Hi my name is Mary Leppert and I became Vegetarian at the age of 14.
I was eating dinner at a friend’s house and it appeared to be roast beef with carrots, potatoes and onions. Their family was a big one, like mine, and there was always a lot of talking around their table. That particular night when we were doing the dishes together, the Mom — who I loved a lot — said to me, “Did you like the dinner” I told her, yes I loved it! I am not sure if I loved it as much for the food itself or for the cozy environment. She laughed and said, “That was the tongue of a cow!” I am glad you liked the tongue of a cow!
I could not believe her! A few days later when in the grocery store with my mom, I asked her to show me a cow’s tongue in the meat department, because I still could not believe it! We went over to the meat section and there she pointed out a tongue on a white styrofoam container, wrapped in plastic. There were muscles at the back of the tongue and it nearly made me faint!! That was the beginning of my “awakening” of what I was eating!
I stayed vegetarian for 4 years and then realized that my heavy cheese and whipped cream eating was contributing to my horrible acne. I than became vegan and remained so for 6 years, until I was about 24 years old. I then began eating animal protein again, until I gave birth to my son at age 28. I had been learning about Macrobiotics before I was pregnant and knew I wanted to raise my baby vegan. I went to a Macrobiotic counselor throughout my pregnancy and learned how to raise a vegan child. I read a lot about vitamin B-12, and protein, and all of the other issues of raising a vegan child. I am proud to say that my son, who is now 28, is still a vegan and very healthy!
I remained vegan until he was about 5 years old and then I gradually veered back to meat and ice cream –an action which I am not proud of!!
My grandmothers and mother taught me how to cook a variety of ethnic foods, meat-based, many of which I have successfully adapted to vegan preparation. I have taken many classes in macrobiotic cooking and I have had extensive professional cooking experience. I am proud to say that I catered Dr. Spock’s (the “Baby Doctor”) 89th and 90th birthday parties, which were totally vegan. I am continually cooking and experimenting with recipes and I am attentive to learning more vegan cooking practices as this exciting way of life increases in knowledge and popularity! My nick name is Chef Mare Bear!
At age 56, I can say that I have completely returned to the vegan lifestyle. I don’t buy leather or other animal-based products and my goal is to be healthy and feel great! Today, October 16, 2016, I weigh 236 pounds. I want to weigh a normal weight and to do it with a plant-based regimen.
Thank you for visiting my website, where I hope to take you on my journey and add yours — no matter how old you are or what your food background has been. Another important issue while my son was growing up, was where and how to get Vegan food! This has become a passion of mine because of raising him. So this website will provide restaurants in every corner of the United States — and hopefully, one day allo over the world — where one can get a vegan meal. Thank you for visiting and please write to me! Mary Leppert aka Chef Mare Bear!