With the start of the new year usually there come many resolutions for change. Well, at least that’s what I’ve heard. I have been a person who actively avoided the new years resolution route in the past. I mean, WHY do that to myself? I suspected I would resolve to change, not manage to do it, be disappointed in myself and then be sad and/or depressed or what have you. VICIOUS CYCLE I tell you. I would rather make a list of all the awesome things I have done in a year and then backdate it to the first of that year. BOOM! Resolutions met! Somehow though, this year seemed a bit different. It’s an open secret that 2014 sucked ass for me. (And 2013 wasn’t all that hot either if I’m being honest.) So the truth of the matter is, I NEED 2015 to be better. And more than that, I WANT there to be some changes in my life. This holiday resolution thing starts to not look so bad when that is your mind set. So, I brushed off my prejudice and decided to make some changes.
The biggest change I’m making in 2015 is a dietary one. No, I’m not trying to lose weight – I’m over that. What I’m trying to do is feel better. But not just for me – for my family too. As I mentioned before, my (awesome, totally fun and wonderful) mom had a heart attack this summer. She had it while waiting to pick my nephew up from school. She was sitting in a car, she felt terrible, she thought it was no big deal. It was a freaking heart attack! After several days in the hospital and a few bright, new shiny stents placed in her heart she returned home. She has lived alone since my dad passed in 2009 and her living alone just got worrisome for us. A few months later, we convinced her to move in with us so we could help her out as much as possible. It was a big change for our whole family, but we are so happy she is living with us and feeling better. Part of her recovery has been seeing a dietician and taking several classes about heart disease and how to combat it and prevent further heart damage. I went to the “plant based diet” class with her and both of us were underwhelmed. The teacher came off with all the zeal of a convert and she was vegan and just whatever. We hated her. She did not convince us, to say the least.
Then in early December my mom landed back in the hospital. More chest pains, more tests. It was discovered this was a bad case of acid reflux (THANK GOD!), but while she was in the hospital her charming and incredibly helpful cardiologist stopped by and had a chat with her. Let me rephrase that, he had a COME TO JESUS talk with her about her life. “There is only ONE way to reverse any damage to your heart.” He told her. “Radically changing your diet to a plant based one (Vegan) and adding moderate exercise. That is the only way you’re going to change this.” My mom is a smart woman. A REALLY smart woman in fact. But when she relayed that story to me I could see the self doubt she had. She just didn’t think she could do it. Because I love my mom so freaking much, and I would REALLY like her to stick around for a long time yet, I didn’t give her a choice. “We are going Vegan on January 1st,” I told her. And, you guys, we DID!
That’s right, as of yesterday I have been living la vida vegan for a whole week and I have something to tell you – hold on to your hats for this – IT IS ALMOST EASY AND I THINK I LIKE IT A LOT. WHAT? you ask. HOW could a way of eating that does not include the creamy deliciousness that is cheese be almost easy? How could you LIKE a life devoid of cheese? I don’t know! But I haven’t missed it. I haven’t longed for any meat – like not even once. The ONLY thing I SORT OF miss is sour cream on taco night. But even then, the tacos I’ve made have been so freaking flavorful and delicious that I haven’t even cared!! WHO AM I?!?!?!? The preparation to go vegan was more stressful than actually going vegan. I read and researched a lot before January 1st and there was A LOT of stuff I needed for my pantry. Mom and I made a big Costco and Whole Foods run on New Years Eve and stocked up on Lentils and Garbanzo beans and so much produce my fridge (and freezer) was busting at the seams. We spent the better part of the day prepping produce, freezing stuff and getting the menu ready. When the morning of the first came there was SUCH a selection of yumminess that we felt like queens. In the first week I have had to shoot a wedding, go out to eat and travel and I’ve been able to stay the Vegan-y course. Pinterest and all the vegan recipes I find have made this pretty easy. Even my husband has enjoyed it. On Tuesday he called me and told me he’d had a cheeseburger for lunch and it just wasn’t as good as the food I’ve been making. I told him about my own lunch of zoodles with mushrooms, peppers, onions and pine nuts in red sauce and he was certifiably jealous! This coming from a man, who when I told him about this vegan endeavor quoted this to me:
So! Week one of my vegan experiment has been going well. I’m excited to see how my mom’s blood tests turn out at the end of the month. I’m excited to see how we feel. If my running improves. All that goodness. I’ll keep you posted along the way, share some of my favorite recipes and try not to become an evangelical vegan – those people are the WORST!
So what changes are you giving a go in 2015??