I learned about Kris Carr after a friend of mine gave me a copy of her “Crazy Sexy Cancer” book back in 2007. I enjoyed this author’s fresh perspective and brutal honesty about her journey with her cancer. However, when I stored my cancer experience away, I also put away Kris Carr’s book.
Flash forward to January 2012 when fellow Curvy Girl, Mandy invited me to attend a wellness conference in Boston. It was here, where we stumbled upon “Crazy Sexy Diet”, Kris Carr’s latest book – the novel that screams, “Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark and Live Like You Mean It!” The details of this book were so compelling that both Mandy and I were instantly drawn in and made some pervasive changes in our lives starting RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
You see though, March 2011 to now has been a massive year of upheaval for me. The attempts to get myself super fit and super healthy all went by the wayside as I scrambled to handle all the life changes in store. I had a meltdown: my daily workouts changed (due to both injury and new work schedules); my nutrition changed - as my focus was on selling/buying/moving my home/kids/husband/breast cancer fundraising and mentoring/life in general – this chaos took precedence. My emotional state was at its lowest this past year – even lower than since that other trying time in August 2007 as I battled for my life. Honestly, what a wake up call to realize the door I thought I closed (cancer chapter) was still WIDE OPEN and I had quite a mess to clean up. However, I decided – yes, plainly and simply decided…I made a choice, that 2012 is MY year. Me….myself…..and I. It is ALL ABOUT ME this year. Well, if it were only that simple, right?
In any event, after the wellness fair, I started “juicing” – well, blendering for optimal health. I am not a big breakfast fan – unless it’s the weekend and I have been carted to Parker’s Maple Barn or MeadowBrook Orchards. I know that 2-3 cups of veggies in the morning is really a great staple for my body – and I saw the results prior to my 2011 meltdown. However, the mere thought of chomping on 2-3 cups of veggies in the a.m. is tough; so why not drink my veggies! YES! After a multitude of experiments and a broken blender – I have been blendering since January! The benefits of green “smoothies” every morning has been profound on my body and I feel great. Despite my “Shrek” mouth, the greens keep me going – I am more energetic, I do not have cravings and my body feels clean!
And then I got the email. The 21 Day Vegan Kickstart.
I am not sure what happened but when I saw this email – something “clicked” inside of me and I felt compelled to try this 21 day vegan challenge. I was already consuming 80% vegetables in my daily nutrition, so why not go completely vegan to see what additional health benefits I would reap. I want to go into summer 2012 as strong as I can be. (Okay, okay, yes, it’s my OCD and it’s probably the ONE factor I can control in my life).
I am currently on day 11, as of the date of this post. I am honestly floored at how much easier this is than I would have anticipated. I am not in the vegan apocalypse, walking around sniffing out the smell of blood, killing for a fresh piece of meat……in fact, I have NO craving for meat whatsoever.
The hardest part has been watching for “hidden” ingredients (i.e. eggs, butter, milk…). Breaking some of my daily habits has been interesting as well: “What do you mean I can’t have a splash of cream in my coffee?!” Oh. Cream = cow’s milk. “What do you mean I can’t cook my farro or quinoa in chicken broth?!” Oh. And then there are the skeptics, the critics, the downright rude……I will simply blame my hearing aid here and say, I cannot HEAR them.
My body is cheering me on and that is the motivation I need to continue this journey. I have energy! I am full after I eat! I have no bloat or other digestive issues (do not ask me about the beans on the veggie tacos…..)! I feel clean inside! I am losing weight! Most importantly, I feel STRONG.
What will I do after day 21, you ask? I am unsure. 95% of me wants to remain on this lifestyle as it’s such a perfect fit for me. However, 5% of me wants to reserve that “Out of Jail” card – in case of a summer cookout and the smell of a burger overtakes me. Yes, maybe I want to reserve that “right” for an occasional burger. Or rack of ribs. More realistically, I love cheese and I love egg whites. I cannot envision going without them for the long term. What I have learned by this vegan experience is that they are not as critical to my nutrition as I once pegged them to be. I may indulge in cheese (after all, I have a massive love affair with cheese), but I have found to make better choices and make my choices count – instead of shredded cheddar on my veggie taco, I prefer goat cheese on my homemade Farmers Market pizza. Instead of cream in my coffee daily, I will indulge in an occasional Cherry Hill or Kimball ice cream.
US VegWeek starts on the 18th. Could you make a pledge to try it for a week? If I can do it, you can! www.usvegweek.com for more details – or come find me! I will be happy to help you take a baby step for better health! I can even send you THAT email!