Chef Mindy Poortinga found a vegan diet was not only compassionate but also healthy.

Written by Mindy Poortinga

vegan2I used to consider myself a hardcore carnivore. I liked steak and cheese and could have eaten it every meal of the day. I’d scoff and mock friends who were vegetarian. I used to tell them to “just eat it.” Never in a million years did I think that I’d take it a step further than my friends by going vegan. VEGAN. Not only could I not understand why anyone would choose to be vegetarian, but I didn’t even know what it meant to be vegan. Until last year.

I read about the hormones, steroids, and antibiotics that factory farm animals consume as well as the adverse affects of those things on the people who consume them. I also learned about the pollution, deforestation, and preventable environmental issues that factory farming causes. I decided it was time to do something about it—and fast. I quit eating anything containing animal products and avoided purchasing anything made with animal ingredients. I went vegan in fewer than two months. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

veganSince adopting veganism, I have noticed a lot of health benefits. I used to have terrible allergies that led to debilitating sinus infections at least once or twice a year. I had constant neck, back, and knee pain. Since going vegan, I have not had sinus infections or pain. I am experiencing so many health benefits from a plant-based diet because I’m no longer constantly bombarding my body with all the hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and chemicals that are in meat, dairy. and eggs.

I previously cooked with meat. Once I learned about the benefits of a plant-based diet, there was no way I could continue eating or cooking meat or animal products. I now also prepare food that is 100% vegan to make it easy for vegans and vegan-curious people to make the same changes that I made. The reality of eating a vegan diet is that it is great for the environment, great for the animals, and great for your health.

We can all make a difference, one meal at a time.

Mindy Poortinga is owner and chef of Meals by Mindy. For more information, check out