3 Ways a Plant-Based Diet Changed My Body

 

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I’ve personally always been a healthy eater. As a child I remember answering a questionnaire that my favorite food was salad (though I’ll admit my favorite dressing was blue cheese, as a kid!). As a 20-something adult who’s developed dairy allergies over the years, and a keen sense of the benefits of a plant-based diet, I’ve really come into my own in terms of holistic wellness. I am passionate about super foods, creating healthy recipes, writing about my wellness quest on my blog, animals and the outdoors, and my dedicated yoga practice. The aforementioned passions have led me to a plant-based diet and, let me tell you, the changes in my body and life are innumerable. These, however, are three of my favorite improvements that I’ve noticed about myself since committing to a plant-based diet:

 

1.) I no longer need caffeine. That’s not to say I don’t still drink green tea and yerba mate when I want to, but I haven’t had coffee in months. I love coffee. I drink it black because I adore the flavor. I did not give it up mindfully, I just sort of stopped making it and switched to tea, then switched from that to lemon water. I find that this energizes me plenty, and oftentimes I don’t even make a pot of tea in the morning, opting for herbal in the afternoon or evening instead. It’s nuts! I am grateful for decaf coffee because, at some quaint cafe in the future, I know I’m going to yearn for that delicious coffee flavor. 

 

2.) I have so much more energy. Not the type of “waking” energy I discussed above with my lack of a need for caffeine, I feel like that is more of an “alertness.” This energy that I’m referring to stems, I’m quite certain, straight from the abundance of super foods in my diet. Aloe vera juice first thing in the morning, spirulina in my green smoothie, the protein from chia seeds, the antioxidants in goji berries, the powerful energy from maca powder, the fiber from mesquite powder, the healing properties in bee pollen, the probiotics and enzymes in kombucha…when one adopts a plant-based diet, the body can naturally detoxify. Warm lemon water is a powerful detoxifying agent, as many MindBodyGreen articles explain, and I attribute it to my body’s ability to react so positively to a plant-based diet.

 

3.) I enjoy cooking more. As any dedicated healthy eater knows, a good deal of time is spent in the kitchen chopping, prepping, packing, and cooking food. I religiously pack my lunches and have taken my “DIY Junkie” title to a whole new level.  The best part is, I love it! It brings me sincere joy to whip up a raw, über healthy dessert and watch the looks of pleasure on my family and friends’ faces as they eat it. The same goes for my dinner and appetizer “health-ified” (as I like to call them) recipes. Meals brings people together, foods that taste good and fortify the body are the best kind of food in my opinion, and bringing such a dish to your next family gathering is the best nutrition gift you can give your loved ones.

 

That being said, I’m not going to be ignorant of the flip side of this coin. Eating a pure, plant-based diet can limit options out in the world when traveling, dining at the home of others, etc. This is where I suggest we all adopt an element flexibility and mindfulness. I once read the quote, “Flexibility is the secret to remaining youthful.” Think about that. It’s pretty true, right? Kids, while oftentimes picky, are pretty flexible because they usually have to be. As we mature, we develop habits, likes, rituals, and behaviors that limit our flexibility. If the alternative to being flexible is stress, I know exactly which one I will choose. Lastly, it’s another reason to be generous. Get your buns in the kitchen and whip up something delicious and healthy to bring and share, if you’re dining with others. If you’re going to a restaurant, maybe get proactive and Google the menu ahead of time (I’ve read this tons of places, and it actually can be a pretty good idea).

 

Most importantly, remember that the body cannot be nourished by a plant-based diet if havoc is being wreaked on the body in other areas. A calm mind, rested body, and nourished spirit all play key roles in our health and wellness. So, while you’re in the kitchen with all that spunky, super food-induced energy, remember to move slowly. Move with mindfulness. Maybe hum a song, or heck, sing it at the top of your lungs…in your underwear! Have fun. Because, alongside flexibility, I’m pretty certain that is the second pillar in the quest to remain youthful.

 

Be happy, be well, be harmonious.

 

Some plant-based diet Food Pyramid suggestions:

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Add Some Deliciousness to Your Day

It’s time for a few recipes, I’ve been a cookin’ and bakin’ fool (more so than usual) lately, and figured I’d share some of my taste bud discoveries here for all of my fellow wellness enthusiasts. Because, after all, what’s better than something HEALTHY that’s also DELICIOUS? That’s what I thought.

Below you will find four meals (including dessert because, let’s face it, if I’m at home I make myself dessert every night – I get my iron through my cocoa powder! Hehehe such a wonderful excuse…) that were all created, respectively, within the span of two days. So very recent creations!

Note: Super foods are abundant in these recipes :o)

Breakfast
Pumpkin Maca Chia Oatmeal:

1/2C rolled oats + 1C cold water + 1T whole chia seeds + 1T maca powder + 1/2Cish pumpkin puree,

then I added a sprinkle of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a good long drizzle of rice milk (that was promptly soaked up by the amazing superfood chia seeds!). Mmm mmm warm and delicious!

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Lunch

Shmorgishborg Salad:

Organic baby spinach +

1 steamed purple potato +

My greek yogurt dip (FAGE greek yogurt + distilled white vinegar + spices and diced veggies of choice) +

1 baby avocado +

1 big ‘ol squirt of stone ground mustard (weird, I know, I love mustard) +

then a sprinkle of Himalayan pink sea salt + fresh lemon juice + black pepper + dill + my special blend of Maui spices. Mmm! Shmorgishborg goodness.

 

Dinner

Salmon with Creamy Pumpkin Yogurt Sauce over Kale and Quinoa:

Self-explanatory to an extent…make a bed of quinoa and kale 🙂 over which goes…

1 filet of baked or broiled salmon (I crusted it with the aforementioned Maui spices) +

3/4-1C quinoa +

Big handful of Kale

Then for the sauce…

1/2C each of FAGE 0% Greek Yogurt + Pumpkin Puree, whisked together with a splash of distilled white vinegar, garlic powder, pink Himalayan sea salt, and black pepper.

The sauce then went in dollops over the kale and quinoa, then I laid the salmon atop that, and topped my fish with the remaining sauce. Voila! DELISH.

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Now for the last, but definitely not least, meal…(SUPERFOOD ALERT!)…

DESSERT

Cherry Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding:

1T mesquite powder + 1 heaping T cocoa powder (unsweetened) OR cacao powder + 2T shredded coconut + 1/2C frozen dark cherries + 2 heaping T creamy almond butter + unsweetened chocolate almond milk (to desired consistency) + orange zest (to taste) + pinch of stevia (may substitute raw honey or coconut nectar for thicker sweetness).

Mmm superfood dessert 🙂

 

 

If you try any of these, please let me know how you liked them! I’d also be thrilled to hear any substitutions or alterations you might have made. Happy cooking, friends!

10 Reasons to Give More Hugs

(As seen published on MindBodyGreen.com)
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Have you ever had the kind of busy day that perhaps leaves you feeling a bit physically disconnected? I have, and I rarely notice this until someone comes up and places a hand on my back to get my attention, and my brain says, “Wow…that felt really good.”
The simplest human touch when one isn’t expecting it, or even when one is expecting it, can deliver suchjoy and contentment. A hug is a step up, and so many of us don’t meet our daily hug quota.
I’ve read many different numbers, suggested by many different professionals, and have come to the conclusion that the more hugs one receives everyday, the better.
These are some reasons to squeeze (pun intended) as many lingering, loving hugs into your day as you’re physically able:
1. Hugging induces oxytocin in the body. 
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone, one that not only fortifies bonds with our loved ones, but also has the capability to stimulate solidarity between total strangers.
2. Hugging builds stronger bonds with the people you see everyday. 
Hugging nurtures human relationships, cultivates trust, increases confidence, and frankly, makes us happier people.
3. Hugging lowers stress! 
A good hug literally decreases the levels of cortisol found in the body. Talk about a drug-free anti-anxiety treatment.
4. Hugging lowers blood pressure. 
Collecting hugs is excellent for your ticker, in more ways than one!
5. Hugging is a reciprocal good deed.
One never knows what is going on in another person’s life. When a good, sincere hug is given, it has the potential to completely alter one’s day. How simple of a good deed is that? Just wrap your arms around me, and hug!
6. Hugging feels incredible! 
Seriously, the power of human touch is profound, and our bodies are filled with nerves ready (sometimesaching) for stimulation. Most of us are probably craving human touch all day long and simply not aware of it. Why do we spend so much money on massage? A good, long squeeze has the capacity to not only lift one’s spirits, but also feel wonderful for the body.
7. Hugging can turn a bad mood upside down. 
If you’re feeling grumpy and anti-social, just try crawling into a warm embrace. I pretty much guarantee you’ll come out of it feeling a little, if not totally, better.
8. Hugging reconnects the mind with the body. 
Most of us in the MindBodyGreen community try our best to live consciously. But when chaos builds, which it does rapidly in the workplace, behind the wheel, while on the computer, a good hug can reconnect us to that idea of conscious existence. A good hug has the power to prompt us towards better posture, deeper breathing, and a more relaxed state of being.
9. Hugging more makes us better huggers! 
That sounds silly, but I’m serious. Are you guilty of the non-committal, “I don’t have time to slow down” one-armed hug? If so, don’t expect to reap as many of these benefits. Those who take a moment to square up to another human being and wrap their arms around them for a good long breath are those who truly benefit from the power of hugging. Which brings me to benefit number ten…
10. Hugging cultivates patience.
Connections are fostered when people take the time to appreciate and acknowledge one another. A hug is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation and acknowledgement of another person.
The world is a busy, hustle-bustle place and we’re constantly rushing to the next task. By slowing down and taking a moment to offer sincere hugs throughout the day, we’re benefiting ourselves, others, and cultivating better patience within ourselves.
If you’re not already cognizant of your own personal hug quota, start collecting hugs today. There’s no time like the present, and this resolution will leave you happier and healthier. After all, as family therapist Virginia Satir says,
  • We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
  • We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
  • We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

 

Photo credit: MindBodyGreen.com via Shutterstock

~MAUI~

Where do I begin? I just returned from eight glorious days on the island of Maui, and my soul is completely changed. The warm, dewy air, the spiritually stimulating sunset swims (unintentional alliteration), the healing, brilliant sunset skies, the infinite silken grains of sand, the nourishing local delicacies…my body has been changed by my time in Hawaii, too. My mind seemed to work in a slower, more patient mode, my heart felt open and alive, infused with refreshing salt water warmth.

I embarked upon adventures I never thought myself brave enough to embark upon. I went snuba diving, snorekling, scuba diving, to beach front yoga, on leisurely bike rides, in and out of shops, into the ocean and out a million times…the adventure was endless.

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One of my most poignant moments was that of my fear around underwater excursions. I hadn’t ever acknowledged my fear of such adventures, because it wasn’t ever brought to my attention, but I realized something about myself. I  can be quick to latch onto the “what if’s” in life. This will do nothing but hold me back, I have surmised. We are surrounded by “what if’s” everyday. Side effects, potential risks, common worries and concerns…these are all “what if’s.” So, when I heard that snuba and scuba are not recommended for people with claustrophobia (which I would say I can suffer a mild form of under certain circumstances, but most of all in my mind when a claustrophobic image is conjured up), I was like, “Okay that’s me, I’m out.” So quick to throw the towel in, little grasshopper!

I decided to approach the Maui Magic Dive Master and discuss my fears. He was an individual of calm, kindness, and pure passion around the activity of diving, and his enthusiasm was contagious. How could I live with myself if I didn’t try this? Why would I walk away from the feeling in the pit of my stomach murmuring, “You’ll regret not doing this…” when I had every reason to suit up and give it a go? Valid questions. I answered them by suiting up, taking the snuba tutorial class, and going. This was me during the snuba tutorial session:

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Enthusiasm mixed with angst………

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In my moment of panic trying to adjust to breathing through a regulator, bobbing in the crystal clear waves of the Pacific off the coast of Molokini, I heard Kathryn Budig’s words in my mind…”Move away from fear, and into love.” Almost immediately, the hyperventilation ceased. I felt my muscles relax. I sank into the dancing waves. I breathed in and out, hand to the regulator as though it were a life raft, breathing, breathing, breathing. This mantra of K.B.’s echoed through my mind as I dove down into the ocean. Fish, sea life, coral, algae, all sorts of exquisite miracles appeared before my eyes…all because I had swam away from fear. I was submerged in love.

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I climbed out of the ocean absolutely and irrevocably convinced that, through this snuba experience, I had learned how to trump fear forevermore. I signed up the next morning for scuba diving.

I will not pretend that more panic did not surface in the coming days. In fact, I fully anticipated more panic, which is perhaps why it did appear. When we expect something, especially something negative, it usually manages to show up, doesn’t it? Self-fulfilling prophecy. My panic did not occur the morning of the dive, however, instead it arrived the day before. I was snorkeling in the choppy, windy waters of mid-afternoon (the time of fierce headwinds on the island of Maui) and suddenly was overcome by a bizarre sensation attempting to breathe through the snorkel. What on earth? I had been the feet below the surface just one day prior, breathing through a regulator and loving every single minute of it, how was a snorkel suddenly freaking me out?! I even snorkeled in the middle of the ocean after the snuba dive! I was used to it, how was the fear showing up now?

I gave in to the panic. I let it rise and fall in my chest on and off for the rest of the day, but refused to really latch onto it. I even toyed with exit routes in my head so as not to lose my scuba diving deposit because, as the awesome dude on the phone had said the day before, “Cancellation must be 48 hours in advance,” [it was the day before the dive when I signed up], “…sooo…you’re goin’ divin’!”

Gulp.

His words echoed in my mind and they were louder than K.B.’s this time; I couldn’t forget, however, the powerful sensation of peace that had taken over my body when I turned my back on fear and snuba’d my little heart out the day before. Through my panic, that image of myself was strong. It was vibrant, and it was urging me to embrace it. The next morning I woke without a shred of fear, not even a tidbit of panic in my heart. I arrived at the shop with my family stoked to dive. I geared up in a wetsuit and posed, ready to dive:

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The introductory dive consisted of about an hour of verbal instruction, a quiz, in-water skill tests, and then a dive. We went about 30 feet down and it was the most magical experience ever (although I can’t say it topped snuba, simply because that was a very profound moment for me…one I will never forget, one in which I literally turned my back to fear and dove down into love, a life-changing moment). Scuba diving was incredible. Our guide had a magnadoodle (how RAD is that??) that he’d write the name of sea life on. We saw rainbow fish, lizard fish, amazing coral, eel, red pencil urchins (one of my favorites because of their name!), algae, under-water amazingness…all the while “Under the Sea” was playing through my mind as I lived out my Little Mermaid fantasies from childhood. Absolutely breathtaking!

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This trip to Maui was one that changed me, altered my state of harmony, in beautiful ways. I sense an urgency to spend more time there, my heart and soul are begging me to return. It’s awfully perfect that come January my YogaWorks teacher training program will commence, and by June I’ll be ready for another life adventure. Perhaps my bliss will lead me back to Maui, to spend some time living there. One never knows 🙂 what I do know, for certain, is that the eight glorious days I spent under the beautiful Hawaiian sun with my loving family were enough to revamp my energy and spirits [for what feels like] indefinitely.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude, love, and the simple magic of that beautiful island. I’m enamored by it. I’m carrying an abundance of warmth, light, and harmony within my heart from that experience and, while I’m missing my family deeply after so many days spent in relaxing vacation mode, I’m just so thankful to have had that experience. Thoughts of Maui warm my heart, body, and mind immediately. How magical is that? Now I have an exquisite image to conjure up in my mind when I think the mantra, “Move away from fear and into love.” It’s of Maui. It’s of the waters off Molokini. It’s of me in a wetsuit. It’s of the amazing growth. that can occur within a being if one is open to growth.

Be open to growth, is what I’ve learned. Bliss and harmony have no limit.

Mahalo, to my family and to the mystical, healing island of Maui. Smiles!!!

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*Bliss and harmony have no limit.*

Holistically Purifying the System

It’s been a busy week, and my last blog post sat in limbo for several days before being shortened and posted with a different title. It seems now, and felt then, incomplete. It was all I could come up with between running from work to home, cooking meals, preparing lunch, sleeping, practicing yoga…do you ever just get lost in the time? I feel happiest when I write something and practice yoga every day. Sometimes, however, this is simply not doable every single day and something must give. By living we gain writing material; by learning we gain insight, and something worth actually sharing.

My hectic week is warmly welcomed because, at the end of it, a plane ticket to Maui and 10 days of relaxing bliss await me. I’ve never been to Hawaii and am utterly thrilled to be typing these words. Not only is autumn, my most favorite season, upon us, but I’m also jetting off to paradise in just three days. Bliss. Gratitude. Abundantly blessed. 

This trip is one with family, in partial belated celebration of my graduation from college. Another fact worth celebrating is that, for the first time in many years, we are all able to take a long vacation with one another! That being said, after reading my horoscope, I figured an introspective week of studying just how I cleanse and purify my system on a daily basis (and in times when a Hawaiian vacation is not waiting for me at the week’s end) was in need.

So, what washes the dust of everyday life from your soul, my friends?
Here’s what I came up with…

Practicing yoga everyday (bet you wouldn’t have guessed that one!). The warm voice of my mother on the other end of the phone line. Sitting down with a black gel pilot G-2 0.38 pen and my crisp, lined journal. A mug of warm water and lemon in the morning. Meditating in a restorative set-up. The magic that materializes in the atmosphere come autumn. Filling my kitchen with soothing aromas of nourishing foods. Making goods I otherwise would have purchased. The burning in the bottom of my lungs from hiking a trail, and the serenity of the view that greets me. Drinking tea in a new cafe.Hiking with my dad. Experimenting with plants in my kitchen. Healing and soothing the body and soul through medicinal use of foods. Breathing deeply, pranayama, until emotions are raw and I’m really getting to know myself. Sitting before the ocean, a thick, soft scarf wrapped around my neck, being reminded by mother nature how beautiful small I am. Laying in the grass staring up at the sky (many of you are probably reading this going, “Are you kidding me? Like I have time to do that!” But I’m serious. It’s all the more powerful when you don’t have the time to lay on a blanket in the grass and stare up at the sky and you make time for it. Watch. Do it and just watch what happens to your soul). Snuggling up with my dog and feeling the warmth of her heartbeat, fast and rhythmic, so happy to be pressed to mine. Baring my soul to my best friend, laughing hard, and being reminded that in my most human state, I am loved. Refusing to adhere to a schedule on my day off, it’s so liberating. Kissing slowly and passionately. The feel of a mare beneath my fingertips, her warm, strong, face and sweet breath, tender in her massive brawn. Learning, reading, and hoovering up knowledge like it’s my last day on earth. Living with intention, living on purpose, and not caring what others think of it. Being unabashedly myself, risking judgement and loathing from others, accepting the darkness that comes with the beautiful, pristine, sparkling light of this delicious life.

I’m leaving this post as it is today, a little chaotic and utterly random; because that is how I feel this week, and I love everything about it. Not everything must be linear, organized, perfect. I am perfectly imperfect in this moment, this day and this week as I am in every moment, day and week. I embrace it. I think I’ll wear a funky hat tonight. And practice some yoga right now with neither rhyme nor reason, just mindfulness. That’s my sunday recipe for an imagination as fresh and free as a warm breeze on a sunny, [autumn] day. Care to whip up your own?

I’m leaving you with this amazing collage of inspiring quotes from MindBodyGreen.com creator Jason Wachob. He’s a genius, a yogi, a body image and “wellness warrior” (via Jess Ainscough) and someone who continues to inspire me everyday. 

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Be well, my friends!

Horoscope

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This is my horoscope for the week. By the way, if I’ve not mentioned it already, I LOVE Rob Brezsny’s Freewill Astrology. Interestingly enough, I leave for Maui next week (cue the cheers!!!) and this resonates with me profoundly at this moment.

I intend to purify my system before the great art of Mother Nature with my toes in the sea…through the practice of yoga at sunrise…through meditation on the soft sand of the Hawaiian shore…I intend to cleanse the congestion of emotions by spending quality time, hikes, sunsets and laughs with my sweet, beautiful Momma-bear…

How do you intend to purify yours?

The “Quasi _________”

Enough With The Labels!

I’ve come to a conclusion: labels repel me.

No, I am not saying that all labels are bad, nor am I declaring that I claim no labels. I do claim some labels, and the ones I do claim I am rather proud of: writer and yogini. I could also claim wellness enthusiast and advocate, hiker, animal-lover, creative cook, hooper…labels are not bad, as long as they don’t “pigeonhole” you (an applicable vocabulary word borrowed from my dear ‘ol Dad).

I’ve been ruminating on the topic of labels, and discussing their complexities with my peers and my ever-wise parents. I have a deep love for animals and animal wellness, and could easily stamp myself vegan. My carbon footprint would be reduced along with my own personal affect on the maltreatment of beautiful, breathing, living animals. But then there are all of the accompanying complications with claiming such a label (like what about honey, and wool, and those awesome suede boots I bought in ‘09 whilst living in Italy?) and, more importantly, the obstacles (like not being able to easily enjoy a meal with family, or eat out comfortably at an ordinary restaurant). I’m sure many vegans would turn their nose up at the selfishness in the past couple sentences. But, you know what, having dabbled in veganism on and off for years, it’s been a sincere issue I’ve run into and I’m not going to be ignorant of that fact.

So, what I propose is this: Quasi-fill-in-the-blank-eating.

I love eating raw, absolutely adore it, however I personally cannot realistically eat raw every single day; I love eating vegan for the positive effects on animal wellness, my own body, my health, the environment and my heart; but I’m not going to limit myself to what I see as a “pigeonholed” and terribly awkward social life of “salad with dressing on the side” when I go out anyplace. I personally am already limited by dairy allergies, so why box myself off further by adhering to a strict label? Guess what, I LOVE seafood. I adore making my delicious and miraculous greek yogurt dip.  I enjoy an occasional grilled chicken breast with veggies over greens. I like poaching an egg now and then. Sue me. I even hear myself getting defensive, and then I realize…why should anyone care but me?

So, that being said, why can’t I create my very own non-label?? I’m Quasi-Raw-Vegan. There’s a beautiful twitter page https://twitter.com/AlmostRawVegan called “AlmostRawVegan.” I’m totally drawn to this page because it speaks to my the rhythms of my own individual soul. Is one not doing a great favor to the animal wellness cause, the environment, and their health by being “almost” or “quasi” vegan? By being “sort of” raw? By being a “sometimes” vegetarian? By buying organic, pasture raised, 5-step verified meat products from a reputable grocer, or better yet, from a local rancher themselves? Does every little tiny bit not help the big picture? My answer is HELL YES. If you’re like me, and repelled by labels, then step away from the labels. YOU run YOUR own life. YOU have the choice to make decisions based on what WORKS for your body and what MATTERS to YOU! Cue the amazing Jessica Sepel (whose blog can be found here: http://jessicasepel.blogspot.com.au/) and a beautiful quote from her blog page that really resonated with me:

Jessica kindly asks folks making her recipes off her blog to “have with a serving of protein, please!” She doesn’t preach “which protein” which I absolutely respect, tenfold. The above quote is powerful because so many of us fail to see that, fail to recognize it. We want everyone to eat like US. “No, just try it,” we say, ”dairy can’t make you feel that sick, just eat it!” No, my answer is dairy does me feel sick. Maybe my green smoothies make your stomach turn. Fair enough! We are different. Our bodies thrive on different substances, and that’s OKAY!

I am a self-professed nutrition nut. I always will be. I love to eat delicious food, but the moment my life took a profound turn is when I stopped eating food that didn’t make me feel good. I loved me a good cheeseburger back in the day – but the ensuing, day-long rut of low energy, sluggishness, and indigestion are simply NOT worth it. I’d rather have a portobello burger, a homemade chickpea burger, or even a free-range turkey burger, cheeseless, with avocado, with or without a sprouted whole grain bun! Why not a soy veggie burger, you ask? Well because, in my humble opinion, I would prefer to eat the least processed form of food available to me. Tristan Prettyman says something similar in an interview, talking about her time as a vegan and not wanting to ingest all of the ingredient-laden meat and dairy imitation products because they’re far worse for you, and higher in caloric content, than the original product!

My thoughts are this: follow your heart. Eating close to nature, pure foods, extra veggies, lots of superfoods, very nourishing fuel – that’s my dietary calling. But I fully embrace yours, and yours, and yours. We are all so different. I also embrace that, when removed from my own space and routine, flexibility must come into play. I refuse to isolate myself due to some label. It’s simply not healthy. As Jessica Sepel talks about in her wellness counseling, taking care of the inside is JUST as important as taking care of the outside. How good for your heart and soul is it if you can’t sit down to a meal with your loved ones who eat differently than you? My family members are loving and caring, and they love my healthy cooking, respect my dairy intolerance, and enjoy preparing meals with me in the kitchen that we all will love. Love, life, food, relationships, and cooking all require compromise and flexibility. My hope for myself, and for us all, is to live happy, holistically well lives in the healthiest bodies we can possibly cultivate for ourselves; that is the point of this article.

Let go of the guilt, whatever guilt it is that keeps you glued to a label that you are perhaps feeling hindered by. Likewise, if you love your label, then love it. Pave a road that leads to your bliss and you can’t go wrong.

So, my holistic wellness hunting friends, bravely and boldly be “Quasi_________’s” because life is NOT all or nothing! Every, single, little, bit, helps. Go out and be beautifully, radically, individually your Selves!

Peace, harmony, and well-being…this day, and everyday.