The Daily Beet

05 Jul Interview with Plant-Strong Teen, Carson! (plus some exciting news for E2 kids this summer!)

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Today we want to introduce you to an awesome plant-strong teen, Carson. Carson is an amazing soccer star, and she just happens to be an amazing artist as well. Starting tomorrow we are launching a plant-strong kids series, it will run every week for the rest of the summer, and Carson is our artist! You can check her work out tomorrow, when the first of our plant-strong kids series is up!

We also launched a facebook page just for teens. If you are a teen (under 20) and you are plant-strong or wanting to become plant-strong, just go to this page and request to join. We want to connect plant-strong teens everywhere, and give them a fun and safe environment to  get advice from E2 team members, vent, share ideas and get healthy together.

Teens like Carson and Michelle (who we interviewed last week) are the next generation of plant-strong advocates, and we want to support them in anyway we can!

We sat down with Carson to ask her a few questions about her plant-strong life.

Engine2: Tell us a little about yourself

Carson: I’m currently heading into my junior year of high school at Leander HS in Austin. I love playing competitive soccer, and I’m the captain of my State Classics League club soccer team, Lonestar 97 girls Red North. I’m also an aspiring artist as well as an actress for my schools theatre department. Other than that I love hanging with friends and taking long walks on the beach. 

Engine 2: When did you decide to go plant-strong?

Carson: I decided to go plant strong about…2 years ago this September. It was difficult at first, but as time went on, I didn’t even have to think about it. Now the thought of meat or dairy disgusts me.

Engine 2: Why did you decide to make the switch? Have you noticed any health improvements since going plant-strong?

Carson: I remember over hearing my mom talking to Natala (Engine 2 Team Member) on the phone explaining to my mom how going plant-strong could help an athlete get an edge on their competitors by helping cell recovery and just being overall more healthy. I decided I’d try it out for a month to see if there was any improvement, and I just never stopped. 2 years later I’m healthier than ever and I’m playing a higher level of soccer than before I went plant-strong. Everyone thought I’d be hindered by making the switch, but I’m faster,stronger, and HAPPIER this way. I can’t imagine myself not being plant-strong.

Engine 2: How did your family and friends react to your decision to become plant-strong? Did you have support?

Carson: My family was supportive, my mom even made the switch with me. My peers however saw it as completely crazy. They would joke at lunch asking if I had dirt for lunch or try and shove a hamburger in my face. It was all in good fun of course but they still were a bit judgmental. As time went on they started to warm up to my choice, and some even started to ask if they could try some of the food I brought for lunch. But the thing that convinced all of them that being plant-strong wasn’t awful was when I brought in vegan cupcakes for a class party in spanish. I told everyone they were not vegan and everyone ate one and LOVED IT. Once everyone had finished I plucked one up and took a huge bite. They were shocked and asked “are you not vegan anymore?!?” I replied “Nope. But vegan cupcakes taste good don’t they?” My friends still joke around with me sometimes, but that’s just because that’s what highschoolers do.

Engine 2: What advice do you have for other teens about making the switch to plant-strong?

Carson: Don’t be afraid to make the change. You won’t be stuck eating tree bark or dirt, due to contrary belief.

Will it be hard at first? Yes. Every big change is. But don’t let that stop you. Find one or two good plant-strong cookbooks and experiment. You never know what you’ll end up liking. And also, arm yourself with knowledge.You’ll have alot of people be skeptical of your choice, and they’ll try to tell you that being plant-strong is dumb and if you don’t eat meat you aren’t healthy. If you know the facts it will alot easier to make the switch. And lastly, you will get ALOT of questions from your peers. (At least I did) There is one specific girl on my soccer team who even now, 2 years later, asks me “Can you have this?” Can you have that?” She even asked me once if I could drink water.
Basically, don’t be afraid to become Plant Strong, it will probably be the best decision you can make.

(PS, this is what Plant-Strong looks like!)

Thank you Carson! Please be sure to leave some plant-strong love in the comments.

And, dont’ forget to tune in tomorrow to see Carson’s artwork in our brand new kids series!

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Alli
    Posted at 07:49h, 05 July

    I think it’s great that more and more teens are taking control of their health!! I feel hopeful when I see young people starting to think on their own instead of being fooled by advertising agencies out to make the big buck regardless of the health side effects. Someone should do a plant-strong teen documentary to inspire other teens to take control of their health!

  • Cynthia
    Posted at 07:53h, 05 July


  • Kim
    Posted at 09:47h, 05 July

    I love these kid stories!! It makes me feel like I can do this, I’m 45, and have no excuse! Thanks Carson, you seem like a great kid, your parents are lucky that you care about your health now, so many of my friends with teens are watching them have health problems already!

  • Deb
    Posted at 09:47h, 05 July

    Wow, I’m impressed. I have a teenage daughter (13) and I’m trying to get her to go plant-strong, I am sharing this and Michelle’s story with her, maybe that will help her out.

  • Roxanne
    Posted at 10:03h, 05 July

    It must be hard to be a teen and be teased by your peers. But you persevered and are setting an example! When you go to your graduation, maybe then the skeptics will see that plant-strong is better!

  • Caden
    Posted at 10:30h, 05 July

    I’m a plant-strong teen! I just want to know if she’s single lol.

    • Carson
      Posted at 13:16h, 05 July

      Lol. Yeah I am. XD how long have you been vegan?

    • michelle
      Posted at 15:21h, 05 July

      ahahahahah, I’m also a plantstrong teen and single. 😉

  • Laura
    Posted at 10:36h, 05 July

    My son’s are really liking the interviews with the plant-strong girls 😉

    Thank you Rip for featuring young healthy people! Our country needs it!

  • Carson
    Posted at 10:40h, 05 July

    Thanks for all the support guys 🙂 I love everyone here at Engine 2 😀
    And lol, Caden, I’m single. XD

  • Fawn Simpson
    Posted at 11:02h, 05 July

    I love Carson’s story. She has so much courage. It is hard to go against the flow, especially in HS. My seven year old twins loved hearing her story. They are growing up plant strong and Carson is a great role model for them.

  • Kim
    Posted at 11:46h, 05 July

    I love the vegan cupcake story Carson! Talk about setting the bar high for your classmates. My kids are all plant-strong, sometimes they struggle with their classmates, but they know they are doing what is the healthiest for them and their future, they also love animals too much to eat them!

  • Alisa
    Posted at 12:46h, 05 July

    That’s awesome! I will definitely show my little girls so they can see what they can become someday!

  • Jen
    Posted at 15:13h, 05 July

    My son might go vegan yet!

    Thanks Rip for featuring young plant-strong stars!

  • VeganFreak
    Posted at 15:48h, 05 July

    Yeah, super cute!!! I’m a senior in HS, my friends make fun of me too, I tell them where their nasty meat and dairy comes from, not so cool to be drinking breast milk now is it?!

  • Linda Sharp
    Posted at 16:10h, 05 July

    Parents – as Carson indicated above, when she made the decision to go plant based, I committed to doing it with her. I figured it would be easier on her if she knew someone else was doing it with her. Like Carson, I have never looked back. I am 46, healthier, happier, and stronger than ever.

    If your child becomes interested, support them. Do the research, educate your self and them, and then jump in together. Your older mind has to be as open as their younger mind to learning, trying, experimenting, and growing. Replacing what our generation was taught to believe with what is actually true is not easy – as adults, we are set in our ways – but it is SO worth it.

    We will be 2 years Plant Strong in September. Not plant weak, not protein deficient, not lacking in vitamins or minerals, not eating the same thing day after day. PLANT STRONG and healthier for it.

    • Dania
      Posted at 17:41h, 05 July

      Thanks for being a great mother, my mother did not support me at all, told me to leave the house, I’m 19 in college if I wasn’t going to eat meat and dairy, so that’s what I did. Left, living on my own, deciding what is best for my health now, and deciding what I think is ethically right to do. My mother is overweight with type 2 diabetes, I don’t get why any parent wouldn’t change their diet, if they really loved their child, wouldn’t they want to be around for as long as they could, see them get married, have grandkids??? It’s almost as bad as dumbass parents who still smoke, I look at parents like that and think, they must not care or love their child more than their cigarrettes or crap food.
      anyway, you are a good mom, you should be proud of you and Carson, its really inspiring to me, maybe one day I’ll have my own kid and do things better than my mom is doing things.

      • Linda Sharp
        Posted at 17:53h, 05 July

        Dania – the best any parent can do is try to do better than what they experienced growing up that was so glaringly wrong. If I had told my parents that I wanted to go plant based, they would have looked at me and said “Shut up, eat your meatloaf.”

        I am so sorry that has been your experience with your mother. From talking to so many other adults who question my choice, it is evident that the main reason they won’t even listen is that it screws with the inner narrative they grew up with. But even more than that, it threatens their own poor choices, addictions, and foods they hold dear.

        I have often jokingly said that if I was shown evidence that I could live longer by eating rocks and dog poo, I would be out scooping up dinner in the backyard. Every extra moment, better breath, healthier day I can get means more time with my own daughters, and someday their sons and daughters.

        I knew nothing about veganism or being plant based until 2 years ago. But I learned, I studied, I read, I did my due diligence. And quite frankly? There is no discussion after a fact.

        And the facts are there.

        All that leaves people is the choice to make the change, or wallow in their own weakness and shortened lifespans.

        Allow me a Mom moment – I am proud of you.

  • Dania
    Posted at 20:13h, 05 July

    thank you for that, I needed to hear it.

  • Heather
    Posted at 20:15h, 05 July

    Don’t know why, but the two interviews, Linda’s comments, made me cry! Rip you don’t know how much this community means to me, I never feel alone in my plant-strong life anymore. You are a hero in more ways than one!
    BRAVO to all the teens who are plant-strong!

  • Randy Bolton
    Posted at 00:27h, 06 July

    I was trying to find an esselstyn or overall heart health discussion blog. I’ve ended up here. I searched the web and this was the only active esselstyn based blog I could find. First, I want to know what 3 or 4 tests are now recommended by Dr. Esselstyn for a person to check for potential heart health problems. I know he feels many old-school tests are not good enough anymore. 2. What is the scientific difference between large LDL molecules and small LDL molecules, and why are the small molecules deadly. 3. Is it a definite fact that large LDL molecules become small LDL molecules, or does the possibility exist that Small molecular LDL may come from a completely different source than molecularly large LDL. If large become small, do we know exact scientific reasons. Are there studies being done on this. Sorry this is long, but I have real questions. Additionally, there was a recent article out of Harvard Heart where a Dr. gave his patients pomegranate juice for a year. The juice produced an enzyme that ate away at old plaque according to the article. Is this true, ‘an enzyme ate away at the plaque’ or is this a slight mis-statement. If true, what type of enzyme is this? Is there a specific name for this enzyme? Are we sure that this enzyme is not produced by Acai or cranberries. WHY pomegranates only? Could this enzyme possibly produced? Imagine producing and extra strong dose of this active enzyme. An ezyme that could wipe out plaque???? I hope I can get my questions answered. I’ve signed up for this blog so I should get responses via email or anyone can feel free to email me at wfgpro@msn.com THANKS!

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