I wrote all of the upcoming events on the new family calendar that hangs on my fridge. While working on the calendar, I realized I am nearing my 5th anniversary of eating vegetarian. Do I call this a Vegiversary? I also realized that I have had a smoothie nearly every morning for five years now. That's a lot of smoothies! One of my favorites is pictured above; pineapple, banana, kale, cranberries and a handful of blackberries for color. I keep frozen cranberries in my freezer to use in smoothies throughout the year.
Oatmeal is another food I eat for breakfast most days.(Although regular readers know I also eat unconventional foods for breakfast like Brussels Sprouts with Orange Miso Sauce.) Today's oatmeal had tart cherries, mixed berries, chia, flax, cinnamon and ground brazil nuts mixed in. I love the rich color the berries impart.
For many years I was a smoker and I was addicted to Pepsi cola.The combination of nicotine and caffeine is difficult to kick.(They were a match made in
I finally ran across Allen Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking (which was first published in 1985 and has helped millions around the world quit smoking since then) and it changed my life. I read it, made up my mind to quit, and did so cold turkey, knowing I would never smoke again.
I know many former smokers who still have dreams about smoking and still feel like they are being deprived, even years after quitting. I can honestly say I've never felt deprived and never had dreams (at least ones that I can remember) about smoking again. Reading that book helped me to change the way I think, I never felt I was giving something up, instead I felt I was regaining my life and health. I can also say quitting was the single hardest thing I have ever done. Do not believe the "experts" statements that it only takes three days to withdraw. It takes months before the brain readjusts to "normal, non-smoker" status. Nicotine withdrawal felt like electric zings to the brain every few minutes, then gradually coming farther and farther apart, a process taking many weeks, till they finally stopped. It was horrible, yet I never felt deprived, I felt like I was fighting to rid myself of a monster that had its hooks in my brain.
Note that I said changing my dietary habits was easy "compared to kicking the cigarette addiction". Of course switching to a mainly whole foods, plant based diet was challenging. There were temptations all around me along with the hostility I faced from some family members and in-laws. (I've never understood this, but maybe the changes I was making forced them to look more closely at themselves and things they didn't want to see.) The health improvements I gained enabled me to stick to it. I believe my voracious appetite for reading nutrition/health books and studies also strengthened my resolve during my switch. Keeping that information in my face really helped to stave off temptation during the transition.
I wrote all of this to let you know that I understand how hard change can be. And to say that I absolutely know that if I could do it, anyone can. So to all of you who have vowed to get healthier this year, I support you and please, never give up!
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn