I love the title of this blog, mostly because it’s sort of a “one size fits all” for my life. Much a good pair of stretch pants in basic black for a pregnant body, this title continues to fit my ever-changing moods and life stages. On days like these, when I cross my fingers in hopes my Chrome still remembers my WordPress username & password — because I sure as hell don’t, I know that whatever thoughts are bumping around in my head will “go” here.
For the past three months or so, I’ve been travelling down a road that looks a little like this:
I’ve written here before about my personal goals to clean up and green up my family. This year, my most recent leg of this journey began as I started looking into natural, food-based solutions to unwanted physical symptoms. I found Dr. Mark Hyman’s wealth of nutrition-based resources and decided to cut out flour, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol for 7 weeks.
I was a few weeks down that road when I watched Forks Over Knives, Engine 2 Diet, and began reading The China Study. For days and weeks afterward, every time I looked at a piece of meat I thought, CANCER….HEART DISEASE….This is going to kill me. Needless to say, my consumption of all animal products fell away like the shoulder of the road on a winding mountain road.
Right about this time, my husband started complaining of new-to-him physical symptoms he associated with our dietary changes. While my body was finally purring like a well-oiled machine, his body was stalling out, rejecting his new ways. That’s when a like-minded acquaintance introduced me to Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type, something I almost immediately dismissed as bogus. But, I couldn’t pass judgement without first knowing more, and I couldn’t help wondering if this might possibly explain why my Type O husband wasn’t thriving on this plant-based diet, while my Type A body seemed to be reveling in it?
Yes. Yes, it did. In fact, the details that clicked and fit like missing pieces were ample. But, I hesitated. How can I just dismiss all the dangers of eating animal proteins I’d just learned and soothe my worried mind while my husband proceeds with a carnivorous lifestyle? I couldn’t just accept it as true without understanding more about the foundational studies on which this book & practice is based. (Mind you, he took that book as a green light to dive back into The Land of Beef & Bacon.)
While my research continues, I’m idling in an exploratory, self-reflective stage. My physical and virtual bookshelves are filling up with vegan and vegetarian cookbooks and my Evernote & Pinterest accounts are filling up with vegan recipes & substitutions. My refrigerator is stocked with coconut and almond milks, my (decaf) lattes and herbal teas are made with soy, and it’s tempeh and tofu all the way.
I won’t lie to you and say that I didn’t eat a Milky Way Midnight Bar from the checkout at Target the other day, or that I didn’t eat one of the best pieces of cheesy, NY style pizza I’ve had in a long time while I was on vacation a few weeks ago, or that I haven’t had a bowl or two of organic froyo this summer. But I will say that I’ve been conflicted and aware, each and every time, and not ONCE have I thought, “Oh, to hell with it…I’m just going back to my old ways.”
Once again, I find that I’m taking baby steps, or maybe medium steps now, towards the person I want to be.** Whether that person will belong to the religion-like “Vegetarian” or “Vegan” clubs, or take a more nondenominational stance as a “Flexitarian” or “Pescatarian” is yet to be determined. More than likely, she’ll be some perfectly-imperfect blend of them all, not unlike my religion — Astrobuddhistian.