How to be NEARLY-Vegan in 8 Easy-Peasy Steps
1. Start with empty cupboards.
2. Select a set amount of time to be nearly vegan.
3. Do your research. Find reliably source info and recommendations on vegan-friendly menus, brands, and living.
4. Go out to eat have a vegan friendly meal then,
5. Go grocery shopping
6. Become a mad—scientist vegan chef. Experiment. Play!
7. When your Fried Chicken (fill-in-the-blank) craving surfaces. Ask yourself the following questions:
a. Am I really hungry?
b. Is there a GOOD vegan alternative? (A crappy alternative really won’t help you ease through the craving.)
c. Do I really want this? Why?
8. Eat #7. Savor every bite. Without a hint of guilt.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the yama-Ahimsa. Ahimsa refers to non-violence or non-harming of ourselves and others. Many yogis follow a veggie-dominant diet as they practice ahimsa. I held out for a long time, a dedicated foodie I was pretty committed to my omnivore lifestyle. And I didn’t want to give anything up. I still don’t really, which is why I say that I am nearly-vegan. Maybe that is just me, resisting the complete practice of Ahimsa. I just know that to push past that in the perfectly vegan category begins to harm me—because then I dive deep into the practice of self- castigation. WHY DID YOU EAT THE CHICKEN!!!??? WHHHHYYYYYY!!!!!!!?????
Ahhhhhimsa… that delicate balance of violence to none I am learning to walk. When we are trying to harm none—not ourselves, our loved ones, our community, other creatures, or this planet inevitably someone is going to get hurt. I was with a loved one recently in search of vegan friendly shoes. Which made me think of how far do we take it? Sure, it’s easy to avoid wearing leather, but what about the companies making the synthetic products that comprise a more vegan friendly shoe—how are they disposing of the waste products from their labor? Does it harm none? Are their dead fish floating down stream, people getting tumors from my cow free shoes? It’s easy to see how easily one could end up naked, drinking our own urine (see: YOGA BITCH) and grazing on grass that has carefully been debugged. Trust me—when I go for perfection—I go all the way and it never even occurs to me that I can soften and be okay with “nearly”.
That’s what I love so much about yoga—any time we can spend on our mats acting out these yogic principles, like Ahimsa, is an opportunity to gently remind ourselves to be okay with ourselves, our decisions in this moment. That striving is part of the journey. If you told me I would willingly go a month (or even a day) without a dose of dairy I’d have laughed myself silly—‘cause that’s funny. And yet in February I went 29 days without it easy peasy—because I was ready. Accepting where we are today, blessing our the gifts on our table , and allowing for the expansion of our understanding as we move toward the ideal of ahimsa. That is what I can sign up for. And that’s why I am nearly-vegan...