Updated: Aug 2, 2018
Ummmm…No....we vegans eat a lot more than salad, and I'm super excited to share some amazing recipes with you. But before I start dishing out vegan recipes, and advice on staying healthy and fit, its completely necessary I give you the low down on why and how I have arrived in a vegan lifestyle, and the wellness routine I frequent. Before I get it into, I want to be clear, I do not judge. I believe everyone is on their own personal journey in this world, and it isn’t my place to put your wellness routine under the microscope. My daughter, who is 9, isn’t vegan; and I don’t put a label on who she is. My hope is that she defines who she is. Like anyone else, it’s her journey. I can guide her, inspire her, and educate her, but ultimately her life is hers. Her path and decisions will make her, and I encourage her to discover herself fully.
Ok…so I’m vegan. Plant based. I only eat it if it grows from the ground, etc…etc…I’ve been vegan for 2.5 years now. I most likely will never go back to consuming dairy, animal biproducts, or meat. The way I thought about food before I became plant based was never healthy. I restricted, binged, and was anorexic in my 20’s and part of my 30’s. I never thought of food or exercise in a good light. What changed? Yoga teacher training changed me. I realized there was something bigger than myself. I realized I wanted to bring good, kindness, and compassion into this world anyway I could. There was a whole lotta love and self-study going on in my Yoga teacher training. Shout out to Shawn Shaw at Metrowest Yoga and her staff (now my fellow yogi’s) that changed my world. The experience was eye opening to say the least, and it unleased my second awakening.
My physical routine... the way I choose to stay fit... is a lot of work. I’m definitely not lazy. I practice home yoga about 5 times a week, for 75 minutes. I often have to convince myself to rest the other 2 day, and sometimes those days typically involve a gentle more modified practice; usually to give some extra love to my shoulders and hips. Most weeks these two rest days are crucial to my daily practice, and I’m constantly reminding myself to be cautious of overworking. The perfectionist within me has a difficult time with resting. This is why checking in, setting intentions, and self-care days are so very important. I also incorporate a Pilates and strength training routine for 45 minutes a day; 6 times a week. This is also extremely important to my yoga practice and here’s why: my yoga is for my mind, to create a sense of peace within my soul, and to notice what comes up and the thoughts I truly need to address. Using it to simply look fit is not true yoga. Somedays I’m lighter in my exertion, and other days I challenge the limits of my strength. The bonus is a toner leaner physique, but my mind works to keep that particular thought far away. I get up early to make this all happen. Staying healthy and fit, in both body and mind, requires motivation, eating right, and moving your body with conscious effort. Make great choices and you will feel great.
So let’s talk vegan…
At first it usually goes something like this, “Why?” “So all you eat is salad right?” and always... “Where do you get your protein from?”. There are 3 reasons I choose to be plant based: animal rights, environmental sustainability and for the love of mother earth, and lastly...well because…food is medicine.
Animal rights is what began my vegan journey. All creatures have a right to life and freedom, my heart hurts knowing the truth about animal cruelty and all the hidden exploitation. I used to close my eyes to the truth concerning animal agriculture. I had heard details of horrific animal abuse within the livestock system, and had always had intentions of changing my habits, but didn’t. I had been convincing myself that it wasn’t truly that bad, lying to myself, and closing my eyes to what was truly happening in our country. It all made sense to me during yoga training. It became clear that I wasn’t being honest to myself, and I did not have to contribute to animal abuse. There were plenty of delicious foods that I could prepare without harming a living thing, and a variety of beauty products that didn’t contain products derived from animals. The truth is it’s all very disturbing to me. Animals are living beings that seek life and freedom, they try to avoid harm and danger just as humans, and they feel just as humans. Before they are slaughtered, they are hungry, thirsty, and suffer from malnutrition. They feel pain, injury, discomfort, and are diseased. They live in fear and distress on a daily basis; without the option of playing and venturing in their natural habitat. And why? So we can taste them? My personal belief is that it’s unnecessary, and I can maintain my health without creating suffering.
Secondly, food is medicine. There are many scientifically proven benefits to eating a plant-based diet. A well-planned vegan diet can be high in protein, iron, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and other essential vitamins and minerals, and low in saturated fats. With that being said, my vegan diet FIGHTS heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. One thing that amazed me upon transitioning in veganism, was how my digestive system changed. I’m never bloated, and never have bathroom issues. I’ve never felt more energized, and I have no recollection of the last time I was sick. It’s a rare occasion these days. Being vegan feels good in the body!
Lastly, we have only one mother earth. Of course, recycling and living as green as possible helps maintain our earth, but living vegan is the best way to salute our planet. The production of meat and animal products burdens the environment tremendously. Severe threats to our planet from animal agriculture include: deforestation, habitat loss, species extinction, global warming, widespread pollution, land degradation, and water scarcity. The earth is negatively impacted in ridiculously amounts from animal agricuture in America, but living vegan can change the world, and I’m all for that.
So listen…this blog is in no way meaning to judge or demean others who have not chosen a vegan lifestyle; each and every one of us walks their own chosen path, and I’m all for that as well. Any amount helps. Any conscious effort to do the right thing is applaudable. In an effort to answer any questions about veganism and living plant based, I believed it was important you knew where my heart was at. Hopefully, even if you’re not vegan, you’ll check out some of my recipes, and favorite products; and make the world a little brighter with the choices you make. For information on becoming vegan and statistics check out this link www.vegansociety.com
Some of my favorite things...
Favorite vegan comfort foods:
Ben and Jerry’s Dairy free ice cream
Hippeas Organic chick pea puffs
Divvies vegan/nut free/gluten free sweet treats
Daiya cheese cheese substitute
Gaucomole and chips
Favorite vegan wellness and nutrition products:
#tropeaka products and proteins
Plant based protein bars: paleo vegan protein bars, casa de sante vegan bars, amrita vegan protein bars
Favorite vegan beauty products:
Beauty and Earth