Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Healthy Living should not be about Immediacy

Singles often use the term "new love interest" often right? At least that's often the case in TV shows and movies. Well I have found a new site interest: Peaceful Dumpling. Awesome name, right??

I came across this site yesterday and am already loving it. Straight from its mission: We believe that peace comes to those who do good to themselves and to others, and that’s why we were inspired to create the best vegan resources website. 

And the awesome part is that it's not exclusively for vegans. Of course if you're vegetarian or vegan then the topics and recipes will likely be of more interest to you than if you don't identify with either of these V lifestyles, but the articles posted are so bent on making the reader more knowledgeable, curious, and happier that anybody can enjoy them.

Here are a few headliners that corroborate what I'm saying:
- 7 Ways to Get the Best Sleep Ever
- How to Practice Manifestation to Get the Life You Desire
- Why Being Vegan Helps the World's Oceans (my words: I would be curious to read this even if I wasn't vegan)
- Benefits of Jicama- Plus Energizing Jicama Kiwi Smoothie

I just read one of their Op-Eds, "Why Some People Stop Being Vegan" and I found it so thought-provoking and stimulating that it actually inspired me to write this blog post during this teacher prep break at work. It was published on their site this past December and was written in response to a then recently published study of current and former vegetarians and vegans. I haven't read through all of the study yet, but I found it not at all surprising that so many "health" focused vegans and vegetarians were so quick to revert back to their former diets and lifestyles.

It's ironic that I'm not surprised because Val and I too took on a vegetarian, and then vegan, diet purely for health reasons. In fact, we used to openly tell people that we weren't doing it for the animals and that, through plenty of reading and research, we knew a vegan diet was best for optimal health (still very true!). It's painful to even admit this, but I (not Val) would actually confess that the animal I was refusing to eat was already dead so being vegan to fight animal cruelty didn't even resonate with me. Thank goodness we have both come so far. We have avoided being part of the group that reverted back to their former omnivore diets after just months of striving for healthy living, but more importantly, we have clearly grown so much in the past three and a half years.

I will say this: for those of you who have tried a vegetarian and/or vegan way of eating or are thinking of doing so, you can still do so while striving for a healthier lifestyle. The study creates these categories of either "health vegans" or "ethical vegans" and while I understand the difference, I want to encourage people to still give vegetarianism and veganism a shot even if they cannot yet jump on board with the entire vegan movement. Be open to realizing what a truly "healthier" lifestyle is all about. I have a nagging feeling that a majority of those in the study who reverted back to their prior diets were only vegetarian or vegan for immediate results: to lose weight; achieve better-looking skin; sleep better; to get their doctors or possible family members off their backs about their otherwise poor-eating habits; etc. But a healthier lifestyle is not about these things and should not be about immediacy. A healthier lifestyle, like most great things in life, takes a long time to be achieved or realized.

I once said that it wasn't about the animals and now it's about the animals and so much more. It's about the animals, our planet, the compassion I want to instill in my children one day, the joy I get knowing that I am not adding to the pain of something else (but as a member of a society that overwhelmingly does this, I am still responsible, hence why I write this blog), and, again, so much more. If you are truly open to what being vegan or possibly vegetarian truly means and embrace all of it (including the fact that healthy living is not about immediacy) then you can be successful in achieving your goals for a healthy/healthier lifestyle--one that is more beneficial for not only you, but those around you and even far, far away from you.

Open your minds and try something new. As I used to say back in 2nd grade: "I triple-dog, banana-split, cherry-pie dare you," (but let's replace "dare" with "encourage").


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