Life Without Sushi?

Since attending IIN, each year in March/April I do a 30 Day Vegan challenge. I usually do it with my 2 other healthy chicks, from 3 Healthy Chicks, Jill and Lauren (we all met at IIN). It’s not really much of a challenge for them considering they’re 100% and 99% vegan respectively.  I guess I just need the support system. Don’t we all?

A vegan challenge is pretty straight forward, 30 days, no eggs, meat or diary products.  The meat thing is usually no biggie as far as my cravings are concerned, The challenge is in the husband-guilt; he loves to cook and I feel bad not eating his food. I kicked my cheese addiction after my first vegan challenge 3 years ago. I’ve been feeling a little funky about eggs these days, so I don’t think they will be as much of a problem. I may have trouble kicking my mistress yogurt out of bed.  She’s my breakfast at least 3 times a week:

So why am I blogging about food, diet, and healthy challenges on the Living INside Out blog instead of the 3 Healthy Chicks Keeping it Jersey Fresh Blog?  Really, it could be blogged either place. But I’m writing about it here because this time around the challenge has more to do with my spiritual practice than merely(?) a health practice.

Since I let it all out in Getting a Running Start last week, I’ve continued to be introspective about my yoga and spirituality. (The funny thing is, I haven’t talked to a single friend about this, not even my business wife, Nancy, but here I am blurting it out in a blog). A cyclone of questions have been coming up.  Can you grow spiritually while continuing to eat meat and dairy? There may be sustainable options but are there truly cruelty free options?  If you’re in love with a certain style of yoga, which has veganism as a tenant, can  you truly be a practitioner of the style if you’re not vegan? Yogis in India eat meat, just not cow. They also eat dairy. Does it really matter? Could I actually live the rest of my life without eating sushi again? Without a brie and apple sandwich with honey mustard? Without a scrambled egg and kale wrap? Why are all the questions so self centered? Isn’t there a bigger picture?

It’s a crazy-lot of big questions. Ones that I don’t have the answers to.  If I ask 10 people, I am sure to get 10 different answers. So ultimately it’s up to me to go inside and find my guide. So yet again, I am embarking on a 30 day Vegan Challenge. This time, I’m approaching it differently. It’s not about health or “diet” or weight loss. This time it’s much more. This time it’s about spirituality and it’s about energy. Not the kind of energy you get after you drink a green juice and want to run a 5k, but the energy of living beings.  I want to dig into my own spirituality and see if being meat and diary free makes a difference to me.

Since today is Ash Wednesday and Catholics all over the world are fasting and giving up something in the name of their own beliefs, I’ve decided to start my Vegan Journey today.  I am not calling it a Vegan Challenge anymore because this time it’s not about the physical. This time it is about the spiritual. I think a spiritual journey is going to be more rocky than a physical challenge.  I am going to need all the help and support I can get. I’ll be reaching out to a few vegan guru friends,  fellow 3 Healthy Chick, Lauren, INspiration Nation blogger, Carolyn and my friend Kristy, vegan mom extraordinaire. I’m also looking for guidance from some I-wish-we-were-more-than-facebook-friends; Crazy, Sexy, Kris Carr and Senior Jivamukti Teacher, Kelly Morris.

I don’t know what’s going to transpire, but I am curious to find out.  What about you beautiful beings out there? What do you think about veganism and spirituality? Vegetarianism and yoga? Does it make a difference in your physical practice? Your spiritual practice? Your energy?  I want to know. Help me figure it all out! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Life Without Sushi?

  1. Love! It’s funny cause I’m sort of on the opposite journey! The last few months I’ve been trying to reconnect with myself spiritually. I’ve already got the vegan thing down, and while it started out as a health thing (as you know) it’s becoming more and more about values and spirituality for me. I’ve started meditating, being more mindful and learning about Buddhist philosophies. becoming more raw (still working on that) is helping me think more clearly and achieve this. So I’m right there with you only on the otherside!

    You can so do this. Two words: rawbundant and dr. Cows…. If you want to go halfsies on an order of dr. cows’ website, let me know!

  2. Oh Jill, I couldnt be happier to read this comment! The only reason I didn’t officially tag you in this blog post is because I knew for you it was mostly a health thing. I am so happy to have someone on this (new) path with me!!!

    And yes, LOVE Dr. Cows. Lets order next week!!

  3. Great thought-provoking goodies here. I cannot comment to much on the vegan aspect of your journey, because it is not mine. However, I became a vegetarian about six years ago for ethical reasons, that have since turned into more of a spiritual practice. I started feeling the difference when about every six months or so I would have a piece of fish. At first I ate fish because mentally I needed the boost but as time has gone on, I now get a different reaction. I feel less connected to who I AM when I eat the flesh of other creatures. When I honor myself during a yoga or a meditation practice I also honor all the creatures we share this earth with.

    I believe if cultivated in a natural way animal by-products work with my personal practice. But this awakens me to my own practices of not buying local and sustainable when it is what flows best with my beliefs. I think it is natural for animals to lay eggs, give milk, etc. But for me the most important part is to thank them by treating them with the respect they deserve.

  4. Thanks Corinne.
    I’ve always agreed with the mindful, sustainable aspect of a vegetarian/animal by-products practice. However, the more I educate myself, the more unsure I become. I don’t know if it’s cruel or not to impregnate a cow for yearly milk production. This is where the “ugh cheese” thoughts come in. Even the most organic farms keep cows on the pregnancy cycle.

    Eggs are another thing. I’ve never had a problem with them, until recently. I’ve always loved my over medium eggs with runny yolks. Now I almost can’t look at them. The only way I can eat them is scrambled. I cant even answer as to why!

    All questions I need to seek in myself. ❤

  5. What a well written post Terra!

    Everyone’s vegan and spiritual journey is so unique and every changing. Sometimes they are married and other times they aren’t.

    I started this quest while living in Thailand where my transition to vegetarianism and then to veganism was partly a yearning to become healthy and partly a necessity of living in the middle of no where – not having access to fresh dairy and not wanting to eat questionable meats (common for people to eat rats, ant eggs, and parts of an animal I wouldn’t normally consume).

    It was also at a time in my life when I was searching out who I was, was living like a nun, and just being the best ‘me’ I could be. I had no outside influencing factors. There definitely wasn’t any sushi around. And I rarely drank as it wasn’t socially accepted as a female in a small village.

    Anyways, now I’m home. I’m back to reality. Being a vegan is just part of life. I actually can’t imagine eating an animal now, even though I always could differentiate between a food source and a farm animal.

    I think being a vegan is so personal and it can be forgiving. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. I sorta hate the title actually. Because if I wanted a juicy, organic, grass fed burger, I’m allowed.

    My spiritual quest is kinda stalled, which is unfortunate, but just the result of being in the hustle and bustle of life and moving away from yoga and more towards triathlons. I’m still content in my eating habits though. For me, right now, I’m not feeling a strong connection between what I eat and my spiritual well-being, but that is because I don’t get to practice yoga as much as I’d like and where I do practice yoga (YMCA) really strips the spiritual part from the process. It’s unfortunate but just a choice I make to avoid paying more $ for other yoga classes. It’s also been 7 years, so I just don’t know any different now.

    So, I’m rambling, but I do think I’m healthy and have lots of energy now as a vegan. However, as an athlete I often wonder if I’m missing something. Could I be a faster runner if I ate meat? Would I have more energy? I don’t think eating meat would make me more spiritual though.

    I hope you made it through this non-sense. 🙂

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