MOMPRENEUR Tricia Mae Su-Lim vividly remembers the day their family decided to make the "big switch."
"We were barbecuing some meat on November 1, 2019 and my brother pushed me to watch 'The Gamechangers' on Netflix. We did and it helped us open our eyes on how animal products affect our bodies in a harmful way," she says.
The next day, Tricia enthusiastically told her husband Leonard that the family would switch to a plant-based diet. Their initial goal was to become healthier and lose some pounds.
They switched cold turkey and amazingly, their kids were game on as well. She and Leonard explained to their sons Zack (12 years old) and Hunter (4 years old) the dangers of consuming animal products along with several documentaries on animal cruelty in slaughterhouses and farms.
The adjustment was easy, and it took Tricia by surprise. When Tricia does serve mock meats and replicate a meat recipe, even her toddler will ask if it is vegan and eats only if it is vegan.
A few months later, Tricia converted all the recipes for her business for breastfeeding moms to vegan.
"I removed the cookie flavors that I could not convert. I even made my own vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and looked for the best and healthiest substitutes for my other ingredients. By doing this, I made my recipes free of eggs, dairy, honey and with less sugar," explains Tricia, who is also a licensed English and Tesol teacher.
Veganism as a lifestyle
"Veganism is well known as a diet to remove animal product consumption. However, I would like to correct that and mention that veganism is a practice or a lifestyle that excludes all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it from food, clothing, or any other purpose. So, it goes beyond just the food but basically respecting animals and looking at them as sentient beings. Sentient, meaning they can feel, perceive, or experience subjectively," points out Tricia.
"I can eat all plant-based ingredients and food. There are some ingredients though that are plant-based but had animal testing on them and cruelty inflicted to animals while getting certain products such as palm oil, seaweed and honey so I avoid supporting those," she continues.
Back when the family were meat lovers, Zack and Hunter always had allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema so Tricia heavily depended on essential oils but eventually, their condition would return.
These days though, they have improved energy, better sleep, no sickness, and do not depend on oils anymore. They also noticed that they no longer had body odor.
"Somehow turning into a vegan healed my addiction to food and made me have a better relationship with food in general. My kids and I became more compassionate to animals. We decided that we are not only vegans for health but for the animals and our planet, too," stresses the former BPO employee.
Whys and hows
For families who want to try the vegan lifestyle, Tricia advises that it is important to make sure to know your "why."
"Why will you be doing this? The hardest step is the first day. So, get a support system and share your goals, may it be your partner, friends, or your social media friends. I found out that the vegan community was supportive, so it made the transition smoother and easier. There are also a lot of vegan videos out there," Tricia reveals.
Also, the mommy blogger/vlogger suggests removing anything from the kitchen that will likely hinder one's goals. Learn how to cook as veganism also means saving money by sourcing local produce
"If you are a parent who wants to transition, do research about veganism and meat replacement. Our go-to meat replacements are tofu (from a local vendor), seitan (wheat gluten), and other substitutes suggested by different vegan YouTubers," the breastfeeding advocate shares.
She emphasizes that the key to a successful switch for kids is to always season the dish with natural herbs and powder. "Do not skimp on flavors because one can always veganize a dish no matter what. If you do need someone for support, I am open to help you and your family," Tricia warmly offers.
Follow Tricia Lim on YouTube and Facebook for her vegan recipes, and mommytricialim on Instagram where she posts her vegan food every day.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://momabouttowndavao.blogspot.com/.