When you close one door, another one opens
Engine problems solved, oil and filter changed, three bags of laundry done (why do I always leave such a long time in between each round?), heavy stuff removed from forward storage down below, weather prognoses and charts has been carefully studied, water tanks has been filled and food has been purchased.
The amazing thing with having become more and more conscious about what I'm eating and the fact that I've quit meat and dairy from my diet - is that I have come closer to these beautiful, colorful guys. It feels like they've previously only worked as some anonymous accompaniments to my meals. They have never got to be the main character and thus I never really took the time to get to know them and their individual behaviors and qualities. This past month that I've been off meat and dairy, I have taken good time to experiment and curiously figure out each of their strengths. And here it comes: I have never felt better. You know I was reluctant to pronounce that cliché, but really, my energy level and my well being has gotten a great big boost in these past few weeks. Not only do I feel fresh, strong, energized and full of life (I know how silly it all sounds but it is a fact) but I also feel great pride in having taken a very important stand.
Many people who still eat meat and dairy imagines it is a mission impossible to become a vegetarian and not to mention vegan, as the options and varieties of food seem so limited. They couldn't be more wrong. Considering the amount of angry emails and comments that I have received, with people calling me all from hypocrite to declaring they will stop reading the blog if I quit eating meat, I know there is a controversy in the society about what food are right and wrong. Like it was someone else's choice what I or you should eat.
The general opinion by the most aggressive commenters have been, if you go vegan, you must automatically become a perfect politically correct human being in all other aspects too. Cause no, no, you cannot be a conscious person doing something good for yourself that rhymes well with your personal ethics AND occasionally enjoy drinking champagne in five star establishments at the same time. Just like being vegan or vegetarian were some secret, hard to get to clubs where only angry, militant, pale, tree-hugging hippie people who wish to save the world are invited. Seriously, not much makes me annoyed these days, but people with no or little connection to reality do make me feel tired.
Here's also a funny part of an email I got recently:
"Are you concerned that this (my new diet) will alienate a large number of your followers? I do not wish to discourage a vegetarian diet for anyone (whatever their reason might be), but since you are in a sales role of sorts, it seems to me that you would want to encourage more customers. Between the lack of videos and now the vegetarian only meals, I'm not sure we will visit the site as often."
Oh darling, I think you have gotten it all wrong. This blog as well as this journey we're out on, is a celebration of life and purely individualistic and healthy enjoyable living that suits us two as individuals - not to please someone else nor follow destructive, old fashioned ideologies. You can have your meat and eat it if you wish, but if I can share and in some way inspire other people to take control over their own lives and make better choices for themselves, then I feel I have done something good. Besides the good I do for myself already.
On the other hand, I absolutely love when readers get in touch with me to teach me something substantial, the ones of you who have guided me and educated me to become even more conscious about facts that I haven't noticed or thought about yet. That is the sort of healthy, mutual interaction I believe in and I am glad and proud to have collected a big bunch of very smart and intellectual readers who do think for themselves, and who are willing to share their stories, experiences and thoughts with me. Live and let live as one such intelligent reader once said.
Here are a few famous people who all are (or were in Steve's case) vegans, just to show that it is indeed a great variety of people in the world that have converted to a healthier, more conscious lifestyle and who embrace this rapidly growing global movement. A movement which I believe is the future:
Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Mike Tyson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steve Jobs, Natalie Portman and MMA fighter Mac Danzig.
Then we have the one of our readers who claimed I will have nothing to eat when I cross the Pacific, just like meat was the only thing that could be preserved for a lengthier time. So let's have a look at some of the lovely meat and dairy free meals I've made these past few weeks:
A big favorite: Chickpea, onion and chili stew with creamy coconut sauce, served with mashed potatoes that was made with sunflower oil, oatmilk and plenty of nutmeg
Fresh delicious mango for snacks.
Oops, not a perfect vegan here, so sue me! I previously told you that I still occasionally eat fish and seafood, approximately twice a week or so and will most likely be eating much of it also when we cross the Pacific ocean next year. This is a pasta vongole with clams in white wine sauce, lots of garlic, lemon, parsley and tomatoes. Ridiculously delicious.
Grilled Chilean salmon fillet with white rice and a clear garlic and basil sauce. Behind is a great lentil/potato/carrot pure that I will share the recipe with you one of these days.
Warm lentil and couscous salad with fresh herbs and veggies.
There sure is no limit to what one can concoct that is good for yourself and the world, and which also is extremely flavorful. Deep within, we all know that the meat and dairy industries are extremely cruel and terrible, the question each one of us have to deal with is, how long can I ignore it and pretend the cruelty isn't happening. I blame both ignorance and lack of education for the first 31 years of my life - but since I now know, there is no turning back to old behaviors. Ignorance sure is bliss and life might seem more complicated the more we know, but it's really only about your own individual mindsets. Everything in life is possible, and I am here to show you that you can both live a very healthy, conscious life, while at the same time being able to enjoy and embrace all the (cruelty free) beauty, pleasure and enjoyment that comes with it.