My next guest blogger contributing to my Vegan Resources! Click here to see all of the contributors and read their stories!
Today I am excited to be featuring the beautiful Ellen Fisher! I have been following Ellen since the start of my Instagram, and she has contributed so much knowledge as well as inspiration into my journey. She is a high carb, low-fat raw vegan momma of a beautiful son, Elvis, who was raised raw vegan since birth and has a new baby on the way! If you are not already following her on Instagram (which I doubt), head over to her page and give her a follow.
Not only did I interview Ellen for the fact that she has been an ongoing inspiration to my vegan journey and I knew she could do the same for you, but also because she is a vegan mother, and could provide my readers with more information regarding vegan parenting and that realm of things since I am not in the position to do so. So without further or do, let’s get to know Ellen Fisher <3
The very first question is, of course, why did you initially go vegan?
I initially got into the raw food diet over 8 years ago in order to get my health back. I was dealing with the eating disorder of anorexia and I was ready to focus on a healthy body and mind. It wasn’t until years later that my eyes were opened to the realities of animal cruelty in the meat, egg and dairy industry. A shift took place within myself and my reasons for living a vegan/raw vegan lifestyle expanded quite a bit. A whole foods vegan (and raw vegan) diet does more than just benefit one’s health. There are so many reasons to be vegan: to promote compassion and non violence, for the people, for the planet, for the animals, and for our health. Living a vegan lifestyle practices world peace. It teaches to love and respect all beings’ desire to live in love and avoid pain, regardless of whether they are white, black, asian, male, female, dog, cat, cow, whale, chicken, fish etc.
What was most challenging aspect of the shift for you at the start?
I think the most challenging aspect of getting into the vegan diet was that while I was so excited about my newfound understanding about health and wellness, most of my friends and family were not interested in any kind of lifestyle change. It was frustrating for me because I could not understand why anyone, when presented with the information I was presented with, would not make alterations to better their health, life, and planet. My sister, sister-in-law and eventually my husband and his brother became vegan though, and that has been such an amazing thing for us to experience this kind of passion together. My husband and I raise our son, Elvis, on a raw vegan diet. And my brother-in-law and sister-in law also raise their children on a vegan diet. It is quite beautiful that we are not alone in this journey. I’ve had to learn over the years that no matter how much I share information until I’m blue in the face, if the receiver on the other end does not have an open heart, my efforts and words are blown away in the dust. Understanding this now has taught me that the most beneficial way for me to have any kind of impact on this world is to just be the example myself and stop trying to change others. For we will never influence the world by trying to be like it.
Vegan during pregnancy is often unconsidered because of the “risks” doctors present with it. In my personal life, I have heard a lot of family members advise away from it because of doctor recommendations during pregnancy. Did you go through the same sort of disapproval from your doctor and or family? Could you provide any advice as to what you would do in the situation, and/or how women can educate themselves on the topic?
Here is the thing. Most doctors actually know little to nothing more than the average person does about nutrition. Their entire medical schooling teaches them about pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, and human anatomy. They are taught how to MANAGE sickness, NOT how to PREVENT it. And most medical schooling includes no more than one, thats right one, nutrition course in all their years!
But even if we talk about nutritionists, we can examine the information they are taught in their schools of nutrition. These schools are largely funded by the meat, dairy and processed food industries. The studies that take place in their education books to “prove” one thing or another are also funded by big corporations with a monetary agenda. The reason why so little TRUTH about nutrition actually becomes well known is because, well, there is no money to be made in fruits and vegetables. What rich company is going to fund a study to be put in scientific journals about the power of avoiding certain foods completely (like meat, dairy and processed foods), and eating fruits and vegetables in abundance? Even the studies that DO promote a plant based diet, or put down a certain FDA approved drug, often have a hard time making it into medical journals, because yet again, the advertisers of those medical journals are the companies the study puts down. And board members of the medical journals do not want to upset their advertisers. The meat, dairy, processed food, pharmaceutical and medical industries have loads of money to be made in funding certain studies that are all too often skewed to give the outcome that benefits themselves. You can learn more about this topic in Nutritional Biochemist Scientist T. Colin Campbell’s book, “Whole. Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”.
And in all reality, very few people in America are vegan, less than 1% to be exact. Yet sickness abounds all around us. So are we to think that eating a vegan diet promotes illness, while eating animal foods does not?
I really like what Gary Yourofsky has to say about this: “Think about this: If eating meat, cheese, milk and eggs is the norm, why do most people end up with a disease and a cabinet full of pills? Am I supposed to believe that the multi-billion dollar hospital, medical, pharmaceutical and vitamin industries were created for the small percentage of the world’s population that labels itself vegan? I bet that everyone in your life under the age of 13 chews on Flintstones vitamins, while everyone over the age of 40 swallows One-A-Day tablets and probably takes some form of medication, too. If animal products contained all the essential nutrients, why is there a drug store on every street corner selling vitamins and pharmaceuticals? Only an addict or a complete lunatic could possibly conclude that meat, cheese, milk and eggs are healthy, proper and nutritious. The indisputable fact is that all essential nutrients come from the plant kingdom, and the plant kingdom alone. Instead of feeding animals the plants that we should be eating directly, and filtering those nutrients through THEIR bodies, eat what comes from the earth, and leave the animals alone.”
Ok, so I apologize for going off on a tangent there for a bit. To answer your question, no, I did not receive much criticism in eating a vegan diet while pregnant, nor am I receiving criticism this time around with my second baby in my belly. All of my family and friends support my vegan lifestyle and know that I am a healthy woman perfectly capable of growing a healthy baby on my raw foods diet. I urge women who are pregnant or plan on having a vegan pregnancy in the future to get educated, so you can have answers to people’s questions, and so that you can be STRONG in your knowledge. It is important to be CONFIDENT in your lifestyle. When we are confident and knowledgable, very few people will try to put you down for living alternatively to the norm. I know why doctors are so misinformed about nutrition, so it doesn’t bother me when someone with the title Doctor advises against my diet. And in fact, both midwives that I have had throughout these two pregnancies are in favor of my vegan diet. I have not received any kind of push to eat any differently because they know I am in good health. I gave birth at home with Elvis and never once has he stepped food inside a hospital or doctors office.
To get more educated, check out the books “The China study” by T. Colin Campbell, “The 80/10/10 diet” by Dr. Douglas Graham, books by Dr. John McDougall, and watch the documentary “Forks over Knives” found on Netflix. We are 100% physiologically designed as herbivores. Eating for health means eating a plant based vegan diet, so why should our diet be any different when pregnant? Not only is it not harmful to eat vegan while pregnant, but quite beneficial and the healthiest way to grow a baby, because that is how we are designed to thrive!
How do you stay grounded through all of the negativity that may come from raising a vegan child, and how do you respond to it when faced with it in public?
It is easy to stay grounded simply because I have so much support. The love and positivity I receive not only from my family and friends, but on my social media channels as well overflows my heart. Sometimes I receive a negative comment on my Instagram or Youtube channel, and occasionally I will respond to them, but it really depends on the situation. Generally I just delete the comment and move on. In real life though, no one criticizes our lifestyle and how we raise Elvis as a raw vegan. Every single person who meets him sees almost instantly how clearly health and happiness shine through him, so there is no need to question. And actually, more than a handful of strangers have commented on Elvis’ appearance, saying, “he glows with health”. And in my head I’m thinking, “If only you knew what his diet was like.” 🙂
I know that a large concern is deficiency and proper development, which often scares new mothers and causes them to turn away from an unfamiliar lifestyle. Do you have any recommendations for resources to help out new mothers in raising vegan children?
Yes, check out the book “Creating healthy Children, through attachment parenting and raw foods” by Karen Ranzi. Anne Osborne raised her two sons on a fruit based raw vegan diet and her website is fruitgod.com. I really admire her and her passion. Also, Don Bennett’s website health101.org is filled with a wealth of information about nutrition and the case for supplementation. Don Bennett, a Disease Avoidance Specialist (DAS) and fruit based raw vegan for over 20 years is my go-to health guy. I highly recommend his website and books. Oh, and please check out Gary Yourofsky’s website Adaptt.org. You will not regret it. I urge parents to not only do research, but to go with your intuition! Don’t discredit your motherly and fatherly intuition just because you don’t have a title to your name.
Could you share your 3 top tips/advice to parents wanting to transition themselves and their families into a plant-based diet, (or those who simply want to maintain and succeed)?
- Do your research
- Go with your intuition. What makes the most common sense?
- Be strong in your knowledge
“A Day in The Life” is often requested, but since you have YouTube videos on the subject here (I will link your channel), what are some of the habits/actions you, Andrew and Elvis take everyday that you recommend others do as well for optimum health?
Food is really just the beginning. We make all other aspects of health a priority in our daily lives. This includes plenty of exercise, sunshine, water (and coconut water!), play, friendship and maintaining a low stress lifestyle. Every morning we start our day with hydrating and exercise. We often practice yoga together as a family and my husband is an avid runner. He just finished his 4th marathon. I love to do body weight exercises and Elvis joins in with me for play. Going to the beach is a frequent activity we enjoy. Play and Love surround us.
A Day In The Life Videos on Ellen Fisher’s Youtube:
Could you share with us a go-to recipe in your home that is both adult and kid-friendly?
Raw Mango Gelato
- 3 heaping cups frozen mango
- 1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
- 3 tsp dried coconut flakes
- 1 pomegranate*
- Blend the frozen mango and tangerine juice in the Vitamix blender*. Use the tamper to push the ingredients down into the blade. Blend until combined and a vortex forms.
- If you are able to stop yourself from devouring the gelato straight from the blender, spoon out the mixture with an ice cream scooper into a bowl.
- Top with coconut flakes and pomegranate!
-If you do not have a high speed blender with a tamper, a food processor will work fine for this recipe.
-To open pomegranate, place into a large bowl and add warm water to the bowl covering all the way over the fruit. Slice into the pomegranate while still underneath the water using a knife. Break apart the seeds underneath the water in the bowl. No mess!
Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! That sounds and looks delicious, plus it is super simple to make. + That pomegranate deeseeding top will definitely come in handy.
If you want to see more of Ellen and her beautiful family, you can find her at: