Looking back, my roots of becoming a vegetarian started when I was a kid. I grew up in Minnesota (the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”) and my Dad was a hunter and fisherman. He grew up on a farm and eating animals was part of life. I, on the other hand, wanted to be a mammalogist – the branch of biology that studies mammals. I saw a lot of dead deer, mallards, pheasants, and freshwater fish. That was a lot to take in before third grade (sorry Dad). I never forgot it.
A bigger life-changing event was seeing my Dad die of a heart attack at just 49. I was 15. I never forgot that either. Not overweight or a smoker or a drinker, all of the main branches of his heart were almost fully blocked – probably partially genetic, but mostly lifestyle-related. He was a man’s man, which meant a diet of meat and potatoes and let’s just say, not a lot of kale salads. I never stopped wondering how his tragic death could have been prevented. I also wondered if it was going to happen to me…
Still, for much of my young life I ate plenty of fast and frozen food, drank diet soda, rarely cooked or read labels. If it was quick and tasted ok, it was good enough. I wasn’t a mom with a family to feed, I was a busy business owner.
Unlike my Dad, I lived past my 49th birthday. I began to think more about what I was putting in my body. I read reports about chemicals in our food supply – pesticides, artificial flavors and sweeteners, nitrites and nitrates, growth hormones, antibiotics and more! I made changes to my diet, began cooking more, and bought organic whenever I could. Then about 15 years ago, after talking to a friend about a book she’d read about the pork industry, I gave up pork. It was finally time to face the whole truth I already knew: behind the meat in the plastic wrap at the grocery store or on my plate was a process I couldn’t ignore or support anymore. I just needed to make my final decision.
The turning point came for me in August of 2017 after watching a documentary called “What the Health.” I remember standing up after it was over and saying out loud, “I’m done.” And I was.
My first trip to the grocery store after deciding to become vegetarian was an eye-opener, to say the least! I saw food in an entirely different way. I had never realized how many meals were made with a few bits of chicken/bacon/beef/turkey – and how few were not. They were all off the list of things I would eat now. I may have panicked a bit, wondering if I could stick to my decision.
Then I thought a new thought.
How did we get to this point of thinking a meal is not complete without meat? Even meat processed and/or frozen long ago from who knows where. Yuck! What about “cheese-on-everything” and other habits? Could I find healthier food and alternatives I liked even better? I did. You can too.
This was the sprout from which Veggie Groove grew.
If you’re here and have read this far, you’re either thinking about eating more plant-based – or you’re already on board. Either way, welcome! Our passion is health. Yours, ours, and the planet we share with God’s creatures. Let’s do better together!
Here’s to more kindness and better health for everyone,
Linda Carlberg / Veggie Groover and Co-Founder
Growing up in the 60’s, we were taught to clean our plates. It was a meat and potatoes or rice kind of household but vegetables and fruit were always available.
I remember a time when I was in my 20’s that breakfast consisted of an extra-large diet Coke and a big apple fritter donut. What was I thinking?
In my 30’s, when mom was in her 50’s, mom got very sick and ended up with diabetes. I wonder, had I known then what I know now about nutrition, could I have helped her to life a longer life?
I didn’t have my first child until I was 32 and at that time, food was mostly about quick and convenient. This was also a time when Americans were fed the lie that low fat everything was the way to go. Always having vegetables as a kid did influence me to serve them to my family as well and I’m lucky that they still like veggies! I do admit to not knowing much about nutrition at that point in time.
Skip to my 40’s where after some major changes in my life, I decided it was time to make a change in my eating and health as well. After trying many different diets including paleo, gluten free and pescatarian, I realized that meat was not for me. I went vegetarian in 2016 and then, after watching the documentary “What the Health” in 2017 decided to go vegan.
I became a Certified Life Coach in 2012 and a Certified Holistic Nutritionist in 2020.
I love the way I feel now and know that eating whole food plant based is what my body needs. My wish for the world is for everyone to have health, happiness, and love.
Veggie Groove came about because Linda and I are passionate about the world having better health. We hope our project will help you in your own journey to better health.
Peace, harmony, and health,
Debbie Myers / Veggie Groover and Co-Founder
In Loving Remembrance
Our greatly loved friend, Diane Donohue, lost her brave battle with cancer in February, 2022. For seven years, she followed a mostly WFPB diet and far outlived doctor’s expectations without chemo or radiation, her personal choice. We carry on her love of health, fitness, her generous heart, and feel her crusader passion cheering us on!