When I was in Scranton, I had a chance to catch up with my newly plant-based 13yo cousin.
She's been plant-based for almost 2 months now and has certainly had a few tests! I am so proud of her and in awe of her commitment and strength. I hope by sharing some of Caroline's experiences, we can all draw strength from her incredible persistence and will power!
The very first day Caroline went plant-based, she flew from Colorado back home to Pennsylvania and she was offered free, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (her fave) on the airplane. She texted me "Yahhh... of course the day I choose to be plant-based they put out free cookies... lol whatever I resisted."
A few weeks later, Caroline went to a church sleepover -- a "lock-in" where all the kids are locked in the church for the night with supervisors. The church supplied snack foods for the kids, like Doritos, but no snacks offered were vegan. Caroline also had to resist her old favorite: cheese pizza and hot cinnamon buns the next morning. Caroline would surely have been forgiven for giving in -- all the temptation and no other food choices, but she resisted. She went the whole night without food, that is, until someone offered her an apple. What will power!
Most recently, Caroline went out to dinner with her parents and ordered a veggie burger, that the waitress assured her was vegan. When it came out, Caroline realized there was butter all over the bun -- the smell and grease was unmistakable, and instead of looking the other way, Caroline put the bread aside and just ate the burger, to her parents total astonishment. The fact she even knew to look out for it amazes me.
Even her mom commented on Caroline's dodged determination and how proud she is of her daughter. "She's really been tested" her mom explained "and she hasn't given in. She's really been motivated to stay plant-based."
When I asked Caroline how she did it, she said "I want to be healthy. I want to prove to myself that I can do this. I feel so good, too."
Caroline explained to me that just before she went plant-based, she had a pacer test at school -- a physical fitness evaluation that measured how many sit-ups and pushups she could do, how fast she could run. She recently had another pacer test and said that not only did she run raster, do more sit-ups and pushups, she also found it was so much easier to do those things than it had been before. Just 6 weeks ago it was a challenge and now it was easy. Caroline hadn't changed anything, except her diet.
I couldn't be more proud of her!
To read more stories like Caroline's, check out our new feature 'Topics' on the side of the page. You can click on Herbies for stories of other Herbies or click on Travel for posts about when I've been traveling.