Veganism is a lifestyle decision, not another fad diet
Veganism is a lifestyle decision and certainly not another fad diet. As a societal collective we have become obsessed with finding tricks to instant life satisfaction and seem to be in a perpetual forward lean on our crusade for self gratification.
We obsess over the idea of being healthier, skinnier, stronger,more attractive ,and become gullible to obscure diet fads and supplements that promise ‘a better you’. It’s hard not to with the bedazzling marketing features, customer testimonials of very satisfied customers and sometimes even an endorsement from your favourite celebrity!
But lets be honest, its short lived and before you know it you have forgotten all about your meal & exercise compliance plan and are back to where you started.
This unhealthy relationship we have created with food, has made us forget the presence, connection, joy, love, and pleasure it brings. When it comes to true health, the absence of our real presence keeps us from truly experiencing the very satisfaction and happiness we seek.
The bounteous health and environmental benefits of following a plant-based/vegan diet should be enough to make it more then a passing craze, but attitude and perspective are the elements at which we need to take a closer look at if it is to become a way of life.
A growing mountain of research shows that when we are consciously present with and enjoying our meals, cultivating connection and love in the eating environment and in the bigger picture of our lives, we are far more likely to experience the healthy, happy future toward which we strive. The human need for connection, love, and the stress-relieving rewards of being mindfully present are just as strong as our need for sound nutrition and exercise.
6 tips for being healthier, happier, here and now
by Lani Muelrath, MA – Award-winning teacher, author, TV host, and top plant-based vegan lifestyle coach.
- Spend time in nature: Unequivocally the big healer
- Move your body: Think physical activity rather than exercise, and gain the benefits of movement that are bigger than a stronger body and a healthy heart: a better brain.
- Spend time moving your body in nature: Synergy is created when we combine physical activity and a natural environment.
- Be present at your next meal: You don’t have to put your fork down between bites, sit at a table with quiet music and nice dishes, or chew each bite 37 times. Simply be present with experience unfolding as you eat. Visually enjoy the colorful plant display in front of you. Ask yourself – what are the colors, textures, aromas? Revel in the joy and peace of eating in a way that doesn’t cause unnecessary harm. Observe any judgments you are making about your food, how much you are tasting it, if you can tell when you are getting close to having enough to eat, and if you are enjoying everything on your plate. Have a sense of appreciation for all it took to get this plate of food to your table or lap. Being present with your eating experience connects you more closely with your hunger and fullness signals, often with the natural outcome of consuming less while enjoying it more. Just be there. Eating.
- Bring the joy of eating to the next social or family event: This time of year, it never fails – articles surface about holiday events and family gatherings as “being about the people, not the food.” Who among us really believes it? These occasions are a time for both– connecting with community and also sharing the pure joy of eating. Even if you are the only person at the table with a plant-based preference, it doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the opportunity to celebrate vegan living in the context of holiday gatherings. You win more hearts through smiles and stomachs than finger-pointing, so bring scrumptious plant-based eats to the affair.
- Media swap: Swap out five minutes of time from media engagement – social media, newsfeeds, games, TV – to simply be. Without any distractions, simply be present with your breath and your body. It can seem almost impossible to slow down the frenetic planning and organizing in our brains, but letting go of the runaway thought habit is worth the effort.
“Health is not something down the road, a state to reach, a place to get to. Health is a state of attitude and mind that naturally invites skillful choices in the moment and connection with the present. Don’t miss a minute of the delicious meal right in front of you. Practice being healthy and happy, right here for this meal, and the next.” – Lani Muelrath, MA