Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Well, it's official...I'm a STUDENT again! And plant-based eating!

Sorry I've been MIA for a while! For some reason I seem super busy and this month is going to be general craziness so I'll do what I can but April will be better! At any rate, last night was my first night of MASSAGE SCHOOL!!!!! And I LOVED it! It was cool and the vibe in the class is good. It's fairly small. There are only nine students, including me and one instructor plus two teacher assistants. That's a good ratio to me.

So, what did we learn last night? Well, important things like class and school conduct, how to set up a massage table, how to drape a client, and how to have them rollover without seeing their nakedness. These are all important things. I think what I like best is the way the class is taught. Sit down and learn a little then get up and move while learning more. Take a short break then back to the floor for more "book" items then maybe do some hands on, etc. That's the perfect learning environment for me. It will be different when we are on the massage table and then have to get off the massage table and practice what we're learning. But it's all good.

My friends and family are going to benefit here because I need to practice often so I'm going to need to get that practicing going. If you are my friend or family and I haven't already asked you to be my guinea pig, feel free to let me know. I need as many bodies as I can get my hands on...literally! Haha!

As for other news in the plant-based diet world, I made the yummiest meal last weekend. I'm going to do a separate post for it because it was that tasty. It was Ani Phyo's Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps. You know me. Representing! For the K's! (That means Koreans for you that aren't in the know!)

I feel like I'm finally getting in the swing of eating mostly plant-based whole foods. It's not an easy undertaking, in my opinion, but I've definitely felt better since eating this way. These are the benefits I've seen so far for me:

  • Constant energy throughout the day - no afternoon lull or post-meal comas
  • Deeper sleep
  • Increased clarity
  • Little or no sinus problems
  • Cleaner feeling mouth (who knew?)
  • Few to no cravings
These are what I would consider hints for introducing more plant-based meals into your life if you have any inkling to go this way:
  • Start small - one meal a day (or week if day is too much) have a big salad with lots of fun seeds and/or nuts, add some brown rice or grains, and beans
  • Have a "Meatless Monday" (Tuesday, Wednesday, etc) one day a week
  • Find a recipe with no meat that sounds divine and make it (maybe try the Black Bean Hemp Patties by Julie Morris...they are soooo yummy!)
  • Add a great dessert like Julie Morris's No-Bake Brownies
  • Add a side salad to whatever your animal protein dish is and keep increasing the size of the salad and decreasing the size of animal protein
These are the challenges I've faced in this shift:
  • For me it was an overnight change so that was more challenging than starting with one meal at a time
  • Getting carried away with all the yummy raw vegan desserts you can make (and apparently consume in my case)
  • Eating much more carbs than greens
  • Eating much more fat in the way of nuts, seeds and avocados
  • Eating enough - simply because I didn't know what to eat sometimes or had nothing made. It's like any other way of eating. You have to be prepared to eat right.
I'm very happy with the way I'm eating. I know it's weird to a lot of people because it's unknown and "extreme" to some. To me, the more I learn about the health benefits of whole food plant-based diets the more I never want to eat animal protein again. Some of you may be wondering what am I eating these days and/or what am I not eating. It's going something like this:
Eating: any vegetables, any fruit, any nuts and seeds, whole grains, pseudo grains, legumes, super foods, yacon syrup, agave, coconut palm sugar, whole foods
Not Eating: animal protein including fish and seafood, dairy, eggs, processed foods
So that's about it. I don't like to put myself in a category nor would I say that I will never eat meat again, but if I had to I would be leaning toward Whole Food Plant-Based. I'm not really a vegan per se because I still wear leather and such. It's also not to say that I won't at times eat cheese or butter. The biggest thing that I almost forgot to mention is that since starting this I haven't craved french fries! Those of you that know me know that this is huge! In all honesty, I haven't had much cravings for anything out of the ordinary. I haven't any huge salt OR sugar cravings. Hmmm...I should put that in my bullet list above. Let me do that now...okay...I'm back.

And as a funny note to end on, this is how focused I am on "plant-based". The other night I was playing games on my computer and I looked at my houseplant and thought, "Hm, I wonder if that would be good to eat." Hahaha! Yes, I clearly am losing it but it truly was funny to me and I truly DID have that thought.

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