For This I am Thankful…

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been a YEAR since I’ve actually written anything more than in my daughter’s nightly journal – I’ve made several attempts – but either my thoughts get jumbled and I struggle with my words or I just simply forget what I wanted to say. Being a mom means multitasking and being two steps ahead of the little one…along with a laundry list of other things. So when I do sit down to write I’m also thinking about what to fix for dinner, what bills need to be paid, or I’m compiling TO-DO lists in my head – I get distracted really easily these days! But being a mom is quite literally THE BEST thing I’ve ever experienced. I had been told that having a kid will change your life, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I understood just how much.  My daughter has not only changed my life for the better, but she has also taught me who I want to be. Something changed inside of me when I became a mom – like a light went on and made me see everything so much clearer than before – I have a better understanding of life, who and what matters most, and who I am.

Anyone who knows me, knows my love for quotes. I carry them with me, I have a board dedicated to them on Pinterest, and I write my favorite meaningful ones down in Willow’s journal. Words are powerful and stick with you – and are often times very inspirational – which usually motivates me to write…

In the past I was pretty reserved, very rarely shared my opinion and if someone belittled or disagreed with my beliefs, I would shut down and stay quiet. It took a lot for me to even start this blog a few years ago, but all it took was a handful of messages from people saying that I had offended them or that I was wrong to stop me from writing. I, in no way, feel or believe that my way of living is righteous and I do not claim to be all-knowing, nor do I judge those who lead a different lifestyle.

don't judge

My blog is an outlet for me, a way to share things that I have learned or products, methods, foods that have changed my life and health. I have a couple of friends (and my hubby) to thank for pushing me to write again. But I also have my daughter to thank for changing me into someone who stands up for what she believes in. I have officially said goodbye to the passive pushover and I now welcome the more confident and stronger person I am today.

tina fey

By now you’re probably wondering what’s the point of this post??! Like I said, I’m easily distracted these days, so I’ll get down to the bottom of it!! It’s funny how when you do something out of the norm, people really point fingers and question your decisions. As some of you know, I chose to become a vegetarian when I was in 8th grade and have now been vegan for six years (so I’ve been meat-free for 21 years), but when we made the choice to raise our daughter vegan, there were a lot of eyes on us and concerns from family and friends. I have researched both sides – I try to educate myself fully before making a final decision with anything. We are raising her vegan, gluten free, and soy-free because we have seen the many benefits – I am LIVING PROOF of just what it can do. Here’s a little review in case there are some new readers:

  • I suffered from chronic migraines (hospitalized a handful of times), but eliminating dairy, soy, and gluten also stopped my migraines.
  • I used to have horrible skin – really bad acne – and was on medication. Today my skin is clearer than ever without the use of any harmful prescriptions.
  • I suffered from depression for many years and was on an antidepressant for five years. Upon eliminating dairy, soy, and gluten, I am HAPPY to say that the suffering is over! 🙂
  • I used to have sinus issues and would get at least one or two colds a year. Since I stopped eating dairy and soy, my sinuses thank me and I couldn’t tell you the last time I have had a cold (I’m knocking on wood right now).
  • The worst, but best example is….I overcame colitis. If you haven’t heard of it, just know that it is painful and often times debilitating.

So, there are MY examples on how a change in diet can change your life. I’ve never been happier or healthier – it works for me. Does that mean I think everyone should eat the way I do…NO.  As for my daughter – she has NEVER been sick. She may be shy (gets that from me), but she is super happy and healthy. Many of you know that I was unable to breastfeed (couldn’t produce) so we ended up formula feeding her. During that time, she suffered terribly with constipation – and I think it’s safe to say it was from the dairy/lactose in the formula. Once she was off of formula and ate what we ate, that stopped…sorry if this is too much information, but she is seriously the most regular person I know! I get questions and comments ALL the time from people wondering where she gets her calcium or protein if she isn’t eating/drinking dairy or eating meat. Rather than making an already lengthy post even longer, I’ll send you to a few awesome posts about it! I’ll write a separate post including some of our favorite recipes for Willow.

http://www.22daysnutrition.com/blog/2013/05/01/15-vegan-sources-of-protein-soy-free-and-gluten-free-too/

http://www.ordinaryvegan.net/veganguide/

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php

But getting back to the heart of the matter, I am thankful for those who do not judge me and rather than pointing fingers and criticizing, they keep an open mind. I have come to learn that not everyone will understand you or what you do, but as long as they respect you, that’s all that matters. This past year has been pretty incredible; through Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, I have met an amazing number of people who share the same beliefs and values – they have made me even more passionate than I was before. Rather than hiding behind a mask, I have become motivated to share more about what I stand for. So THANK YOU! I strive to be healthy without sacrificing treats and delicious food – which is what some people think when they hear we are a soy-free, gluten-free, vegan family. So, in future posts, I’ll be sharing more recipes – some I’ve created and others I’ve found.

be okay

So, focus on what makes YOU happy and be thankful for the little things.

3 thoughts on “For This I am Thankful…

  1. Mandy, I love your blog and have often missed it. And I’m a meat lover. I’ve never felt offended by you or judged by you. I admire your reasons and often wish I had the strength to do what you do. I would love to clear up my skin, to think there is a chance my IBS could go away… Honestly, I love a good steak and am lazy – that’s my reasoning for not doing more. That is kind of embarrassing to admit. But I do hope you write more!

    Like

  2. A marvelous post, a fantastic blog site! Don’t ever stop writing! Very proud to call you a friend. Willow is lucky to have such wonderful parents!

    Like

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