Here’s to Health

Here it is, Day One. I slipped up this morning when I had a Quaker Oats oatmeal thing that had whey protein in it – oops! But other than that I’ve had almonds, a banana with almond butter and a nectarine. On the menu is an energy mix made with almonds (can you tell I love almonds?), pumpkin seeds, cashews, dates and I think something else – can’t remember off the top of my head – as well as grape tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers with hummus and veggie pasta for dinner. I’ve started taking flaxseed oil, turmeric and B12 to help with nutrients and I need to throw in some coconut or almond milk for calcium. Drinking just water and so far, I feel awesome!

Here’s a little note of temptation: I’m currently in Orland, CA at the Glenn County Fair. For the next four days I will be surrounded by smells of fried everything as well as ice cream, beer, ICEEs and BBQ foods. So far, I haven’t felt tempted but it’s only been a few hours so who knows how I’ll feel six hours from now when I’ve been sitting in the sun listening to children screaming and telling people to “push the red button” on Sudsy’s a thousand times. 13151406_10154633851811729_3017438794107059033_n

Overall, I’m so excited to try this. I have never really been excited about a “diet” before and maybe it’s because I don’t see this as a temporary thing. I have always loved smoothies and often preferred them over food itself. I know that the hardest thing to give up is going to be pizza (although there are vegan options available) as well as ice cream. I have discovered vegan recipes for brownies (a guilty pleasure of mine) as well as cookies. But I’m actually more excited about trying all these new kinds of juices and smoothies and being able to look in the mirror everyday feeling a little bit better about myself.

For the past probably ten years (maybe more), I have struggled so much with my appearance. While I have never really let it stop me from doing anything or pursuing anyone, I have always felt self-conscious and overly aware of my body. As a performer, I am on stage and in front of people all the time. I walk around fairs in tight clothing resembling that of a ringmaster, cowgirl, pirate and even a flight attendant at times. And when I’m in costume, sure, I’m a hell of a confident girl because I’m a character, I’m not Paige anymore. But there are always the first looks in the mirror in the morning or at night, the moments where you stand 5 feet away because you look better not up close. There are the swimsuit fittings, costume fittings, shopping for makeup and hair products in order to cover up the fact that I’m a chubby girl with a pretty face. And this past week, I finally said that I’m done.

I’m done faking my smile and pretending that I’m not as big as I am. I am done spending a fortune on makeup and skin care and hair care in order to achieve the same results simply by eating right and exercising. I am done shying away from the idea of approaching someone simply because I am not cute or beautiful enough to catch their attention. I am done going into stores and not being able to find clothes that don’t fit me or boots that won’t accommodate my ginormous calves. I’m done being negative, treating my body like absolute shit and choosing food over my health, happiness and general well-being. I have given so much power to food. I have given it the power to cure my boredom, dictate my social events, serve my temporary cravings and distract my feelings of loneliness, self-pity, a bad day even. I don’t honestly really care how long I live – that’s not completely my decision to make. But what I do care about is my quality of life, the happiness that I feel and the depth of my relationships with other people. I care about not letting my body stop me from taking on any adventure whether that be hiking, kayaking, rock-climbing, swimming, cliff diving, ziplining, waterfall repelling or simply being an amazing performer.

So here is to trying something new, something that may or may not work (though the whole not working thing seems completely ridiculous) and something that at it’s very core is going to improve my health. I eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains and that’s it. I don’t eat dairy products, meat products or anything that has added sugar (I don’t always win in that department but I’m trying). I’m not here to proclaim my veganism or guilt you for your love of steak, eggs or yogurt. One of the best phrases I have learned as a traveler has been this: You do you, and I’ll do me. I am writing this in search of support and ideas from other vegans as well as a way of documenting this new path that I’m jumping on. This blog also serves as self-accountability. I want to, 30 days, 60 days, a year from now, be able to look back on this post and say “I actually did it, I stuck with it – here’s how I’m doing.” I have had a lot of Day One’s in my life and I’m sure I’ll have a lot more. I have started diets, jobs, relationships and more only to quit within a year or two – sometimes less.

So here’s to trying new things for health!

Advertisements

My First Grocery Shopping Trip As a Vegan

It only took a few conversations and two documentaries (Unsupersize Me & Super Juice Me!) to convince me that veganism and juicing was not only incredibly healthy but also simple and delivered promising and fast results. I’d like to note that I am not on a mission to lose weight as fast as possible no matter what the method. Instead, I have been looking for a lifestyle change that will get my often unhappy stomach in order, boost my energy level and help me feel confident when I’m on stage performing and on the road. iStock_000016943709_small-824x549

After a chat with a fellow performer at a fair, I was intrigued. I had heard of veganism before and I often dismissed it because of the animal cruelty enthusiasts and over-dramatic evangelism that usually comes with the label. I simply want to be healthier and have incredible skin, a trait I’ve noticed in anyone who calls themselves a vegan or avid juicer. My desire is simple: Be healthy.

So on the road I was due for a grocery trip and I wanted to jump on this vegan bandwagon and at least try it. I’m not saying this will be for a week, month, year or forever; nope, just giving it a try. So between a trip to Walmart and Grocery Outlet (which by the way, where has GC been all my life?), this was what I walked out with:

Grape tomatoes
Cucumber
Celery stalks
Bananas
Apples
Blueberries
Nectarines
Oatmeal
Whole Wheat Tortilla Wraps
Almond butter
Oatmeal
Mustard
1 vegetarian salad mix (though I’m not positive the dressing is vegan…)
Bolthouse Farms Daily Roots smoothies (the label seemed to follow the rules but again, still learning)
Roasted Pepper Hummus
Raw almonds
Seed mix (checked label, strictly nuts!)
Vitamins: B12, Flaxseed Oil & Turmeric

The total came out to just under $60 which I was pretty happy about and was within my grocery budget. Because I don’t have my NutriBullet with me I won’t be able to do any juicing or smoothie making but that will be a definite addition at my next fair.

So fellow vegans and health enthusiasts: How did I do?

Photos courtesy of News USC and The Balanced Blonde.