a sense of calm.

chillin' in studio

I took this photo yesterday while in the studio up in the loft.  A few dear friends and I send photos of one another back and forth via our phones.  Our way of feeling as close to skin as possible when all we have is words or phone calls. 

I like what I see when I look at this picture.  I am not talking about my outer self but my inner (although, what I do love about my outer self here is that the bottom of my feet are dirty from living barefoot).

I see a sense of calm and comfort in self...a peace.

I think so much of this calm comes from what I have been putting into my body.  I have been mostly vegan for over a month now.  I say mostly because I have tried fish a few times. Other than that, I have not put animal or dairy products into my body and I am pleasantly surprised at the result.  First I have to say how completely bizarre it is to me that I am not craving either one of these.  They were a pretty big part of my life...well, at least cheese was.  The only meat I was eating on a consistent basis was turkey (sliced sandwich meat from whole foods) and lamb. But man, cheese was my chocolate (I don't really crave sweets and haven't for years).

What motivates me to not eat these things when placed in front of me are a few things.  One is that I truly feel my morals are aligned with my choice to not eat animal or dairy.  I have a deep love and respect for animals and I know some are treated kindly and respectfully (organic, free range, etc.) but most are not and this is my way of letting them know how deeply I feel for them and see their souls and bodies as sacred.  Two is that I feel so much cleaner and less sludgy.  I am motivated by that so much.  I have little to no allergies or asthma and I have more clarity of mind.  More patience.  More calm.  More love to give.  More wide open spaces in my heart. More energy and lightness of being.

For me personally, it feels so right within.  I feel more connected to nature than I have in so long.  I feel more mindful when I am chewing a mouthful of kale and whole grains.  I think about where it came from.  The mindfulness of those that prepared the soil and took gentle care of the crops.  The sun and the rain and the earth creating life through plants so that we can have energy and vitamins and minerals and LIVE and survive.  I think that is where the calmness comes from.  The wide open spaces I am talking about.  The ability to slow down and take time to even think about my food in my mouth, where as before I was shoving it down my throat so I could get to the next task of my day.

Before I continue to share in posts, this journey with all of you, I wanted you to know that I am so careful to share my thoughts about the treatment of animals.  I know this is a tender topic to so many people that consume animal products that are wonderful, amazing, enlightened, mindful beings.  I hope I make it so very clear here on my blog that all of my choices are choices that feel right for me and my wee family.  I do not project it onto other people.  I do not judge.  I always strive to come from a place of compassion and empathy, having been through so many journeys myself.  Having eaten animal products all of my life.  I have never been one to stand on a soap box about any one idea because I know we are all so different, coming from various life experiences.  I leave room for all of it.  Your choices are yours, my choices are mine and if there are good and kind intentions behind them, we can celebrate them together and in peace.

So, with that put out in the open, I will mostly talk more about how I feel physically and emotionally with this new way of eating, rather than focus on the treatment of animals and our dear Mother Earth.  Although I will bring those topics up of course...but they will not be the focus.  My mission is not to convert you.  My desire is to spill my own experience, with hopes that you may feel as re-invigorated and inspired and empowered as I have to treat yourself more kindly.

Reading the book The Kind Diet opened up these spaces in me and now while reading the book The Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics I feel like my spirituality and connection to nature and God and nourishment and the sacred feminine are being aligned.  I also have the book Women, Food and God on my shelf but I find it really intense for where I am at right now in my life with a toddler.  What I enjoy about the Kind Diet and Hip Chicks book is that they are simple, light, fun reads and that is about what my mama brain can absorb right now.  I heard Women, Food and God is absolutely life altering and I will probably read it in small doses (which is what a friend suggested I do anyways).

I not only see and feel the shift within myself but it is flowing through in my marriage and in my husband as an individual.  Boho Boy eats whatever I put in front of him and has seemed to love my recipes now more than ever.  He has been feeling much of what I have and because of this, has been eating less and less animal products (he hasn't had dairy in years...he is lactose intolerant).  I also see him slowing down.  I see more patience with his work.  The last few days he even started doing Tai Chi again.  Something he really feels connected to.

I am also trying to incorporate more greens into Cedar's diet.  My next post will be about how I am going with Cedar's flow on what he loves to eat but also trying to be creative in incorporating more plant life into his precious body.

I will end this with a yummy pasta I made that Cedar LOVED...

{gluten free spinach and fettuccine pasta tossed with an asparagus puree, topped with toasted pine nuts and rice based grated parmesan-texture cheese.  recipe inspired from Heidi Swanson in her book Super Natural Cooking .  i made a few tweeks for my dietary needs}