Kristin Linde, The High Impact Vegan™

Kristin in NYC, June 2011

Introduction

It is always hard to sit down and write a paragraph or two about yourself. Where do you start? How much do you share? What do people really want to know? These are the questions that are going through my mind as I sit down to tell you who I am, and what I stand for. I am not certain of the answers to the questions above but I am going to give this “bio” thing a shot.

My name is Kristin Linde. I am 29 years old and at a truly wonderful place in my life. I am married to my soul mate, Jason, and we live happily in central Maryland with our cat, Tatar Tot. We have been married for just over five years, and are truly the happiest we could be. By day I am a web and graphic designer, but by night I am a passionate vegan “chef” who wants to change the world.

I have always enjoyed a good work out and a fresh salad or two for as  long as I can remember, getting through life on eating “right” and exercising daily, but it was not until the end of 2009 that I can say I really became conscious of what I was eating and how it was effecting me and the world around me. At this time in my life I was what you would call a Pollo-Pescatarian, someone who does not eat beef or pork, but eats poultry, fish,  dairy and eggs. In other words I was a omnivore with a fancy name.

At a holiday party, a friend of mine, Jessica, and I were chatting about her vegan life style. She was telling me how much she loved her lifestyle and how much her fiance had benefited from transitioning to a vegan lifestyle himself. I must say that I was intrigued by our conversation and wanted to learn more. Jessica recommend that I read a book called Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Later that week I bought and read the book from cover to cover.

Now, I will tell you this, Skinny Bitch is not the number one book that I wold recommend for someone who is thinking about becoming vegan, or who wants to learn more about the vegan lifestyle, but i do think it is a good book. The co-authors, Rory and Kim, are very “in your face”and graphic about how animals are treated on farms and in slaughter houses, and the effects that eating animal products has on the human body. The book is not for the faint of heart by any means! About three chapters into the book, I knew that I could never eat meat again, and by the time I finished the book, I was a full on vegan.

The vegan lifestyle is a fabulous thing. Within two weeks, I felt like an new person. My skin was glowing, I had endless energy, and I truly felt good about what I was doing and the decision I had made. I am not going to sit here and tell you that the transition was easy, but the effects I was seeing and feeling were wonderful.

When I say that the transition was not easy, I am not talking about the change in diet. I can honestly say I did not miss the things I had cut out of my diet. Meat was not a staple item in my diet before becoming vegan, and I was doing just fine with out dairy in my life. What made the transition difficult for me was the acceptance of the change I had made by the people I love the most in my life.

My Two Favorite People

My Two Favorite People - Jason and Tator Tot!

It took Jason a little while to come around. And to his defense, I never really asked him what he thought, or even if he wanted to be a vegan. I just decide one day that I was never eating meat or dairy again and by default, neither was he. I converted our kitchen to a vegan kitchen, stopped buying meat and dairy at the grocery store and started cooking tons of new things for Jason and I to eat. Thankfully, Jason, as supportive as he is, was able to quickly see that this lifestyle was a good choice for both of us. He, too, felt better when he ate vegan and really started to come around. Today, Jason is 100% vegan and home, and he tries his best to eat vegetarian when out with out me. He looks and feels the best he ever has.

In addition to the slight difficulty transitioning at home, Jason and I also experienced resistance on many other levels. Friends we had for years were suddenly no longer interested in hanging out with us. Some of them were actually becoming offended by the fact that I would bring my own food to eat when we got together for dinner. I am not sure what they expected me to do when they were serving Filet Mignon for dinner, but nonetheless they were wanting to hang out with us less and less. My family began to complain about the change as well telling me that I am now a bigger “pain in the ass” then I was before (remember I did not eat beef or pork before, so at times I needed to prepare my own food even prior to becoming vegan). No one seemed to be happy with the lifestyle changes we had made except Jason and I.

Now, I will be honest with you, I am pretty sure that I was a huge pain in the ass for the first six months. It was hard for me to adjust to the constant questions, complaints, and criticism from everyone around me. If I wasn’t answering the question “Where do you get your protein from?” I was defending a healthy life without meat and dairy to the next naysayer.  Another thing that made the transition hard, and contributed to the way I was feeling was adjusting to eating out. Salads and unseasoned side dishes were just not what I would call a good meal!

As time went on, I became more aware of my actions, and the lifestyle I wanted to lead moving forward. I decided not to talk to anyone about veganism unless they ask me about it first. I did not want to come across pushy or make people feel uncomfortable about the choices they were making, in comparison to the choices that I make. I decide that I was going to lead by example, be the healthiest person I could be and see how everyone around me responded to that.

And it worked! For the most part… we did have a few friends decide that they just could not deal with me and my lifestyle and I still have a few family members who I think are uncomfortable around me but at the end of the day, I am completely comfortable in my skin, and am ready to take things to the next level.

Enter The High Impact Vegan™…

The name, to me, says it all. I am, by nature, a high impact chic. I am full of energy, out going and ready to take on the world. I plan to to use this site/blog to spread my love of being vegan, eating healthy, being conscious and kicking main stream butt! The site is jammed packed with vegan resources, amazing recipes, travel adventures, fun times, random thoughts and more. My goal is not to convert every reader to a vegan, or to cause you to turn your life upside down, but I do hope that you can each take something with you and make a positive change in your life and the lives of the ones you love.

Much love,

Kristin, The High Impact Vegan™

 

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