This past August 1st, I celebrated my 8-year Veganniversary. And as it so happened, this year August 1st fell on a Monday, which was wonderful because that’s Jeremy’s day off and during summer, it can be my day off too. And it was a lovely, lazy, reflective, celebratory day.
8 Years is a long time, and these past 8 of mine have been some of the most magnificent, and most harrowing, years of my life. In these 8 years I have loved, and lost, and loved again, I have made a child and built him inside my body, out of my body, out of plants (mostly burritos), and I have been sick and I have been better, I have moved from a home I loved in Portland to a broken home in Santa Barbara, built a new foundation and formed incredible
friendships family, watched my little baby boy grow into a bright beautiful firecracker of a creature, his body still built completely of plants (mostly Magic Beans), and I have loved fiercely and I have fought demons, I have hit rock bottom and also, miraculously, I have recovered. And fought onward.
During summer I eat watermelon for breakfast pretty much every day. Big bowls, I mean BIG serving-bowl sized bowls, overflowing with crisp cold perfectly juicy red flesh. It’s one of my greatest pleasures.
On this particular day I had a late-morning appointment, so I set out on foot for a slow stroll to my destination. It was such a lovely August day, all warm and ocean-breezy, everything blooming and vibrant and alive. Quintessential summer.
My walking sunbath nourished me as much as the watermelon did. 8 years in, and I’ve learned that health and wellness go so far beyondsomething as simple as the food we put into our bodies. We need sun and serenity, nature and quiet and connection. Good, plant-based food goes a long way, but optimal health is ultimately a product of the mind.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch!
Jeremy was bustling about in the kitchen, getting his food geek on and flexing his creativity which he so rarely gets to do. Preparing for me a feast of a lunch, featuring produce from our garden and flavor pairings unlike any I’ve had before (I love his culinary mind, so different from mine, and so untethered by convention).
When I arrived home, hungry after my meetings and my miles of walking, I was greeted with this:
Mostly raw, but with a protein punch — just the way I like it! This was so amazing and I can’t even begin to describe it. And a beet rosette! A homegrown beet rosette!
After lunch I was able to spend some serious time down in the dirt in my garden, which is my absolute favorite place to be. There was so much to harvest — so much abundance! — and I’ll do a garden update sometime soon. Sunflowers and strawberries and herbs and greens and of course, the beets. My garden is overflowing!
In the evening we both showered and got a bit gussied up, just a bit, and made our way out for a dinner date. We intended to hit our favorite noodle bar but alas, they close early on Mondays! Oh well, we wandered on through downtown Santa Barbara, not really knowing where we were going, but trusting that we would find something good. And with a little of that Veganniversary luck, we struck gold!
We found a recently re-opened Mexican restaurant, with a gorgeous patio and an enticing ambiance. Their new ownership is super open-minded, and their new menu boasts nearly 20 vegetarian entrees! All of which can be made vegan by simple omitting the dairy.
Our appetizer was house-made chips with guacamole and pico. Also margaritas! And our first course was a roasted beet salad with arugula, apples, and balsamic, and a plate of nachos where each chip had been dipped in house-made adobo.
We split this final entree and were so stuffed we couldn’t even finish it. Such a unique and satisfying meal! Gotta love that good Veganniversary juju.
After dinner we made our way back home, a nice long walk on a warm summer night. We talked about our future — about our plans and our dreams. We’re so good at that, Jeremy and I. Always plotting to take over the world!
8 years I’ve lived in alignment with my heart, uncompromised in my moral core. It is an incredible gift, and one that I am grateful for every day. Because every day I live my values of empathy and integrity.
8 years down, and the rest of my years to go!
♥ ♥ ♥