Origin story - coming full circle

By 2015 we were in a groove managing our son Benjamin's allergy.  Our oldest, Eloise, was now entering Kindergarten and was showing some problems of her own.  Eloise had always been a very strong willed and oftentimes defiant child.  We loved her strong personality, but part of that personality was getting in the way of her being successful, and it was getting worse.  Eloise was also a finicky eater and so when she found something she liked, we stuck with it.  This meant pizza, macaroni and cheese, chocolate milk were all staples of Ellie's diet.  Her behavior was deteriorating.  Now we had seen these challenges since she was a little baby and gotten loads of advice, counseling, and coaching, but nothing seemed to work and in fact it was getting more challenging.  The doctor's wanted to medicate for ADHD and other mood disorders, and in fact recommended serious anti-psychotic drugs.  NFW... this was the turning point.  

Kristen became intent on finding a way to help Eloise that did not include medication.  We knew their had to be a way.  Through months of countless hours of research, reading countless books and journals, Kristen came across what we thought could be the answer.  Kristin's friend Niti Bali recommended we visit a Maximized Living doctor... what the hell was that?  A chiropractor?  How does an adjustment help this?  But, little did we know what Dr. Barnes would do for us.  He opened our eyes to the connection between food, the nervous system and the way we felt and acted.  This was a breakthrough.  

Was the connection between diet, the gut, and mood/behavior the answer?  Could what we eat have that much of an effect on how we felt and behaved?  We began an elimination diet, started a plant-based supplement regiment by Designs for Health based on the recommendation of Dr. Barnes, and began getting regular alignments.  This was at first difficult, but it started to have a effect; small at first, but the changes grew. We wanted fast.  We wanted immediate.  The reality was that this was not a quick fix.  The body heals itself slowly and over time.  This had to be a way of life... a lifestyle that needed to be nurtured and maintained.  We were in!  

For Eloise, eliminating dairy, gluten, and all refined sugar made a profound difference over time and once her body healed, she started to thrive.  This made some sense to us, as Kristen had been diagnosed with severe Celiac disease in 2006 and was completely gluten-free, or else she would get violently ill.  So now, we as a family said no dairy, no gluten, no eggs, and it was on to "greener" pastures (pun intended 😁). 

We had our third child, John Francis, in March of 2016, and our little family of 5 was complete (6 counting Louie the wonder-dog).  We continued to experiment with diet and other changes, and in late 2017, Kristen and I decided to do 1 week plant-based only experiment.  I had been reading about the benefits of the diet from a health point of view and listening to guys like Rich Roll, Dave Asprey (who advocates 80% plant based), and Ray Cronise.  The results of that week had a profound effect on me.  For years, even with high intensity training, running a few half marathons and even a marathon, training six-days a week, crossfit, and every other intense exercise program you can think of, I was still bloated, sluggish, and couldn't lose that last 10 pounds (I had gone from 5'10 and 225lbs in college to 5'10 185-190lbs and wanted to be down at 175lbs for optimal health).  Within a week, I lost 5lbs and felt far less bloated than I could every remember feeling and I had more energy.  

I was now a believer.  For me, it was all about the way I felt and the health benefits.  That's what was driving my decision.  The environmental and animal welfare benefits were positive side effects.  If it makes me feel better and perform better, I will do it.  This does for me and I want to share that.  I know that there are others out there.  

So why plantsnacker.com?  To bring this all full circle, of course.  For years, we struggled finding vegan snacks and food options for our son.  Then Eloise needed much healthier that options that controlled for dairy and gluten.  Finally, Kristen and I started to see the benefits a more plant-based style of living to the way we felt.  We know that reading every label and trying countless products is time consuming and expensive.  We know that it is also frustrating.  We want to bring our experience and passion to others in a way that can help.  Plantsnacker.com does that.  We help navigate the world of plant-based, vegan snacking by guiding the buyer to the tastiest and most nutritious options out there.  That's it.  That's our passion and our reason is your health!


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