January was an auspicious month.
2018 kicked off with the wolf moon on New Year’s Day and the super blue blood moon finished out the lunar cycle yesterday, leaving us with a few potent opportunities to reflect, to reset and to recreate some new ways of living.
Over the last 31 days, I’ve committed to sobriety and veganism. While the time certainly flew by, I am proud of myself for creating and honoring these commitments to my health. My discipline is undeniable and it feels extremely empowering to proclaim resolutions and to celebrate the accomplishments.
Being dry for the entire month was much easier than I anticipated, considering how much I’ve imbibed throughout the years. Regressive patterns tend to show up without expectation so I was nervous that I would miss the vice. Still, I had enjoyed weeks without it in the past so I knew I could do it and I was overdue for a much needed break.
Throughout the month, I assumed the disclaimer that I wasn’t allowed to have a single drop. Mission accomplished! I definitely thought of how nice it would be have a glass of wine when I got home from a long day or to enjoy a margarita with my (vegan) tacos but it really wasn’t necessary. I genuinely like a good fizzy water (i.e. Seltzer, San Pellegrino, Orangina) so those became nice substitutes. And when I went out for tacos with friends, I tried out something I wouldn’t normally order-Horchata, a rice-milk based cinnamon drink.
Today, I feel great and I sincerely believe that my relationship with substances can be healthy and balanced in the future. And while I’m not rushing to have a drink today, I am going to pitch a new brewery for Après Yoga events tomorrow so I’ll have to sample the product before I finalize the deal.
NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS
A friend suggested I join him in removing red meat from our diets for the month of January but since I rarely eat red meat as it is, I took it one step further and decided to go vegan. (SIDE NOTE: I heard he ate short ribs on January 1st)
Going vegan for the month was actually a lot more challenging than going dry. While I usually prefer to eat a plant-based diet, I’m still not convinced that going 💯 vegan is for me. I absolutely love eating vegetables and helping the environment so I figured it would be an easy change. I was wrong, vegans are a lot more limiting than vegetarians. I was wrong. In the beginning of the month, I found myself craving an Italian sub or a Filet Mignon. The cravings subsided but I still caved twice and opted for fish. (I was served cioppinni and grilled salmon at special events and it was divine!)
Throughout the month, I realized how vegans are a lot more limited in food choices than vegetarians. Luckily, San Francisco is a healthy foodie town so I can enjoy my almond milk latte with a vegan pastry. But a vegan pastry is still a pastry and loaded with sugar. I had less choices when it came to quick and easy eats so I found myself substituting my vices of alcohol and meat for sugar and caffeine.
I know I have an opportunity to get more creative and prepare my own vegan meals at home but I’m a busy woman and I don’t always have the time or energy to make something else for dinner besides soup, salad or a grain bowl. So today, I’m stepping off the vegan wagon but I can see myself favoring the vegan options in the future. I want to eat clean and protect all the precious creatures that inhabit the Earth.
In the end, its all about balance.
If you are considering going dry or vegan, here are the 10 benefits I’ve enjoyed from my January challenge:
TOP 10 BENEFITS OF BEING A DRY VEGAN YOGINI:
10) Lighter Disposition
I’m a much happier person without booze.
9) Regulated System
That’s right. No further explanation needed.
8) Slimmer Waistline
Less sugar and dairy = less bloat
7) More Energy
Caffeine helps with this too but I definitely feel more energized.
6) Break on the Bank Account
Animal products & alcohol cost more $ than veggies & soda water!
5) Clear & Focused Mind
Look into my eyes and you can see the clarity shine through!
4) Better Sleep
No hangovers allowed, you wake up refreshed and ready for the day!
3) Increased Productivity
More time to do what motivates you every day!
2) Creative Use of “Extra” Time
More time to be present, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Take walks, have deep conversations, meditate.
1) More Strength
This is probably the most obvious benefit for me. My arm balances have been rock solid lately and I can definitely attribute that to my overall improved health and well being!
Congratulations to my fellow Dry January friends! If you ever feel inspired to join me for another challenge like this, feel free to reach out. I would be glad to support you along your path to improved health and vitality. As always, #youdoyou!