier. I am a photographer, love to plan parties and love to blog as well. Haven't done much blogging lately but plan to start blogging more soon- especially on my experiences about eating!Thanks for your time and dedication to this blog- it's nice to have a "community" of people to turn to who believes what you do!!

  46. KellyAnn
    on February 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm said:

    Just reading through these comments.. and have to say how much I'm in love with northern California too! I live in NY right now (20 miles north of the city), but grew up in upstate NY. When I was 21 (I'm 33 now) I drove cross-country and attempted to live in Seattle.. I felt out of place in the city and drove down to northern Cali, Humboldt area and fell in love. I felt like I was home for the first time.. but funds ran out and I had to head back to NY:(. Since then I've traveled cross-country a few more times and bounced around to other states and even lived by Joshua Tree National Park in southern Cali.. This past year I have put down my roots. Finally. My husband and I bought our first home. We have a 7 year old son, 2 rabbits, 3 cats and a dog:). We are a vegan family (and vegan dog!).. I've only been vegan about 3 years, but my husband has been vegan close to 15 years and is also a marathon runner. I like to run every now and then.. but I do prefer doing yoga mostly:). I'll leave the serious running to my husband. I've been a raw foodist on and off over the years. I stumbled onto your blog a month or so ago and since then I've lost my infatuation with raw and feel that the whole foods approach is much more grounded.. so I'm trying that out now:). This summer we plan to homestead our yard the best we can. We will be very new at it, so it should be quite interesting. Besides that I am an esthetician and have a skincare studio in my home. I make my facials out of fruit, grains, clays, essential oils and carrier oils. Someday my husband and I hope to own a vegan bed and breakfast/animal sanctuary.. that is our dream right now. I'll do the cooking and the pampering.. maybe he will do the cleaning? ;)I love visiting your blog.. it really is inspiring! I always look forward to each new post and enjoy reading past ones. I've learned a lot– so thank you!!:)

  47. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am said:

    Welcome Raelyn, Melanie, & Bridget! Glad to know have such amazing people reading my blog.Raelyn: Your story sounds very similar to mine. I grew up in a realtively healthy eating environment (compared to how bad it could have been), but I still was eating the dairy, meat, and wheat, which made me feel icky. Yes! Trust your research and your intuition. It's your life, you have to live in your body. So glad to have a Canadian reader. Way to go on the changes you've made so far. Keep it up!Melanie: How nice of you to say such kind things about my blog. I'm so glad it has been helpful to you (this is why I do it!). It is a little bit of a tricky situation when around family members and holidays, but you never know, your example just may rub off a bit :).Bridget: Cute blog! Blogging is a lot of work isn't it? Many people don't realize that (unless they have a blog of their own). Just stick with it, and let your passions shine (looks like you're quite talented as a pastry chef!). Sounds like you have the right perspective about wanting to change now so that you can be that example for your kids later. That's definitely an awesome way to go about it. Lfwfv: Ohh, to be you! I WISH my appetite decreased during pregnancy. Food is the only thing that makes me feel remotely better about life (which explains the atrocious weight gain!). Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to look into those violinists. And walking while typing. Now that is talent. Glad to know your name now Tanya!

  48. Anonymous
    on February 27, 2012 at 4:51 am said:

    I'm Raelyn, 25, LDS, and from small-town Alberta, Canada–right in the middle of cattle country. Right now I work for a professor of Japanese language at the University of Lethbridge, but my true love is art and writing and am working into turning that into a career in the future. The idea of eating meat has never sat well with me, and I actually first became a gluten-free vegan in junior high. I come from a family with a plethora of health problems (despite being pretty healthy eaters by most peoples' standards) but soon those problems were clearing up. In the space of less than a year I went from barely being able to run five minutes, to running at least an hour a day (sometimes two), six days a week.Unfortunately, this didn't last. I'd never been very outspoken about my diet, but several well-meaning family and Church members who believed vegetarianism was contrary to Church doctrine had an "intervention" and persuaded me to eat meat, gluten, and dairy again, and all of the health problems came back with a vengeance. But for some reason I never put two and two together until a visit to to the doctor when I was in university confirmed I had gluten and dairy intolerances. Cutting out the gluten and dairy from my diet made immediate and amazing improvements, but I still wasn't quite where I thought I should be, and wondered if going vegan again was the answer.I researched vegetarianism from a health angle, but I was most interested in whether or not Church doctrine discouraged vegetarianism. I read the WoW, and searched the internet, which led me to several essays by Church members and more recently this blog (which is wonderful, by the way). I made the decision, and have been a whole foods vegan ever since. My immediate family is a little more educated this time around, and are at least understanding, even if there are some family members who still think I'm being foolish. Another good outcome of this journey is that I'm learning to trust my own research and intuition, and realizing that, just because something is prevalent in Church culture, doesn't mean it is what the doctrine or prophets have taught.There are other LDS vegans out there, even if they can be a little hard to find sometimes. 🙂

  49. Melanie
    on February 27, 2012 at 12:32 am said:

    I'm Melanie, also 26. I was born and raised in northern California (yes, it has perfect weather!) but have lived 8 of the last 9 years in Utah. I also graduated from BYU. I've been married 6 years and have 2 boys, ages 4 and almost 2. My life pre-kids was all singing! (I haven't had much time and opportunity for that for the past several years but..I want to get back into it and feel like "me" again. ;)After finding your blog and doing a little research I went cold turkey (haha) to a 100% vegan diet in Aug 2010. That lasted until the holidays that winter…2 weeks with family eating the SAD diet kinda ruined that and we got re-hooked on the fatty, sugary stuff again. 2011 was a year of trying to get back but struggling and gradually going more and more non-vegan and eating lots of ("healthier") sweets (but still cut out all MSG, HFCS, hydrogenated oils etc).Right now I'm kind of in a food rut and we eat out more than we should, but we're 90% vegan in what food we eat at home. :-p I've read the China Study and the Food Revolution. From those and the Word of Wisdom I do feel that vegan is the way to go. Just kind of hard for me right now to eat as well as I want to. I also don't get a lot of support from siblings/parents and felt forced into making a turkey dinner when I hosted the last Thanksgiving… I wish I could start our own Thanksgiving traditions, but not when we always spend it with our other families!My hubby is on board with the changes – as long as the food tastes good, he'll eat it. But he feels too deprived without cheddar cheese for too long, so we're back to having that regularly and I can't find any vegan "cheese" recipes that can cut it for us. I've heard of Daiya cheese, but we live out in the boonies so I can't try it. I *really* wish we had a health food store out here!!!!!My friend organized a health & wellness challenge that started at the beginning of the year and today is the last day. For that I've been exercising 35+ min/day 5 days a week for 8 weeks. Part of me is getting tired of the constant exercise and wants a break, but at the same time I'm starting to see myself as a fitness person, always exercising and I like it. :-p Plus I'm finally losing some of the weight from having my babies! And it feels good to get stronger too! I've decided to commit myself to keep it up through the whole year! Right now I'm mostly doing Jillian Michaels dvds but our week 8 challenge was to do a half-marathon (split up throughout the week) so I've been doing some running too!Thank you for your blog! It was really finding this blog that triggered ANY interest at all in veganism! I would have NEVER thought I'd get into this but you convinced me to take the first steps. And my family has eaten much better the last couple years because of it. (Even if we're not perfect!)

  50. Anonymous
    on February 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm said:

    Hi again,In answer to your questions, I am just starting to feel a bit nauseous. I am hoping it doesn't get much worse. Today was the worst so far. I've actually lost a few pounds in the last few weeks because i feel very full (funny since the baby is the size of a sesame seed hehe) and i just don't have much of an appetite (which is very odd for me!).Also, two of my favorite violinists are James Ehnes and Gil Shaham.I also love moving! I am on my feet almost all day and I walk close to 6 miles most days. I have a desk station set up on my treadmill that I type from as I walk. I do all of my emails and work paperwork on the move! Love it! My husband and I love hiking together and being active together. And yes, i am very very lucky that he is committed to healthy eating as well. And lastly, my real name is Tanya, but I just generally prefer to use "lfwfv" online. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the days to come!

  51. Bridget@Flour N Friends
    on February 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm said:

    Oh..I'd also like to add the two of the three kids i nanny eat a horrible diet..I mean it makes me sick..sometimes they eat a pbnj for lunch and dinner..gross? hot dogs..gross..kraft mac n cheese? gross! they don't touch veggies and wont touch most fruits. nor will they eat anything new..I've been trying but sometimes w/ out mom's help it is hard. They all suffer from constipation, and the 5 year old has high cholesterol!! No, he's not overweight, and no, it's not hereditary..just doesn't have a good diet..and that made me realize, I have to change MY diet for MY future kids!

  52. Bridget@Flour N Friends
    on February 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm said:

    I'm Bridget, just turned 26! Just got married 4 months ago to a man I've been with for 5 years. I graduated college w/ a pastry arts degree. I have one cat, no kids..yet! One day. I'm looking forward to owning a house one day too. I now nanny 3 kids..ages 5, almost 3, and 16 months. I enjoy baking, cooking, reading, photography..my newest hobby along with blogging. I'm looking to become a better photographer one day in the future. I live in a suburb near Chicago IL. I have been blogging for only a few months now but I love it, and i will admit it tends to take over my life..I'm learning to not let it do that so much anymore! I've recently transitioned over to the healthy world. I used to put whatever in my body whenever I wanted..now not so much. I no longer eat meat, and i eat vegan/gluten free when i can. I hope one day to eat vegan/gluten free more than 50% of the time. Baby steps right? I want my kids to be healthy like me and i want to hire a midwife when I get pregnant. Oh, I forgot..I LOVE to work out..my goal is to run a half marathon one of these days but I can't seem to muster up the discipline to do so. I'm getting more and more into educating myself about being healthy. If you have any book suggestions I'd love to know. What else? I have 5 step brothers, 2 that live in PA. I have lots of relatives but most of them live out of state. I have a brother and a sister, and a niece and nephew. I'm kind of a home body and love spending time with my husband and friends. My blog is now transitioning over to the healthy vegan/gluten free side! I still am deciding on a new name for the blog..feel free to leave suggestions! 🙂 Your blog has inspired me a ton to change my diet. Thanks for sharing your awesome tips/recipes..and whatever else you can! 🙂

  53. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm said:

    Misty: Welcome to the blog!What a cool story about you and your husband. I'm a bit jealous of the fact that you live in Northern California. I think that's probably one of the best places in the U.S. to live, especially weather wise. My husband will be getting his assignment for Air Force JAG in a few months and we'll find out were we will be stationed. I'm crossing my fingers for somewhere mild and temperate. I have to say I'm decidedly not a fan of erratic weather patterns or cold winters (which pretty much sums up weather along the Wasatch Front in Utah).Glad to know that there are other Mormons who are vegetarian. I've always felt like there are actually much more than we realize, and it's time we stick together!Best of luck as you figure out what foods help you be the best person you can be, and thanks for sharing.

  54. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm said:

    Lfwfv: I am so thrilled you posted! I'm so glad to finally know a bit more about you, I feel like I've known you for awhile now, but not actually known much about you! And your acronym finally makes so much sense. Always wondered what it stood for. I guess you could say I'm an lfwfv, too! But I won't take your name :). Fun to know we are about the same age. Congratulations on the baby. Oh, I am so happy for you, knowing that this has been a desire of yours for awhile. That's fantastic. Don't worry about miscarriage (I know easy for me to say!). There's nothing you can do, other than NOT worry and take care of your body. Have you started feeling nauseated or tired yet? Mine always kicks in about 5 or 6 weeks. Maybe you'll be one of those lucky ones who feels fantastic their whole pregnancy. But if not, think of me (who was sick for 90% of the time). A violinist? That's so cool. The violin is my favorite instrument to listen to. It's beauty can bring me to tears quicker than pretty much anything. Who are some of your favorite violinists? I like a lot of movie scores (think Gladiator) because of their use of violins. That's awesome that you get to do what you love to do and I absolutely agree with your comment on work. I think I believe so much in this philosophy, maybe because I've always felt a little short in the talent department, but one thing I can do: work, and work hard.You're lucky to have found a good husband, especially as you and he are in the same boat diet wise. That's fantastic (I'm sure many reading this are a bit envious too, since we're all trying to get our spouses on board). Love having you comment and stop by, and again, thanks for sharing. You sound like pretty amazing lady.

  55. Misty
    on February 26, 2012 at 7:02 am said:

    I'm Misty. I recently came across your blog and have found myself reading it very often the last few days! I am 25 years old, living in northern california, and married to my wonderful husband, Dan. We dated in high school, and he was surprised to find me nearly ready to be baptized when he returned from his mission. (we hadn't spoken in years) Anyway, we now have a beautiful daughter who is almost 9 months old. I have always been very drawn to vegetarianism and veganism. My daughter has terrible reactions when I eat dairy or soy (I'm nursing) so I haven't had those in months and months and months. After battling with my diet a bit, I recently decided I would look to the word of wisdom for some guidance. After studying it, it was so clear to me what I needed to do. And here I am! I have found your blog and love your thoughts about the word of wisdom. Thanks for your inspiration!

  56. Anonymous
    on February 26, 2012 at 4:50 am said:

    I am 29 and my husband and I have been eating a whole foods, plant-based diet since 2009. My handle "lfwfv" stands for "low fat whole food vegan". We morphed into this way of eating when i was learning about a gluten free way of living (having discovered i have celiac disease). I stumbled onto whole foods cooking, then read the China Study, and then eventually Esselstyn, McDougall, Fuhrman etc.. We eat almost exclusively grains, veggies, fruits, and legumes now. I add in some flax, and my husband eats a few nuts and some bread each day. I love the way we eat. I am a violinist and love my work. I perform and teach and feel so grateful to get paid to do what I love. It is a ton of hard work though, which a lot of people don't get. I believe that hard work gets you a whole lot farther than talent. I love working with kids, inspiring them, and using music to communicate to an audience. We just found out we are expecting our first child, but I am only 6 weeks pregnant and still scared of a miscarriage. Time will tell i guess, but we are excited. My husband and I have been married for nearly 5 years. I am sooooo grateful to be married to him. We live in PA. We are Bible-believing Christians who try to live to please God. Love your blog!

  57. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 26, 2012 at 3:10 am said:

    Winona: Wow, you sound like an incredible woman! I'm so honored you're reading my blog. I too can't tolerate wheat, but I think it's no biggie. No where are we commanded to eat foods that make us sick. If a food doesn't agree with you, I say, get rid of it and don't look back!9 grandkids? How did you get so lucky? I'm sure they love having you as a grandma.I always thought if I lived somewhere that permitted chickens I'd have some. Not for the eggs, but because as you point out, they are great for organic farming. They get all the bugs better than most anything. That's fantastic that your husband is a Master Herbalist. I'm sure his skills have come in handy over the years. I don't know much about herbs myself, but I know they can be effective if used properly.Thanks for sharing wonder lady!

  58. Unknown
    on February 26, 2012 at 2:21 am said:

    I'm an old lady–53, and I have been on this journey for about 20 years. I began by trying to manage health issues, including GERD, and obesity. Since then, I've been vegetarian, vegan, and raw. Now I consider myself just a lover of whole foods. I am also very much into creating with food, and make up my own recipes. I lived in Utah for most of my life, and think of it as home, but currently live in rural Nevada, where I am a mental health counselor. I hope we'll be back in Utah by this summer! We miss the vegan/raw/whole food potlucks and support there. I am also Mormon, and consider the 89th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants my food guide–with one exception. I am very unable to eat wheat, something that just developed in the last three years. I have created many recipes that are gluten-free, and we eat lots from our stored food, like beans, quinoa, and honey. We also have chickens, so we eat eggs. The chickens are wonderful at keeping down the bugs here, which can be a problem because it is in Southern Nevada, with lots of "waterbugs" where ever there is a watered yard. I am a mother of 10, a grandmother of 9 (with another due in July), and wife of a Master Herbalist who has been the most amazing partner in this journey. Thank you for your blog…it's great to see those in my children's generation making it ok to be conscious of their health, the world, and being a spiritually-connected being. I hope to have a practice one day that incorporates diet, herbal treatment, and counseling to help people through issues. Winona

  59. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm said:

    Jaysbunny: Do you have family in California? I'd love to live in northern California, the weather is amazing and much less traffic than southern Cali.How's the raw diet helping your husband? Where did you get your black bean brown recipe? I think I tried them once from a recipe from Mary McDougall that were incredibly moist.

  60. jaysbunny
    on February 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm said:

    I've lived in Utah my entire life, but my dream is to move out of state, preferably California. My husband got me into high vegan/ high raw eating when he turned to it to help him fight chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. I have a son with a major birth defect, but we have been managing it with chiropractic, herbs, homeopathics, and nutrition so it doesn't impact his life much. I love cloth diapering. My favorite dessert is dark chocolate black bean brownies.