In a society where “more” is “better”, it is easy to become completely lost in consumerism and materialism. Far more challenging however, is to recognize your own struggles and then pivot to set a genuine intention so that you can steer in the right direction. But, we know that nothing worth fighting for ever comes easy, and it takes years if not a lifetime to course correct, and most of us never pause to ask the difficult questions and make changes in our lives. And so goes the amazing journey of two truly inspiring people who over the years wore various lifestyles in their pursuit of excellence, only to find they were never completely fulfilled – that is, of course, until they found the most genuine version of themselves through a transition to a vegan diet, and more broadly, a vegan lifestyle. Their story includes finding love, starting a successful wedding photography business, shedding literal tons of material items, and of course, outfitting the all-in-one Lobster Van to take them on their personal and professional journey. Kate Harris and Keith Tharp share with us their deeply inspiring stories, including the challenges along the way, to pursue what they know and believe is the recipe for personal well-being.
At the recording of this podcast, Kate and Keith celebrated their one year “veganniversary.” They celebrated another milestone this past summer, as they tied the knot on Mount Desert Island, ME – fortunately, they knew a few other good wedding photographers. It is remarkable that in just these short few months as vegans, they decided that their intimate wedding would be completely plant-based, and alcohol free! We can personally attest to the tremendous success of these decisions, because we were lucky enough to make the guest list, and Isabelle even made the incredible wedding cake.
As a child, Kate grew up vegetarian, because her mom (a scientist and researcher) had read all the studies and knew of the vast problems associated with passing on breast milk to a baby when the mother is consuming animal products. This created other challenges for Kate however, who’s peers judged her dietary choices – a common question amongt these youngsters apparently is what would she eat on Thanksgiving? (We totally get it…) On the other hand, Keith had no idea what being vegan was until a few years ago, a term he learned in a surprising location – Subway, of all places. You would never know it now, but at one point in his life Keith was more than 60 pounds overweight, caught in a mire of poor lifestyle choices, he admits. As someone who considers himself prone to extremes, Keith tried extreme techniques to counterbalance, and began a regiment of calorie restriction and high fitness. Keith did indeed drop all the weight, but aside from cutting out soda, he still had terrible eating habits and drank a lot. Keith would only later recognize that he was still not in good health, because at that time he didn’t have the knowledge of what true health is.
By letting go of some of the emotional sticking points and physical items they carried through their lives, both Kate and Keith helped each other reach new levels of happiness and well-being. They support each other’s journey of self-exploration. One of the concepts that recently shook out of their open exploration is that of minimalism. Letting go is not an easy thing at all, and downsizing from a 2,600sqf 4br house to a 460sqf apartment is just one example of the choices that support a lifestyle focusing on what matters – which, as it turns out, actually can fit in a shoebox.
Moreover, Kate and Keith express that their mission in life is to do the right things for the right reasons, and only if they are truly aligned with themselves and each other can they also be aligned with the world around. We believe this applies to just about anybody anywhere, but it requires vulnerability and the ability to admit being wrong, in order to find those moments of course correction and not let them slip away.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE PODCAST?
Tell Your Friends, Share Online & Rate us on iTunes!