I’ve been trying to write this post for at least a month now. Heck, maybe even a year. I’ve sat at my computer so many times feeling confused about what I am trying to say, unsure about what I’m learning, and wondering if I am making the right choices. And I am just now beginning to have a glimpse of understanding where this road is leading me. Here’s what I’ve got for now:
I’ve only just begun this project, but I feel like it has been in the works for a very long time. I’ve learned so much over the last month during my first phase of “project be”.
Number one, I’ve learned that I’m not a vegan. But…. I’ve learned that I love vegan cooking. I want to do more of it, and I want to eat more vegan foods than not. But… I also need want to eat meat occasionally. I can’t give up chicken noodle soup when I’m sick. I can’t let Ryan make Dixie Chili without stealing a few bites. I can’t pass up In N Out hamburgers, or pulled pork burritos, and every once in a while, I want to eat a hot dog. I just don’t want to give those things up.
Most vegans I meet are VERY passionate about their diet. They live a cruelty free lifestyle, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear and the products they use. I completely respect their choices, and support the message they are trying to put out. However, I know now that their lifestyle is not for me. In learning this over the last month, I have grown to understand my own heart a little better. My passions and support lie more in the clean sustainability of local and organic farms, in the humane treatment of livestock being grown for human consumption, and in the quest to feed the world’s children a higher percentage of un-modified, organic, and hormone free foods. I believe it is more important to take care of our bodies by not polluting them with chemicals and GMO’s, so I’d rather spend more money to support local farms, buy organic meat, and know that I am feeding my family the best possible foods we can eat.
It is no surprise that I have also become fascinated by the raw food diet. I get some strange looks from my carnivore husband these days as I make my own almond milk, eat raw cereal for breakfast, and throw chia and hemp seeds in my smoothies. (Yesterday he asked me if I was aware that I am becoming a squirl. Thanks, hun, I needed that.) I’m dehydrating everything in sight. I’m also incorporating more raw foods into my kids diets, which is a challenge but getting easier. My baking days have turned into “un-baking” days making raw brownies, snack bars, and other treats. But… I’m still making pancakes, baking bread, and making “real” brownies any chance I get.
In regard to my own diet, I’ve also learned that I am sensitive to quite a few foods I hadn’t realized before. I’ve fought my food allergies for so long by ignoring and denying them. I’ve known for years now that my body can’t handle dairy, soy, and eggs, but I haven’t taken those issues seriously. As the mom, I’m always trying to give the kids what they need and don’t take the time to eat the way I should. I’ve realized this month that I need to make more of an effort for myself, to respect myself and my needs in this area a little more. I’ve started an elimination diet to help me build the perfect eating plan for my body.
I’ve been sick most of January. From gluten poisoning to a stomach bug, a head cold, and random vertigo from unbalanced hormone issues, I’ve been a bit of a mess. I swear everything I eat is making me sick. I’ve been moody and grumpy and tired. The house has been messier than usual and laundry has been piled high. The dishwasher broke and dirty dishes sat in it for nearly a week. The yard has been scattered with toys, leaves, weeds, and fallen branches. The garage is in disarray while we are trying to build a new room. I’ve come to realize that everything is in transition right now. Everything is evolving the way it should. I’m on the right path and every challenge I face is leading me where I need to go. This is what I wanted, right? I’m learning more than I thought I would, and I’ve only just begun.
I am ending January with a grateful heart, an open mind, and a relaxed attitude. Spring is coming. I can’t wait to see what happens next.