5.22.2015

The Rabbit Food Diaries: In The Home Stretch

There are only forty days left. Forty more days of rabbit food. And it's strange (admittedly), but I'm feeling a bit sad about it. Don't get me wrong - I can't wait to be able to eat anything and everything I want to again. Having to tell someone, "I can't eat that," is probably one of the saddest sentences I've ever had to utter so many times in the past few months. But this experience has taught me an infinite amount about food, my body, and the way that family, friendships, and experiences can all be shaped by the simple act of eating. I've talked a little bit about the social implications of TRFD before; now that I've been able to settle into my vegan, gluten-free, plant-based little corner of the world, the friends who have stuck by me through this are ones that I know are wholly accepting of me - whoever it is that I need to (or decide to) become in the future. And that alone is a both a very difficult and a very necessary lesson to learn.

Have your cake; eat it, more importantly.
Whenever I have to tell people that I can't eat something they've offered to me, it usually comes partnered with the explanation of TRFD (so they know I'm not just being rude, y'all). And from that, the most frequently asked question is, "What have you learned from doing this?" Without fail, I always sort of sigh loudly when I hear this question - not because it's annoying, but because I have learned so much that it's hard to put it all into a nice, neat little box for someone to understand. One of the most important things that I've learned is how to listen to my body, and I think that's something that a lot of people take for granted and / or neglect. Not being able to consume foods that I previously would binge on - Chex Mix, wine, candy, coffee, cupcakes, fried chicken, BAGELS, just to name a few - at first, I heard my body crying out for all the junk that I was so used to putting into it. And then, as weeks went by, I started hearing other cravings. Bread, sugar, and fried foods were replaced by the unique taste of sweet potatoes. Or the crunch of cucumbers. Or the creaminess of hummus and a fresh avocado. Truthfully, it'll be weird to go back to being able to eat things that now I don't necessarily want them.  How do I explain it to someone (without being stuff or pretentious or rude) after July 1st?

I do want to reiterate that I've fully enjoyed learning how to cook, bake, and shop for food again. There's no way, after TRFD, that I can go back to the days when I didn't look at the labels to read the ingredient listings. It's crazy to me that processed and pre-packaged foods are able to hide so many ingredients without there being more awareness about it (CRAZY). From simply taking the time to read such a small little thing has reinforced in me the enjoyment of just knowing what's going into my meal, and ultimately, my body. Additives in food, whether or not they're considered technically "toxic," are still hiding in there. For the record, I don't think that anyone who eats without reading a label is willfully ignorant; I simply think that food companies (especially big ones) are not in the habit of advertising all that because it's reeeally not user-friendly reading material. All in all, there's something to be said for making your food fresh - and my body can 100% feel that change. Coupled with it, I've learned that if you want to make something, you will find a way to do it, damnit. I've made vegan and gluten-free cakes, pretzels, breads, and more! If there's a will, there's a way. You just have to get a little creative, and do a bit more intensive research. Oh, and practice never hurt anyone. Well, maybe it has in the kitchen. But you get what I'm saying. 

Socially and mentally, I feel like I'm in a much better place now than I was in January. I've started doing yoga regularly, sleeping without waking up in the middle of the night, and my anxiety levels are (strangely enough) waaay down. When I do go back to eating "normally," I've resolved that I'm going to be a lot more conscientious about continuing to keep that healthy balance of plants being a bigger part of my diet. Our bodies are only here on this earth for so long, so I want to make sure I'm taking care of mine in a way that allows it to age gracefully without the terror of fatal diseases hanging over my head. After all, when you start consuming food in a way that makes you feel clear, balanced, and good, why would you go back to eating anything else? Just needed to find a way to make that chocolate cake first. Obviously.

2 comments:

  1. I've never heard of the rabbit food diet. I tend to do a juice cleanse once a month but your experiences intrigue (not to mention I'll be eating clean). Maybe I'll give it a go. Great post!

    The Style Boro

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Aileen!! Just so you know - it's not a "diet" per se. It's an implemented nutritional change that I've been using (under a doctor's supervision) to help clear up some issues I've had. It's been enormously helpful! If you want to know more about it, feel free to e-mail me at hippieteaparty@gmail.com and I can give you the details. :) xx

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