Posts tagged: vegan

VEGAN MISTAKES

I have been eating a mostly vegan diet for over a year now. None of my friends are vegan, so when I go to a friend’s house or eat out I try and stick to all vegan, but I know that I’m not always aware of every single ingredient in everything that I eat.  Sometimes I don’t want to be overbearing and ask the host for every thing they may have put in a green bean dish for example.  I don’t eat any meat, but sometimes I know that something might have an egg or other non vegan item in the mix.  Now I know that some people are very strict and would not touch anything that is not 100% vegan and I applaud them for that, but that simply is not for me.  I would say that I am about 90% vegan and do the best that I can and forgive myself (don’t beat myself up) for the rest.

I have been reading about a new vegan cheese called Daiya that people on Facebook have been raving about.  Facebook is where all of my vegan and raw friends are.  I looked at the website and the cheese is not available in Florida, but they said it was in a few items in the grocery store like Annie’s Mac and “Cheese”.  So I go to the store and purchase it, since I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about.  I put the package in the freezer and had left it there for several days. I knew it had a lot of calories, so I wanted to eat it on a day when I wouldn’t be having much else.  A few days ago, I take it out, cook it and start to eat – yum – I’m thinking -boy these guys really do have something – this tastes exactly like cheese!  As I am eating I look at the package again and realize that I had bought the wrong one – it really was cheese! I couldn’t believe it!  I haven’t had any cheese in so long and this was certainly more than just a small ingredient in something!  Well, I will admit that I did finish the meal and it did taste good.  Will I buy another one? Probably not, but at the same time I didn’t feel guilty or anything.

You see, this is the trouble with labels – if someone says to you that they are vegan, does that mean that if they eat something that is not vegan can they no longer call themselves vegan?  This is one of the reasons why I haven’t put this on my profile.  I was watching Alicia Silverstone on Oprah the other day.  She is a great spokesperson for eating vegan. She told Oprah that on a rare occasions she does eat cheese!  I really admire her for speaking the truth.

I will continue on my path of eating vegan, but if on occasion I have something different I won’t feel guilty or bad.  I hope everyone will strive to eat healthy and make the right choices, but if you do make a mistake, forgive yourself and continue on your path to do better each and every day.

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Reasons to Detox

It’s been about a year since I did a 10 day detox.  When I started I was just looking to release a few unwanted pounds and of course detox my system to perhaps feel good and have some energy.  Wow – I got a lot more than what I bargained for! Several people were doing detoxes at work, so that made it a little easier to give it a try.  When I started I was nervous that I wouldn’t have the “willpower” to keep on going – after all – I do love to eat!

Over the previous 10 years or so, I had slowly been gaining a few pounds every year and it seemed impossible to stick to an eating plan to lose weight for more than a few hours, much less days, weeks or make a whole lifestyle change.  It was always – “I’ll start tomorrow” and so it went.  For most of those 10 years I did some sort of exercise including running a marathon, but the pounds weren’t going anywhere.

The first day of the detox was the toughest – I remember we went to a movie and I had a headache since I was used to drinking coffee in the morning.  Not to mention not having any popcorn!  Once I made it through the first few days, it was actually much easier than I thought it would be.  I was never hungry and wasn’t tempted to eat when I was around other people that were eating.

One of the first benefits was all the compliments I was getting on how good my skin looked!  I was also losing weight which was a great feeling.  However the biggest benefit was how the detox got me in touch with myself.  Much of eating is emotional, so if you are not eating, your emotions will come to the surface.  This is a good thing, especially if you are able to recognize it as it happens.

When the 10 days were over I decided to go vegetarian.  For me willpower has nothing to do with making a change – I never had any willpower.  Instead, it was all about mindset.  I have never looked back on my decision and all of the sudden it was easy!  I had started to read about vegetarian and vegan diets and decided that was the way I wanted to be.  Starting Jan. 1st I decided to do a 30 day trial and go vegan.  I am still vegan today, and don’t see myself ever going back to eating meat or dairy products.  I do need to add more raw foods as they are the source of true energy and life.

For the past year, my weight has stayed the same as when I finished the detox.  I attribute this to the vegan diet.  I really haven’t cut back on the amount of food I eat – it’s just that meat and cheese have a lot of calories – so eliminating those have allowed me to keep the weight off.  Lately thought, I have been eating too  much sugar and feel it’s time to do another detox.

Detox is more than just losing a few pounds.  As I mentioned before it can be a great time to look at where you are in life and where you would like to be.  It is  a good time to get in touch with yourself and see where you might be headed next.  If you would like to try a detox – on my next post I will be offering some great tips and secrets to a successful detox.  Stay tuned…..

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Friendship

Yesterday we watched an old, yet timeless movie – You Can’t Take It With You (1938).  It’s a Frank Capra film (It’s a Wonderful Life) and also stars Jimmy Stewart.  The message of the movie is about friendship and enjoying your life (rather than chasing the dollar).  It’s a great film and I highly recommend it, especially if you feel you are somewhat caught up in the “rat race”.

I have many friends and I love them all.  I have experienced many changes in my life in the last year and as you can imagine, I now find myself having different view points, diets, ideas, etc. than most of the people I hang out with.  Much has been written about how when you make major changes, sometimes you have to leave friendships behind.  I would for the most part, disagree.  Of course if someone is being negative or bringing you down, then yes, it would be time to move on, but just because someone does not have the same views or ideas about life that you do, it’s not reason enough.

Most of my friends have been with me for a long time.  I don’t think any of them are vegan (like me) or even vegetarian (a few don’t eat meat, but eat fish, etc.).  Most have very different religious views than me as well as politics and my overall outlook on life.  Everyone is on their own path and there are so many different viewpoints out there that if we all had to match, no one would have any friends!!

Viewpoints come from your beliefs.  Beliefs can be quite stubborn.  Once someone has a particular belief they will attract all of the circumstances into their life to validate these beliefs.  Something really powerful has to happen for most people to step out of the box and really examine why they believe the things they do.  This is why most people go through life with the same religion, political party, etc.

You see, I believe that your world (including your friends) are a reflection of you.  You have attracted your friends into your life.  I think that I have so many friends with different viewpoints to teach me not to judge.  Despite all of our differences we have one thing in common that bonds us together and that is our love and caring for each other.  My friends are supportive, loving and kind and would go out of their way for me in just about any circumstance.  I am so grateful for them.

Look at the friends in your life.  They are there as a reflection of you, to teach you and to help you grow.  Look for positive people to enrich your life, and be sure to enrich theirs as well.  If someone is not holding up their end of the friendship, perhaps the lesson is over and it is time to let that one go, just be sure that it is for the right reason.  Friends come in all shapes, sizes, beliefs and viewpoints and I am grateful for them all.

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Looking on the Inside

Today’s my birthday and just like New Year’s it is a good time to reflect on where life has taken you and what path you want to pursue in the future.  I have had somewhat of an adventurous life although it didn’t start off that way.  I was raised in an uneventful, but nice home in Houston, Texas.  When I was 14,  my parents got divorced and my mom moved us (myself, 11year old sister and 2 brothers 6 & 3) to Acapulco, Mexico!  We went from routine to very exciting times! My mom worked as an assistant to the PR director for Braniff Airways and we got to hang out with all kinds of celebrities and interesting people.  My mom had a “date” with Sean Connery and I was an extra in a movie with Dean Martin – The Ambushers!  After 6 fun years, we moved back to the US and I finished my degree at the University of Texas in Austin and moved back to Houston.

After 10 years or so of more routine living – it was off to a new place – this time Caracas, Venezuela.  I worked for a real estate company that assisted executives from major corporations and embassies with relocation to Caracas.  I loved it there – it is a beautiful country with lots of opportunity for travel and exploration.  My trek to Angel Falls was one of my favorites.

After 8 years it was time to get back to the routine.  This time I settled in Florida and spent the last 13 years in a great career at Starwood in the vacation ownership department.  I won all kinds of awards and was able to travel to some of the best hotels and vacation destinations.  During the last 6 months there, I started feeling that this was not my path and decided to begin a new adventure.

This time however the adventure was not a new place, but an adventure in my own growth and personal development.  I have begun to see things in new ways and change the way I think and act.  One of the first things I did was to change the way I was eating.  I became a vegetarian and after a few months decided to go vegan.  I still slip up occasionally, but overall it is amazing to discover the link between what you eat and how you feel.  You may be thinking that I am referring to the physical, but it is much more than that – you will feel different spiritually and emotionally too.  It is a very exciting path to be on.

One of the most important tools in personal growth is to conquer your fears and step out of your comfort zone. I have always been timid and fearful of public speaking, so I decided to join Toastmaster’s.  I highly recommend it.   I am competing in my first speech contest this week!  Take action on something you have been putting off or were afraid to do and you will be amazed at how empowering this can be.

One of my friends once told me that if  “you always have it your way”  you are missing out on many opportunities to learn and grow – so it’s time to step out of that comfort zone and face new areas of exploration inside myself.  Last year was the year of change – this year will be a year of growth.  I feel this will be the most rewarding journey yet…I hope you’ll join me.

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