Compassion begins on your plate!! 💚🌱✨ I’ve always been a bit of a bleeding heart. I was 14 years old when I decided weight loss wasn’t worth eating animals. My entire family was on the Atkins diet, and saw short term successes (but long term health problems, cancers and death). I was repulsed by seeing family members eat flesh for every meal. I went vegetarian without really knowing how to be a healthy one. As a Midwest girl with limited nutrition knowledge, I just decided to eat anything that didn’t have eyes. This included tons of bread, pasta, and cheese. 18 years old wasn’t even my heaviest. I was heaviest in my mid twenties working in the insurance industry. I finally had a moment where I felt like I woke up. I found myself staring down a road I didn’t want to be on, and drastically changed my life.
Working at Whole Foods and learning about The Whole Foods Diet, and finding veganism was the answer I needed all along. It was not only the most compassionate choice for the animals, and the planet, but it was the most compassionate choice for myself and my health. I finally found the answer to all the questions I had about our nutrition, while still limiting our harm, and impacting the planet positively. The energy this diet gave me impacted my physical activities as well.
We are all so hard on ourselves sometimes, myself included. We are all imperfectly perfect. As I learned more, my mind evolved, my behaviors and diet evolved, and then my body followed. It wasn’t a perfect process. It took time. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. It’s as simple as making a decision on what you are making for dinner tonight, or to take that walk you are thinking about. May your life and actions be a celebration of the Earth, every day.
Veganism is kind of like the mainstream belief in the normality of the “food chain hierarchy”, but in reverse. How did the animal get this nutrient ? What did the animal eat? If the animal got it from another animal, what did that animal eat? There in lies the answer to any nutrition inquiry.
The design of the Earth and our bodies is so intelligent, our nutrients we need just naturally occur in growing plants, and natural elements. Scarcity during changing seasons and weather conditions is the reason our early ancestors hunted animals. In this day and age, a large variety of plants is at our fingertips within a moment’s notice. Killing is unnecessary. Compassion truly begins on your plate: for the animals, the environment, your health, and the future of the human race.
Compassion begins on your plate!!! Tomorrow starts Day 1 of the 28 day challenge. Tonight, get really clear on your goals for the month of February. With this full moon, it’s the perfect time to manifest some healthy achievements for yourself. Whether you are going vegan for 28 days, or are already vegan and refining your diet more, write down your goals tonight.
Me? I will be going oil free. Now I don’t mean I won’t be eating avocados or nuts with natural oils. The right kind of oil can be great for your brain. What I won’t be doing is frying my food, or ordering tempura veggies (which I love). This also means I’ll be grabbing oil free hummus and avoiding vegan cheeses with added oil. Luckily, brands like Kite Hill and Engine2 don’t use oil!
Also, I have a planned cheat day to help keep me on track. We have two veg festivals in my area per year, and one of them falls during the challenge. To keep me on track, that’ll be my one allotted oil cheat day as I try all the new vegan things in my area.
Be compassionate with yourself through this process and do your best! That’s all we can do, and that’s what helps us avoid feelings of guilt as we work towards transformation. Have a happy healthy day, and don’t forget, write down your goals tonight!! Tomorrow is Day 1. What will you do with it?
Compassion begins on your plate! As mentioned in the cover story in the August 21, 2017 issue of Woman’s World Magazine on shelves now, attached is my recipe for whole plant-based, vegan shepard’s pie. I am so honored to be featured in the current issue of Woman’s World magazine for plant-based nutrition. To have my weight loss transformation be an example of a vegan, Whole Foods diet being the most compassionate and nutritious lifestyle is honestly a dream come true.
Although the article states you can lose 20 lbs in a week, my over-100lbs-lost story was a slow process over a year and a half, making good daily decisions on plant-based food choices. I never intended to drop the weight, just to do better. The weight loss has been a nice bonus. Always love yourself and your body at any weight. Make daily decisions on activities and food choices from love. Do all things from a place of love, not lack.
Also, I could tell you right now I would not have dropped weight if I continued eating cheese, even though the article suggests doing shreds of cheese on your salad. In fact, a huge part of my spike in energy was abstaining from any and all animal products and focusing on whole, real fruits and vegetables. Replace your eggs and cheese with tofu scrambles, like the recipe in the article. They are seriously delicious and won’t slow you down. 😉
I encourage you all to read “The Whole Foods Diet” book by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. He focuses on so many health benefits abstaining from animal products. He is so incredibly passionate about it. Case studies have shown people reversing and preventing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancers. Weight loss is the least important benefit to consider.
Chia is an ancient Mayan word for strength. Introducing it into my diet has helped my hunger and stamina exponentially. It’s a good source of protein, fiber, calcium and omega-3. Eating chia puddings have become a staple for me on days I’m losing weight and feeling motivated to work out. My favorite cookie is definitely my mom’s gingerbread so combining her spices with chia pudding seemed like a perfect fit to satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthy way.
4 tablespoons black chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon* of cinnamon
A dash* of ginger
A dash* of clove
*Can be increased with preference.
Combine ingredients in Tupperware bowl and leave in fridge overnight. If you would like to make more for the week, just keep the ratio of 4 tablespoons per cup of coconut milk in mind.
In the morning, enjoy a healthful, yummy gingerbread chia pudding !
Taking a moment to reflect on my weight loss journey tonight, I am appreciating where I am at. Many people are surprised when I tell them I’ve never actually set a goal weight. In fact, I only recently even bought a scale and that was due to being interviewed about my weight loss. I just wanted to be able to speak about my weight with certainty. Even now, though many people acknowledge I have a ways to go or more weight to lose, I still don’t really have an end goal.
Dr. Wayne Dyer was a brilliant man, whose life’s work has affected my own greatly. He once said that, “Deficiency motivation doesn’t work. It will lead to a life-long pursuit of try to fix me. Learn to appreciate what you have and where and who you are.” This resonated with me on a deep level.
When you focus on lack, you experience more of it. I don’t want to spend my life being someone who focuses on fixing all of the perceived problems I may or may not even have. When I stopped focusing on my weight problem, I stopped having a weight problem. My weight loss has truly happened out of self-love. I wake up everyday and try to do better for myself. I became discerning in all areas of my life: from food, to the people I allow around me, to how I occupy my time, to the thoughts that flow through my mind. I choose what’s best for me in that moment. I eat plants that’ll make me feel good and motivated to be active, versus processed food that makes me feel like crap. I let go of people who cut me down (even if it’s a joke, it’s never nice) and hang around the ones that build good vibes with me. I meditate instead of focusing on the thoughts that stress me out. It’s really been simple. Enough time has passed that physically, I’ve drastically changed from who I was even a year ago.
Even now, standing at a hundred pounds lighter, there are people who can only see what I have yet to lose, focusing on lack. I don’t listen to them. I focus on what I’ve gained, what I’ve accomplished, and how amazing the human body really is. When you focus on loving who you are in this moment, everything changes. When you stop listening to the people who don’t believe in you, you start to believe in yourself. This mentality and way of life has opened doors I only dreamed of. The more you focus on being love, which is your true, authentic self, the physical transformation will also become evident.
As a child, I basically ate whatever my parents decided to put in front of me. Until one day, I started questioning the choices of my parents. I was 14 years old when my dad’s side of the family all decided to be on the Atkin’s diet. I watched my dad order a beef burger without the bun, eat as much bacon and sausage as he wanted for breakfast, not eating many vegetables and completely cutting out carbs. Being someone who never particularly enjoyed eating tons of meat, I was repulsed by it. I called it the “flesh” diet. I declared I was a vegetarian and started preparing my own dinners. I didn’t really know how to be a healthy vegetarian, I just knew I didn’t want to contribute to the killing of animals. Once I researched documentaries like “Kentucky Fried Cruelty”, and saw the brutal treatment of animals in factory farms, there was no turning back. I often ate pasta drenched in garlic and olive oil, or omlettes covered in cheese. It wouldn’t be until years later that I truly would make the connection between food as medicine and vitality.
Back then I never could have imagined cutting out eggs and dairy. It took me seeing years later that it’s common practice that male chicks are ground up alive and baby calves are taken from their moms and slaughtered for veal- that there is no humane treatment of animals in any food industry. We are exploiting the most innocent beings on this planet by giving them a life of misery. This connection started making me think about energy in food and focusing on sourcing food that is “cruelty free”. If everything is energy, why would you ever want to consume a product sourced from an animal who lived in misery? It made me question how much negativity we bring into our own lives by absorbing that which we create from these tortured animals.
It wasn’t until I started working at Whole Foods Market did I really put the idea into practice. I set out to eat the highest energy, nutrient-dense foods. I finally learned how to not only eat compassionately for the planet, but also how to eat compassionately for myself. I took E3-Live, a super nutrient-dense algae high in 65 vitamins, minerals and amino acids, every morning with my orange juice. I ate chia pods on my breaks instead of bagels and cream cheese. I often grabbed organic pink lady apples, bananas, and cashews if I was hungry. I always had Lara bars on me, and drank chia kombuchas. If I was craving cheese, I bought cashew cheese and gluten-free crackers. I replaced my morning omlettes with my now favorite dish: the tofu scramble. I often ate at the salad bar, but mixed an avocado from produce with lemon juice over my greens instead of dressing. This diet gave me so much energy I had no problem working out for a couple hours after an 8 hour shift.
I was over 300 lbs when I first started working at Whole Foods. This change to a plant-based diet combined with regularly working out led me to drop over 90 lbs over the past year and a half. Little steps and daily decisions from the heart has led to a huge transformation in my life. It’s been less about the end goal, and more about how to make a loving decision towards myself and the planet in the moment. The weight has fallen off in the process. Every day we have choices to make. Every day we have the ability to channel love and light into every decision we make. It’s our little choices over time that lead to life-changing transformations. I truly believe compassion begins on your plate. What we decide to eat can literally transform our world: from our bodies, to our energy levels, to our environment.