I’ve been blogging about a bigger project lately – a bit of a diary throughout July on a healthy transformation. That was a bigger project with lots of great benefits with my health, and my blog! I’m continuing on that journey, and plan to make it a permanent lifestyle change. But it’s still the little things that make me smile.
A Little Love and A Little Self-Sufficiency
My daughter and I just had a camping trip. It was cut short when someone stole our food cooler while we were at the lake. Who does that, really? We had some soup and smores (vegan!) that night and then left early the next day. My daughter could see how disappointed I was so she kept telling me on the way home what a great time she had just being with me. What a great kid. She even gave me more than my daily dose of hugs that day. Even planning the trip was great because I worked hard to prepare food ahead for my whole food, plant-based diet, and create as little garbage as possible. I set up a tent and built a campfire, neither of which I’ve done for over ten years! So, little things, but, yeah, it was a big deal!
We All Get By with a Little Help From our Friends
Other little things I’ve thought of lately that bring me joy are helping people. I belong to various Facebook groups. It’s great to see referrals, recipe exchanges, or answers to questions from people you hardly know. Recently I helped two people who were moving. One girl I knew only from a Facebook group who was moving from the U.S. to my area in Ontario, Canada. I gave her the name of another friend who is a real estate agent to help her find a rental. Simple. Another friend was looking locally for a rental house and advertised a finders fee for help with that on Facebook. I simply took pictures of lease listings, and texted him info as I drove around during my day. He got additional help from some other Facebook friends, too, and eventually found the right place. Guess what? No one wanted anything for their kindness.
Listening, Learning and Allowing Change
I recently became involved with a local non-profit called Aurora Green Drinks. There mission is to connect, teach, and learn from one another about ways we can create a more sustainable society. There is so much we all can learn and share. We have people in the group who are excited about the new carbon tax. We have people who are opposed. I have heard some heated debate on various issues, but this is only due to passion. And as long as your ears are open you can always learn, especially from an opposing view. Personally, I love this environment; just being in the presence of such a vast amount of knowledge. I learned at this month’s meeting that solar energy is actually taxing to the environment due to the materials used to make the reflective panels. That’s not something I would have thought of! I enjoy that sharing of knowledge and ideas in the various Facebook groups I belong to as well in relation to sustainability, reducing waste, and eating vegan. There are so many little things we can shift when we are open to learn.
Take a Small Step
Online lately there has been a lot of kickback from the recent release of the documentary, ‘What the Health?’. This is a video aimed at informing the public about the benefits of eating vegan and avoiding meat. There has been bending of truth and exaggeration on either side of the argument. Milk producers have convinced the general public for decades that milk is our best calcium source. Vegans are now citing that every disease is caused from eating meat. But there is medical data to show improved health on a vegan diet. There is medical data to show improved health eating meat. The approach in this documentary has rallied some, but discredited the vegan cause with others. My advice is if you’re curious, take a small step. Do a little research. Or do a lot of research. You don’t have to change everything you eat in a day. Maybe you will uncover something that resonates with you. If you are curious about the environmental impact of factory farming, if you’re curious about health benefits of raw food, if you’re a curious chef wanting to try something new, or if you are concerned with treatment of animals, there may just be something in this plant-based lifestyle that moves you. Try a new recipe once a week. Attend a vegan food festival, or go to a vegan restaurant just to see what it’s about. Follow a vegan blogger. I like the practical, easy approach Maureen has at Fit Outside of The Box. She addresses physical activity, mindset, and whole-food plant-based eating in a very simple fashion.
I served my daughter seitan on our recent camping trip (and then it was stolen…). It’s made like bread, but tastes like meat. You can fry it, or eat it cold like sliced meat on a salad or sandwich. I don’t have to grandstand in front of her. I don’t have to show her pictures of tortured animals. I just have to ask her to taste it. She liked it, so now it will be incorporated into her diet. She’s taking small steps to help the planet, and she’s only remotely aware of it. I talk to her about not hurting animals, and not hurting the planet. But I also talk to her about not hurting people. Everyone needs to have a voice. We may not all agree, but I think you win more people with love and kindness than you do with blame and intolerance. Those are little things we can all do.
Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.