For as long as she could remember, 58-year-old Christine Laberge strived to live a healthy lifestyle.
What prompted her to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet were a series of stressful events that took place a year before moving to lakeside.
Laberge’s mother, who was living in a nursing home since having a stoke at age 57, was paraplegic, and her health was declining. Also, Laberge’s best friend, who had been the pillar of health, was diagnosed with clogged arteries and was suddenly dealing with major heart issues. All the while, Laberge kept putting on more weight.
Inspired by her friend who decided to switch to a plant-based diet, Laberge found herself watching movies such as “What The Health,” “Forks Over Knives” and “Cowspiracy.”
“I felt like I had no control over my health,” she says. “I was seeing the healthy changes that some of my friends were enjoying from this lifestyle after suffering from serious diseases.”
Once she decided to change her diet, she did it overnight, on May 1, 2017. “I told my husband, I’m switching to a plant-based diet. He decided to switch as well, and we’re both much healthier as a result.”
On August 1, she started her Facebook group, Ajijic Plant Based Vegan Community.
Says Laberge, “I’d never started a Facebook group before but decided to follow a strong internal urge to do it. Although it’s a closed group, anyone who is on the path to greater health is welcome.”
Laberge got busy writing out a list of goals for the group, including approaching some local restaurants to offer vegan menu options.
She says, “I realized that eating a plant-based vegan diet had limited options when it came to shopping and eating out at lakeside. Being a social person, I wanted to enjoy eating out but with more options. At that time there weren’t any totally vegan restaurants at lakeside. Now there are two.”