The Rabbit Food Diaries: 4, 3, 2, 1

It's the final countdown (*cue epic music*).

The Rabbit Food Diaries has flown by so fast, y'all. To be honest, I'm not even entirely sure that I'm ready for it to end in just FOUR DAYS. I know it's not some long, arduous journey through the wilderness (i.e., Cheryl Strayed in Wild) or a three-tiered life makeover in foreign countries (i.e., Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love), but it still feels like this has been a massive shift for me. Everyone I talk to now is marvelously supportive, although it was definitely hard for me to find my footing at first. And truthfully, I can't tell whether or not it's because I had to begin this whole thing by weeding people out of my life who were being judgmental, or because now the people I surround myself with are just used to me repeatedly saying, "Sorry, I can't eat that" (I say it a lot).

At the very least, all this has gotten infinitely easier to talk about more openly. When I started this little adventure, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to share it. A friend encouraged me, and so I figured, what could it hurt to share this semi-weird thing that I'm doing with a bunch of strangers on the interwebs? Surely they've seen weirder. And there's certainly got to be someone out there who's going through a transition in their life like me. If anything, it could only help us come together and garner more support for each other. Maybe I'll make some new friends, or maybe I'll learn more about myself by writing as I go. And I'm so incredibly happy and grateful that I did decide to share with y'all.

Now, some out there have been e-mailing, asking me questions about everything, and I wanted to address the FAQs properly. I'm going to have to do another version of TRFD again in the fall season (repeat offender, this time a bit shorter but more intense), so it's not something that will be leaving the HTP sphere anytime soon. I'm just taking a bit of a hiatus now that the 140 days will soon be over - July 1, I'm looking at you - to regain my sanity a bit before diving back in. With that in mind, onto the FAQs!

1. Do you feel a difference in your body?
Yes, 100%. I feel cleaner, clearer, and stronger. A lot of that I also attribute to now doing yoga at least once a day, but the difference in food intake is a major, major factor that cannot and should not be overlooked. Any time you eliminate things from your diet, you're going to feel it - whether or not that's like me going for broke with plant-based foods, or if you "forget" to eat veggies for a few days in a row (admit it, you know you've been there at some point). Either way, that difference always rears it's head. Your body screams for one thing or the other, and you try to feed it accordingly. Mine just is a bit speedier with the messages now. For the first month or so, I felt... well, the only word to describe it was "sober." Then I slowly started realizing how different foods energized me, or made me sluggish, or cleared up my skin. It'll be even more interesting coming out of this and experimenting with adding foods back into my diet and watching how they effect me now. Obviously, I'll keep you posted.

2. Have you lost any weight?
I get this question a lot, and it's a little unsettling when I do. I hate to be that girl, but I really, truly, don't weigh myself very often. I really try quite hard not to pay attention to those numbers. It's more important to me to feel good than to be a certain digit on a scale. But! I've been doing so much yoga, and that's built up my muscle mass for sure. So, while I might have lost a touch of weight, I also think that I gained some, too. In general, though, my goal here was NOT to lose weight. I'm 5'0" and a tiny person to begin with - and when I first told a few of my friends that I was going to be doing TRFD, each one of them said the same thing: "You're going to lose so much weight! You'll look like a waif." That's the opposite of what I wanted! So, while I'm eating foods that are plant-based and might indeed be healthier, weight was never a part of TRFD. I don't really make portion control a thing with my new foods, so a lot of the time I'm scarfing down a kale salad with creamy cashew dressing, and before I know it, my plate is completely clean and I'm licking the remnants off the dish. True. Frickin'. Story. I eat more food now than I ever did before.

3. Do you think you'll go back to eating the same way that you did before TRFD?
No - but not for the reasons that you might think. I still miss fried chicken. I still crave cheese. I want to stick my face into a warm, fluffy pita bread and smother everything in butter prior to eating it. You can take the girl out of the south, but you sure as heck can't make the girl stop wanting grits and biscuits as a side to every meal. But, as I learned more about the food industry and about nutrition in general, and as I learned more about the way that livestock is treated, and the links between food and various diseases, there are some things that I won't be able to un-learn, if you catch my drift. I'm actually a bit petrified of introducing certain ingredients back into my diet, and I might hold off on them completely for a while (*ahem* dairy, sorry my love). I also think that this has helped me to learn the balance of food and life - when to eat, how to eat, and what to eat. This is something I more or less took for granted before TRFD, and I was remarkably imbalanced because of it. Now that I was forced to get a better handle, it's become clear that food is essential for life, but can also help combat aches, pains, colds, mood swings, and anything else that my hormones and / or life throws at me. Food is your friend - I honestly think with the right nutrition, it's even better than medication in a variety of circumstances. I recognize that's sort of a controversial thing to say, but... an apple a day, y'all. (FYI - not a doctor. Go to a doctor if you are bleeding or have something serious going on. Don't just eat an apple. Ya know... just as a final note to that thought.)

There you go! If you have any other questions for me, please feel free to send them along to hippieteaparty@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you, and I love answering your e-mails. TGIF, y'all!

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