My family and I have begun a journey that has wonderfully changed our lives. I would first like to extend my thanks to Ellen and all the people that have been involved in widening our eyes to an alternative vegan lifestyle. A lifestyle that we never thought could be attainable because it may not be healthy enough or because we could not afford it... boy were we wrong.

We have been working on a new vegan lifestyle and while at first we thought it would not be easy, and it's not, we are surprised by how well we're doing. Maybe we are still in the romance phase of this new lifestyle. Or, maybe we'll stick to it... either way, we're off to a good start! One thing is for sure: the family and I are really supporting each other by working as united family, and as a result we have become stronger!

Jeff and his change have been the most surprising part of it all. Honestly, when I presented this idea to him he laughed at me. First of all, he never believed we would be chosen, and second, he swore that he would never give up meat. The funny part is that I said to him, "Well if they pick us it's not like you have to report to Ellen personally!" Well... I have learned never to make assumptions and promises that you cannot keep, because he is now keeping me in check with our food consumption and is proud to report any new changes to Ellen! The last thing I need is a know-it-all husband... AH!

For example, about a week ago I discovered soyrizo... which is very delicious... anyhow, I added two eggs to the soyrizo, and Jeff reminded me not to give in so quickly and that I was a cheater and I should learn from him... hmm... I reminded him that first of all, I JUST STARTED! And second, that I am gradually easing into it and then he reminded me that there may be an alternative to it. (I guess I did not like getting schooled by him because I am supposed to be the example... not the case.) After that conversation, I looked into it and sure enough there was an egg alternative... it was tofu! Is there anything that tofu can't do?

I have to learn to fail and try again, and to take a little constructive criticism from the hubby. And, I also have to accept role reversal; since I am Queen Know-It-All in our home, hee hee. From that incident, we both discussed it and agreed that we are both examples to our children, and ourselves, and we will learn, fail, and pick ourselves up... together.

When I say that this could not have come at a more perfect time it is the truth! For about a month I had been telling Jeff that he needed to follow up with his doctor as he was told his cholesterol was high during his last physical; a visit that I practically had to drag him to... men. He had not been to the doctor in over a year as he kept canceling his scheduled appointments. We suspected that he had high blood pressure as he put his arm through a high blood pressure machine (the ones you find at pharmacies); this was in February. Jeff did not see it as a big deal, but after I made a big deal of where he was rated -- which was at stage 2 hypertension -- our twin girls were all over him! Daily they would ask if, "Daddy was going to the hospital" or "When will Daddy see a doctor?" Our girls have no clue what high blood pressure is, however, seeing my frightened look they understood something was wrong.

As I suspected, his blood pressure was 168/110, which is stage 2 hypertension!! It is rare to see my husband scared, but this time I could see that he was. He told me that he wants to be here for his children and see them grow up. I am happy to say that at this time we have begun to work on this issue with the help of this newfound lifestyle. We are committed to learning the most cost-effective and the healthiest way to make this happen, and so far we are making it happen... in a very affordable way.

We get plenty of hearty foods and I am not just talking leaves and fruits, I am talking stir-fry with Gardein chicken or beef tips, soyrizo-cheddar-spinach-potato tacos, spaghetti and vegan Italian sausage, etc. These are a few examples! And to top it off, I get another shot at learning to cook, YUMMY!! I was such boring cook with the same old same old, but now I am working my way to becoming a vegan chef! This is just the beginning and we are not sure what challenges lie ahead, but we are ready to work at this commitment to a vegan life.

vegan life