Side Effects

Remember when you were child and were carefree? You enjoyed playing with dolls/toy trucks, riding your bike, skating in the street, and had to be in before a certain time lol. You had joyful attitude and were friendly to many. How you looked to an outsider was not important and you stayed in your own little world.

Then puberty hit and that is when views of the world typically start impacting your personal outlook and character. You gain concern about the clothes you wear, hairstyle, body shape etc. and suddenly the judgement from individuals, distort your self image. Your personality shaped to being nice in hopes to gain many friends or mean because of the hate and slander. Throughout middle and high school, you care about having the designer brands, body imperfections, character traits for popularity purposes.

College age through twenties, the years of “finding yourself” arise, and realize that you are trying to, undo the negative thought patterns that you gained. (If you are younger I challenge you to reject the judgement now) Have you ever thought about the reason behind your alleged flaws? Who planted in your spirit that you were too skinny or curvy? Who said you were overly dramatic? Who pointed out that very part on your body or character trait, that you now dislike?

This is what I call the, “Side Effects of Judgment”. Gaining weight because people think you’re too skinny or losing weight due to people feeling like you are too fat (unless doctor recommended) Plastic surgery because others feel your butt, boobs, nose are too small. Calming your personality down because people think you are too goofy/nice. Being mean and having a cold heart towards people because others hurt you. The list can go on but my question to you is, who were you before judgement and experiences of life, came upon you?

Life can change you, however, we have to recognize the cause of the change and understand that some alterations are not good for us. Many adjustments we make or the way we act towards people are caused by the trauma we have received from others. So I challenge everyone to analyze your life and heal. Try to understand the, WHY, in what you do. Are you changing this facet of your life based on the, side effects of judgement?

How to heal and recognize the, WHY:

  1. Get a journal.
  2. Write down what you dislike about yourself.
  3. Recall the earliest memory of someone pointing out that flaw/being rude. Write it down
  4. Write down how it made you feel and why
  5. Now you recognize the, WHY, it is time to undo the thought pattern
  6. Write down affirmations on how you are beautiful/handsome, the way you were made. Repeat this every time that negative thought comes into your mind, and until you truly believe it!
  7. Remember, the world does not define you and we were all made in our own uniqueness. One of a kind! “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” -Psalm 139:13-14

We are in this journey together,

A Year Vegetarian

I am super excited that I have been vegetarian for a full year. Not that I doubted myself, but I never imagined becoming a vegetarian! The main question I’ve received is, do you struggle with any desires to go back?

The answer is simply, no! Reason being, is that I have a greater cause. You simply cannot change a habit based off popular trends or because someone tells you to do so. There has to be a higher desire from within, to transform your regimen.

My motivation to be a vegetarian was health. No, I do not have an illness and I am in good condition. However, I am a big component for prevention and always have been. The propelling question that kept my younger self curious and eventually brought about change was, what is the cause of sickness? Of course you cannot completely dodge ailments, but I discovered that several diseases are linked to the foods we eat. Meat (but not limited to) plays a major role.

*disclaimer this post is not to force anyone to become a vegetarian but just exposing the reasons of why I am one* “One person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:1-3

Below I will answer questions I have received regarding my journey as a vegetarian.

1. What is the most difficult part?

– We’ll I love eating out, but there are not many vegetarian restaurants in Houston. However, there has definitely been an increase of vegetarian options on menus. Plus, you can ALWAYS find a bite to eat like sides of veggies, salad, soup etc. However, sometimes you want something more filling and satisfying. With that said, seafood restaurants are not the place to go. I’ve learned to create my own entree or you can simply have your waiter, ask the chef, to whip up something special.

2. Did you lose weight?

Many people assume you lose weight, not in every case. If you ask anyone that is trying to decrease pounds or look at a trainers page, they do not completely eliminate meat. It’s the carbs and sugar that is taken away, which helps with the decline. Both of those are my love!!! To answer your question, I have not lost weight! Remember everyone’s process is different.

3. Did you become vegetarian cold turkey?

I did not become a vegetarian overnight. It was never my intention to become a vegetarian it just kind of happened. When I was a young girl I was always picky about the meats I would eat. Chicken was the top choice, burgers, and ribs. I never liked steak, brisket, roast etc. So about 2-3 years ago, I was doing some research on clean vs unclean meats in the Bible, Leviticus 11 (though Western culture doesn’t live by that law) and decided I would stop eating pork. I continued my studies and would analyze how other meats were processed, so next, I cut out seafood. In 2016, I only ate chicken or turkey. In January, we always do a fast, so I gave up all animal flesh in 2017. I continued to analyze how foods impact your body and can cause certain ailments and I never went back.

4. All animal products should not be consumed, do you think you will become vegan?

That is still up in the air and I have wavered back and forth on it. It is really difficult to be a vegan in Houston and I would need to up my cooking skills. Eating out would p-existent lol!! However, I think one day I will be a vegan! Stay posted.

5. What do you eat during the holidays?

Everything except the meat!

6. Did you watch the documentary, “What The Health.” If so, did that contribute to you becoming a vegetarian?

-Yes, I watched the documentary and encourage everyone to watch in my blog post called, What The Health. That film, motivate individuals to make become VEGAN! However, it did give aid to my vegetarian lifestyle and it still impacts me to this day! . That’s why I believe I will eventually remove all animal products from my menu.

6. So you can’t eat any animal products, right?

No that is wrong. There is a difference between eating vegan and vegetarian. Vegans do not consume any animal products (no meat, eggs, or dairy). Vegetarians only eliminate the meat from their diet (still eat products containing dairy/eggs).

7. Where do you get your protein from?

-Contrary to popular belief, you can get protein from many of the foods you eat and not only meat or nuts. For example, fruits and vegetables are great sources of protein. Check this out, gorillas and elephants are two of the biggest and strongest animals in the world, yet, what do they eat? Fruits and vegetables! There are vast amounts of options for protein. If all else fails, google is your best friend. Personally, I eat lots of quinoa, oats, black beans, nuts, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, bananas, nectarines etc..list can go on but I’ll stop here lol

8. I have heard coworkers say that they feel lighter, when they do not consume meat. Do you feel a change in your body as a vegetarian?

-Yes I do. I agree with your coworkers regarding feeling light.  After I eat, I do not get the “itis” or experience heaviness.

Are you vegetarian? How has your transition been? Give me all the deets below in the comment section.

Are you looking to become a vegetarian? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

I hope you enjoyed the Q and A. I sure did! Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen