You may be thinking, “FML, I am eating toxic cooked junk.”
Or you may be thinking, “That sh*t is whack. I don’t buy into the raw foods nonsense whatsoever.”
Chances are you are somewhere in between.
I want to acknowledge and welcome you exactly where you are at.
Thanks for being here.
That’s exactly where you need to be!
The health journey…the spiritual journey…the career journey…the relationship journey…any kind of journey…they are all INDIVIDUAL!
Because we are all individuals traveling at our own pace.
And that’s just fine.
Own your right to travel at your own pace, rather than speed up or slow down to match someone else’s.
This is YOUR journey.
You dictate the speed of travel.
You dictate where you want to go.
I am the queen of going all in at once, speeding ahead to where I think I need to be, and then crashing and burning. Exploding. Regressing. Starting afresh again.
You don’t have to do that.
There is another way.
There is the way of steady progress.
Pick the direction you want to go.
Set a goal.
For example, you may already consider yourself a healthy eater, but you want to eat less animal products. You aren’t ready to go 100% vegan. You still don’t even know if humans can really survive and thrive as vegans.
That’s all good. You’ve got a goal.
Break that goal down into small action steps.
Maybe you want to spend a week focusing on eliminating beef. Or, maybe you want to spend a whole month simply eliminating beef.
That’s great. Do that.
Don’t speed ahead, and go vegan or raw vegan overnight, if you aren’t ready to, and if you’re not even sure that’s what you want.
Take your time.
Change is only meaningful to the extent you can sustain it.
Dang, that’s a good one.
My Transition To A Vegan Diet
It didn’t happen overnight. I think that’s why it has actually stuck.
It all began back in 2011. I had just graduated from Northwestern University. My life was an absolute disaster. Just about everything that could be wrong was wrong.
For some magical reason, I found myself interested in food and cooking. I started reading loads of blogs and teaching myself how to cook.
Since I was very small, I have known how to bake. I always helped my mom and grandma with complicated cookies, cakes, and sweet treats.
But I didn’t know much in the way of healthy food preparation.
Synchronistically, many of the blogs I was attracted to were sharing vegan and vegetarian recipes.
I thought this was really cool, as I’d always been an animal lover, but still ate cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, and more.
For a good six months, I veganized my favorite baked goods. I made more and more plant-based meals.
I still prepared meat-based meals for my boyfriend at the time and his family, but I ate animal products less and less.
In 2012, I decided I was going to go vegan.
Over about three months, I systematically let go of red meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, and fish. I let go of all dairy, last of which was greek yogurt.
Then I was vegan.
But not 100% absolutely perfect.
Sometimes in the early days at restaurants, I wouldn’t send back dishes that I knew had cheese in them. I would always order vegan, but if an error was made, I was shy to send back my meal.
Backslides and Slip-ups
Since 2012, I have been 99.9% vegan. I have backslid a few times when I was stressed, confused, and trying different things to heal my ever-shape-shifting eating disorder.
There were a couple weeks in 2016 when I was hooked on refried beans from a local Mexican restaurant that I knew used lard.
In 2017, I consumed dairy and eggs for a couple weeks in Thailand and Bali.
I ate meat (I’m not even sure what kind!) twice on international flights in 2017, because I was not prepared, and didn’t bring food. Go here to read my post about how to successfully travel on a healthy diet.
I also ate fried fish once in 2017, because I could not stop thinking about it. I gave into this craving as part of healing from my eating disorder. One fish and chips meal later, and I wanted nothing more to do with it.
Once in 2018, I ate eggs for two days, got grossed out, and returned to vegan.
Yes, some people go vegan or raw vegan [or insert seemingly perfect dietary choice here] overnight and never look back.
But, this ain’t about some people.
This is about you.
If you can make the dietary change that you want to make overnight, do it! Good for you!
That’s certainly not my story.
And for everyone else who needs more time, please know you are not weak or flawed. You are just going at your own pace.
Since 2014, I’ve been working on the raw vegan transition.
I’ve chained together up to about 9 months fully raw.
Currently, I’m going on three months raw vegan.
But I’m not even 100% raw vegan, because that’s not sustainable for me.
I’ve defined my own version of raw vegan that works for me!
That’s what I encourage you to do.
Take what you like from certain dietary theories or lifestyle programs, and put something together that works for you.
If you are on doctor’s orders to follow a specific plan, now that’s another story. I encourage you to follow that plan.
Regular folks, don’t be dogmatic about it.
By all means, start where you’re at, and go at your own pace in the direction of the balanced dietary plan of your choosing.
Recipe in photo is…
Caramel Onion Dip-n-Veg from Raw Food Romance Meal Plan 2. Get the recipe here.
Are you serious about improving your health?
Do you want ongoing support in achieving your health goals?