“I’ve come to embrace my body as a temple”

Sarah Townsend

By: Lady Luna

“In Our Lovely Deseret” has always been one of my favorite church hymns, but the second verse often puzzled me. Being in a meat-eating family and culture, usually having it with every single meal, I wondered why the song included the line “they eat but a very little meat,” as part of the saints’ quest toward righteousness. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I began considering what this actually meant and looking over the Word of Wisdom with literal application.

My family has quite the history of weight problems, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Luckily my immediate family and I were (and still are) blessed enough to be free of any major illnesses. Still, my poor diet definitely showed up in my weight since I was in elementary school. When I got to college I became more physically active, so when a bit of the weight came off, my diet plummeted even more: bacon, eggs, and sausage for breakfast, and meat/dairy as a main course in every single meal. Soon I found that my blood pressure had risen, and I decided it was time to start taking better care of my body temple.

After a few years of yo-yoing between “fad diets,” I came across two documentaries about plant-based eating that changed my life. One was Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and the other was Forks Over Knives. I was fascinated and finally felt the glimmer of hope I’d been looking for. After searching for more about a plant-based diet, my focus changed from losing weight to restoring total health in my body. Also, I felt horribly guilty after realizing the cruel truth behind using animals for food and knew that upon my own conscience, I had to change to a more compassionate lifestyle.

At first I was nervous, to say the least. My family (with whom I was living at the time) was still eating a “normal” diet and I was afraid of what people at church would think if they knew. I myself had even poked fun at vegans before, thinking that they just didn’t understand that “God made animals for us to eat.” I did a lot of soul-searching and scripture reading and discovered that the scriptures actually have a TON of encouragement toward abstaining from meat/animal products.

I told my family my true feelings, and they lovingly accepted my new lifestyle. I went vegetarian on January 29, 2012 and stuck to it for one year. I officially switched over to veganism on April 26, 2013 and have never looked back since. So far, I’ve lost 15 pounds from my diet alone (and am still losing day by day) [down 25 pounds by September, 2014]. My skin has greatly cleared up, I’m able to breathe much more easily, my blood pressure is normal, and I haven’t been sick in the two-plus years that I’ve been on this journey!

Through all of this I’ve come to embrace my body as a temple and have made it a goal to help others learn the full blessings of the Word of Wisdom. My dad even went vegetarian in early 2013 and is now vegan. He lost over 30 pounds, greatly lowered his cholesterol, and is not pre-diabetic anymore!

I am so grateful that we live in a time and place where the beautiful foods from the earth are always available to us, and the need to kill animals to survive no longer exists. In turn, we are blessed for such compassion with good health and a long, wonderful life. It is my wish that everyone will have the chance to feel a joy as great as this.

My name is Sarah (or Lady Luna as I go by on my blog and in my YouTube videos). I live in Washington, am 25 years old, and love to write. I’m currently working on some spiritual books as well as a few vegan cookbooks. I also love to make fun/educational videos. 

Comments

  1. This is a great testimony Sarah! Its inspiring to see other young adults turn toward a whole food, plant based lifestyle, and so great about your Dad!

  2. Sarah, I greatly admire the courage you’ve shown in overcoming the obstacles that could have really made your life disastrous! I particularly appreciated the following which you wrote: “Through all of this I’ve come to embrace my body as a temple and have made it a goal to help others learn the full blessings of the Word of Wisdom.” I’m sure you are very energetically pursuing that worthy goal!

  3. “After searching for more about a plant-based diet, my focus changed from losing weight to restoring total health in my body.”

    Good for you! You made a great choice that also happens to be delicious. Hurray for commandments and free agency.

  4. “I am so grateful that we live in a time and place where the beautiful foods from the earth are always available to us, and the need to kill animals to survive no longer exists. In turn, we are blessed for such compassion with good health and a long, wonderful life. It is my wish that everyone will have the chance to feel a joy as great as this.”

    It is soo true and I am grateful to realized that Our Heavenly Father has provided these things for us for our health and benefit. I agree with you about spreading the word and show the world with a better and more wonderful alternative of living and health. Keep going!

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