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Life Update: about this blog, veganism, disordered eating and more!

It's been so long since I wrote a blog post containing a recipe much less a long blog post about my life. So, where have I been? I remember how obsessed with this blog I used to be: 3 posts a week, cooking so so much, taking pictures, obsessing over my Fb page likes. Then life happened and this blog took a back burner. But lately I've been thinking about getting back to it; just not looking through the same lens as I once looked at it.

I started this blog in 2013, two years after I went vegan because I wanted to share my newfound love for cooking and all my recipes with all of you, my wonderful readers. It's been such an amazing 6 years, even when the blog wasn't my focus. I met so many people, photographed so much food, learned about cooking and baking and so much more. I never monetized the blog because I didn't want it to become a job. So I did it for fun, as a hobby and it was (and still is) a wonderful outlet. But my outlook on food, veganism and my life in general has changed.

I moved to NYC in 2014 and needed to focus on supporting myself but I kept blogging. My life completely changed when I moved. It was tough at first and it took alot of adjustment time for me. I bought a yoga studio business, taught yoga and meditation, supported myself with side jobs and focused on meeting people and making friends.

Cut to now....I still own the studio, I walk dogs as a side job and I'm pretty settled into life here. I'm still vegan, I will always be vegan but it has become such a part of me (I've been vegan 8.5 years now) that I don't talk about it much. By now my family knows, my friends know, it's become much more mainstream since 2013 and baking doesn't excite me as much. I mean, I still cook but cooking, taking pictures, writing out recipes, talking them up is something I've needed a break from.

My exercise routine has changed for the better. I ran for so many years and now I'm taking a break and focusing on lifting weights. In fact, I'm OBSESSED with it. It brings me alot of joy and satisfaction, I see alot of improvement in my body and it's something I've jumped into as much as I've jumped into running. Exercise was never an issue with me as far as liking it and being motivated to do it. I was never able to combine exercise with a consistent food intake, though.

Which brings me to eating and my relationship with food. It hasn't been great lately at all. I started this nutrition program which focused on macros so I tracked everyday for like 85 days or something and as I was approaching the 3 month mark, I started binging. Just eating without thinking, eating more than I should, not counting anything or measuring my portions. It was very out of control and I've been feeling guilty and horrible after a binge. As if my relationship with food is controlling me and telling me how to live and how to feel. Then I went into Thanksgiving which was another few days being out of my routine and eating more than normal. The binging has slowed down a little bit and I went back to tracking but I'm still having problems, especially in the evening before bed. It's as if all my feelings and anxiety is pushed back to this time of day so that I eat my feelings. I get into this pattern of wanting something sweet so I have it because depriving myself never works but then I eat something sweet and I can't stop. I'm sure I need to go to a therapist for this but I just can't afford one and I don't think I've exhausted all of my self help tactics.

As I look over the last few years, I guess my relationship with food has gone downhill as I continue to use binging as a coping mechanism. I don't want to keep binging because it sets me back with weight loss goals but also because it's not a healthy way (in my opinion) to deal with my issues. A therapist would probably be beneficial but ultimately it's just going to me, there, at that moment making the decision to eat way more than I should so I really need to help myself through this.

I'm hesitant to jump right back into recipes again when I'm going through this period of disordered eating. I'm not sure if I have a full blown eating disorder so I feel like disordered eating sounds more accurate. My plan now is KEEP GOING. Keep lifting weights, working out in a way that brings me joy, eat healthy, track my food, track my macros and just push through the feelings of anxiety and stress that makes me reach for food.

Veganism and weight loss is used in conjunction by so many bloggers and social media influencers and it drives me a little nuts. Veganism is a lifestyle; plant-based is the diet. A plant-based diet doesn't magically cure you of an eating disorder, it doesn't guarantee weight loss, it doesn't mean that a huge plate of vegetables ends up in front of you for every meal-all of that is your decision. Weight loss is tricky and different for everyone so if you were already a healthy vegetarian before going vegan, you may not lose any weight. And a plant-based diet doesn't mean you don't eat sugar or don't eat more than you should. Now that so many foods are made vegan, you can pretty much eat anything you want.

Disordered eating doesn't disappear unless you do the work and I haven't completed my work with my relationship with food. Eliminating meat, dairy and eggs doesn't mean disordered eating has ended; I just choose to leave animals off my plate for ethical reasons. Veganism, to me, is a lifestyle motivated by ethical, moral reasons and it's very personal. Being vegan for the animals or for your health or for the environment is going to drive you to STAY vegan more than vanity. Going vegan because you want to lose weight or feel less bloated or tone up is not going to be enough of a reason to stay vegan. Changing your body is about looking at your relationship with food and getting real about it. Weight loss is so much about what you're eating and how you're eating rather than how much cardio you're doing. I have info in my highlights on instagram about veganism and weight loss. I also tell my whole going vegan story.

Are any of you reading this going through struggles with food? Do you have any books or other references that have helped you get through this? I plan on continuing to share my older recipes to my fb page and instagram stories. I made and blogged countless past recipes that I want to start appreciating....looking back to where I have come from and giving myself credit for everything I cooked or baked and wrote about. My blog is my history not only in the kitchen but in other parts of my life. I will start to test and blog new recipes, just not right now. So I hope you stay with me and keep reading!

I recently released an online mindfulness and meditation training for my yoga studio and one of the exercises is mindful eating. I want to bring this more into the forefront here with my blog and do more videos to help people who are going through the struggles I'm experiencing. I'm hoping to make a plan about this before the new year so that I can start fresh with a creative mind in 2020. I'm flexing my creativity in 2020; I want to keep writing, I want to finish my fiction novels; I want to do things that make me happy.

I wrote this inspirational saying to post on instagram and I wanted to leave this here because it calms me. I hope it helps you too.

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