Both Thursday and yesterday, I watched some old YouTube videos of various vegan "experts" telling us how we should eat. There are so many "correct" ways to eat it's very hard to wrap your head around. There's Raw, Raw till 4, high carb low fat, high carb some fat is okay, but no oil, vegan paleo diet, eating only whole, organic foods, yes to juices and smoothies, no to juices and smoothie, and every person promoting one of these diets or lifestyles is right in their mind, and if you read any of the comments, it's like a war zone. A lot of food and body shaming. Some of these gurus go as far as to shun vegans who don't eat the way they promote. It's very strange. When I first started my quest to become healthy and happy, I discovered Freelee, and her Raw till 4 plan, lifestyle whatever. It was summer, so smoothies and raw fruit during the day were fine. But I wasn't able to "smash in the calories" as was recommended. I wanted to eat a whole packet of pasta, but I couldn't. I also couldn't drink an eleven banana smoothie. And, smoothies don't really satiate me. I feel hungry very soon after a smoothie. Then, fall came and I was not satisfied with smoothies and raw fruit, and also living in the snow belt, fruit options in the cold months are very limited. For this and many other reasons I dropped out of that scene. I did notice that eating a higher carb diet was really making me feel awesome, so I decided to just do my own thing with somewhat of a focus on starches/carbs. I also went awhile with trying to eat super "clean". No processed anything could pass my lips. I wasn't feeling great, and I wasn't enjoying eating. I spent over fifteen years of my life having an extremely dysfunctional and disordered relationship with food. I don't want to live like that anymore, and there are so many fun vegan junk foods out there, I want to try them all! But, I've also learned balance. I now listen to my body. For example, last week I ate a lot of heavy comfort foods. I made horseradish mac and cheese, I ate stuffing, I had the roast contest, I'm sure there were other comforts in there, but this week my body has been craving lots of fresh lemony and herb-y flavors, and lots of greens. It's like I'm getting to know myself all over!
It's getting to that time of year when people start seeking out diets for the new year, and cleanses and detoxes are going to be all the rage. I just want to say as someone who has tried and done pretty much everything to try to control my body and my food intake, nothing ever has been as effective as just listening to my own body! No one can tell you what you need like your own body! I used to mindlessly eat salty snacks like chips, and before I knew it the bag was gone. Now, it's impossible for me to do that. At a certain point my body just tells me to quit. I'm saying all of this to say that I think it's great to get little tidbits of information from various sources, but again, no one can tell you what's best for your body like your actual body.
Vegan is a lifestyle, it's something that goes deep down to your soul, it's not a diet. Now, I don't get pissed when celebs drop into veganville to lose a few, because an animal saved is an animal saved. But, the reason they leave veganville is because they view it as a diet.
I'm saying all of this to say that I hope at some point we can take a step inward and listen to our own bodies, and hit pause on all of the diet "experts" out there. I may not be losing weight super fast, but I can feel and see my body getting stronger, and slowly but surely the beer poundage is going away. And I feel healthier than I ever have. And I am definitely a "real" vegan!
I had some of the General Tso's sauce left over, and what could make such an amazing sauce even better? Peanut butter! I added a spoonful and made a spicy peanut sauce which I served over a bowl of rice, tofu, and vegetables. I also chopped mint and cilantro for the top. Yum city!
This was a much longer winded post than I meant, but I have to leave you with this picture of Chunk's tail. It has a little bend in the tip, and he was laying in the tree, and it reminded me of curious Geaorge, as a matter of fact he is a little curious Chunk!
And just listen to your body, and don't eat anything that causes harm to anyone, and life will be as it should!