Hi, I am Ana Levley, owner of vegan marketing agency Aveccio, by Levley Marketing and founder of Heart2Heart meals.

*When I originally went vegan I did not believe in veganism – I loved meat and dairy – was never really an egg fan.*

The reason I went vegan:

As many of you may know in my twenties, my Bobushka (grandma) passed away all too early. She was an amazing woman and I was extremely upset. She had 2 heart attacks and at the end aneurism. Her sister died of an aneurism as well at a very young age and I was afraid of the idea of one day your just gone – your brain just says goodbye. I never thought my Bobushka would pass from the same thing. 

When she passed it was right around the time when I get my physical exam. They ask your questions of your history and family (I had a new doctor). I told him how my Bobushka had heart attacks and my grandpa passed from esophageal cancer young as well. 

My doctor came back after running some tests and he said because of the heart attacks my Bobushka had and the signs he saw in me that he was afraid I had a genetic predisposition to heart disease. This freaked me out to say the least. He basically told that there was nothing I could do to prevent it.

Some of the first vegan food I ever made – zucchini with polenta.

I was so upset and afraid and I almost lost hope – but then I thought there has to be something I can do. So I went on a quest for the healthiest lifestyle because I imagined if there were no drugs or treatments to cure this – there must be another, one I could control. I learned that my grandpa could have prevented his cancer – my doctor told me that was preventable by not consuming high amounts of nitrates. I thought maybe there is something to that so I looked into what I could eat and how I hopefully extend my life.

I came across a whole food plant based lifestyle (which is a very strict type of vegan diet). I did the research with my husband listened to a friend from his temple who had aggressive prostate cancer and went vegan with his treatment. He told me all the benefits and how he did his own research when doctors told him a similar thing. He is an engineer and was really into doing research so much so he went back for a masters in nutrition in his 70s. 

Chia seed vegan crepes – yummm

So I jumped in – this was the fifth lifestyle I tried. All others in some way had some side affects when tested again but this wwhole food plant based (wfpb for short) was the one that actually helped and I felt better (I just didn’t notice how I felt bad before). 

I went back to my doctor and within a couple of months my markers for heart disease disappeared. My doctor asked what I was doing and I told him and he said “Oh, that might help.” 

As I healed myself I realized I could not eat those foods ever again that I had to fall in love with being vegan. And I did – it is pretty easy when you don’t eat animals and realize eating them kills you that you find empathy for them – that you see them like your dog (in my case Sadie is like me child she has taught me so much about how animals are not just “animals”). I realized how cows and chickens and etc love humans unconditionally and how we take advantage of that love. I imagined killing Sadie to eat her and it breaks my heart to think we can look into those loving eyes and take their lives. 

Beyond beef burger – gluten free too.

Seeing videos also made me more passionate because you see them scared and you see they just want to be loved and how young they die (like cows are only 2 years old and can live until 15 years old). Its so heartbreaking – if my heart was to break it would be in that way. 

I have ever since been doing amazing – from my blood work I had gotten after being 4 years vegan and my doctor at Kaiser saying I was doing an amazing job and he highly recommends wfpb to everyone. 

I also saw how many other people on wfpb lifestyle or even just transitioning to plant based has saved their lives or cured random chronic diseases. In my vegan groups I commonly across people who have had diabetes, heart disease, stage four cancers – basically the people who were told to pop a pill and there was nothing much else they could do – here they were living free of those diseases. 

And the saddest thing is hearing family member’s tell me their doctors told them to go wfpb when these serious diseases were found “but they just couldn’t” and they passed shortly after. That breaks my heart too.

If there is any advice I can give it is that veganism is extremely intricate there are many parts of why to go vegan. 1. For health. 2. For animals 3. For the world. I am now doing it for all three and so happy – I wish I had known sooner.

That is why heart2heart meals was created. To help everyone know about veganism, try vegan food, and to get help to go vegan if they would like. We have had many dinners since and realized how one amazing meal can change so many lives. We hope you open your heart with heart2heart!

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