My name is Jacquie and I'm a gluten intolerant vegan from Sydney, Australia currently residing in Florida, USA with my husband, my son and my two step daughters.
I turned vegetarian when I was 11 because I read an interview with River Phoenix and what he said about veganism really made an impression on me. My mother, who thinks we're called "vagans", told me if I wanted to be a vegetarian I could cook for myself. So I did and I found my new passion.
When I was 21, I started getting sick after almost every meal, stabbing pains and bloating, and it got progressively worse. As soon as I cut gluten out of my diet I was fine and I felt 100% better. I've never been tested for coeliac disease but I feel so great by not eating gluten that I am happy not knowing. If I could invent a decent gluten-free beer I'd be a millionaire!
In October 2010 I watched the documentary "Earthlings" (ironically voiced by Joaquin Phoenix) and from about half way through I knew I was vegan and never going back. I realised I could never again justify the obvious pain and suffering of animals for fashion or taste preferences. I'd tried to justify eating dairy for so long and something never sat well with me about it. Once I saw the truth I knew I was living a lie. Seems the Phoenix family had quite a lot to do with my road to veganism ;)
I can't believe how easy being vegan is. Seriously. If I'd known how easy it was I would have done it years ago. (You CAN give up cheese, it has addictive properties so once you give up you won't even crave it! Plus the FDA allows 1 tablespoon of puss for every 250ml cup of milk...think about that!) To top it off I feel 100% better in mind, body and spirit. I have higher calcium and iron levels than I have had in my life. I give blood so my iron is tested regularly, which I think is really important (both giving blood and getting your blood tested). The first time I gave blood after turning vegan the nurse said to me "Wow, your iron's much higher than normal. What have you been eating?" and I said "Actually I'm a vegan now, so a lot of vegetables".
I started this blog because I'm passionate about cooking and being vegan. I wanted to show people that being vegan (and gluten intolerant) doesn't stop you from having super awesome food. Some are my own recipes or other peoples that I've used or changed. All my recipes are also gluten free unless otherwise stated. I also wanted to include other aspects of vegan life as I find new products, places of interest or events.
I love being vegan so much I want to tell everyone who will listen. I want to make them understand how easy it is, how beneficial it is to our health, the animals and the environment. It really is the future. I found I had to go to a lot of different places to get all the information about what to substitute and where to buy when I first went vegan it so I created a website "Vegans Have Superpowers" separate from this blog for reference (which I use myself all the time). It is an ever expanding database of vegan substitutions and brands for all aspects of vegan life. Please peruse or pass it on to anyone you think would benefit.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions. Enjoy!