From Heart to Plate: The Transformative Vegan Journey of Laura Ceccarelli

In today’s feature, we delve into the inspiring journey of Laura Ceccarelli, a dedicated vegan and mother, who has graciously shared her story with us.

Transitioning to veganism is a deeply personal and sometimes challenging journey, but Laura’s experience illuminates the path with warmth and wisdom.

From her initial motivations to the daily realities of maintaining a vegan lifestyle, Laura offers insights that resonate with anyone considering a similar shift.

Join us as we explore Laura’s vegan journey, her challenges, inspirations, and the impact this lifestyle has had on her and her family’s life.

Laura Ceccarelli Interview:

Hello Laura, nice to mett you. First of all: Introduce yourself!

Hello everyone! My name is Laura, I am 51 years old, I come from Rome, and I am a full-time mother.

What motivated you to adopt a vegan diet? Can you share your journey with us?

The primary reason for my vegan choice is animal respect. My journey to this choice went as follows: Since I was a child, I’ve always had a great love for animals; we’ve always had dogs at home, all found in the streets.

As a child, I tried to avoid eating meat as much as possible, even though my family were all omnivores. I started gradually eliminating first meat and then fish, becoming vegetarian. At the age of 40, 11 years ago, after giving birth to my first daughter, a hospital roommate showed me a quite shocking video where a lamb or calf (I don’t remember well) was taken away from its mother just after birth.

Having just given birth myself, it was almost a shock, imagining the pain that animal must feel, as if they were taking my daughter away from me at that moment. From there, knowing about the exploitation of animals, also for producing milk for cheese, I gradually started eliminating everything…

Have you faced any criticism/stereotypes regarding your choice?

Yes, being naturally slim, I was told: “You can’t stop eating meat, do you want to get sick?”.

Then, especially with my children, whom I raised vegetarian, I was told I shouldn’t impose my choices on them because they were young and needed to eat meat to grow!

In my opinion, these are just old limiting beliefs that were imposed on us as children. Convinced of my choices, I continued doing what I thought was right, consulting with a pediatric nutritionist.

He reassured me, saying that it was not a problem, the important thing was that they got proteins. So, he drew up a diet for them, and I raised both of them vegetarian. Now they are 11 and 8 and a half years old and are increasingly leaning towards veganism, by their own choice.

Was there any food item you struggled to give up?

Honestly, yes. I never missed meat or fish, but I did miss cheese! I looked for all possible alternatives, but initially, there weren’t many, so the first thing I learned to make at home was vegan parmesan. Today, however, there are various vegan cheeses, and they are all very good.

Where do you find the inspiration for your beautiful dishes that you post on Instagram? Do you follow the seasonality of foods?

Thank you for the compliment! I started by veganizing the dishes my grandmother used to make, and then I always tried to improve. I started cooking when I was about 14 years old; I’ve always liked it, so it wasn’t difficult.

 It was just a matter of replacing animal products with plant-based ones. Sometimes, seeing a picture in a magazine, I already imagine how it could be by replacing some products or changing them completely, trying to make a completely plant-based version.

Most of the time, however, I think of a dish and already see it defined in my mind and then try to make it. I try to follow the seasonality of foods as much as possible, buying mostly from farmers, but I admit to also buying at the supermarket, especially in winter, when, for example, I miss zucchini (which my son loves), so I end up buying them, but without overdoing out-of-season foods.

vegan journey - vegetarian experience - Laura Ceccarelli

Is there any food that you think is very important in our diet that the omnivorous diet underestimates?

For me, discovering seeds was a revelation, such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, which I didn’t know much about before. They can be used in many ways, both to season and to make a wonderful breakfast like chia pudding. They have so many nutritional properties I didn’t know about!

Besides nutrition, has this change impacted other aspects of your life?

Yes, definitely! Besides nutrition, I try to be careful about everything. Obviously, I respect animals and also the environment. There hasn’t been a change in clothing, but only because I never bought leather products or similar, out of love for animals even before.

Do you feel better since you decided to live a healthier life?

Definitely, I feel better! It might sound strange, but I assure you that after a month of becoming vegan, I felt a sense of being clean inside, as if I was finally nourishing my body in the right way, with vegetables that I hardly ever ate before, legumes, seeds…

When you remove certain foods, especially fats, you really feel that sense of having a cleaner body inside. I will never forget an episode a few years ago: one morning, I went to a bar and asked for a vegan croissant.

Unknown to me, they had run out, and I was sold a non-vegan one. As soon as I took a bite, I recognized it immediately because of the greasy feel in my mouth, that strange sensation I hadn’t felt for years. I threw the croissant away and left. So yes, as an old advertisement used to say, I feel “clean inside” 😊.

For those wondering, how do you ensure you’re following a balanced regimen by eliminating many foods from your diet?

First and foremost, never do it yourself in such a drastic change! There are experts who can guide us on the right path! For a correct dietary regimen, the important thing is to intake all the nutrients in the right amounts to avoid nutritional deficiencies.

For example, through seeds, we can get Omega-3 fatty acids, eating fruit and vegetables at every meal to ensure a good intake of vitamins and minerals, and eating the right portions of legumes can ensure a good supply of iron and proteins…

Do you have any suggestions or advice for those considering this path?

Firstly, I recommend being followed by an expert to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Then, personally, I believe the future is vegan! Eating vegan means respecting animals, ourselves, and the environment.

So, based on my experience, don’t listen to those who try to change your mind. When you are strongly motivated towards something, we must persist in our choices. As I said earlier, we grow up with limiting beliefs, such as the necessity of eating meat. I don’t agree, and through my Instagram page, I try every day to demonstrate with my recipes that it’s possible to eat well, healthy, and tasty while respecting animals!

Thank You, Laura!

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Laura Ceccarelli for sharing her enlightening vegan journey with us. Laura’s story is not just about diet; it’s a testament to compassion, health, and environmental awareness.

Through her narrative, she offers a glimpse into the practicalities and emotional aspects of embracing veganism, highlighting the importance of informed choices and the joy of discovering new ways to nourish ourselves and our loved ones.

We invite our readers to follow Laura on her Instagram channel at veg_lauraceccarelli for a daily dose of inspiration, beautiful vegan dishes, and tips on living a compassionate, healthy lifestyle. Join Laura in her journey towards a kinder, more sustainable world.