My mission this week is to share what I am doing in the new year, but I think it’s going to take me a month to tell you everything! And I have about a million and one things running through my mind, so breaking it down to one subject per post feels like . . . ahhhh!!!
Most folks know that I have been Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB)for about 5 years. This means: no processed/prepared foods, no salt, no oil, no animal products which includes all animal flesh: beef, turkey, chicken, duck, lamb, veal, fish, etc as well as no dairy – Dr. Fuhrman dubbed this a “nutritarian” lifestyle. For the first half, I was deeply entrenched in making sure I had my micronutrients. I have suffered most of my life with debilitating autoimmune disease and toyed around with vegan/vegetarianism for the 10 years preceding this move in my diet and I was just ready to get out of that cycle. The second half of that, saw more and more exposure to farming practices as I researched my health and the quality of the food I was eating. Not only was I seeing what kind of chemicals were getting sprayed on my food and how they were changing the DNA make-up of food in a lab in the seed, but also how animal products actually get to the stores. From the birth of the animal to the animal product in packaging – eggs, milk, chicken breasts, beefsteak, bacon . . . the more I saw, the more I even just lost my appetite. And man, oh man, did I not want to give it to my family! So I started telling people that I was WFPB and that compassionate living was a happy happenstance. But . . . research is never ending. And as you change what you eat, and the hormones in the foods are ingested less and less, the levels of those hormones in your body slowly begin to lower. Your thinking clears and your brain is able to make connections that those hormones can hinder. You’ll hear a lot of people talk about how their skin clears, their eyes are brighter, etc but also, you feel like you begin learning things on a spiritual level that somehow were blocked before. It’s an awareness of sorts that has to be experienced because it’s too difficult to explain. And I found that I wasn’t as compassionate as I thought I was. There were things in my life I have taken for granted that just didn’t register – like my purse that was made of leather. Then I realized, many of my favorite shoes were leather. And that got me thinking, what else am I using in my day-to-day life, that an animal lost his life that I could have? I discovered – a lot. Not just clothes, but make-up, toiletries like shampoo and soaps, lotions, medicine – both OTC and prescribed, car seats, furniture – oh man, do I have a lot of leather/fur furniture and the list goes on.
(*** just google “sad about animal abuse” . . . and those are just the animals we don’t eat in America)
I had a near breakdown one day a few weeks ago when I realized just how much suffering I had caused. If you think that using and eating animal products is just a fact of life, just consider, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, humane about how animals are treated in the varying industries today. I thought as a child that animals were shot and killed instantly and then they did the grisly things to get the product they wanted. It never occurred to me to wonder how factories produce so much of any one product. The animals suffer very painful, prolonged, lonely unloved lives and deaths in ways that are unimaginable to the general population. If you saw it in person, you would want to have the person working in the factory arrested for animal abuse. It is horrendous. And . . . . . it is standard. A video here or there will pop up and over and over again I hear people say “that’s just one video, it’s not like that”. Oh, it is very much like that. And as most of us know, animals’ ability to sense fear and smell blood is very strong, so they know something is wrong before they even enter the factory. So all those fear hormones and high levels of cortisol are running through their blood stream, and consequently, the products you purchase.
To view a film on factory farming today, go here.
All of that is for another post . . . it has become very dear to my heart to share this message of compassionate living. It resonates with me on a level that truly speaks to my heart. And, as I am interested in pure health, I am starting with my body to “detox” from these products. So, as I said, WFPB for almost 5 years now (7 ½ if you count the 2 ½ preceding that only included fish, and 10 if you count the 2 ½ before that where I was still eating eggs and yogurt and cottage cheese and cheese). Now, I refer to myself as a “vegan” and I am working on everything else. Body, mind and spirit, people. They are so connected and when you live in all aspects focused toward the one goal, it is a sense of fulfillment like few enjoy. I have a few video series that I will be introducing soon to share with you the changes I am making in my own life. I’ll let you know when I get the channel up and going but I am looking forward to sharing with you my progress and growth as I take these steps! Some of the series you can expect to see are:
- hair videos! I have been highlighting my hair since I was in beauty school in 1990 and battled with products and styling tools for years, so I want to talk about my process to chemical-free/heat-free hair. This is already in the works, so it will start with some pics, and then I will show you my progress!
- Product videos! Not just make-up and toiletries, but household items too, and more – what I use . . . natural, cruelty-free, organic
- My detox and recipes . . . which will include transition recipes of all sorts, stay tuned for some exciting information about this!
- Exercise . . . is HUGE!!! Got to move that body!
- Spiritual awareness – like I have said time and again, this is body-mind-spirit, it’s all connected!! Healthy living is truly from the inside out!