Is there anything as stunning as Spring? Bird songs and cricket chirps wake the Summer child in me and I begin to lust for lounging and crave calm and comfort. As Sunday evenings go, last night’s version was pretty spectacular.
The skies, which alternated all day between Threatening Grey and Are You Kidding Me Blue, compromised on clear blue skies with enough cloud cover in the distance to make the sunset look like special effects from a blockbuster movie.
Dinner was cooked kale on a thin layer of brown rice garnished with cubes of cold avocado. This still makes me giggle. Everything else about the herbivore lifestyle has become commonplace: creative ordering from the menus at restaurants, learning about something called the “produce” section (which it seems is found in most grocery stores), reading ingredient labels as easily as some men read the stats in the Sports section, and so on. However, the meals can still amuse me.
Sometimes I’ll look at my plate and break out into an full-face smile. Partially, this is because after 39.5 years of carni-omni living, the herbivore meals can still seem foreign. It isn’t that I crave the other kinds of food. Instead, its as if I surprise and amuse myself when I look down at plants on a plate and remember that I’ve completely changed my life. The remainder of the smile is a result of absolutely loving the grub I’m drooling over.
Sunday- you know, the one with the sunset and the kale- was the half-year anniversary of my new life. The sun that painted that neon lava lamp for us, watched from the center of the solar system as Earth twirled us through 180 degrees of our 360 degree path to a year.
During that semi-orbit I have been reborn. It is not simply a health issue. I wont complain about lost weight and improved health, especially since this was the catalyst for the change that took place six months ago. However, it is the changes in my heart and mind during that time that I am most thankful for.
Going on a diet and changing what is eaten for a few months because of bathing suit season addresses a pitifully small part of a person’s weight problem. The real solutions are found by changing what we think, realizing what we already know, and being honest about the choices that we make during our lifetime. When you’ve done all that, the rest of your life will fall into place- including the now (seemingly) inconsequential weight problem that previously seemed like the sun that all of your other problems orbited around.
My family and I have not just changed the way we eat. We have changed how we eat, how we make buying decisions, how we think of others (animals included), and how we think of ourselves. Our goals in life have shifted and our priorities have been redefined. It is a heart-warming miracle just to count the number of extra times we sat down as a family of five and fought over the last bit of ginger salad and laughed about agave nectar.
When I wrap myself in the warm blanket of benefits that this new life has granted us, I feel overwhelming gratitude and sunny optimism for what the future holds.