Hello from Ohio!
Hello! I've been a vegetarian off and on for 20+ years, and finally became a vegan about a year ago. Thanks to veganism and my love of kickboxing and yoga, at the age of 40, I feel the healthiest and most fit of my life. I became vegan, mostly for health reasons, but more and more, I find myself becoming committed to the lifestyle for ethical reasons. I've also given up all processed foods, white flour and sugar. The meat was easy to give up. The dairy and eggs, a little harder at first, but now I don't even miss them. Giving up sugar has been the absolute worst. That's part of the reason that I like this site. I can click on whichever category I want, and can ignore the sweets, and avoid being bombarded with all of the lovely food porn shots of vegan desserts, which seem to taunt and beckon me. Then they sneer at me.
Anyway, I don't know any other vegans in my real life, so thought I'd introduce myself and say hello. This seems like a pretty cool place.
Welcome to the forum! I used to post here a lot but then became busy with school. I am getting used to the new format. We seem to have some things in common as I too am 40, have been vegan for just over 18 months (1 1/2 years), and I feel the most fit I have been since I was training 3 to 4 hours a day as a dancer at 16. I love to run, cycle, dance, hike, and canoe as well as yoga. Like you I have been trying to steer clear of most flour (I do use buckwheat and chickpea flour from time to time), most processed food (I do use plants milks like almond or hemp) and sugar (I do use agave, molasses, or maple syrup from time to time). I am finding the book "Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life" by Brendan Brazier very helpful. I became vegan for ethical reasons but the health reasons have also followed.
What part of Ohio are you from? I lived there for my first 21 years, in Columbus, but moved to Minnesota in 1993. A lot of my family still live in Ohio. I am jealous of all the vegan stores and restaurants available in Columbus now!
You'd be surprised at how many vegans are around you. I thought I was out there alone as a vegan, and I was posting on an international vegan forum, and came to find out there was a vegan living two blocks away! And what's more, I used to work with her years ago! I have since run into many other local vegans, and I have enjoyed reading about Scott Jurek, a famous ultra marathon runner and long time vegan who is from my town. We are definitely out there! Hope you find some good recipes and companionship!