Wow! Okay! I did it! I survived my first live video stream on Instagram. I don’t think I did a great job, but I got through it and now there it is! While I was filming it my daughter was dumping her water on her toast and playing in it. Yay!
For those of you who missed the live stream, here’s a recap: 20 days ago I decided to make a change. I was smoking too much, drinking too much, eating terrible food, and overall I was just not doing the best I could be doing in life. I had spent most of my adult life that way, and I was just tired of it. Tired of making excuses, and tired of feeling awful physically and mentally all the time. I woke up one morning and had just had enough. I couldn’t do it anymore.
My focus was on quitting smoking permanently. I wanted to quit drinking for a while until I could start again in moderation. I also didn’t want to risk deciding to smoke after having a drink. I thought I’d start yoga, meditation, and eating better just to help me be more successful in quitting. For a week I planned to only eat fruits and vegetables. I wanted to stop drinking coffee, energy drinks, and limit how much meat I ate (I ended up only eating grilled chicken a couple of times). I hoped this would detox my body faster and also cut out some of my triggers for smoking.
But after the week was up, I felt AMAZING! Better than I had felt in my entire life. So what started as a period of temporary misery and punishment just to help kick one addiction – ended up being the start of me kicking a lot of addictions at once and starting a whole bunch of new healthier habits. Every time I felt like going back to some of my old ways I just remembered how I used to feel in comparison to how I felt these days. That was motivation enough to keep me on track. Why do we continue doing things we know make us feel terrible? I can’t say why I used to do it. I only know I can’t continue doing it.
I felt so much better physically and mentally that it inspired me to make some other changes. I decided to stop making excuses about why I wasn’t recycling or being more environmentally conscious. Or why I was still buying so much stuff I didn’t need and giving my money to corporations I hated. Then, I decided to start sharing my story and adventure with other people so that maybe they could be inspired to make their own changes.
So, now that my first few weeks of clean eating are over, I am realizing you can do anything for a week. But after that it gets more complicated. I am trying to find a more permanent diet to stick to. My goal is to have a mostly plant-based diet. I’d like to stop eating meat altogether, but it’s going to take a while before I can cut out dairy completely.
Why plant-based? I had actually never heard of a plant-based diet before until a friend referred me to the Functioning Minimalist. I have since learned that a plant-based diet is considered one of the least harmful diets to adopt for the environment and animals. US factory farms produce 300 million tons of waste each year. By switching to a plant-based diet we cut our carbon footprint, conserve water, save animal and plant habitats, and provide ourselves with cleaner air. Not to mention the treatment of animals in factory farming has gone completely out of control. The entire industry has become so unethical and disgusting, and I have felt guilty for continuing to contribute to it for years. But as I said above, I am done with making excuses. It’s time to do better. You can learn more about how plant-based diets help the environment here. Or do your own research – there’s a lot of information out there. Some people thought the recent What the Health documentary was a little misleading and extreme. But taken with a grain of salt it is still a great source of opinions and information.
Alright….so that’s my backstory with my diet. Or some of it anyway. Here’s the thing though: because I have gone most of my life eating little to no fruits or vegetables – I pretty much hate them! I hate the textures. I don’t enjoy the tastes. I have a very limited taste pallet when it comes to food, and it just doesn’t naturally include fruits and veggies. So how the hell am I gonna have a plant-based diet? That’s a great question. But it’s also great motivation. My kids have already developed some bad eating habits. And it’s hard to encourage them to do better if I’m not doing better myself. So I have to find a way to make this work – for my kids, for myself, for my conscience, and for our environment.
So I’ll be posting every so often about my progress and sharing recipes that we’ve had success with. Thankfully, I have very supportive friends who are much smarter than me and have been eating healthy for a long time. They have already shared some great recipes with me. And as always I welcome any and all advice and recommendations!
Here’s to clean eating! Or….clean(er) eating anyway!