Before you begin reading, here is my disclaimer, it is ok to not want to change your whole way of eating after reading this! It is to at least fet your wheels turning!
At this point is you’re still here i hope you read all the way through, this post is about MY jorney to no meat and through out the month of january i will be posting on social media about my vegan journey i will be starting tomorrow! Many people think im already very vegan because i openly advocate for vegan choices on the regular. Actually i am about 90% vegan... or whatever that means. I focus on cruelty free living. All of my beauty/bath/lifestyle products are vegan, i dont buy wool, leather, suede purses/boots/coats etc. I eat no meat, occasionally fish and cheese and eggs, no milk, sometimes processed dairy. Our mayo, butter, milk, and cheese in our fridge are all vegan. My biggest down fall... pizza. I friggin love a good pizza. Below ill explain why i, and many other struggling vegans, still eat a few non vegan things here and there.
How did i get started:
-The book “skinny bitch”
-Researched where my food was coming from
-Swapped all beauty/hair/body products, etc.
-ALWAYS read labels/google
I literally made chocolate covered oreos with sprinkles for xmas, YOU CAN LITERALLY EAT A VEGAN VERSION OF ANYTHING IF YOU REALLY CANT GIVE IT UP!
In my opinion, the only reason people including myself continue to support businesses and practices that promote the unnecessary torture, mutilation, electrocution and death of animals is because it’s convenient, and oh yah, we’re selfish. (Seems a bit over board, i get it, but it’s literally all true!)
This is where people take offense. You cant tell me you have a better reason to eat that chicken wing other than you just plain like it.
Some common questions people ask me:
“But they eat meat in the bible”: and have 19 wives and slaves, doesnt mean we should now a days.
“People have eaten meat/animal products for hundreds of years”: and people have not eaten meat for hundreds of years, and with the development of modern technology we no longer have to limit our food choices by season or region, for example vegetables of all kinds are available year round where hundreds of years ago it wasn't that simple. I believe if we dont have to harm and animal to eat/live, then why should we.
-“But my family owns a farm and we name the cows and play with them and they live a great life first:” this is the tiny minority. Sure it's the best case senario if you want to eat meat, but why not dog meat like other cultures? Why cows and pigs? Because we’ve been trained by society to consume these animals since birth. The large majority of the population/ restaurants/grocery stores get their aninals products from horrific, disgusting factory farms. Footage doesn't lie, there’s a reason no one wants to watch those videos of aniamls being ripped apart alive, screaming for their babies for weeks on end and drowning in their own feces. Deep down we know our purchases support it.
Ever notice your cat cry when you step on his tail, your dog yelp if you cut his nail too short. They feel pain, fear, sadness, all animals to some degree have “feelings.” These matter to me.
Society can’t even watch a well cared for dog who is scared to jump in the water, get forced/pushed in without a huge uproar*. Although we can continue to support an industry that drugs our food until it grows so large its bone structure cant support its own body weight anymore.
* from the filming of A Dogs Purpose.
We have the ability to make better choices, we have the freedom to make smarter choices, vegans are labeled as pushy and preachy because how do you tell someone nicely that they are supporting everything i talked about above.
Just because you were raised one way doesn't mean you are required to stay that way, it’s hard to go against the grain, to ask the waiter 109 questions, to have your friends not understand your decisions. But when you are living in alignment with your values, you will sleep sounder every night.
I am not perfect, most vegans are not perfect, you dont have to be perfect. Make one change this month, if your stomach turned even once reading this, make one change, one change that works for you, meatless mondays, vegan milk, anything. Your small choices do and will add up.
Ill post some links below for some resources you might be interested in. Feel free to leave comments or questions you have here or on my social media! And don’t forget i wasn’t an english major, please excuse any grammatical errors.
ps i haven't even touched on the negative environmental impact that animal agriculture is making...
Veganuary: Inspiring people to try vegan
I Love Vegan: The basics of veganism
Vegan Society: Vegan Lifestyle
Peta: Accidentally Vegan Foods (ie. oreos)
If you want to get committed to a healthier lifestyle, mentally and physically , it is not somthing you can just decide, and watch happen. You must identify with some aspect of your program in order to stick with it. How can you expect to “get healthy and feel confident” if you constantly self doubt, and talk down to yourself.
You help, love, and encourage your friend, your toddler, you your freakin dog! So why in the hell don’t we help, love, and enourage ourselves? We are so hell bent on self hate and negativity we forget to appreciate, thank, love, help and ENCOURAGE ourselves.
Instead of accepting our flaws or short comings we tend to focus soley on fixing them, always in the process , never fixed, never perfect, never enough. Society fuels the fire often by setting you up for failure, telling you you're broken and then selling you shitty remedies that bandade the problem and mask the truth.
it is your job to realize your worth, be HONEST with yourself and recognize that being who you are, and celebrating it, is not a bad thing. The more you show your body love and appreciate it, the more it will love you back and that is when you’ll start not just seeing, but feeling results.
Ever have a raw unfiltered heart to heart with yourself... who the hell are you... do your daily actions align not just with your fitness/wellness goals but your goals as a person, a human, a being contributing your gifts on a daily basis to the planet???? Ok that’s a little heavy but im sure you see where I am going with this.
In order to reach your fitness goals you must first align your actions with your lifestyle goals!
As I revisit my blog almost a year after starting it i find a renewed passion to basically spew out everything i think will help lead you to a more calm, aligned, and fitness driven life.
My instagram lightly touches on veganism, mostly on workouts, ways to balance your recovery and fitness, and general fun loving wellness advice. If you’re here you are looking for a bit more, more honesty, more knowledge, and possibly more guidance (you could just be here out of curiosity or mistake but stick with me😬👍)
Being brutally honest is not something i have EVER struggled with, life is to short to beat around the bush. The purpose of todays post is simply to examine yourself this week, are you being honest with yourself, your goals, your journey to get there? Do you workout Monday thru Friday and live like a sloppy bum all weekend? (No judgments just asking you to reflect!) Life is all about living, living balanced, living honest, and living fully.
Each week I will be posting about my personal experience with this, ways I’ve seen help myself or others live their (infamously popular) best life. The SECRET is just being honest with yourself, it’s as easy as that🤗.
Niagara Falls International Marathon
I promised I would give a break down, for those of you who are interested, in how the marathon I ran on 10/15/17 went. Over all I'd have to say I wouldn't do this particular race again, but it wasn't a total loss either!
The day of, I was all smiles, mostly in hopes if i looked happy my body would be tricked into thinking I was in fact entering into a happy positive situation. A few days before the race I woke with a cold, not a little cold, a BIG cold, like a whopper of a cold. I was exhausted, dizzy, achy, my head hurt, and there was a lot of snot. Aside from this training had gone relatively well and I just hoped I could muster up the strength to get through this thing!
The morning of the race I had everything prepped like I always do, the water bottles I run with that my dog had chewed through just the week before had already been replaced... I had purchased extra gels and Gatorade, and over all my cold was feeling rather mild at the time. No complaints.
Not even 10 minutes into the race I could feel my heart rate flying, I knew i was going a little faster than originally planned but i wasn't sure why my heart rate was literally thumping through my chest (in the end i chalked it up to my cold.) By the time we reached the peace bridge, approaching mile 5 I was lagging behind my running partners, as we approached the water the wind picked up... a lot... and I knew at that point plan A was NOT happening, time for plan B.
Side note: Always have a plan A, B and C
A: Sub 5 hours
B: Just Finish the race feeling "good"
C: Don't die
I ended up alone, and wind blown for the rest of the race, if it weren't for my husband at mile 13 basically forcing me to continue on I probably would have called it quits. My mind quit before my body even had the chance too. After Dan's mini pep talk I decided to muster up another 2 miles, and another, and another. Next thing you know I passed the 20 mile marker. As the miles passed they felt slow but steady, I stopped frequently to stretched to give myself little "mental breaks."
If it weren't for the little hiccup around mile 22 and 24 water stops I think could have finished a little stronger. Unfortunately they were out of water... yes a water stop had no water, I opted to take their electrolyte beverage which was basically dirty water and it gave me a cramp which i basically held onto until the final mile.
Once I hit a water stop that actually had water in it i stopped to refill my bottle and drink, at this point I picked up a friend, a 65-69 year old guy who was about as bad ass as they get. He asked if he could walk with me while i drank, he told me about his other marathons and his favorite courses, next thing i know there is less than a mile to go!!! I'm still not sure how much time i spent on that little walk but i don't regret it one bit. It brought perspective back into the race, it helped calm my mind and refocus my attention on something other than the clock.
I finally picked my pace up and came around the corner to see my husband and family cheering me on, it was such an AMAZING feeling to be done, but just as amazing to have done it. Marathons are soooo much mental. It's like being alone with your thoughts for hours but needing to be able to focuse on what you're doing, which is perfect, it's like having the TV on in the background, it's there, it's happening but you aren't emotionally invested in the program. Running allows you to release those pent up, lost, unrecognizable feeling/thoughts/emotions without getting sucked into the sometimes draining process of fishing through them all.
I finished this marathon 10x stronger and more confident than my first one and for that, I say it was a win!
It Is Everything About Preparation, Everything.
Here's a little update for everyone. My marathon is in about 3 weeks. This fast Sunday I ran 20 miles, last Sunday I ran 18 miles. To say it nicely, the 18 was one of the most painful runs I've ever done (and I've ran a marathon before!) I felt crampy, my legs were heavy, my body was literally revolting at the thought of moving another inch let alone a mile. I'd say by mile 9 my body already shut down, it was done, i was tired, weak, dizzy, nauseous. It was literally just as shitty was it sounds... so then why the hell was my 20 mile run the most graceful, steady, fun, casual run of my life (more or less of course.) PREP. I completely 360'd my run prep routine with the advice from my amazing brother @nickbrodnicki who thank god also happens to be an endurance athlete and coach! Below is a little summary of my prep which I will be using (parts that are possible) for the marathon.
- Do NOT underestimate the amount of work that goes in to "training" that doesn't involve running at all. I attended a 30th birthday the night before. Drank tons of water, and LEFT EARLY because I knew that hours of pain and misery were not worth it. I was in bed by 10pm!
- I made sure to pack the stupid extra stuff you will "never" need and then totally and completely need the entire run. Sunscreen, @nathansportsinc strobe light, my @garmin watch and HR monitor, @fuelbelt, band aids, toilet paper (not an lol moment,) @brooksrunning sneakers, @safteyskinofficial skin spread (reflective stuff,) and my @roadid hat and ID.
p.s. I also run with pepper spray... safety first!
p.p.s. No affiliate links here, just showing you what I like!
- I bought the expensive underwear!!! One word people, chaffing. (No my bro did not help me with this) I made sure I had my favorite, perfect for the occasion, sweat wicking, seamless, everything but the kitchen sink running underwear set aside the night before. That, along with my fav shorts and all the clothing I would need perfectly organized to be slipped into at the raw hour of 3am.
- Eat... for the love of God, EAT. Eat everything you have, everything your given, and in case your not sure, eat two. I don't even think I had that much and I was eating the entire run. Apple sauces, granola bars, gels, Gatorade, I'm packing peanut butter and jelly for the marathon... and it's going to be awesome... I was told at least 200 cals an hour need to be consumed, if you hit that, you won't feel like a walking zombie at the finish line. Maybe more like a running zombie... :)
You've got good pre run tips or tricks, LET ME KNOW! Prep is everything people!!
Why does everyone expect to always be motivated to workout, eat healthy, and live a mindful wholesome lifestyle?
When I mention to someone that I'm training for a marathon they first ask how far that is, and second they say, "OMG that's crazy, how do you motivate yourself to run that far?"... I usually don't think into it to much, until now.
I realized I don't really have motivation to run that far. I'm not competitive by any means so signing up for something and needing to accomplish it isn't really a "motivating" factor and I'm not that motivated to just go out and run 26.2 miles, but i do it anyway.
I run because I can.
I run because at the end of the day, getting a run in feels complete.
I run to feel the breeze, to taste the salty sweat running down my face, to feel my body get stronger, to take in the fresh air.
I run because it's who I am.
There is no amount of motivation that can get my ass up at the crack of dawn to eat, pack my things, and drive out to a bike path to run for 3 hours in the cold.. there has to be more to it...and there is.
At the end of the day when you go to bed you should be able to look on the mirror, exhausted, yet relaxed, and know that you did something for yourself today, you bettered yourself, you respected your body, you fed your desire to be whole and you nurtured your soul.
It didn't happen after my first run... or my second or third. I don't know when it happened, but one day when I woke up to run it wasn't motivation lacing up my sneakers, it was just me.
There Will Never Be Another You.
Why are we so quick to downplay our personal achievments!?...
"You look great today"
"O, no i don't i'm a mess, this old top? This hair?"
"You can run a mile without stopping? How exciting!"
"O please, it's only one mile, i'm so slow anyway, i barely make it to the end."
Why can't we just be happy for ourselves and accept compliments, acknowledge our accomplishments, and promote ourselves as the bad ass achievers we are?!
Do we celebrate only the big birthdays...30,40, 50 etc. Or do we celebrate every birthday in between?? There will always be someone who runs faster, lifts heavier, dresses nicer... but there will never be another you. YOU accomplishing your first mile or YOU rocking a badass outfit will never be something someone else can take away.
Once we start acknowledging our accomplishments, whether it be at the gym, at work or in our social life, we will be able to really break away from what holds us back and continue to accomplish. Each time bigger and better things will be done and the positive energy and encouragement that we begin to accept along the way will only fuel our success even more.
Why are we afraid of our own fat???
Rumor has it I have cellulite on my legs. Most people do. Some people have a lot. Some a little. I have yet to meet anyone with none. What people don't seem to realize is fat is not a bad thing! Male or female, fat fills us out, gives us curves,insulates us, and give your body some personality!
People are so afraid of their own fat because:
"CONFIDENCE STARTS WITH YOU,
While running yesterday down a busy road I thought about my fat, i thought about my legs jiggling as cars fly by. I thought about my cellulite peaking out every time i took a step, each dinple waving at oncoming traffic while hissing at me to run harder. Luckily i also thought about how much i dont give a shit what people driving by in their cars think of my fat, my cellulite, or my leg giggle. Maybe they think i need longer shorts? Maybe i should stick to less traveled side roads and tame my cellulite and it's unruly ways. MAYBE.... maybe i dont give a shit. My legs are powerful and muscular and kick serious ass. My legs carry my dimply ass through mile after mile never once judging. We need to start silencing those that bring us down... even if it is ourselves. If you notice not once did i say anyone actually told me i had fat, or mentioned my cellulite, or explained their feeling ls regarding the length of my shorts. Odds are no one ever will, why? Because im confident.
Im happy in my skin and im ok with my jiggle. No one would dare come up to a confident lady rocking her running shorts and think that there is any room for them to say somthing negative. It's all in your own head. No one can knock you down unless you let them.
Im a work in progress like anyone else, but if you always wait until your "confident" in your body to start enjoying somthing, like running shorts on a hot day... you are missing out! Confidence starts with you, and it starts today!
So you're trying to watch what you're eating. Keep the calories down, sugar under control. That mindset...great! The execution... not so great.
People are so afraid to actully eat good filling foods that they continue to stick with diet breads, "light" drinks, sugarless desserts, and their body ends up craving it all even more.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF FOOD!
Breakfast is the perfect example, you want to get started on a heathy note, get your metabolism going, and feel full and satisfied for the morning. Coffee and light toast won't cut it... Above I have my vegan pancakes (don't worry they're non vegan taste approved) that i "veganized" from a martha stewart recipe! They are amazing with some crushed strawberries too!
Now according to the recipe that's 2 tbsp of sugar for 8 pancakes, roughly 3g of sugar added to each pancake. Hell yes!!!! Personally I dont believe in counting natural sugars (the bananas) so that really isn't bad at all. Just add some protein, either substitute some flour with protein powder or add something on the side and you have a filling satisfying breakfast! Obviously this one may take a little extra time and I only use as a weekend breakfast option unless it's made in advance! Any other good recipes I should know about? Comment!