My sister challenged me to eat vegan for one day. I initially thought it would be a piece of cake - I'd finish with flying colors. After all, it's just one day, right? I accepted her challenge and couldn't wait until the next morning. Here's how the day went:
I awakened early, refreshed and ready for a shoot I needed to complete as well as the vegan challenge. By 7:00 I had made the dessert I was photographing and of course tasted it. (Forgetting there was milk and gelatin) By 9:00 the shoot was complete. Feeling like a boss and hungry, I grabbed a leftover meatball from the fridge before I even realized what I was doing. Lunch arrived as well as more items for a couple of shoots I had scheduled later that day. While planning the next shoots in my mind, I walked through the kitchen and grabbed a handful of grated cheese (milk). Annoyed, feeling like a loser and slightly disgusted with myself, I vowed that I would complete the day as a die hard vegan. I feasted on sweet potato fries for lunch and prepared for the next two photo shoots. After finishing the first I began styling the second shoot and realize the dessert would look better with a bite taken out of it. What did I do? I snatched it up, took a bite of the ice cream then swallowed. WHAT THE HECK! Now I was watching myself like a hawk as well as a chicken my mom had simmering on the stove all day. She had to run some errands and asked me to keep and eye on it. Yeah... you guessed it. As I was flipping the bird - literally and in a non-inappropriate way, I ate a couple of pieces. Then I walked by the fridge and ate a tiny corner of pizza before I realized - oh yeah CHEESE :( Needless to say... I failed the challenge. I don't think I could have done worse if I tried. BUT I finished the day with mushroom tacos so... ;) (but then realized the sauce I used had egg).
WHAT DID I LEARN:
1. CONVICTION - Making the decision to go vegan needs to be based on a personal conviction and research NOT a decision based on peer pressure and jumping on the bandwagon because it's a trend. Taking a challenge to go vegan for just ONE DAY opened my eyes to how much passion I would need before changing my diet.
2. ABSENTMINDEDLY EATING - Wow... I had NO idea how much I was eating just because food was there. I didn't even realize I was doing it! Definitely a habit I need to break!
3. CLUELESS OF WHAT I PUT IN MY BODY - I didn't even know what I was eating! Sure I try to intentionally eat healthy but in between meals I have no clue what I'm grabbing to snack on. I think this also goes hand in hand with being in the moment and paying attention to what I'm actually doing in my day to day life.
4. PREPARATION - This is CRUCIAL! (Or at least would be for me) I can't be eating a carrot while everyone else is having cheeseburgers or enchiladas. My sister completed the challenge with flying colors - I was BLOWN AWAY by the delicious and healthy meals she ate that day. And it made sense for her - she wasn't dying and forcing herself to eat that way... it was a personal conviction and a way of eating she sincerely wanted to try.