18 days as a Vegan

Okay, I set out to do this vegan challenge purely for my own selfish reasons. I thought it would help lean me out and I also have this issue with our food supply and how animals are treated. When I say treated, I mean how they are given antibiotics, how they are housed, and how they are treated. Yes, I’m one of the weird people who believe in energies and I seriously don’t want to eat some cows sadness. That may be a bit too much for some people. I’ve never been anti-meat. I actually (up until a few days ago) believed that people were meant to eat meat. Like, HELLO we have teeth, duh. I just think we eat too much of it and we don’t care about the treatment and care of animals.

 

Okay, so I’m on this whole vegan trip and I’m looking for recipes because I can’t be a junk food vegan. (Sidenote: Paleo was my gateway to this lifestyle, right? So, if you’re paleo, then you do NOT want crap in your body. You turn boxes, bottles and cans around to read ingredients. Have you read the ingredients on the side of a bag of vegan meat? Yeah, I’m not down with eating that stuff) On day 12-14 I found myself feeling a little sluggish. I was a bit perplexed because when I first started the vegan challenge, I felt like I was superwoman. I quickly figured out that being vegan does not simply include eating vegan approved chips and homemade guacamole. I wasn’t getting enough nutrition, so I hopped on the internet, Facebook to exact, and typed “vegan recipes” in the search box. All of a sudden I was whisked into the world of vegans and found some awesome recipes. Okay, that was very cool, but then I clicked on something from “Mercy For Animals”. Listen, if you don’t want to go vegan or at the least vegetarian, DO NOT click on ANY videos on that site.

I clicked on a video titled, “The Reason Why We Don’t Eat Eggs”. I thought the video was going to include some man or woman in glasses telling me the philosophy around why eggs aren’t good for animals. What I did not expect was to see a video with baby chicks having their beaks snatched off their faces, male chicks being killed for no damn reason, or chicks falling thru machines and being killed by hot water. The only way you can come away from a video like that is disturbed. I was in total horror. I couldn’t even share the shit on my page. Like, I was messed up for a bit.

If you would have asked me if I was going to remain vegan before viewing that video, I would have said, hell no. Now, I’m all in. I’ve been doing it and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Since I looked at that video, I haven’t even been able to cook meat for my family. It makes me nauseous to even think about touching the dead flesh much less cooking it. That crap was not correct. I can’t believe we support companies that do that to beings on this planet. I’m not the PETA type. I have friends that hunt, but not for trophies. They actually take the animal and don’t waste it and they don’t do it in excess. It’s just insane what’s going on with our food.

It’s so funny the rabbit holes we all go down when we start trying to live “right”. I got sick with thyroid disease, which led me to the Paleo diet. I wanted to heal from my childhood and the Iraq War, so I went to therapy, which led me to yoga. I start practicing yoga and learn about ahimsa and living yoga off the mat, which led me to veganism. Now, I’m thinking what is next? I will write this…I encourage anyone and everyone who is on the fence about this lifestyle to try it, preferably leaning more towards raw foods because I feel amazing and more than that, I know I’m not supporting companies that don’t give a damn about my life or the lives of the animals they have in their care. What happened to the farmers who named their animals and cared for them? What happened to do us as human beings that we do not care anymore? I guess I’m getting off this ride, well…I kind of miss sushi, so we will see.

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Granola Bars (they didn’t last long)

Oh, one more thing, Vegans, what is nutritional yeast and does one really need it?

Love and light y’all.

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Monday Intentions?

I’ve been slacking…

Every time I try to sit myself down to write a blog post, something comes up. What is going on in the universe? I think I may have to stop the Sunday intentions because Sundays are family days and by night fall, I’m just uninterested in opening my laptop. Sunday intentions have officially moved to Monday intentions. For example, yesterday we drove about 90 miles to see my grandmother, visit some museums and go eat in another city. It was so much fun! Like, a lot of fun and by the end of the night, I just wanted to snuggle with my husband.

Speaking of our weekend…it was AWESOME!!! My husband worked Saturday, so the kids had some friends over to play for the first part of their day. In the evening, we went to a Mardi Gras festival of sorts put on by the Recreation Center. I did not think it would be a ton of fun, but I was so wrong. My kids had a blast. They made masks, mini floats, and beads. The children were also able to participate in a parade where they got beads thrown at them…very New Orleans, but without the whole “show me your boobs” thing.

Since my husband worked Saturday, we decided to take the long drive down to Los Angeles to visit my grandmother and visit some museums with him on Sunday. Our logic was that most people would be home watching the Super Bowl and we could have the museums to ourselves. Thankfully, we were right. First we went to the African American museum. It was really artsy and I was a little afraid the kids wouldn’t get it, but they enjoyed it, especially my son.

After the African American museum, we went to the science museum and had a blast in there too. I love Los Angeles museums because the exhibits are so interactive. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but we were enjoying ourselves and the lack of crowds.

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I think the highlight of our day was going to a seafood restaurant down in San Pedro/Long Beach and getting to see a live Mariachi band play. My husband and children had never seen that up close and personal, so it was pretty cool. I did not eat anything at the restaurant because I’m doing the vegan challenge, so I enjoyed a Margarita (no salt). I thought that was what a good vegan would do. I did have lunch at a vegan spot in Inglewood called Stuff I Eat. The food is always good. I think I’ve mentioned them before in a blog post. I will always eat there when I’m in Los Angeles. I took pics of the paintings that are on the wall. It is quite interesting. I love the vibe there.

So…what does all of this have to do with intentions. On the surface, nothing. If you look deeper, it has a great deal to do with my conscious decisions on how I am choosing to live my life. Am I making time for my family? Am I making time for what I am passionate about? Am I living the life I want?

I was so present this weekend that it scared me a little. I looked at the children that came over to play with my own and felt gratitude that my children we experiencing these moments that I never experienced. I really enjoyed being with them at the Mardi Gras festival and helping them with their floats and seeing them happy. We weren’t in a rush to leave and we just lived in the moment. I couldn’t stop from smiling when my husband discussed art pieces with me  at the museum. He also told me about a museum he use to go to in Jamaica when he was young. The man a very few words had so much to say. We laughed and danced a little to the music of the mariachi band down in Long Beach. We lived.

My intentions are always to live and to appreciate every moment. I got a little sidetracked last week, but distractions, when acknowledged, have a way of pulling you back to center much more aggressively than when you veer off on your own. For just one moment, I started existing again. I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to play with the kids. I didn’t want to deal with people. I forgot how far I came out of depression. I literally had to force myself to go to yoga. It’s so easy to forget what we want and who we are trying to be. My heart is so grateful and it is my sincere intention to always find the light in all things. I’ve been angry. I’ve been bitter. I don’t want to do that anymore. I have a great life as long as I allow it to be. There is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

Love and light y’all.

 

21 Day Vegan Challenge (Day 3)

Every now and again, I decide to do something crazy. A few years ago, I decided to go gluten free. I made the choice to go gluten free because I read that it would help in my thyroid function or rather slow down my immune system attacking my thyroid. It actually helped, but my thyroid was removed anyway. Going gluten free led me to the Paleo diet. The paleo diet was a drastic change, but I felt good on it. I was strictly paleo for about 18 months and then went on to eating paleo 80 percent of the time. I did a few stints of the Whole 30 diet. Actually, I did a Whole 90 while my husband was deployed and the results were amazing. If you have no idea what the hell I’m writing about, then consider yourself lucky or unlucky if you have a few issues with your health. I’ll just put this in the universe…the majority of your immune system is in your digestive tract, so your diet has a ton to do with your health. That’s it. I’m getting off my soap box.

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Breakfast (Tropical Green Smoothie)

Anywho, one weekend while I was in Los Angeles visiting family, I went to this vegan restaurant and the food was amazing. I also had the chance to meet the chef/owner and she looked amazing. Okay, this may sound a bit vain, but I was looking at her like what do I need to do to look like her when I’m 65 years old. Like, really she defied time. Her name is Chef Babette (google her!) and I spoke with her briefly and learned a little about the vegan diet. I’ve never wanted to go vegan. Oh, I forgot to mention in the beginning of this post that I use to be vegetarian too before I went into the Army. I know what being a vegetarian is like. I’ve even considered going back to being a vegetarian, but veganism has always seemed extreme to me. Like, no honey! NO HONEY! That’s just odd. Let’s not mention the whole cheese thing. It’s not normal for people not to eat cheese. I just never considered it and let’s not mention the fact that I think we are meant to eat meat. When I was a vegetarian, I never thought of eating meat as wrong. I just thought people ate too much of it.

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Lunch (Fried Plantains, Avocado, Veggie Quesadilla Filing, and Green Smoothie)

So, here I am on my third day of being a vegan and I must say it’s going quite well. I decided to take this plunge because of Chef Babette, but also because I really do feel like people eat too much meat. When I was paleo, I thought that it was a bit extreme to eat that much meat. Realistically, cavemen probably didn’t eat meat every single day. I’m going off topic. Okay, I’m also trying this vegan thing out because my heart has changed. Last year, I stopped preparing meat in our meals 4 days out of the week. The whole practicing of yoga and ahimsa makes you look at things differently. When you think about what you’re eating, what the animal is injected with, what they go through while they are being housed and slaughtered, and then the sheer waste of all this life without honoring it, it becomes a bit excessive. I couldn’t justify eating meat so often. My family usually eats halal, but even then we learned that kosher and halal markets aren’t keeping up to standards with some markets carrying the same practices as big grocery stores.

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Dinner (Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad)

My husband thinks I’m crazy. The kids are being patient and are happy I’m not pulling them in. My cousin decided to do it with me and me and my toilet have become fast friends. The plus is that I’ve noticed I’m less tired and I feel light. It’s only day 3! Let’s see how this goes. So far, I start my day with oatmeal or a smoothie. For lunch, I have a salad or leftovers from the previous night and dinner is usually a salad of some type or meal that has quinoa or black beans. Once again, I’m not against eating meat, but I recognize that there is a problem with how things are being done. Wish me luck because I’m going to need it. I think I’ll start a Pinterest page for anyone who may want to jump in with me or do it later.

Love and light y’all.