After some controversy over a smoothie photo I posted on Instagram this morning, I decided to write an impromptu blog post on my food philosophy – let’s call it a TBV philosophy sesh. The views I’m about to share here are rooted in food, but they extend to health, relationships, exercise, and overall health and life balance.
I posted a photo of my breakfast this morning, which was a peach, date, banana, honey and granola smoothie (it was delicious). I picked a cool filter, wrote a snappy little caption, and traipsed into a yoga class, all the while blissfully unaware that while I was zenning out Moksha style, there was a heated debate brewing in the comments of my photo. When I got out, I had texts from friends and family gently suggesting that I do something about the argument that had now tainted my cute peach smoothie pic.
While I understand that some ethical vegans do not consider honey “vegan” under the traditional guidelines, I was pretty shocked to read that some people equated my usage of honey to eating meat or fish. I am all about answering friendly questions and quelling innocent confusion, but flat out judging someone for the way they choose to eat is the exact opposite of what my page, and my lifestyle, is all about. I am not trying to reprimand anyone here, but rather softly recommend that if you are someone who is so gung-ho about the way you eat that you are going to look down upon others for their choices, my blog is not the place to be.
In response to the debate, a couple of my followers raised the point that when people try to hold others to a set of “vegan guidelines,” it turns people off from the vegan lifestyle in general. I had a similar experience a few months back when I promoted a friend of mine on my page who makes delicious smoothies and healthy meals – a couple of people went to her page, saw that she ate fish, and came to me upset that I promoted her. I was disheartened back then, as I am now, because no one should be judged for their choices. ESPECIALLY if they are healthy choices!
I strive for my page to be a place where others can gain inspiration to lead a healthier lifestyle while still eating yummy foods. I am vegan, and I am OK with the usage of honey when it is produced in a humane manner. If you disagree with that, I think we should agree to disagree. The variety of beliefs and choices in this world is a beautiful thing – and I completely respect any and all points of view. There is a claim to be made for either side.
I thought this quote was a beautiful reminder of what my blog, and my lifestyle, is all about: “don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” This quest for optimal health begins and ends with you – inside of your own body, your own mind and your own spirit. You don’t have to answer to anyone else. What works for me may not work for you, but we can still feed off of each other and gain inspiration and motivation.
I am vegan for a whole boatload of reasons (I would be happy to elaborate on this if anyone is curious!) but my most crucial reason, and the reason that is most dear to my heart, is because it makes my body feel amazing. I feel healthy, light, glowing, energetic, empowered, happy and fit. I am confident, secure and passionate about my lifestyle. I love to inspire and gain inspiration. I LOVE converting people to veganism and helping others dabble in it. I love hearing about why people choose to eat the way they do, and I love bringing awareness to healthful eating and a balanced way of life.
If you have ever been a situation where you have been judged for doing something you believe in, I hope you found some consolation in this post. I am not angry or upset with anyone, but after careful reflection upon the negativity I received this morning, I thought this was the perfect opening to state and reiterate what TBV is all about: loving yourself, and finding what works best for you. Because I may be blonde and I may be vegan, but first and foremost I am an individual.
On the topic of honey itself… you can read my last post (raw chocolate almond butter cups!) to see the nutritional benefits and to read about why I still consider eating honey “vegan.” If you are still not satisfied, agave is a great alternative! I use agave in lots of recipes.
In other news, I could not be happier or more excited with things that are going on right now. I am LOVING living in NYC, my best friend moved in with me today, I have had some super inspirational meetings and get-togethers with awesome like-minded individuals in the city, I start my creative writing graduate program next Monday, I have found a beautiful yoga studio near me that I enjoy, and I am feeling more stimulated and passionate about life, love and blogging than ever before
It’s a beautiful day, and I hope you are all feeling it too! Xo