“Forks Over Knives” Inspires Plant-Based Family


Ashley with her family

It all started the summer of 2011. I was about five months pregnant with our oldest son when my husband and I went to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives. We went in with an open mind, watched in silence, and even walked out quietly; then, my husband turned to me and said “Okay. Let’s do this!” I think I loved him a little more (if that’s even possible) with that statement!

Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I had an unsettling feeling about the nutrition advice given to pregnant women. If they tell you not to eat deli meats, hot dogs, raw eggs, soft cheeses, and to limit fish because it could harm to the baby, then why should you feed these items to your child? Or even eat them yourself when not pregnant?

My husband had been dealing with a small bump or lipoma (small collection of noncancerous, fatty tissue) on his lower back for almost a year. He went to a couple doctors, but no one could give him a solid answer about why he had the lipoma or even what to do except to surgically remove it. He started to wonder if it could have been caused by our diet.

Before we officially made the switch, I wanted the OK from my obstetrician. I still remember exactly what she said: “Yeah, that’s fine! Having a vegan diet and being pregnant is a very healthy choice. Just make sure you get enough iron and B12.” It was such a relief to have the support and encouragement of my doctor.

However, our family wasn’t as receptive to this new lifestyle. My husband’s aunt pointed a finger at me and said, “If anything bad happens to this baby, it will be all your fault, and I will never forgive you.” After they realized it wasn’t just a phase, the jokes and side offers for “real food” drastically decreased.

We are now parents to an almost-four-year-old son and a two-year-old son who are healthy, intelligent, and thriving on vegan foods. I am currently six months pregnant with our third son, and this pregnancy is going just as smoothly as the first two without any complications. As a bonus, I have had no problem losing the baby weight or with gaining too much weight during each pregnancy.

My husband’s lipoma has also drastically decreased. He is an avid runner who runs 30+ miles per week. He attributes his vegan diet to increased speeds, decreased recovery times, and the highest energy level he has had in years.

This way of eating has shaped our family into what it is today. We eat out socially, participate in family functions, plan birthday parties, make road trips, and even visit Disney World while maintaining an animal-free diet. I can confidently say we are happy and healthy because of the way we eat!

Posted in Family Life

Ashley is a stay-at-home mom and household CEO. She lives with her plant-based family in San Antonio, Texas, including her husband, Tim, 4-year-old son, Jameson, 2-year-old son, Josiah, and a third son who is still on the way. Ashley is the director of and performs with San Antonio Dance Fringe, and she is also on the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Dance Umbrella. In her free time, Ashley enjoys yoga, snuggling with her four rescued animals, and Netflix.