This health coach, educator, restaurant owner, activist, and businesswoman reveals her extraordinary story: how going vegan brought her back from the brink of blindness and crippling illness! Today, vibrant and active, Michele Fasnacht runs the Solid Rock Community School in Tampa Springs, Florida! This K-12 non-profit, private school offers an entirely plant-based menu to its students! It’s the first of its kind in Florida. Michele and her husband also have a fabulous, new, vegan restaurant in Trinity, Florida: Green Culture! It’s worth a trip from Tampa or St Pete!
Michele was plagued with a myriad of health problems before she transitioned to a plant-based diet. She was diagnosed with lupus and multiple sclerosis. She went virtually blind, had pneumonia, painful bowel movements, and more. In 2015, she saw a post on Facebook that inspired her to stop eating fish. Then, she saw a video about the dairy industry on Facebook, and she was horrified. She stopped eating cheese and dairy immediately. Within a day after giving up dairy, she felt the difference. Michele did research and found a link between dairy and MS. She was in shock none of her doctors had told her this information she was finding out on her own. In one month, all of Michele’s symptoms were gone. Her brain fog was gone, her numbness and tingling were gone. She was able to use the restroom without pain. She was in disbelief, thinking that her ailments would certainly come back. Michele decided to keep it up, and to this day she is still ok! Her lesions disappeared, her eyesight has improved dramatically, and she tested negative for lupus! Now, Michele swears by a plant-based diet and she wants to share her plant-based healing with everyone!
In 2004, Michele originally started the 501c3 nonprofit, Solid Rock Community School, for her own kids. They started with 12 kids and now there are 240 kids who attend the school. She was horrified by what the kids were eating for lunch so she looked into vegetarian options. When the county sent her vegetarian meals loaded with dairy and animal products, she knew she would have to take matters into her own hands. She gradually phased out the food sent from the county and then they began offering vegan options to the kids. This included healthy plant-based meals and fresh juices. Michele took it a step further and she started offering plant-based cooking classes and Q and A’s with plant-based doctors for parents. This year Michele has made her school 100% plant-based and the kids love it! They were once hesitant to eat vegan food, and now they love eating all of the veggie burgers, veggie dogs, salad bar and more! They even have a chef that designs their plant-based food menu for the kids. It doesn’t get better than that!
Photos courtesy of The Solid Rock Community School on Facebook Page, The Solid Rock Community School website, The Green Culture Restaurant website, The Green Culture Facebook Page, and The Tampa Bay Times.