Thursday, April 5, 2012
I've always been careful about not coming across as preachy or evangelical about veganism. One time when I was in a bad mood, I did have a bit of a go at a family member / let's just say that this person quickly became defensive and ultimately tuned me out. Fair enough. Lesson learned. Instead I just started being a positive example to those around me. Enjoying my fruit, eating in abundance, losing some weight and inches, being happy and energetic, quitting caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, drugs....
Fast forward three years to April 2011. My dear hubby announces that he's becoming vegetarian. And bless him, he hasn't touched meat since. This from a man who could eat meat at every meal. Fast forward another few months and he quit the dairy. Pretty big step for a gym guy who's been told all these years that he needs whey protein powders.
He quit the eggs soon after that. Now, he doesn't quite call himself vegan, because he's not careful about avoiding the sneaky animal products that invariably appear in packaged foods (jarred pasta sauce, for example). But it's been a huge 12 months for him and I couldn't be happier about the progress he's made. Me being the household cook also makes it easier for him to be vegan, since I only buy vegan products.
As for the other people in my life? Well, I notice that my work colleagues are bringing a LOT more fruit in for their snacks. Many of them are reducing the amount of meat they consume. My extended family eats a lot more fruit. My mother, who previously hated most fruits, is even starting to eat more of it. And best of all, my very young family members are loving their fruit, rice, and beans.
I get a lot of questions like "how are you so cheerful this early in the morning", "how are you able to do this much activity in a day", "how do you get your skin to look like that", "how is it you don't burn in the sun", etc. All of these questions are answered truthfully but succinctly. And then I quietly slip them the 30 bananas a day pamphlet (available at 30bananasaday.com).
I hope this gives some hope to people who are embarking or considering this lifestyle! Apparently a person needs to hear the vegan message about 50 times before they even consider it. No problem - we could be number 5, 17, or 38. Heck, it took 3 years for the person living with me to start making a change.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Raw foods can be tricky at the best of times, most of all in winter. Produce can be crappy in terms of price, quality, and variety. The days are short, nights are cold, and eating a slice of juicy watermelon or a perfectly ripe mango on a hot evening seems very far away.
Raw food in winter is possible - as long as one is smart about it. Here are a few things I've learned in the last two and something years....
1. Raw food doesn't equal COLD food. Eat food at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge. This may require taking food out of the fridge a few hours in advance. If you're like me and forget to do this, simply immersing whole fruits and vegetables in warm water for ten minutes usually does the trick.
2. Eat enough. Seriously. Our energy needs go up in cold weather. It's quite surprising how much more food we need. And since whole plant foods generally have a low calorie density, this can mean a large volume of food. An extra 500 calories, for example, would be about seven oranges or ten mandarins. On the plus side, it means eating more food.
3. Move! It's such a drag sometimes to exercise in winter, but it really works wonders in heating us up - from the inside out. Even a minute of lunges or pushups will at least get the chill out of your bones. Rain or snow is no excuse... home workouts can be fantastic and you don't even need any special equipment. Check www.bodyrock.tv for some amazing routines that can be done in 20-30 minutes. Or if you have a special someone, why not create your own workout? *wink wink*
4. Crank up the heat, get a hot water bottle, have a hot shower, pile on the socks/scarves/coats/blankets.... why rely on food to heat us up, when we're able to create our own heat?
It's just about being smart. People still eat ice-cream in winter and hot food in summer, right?
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I became vegetarian for a couple of weeks, and then one day watched a documentary that changed my life. Earthlings. Check out http://www.earthlings.com/ - truly enlightening.
Becoming vegan took a bit more effort than simply "cutting out meat". After all, there are hidden animal products everywhere. Would you expect to find milk powder in vegetable burgers? What about fish in packaged breadcrumbs? Egg-based glaze on bread?
Or how about some of the hidden non-vegan ingredients? Gelatine. Cochineal. Tallow. Lanolin.
It takes time and patience... but, like moving to a new neighbourhood, you eventually get the hang of it. The important thing is not to beat yourself up if you do accidentally consume animal products. Learn from the mistake and move on.
After becoming vegan, I became introduced to raw veganism. I immediately dismissed the idea initially, but every few months ago I'd stumble across some forum or website touting the benefits of a RAW plant-based diet. Could I really give up my breakfast oatmeal, or my lentil soups, or my tofu stir-fry? Funnily enough, I had entertained similar thoughts when becoming vegetarian and vegan.
Moving to a raw plant-based diet was an even bigger adjustment, because it involved the transition away from cooked food. I started out eating a typical high-fat raw diet (with "gourmet" raw recipes) and then progressed to a low fat raw diet. In hindsight, I probably would have moved to a low fat COOKED diet, and then to a low fat raw diet.
The distinction between the different types of raw/cooked diets (i.e. low fat versus high fat) is an important one, which I will expand upon in the future.
This blog is about living healthfully, nutrition, fitness, emotional poise, veganism, animal rights... and more. My only goal with this blog is to share my experience and perhaps open up others' minds to new possibilities. The ultimate message is that no matter who we are and where we have come from, change IS possible. We may not be able to see that possibility in this moment... but every moment is a new one, and the moment of change may be right around the corner.
Peace to all x