After a gluttonous Christmas month (and I’d love to say it was just a week) I was really ready to get back to basics. In fact while I was purging on cakes and biscuits and wine, I was avidly reading and getting inspiration, ready for the New Year. I’m not one for making resolutions; I like to feel that for me January is about removing excesses, hibernating a little and re-assessing.
This year I did however decide to go a little extreme for me and have a gluten free, tea-total, vegan month. I hadn’t planned to do this. I’d simply decided to have a few days juicing in order to improve energy and feel better. Then I got cold and longed for warm soups and my vegan month was there. Why not, I decided. My reasoning came about simply because I felt so lethargic and was really aware of my joints as I got up in the morning. This shouldn’t be a norm for me and as I’ve so much faith in the healing power of plant foods, I embraced my little clinical study of one!!!!!
So far, three weeks in, I’m over ¾ stone lighter, full of energy and find myself bouncing, although I have to admit, I haven’t yet started any form of exercise routine, apart from dog walking. It’s not been easy especially as I cook dinner in the evening for my carnivorous family but it hasn’t been that tough either. I’ve managed to go out for dinner and find something on the menu, as well as cook lovely meals and make tasty and healthy chocolate and fruity treats. Nut butters and fruit have been my happy indulgences and roasted vegetables along with vegetable soups have made me smile. What I have learnt from this is the appreciation, yet again, of fruit as a beautiful and yet simple snack. Papayas, melons, figs and oranges have been a pure joy to eat and asparagus soup with a little chilli, blended with almonds has been delightful. I’ve discovered new juice and smoothie combinations and found inspiring recipes that are filling and a pure joy to eat. In all it’s been a really positive experience.
Will I carry on with this as a lifestyle choice? No!!! Will I make it to the end of the month? Maybe not. I’m going to a party tomorrow and don’t want to inflict my craziness on any of my friends. I simply want to enjoy my evening, spending quality time with people I care about, being thankful for the food that will have been lovingly prepared. This is far more important to me than any short term food choices I’ve decided to make.
During my hibernation time, I’ve also been reading Anita Moorjan’s books which I can’t recommend enough. In her first book she describes her journey from cancer to near death and then true healing. During this journey, Anita came to the understanding that making diet choices based on fear was detrimental to her health and instead, loving and enjoying what you eat is vital for healing.
We should openly enjoy foods that we feel are good for us, whether we choose a lifestyle that is vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or as a meat eater. I would say however that eating foods that make us feel good, doesn’t include the hollow short-term satisfaction that junk food provides. This I found to my cost yet again in December. Real, wholefoods are the only way to go, but joy in foods you love is what matters!!