Before I get started, I want to introduce myself briefly for those who might not know me...my name is Kristina, and I've been a raw vegan for over 14 years. I was diagnosed at 16 with Type 2 diabetes hyperglycemia, and my illness became my catalyst for changing my lifestyle. I reversed my diabetes by the time I was 19 solely by changing my diet. I attended Rice University and graduated in the top 5% of my class with a Kinesiology degree and a specialization in Health Science, which includes nutrition, and I spent my first 11 years out of college running the largest organic food co-operative in Texas and at one point in the United States called Rawfully Organic. I've been on YouTube for nearly a decade sharing this message, and I've recently started hosting health and wellness retreats around the world. I've dedicated my life to helping share this lifestyle with others, and while I believe in this message and promote it, my approach isn't forceful. Please know that my goal here is to be able to present this information to you in a loving and kind way so that perhaps you can incorporate some of this knowledge or information into your life and possibly help others along the way.
It's important to note that what brought me to this lifestyle is different than what might attract you. It's different for everyone because everyone resonates with different passions and might have different reasons to go vegan or plant-based. I think all of the reasons I talk about today are important, and no matter what gets you through the door, I'm grateful you're here.
There's no pressure to become a perfect vegan or superhero after watching this video, simply do your best. You'll learn more and more about this lifestyle with time. It's 14 years in for me, and I still learn new things every day.
Also, please note that I'm not a doctor, and I'm not here to give medical advice. If you're pregnant or have any specific medical conditions, please consult with your doctor.
So let’s jump in...my reasons are not in any specific order of importance. None one is more important than another. This is merely the order in which I’ve chosen to discuss them. The first reason I have listed to go vegan is for health.
- The health benefits of going vegan (or even raw vegan) are endless. I was able to reverse my type 2 diabetes, and I know many people who've been able to reverse or reduce the risk of all kinds of issues, including cancer, crohn's disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, arthritis, and much much more.
- Whether or not you're looking to go completely vegan or raw vegan, there's always more benefit to adding more fruits and veggies into your diet.
- More benefits might include weight loss, muscle gain, clearer skin, improved digestion, increased energy, better sleep...the list goes on...I find that the benefits are different from person to person.
- Plant-based foods are filled not only with vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, but also it’s a diet that is rich in fiber.
- I want to be able to provide some resources to you that show you the science.
- Some of the books I recommend are: How Not to Diet and How Not to Die by Dr. Gregor, Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis, Going Vegan by Brenda Davis, and...if you're looking for more books, please check out the list of books I've provided for you on my website and blog page for you, and those links are below.
- You can also check out the nutritionfacts.org website as well as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and both are linked below for you as well.
- What detracts people from this lifestyle most is the concept that the food is bland, or that this way of eating is extremely restrictive and expensive. If you come into this with a negative mindset, you won't be able to see all of the amazing things this lifestyle has to offer. I truly believe this lifestyle offers us health freedom.
- As you can see from these photos from my recipe ebooks, this food is anything but bland or restrictive. Whether we are discussing raw vegan food or cooked vegan food, the food is nutritious, colorful, nourishing, wholesome, abundant, and fun. There are just as many vegan or raw vegan options for food as non-vegan options, and you can find vegan alternatives or substitutes for pretty much every non-vegan ingredient nowadays. There is cashew cheese, meatless meatballs, jackfruit seitan, tofu, almond milk, and much more. Think about all of the new foods that you're adding into your diet, even like seasonal fruits and veggies that you might not have been open to before.
- This lifestyle can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you make it to be. As you begin your journey on this lifestyle, you'll figure out the best places to shop in your area and get bargain deals. Use the dirty dozen as a guide to help you know which fruits or vegetables to purchase organic to help you save money.
- To give you perspective, I know people who eat both raw vegan AND vegan on less than $300 a month, and I know individuals who spend much more than that.
- And, vegan meals are a time saver when it comes to food prep, especially if you're prepping raw vegan meals.
- Stock up your fridge and pantry and give yourself extra time to get the hang of this lifestyle.
- Be gentle with yourself, especially in the beginning.
- Find some favorite recipes that you love to make and make those over and over again until you get the hang of what you like or don't like.
- A vitamin b12 supplement is recommended along with Vitamin D...but not just to vegans.
- I recommend getting your blood checked and using that as a guide to figure out where you need to start. Don't be discouraged by your initial results. Consider it a starting line to help get you where you want to go.
- Lastly, I think it's important to distinguish between plant-based and vegan here. A plant-based diet is just that, a diet. It is a diet that mainly consists of fruits and vegetables with little to no meat, but can still include animal products from time to time. Vegan is more than just the diet. It encompasses the diet and also focuses on the points that I'm going to be sharing with you next.
2) Ethics & Animals
- My journey to veganism began because I wanted to improve my health. That's what got me through the door into learning more about WHY this lifestyle is so important on SO many other levels.
- Another reason to go vegan is to save animal lives.
- We don't need to consume animals to thrive.
- We don't need to consume animals to survive.
- We don't need to drink cow's milk for more nutritional benefits.
- Fish is considered meat.
- It's not about grass-fed or organic or non-factory farmed meat...consuming those doesn't really make it more ethical.
- I know when I first went vegan, for me it was about not eating anything that has eyes.
- I've traveled all over the world, and I've been able to experience many different cultures.
- In Bali and India, they don't eat cows because cows are considered sacred animals to them. They have chickens as pets, and they might occasionally consume dogs, and they eat lots of pork.
- In America, we eat tons of beef and chicken, those of which are considered to be their sacred animals or pets, and we have dogs as pets.
- Who's to say which animal is more important than another?
- Who's to say what makes one animal more edible than another?
- Factory farming in today's society is absolutely...I don't have words for it...awful. heartbreaking. scary. heartless. unethical. greedy. Those are my words, they don’t have to be yours.
- Animals are mass-produced, abused, left-malnourished, and then slaughtered.
- Eating sick, abused, or traumatized animals has the potential to also make us sick. Think about that for a moment.
- Paul McCartney's famous quote says that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, then everyone would be vegan.
- Animals are ripped apart for their fur, tortured in testing labs, killed in gas chambers, abused in circuses, stuck in tanks, separated from their families at young ages...
- Imagine if we did that to humans, how people would react...
- I know everything I'm sharing with you might not seem like that big of a deal because much of society has either become hidden or numb to it, but once you awaken to it all...it's overwhelmingly a HUGE deal.
- Animal cruelty alone is a very strong reason to keep animals off your plate. We vote with our dollar which industries we want to support. I believe there are industries on this earth that don’t care about our health and that don’t care about cruelty to any degree...they care about money. I don’t want any part of that.
- Animals are beautiful.
- Some documentaries that I would recommend here to provide more knowledge are Game Changers, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, Eating Animals, Forks Over Knives, What the Health, and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.
- If you're looking to learn more about the ethical side of veganism and animal abuse, please check out the PETA website also linked below. I also recommend Mercy for Animals and Farm Sanctuary, also linked below.
- The longer that I've been vegan, the stronger my connection to animals has grown. They are beautiful creatures and deserve to live free lives. I've just rescued a special needs puppy whom I've named Koko, and it's heartbreaking for me to think that he was ever once alone and hurt...or that could be on anyone's plate.
- Going vegan is one of the best things that we can do to help save our planet earth.
- There is talk everywhere nowadays about global warming, fires, melting ice caps...the list goes on...
- I'm going to state some facts from the Cowspiracy website that is also linked below...
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined emissions from all transportation.
- Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
- Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.
- Imagine if we were to turn all of those farms or fields used for animal agriculture into permaculture farms or plots to grow fruit trees and vegetables. In my opinion, this would be far more sustainable and would possibly feed more people at a lower cost long term, not to mention the health benefits.
- Animal agriculture is harmful to the environment. We CAN do a much better job, but it will take more than one person. It will take many of us to help create an impact. It starts by changing on what’s on your plate.
- Someone I love to follow on Instagram is Leonardo Dicaprio. He's an environmentalist who supports veganism because he recognizes it's one of the best things we can do to preserve our earth.
4) Athletic Performance
- Up until recently, I don't think this reason has been discussed enough, however, after the documentary Game Changers was released, it's very clear that eating a plant-based diet can improve one's endurance, strength, recovery time, and overall athletic performance.
- For those of you here who are athletes, I’ll just say...eating a plant-based diet is a game changer...no pun intended.
- I’ve helped and juiced for many NFL players in the league. I think many are starting to wake up to the message that they can still perform at an optimal level eating plants, and one doesn’t have to consume a plate of layered meat to be considered a strong man.
- If you haven't already watched Game Changers, it's a must-watch.
- I will share from my personal experience that going vegan has completely improved my athletic performance and has given me the ability to be active at all. I consider this a gift. If you guys could have only seen me in high school. smh...
5) Helping Others
- I believe that this message could potentially save someone’s life. It saved mine. It’s why I have dedicated my life to continue to help people find this lifestyle, in hopes that it will bring them a deeper, more meaningful healing.
- I truly believe that we really want to help those around us that we love, so much so that we are willing to give them advice, but not apply it ourselves.
- And when we find something that is meaningful, healthy, vibrant, beautiful, compassionate...something that has the answers we seek…of course we we want to share it. However...it has to start with us.
- If you want to help others change, first change yourself.
- When we change ourselves, we change the world.
- I truly believe that this message of veganism can help to change our world.
- If you're passionate about any of the reasons that I've shared with you in this video, share them.
- Share this message with love.
- Speak and answer questions without judgment or criticism. Remember where you were at the beginning of your journey and imagine speaking to yourself back then.
- Sharing is caring.
- Communication is so important, especially when you're transitioning.
- Lead by example, inspire and shine.
- Sometimes, it's a greater motivator to help others rather than to put ourselves first, and this is why I believe that HELPING OTHERS is a reason to go vegan.
- If you are having a hard time putting yourself first or even taking your own advice in this case scenario, ask someone to take a challenge with you. You can support each other.
- When you go vegan and choose to share this message with others, you are creating more good Karma not only by helping another human, but also by saving animal lives and the planet too.
- I hope that you will share this video with your loved ones as well as a resource to help get them motivated and inspired!
BONUS REASON: Mental Health
- I chose mental health to be my bonus reason here because I feel this is a component that most people don't talk about when discussing the benefits of going vegan.
- I believe the body and the mind are connected.
- My mental health improved greatly with this lifestyle. And it's a bonus reason perhaps because it's personal to me, and perhaps not everyone can relate to this, but I feel it's still important to share here. Just because it's personal to me doesn't mean it can't also help someone else.
- When I was sick with diabetes, I was in a very scary and dark place, and I was extremely depressed. I'd hit rock bottom at 18 years old, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to live the rest of my life that way. I had zero confidence. Zero motivation to get out of bed in the mornings.
- Eating living foods brought me back to life.
- It was as if the color and vibrancy of those foods gave me color and vibrancy too.
- My body at the time was extremely malnourished, and my mind felt the effects of that.
- Going raw vegan allowed me to do the deeper emotional healing that I needed to do.
- I wasn't numbing myself with meat-heavy Lebanese foods, or stuffing my emotional trauma down my throat.
- My journey back to health taught me how to eat to nourish instead of eating to punish.
- I now teach others how to overcome emotional eating, addiction, and self-sabotage through food and through finding food freedom without restriction.
- Self-love began for me when I realized that it's not just about the physical component of health. It's about so much more than that.
- Switching to a raw vegan lifestyle awakened me to deeper healing in my life.
So those are my top 5 reasons to go vegan, with a bonus reason at the end.
- I think it's important to note here that no one is perfect...it's a learning curve, and I've made plenty of mistakes in my 14 years of UNLEARNING everything that I was taught before. It’s been a learning curve for me too, and I’m not perfect. I’m still here promoting this message regardless because I believe in it so much.
- Do your best.
- Every effort matters.
- And when you lose motivation or hope or get frustrated...GO BACK TO YOUR WHY.
- Focus on all of the gains instead of any loss.
For those who are looking to try a plant-based lifestyle, go vegan, or even try raw vegan, my boyfriend Cash and I are hosting a 21-Day FullyRaw AND Vegan Health and Fitness Challenge, and it starts in just a few days! Please check out the links below to join us on this journey if you so wish. We would love to have you and guide you. Included in this challenge are 5 -total e-books, with more than 100 raw vegan and vegan recipes, 21 daily motivational videos and notes, 7 workout HIIT training videos, shopping lists, daily LIVES, and much more! Click below or go to www.fullyraw.com to check out the webpage and see what else is offered and sign-up now so that you can join us. We hope to support you on this journey. And if not, I sincerely wish you the best and hope you still share this video with someone you care about who might enjoy this content.
All of my notes from this video are included in a blog post on my website, with all of the links and sources I've mentioned in this video as well. You can reference it at www.fullyraw.com/blog
I hope you have enjoyed this video. If you have, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe.
There's so much more coming on my channel this year that I can't wait to share with you.
I appreciate your time today.
Sending you all my hugs and my love.