Food Choices

I currently practice a moderate form of veganism, which means I do not eat the flesh of any animal, and I avoid the consumption of all dairy products. Although I believe in animal rights, and I practice compassion and non-injury (ahimsa) in my daily life, my entry point to the vegan life was a dairy allergy. Unfortunately, my excessive consumption of all things dairy, resulted in a pretty severe scalp condition, a mild form of eczema, frequent occurrences of acne, stomach pains, and high-levels of mucus; however, before being officially diagnosed with an allergy, a friend who had been doing some research on the effects of dairy consumption, suggested that I eliminate dairy from my diet in order to see if any or all the symptoms disappeared. Who would have thought that fifteen days after eliminating dairy, I would have clearer skin, a settled stomach, and no morning/afternoon/evening mucus to contend with? Even without the doctor’s imprimatur, I knew a dairy-free lifestyle was for me.

My resurgence of health also prompted me to do some food research of my own, and I soon discovered that most of my food choices were unconscious, and negatively influencing my health and my life. I realized that consuming  gluten caused me to become sick, unusually fatigued and cognitively fogged; I noticed that I felt listless and uncommunicative after sugar consumption, and after eating flesh, I felt plain sad. Conversely, after eating fruits and vegetables, I felt more lucid and more energetic.

When I decided to practice veganisim, I found a wonderful support system—an entire food movement; there were other people in my physical community, my Facebook community and blogger community who have also made the decision to live in a way that is sustainable and supports health and wellness. I discovered  CSAs and farmers markets, I found vegan restaurants and supermarkets that specialize in whole, local foods.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be on this journey at this time in my life. I am still shaping my perception of food, and I am still considering what it means to be a Black-identified, lesbian-identified, sometimes-Buddhist, female vegan in America, and I know that this is not consideration that can happen in exclusivity; it is a conversation.

It is a conversation about who has access to whole foods and why.

It is a conversation about change and sustainability.

It is a conversation about spirituality and community.

It is a conversation about environmental ethics.

It is a conversation about social justice.

Please be a part of the conversation.

ezh

A Few Good Reads:

In Defense of Food / Michael Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma/ Michael Pollan

Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society / A. Breeze Harper (Editor)

Potatoes NOT Prozac / Kathleen DesMaisons

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