What I Eat

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If you haven't read my last post, click here! It's the background story to why I eat the way I eat! Let's jump right in. My sister was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about a year ago, and has been telling me ever since that my health struggles (ex: bad body acne, bad digestion, fatigue, constant migraines...) are probably because I am also Celiac. I didn't believe her for almost a whole year. I was fine! Those health problems were due to stress, I'm sure of it!

A few weeks ago I was struggling with more migraines than usual. About 4-5 per week. It was truly crippling and I pas popping migraine medication like candy, which made me feel even more awful. I hate taking pills, I always have, but migraines are no joke. I finally decided to cut wheat, gluten, barley, etc. from my diet and my world changed in a week.

I was sad that it was working. Because I love bagels. But I was almost instantly relieved from my migraines, my digestion problems were almost completely gone, and my fatigue slowly drifted away. It was too good to be true! But this gave me some more food restrictions while dining out with family, while preparing food at home, and while grabbing something on the go.

I began eating significantly more vegetables and fruit, to the point where my meals were mostly a bunch of fruit, smoothies, and sautéed veggies. Oh and potatoes. Girl loves potatoes.

I began binge watching Ellen Fisher's YouTube videos over and over again, until I decided that I needed to give it a shot.

I didn't think I'd be able to commit to a 100% raw vegan diet straight off the hop, especially it being winter time in Canada and produce is up the booty expensive, so I decided I would try the Raw Till 4 diet.

My digestive system has never felt more wonderful. I kid you not, I am living in a dream.

I'm still learning so much on enjoying enough calories from my raw foods, and I will definitely do a post on that later on once I'm feeling confident in my routine! But I truly have never felt better. Everyone says it, but I never believed that it was worth it. I thought I would miss the flavour of cooked foods throughout the day, that I wouldn't feel satisfied and full, that I would miss out on so many different foods.

I was wrong. This feeling is so much better. I feel so alive.

Take good care, lovelies!

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My Story: How I Became Vegan

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Food is such a controversial topic these days. Simply discussing different ways of nourishing our bodies can turn into heated debates and personal attacks. We all hate to feel like we're wrong, or that our opinion is invalid. We hate feeling inferior and embarrassed. The fact that conversations about food can make us feel these ways makes me very, very sad. So I'd like to have a conversation! I would love to know what you all eat, and why you eat it. My greatest inspiration is Ellen Fisher, and as she says it, "Part of what the vegan lifestyle is to promote love, to love all beings, and to see the good in all people and animals." How beautiful is that?

With that being said, I am vegan!

I went vegetarian in November, 2014 after watching Earthlings (you can watch it for free here) in my Environmental Science class at the University of Winnipeg. We had to watch it in class and write a paper on it afterwards. Half of the class left after the first 5 minutes, and the other half stayed and cried through it. I heard sobs throughout the lecture room from all kinds of students, the macho jocks, the quiet girls. For half of the movie, I couldn't watch. I covered my eyes, but I still heard. Thinking of that documentary... the unveiling of the truth... it still makes me shake. I cry just thinking of it. I went home immediately afterwards and cried.

After that, I couldn't even look at the meat section in the grocery store without crying. I had flashbacks, nightmares... you name it. I was truly scarred. It wasn't How could I directly support what made me feel so empty inside? There was no turning back for me. I was vegetarian.

My friends and family certainly weren't surprised. I have loved animals since I can remember. They have always been my bestest of friends, but no one was interested in joining in on my new found lifestyle. My husband, Kyle, ate significantly less meat because I wasn't cooking it anymore, however he still ate it when he went out or was home by himself for dinner. I didn't pressure him because I didn't want resentment to become a part of our relationship. All I wanted from him was his support, and that's what he provided. He is truly amazing. I knew he had an open heart, but I also knew he had to come to it on his own, as do most people.

It took me about a year after that to even dabble in veganism. For me, the struggle was cooking, and grabbing drive through food on the go. I had a hard enough time learning to cook with meat and traditional North American foods, so this new learning curve of cutting out the meat was hard. That whole year I was consuming vegan content like a mad woman. Though I was not vegan, I listened to Podcasts, watched YouTube videos, Kyle even bought me a few vegan cook books! But it still took me time. *I'll leave a few links below to some of the resources that helped me immensely through the beginning of my journey*

My main concern was what to do about extended family dinners and social situations. I certainly did not want to be an inconvenience to the person who would be preparing a meal for me. I didn't have the confidence, but the more I learned, the more I was able to speak up in small, subtle ways. To answer simple questions that all vegans get. To share my compassion with those who seemed interested. I always wanted to come from a place of love and compassion, because that's the whole point.

I started to cut out eggs and dairy as much as possible to the point where we hadn't bought any in ages and hardly even noticed... The hard part was eating with family. I still continued to consume cheese pizza with my family, or vegetables made with butter, but at home I was vegan. Slowly, this is changing, and I have been able to bring vegan chilli, green bean dishes, potato dishes, raw vegan "cheese" cake, to family gatherings, and all of the above have been a hit!

This past week, Kyle and I watched Cowspiracy. I wrote a little post about my thoughts after watching it, you can click to that here! After watching it, Kyle was inspired, finally. He went to work the next day and excitedly spread the word. Low and behold, his brother and my step sister became vegetarian immediately after taking our suggestion and watching the documentary! This, in turn, inspired Kyle and I so much more.

Kyle's excitement, compassion, and encouragement opened up the eyes of two people who no longer contribute to suffering, environmental depletion, and the deterioration of their own health. Isn't that the most beautiful thing? Now I come home and Kyle says to me, "Hey look! For lunch, me and Chris went to Burrito Splendido instead of Subway because they have more vegetarian options!" It fills my heart.

What I'm getting at is... we've all been the angry vegan, and the vast majority of us have been non-vegan. So let's choose love so that we can spread love. Let's be the glowing, happy, kind vegan in the room so that we can show compassion to ALL living beings, human and non-human. Being kind and generous will always win over degrading other peoples' choices, even when others are harmed because of them.

Here are some links to amazing human beings that changed my life:

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau:

Ellen Fisher:

Bonny Rebecca:

Earthlings:

Cowspiracy:

 

I will be sharing another post about my experiences with different types of vegan diets, and my Celiac Disease diagnoses next! Stay tuned!

Take good care, lovelies!

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Life Lately 23.01.16

Well, these posts usually start with "life kinda got crazy..." and it did. Again. And my feelings are starting to run wild. I'm inspired, overwhelmed, excited, and even more overwhelmed. Last weekend was my birthday, and I had a little gathering and it was so wonderful. I invited some friends that I hadn't seen in a while, and some friends that have recently been my rocks. A few unfortunate things happened, but over all, I ended the night so grateful to have the people I have in my life. I think my feelings that trickled into this week started there.

The Monday after my birthday party I started a new job, which is always so terrifying to me. I haven't had a new job in over 4 years, because I've been working at the same two places part time while I've been attending University. Now that I've scaled back on my course load at school, I wanted to get another job to fill up some of my hours, and so we can save up more money to build our new house in the country somewhere.

Also, we had our little baby cat, Maisy, fixed this past week, and her incision got infected, so we had to take her back in for antibiotics, and she has been a little conehead for the past week and a half, it is so so sad. She'll have to have the cone on for a while longer, because she can't stop licking at her incision. I just felt so so bad for her, but she is doing just fine!

Basically, I was a ball of stress. We're talking a huge, compulsive anxious mess. It was really hard, and I think most of it was just the uncertainty of my life. I hate not knowing. Not knowing if I'll like the job, if I'll get in trouble, what to wear, how to act, what's allowed, what my hours will be, if I'll be able to handle it... Looking back, it seems so silly, but tell me that in the heat of the moment and I'll crumple into a mess of tears on the floor.

All in all, the week at my new job was great. The people are so wonderful, and I love the passion of the office. However, I ended up working 50 hours that week between all three jobs. It was hard to get outside with the doggies (who definitely felt the lack of exercise...), to keep my home the way I like it, to write my little heart out, and to cook for my husband (and to hang out with him, of course). It was hard, but today... Today I feel incredible.

This management of my time has left me feeling some kind of invincible. I've made new decisions for my life, and I'm left feeling empowered. I'm about to draft up some new blog posts because I'm just so excited!!

Enough of my blabbering, here are a few pictures from this week! Make sure you check out my Instagram to see more of the daily stuff that doesn't make it on here!

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The last picture of my fruit haul will make so much sense in my next post, so stay tuned for a little bit more about my diet!

I hope you're taking good care of yourself, dearest friends! Just know that it does get better. You'll see the sun soon.

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