Exciting announcement!

Exciting announcement!

I wanted to let you all know of an exciting addition to my business!  Read on for the background story and what  will be offering as a service to existing and new clients!
I’ve been a closeted writer ever since I can remember – it is the one thing that truly inspires and excites me on a daily basis.  Ever since I was a little girl, I created fantasy stories in my Norwegian class that prompted my teacher to tell my mom “she should become a writer!” to later on in life establishing two blogs which I have to this day; this one, Sunny and Fit, as well as Arctic Grub, a blog devoted to Norwegian food, history and culture  I’m also a regular contributor to two online newspapers/ magazines; The Norwegian American and La Compassionista Fashionista.

When I encountered several stints of stifled creativity over the past few months, I realized that I was standing in my own way by not owning up to what I truly enjoy doing.  The answer to the question “If money were no object, what would you do?” was always “writing” for me, but somehow I didn’t arrive to the part where I actually believed this could happen for me, or more correctly; hat I could make it happen for myself. Until now, that is.

I will still continue to do what I’m doing now;  I LOVE coaching other women, helping them find their true purpose in life, and this will continue to be an important part of my life.  But what I realized that in order for me to keep inspiring, and to keep motivating and encouraging, I have to fill up my own tank. And I do that through writing. It’s when I feel most at home, it is when I feel most confident, and when I feel like I am serving in the way I’m meant to serve.

After much soul searching, I have been guided and led in the direction of copy writing.    This now, makes so much sense to me, because I have a vast background in many different industries, I’m multi passionate about a variety of topics and have always looked for ways to integrate all of “me” into a vocation.   I just couldn’t seem to combine all of my personalities, but this is finally it!!

(Hint: If you have ever found yourself in the same position as I have been in, where your feel there is still a missing piece and you’ve got a niggling feeling about something, keep searching, and you will find the answer!! )

Ok back to business:

A little bit of background info about me:

Having graduated with a degree in international business and marketing from college, I had a thriving career in the music and entertainment industry that span across a decade, where I worked in international marketing and was responsible for developing the careers of many world wide celebrities.  This is where I learned to get along with a variety of personalities, develop people skills, marketing expertise and work with people from all over the globe. I learned people’s taste, market trends and going with the flow in the fast, ever changing world of entertainment.

The following decade I spent in the food and wine industry, where I started and ran my own catering company for over 5 years, and worked as a wine specialist and buyer in a variety of outlets.  I have numerous certifications and specialties in this field and a broad network.  Finally, my path led me to getting certified as a health coach, and later as a transformational life coach specializing in personal development and online marketing for entrepreneurs.  As a ‘side gig’ I’m also a personal trainer and a devout vegan with a specialization in plant based nutrition. I collect books and love to read, in fact I may have over 4,000 books when all is said and done in my stash by now.  Needless to say – I love words!

So why should you consider hiring someone for copy writing?

Having a well crafted message means everything if you want to create a brand or start and build a business, because words are the personification of what you are thinking and want to convey.  They reveal your personality and beliefs while expressing your enthusiasm.

Words shows your creativity and make you stand out, allow you to define how you want to show up, which in turn will set you apart from others.  Your choice of words, when crafted carefully and with a specific intention,  will attract your ideal clients and repel the ones you do not vibe with.  Basically, it allows you to cut to the chase and surround yourself with high vibrational people while growing your business quicker.

WORDS, then – are so powerful.  As it’s written in Genesis: “In the beginning there was the word.”

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What should you hire me for?

My niches are in the food & wine industry, health & Fitness, Life and Business Coaching & personal development, and the vegan and wellness sector.

Why hire me instead of someone else in these areas?

Because of my personal experience and expertise, I stay on top of everything happening in these industries.   It is my job to make YOU look like the ultimate expert so you can create a trust and like factor with your clients.

Here are my specialties:   

Storytelling copy

I help you tell engaging stories about your customers, your products and your ethos, anything that is going to capture interest and attention.

As a brand copy writer, I produce blog articles, case studies, curated pieces, and multimedia extravaganzas.   I curate ideas and opinions, interview experts and customers, and weave in multimedia elements and use supporting facts and graphics to craft well written copy that is fresh, interesting, fun and captivating to read.

Content Copywriting

This includes how-to articles, step-by step guides, manuals, presentations and powerpoints, webinars, lead generation (ebooks and pdfs for opt-ins), white papers and newsletters.

Marketing Copy

This includes email campaigns, web pages, ebooks, video scripts, blog posts, sales and landing pages, event materials, bios, press releases, media kits and speeches among other items.

Social media / Engagement copy – this where I draw out engagement from your ideal clients and target market on social media.  The key to success on social media is to stay consistent, post engaging and interesting material regularly to keep growing your tribe.

If this sounds interesting to you and you need help writing a pitch, a sales page, a blog post or newsletters, and so much more-  I can help!

You may be at a place in your business where you want to delegate and focus on YOUR zone of genius… Take the struggle out of your day by letting someone else who loves doing the things you dread, do them – which allows YOU to spend more time on your area of genius and what you are meant to do!

Contact me at sunny@sunnygandara.com for inquires about pricing and packages related to your business or projects!

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The switch that happens when you go from plans to planTs!

The switch that happens when you go from plans to planTs!

Ever since I went vegan four years ago, I’ve tried to put into words what happened when I went from continuously attempting to follow the latest diet fad or plan,  to listening to my heart and embracing a whole food, plant based diet.  There was this “holy crap, I’ve found the secret … why isn’t everyone getting it” kind of feeling, coupled with a sense of happiness and contentment that I had finally found a way of eating that could provide the best of both worlds; a healthy system on the inside with a vibrant look on the outside while being able to eat a lot of food (because I’m always hungry) that was varied and delicious and provided me tons of energy and enjoyment.

Every time I survey my community about their biggest struggles when trying to commit to a healthy lifestyle is how to stay consistent.  I mean life happens right? All of a sudden you get invited to a wedding with a six course menu, then there’s that vacation in Mexico where you’re bathing in tequila and tacos, and upon your return a blizzard hits out of nowhere and you’re snowed in… which naturally requires at least three bottles of full bodied red wine, pizza and chocolate cupcakes to keep you nourished for the full 24 hour duration.

Why do we develop such an unnatural, obsessive relationship with food?

The problem is three fold:

  1. what most people are feeding their bodies when they go on a diet or follow a “plan”, is not what the body needs and wants, but is unnatural, restrictive and frankly, not very exciting or tasty.  My own memories from when I was eating bland chicken and broccoli five times a day, to looking “forward” to the day when I could ‘cheat, makes me a bit sad, really.  When they say ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, they are forgetting that we don’t have to compromise to be healthy, there is in fact ways to be able to eat flavorful food (and enough of it) and still meet your health goals.  This is what happens when you embrace a plant based diet.
  2. Secondly, there is not a deeper reason or why behind the desire to get “healthy”. Because what is healthy to you? And why do you want to be healthy? I’m not talking about a superficial goal of wanting to lose x amount of lbs so you can look hot while you’re at your college reunion event, there has to be a bigger, long lasting acumen.  For instance, to me healthy means I’m healthy not just on a physical level, but also happy, content, relaxed, fulfilled and able to enjoy myself and detaching from other people’s expectations or pressures.  Mental stress so often manifests into physical ailments, but this is also what is being minimized and devalued so often by society and even health professionals.  Another big ‘why’ for me, is that I don’t want to contribute to the suffering of other beings’, mainly animals, or the pollution and destruction of our environment. I  cherish everything that lives on this earth with us, and it motivates me to make better, more compassionate choices. When you find a bigger reason for the way you eat, live and love – you will not struggle with cravings for cheese, steak and ice cream, but revel in all the cruelty free, plant based options we are so lucky to have available to us!
  3. Which brings me to the last point; people often resort to food that will give them a ‘quick fix’ or pleasure, because they are unhappy in other areas of their lives. Food becomes an unconscious addiction.  Maybe they feel unfulfilled and underutilized in their job, or perhaps they have settled into a relationship they deep down know is wrong for them, but are in it because of convenience, or they feel like they are living and doing for everybody else, with no time for themselves. Many women I work with came to me because they felt lost, had forgotten who they really are, what they love to do and what lights them up. So they resorted to the only thing that would cheer them up (at least temporarily) and not disappoint: food.  This is why I emphasize my work on self awareness so much in my coaching; it’s the key that will unlock so many answers, and make life a whole lot easier when navigating the road to achieving a joyful state.

I read somewhere that “dieting” is when you eat foods that make you sad.  Now how depressing is that?  Why do we do this to ourselves?!

The issue I see that happens most frequently when women try to go on a “diet”, is that these plans are a) cookie cutter, which means it does not account for your unique schedule, lifestyle, preferences or overall situation, b) terribly boring where you eat the same three bland foods over and over again, which then leads to vitamin deficiencies and cravings which then leads to c) not being sustainable. You end up under a pile of Cheetos, Oreo cookies and ice cream tubs because your body is screaming “what the hell is going on here?? feed us what we need to thrive!!”

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There is so much pressure and obligation when someone says “I’m going on a diet”. Because the underlying implication is that now, all fun ends, no food is ever going to be enjoyable, only endured, I have to stop being myself because I’m on a mission to reach a state that I am not even  sure I will truly reach or enjoy. But of course, it won’t last forever.  So you see how people trick themselves into thinking that a ‘diet’ is temporary, that when they’ve championed through those tough 12 weeks, they can pat themselves on the shoulder saying “I did it man, let’s go get a beer and some nachos?”  I mean, what’s the point of those past weeks then? Was it for show? For whom?

The idea should be to want to live fully and eat the foods that provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals it screams for so you can be in a high vibrational, optimal state of health both physically and mentally.  The goal should be to look forward to every meal, to be grateful for and excited about what’s on your plate, and to feel happiness in your soul that you are not causing any harm to anyone because of what you are eating. That to me, is health.

When I went vegan, one of my biggest concern as a chef and food lover, was that my choices would be severely limited.  And that I could never enjoy the flavors I had grown to love so much in dishes that reminded me of my childhood and fun, social gatherings with friends and family.  I visualized having to eat salads and dry pastas for the rest of my life, but since I went vegan for the animals, I was willing to give it a try.  As I started delving into my new world, meeting vegan chefs, food bloggers, nutritionists and other people passionate about this lifestyle, I began realizing that my fears were unfounded. In fact, the opposite happened; I discovered a whole new world of creative and delicious dishes and ways to prepare foods I had never even thought of before!  I was also ecstatic to learn that the classic dishes I thought I had to give up, could easily be veganized and tasting exactly the same!

As with so many other things, the fears in our heads are much worse than reality.  There is ALWAYS a solution to a problem, as long as you are willing to stay open minded, be flexible and ready for change so you can grow and improve.

For me, food has become so much more fun and rewarding since I embraced a plant based diet which is why I’ve devoted my life to sharing it with others.  My fears held me back for years in making a change, because I had made up a fake reality of what my life would be like if I gave up certain foods.  How silly I now feel, knowing what the real truth it.  That doesn’t mean I beat myself up over it, it has actually helped me not taking so long making “scary” decisions in other parts of my life because I now know that change is good and makes life so much more interesting and rewarding.

I know a lot of my clients have the same fears when considering doing the switch; that they have to say goodbye to their favorite dishes, perhaps one of the few things that really bring them comfort and joy, and that they will not know where to begin or what to eat and that life will stop being fun. I get it. But I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.  I would be happy to talk to you about what your concerns are, what you need support around and help with.  Don’t let fear of the unknown rule your health, happiness and life.  Drop the plans, and say hello to PLANTS! 

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Visit me at sunnygandara.com to learn more about me and how I work!

 

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Sign up for a SPA day with me!

Sign up for a SPA day with me!

 

I’m so excited to be announcing and offering a new way of working with me! This idea came to me, as most of my good ideas do, when I was walking my dogs down by the river one gorgeous winter morning feeling gratitude and happiness for being able to live my life on my terms.  I am so passionate about sharing the message of how awesome life can be, that I’ve dedicated my life to helping other women find a way they too, can live a life where they feel fulfilled.

Not ready to invest time and sign up for my 3 month signature coaching program, but still desire to make changes in your life?  Here’s a way to work with me in just a fraction of the time but still get big results, and life changing results.
I chose to call it a SPA Day because afterwards it will feel like it as you will receive TLC for your body, mind, soul and business – basically all areas of your life – and I’ll show you how!

The premise of this day is this:

S =  we will set you up for Success

P = let’s explore the Possibilities

This is possible by first becoming

 A = Aware, or rather becoming self aware;  how you think, what motivates you and inspires you

What is it?

This is a 6 hour day which will be conducted via Skype or Zoom in the comfort of your own home (or wherever you prefer) anywhere in the world, to help you get back in touch with yourself and what you are passionate about.   The day is designed to help remove any confusion, barriers and difficulties you have experienced when trying to decipher what kind of life you truly want to live.

Are you living for everyone else but yourself? Are you always doing what your kids, your boss, your family, neighbors and friends want, and putting your desires last?  Wondering if this is it, and even though you have a good life, secretly wishing there could be more because you are feeling you are not living up to your fullest potential?

Give yourself the gift of focusing on YOU for an entire day, with someone who will be present and there for you only, to listen to what you want, what you like and what you deep down are passionate about and dreaming about.

We will have a clear agenda for every hour but also leave room for flexibility and organically tackle any issues or needs that come along during our time together.  Most importantly this day is for you and your desires.

We will set up a strategy and go through:

Goal setting

Planning

Outline and schedule tasks and activities

Execution

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While we are strategizing, setting goals, planning and talking about you, it is important to FUEL our bodies with the best possible nutrition so that we can think clearly, produce more effectively as well as come up with more creative ideas.  We will have a delightful plant based lunch together that I’ve planned out for us, either together or if you prefer, on your own, during lunch time.

Plus, let’s not forget to have fun! At the end of the day, we’ll celebrate with a glass of bubbly or your favorite red or beverage, going over all the things you love to do for fun, and how you can bring them back into your life so your true personality can come through and bring happiness into your personal and work life. So many times we lose ourselves in our responsibilities and put fun and enjoyment on the shelf. And then we worry we we burn out, get bored or feel discontent!   Being an adult doesn’t mean we only can allow time for  obligations, chores and hard work.  A fulfilling existence includes showing yourself the love and respect to cultivate what makes life worth living for you.   Reconnect with whatever that is for you, and see how it magically will have a positive effect on all the other areas of your life.

Who is it for?

It’s for you, a woman in mid life who have a nagging feeling that there is something missing in you life; while successful at work and otherwise, you know you are capable of and want to achieve so much more, but you just have no idea where to start or how to do it, so you have convinced yourself that average is ok.  But deep down, your desires are still there and now they are getting stronger and stronger and it feels like you have to do something or you are going to burst!
Perhaps you feel misunderstood by your peers or family, you might think your vision and dreams are too big or unrealistic, yet whenever you think of them, that sinking, sad feeling comes over you which leads you to either compare yourself to others or fall into the useless “wouldn’t it be nice” kind of thinking.

This is for all women who want to uncover their true, authentic self so they can step into their greatness and live the life they’ve always dreamed of.   This is for the woman who wants her skills, talents, experience and passions to be fully utilized, to finally get rid of that feeling that something is missing from their life.  It’s for the woman who is tired of playing small, and dimming her light, and now want to shine bright.

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What you will walk away with:

  • A clear understanding of who you are and what you desire in life. This is incredibly important as it will help you make better decisions in life, become a better partner in professional and personal relationships, a better leader, manager and worker
  • A solid, step-by step plan for how you will reach your goals, whether that is implementing a new routine in your life or replacing your corporate income to go do something that makes your heart happy
  • A strategy for how to achieve your vision and desires, setting you up for success
  • Useful mindset tools you can pull out when you start doubting yourself and feel like going back into ‘hiding’
  • Information and knowledge of how to take care of your body and health, which will help reduce stress, increase your productivity, creativity and enthusiasm in your life and business
  • Regain the ability to implement FUN in your life, without any guilt or stress. Reclaim the fabulous woman you are and see how doing so will transform you!!
  • Bring back excitement in your life by bringing back the REAL you!!

 

SO HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS? 

The SPA Day is 6 hours total with 1 of the hours set aside for lunch

The general outline of the day will look like this:

Hour 1:     This is all about you, we will discover who YOU are, what you love to do,  what you want to do more of, what you would like to do LESS of, and we’ll get clear on your true desires.  Nothing is off limits or off the table here.  You will learn what it means to employ a no excuses policy; embrace who you are and use it to your advantage!

We will delve into your WHY. Why do you want what you want?  What have you been denying yourself because you feel you either a) don’t deserve it, b) it’s out of reach or haven’t been done before or c) nobody else is doing it or other people are doing it better?   You don’t have to justify your why, the only requirement is that it has to really motivate and inspire you, and we will define what this is for you in an open and authentic way.

Hour 2:  The most important pillar of anything is HEALTH. Whether you are a ‘health nut’ or not, we all know that if you don’t take care of your health, it will catch up to you eventually. In this hour we will go through the basic foundation of how you can set yourself up for success so that you have the energy, stamina, enthusiasm and high vibrational state you need in order to achieve what you want.  Whether that is changing jobs or asking for a promotion, starting your own business, becoming a better wife/mother/daughter/friend or diving into a new area of interest for you, becoming the BEST version of you is vital in this process.

We will discuss how plant based foods is the ultimate way to feed your body what it needs, ways for you to become more active and move your body, and also finding efficient ways to fit this into your day without it feeling like it’s a chore or “extra” things you have to deal with in a given day.
Hour 3:   After hour 1 and 2, you will walk away with a lot of plans, information and ideas that will require change.  Change in your lifestyle, but also change in the way you think.  This hour is all about MINDSET and how it affects us.  Our mind can either work for us or against us, so in this session we will set you up with a set of tools you can apply whenever your ego wants to kick you back into your “old self” where everything is safe, predictable and… dare I say it, boring and unfulfilling?  We will bust through any blocks you might have, whether they be related to confidence, money or skill set and have you come out PREPARED TO KICK SOME BUTT!!

Hour 4:   You deserve a break!  This type of day is by many in the coaching world referred to as ‘intensives’ for a reason: they are intense!  So let’s reset, refuel and feed our bodies!  In this hour you will have two options: You can either select to have me send you a recipe that you will cook in advance, and you can log off for an hour and eat in peace. OR we can cook together (don’t worry – the recipe will be SUPER simple and done in 15 minutes or less) and have a “Working lunch”.

Hour 5:  Insights, Information and Independence Hour

After the first half of the day we will review insights you’ve had about yourself, you can come prepared with any questions you might have about anything we’ve talked about and then we will dive into how you can become more independent in your thinking.   By this I mean, so many women sacrifice their own goals, vision for themselves and happiness because they feel forced to conform to society.  Pressure from friends and family, as well as even colleagues, neighbors and other peers take over and that is why we have this ‘nagging’ feeling and many times end up resentful, angry and disappointed.  In this hour you will get support and get clear on why it’s in your best interest to follow your own path, and how you can do this with love, without alienating anybody (or yourself!).  This is often the biggest road block I see to women succeeding; have you had your ideas or dreams laughed at or brushed off, even by yourself? Thinking that is for someone else, and you just have to resort to average? This is the hour I will set you straight and we’ll define what your true path is.

 Hour 6:  All about fun!!   Break open the bubbly, because we’re about to have fun! In this hour we will round out everything we’ve discussed, and talk about what YOU love to do that is not related to work, chores or responsibilities. What do you love to do? Drink wine ? (Check over here!) Play the piano? Paint? Read books?  Be in nature? Whatever it is for you, we are going to have a lighthearted talk about what interests you just for the simple act of what it is: It moves your soul and gets you excited. Often times I don’t see this in women enough; in fact so many deny themselves the time to just have fun, relax and do things that aren’t necessarily “productive”. The reason I stress this, is I believe this is when you find your zest for life, uncover your creativity, and your true essence; the true you.  Often this is the most groundbreaking hour because we return to our ‘wild woman’, the one that has laid dormant but now is knocking to come out!

Does this sound like a day you would like to experience?!  As for me, I got excited just writing the outline!  When was the last time you did something decadent for YOURSELF, and yourself only? Let me tell you, when you do, it feels amazing and you will get back that feeling of how kick ass you are and how amazing life truly is!!

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Join my other clients who have gone through a day like this, and experienced major shifts in their life and how they approach their work, relationships, family and friends and THEMSELVES; and give yourself a present just for the hell of it because you DESERVE it and choose YOU for once! Don’t wait for other people to give you permission, to validate it or to let you know their opinion.  Trust your gut and go with the flow!

I’m offering a special introductory price for the next 14 days of $997 (pay in full), or 2 easy payments of $525.

Click HERE to book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me where we can address any questions or concerns you might have surrounding this day.  This is also an opportunity for me to get to know you a bit, and find out if you are a right fit for my spa day (it’s not for everyone!)

I look forward to hearing from you!!

With love and wishes for a spa filled life,

Sunny xo

P.S. Want to learn more about what I do and what else I offer?  Check out my website for more info at sunnygandara.com

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A bit of my story and announcing my new coaching services!

A bit of my story and announcing my new coaching services!

For those of you who know me well,  know I have dabbled in a LOT of different industries and have a ton of varied interests, traveled the world, lived in four different countries and have always been on the “search” for my ideal life where I could feel like myself and ultimately, just be happy. This might seem like a simple (or foreign) concept to many, but I truly believe everyone is searching for happiness, whether they want to get a promotion, lose weight, travel or make a million dollars. Why exactly do you want what you want?  Probably to feel happy, right?  Let me back track…

I am, as many other entrepreneurial women out there, multi-passionate and have a thirst for life and have never settled for average.  I grew up in a small town in Norway, with fairly conservative parents who taught me that hard work pays off (and was necessary in order to make money), money was to be respected and didn’t come easy, and that I should focus on getting an education so I could get a good, steady job. I don’t think my parents were different from most and my education was very traditional in that respect.  They were simply trying to make sure I would be “safe” and ok in the world.  I was taught not to really make a big fuss about myself, be modest and respectful, and was constantly asked “what will they say or think” if I wanted to do something out of the ordinary.

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I am still not sure of who ‘they’ were, but felt somewhat imprisoned by these strange creatures out there who just sat there all day long judging me, telling me what I could or shouldn’t do. Other people’s opinions and expectations of me became somehow very central to my thought process, and every decision I made started with asking myself “What will they think”…

They” supposedly expected me to either become a doctor or a lawyer since I was an A student, to marry a tall, handsome man and have 2.5 children, buy a beautiful home in a nice town with impressive furniture, a cabin in the mountains (where we would go every weekend) and preferably a boat on the fjord, feel ok with the fact that fun would be over when you are married and that now my day would look something like going to work from 9-5, make dinner, read the paper and watch the news and be in bed by 10. And do it all over again until Friday, when we could finally have some “fun”, go for a hike in the mountains and maybe even have a glass of wine or two on Saturday night!  Sigh…

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Even so, I decided to do something as untraditional as move to the United States to go to college  (San Francisco, to be exact) and spend all my money on my education, despite university being practically free in Norway in comparison. This was because I had become aware that the world was big and I wanted to explore it. Nobody really understood what I was doing, but half way expected me to return to Norway when I completed my education.  I must have disappointed them, because after having spent my junior year in Paris and completing my senior year in San Francisco, I decided to move to New York to try my luck there in the working world, and 20+ years later, well the rest is history. I’m still in NY.

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In New York, I landed in the exciting music industry where I worked for a decade as an international marketing director and traveled all over the world with celebrities, stayed in five star hotels, dined in top restaurants and basically lived la vida loca.  When that journey ended, I felt I was done with the jet set life, and decided to pursue my interests in food and wine. I went from making 6 figures to making $10/hr as a cook in a restaurant, which was quite humbling. I told myself it was worth it, because following my dreams and trying to find my true purpose was more important than anything, and that I could always be making that money again. After all, I had proven it to myself.

After just a few months working as a cook and being a cocktail waitress in a restaurant in pursuit of my dreams,  I decided started my own catering company, Fork and Glass with my husband.   Oh yes- that reminds me: Ever since the age of 18, people back home constantly asked me the same 3 questions: “Aren’t you moving back home to Norway soon”?  “When are you getting married”? and “Don’t you want kids”?  I felt like an alien sometimes, because no, I didn’t want kids (unless you count four legged ones) and I was in no hurry to get married – but when I did, I made sure it was to a man that was Mexican and shorter than me, just for shock effect (not! lol).  And after 20+ years in the U.S. the question “Do you like it there?” seemed kind of redundant and ridiculous.  Yes, I sure do, and no, I’m not moving back to Norway.

Maybe it was the rebel in me, but in between all of this I decided to slim down, double my muscles and compete in bodybuilding shows. Instead of getting pregnant, being in a desk job tolerating life, and giving into the story that my body had seen better days since I was now approaching 40 and that’s just how life is, I strutted my stuff in a shimmering bikini and high heels covered in an orange tan. It felt amazing and I was empowered by the fact that if I wanted to look good the only thing I had to do was make a decision to set a goal and put in the work. Much like anything else in life, you just have to make the decision.  The rest can be figured out.

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While I ran my company and worked my ass off catering (this line of work is not for sissies and I quickly learned doing manual work for 14, sometimes 16 hours a day was not my calling), I was getting my wine education and worked for a small Norwegian luxury vodka brand which was quite fun. Because I was positive, outgoing and interested in networking and learning about new things,  life always seemed to be giving me these amazing opportunities which I accepted and learned from.   I was most definitely grateful for these chances given to me, but I still hadn’t found what truly lit me up, what would give me the feeling of “ah! THIS is why I’m here in this world”.

So I continued searching. I tried working for a wine importer as a sales consultant, and then moved into retail as a wine buyer for a large wine where I stayed for over 2 years, before I came across the world of coaching through my continuous search for “me”.

BINGO!! All of a sudden the lights came on and a whole new fire was lit up under me. I quickly realized that I had been coaching my whole life; I was the person all my friends would come to if they needed to talk something through or had a problem or issue, and I loved hearing about their lives and realized that we are all really challenged with the same things in life. And ultimately we all want the same thing: to be happy. 

I think the most important reason I have been able to see the big picture now, at age 43, of what I am supposed to be doing with my life; to help women find the courage and confidence to design their dream life DESPITE what background they have and programming they have had in life; is when I made the best decision in my life at age 40: To become a vegan.   Might as well stay on the track of being different, right??

I have always been an animal lover, but I didn’t always see the irony of claiming that title in one breath, while eating the ones I claimed to love in the next. I grew up with a dozen cats, chickens, ducks, horses, goats… you name it. But I also loved cheese, meat, eggs and fish.

It wasn’t until my late 30s when my friend started sending me videos of animal cruelty on factory farm, that I started researching and was horrified at what I found out. That this could be hidden from most people was unbelievable . Then what I found even more incredible is that people don’t really want to know, because they have a hard time letting go of the foods they have been so accustomed to.  This was me for many years too. Instead of watching the videos or reading the books, I just turned a blind eye and pretended it wasn’t happening.

Until one day when I realized; I’ve spent my whole life trying to find who I am, who I want to be and what I want to do – and ignoring the welfare of beings I supposedly I said I was so fond of, was not in alignment with being a kind, conscious and truth seeking individual.

So I did something ELSE untraditional: I went vegan overnight.  Which meant I had to say goodbye to any followers of my Norwegian food blog (I spent a lot of time building that community) who only followed me because of my writings about smoked salmon and brown cheese, I had to get my husband used to the fact that we wouldn’t be eating the same dishes anymore (but we found a happy compromise) and I had to get re-educated on the best way to build muscle on a plant based diet (it’s easy and much healthier, by the way). Instead of seeing problems, I started seeing solutions, which became my mantra for my new life.

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So what does becoming vegan have to do with finding your purpose in life? Finding the courage to do what makes you happy and fulfilled, and being honest with yourself, of course.  When I turned vegan something happened inside of me – I felt so true to my nature, so clean, uplifted and positive that I know could make ANYTHING happen in my life. What I had seen as a potential huge obstacle, really wasn’t that hard at all, and so many new doors opened up for me that had been shut before.

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This is what happens if you allow yourself to believe in yourself and your capabilities of doing what you truly want to do, despite what other people say.  How many times have I heard that “I have to be careful, because it can be unhealthy not eating animal foods”, that I’m not getting enough protein, B12,  calcium, iron, etc. Well guess what people: I have been a vibrant, healthy and alive individual for the past 3 years I have avoided animal foods – in fact, feeling better than ever before!  My point is: follow your truth, listen to your intuition – what your “gut feeling” tells you will never be wrong for you!

Don’t believe the hype.  Don’t believe it when people tell you a corporate job is “safe” because you get a steady bi-weekly paycheck, that feeling a bit ‘so so’ about your life is normal, that you have to stay in a relationship that isn’t really making you that happy anymore but is ‘comfortable enough’, that carrying around an extra 20-30 lbs on your frame or feeling aches and pains in your body is to be expected when you are getting older…

Why settle for ‘ok’ when you can have AMAZING??  You only have this one life and you SO deserve it!  The world needs YOU and your special talents, give yourself credit for the incredible and very special individual you are! If you don’t quite know what that is for you yet, that’s ok – do what I did, and keep looking! It is SO worth it in the end.

So where on earth would you even get started with this, you might ask? This is why I transitioning from vegan health coaching into life coaching for women just like you… who know that life has more to offer, or more specifically, YOU have more to offer. You have a desire to wake up in the morning and be excited about your day, not dread it. You want to make a difference, feel good, and you want to be able to make good money while having fun at the same time. I get it, believe me.

I am here to help you explore some options for you… Let me get to know you and learn more about your story and we can come up with some ideas together for how you can make yourself happier TODAY.  I can give you suggestions based on our talks, and a step-by- step action plan to get you to where you want to be.

Whether that for you is changing your diet to get more energy or lose weight, changing jobs or even starting your own business, or picking up an old interest or hobby of yours that will get you back in touch with who you truly are and what you love doing,  give yourself a gift and take a chance on yourself for once, today!!

When I finally got tired of saying “no, I can’t afford it”, or “maybe next year” or “I don’t have time,” while secretly feeling super sad inside, I made the best decision ever:  I realized that I only have today,  and I invested in a coach and took a massive step towards improving my life.

I can proudly say that this month I’ve made more than double my salary in my old job as a wine buyer, all while working from the comfort of my own home and spending time with my beautiful pup Scooby, and getting the privilege of coaching amazing women around the world, helping them find back to who they are and what they love to do.  Best job in the world!!

Schedule a free call with me here to see how I can helphttps://calendly.com/sunnyg/60-min-discovery-session

I would love to see you find your true happiness no matter what that looks like to you.  Talk soon!! 🙂

SunnyandScooby

The magic of nutrition; improve your health, feel empowered and change your life!

The magic of nutrition; improve your health, feel empowered and change your life!

For those of you who have followed me on social media for a while either on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, know I am very passionate about food and the power of a vegan diet. I often lead with my dishes, as a professionally trained chef I am admittedly obsessed with creating delicious recipes, because  I want to be able to show people that this way of eating and living does not by any means have to be restrictive, difficult, expensive of overwhelming.

While I love teaching people and my clients about how to successfully transition to a plant based diet, I have started noticing some powerful shifts in their lives once they do adopt this new lifestyle.  This is what I call the ‘domino effects’ of eating plants; you start to notice other areas of your life you are not 100% satisfied with and want to improve upon.  To name a few examples; three of my clients while in my program, decided to leave their current jobs to pursue their true calling in life; they felt empowered to create a new life where their talents, skills and interests are being fully utilized. Another woman who initially came to me because she thought she needed to “clean up” her already vegan diet (you can be vegan and still unhealthy if you resort to processed foods only), but after incorporating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, her mind became clear, and realized she needed help gaining confidence to pursue her life long passion of becoming a full time singer and songwriter.

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This is what I call the power of nutrition. Many people walk around in a haze all day, feeling sluggish, always tired and somewhat dissatisfied with life. They can’t quite pinpoint why life has turned out this way, but have no energy to try to figure it out.  They are trying to feverishly catch up with their daily routine, feeling like there is never enough time, and certainly not any time left at the end of the day for themselves.  Why?  They are eating the wrong foods. How you feel is how you eat, and how you eat is how you feel. It’s that simple.  A diet filled with heavy foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol like meat, dairy and eggs will leave you feeling just that.. heavy.  Eating dead foods like animal products won’t have the power to give you energy.  Choose to fill up on vibrant, colorful and alive foods like fruits and vegetables, and your energy level will automatically soar and you’ll discover that you can do so much more with your day, your week, your year…and your life.   Want a high vibrational life? Eat high vibrational foods.

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You might ask me “can it really be this simple, Sunny? Will all my problems go away if I adopt a plant based diet?”  To that I say, of course not right away, but it’s a start, a big start. Once you feel great in your own skin, miracles can happen. Think about it; if you wake up one day and feel amazing, you’ll automatically kick your brain into gear and want to do something fun, something productive.  You feel like you can tackle anything, and most of all: you feel a sense of happiness. That’s all we are looking for in life, isn’t it? To be happy?  Plant based foods have shown to improve your mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and increases productivity.  Go here to check out Dr. Greger from Nutritionfacts.org’s 5 minute video on this topic.

On the contrary, if your first thought in the morning is you just want to go back to bed, have no desire to start your day, dreading what’s to come and feel all around crappy, you are not going to be in a position to inspire anybody, much less yourself. You might just want to continue comforting yourself with crappy, high fat, high sugar foods, not be up for hitting the gym or getting in your exercise, and the cycle continues.  It goes without saying that you also won’t be in any state of mind to do something meaningful to improve on your life where you may need it; changing your job situation,  better your relationships or find time to take care of the person that is most important in your life; YOU.

Where am I going with this? If you are feeling stuck in your current situation, whatever it is, feeling like you are living below your potential but have no idea how to change it, feeling less than confident you are able to create your ideal life and a bit disappointed with how it all turned out, I can help.  We start with how you eat.  We’ll experiment with introducing more color in your life, beginning with your plate.  Once you start feeling more vibrant and alive, you will naturally gain more confidence to start making some moves towards what you’ve always wanted to do in life.  Things your old self just dreamed about, thinking that life is for ‘somebody else’, not you, not the way it turned out for you.  What would your life look like if you accomplished everything you secretly wish and hope for? My role as a coach is to move you from the “wishing and wanting stage”, to the “creating and accomplishing” stage. 

I’m here to tell you that ANYTHING is possible – you can do whatever you want to do, you might just need a little nudge in the right direction, and I’m here to support you with this. Remember; the only thing that is holding you back is you, and possibly, what you are feeding your body.

Get in touch with me here to set up an introductory call where I can learn more about you and for you to hear how I can support you.  Alternatively, email me at sunny@sunnygandara.com – I would love to hear from you and know you’ve got what it takes, so let’s get started today!!!

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The only diet that will help you in all areas of your life

The only diet that will help you in all areas of your life

I attended the NYC Vegetarian Festival in Manhattan this past weekend, and was filled with loads of impressions, met some wonderful people and listened to some incredible speakers.

Often when we choose a lifestyle that’s not the “norm”, we can feel alone or a bit “crazy” or “extreme” compared to others who are simply following the masses. But being surrounded by other like minded people who believe in the same things as I do and share the same values; namely to do the least possible harm to our bodies, our planet and our fellow animal beings, was so powerful and helped strengthen my belief and confidence in that I’m living in accordance with my true values by doing what is right for me and that I’m part of a very important movement.

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This is also what I’d like you to ask yourself: Is your diet in alignment with your values? Do you feel great when you eat the foods you choose to put on your plate on an every day basis? Do you see the results of how you decide to nourish your body, in the form of a strong, slim and energetic body? Can you say that your choices have minimal effect on our planet and life around you? If yes, that’s awesome!! and if not, would you be willing to explore a little further?

Would you be willing to jump on the phone with me to talk about what’s stopping you from reaching your goals? Be it dietary, or goals with your life and where it’s headed, I would love to hear from you. Just CLICK HERE and schedule a time when we can dive into how you’re feeling and how I can support you over a cup of tea or glass of wine 🙂

What are the reasons you have not considered plants as your main source of ‘fuel’? Especially in this day and age, when there is every alternative in the WORLD available out there created to foods traditionally made from animal ingredients,  now magically transformed by using plants only. Just check these photos from this past weekend out for proof:

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Impressive artisan gourmet cheese from Riverdel Cheese in Brooklyn. I’m typically very skeptical and picky when it comes to imitating cheese made from dairy, but these products had me in awe.  A must-try if you are one of the many people who just can’t seem to give up cheese!!

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No ducks were tortured/harmed/force fed in the production of this impressive, creative and delicious pate! Wow!

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Bahn Mi sandwiches, tarts, pastries, open face sandwiches, you name it… the options are endless!

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Beautiful and delicate macaroons.. no eggs needed. IMG_7834And how about this colorful array of sushi… if that doesn’t make your eyes (and tummy) happy, I don’t know what will!

I also attended a super inspiring speech by the impressive Dr. Michael Greger, author of New York Times’ bestseller “How Not To Die” and creator of the not-for-profit educational site nutritionfacts.org, the only site I rely on for scientifically backed nutrition with no “special interests” other than helping people get healthy.

His speech was titled “Food as Medicine” and in it he went through the top 15 diseases Americans (and largely the western world) are struggling with in the world today.

IMG_7841There is scientific proof that a plant based diet can help reduce risk of all of these, with the exception of one of the causes, which were freak accidents and in many cases even prevent them and reverse these diseases.

In his speech, Dr. Greger posed the question; with all of the aforementioned benefits of a plant based diet, if there was only ONE benefit, namely to reduce the risk of the biggest cause for deaths among Americans, namely heart disease  – why on earth would we not RUN towards eating this way? Shouldn’t this be enough of a motivator for people to take charge of their own health, and not wait for society to catch up, as with the case of cigarette smoking in the 1950s and 60s? Back then, doctors were even pictured in commercials for Camel and other brands, and preached “everything in moderation” (sound familiar?).  This is of course the same lecture we get today from doctors about meat and dairy.  Doctors can’t tell you not to eat these foods, because they themselves are indulging in it! And of course, there are a lot of powerful interests behind this way of eating. Nobody will get paid by telling you to eat broccoli, let’s face it.

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But I digress… Something new I have gotten out of this lifestyle, a vegan, compassionate way of living, is that it not only helps my health, but also has gotten me interested in living a more spiritual life.  When you clean up your diet and start feeding your body vibrant, nourishing foods it responds by becoming alert, creative and helps you want to live more in alignment with your true values.

No humans want to hurt other beings, we innately just want to live in peace and harmony with ourselves and each other. Unfortunately, programming from our childhood where we are taught to detach ourselves from other beings, who also want to live in peace, causes us to do things without even thinking about them. But there is a discord there somewhere deep down if we really feel for it, which leads us to not feel 100% happy, because something is out of touch with our true nature.  Just because something has been done for centuries, and because “other people are doing it”, no longer becoming a valid “excuse” for continuing to behave this way.

A plant-based diet can help you want to become a better person, you will automatically want to improve other areas of your life, such as your finances, your relationships with your spouse, children, other family members and friends, explore your spirituality and start becoming more caring about our planet and how we treat everyone and everything around us. Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful way to live?

So what other reasons are there, besides health, to be vegan?  Many spiritually enlightened people such as philosophers (Socrates, Plato), writers (George Bernard Shaw), thinkers (Albert Einstein), artists (Leonardo da Vinci), civic leaders (Benjamin Franklin) and humanitarians (Gandhi) throughout history have chosen and adopted a vegan lifestyle.  What did they know about this way of living that we could take lessons from?

According to Rajinder Singh, an internationally recognized spiritual Master who teaches the oneness at the heart of all religions, there are seven spiritual reasons for vegetarianism:

  1. Observing Non-Violence  We have all heard the religious principle “thou shalt not kill”.  The idea is to not do unto others what we ourselves do not want done to us. So why would we participate in killing of innocent lives?  If you don’t believe that animals suffer as they are killed for food, you only need to go visit a slaughterhouse, jump on a fishing boat to observe fish caught on a fishing hook or visit a chicken farm to witness the reality here. As someone put it “if it’s not good enough for your eyes, then why is ti good enough for your stomach?”  We all know that animals are conscious – just look at your dog and cat and how much personality they have. Chickens, cows, pigs and fish are no different. They also feel pain. Nonviolence recognizes that all animals and all people are children of God.  Doesn’t that feel better than thinking we are “better” or “above” any other beings?
  2. We Are What We Eat. Another spiritual reason for being vegetarian is to avoid lowering our spiritual consciousness with the vibrations of the animal we ingest. When we eat an animal that has been tortured, has lived in fear, suffered and killed against his or her wish, we ingest that same energy and vibration, and it becomes part of us.  The stress the animal went through and the fear hormones in the slaughtered animal remains in the body and gets transferred to us.  It goes without saying that if you are to become truly spiritual and want to master meditation and become peaceful, it is difficult to do in this state. I don’t know about you, but I prefer eating foods that are alive, vibrant and brimming with energy and brightness.

12072755_10153029688057331_740955075257259421_n3. Love for All.  This is a very important principle at the center of a vegan diet.  Buddha and Mahavira were full of love and compassion. The Bible also teaches us “love thy neighbor as thyself.” All religions teach love.  This love extends to all life forms, including insects, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals. To love all includes loving all creation.  If we want to fully embrace love as a concept and way of living, we must open our hearts to include all forms of life.

4. Service to Animals, Our Environment and Our Planet.
Our whole planet is our home, not just our immediate surroundings like our house.  Just as we don’t want to trash our house, pollute our drinking water, or poison our children with harmful gases, why would we do this to our common home, the earth?  A vegan diet supports care and love for animals and a better use of the earth’s resources than any other diet out there today.  This way of living and eating offers a more efficient use of our resources since more people can be fed (the grain needed to feed one cow to be slaughtered for food could be used to feed many times the amount of people, just to name one example).  Let’s remove our selfishness and make our planet sustainable today and in the future for our children and children’s children.  Love is taking steps to care for the planet and its resources and sharing with others today and in the years ahead. Selfishness is using up for ourselves today while not leaving enough for centuries of people in the future.

5. The Law of Karma. This law states in short that for every action, there is a reaction.  The law of karma states that all our thoughts, words and deeds are recorded. When we have good thoughts, good has to come back, and when we commit bad deeds, we must pay the consequences, for instance.  A great reason for those wanting to become more spiritual is to not create more karma for ourselves that we would have to pay back. Those who believe in the law of karma, believe that if we take the life of an animal, we have to bear the reaction of that action.  Whether or not you believe in this law, there have been those who have had near death experiences describing seeing their life play back, where they saw all the good and bad they had done.  Not only did they witness it, but they actually experienced what the other people felt when they did good or harm to others. This experience was so profound that they realized the most important principle was that of love.  Hence, they were inspired to lead their lives in a more loving, caring manner. It is, after all, a much more pleasant experience to bring joy t others, rather than harm, wouldn’t you agree?

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6. Benefits to Meditation. Whether or not you practice meditation, you would be hard pressed to find a person who has started this practice, who won’t say it has changed their life. This is a fundamental practice in order to become more spiritual, to connect with our soul – a vegan diet speeds our progress. By following a vegan diet, we develop non violence and love, and we purify our soul by not partaking in killing other beings (animals or humans).  When we are loving to all people and all forms of life, we are on the way back to God. Those who have been successful on the spiritual path know that vegetarianism aids meditation and spiritual progress.

7. Spiritual Enlightenment. Spiritual Masters have required a vegetarian diet as a prerequisite for initiation to truly learn meditation.  Why? Killing and eating animals add new karmas. In order to gain spiritual enlightenment and oneness with the creator, we need to reduce our karmas. Thus, we don’t want to live on a diet that takes the life of any animals.     (text adapted from the leaflet “The Vegetarian Diet” from Spark of the Divine by Rajinder Singh which I picked up at the NYC Veg Fest this past weekend)

In conclusion, the benefits of a vegan diet is that it is not just good for our body, but for our mind as well and most importantly: our soul.  When we feel fulfilled in our mind and soul, the body will follow; we will experience that our excess weight, heightened stress and chronic diseases we have gained as a result of poor lifestyle choices, will magically disappear. This is called looking for the root of the cause, and not just aimlessly deal with the symptoms.  If you haven’t been successful at losing weight or getting healthy in the past, chances are you haven’t tackled these other, equally important, areas of your life.

Are you ready to take charge of your health and well being and tired of feeling out of control? Schedule a chat with me here, I’d love to hear from you and what you are challenged with and possibly how I could support you.  I am super passionate about this lifestyle and would love to introduce others to it so they too, can experience feeling as fulfilled as I feel, and will repeat after me and so many others who have decided to adopt this lifestyle: “I only wish I had done it sooner.”

My Vegan Journey

My Vegan Journey

Many people have asked me in the past few weeks to share my story of how I decided to go vegan. It made me think of how I have hesitated writing about it, because I don’t have a “fantastic” story around my transition. I didn’t cure myself from cancer or Crohn’s disease, and I don’t have a long dramatic story about how I slowly incorporated new, step-by step eating habits while on a ‘bumpy’ road towards being a full blown vegan.

No, I have in fact never had any health issues (other than I packed on a couple of dozen pounds just after getting married and going to culinary school, but I quickly adjusted my weight), and I pretty much went vegan overnight after I made the decision.

What I did have, was an enormous compassion for animals. But I felt like a fraud, because I was still eating them.  I decided to go vegan one day because I could no longer look myself in the mirror with a straight face while uttering the words “I’m an animal lover”.  I had been living a ‘double life’ for so many years, eating meat, dairy, eggs and fish, while simultaneously getting teary eyed when I saw any animal on TV.  I was cuddling my dogs, telling them how much I loved them, while chowing down on pork belly on Christmas Eve.  Crying over the poor dolphins that were slaughtered in Japan, yet eating fish and chicken on a daily basis.  It took me a while until I saw the irony in this.

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Growing up in Norway, I had the privilege of having 7 cats, 3 horses, a dozen ducks and two goats as animal companions throughout my childhood, just to name a few. But like so many people, I was conditioned and taught to make a huge disconnect between animals and what ended up on my plate. The one exception I remember clearly is when my dad slaughtered our ducks that I had played with for weeks and months, and told my mom to cook them.  She prepared one meal, and then declared “I’m NOT eating this”, and threw the other 10 processed ducks she had in the freezer in the garbage. Pretty ironic, since she would make lamb, beef, pork and fish on a weekly basis. But because she had befriended them in our backyard, realizing they had personalities just like we humans do, she couldn’t stomach actually devouring them.

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Years later, when a vegan friend of mine kept posting videos and sending me emails with disturbing facts about how factory farmed animals are treated on a daily basis, I would cry like a baby and my whole day was “ruined” (I think the animals had it slightly worse than me…).  To which my husband replied “Stop watching those videos, they are just upsetting you, each and every time, why do you do this to yourself? Just shut off the computer!” In his mind, as it had been in mine for so many years, it was just easier to ignore it, pretending these things don’t go on, save ourselves the uncomfortable moments, and continue consuming the meals we’ve grown up to love and enjoy.  Or we could make ourselves feel better by purchasing “organic”, “cage free”, “pasture raised” and “grass fed”, because after all .. these animals just want to live for us, come into the world and leave it whenever we decide appropriate, just so we can enjoy a few moments of pleasure on the plate.. People love to hear positive things about their bad habits. But, I digress.

I finally had an “aha” moment in late 2013, when I had been working on my personal development and my spirituality.  I was searching for my “why”, why I was put here on earth, and realized I wanted so desperately to show compassion for innocent animals, not just my fellow human beings.  I increasingly felt out of alignment with how I desired to live.

Honestly speaking, I was s**t scared to give up animal foods, because I was heavily involved in bodybuilding at the time, and was taught that in order to keep my muscles, I had to eat chicken and tilapia six times a day (preferably cold) and how was I going to live without my Greek yogurt? I mean, it was SO full of protein?!!?   Secondly, I had a catering company that was known for “farm to table” cooking, and thirdly I lived with a meat-loving, chef-husband who I knew had no desire whatsoever to go vegan with me.  So you see, I had a lot of excuses and “reasons” too, I could have easily told myself it was too difficult, my lifestyle wouldn’t allow it, I would have to change too much, etc.

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But in the end, my conscience and the animals won and I decided right there and then on that afternoon in late September that animal flesh would no longer hit my lips. It was the best decision I’ve ever made!! I didn’t look back once, and as so many vegans do, thought to myself, “I only wish I had done it sooner.”

The truth is, it’s so much easier to stay vegan and never stray when you are vegan for the animals.  When you develop a compassion that goes beyond the human race, but extend to all living beings, realizing we are all one, it is simply no longer an option to partake in the cruel and unnecessary practices that go on today.  And when on top of it, eating meat and dairy is scientifically proven to be bad for your health – then it begs the question: why on earth do we continue this madness?  With all the delicious and creative plant foods that exist today, we can’t use the excuse “what is there to eat” anymore… You mean, you can no longer have the 5 or 6 different kinds of meat you’ve been eating for decades over and over and feel restricted by the HUNDREDS of plant based options? Now, who’s restricted?

I’m not telling you to go vegan overnight, like I did. Just do some research and get informed, both when it comes to animal farming and eating for health, and make your decision based on that.  Luckily, we live in a world that is slowly changing in the right direction, as people wake up to the fact that our current ways are destroying the planet, and we need to do something about it to save our future generations.  More and more plant based options are available everywhere, and we also need to remember that fruits, vegetables and whole grains was the ORIGINAL diet of everyone on this planet. Let’s get back to eating real food!

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I was pleasantly surprised to discover, as someone who had only experienced the limited menu of a meat eater, that a whole food, plant based diet not only is the healthiest way to eat, but my culinary repertoire expanded beyond my imagination. I always say, vegan chefs are some of the most creative beings on the planet. I am simply amazed each and every day at how it’s not only possible to recreate every meat and dairy dish you are familiar with, but the vegan version tastes even better! Not to mention, comes with no risk of heart disease, cancer or diabetes.  It’s so much fun to cook now, and the food gives me energy beyond belief, because it’s based on living, vibrant ingredients, not dead, lifeless ones.

If you find this uncomfortable to read, I would like to invite you to ask yourself why.  Believe me, I’ve been there. Reading these kinds of stories raised all sorts of emotions in me; anger, irritation, guilt,  you name it… all pretty useless feelings, but I could never stop thinking that I wanted to examine why they came up.  Once I had the guts to really become honest with myself, I realized there was only one way to live: to give up animal flesh, free myself of feeling bad about my choices,  and fully live in alignment with my values.

Whether you choose to go vegan for the animals or for your health, or not at all, is up to you.  I am not here to judge anyone, just to share my story. That said, I think we all improve ourselves when we choose to show compassion for all life, and realize humans are not “superior” animals, but that we all belong on this planet together; living in harmony, happiness and health.

 

In memory of my two babies who both passed on to the Rainbow Bridge this past year, Dallas and Thor. I know you are running around in the fields with your pigs, chickens and cow brothers and sisters having fun now! 

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