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03/21/2014

The Promise Of Vegan Nirvana

 

Some people promise that if you go vegan you will .... be skinny, never have health problems, whatever. You know, reach Vegan Nirvana.

You may feel disappointed in yourself because you haven't gotten there. You may still be overweight. You may still get sick from time to time. You may find yourself falling off the wagon.

The reality is what happens for you is an individual experience. There are too many contributing factors.

Such as:

  • What is your body type? The skinny as a rail type? Or the big-boned type?
  • Where are you starting from? Decades of self-abuse? Or just need to take it up a notch?
  • What is your health like now? One foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel? Or minimal health problems?

Then there is your overall approach to being healthy:

  • What other healthy lifestyle habits do you have? Couch potato who drinks, smokes with a bad attitude? Or active, positive, non-drinker with a strong spiritual practice?
  • What type of vegan food are you eating? Oreos, Twizzlers, french fries and pasta? Or greens, fresh fruit, mostly raw?
  • How MUCH do you eat? You can even overeat healthy food.

You get the picture.

What you eat is only one part of the puzzle. It is a very important piece and you will certainly see changes in many aspects of your life once you eliminate animal products from your diet.  But it is not the whole picture.

Start or get back to keeping a journal to record what you eat, what your thoughts and experiences are and what your progress is. Then examine and review what you write from time to time. Be honest with yourself. Where are you stuck in old unhealthy patterns? Where do you need to move to the next level? What triggers you to engage in unhealthy things? How can you avoid those triggers?

At the same time be sure to notice your successes. How have you progressed? What changes have you noticed? How has your life been impacted for the better?

Your personal journey and experience will be uniquely yours. Don't compare yourself to others.

Let go of expectations of Vegan Nirvana. It doesn't exist. Instead focus on just being the best YOU you can be. Make short-term goals to make incremental improvements.

Now it's your turn. What is your image of Vegan Nirvana? How does YOUR personal Vegan Nirvana differ from the image you have seen portrayed about what vegans SHOULD be? Tell us in the comments below.

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

9 Comments on “The Promise Of Vegan Nirvana

Nana Agyeiwaah Anan
05/28/2014 at 11:26 am

Vegan nirvana. My idea of vegan nirvana is habitually eating foods that nurture my body. Ideally, those foods will look and taste really good, too. I’ll love them so much that I’ll be looking forward to every meal, and will gladly replace whatever else I’ve been eating for them. Since I recognize “illness” as healing crisis, I envision being better able to address those crises with food, juicing, herbs, exercise, and/or fasting.

That has actually been my experience so far. It’s not that I don’t get sick, but when I get a cold, for example, I have minor symptoms, but don’t feel as badly as I did before. I have learned to pay attention to my body and know when it’s reacting to my poor choices, such as not exercising or poor food choices.

I can say that I make good choices more often than I make poor choices, but to reach vegan nirvana, I would be surrounded by other people who make those good choices the majority of the time, and who can both teach and influence me in the right direction. As it stands, I’m surrounded by people who eat completely different than I desire. I’m currently working to get back on track more quickly, after a period(s) of resuming poor food choices.

Because I see food as a way to socialize and connect with other people, I tend to eat what they’re eating with them. That doesn’t always work to my advantage. Eating is a very personal experience because once the food enters our bodies, it affects only us … and of course, we’re only ones who have to deal with those effects.

I would like to reach raw vegan nirvana, and artistic nirvana because I can see that as way to enhance my well being as I continue through my 50’s and into my 70’s, etc. Part of that would be having the energy levels necessary to do all of the things that I want to do, moving forward. Instead of slowing down, and feeling tired, I want to feel the light behind my eyes with off the chart energy that makes me confident that I can take on projects, and go back to dancing, the way I used to.

However long I live, I want a quality existence where I live life fully, with vitality and passion.

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Ama Opare
05/28/2014 at 11:50 am

Thank you for your sharing. I really love the part about the social aspic of eating. That is a big thing for most of us and something I am working on too, especially when it comes to avoiding cooked food.

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Ani
03/22/2014 at 4:34 pm

Before I changed my diet, I was looking to buy mineral makeup. Not any more. I don’t need it.

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Ama Opare
03/22/2014 at 5:33 pm

Natural beauty is the best kind.

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Nana Agyeiwaah Anan
05/28/2014 at 11:33 am

Ooh, good for you! I use Bare Minerals and I love it. Unfortunately, I’ve always had “bad skin,” meaning I had acne since I was 8 years old. While my skin certainly does look better than it did before I went raw for 3-4 months, I still use makeup to even out my complexion. I chose the mineral makeup for its benefits, as well as the coverage it provides. Other foundations made me think “I’m going to pay for the damage that I’m doing to my skin later,” which diminished whatever joy the look was giving me. LOL

Now I don’t have to use a lot of it, but I sure am happy to have it when I want to “refine” my look. Thanks for sharing.

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Ama Opare
05/28/2014 at 11:47 am

I too had bad acne most of my life. Nana Kwaku told me to stop putting ANYTHING on my face and that plus the diet made all the difference. All I do now is use hot water and a wash cloth or buff pad to scrub it.

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Ebonye
03/21/2014 at 11:30 pm

This is picture of beautiful sistah, she must be vegan!!! I look forward to the journey!! I salute you!

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Ama Opare
03/22/2014 at 5:32 pm

She is indeed beautiful. Keep us posted on your progress Ebonye.

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Z
03/21/2014 at 2:44 pm

You go girl!

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