Friday, August 7, 2020

How Many Ways to Say “GO VEGAN”!

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I’ve kind of had writers block. It’s not really for lack of something to say, trust me, I always have a lot to say, especially when it comes to being vegan, or being healthy.

The trouble is, I’m just not sure how many ways to say “GO VEGAN”. There are so many reasons, so many completely logical reasons, and I’m not really sure what the problem or hang up is for some.

For the health side of it all, I really come up short in how to say any more clearly that going plant-based is the best thing you will ever do for your health. Not only that, it’s the easiest thing. As a former severely ill diabetic, I’m not sure why anyone would even want to chance getting diabetes. I often think that perhaps people just don’t have it bad enough? Maybe dancing the line of amputation or blindness is the only thing that will push someone over enough?

I hope not. There is nothing worth getting diabetes (or any other preventable disease) over, no food, no lifestyle. Going plant-based is an easy answer, an answer that saves lives, saves future generations, and saves billions of dollars that are being spent every year on treating type 2 diabetes – last year we spent more on type 2 diabetes than BOTH wars. Thousands lose their lives to a disease with a very reachable and very simple cure. Not only that, it’s an answer that continues every single day to be proven with real results, and just pure science.

I’m not sure how to respond to the notion that going plant-based is “hard” mostly because I was once told I was going to lose part of my leg, I was severely depressed, I had arthritis in both feet, I was losing vision in my eyes. To tell me that going plant-based is hard, in light of what I’ve been through seems insane. Having diabetes is hard. Eliminating a few things from your diet – that’s in no way hard. In fact, I’d say that most people have gone through far worse than having to make a few lifestyle adjustments.

Every day, people go through stresses far harder than changing their grocery list, and yet it baffles me that going plant-based is seen as hard. Having a flu is much harder, going through a break up or family stress is all much harder – selling a home, moving, all much harder than eliminating three ingredients from your shopping list.

What is hard, is that most of us have severe addictions to our fast food lifestyles, and our bad foods. But I would still say, that breaking those addictions is no harder than anything stressful you’ve been through, it’s just a matter of choosing, and deciding that you would rather deal with this “hard” than the “hard” of having diabetes, or suffering anymore than you need to.

I probably sound harsh in all of this, and that is not my intent. It’s more that I want people to know there is hope, there is an answer, but only if you want to hear it. The answer is easy, and comes with very little lifestyle adjustment, for a very big benefit in the end.

Going plant-based was the single best thing I’ve done for my life, and the easiest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been on countless medications, diet plans, and have tried so many things, and I can say with out a doubt that this is far easier than all of that.

So, I’m a bit stuck on what to say. (well maybe not stuck, given that I just wrote a ton). I’m stuck on how more clearly to say that going to a healthy vegan lifestyle  is not only the best thing you can do for your health, but the best thing you can do to respect and care for all life, the best thing you can do for the Earth, the best thing we can do for healthcare.

And it’s all simple – it’s just the addictions our society has come to love that seems to be so hard for people to give up.

If you are serious about going plant-based, and learning about being vegan, I am going to do a month-long introduction to a plant-based and vegan lifestyle. This will lead up to the holidays, and yes, I will be teaching how to have a healthy vegan holiday! If you are interested, please leave a comment and I will get you more information!

10 COMMENTS

  1. Mom of One

    Thank you for such a lovely post. I have recently come to the conclusion that for the time being, making specific resolutions (I will not X, or I will do X for an entire year) can be mentally dangerous for me. I do certainly have goals, health, professional, and financial, and I have specific things I would like to. But I want it to be a positive experience striving for them rather than a definitive statement (like some sort of law) of what I will or won’t do. Reading your post really resonated with me in many areas.

  2. Veganist

    I wanted to write a quick note about resolutions. Many people today will say that they are going to make some kind of resolution today. I don’t have a problem with that idea, but generally I think it sets you up to fail. I would say, decide that every day you will wake up and choose.. Choose to love your body, choose to respect your body, choose to treat all living creatures with compassion, choose to love the Earth and not want to destroy it with your eating habits. This year make it about your choices.

    This is not a decision about losing weight, it’s a choice to respect your body. This is not a decision about feeling guilty for hurting animals, it’s a choice that you will learn about the beauty in all living creatures. This is not a decision about recycling more, it’s about making a choice that has more impact than any other effort of ‘going green’.

    Becoming vegan is not a resolution, it is a choice, a choice that has more reach than you could ever imagine. Today do not resolve, start making new choices.

  3. Amy

    I decided to approach going vegan as a “one day at a time” proposition because I had gotten overwhelmed in the past and failed because I did too much, too fast, and with too stringent a set of expectations for myself.

    New vegans will likely make mistakes or slip up, but like anything else (quitting smoking, losing weight, stopping alcohol, etc), we can’t just quit or say, “this is too HARD,” if we make a small error.

    No one is perfect. NO ONE is PERFECT. Making a little mistake or eating something you thought was vegan only to find you messed up and ate whey…these things are normal. They are not reasons to quit, and they do not make you a “bad” vegan. They are lessons that you had to learn so that you could avoid them in the future. Nothing more.

    With this attitude in mind, my family is doing this one day at a time. Each day, I look up recipes for one day’s worth of food. I don’t spend hours agonizing over a week’s menu because that would be very difficult for me. I pick one dinner recipe and plan one lunch. Yes, this means I have to go to the commissary more often, but my visits there are very short and I haven’t dealt with anything going bad before I got around to eating it!!

    Twice this past week, I made two little errors. One was flat-out ignorance. I was eating a vegetable nori roll, and I didn’t realize until later that the roll had egg mayonnaise on it. I hadn’t tasted it while eating the food and didn’t see the ingredient list until later when I took the labels off the package for recycling. The second mistake was a slip of forgetfulness. I reached for something out of habit that was not vegan and got halfway through it before having it dawn on me.

    So, what do you do? Do you beat yourself up? Do you throw your hands up and decide that it’s not worth it? Rationally, you know that neither option is sound…but lots of us go back to omni eating when enough of these mistakes pile up to make us feel like failures. Instead, I contend, we should just say to ourselves, “Well, now I know…and I won’t make that mistake again tomorrow.”

    Just judge your progress one day at a time. If you can honestly get to the mindset that we are after compassionate and healthy changes…not perfection…then you’ll enjoy the process so much more. If you dive in after a life of eating meat, dairy, and eggs with the rigid idea that you’ll be a bad person if you don’t make the transition perfectly…I’m sorry but you’re either going to fail miserably or make yourself feel miserable.

    This process has been joyful for us so far. We’re having so much fun with it! We’re trying new foods and discovering a whole new world of cooking and flavor. If we spent a bunch of time worrying about the imperfection of our eating over the last 9 days, we wouldn’t be feeling good, motivated, and celebratory because of all the perfect eating we’ve done.

    It’s attitude…one day at a time.

    I don’t know how it works for other people, but that’s how it’s working out for us.

  4. Amanda

    I’d certainly be curious about your class.

    I have been reading you for a while now and a lot of your story resonates for me but there are a few reasons I find the idea of going plant based so difficult (you asked, so I’ll answer 🙂

    1. I have no idea what I’d eat. I can’t eat very much soy (I am on thyroid medication – technically I should have no soy but I can resist hot and sour soup from time to time) – I don’t care for lentils etc – I fear I’d be stuck eating salad with black beans for the duration.
    2. I enjoy going out and socializing with friends and eating out — being vegan would severely limit my options.

    But I would like to be less meat centered in my eating — again, it is figuring out how to make that work that baffles me.

  5. Nat

    thanks for the reply!

    I know that at first it might seem that going plant based would be hard to fit into any lifestyle, but I promise with a few adjustments it gets easier and easier.

    My husband is vegan and is allergic to all raw plants, fruits and nuts and can’t have some kinds of soy – so I know it’s difficult with limitations!

    The first thing you can do is pick one meal to make vegan. I usually think that breakfast is easiest. Take that and turn it to a vegan meal every day and see what you can come up with. You can google “soy free vegan recipes” and get a lot of ideas – or just go simple – cereal with a non dairy non soy milk (hazelnut, almond, hemp, rice and so on) or oatmeal and fruit or an english muffin with peanut butter, or a smoothie, or some kind of vegan nutrition bar.

    I’d encourage you to start with one meal, and when you have that under your belt, try another, and work your way into the socializing part slowly. .

    I’ll let you know about the class in a few days 🙂

    thanks for commenting!

  6. Jules

    I ate a vegan diet for one month, and it was the best I have felt in a long time. My problem is with my kids. They are 2 and 5, and the meal challenge was in making meals they also enjoyed. Of course, I was eating a very clean, high fiber/low fat vegan diet. I guess I could have made the meals more kid friendly. I know I can get them to eat vegan, but I want them to eat something more nutritious than Uncle Eddie’s cookies.

  7. Nat

    Jules! I am going to be doing a series on vegan parenting! That’s so funny you commented today – stay tuned, it should be in the next couple of days.

    Also check out “the vegan lunch box” that might help.

  8. the vegan

    I will be so interested in this Natala.

    As I have mentioned before, my brother had bowel cancer (now liver cancer), and my Dad has type 2 diabetes.

    My brother has since gone vegan to try and tackle his cancer although they still feed their 3yr old daughter an omni diet because they worry about her health on a vegan diet. (I disagree…)

    And I just wish Mum and Dad would try it for his diabetes.

    Any guidance on getting them started would be perfecto!

  9. Megami

    Jules, I am the mother of a five year old vegan – he was vegetarian until three and then we went vegan. Trust me, once you get into the groove and make it ‘normal’ in your house, feeding your kids is a breeze!
    And the fact that they have a parent who actually cares what they are eating is a great first step. Good luck.

  10. Jules

    Thanks, Megami. 🙂 I can get them to eat vegan, but I don’t think what they will eat is very healthy. A lot of processed foods like breads and cookies! I did make vegan tacos last night, and everyone loved them. My 5 year old had seconds, so that thrilled me!

Nat
I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on nat@cleanseplan.com

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