I’m coming up on my two year Veganniversary and thought I’d share a few of the many things I’ve learned in the past 730 days.
Respect the decisions of others
Everyone is on their own journey and you can’t expect them to jump on the cruelty free bandwagon just because you did. On top of that, every vegan is on their own journey. Some eat honey, some wear leather they bought in their past life, some are fully raw and environmentally conscious. We should accept where everyone is in their journey because we all have a unique purpose.
Health starts with what I put in my mouth
With everything you eat, you’re either fighting disease or you’re feeding it. I hadn’t made the connection between food and the way I felt. I never knew they were related. I thought my acne, poor digestion and tiredness were all just happenstance. The discovery of this fact is what led me to go vegan.
Pay attention to how I feel after I eat
Even though I’m not eating animal products, there are still some vegan foods that don’t agree with me. Daiya cheese for example. Even though it’s unbelievably delicious, it wreaks havoc on my digestive system. By listening to my body, I am able to cut out foods that don’t do well in my body (or at the very least, be aware that if I eat that pizza with Daiya, I know what I’m in for).
There’s more than one way to eat a mango
There’s the really cool, fancy way of cutting the sides of the mango off the seed. Then you score the flesh in a checkered pattern and invert it so it looks a little like a hedgehog. You can also cut the sides off the seed and use a spoon to eat the flesh from each half. My favorite way to eat a mango is to peel off the skin and just bite into it, eating all the flesh off the seed, letting mango juice drip down your forearms. It makes me feel like a kid.
I love fruit
I was never really raised to eat fruit. Maybe I would eat a banana here and there but even then, I would dip it in sugar. Even when I moved out on my own, most of the food I bought was processed. As I started taking into consideration what I put in my body, I introduced more fruit into my diet. It came to a point when I said to myself, “I wish I was able to eat fruit all the time.” Lo and behold, the high carb vegan lifestyle.
Life isn’t all about getting a steady job and “making it through”
Life can be whatever you dream it to be. It’s so easy to live a life that doesn’t require much of you. Your work is unfulfilling but the paycheck comes in every week so why put extra work on yourself to quit and find a job you’re passionate about? Having discovered this truth, I have developed a dream of my own (with my husband) to start an online-based business and move to Hawaii. This blog was my first baby step toward that dream.
Protein isn’t the most important thing in the world
We’ve all been taught that we need to make sure we are getting enough protein. Based on how much that dogma is pounded into us, you’d think it’s really easy to have a protein deficiency and we have to consciously fight against it. Yet so many of these people who have such an intense focus don’t even know how much protein is enough. I was one of those people. But after reading The 80/10/10 Diet and doing further research into the World Health Organization’s study on protein requirements in human nutrition, I realized that protein is a non-issue. If I am eating enough plant foods, I will naturally get the amount of protein I need.
I don’t have to live with acne the rest of my life
Right before going vegan, I had come to a point where I felt discouraged to the point of giving up on trying to heal my acne. I tried so many different face washes and none of them did what they promised. I thought I was going to have those nasty bumps on my face for the rest of my life. After less than a month of being vegan, I noticed my skin starting to clear up. It was a miracle!
Don’t eat green bananas
I used to only eat bananas that were yellow with a bit of green left. They tasted crispy almost and bitter. No wonder I didn’t love them. Spotty bananas in my house were used to make banana bread because they were “going bad”. When I first learned that spots mean the sugar in the banana has had a chance to develop and make it sweet and delicious, it took me a while to readjust my taste buds. My brain was conditioned. But now, green bananas are so unapeeling. Sorry, I had to.
I love riding a bike
If you know my story, you know that Freelee the Banana Girl was a major influence in me going vegan. She also inspired me to get a bike. My husband and I decided to get mountain bikes because we prefer dirt and nature to asphalt and cars and we have tons of trails where we live. You should have seen me the day we bought them. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was in elementary school. I thought I was going down. I love that I can combine exercise with the outdoors.
This is part one so be sure to check back next week for more knowledge I’ve gained after two years of living the vegan lifestyle.