Sasha, the blogger behind “All That Lives”

Hey, I’m Sasha. In early 2016, I decided to commit to living more sustainably. I began to reduce my meat consumption. I started grocery shopping with absolutely no commercial packaging. Eventually, I even gave up dairy. Changing habits, especially dietary habits, is very hard. A few of my friends asked me to start a blog about all the things my husband I were doing to reduce our ecological footprints from sharing whole foods, plant-based recipes to tips on how to create less trash, so here it is!

Full disclosure: I am not a professional chef, environmentalist or activist. In fact, I am a total amateur. So here it is: my amateur journey into whole foods, plant-based veganism, zero impact living and community organizing.

Whole Foods, Plant-Based Veganism

I lost 40+ lbs on a whole foods, plant-based vegan lifestyle last year, and a healthy weight and  BMI are far from the only results I’ve experienced. I reversed my pre-type 2 diabetes, my likelihood of getting heart disease, multiple forms of cancer, etc… Plus chronic pain in my right chest and knees is gone.

In addition to these personal health benefits, I saved 401,500 gallons of water, 10,950 sq ft of forest, 365 animal lives, 14,000 lbs of grain and 7,300 lbs of CO2 emission! (Thanks for the numbers, Vegan Calculator) Win/ win. I’m telling you.

Plant based eating was really hard for me at first (even though I had been vegan twice before), and I made the transition gradually. I loved eating meat (especially beef) and every cheese known to man. I would say they were borderline addictions. Not kidding.

Once I got over the illusion that I (like many Americans and Europeans) was consuming at rates that are not sustainable for our planet by any measure, everything else just fell into place.

Zero Waste Living

After watching No Impact Man, I was so inspired to reduce my trash and start shopping without any commercial packaging. Surprisingly, it is easier than I thought. Now, my husband and I buy all our basic food needs (vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, fruit, bread) without packaging. We recently began composting so that takes care of all of our food, paper and organic waste. Recycling and generating trash are absolute last resorts in our house. We aim to to reduce and re-use as much as possible.

Yaaaas to fresh veggies

Our effort towards zero impact living has inspired us to take responsibility for everything we consume. We go to a restaurant and they give us a non-compostable, non-recycleable straw with our water? Well, we take that home to put in our own trash so that we are under no illusions about the kind of waste we are generating.

Phil and I have also decided that we are not going to support fast fashion anymore, so all of our clothes now come from second hand stores or sustainable fashion brands.

Social Justice and Community Organizing

Environmental justice has implications for racial justice, for economic justice and for gender equality.  The Dakota Pipeline. Flint Water Crisis. The Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina. Environmental disasters and climate change affect vulnerable communities, which are often communities of color. Globally, the people who will feel the effects of American and European consumption are going to be the poorest people, and they are almost exclusively going to be nations of color. Food for thought.

For me, plant based eating is just as much as type of activism as participating in community organizing, because I know that what my family and I eat and consume affects other families around the world. I am committed to being woke AF, educating myself through local workshops on equality, rallying often and giving my money monthly to causes I care about including Black Lives Matter, ending gun violence, queer liberation, women’s rights and more.

Sasha with her husband Phil and doggie Ada in Chicago

Thanks for reading, everyone! If this blog inspired one person to reduce their meat and dairy consumption, or to examine ways to reduce their environmental footprint or even decided to get more involved in their community, that would be f*cking awesome.

So here it is, “All that lives” is a celebration of healthy, purposeful living that is geared towards the abundance of life on a thriving planet Earth where we champion the liberation of all people. The name is from a Native American poem: “Regard the heaven as your father, the earth as your mother, and all that lives as your brother and sister.”