Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Vegan Mama || Aspen: The Ballards

Good mornin' ya'll! Found me a little vegan family. The Ballards are a little vegan family of 5 that love to explore and eat awesome vegan food. I got to interview the mama of the bunch, Aspen. Everyone needs to go head to their blog and see the adventures they get into! Check them out here The Bellards Blog

-Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi beautiful people! My name is Aspen, I run the blog and a household of five! I was going to school for Biochemistry so I could apply to medical school. I was almost completely done with school when I realized; YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A SINGLE NUTRITION CLASS TO BECOME A DOCTOR! Like, what?! I truly believe with every ounce of my being that true, organic, micronutrient dense food heals and it blew my mind. Don't get me wrong, I think that modern medicine is amazing. But you know what I don't think is amazing? Big Pharma. I never understood why my doctor would tell me to take an iron pill when I was pregnant....I'd rather just eat some beets! Again, don't think I am dissing modern medicine, because my last son and I wouldn't be here without incredible doctors and life saving procedures....but why is medicine always the first option? After that I switched to a nutrition degree to focus on holistic nutrition and healing common ailments with food! 

I have three kids, Lo (7), Foster (3) and River (1). Foster and River are fully vegan kids but because I share custody with Lo's dad when she visits him she does not follow it there. My honey is a firefighter in our home town. It took him a lot longer to switch to the vegan lifestyle than me because "but where will I get my protein?" *insert major eyeball* but after finally getting him to try it there is no looking back. 

- What is your vegan story? Why and how you transitioned?

I have been on and off vegetarian since 6th grade. It was very hard to stick with it when you live in a meat and potatoes household. It wasn't until I was an adult and started looking at how my body was feeling that I realized something wasn't right. I cannot digest meat! I have an allergy to red meat, but since we rarely ate it, it wasn't a big deal. Cutting all the additional meat products wasn't hard for me either. My kids didn't really like them and they upset my stomach. But the cheese....that was another story. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy but the feeling I get being vegan far surpasses the craving that eventually passed. 

- Did you have any opposition when you told your family and friends that your child would be vegan? 

Oh my gosh. So much. My family (not husband but parents and grandparents) were so against it. They would refuse to acknowledge it and my grandma would go so far as to buy animal products and bring them to our home because she thought us and the kids weren't getting enough food! Which is just so crazy to me. I finally had to put my foot down and stand my ground and tell them they had to respect my decision because it was just that, my decision. The only problem I have had now is when my grandma watches the kids she tries to sneak them ice-cream or cheese or chicken. So I just bring their food over that they can have (coconut ice-cream, cashew cheese, fruit and veggies, etc) so she can easily give it to them and she doesn't feel like they're missing out. 

-What is some advice that you can give to fellow vegan mamas?

Stick to your guns. If this is how you want to live your life then do it. Don't let the naysayers get you down because they will see how good this is for you. Maybe not right away, maybe not for months, but they'll see it. Another thing is stock up on things you love, your family loves and things that are easy! Don't make it difficult. Smoothies, tacos, rice, rice pasta, salads, stir-frys and loads of fresh fruit and veggies at your fingertips keeps everyone happy. I know how hard it is to be exhausted then have to make dinner. Sometimes you just have to have pasta! 

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