Of Green Juice & Gin — AKA, Why I Think We All Need To Chill The Eff Out Around Food

May 6th, 2015 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health


Last week I was tagged in an old friend’s Facebook status. She was trying to make sense of GMOs and organic labels, aspiring to feed her family a higher quality diet, and looking for advice and input from various friends. And a nice little thread had broken out, with many people weighing in. They were talking about the merits of Trader Joe’s versus the Farmer’s Market, the many standards by which to “measure” food, and someone had linked to an old Food Babe article.

And on that Facebook thread, I left this comment:

Oh I have so many thoughts!

Personally I love Trader Joe’s because it makes healthy (organic and minimally processed) food available to people at a *very* reasonable price. And for that I am forever grateful. Also, I eat a TON of beans and I love that their cans are BPA-free. Eating local is ideal but most people are not able to live the ideal, and I’m so glad that Trader Joe’s is there for them.

I do not trust Food Babe or anything that she writes. I feel VERY strongly about her, and I will mostly keep those opinions to myself, but yeah . . . she is not where I would be looking for any legitimate information. (no offense meant to the person who linked to her – definitely not trying to call you out or anything!)

As far as GMO and organic, anything that is certified organic is by default non-GMO, so that’s a good standard to aim for. IF it says organic, then it IS non-GMO.

When you can’t get organic, it’s hard to know what’s GMO or not. Basically I assume that ALL corn and soy that is not organic, will be GMO. Those crops just are soooo widely GMO that it’s safe to assume all non-organic products will be GMO. Yuck.

For me personally, I eat as locally, organically, and non-GMO as possible. And then I don’t sweat the rest. I believe that optimal health and wellness includes mental health (actually in my experience with clients, mental health/stress is probably the biggest factor in overall health), so for me, it’s very important not to get too focused on stressing out about every little thing I put in my mouth.

So that’s my novella, haha. I could talk all day about this stuff!

And I realized, as I was writing this comment on my personal friend’s page, that I’ve written this, or something similar, dozens if not scores of times, all across the Internets.

But never here, on my own blog, where I’m supposed to be writing about health and holistic wellness!

So I wanted to go ahead and do that, I guess. I wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts on what I think it means to be optimally, holistically, healthy – and how that can best be achieved.

So here it is. A miniature manifesto:

I believe that the healthiest, highest quality food is fresh, local, whole, and organic. I believe that it is unrealistic to expect to eat the healthiest, highest quality food 100% of the time, and holistically healthy people are pretty much okay with that — because holistically healthy people have learned to chill the eff out around food.

I believe that the mental anguish you feel over eating the cookie is infinitely more damaging to your physical health than the actual cookie itself.

I believe in eating foods which make your body feel good, and avoiding foods which make it feel bad. Excessive cookies don’t make anyone feel good, but occasional cookies are delightful.

If you can truly make choices based on the way that the food will make your body feel, then it’s hard to go wrong. But eating this way requires tuning in to your intuitive self, which takes practice. More importantly, it also requires NOT scrutinizing and over-analyzing every little burp, bump, hiccup, and bad day — because that sort of hyper-focus will only breed anxiety. There is a balance there, and that balance is the sweet spot.

The sweet spot can only be found when you chill the eff out around food.

♥ ♥ ♥

This approach to eating, to health, to veganism, and to life — it means everything to me. So much so, that it truly influences every aspect and offshoot of the work I do here, in this space.

–> It relates to raising vegan children, because raising a healthy child means raising a holistically healthy child, and that means not accidentally burdening your little ones with feelings of deprivation, “otherness”, or fear around food.

–> It relates to deciphering this ex-vegan thing, because over-restriction and eating out of balance are some of the primary reasons that people cite for abandoning their veganism in pursuit of a more stable mental or physical state. We see this trend consistently in our research.

–> It relates to my Vegan Lifestyle Coaching, because food confusion and food anxiety is something I come across over and over (and over!) again with my clients. And in my experience, all the meal plans and recipes and tips and tricks would be meaningless, if I couldn’t help the person to really relax and find true pleasure in food and health again.

–> And finally, it relates right here, to this blog. Because whether I’ve explicitly stated it or not, this perspective is everything I’m trying to promote in this space. To share the idea of balance and joy, which I find to be so sorely lacking in the overall “healthy living” online community.

That’s all of it.

And also, that’s me! I drink lots and lots of green juice, and sometimes I drink gin. I eat a lot of salads, and I also eat store-bought vegan cheeses. Last night for dinner I ate these incredible all-raw tacos with walnut chorizo, and then I ate peanut butter pie with cookie crust for dessert (thank you dear friends for feeding me well). And this . . . is why I will probably never be big and famous in the “healthy living” world. Because really, people don’t want to hear, “balance“.

People want a quick fix, or a straightforward equation. People respond to black and white. They want to hear, “this is always good, and that is always bad.” People respond to drawing lines.

Because it’s easier to put things into discreet boxes, and it’s much more work to think in terms of nuance, and intuition, and relativism.

But that, of course, is the very truth of it. Wellness is nuanced, and intuitive, and relative. Which . . . is not something you can sell. Oh well.

I’ll keep saying it!

And now, I’ve said it here. Now you have my thoughts on what it means to be holistically healthy, and why I believe that your physical health is so, so much more than simply the result of diet and exercise.

I have to be honest, I’m really worried about hitting publish right now. I feel like this might be the most controversial thing I’ve ever written . . .


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, JC don’t you know that common sense is often controversial! ;-D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Sounds like you’ve found your perfect balance Racquelle! And it’s true, there’s so much to weigh like ethics, environment, as well as health. But we just do our best, and don’t stress the rest!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ooh I just love hearing this, thank you!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Kat, I hope you don’t mind me re-pasting my thoughts on GMOs from another comment:

    “It’s not that there’s a mountain of evidence saying GMO’s are bad . . . it’s just that there’s no research at all. There’s no long-term studies on the implications of GMOs in human health. And I would rather not make me or my kid the test subject. That’s why I avoid them as much as I can (and don’t worry about the rest!)

    That said, there are compelling reasons not to support GMOs totally aside from the potential human health implications. My main concern with GMOs is in giving power to chemical companies, in losing genetic diversity, and in disrupting the natural evolution (and resilience inherent in that) of these crops. Plus genetically modifying animals and then releasing them out in the wild is just too much for me to accept at this point. We just don’t know enough!

    Barbara Kingsolver wrote a really beautiful essay on this many many years ago. It’s still one of my faves: https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/gefood/SmallWonders.php

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes! Love your last paragraph, so beautifully said.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, yes! And look, you found a way to market it! ;-D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh Emily, I”m so sorry to hear about your husband’s diagnosis. BUT, congrats on the clean scan! That is so fantastic, sounds like you guys are doing great!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yay, thank you!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh, I know those internal conversations well! And for what it’s worth, I usually make the exact same decision you did. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, yes! Thank you Rachel!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, thank you Gem. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I love the term “food noise” Vanessa, that’s such a great way to describe it. Great comment, thanks so much for weighing in!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Julie!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes Lindsey, that is EXACTLY the rabbit hole that people fall down (myself included) and end up in a lot of trouble. So glad you caught yourself and realized the pattern before it was too late. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Lonnie, I appreciate this comment. Part of the reason that I hesitated in publishing this post is exactly this situation. Because this post is aimed at a very specific – large, but specific – group of people in the healthy living world.

    But people who are suffering from diseases or disorders, people who are required to stick to restrictive diets . . . well I would hope it goes without saying that this post is not directed at them. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to properly express the fact that this post was not a blanket statement aimed at anyone and everyone, and that’s part of the reason I was nervous about publishing it.

    I’m sorry that your health is suffering, and I did not mean this post to belittle or minimize your unique situation.

    With that said, it’s interesting that you bring up my own illness, because my own illness was actually extremely exacerbated – if not outright caused – by the very food anxiety and over-restrictiveness that I’m talking about here. And yes, in order to get my cholesterol and protein back up, I had to follow a strict diet. But after that? The true healing, the long-term healing, could only come when I was able to relax around food.

    So truly, the attitude that I’m arguing against in this article *caused* my illness. It didn’t cure.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Jenn!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    YES! From what I’ve read from you, I think we are very much on the same page about this stuff. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I love those quotes! Perfect.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you so much!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Stephanie!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes Violet! Aim for the best and relax about the rest. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you! And oh yeah, me too. =)

  • http://kellisvegankitchen.com/ Kelli

    What a great post, Sayward. It’s so important to keep it all in perspective. Sometimes I find myself heading toward that neurotic mindset and that is what ends up throwing me into the other end of the spectrum as I try to regain the balance that is missing. It’s so much better all around to just stay in the middle than to wildly bounce from side to side. I love what someone else wrote about deciding to eat the conventional Chile grapes – as I have the same reactions when I find something that I wouldn’t buy, and decide to just chill out about it.

  • Jo S.

    Oh my god, THIS. So much, this. I actually feel quite alienated by the wellness movement because it’s always changing, and I, you know, eat plants whether they are fashionable or not. I’m also SUPER suspicious of the idea that we all need to be basically online-qualified nutritionists to eat lunch, or otherwise be our own doctors. I’m all for being informed, but so much agonising! Much confusion. Very stress.

  • Jo S.

    I totally agree with this.

  • Patricia López

    Sayward, this is so great! I’m starting my own blog but I keep watching videos and reading blogs in Spanish about veganism, healthy lifestyle or kind of “alternative” lifestyles and I somehow think I will feel out of place cause people seems to fall in what I call “buying the whole pack”. I mean there are these people that apparently questions everything but only question the Establishment and swallow all kind of alternative / internet theories about healthy eating (I also think that diet is a fraction of the total health), GMO’s, vaccination…and so I think “I won’t fit here” but then I come to your blog and I’m encouraged again to make my voice heard. I don’t think my opinion is The Truth so I feel kind of sad when people who are bright and really question things the way I do then rely so much on the internet gurus that claims to have the answer for everything. It seems hard to balance, I guess because it requires being aware and questioning even your own beliefs every day. So THANKS to you and your readers / people that write comments for restoring me faith humanity once and again :-D

  • veganinbrighton

    Great post! I have a mild form of colitis and to keep my symptoms under control I need to eat a relatively low fibre diet which I am sure is probably judged by some as unhealthy. I eat white bread / rice / pasta over wholewheat whenever possible and have to keep the green leafy veg to a minimum but that’s what’s healthy for me and it’s nobody else’s business.

  • Jem

    You’ll never write anything as controversial as the vaccine post ;) I know this is controversial though but don’t scientists consider GMOs to be safe and things like golden rice in fact crucial to the health of many in less developed countries? Much of the Monsanto stuff seems to be lies to although I’m not saying they’re not evil. Oh and when you read up on how GM technology works you realise that almost all our food was modified at some point.. what do you think?

  • Olgui

    Thank you, thank you for this post! I agree with you!

  • B M

    One word…YES! This is why you are the greatest.


  • Lizzil

    Thank you, Sayward! I didn’t know that all Organic foods are also non-GMO. Labels and terms can become overwhelming and confusing quickly. I love your perspective. You know, we’re just all doing the best we can. I want to do the least amount of harm possible-to the planet, to the animals and to myself. I’m by no means perfect, and I think there’s a lot to be said for a relaxed attitude and accepting that we are not perfect and to strive to do the best we can. I’m a vegan who also eats tater tots occasionally-and I’m totally ok with that!

  • yarrow

    Controversial or not, this is how I’ve felt about food – and other things – for a long time. That the balance point changes at its own pace and you can really learn to listen to it by getting to know yourself.

  • Candace

    I really enjoyed this post! I’ve been having my own internal struggles with shielding my 16 month old son from all the “dangers” out there, and even recently questioning if the carrot, Apple, celery, ginger, kale, parsley juice I make for my family every morning is too much sugar. (I definitely would love to hear some real facts about fresh juiced juice sugar, there’s too many conflicting articles out there in Internet land.) I always love seeing what you have to say about things and how you do things-your definitely a mom I look up to. :)
    Oh! Maybe you can mention the Non-GMO verified project? I’m guessing you’ve seen the little blue and orange butterfly labels here and there? I think it’s such a great campaign and a way to eat better on smaller budgets. I’m not sure about their verified products being pesticide free, but hey non-GMO yes please!
    Sorry to leave such a big post but your post has really hit home.
    Cause on the other end I have an obese 8 year old nephew and I wish he would stop eating junk and eat more plant based foods, organic or not. Going through my own transitions I’m staring to feel like there are levels of awareness which coincide with our health, and it keeps building and building.
    Sending much love to you and your family and Happy early Mothers Day! :)

  • Elizabeth

    RIGHT. ON. I love your approach to life (maybe because it’s so similar to mine, hehe) and I wholeheartedly believe that chilling the eff out and living intuitively can remove so much unnecessary stress and negativity, which should really only be reserved for mortgages and overbearing mothers in-law :).

  • http://www.one-sonic-bite.com/ Jennifer

    I remember reading someone say that garlic and onions weren’t healthy because you couldn’t eat a bunch at once, therefore making it ultimately bad for you. I felt so bad for anyone who was reading the article and believed it.

  • http://veganandbeyondcoaching.com Marissa

    Lonnie, it’s interesting that this post made you feel this way. I most related to the post because of what I learned while I was working through an extreme illness. I had to be so careful that I didn’t flare up my symptoms and was on a very restricted diet, but when I relaxed I actually made better choices for myself naturally. Without the fear guiding me I was making wiser choices, and my body wasn’t under stress from bad foods or from anxiety. To me, her point is to not to fret over every minute detail and find what balance means to you as an individual with unique needs. I can’t do alcohol like Sayward can, but I don’t try to. I know where my balance is and I trust in it. So, I really think that the essence of this post applies to everyone, whether they’re going through health challenges or not (even though it sounds like Sayward didn’t mean for it to be that way based on her comment to you).

  • http://www.one-sonic-bite.com/ Jennifer

    I am in a similar boat, I am always reading articles saying GMOs are healthy then ones that say they aren’t. Same for organic foods. Some articles say they don’t effect health, and have the exact same nutritional content, then other articles say they don’t. I think some articles are comparing big farm produce to big organic farm produce, not organic small scale farming.

    I think a good reason to say away from GMOs and stick with Organic is because the science can agree it is healthier for the environment. In theory GMOs shouldn’t cause harm, but most GMOs are resistance to certain pesticides so they can blast the crap out of the crops. There are some people who make the argument that GMOs can reduce pesticide use, but it really hasn’t happened yet.

  • http://www.one-sonic-bite.com/ Jennifer

    Veganism is often viewed as being hand in hand with health. It is true a vegan diet can be incredibly healthy, but it creates the idea that people become vegan JUST for health or that everything vegan is healthy. I remember making cookies for my Mother in Law, and she asked what made them more healthy. I had a long pause and said it had no cholesterol but I wouldn’t really say it was “more healthy” than regular cookies. In theory, omni cookies would have eggs so it would have more nutrition and protein compared to a vegan cookie that uses flax seeds. But then you could say the vegan cookie has more omega-3s and less calories, and it could go on and on.

  • Christa

    Okay so now you got me curious – what’s your (vegan) beef with Food Babe? I only know of her tangentially, so I don’t really have much of an opinion one way or another….but I love your strong views…

    And yes, amen for the balance argument. My problem is I sometimes end up eating nothing when faced with only “bad” choices. Which is probably the worst choice. I’m trying to balance an autoimmune condition with a very specific diet which does limit things for me more than other people…but even in this case I still have to remember mental health makes physical health possible!

  • Betsy

    I have always thought that I’m not really a vegan because I’ve never been a purist about it. I only cook vegan and I preferentially eat out vegan, but decided early on that if I’m a dinner guest or if I’m at a restaurant with no vegan options I’m just gonna go with it. After all, it’s not like I’m allergic or anything. I really credit this strategy with helping to keep me in love with my essentially (like 97%!) vegan diet. Do what you gotta do, but yes – chill out! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

  • Rebecca Carnes

    I absolutely agree with you above 100%!!! It’s really easy to get overwhelmed with all the health blogs / health Instagrams popping up( most with amazing pictures and recipes) but making you feel like if you don’t eat perfectly all the time then you must be failing. Not to mention the pressure we put on ourselves:/ But balance definitely is key! I truly believe that if you eat healthy and clean most of the time, and really listen to your gut (literally) then you will absolutely survive the 1/2 eaten bag of chocolate chips … oops! Hey, everyone needs a treat sometimes right? ;) lol Plus, having a little plant-powered kiddo has brought me to the realization that I need to teach by example and have a healthy relationship with food……and that sometimes life calls for popsicles for dinner:) Green ones of course!

  • 2ndverse

    No, no, not the most controversial – the most beautiful. This message needs to be spread far and wide.

  • Janet

    Apples vs Oranges. That’s the point.

  • Cristinalcherry

    I love this so much. You have been such a huge influence on my journey to becoming vegan. I’ve been on a quest to find the optimal way to feed my family since becoming a mother and have sifted through so many contradictory opinions it’s dizzying. the wonderful thing is, the deeper I dug during my search, the closer I got to veganism… and now, a few months into fully committing to being vegan, I feel this amazing weight off of my shoulders. everything else has fallen into place as far as health and food decisions go and I am no longer stressing about it. the most important, life changing thing right now is that I’m finally living according to my values. I have been reading your blog for a while and you make being vegan so approachable and inviting and doable for kids and all. thank you so much. I don’t find this post controversial at all, I agree wholeheartedly. I’ll add, I would love to hear more of your strong opinions about the food babe… I don’t know much about her but was instantly suspicious of her for no real reason aside from her title. ha. thanks again.

  • Jem

    All the research has found that GMOs are safe to eat. But yes organic is better for the environment. But we have to be careful of tarring all GM with the same brush as in countries like India where golden rice has saved millions of people from death and disability, GM technology is a hero. As normal rice over there doesn’t contain the added vitamins that golden rice contains.

  • Meghan

    This is a subject that is so familiar to me. And energy-filled. I definitely agree that mental and emotional health are something less tangible and so they can sometimes get overlooked in the health and diet discussion. I have learned so much about food, where it comes from and what is in it that it can sometimes be overwhelming, and even paralyzing. I’m one of those people who can’t just learn something and then not allow it influence my future decisions. My husband on the other hand, knows all of the same information, but is able to eat whatever he wants without feeling like he’s compromised. It’s hard for me to understand but I just leave it as that “hard for me to understand”. I remember one day that we were out and about with our daughter, and we were all suddenly starving. That kind of starving where you can’t even think to figure out where you’re going to get food. He suggested a new Mexican place that was 2 minutes from where we were and would be quick. Upon sitting down and looking at the menu, I started to freak. It was like I put on a pair of those decoder glasses and could see through the menu items to the descriptions underneath: “GMO. Preservatives. Pesticides. Chemicals.”. I was so hungry but I couldn’t overcome the reality of what was potentially in the food I would order for me and my daughter. I pushed through a few bites of salad that I knew was devoid of nutrients, and certainly sprayed with pesticides and chemicals to lengthen its shelf life. And then I had a meltdown. My husband was trying to be understanding and I was trying to recognize that this was unhealthy [my behavior, not (just) the food]. And on the otherside of it, once I got home and had a healthy organic meal…what I realized was, yes flexibility is necessary for a happy and healthy life, and yes a little bit of non-organic food is not going to kill me and my family (immediately :) ). But, what I also realized is, I have plan and prepare better. I try to look back to our primitive ancestors or animals for clues on how to simplify and live more in balance with nature and the fact is our society and our lifestyles today just leave such little space for really appreciating and honoring what it takes to feed and nourish yourself. Food is so accessible that you just expect to be able to leave the house and when the hunger pangs hit, pull over. You are always minutes away from multiple cuisine options. Our primordial ancestors and our animal kin, spend the majority of their time (and lives) looking for food, hunting, and hoping to succeed in finding or growing enough nourishment to sustain them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am so glad we are not there, but like many other things, we’ve traveled past happy medium to the other side of extreme. We fill our time and our lives with so many other things: cell phones, social media, long work hours, hectic commutes..etc. that food…nourishment…becomes an afterthought or even for some an inconvenience. So we have found ways to make it quicker, eaiser and more accessible. Easy access to food isn’t all bad, it allows for more time to be spent laughing with friends or playing on the beach…if we choose to fill the time with that. I love going to the farmers market and spending hours talking to those who grew my food and to the people in my community gathered to appreciate this food. And I have also learned to be flexible when someone has lovingly cooked me a non-organic meal, so that they can feel my appreciation. But I try to balance between having flexibility and holding on to appreciation and honor for what goes into my body. I don’t want to use flexibility as a cop-out when I am falling into that rushed way of life or when “clean food” is being perceived as weird or elitist. I try to lean into those moments and keep the expectation that food without chemicals and GMOs is what the norm should be. Its what we all deserve and should stand up for. Yes, we are bombarded with chemicals everywhere in our lives and yes,it is sadly unrealistic at this point to think that you could avoid them all or even most of them, but when we shrug all together and relinquish our responsibility to demand healthy clean foods to nourish our bodies and the environment and the people who grow them, we give up our voice. I try hard not to apologize for the fact that my daughter doesn’t eat candy or hot dogs, but instead live with respect for my choice and voice, and the choices and voices of those around me.

    Whew! That was a lot. :) Grateful for discussions that help you examine and shape your own life!

    Also, there is a little caveat to that USDA Organic=GMO Free rule. The NOP and certifying agencies, do not allow GMOs in organic food…in theory. The rule is no GMOs and they do extensive tracking from seed to farm to table but USDA Organic does not require PCR testing to determine if there has been GMO contamination along the way, which we all know, is unfortunately very common with the sprawl of GMOs and the inability to contain them. The Non-GMO Project does do PCR testing (but doesn’t get into pesticides, farm practices, etc), so the best option for packaged foods is USDA Certified Organic AND Non-GMO Project Verified. (In my opinion, the best option for FOOD is neither certification, and growing it yourself, meeting the farmer who did, and creating the meal in your home)

    If anyone actually read this insanely long comment…thanks for humoring me…it turned into something that maybe should’ve been a personal journal entry. :)

  • vegyogini

    This is fascinating and I can’t believe speaking from a place of balance would be controversial, but I hear you that it can be in our community. I come from a place of having anorexia from age 11 forward through college and into law school and the only thing that really worked for me was finding vegetarianism, then veganism shortly thereafter. Vegetarianism/veganism made food about something other than me; it made my food choices come from a place of compassion for animals, which I was then able to translate into compassion for myself (finally). That shift in focus from “Is this going to make me fat?” to “Is this vegan/a compassionate choice?” truly helped me relax about food for the first time since I was so young. Now I can go to Donut Friend and have a donut once every few months and be ok with that when I can’t even remember the last time I had a donut pre-vegan. Or I can eat Chao and Miyoko’s and Follow Your Heart cheeses with crackers for dinner sometimes and be ok with that when cheese (dairy cheese, I mean) used to be part of the food “enemy.” I believe what I’m saying here is that you’re right! Balance (always vegan, but balance about the vegan foods I eat) has been an integral part of my healing and I have never been healthier.

  • vegyogini

    Absolutely (I’m not in the least bit surprised we agree on this)! In addition to creating confusion and, sometimes, shame (which I am 100% against), it also fails to recognize that our bodies are all different and require different nutrients, types of food, etc. For example, my body doesn’t do well with consuming a ton of processed fat, whereas I do well with whole, raw nuts, and I have no problem with gluten, but my mom has Celiac. It’s all really interesting. I have people at work coming to me for advice around food and it’s fun to put together the puzzle for them, taking into consideration their needs and specific likes and sensitivities. I helped one person go from meat/egg/cheese-laden daily breakfast burritos to daily vegan oatmeal for breakfast and he so proudly tells me about the various fruit/nut combos he’s been trying! It all starts with one step and I find the more open I am to leading by example and focusing on what to add in rather than what to remove/restrict, the more open people are to hearing about veganism.