Raw, Vegan, and confused

It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded recipes… I have a handful in my queue waiting to be finalized. I’ve just been a busy bee! With orchestra concert season in full swing, my days are busier than ever. I can’t complain about the work, because I’m finally doing work that I love and feel proud about!

On March 3, I finished my 30 days of “clean eating” and couldn’t be more happy with the results! I felt clean of all processed foods, a trap that I have fallen into far too many times in my life. Unfortunately, I had some extreme side effects of this cleanse. I had headaches, nauseous, and light headedness for close to 2 weeks. Frankly, I was not a nice person. I was cranky at work, to my friends, and feeling helpless. I stuck with it, and I’m so glad I did. I ended up loosing 8 lbs, which was a nice little bonus. Towards the end of the 30 days, I started to read up about what type of food I will be eating after this cleanse. I knew I couldn’t go back to what I was doing before– And don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t eating unhealthy, but the food I was eating didn’t give me energy. I was always tired and feeling incredibly lazy, and it’s hard to feel productive when all you want to do is nap immediately following lunch!

I started watching documentaries about food: Forks Over Knives, Hungry for Change (which I watched this past fall), Vegucated, and Food Inc. Needless to say, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop learning about a raw and vegan lifestyle. I was STUNNED to learn the facts about our culture surrounding animal food and products, and something just didn’t sit right with me. I’m not going to bore you with all details, but if you want to really challenge yourself to learn about animal rights, the food you put in your body, and helping the environment, then go and watch these videos (and they are easily accessible on Netflix)! At this point, I had less than 2 weeks left of the cleanse, and I immediately decided to remove meat from my diet. It was a simple transition, because I didn’t eat a lot of meat to begin with. Dairy was going to be a challenge, and I was well aware of that. I LOVED greek yogurt… I mean, it was the highlight of my afternoon snack. Cheese was going to be difficult as well, as it goes so well with wine. But how often was I drinking wine? Not very. Could I do without cheese? I guess we’ll see…

And then a wave of questions and emotions overcame me. Do I go cold turkey (haha, pun intended) and eat a raw diet? Should I stick with “eating clean” since that worked so well for me? Do I dive into a vegan lifestyle? I don’t know many other vegans… can I handle being around people who don’t adopt to this lifestyle? Or should I just go vegetarian? But wait, do you feel comfortable eating other animal products after all that footage you just watched? Is this the right thing for me? What will my family think? Will they make fun of me? What do I say when others ask me why I am doing this? SO MANY QUESTIONS. CONFUSING. I JUST DON’T KNOW!

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So here I am, around one month of being vegan. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Do I feel guilty about it when I do? Uhh, yeah. I feel that this is an opportunity for me to move forward with my health and to challenge myself to learn about food and what is good for me and my body as well as having a clean environment and protecting animals.

Friends and family seem supportive, but somewhat shocked. That’s ok. I don’t really care what other people think or say. I’m doing this for me, not for you. Co-workers have made snarky comments here and there, and I have learned to brush it off. There is no need to get annoyed or overwhelmed by off hand comments. I’m happy with what I am doing and I’d be more than happy to talk about it with others!

Here is to doing you. Be healthy, be happy.

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