This Australian mother has banned all animal products from her home after deciding to raise her one-year-old son to be completely vegan, after claiming her poor meat diet was the reason for her fertility struggles.
Primary school teacher and wellbeing leader, Emilly Sonsie, 26, from Melbourne, has finally found stability in her diet after turning to a vegan lifestyle instead of fad diets. And she's decided to raise her son, Hunter, 14-months, on a plant-based diet.
At the age of 16, Emilly began cutting out food and barely eating through the day after her insecurities drove her to make drastic changes to her diet. These changes led Emilly to become exceptionally thin. When she realised how dangerous her diet was she started to eat again.
Despite a slow recovery, Emilly's perspective hadn't altered drastically, and she was still
controlling everything she ate and trying various dieting methods. Emilly began weighing her portions and counting calories in a bid to find a healthy weight and happy mindset.
It wasn't until Emilly turned to a vegan diet that she realised how unhealthy her previous
regimes were, and how much harm she had been doing to her body through the years.
Then when Emilly and her husband, Michael, began trying for a baby a few years ago, it became apparent that her body needed real nurturing in order for her to become a mother.
"I found a vegan diet very liberating and I no longer worry about what I eat," said Emilly.
"I just eat a plant-based diet and I can trust that it's the right food for me."
"As a family we stick to whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds. We do still eat some packaged
foods, mostly rice crackers and dips. But we do cook most of our own foods and snacks.
"Personally I don't eat gluten, apart from oats as they don't affect me, and Hunter and I don't eat any refined sugar.
"After Hunter was born I decided to go completely vegan to fix my gut health problems and to improve my all-round health.
"My fertility struggles were mostly down to my poor relationship with food, the fads I tried
out and over exercising which placed my body under a lot of stress. If I'd have been on a vegan diet I think this would have helped me get pregnant sooner."
Emilly and Michael married in 2014 at the age of 22 and a few years later they began trying for a baby. They encountered months of difficulty, until Emilly was diagnosed with having polycystic ovaries.
Emilly was put on medication for six months to aid the problem until she eventually fell
pregnant. After Hunter's birth last may Emilly became set on the idea of leading a plantbased diet, not only to improve her overall wellbeing, but to help her newborn thrive.
"When I held our little boy in my arms my whole world changed," added Emilly.
"It dawned on me that every decision I made from here on out would have a direct impact on him. I didn't want him to have a mum who was driven by a number on the scales. I wanted him to have a happy, healthy mum who could be a role model for him. I stumbled
across vegan diets on Instagram and began researching it heavily.
"At first, I fell in love with the health benefits, so I gradually made the changes. Since changing I've seen fantastic results in my own body, both mentally and physically. I see so many more benefits for this way of life in terms of the animals and environment.
"Michael eats a vegan diet at home and will eat animal products when he goes out, but I hope I can get him on board 100 per cent in the future.
"Hunter will be raised vegan, a decision that we are both happy with and one that we can
only see positive from. We want to raise a compassionate and caring little boy and I believe that starts with how and what we eat.
"We grow as many vegetables as we can fit into our tiny garden, so Hunter understands where our food comes from and the importance of healthy eating.
"Hunter has only ever had essential oils to treat any ailments such as a cold or nappy rash, and he also uses it as toothpaste like us.
"Hunter is happy with a vegan lifestyle at the moment because he loves the way I cook. I hope that Hunter would want to be vegan when he's older as I'll educate him on the benefits as he grows up. But he is his own person, so he can make his own decisions, however no animal products are allowed in our house."
As well as her primary teaching job and raising her son, Emilly is now doing further study for a diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing.