It’s officially my 10 Year Veganniversary!!
10 years ago I made the switch from vegetarian to vegan — one of the most fulfilling decisions of my life. While it blossomed into something greater than I could have imagined, it wasn’t my intention to go vegan the day I finally made the switch.
You see, I had been vegetarian for 15 years prior to ditching dairy and eggs. My mom raised me plant based my first three years of life to give me a healthy foundation, but at age three, my dad introduce chicken, turkey, and dairy. Apparently I was offered scrambled eggs once and I simply replied “I don’t eat those” At five I watched an animal-centric show on tv and told my mom I would never eat meat again. Being an all or nothing person from the get-go, I walked my talk. #KidsGetIt
It took me many years to learn the full story behind animal agriculture and factory farming. I was the person who passed by the PETA activists proudly declaring I was vegetarian for the animals. I had canvassed for Greenpeace due to my sense of responsibility for our planet. I even thought I might go vegan one day, you know for health... maybe in my 30s (oh hey, I’m officially 30 ) so I could indulge in ice cream and dairy-cheese pizza in my 20s (joke’s on you baby Alice, the plant based space has evolved to be delicious).
Fun fact: I tried going vegan in high school for a few months and began having reoccurring dreams about ice cream and cereal with milk. My friends all celebrated my return to “normalcy” with extra cheesy baked ziti at Wildflour.
Enter Thanksgiving 2010. I went to my ex’s family’s home to celebrate the holiday and I was thrilled to have so many vegetarian options since I typically had to make my own veg-friendly food. It was delicious and it being Thanksgiving, I was extra gluttonous. While there were many vegetarian dishes, they were heavy on the dairy and I simply didn’t feel great after a few days.
So 10 years ago, I told myself I was “taking a break” from dairy and eggs (while I never had an egg in its full glory, I did enjoy desserts and such). I had no idea how long it would last and despite trying to ditch animal products before, it felt easy this time around. A few weeks later my cravings dissipated and I embraced the fact that I was living a vegan lifestyle. At that point, I became open to learning more about animal agriculture and once I learned that the meat and dairy industry were one and the same (don’t get me started on the egg industry), I never looked back. I was officially vegan for the animals
Everyone’s vegan journey looks different. Whether you’re looking to make the compassionate shift or simply want to integrate more plants into your life, I’d love to support you! As a certified health coach and bonafide foodie, I’m here to help you #VeganizeAndThrive 🥰
2019 has been a year of change. While my day-to-day has changed drastically, the most profound changes have come from within.
I spent much of 2018 in a bit of a funk. While life was going objectively well, i.e. hello new promotion, new fur child, copious travel (much for work) including a solo trip to Kauai, good friendships, etc, I just didn't feel like myself. I had dedicated myself to personal growth and poured myself into books, podcasts, meditation retreats, and therapy, and while I navigated and eventually crawled out of the funky abyss, I was craving some massive life changes come the New Year.
I decided to ring in the New Year at Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, CA. While I did not know why I was choosing to spend the very last moments of 2018 and very first moments of 2019 with a hundred or so complete strangers, I knew I wanted to greet the New Year with intention. The shala owners, Govind Das and Radha, do an incredible job cultivating presence and love in their divine space. Amidst the yoga, kirtan, meditation, oms, kitchari, and chai, Govind Das set the intention that I adopted for 2019, “I choose to make 2019 the best year of my life, up to this point, so far. For it does not matter what happens on the outside, but rather it is what happens on the inside, and my reaction to it, that counts.” I left the shala feeling reinvigorated and inspired.
In the coming days I signed up for Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) and Shubhaa Fischer's 'Healing the Heart' retreat in Aruba (which I will write on at another time as it deserves its own post) and brainstormed my very own 'Living Aloha' retreat in Maui that I will co-lead with my mom, Lillian Müller, October 16-22. Upon dreaming up 'Living Aloha', I knew I was being called to the next stage in my life's journey. The timing couldn't be better as my mom was just finishing up her second health book, 'Si JA til livet!' which translates to 'Say YES to life!' and I discovered the most remarkable retreat center, Hale Akua. The retreat center is located in Maui's rainforest and features lush landscapes, onsite gardens, pools, hot tubs, saunas, spectacular ocean views, and clean air due to being located right next to a waterfall – not to mention the promise of a few sweet animals (who doesn't love goats and ducks?!). Even more exciting, two of my favorite vegan chefs of all time were onboard to craft a remarkable organic vegan menu for our incredible retreat participants!
A little backstory on Maui - I spent June 2012 falling madly, passionately, head-over-heels in love with the island of Maui. My best friend, Christina, and I spent a month on the island simply following our bliss. Each day better than the last, we stayed with and befriended island locals who showed us everything Maui had to ofter. The island has this mana, or magical energy, that makes each moment feel synchronistic. We explored the beaches, hikes, various fruit stands (literally heaven for this little fruit bat!), health food stores, vegan cafés, and promised ourselves we would move there. I remember driving on Hana Highway towards the end of the trip and Bobby McFerrin's 'Don't Worry Be Happy' came on the radio and tears streamed down my face at the thought of leaving the island I had fallen so deeply in love with. Everyday felt like the happiest day of my life.
While it has been a few years since I've visited the island that stole my heart, I have spent time cultivating skills and delving inward. I got certified to teach yoga while living in Berkeley, taught yoga in Norway, and spent a few years working for a leading farmed animal protection organization. Having been gifted the opportunity to attend impactful meditation retreats, plan organizational retreats, and most recently participate in Rachel and Shubhaa's life-altering retreat in Aruba, my path has led to this pivotal moment, to lead my own retreats and share my learnings and experiences with others who can share their's with their loved ones and communities. This path is leading me back to Maui and I could not be more grateful and excited.
With excitement comes a bit of fear, but name one human who doesn't experience a trickle of doubt, insecurity, or imposter syndrome (which we will absolutely touch on during the retreat). Plus, the scarier the risk, the juicier the reward!
What I have begun to realize is that we are called to things that are meant for us. Our paths may not be linear and our desires may shift and turn, but if we dig in, do the self work, face our fears and conditioning, and live authentically, we are destined to live the life of our dreams. Manifestation is the intersection of intention and hard work. Our journey may not always make sense, but when we are living our truth, we tap into synchronicity - those moments where things just flow, ideas come into fruition, and magic happens.
I would love to share the 'Living Aloha' experience with you! Please submit your inquiry about the retreat or anything else your heart desires using the Contact Form at the bottom of this page.
Ps - I have included a slideshow of my favorite Maui moments down below.