It seems like every time I visit one of my social media outlets these days, I see someone talking about a food documentary they’ve recently watched that is motivating their decision to ditch meat (as well as animal products) and go vegan. I’m not gonna lie, a vegan diet is probably the last thing I would have ever come close to considering. The first time I even heard the word ‘vegan’ was a little over ten years ago in college when my best friend met her would-be husband who was vegan.
To be honest, at the time, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the magnitude of what being vegan really meant. It was not a popular lifestyle or mainstream idea. Heck, back then I didn’t even know that butter came from animals (yes I’m ashamed, please don’t judge)! I really just thought my friend had fallen in love with some weird nature dude (sorry S&C if you’re reading this!).
Fast forward 10+ years later and my mindset has shifted – 4 major things have impacted me:
1. My Family Medical History
A few months ago, I had a doctor’s appointment at a new office. As I sat in the waiting room filling out new patient forms, I got to the part about family medical history. Box after box I realized my pen was checking off ailment after ailment- high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer – just to name a few. It almost felt like I was playing a game of connect the dots that would inevitably lead to me. In that moment I knew that I’d have to make some very conscious changes regarding my lifestyle if I wanted to help prevent history from repeating itself.
2. Formerly Breastfeeding My Children
I haven’t talked about my breastfeeding journey with my kids on this blog yet (I’ll get around to it though). Even though my breastfeeding journey has come to an end, it was a major part of motherhood for me (3 years!). Now that I have two toddlers and life is busy, I find myself turning to processed and unhealthy food to feed them in a clutch. Don’t get me wrong, toddlers are extremely difficult to please at times and there’s moments when you’re happy that they’re actually eating something edible. However, it seems counterproductive that I started off giving them the best nourishment possible and now I’m filling their bodies with junk.
My yoga journey had been predominantly personal up until I started teaching. Essentially, yoga is a lifestyle and while I don’t beat my students in the head about health and how to live their lives – I do promote a great deal of self care into my teaching that has made me sit back and evaluate my own self care practices. Do I talk the talk and also walk it? Self care is a huge umbrella that encompasses many things, but food and how we nourish our bodies is one of them. This is an area I am continuously working to improve. And while I’m not striving for perfection, I do want to try harder and lead by example. If that authentically inspires someone else, then I’ve really served my purpose.
4. BLACK VEGANS! (vegans of color)
I mean really, representation is every.single.thing. ::insert hand claps:: A major part of why I never considered veganism is because I had never seen people who looked like me in that capacity. Similarly, the same can be said about people of color who I meet that have shied away from yoga for the very same reason. Now of course I know the concept of Black vegans (and people of color in general) is not new, I just didn’t know any of them. Social media has changed this and its not only inspired me, but has also sparked my interest to dig deeper into what being vegan is all about.
So please share with me below. Are you vegan/plant based or trying to incorporate a healthier diet into your lifestyle? What’s your inspiration?