The Future Is Vegan: Raising Compassion, Interview #2 with Karen Riley

For the second of six interviews on vegan parenting, Lauren Lockey interviewed Karen Riley, another local to Park City, and her baby boy Jack. See the interview below:

LL: What inspired you to become vegan and what is the biggest change you noticed in yourself?
KR: The health benefits!! The physician I work with is plant based. I attended one of his presentations when I first started working with him and have never looked back! The biggest change that I have noticed in myself is that I don’t get ‘hangry’ anymore right before meal times. I also can eat as many fruits and veggies as I want!

LL: Did you have cravings during your pregnancy and what were your amazing vegan alternatives?
KR: I didn’t have any animal product cravings! Though I did eat my fair share of pineapples! Also, I couldn’t/can’t live without ice cream – Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy!!

LL: Did you find it difficult to find vegan prenatals?
KR: I did find it difficult to find vegan prenatal. Many of the prenatals are not vegan. I ended up just taking folic acid (along with my normal B12 and vitamin D) as I was eating a very balanced plant based diet that contained everything I needed!

LL: What has been/what will be your biggest obstacle in raising a vegan baby?
KR: My little guy is just 5 months old right now. He is exclusively breastfed. We will be introducing foods soon, so stay tuned!

LL: What foods do you feed Jack to make sure there is adequate nutrition? What about milk/formula alternatives?
KR: Right now, we are just doing breast milk. He is right on track for growth with mom’s vegan milk!

LL: How will you handle the social pressures your child receives about eating meat and dairy?
KR: I find this to be such an interesting topic! Why do kids have to eat chicken nuggets and mac and cheese!? What about the need for social pressure I make sure the child is getting adequate servings of fruits and vegetables and real food! 😊

LL: What will you say when Jack makes the connection that meat, dairy, eggs and fish comes from animals?
KR: 😬 coming from the health perspective, I haven’t formulated an approach to this yet!

LL: How do you respond to people/doctors that say “you are hurting your baby”?
KR: It’s unfortunate that individuals and providers feel that way. It is also a bummer that health care providers get such limited nutrition education in their schooling and therefore are not completely educated on the topic.

LL: What resources/blog/websites/books helped you the most?
KR:, I also enjoyed reading Skinny Bitch bun in the oven as well as Vegan Pregnancy survival guide.


Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment or question below.


The Future Is Vegan: Raising Compassion, Interview #1; mother to one, Jennifer Kilcomons

Despite contrary beliefs, a whole food plant only vegan lifestyle is absolutely healthy for you and your baby. Lauren Lockey sat down with 6 local mothers and mothers to be who follow a vegan lifestyle to discuss their experiences in pregnancy and raising their children vegan. These interviews will be shared one by one throughout the next few months.  This was in collaboration with Raise Vegan. See the first interview with Meatless in the Mountains Jennifer Kilcomons, mother to one, below:

LL: What inspired you to become vegan and what is the biggest change you noticed in yourself?
JK: When my family got a dog for the first time, spending time with that little puppy inspired me to become vegan. The biggest change was a feeling of ‘peace’ and that I had figured out one of the meanings of life!

LL: Did you have cravings during your pregnancy and what were your amazing vegan alternatives?
JK: I had cravings for sweets, and my go-to was Whole Foods vegan chocolate chip cookies, they are amazing!

LL: Did you find it difficult to find vegan prenatals?
JK: Not at all – I just did some researching online and could find what I needed either online or at Whole Foods.

LL: What has been/what will be your biggest obstacle in raising a vegan baby?
JK: I truly believe there are no obstacles! It’s very easy!

LL: What foods do you feed Sierra to make sure there is adequate nutrition? What about milk/formula alternatives?
JK: She drinks soy milk and almond milk, and eats fruits, veggies, whole grains, lentils, beans, sweet potatoes, almond butter, peanut butter and avocados. We also give her a multi vitamin and probiotic mixed in her soy milk every morning.

LL: How will you handle the social pressures Sierra receives about eating meat and dairy?
JK: So far it has been easy, she is so young so she is always with me and I bring her food everywhere. It will be challenging when she goes to school and goes to friend’s houses, but as long as we surround ourselves with kind, understanding friends and family we should not have any problems.

LL: What will you say when Sierra makes the connection that meat, dairy, eggs and fish comes from animals?
JK: Right now we’re just teaching her to love animals, when she makes the connection we will explain that she does not have to eat these foods and hopefully she’ll understand because she loves animals, and she’s not used to that food anyways.

LL: How do you respond to people/doctors that say “you are hurting your baby”?
JK: I try to keep it short and just let them know she gets plenty of protein and vitamins from her food, drinks and vitamins. She is happy, healthy, chubby cheeks and smiles, so seeing her speaks for itself.

LL: What resources/blog/websites/books helped you the most?
JK: I enjoyed reading “The Kind Mama” by Alicia Silverstone.

Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment or question below.


Tips From A 10-Year Vegan

By: Courtney Pool (guest)

Hello Sage Mountain Friends!

My name is Courtney, I’m a vegan nutritionist and a recent Utah-returnee living in Cottonwood Heights. It’s a funny story how I got to do a guest blog here: Lauren was my yoga teacher years ago in Park City, before either of us were vegan. When I moved back here, I found vegan roommates, one of whom knew Lauren and Sage Mountain very well. Long story short, I got to see her again for the first time in 10 years and here I am on the blog. Also an FYI: I’ll be the speaker at Sage Mountain’s Thirsty First Thursday at Zest on July 7th!

I’ve been vegan for about 10 years, and working as a nutritionist specializing in vegan nutrition, juice cleansing and overcoming overeating for about 8 years now.  It’s an online-based business and I do my consultations over the phone and Skype, which is wonderful because it allows me to have, in addition to local clients, global clients. And I love talking with people about veganism all around the world!

For this blog, I wanted to share some tips from the perspective of a longtime vegan that might be helpful for others. I hope you find it helpful!

1.Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet and minimal junk food.The vast majority of people who end up with nutritional deficiencies or claim they don’t feel as good on a vegan diet are often not getting enough healthy foods and are eating too much junk food. It can also be because there is not enough variety in the diet. Make sure you’re getting a wide array of veggies, fruits, beans, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, oils, etc.


2.Amass a solid list of favorite recipes/meals. Whether you consider yourself someone who likes cooking or not, you need to invest some time trying new recipes and new meals, and figuring out what you like best. When people tell me they don’t know what to eat now that they’re vegan, that tells me they haven’t gotten any vegan recipe books, haven’t googled any vegan recipes online, and haven’t played around in the kitchen. It is a process of trial and error where we need to try a bunch of things, some of which we will like and some of which we won’t, but it will give us some staples that we can return to again and again. And if you’re not big on being in the kitchen, that’s fine–there are plenty of “simple vegan recipes” and “quick vegan meal recipes” that we can google.

3.Find community with likeminded people.Look for people who are likeminded and share a similar desire for veganism. They can be found through in your city, or they may be found in an area-specific Facebook group. It’s lovely to find a local friend that you can frequent vegan cafes with or have over to make a meal, but don’t underestimate the power of being connected to people online. Join some forums and groups, ask questions, connect with people there. Share your fears and your insecurities about veganism, ask for tips. People love to help!

4.Learn about all aspects of veganism.I’d say there are four main categories of truth about why veganism is the ethical, loving, and moral way to live: health/well-being, animals, environment, and other welfare of other humans. If you’re only familiar with the details about one or a few of these aspects but not all of them, educate yourself on all of them. The more you know the truth about all factors, the more you receive that truth into your heart, and you can get to a place whereby because you know the truth so thoroughly, you simply can’t not be vegan.

5.Work on your people-pleasing issues.One of the biggest challenges for most people in being vegan is the pressure they often feel to be “normal” and eat like other people eat. We can be susceptible to guilt-trips from others about us being difficult or high-maintenance, or we feel we don’t want to stand up for ourselves and what we need to take care of ourselves within our veganism. This is an issue that is unavoidable to work out if we’re going to stay vegan long-term. There cannot be any circumstance, any guilt-trip, any social climate that would cause us to cave and eat animal products, and the way that we’re going to create that is by working on the emotional reasons why we care what others think of us in this particular way. Don’t people-please with your eating.

6.Examine emotions that may create cravings.It doesn’t happen for everyone, but some people who have recently gone vegan will eventually face something internally that will cause them to be tempted to eat animal products. We’ve already discussed the people-pleasing related emotions that can cause this, but be aware of other ones too. They can be fears about it being unhealthy or apathy about the importance of vegan. Allow yourself to be self-reflective of feelings that may cause you to want to eat animal products.

I hope this helps! If you’re interested in chatting with me about the possibility of coaching, please visit my website -you can email me directly there! I’m also on all social media under my name.

Courtney Pool

A comprehensive article about everything on going vegan can be found here from our friends at Positive Health Wellness.

Oceans: The Planet’s Life Support System

By: Lauren Lockey

 “If the oceans die, we die.”  

Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson


       Oceans are the planet’s life support system for all uni-cellular and multi-cellular  organisms including humans. They cover nearly three-quarters of planet earth, and hold 97% of the planet’s water. Like trees, they produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and absorb carbon from it. “With every 10 breathes we take, 8 of them come from the ocean…”

Even though we live in the mountainous desert of Utah, the oceans still affect our lives and our family’s lives each and every day.

We all can agree that film is extremely powerful so rather than listing the many reasons oceans are important and how humans are impacting them, let’s take the visual route! The ocean is fascinating with all it’s symbiotic life so please click here and take a journey into a world so deeply connected to our own.

     According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, “80 percent of the world’s fish stocks for which assessment information is available are considered fully exploited or  over-exploited. Researchers are predicting that all fisheries will have completely collapsed by the year 2048 due to loss of bio-diversity caused by over fishing and the many other human threats facing ocean wildlife and ecosystems, such as pollution, climate change and ocean acidification, and the loss of vital habitats.”

    We can no longer turn or run away from the truth that is science. We can’t sugar coat it, say “we will get to it later” or rely on someone else to do it. We can make a collective effort that involves a small shift in our daily lives. Without fresh water, the rain forests, and healthy oceans, WE can not survive.

What can you do?

 Switch out meat, dairy, eggs, and fish for more plant based foods. It really is that simple. Again, we are the lucky ones with a choice. A choice that will impact every organism on the planet. We can either make that impact  positive or negative. What will you choose? Please feel free to contact us with questions or concerns regarding the transition to a plant based diet!




Dog Food For Thought

Dog Food For Thought

By: Dave Swartz

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         I was asked last week about my thoughts on feeding animal based foods to our pets. Its an interesting question with a number of arguments to look at. Here was my initial thought: Since we rescued our two furry pups from an animal shelter, would more animals have to be killed to feed our rescued animals over their lifetimes? If this is the case would it have been better to not have rescued the dogs in the first place? After pondering these thoughts, I came to a conclusion.

        In the scientific community there is a consensus that dogs are predominately carnivores and have all the traits and physiology to back that up. I would also agree that dogs are natural carnivores. However, to say that something is natural does not necessarily mean it is the best. For example, if someone handed me a tube of laboratory made food that didn’t harm any animals, our environment, or humans in its production and this product made me chronic disease proof, extended life expectancy, and made me as strong as an ox while tasting great, I’m pretty sure that I would consume it. This food would clearly not be “natural to humans but it could be much better for us and the planet.

When it comes to dog nutrition if one believes animal agriculture is an environmental disaster not to mention an incredibly cruel industry then how does one justify feeding their dog food from that industry. Luckily there are a number of animal free pet foods on the market. Most of these brands also supplement their pet foods with amino acids that dogs should have in their diet such as Taurine and L Carnitine. I have  found one brand in particular that both of our dogs can’t get enough of, Evolution Diet Food.  I did some research to make sure that feeding dogs a meat free diet is in fact,  safe and healthy. Interesting to find out that not only can dogs thrive on this unnatural diet but can far outlive their meat eating counterparts. Check out this article on the world record setting longest living dog. 

I understand that some may disagree with me on this topic. Thankfully there will be another option in the coming years. Check out Modern Meadow and what could be the future of animal food.

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