Breaking an Unhealthy Sentence: Luis Cerna’s Vegan Journey

Whether the path to veganism is smooth or bumpy, vegans will agree – they are fortunate to find a long-lasting home in an accepting and supportive community.  As we have seen from many of our Vegan Life Nutrition vegan journeys, people have traveled long and far to discover this way of life.  But for others, like Luis Cerna, his vegan journey was very much confined to one place.  Luis’ story is unlike many, and we are proud to share his vegan journey with you.

Luis Cerna is a Washington native, and his vegan journey started behind bars in federal prison for drug-related offenses. As strange as it may sound, he says his incarceration taught him to reflect and grow his mental, physical, and spiritual health. The years of incarceration weren’t the only battle he endured. For someone who is serving a prison sentence, the surging stress levels can leave little to be positive for, and that takes a toll on your physical and mental health.

A vegan journey that’s more than diet

Luis took it upon himself to not let his sentence determine the rest of his life. He made significant lifestyle changes in a very vulnerable state and implemented greater changes when he regained freedom. He turned to veganism at the beginning of 2020. This was a New Year’s health resolution that stuck. He experienced health benefits like increased energy but found that veganism had a much greater impact on his life. He spends most of his days exercising, meditating, reading and enjoying time with his 11-year-old daughter, who he credits as his motivation for his change. 

Luis is thankful to spend more time with his family, and although they are not vegan, they are very supportive of his lifestyle change and even eat and prepare vegan dishes when he comes to visit. His absolute favorite dish is vegan fish tacos, and his go-to snack is cucumber with lemon and cayenne pepper. A simple and easy snack that we just can’t wait to try! He says that the hardest part about veganism is that, contrary to popular belief, there are actually very limited healthy vegan options available in dining restaurants. He tries to cook as much as he possibly can.

Luis says that “being vegan feels great,” especially when people ask him where he gets his high level of energy from.  He says it’s awesome knowing that his lifestyle change not only makes him feel amazing both physically and mentally but also helps give back to this planet. His biggest takeaway from his vegan journey so far is that “being vegan is  a way to give back to this planet and to yourself.”

A vegan journey through workouts, nutrition and supplements

A few common misconceptions about veganism that Luis would like to share with others are that you are unable to grow muscle mass on a vegan diet and that being vegan is expensive. In terms of growing muscle mass, Luis has been able to build muscle through daily workouts, proper nutrition and protein supplements. Luis began his vegan journey confined in prison, which is not the easiest place to begin your journey. Although Senate Bill 1138, passed in September of 2018, requires “licensed California health care facilities and state prisons to make available plant-based meal options containing no animal products or by-products,” living a vegan lifestyle in prison comes with challenges. However, for Luis, the vegan options available to him during his time of incarceration were sufficient. 

Luis’ vegan journey proves that anyone can be vegan and get the proper nutrients despite facing challenging circumstances. 

Vegan Life Nutrition is proud to be a part of so many vegan journeys.  We don’t sacrifice quality for innovation. Our products are always free of toxins, allergens, and unnecessary ingredients. How? We strictly examine raw ingredients and fully-vet each final product. Quality is our top consideration, and we adhere to the guidelines of some of the toughest regulatory authorities in the world.

Would you like to share your Vegan Journey with us?  Provide your contact information below, and we will reach out to you. 

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