I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! As you know, I finally took a break from my hectic life and went on a getaway with M and friends. We went skiing in Killington, Vermont, and it was absolutely wonderful! The weather was perfectly chilly and sunny - stayed in the low 30s the entire time! I'm very much so a beginner (this was my second time skiing). I was smart this time by staying on beginner/intermediate-low slopes, and I didn't fall once!!! (except for the one time a snowboarder literally swamp me off my feet by deciding to run into me...)
Weekend meals were also fantastic, and there certainly wasn't any shortage of food! Eggs, pancakes, chili, and incredible pizza (We ordered from The Pizza Jerks, which was more like gourmet pizza. "Tree Hugger" was my favorite of the three we ordered).
But today I would like to dedicate my post to some of the changes that I am going through, and I hope you all understand and support them... I originally started blogging at my old blog as a vegetarian, and then transitioned into veganism, which I loved wholeheartedly for all the right reasons - primarily for my love for animals and their well-being, and also for the health benefits of a raw+real food diet. I still fully support a plant-based diet and will forever be a veggie lover. However, I have recently decided to return to an omnivore lifestyle, as always with every intention of staying true to my emphasis on eating real, clean food.
Believe me, my stance on animal welfare will never change, and I will continue to make decisions to tread lightly on our Earth by living conscientiously and minimally... My decision is a somewhat a selfish one... I'm doing this for me... for my health.
For many years now (close to 7 years, to be precise), I have been struggling with hormonal imbalances, and at my current fruitful age of 23, I am far from fruitful, which is becoming more and more concerning to me with each passing day. As a teenager who was way too involved in varsity sports and always stressed out about being an overachiever, late menarche didn't seem too surprising or concerning to my doctors, and though I didn't go on to playing varsity sports, my level of stress and lack of sleep increased exponentially in college, again contributing to my irregularities and even amenorrhea. With these problems also came a whirlwind of other health concerns - acne, insomnia, depression, low self-esteem, poor memory and concentration, etc. etc. Basically - the 19-year-old me was diagnosed with estrogen deficiency... a.k.a. my estrogen levels were comparable to, if not lower than, those of a woman in menopause... yippey.
My doctor put me on birth control pill. Surprised? Not really. That seems to be the "go-to" protocol for treating hormonal imbalances in young women. Unfortunately, while relieving the symptoms, the pill doesn't necessarily fix the underlying problem. That really bothered and concerned me, and that's when I became more interested than ever before in more natural approach to health and healing. Around the same time, Alicia Silverstone published The Kind Diet, which truly revolutionized my views on... everything actually. Unhappy with the way I felt on the pill, I eventually decided to go off the pill to hopefully heal myself through changes in diet and lifestyle. I became a devout yogi and vegetarian, and seemed to finally feel... whole. I finally felt at peace, happy... Everything about my "kind life" felt wonderful and right...
But three years had gone by, and my hormone problems have not resolved... I felt sad, frustrated, and somewhat defeated... Defeated because I felt that I have done everything within my ability to make things right in my life... Frustrated because I couldn't understand why veganism has helped so many women with similar circumstances, but couldn't help me. Thankfully, I have also discovered a new way of looking at this journey of mine - that it has indeed been a journey of learning and understanding what my body needs. Each body is different, and because of that, our health needs may be different. One seemingly healthy diet does not fit all.
So why eat meat again? I'm not certain it will help, but I feel that I need to try... The only time I remember my hormones behaving appropriately was when I followed what in retrospect resembled a paleo lifestyle - my meals centered around lean protein and lots of vegetables and limited sugar. Of course, this was before I became fully aware of factory farming and environmental concerns, and so I will not be going back to those dark days. Instead, I will continue to be a conscientious consumer, this time by consuming organic, natural, grass-fed, and as humanely raised animal products as often as possible. I will also continue to wholeheartedly indulge in my love for vegetarian cuisine. This love will never change. And as always, I will continue to exercise whenever I can, especially when I feel my body and mind craving it. In other words - I will listen to what my body needs... because I only have one body and one life to live, and I have to make the decisions that are right not only for the animals and the environment, but also for myself.
So here is yet another start to a new journey... or perhaps it's simply a continuation of the same good ole' journey of mine - a journey to health and happiness and a peace of mind, through yet again newly defined lifestyle.
And as always, let's recap today's eats!
Breakfast featured overnight greek yogurt oats!
Overnight: Blueberry Chobani (in recognition of current giveaway!!! :) ) + 1 tsp chia + 1/4 cup water --> in the fridge overnight!
Morning: Reheated on low heat (I was in the mood for a warm bowl of yogurt oats); add water if too thick (chia will do that!)
I added a cup of mixed cereals and granola for crunch and extra fiber.
Now that's what I call a balanced balanced - all the macromolecules in one! Healthy fats, protein, and carbs!
Lunch included huge bowl of mushroom soup (made with barley and potatoes)
Wasa crispbread with red pepper zucchini spread.
And sauteed sour kraut with grass fed beef.
I then had a clinical off-site in the afternoon at an internist office, which was so great! The doctor is actually Russian and I got to see half a dozen Russian patients with her! Exciting diagnoses included aortic regurgitation (I got to hear the heart murmur for the first time - this is very exciting for any medical student) and gout.
In between off-site and an evening meeting, I stopped home for a coffee break. The break inadvertently became a real treat! Grandma surprised me with crepes and smoked salmon! SO GOOD.
Hours later, I came home and had a huge bowl of salad and a couple slices of our infamous homemade ketchup-topped pizza. If only it sounded as amazing as it tasted. :)
And that's it, folks! If you got to reading this part - thank you for taking the time to listen to my rambling and reflections. I hope you can support my journey and join me along the way here at My Eats & Treats.