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food for thought

I’ve been a vegetarian for a little over a month now and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to brag blog about it. * 

It all began with a documentary. Classic, I know. This particular doc which will remain unnamed to keep focus where it should be (on me) made some claims that I found suspect but enough was revealed about the meat industry for me to want to go cold Tofurkey on eating the stuff.

Look at me inserting faux meat products into every day colloquialisms. LOL, I am such a Beyond Meat ball. 

Since becoming a vegetarian I’ve only eaten five chicken wings, a double cheeseburger, three hot dogs, some chicken fingers, and a delicious organic meat stick. Suffice it to say, I’ve been pretty strict about things. Honestly, if you don’t count ice cream, I’m practically vegan. 

I blame summer BBQ’s for my meat relapses. The organic meat stick? I found it in my purse while my friends and I were getting manicures. I was overcome with hunger waiting for everyone's nails to dry and it was another 20 minutes before I could nosh properly on crudité at home. It was purse-meat or death. Show me a vegetarian who wouldn’t falter in similar dire straights.

Admittedly, it’s hard selling your newfound vegetarianism whilst simultaneously dressing a hot dog with mustard or eating meat from your pocketbook. 

The documentary left its meat impact but a much bigger conundrum loomed as the credits rolled.

What the f*ck are you supposed to eat?!? 

Sugar is the devil. I find this ingredient utterly intoxicating, which tells me all I need to know in believing the negative claims.

Gluten schmuten. TBH I’m still not always sure if something has gluten unless it’s labeled and overpriced at the grocery store. 

Dairy is scary. Though I am very dairy accepting I can at times be a little dairy intolerant.

Carbs are certainly not improving their reputation with gluten schmuten’s blurred lines. 

Alcohol is a neat social lubricant but I enjoy its side effects less and less.

Right. Not a food group.

And now meat. It’s mad bad for you, bro.  

I feel like unless I’m eating locally grown lettuce that’s organic, cage-free, non-GMO, free-range, and allowed to wander where the Wi-Fi is weak then I’m doing it wrong.

My relationship with food has never been anything easy breezy. The last thing I need is guilt over purse-meat when in a bind. There is way too much thought and emotion tied to food and that feels as unhealthy as it reads. 

Any guy reading this is saying, “Relationships with food? Huh?”

Men (typically) do not have relationships with food. A man could order nachos for lunch and then carry on like a normal eating human for the rest of the day. 

Me at a restaurant.   

"Mmm nachos. I love nachos! Get a salad though. Ugh, these are some basic looking salads and the rest of the menu looks average. You’ve been so healthy and working out regularly- Have nachos just don’t go down a cheesy rabbit hole of bad decisions afterwards. F*ck it, it’s 12 noon on a Wednesday, I’m getting nachos."

 Waiter arrives to take orders.

“Yes, I'll have the large house salad but could you add salmon and no cheese, please? Dressing on the side is perfect, thank you!”

"Smart move."

As I mentioned, eating hasn't always come easy.

A few years ago I did a Whole28 and discovered a lot about what works and what hurts my body. What's a Whole28 you ask? It's exactly like Whole30 but cut short 2 days due to failing miserably. Except this failure tasted a lot like a delicious pizza which was confusing because pizza always feels like a W to me. 

For me, too heavy a restriction almost always leads to an overload of consumption.

Work out and eat clean for beach vacay. Come home Sunday night and order delivery ice cream. Eat so much that lying down immediately isn’t comfortable. Shame talk myself into thinking about a juice cleanse in the morning.

Attempts at Whole 30 and then boom, Dominos to the head on day 28.  

Declaring myself a vegetarian and the subsequent purse-meat panic. 

As I get older, I’m settling more easily into life though. I have become more relaxed in spaces where I used to hold unnecessary pressure. Conversely, I feel an urge to focus attention on other parts of my life that were previously and very blissfully ignored. Overall, it feels like a softening into myself. I have to be honest, it feels pretty good, like a coming home.  

I have a friend that has eaten pasta at least once a day for the last 8 years I have known her. One friend of mine would struggle to find meaning in life if cheese were forbidden. I know folks who indulge their sweet tooth daily without ever over-doing it. Each one having vitality as strong as the next. 

I eat a lot of ice cream. I mean quite a bit. I also have loved eating large bowlfuls of salad daily since I was a child. Complimentary loves help a lot.

Softening where there used to be pressure means I have ice cream when the mood strikes. I work out to stay healthy and strong. I don't overdo it. If I notice clothes feeling tight I skip an ice cream trip or I run a few extra miles.

There is a science to staying healthy.

Being a conscious consumer of the food that is used to fuel your healthiest life is wise.

Your healthiest self is different looking than your neighbors.

If you order a "small" ice cream cone some establishments will automatically give you a "kids small" which doesn't make any sense because you are very adult looking. A "regular small" will ensure you're not cheated out of a single dollop. 

The more you know.

There’s a saying I don’t love but when it comes to your health it fits perfectly here.

You do you!

Doing my naked thing,

Jen

*Poking fun at stereotypes of people with dietary preferences wasn’t nice. I am sorry. 98% of people with specific dietary preferences/restrictions never talk about it. The other 2% well, maybe you could eat some humble pie later. Two-fold; you never seem to stop talking from your (insert atypical dietary preference here) platform. Mouthful of pie will help that. Secondly, I’m sure it’s not intentional but your passion can come off a bit to a lot judge-y at times.  Chill bro.

the slow lane

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