Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oprah And The Vegan Challenge Part 2

This is part 2 of a two part series. For the complete post, please read Part 1, Oprah And The Vegan Challenge.

In the past couple of years, my eating habits have drastically changed. At one time in my life, I would have never entertained the idea of eating a diet high in vegetables. For one, I thought that there was not enough protein in a diet such as this to fully sustain life. However, I have found out that there are ways to create vegetarian dishes that have adequate protein.

Also, I thought that if I only had vegetables to eat, that the taste would be boring, bland and not filling. I have since learned that the more vegetables I eat, the more my overall tastes improve and if the vegetarian dish is prepared right, it is more than enough for me to eat and fill myself up.

A few years ago, we had done a cleanse a few times called Inner Klean and one of the things I noticed was that I really did feel better after completing it. The biggest thing I noticed was that vegetables and food in general had a much better taste. In our country, we kill our taste buds with the sugar we eat, the sodas we drink and all the junk food we consume. On top of that, we are not fully in touch with our bodies and so we really have dulled our sense of taste.

From there, we started a couple of years ago doing Healing Smoothies that I heard about through the QiGong Seminars with Jeff Primack. I'm glad we did because I feel much better in life and I feel that I get a boost first thing in the morning when I have my smoothie. They have become a way of life for us and we very seldom go a day without having our smoothie. I believe they are helping me change the way food tastes for me and what I desire to eat. Plus, there is no better way to eat vegetables than to eat them raw and whole, not throwing away the skins or seeds which hold the good stuff.

After this point, I began to notice how milk caused a lot of physical distress for me. I have always liked milk and ice cream but physically I would feel awful after eating it. So as I began to quit drinking milk, eating ice cream and slowing down on how much cheese I ate. With time, I noticed that my digestive system was much more at ease. In addition to this, I noticed that my aversion to onions and garlic started to lessen a bit. So instead of getting violently ill after eating minute amounts of garlic and onion, I would be able to deal with the stomach discomfort by drinking some extra orange juice if needed. Now, I have replaced milk with Almond Milk for the most part while occasionally using some milk to cook with. However, the amount of regular milk I consume is almost next to none. I feel so much better that it helps make up for my desire to have ice cream and things like chocolate milk. Cheese is still something I cannot fully get away from because I love the taste of it so much.

Several months ago, some friends of ours came down and we managed to go the entire week eating vegetarian. I really didn't think we could do it but was surprised at just how easy it was. From there, I purchased the Vegetarian Family Cookbook which has helped me learn to prepare vegetarian dishes that are easy and delicious. Some of the vegetarian recipes in the world are so complicated that I have no idea where to find the ingredients, let alone prepare them. This cookbook makes it easy and I love it for that!

Right now, I'm not sure if I will ever fully be a vegetarian. I do like meat and the taste of it but much of that is even changing. However, when I do eat meat, the quantity is much less than I once consumed. At one time, I never would have thought that I would be enjoying veggie burgers or veggie dishes along with some of the stuff I now eat. Yet, I have made that transition slowly and in a pace that works for my body, while I am listening to my body.

I still have a strong weakness towards sugar and chocolate which is something I struggle with. There are things that I am doing to help balance that but so far, it is an epic battle that rages within me. I hardly drink sodas unless I am eating out somewhere. Most of the time, I drink several glasses of water water each day. If I fail to drink enough water in a day, my body and mind really feel sluggish. Fried food has been one I have stayed away from for many years and I still don't desire it much at all. Ground Beef is one of the things I no longer enjoy and so we often use the vegetarian crumbles for dishes. I could go on and on about the things that have changed.

The most important part is to get to know your body inside and out first! By making changes to your life through being body centered and focused, it will give you something to really ground your life in and empower yourself. As you listen to your body and allow your body to change at its own pace, the benefits of anything you do will come back many times over. All too often, we do not really stop and listen to our bodies or get to know them and yet we make decisions for them.

Whatever you do, make the decisions that you feel are right for you and check in with your body. Looking back, I can see the logical progression of the changes within me. Of course, if we are standing still in our lives and going through our daily routines as if this is normal, than we need to stop and evaluate life because we are missing so much. I constantly am challenging myself and often some feel that I need to fully "move on" or "let go" of things but if we are not evolving and growing, are we truly being human? I strive to be all that I can be and that for me, means going in and challenging every part of my body, mind and soul.


For Further Reading:
1) The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas
2) Oprah And The Vegan Challenge, Part 1 (posted 2/8/11)
3) Oprah.com Episode - Vegan Challenge
4) Food Based Healing Smoothies



Blog Post & Images (c) 2/7/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only
http://www.donshetterly.com

1 comment:

  1. Ah Yes, I agree totally. At your own pace is best.
    Great post, I am off to check out the book. Thanks. :)

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