Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! Okay so we’re over a week into the new year and you may already be slacking in your resolutions…but that’s okay! No judgement!
Many have made resolutions to eat better or adapt healthier habits – for some, that may mean reducing the amount of meat they eat or choosing to be completely vegan. I’ve been asked to share some of my favourite tips and advice for the new veggies!
First of all, welcome to your new lifestyle! I hope you stick with it long enough to recognize the impacts a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can have and all the countless benefits that come along with it.
Mental illness isn’t really anything that someone — outside of a trained professional — can help with. Which makes it difficult when friends and loved ones offer their love, support, and say things like ‘If there’s anything I can do to help…” because realistically, what can they do? Well…while they may not be able to help with the illness, there are things your loved ones can do to help ease your stress and support you.
The world is harsh. We go through rough patches, hard times, and events that are downright terrifying. There are a lot of people in the world who are currently living in fear. (Let me just clarify that I’m not speaking about a specific event; this fear exists day in and day out and for a wide number of reasons.)
It’s easy to give in to the fear, it’s easy to let it control you and dictate your life. And it’s okay if it does – no judgement.
But please don’t let it convince you that there is reason to lose hope. There exists a force of people in the world who are good! And who are actively trying to make a difference.
In my mind, there is a difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are the bigger picture, long-term, “wouldn’t-it-be-nice”, kind of over the top visions. Dreams are the big “what-ifs” on your vision board; the ones that when you sit and seriously think about them coming to fruition you get misty-eyed and choked up. Goals are the smaller (but still quite large) steps in progress to bring you closer to that dream.
It’s been over a year that I’ve been vegan and I can say that the two things I miss the most, are caesar dressing (thank you YamChops Toronto for fixing that craving) and alfredo sauce. I’m talking the creamy, gooey, garlicky, best alfredo sauce that you just drench your pasta in.
Over the weekend I discovered this recipe from The Healthy Family and Home for Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo sauce. I had high hopes and unreachably high expectations – but this recipe did NOT disappoint!
As more and more people and organizations speak out about mental illness, the more awareness is raised and these programs and systems will continue to improve. It is so scary and you feel so exposed and vulnerable when you “come out” as someone with a mental illness, but it’s important! It’s important so you can get the help you need, you can inspire others to seek help, and you can add to the larger voice demanding for more options and better protocols.
I was terrified the first time I wrote about raising awareness for NewLifeOutlook; it was going to be public, it was going to be on the internet, my face and my name would be associated with that and it can’t be tucked under the rug anymore from this point on. But you know what? The people that those articles help are why I do it. If I write 500 articles and they only ever help one other person, then they have helped one person. And for me, that’s worth it. For me, it’s worth sharing my story and my experience and being a light for those who need it.
Canada is one of the more progressive countries in so many ways, but why do we still suffer and have so much room to improve when it comes to mental health? I will continue to write, and continue to raise awareness and support those whom I can. Hopefully one day soon, the rest of the country and the rest of the world will be where we need it to be.
One of my dear friends over at The Wolf and The Wardrobe has agreed to write a guest post for me sharing some of her thoughts about Canada’s Mental Health System in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month! Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments!
It takes an average of 21 days to make or break a habit (depending on the habit) and I do remember the first 21 days being some of the most difficult. But before I dive in to my experiences over the past year, let’s take a look back at why I started.
How It Happened
To summarize what I outlined in Accidentally Vegetarian (little did I know at the time that I actually meant Vegan):
I had decided and truly thought in my past that I couldn’t ever become vegetarian, let alone vegan! I was a hard-core carnivore; I loved chicken and fish but most of all it was red meat that I adored. I would go out for dinner with friends and family and order steak and potatoes, only my steak had to be done “blue rare.” For those who are unfamiliar with this fairly uncommon term, it basically means the meat is seared on both sides and served…it’s not on the grill long enough to even heat all the way through so the middle is not only mostly raw, but still cold. Yeah – you read that right; I wasn’t kidding when I said “hard-core carnivore.”
So how does a person go from a diet like that to being completely vegan? When your body no longer gives you the choice.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. There is no attempt to hide the damage but instead it is highlighted and made beautiful as it makes the object unique.
I like to think that my brain and my veins are laced with gold.
Unique and beautiful because of the history, not despite it.
No judgement; just healing.
Mad Max, a character that’s lived through generations. My first exposure to the story and the character was through this film although the character, created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy, was brought to life first in 1979.
Set in a desolate and post-apocalyptic Australia, Fury Road finds Max (Tom Hardy) in a battle for his life with a corrupt civilization and their war lord leader, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). In Max’s attempts at escaping he pairs up with Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and her fight to free the five young wives of Immortan Joe and bring them to the greener pastures she remembers from childhood.
I was hesitant to share this. It felt too personal and made me feel exposed. But in light of Bell Let’s Talk Day and the effort to end the stigma around Depression and Mental Illness, I thought I would share it with you. It’s an excerpt from some free-fall writing I did last week.