Fake it till you make it

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had such high hopes in joining the 101 days of blogging challenge – but what I’ve learned: I’m not a blog every day type of girl. I knew when I signed up it was going to be hard – after all, it is called a challenge. But man, I just haven’t been able to keep it up. With work and everything else, this blog is just never going to be an every day outlet for me. I’m a bit bummed because I was really looking forward to blogging along with Sarah and the rest of the bloggers that joined in, but alas I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll just have to join in when I can.

Given that I’ve missed out on about five days of blogging now, I’m going to pick the one act that I want to talk about the most. Today I want to talk about #19 “Fake it till you make it: Don’t yet see yourself as a super-healthy person? Experiment with doing a little of what you’d do if you were already supremely healthy and fit. As often as you can, act as if your commitment were unwavering.”

This is a big one for me. I’ve talked before about my struggles to be 100% vegan. Sometimes I can get pretty down on myself. But I think there’s a lot of truth in this philosophy “Fake it till you make it”. It’s important to be at least moving in the right direction – moving towards your goal. I’m happy to say I went to the doctor last week to get my blood work done for the second time since going vegan. Just want to make sure I check off on all the essentials – and I did. Happily I’m not low on anything, and all looks good. My vegan diet is going well – even if it isn’t always 100%. I’m going to continue faking it till I make it!

 

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Raise Your Sights & New Ways to Love Avocado

July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

vegan avocado pasta

We’re on the 15th act of the 101 days of blogging challenge. Today’s revolutionary act is “Raise Your Sights: Don’t get sucked in by obsessions with six-pack abs and buns of steel. Don’t play “compare the bodies.” Fulfill your best-self vision.”

I can’t remember where I heard this but I heard someone say that we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others, and wanting their bodies, that we are never content. But the thing is, I may never be able to get killer abs or little waist like someone I see on the cover of a magazine because I have a completely different body than them. The goal should always be to be our best self. I don’t care about six-pack abs or buns of steel. What I care about is being health enough to do what I want to do and make the most of this life. Sure I want to look nice in a little black dress or show off in a bikini but I don’t need to get carried away about my waist size or biceps.

Part of being my best self today included going for a walk tonight with my dog Chloe, and making this amazing avocado pasta from Oh She Glows. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for about a year now, but truth is I really don’t love avocados. I love guacamole loaded with onions and jalapeno scooped perfectly on tortilla chips but a straight up avocado is not my friend. So, I really wasn’t sure this was the recipe for me. But with guac already being eaten with my black bean and quinoa wrap and then again as a little treat this weekend, I decided I might as well put the last avocado in the fridge to use for something other than a tortilla chip. And boy am I glad I did!

This pasta is truly exquisite. There isn’t even the faintest avocado flavor. All you get is this amazingly creamy, garlicky, slightly lemony sauce. The sauce itself was a tad hard to mix into the pasta so next time I’m going to blend a little pasta water into it before tossing to make it a bit easier to spread around. I think I’ve finally found another recipe to put my avocados to use other than guacamole. Paired with whole wheat pasta, this is a healthy, quick, delicious dinner ready in no time.

 

Find Your Why

July 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

As much as I want to go to bed right now, I can’t fall another day behind in the 101 days of blogging challenge! So here I am ready to talk about “Leverage Your Big Why’s: Know the specific reasons your health matters to you. Write them down where you’ll see them daily.” Sadly, this will be a quick post as it is near and dear to my heart.

Nine months ago I lost my best friend to breast cancer. Erin was the most beautiful woman I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She was full of life. Vibrant, vivacious, loving, kind. She left this world all too early at just 34 years of age. She should have had a lifetime of loving and living.

Eighty days ago, my father literally dropped dead at 61 years. Something I never thought could possibly happen. He died immediately of a massive heart attack, just 15 minutes after delivering a speech to hundreds of people. He didn’t have a single warning sign. The first sign of heart disease was death.

These are my why’s. These are the reasons I want to be healthy. I don’t even need to write them down because they weigh so heavily on my heart.

I want to live a full life. To be active and able to do whatever it is I want to do. To explore the world. To hike, to travel, to sail, to see and to dream.

To be there for my loved ones. To be there for my mom and sister, to watch my husband grow old over many many years, to one day raise children and watch their lives evolve before me.

Because I refuse to be another statistic. I refuse to put my family through the pain of disease. I refuse to leave this world before I’m done. That is why I want to be healthy. That is what motivates me. That is what reminds me to make today count.

Miss you daddy.

Be Proactive

July 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I wrote the other day about protecting your juju and today’s revolutionary act in the 101 days of blogging challenge is similar.

“Be proactive: If you feel a cold, flu or nasty headache coming on, take evasive maneuvers. Rest. Refuel. Reconnect. Rebuild your immunity and vitality. There’s no heroism in ignoring your body’s needs.”

I’ve always been pretty good about being proactive when it comes to being sick. Having spent much of my childhood and teen years sick, I learned to take precautionary measures. However, like many, this involved lots and lots of antibiotics to the point that I’m pretty sure my body couldn’t fight much on its own.

Since going vegan a year ago, I really haven’t been sick. I got sick once the week my dad died which I’m sure was due to stress. I’ve felt the stress lately effect my health and have been feeling really run down. I’ve been trying to keep today’s wise words top of mind and take a few extra moments for myself: sleep a bit longer, chill out, relax. It’s important to take a few moments and decompress. Doing so is as important as eating healthy and exercising, but often we don’t focus as much on relaxing as we do what we eat and how many crunches we’ve done.

Remember to take all aspects of your health seriously – not just calories in and out but the intangibles too.

Go At Your Own Pace: Accepting Yourself and Your Choices

July 21, 2012 § 3 Comments

 

sprouted grain tortilla, black bean and guacamole wrap

Today’s revolutionary act part of the 101 days of blogging challenge is “Go At Your Own Pace: A healthy life is more a marathon than a sprint. So start where you are. Choose sensible, sustainable shifts over instant cures and quick fixes.”

To me, this not only means avoid fad diets in term of sustainable long term changes, but also accept yourself in the process. I’m a perfectionist and that “simple” personality trait impacts every single aspect of my life. On top of it I was raised Catholic which means no matter how I shake it, I feel guilty a lot of the time. When it comes to trying to get on the right track and set goals for myself, I get extremely frustrated if I fall short and that frustration is often masked in guilt.

Case in point: I had a really great day. After watching Food Matters last night (highly recommend!) I was excited to keep my plant based diet motivation going. I started my day with lots of water (something I don’t do enough of) and even tried hot water with lemon and cayenne for the first time. This supposedly detoxifies, gets your blood moving, and revs the metabolism. For breakfast I enjoyed my morning smoothie. At lunch I used the leftover black beans and quinoa from dinner last night and put it in a sprouted grain tortilla with guacamole and a salad. When an afternoon craving struck, I enjoyed fresh veggies and spicy hummus.

After all this great eating, where did I go wrong? Dinner. We had been out and ended up at a sushi restaurant. I know I could have ordered the tofu but in that moment I just didn’t want it so I ordered the shrimp. Once the plate came, guilt washed over me. Why didn’t I just ask for some vegetables since I didn’t want tofu? I’ve written recently about slipping on my vegan diet and the guilt that I feel afterwards.

But today I’m reminded that this is part of my journey. I need to accept it and remind myself to go at my own pace. As much as I want to be 100% vegan, every meal, every day, that has been a difficult task for me. I find that I usually end up eating fish about once a month – either due to circumstances like tonight or situations where I really truly don’t have anything else to eat. So today, I’m trying to see the good in my choices the rest of the day, and the rest of this week, and accept tonight as a slip and move on.

Don’t be too hard on yourself either. Remember tomorrow is a new day.

 

Be Part of the Solution: Embrace Your Potential

July 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Remember when your parents were testing your judgement as a teen and would say, if everyone was jumping off the Empire State Building, would you? The answer was always “no” with a dramatic roll of the eyes.

But what if we remove this from the extreme examples of doing drugs, hanging with the wrong crowd, and generally getting into mischief that this question was intended for. What if we re-phrase and ask, “If no one else is willing to make a difference in this world, are you?”

Granted that is extreme, but it is valid. I was recently in a situation where someone very close to me said one person can’t make a difference. This is something that made me incredibly sad. One person can make a difference. An extremely good difference, or unfortunately in light of today’s events, one person can also make a terrible difference.

I’ve heard some people say there’s no point in not eating meat since everyone else does. Whether it be for animals, the environment, or our ever-increasing medical bills and conditions, I want to believe that one person’s food choices can make a difference.

Today’s revolutionary act part of the 101 days of blogging challenge is “Be part of the solution: It’s going to take a lot of strong, clear-headed, high-vitality people to solve the world’s problems. Be one of them.”

I feel I’ve made a difference. As I said yesterday, my husband and my mom eat a mostly plant based diet now. I haven’t given up hope on my sister 🙂 Many friends have started to reach out asking how they can incorporate this into their lives. That’s a huge difference.

Just because everyone else is eating highly processed foods, hormone plumped meats, and other junk doesn’t mean you have to. You can stand out. You can be different. You can lead. Embrace what some find weird. Find others similar to you that inspire and motivate you and never underestimate your potential to impact others.

As for my dinner plate shown above, my husband made black beans in the slow cooker last night which I mixed with some quinoa and served with a side of heirloom tomatoes. We’re making a difference one plate at a time.

See the Bigger Picture: Inspire Others

July 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

vegan, vegetables, baked tofu

I never thought about the incredible impact my undertaking a 30 day vegan challenge a year ago would have. I certainly did it in large part because of my friend, but I also think I was a tad bored. Who would have ever thought that not only would I make it those 30 days, but actually decide to stick with it?

My husband joined me along the way and lost weight. My mom gave up dairy, then meat. She’s lost weight. Her arthritis is gone. And the acid reflux she once suffered from, which can be a precursor of esophageal cancer (what her dad died from) is gone! It’s been fun to watch my mom and husband join in and tout the benefits of going meat and dairy free to others. And, I’ve had countless people reach out to me asking how they can try veganism, asking for help and support. It’s a great feeling.

I’m on the tenth act of my 101 days of blogging challenge. Today’s act is “See the bigger picture: Yes, this is about you, but your well-being also affects everyone and everything around you. When you get healthier, everybody benefits.”

We never know what impact our actions will have on others. What started as a little challenge for me has turned into a lifestyle. A lifestyle that not only protects the planet and the animals, but my health and therefore those around me.

Oh and my hubby that I said gave up dairy and meat, he made me a vegan meal tonight. Baked tofu with brown rice and veggies. Who knew these positive changes in my life would result in my husband cooking for me? It was a nice little treat.

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