Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm back and I've gone vegan...well at least for now

  You know when you put off calling someone, and the longer you wait the harder it gets to call them. That's how writing this blog feels. It's been so long since I last wrote, that I feel out of touch with the whole thing. So I apologize now if my writing is awkward and not up to par, but like I said it's been a while. The last time I wrote I was heading off to camp, my best friend wasn't married (and certainly not knocked up), and I was still a Florida resident. Well for those of you who don't know, I went to camp (had a really great time), my best friend got married (and that order), and I am no longer a Florida resident, because well I moved to Iowa.

Crazy, I know. Who trades in the sands and sun of Florida, for the farms and winters of Iowa. Well apparently this girl. I could write a novel on what exactly brought me to Iowa (but I'll save that whole story for another blog). Basically the spark-notes version, is that I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my life (but who really does at 23). I was praying about some different options. I went to Iowa for three weeks to help my best friend get married.  My best friend suggested I take a job in Pella, IA. I told her no (she claims that I said hell no, I have no recollection of this....but there could be some validity to her statement). I then became tormented by the fact that I was slightly intrigued by the prospects of moving to Iowa. I then went in for a CAT Scan because who in their right mind considers moving to Iowa (No offense Iowans). Ok that last part didn't happen, because well CAT Scans are really expensive, but know that I did question my sanity.  I then spent the next month having a moral crisis <insert I argued a lot with God about moving to a place that snows, and has no nearby Targets>. And well if you don't have short term memory loss, you can already figure out that I lost that battle. Within just three months of my friend suggesting I take the job, my bags were packed and my little dog and I were on a plane to Iowa.

It has been almost five months since I moved here, and I have to admit I haven't even been to a farm  (which is a little disappointing...I mean how am I ever going to meet my farmer husband, again that's another blog). And I can't complain really about the whole snow thing, because this winter even from a southerners POV has been tame. I mean I did go into a ditch recently because of ice, but other than that snow and I are cool (haha get it cool haha). Now the whole Target things is still something that weighs heavy on my heart. The closest Target is 45 minutes away, and because I don't speed anymore (Oh yes the state of Iowa gave me my first speeding's a miracle what $168 leaving your wallet does to ones lead foot), it actually takes 45 minutes to get there. But still most people find it hard to believe that I'm really ok with leaving the beaches of Florida.

But to be honest I was never a huge beach girl. Don't get me wrong, I love the ocean and going to watch sunrises/sunsets. But I'm not the type to go layout all day, blame it on my undiagnosed case of ADHD and my pasty Irish skin <insert my skin has this weird habit of turning bright red when I spend any significant amount of time in the sun...oh and this happens to be pretty painful>. The beach and I just never got along all that well. I mean besides missing my family (oh dear God I miss my mommy) and friends and Targets located on every corner (ok that's a slight exaggeration but I did live 5 minutes from one), I don't really miss Florida. I've actually enjoyed having real seasons here. I now know what it's like to look forward to spring. Spring in Florida was always just the 6 weeks of never ending spring breakers coming and laying out in sixty degree weather (all of us natives rolled our eyes at this and readjusted our cardigans and scarves). I now know that it is not necessary to pull out my winter coat, gloves, and scarves when it's 50 degrees outside. Don't get me wrong, Florida will always be home. It's what I know. It's where I'm comfortable. But I've liked most (not all) of the "discomfort" that's come from moving to Iowa.

Now how does moving to Iowa translate into becoming a doesn't. I mean hello these people have things called ham balls (if you don't know what this is, it's a ball completely made of ham). So the change of scenery had nothing to do with my change in eating habits. Actually I've wanted to try this whole vegan things for quite some time now. It's even on my list of 100 things I want to do before I turn 25 (for those of you new to my blog, I made this list when I was living with my parents and didn't have a full time job). I've always said that I was one propaganda video away from becoming vegetarian. Now after watching a couple of PETA videos (and a really interesting documentary called Forks Over Knives) I know that I was right. Don't worry I'm not going to go into detail, or ruin any ones meat delusion. But just to clarify being vegan means I've given up all animal products; meat, dairy, handbags, and even jellybeans (yep even jelly beans have animal products in them...and no it's not butter, sorry I couldn't resist popping that bubble). It also does not mean I've become a lesbian (one of my mom's friends was confused about this).

So what brought this on? I guess Lent. I typically don't do Lent, because well I find it to be a somewhat obnoxious attempt for most people to try once again to stick to their new years resolutions. So they give up candy, carbs, or complaining, yet they miss the whole purpose of Lent; sacrificing something of importance in order to  grow closer to God (at least that's my understanding of Lent). But it was around the time that Lent started, that I noticed that my life was getting kind of junky. Not just my eating habits, but my attitude, my spiritual life, the way I was spending my time, everything. I got so wrapped up (and at times weighed down) by my new job, that when I wasn't working, I would completely shut down my mind. I found myself turning off my brain at night and turning on episodes of Downton Abbey and Khloe Kardashian. Now don't get me wrong I'm not against either of these shows (if Downton Abbey was still on I probably wouldn't be writing this blog), but I realized I was no longer challenging my brain (or my body for that matter). I realized I needed a detox for my mind and my body. So I looked into doing something called the Daniel Fast, and realized it was very similar to I figured why not just go vegan.

 Let me clarify and say that I'm not on the lent schedule (I'm only doing this for 21 days...I'm on day five) and I'm not saying becoming vegan is about becoming closer to God (but I do believe when I was shutting down my mind at night, I was shutting down on Him too). I decided to become vegan because I needed a challenge in my life (that wasn't job related). And I believe going vegan is doing just that. I'm forcing my mind to be active. By reading information about what vegans do and do not do. By thinking up <insert looking up online> things to eat besides salad.  By actually looking at where my food is coming from. All of this is challenging my mind and in return my body is being challenged to adjust. Even though it's only been a short amount of time, I can already feel a difference. It's like my mind has been ignited once again. I realize that I've missed that feeling.

With my newly ignited mind, I've also realized that I missed writing my blog. You see writing and I have a love/hate relationship. Nothing challenges me that way writing does. But I can honestly say that this first blog back wasn't as painful (or I hope awkward) as I thought it would be. I look forward to getting back into the blog writing world and letting y'all know about my life, thoughts, and adventure as a vegan. I'm already learning things like when one is vegan they can't take fish oils (who knew...probably a lot of people, but I didn't figure that out until my second day). Anyways, hope y'all enjoyed this blog! Thanks for reading!

{Here are a few pictures of life here in Pella} 

My house in Pella 

Ham Balls! 
Russell's first day in Pella
Fall in Pella
Winter in Pella

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