My daily life most importantly consists of eating a whole food organic plant based diet, sweating, breathing, smiling, thinking, being kind and patient. I try to take good care of my body physically, emotionally, and mentally. I am constantly aware of what is going into my body, what is being put on my body, and how my body feels. The point I have reached now was very progressive and started about two years ago. I was attending Carleton University with the knowledge that I wanted to make this world a better place, but at the time thought my best option for doing that was to make a lot of money and use that money to help others. There was a very small hallway that connected the entrance to a majority of the classes. Students always stood there handing out pamphlets and the only way to avoid them was to put your ear phones in and look down at your feet as you passed by. I didn’t like to waste paper and knowing that I would just put the pamphlet into the garbage can around the corner, my feet was often where I looked when walking by. The only time I felt compelled to look up and accept one, was a day that changed my life drastically forever. It was pamphlet on going vegan, with a picture of humans being very loving towards animals. As I flipped through the pamphlet the pictures changed to hundreds of animals crammed into one cage, and a few other photos that I didn’t have a chance to see before closing the pamphlet in an emotional urgency. It was right there that I messaged my mother and said I was going to try to be a vegetarian.
I had always had the mentality of a vegetarian growing up. I never tried fish because I didn’t want to “like” another species. Veal always repulsed me, and when I would call my mother out for eating a baby cow, she would make me aware I was eating a chicken. I would then struggle through the rest of my meal. I always caught bugs in my room and put them outside. Life was always precious to me, and I never felt okay having a life ended at my hand, even if it was just a spider. I was too naive to realize thousands of deaths were at my hand with my daily trips to McDonalds, Wendys, Subway and the grocery store.
The past two years I have gone from being naive to completely smacked in the face with all the lies, wrong perceptions, and brain washing that I experienced growing up. Although I knew suffering occurred frequently, I had no idea just how messed up the world we live in was. Avoiding the news wasn’t going to work anymore to stay comfortably naive. The world of vegetarianism and later the world of veganism introduced to me to daily knowledge about health, nutrition, happiness, and the treatment of animals. This knowledge usually contradicted everything I thought growing up. Even though I spent 20 years thinking one thing, I was always convinced within minutes of the new, completely contradicting knowledge.
When I first turned vegetarian I hadn’t even tried a bell pepper and I rarely ate any vegetables at all. If I ate vegetables it was a tomato and maybe a piece of lettuce hiding in the extra mayonnaise in my McChicken. I started off by eating the same things I used to eat, except double the mayonnaise and cheese to compensate for the lack of meat. I tried to start eating stir fry’s but would douse them with half a bottle of oil to make the veggies taste good. This slowly changed, and over the course of a month I was using very little oil on my veggies, and I stopped eating meals with no real nutritional value like nachos. The thought of eating eggs slowly started to gross me out and I was eating a lot healthier. My taste buds were really starting to change and I went from being a very picky eater to being willing to try anything. At this point I was only vegetarian for the cruelty to animals, but I couldn’t help but notice how much better I felt physically, mentally and especially emotionally. One day after seeing 30 seconds of an animal cruelty video, and spending 2 hours after bawling my eyes out, I decided I needed to educate myself on how dairy cows are treated. I was hoping it wasn’t cruelly so I could continue to eat cheese… but my eyes were opened to that it was a very inhumane industry. I sent my mother a text message letting her know I was going to try to be a vegan. She told me to be careful and at the time I thought I would have to because I had no idea how I could get all the nutrition we grow up to think is in milk.
Although I was still choosing to be a vegan for the cruelty, the amazing feelings that came along with it were addictive and every day I ate more and more clean. No sauces on my stir fry’s, more experimenting with dark leafy greens and incorporating them into my meals. Health started to become equally as important as the treatment of animals in my decision to be a vegan. Nutritionfacts.org was brought to my attention and since that day I have spent hours upon hours watching his short videos educating myself on everything from the healthiest fruit, to the connection between meat and breast cancer, to the highest antioxidant rich drink you can drink. My life has become one of incorporating the best whole foods for me, not just healthy foods. I try not to eat oils and refined sugars. Who needs refined sugar when dates are 80% sugar (more than jelly beans) and drowning in phytonutrients. Also, who needs oil when for the same amount of calories and fat you can have almond butter that tastes delicious and also has a ton of protein, calcium and iron. I also only use all natural products to wash my face, clean my hair, and moisturize (thank you lush!).
Since becoming a vegan I have become more in touch with my body, mind and the earth. I am more in touch with my love for being outdoors and exploring nature. I am more in touch with my body through choosing workouts that use minimal props; pole dancing and yoga. I have always wanted to be very fit, flexible and acrobatic but felt I was given genetics that made that want very farfetched. I have casually practiced pole dance and yoga for the past year and have seen such great improvements from when I started. I recently committed myself to daily practice of yoga because after my body feels amazing and my mind feels so calm and at peace. It also makes me be able to be much better at pole dancing through strength, flexibility and balance.
I’ve started this blog for myself, but also for whoever else cares to hear about my continued journey of vegan, gluten free eating, my practice of yoga and pole dancing and my upcoming adventures. I want to spend the next few years travelling, eating well, and working towards becoming stronger, more peaceful, and getting my foot in the door of a career that will help change this world we live in.