Finding Happiness Through Sharing Healthy Living Tips

Ten years ago, while living in San Francisco, I made a decision that would forever change my life for the better. I decided to give up eating meat, and I have never looked back!

Honestly, I had thought about becoming vegetarian for years. I had wanted to do it since college, but always had an excuse about why I couldn’t or why it was “too hard.”

I wasn’t a big red meat eater, but I cooked chicken breasts often, and ate fish occasionally. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find enough creative replacements for chicken that had the protein I thought I needed.

I exercise three to four days a week, and lift weights, and so I assumed I need a fair amount of protein. I didn’t really know a lot about the vegetarian options out there, besides, say, black beans.

But I knew that San Francisco was a very “veggie-friendly” city, and I knew that if I wanted to try it, it made sense to do so while living in SF! So in 2005, I decided it was finally time for me to go for it!

Right now I am finding happiness both through my vegan lifestyle, and through the joy of sharing it with others through a new venture I am launching: the 21-Day GO VEGGIE! Challenge.


San Francisco – The Vegetarian Capital!

I was right that San Francisco was a great place to “go veggie.” There are scrumptious vegetarian  menu options at just about every restaurant, and dozens of restaurants that specialize in vegetarian or vegan cuisine.

There is an amazing Farmers’ Market where I could stock up on produce. There are lots of people who have already made the choice to eat a vegetarian diet, so I didn’t feel unusual or strange.

San Francisco is ranked consistently as one of the top cities for vegetarians and vegans. I quickly figured out my favorite vegetarian restaurants, including Greens, Herbivore and Millennium.

More importantly, I learned how to prepare vegetarian food, and I learned it wasn’t nearly as difficult or complicated as I for some reason imagined it might be.

Actually, once I got used to it, I realized that it was both more affordable and easier to eat a vegetarian diet. This makes sense, since steak and fish especially are much more expensive than produce, beans, legumes, lentils, tempeh and tofu.

It’s funny that most people seem to think that it is incredibly difficult to be vegetarian or vegan, when the reality is that it may actually be an easier and more cost-effective way to live. People are just used to what they grew up with, and it can take some time and effort to change a habit.

Fast Forward Ten Years!

Now that I have been eating a vegetarian diet for a decade, and a vegan diet for nearly a year, it just seems normal to me. It also makes me incredibly happy, because I have more energy, lost weight without trying as a vegan, have clearer skin and feel good about my consumer choices.

I know that the vegan diet is best for the environment, and that makes me feel good. I know that it of course saves the lives of animals, and that makes me feel good.

And I do appreciate the fact that it seems to be one of the fountains of youth, since I look much younger than I am. Many of the “famous” vegetarians and vegans out there, like model Christie Brinkley, look a few decades younger than they actually are.

Sharing What I Have Learned! PETA-elizabethberkley

Since I love living a vegan lifestyle, I decided to create a program that would help others to “try out” being vegetarian or vegan. Research shows that it typically takes approximately 21 days to form a habit.

So, I created a 21-Day GO VEGGIE! Challenge in which participants can choose to either eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. I’ve made gluten-free options available as well, since I also eat gluten free and I know that many people do these days.

I am providing everyone who participates with meal plans, grocery shopping lists, recipes, nutritional information, weekly coaching calls during the challenge plus an individual session with me, discounts on some vegetarian products, a private Facebook page for everyone to cheer each other on, share recipes and ask questions. I feel so lucky to get to share insights, knowledge and resources accumulated over a decade on this path of eating a meatless diet – and now a 100% plant-based diet.

It’s been great fun getting people involved so far! The 21-Day Challenge actually takes place from January 11th to 31st but anyone who signs up now saves 60% off the regular rate.

I feel so lucky that I get to share how wonderful it is to “go veggie” as part of my “work” as a life coach. It is honestly work that feels like play!

I love checking out new vegan and vegetarian recipes, and now I get to share them with a group that is making a healthy lifestyle change for themselves. I’m thrilled to see how it goes for everyone, and to help people navigate the path as they adjust to a new way of eating and living.

Becoming first a vegetarian and now a vegan is the single best thing I have ever done for my own health. I feel so lucky to have found my way to this path, and I’m honored to be able to share it with others.

Check out my new Website,, if you want to learn more! I can also be reached at lisa.powell.graham at

Love and veggies to all!





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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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