Transitioning Trials and Gains

My follower on Instagram, @kemy_buzz asked “How has the transition to the vegan lifestyle changed you and your relationship with food?” Here is my response to that great question:

As a fairly new vegan (attempt on and off 3 years ago- officially vegan 7 months ago) I am finding out about new things everyday, and while some things are just the quirks within veganism (like who’s the real vegan, based on a raw diet- i.e. Fruitarian vs. soy meat eater or animal activist), a lot of things have been daily changes I’ve made, or mental notes I have stuck a pin in, to reassess later.

As you all know by now (and if you’re a new reader, welcome and thank you for joining my journey),  in January 2018, I personally challenged myself to go raw vegan. I was excited to see the ways in which my body would feel, because I had been battling with pain in my body for about 15 years now, but this pain has decreased considerably with my crossover to veganism. It’s like night and day, however I wanted more, and I still do. However, even though my palette has completely changed, I'm just not ready to fully commit to raw veganism yet, but it's on the way. I made it through 2 weeks in and caved on a vegan cake craving I had. And yes, it was damn good.

I've noticed my bodies reaction to certain foods, like pasta and some brands of soy meat and it's not pretty. Cringing stomach pains, bloated puffiness and the infamous gas or constipation takes over after a lovely meal with these foods, reminding me of the days I used to consume animal products, believing my stomach was the problem, and not eating other creatures.. Let's just say it's a less than desirable outcome that isn't worth the side effects. It's processed food I can't handle, but why? Maybe because processed foods are the most unnatural source of "nutrition" we'd like to believe our bodies are receiving.

I'm learning to listen to the way my body responds to everything. Everything? EVERYTHING. I don't want to feed myself whatever I want. I want to give my body what it needs to function. That means I have to take more time to listen to the inner parts of me. That means that everything that I feel is important.

While we're on the topic of feeling, I should say that I find that I am able to feel more. I mean way more. Prior to becoming vegan, I could block out my feelings. I could be this tough person that wore a mask to protect myself. As a vegan, something changed over once my body began to detox within the first week. It’s not that I am emotional or hyper sensitive, but now, I am more aware of energy and vibes, and I can feel things within my spirit. Well, maybe a little emotional and hypersensitive. Slaughterhouse videos make me cry. I am also able to read a persons energy and know whether or not I can be around them, based on the frequency they emit. I had never been good with small talk before, but now, I find that I genuinely care when I ask someone how they are doing, and I can almost immediately feel it when they aren’t telling me the truth.

It almost feels like super human powers... and it is.

We live in a time when people are expected to keep the mask on, and to pretend they are alright, even when they are hurting or broken inside. Human beings are expected to respond in the affirmative, without assessing how they feel inside.

Scenario 1

Tom: Say Jan, how are ya today?

Jan: * With her back turned to Tom, Jan wipes her tears away using a brown paper napkin. She quickly swings around in her office chair with a bright fake smile on her face, bright red face a  and puffy eyes, sliding her hair from her face, behind her ear.*
Oh Tom I'm fantastic! The kids are doing great! My husband made breakfast this morning! What more could I ask...

Tom: -- Yeah, well I hear ya, I do! That's awesome! Well I hate to have to hit and run, but I need this report done before you leave the office. *Steps into the office and shifts his body awkwardly to drop a 2 inch thick file on Jan's desk, then quickly steps back to lean against the door.

Jan: Tom, this will take me at least another two hours! * Looks up in disbelief at Tom as she skims through the paperwork*

Tom: Well your husband's a great guy, I'm sure he can pick the kids up today! *beaming*

Jan: We're going through a divorce. Today is my day to get the kids.

Tom: Wow Jan, that's awful. I know how these things go-- I watch Lifetime occasionally, ya know!?
*He begins nervously chuckling, then pauses briefly in a socially awkward moment*
Well-- I'm sure he'd be willing to help you out this once, because gosh darnit he'll need nights like these to prove he's responsible if you start a custody battle! --Well, look at the time, it's 2 minutes to 5! See you tomorrow. Don't rush. You can have these on my desk for me whenever you get through tonight. Thanks! * Double taps the beam in the doorway he was leaning his hand against when he initially stuck his head through the door. Walks off whistling.

Jan: * Stares at the 2 inch stack of paperwork and sighs a heavy breath. Picks up the phone, contemplating the dreaded call to her legally binding other half.


Everyone knows a Tom. Think about how many times someone has asked how you’re doing, and you’ve lied and said “good”, or “fine” or “the kids are great.” Are the kids really great, or did your teenage son steal the car last night and head over to a girls house, after you specifically told him he was grounded? I get it. Everyone has to know that everything is good, because being transparent means... means you’re soft or weak...

My only weakness is that my empathy also makes me transparent, and likely to be misunderstood. Being yourself is not appreciated in times when we are all expected to fit into a category. I'm a round peg that cannot be shoved into society's square hole.

I’ve always had trouble with transparency. Of course, in corporate America you can’t be transparent. I get that. I have also seen this trickle down to children in classrooms. If they fall, we teach them to brush it off and get tough. Don’t cry. It was nothing... but who is it nothing too? Certainly not the child who feels the physical pain. Why mask emotions? Realistically, it only feeds the system we know as the matrix.

While some may argue that veganism isn't the only way to achieve this level of spiritual consciousness, I would argue that it is the way. There is just something about not having a dead piece of carcass that once lived life, breathed in oxygen and breed children on your plate that changes everything about you. There's still so much work left in me. I am still detoxing, my skin is still clearing up. Of the 30+ pounds I've lost, I still have 40 more to go to be where I want to be for me. I still have a ways to go physically, spiritually and emotionally, and I can physically feel it, for the first time in my life. When I silence what society says, I can hear myself speak. It's a daily routine, finding myself and diving deeper each day, but I'm hearing my body speak and when she tells me to listen, I am giving her my ear.

Love and light,


Add me on Instagram @thejamericanvegan


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