Thursday, September 1, 2016
My mama heart desires to not only teach but educate my children. To explain to them the choices we make in our home and why, but also, the choices of others. I want them to not fear people's opposing views. I desire to show them options and that life is a balancing act of figuring out what our convictions are and living them out against everyone else's, with love.
I have been vegan just shy of 6 years, I am often asked if I raise my children vegan. We choose to have a vegetarian household but I educate them on options, when eating outside our home, they choose. Naturally we buck hardest against the things put on us without our consent, I do not want my children to be vegheads just because I am. I want them to be educated consumers and to just enjoy a variety of good food. Our journey is built on honest answers, chicken nuggets are made from chickens and hamburger from cows, lots of people eat meat and hunt, vegetables are good and make us strong too. Animals must lose their lives in order for people to eat meat, we need to be a good steward of our position. We need to be thankful for it, a life lost, even an animal's life, is something that we need to honor.
Here is a little insight into how we navigate food in our household. At the grocery store, we discuss why we buy some foods but not others, we choose new foods, we discuss how to pick a good melon and what exactly kale is. We pick vegetables from gardens and discuss having chickens someday. Each week we are introduced to a new food, using a thumbs up or down system, we share our opinion on that food. We explore and talk about how blessed we are in America to have the options we have. We learn about other cultures and what they eat. We cook together and choose foods that nourish our souls and bodies.
I have been asked if it was hard when I first became a mom to feed my kids, there was a learning curve, but every parent on the planet will tell you food is a “thing.” If you have more than one child at least someone will complain and not like what is set before them. My crew was raised on a highly processed diet, at first it was a juggling act of meeting them in the middle, over time I have been able to feed them foods that we all feel good about. In our home we eat kale and mac and cheese, there is enough shame in this world, let's instead encourage and educate one another.
I have no intent for having a completely vegan home, however I do desire to instill in them a diet that questions the status quo. I want them to know they have options, that food is meant to nourish our bodies and souls and is best shared with loved ones. I want them to have a healthy view of food, something I have struggled with my whole life. In our home, I do control the food that comes in, based on my convictions, within that I want them to have a say as to what we have and when. Balance and moderation is key. We try new recipes and rate how often we should eat it, weekly, bi weekly or monthly, they have an active say, within reason, what we have.
My journey into veganism, started about 6 years ago. It started first for health reasons. Seeing how my body changed for the better, this was the lifestyle for me. Then came the second wave of my commitment I began to see my convictions change, I desire to be a good steward of my body and this world. It has been a long road of retraining my mind and learning how to cook all over again. I have not always walked this journey well, I have been obnoxious, rigid, lazy, unhealthy, insecure, loose, healthy, hungry, balanced, gluttonous, and challenged. Being vegan has taught me to slow down, enjoy, be more compassionate, and to educate myself, things that have changed the course of my life.
My view on it all, it's not what we do or don’t eat, the reality is there are studies and reports to back it all up. Instead choose foods that give you life, energy and make you feel good. Nourish your body, my friends. When we nourish ourselves we have more time, energy and focus to pursue what you were created to do.