Hello friends! It’s been a while. I’ve been in a cocoon of self discovery and thought. Look at me, showing my millennial-ism!
This month I’ve been influenced by three things:
- My own deep-seated desire to live a truly optimal life, connect to what is actually important to me, and feel good daily.
- This book: Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life (by Kelsey Miller) https://www.amazon.ca/Big-Girl-Gave-Dieting-Life/dp/1455532630
- This documentary: What the Health http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/
These are two amazing sources of knowledge and inspiration and I highly recommend both of them for different reasons. How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life speaks to me as a fat child hiding in the pantry eating handfuls of chocolate chips. It speaks to me as a young adult who intellectually knows better than what the diet industry stuffs down my throat day in and day out, yet am still influenced by pretty pictures online that spiral me into a pit of self loathing. It is funny, it is courageous, it is inspiring, it is worth your time to read it.
What the Health speaks to me as the girl who was vegetarian/vegan for 7 years, then met a boy and fell asleep for 3. When I was vegetarian, I was still fat. I was a “carbovore” meaning even though I didn’t eat meat I still ate like shit. Potato chips are vegan, guys. I believe that when I started eating meat at the time I met my boyfriend, I did so in part out of insecurity. I liked him, I liked his family and I wanted to be a part of it and I thought this was the only way. Meals are a big deal. Sunday breakfasts at his grandmas house, piled high with chocolate dipped bacon. Summer barbeques with grilled steak and chicken galore. I believe that when I started eating meat I felt better and stronger simply because I was at least eating real food! Meat and veggies not just white pasta and moscato wine. (True story). Now, as I come to the decision to once again be true to my own beliefs, comfortably settled in my relationship and my place in his family, I can fearlessly embark on the journey of eating a truly plant based, vegan diet.
Recently I’ve been thinking about my own longevity. My grandmother died almost one year ago and she had a very long and heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s dementia. I loved and adored my grandma very much and her death cut me so deep – not her actual death (I was glad she was finally released from the hideous clutch of this terrible disease) but watching the life slowly slip from her eyes day after day for years. This is not a fate I wish upon even my worst enemy. This is a disease that I want to spend every ounce of my energy preventing for myself. So I started doing some research…
Disclaimer: Although this is my blog, I am not going to use it as a soapbox to mitigate my own propaganda campaign. If you are interested in the benefits of veganism, in the role that government corporations have in keeping us sick rather than preventing illness, then I invite you to conduct your own research or watch a documentary like What the Health that wraps it all up in a neat little bow (with very little gore, if you are worried about that). I will only discuss what I have personally been feeling this past month.
The diseases that worry me the most are Alzheimer’s, genetic factor 5 lanolin blood clotting disorder (DVT – deep venous thrombosis), and diabetes/heart disease because they all run in my family and I personally have been diagnosed with DVT. In all my research, despite the many factors that contribute to each of these diseases, the common denominator for PREVENTION and in some cases treatment and reversal is a plant based diet.
Dude, where do you get your protein?
1. ALL PROTEIN COMES FROM PLANTS. Animals eat plants. We eat animals. Therefore: we eat recycled plant protein through animals.
2. No human who eats an adequate amount of calories is protein deficient. We have been sold the idea of needing copious amounts of protein from the industries that stand to gain the most from our consumption of it. And bodybuilders.
End of soapbox.
In the past few months I have flirted with the idea of going back to veganism, but in a much more conscious way than I previously lived. I’m not about to go back to mowing down on a pound of spaghetti every night. I’ve declared it aloud several times, to the dismay of my boyfriend, who simply knows no other way. Take meat and animal products out of the equation and suddenly its “there’s no food in the house only ingredients!” He also chooses to be informed yet ignorant – which I have been for the past three years of our relationship, so I can respect the choice. At least you are aware, what you choose to do with that information is up to you, no judgement.
While he is away, I don’t eat meat. It doesn’t even cross my mind. I would never cook it for myself. I do not crave it, or feel as though I need it in some kind of primal way. Yet I notice how much better I feel without it, and how immediately awful I feel once it is back in my system. The awfulness subsides after a few days and the dull, constant minor fatigue and weakness becomes the new normal once again. Why do we do this? We find something that feels good, that feels right in our bodies and then we just…fuck it. Is it too much work? Is it because it’s hard to have a household with two different diets? Is it because it just… tastes good? Is that really enough to continue making ourselves sick?
I don’t think so.
In conjunction with a lot of talk about veganism is a lot of talk about the keto diet, which I’ve touched on before. I brought this up to a good friend who is studying biology and thinking about a career in medicine. Ketosis is the state of the body when it has no more glycogen (from carbohydrates) to burn, so it starts burning fat. That’s the goal of the diet. However, once the body has no more fat to burn, it starts burning muscle and organs for energy. This extreme only happens when you are not eating anything, say, on a fast, so eating a keto diet (meaning eating almost pure fat) will not propel your body into a state of literal starvation because you are still taking in calories. What it will do is increase your risk of heart disease and various cancers and you could potentially drop dead from a heart attack benching 500lbs at age 35. But ya look goooooood.
Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food. – Hippocrates
I sincerely hope this did not come across as an attack, a judgement, a soapbox or anything other than a genuine invitation to dig deep within yourself and within the world to find what truly makes you feel good in a holistic way. For me, finally, once and for all, that means a plant based, unprocessed diet. I am at peace with that decision, therefore I will not make any excuse to deviate from it. Not even for taste. Not even for poutine on this beautiful Canada Day. It’s just not worth it.
I want to end on a meditation I learned from my Moksha days. Never before has it whispered so loudly in my heart:
“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time passes and opportunities are lost. Strive to awaken. Awaken! (do not squander your life)”