Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vegan Journey: Day 33

I haven't checked in about my vegan journey since day 8.  I am attempting to live vegan for the season of Lent, and I participated in the 30 Day Vegan: A Whole Foods Cleansing Workshop.

The first two weeks of my journey were surprisingly easy.  I was excited about the food I was eating and the recipes I was trying.  I was committing time each day to my online workshop.  In our workshop, we were given Morning Intentions and Evening Reflections to complete daily.  For the first few days I did these along with my morning prayer time.  I was feeling renewed as a result of the intentional time I used to focus on this journey physically and spiritually. I was increasingly finding joy in simple moments.

But things got harder.  I began to feel overwhelmed by my to-do list.  I was trying to carve time out for my training runs, the online workshop, preparing to start seeds for our garden, meal planning and grocery shopping, non-profit board work for the camp I am currently serving as Board President, and planning a big event for my Holistic Moms Network chapter. Stress got the better of me. I reached for vegan junk food instead nourishing whole foods.

And then came the cravings. Dreams of bacon cheeseburgers, milk shakes, and thousand calorie chocolate coffee drinks from starbucks filled my mind. I got lazy. I began to think a bite here or there didn't matter. If I was out I'd take a guess as to whether a bread or a cracker was safe instead of really checking ingredients. I swiped half a slice of my son's leftover cheese pizza one day and a week later I ate a piece of cheese with the junky, although vegan, crackers I was eating.

I felt sick. Not just the times I ate the pizza or the cheese, but overall.  Almost every meal I ate, healthy or not, left me feeling queasy. I was exhausted. I was cranky. I was stressed. I felt disconnected spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  It was harder to find motivation to run. I stopped checking into the vegan online workshop. Everything felt like one more thing on a to-do list that I couldn't keep up with.

Now, I am two weeks out from Easter. I am re-focusing. While my online workshop was 30 days long and is now over, the material is still online. I am going back to Day 17 and completing the the rest of the course in the final days of Lent. I will find more time for prayer and meditation. I have been grocery shopping and have new recipes to try again. I am carving out time for peace and renewal while prioritizing projects. I feel a strong need to de-clutter both internally and externally.  While I may do some of that in the next two weeks, I am not adding it to my stress-inducing to-do list, but instead planning to focus on it after Easter.

This is a journey. It's a journey with ups and downs. It's a journey that's both built on and saved by the grace of God. It's a journey to a greater awareness of not only my dependence on God but the beautiful gift we receive in Jesus that makes it all okay. We are broken and sinful but wrapped in God's amazing grace we are saints called to live and serve with joy.


  1. Love this Jamie :)

    You probably already know this, but be sure you are getting enough fat in the forms of olive or coconut oil. Not enough fat, especially while training can completely derail your mental and emotional wiring and strain your adrenals, making stress rear its head even more easily.

  2. Beth - yes, thanks! I'm taking B12 (which made a difference when I added it in as I was not consuming nearly enough nutritional yeast to avoid a supplement) and we are using lots of coconut oil, olive oil, coconut milk, and lots of nuts and peanut butter too. Two more weeks to go!

  3. I'm new to your awesome blog, I'm a new runner too (just getting to 1/2 marathon distance) and we have a common friend in Jackson. I wanted to direct you to the great post about Vegan Friendly Food for Runners on Vanessa's blog. ( It looks a little like an ad for Vega products but has interesting info.
    While you are on her blog maybe you will find interesting info about running barefoot like I do. Then you would really be **that** mom ;-)


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