“The advice I would like to have gotten before going vegan is this: Read! Educate yourself. Learn how powerful this change actually is. Get to know all the positive impacts a vegan diet has on our planet, environment, and your health.”
Linelle Goldbranson shares her journey and insights, and offers reason to go vegan that frankly make a lot of sense.
Q: Tell us the story of how and when you decided to go vegan?
My vegan journey started New Year’s Eve from 2014-2015.
I chose to go vegetarian at that point just because I had the silly excuses like “I need dairy products,” “I need protein,” “I need vitamin B,” “It´s too hard to go completely vegan,” “I love meat too much,” “I can´t give up sushi.”
I implemented eggs and fish to my diet, so I ended up as an octo-lavo-pescatarian, meaning I ate dairy, egg, and seafood.
That lasted for about three months.
The problem then was that I did it only for the animals. I could never kill an animal myself, so I didn´t want anyone else to do it for me. I started educating myself on the topic.
The moment I learned what I supported with my wallet, how I´m a part of destroying our planet while eating animal products, I stopped completely. It was a Wednesday. I decided that minute that I was going to do whatever it took to help our planet, our animals, our atmosphere, and the human race.
This is a small list of what you support while eating meat or animal products, the issue is a lot worse than you could ever imagine:
- Animal cruelty at its worst! (1.2 billion animals are killed and brutally slaughtered every week! Calves are taken from their moms at two days old. The mom-cows are screaming in pain when they take their calves away. Did you know that?)
- Human hunger and people/children starving to death. (All grains fed to animal agriculture could stop all human hunger and starvation! Think about that. If we can feed animals with it, we can feed humans with it. Eighty-five percent of children starving live in countries where we give the food to animal agriculture rather than the people living there, just so that more well-off people in other parts of the world can have their meat, eggs, and dairy. Human population drinks 5.2 gallons of water every day and eats 21 billion pounds of food. But our 1.5 billion cows alone drink 45 billion gallons of water every day and eat 135 billion pounds of food. Easy math, don´t you think?)
- Agribusiness is responsible for 91 percent (!) of all deforestation and destruction of the Brazilian Amazon. (One acre of rainforest lost per second, and 100 animal and plant species lost every single day! Why? Because they need more land to grow grains to animal agriculture. We need the Amazon. If this continues, it will be lost within 10-20 years from now; we will lose the planet´s lungs.)
- Devastating pollution killing our planet. (Nitrous oxide emissions, which has a global warming potential 296 times greater than carbon oxide, comes from animal agriculture. In other words, animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than cars, trains, airplanes, boats, etc. all combined, internationally!)
- Waste of water resources we need to live. (Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas uses 100 billion gallons of water every year in the U.S. But when compared to animal agriculture, raising livestock just in the U.S. consumes 34 trillion gallons of water — yes, trillion, with a T.)
- Global warming. (Melting ice caps and water rising, which are threatening whole countries to go under water. We are also facing the extinction of our beautiful polar bears due to this.)
- The largest mass extinction of species in 65 million years!
- Acidification of our oceans and “dead zones.” (It´s killing underwater wildlife. Also, overfishing is killing underwater wildlife. For every pound of fish they catch, they kill five pounds of “bi-kill,” as it´s called: dolphins, sharks, whales, etc. Forty to fifty million sharks alone are killed every year in fishing lines and fishing nets as bi-kill.)
A vegan diet produces half as much CO2 as an American omnivore (plant- and animal-based diet), one-eleventh the amount of fossil fuels, one-thirteenth the amount of water use, and one-eighteenth the amount of land use. Adding all this up, my choice was easy.
Per day, as a vegan, I save:
- 1,100 gallons of water
- 45 pounds of grain that would go to animal agriculture
- 30 sq. ft. of rainforest
- 10 pounds of CO2
- 1 animal’s life
“The most powerful thing that someone can do for the environment is to stop consuming animal products.”
No other lifestyle choice has further reach or a more profoundly positive impact on the planet and all life on Earth than choosing to live a vegan lifestyle.
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out on this path?
If you´re on the verge of becoming a vegan or you just started, I’m guessing you do it for the animals or the health benefits. Or maybe you actually do it to help the planet be more sustainable.
People are afraid of change, I was, too — so afraid, I decided to try out pescatarianism and vegetarianism first, before going vegan. I had my doubts that I could live on a healthy diet without meat, dairy, and eggs.
I have read so many articles, reports, blogs, forums, you name it. I had important questions:
- Is it healthy for kids?
- Is it healthy for pregnant women?
- Is it healthy for the fetus?
- Can I build muscles on a plant-based diet?
- Do I get all the nutrients I need?
And YES is the answer to all the questions above.
“We have all the nutrients we need in the plant kingdom. Don´t be afraid of the change, embrace it.”
I know I am now. I feel so good knowing how I´m helping our planet, the human race, and that I saved a life every time I eat.
The advice I would like to have gotten before going vegan is this: Read! Educate yourself. Learn how powerful this change actually is. Get to know all the positive impacts a vegan diet has on our planet, environment, and your health.
Q: What did you eat yesterday?
First meal: pre-workout (7 a.m.)
- 1 serving Vega One Coconut Almond protein powder mixed with water
- 1 pill CLA
- 1 spray Garden of Life mykind Organics Vitamin B-12
- 1 serving BCAA
Second meal: breakfast skillet, post-workout (10 a.m.)
- 4 oz. of wildwood organic high protein tofu
- 3.5 oz. of red (pre-boiled) organic potato
- 2 cups chopped organic spinach
- ½ cup organic onion
- ½ cup organic corn
- All fried together with sugar-free seasoned salt (a lot) and pepper. Yummy!
- Creatine mixed with water
Third meal: Mexican lunch salad (1 p.m.)
- 1 cup of Beyond Meat Beyond Beef Feisty Crumble
- ½ cup chopped organic red peppers
- ½ cup chopped organic onion
- 2 tbsp. homemade organic taco seasoning
- 2 cups chopped organic spinach
- 4 organic cherry tomatoes
- ¼ organic avocado
- 1 tbsp. organic salsa
- 1 tbsp. Follow Your Heart vegan gourmet sour cream
- 1 pill multivitamins
Fourth meal — snack (4 p.m.)
- ½ toasted organic bagel
- ¼ avocado as spread (salt and pepper)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ tsp. roasted sesame seeds
- ½ tsp. hemp seeds
- 3 cherry tomatoes
- 1 serving Vega One Coconut Almond protein powder mixed with water
Fifth meal — dinner (7 p.m.)
- 1 patty Beyond Meat Beast Burger
- 2 slices toasted Silver Hill sprouted whole grain bread
- 1 cup organic spinach
- 1 slice organic tomato
- 2 fresh organic onion rings
- 1 tbsp. organic ketchup
- 1 pill CLA
Tea time (8 p.m.)
- 1 cup lavender and chamomile tea
Q: What does the first 60 minutes of your morning look like?
- 7:00 a.m.: At this point, I hate my alarm; I love sleeping, but I check my email, Instagram, and Facebook.
- 7:10 a.m.: I drink my protein shake, CLA, B-12 vitamin, and BCAA.
- 7:15 a.m.: I do my skin care morning routine.
- 7:30 a.m.: I take out the post-workout meal I prepped the day before and get dressed.
- 7:45 a.m.: I walk my dogs, and then I walk to my gym and do my daily workout.
Q: Favorite three exercises and why?
- Front and overhead squat, because doing a front squat activates more of your back muscles, and with this posture, your back is safer during the exercise. People tend to fall forward while doing a back squat, while front squats force you to keep your back straight. Overhead squat is also perfect for back flexibility and strength. It´s good for your overall posture, hip and knee pain, and as these muscles are strong and big, they also help you burn that stubborn fat as you make your glutes and legs stronger and bigger.
- Hip thrust — girls want it and guys like to look at it. It´s the big booty. Hip thrusts are perfect for building the butt you want. Lift heavy, explosive movement from ground up and come slo-o-o-wly down, making sure you feel that booty burn.
- Olympic lifts are a tough one to do correctly, but while doing it correctly, there´s not a muscle relaxing during that exercise. It gets that heart rate up quickly, making you work on your cardiovascular system and you burn more calories during your workout, and it activates the entire body.
Our body is built in one piece, and doing an exercise like Olympic lifts, the whole body is called to action, which also makes it difficult to over train on this exercise or do forced reps or cheating.
Q: Fun facts most people don’t know about you?
- I´m 73 percent blind in my left eye.
- My hair is so blonde, every new hairdresser kindly asks me if I´m already grey.
- I am a very spiritual being and also extremely sensitive to energies, both good and bad.
Q: What three pearls of wisdom would you tell your 13-year-old self?
- 99.9 percent of your worries will never happen, so do as Bob Marley did and don´t worry, be happy. Every minute spend on worrying is a minute wasted.
- And remember, time flies, it really does, so appreciate and be grateful for every moment and everyone you meet. Always communicate and speak from your heart. Speak the truth and be honest, no matter how bad the truth is.
- Know that whatever happens, you are good enough and everything is going to be okay. You are worthy of love and compassion. And sweetheart, stop eating animals!
Q: Tell us a story of the mentor who played a key role in building confidence in yourself.
I grew up with my mom, who was a single mom. All we had was a washing machine, a refrigerator, and a TV. I didn´t care, I had the whole living room as my playroom.
“I saw how strong and independent she was raising a girl on her own with not a lot of money. So she definitely played a huge part in me growing my inner strength and confidence.”
But the one who made me get it all together and helped me find the woman in me that I knew I could be and wanted to be, is my husband, John. We met over seven years ago and got married July 2015. He has an extremely strong personality and has never doubted a single second in himself and what he´s able to do and achieve.
And trust me, that´s contagious.
Also, my best friend, Christina, has helped me a lot on the journey to finding myself in a different way. She has been like my spiritual advisor for the last two years, helping me grow my understanding of our connection to the universe.
Through this, I´ve also found a major inner calm and confidence, and I deal with life and challenges in a completely new way. I´ve decided that whatever is on my life menu, I´m gonna eat it with grace and be calm while doing it.
“I´m gonna trust every process and trust that whatever comes my way, no matter how good or how bad, I will try to stand tall, know that I am only human, but a human on the journey of becoming the best version of myself.”
I´ve grown to know that I can handle anything as long as I love myself and live with forgiveness and gratefulness in my heart. I choose to look at dark days as blessings, just as I look at bright days as blessings.