Theoretically, my 21-day cleanse challenge was over on Christmas Eve. Personally, it became more of a kick-my-butt-into-veganism challenge than an actual cleanse. The good thing is that it means this will go beyond 21 days into a permanent diet change. So that’s what this was for me: a second chance transition into veganism.
I am proud of myself for selecting vegan options for my holiday dinners, which I anticipated being my biggest challenges during this past month. My family went out to dinner for Christmas Eve, so while four of us dined on giant slabs of murdered cows, my sister and I ate vegetable kabobs over rice. I stayed away from the alcohol and drank water and tea all evening. It was amazing. For Christmas Day dinner, my husband’s family made two trays of meat lasagna; I scarfed down roasted potatoes, carrots (in orange juice syrup), and salad. While they all drank cans of Pepsi and Coke, I had a water bottle (I hate bottles, but I’d rather have water than soda). The only slip-up during both dinners were the few bites of saganaki (flaming cheese doused in brandy) on Christmas Eve, and a slice of cake on Christmas Day. I allowed myself those indulgences because I didn’t have an alternative on hand.
While I’m a little disappointed with myself for not sticking purely to the crazy sexy diet plan (I snacked on too many unhealthy holiday treats during the second and third weeks), I’m incredibly proud of myself for the changes I have made and stuck with! I also noticed a difference in my body: more vibrant and awake after eating good food, sick and heavy after eating sugary, dairy-loaded foods. Paying complete attention to my body’s response to the things I put in my mouth has helped me really understand the effects that food has on us. Just hearing and reading about it is not enough.
It will only get easier from here. As I prepare more yummy vegan foods, I’ll share the recipes here in case you’re in the same boat I am (wannabe vegan with budget and time constraints and a meat-loving family). I also dry brush almost every day and putting on body oil has become part of my skin care routine. I’m slowly filtering cosmetics out of my bathroom and looking for safer alternatives or none at all. Body wash? Who needs that? I still need to be more proactive about daily physical activity. I still can’t kick my butt enough to roll out the yoga mat or create a chunk of time for yoga.
This cleanse attempt has shown me that I’m a person that needs slow, steady progress. Whenever I become passionate about something, it’s hard for to me to make a quick, solid change for it, whether it be minimizing possessions, eating differently, working out, relationships, or forming/removing habits. Of course, change doesn’t happen over night. And every step I take is a step in a good direction.
On a final note, I did receive a very exciting gift from my parents for the holidays: a juicer! I asked to borrow theirs during my cleanse so I could try it out and they decided to gift me one instead! It’s a cute little juicer that requires minimal cleanup and looks lovely on my kitchen counter. I purchased a large assortment of fruit and vegetables so I could create a lot of delicious juices and give myself an occasional juice fast. Wonderful!
So this cleanse/diet/whatever? It’s here to stay. I’m loving it.