A Clean Start

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Bio: Hi! I’m Iris! I’m an LA livin’, knowledge loving, food enthusiast vegan! When I’m not studying architecture, I’m on a mission to show the world how exciting veganism can be!

Instagram: @atomic_viris


Beginnings aren’t always easy. We premeditate all the pressure and stress we may
inherit from the changes we will experience. One thought turns into another, a few minutes later we realize we’d be much more comfortable not starting at all.

Overthinking feels inevitable sometimes, but we must try to remember the pros of why we’re considering something new in the first place – the outcome is going be worth it! By approaching newness with baby steps and a positive, open outlook we can accomplish the, seemingly, impossible.

Realizing this was my experience when I decided to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle.

 

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The struggle was sometimes too real, from being teased about what I wasn’t going to
enjoy anymore to finding replacements for my most favorite items, both food or cosmetic
related. One thing was always true- I did not want to contribute to the suffering of our brethren species anymore. Holding on to this idea was the most empowering motivation during my transition; it allowed me to realize that I was going to contribute to a change.

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My mind was set, and the diligent research began.

I have found that my favorite resource has been social media because it is through
others that I have found motivation and the strength to take on veganism head-on. Seeing how easy and seamless they made it look encouraged curiosity and excitement because I realized we have options that have not contributed to the suffering of an innocent being, and my comfortable customs were not an excuse. I figured I would someday achieve the same level of comfort with veganism as my online mentors.
After extensive research and much trial and error, I found the easiest way to transition
was by replacing an item once the non-vegan item ran out. This removed the pressure to do everything all at once. Making a list of items I was excited to try also allowed for an enjoyable

Making a list of items I was excited to try also allowed for an enjoyable
transition, especially with the large amounts of options we now have. Initially, the process felt as though I was rediscovering my taste buds, teaching them that food will be just as delicious without harming others, and learning about our own species, and our glorious planet while doing so. Along the way I’ve also discovered that we do not have to follow any rules, we must simply keep being ourselves and relearn to live without contributing to harm as much as possible and hope that through our presentation of veganism, others may find their own personal form too.

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Once we realize the newness growing within us, we develop a bond with it, and in the
end, we want to share our experience with the world. We want to show how valuable our journey is, and all the new knowledge that we have acquired. The rewarding lessons that we develop become our tools towards compassion for all species, the consciousness of our ecosystems and ultimately our planet. It is a mindset that is versatile, redefining, and generally much more peaceful. Albeit we must remember, especially during the research process, that the world is not going to change overnight, we must be patient and diligent because we can get there.

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Our struggles allow us to appreciate the outcome of our journeys and even tend to
spark a pride that nobody can deter. And though, I’ll admit, it hasn’t always been easy the journey and outcome have helped me understand what we are all capable of.

Iris Z.

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Leaving Home For The First Time

Meg is a fun loving wife and mother while maintaining her career as a nurse.  She is a life-time journaler, yogi, and self-proclaimed vegan chef.  She also loves to escape and find hemailrself lost in her own thoughts on a morning run or scenic walk.  Water is her element and as a little girl, she wanted to be a mermaid, spending her days frolicking in the ocean.  She understands that the best things in life are also usually the most challenging.  She lives by her motto, “be present, be brave”. Follow her on Instagram @megsgershon.


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Let me take a moment to tell you how I got to where I am today. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

I know I am right where I need to be.

To be honest, although people always considered me “mature for my age” or “grounded”, I often felt like a “threadbare gypsy soul”, never quite feeling like I was where I belonged.

So let’s talk about life reimagined, a “new beginning”. All our lives we follow this
path because we think we have to. It’s all around us, ingrained into our psyche that
we grow up, finish school, get a job, get married and have kids. The beautiful thing
about life though, are the numerous paths we can walk down. Our heartstrings tug
us to go in different directions. And when you follow that pulling, the experience
will be worth it.

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It will take you to the places of your dreams.
I was trying so hard to follow the road most traveled, but I found my inner voice
saying “I want to go home”; I didn’t understand what this meant until I left home for
the first time, with the wings my parents gave me to fly. I am not talking about
college- as let’s be honest, that’s not really leaving home when you are home for at
least every major holiday, and traditions remain the same. I mean leaving and
getting to a place where you get a different education. Looking back and forward all
at the same time, understanding where you’re going because you understand where
you came from. Giving yourself permission to step out of your comfort zone, living
on the edge of fear as you try to figure out what’s next.

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I’ll never forget the day I drove off with everything that would fit in my car to the West Coast after accepting a job there. While many people envision going to other countries, it is often forgotten how beautifully diverse our own is. My Dad helped me drive out and we talked about life and love. We listened to our favorite songs. We sat in silence as we drove through deserts and mountains. Past border walls with men in bulletproof vests and heavy artillery. Past mansions and homeless people on the corner. Then it started to
come into view- the “marine layer” of the beach in sunny California.

We arrived at my new apartment, unloaded the car, went to the store to stock up the fridge and the necessary cleaning supplies (some things can’t change).  Found the hospital I would be working at for the next six months. Drove to the beach to soak up the salty air and then kissed and waved goodbye as I dropped him off at the airport holding a map of San Diego so I could navigate back to my apartment.

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I felt on top of the world in a strange sense of belonging. I made new friends, experienced new cultures, new languages, and new ways of life. But most importantly I learned about myself. That I am strong and capable. I could do anything if I worked hard enough for it. That I didn’t have to live in the confinements of what the world tells us we should be. That freedom will allow you open the doors of your heart and mind, to endless possibilities.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you
live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you find the strength to
start over again.” – F Scott Fitzgerald

Its Okay To Feel Your Feelings

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BIO: Chantal, also known as Pixie, is an upcoming blogger and life long writer. Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, she is inspired by the sunsets and sunrises of the open desert landscape and surrounding mountains. She is a student of Philosophy at College of the Desert, aiming towards her BA in Ethics Philosophy. Pixie became a vegan in 2015, after being full vegetarian since 2011. She believes that baby steps each day are important to recognize not only in the journey of becoming plant based, but with any lifestyle changes that are planned. When she isn’t writing, she loves exploring nature and abandoned places, people watching, coffee shops, reading, and most importantly, her partner Charlie. Follow her adventures on IG at #pixietravels |IG: Kanufee|Wordpress: Kanufee.blog |Twitter: @kanufee|


I remember being in a Philosophy class called Perspectives of Death and Dying a few years back, and being asked to recall as many details possible from my first memory of death.

Many students mentioned the passing of their first pet, others like myself remembered the passing of their grandparents as kids, and only a couple of students experienced the passing of a parent early on in childhood. As I remembered the passing of my grandpa at the age of six, I was brought back to feelings of confusion, guilt, and sadness. I remembered feeling confusion because I had never been talked to about death, so I didn’t know to act, or what to really do. I felt guilty because I was unsure if I felt sad about my grandpa’s passing itself as everyone else did, since I didn’t really know him much. And sadness, because I had to experience the sight of my dad’s silent pain from his loss, for years to come.

Nearly thirteen years later, Two months before my Nineteenth birthday, I finally got a
glimpse towards understanding what losing a parent feels like. In January 2011 was the
passing of my dad. And I say that I only got a glimpse of feeling the emotions from death
because, it isn’t that instant minute when you know that they are no longer here that you
understand. Nor on that first year anniversary since they have been gone, or in the healing process itself. It was years later that I learned how the experience of loss isn’t complete until the lessons and messages of the loved one who has passed, are gained.

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The following 3 years to come reflected my silent pain through an emotionally toxic
relationship, financial struggles, and days spent crying alone. But it was also in those very same years that I was gaining the most important lesson that my dad had left for me to carry on. During my toxic relationship, I had let go of the majority of my friendships, and the couple that I did have, I was careful to not bother them with my constant misery.

Also, because I was in such a financial hole, I wasn’t really able to leave my hometown, the Coachella Valley. So I found myself always driving out to the middle of the desert to be alone, where I would cry and speak out loud to myself. I am not expressing this to say that my life has been harder than anyone else’s, or for sympathy from others, but simply because it was these moments during processing loss when I truly began to admire the nature around me, when I started to recognize the connectedness of the universe and my spirit, began to question my life, and when I learned the most important lesson given to me through messages to my intuition from my dad, the necessity to feel your feelings.

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After his death, I didn’t allow myself to suppress any emotions, as he had suppressed his for the majority of his life. You see, even though my dad was wealthy and successful in his career, had a life full of travel, and knew thousands of people because of his business, the bottling in of his feelings reflected hurtful behaviors towards his loved ones.

Behaviors that in the end led me to not have said one word to him during the last two months of his life.

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Even up until this very day, I am on a journey of learning who my dad truly was,
and picking up on the hints that the universe connects for his guidance to show me. I decided to look at the pain of his death, and the pain of the hole life seemed to be sinking me into, as a message from him to feel and express every amount of sorrow, to be able to have the relationship with myself and loved ones in ways that he never could. I knew that this was the knowledge that his pain wanted to give me, because I was being rewarded with a shift in my life interests and perspectives. I later on connected that I was able to make this change by making room in my heart for a desire of light, each time that I immersed myself into the reality of my own darkness. I truly feel that it was only because I was willing to not just cut out or ignore the reality of the darkness from pain that I felt in my heart, that I was able to slowly see every sign of light presenting itself to me.

As time progressed, I became more interested in self-help and personal development
books. There are many that I owe a lifetime of gratitude to, and others that I believe do not explain the importance of feeling your negative emotions.

I have come across many books and articles that only encourage positive thinking, rushing through life with urgency, and getting to know hundreds of connections to network, without mentioning the importance of being true to your emotions, the importance of feeling your process out, and retrieving into yourself. Just like those books, many of us are never taught to truly feel all emotions as we grow up. We are taught to not allow any emotions that are not related to happiness sink into you.

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We are taught to “stop crying”, to just smile and move on, which do not encourage looking into your feelings, but instead looking away from them. I am not suggesting you drown yourself and stay in a cycle of sadness and anger just to feel your emotions, but simply to not count those emotions as outside of your happiness. I know that my life would be completely imbalanced if I did not practice positive self-talk, make friendly connections, and do everything that I can to learn how to improve myself every day. But, you best believe that when life throws situations of anxiety and depressive funks my way that I put myself first and take the time necessary to listen to the painful emotions, and feel them without censoring myself from the truth about how I currently feel.

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The tears that you allow yourself to release in moments of sorrow are what waters your growth, just as the watering of plants. Holding them in, especially unconsciously, drowns you inside as overwatering the roots of a plant does to it.

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These words are only a small piece of all that I have learned from my dad since he has
been gone, as everything that has changed in my life and who I am becoming has come from getting to know him more than I ever could have while he was here throughout my childhood and teenage years. But it is because of this lesson that I gained from his new life that I can embrace sensitive emotions instead of wearing them as a weakness buried within’ me.

National Dog Day With Puppy Spot!

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_o75PsIV_400x400Bio: Hello, It’s Ellie, also known as Essentially Ellie, I live in the miserable and cold U.K, lol.  I have my own blog (https://essentiallyelliex.wordpress.com/), YouTube channel, and then Instagram  (Instagram)and Twitter. All based on beauty and Lifestyle. I’ve joined The Mindfulness Mission Magazine as I feel I have a lot to share and write quality articles for you to read through with a cup of tea in your hand (or coffee, or maybe water, whatever your preference, just enjoy)! Feel free to check out my links (listed above)! Fancy a chat with me or have blog post suggestions? Email me at: essentiallyelliex@gmail.com

GodBless you all! Enjoy! xx


Woof, woof!

So in aid of National Dog Day which happens to be on August 26th 2017, I decided to write a post all about how amazing puppies and dogs are!

I have two Australian Labradoodles, a girl, named Molly and a boy, named Eric. Yes, my Dad and my brother named Eric after Cantona (he was a famous Manchester United football player).

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We all absolutely adore and love our dogs! None of us could imagine life without them. Getting a puppy/dog literally changes your entire life.

Dogs are known to bring an overwhelming sense of happiness and joy to their new families, however, it is important to acknowledge that raising a dog properly requires a great deal of commitment and responsibility. For example, adding this new member to your family can change your daily routine from making sure that your lovely pet is taken care of during the hours when you may be at work, or even the times when you are on vacation. For many people, rearranging their daily schedule can become a chore and they therefore find dogs to be very hard to keep up with and look after.

In addition to considering the time management skills that are required to be dog owner, one must also consider the financial aspects of this additional family member as well. Everything from leashes, puppy food, and doctors appointments must considered when it comes to finances. This is why I always say that in order to have a gorgeous, well-behaved, dog that’s also in good health; you have to be a good owner! 🙂

For this post, I’m working with a company called PuppySpot (do check them out, all their links will be at the end), PuppySpot is committed to helping responsible breeders place their puppies with caring individuals and families. They always take strong pride in their No Puppy Mill Promise. You can read all about that here:  No Puppy Mill Promise. Puppy Spot Clearly states, “PuppySpot has a zero tolerance policy for puppy mills or substandard breeding practices of any kind”. 

The puppies from Puppy Spot will come from three types of locations. These are rescues, shelters, and pet stores. Considering that these puppies may not find loving homes otherwise, Puppy Spot makes sure that the puppies that are already born in these locations have a safe and loving home.

Also watch this brilliant video to see how PuppySpot deal with breeders, dogs and owners! So amazing to see the process:

PuppySpot have created a wonderful graphic to truly so how wonderful dogs are (below I have inserted it):

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If you live in The USA, PuppySpot can help you find a dog through a great breeder, they’ll also support you along the way as a dog owner! Happy Puppy Finding!
PuppySpot’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/puppyspot/
PuppySpot’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/puppy_spot/
PuppySpot’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/puppyspot
PuppySpot’s Tips and advice: https://www.puppyspot.com/content/

Ellie x

Essentially Ellie essentiallyelliex@gmail.com                                                                                                      Instagram: (https://www.instagram.com/essentiallyellie/)
YouTube: Essentially Ellie (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7KZuH_647Sa8DYf7h1sVog)
Blog Site: (https://essentiallyelliex.wordpress.com/)                                                                Twitter: @essentiallyell
(https://twitter.com/essentiallyell)
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© Ellie Kay, Essentially Ellie, 2017 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellie Kay, Essentially Ellie, with appropriate and specific direction (links) to the original content.

Harmony and Love in a Divided Relationship

meganBio: Megan (a.k.a. The “Crunchy Vegan Gal”) has been veg since 2002. As a passionate advocate for animal welfare, social justice, and environmental protection and restoration, she created the Crunchy Vegan website and online community to be a resource about veganism. When she’s not snapping photos of her food, spending time with her “vegan fam,” or writing about veganism, she’s exploring, she’s creating, and she’s working with residents and communities to collectively plan the future of our towns and cities. At the end of each day, her heart is kept full with the love of her husband and partner-in-crime, Shane, and their fur-baby, Nudge. Stay connected with her online: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter or contact her at crunchyvegangal@gmail.com 


Reflections on a journey to maintain love and find acceptance in a mismatched relationship.

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I was a vegetarian when I met him. And even though they say you shouldn’t expect to change someone in a relationship, the thought remained somewhere in my mind that, one day, he’d be a vegetarian like me.

Seven years later and we were engaged. He was still eating meat, and I was still a vegetarian. Our engagement was only a few months before I would ultimately go vegan. And I would find myself planning a wedding menu that was half vegan, half omnivorous.

To understand our relationship, you must first understand us.

My husband and I are extreme opposites—in every way possible. You name it, and we stand on far ends of the spectrum, counter to one another. Interestingly, our opposite qualities are typically what unite us. These differences make our relationship exciting and fulfilling. With respect to my vegan journey, however, it feels as though there’s a deep divide, and it’s difficult to reconcile.

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I love him.

I fell in love with my husband because I know he is a kind person. He likes to convince his friends that he’s got machismo, but he’s a softie deep down—if only his friends and family knew how his knees weaken at the sight of animals! He’s compassionate, yet stubborn with a hint of selfish tendencies.

And I love him.

I try to be patient.

I very much wish my husband would go vegan—for his health, for the animals, for the planet—and I feel as though he has the information to make the change, but it hasn’t happened yet. He has watched Forks Over Knives (which prompted him to stop drinking milk). He knows about the devastating environmental impact of the meat industry, but can’t grapple with the magnitude. He understands that his eating habits are not in the least bit healthy, yet he persists with his lifestyle. He’s heard me explain the pain and suffering of animals raised for meat, and I can almost hear his heart breaking. It nearly kills me.

Because I love him.

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It’s not easy to understand his decision. In fact, it’s quite painful for me to know that he’s completely aware of the realities, yet feels removed enough to go about life as he always has. It doesn’t seem to affect him that his health, the animals, and the planet are all in jeopardy because of his decision to continue consuming meat.

He doesn’t seem aware that I am so saddened by this.

Yet I love him.

It’s not that he doesn’t care. I love him precisely because he is a kind and loving person. It pains me so to hear him justify, “I understand, and I hate that I’m a part of this—I don’t want to hurt animals—but I’m weak.” He’s so strong-willed in many ways, yet he calls himself “weak.”

My husband is an animal lover. And not just a pet-lover, but an honest-to-goodness animal lover. He has visited animal sanctuaries with me. Oh, I wish I could have captured the smile on his face as we walked over to the pigs and reflect that image to him as a mirror, allowing him to look within…then, maybe, something would click.

Still, I love him.

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Over the years, I’ve become ‘that’ vegan: the one who is so invested in their veganism that they can hardly utter a sentence that doesn’t include the word “vegan.” This is my lifestyle, my ethics, my hobby, and my passion. My veganism is so important to me, and it’s devastating that I can’t share that with the one I love.

But I love him.

This week, we’ll celebrate five years of marriage. We’ve been together for 12 years, and all that time ago, I fell in love with my husband for who he was, and I continue to love him for who he is. I love him regardless of where he is in his journey. While our lifestyle differences create wakes, together, we manage the waves.

Because we love each other.

Every relationship experiences ebb and flow; but how well a couple endures depends on their ability to jointly sacrifice and compromise. There’s a careful balance required to create a lasting partnerships among counterparts. Pairings with intense contrasts, especially, demand careful attention to this balance. Despite all our differences, we share one key mutual interest: we love and deeply respect one another, and are committed to building our foundation stronger each day.

 

Exploring Vegan: The Transition of Facing the Daily Challenges of Becoming Plant Based

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BIO: Chantal, also known as Pixie, is an upcoming blogger and life long writer. Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, she is inspired by the sunsets and sunrises of the open desert landscape and surrounding mountains. She is a student of Philosophy at College of the Desert, aiming towards her BA in Ethics Philosophy. Pixie became a vegan in 2015, after being full vegetarian since 2011. She believes that baby steps each day are important to recognize not only in the journey of becoming plant based, but with any lifestyle changes that are planned. When she isn’t writing, she loves exploring nature and abandoned places, people watching, coffee shops, reading, and most importantly, her partner Charlie. Follow her adventures on IG at #pixietravels |IG: Kanufee|Wordpress: Kanufee.blog |Twitter: @kanufee|

Whenever I introduce myself as a vegan, I have noticed that besides protein deficiency comments, there is the common assumption that my daily food choices are limited.

It almost feels as if people picture me eating a salad and a broccoli head everyday for every meal. Or, I get the “I wish I could do that” comment.

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Food is something we are confronted with everyday, everywhere, all the time! It’s an emotional connection to our past and to who we are, so I can see where changing a daily habit automatically brings doubt and a vision of all of your favorite things being taken away from you.

Well, I just want to mention that there has never been a better time to go vegan than now! There are more meat, dairy, and egg substitutions in grocery shelves than there have ever been. There are more resources outside of your circle to turn to for advice online, and apps (or a Google search) that will locate vegan friendly restaurants nearby any area!

Being Vegan is no longer underground, so why do so many people feel that they can’t do it or eventually give up?

Throughout my transition to vegan these past 2 years, I have been most commonly confronted with these Three challenges.

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What your loved ones that have known you as an omnivore, or even as a vegetarian, throughout your relationship have to say, will be one of the first obstacles that you will have to endure. This is because as mentioned earlier, food is an emotional connection with memories attached to it. And this change may make your loved ones feel as if you can’t share that with them anymore; as if you’re taking those times away from them.

Being Mexican, I was faced with a cultural challenge. Mexican food is known for carne asada, mariscos (seafood), tamales, and posole. Even the majority of rice and beans contain lard or chicken stock! And rejecting a family meal or abuelita’s (grandma’s) cooking can be taken seriously offensively.

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I finally came to the solution that you just have to let your loved ones know that emotional connection over the table doesn’t have to end. I have found that they need to see that you’re still eating familiar foods, and aren’t necessarily cutting foods out of your diet but rather adding different ingredients to your daily meals. So, show up at that family party with loaded vegan nachos, or invite them over for a stack of vegan pancakes with coconut butter for breakfast!

With some patience and sincerity about your decision to transition to vegan, your loved ones can become more open to learn about what your food actually is. Just as you want them to be supportive of you, keep in mind that you also need to be supportive to them; acceptance and cooperation is necessary on both ends.

For some people the transition to vegan was literally over night. It was decided one day, and they never looked back. But  since we all approach situations differently, going vegan in one singular moment won’t always happen. Aiming for perfection on the first try commonly discourages people when they make a mistake and “cheat”. Personally, I cut out meat in increments.

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I began with removing all red meat, then continued with removing all seafood, and I eventually removed white meat last. IT WAS A PROCESS. I used the same method when I transitioned to vegan. I began with replacing milk in my cereal and coffee to soy and dairy cheese to Daiya cheese, followed by eggs, and eventually pastries and desserts. The method was repeated with make-up and self care products; piece by piece. It was a year long process, but nonetheless there was daily progress that led to the big picture. Small daily habits compound into your big picture.

Vegan is about doing less harm, whether it be less harm to the animals, the environment, or to your body, the idea behind it is to harm less, and not about perfection.

Focus on the things that you have changed and be proud of yourself for persisting and going at your own pace! Persistence is progress, and progress is what gets you to your goal.

I finally want to add that, your body is going to go through changes to adjust to your change of diet, and every body is different! It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s assumptions about whatever effects the transformations in your body will be, but it’s most important that you listen to what your body needs. Remember that removing these ingredients is cleansing your body, and like many with many juice and pill cleanses, there is a possibility of some uneasiness. Your body is removing toxins and changing its composition, and it’s an opportunity to observe what your body is asking for.

I can recall a week when I was only eating a few raw carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes with hummus for lunch, only to be getting headaches after a couple of days in doing so. I quickly learned that my body was burning the vegetables calories extremely fast, and I wasn’t replenishing my vitamins quickly enough because I waited to have my meals as long as I would wait when I was a vegetarian.

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My body was letting me know through a headache that I was going to need more than just a few veggies, so I doubled the amount and ate within’ the next two hours. I never experienced that headache again, and I continue to eat that meal someday for lunch. It’s truly about figuring out what your body needs in accordance to your activity, which is also helps you to figure more about your self.

Becoming vegan has been a non stop journey of self improvement and mindfulness. This is because I began to practice persistence and self control on a daily basis. This journey helped me become patient with myself, knowing that a single step at a time is just as much progress as taking the full leap. And even though the vegan jokes from others never stop, you influence more people to make some kind of change in their lives too. You never know what the example of your determination and commitment can do to change not only your life, but also whosever else is admiring your change.

Accepting The Things You Can’t Change

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Meg is a fun loving wife and mother while maintaining her career as a nurse.  She is a life-time journaler, yogi, and self-proclaimed vegan chef.  She also loves to escape and find hemailrself lost in her own thoughts on a morning run or scenic walk.  Water is her element and as a little girl, she wanted to be a mermaid, spending her days  frolicking in the ocean.  She understands that the best things in life are also usually the most challenging.  She lives by her motto, “be present, be brave”. Follow her on Instagram @megsgershon.


Accepting the things you cannot change… doesn’t mean you have to roll over like a dog, but it may mean you have to make some difficult decisions, like

“should I stay or should I go?” 

Or may have you putting the Frozen sound track on repeat in your head singing,

“Let it go, let it go!!…”

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So much I’ve loved and lost in life because I thought it was supposed to follow a certain script, often trying to fit a square peg in a round hole due to my people pleasing nature, or because my spirit and my psyche weren’t on the same page.

Watch any patch of sea, and it’s never completely still.  Even when the winds are calm, the deep undercurrents remain invisible to the naked eye until they reach the surface. Here lies the great mysteries of life- the faith that you have what it takes to weather any storm.

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We are all reflections of each other in some way, and the only way to change a reflection, is to change yourself.

Ours is a journey all our own.  And if the picture isn’t what you were wanting or hoping to see, here is how to accept it.

Take a deep breath and connect to the earth.  I suggest taking a walk in the night sky, observing how small you are by looking at the stars above.  Or stand next to a tree and feel it’s strength rooted into the ground.  Do whatever it takes to center yourself.

Admit your ignorance of what to do instead of offering advice.

When someone comes to you in pain, be there to soak it in, not to empty your pockets of all you think you know.  Allow space for the feelings to come through and show empathy by reflecting it back.

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Choose your battles wisely.

Is this about them, or is it really about you?

Answer this question often and honestly.  Sometimes accepting the things we cannot change, means we have to move on because the pain is too repetitious and too deep.  When this happens, the only way to let it go, is to remove yourself from the situation.  This may be permanent, or temporary, but anything that’s meant to be will come back.

Love  completely.  As a human being, I have weathered many storms in life.  When people ask me how I knew J was “the one”- I would reply “He was the first person who accepted ALL of me and additionally, there is not a single thing I would change about him.”  We reflected each other by our similar experiences.  Admittedly, there were times I threatened to leave him, but they were foolish.  I knew this the minute he admitted his wrongdoing or shortcomings and I found myself just wanting to be there, without judgement as I knew he would do the same for me.

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As  a nurse, I have seen life’s difficulties bring people together in ways they never thought possible, to live their fullest, richest life.  I have also seen people fall apart and have to walk away and sometimes, this provides the freedom needed to weather their own battle.

Accepting the things YOU cannot change, means you must accept yourself.  Be happy with your own existence.  Be still your heart.

Do Not Look For Love

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Author Bio: Preeti Singh is an Indian French Interpreter and Media Professional who is engag
ed in writing scripts. In her free time she loves to play sundry characters for television series and feature films.
You can get in touch with her at:

 How searching for ‘Love and Acceptance’ could make our lives ‘Miserable’:

At some point of time, nearly all of us have experienced the feeling of rejection – when love is not reciprocated.  Every one of us wishes to feel valued, cherished, and taken care of. It boosts our self esteem and makes us feel good about ourselves. But, lets say, if love is not returned back- what should we do at such moments? Should we dig more, or stop looking for?
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The answer is never easy and not always the one that we like to hear. But if something is making us miserable and not a happy person that we deserve to be – then we should opt out of it and stop looking for love and acceptance. If something is making our lives miserable then its time to stop looking for it, specially – love and affection.
‘We should not look for love – not just at the wrong places, but – not at any place at all’.

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Reasons why we should not look for love:

Expectation make us unhappy and worn out; when they are not fulfilled .
Running after something is tiresome, and exhausting and viciously draining.
 Wanderer and searchers are never at rest-  as they are always wanting.
To be at peace – we have to stop searching, running after, and expecting.
The moment we stop looking for love, we become relaxed and calmer.

‘Not everything exists, as it is supposed to exist. Not for all of us, at least’

>> A mother should love her child. But, if she does not – let it be, do not look for love!
>> A spouse should be a loving partner, but if they are not – let it be, do not look for love!
>> A father should be a protector, but, if he is not- let it be, do not look for love!
>> A sibling should be a good friend, but if they are not- let it be, do not look for love!
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How to end the vicious cycle-

 The dos:
1) Either we should accept the situation for what it is or leave it – as it is.
2) Expecting love will make our lives more miserable than – it actually is.
3) The moment we start accepting the reality and stop expecting it to change – we are at peace.
 4) Thats what we are all looking for, and thats what we destroying ourselves – by running after.
5) If something is meant to be, it will be. If not – let it be.

The don’ts:

1) Wait around.
2) Expect always.
3) Pray continuously.
4) Look for change.
5) Search for something better.
All of the above, triggers negative energy and does the complete opposite of what we are looking for.
It makes us more miserable  and in return and sends us back to the place that we were initially trying to escape from – being unloved.

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Alter perception:

>> There is a difference in ‘being alone’ and  feeling lonely.
>>  If we are lonely we could  instead chose to be – alone and aloof.
>> By changing our perspectives we could magically change the outlook.
>> The shortcomings could be viewed as uniqueness and used as an advantage.
>> Loneliness is destined but aloofness is a choice. If we are lonely we could chose to be inspiring and alone and not – lonely and miserable.

Few facts to be accepted:

>> We never had control over other persons emotions – and will never have.
>> We cannot force anyone to feel a certain way for us – period.
>> The only person we have a control over – is our own selves.
The moment we accept our situations, we can find a fix to it or learn to live with it; rather than sitting around and waiting around for a better tomorrow to come. Which may or may not come or come very late in life. Till then we cannot sit and wait.  It would increase the misery and pain – nothing more.
If we indulge into self pity, we will give an open invitation to ‘desperation which is often companied by its sister emotion ‘frustration.
Desperation and frustration goes hand in hand.  It fuels the negative energy and our aura becomes that of a needy, clingy person that everyone wishes to avoid.
There are two ways to look at the single status.
Single and miserable.
Single and desirable.
What happens when we stop looking for love:
>> When we stop looking, we make peace with our current status.
>> Unknowingly, we start to radiate positivity around us and become more desirable.
 >> Ironically, we become an inspiration for other people around us not even knowing it.
The situation is  the same – we were alone, but the treatment was different. Cribbing has never been helpful, and will never be. Asking questions like why me? Will never give the answers we are looking for.
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We all are different:

>> The problems that a beautiful girl living at the other end of the road faces on a daily basis – we are not aware of!
>> The problems that famous celebrities whom we watch on television face in their lives behind the camera – we are not aware of!
>> The problems that our superiors at work face back home – we are not aware of!
>> The problems that a seemingly happy family hides behind the closed doors –  we are not aware of!
When our sufferings could not be the same – why  do we expect our happiness to be the same? Comparison is an open invitation to feel miserable.
Our outlook decides – if we are going to end up being miserable or being inspirational.  Every  challenging situation is a call to step out of our comfort zones. Great stories stem from challenging lives.

I Do- The Promise That is Tested

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Meg is a fun loving wife and mother while maintaining her career as a nurse.  She is a life-time journaler, yogi, and self-proclaimed vegan chef.  She also loves to escape and find hemailrself lost in her own thoughts on a morning run or scenic walk.  Water is her element and as a little girl, she wanted to be a mermaid, spending her days  frolicking in the ocean.  She understands that the best things in life are also usually the most challenging.  She lives by her motto, “be present, be brave”. Follow her on Instagram @megsgershon.


People make promises and then break them all the time.

To keep a promise, you must understand, that it’s not just to someone else, but also to yourself.

“I’ll accompany you, and you’ll accompany me”

is the promise my husband and I repeated to each other on our wedding day over 5 years ago.  A day we stood in front of our closest family and friends as we committed to spending the rest of our lives together.

Little did I know that a wrecking ball was going to come crashing in the window 10 days later, that would test us in so many, many ways. But my husband saved our marriage, by saving himself first.  Huh, you ask?

Remember I said the promise is 2 fold, and lucky for me, he realized he had to start with the man in the mirror.

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Long story (to be told another day) short-  the man I married just admitted he was an alcoholic, and not only needed, but wanted help. At that moment, he didn’t want to be alone for a second, not even in the shower, like he was afraid the world was going to swallow him up.  I was kind of wishing it would swallow me up.

I felt like everything was surreal, like I was watching a movie. Watching someone face their demons head on is certainly scary.  But surely as the sun rises each morning, we found light in our love.  It was as easy, and as hard, as getting up each day and asking, “What can I do to help?”.

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Over the next days, weeks, and months, people asked how I managed to continue living life as usual (as opposed to lying on the couch feeling sorry for myself ).  When you love someone, I mean , really love someone- you love all of them.  I believe that we find reflections of ourselves in those around us.

We’re not all that different from each other after all, and realizing that makes life a little easier. I put myself in his shoes everyday. We became better versions of ourselves and grew in ways that only comes from the hard times.

My husband has become the partner, son, brother, and father that he was destined to be because he started with the man in the mirror.  I am so glad I get to look into that mirror and see myself next to him, as the spouse, daughter, sister and mom I was destined to become by keeping my promise.

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If you’re lucky, you will let go of those that you know you will not be able to hold true to your promises.  If you are even luckier, you will find the one that lets you make a promise to be your best self every day by being together.

How To Cope With Not Fitting In As A Vegan

photoAuthor Bio: Rebecca Sykes is a recent college graduate who obtained a  bachelor degree in communications. She is a writer, who hopes to influence people to change what is on their lifestyle to a vegan one. She is a passionate vegan who educates others on this wonderful lifestyle, whether that be posting articles written by PETA or Mercy For Animals on Facebook or just having a discussion with others on how important a vegan lifestyle  is. You can follow her on her vegan Instagram blog @Got_Vegan.


All my life I have always fit in with others. I’ve always had a big group of friends; I constantly hung out with people, and had plans every weekend. Throughout my time in school from elementary to college I felt as if I belong.

That was until I became vegan.

When I first became vegan the only vegans I knew were my mom and my boyfriend. I was lucky to even have my mom and my boyfriend on my side because I am sure there are people out in this world who are vegetarian or vegan who do not know others who live the same lifestyle.

Feeling as if you are an outsider is completely understandable. However regretting being a vegan or telling others you are vegan should not be the case. I can admit I regret telling others that I am vegan because you can feel the sense of judgment coming from them. I have gotten questions like “what do you eat,” “do you miss meat,” “would you throw up when you are around meat,” and “how could you do that.” Now these weren’t hurtful, the hurtful comments included “I could never do that, I don’t understand how you could,” “God gave us animals” “leather bags are already made might as well just buy it.”

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Not to mention I have gotten many strange looks from people shocked that I went vegan for animals. Most people assume I stopped consuming animal products for my health but I always correct people because I am proud for who I am and you should too!

Coping with not fitting in as a vegan can be hard but there are many alternatives to feel as if you fit in with others including non-vegans.

1.) Take your non-vegan friends to your favorite vegan restaurant. This can show them why you love being vegan and give them a taste of your favorite vegan food. There are many vegan restaurants that have food so similar to animal product food. For example, many vegan joints have burgers that are similar to a Big Mac from McDonalds. Have your friends try this and show them you don’t need animal products to enjoy food.

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2.) Take your non-vegan friends to a farm sanctuary. Not only is this a fun outing but a great way to show your friends why you are vegan. Who doesn’t love animals? Your friend’s eyes might open and this will give them a chance to critically think about their actions. Also your friends can have the opportunity to speak to the people who saved the animals and speaking to strangers about animal welfare and rights gives them the chance to really engage in conversation about animal welfare.

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3.) Cook your friends a vegan meal and show them how easy it is to make simple vegan meals. Prove to your friends that going vegan doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. I always hear this myth from many people that being vegan is expensive. It can be if you buy too much products you don’t need. Planning your meals for the week and only buying what is necessary can help you save money. Personally I don’t buy a lot of sweets and snacks because that can be very expensive. Show your friends what you buy in a week and let them know that you are willing to help them buy vegan food.

Now if your friends are not willing to try any of these things and you still feel as if you don’t fit in as a vegan, do not fret, there are many options to feel as if you belong. And what better way to feel as if you belong than finding vegan friends!

This might sound as if I am telling you to find new friends. No! You can still be friends with people who don’t have the same beliefs as you. Though this can be hard, you can find yourself vegan friends to feel as if you belong.

Unfortunately this is easier said than done. But there are ways and you must not forget there are vegans near you you just have to look!

1.) Use social media to find vegans nearby! Whether that means making an Instagram that is solely used to post your vegan findings or whatever people do search for other vegans. My Instagram bio states I am vegan and I have a lot of people requesting to be friends with me that are vegan. Same goes with me, if I see people who say they are vegan I enjoy following them. I feel a sense of fitting in when I see others who share the same lifestyle.

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2.) Looking for that special vegetarian/vegan someone? There are online dating websites that target vegetarian/vegans. This is an excellent was to find someone you want to date that has the same values at you including Greensingles.com, Vegandating.org, and veggieconnection.com. These are the perfect sites to find someone that you could potentially see yourself with for the rest of your lives.

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3.) Not a social media or online person? Look no further than vegan festivals! There are many vegan festivals that happen throughout the world. This can be the perfect way to meet others that are veg and you can feel as if you belong. I know when I start to feel down about myself, not knowing a lot of vegans, I go to vegan festivals and I feel happy, as if I belong. There are so many wonderful people that attend vegan festivals and the perfect opportunity to make friends because you know most of the people attending live in the area.

Now if nothing I have written has helped at all with you feeling as if you fit it, do not feel down. You are contributing to the world and we need more people like you more than ever before. The animals, the planet and your health are thanking you for your lifestyle you have chosen.

I have felt down plenty of times before, I felt as if I didn’t fit in especially the people I have known my whole life.

Then I started meeting vegans on Instagram and at vegan events, I felt reassured that I do fit in and that there are many people who feel the same way. So do not give up and keep vegging!