So my journey to becoming vegan started about 5 years ago when every diet I tried failed miserably. Growing up in a meat and potatoes kind of family and spending 25 years in the restaurant business made me a diehard carnivore. Every meal I ate contained meat and dairy in some form, but there came a time when I started getting curious about exploring what it might be like to try to introduce some vegetarian or vegan meals into my routine as an experiment. I’ve known Chef Eileen since 2006 when we met working together at a restaurant in Scottsdale, and it was her passion, dedication, and creativity that helped spark that flame. I decided to try a month of eating strictly vegan, and it was easy to make things for myself at my restaurant. However, not knowing much about it, and always being a big guy and an overeater, I subconsciously overcompensated by consuming huge portions and eating more frequently as a result of being worried that I wouldn’t be satisfied. After a month, I had actually gained one pound, and completely gave up and went back to a steak and bacon rich diet. Fast forward a few years, and I was up to 380 pounds, the heaviest I had ever been. I was miserable and decided to get bariatric surgery for weight loss (something that I had also began pondering three years prior, but never followed through). I got the approval from the surgeon and the insurance company on my 40th birthday in June of 2020 and had the surgery on August 4th . After the surgery, I was on a very strict diet for a while, and after some other major life events led to a change in career, a move from MA to FL, and a massive shift in my perspective and outlook on life. As I was allowed to start reintroducing normal foods back into my diet, I discovered that all of the things I used to love were not sitting well in my new stomach and didn’t even taste as good as they used to. I decided to give “going vegan” another try. I reached out to Eileen and shared my story and she immediately offered to schedule a consult with me to help me transition into my second attempt. She was amazingly supportive and incredibly helpful as she explained some of the pitfalls I might encounter and eased some of the concerns I had. She gave me tons of pointers and suggestions on types of foods and brand names to look for and where to shop. I was so inspired by the excitement she had for the choice I made, and I knew that this time would be different for me. I found myself actually looking forward to going grocery shopping and my passion for
cooking came back with a vengeance. I now find myself cooking more often and more creatively in the last six months than I have in the last six years! I always send her pictures of my food and the feedback and love and support I receive back from her helps keep me committed. I have even shared my food with non-vegan friends and family and they can’t believe how good it is! When I decided to make this change, I did it for my health and not for the animals, but I have come to realize and appreciate the true meaning behind veganism, and it feels amazing. As a bonus, by making this change along with the surgery, I have now lost over 150 pounds since my birthday last June, and I have an immeasurable amount of energy and positivity. My heart and my soul is more full than I ever could have imagined, I am the happiest I have ever been, and I owe a huge part of it to my amazing,caring, talented friend and mentor, Chef Eileen Popovich! If you have ever considered the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, do it, and do it now! I promise, with her help, you will not regret it. It will be the best decision of your life!
My name is Amara at the beginning of this year I had decided to reach out to chef Eileen for help and assistance with my transition to becoming vegan. Now in all honesty I had tried it before about a year ago but my mind at the time wasn’t ready to fully commit ! So I tried it again but this time with help of a beautiful soul chef Eileen who truly committed to helping me (a person who NEVER ate vegetables with anything) to fully committing to only eating veggies ! I am now 3 months vegan and couldn’t be happier with the results ! Not to mention I am a mom of 3 and chef Eileen not only helped me commit to becoming vegan, but also help my children to transition which is a beautiful thing all by it self ! Chef Eileen truly has a passion for helping others to becoming more healthy! Not to mention !! She helped me just within two months to get rid of my mom pooch after just having a baby 8 months ago ! No exercising was needed ! Just commitment, healthy eating and chef Eileen’s coaching to keep me on the right path ! She is truly not only my nutritional coach but also family ! I recommend her to anyone who is ready to take on the next step towards a healthier you !
I had been thinking about going plant based for so long and it was always so daunting. I would look at my existing food in my refrigerator and think “what would I make with ~just~ vegetables?”. I came to terms that I needed help with this goal, I needed a coach, I needed someone to show me the ropes. Chef Eileen asked so many helpful questions before she built a menu for me. She stayed curious about what my norms where - what did I eat and like, all the time. She built me an all vegan menu what was so close to home, recreating all my favorite dishes and introducing me to new ones, just, fully vegan! It helped me transition and feel confident and prepared in all ways!! Throughout the first few months (and even now), Eileen has been so supportive and encouraging - it was crucial for me to have someone to partner with. I’ve now been fully plant based for 5 months and cannot envision a life where I eat animal products, simply put, there is just no need.
I've been battling osteoarthritis for many years now at a young (ish) age. Knee replacement is still a distant option and cortisone had sparse and spotty results. I turned to diet to lose detrimental weight and it is Eileen that made veganism an attainable option. Results came in quite quickly. Weight loss countered inflammation and I've been able to walk where I could barely crawl. I've said it to her many times and here again, Eileen saved my quality of life and removed the misery of incessant pain. She's a wonderful cook, lifestyle practitioner and friend. I recommend her to anyone looking for a positive change in diet and perspective.
-Much love, Jeramy Felch
Animal warrior, educator, motivator and super chef for the vegan lifestyle movement:
You have helped kick- start my own path to cleaner living, where vegans strive to have less impact on the earth, have mercy for animals and fill our body and soul with the best plant based fuels. Your enthusiasm, coaching and amazing posts/recipes on vegan foods have helped me kick-start my own personal journey to give up the traditional “American diet”.
Thank you, for you truly have been an inspiration and amazing support to my full transition to veganism. I don’t think I could have made the change on my own. Your support and coaching is everything!
By the age of 43, I have already battled Cancer twice in 3 years. Surgery, Chemotherapy and radiation has worked, but not without some serious digestive consequences. Immediately upon my 2nd diagnosis, my husband contacted Eileen for help. Much of our research highly recommended a vegan diet to combat the tumor, as well as, the side effects of treatments. Heading into 2018, I have again completed surgery and radiation and I am half way through Chemo with none of my previous gastrointestinal issues. My husband and I find everything delicious and we don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or cooking. All the nutrients I need are in Eileen’s recipes, which she has researched and tailored specifically for my medical concerns. Eileen’s meals have helped us get through a painful time so much easier.
Having had several meals at the hands of Chef Eileen, I must say she does wonders with all types of food. Her ability to utilize whole foods plant based ingredients to not only concoct healthy dishes, but to make life long friends with one's taste buds is top notch. Vegan "food" has a reputation of being anti-flavor or absent of deliciousness, well Eileen's dishes flip that misnomer on its head. Each and every meal she creates is packed with flavor, healthy minded ingredients and an abundant amount of animal love. For those simple reasons, I can't wait to try whatever she puts on the plate next
Eileen's skills, talent and expertise as a vegan chef are outstanding. She is efficient, organized and energetic all while making the most delicious meals that are as good and often times even better than 5 star vegan restaurants I have been to. The yummy flavorful food melts in your mouth and the best part - it's all extremely fresh and healthy. I am constantly astounded at her creativity to create dishes I never knew could be so mouthwatering. I have been to a couple of her holiday parties and the food was always the highlight of the evening! I highly recommend Eileen to cater any of your events, as you will not only save the planet but also be able to surprise non-vegan guests with mind-blowing cruelty-free dishes
For years I have battled with my own personal insecurities when it came to my weight and my face. I couldn't keep the pounds off and my acne was always a very big struggle. Nothing seemed to work, and I wasn't confident in my own skin. After watching my older sister transform her life into a healthy and radiant energy I knew I had to make some serious changes! Being pregnant and putting on weight isn’t easy. Making healthy life choices to eat vegan was! Once I was open to listening to what my sister had to say in regard to veganism and started implementing more plant based and healthy alternatives to meat products into my diet, my life completely changed. I can eat what I want, when I want, and it doesn't effect me in a negative way. Mentally, physically, or emotionally! Without Eileen Elizabeth to motivate me and be a teacher providing me with recipes and constant support, I wouldn't have been able to make the changes needed to really treat my baby and my body they way they both deserve!