Saturday, February 4, 2012
Leaning Into Change
One of my most consistent attributes is that I love to try new things, and then share my excitement with other people in the hope they might want to try it as well. I've had varying degrees of success over the years in getting other folk to join in on my fun, but as an eternal optimist I keep on trying.
This post, therefore, is to share my excitement at how giving up meat, dairy and processed sugar has impacted my life, and my husband's, over the last few weeks in the event any of you have had thoughts about doing same.
We've been leaning into vegetarianism for some time, reducing the amount of meat we ate at home to just two to three times a week as a result of feeling increasingly worried about the way livestock was being chemically re-engineered to increase overall profits. As a result of this long standing concern, we were intrigued at hearing about a new documentary called Forks Over Knives, that attempted to make a correlation between our consumption of animal products and a variety of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
We viewed the documentary a few weeks ago, and felt the arguments presented were compelling enough to make us consider giving up meat altogether, as well as begin a move away from dairy. And for good measure, I suggested we also give up processed sugar since we already knew it detrimental to so many things in our lives - energy consistency, weight management and overall health. (I want to stress here the importance of both my husband and I being in agreement on this lifestyle change. I can't imagine anything of this significance succeeding unless all impacted parties are on the same page.)
So these last few weeks we've changing things up and leaning into veganism. And if spite of the risk of being stereotyped (yes, we do live in California), I have to say my husband and I have never felt better in our lives.
We are eating delicious food, very similar to what we ate before but tweaked. Meaning instead of traditional chicken parmesan we're now eating eggplant non-dairy parmesan; Boca burgers instead of hamburgers; oatmeal with soy milk, cinnamon topped apples and walnuts instead of oatmeal with just milk and brown sugar; and soy yogurt with bananas, berries and sunflower seeds instead of strawberry flavored yogurt topped with just bananas. As well as snacking on plain popcorn, honey pretzels and hummus w/veggies instead of chips, cookies and crackers.
The hardest part has simply been doing things differently. The food really doesn't taste any different, other than we get fuller faster and are less apt to get hungry between meals. We also have more energy, it lasts throughout the day, we aren't feeling weighted down or bloated after meals and there is a lightness in our bodies that feels really nice. And we're both losing weight to boot - not necessarily a goal going in, but heck, we'll take it!
So, while giving up meat, dairy and sugar may not be your thing, I'm confident there is something in your life nagging at you to be changed. Give whatever it is a try . . . I suspect it will move you forward to a new place in your life you never even knew existed.