Tegan Steele, AKA Vegie Girl Shares the Vegan Journey of Herself, Her Mum & the Rest of Her Family

I have a very special edition of Unlikely Vegan to share with you guys today.  Tegan Steele (AKA Vegie Girl) shares with us how her whole family of 6 transitioned to a plant based diet, in support of her mother, who’d been suffering from Crohn’s disease.

This is a topic very close to my own heart, as I have a family member affected by this awful disease.

Tegan is also a Melbourne girl, so we’re practically neighbours 😉

Let’s get into her story – if you want to see more from her, I’ll link to her blog, Instagram & Facebook pages at the end of this post.

Unlikely Vegan - Tegan Steele AKA Vegie Girl - She Tells the Story of How Her Mother Healed Crohn's Disease With a Vegan Plant Based Diet -  From Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy www.clairedicarlo.com #crohns #vegan #unlikelyvegan

I LOVE food! I always have and always will. My day revolves around what my next meal is going to be. However, I love to be fit and healthy, just as much as I love to eat.

My ultimate goal is to live older than 100 years and thrive, which is a real dilemma when consuming a standard Australian diet (SAD diet). So finally after years of research and playing with food I have found a way I can be healthy, eat clean, and not miss out on all the fun of eating a delicious meal without guilt.

If you had told me 5 years ago that I’d be vegan, I would never have believed you.

I’m a steak eater from way back. I believed I needed animal protein for a stable, balanced and healthy diet. I cut out all gluten, wheat and packaged foods when I was 16 years old (knowing the health benefits).  However, it did not dawn on me to cut out meat until it was brought to my attention whilst looking for a natural way to heal my mum Trina’s Crohn’s disease and get rid of my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 

Watermelon, Grapefruit, Beetroot and Orange Juice by @vegiegirl_ - From Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy www.clairedicarlo.com #vegiegirl #vegan #juice

Watermelon, Grapefruit, Beetroot and Orange Juice by @vegiegirl_

My mum and I were at our thinnest, strongest, fittest and (what we thought) healthiest when we were on a high protein, low carb diet. Then, out of the blue, my mum’s bowel perforated and she was rushed to hospital.  

The doctors said there was nothing we could do, and that mum would live a short life. Of course I would not accept that… 

So I did some research of my own, to find *shock horror* evidence that eating meat and dairy was killing my mum and was shortening not only my mum’s lifespan but mine as well. It was also ageing me and causing me my own major digestive difficulties; just to name a few of the negatives.

So I took the plunge and did it! I stopped eating meat that very day. I couldn’t bring myself to put a big juicy steak in my mouth ever again. My mum and whole family of 6 all did the same. 

Vegie Girl Tegan Steele Shares Her Vegan Veggie Burger - from Unlikely Vegan on www.clairedicarlo.com #unlikelyvegan #veganburger #veggieburger #vegansofmelbourne

Vegie Girl’s Veggie Burger!

Now the thought of eating meat sickens me. The fact that an innocent animal was killed simply to satisfy my taste buds made me feel like I had no heart. I am ashamed of myself and wish I knew better back then.

After 18 months of eating a whole-food plant based diet and doing the occasional juice fast we completely healed my mums Crohn’s Disease and for 5 years now she has never looked and felt so good.  

The biggest shock of becoming vegan was what to cook?! Eating a balanced diet without animal products seemed like a massive challenge. So I have now completed a 100 Vegan Recipe book that is to be published this year, as well as running vegan health retreats all over the world.  My family and I just opened a new wholefood cafe in Melbourne, called ‘Urban Projuice’, with the aim of spreading health.”

Lunch at Urban Projuice - photo by Loni Jane @lonijane - From Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy www.clairedicarlo.com #urbanprojuice #melbournevegan #vegan #plantbased

Lunch at Urban Projuice – photo by Loni Jane @lonijane

I know many of you may already know Tegan – but if you don’t, here are the places where you can check out more of the wonderful work she does:

Instagram!

Facebook!

Her Blog!

If you’re in Melbourne, you can also check out her family’s cafe, Urban Projuice, which is located in Albert Park.

Hope you enjoyed reading Tegan’s story – if you’d like to be featured in the Unlikely Vegan series, simply drop me an email, or hashtag your Instagram pics with #unlikelyvegan – let me know how you came to the plant based lifestyle, and why you think you don’t necessarily fit the vegan stereotype (malnourished tree hugger!).

Please continue the conversation below.  But before you do, remember this:  Debate is great, hatred is not.  Think before you type.  “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama