Are you a LOVEAVORE?

My mission in this world is to empower people to find their way back to their hearts so they can embrace a way eating that serves their body, the planet and the animals we share it with. My work is all about empowering people to find their way to a healthy whole food, vegan diet.

I know it works, I’ve seen it working in my own life and in the lives of my clients but it’s not always easy to share how amazing it feels to be vegan. Have you noticed that sometimes when we talk about the reasons to go vegan the walls can start to go up. There are lots of great reasons and they all make sense but things like global warming and animal cruelty although perfectly relevant and worthy of discussion can be overwhelming and create resistance. The classic approach of shaming and shocking although it works to some degree does not work efficiently on a large enough scale to create the kind of change we need now if we stand any chance of creating a sustainable world.

Something amazing is happening organically right now that eliminates this resistance and its unfolding at light speed on a gigantic scale right in front of the entire world. Its a powerful movement that goes well beyond vegan. Its a movement that based on interconnection, inclusivity and most importantly LOVE. The movement I am talking about is what my partner and I are now calling LOVEAVORE and a powerful example of this movement is the 500 pound celebrity known as Esther the Wonder Pig.

Two years ago Esther, a supposed mini pig was adopted by two amazing men named Steve and Derek when they found out she was looking for a home. They introduced her into their lives inviting her to live with them in their suburban bungalow just outside of Toronto with their two dogs and two cats. They soon found out that although Esther was smart, loving and sweet she was exceptionally proficient at one thing that surprised them both….growing. It didn’t take them long to figure out that they did not have a mini pig but instead a young farm pig that was bred to grow up on a factory farm where she would languish in a tiny sow stall producing litter after litter of piglets until she was completely spent and then slaughtered for bacon before she saw her second birthday.

They made the choice to keep her in the family even though they now knew she was going to be a very large member of the family in no time. So she got a chance to do what very very few pigs get to do, become somebody. Somebody with a name, a special bed, preferences and unconditional love.

In November of last year Steve and Derek decided to start a simple Facebook<b> </b>page to share photos with friends and family. Their penchant for picking things that grow continued and their Facebook page had 100,000 likes in less than 100 days.

Steve and Derek are humble, generous, driven and focused and they have with the help of Esther created a worldwide phenomenon they refer to simply as the Esther effect. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Esther and her family. Esther is a 550 pound vortex of curiosity and love. Although I’ve been around a few full sized pigs in rescure sitations or at sanctuaries they were always outdoors. I was unprepared for the amazing size of this sweet girl. It was truly phenomenal to see her maneuvering with grace through her house and up and down the short flight of stairs that led outside. She has her favourite toys, her favourite dog, and she she loves to pop the freezer door open whenever she gets a chance. She has a special voice to greet the dogs and tell them to get off her bed and she loves to sneak down the hall the ETWP world headquarters office whenever the door is left open to root around. She can be fast asleep in the backyard under a shady tree one second and running for the back door at  the sound of her jar of peppermints being shaken.

She’s amazing and I love everything about her but this one thing just really stands to for me. Steve and Derek told me a while ago that she smelled like maple and I thought they were just being cute. She really does smell like maple, in fact she smells like she is made of 10,000 crushed maple cream cookies. Imagine a 500 pond pig that let’s you climb onto her bed for a full body snuggle and all you can smell is delicious maple cookies. My hands smelled like maple for 2 days after being with her and secretly I wished the smell would never fade. Love oozes out of this girl, big time. I was completely awestruck by her magnificence.

Between the gentle and authentic nature of her Dad’s, the sweet dogs and Esther’s magical presence the whole place was just a giant love nest that I never wanted to leave.

I asked Steve and Derek why things have taken off the way they have. They really don’t know, they are amazed by their reality every single day. They are overwhelmed by how many people have stepped in to help them with their dream of building a farm sanctuary so they can rescue many more Esther’s.

What intrigued me from the beginning were the daily comments on Facebook from people saying that now they’ve met Esther they can no longer eat meat or pork or animal products. Daily declarations of vegetarianism or veganism had me in tears. She touches people in the sweet spot. What is that sweet spot…well I think its the place where our values and beliefs have unraveled and are anxious to get back together so we can live congruently. Her presence in a family life where they gave her a voice, where she sleeps on the couch and sits for treats crushes the belief that pigs are just food. We start to see her through the same lens we view our dogs and cats and our beliefs shift in an instant to slam back in line with our long held core values of compassion, kindness, and love. This simple yet powerful shift can carry tremendous momentum and move us towards questioning other long held briefs or assumptions about cows and chickens and suddenly eating them or their secretions or eggs stops making sense.

I challenge you to examine the beliefs that still have a hold on you that done line up with your values of compassion, kindness and love?

When we clear out the old programming that has been running our dining choices and start to eat from a congruent place, a place called love it feels so good. The sensation of feeling light on your feet comes from this place. Radiant health, vibrant energy, clear eyes and skin, they come from this place as do clear arteries, normal blood sugar and the disappearance of inflammatory disease symptoms.

Its the lining up with our own integrity that creates the magic. Its the congruency between our values and they way we show up in the world. Everything good comes from this place of connection to our authentic selves. As a Holistic Nutritionist I know that plants are the most powerful fuel for the human body but more importantly my experience shows me that knowing who you are and acting in a way that truly reflects your essence, that is the place that radiance come from. When you connect with that place and let that lead you, then you have become a LOVEAVORE.

Esther’s kitchen was born from this place. Esther’s fans that had fallen in love with Esther and out of love with status quo were hungry for recipes and nutrition information. They asked about what to eat now and Derek and Steve delivered. They did something really clever and decided to stick with what they were naturally very good at, growing Esther’s presence on the world stage and get some outside help with the nutrition piece. It was serendipitous that I’d met Esther way back I December of last year when the page had only 3,000 likes and I got to know them really when my beautiful partner interviewed them for her popular Unplug podcast. I remember the day she was going to be interviewing them over Skype I was sweating in anticipation. She invited me in to meet them and Esther on video and I fell in love with the whole family instantly. We just fit well together because my approach to nutrition and cooking is  simple, healthy, fast meals presented in an empowering and nonjudgmental fashion and thats the approach they knew Esther’s fans needed. In April they asked me to jump in and run Esther’s kitchen as Esther’s Executive Chef. Esther’s kitchen was to be a sister Facebook page to Esther the Wonder Pig and I was thrilled.

Thrilled, honoured, incredibly nervous and really excited to get this new page off the ground. Steve sent me an excited message on the last day of April asking if I could be ready to go by midnight so they could launch on May 1st in conjunction with their Indiegogo campaign. We decided to launch with 5 recipes on the page which I painstakingly chose, photographed and uploaded. I was sweating when I added them even though the page was not yet live. This whole Esther thing makes me sweat a lot more than usual. I went to bed and at some point very late that night they hit the go button. When I got up the next morning I got to feel a full blast of the Esther effect with 3,000 likes on the page. Wow! It was an amazing way for me to do what I love to do most in this world, empower people toward a vegan lifestyle but on a much much larger scale.

I’ve been adding recipes almost daily and presenting them as Esther approved, our softer version of the word vegan. People love it, they feel part of something big and feel like they are positively contributing to Esther and her kind one meal at a time. What I realize people want is to know is that they will be ok. That it is ok to undo the cultural indoctrination that tells us we need to eat animals and animal products. They want to know that their food will still taste good and be good for them. They want to know that they don’t need to go to fancy shops to find the ingredients and they don’t need to spend more money or more time in the kitchen. They are finding out that a vegan or Esther approved lifestyle is so much easier, tastier, healthy and convenient than they could have ever known.

They also find out that vegans don’t eat just lettuce and hummus, they get to see the incredible abundance and variety of eating plants. Things like lasagna, chocolate fudge ice cream sandwiches and mac and cheese are so easy to make in an “Esther Approved” way.

It’s so satisfying to see people trying new things and having success. Check out the recipes and comments to see the co-creative magic that is taking place where people are learning from each other and teaching each other and me in a safe place.

Esther is all about love. What they’ve done is create a movement from love. They decided to reject status quo and fall in love. Esther connects us to our essential nature, our joy, our playfulness, our compassion and love. She reminds us of our interconnection to all life through hers.

The beauty of the approach is that we can shift into a better way of being without walls, resistance, tears, screaming and shouting or family rifts. The approach that Steve , Derek and Esther have so brilliantly modeled for us is the LOVEAVORE approach.

loveavoreSo what exactly is a LOVEAVORE you ask? A LOVEAVORE is someone who connects back to their own authentic nature, their joy, their love and moves through the world from this place, shining their light so others are empowered to the same. Does this sound familiar? Are you a LOVEAVORE?

I invite you to take a look at the beliefs that are driving your bus. Are they a reflection of who you really want to be in this world? It’s never to late to re-examine, reevaluate and shift into the better version of you your heart knows is possible.

Oh and exciting news, my brilliant partner and I will be launching a joint project and website shortly to kick off the LOVEAVORE movement. Its not live yet but will be coming your way soon.

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