LIFESTYLE: WHY I INTRODUCED FISH BACK INTO MY DIET AND WHY I AM OVER LABELS
I've started to eat fish again, and I'm excited about it!
Why? Because I feel so much better - body, mind and spirit. After being vegan for almost eight years, mostly due to health reasons to begin with, but never negating the environmental and ethical reasons behind it. I'm a massive animal lover, truly, they are a passion of mine! These past two months I just knew my body wanted something more.
This decision came from listening to my body. Simple as that. I just woke up one morning and knew it was time to give it a go. It's like the post I wrote here about eggs (which unfortunately did not work for me. I was in gastric distress for weeks!), but I share the same sentiment.
A little background:
I’d been Vegan for roughly eight years now, and throughout this journey I’ve experimented with almost every type of plant-based lifestyle there is. I did the 80/10/10 (80% carbs, 10% protein, 10% fat) when I was coming off of my antibiotics which I had been on for six months to fully cleanse my body, as the 80% carbs mostly came from fruit (the most cleansing food on the planet). I went completely raw for about three months and concentrated heavily on healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, healthy oils). Further I went Paleo Vegan in which I again focused more on plant based fats and proteins, and limited my carbs to a certain extent. I did all of this to figure out what was absolutely best for my body as I continued to heal from Lymes Disease. I learned a lot about what my body likes, doesn’t like, and proceeded to do an IGG Food Sensitivity test to really help heal my gut from the antibiotics and Lymes spirochites. I would laugh and call myself a human experiment, as I tried almost everything, experimented with countless superfoods, elixirs, supplements and natural treatments (essential oils taken internally, ultraviolet blood therapy, cranio sacral, etc…). Gosh this is all making my head spin just thinking of it!
What this caused though was a lot of thought and emphasis on food. Where was it coming from, is it organic, is it ‘pure’, am I eating too many fats, proteins, carbs, is it vegan, gluten-free, dairy free,sugar free, and the list goes on. Exhaustive to say the least, and in some ways obsessive. Although food was, and still is my medicine, there it was justified in my mind. I knew that whatever I was feeding my internal environment was ultimately growing, or killing the Lymes Disease in my body. In some ways I had to be this calculated, as it was medicinal for me, and because I was healing and feeling stronger as the months passed, it was 1000000% confirmed I was doing the right thing. Was it easy? No! I absolutely adore eating the way that I do, but it didn’t make it any easier as I had to make lots of changes, and at times found it socially isolating. I forged forward though knowing that I was on the path to healing.
All of that being said I do have some non-negotiables, which where and still are important to me and my healing journey. I can’t throw all caution to the wind, even though I feel amazing, keeping my body alkaline and inflammation free is extremely important to me. But it doesn't mean I can't indulge, or have fun at the same time!
This time around it is the same. My body was trying to tell me something, and I believe with my greatest efforts I wasn't get enough protein. There is only so many nuts, seeds, nut butters, quinoa one can eat, especially when eating these on a consistent basis didn't make me feel my best. Nuts often left me bloated, and I couldn't stop myself at just one small handful (who can????)!
I'm also over labels! Vegan, Raw, Paleo, Pescatarian, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, Low Carb High Fat, High Carb Low Fat (HCLF), Raw Vegan, No sugar of any kind (even fruit), etc... it makes my head skin just thinking of it. I grew tired of constantly putting myself in a defined box. I know I put myself there, but I don't /didn't like the restrictions it played with me, which are mostly mental. I can't eat this, I can't eat that, I'm vegan, I'm mostly raw, etc... instead of knowing that I eat very, very healthy, and concentrate on whole foods, lots of veggies, LOVE green juice, taking care of my body, and eating foods that make me feel good. That doesn't need a label, it simply requires me to be ME and to be happy. If I'm happy eating fish and it makes me feel good than that is ok. I choose to seek out the most sustainable, organic and wild fish I can to do my part in this chain of life.
I've found that being too strict with myself doesn't work because ANY stress on the body is worse than actually eating some fish, raw chocolate, a glass of champagne, food made with love by my loved ones! Life is about happiness, enjoyment, love, adventures, freedom, having fun and letting go! Letting go of labels, restrictions, and putting myself in a box.
Don't get me wrong I still eat very healthy 90% of the time and drink a green juice daily, but it's because I LOVE it and it makes me feel good. I also have some allergies, most severely to dairy and eggs, so can't consume these on a regular basis, but I never way to say never. It's not deprivation or restriction, it's simply feeding my body whole foods that have come from Mama Earth. Eating foods that are alive, make me feel alive. But having fish one, two, three times a week, or however many times I feel like it is ok, actually is more than ok. This works for me. We are all so, so, so unique and have to listen to what our bodies are telling us. When we break free from labels and restrictions our body actually relaxes and we are able to achieve our goals. It is very difficult to do anything, especially physically, when our hormones are out of whack and our biggest stress hormones insulin and cortisol are through the roof.
So when people ask me about my eating habits I simple say I'm plant based and eat clean. Nothing more, nothing less.
I'm absolutely not here to bash any certain lifestyle or tell you that it’s wrong. Remember, I’m just sharing my experiences as to what has and has not worked for me when it comes to nutrition. I personally have a lot of respect for people that are vegan for ethical, health and environmental reasons. I also completely give props to someone who can maintain a lifestyle that is purely Paleo, raw, or anything in between. It takes dedication, passion, and being willing to forgo some habits you may have.
So all of this to say! Listen to your body, and leave GUILT FREE room for indulging in life's pleasures, whatever those are to you!
Remember, it’s more important to be enjoying your life, your food, and sharing meals with others, than it is to be eating blueberries and kale everyday alone.
HAPPY SATURDAY EVERYONE!
Love, Lisa X