Back from my holiday travels, I have to say, it feels good to be back in New England. Driving back to work last week felt like returning to my new normal, which is exciting for me since after just a month of officially being here in Vermont, I’ve already returned home to Minnesota twice for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Picking up and moving your life doesn’t come without its challenges - and it also comes with great beauty. Something I’ve learned to appreciate is that kindness is a universal language, no matter where you are. Time and time and time again I have been so impressed by the generosity of the people around me. From something as simple as providing directions, to something larger like paying for a ticket, I feel so fortunate to receive humanly grace. It’s made this chaotic transition so much easier.
Lately I’ve been pondering the upcoming 2-Week Plant-Based Challenge and thinking about what my biggest struggles might be. Fresh from vacation, I know how dangerous not planning can be. The spur of the moment change can throw off routine and lead to forgetting meals (hello Hangry Monica), or grabbing something on-the-go — usually processed junk that leaves me feeling sluggish later. Being at home, in my routine, it’ll be much easier.
But my life is not very consistent. The very first day of the Challenge I’ll actually be in Maine for a three-day long MamaSezz photoshoot. Already I’ll need to plan snacks, figure out cooking accommodations, and locate some grocery stores and healthy vegan restaurants in the area. Thankfully, our team’s written about how to travel on a whole food plant-based diet so I’m studying up.
Still, the struggle (which I hope to overcome) is this: the food I put in my body will require much more thought and intentionality than I’m used to.
Is this bad? No. Actually, it’s a lesson I’ve needed to learn for a long time. Now I finally have the push in the right direction to get me there. I love healthy eating as much as the next person, but I know if other things in my life come up, my focus on food can fall through the cracks.
I’m already very grateful for the support system I’ve got within the MamaSezz team. It’s not very easy to fall through the cracks when the people I’m around all day long already follow a whole food plant-based lifestyle. I dodged a big bullet by not having to navigate the “office pizza party” and the birthday cupcakes that most workplaces have. Instead, it’s organic apples and walnut paste at meetings (sounds weird, tastes great).
I challenge those participating in the 2-Week Challenge to identify up-front who your supporters will be. Lean on them, use them, they will be a big asset to you.
Another challenge I forsee? Sugar.
I’m nervous my Sugar Monster will crawl right through my strong-willed intention and threaten to overtake my Challenge. Sugar is, and always has been, a big deal for me. For generations it’s a known fact that the women in my family have ended their night with a scoop of ice cream at least three days a week. We are renowned for our caramel rolls, coffee cakes, and baked goods. A part of me will be sad to let that go. These family traditions will need to be modified, and a level of understanding will need to be met not only by me, but my family, as well. Sugar has been a uniting bond; but it’s fostered an unhealthy addiction.
I have a complicated relationship with sugar. I’ve had so many good times with it and it’s tricked me into turning to it for comfort, despite negative health consequences. And so, its time has come. Sugar will no longer be a Monster for me. I want to forge a healthy understanding of what it is, and what power it holds. I’m not interested in hating sugar, just respecting it.
Mindfulness and faith have indeed played big roles in my life, but bridging that gap and understanding how mindfulness affects the food I eat will (hopefully) be a good tool as I work to let sugar go.
I’ve been praying about the Challenge. Prepping, processing, and overall feeling ready to go. I don’t want to binge all the bad things right before I start making changes because that’s like running a marathon without warming up. Like I mentioned before, it feels I’ve been in transition for a while, and right now I’m at a comfortable slow jog.
T-minus 5 days to start! See you there!
By Monica Brown - Content Creator. Coffee addict, plant nerd, & world traveler
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