Friday, August 26

Back to Basics

So, I'm not quite ready to delve into the whole story of how I became Vegan just yet. Next week will be 1 year since I did, though, so the story is coming. Don't worry.

But it has been almost a year, and in that year I have spent a lot of time reading, talking, and thinking about my health.

I don't eat meat, or dairy, or eggs. So...

No cheeseburgers.
No bacon egg and cheese biscuits.
No sausage biscuits.
No eggs and bacon for breakfast.
Nothing that has butter or cream in it.
No steak.
No macaroni and cheese.

You get the idea. I didn't list those things because I miss them. I listed them because it seems pretty obvious that I have cut out a lot of unhealthy things from my life this year. And trust me, I have honestly loved every minute of it.

But, in thinking so specifically about what I'm eating to be healthy, I feel like I've neglected a lot of really obvious things in the process. So, my goal as I approach my Vegan anniversary is to try and take advantage of how comfortable I've become with my new diet and to focus more on the very basic needs of my body.

Back in June I got a very pleasant surprise on my doorstep. A Glamour magazine. I'm still not sure who gave me the subscription, but what a fun treat. I love it. I think the articles are great, but even just the captions on the pictures of the fashion or celebrity news are hilarious. Great, dry humor. (Keep up the good work, guys.)

At any rate, in this month's issue they had an article about getting enough sleep. They talked about something doctor's are calling a sleep debt. Basically, if you miss a certain portion of a good night's sleep...the hours add up and you can acquire a sleep debt. If you're awake just one hour a night, after a week you will have missed an entire night's sleep. That's the theory anyway, and of course the scientists are debating over this idea.

Either way, though, it's obvious that we need our sleep. Not getting enough can cause mental and physical's not good for your body, it's not good for your immune system, it's not good for your skin, and let's face it, it's not good for your mood.

And what do I do when I haven't had enough sleep? Drink more coffee. And not just coffee...I have a terrible Coke habit. Diet Coke, to be specific. And caffeine...

Too much caffeine can lead to stomach and muscle pain, it's been linked to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), mood swings, anxiety attacks, and (duh) sleeplessness. Which makes us drink more coffee...vicious cycle.

And while I'm drinking coffee and Diet Coke...I'm not drinking water. I don't have to tell you that water is essential to all of our essential bodily functions. Drinking enough water can decrease your risk of several diseases, speed up your metabolism, cleanse and detoxify your body, boost your immune system and energy levels, etc. etc. etc.

So, while I'm not getting enough sleep, drinking caffeine all day long, and not drinking enough energy levels understandably suffer. Between that and my infamous takes a lot to get me to exercise.

I mean, damn.

These are very simple decisions to make every morning. And so, in honor of my first Vegan year, I'm making a resolution to make those decisions. And to hold myself accountable, I've created a little section over there on the side that I will update daily so that you can make fun of me if I fail.

I am going to try to get to bed no later than 11. I am going to try and limit my caffeine intake to my morning cup of coffee. I am going to try and drink the recommended 8 (8 oz.) glasses of water each day. And I am going to try and get at least some exercise everyday.

If I can accomplish these things on top of being Vegan, I think I will pretty much be unstoppable.

I encourage all of you to make these decisions each morning as well...unless, of course, you all already do and I'm the only one who doesn't...which is entirely possible.

Look for exciting updates on my garden this begins tomorrow! Wait until you see my little soybean babies. I'm so proud.

Until then.


  1. two suggestions...

    1) Buy a 1L bottle of zepherhills or smart water...and carry it with you everywhere. Once you drink that one, you are halfway done for the day (and when you carry it everywhere, it goes faster than you think)
    2) I was soooo addicted to DC...and one day, after realizing how horribly bad all the things in it are for you...I totally cut it out and started to drink unsweet tea instead. I miss my fizz, but feel so much better. And now, I have started cutting back on the tea so I don't get as much caffeine ( on a gradual basis)

    Good Luck!!! :)

  2. Thanks, Liz! I quit caffeine cold-turkey for Lent this year and my mom made me drink a cup of coffee on day 3 because I was irritable and depressed! That was enough to scare me off of caffeine for a long time...but of course I let it creep back in.

  3. You have helped me! I was walking in wal-mart today thinking, my legs feel like they have RLS...but why? I couldn't figure if out. But, it's totally all the caffiene I have been drinking! From diet coke, diet mtn. Dew, COFFEE. too much. Thanks!! :)

  4. I love it...let me know if cutting down on the caffeine helps!

  5. Proud of you friend!! Can't wait to read about how you became a vegan! :)