“But we’re out of almond milk,” he said, looking nervous all of a sudden.
“What do you mean we’re out of almond milk?” I was crestfallen. All I wanted was a little almond milk to pour over my blueberries and oats.
“We’ll stop at Whole Foods on the way in to work!” he offered, lighting up again. This conversation happened in our house this morning.
Yet another drastic change has come along and disrupted our lives, in the most wonderful way. So often, change starts with a book. Something thought-provoking, well-written, thoughtful. And something that scares the daylights out of you. “Eat to Live.” It was sitting innocuously in my mother’s apartment about 6 weeks ago. My mother naturally looks about 3 decades younger than she actually is, and was looking particularly glowy on that day. That was it, had to read the book. I am competitive, after all.
Changes in my diet have always felt overwhelmingly difficult, I would even say impossible. I’d never before been able to make the healthy changes I wanted to for any extended period of time. But, to my own great surprise, motivated with knowledge and a big dose of reality, I cut out the vast majority of meat that first week. Within two weeks, I had stopped consuming dairy products. I was eating so many vegetables that I didn’t even have room for junk. Within the first month, I started cooking plant-based meals. And now, moving into the sixth week, I’ve ordered a food processor and, about 98% of the time, am eating a completely vegan diet.
Don’t even look at me that way, like I’m “crazy” for giving up cheese. Don’t even try and say “but you don’t have to lose weight,” because it’s not about that. Two months ago, I was one of those folks who looked at vegans with distrust in their eyes, an utter skeptic. You can’t trust someone who doesn’t eat cheese! Now, Eric and I talk about almond milk in the morning and eat kale for dinner. Behold, the power of plants.
I don’t have an angle. For me, this is not about saving the animals or the planet. I love animals and the planet, but this is really just about feeling good and being healthy. My best friend, in her great plant-based wisdom, warned me. She warned me about the backlash and the judgment. And oh my, was she right. People give you sidelong glances and speeches about “moderation.” That part has been difficult.
But this has also been fun and exciting and I’ve literally never felt better, slept better or run better. One of the questions Eric and I are always asking each other, whether it’s personal or professional, is “how can I do better?” For me, this was one area where I felt I could do better. This has been an incredibly positive, exciting and fun change to make. I’m loving it. I’m proud of myself. I feel wonderful. And even though I don’t eat cheese anymore, you can still trust me.