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Saturday, August 11, 2012


We took the boys for a bike ride the other night and along the way, we got to talking about diets...I know random for a bike ride, but it has been a hot topic for us lately, largely in part to my new found interest in a plant-based diet, what many people refer to as being vegan.  As I continued to share with him all the interesting things I had learned that day (I'm still trying to get through Forks Over Knives and browsing cookbooks, reading blogs, etc.), he continued to tell me reasons he didn't think it was a good idea, compromises he'd make without totally committing, and he cited some other very convincing diets we've looked at that rely very heavily on meat and animal products to achieve results.  It really can get quite confusing when you dig into all of the conflicting information that is out there.

We decided that you really choose the diet you commit to based on what you're hoping to accomplish, right?  Are you an animal activist?  Go Vegan!  Do you have a heart condition? Better choose a low sodium, low fat diet!  Trying to cut weight fast?  It seems Paleo is all the rage now in that department now.  Worried about pesticides and hormones? Watch labels for organic, grass-fed, free range, etc.  For me personally, I would like to be fantastically healthy, with nice muscle tone, lots of energy, glowing skin, and all the while, feel like I'm not "missing out" on all the good stuff.  Based on what I'm reading and my own opinions which have developed as a result of my research, it seems like going Vegan is the answer.  But what if I can't convince my mind and my heart to agree?

I don't think the diet is so much the issue, but the self-discipline that would go along with it seems like such an undertaking.  I'd have to have lots of self-control in a very tempting world.  I mean, how many restaurants can you think of that have an abundance of vegan options?  But then again, a little self-discipline never hurt anyone.  In fact, it seems that self-discipline could positively impact more that just my health.  It could improve my faith, my confidence, and my cooking skills, and increase my overall satisfaction in life.  That makes it a bit more tempting...but still VERY OVERWHELMING and even a bit scary.  I think it would be so much easier to commit if I was a huge animal rights advocate or if I had a medical condition that could seriously benefit from making the change, but a change in the spirit of overall health and an test of self-discipline, I have to admit that's a little less convincing, at least for me.  But then I came across this verse...

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Which reminded me of this...

As a result, I've been thinking a lot about this whole self-discipline thing too.  With two little toddlers at home, discipline is a daily challenge.  How do I teach them to follow the rules? Why don't they STOP CLIMBING ON THE TABLE when I've told them a million times?  When will it finally click that sitting on your brother is not a good idea?  No, you can't have your dessert until you eat your vegetables.  You can't just eat goldfish all the time, you need some balance on that high chair tray because I WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY!  Funny, seems like exactly what I want for myself.  Maybe I should adopt the same rules for myself that I impose on my children.  We spend so much of our time as parents trying to teach discipline, good habits,  and self-control, obviously realizing that it is a necessary life skill, only for many of us, including ME, to ignore our conscience as adults, especially when it comes to food.

I used to follow the rules as a kid.  I'd eat dessert only after I'd finished my healthy meal.  I was taught to make healthy choices and only indulge occasionally, but I'm realizing that as an adult, I tend to ignore what I know I should be doing when it comes to food way too often.  Don't get me wrong, I eat a generally healthy diet, but I splurge way more often that I should and just tell myself I'll work out extra hard the next day.  It creates a viscious cycle.  If I'd have discipline and self-control in the first place, I wouldn't find myself beating myself up and feeling terrible about myself after my regular slip-ups.

I went back to the Bible to see what else it said about self discipline and found this little gem...
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Proverbs 13:4  YOWZA! I so do NOT want to be a sluggard!  If I choose listen to my conscience, and am diligent in my choices, I will be richly supplied.  Sounds like a bargain!  Why is it so hard to do it then? 

I think it will be a gradual process, just like training my children, but with awareness, persistance, determination, and prayer I think I can make some significant changes in my diet that can have far-reaching effects on all aspects of my life.  I'm going to start with cutting back on meat and processed foods as well as hold myself to an eating schedule to avoid all-day-eating as well as allowing myself to get too hungry.  This stay-at-home mom stuff is like a free for all with snacks and part of my problem.  It was much easier to stick to my plan when I had a set time for meals and snacks at work so I think a schedule will help me.  I'm hoping to work towards being a complete vegan by October.  My next step will be to eliminate dairy and meat while still eating fish and eggs.  I will eliminate those two things last.  Baby steps...

I'd love to hear you thoughts/experiences with any of this.  Feel free to chime in.

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