January 1, 2015 § 2 Comments
Can’t believe today marks my two year veganniversary. Time flies when you’re feeling great.
Two years ago today, I decided to go vegan. Most of my friends and family probably know this was never meant to be a permanent thing. I started out in a completely warped mindset. I wanted to do it as a cleanse. *cue the booing* To rid myself of all the Christmas cookie remnants and move on. I only intended to keep it up for a month or two. But I never went back; and in only about three weeks I didn’t even consider reverting back to eating animal products an option.
I felt so good. I was slimming down. Feeling energetic. And really starting to listen to my body and how it responded to certain things. I was talking with a friend of mine who is also vegan, about a month into my journey. And he admitted that he never thought he could do it either, but how easy it all became after only about a month of eating this way. He was so right.
Anyways. Now I’m here. Two years later. With a whole lot to show for it. I’m very happy with my life, and have never felt more satisfied with my own body. My health has never been better. I’ve found a community who I feel very connected to despite being scattered all over the world. My cooking skills have improved tremendously, thanks to Instagram inspiration and the numerous cookbooks from friends and family. I feel excited to move my body, which is something I have NEVER ever felt before. I appreciate life so much more; not just my own but the lives of all living things. I have a much better handle on my own environmental impact. I am getting my health coaching degree at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. And I’ve inspired others to want to make positive changes in their lives. Even if it’s only a handful of people.
I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to say all that. And I look forward to many more years with the vegan community.
And with that, here are some of my resolutions for the new year:
1. Smile more often. I catch myself more times than I’d like to admit, taking things too seriously. Getting anxious when plans suddenly change. Being cranky because I couldn’t pick the spot for lunch. Moping about the weather. I let little things bother me way too much and I’m committed to changing that; going with the flow, if you will.
2. Continue my few grounding rituals. Stole this one from Raechel of Rebel Girl Living. But it’s something I really need to keep up. I have been planning to write a post about the importance of rituals for a while but haven’t sat down to conquer. My morning herbal tea. Knitting before bed, even just for a little. Yoga. Jogging a few times a week. Taco Tuesdays (sort of joking, but mostly not).
3. Do more yoga. I lost touch with my yoga practice the last few weeks of school, and haven’t brought myself to jump back on the wagon yet. But my spirit and my body are missing it lots.
4. Be more present. I’m in my own head quite a bit. And when I’m not, I’m often submerged in some sort of technology. I really want to be here. Listening, learning, laughing and loving with the people around me.
5. Become a person that people want to learn from, rather than trying to force knowledge down people’s throats. This is more of a life goal than a resolution. But I get frustrated with myself for how often what was meant to be inspiring and eye opening knowledge isn’t received well or at all. It comes down to communication and self presentation, which of course always have room for improvement.
6. Be kinder to myself. Pretty straightforward, but this is especially important when talking about ED thoughts and behavior. The holidays can be pretty triggering. And even admitting to suffering from and ED is still really new to me. So I’m trying to navigate my own way to recovery and happiness, and the holidays throw a pretty big wrench into the mix. But I need to give myself more credit, and be thankful for the health that i do have. Stop stressing about the three cookies that accompanied my oily dinner. Stop thinking in terms of “good and bad” food. Stop imagining the few extra inches around my tummy. Compared to last year, my mindset was a whole lot healthier this year, and I hope it continues in that direction.
7. Work on my friendships, which sort of goes hand in hand with being more present. I’ve drifted from a lot of people, but I want to make more of an effort to actually get out of my grandma-mode and see people, and rebuild what once was great.
8. Tell people I love them more. And show them. I tell my mom and my boyfriend pretty often, but I want to tell more people. I think it’s something that people are afraid to do, because we’ve been conditioned to fear vulnerability. I feel so refreshed and appreciated when someone out of the ordinary tells me, so if I can do that for the other people in my life, I’ll be a very happy woman.
I’m sure there are way more things I could commit to doing, but I think this is a solid start. With that, I’m going to celebrate with the loves in my life, and probably some tacos. Happy New Year!
November 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
Halloween came and went so quickly it seems, this year. In previous years I spent the majority of my Halloween celebrations bingeing on candy, pumpkin seeds, and booze. That’s not to say I didn’t go out this year with friends. Yes I did partake in the typical college rituals that the holiday entails, but this year was a bit more tame. And I did a bit more self reflection following my Halloween transgressions.
Drinking the leftover wine my friend had brought over the night before for pumpkin carving, left me in pretty rare form. Once I got home and crawled into bed, the alcohol hit me and I was done for. I spent the next hour or so in the bathroom trying to reverse what I had done to myself; e.i. sitting in the shower till I ran out of hot water. And all of Saturday was spent nursing myself back to the vibrant human I typically feel like.
It’s been a long time since I indulged that deeply in the pool of wine & spirits, and every time I drink myself into oblivion it makes me less and less keen on drinking at all.
I’ve grown up with a family that drinks. While most of my family members drink “socially,” I do have a few very close family members who’ve struggled with alcoholism their entire lives, one of them being my father. I didn’t start drinking until the last half of my freshman year at college, for fear of walking down the same path as my dad. He started drinking at age 12 (possibly even younger) and didn’t quit until he was 46 years old. I am so happy to say he’s been sober now for five years, and have complete confidence that he won’t return to that lifestyle. Now that I do drink, I don’t fear falling victim to alcoholism, but it does make me question why I drink at all.
One reason I suppose is for social reasons; I’ll admit it, I do feel a bit out of place being the only one of my friends at a social gathering without a drink in hand. I am working on changing that, but right now while I am still in college, having a drink in hand makes me feel a bit less anxious/ socially awkward.
Another reason is because I have worked in the beer industry since day one of my first ever job. And I love it. I think craft beer is awesome. I think it’s an art. I think it tastes wonderful (for the most part). I think beer brings people together. And everyone I’ve ever met who works in this industry are just awesome people. I realize not all beer is vegan, but there is a vast majority of [especially craft] breweries that don’t use animal products in their beer. It just takes a bit of researching to figure out which brands are safe.
So what am I getting at here? Do I think I’ll ever quit drinking completely? Probably not. Like I said, I love beer and I love working in this industry. But I do want to stop treating my body so poorly by having way too much to drink in one sitting. No one wants to admit to “binge drinking.” But we’ve all done it. It’s a part of our culture. But I am not really one to follow the crowd. All of these boozy thoughts got me to thinking about my goals for the remainder of the year. With the SBS Startup starting November 1st, what better time than now to kick start some of my goals?
- Drink less alcohol- while I know this will make my loving boyfriend a little sad, It’s something I really want to work on. I just feel so much better when my body is working in my favor all the time. I am going to enjoy a glass of wine with my girls over dinner every now and then, or a beer with my babe at our favorite craft beer spot with some vegan pizza. But I really want to work on enjoying alcohol for what it is- appreciating the art of it, the subtleties of each different pour, the social cohesion it fosters- rather than drinking to get drunk.
- Eat more greens- I’ve been a pretty lazy cook lately. And I’ve also been freaking out about money a bit. As my last semester winds down, my bank account seems to dwindle respectively. I know it’s only a short matter of time before I am working again- with a big girl job [yaaaayyyy]! But I really hate asking my parents for help. So in trying to save some pennies, I’ve not been buying as much fresh produce. Still eating vegan of course (and primarily high carb), but I’ve been eating more starches than veggies. I definitely want to up my green veggie intake, ’cause that’s when I feel the best.
- Continue yoga- I’ve fallen back in love with my practice. Taking time every day to come to my mat and find some movement and peace is really helping so much, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I guess if I had to pick a specific “yoga goal” it would be to stretch my heels down farther in my downward dog. It’s by far my favorite pose, but I’m still working out my flexibility.
- A starchy island- Everyone seems to be doing a rice or potato island. While I never quite got through a banana Island I am curious to see how I would do with this. I’ve also been eating a bit more processed lately so I think it may help to get back to the basics. It will probably be a rice island, just because I think rice is more versatile. Although my love for potatoes continues to grow day in and day out.
- Post at least 2 times a week– This doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but I have so many projects, papers, and finals coming up I know I’ll be pretty busy. But It is a major goal of mine to keep writing for you guys! If you have any requests I’d love for you to comment, or email me! I’ve got an awesome post coming up that I think you’ll all love! For now it’s a secret though…
- Affirmations– In my last post I wrote about the three affirmations I made in the bathroom at a brewery here in town. Looking at myself in the mirror and appreciating the body, health, and the love I have in my life, made me so happy. It’s my goal to make some sort of self-love affirmations on the daily.
Those are my goals for November! And yes, I want to carry them on after November ends (aside from the possible starchy island), but November is a great place to begin. I wasn’t quite sure about Tina and Jil’s SBS Startup at first. I didn’t want to partake in any “eating challenge,” and I thought it would be just for people following RawTill4. But it’s honestly just a community of kind [vegan] people looking to better themselves. There’s no crazy guidelines or challenges; just cool people looking to find a supportive vegan community. So yes, I’ll be joining in with these six goals in mind and I can’t wait to see what else this month holds!
October 28, 2014 § 1 Comment
70 degrees and it’s almost November?! I have [almost] no complaints there! Aside from the fact that global warming is becoming increasingly more evident with every passing 365 sun-ups, I LOVE a warm fall. Or Indian Summer. However you prefer to put it.
This photo was taken on my walk home. Which is a walk I’ve taken a million times over. But the immense beauty of the sun between the trees never ceases to make me pause. Smile. Reflect on the beauty in my life. And remind myself that as many struggles I face everyday, they are completely void in the grand scheme of things. So many people don’t get to see the sunlight everyday because of pollution. Others don’t get the perks of living in upstate New York, where I am pretty much never more than a 10 minute car ride away from shops, food, shows, and people. But where I also have the beauty of nature right in my backyard.
I’m quite lucky. And I just don’t remind myself enough.
I’ve been feeling pretty down on myself lately for not being as motivated as I could to “get in shape.” (Really though, what does that even mean?) But the other night, I was out with friends at a new brewery in town, and after a few incredible craft brews, I excused myself to go to the ladies room. With a happy beer fog goin’ on, I looked at myself in the mirror and made three affirmations. And in that moment all of my self-deprecating feelings faded.
- You are a feminist
- You are beautiful
- You are loved; by so many.
That was it. Three simple statements that made me feel so incredibly good about myself, in that moment. EVEN with a belly full of vegan ice cream, pizza, and beer.
The point of all of this is yes, I have some internal issues to sort out. But are they a big deal? No. I have so much privilege and really need to take the time to remind myself more often of how much beauty my life is filled with.