I wouldn’t consider myself Vegan, but…

Being healthy was not always what I focused on. Now, after 4 children, weight gain; that just will not melt away like it used to, and aches and pains of several years of abuse, I have opened my eyes to attempting to take better care of my body. For a few years now I have added more fruits and vegetables to my meals.  Over time, I have omitted meat from these meals almost entirely with the exception of seafood.  This is not always an easy task when you are raised your entire life eating meat as the main course of every meal.  What is even harder is having family that still enjoys meat and you have to cook 2 different meals just to please everyone in the house. All you can do is offer the healthy and hope for the best. The cravings are real and falling off the wagon is inevitable.

I have actually finally reached a point that I truly do not want to eat anything but a plant-based diet.  Having said that, I am  having a difficult time with ridding dairy from this diet as well as chicken or turkey and sometimes ground beef.  Finding snacks and satisfying meals has been a challenge especially when I enjoy cheese and crackers, milk in my coffee and a good burger cooked medium rare.  I have now become addicted to veggie burgers. cooked right and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms and even avocado. Yum!  Vanilla almond milk has also become a staple in my house. A little trick, have fresh fruits and vegetables ready and available to choose from.   Trying new things is fun but I always seemed to go back to that juicy burger with a slice of cheese and unhealthy french fries as well as taking a trip to Dunkin Donuts, Aroma Joe’s or Starbucks for that afternoon coffee craving or energy drink on a daily basis. Honestly, when you do the math, these trips cost a lot of money. Gas to get there, cost of the beverage and the toll it takes on your body. Having a budget for coffee was never an issue but once you see the costs on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis  you start to ask yourself ,”Why did I spend so much money at these establishments?” I’m not saying you should not enjoy yourself once in a while, but do you really need it every day?  I have cut back quite a bit.

Here is a breakdown. I like to drink iced lattes and they typically run anywhere from $3 to $6 each. I forgot to mention, sometimes I bought a latte 2 times a day… So now we are talking roughly $10 a day depending on the size I purchased.  I always bought a large! Go big or go home, right?  Caffeine is another issue that I’m still trying to work on.  That adds up to $70 a week because this was an every day habit. I say habit because it was in my daily schedule and in my mind and body’s schedule to have the caffeine intake. Monthly, that is equal to $280! What?  That is a car payment!  Ridiculous! But, I kept right on because I never did the math until one day I was balancing my checkbook in Quickbooks and ran a report based on vendors and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  It couldn’t be correct.  I must have entered a number wrong somewhere… I started to pay more attention to my spending habits after my yearly expense for coffee was $3,360. My bank account was feeling the hit. No wonder these coffee chains are expanding exponentially.  I’m glad that I could have helped them be successful because of my cravings and habits. Okay, enough with the accounting talk for now.  I do that enough on a daily basis.

So back to eating healthy. I guess I have learned along the way to take a look at my habits to make better choices.  Your health is the most important thing that you should be paying attention to in your life.  You only get one chance in this life so make it matter and choose what is healthy for you.  It is a continual process and not something that you need to do once and be all set forever.  You will find yourself eating healthy daily, weekly or monthly, but occasionally you may slip and eat or drink something that you may totally regret.  It’s really not the end of the world.  If you strive to be healthy you will get right back on track and forget about your poor choices.  The more good you can do for yourself the better.  It’s really all about being mindful and paying close attention to your habits and changing them for the better.  So for now I do not consider myself vegan but I am striving to reach that goal even if I do not make it there completely at least my journey will still be on track. Just like I kept detailed records of my spending, I am starting to pay more attention to my healthy and unhealthy choices in life. Keeping a document of these habits will only benefit you moving forward. Have a vision and strive to be the best you can be.  You will get there! If you don’t do anything healthy for yourself today, do your best to drink at least 100 ounces of water!  The rest will fall into place when you are ready and determined to get there!!!





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