All posts by jayneforest

Episode 5: The History and Benefits of Cannabis and Wine Country Cannasseurs

In this episode I break it down for people briefly about why cannabis was made illegal, why there is a negative stigma attached to it, and the truth about this incredible healing plant. I also explain how cannabinoids secreted from cannabis flowers affect cannabinoid receptors in our brain and throughout our body. Our bodies were made to coexist with, and benefit from this God-given natural healing herb.

Wine Country Cannasseurs is a medical cannabis collective and delivery service, serving the valley from Napa, St. Helena, and Calistoga.

Episode 4: All About doTerra Essential Oils with Kim Brown

In this episode I interview my friend, a doTerra Wellness advocate: Kim Brown. We talk about the incredible, seriously life changing benefits of using essential oils for emotional and physical wellness, as well as why doTerra specifically has such a great reputation for being the leader in the industry due to their commitment to purity and empowering their producers with humanitarian projects in the third world countries they source from.

my girl Kim Brown!

Visit Kim’s Living Daily with Essential Oils Facebook Group Here.

Raw Vegan for 108 Days

Why Are You Doing This, Jayne?

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One day I was minding my own business at work when my coworker walks into my office, stands there and says, “I dare you to go raw vegan. If you do it, I’ll do it too.”  I responded with a cocky and curt, “Sure, how long, 30 days? How about 108 days?” Thinking he would never agree to so long on such an extreme diet. He agreed instantly. We both looked away and were quiet, taking a moment to comprehend what we just agreed to. I was like “Hold on a minute..” and he was like “Holy shit that’s so long.” Then I realized 108 days is almost a third of a year! I won’t be drinking alcohol, which is good, but what will my boyfriend think of this? Will we still be able to go out to eat? What about our anniversary dinner at the Thai food place, I want to eat Thai food just that one day! My thoughts were racing.

So we made our parameters for the challenge:

108 Days Fully Raw Vegan

  • Edamame Hummus is ok as training wheels
  • Miso soup broth only is OK
  • My Anniversary Thai Food Dinner is OK
  • NO Tofu
  • No processed foods whatsoever
  • No bread
  • No caffeine
  • No alcohol

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I was instantly excited by the idea of this diet! I had done it before in a very half-assed way when I first went vegan, but didn’t look into recipes and couldn’t keep it up. I did lose a lot of weight quickly, which was appealing!

I decided I was going to do this completely, and do this right. I have a lot of trips coming up and I want to feel amazing this summer. A drastic change will bring drastic results. I was totally excited! I decided to not even eat the warm miso broth or hummus. Fully raw with no exceptions!

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I instantly looked up ‘raw foods’ on my Podcast app because I’m obsessed with podcasts. I found The Rawtarian and fell in love with this cute Canadian lady named Laura Jane. Her podcast is very clear, friendly, respectful, comprehensive and completely friendly for beginners. She has an adorable personality and the recipes sounded so insanely easy. Three or four raw ingredients in a blender and I have soup?! Even I could do that.

I have been burning toast my entire life and messing up boxed macaroni and cheese somehow for years. I found myself loving preparing this food, since it’s not really cooking! It’s embarrassing how inept I have been throughout my life in the kitchen. I basically try to hide this fact and buy prepared foods for parties. It’s terrible, you guys, I know! I was made fun of about it a few times, so I built up a mental block, it was a whole thing in my head.

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Pre-Raw Vegan Faves from the College Market in Angwin: Love their Vegan Burritos!!

The thing that appealed to me the most about this way of eating at first, was how detoxifying it would be, and that I wouldn’t have to cook. Now that I have been doing this for 12 days, the most amazing part of this experience is that I’m learning to  really enjoy preparing food! I cannot believe how easy and delicious these recipes are.

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I started by buying a Ninja Blender. I tried really hard not to be biased and just buy it because it was called a ninja, but it had more horsepower than the others and it has so many blades sticking out if the center axis, I’m kind of scared of it. It was $100 but it is so worth it. It crushes ice and cashews easily, so I’m very happy with it. I started by making mushroom soup. Just raw mushrooms, cashews, water and sea salt! I made that for my dinner and felt so happy about this simple, clean food!

Living Foods

Over the next few days I continued learning more about the benefits of raw foods, and started to really understand the powerful healing effects of raw foods. What I’ve learned is that the enzymes in living foods are still active, and help feed your immune system, giving you the best possible nutritious value. Since the food is alive, the nutrients haven’t been depleted, giving the body more energy and health benefits. I am still learning a ton. I love learning this information about how every plant benefits different parts of your body and systems, it’s becoming so obvious to me that plants in their most natural state would be the best way to consume them.

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I Have So Much Energy I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands

The energy I felt surging through my body after my morning green smoothie was crazy. I felt like jumping, running! I woke at 4 in the morning about three days into this diet, feeling completely refreshed and energized, enough so to go for a run. This energy surge perplexed me. I always wake at 5:15am, like clockwork. To wake this early, and feel this wired was absolutely new!

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Detoxing and……….Defecation

Another interesting fact: Detox Symptoms. About two days in, I noticed I had a vague, but persistent headache. It was always there, but barely uncomfortable, just an awareness. I also noticed on the second day, my bowel movement was bright army green! I started to realize that I could actually read my excrement and see what meal had been digested. I know poop is gross, but the way our bodies work and how the food passes through fascinates me. Depending on the consistency of the movement, I knew whether or not I needed more greens, fats, or fruits. I’ve never been able to “read” my body this way, it’s been so empowering to start to learn how.

Another Digestive “D” Word: Diarrhea

I made some banana cream freezer pie that was delicious! I also made chocolate cookies. They were easy and fun, and I kept sneaking bites of pie, a couple cookies, another bite of pie. I knew I was eating too much sugar, but I was like whatever I’m raw vegan there are nutrients in these foods! WELL! Just yesterday, I woke up at 1am with cramps in my stomach. I woke to try to use the bathroom, and kept having to return, with uncomfortable diarrhea. That lasted a few hours, thankfully it was mild. I looked it up online, and diarrhea is also a normal symptom of changing your diet drastically to a more-than-usual amount of fruits and vegetables.

I drank lots of water and ate broccoli slaw with avocado and sunflower seeds, and I felt a lot better. I’m learning how to make sure I consume enough food, and what KINDS of foods I need at any given time to have a balance. When I feel like I need something heavier, I have nuts or an avocado. When I feel like I’ve overindulged, I’ll eat a huge green salad. In the mornings, I make big 32 oz green smoothies and that has me feeling amazing. I’ve fully recuperated from the bout of diarrhea and have learned a valuable lesson about over-eating sweets and skimping on greens.

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My friend Claire made me this incredible raw meal! Asparagus, pesto with pine nuts, beets, carrots, romaine, beet chips, english pea dip, and jicama?! I can’t fathom my luck <3 Follow her on IG @Mcconnellculinaryadventures

I highly recommend this diet so far. I’ve lost 7 pounds in these 12 days! I think the hardest part is planning your meals in advance, and getting used to not eating the foods you’re used to eating. For me, it was hard giving  up olive oil popcorn and my favorite “science chicken” (Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Orange Chicken.) I had become a junk food vegan without realizing it! It feels incredible to eat this clean. My energy is unbelievable, I feel like my body is shrinking. I feel light and my pineal gland has been throbbing. My meditations have been much more focused. I love eating this way, and right now, I feel I could do this for a long time. Which is great because I have 96 days to go!

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MY BIGGEST TIPS SO FAR ARE THESE:

  • If you want to try raw vegan, be normal vegan first. To try to give up meat, dairy, and bread in one fell swoop is quitting three lifelong habits, three major addictions with genuinely addictive properties. It will be way way way too hard and not fun, and won’t be sustainable. When you do it slowly and just add more raw foods, it’ll be easier to celebrate small victories and move up from there, rather than beat yourself up when you can’t stick to the extreme changes you’re asking your body and emotions to accept. Be nice to yourself. This is a HUGE change and it’s not a socially normal thing to do, so it takes tremendous internal strength. It’s hard, but like anything, you learn how to do it and it gets easier! The way you begin to feel and look makes it all worth it.
  • Educate yourself. Listen to podcasts about nutrition, read books, get information from MANY different sources. Research the people giving the information, ask yourself, who is this website sponsored by? Look into it. Look at all angles. Ask questions and dig deep in the rabbit holes. There is a lot of information out there, sift through it with a mass amount of info and then use your ability to deduce and your intuition. Test the theories!
  •  Eat PLENTY of fruit, vegetables, GREENS and water. Do not overdo it with the desserts or your stomach might tell you it isn’t happy like mine did to me!
  • Have Fun! Enjoy the energy, bring food with you everywhere, and snack all the time on fruit. Let me know how it’s going for you, if you decide to add more raw into your diet! Good Luck and have fun! Try to remember, your attitude regarding change can make it so fun. This is not a burden, it’s a joy, it’s all your choice about how you choose to feel about it. I feel that feeling this healthy is a beautiful gift and worth every effort.

Links:

This website has the best easy recipes! Laura Jane is my raw guru! therawtarian.com

This man is extremely smart and is an expert on raw foods and nutrition. So much to learn from him, I’m a bit obsessed.  davidwolfe.com

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Yogic Solutions for Vertigo

I have a private meditation client who is suffering from Vertigo. Through research, I have compiled a list of Pranayama techniques as well as asanas (yoga poses) that help alleviate and supposedly, can completely eradicate the symptoms of Vertigo!

 

Poses that are beneficial for those suffering from Vertigo are those that activate the nervous system and the balance centers in the inner ear. The following practices listed below help improve blood circulation throughout the brain and body.  Such methods have been proven to  be effective natural remedies for Vertigo when performed regularly as an active solution for this disconcerting condition.

Our sense of balance is created by a complex interconnected relationship between the inner ear, eyes, skin on the bottom of the feet, muscle/ joint sense receptors, brain and the spinal cord.  I recommend this particular order when completing these exercises. Please do not consult this blog in lieu of receiving professional help with your Vertigo, as the causes of Vertigo can vary widely between allergens such as dust, mold, and pollen, and range all the way into nerve diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and tumors.  You may want to really be seen by a Doctor to ensure the Vertigo isn’t a symptom of a deeper issue.

1st:

Nadi Shodan Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing 

This particular kind of Pranayama enriches the blood with oxygen, balances the nervous system, and purifies the respiratory system.

Begin in a comfortable seated position. You can be sitting on your knees and ankles in Hero Pose, with the tops of the feet on the ground and toes pointing back behind you.  Alternately, you could fold your left foot in so that your heel is in toward your groin, and fold the right leg in front of the left, instead of stacking the ankles in a regular cross legged pose, for ease and comfort.

Freckled Fairy almost has her legs in the right position, she just needs to pull her left leg in closer to her groin.
Freckled Fairy almost has her legs in the right position, she just needs to pull her left leg in closer to her groin.

Bring your left hand onto your lap with the palms up, fingers gently curling inward, resting the back of your hand comfortably on your left thigh.  Bring your right hand to the right side of your face with your palm facing out forward the same direction as your face, fingers toward the sky and thumb naturally pointing to the face, like an unmoving wave of “Hello.” Drop the index and middle fingers of the right hand down to the palm. Use the thumb of the right hand to block the right nostril. Inhale deeply, smoothly, slowly from the left nostril. Once the lungs are filled, ribs expanded, let the ring finger drop down and press down on the outside of the left nostril, closing both nostrils now and holding the breath with the lungs full. The inhale should be a count of 4, hold lungs full for 2 counts, then lift the thumb and exhale out of the right nostril completely, letting the shoulders drop.

Then inhale through the right nostril you just exhaled out of for a count of 4, hold at the top for a count of 2, then lift the ring finger and exhale for a count of 6. The longer exhale releases carbon dioxide buildup in the bottom of the lungs and calms the heart rate, as it replicates the natural breathing rhythm of your sleep.

Throughout this practice, you are relaxing your face, sitting with your spine tall and chin level with the ground. The top of your head pulls toward the sky, but never in a straining way. Relaxation is the goal.

2nd:

Malasana/ Garland Pose

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Bring your feet to hip distance apart in a standing position with the toes pointing out, the heels in. Put your hands out in front of you toward the ground and start to drop your hips into a squat position. At first, you will sink down with your hands on the ground for balance, then let your palms come together with the thumbs at the center of the chest. Let the top of your head come up, pulling the crown toward the sky, the chin level with the ground. Stay here for about 20 seconds, then let the hands drop to the ground in between the feet, below the shoulders and about a foot away from the body, letting the forehead drop toward the ground. Stay here for another 20 seconds, breathing slowly and deeply to calm the heart and nervous system. Then lift the hips, and bring the hands under the body, putting the webbing inside of the first finger and thumb on the back of the ankles, with palms resting on the ground. If this isn’t possible for you just yet, try not to feel discouraged and simply do what you can today toward that objective. Let your forehead and the top of your head drop toward the ground, breathing deep and slow for 20 seconds. When you want to get out of this pose, lift the hips and drop onto the bottom slowly to not exacerbate the Vertigo symptoms. From a seated position, you can gently, carefully roll to one side and press yourself up to standing.

3rd:

Halasana/ Plow Pose

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This comforting pose improves memory, normalizes blood pressure,  and increases spinal health and flexibility. Begin by lying on your back. Bring your feet straight up, straightening the legs and feet toward the sky with palms face down at your sides. Pressing into the mat with the hands and forearms, let your feet drop back behind your head, lifting your hips and letting your knees softly bend if that’s more comfortable for you. Stay here for a count of 50 to 100. To come out of it, slowly lift your feet and allow your spine to slowly uncurl with ultimate control, dropping one vertebrae at a time onto the mat from the upper back to the lower back, engaging  your abs to slow the descent.

 

Finally:

Salamba Sirsasana/ Supported Headstand

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This pose has been touted to “cure” Vertigo! Start on your knees with your forearms on the ground, palms facing down. Bring the inside web of your forefinger and thumb and rest that on the inside of the elbows to measure the correct distance between your arms. The goal is to make a perfect triangle as your foundation, then to drop the very top of your head into the center of the triangle. Press strongly through the entire forearm, from the elbow to the inner wrists, and lightly clasp your fingers together without strain. Your knees are still on the ground, the toes are tucked under. From here, start to straighten the legs, keeping the balls of the feet on the ground, lifting the hips, and walk the feet in toward the body, lifting the hips higher until they are almost stacked above the shoulders.

Engage your abs fiercely, and start to lift the toes off of the ground, letting them begin to float up toward the sky. You’d be surprised, it seems perhaps difficult, but once you get into the position, your feet start to lift naturally. The most challenging part is keeping your balance as your feet come up. It helps to lift one leg at a time, finding your balance slowly. If this pose isn’t in your practice just yet, you can receive the same benefit from staying in Dolphin pose, with the forearms on the ground, hips lifted, legs straight, and toes resting on the ground on the balls of your feet. In this way, the head is still below the heart, and you are still receiving the benefits of the posture. Try to remain in this posture for 10 seconds, breathing slow and deep to stay calm.

Best of luck to you and your yoga practice. May you be healed quickly and feel relief from your Vertigo!

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Introducing the Napa Valley Fitness and Wellness Podcast

 

The Napa Valley Fitness and Wellness Podcast is a new podcast I’ve just recently started as of April 2017! The intent is to be a platform and community to motivate and inform those with an interest in fitness to start or continue their journey in the Napa Valley area, from American Canyon, Napa, St. Helena, all the way up to Calistoga.

There will be:

* interviews with fitness professionals

*physical and spiritual transformation stories

*motivational tips

*vegan nutrition information

*in depth information about gyms, yoga studios, teachers and trainers of all kinds within the Napa Valley.

You can follow me on Instagram @seejayneyoga

Episode 3: Michael Gastelum, Owner of St. Helena Fitness

In this episode I interview Michael Gastelum, who is a St. Helena native, former Division One Baseball Player, N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer, and the owner of St. Helena Fitness.

Michael is a great friend of mine because we are both passionate about fitness, bettering ourselves, and helping others because of what this lifestyle has done for our own lives. I work at Michael’s gym as a yoga teacher and indoor cycling instructor, and since I have been a part of this community he’s created I’ve been so inspired. The  people in this gym are working hard consistently to improve their health and everyone has that common goal. I’m honored to be a part and feel compelled to share this special spot with all the St. Helena people!

I lived here for years before learning St. Helena Fitness existed, and in the past 2 years, Michael has consistently been improving the place, I love being a member here. If you listen to the podcast, Michael offers a sweet deal to podcast listeners! Hope to see you in my yoga or cycling class, and that you enjoy the interview with Michael, he is my people!

Episode 2: Jayne Forest’s Life Story: Transformation, Awakening and Purpose

photo by Joe Burke on IG: @joeburke108

In this episode I tell my complete, authentic story. A lot of people meet me as their yoga meditation teacher, and don’t know quite how different I used to be. I was an atheist, who loved the Napa Valley fine dining and hospitality industry lifestyle with amuse bouche, sous vide pork and truffles. After a deep depression, I turned to yoga, started meditating and my WHOLE life changed. I explain here in as succinct a manner as possible whilst allowing myself occasional tangents to further illustrate my personality.

I understand a lot of people may not “get” me, enjoy me or resonate with me, and that’s ok! You can just listen to the interviews and skip the more spiritual episodes. Before I gained a new understanding of spirituality I didn’t care and didn’t want to hear about it, because I didn’t have any experiences or understand at all what the hell all of this stuff was all about, so I understand. You have to be ready and open to this information on your own terms.

I’m just sharing my genuine self because it doesn’t do anyone any favors to put on airs for likability, and I can’t suppress who I am anymore to blend in with the masses. I realize my lifestyle is very different and that I’m swimming upstream, and that it’s not easy and not everyone’s journey. I’m simply sharing what has made me so happy and feel healthy and good in life, so others can hopefully take away some valuable motivation and tips and start to find ways to feel better in their day to day lives. If even one person starts doing something that makes them happier or feel better in any way, and appreciates this podcast, that will make me feel fulfilled!

Thanks for listening!

 

Lucid Dreaming Part 2

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I AM A LIFELONG DREAMER AND ESCAPIST

When I was a kid, I had vivid dreams nightly. I would very often fly in my dreams and remember exactly how it felt to fly. It felt like swimming, it took effort and practice, but was so thrilling. I had many insights into past lives in my dreams, and as I grew older my dreams remained very important to me.

Recently I went to the library sale and picked up a book called “Out of Body Experiences, 30 days to the most exciting experience of your life” by Rick Stack. The esoteric subject, fifty cent price tag and classic 80’s style cover had me intrigued. I read the book cover to cover several times and discovered a profound connection between the lucid dream state and the Out-of-body experience.
One of the most fascinating things to me about dreaming is how real everything feels. This new information helped me to understand the reality of how the brain processes our senses in different states of consciousness. It made so much sense to me as to why my dreams had felt so real; we are definitely sensually experiencing them!

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photo by Jayne Forest

NATURAL STONES AND CRYSTALS

One of the last tips I gave in my video on becoming lucid is the use of crystals. I realize that the subject of crystals has strong associations with gypsies and psychics and other loony characters, but crystals have a scientifically proven electro-magnetic field which gives off steady frequencies that can help meld with our energies, and balance our life force energy if we are open to them.

The subject of crystals is much too scientifically extensive for me to attempt to explain in a concise manner, so I highly recommend watching on Youtube: Spirit Science: The Crystal Movie. It has an incredible amount of information crammed articulately into this very entertaining animated video about the molecular properties of crystals, how they work and how they can help you.

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photo by Jayne Forest

Before bed, I put my Fluorite crystal on my third eye because Fluorite is said to help facilitate clear thinking, which I figured would help whilst attempting to become lucid, and put an amethyst on my heart to aid with manifestation. I was attempting to manifest a lucid dreaming experience for myself.

If you’re open-minded and interested, crystals can be very helpful tools for getting into a relaxed, healing state with meditation and in assisting with lucid dreaming and other spiritual practices.

I was blown away when I tried using crystals and they worked for me the first time. If you let go of any ideas you have about them and just feel the way they feel in your hands, you may start to understand why people revere crystals as ancient powerful spiritual tools.

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photo by Jayne Forest

LUCID STABILITY WITHIN YOUR DREAM

Once you have employed all of the techniques and become consciously aware within your dream, you may notice that the first thing that happens is you start to feel like you’re going to wake up. Try to stay calm, breathe deeply and rub your hands together. When you do this, you are using your senses to stay grounded within the dream world so that you may have the opportunity to explore. You can also spin around in a circle to bring your awareness back to your dream rather than back to waking consciousness.

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photo by Jayne Forest

IN CONCLUSION!

I hope so much that someone out there in the world is enjoying my blog/videos/art, that it makes you happy and that it inspires you to live a creative, dreamy, magical life. This world is fucked up if you choose to look at all the darkness. The only way to make our dreams come true and make the world a better place is by focusing on the light, following our passions, trying things and failing, living life without fear. This is why I’m making this blog, to have fun creating and hopefully inspire you to try something new and believe in magic again. This whole world is an illusion that reflects back to us what we are projecting. Focus on the beautiful and stay on the other side of fear and this world will show you so much more than you can see with your eyes. Best of luck lucid dreaming, you guys, Thanks for reading!

Yoga Schedule

 

Jayne Forest is a 200 RYT certified Yoga Instructor through Ekam Yoga and Wellness in Napa, California.  I teach yoga and indoor cycling at St. Helena Fitness in St. Helena and at Meadowood Resort Napa Valley in St. Helena. I also teach yoga in Calistoga at Indian Springs Resort, and in Napa at Yoga Passion. I also do private yoga instruction, please email me for rates and availability.

CURRENT YOGA TEACHING SCHEDULE as of January 2018:

Mondays 10:15am-11:30am Restorative Yoga at Yoga Passion in Napa

Tuesdays 8:30am – 9:30am Gentle Yoga at St. Helena Fitness in St. Helena

Wednesdays: 6am-6:45am Indoor Cycle and Abs at St. Helena Fitness (30 min cycle, 10min abs, 5 min stretching, fast, hard and fun!)

Every other Friday night: 6pm – 7pm Community Flow Yoga class *all levels and only $9 Drop in fee!* at Yoga Passion (check the schedule for my name to make sure I’m there that night!)

$5 for the first visit at St. Helena Fitness if you mention Jayne Forest sent you. (Normally $20!) Walk-Ins welcomed!

Photo by Joe Burke

For More Information about St. Helena Fitness, Click Here

Contact me here to inquire about private Yoga Instruction or other yoga opportunities

Thanks for visiting! Can’t wait to see you in a class soon.

The Top 5 Reasons I am Vegan

WHY WOULD ANYONE CHOOSE A LIFE WITHOUT ICE CREAM AND CHEESE?!

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Jayne Forest pre-veganism

I worked in the fine-dining and hospitality industry for 10 years. Short ribs and ice cream were a huge part of my passion for life. I made fun of vegetarians and ate entire marinated calamari squid bodies to make my friends squeal and squirm. I thought it was annoying when I had vegans at the tables I was serving. I would roll my eyes internally and think to myself “Why go out to eat at all if you can’t eat meat or dairy?!” I was a tomboy, and I considered it a mark of pride to be a girl who hung with the boys and proudly and unabashedly enjoyed meat. Ice cream was one of my favorite things about life! I considered cheese and ice cream to be a part of my personality. I was always an animal lover, and was always mildly lactose intolerant, but a proud and happy, contented person eating meat and dairy.

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One day while pregnant with my son, I watched the documentary “Food Inc.” I had a rude awakening from the self-imposed ignorance I had shrouded myself with. My previous thought process had always been, “I know that meat comes from dead animals, of course! I don’t need to see slaughterhouse footage, I’m sure it’s awful. I will feel bad and then I won’t want to eat meat! Don’t show me that sad shit!”

 

What I didn’t realize is that by watching that “sad shit” I cemented a new understanding in my heart that I could never again provide any kind of support to such horrible atrocities. Once I started studying the food industry, I dove into a deep rabbit hole that quickly became one of my biggest passions: veganism and animal rights. How could I love animals and pay for them to be tortured and stabbed/bled out/boiled alive by desensitized professional animal murders? What is the difference between the soft fur and beautiful eyes of a cow, or those of a dog? If I saw someone hurting any animal on the side of the road, would I just drive by? Absolutely not! So how could I continue feeling good about myself while supporting and consuming animal cruelty with my own money and mouth?

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The transition was not easy. I cried for days and felt panicky not knowing what options I had to eat other than chips and salsa, or apples and peanut butter. I was changed forever, and since I wasn’t ready for this change, it was jarring and made me question my entire personality, who I was, what defined me. It shook me to the core to realize that I wanted to be vegan. I had found vegans previously so annoying! And now suddenly I was one, and there was no going back.

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BECOMING VEGAN IS A VERY PERSONAL AND CHALLENGING CHOICE.

This post is to provide information to individuals who desire to know more about why I choose to live this unorthodox lifestyle. This post is not meant to make people feel badly for consuming meat. It is information that I have been studying and collecting for years. Becoming vegan took years of vegetarianism, cheese relapses, fish cheat-days…It was admittedly difficult to adjust to this completely foreign lifestyle. Now I don’t consider animal parts and secretions food, and I absolutely love the lifestyle. I’m leaner than I’ve ever been in my life, my skin and my conscience are clearer than ever, and my energy levels soar without coffee. The best part is knowing I am not voluntarily contributing to the animal agriculture industry’s devastating impact on the environment, and, most importantly for me, not contributing to animal suffering.

photo by Jayne Forest

 

5) Water consumption. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) states that the livestock industry in this country uses 2 billion gallons per day. There is much conflicting information on the internet, but to produce one hamburger is said to use between 440 -1,800 gallons of water. Beans take on average 5 gallons of water per gram of protein, as opposed to 9 gallons per gram of protein for chicken, and 29 gallons of water per gram of protein for beef. An 8 minute shower uses approximately 17 gallons of water. Taking shorter showers may make you feel as though you’re helping the drought, but consuming meat is using exponentially greater amounts of water.

photo by Jayne Forest

4) The environment. The leading cause of deforestation in tropical countries is creating land for livestock to graze. The Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations (FAO) says: “Livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.” This same organization estimates that “livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport.” Meaning livestock industry is more of a contributor to global warming than cars, planes, trains, all of it.

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Photo by Jayne Forest of the Yuba River

3) Health. The top two leading causes of death in this country are heart disease and cancer. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing and thickening of arteries and develops for years without symptoms. Atherosclerosis is caused by excess deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Cholesterol is only found in animal products. When cancer researchers were searching for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat were much less likely to develop cancer. Studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.

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photo by Jayne Forest

2) Anarchy. The American government spends $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries so that meat can be affordable. The USDA then indoctrinates children with the food pyramid and other false information that has been disproven in huge studies such as The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, which is the largest scale and most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.  The most heavily subsidized commodity crops are corn and animal products, which are used to produce the foods that are the leading causes of disease in this country; Corn is used to make corn syrup which is prevalent in cheap convenience food, and induces spikes in blood sugar which is associated with developing type 2 diabetes. Animal Products are the leading cause of a build-up of cholesterol as stated above, which is what leads to Atherosclerosis and eventually sudden heart failure as the deposits cause little to no symptoms until the condition has become dire.

So basically what I’m saying is, the government is subsidizing food that makes humans die of cancer, then makes it cheap and markets it to impoverished communities with fast food and highly processed , antibiotic-ridden public school lunches.

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When people start getting fat and sick, what must they do? Go to the doctor. The doctor that you definitely have because the government forces you to pay for health insurance. The doctor finds that you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure and gives you a prescription for blood pressure medication instead of telling you that 2 celery stalks a day will help you decrease cholesterol up to seven times. Celery also stimulates the secretion of bile acid that is responsible for the elimination of cholesterol from the body. The doctor can’t make money if they tell you that! Why do you think the government wants you to have health insurance? Is it because they care about your health? Or is it because they MAKE MONEY off of you being sick?

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1)THE ANIMALS. Did you know that animals in slaughterhouses are legally completely exempt from animal cruelty laws because they are considered commodities, inventory, as opposed to live beings? This is why the idea of “humane slaughter” is utterly meaningless. Do you feel that rape could ever be considered humane? If not, how could murder of a struggling, sentient, innocent being that desires to live, possibly be considered humane? Cows, pigs and chickens are imprisoned, tortured slaves and to try and believe that the disembodied body parts belonged to an animal that lived a happy life and died a painless death, when meat is purchased from massive wholesale retailers like Costco and Safeway, is unfortunately the farthest thing from the truth. Cows are routinely dehorned without anesthesia, baby pigs are castrated without anesthesia, baby chick’s beaks are sliced off with a hot blade. Animals in these environs are unhealthy mentally and physically and are regularly given antibiotics and growth hormones. No matter if they have huge tumors or disease, all are slaughtered and consumed just the same. Ground beef is all processed together, so diseased cow flesh is mixed with the ground flesh of 100-400 other cows, which is then cleaned with ammonia to eliminate pathogens. So it’s safe?

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photo by Jayne Forest

Being vegan isn’t easy, and the jokes about bacon never cease. The most exciting thing for me about being vegan is how I feel. I used to think that burping, farting, and feelings of bloating and lethargy were normal symptoms of digestion. After I eat now, I feel light and energetic, as if the food I ate was actually fuel for my body. Knowing my money is voting for foods that don’t use animal bodies or bodily fluids as commodities, makes me feel fantastic. I know most people won’t be willing to make the extreme choices that I have, but if reading this post makes someone think twice about ordering a burger or makes the connection in their mind of seeing pigs as individuals with intelligence and feelings, equally as worthy as dogs to a long, healthy, happy life, then I will be overjoyed.

Gary Yorofsky gives a compelling argument with this eye-opening speech

Bill Clinton is Vegan

Even Steve-O from Jackass was appalled and became vegan

Click here to read about my experience being Raw Vegan