Vegancouragement - You Can Be Vegan

Gabriel Zhanay

My Vegan Story

Gabriel Zhanay

Awareness Is The Starting Point For All Transformation

I've always loved animals.

But I never saw the correlation between what I ate and the impact I had on the animals and our planet.

It was surprising for me as I began my personal growth journey and began to focus on myself that I was so disconnected from the food that I ate. I grew up as an omnivore in the Poconos, Pennsylvania and it never crossed my mind as a child that there was anything harmful about what I could be eating and putting into my body.

I also didn't realize the impact on my health.

Yet over a span of about three years when I began to dive deeper into new areas of growth like meditation and spiritual practice, I was surprised to find that the Zen center that I practiced at only served plant-based food. No animal products at all. I found that interesting but didn't really make much of it. I'd never heard of the term "vegan" before, but I assumed it was someone who just ate fruits and veg.

During that time I was developing a new relationship with my current wife Anna. We lived on two different continents and came from two different worlds it seemed.

She mentioned that she was vegan and had been for quite a few years. I was intrigued and open to learning more about it even though we were thousands of miles apart and had never met before.

In 2018, I decided to try pescetarianism. I had booked a trip to the UK to visit Anna and move to the little island of Britain and by the time I got there, I was ready to go fully vegan.

Yet after a full year of being vegan, the impact hadn't quite hit me until I connected with my heart.

After diving deeper into my personal growth and meditation practice even more, I was moved by the suffering that so many animals have to face year after year. Even though I had decided to become vegan mentally, I realized that it was here that I was moved, by my heart. For me, this was my moment of truly becoming vegan, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my story with you.

Regardless of where you're at in your plant-based journey or if you ever decide to become vegan, I truly believe that awareness is the starting point for all transformation. The more we become aware, the more we open our hearts and minds to what's going around us and become truly present to reality exactly the way it is, the more we can expand our lives and become more self-aware and compassionate human beings.

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Our 100-word Bio: Anna and Gabriel run their online vegan coaching company Vegan Fitness Redefined and bring a blended approach to coaching vegans with Anna's years of experience as a vegan nutrition expert and Gabriel's experience as a vegan strength coach. Their combination of experience allows them to coach uniquely with mindset, personal growth, and fitness strategies. Their mission is to help busy vegans develop into fit vegan role models and become the best versions of themselves.