I’m Naoko, an artist, a graphic designer, a yogini, and a vegan cook. After I read the China Study, I decided to be a vegan. I started on February 28, 2012. I thought anyone who read this book and didn’t try to be a vegan is crazy. I have been almost a vegetarian already for the last 1.5 years. Exceptions were occasional seafood, Xiao Long Bao (crab and pork soup dumplings), eggs, milk in coffee and black teas, and butter on toasts.

Of course, I use local organic ingredients as much as possible and minimize processed food. I shop at local Farmer’s Markets, the 4th Street Co-op, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods Market. How hard would this be? It turned out it is not that hard to be a vegan, when you are cooking home ALL THE TIME. Eating out is difficult. You will be called anti-social by your friends. Luckily a few of my close friends started trying to eat more like me, so we choose a vegan restaurant or a vegan friendly restaurant when we go out.

Many people asked “so, what’s the biggest change in your body? How do you feel?” I feel good, but I felt good even before I became a vegan. Being grown up in Japan, I think my diet didn’t include a large portion of meat or dairy to begin with. When I came to the U.S., I gained 15 lbs by eating cafeteria food every day. When I moved out of the dorm and started living by myself, I could cook my own food finally, and I lost that extra 15 lbs. Before I became a vegan, my winter weight was 110 lbs and my summer weight was 105 lb. Now my weight is 105 lbs throughout the year. My light-headness decreased to almost non-existing. My moods became more stable. I used to eat a lot. I eat even more now. My husband calls me “my little Nibbler.” Do you know the Nibbler character in Futurama? Nibbler is a cute little creature who eats tons of food and poops  small black balls which can be used as rocker fuel. I still eat sweets and eat as much as I want. I eat vegan ice cream, scones, brownies, tons of fruits and vegetables, and wheat pasta and rice. I make my own pickles and bake vegan treats. I enjoy making good food and eating good food.

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