Dear blog reader,
I realized today that I started this blog last February, making this blog one year old. Happy birthday, blog!
A lot has happened in this past year: 214 posts over 13 months, making it an average of 3.82 posts a week! I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time on this blog. Sheesh. You’d think I didn’t have anything else to do but write about food. I know I’ve probably spent way more time than is healthy thinking about this blog, writing posts for this blog, worrying about all of you who’ve shared your struggles with me and how I can help.
I started this blog with the hopes of creating an outlet for my vegan-ness. An opportunity to share with others who are interested, curious, and/or want to know more about healthy living. Because I kept getting questions about protein, calcium, “what DO you eat?”, ect. ect. and wanted to create a place where I could tell family and friends, you want to know more about how I eat? Look at my blog.
In the past year I’ve received emails from readers with questions and/or comments about how they are changing for the better. Here’s a favorite email from a reader, Abbie (hope you don’t mind me sharing Abbie) sent to me last year:
I don’t know if you really care or not but I’ve decided to go completely vegan and I wanted to let you know that it is mainly thanks in part to your blog. Reading it got me started with thinking about what I eat and what my eating habits do not only to my body but to the environment. I found it a bit easy to justify a piece of cheese here and there or one small scoop of ice cream, etc. Veganism clicks with me when I look at both the health benefits as well as animal cruelty… if that makes sense. Reading a lot about what is done to animals to produce what we eat made me nauseous and committed to eat differently.
Just thought I would let you know and hopefully it helps you feel that your blog is worth it.
I definitely care! And love to hear from all of you. I do this blog because I want to help others experience the same transformation and joy that I’ve experienced since switching to a whole foods vegan diet and hearing from you really gives me the inspiration to keep posting.
I’ve reflected how I’ve changed since I decided to change my diet nearly four years ago. And it’s been a journey! If you have a mistaken notion that I’m perfect, that everything is easy for me, you’re wrong. I’m just like everybody else–I am a food addict, thought I couldn’t live without ice cream and cheese, thought vegans were a bunch of hippies.
I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but becoming vegan has really empowered me. I have the energy, peace, and vitality that I never knew was possible. I’m not susceptible to the massive mood swings that used to visit me in years past. And I feel like I’ve been so blessed I just want to share with anyone who cares to listen.
It makes me sad to think that people are unnecessarily suffering because they continue to engage in self-destructive behaviors, particularly as it relates to food. I know what it’s like because I used to be one of these. I used to think, “I cannot give up these foods because they make me feel good.” Or “I cannot live without ____ (fill in the blank).” Or, “I’m afraid of being thin (really!) because people will judge me.” Or, “I can’t change because I don’t have time. My husband doesn’t eat this way. It’s too hard. I don’t want to be different.” All of these things were a part of my thought process. I thought that somehow it was a trade-off–I give up cheese, steak, potato chips. I am sacrificing. I thought I had to give up pleasure and acceptance by others so I could live longer. Once I decided to change, I’ve found that nothing could be further from the truth. I’m no longer a slave to my appetite. I feel light, I enjoy the taste and experience of food, before, during and after eating. I have to say though that this has been a LONG process. I finally feel like I “get it.” After almost four years, it’s finally “clicked” (though I don’t think I’ve “arrived,” I don’t think you ever do, it’s simply a journey). For those of you who are ready to strangle me right now because you’re thinking, “I hate you! I’m not like you, you make it sound so easy!” You’re right, it isn’t easy. But it gets easier, and easier. To the point where eating healthfully becomes nearly effortless. It does require some grit and determination and diligence and commitment, especially as you transition and replace old ways of thinking.
I’ve said this before. I realize we’re all at different places in our lives. And I’ve noticed, just as a casual observer, people will always change on THEIR own time. For many people it takes reading dozens and dozens of books on health and nutrition (like me) and experimenting with every diet out there (like me, although I never did Atkins, thank goodness!) until they realize (or maybe never realize), “Oh, it’s not as complicated as I thought it was! Good nutrition is much simpler than I previous thought.” For others it takes a catastrophic health problem to make them re-evaluate their eating habits. And even still for others, even health problems are not enough motivation to change. You know what, it’s okay. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, because what matters are MY choices, not everyone else’s choices of which I have no control. This has been a liberating thought for me.
I hope that I’ve become much less judgemental about people’s food choices than I used to be. In fact, I hope I’m not judgemental at all.
Anyway, dear reader, whatever lifestyle path you are on, however you choose to eat, thank you for putting up with my ramblings and reading this blog. I’ve appreciated and so enjoyed all of your comments (whether I’ve responded personally or not to each one). I hope that you will be blessed in your efforts to take control of your health and live an empowering, vibrant life (vegan or not!).
Thank you for reading.
P.S. Here’s a picture of some luscious cinnamon rolls I made for my hubby for Valentine’s Day. I got the recipe for Colleen Patrick-Goudreu’s Vegan Baking. The rolls in the back are the traditional recipe with the slight modification of using whole wheat pastry flour (lighter than wheat, better than white because it contains all the fiber of wheat). The rolls up front are slightly modified–instead of Earth Balance and brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans, I made a lower calorie version using brown rice syrup, cinnamon, and raisins. I also drizzled, rather than slathered, the icing on the “lighter” version. Delicious, if I do say so myself!