By: Sarah Lovegrove
I am 17 years old and live on a small island in Australia called Kangaroo Island. It is renowned for its unique natural country and produce. Food has always been part of my family and large extended family. We often gather together and have fatty meals based on meat, cheese, eggs, you name it. As a result, I learned to love and appreciate food.
In 2015, my uncle was suffering from thyroid problems and stumbled across the film Forks over Knives and decided to try the diet. The changes helped him and so he shared it with us.
Even before my uncle shared this diet with it, I had always felt that we were not living the Word of Wisdom to its fullness, but I continued to consume animal products. After I watched Forks Over Knives I turned to the Word of Wisdom and read it again. Reading the Word of Wisdom convinced me to change.
When I announced to my family the changes I was making, they were fine with it, but they were not willing to change, so I faced changing my diet alone, except I had the help of Heavenly Father and our Savior. So that’s how it began. I did (and still and do) a lot of research, finding books and helpful websites to teach myself.
Because I am the only one in my family eating the way I do, this diet has proven difficult, but not impossible. I try to prepare minimally refined foods. I eat a lot of fruit, bread, tempeh, and vegetables. I’m still working on meals with beans. My tastes have changed, and I am enjoying the pleasures of taste in ways I never thought were possible. I find I prefer wholesome and plant-based.
My appreciation for my body and this beautiful world have grown immensely. I have never been obese, but I’ve never skinny. Eating this way, I am definitely losing weight, and I feel lighter and better. My mind is clearer, and I can run unwearyingly.
Sometimes I am tempted to revert back to my old ways because of the divide between my family and me. But I remember I am trying to please God and not my family. When I’m tempted to turn back, I think of all the effects that I’ve felt from meat and dairy: I felt awful and sickly. When running, sometimes even just standing, I would almost “faint.” Not anymore!
My mum recently learned she has cancer, the early stages of melanoma. I know that the way I’m eating will help protect me against such harms. My strength comes from the support of the Lord and knowing that I must stick to what is right to the best of my understanding.
My grandparents have just recently adopted a similar diet and when I stay with them they share that food with me. I also have some support from another uncle and aunty who have adopted a similar diet. In our Church branch we also have a member who was already vegan. He consumes no animal products whatsoever.
Our bodies are a sacred gift from our Heavenly Father, and we should show him that we are grateful by taking care of them holistically. I am grateful that as a young woman in my late teens I have discovered these things to be true.
Sarah Lovegrove was born in South Australia. At age 17, she is currently studying as a year 12 student. She is one of three siblings and has an extended family of approximately 20 people on her father’s side and 40+ people on her mother’s. Sarah loves music, especially singing. The gospel means everything to her, and she loves to ponder the gospel principles.