Hi, I am Tfamily kayakinghe Veggie Gal, otherwise known as Kim.   That’s me in the pic with my husband and 2 oldest kids enjoying some Kayaking while on vacation.  My journey into eating a plant based vegan diet started shortly after I had given birth to my 4th child.  My 3rd child had been born with Down syndrome and around 2 years old she developed Autism and JRA (juvenile arthritis).  She really struggled with her health and I struggled to help her.

I have always been leery of medication and the doctors were giving her some really big drugs with scary potential side effects.  I decided I would try my darnedest to help her myself.  I read through everything I could get my hands on and it all lead me to nutrition.  An AMAZING book called The China Study changed my life and the life of the rest of my family.  I decided half way through reading the book that I was now vegan and I would have my 2 youngest become full fledged vegans as well.

Before reading that book I had been a lacto-ovo (dairy and eggs) vegetarian for more than 25 years and thought I was being healthy not eating meat.  Within 2 months of becoming a vegan I had lost 20 lbs!   I had only lost about 10 of the 40 lbs of weight I gained with my pregnancy even though my little dude was already 7 months old.  Within 2-3 more months I lost another 15-17 lbs!  I felt so much better, looked so much better and almost felt like my old self.  My eyesight had also cleared up a bit which was unexpected thing and I was actually able to stop using my glasses to drive.  I had been very mildly nearsighted but had been that way for 17 years so I was pretty happy with that awesome side effect.

My daughter was not cured of autism by the diet but has since been able to get off all the horrible drugs that she was on for her arthritis.  She did improve in many ways with regard to her autism and health in general.  She used to have some pretty serious self injurious behaviors that after just 3 months eating plant based vanished.  She even lost weight too (she had gotten very heavy from the steroids-I mean sumo wrestler kind of heavy!).  She is now normal weight for her little body an feels so much better.

After those 4 months of getting healthier my teenage daughter saw the changes in me and my body and decided she would give the vegan thing a try.  She had always been very slim by nature but puberty (and junk food) was adding a little bit more curve than she wanted so she jumped in.  She figured she would not last a week because she loved cheese and ice cream, but one week came and went.  Two weeks came and went and here we are 8 years later (as of 2017) and she is still plant based.  She now eats a mostly raw vegan diet that is very healthy and balanced and she is my role model.  She, by the way, had a liver transplant when she was 7 months old and now at 22 has been off all her anti-rejection meds for 7 years.

Now, PLEASE, do not go off all your meds if you go vegan because it worked for my family.  Every person is different and she is one of the rare people in the whole world who has been lucky enough to get off her meds. ALWAYS, check with your doctor.  I only share these stories with you all to show that diet is powerful and can change lives just like is has ours.

Since going vegan I have been sharing my new knowledge with everyone who is interested. The people I want most to make the change are my husband and oldest son (out on his own now at 25).  I have educated them in great detail (some wanted and some unwanted educating) but they are not all the way over yet (yet-because I won’t give up on their health because I love them!).  They have both agreed that it is probably the healthiest diet to eat and they want to be healthy but just don’t want to give up what they say is “the good stuff”.  I make plant based dinners every night (I have not cooked meat in almost 20 years).  No meat or dairy has been cooked in my home for 8 years but when we go out they make different choices than the rest of us do.  The thing is, I would LOVE for them and everyone I love to become vegan but I accept that everyone is on the path they are on and who knows where that path my lead.  My husband leans in further and further every day and eats less and less animal products which I am happy about.  My oldest daughter and I nudge them both all the time but it is a gentle nudge and done with love.

The blog started as a vegan recipe blog but has (as of 2016) shifted to a lifestyle blog.  We recently moved to Costa Rica to live a more simple life and I am taking my readers along with us.  I am now posting about our lives and travels around Costa Rica with some recipes and personal stories thrown in for spice.  I will delve deeper into my personal life as a mother to 4 children.  I will share my experiences with parenting a child with special needs (Down syndrome & autism) and parenting a child who had a liver transplant.

I hope that through this website I can help educate, support, and inspire many people.  Join me!

Thanks for reading, ~Kim~The Veggie Gal

(read my intro here)