Friday, January 24, 2014

Organic Living | Checkpoint

For years, it's been a thought to go vegetarian, but it always felt like such a hard task to give up meat. I finally made the choice to embrace the lifestyle early last year, but didn't commit to it completely until late August. Further embarking on a journey of going green in areas beyond food, it kind of mirrors some of the things my family has been doing my entire life. As I'm researching the concept of going green, I never realized how environment conscious I already am until I started to implement certain practices to improve my lifestyle. Not in the full capacity as vegans, but very similar.

For instance, ever since we first moved into a house with enough landscaping, and probably before then, my dad has always planted a garden of vegetables. It was never big, but we do enjoy the food of its harvest, such as peppers and tomatoes. We've always been big on recycling, whether it was sorting through glass and plastic to take to our local reclamation center or reusing mason jars for food storage and consumption. Once upon a time, I was teased about my clothes coming from Goodwill, but I've now come to terms with how resourceful thrifting is, although the teasing never affected me much. My mom never let any professional perm my hair, because of the damaging chemicals. I wasn't aware of how Eco-friendly I already am until I made a conscious decision to embrace the lifestyle on my own. Perhaps, it was all the workings of parental conspiracy to train children to be just like them at some point.  In that light, choices can be such illusions to the offspring.

Also, growing up, there were never a lot of sweets and super sugary juices and cereals in the house.  I am addicted to sweets, so if if weren't for them, I'd probably be big as an elephant. It wasn't until I was much older that we had something in the house for junk food besides our normal butter cookies and plain potato chips. Even with the expansion, it didn't go as far as having a pantry full of overall bad foods. Red meat wasn't apart of our normal diet.  Our eating habits as a unit are far from perfect, as we do indulge and aren't obsessive health nuts, but we do see the importance of what we feed our bodies. As far as I'm concerned, I rebelled when it came to food, especially in high school and college, trying to feed my body the junk that I felt it was deprived of. Obviously, my mindset has shifted since then and I am now on the track of making healthier food choices.

Outside of my own household, the maternal side of my family is the same way. Both of my uncles are vegetarian. One has been for over 20 years and the other (including his own family) is years in, but relatively new in comparison. One owns a green company that promotes sustainable living, energy efficiency, and the use of green home/office spaces, while his wife, who is also a vegetarian, has her own juicing company. It's no wonder I'm into this kind of thing! This lifestyle has subconsciously been ingrained with the realm of my being that gets to decide how one should live, at least in a sense of health and wellness.  Seeing what embracing vegetarianism (6 months consistently; 1 year trial and error) has done for me personally, I can't help but to be thankful for their influence.  I'm hoping that my choices can encourage other family members to live a healthier lifestyle as well.

All in all, I'm really proud of myself for the level of commitment I've exhibited and how much more creative I've become in the kitchen. Now, it feels like second nature to cook delicious, well-balance meals, not only to suit my preference, but also dishes that my family like too. I don't have to deprive myself of dining out or say no to certain social events with food involved, because there are options available to accommodate those who choose to not eat meat, contrary to popular belief, and I don't crave meat like I did the first half of the year. I've even replaced some of my beauty products with more natural alternatives, which I'll write more about in a separate post. So far, going green has taught me quite a bit and has had amazing affects on my focus, creativity, and overall health.  It's like I'm in a brand new relationship with myself and I am absolutely loving it! Anticipating the 1 year mark of consecutive commitment to vegetarianism!

Chymere Anais

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  1. That's a neat goal. Practice makes perfect, especially when those goals are understood. I know what you mean, organic can be expensive but its worth it. I'm still trying to break those obsessive habits with sweet foods.. You should share a little bit about the journey of what it feels like as you make this change :)

  2. SO happy I read this. I've been considering going vegetarian for all types of reasons. I'm still praying over it and trying to ease into it. reading about your journey is helpful, thanks! and I'm proud of you too! :)

    1. I definitely think you should look into it, especially since you're already considering the transition. It's not for everyone, but it's not as bad as a lot of people may think it is. Glad I could help during the process!!


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