In the first part of this two-part interview, we will introduce Haley Vasuki and cover her inspiring plant-based journey. Haley Vasuki’s plant-based journey began 10 years ago when several events occurred that changed the direction of her life. At age 23, she began having GI issues that required a colonoscopy, which revealed multiple pre-cancerous polyps. Because eating red meat was a risk factor, she decided to cut it out of her diet. She also read a book called The Kind Diet and for the first time thought about the food she ate and the effect it had on her body, the environment, and animals, although she wasn’t ready to give up all animal products yet.
At the same time, Haley met her future husband, whose parents were Indian and lifelong vegetarians. When she visited his family and ate their food, she was amazed at how wonderful the flavors and spices were in the dishes and realized plant-based foods could taste delicious without meat. She became a vegetarian, although, in her words, “not a healthy one,” since she ate a lot of dairy and processed foods.
During her pregnancy, Haley consumed protein shakes and dairy because she believed it was a healthy choice. However, when her son was three months old, he developed a severe allergy to milk protein and became very sick and lost weight. Haley immediately cut out all dairy and was amazed at how her baby weight fell off and how healthy and vibrant she felt. Most importantly, her son began to gain weight and thrive.
From that point on, Haley knew that a whole food, plant-based lifestyle was the optimal choice for her family. She began to read and learn as much as she could about this new way of eating. She read The China Study and How Not To Die and also watched documentaries. When she watched PlantPure Nation in August of 2017, it really affected her. “I was moved to tears and knew I wanted to start a Pod,” she says.
When asked what advice she would give to people just starting out with a plant-based diet, Haley has several recommendations. First, get educated. There are many resources on the web to support your journey and provide motivation and inspiration. She also adamantly advises cleaning out all animal products and junk food from your pantry and fridge. Finally, she encourages people to find recipes for dishes that they love to eat and recommends looking online at cooking videos and blogs. Everyone wants to enjoy their food, so if you are eating only overcooked vegetables and iceberg lettuce, you won’t be able to make this new way of eating a lifestyle. If you find recipes that make you happy, you’ll find joy in eating!
In our next newsletter, tune in for part two of our interview where we will cover the inspirational impact the Plant Powered Florence Pod has had in Florence, South Carolina.