This post will make way more sense if you start with Part 1 of this series and read forward. This series is a departure from what I normally write about here on Love and Lettuce. My response to evacuating my family from the wildfire smoke was embarrassingly typical, yet as I come out the other side I’m making some surprising discoveries.
My end of summer thoughts a couple of weeks ago were all about gaining ground on an even healthier life: living into a leaner and stronger body with regular workouts; eating my way to lucid-happy by adding more plant-based whole foods into my diet; focusing my spirit and increasing my finances with a deeper yoga and meditation practice; and of course chronicling these stories about health and life, in order to help others, because if I can do this, you can too!
Alas here I am, more wilted than triumphant, because I jumped off into some indulgent hand to mouth, existential omnivorous food orgy, wondering: Is the plant-based life worth it? I know a low-fat, whole food plant-based diet would take the ten extra pounds off my body, and I am likely to have greater long term health with fewer aches and health issues, and I could also do my part to sustain the Earth, eating in a way that would contribute to there being enough food for everyone. And of course there’s the animals. A plant based could do so much good, but sometimes it just seems so inconvenient. It seems I’m swimming not just upstream, but up a waterfall. A cultural and societal waterfall.
Imagine these: Going out to dinner. Attending a family gathering. Traveling with teen aged girls. Exploring in the wine country. I usually bring my own food and think of the whole good-food-health endeavor as an adventure. I’ll throw a bag of oats or a can of beans in my pack and get to wherever I’m going feeling great. But lately, as we’ve bolted out of town in search of non-toxic air, I’ve grown weary of being inventive, positive and special. I’m just plain old boring tired.
I find myself wondering: Is the zen plant-based life I was aspiring to, better than all that dank, delicious food and just being like everybody else?
No special orders for me lately. I just take the restaurant’s dish with all the animal grease and call it good. What the heck. Everyone else does it. And I’m too tired to ask and endure the server’s look of “oh she’s one of those.” Why do I need to be so special anyway? Lately I’ve noticed how good pizza, biscuits and cheesecake are, and while even better versions of those foods CAN be made from plants, they aren’t often served in mainstream restaurants. Why go to all the trouble?
Are plant-based gourmet foods really any healthier?
I think so, because if I make the effort to stay vegan I notice something very interesting. Even though the vegan versions still laden with sugar and fat, they leave me feeling lighter, happier…nicer. I’ve heard others say the same thing.
Okay plant-based fat and sugar aren’t ideal from a getting lean standpoint, but I think they’re better and let me tell you why.
Plants seem to make me gentler. Is it an energetic thing? The animals suffering and being killed, then taken into our bodies? Or is it that we’re made to digest plants? I’m not entirely sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the latter.
I can tell you I ate a lot of sugar and animal fat and dead flesh while I traveled these last couple of weeks, and I feel it now. As I sit here on the edge of my bed writing you, I hear the air cleaners humming, my guy is talking on the phone and I am a slouching slug. My eyes are puffy. My hip joints hurt. I am spacey, irritable and…old. I am a long ways from inspired and lean–which is what I really hoped for when I started this whole “count down to labor day” a couple weeks ago. I feel the poor animals and their secretions in my blood, gumming up my joints and my cells…AND my spirit.
This might sound odd, but in addition to the gentleness I mentioned above, my spirit feels lighter and more hopeful when I eat plants.
I miss gentler, lighter and more hopeful. Wouldn’t you? It’s time to go back down the highway, and take the turnoff to the plant-based road (life).
Cheers lovelies, to eating in a way that gives us all, including the planet and the animals, hope.
Love and lettuce,