Chronic PainTravelVegan

Why it matters

Wesley and Gavin Cowell - abi cowell

It’s human nature to talk about things that matter to us.  It’s different for everybody.

Different interests. passions. causes. life-changing events.

For me, a few of the things I talk a lot about are: vegan-ish food, family travel, homeschooling and chronic pain.  Why?  Those topics have touched my life in a meaningful way.  There are others, but these are the ones I’ve chosen to talk about here.  I hope you will talk to me about things that are meaningful to you.

Wesley and Gavin Cowell - abi cowell

I’m married to a stubborn Yankee gamer, Scott, and mother to two curious and free-spirited boys, Wes (5 1/2) and Gavin (3 1/2).  As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I’ve crafted a flexible work arrangement that fits with my life, instead of against it.  My hair is rarely blow-dried and size-11 flip flops are my shoe of choice.  You’ll find me in the kitchen, if all else fails.  And, just in case you’re wondering: I’m a Mac.  He’s a PC.

vegan-ish food

Hummus and Veggies on Cracker Closeup HD - abi cowell

Cooking is something that I’ve enjoyed doing since I was a kid.  For a long time, our meals included lots of milk, butter, meat, cheese and the like to cater to my omnivore husband and chicken-lovin’ boys.  But, that all changed the night we watched Forks Over Knives and Fat Sick & Nearly Dead. If you haven’t seen those movies, I highly encourage you to do so.

While I’ve always leaned towards vegetarian meals, I never thought I’d give up cheese (a life without grilled cheese, really?!?).  But, those two documentaries opened my eyes (and my husband’s) to how much our food choices really do affect our health, short-term and long-term.  We dumped out our organic Horizon milk and went vegan overnight.  While we’re not 100% strictly vegan – hence the title of this site – only 5-10% of our food isn’t vegan.  That 5-10% of non-vegan food is typically eaten when we’re out and have limited choices.  Scott, of all of us, has seen the most amazing results from changing his diet: He lost 40 pounds in the first 9 months, his circulation has improved greatly and 3 of his 4 herniated discs healed themselves!

family travel

The benefit of running a mobile, virtual business and homeschooling our boys means we can pick up and go whenever we want.  This is, of course, dependent on Scott’s current medical condition and pain level and we usually have to make special arrangements to accommodate his condition.  That being said, travel is something we love to do and is an inspiring educational experience for all of us.


We decided to homeschool our boys, in order to offer them a more varied, flexible and robust education.  It’s certainly a challenge!  But, totally worth it.  Learn with us or offer suggestions, if you’re a homeschool veteran – I’d love to hear your perspective!

chronic pain

In 2001, when I married my high school sweetheart, Scott, our lives were very different than they are now.  Fast-forward a short 18 months after our wedding, a work-related injury left him with four herniated lumbar discs.  A 20-something with the back of a 60-year old and in chronic pain daily is a hard pill to swallow.  10 years, countless doctors’ appointments, treatments and remedies later, it’s stunning that food is what made all the difference.  Three of his four herniated discs have healed themselves, after taking up a mostly vegan diet.  He’s still in pain every day, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Now, to tackle that stubborn L5-S1 disc.  3 down, 1 to go!


That’s a little (actually, a LOT) about me.  Tell me about YOU!  What are a few things that are meaningful to you?


This post contains affiliate links.  That means that if you click on them and purchase something, I may receive a small commission.  This helps support the blog.  And, I thank you!

Tags : abiscott
Abi Cowell
Abi Cowell is a pasta-slinging food and travel blogger with a cup of tea in one hand and her phone in the other. She believes that making even small changes in what you eat can improve your health and quality of life. Her family of four travel for fun and purpose, homeschooling on the road and love sharing their fun adventures and tips for family travel with you.


  1. Hi Abi,
    Love you new site. I’ve been vegan since April, and love it. I’ve had a weight problem most of my adult life, along with chronic colds, coughs, back pain, knee pain, etc etc. I have seen many changes in people who went on a vegan diet. Mine got started through work; every year WFM sponsors it’s TM’s who qualify to go to one of 4 programs for healthy life changing eating. I chose the Engine 2 program, a vegan program started by a fireman from Austin. We had about 14 diabetics in the program; by the end of the week almost half of them were off insulin and the rest were well on their way. There are some great websites out there, as you probably know, one of my favs is the I wish you and Scott and the boys success in your new lifestyle; please let me know if you need any recipes. Take care Abi.

    1. Thanks, Vivian! I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling better! You looked GREAT when I saw you this past weekend. It’s amazing what food can do. And, I would LOVE some recipes – send them over, anytime! – Abi 🙂

  2. Ok, Abi,I’m going to try vegan and possibly gluten free for awhile. I am full on exhausted all the time and my joints hurt, but my dr says I’m “fine”. So it must be my diet!
    You and Scott have inspired me!

    1. I know how you feel. I was having all kinds of “issues” before we changed our diet. I’m not going to say I never have health problems now, but it’s much better (losing 15 pounds isn’t too shabby either). The positive health changes for Scott have been 100-fold more than mine. He had bad circulation issues, which have all but disappeared, in addition to his discs healing.

      Anything I can do to help you out, Leslie, just let me know! 🙂

      And, yes, Gavin still tries to sit on my lap while I’m at the computer. I don’t think he realizes how big 48 pounds really is.

  3. I always appreciate when I see others taking a stance that isn’t “all or nothing” in regards to veganism. I think a lot of people get really bent out of shape about things like that. However, just recognizing that those items shouldn’t play a central role in our diets is such a huge step for our health.

    1. Thanks, Denise! I totally agree.
      We can be reasonable about it and still see great benefits to our health. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. It also makes it easier to stick with it, when you’re not beating yourself up over minor things or feel as though you’re depriving yourself.

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