The end of 2008 has left us poised to see huge changes in the world. Not just because of our new President-to-be and not just because there seemed to be a lot of suckiness but there is just a growing sense of energy that I am seeing and feeling. Everywhere I turn there seems to be someone new ready to usher in the year with positivity.
And what better time is there to try something that will help reduce cruelty, help the environment and save lives... including your own.
Now is the time to make some changes in how you eat.
You don't have to go straight to raw foods only or become 100% vegan overnight. But look at what you like to eat. Look at the flavors of the foods you like. You'd probably be surprised that most of what you like are not animal-based.
I used to love burgers... but what I liked was the bun/lettuce/onion/ketchup/texture. With a black bean or veggie burger I get the same flavor and texture. I can't even tell the difference, except I don't get an upset stomach.
I like going to Chipolte or Moe's too but now I get an Art Vandalay; I still get that spicy warm flavor. I'm equally full. And I didn't want for anything.
And nowadays it's easier than ever to cut back on the meat/dairy/eggs in your diet. There are tons of new convenience foods, produce is available almost year-round and restaurants and other businesses are creating amazing selections so you don't need to worry about if you can eat out with friends or travel in comfort. Most of the time you'll get something even better and jealousy-inducing than everyone else!
So, now you have the tools and the resources, what's stopping you? Is it that you don't like the flavors? Or you don't know how to cook new things? Or you just have questions about how do you start this? And, frankly, we're human and it's hard to break/start a routine.
That's where the 30 days comes in.
Vegetarian Starter Kit as well as great resources and recipes. And as an added incentive, they will helping to plant trees in impoverished areas if you take the 30 Day Pledge!
If you want to learn more about becoming vegetarian/vegan one of the best resources I have found was Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Compassionate Cooks podcast via iTunes (also available on her site). She provides a ton of information and has a great outlook on being a "joyful vegan" and the "vegan in the room". She's inspired me a lot.
And if you're all about the food like we are, you can't help but be inspired by the recipes and images on VeganYumYum. I mean, holy crap! Her food is AMAZING! She even has an iPhone app with all the recipes including pictures so you can take your phone into the kitchen and cook.
Some of our new favorite food choices include Silk (regular and chocolate, my new snack!), Field Roast's Roasted Apple-Sage sausages and Celebration Roasts, Tofutti's sour cream and Purely Decadent's ice cream - which I think I like better than any ice cream I've ever had (except maybe the stuff I make myself.)
I have a HUGE list of sites the I refer to all the time so please feel free to drop me an email if you are running into a challenge. One site that I like too is Happy Cow. They are a growing online guide for restaurants and natural health food stores. They are soon to have an iPhone app too. Not that I've had to use it too much. I love to go out to eat and have yet to run into a problem finding a place I can't find a good meal... even at Paula Deen's restaurant!
So here's my gift and hope to you for 2009: Bring some of the enthusiasm and positivity for this year to one of the most important areas of your life - your health and what you eat. No other change you make will have such a huge and immediate impact on such a personal level and on the whole world. Even if you just make a small change like only drinking Silk or you give a totally vegan diet a go for the 30 days, you'll be amazed at how easy it is. And at the end of 30 days you may want to do more.
You don't have to do everything... Just do something!
And if you want to talk or want help finding an answer, I'm happy to be a part of that! I hope you'll let me know what you do and how it goes!