All posts by Raw Realism

Raw Vegan Day 49

10802053_10152414074612703_2904070081569498142_n
Breakfast Fruit Plate – 2 pomegranates, 2 kiwis, 1 grapefruit, and 1 orange.

10264979_10152414281757703_3729026091576860031_n
Raw Lunch – Portabella caps filled with sweet and spicy garlic nut butter topped with roma tomato slices and snipped chives. Baby sweet peppers, lime, alfalfa sprouts, and kimchi on the side to take care of the fallen garlic nut butter.

Garlic Nut Butter – In the Vitamix, I tossed in a few fingers each of pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, and a few Brazil nuts. I added a handful of dates, several large cloves of garlic, raw tahini, and yellow miso. I blended slowly on low adding little drops of water at a time to control the consistency. I wanted creamy but not runny. I had to scrape the edges a few times too. It poured right out but held its body in the mushroom caps.

I have to say… This is one of the best tasting dishes yet.

Raw Vegan Day 47 – Savory Thanksgiving

10151318_10152410805102703_1687306505489642868_n
Lunch from yesterday at work.  1 orange, 1 grapefruit, 1 green apple, 2 kiwis, 1 half avocado, 2 carrots, 2 roma tomatoes, and sugar snap peas.

10636165_10152412271547703_4658125524652847721_n
Thanksgiving Breakfast – Watermelon Basil Juice in a wine glass.

Thanksgiving Lunch – Savory Kale Salad (no pic taken) – huge bowl of kale, mung bean sprouts, and cucumber noodles topped with an oregano, garlic, turmeric, beet, carrot, mushroom, and tomato pizza-like sauce.  It was a dark swamp red color over the green and white salad.  I’ll make it again and tweak the sauce flavor further to make it more like a spaghetti sauce.  Not pretty at all, but delicious and food coma worthy!! Zzzzzzz…

10402626_10152413279297703_4059073052837639805_n
Thanksgiving Dinner Salad – 5 oz baby arugula, 3 spiralized cucumbers, 1 avocado, 1 carton of grape tomatoes drowned in a carrot broth – 3 large carrots, 3 roma tomatoes, fresh dill, fresh lemongrass, 3 fresh dates, juice of 1 lime, 3 drops sriracha, 1 spoon of yellow miso, and a cup and a half of water to give it a broth consistency.  Y.U.M.

Thanksgiving Dessert – a single serving Hail Merry raw vegan chocolate almond butter pie.


I went to the dentist yesterday morning. I hadn’t been in well over a year. I had barely any plaque, no cavities, no bleeding, no inflammation, and my gums were measured to be significantly healthier than the last visit. I almost fell asleep when the dental hygienist was scraping my teeth because it didn’t hurt at all.

They asked me about flossing. I said, I’m bad. I rarely do. But I eat a lot of raw fruits and veggies since I’m raw vegan. You know what? They didn’t even push the flossing issue after hearing that and seeing my mouth.

Also, “no fluoride treatment, no X-rays, and no toothpaste” was put on my file because of unknown environmental neuro risk factors. No more chemicals and no more rays unless medically necessary.

Dealing with the Holiday (and Special Occasion) Bullies/Blues

My heart goes out to all my friends struggling to find gratitude today for any reason.

To those of you especially who are being bullied and rejected by your own families because you don’t participate in the traditional slaughter, remember your worldwide vegan family is standing with you in spirit. You’re not alone today or any other day.

Holidays can bring out both the best and worst in people. Make a choice to stand with love, compassion, and gratitude.


I was once bullied and embarrassed at my own surprise birthday party by my mother, grandmother, and her side of the family because I wouldn’t eat the cake or meat and cheese sandwiches made just for me even though I had been vegan for years and this was nothing new.  According to them, it was a phase.

I was chastised for not eating even a single bite of cake.  How dare I be ungrateful and insulting to my family who worked so hard to surprise me with a birthday cake and food that I was unable to eat.  I was also told I had behaved so poorly and rudely because I ate a veggie sandwich right before the surprise happened even though, as the “surprise birthday party” would suggest, I did not know this was going to happen when I ate my veggie sandwich.

This is merely one of many examples of bullying I’ve experienced for my vegan choices from family and others.  The method of using guilt and public shaming as a tool to bend me into submission and get me to comply with what they wanted me to do, of course, did not work on me.  I did not bend. I did, however, develop even more of a bitter taste in my mouth for family and food bullies and birthdays and special occasions.

This event was not significantly worse or better than any of the others, but it was the event that made me start declining family functions from then on.  It wasn’t worth the shaming and tears.  I now avoid situations like holidays that would put me in a position to be targeted by bullying.  Maybe they’ve changed.  Maybe they haven’t.  It’s just not worth the depression and anxiety for me.  What’s done is done and now we live with the consequences of our choices.


Letting go is not the same as forgiveness.  I don’t have to forgive my family.  What they did was not okay and I never have to accept it as okay, but holding on to bitterness and pain only hurts me in the long run.  What’s that saying about holding a grudge lets people live rent free inside your head?  Each day, I feel like I get closer to my happy place.  I let go of the bitterness and the pain for me.  Not for them.

Raw Vegan Day 45 – Keep it simple and colorful

pic1
“Crouching Blood Orange. Hidden Kale.”  A bed of kale, 3 colors of bell peppers, grapes, apple, broccoli, and blood orange.  No dressing.

pic2
Bed of kale, apple, grapes, broccoli, and blood oranges.  No dressing.

pic3
Beet and Butternut Squash Soup with Zucchini strips on top.

pic4
Apple, carrots, grapes, tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, and pomegranate seeds.

pic5
Quick kale salad with pomegranate seeds, carrots, apple with a few almonds on top.

pic6
Cheesy carrot zoodles – SECRET SAUCE I used about 9 carrots, 1 carton of tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, juice from 1 small lemon, raw tahini, 3 drops sriracha, 1 small spoon of flaxseed oil (unfiltered, coldpressed), and 1 small spoon of yellow miso.

pic7
Lava cheese sprout salad –  A mountain of mung bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts doused with leftover SECRET SAUCE (shown above) and garnished with edible flowers, crushed red pepper, baby peppers, baby bella mushrooms, avocado, and lime.

pic8
Kale mound with apple cider vinegar and flaxseed oil massaged in and garnished with asparagus, cranberries, blackberries, baby bella mushrooms, grape tomatoes, kiwi, and cucumber.

pic9
Butterleaf lettuce with berries, pistachios, apple, and orange.  I made a raw vegan chocolate sauce and drowned the plate in it using raw cacao nibs and fresh dates.

pic10
Simple tomato soup – just tomatoes and garlic with garnish.

pic11
A kale snack with cucumber, baby bella mushrooms, and mung bean sprouts.  I added apple cider vinegar, a little flaxseed oil, and some raw salsa as dressing.

pic12
Fists and fists full of kale topped with sprouts, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and cucumber noodles.  See below for dressing.

pic13
Lime, Mango, Avocado, Basil, and Turmeric dressing.  It was neon lime green.

fruit
1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 1 carton of raspberries, and 1 carton of blackberries.

veggies
5 oz of baby kale, 1 carton grape tomatoes, 1 avocado, 1 lemon, 1 orange, 3 carrots, and sugar snap peas.  I’m actually afraid that I’ll be getting too much protein and fat with this dish!

MS in the Gym

Leaving the gym tonight, Trainer asks how I’m feeling. “How am I supposed to feel!? My brain is eating itself.” Frustrated. Discouraged. Battle. Fighting for Control over my own body.

I just couldn’t keep up tonight at all. I couldn’t even hold some positions, let alone add weights. My ass still hurts from last night’s injection which made floor work difficult. I felt better engaging my abs and hovering instead of having my cheeks to the floor.

My pace was so slow and my form was shaky and unbalanced. My body was screaming against my brain’s orders like a defiant child. No wonder so many people with MS just roll over and cry for a year at a time. When you grunt and you push and you give it everything you’ve got and can’t make progress or even engage the muscles… Watching them twitch around… mocking me… Just… Horrible.

And then people feel they are being kind by giving you allowances because you’re different and they tell you it’s okay to stop and sit down. NO! I don’t want to sit down. I don’t want to stop! Maybe I can’t do everything that others are doing, but I’m not about to give up!

Do you realize the battle I’m fighting here against my body? Against the negativity? Against unknowns? Trying so hard to focus and keep it together and not yell and scream and cry and punch a wall?!!! Although the wall probably wouldn’t have much to worry about.

So many invisible tethers attached to my body are pulling me backwards faster than I can force out the forward momentum. When does it get easier again?

And then I look in the mirror and slap myself… SNAP OUT OF IT. You couldn’t walk! Remember??? This is still progress.

Oh and Raw Vegan Day 44. Going raw vegan is so much easier than dealing with MS.

A Pro-Con List on 80/10/10

I consider myself to be raw vegan.  Vegan for the animals and raw vegan for health.

I’ve been looking at 80/10/10 lately and am trying to mimic some of the dishes I see from 80/10/10 followers because they look so simple and clean.  I’m also curious about what 80/10/10 would do to my overall health and performance in getting my strength back from my Multiple Sclerosis episode.  The idea of counting macros seems daunting to me.  Nevertheless, more research and experimentation is required.

I don’t really care for labels or sub-labels, but that’s the way people communicate in society.  Identifying by a label can bring comfort, security, and a sense of belonging.  That’s so important, especially when faced with bullying or adversity, however it can backfire into bullying the bullies.

I’ve seen a lot of bullying across the labels.  Vegans hating on Raw Foodists.  Raw Foodists hating on Raw Vegans.  80/10/10s hating on Vegans.  RawTil4s hating on 80/10/10s.  It’s dizzying!

I asked the following question on social media:

Are you vegan or raw vegan and either love or hate the 80/10/10? Why?

I got many responses and compiled the following lists from them:

The Pro List

  • Seems legit to minimize fats and proteins and maximize carbs.
  • There’s no restriction on intake volume.
  • You can avoid and heal from major diseases.
  • Overall it’s easier and faster to clean the kitchen with less food preparation, no cooking, less dishes to wash, and very little kitchen equipment required.
  • Leftovers can be composted with livestock.
  • Thousands of varieties of produce keep it interesting.
  • Cooking destroys nutrients.
  • Mother nature formats our natural food to 80/10/10.
  • Testimonials from people who have tried it say: they felt their absolute best while on it, it helped overcome health issues, it helped with weight loss, they felt their lives changed for the better, it shows people what it really means to be healthy, happy, and thriving, it cures emotional eating, you feel a natural high every day, it allows a person’s full potential to be unlocked, you are more true to yourself and are better able to deal with life, and it reformats the body and mind towards emotional stability, clear and sharp thinking, and has the whole body running smoothly.

The Con List

  • It’s too hard – not enough willpower.
  • It’s too expensive and requires too much eating/overeating.
  • Fear of restriction and boredom.
  • No desire or motivation to go 80/10/10 – vegan or raw vegan makes me happy.
  • Giving up or reducing salt and fat is too challenging.
  • Requires too much preparation, patience, attention to detail, and planning to the point of obsession.
  • Judgment is harsh from others who haven’t tried it because it seems unhealthy and restrictive.
  • Unlearning lifelong eating habits and emotional eating takes time and is challenging.

The Other List (Didn’t answer the specific question about 80/10/10, but still very interesting points!):

  • Raw vegan and 80/10/10 are not the same.
  • Vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.
  • Not everyone knows what 80/10/10 is even if they are vegan or raw.
  • Vegans and raw vegans mostly agree that raw vegan is optimal for health even if they can’t agree that 80/10/10 is optimal.
  • Vegan is more accessible for the masses over raw vegan or 80/10/10.
  • You have to try and test and see what works best for your body.
  • Mono-fasts like “Banana Island” are not normal or healthy.
  • Marathon runner prefers to eat by feel and does 80/10/10 without exact macro measurements.
  • The word “diet” is a turn-off – if you google 80/10/10, the book is titled “The 80/10/10 Diet.”
  • People would prefer to do more raw or aspire to incorporate more, especially if they didn’t have others in the household to consider like sexy vegan chef husbands who override willpower to stay raw when at home and with vegan children. (Understandable!)
  • Prior favorite foods become disgusting – this is both a pro and a con depending on your perspective.
  • Strong preferences for cooked food are hard to override especially when it gets cold. (Oh I know! Staying raw is hard!)
  • Can’t do 80/10/10 because fructose-intolerant and other allergies. (Not much you can do about that!)
  • High fruit, high oil, and low protein seem to work well for Multiple Sclerosis. (Yes I hear that higher fat is better for MS management, but I also hear that they don’t know what causes it and don’t know how to cure it. So how do they know how to best manage it I wonder? All we can go on is how we feel – and if that works best, might as well go for it!)
  • People feel the raw foodist superiority complex and the better-than mentality that you aren’t “vegan enough” are a real turn off from the vegan/animal rights movement.  (This sounds SO familiar… like when vegan wasn’t as mainstream as it is today and all vegetarians had a “complex.”  Tolerance is lacking – bullying is an issue across the board.)

What do you think about 80/10/10?  Is a whole food plant-based diet enough?

Raw Vegan Day 36 – Sunday Fruit Plate, Spiralizer Discount, and Winter Soup

1619079_10152390551682703_4346823705960011514_n
BREAKFAST – 1 tiny watermelon, 1 pineapple, 1 blood orange, and pomegranate seeds.

10407690_10152390591417703_5802644730805977996_n
PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD


All spiralizers are NOT created equal!! I kept hearing about people spiralizing potatoes and carrots and I wondered how?!

My spiralizer would shred the base end of the vegetable on the spinning dial full of teeth used to stabilize the vegetable and push it through the blades.

I ended up getting another brand of spiralizer. The Finest Chefs brand. Immediately I noticed that the teeth on the spinning dial looked longer. So I measured!

The Finest Chefs spiralizer has 5/16ths of an inch long teeth while the other has only 1/4th of an inch long teeth.

So I just tested it on potatoes and carrots. Success!!!! Red potatoes went so easy, sweet potatoes were tougher, but they went through! Carrots were easier than the sweet potatoes!!! I’m excited!!

10389136_10152390751867703_610564996254898892_n

The Finest Chefs

A coupon code for an additional 10% off for all my friends (no I don’t work for them – I made a friend at the company who hooked this up for us).  The URL link is The Finest Chefs on Amazon
Here is the coupon code to key in during check out: 5VAK3839 .

10311773_10152390990002703_5626417056332444210_n
TASTY CURLS – I took the curls and dipped them in a special mixture before putting them in the dehydrator.  Here’s the secret sauce – nutritional yeast, flaxseed oil (unfiltered coldpressed), apple cider vinegar, himalayan sea salt, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, and add just enough water to make it pasty.

1959233_10152390990387703_8738909956622538254_n
WARM BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP – 1 butternut squash (skin and seeds too), the leftover spiralizing weenies from the carrots and potatoes, turmeric, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder, and himalayan sea salt.  Vitamix for 2 minutes.  I topped it with some Tasty Curls.

10624702_10152391415487703_3939547465925172184_n
TASTY CURLS – Boyfriend approved.  He says they taste like Cheese Its.  (what are those??  Kidding…)

Gratitude

We stayed up late drinking Kombucha and raw coconut water and sampling holiday raw vegan Kandy Kale and watching the 90’s live action movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I remember I used to watch that movie (and the sequels) on repeat as a young kid and I would pretend that Leonardo was my boyfriend and we’d gang up on Raphael when he acted out. Mikie and Donny played ninja games with me and laughed with me like brothers.

I wanted to be a ninja too and have a ninja family with a wise ninja master as our father. I’d even live in the sewers to have that.

Maybe I wanted all that because my father, step mom, step brother, and step grandparents weren’t in my life anymore and I never got to meet my new sisters even though I talked to the older one when she was still in the womb.

Long story. Adults happened. My father, step mom, step brother, step grandparents, and two future sisters were gone from my life.

18 years of solitude later, we were reunited at a funeral. I’m grateful to have them back, even if we didn’t get to grow up together and even if they don’t carry around weapons on the back of their shells and scream “Cowabunga!!” But finally, I’m one of four.

Raw Vegan Day 34

watermelon
BREAKFAST – 1 baby watermelon.  It fit perfectly on the plate.  Not pictured – 1 orange and 2 dates.

Zoodle
LUNCH – Spaghetti and tomato sauce.  3 zucchinis spiralized into Zoodles.  SAUCE – 1 carton of red grape tomatoes (I know!  Changing it up, right?), 2 dates, 1 small spoon of flaxseed oil (unfiltered coldpressed), 1 small spoon of yellow miso, 3 magical drops of Sriracha, and the 3 zucchini weenies left over from spiralizing.

I made this lunch at home this morning and took it with me to work.  The Zoodles softened in the sauce after sitting for a few hours, so the texture was perfect.

I am losing my taste for certain vegetables!  I’m horrified!!!  Dark leafy greens are beginning to taste bitter.  Certain combinations that I used to love now taste odd.  Texture is becoming much more important as well as… and I really hate to say this… sweetness.

This girl used to hate sweet things.  Fruit was blah.  Sugar was blah.  I loved salt and umami!  Since I cut way back on my sodium intake and heavily increased the fruits, I’m now craving sweet fruits constantly.  Even bananas, which I used to hate.  It is really bizarre.

People tell me they admire my willpower.  I say it’s nothing special.  I’m human.  We can do anything we set our minds to.  Plus, I’m sure there are even more hard core raw vegans out there than me who eat bark and dirt.  I’m probably like level 2 or whatever the rankings are.

The cooked food cravings are subsiding and processed cooked food smells… so strange.  Part of me wants to crave it and the other part is confused by it.  Such strange happenings in the body since going raw.

10387686_10152387818127703_766341586408345435_n
DINNER – This Sloppy Salad starts with a mega bowl of spring mix greens and 1 carton of red grape tomatoes.  Then drown it in Lemon Cilantro Carrot Dressing.  Don’t forget to drink the rest of the dressing.

DRESSING – The fresh Lemon Cilantro Carrot Dressing is made with juice squeezed from 1 small lemon, 2 cups of water (or less – it depends on how sloppy you want your salad – the more water you use, the thinner the dressing is.  I like mine very sloppy and watered down), a fist of cilantro, a squirt of flaxseed oil (unfiltered coldpressed), a palm full of cashews, a small spoon of yellow miso, 3 carrots, and 3 magical drops of Sriracha.  Vitamix that for maybe a minute to slaughter the carrots properly.  This Lemon Cilantro Carrot Dressing reminds me of salsa verde that you get in any Mexican restaurant with the appetizer chips.

DESSERT… Only if I’m still hungry, I might make a quick bowl of Warm Tomato Beet Soup later.  🙂

I am intentionally adding more specific fats to the routine like flaxseed oil because of the MS.  I know it’s probably not strict 80/10/10, but I feel better balancing it this way during the detox for now.  In time, I may reduce this.

The Human Experience – Evolution

They say jokingly that when you go vegan, you will start losing friends. It’s, sadly, a very true statement, but not necessarily because of the vegan thing. It’s an evolution thing. My friend loss was delayed for many years, as it so happens.

We are constantly evolving as people. Constantly growing and changing from day to day. The human experience is truly a beautiful thing.  Sometimes we resist and become stagnant.  Sometimes we face the struggle to accept the lesson and then grow.

Most of us don’t start out as vegan. We come to it because something is triggered in us… awakened. Whether it was for reasons of health or for the animals, generally most of us will come to realize that we stay vegan in the long run because “All Of The Above.”

The well-intended people who always followed what they were taught by their doctors and those convincing TV commercials preaching on the massive amounts of protein we need to survive (fear fear fear), those people might in time desire to turn their life around after a sobering health crisis. Those same formerly desensitized people may look back upon their clouded state and feel a preference for doing less harm in the Universe.

Awareness of the consequences of some actions leads to a caution for the consequences of other actions, especially after an unsettling life crisis. Why do more harm to others when it’s so easy to continue doing less harm to others and yourself simultaneously and enjoy the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle? It becomes so easy to have compassion and a consciousness of choices and their consequences.

People who come to it for animal advocacy reasons after seeing the horrific cruelty of the industry may also stumble upon the unintentional health benefits of cleaner eating. Although, just because something is vegan, that doesn’t make it automatically healthy. It is sometimes an accidental or unintentional transition to “All Of The Above” as time progresses.

We experience. We learn. We evolve. Or not. It’s a choice.

Near the beginning of 2014, I had a mental health crisis. I had been on anti-anxiety medication for a few years after coming out of a divorce with several toxic years of marriage. I can’t blame all of my anxiety and depression on the marriage though. I was also resolving many emotional issues from my colorful childhood. Other stories for other days.

My crisis came when I was weaning myself off the medications and realized that I had developed a chemical dependency on these medications which I took exactly as my doctor had directed. The more withdrawal side effects I experienced, the more I researched. The more I uncovered on these medications, the more they screamed “Danger!”

At the time I decided to go on the medications, I was close to not being able to function and was afraid of losing my job because of my inability to focus at work. I had panic attacks frequently. My marriage had been on the rocks and that was not helping matters. I wanted to give the marriage and my life a shot at succeeding and moving forward. For numerous reasons, I decided to try the medication. If it meant getting doped up for a little while to work on the issues, I was willing to risk it at that time.

Withdrawal hit me hard and lasted for several months with a controlled taper off. I worked through all of it and miraculously was not fired from my job. My personality had noticeably altered during that time. I would swing between crying fits, anger, yelling, giddiness, dizziness, panic, shaking, flu-like symptoms, and an inability to focus. It was not fun to say the least.

A lot of social damage happened during this time, as it usually does with mental health issues. During the withdrawal period, I documented my journey on social media as a way to also help others who were going through similar issues or dealing with loved ones who were struggling. I received surprising feedback from some people whom I thought were friends and also some surprising feedback from some people whom I previously thought weren’t that close or caring. People surprised me. Even in the fog of the withdrawal, I started to see others in a way I never had before.

Between my withdrawal updates, I also posted a few vegan awareness messages. Some were about the cruelty of the industry against animals and some were about the health benefits associated with the vegan lifestyle. Some were even about the environmental impact of going vegan. At that time, I had zero vegan friends. None. I was the only one I knew! I didn’t feel special. I felt alone and misunderstood in the midst of the world spinning around me. Literally… the withdrawal dizziness was awful.

My Standard American Diet (SAD) friends would argue with me about the vegan awareness posts constantly. It also became the only topic they would talk with me about in person. I had always defended, or rather, gotten defensive with my vegan lifestyle (or as my SAD friends called it, my “eating habits”). It hurt me how blind people could be about themselves and the animals and how the thick layers of cognitive dissonance persisted among those I cared about.

The playful teasing got worse and developed into frequent bullying. When someone gets defensive, it’s a bully magnet. When someone’s having a mental health crisis and is at their weakest and most vulnerable, increased bullying over their vegan lifestyle is REALLY. NOT. NICE. I didn’t help things by creating a giant target over my head with my defensiveness.

People would send me pictures of meat and say things like “mmmmm meat.” I had one person comment “bacon” on every single one of my posts, or if I had commented on a mutual friend’s post on a completely unrelated topic, the person would come around and comment “bacon” right underneath me. I also had someone “moo” at me. Yes, quite literally “MOO” at me… in the office… and other coworkers would laugh at me. It taught me to keep coworkers at a distance to protect myself, although my current place of employment does not tolerate behavior of this sort. I had a very old close friend make his own thread about why all vegans are angry which was dedicated to me. I kept trying to make them understand. I would argue. I would tell them they are being toxic and terrible people – hurting themselves and others. I would justify myself over and over trying to make them understand.

Towards the end of my withdrawal period and after 12 years of dealing with the teasing and poking and bullying, I finally snapped. I got mad and I got mean. I called people murderers and rapists and sick fucking idiots when they attacked me. I went on a blocking rampage and cut off the especially toxic people and repeat offenders. Then, I started blocking even the first time “bacon” commenters. Yes, I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms and a warped perception of reality, but even looking back on the situation with a clearer head now, I have some understanding and compassion for my former volatile self.

The dust settled within a few days. Suddenly, I felt calmer. I was okay. I am me. This is who I am and who I’ve been for a long time now. I don’t apologize for being me. I don’t argue against being me. Not anymore. I don’t beg for approval. If you don’t approve of me, fine. If you bully me, I’m not going to argue. I’m simply going to adopt the “have a nice life” attitude and walk away and not ever look back. Congratulations to me, I finally found my backbone.

This incident ended up being the catalyst for a complete social makeover. I stumbled upon the Vegan Friend Bomb on one of the vegan communities. I participated and instantly made 100 vegan friends. Holy rescued cows! I’ve never had vegan friends before. Now I don’t know how I ever managed without them. They are my rock. My soulmates. My sanity.

When the world seems so heartless and cruel, off to the internet I go to read what like-minded people are doing and thinking and I connect with them directly about issues that we all deal with each and every day. I was so alone before in thinking that I was the only person who thought this way, who lived this way, who experienced moral conflicts this way, who gave conscious energy to trying to evolve and become more aware every single day. Of course vegans aren’t perfect people. They are human too. It was still awesome to meet some compassionate people for a change.

After meeting these vegan people, the remaining non-vegan friends started falling into two distinct categories. Toxic and Tolerant. The Tolerants tolerated my vegan posts and some even got excited about them. They tried my recipes and asked me for transition tips. They would send me questions like “I have a new vegan coworker, what should I make them?” They were real friends. Good people.

The Toxics though… I never noticed how many of them I had collected until I saw the contrast of the more positive, passionate, and proactive vegan friends. I started noticing things like how certain friends never had anything nice to say ever about anyone or anything. They enjoyed complaining and ranting constantly and couldn’t wait to discover a new reason to be upset with others and the world. They got off on it and enjoyed their ignorance and lack of awareness through the peephole in their tiny claustrophobic reality.

I stepped back and realized, this is really not me. No… Correction: This may have been me in the past, or rather I was attracting them to me or attaching myself to them or they were fulfilling a certain need I was craving, but this is not me any longer. I don’t surround myself with gossip, complaining, manipulation, two-faced backstabbers, tantrums, martyrs, and constant self-inflicted and intentionally perpetuated drama. I need to heal. And this is poison.

I blocked several other people in this process. Not because they were anti-vegans or bullies, but because they were simply black holes of negative energy. Some had been around for a short time, but others, and this was somewhat conflicting for me, I had known for a very long time and had strong connections with in the past.

As I evolved rapidly during this time and growing more and more conscious and, well, happy, they were not evolving with me. Or at all. I left them behind long ago when they repeatedly planted themselves comfortably in their resistance and bitterness. I sent my love to the people we used to be and the experiences we shared. I let them go so I could keep growing in a positive direction and not get dragged into their dark turmoil.

I found confidence and happiness. I found self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-love. I was taking the next step in the recovery process and choosing my happy ending.

The human experience is truly a beautiful thing. We are faced with a choice every single day to either do the same stagnant thing while expecting a different result, or to evolve and make the changes for ourselves. I made hard choices.  And I did find that brighter tomorrow.