Happy Birthday, Blog!

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:

Hi Janae,

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.

Really.

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.

Janae

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!


Comments


  1. Inkling
    on February 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm said:

    I've been reading your blog and learning so much from you. And it's made me eat less meat. But I still wasn't at the point where I thought I could go totally vegetarian, let alone vegan. I justified my thinking by saying that God made everything good, and that He gives us permission to enjoy it all. But lately, I've been pondering what it would be like to totally take on the lifestyle challenge of being vegan like you. I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer.I have a friend here for the Olympics, and she informed me that my meal of brown rice and black beans had way too many carbs, and would I please make her meat for every meal since she's eating meat to lose weight and staying away from all carbs. Oh my goodness. She had no idea of the huge difference between simple/refined carbs and complex carbs, let alone what her diet of meat does to her heart, liver, and our planet. That was actually the catalyst to get me back to your blog, and made my husband and I begin talking about ordering some of the resources you've mentioned in the past.You are right. It is a journey, a lifelong one. Thank you for sharing yours with us so that we can learn and grow with you. Please keep on writing and teaching us!

  2. Rachel Bagley Wurtz
    on February 27, 2010 at 10:51 am said:

    Thank you for this post and sharing your thought process in changing. This is a journey I am very excited about and have developed strong opinions about the healing nature (as well as the harming) of nutrtion and what we are putting into our bodies.Having abused my body in past years with disordered eating and total junk nutrition, as well as being a mother wanting to help my children have a healthy respect for their bodies and what they are putting in them, I am in the "experimental" phase with whole, live foods, much less dairy, and less meat. This is so the opposite of how I grew up and the way my family eats, so I am so grateful for support. Thank you for educating so many people. That is the biggest flaw in people's perspective on food – knowledge is power! Love ya cuz….we need to get together. I will call you girls this weekend.Rachel

  3. Wanna Be Vegan Mom
    on February 27, 2010 at 3:23 am said:

    Yay! I'm so happy I found your blog right after I became Vegan… Such an inspiration,especially in the LDS community, for me! I have been trying to lay off the sugar, but those Vegan cinnamon rolls are calling to me… My Mom is famous for her Cinnamon Rolls, and I have been dying to veganize her version…I might have to wait for a birthday or something, though to justify it!

  4. Abbie
    on February 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm said:

    Opps. Hard work is two words. I know that. 🙂

  5. Abbie
    on February 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm said:

    Happy birthday blog! And lest I appear otherwise, since that email I haven't always eaten vegan. BUT, I still have put into practice so many things I have learned here and continue to make changes. Thanks for all your hardwork!

  6. Melissa DeLeon
    on February 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm said:

    Similar to the satisfaction you feel when "having coffee" with a friend and dishing about life, this blog has been a great resource and link to fantastic information out there I [personally] would not have otherwise had. From the peek inside your kitchen, to the comments by your husband, and of course the friend-like quality of the posts, thank you blog (aka Janae, aka Whole Foods Vegan Momma) for all you do!

  7. tbsomeday
    on February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm said:

    Happy Birthday Blog!It's been going knowing you :)a great resource–no matter where you are on your nutritional path! you can't get anywhere unless you go somewhere