Doesn’t it seem like during the holidays we are struck by the giving fairy or some kind of giving cupid? We get into this giving mood and want to give gifts and goodies to everyone around us. For me, I really enjoy baking around the holidays. I don’t do it too often throughout the year because even though I only make vegan treats, they are still often loaded with sugar and ingredients that I know I shouldn’t consume too much of. Once in a while though, I think its okay to indulge, so I take some time to enjoy baking and share my treats with my friends and family. It’s a great time to be my friend if you’re not so already 😉
With giving, we often think that we have to give up foods that we know and love if we are choosing to eat healthier or more conscious foods. The other day someone told me, “So you don’t eat turkey for Thanksgiving or you don’t eat ham for Christmas!? Oh no, I could never give up my holidays!” Her comment completely caught me off guard; she thought I was giving up my holidays? Since when does a little bit of ham or a dead bird on the table make up an entire season? What happened to snowmen, giving thanks, Santa and quality time with friends and family? I had not realized how some people associate food that greatly to a few days out of the year. For me during this time of giving, which is really what my holidays encompass a lot of, I know that the foods I choose to fuel my body with will give me way more than any small sacrifices I’ve made in living plant based. I honestly do not even consider them sacrifices though or feel like I am depriving myself because of the amazing benefits that have come about from my choices.
The best gift we can give ourselves for the holidays, is really quite simple. We can give ourselves a whole foods, plant-based diet. Let me share with you 4 benefits about why you might want to pay closer attention to the foods that you GIVE to your body.
For myself, I lost 15 pounds within 1 or 2 months of becoming a vegetarian right off the bat. I’ve been able to keep off the weight and maintain a healthy weight for my body type. Prior to my conscious eating journey, my boyfriend would make fun of me because I would always gain weight in the winter and shed the pounds in the summer. He said I was like a bear preparing to fluff myself up for the cold winter months. When I decided to stop eating meat and eventually dairy it eliminated many fast food options that I came to realize made up a lot of the weight gain. I started replacing those quick drive-thru options with just as quick fruits and vegetables and I felt and looked great for doing that.
I know I feel completely different when I drink my green drink in the mornings versus when I am running late and just grab a granola bar or whatever is easier. When we eat a healthy diet we help keep our bodies cells, organs and system functioning normally. When our body does not have to work harder to digest or break down fatty or processed foods it can channel that energy in giving us more room for creativity, clarity, and focus. I know my co-workers can tell when I’ve had my dose of veggies in the morning. I walk in super peppy, ready to start my day and get asked what I am on… I am definitely on a plant…Kale that is!
When I was younger I would get sick with the common cough and cold at least 2-3 times per year. Since going vegetarian, reduced that rate to about once per year and rarely get sick as a vegan. This is just a simple example of what it has done for me, but there are numerous studies and research showing that incorporating more fruits and veggies in your diet can prevent and even reverse diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The foods we choose to give our bodies are often the best medicines.
Have you ever felt like you are stuck in a down whirl spiral and bad things happen one after another? Or even the opposite whether one good thing happens after another. So many occurrences in our lives often seem to have a domino effect on one another and food can be a keystone trigger to creating healthy routines. When I started eating healthier, more conscious foods, I noticed I had more energy, which lead me to start exercising more, which made me watch less TV, which gave me more free time to listen to audio books and learn, which can make us more efficient and productive at work and helped me enjoy life more! I went from drinking a green smoothie every morning, to creating new, helpful habits that have completely changed my mentality and improved the quality of my life.
The point is that the foods that we choose to give ourselves have such a huge impact in our lives. They really play a key role in our mind, our body or spirit and in turn our happiness and success.
Enjoy the Journey,