Hello! I’m Mandy, a wife and stay-at-home mama who is addicted to tahini, dark chocolate, nut butters and healthy living. Having lived in the Midwest and Southern California, I am happy to call Bend, OR home with my husband (Josh) and daughter (Willow). I received my BA in Psychology in 2002, but after working for a few years in the field, I realized my true passion was found in cooking, writing, reading and exploring the great outdoors with my family. I have learned that better health starts from within, consciously wanting to make a change inside and out.
When I was 13, I made the decision to become a vegetarian after seeing a news segment on slaughterhouses. The cruelty horrified me and forever changed the way I looked at animals. For the next 16 years, I continued to consume dairy and eggs because I thought that since they’re not killing the chickens or the dairy cows, that it was ok. My health and well-being slowly declined over the years and the number of health issues increased. I battled chronic migraines, acne, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, digestive issues and was taking a few prescription medications. I was miserable and realized that something needed to change, that life could be better. Through my own research and with the help of a holistic practitioner, I was able to link all of my issues to food. By eliminating all animal products, gluten and soy, I was able to heal my body and stop all medications. My initial reason for going vegan was for health reasons, but I learned soon after about the cruelty within the dairy and egg industries. Eleven years later, I could never go back.
Becoming a mother opened my eyes even more and learning from my “mistakes” meant that I could start my daughter off with a clean slate. Not only would she learn compassion and kindness at an early age, but also what it means to take care of your body and eat healthy. We’re both living proof of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle – I have improved my overall health and well-being while Willow has managed to avoid the common cold, flu, ear infections and more. She’s thriving and I couldn’t be happier!
Be Sol-Ful was born six years ago when I realized that my story might be able to help someone else. On my blog, you will find my personal journey of trial & error, what I’ve learned, how I’ve grown, cruelty-free products I love, along with plant-based recipes. I believe in being kind and rather than being forceful with information, I have found that taking the gentle approach to sharing about plant-based living is better received. I also believe in being transparent – to be open with both struggles and successes – to show that I am just as human as the next person.
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If you have any questions, please contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org