Stories From You | Ericka

As a working mom of eight, there’s a lot to juggle in Ericka’s household every day. Three of her children have graduated and live outside the home, another is in college, and of the four remaining there is a high schooler, an eight, five and three-year-old. Her kids also love sports. The highschooler plays football, the eight-year-old is a junior track Olympian and plays soccer, and the younger two want to follow in their footsteps. To say their lives are busy is an understatement.

Ericka grew up as a vegetarian, but when she got to college, it became more difficult due to school cafeteria limitations so she started eating meat. She didn’t think much about going vegetarian again until she had some complications following her last two pregnancies. 

“I was really out of shape but I wanted to be there for my kids and my grandkids. I was just wondering what I could start doing to make a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family.”

Going to the gym five days a week was not feasible for her. Instead, Ericka turned to the internet for help, reading more about plant-based diets and following different social accounts who shared their recipes and ideas for how to incorporate easy plant-based meals into a household. 

“I started making more plant-based meals and started getting out there with my kids. I was actually running with them more and walking with them more. It felt amazing.”

 

 

After her children saw how well she was doing and all of her new recipes, they were curious to try them. Especially her older ones who have seen some of their favorite professional athletes go more plant-based. She started having them help out more in the kitchen.

“They're chopping, they're washing dishes, they're at the stove, and they're helping make the plates. It's making it easier to feed everybody as a big family.”

Erika is a registered nurse of 18 years. What she loves most is helping people and being able to apply everything that she has learned to regular life at home. She loves to see her kids taking an active role in deciding what food they want to eat, at home and when they go out, and learning how to make plant-based dishes for themselves. 

The last one to get on board was Ericka’s husband. He was iffy about it as a meat and potatoes kind of guy. After the kids convinced her to trick him into eating one of their plant-based meals, he loved it and was on board. 

“It warms my heart to know that my family cares about making better choices.”

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