Evolving into a vegan diet and lifestyle is not something that can usually be done overnight.
Madison Richter, a Bowling Green High School senior, is proof of that. It’s taken her almost all of high
school to become a true vegan, not consuming any dairy or meat.
“I didn’t jump right into it. I slowly cut out things,” Richter said.
First to go was dairy and cheese, followed by meat.
“With the vegan diet, I’ve become much more vigilant and cautious with what I’m eating,” she said. “And
I’ve grown more patient with myself.
“I care about what goes into my body.”
Richter’s noticed the changes.
“I know, for me, I feel lighter and more energetic.”
When her body does need a pick-me-up, she’ll make Date Energy Bits.
“I was on YouTube, just perusing and these twins who live in southern California grew up on a vegan diet,
and they had these for snacks in between meals,” Richter said.
The original recipe called for maple syrup but she swapped it out for Agave Nectar, which is used by some
vegans as a substitute for honey, which is not considered truly vegan. It can be found at Costco,
Kroger carries vegan chocolate chips, which she sometimes adds to this recipe.
Richter is going to use this article to apply for a college scholarship for vegans.
“What it’s focused on is exposing veganism to your community,” she said.
Being vegan means Richter has to plan every meal. Her family, which includes mom Tiffany, dad Michael and
brother Will, are not vegans. Her mom, who is an accomplished baker and former Cook’s Corner feature,
does help her shop for ingredients.
“In the morning, I know I need carbs and post workout, I often crave proteins. A lot of it is lentils.”
Over the last four years of being vegan, Richter said that she’s only been tempted once — to get an
In-N-Out Burger and fries when she was traveling.
She didn’t, though.
At high school, Richter sings in the chorale and was a longtime member of the swim team. The family
attends the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This summer, after graduation, Richter will head west to spend some time with her grandparents in Nevada.
Eventually, she’ll land at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, where she’ll study intercultural peace
“The entire college is based on peace building,” she said.
Richter said she wants to use her gifts and the privilege of growing up in America to make the world
“I feel that I’ve taken for granted a lot of blessings that have come my way.”