Saturday, September 29, 2012

Birthday "Cheater"

When I first set out on this highly-controlled eating experiment last spring (which by now has settled into an indefinite resolve), I toyed around with the notion of designating one day of the year (the birth-day) as the day of no-rules, food-"fun."

Because I'm plant-based for health, rather than ethics, it's more permissable (I suppose) to have some highly regulated, very limited fun with food every now and then. Food is for pleasure as well as nourishment, right?

So, I thought, perhaps on this once-yearly event I could dive into some familiar favorites that I set aside since taking the plant plunge. Admittedly, every now and then I miss chocolate ice cream, authentic pad ce ew, java chip frappucinos, and the smell of Zach's cream-cheesey bagels which beckon me in the morning with their cruel aroma of toasty goodness.

And yet I don't at all regret going plant-based and keep the pleasures of food in check by remembering how ephemeral they are and how the benefits overwhelmingly outweigh the indulgences. Like all temptations, keeping the big-picture in view is key. Some Lydia pep-talk could usually go like this (yes, I talk to myself):

Okay, Lyd, how long does an everything bagel with butter taste delicious? 5 minutes? After that's over, you have that body to live with for the rest of your life. You know how much food affects your day-to-day health and the long-term consequences of resuming your old habits. I know you stink at math, but your calculations should tell you that it's really just not worth it. 

You're right, inner Lydia. Thank you for the reminder!

It's easy to stay on the plant-path because it renders results. I feel better than ever with 100% compliance (mentally, emotionally, physically, creatively) and I've definitely noticed the familiar aches and pains that return during low-nutrient eating periods.

And so discovering this form of spiritual and physical stewardship has been
one of the most rewarding decisions
I've made in this short life.

And so yeah, syrupy sugar-laden frappucinos may be the crack of the coffee world and perhaps it'd be fun to take a swig every now and then, but overall my tastes and preferences have changed so much that I honestly didn't want to cheat... not even on my birthday! I actually craved my familiar plant friends, instead! (Anyone noticing a corollary here between spiritual conversions and lifestyle ones? Who says the effects of spiritual disciplines don't have their expression in every area of life?)

Does that mean I haven't, or won't, take a measly nibble of someone's cheesecake once in a blue moon or a tiny taste of my wedding cake on our one year anniversary? Nope! But as far as diving into my old foods and habits, I know now that full-blown cheating just won't pay off.

So after trudging off to class on the evening of my birth like a dutiful student, what did I come home to for my birthday celebration? Chocolate banana peanut butter soft-serve with pb ball crumbles on top!... and it was exactly what this confirmed plant-lover wanted!

The birthday pumpkins needed some blog-love!

All of the fun, none of the guilt, no deviation! Now that's what I call a celebration. :)

Mmmm! Dive in!

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