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To start this journey, I think it’s important that you know how I got to where I am today.

Once upon a time I was a meat eating, McDonald’s loving, fried food junkie. Your basic everyday unhealthy mess. I was a full–fledged, card-carrying member of the fast food Standard American Diet (SAD) nation. I hated vegetables, never ate greens and fruit was only consumed as an artificial flavouring in a pop drink.

In my defense, at the time I knew nothing different. My friends, family, teachers, neighbours, co-workers and everyone else around me ate this way. I thought a good healthy meal was a home cooked meal from my mother or grandmothers because it tasted so great, made me feel good and was made with unconditional love.

My favourites (in no particular order): meat, fries, ice cream, Heinz ketchup, candied carrots, breads, pastas, chicken noodle soup, eggs, toast, hot dogs, bacon, cookies, chocolate, popcorn, candy, gum, and Slurpees .

When I went away for school at only 18 it was the first time I had ever been alone and responsible for my own food choices. By my 3rd year I was a wreck from the bachelor lifestyle of drive through fast food, Dominos pizza, instant soups, microwave food, pop, candy, and instant popcorn. I was not exercising and had no health regimen whatsoever. I was really lost and clueless; like a deer in headlights.

As a result, I was 20 pounds overweight, totally out of shape and had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I literally could not get out of bed and needed a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and caffeine just to keep me going. At 21 years old, I was burned out and exhausted. I was totally out of balance in all aspects of my life.

I decided I had to do something to regain control but I had no idea where to turn or what to do. Over the next few months I read several books about health, balance, diet, stress and wellness and I spoke with as many experts and healthy looking people as I could find.

Result: On December 8, 1989 at the age of 21 I became a vegetarian. The journey began there.

Also See: Part 2, Part 3

Dear Reader : What is your single biggest obstacle or frustration &/or successes with living a vegetarian, vegan or raw lifestyle ?

Jeff GolfmanJeff Golfman

On Left- Me in 1990 at 175 Pounds as a SAD Meat Eater ( Don’t laugh too hard )

On Right - Me in 2011 at 141 pounds as a low fat Raw Vegan

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