Ahimsa is an interesting topic, within the yogic realm. The Sanskrit word literally translates to nonviolence, and while we tend to focus this on how we treat ourselves and others (both very important things!), we tend to stop talking there. As radical as it might sound, it’s just as important to practice ahimsa with all nature—not just people. This can mean a lot of different things to everyone, but for me it means choosing to eat a vegetarian diet. Not everyone will agree with me as I say this, and that’s ok! But personally, choosing nonviolence means actively trying to take care of people, animals, and the nature around us. While this does not mean eating a plant-based diet for everyone, it does mean making sure that everything you eat has been taken care of with kindness.
That all being said, I’ve only just begun to go vegetarian in the last two weeks. I think I’m slowly turning yoga-crazy, and I love every second of it.
For the first time that I can remember, I prepped to go vegetarian with a list of everything David and I were going to eat that week, with a complete grocery list written out and everything. It was AMAZING to have that kind of planning. Groceries were cheaper, because I wasn’t just putting in my cart anything that caught my eye, and I had a full plan with my dietary requirements met without having to think about it while I was in the store. The first week was a grand experiment, where I tried a few recipes I’d never tried before, and settled down with a few comfortable foods I’ve loved since childhood. I meal-prepped more than I ever had, and while it was more work at first, I was actually grateful for it later in the week. First week = success.
The second week was a little harder, just because I didn’t plan so stringently. However, that led to a little more freedom in what I decided on that day, when I felt like cooking. We might have eaten out a lot more this week, but I stuck to my healthier plan, and I kept it plant-based!
I have been, overall, surprised that the transition hasn’t been as hard as it seemed. I find myself missing certain dishes, but on the whole my body feels better, and I am happier. I’m only a few weeks in, but I have already noticed a positive difference in my body.
For those of you who love meat, remember that chicken and fish are the healthiest of the lot. There’s nothing wrong with a good steak now and then, but make sure to remember to eat it sparingly so that you avoid the heavy feeling that meat manifests in the body. And for those of you interested in kindly-treated animal ingredients, such as eggs, remember to buy them pasture-raised. This ensures that the hens providing for your meal were treated with lots of pasture to tread and healthy food to eat. Meat should be organic and grass fed, and researching a company before buying their products is always a good idea—or at least thoroughly reading the label. I highly recommend it.
Below are three recipes for some of my favorite dishes I’ve made so far—one I learned in college, one I learned from childhood, and one I learned two weeks ago! In that order. Enjoy!
Whole Grain Toast
Before putting the toast in the pan, cut out a sizable hole out of the middle for the egg. Put a dab of butter in your pan, place the toast down, and then crack an egg into the hole. Let it toast for a minute or two, and then flip to the other side. Feel free to toast the little circle you cut out or eat it while the egg cooks!
To make the Guacamole:
Cut open one or two avocados and mash them into a bowl. Squeeze one lime into the mashed avocado, and salt and pepper to taste. Put in a dash each of garlic powder and garlic salt. Knife onto your egged toast and enjoy!
Easy Tomato Pasta
Cook egg noodles in water with a dash of olive oil. As the egg noodles cook, put frozen peas into a pan and bring to a boil. Drain both, when cooked. Pour tomato sauce onto the noodles and add the peas, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. If you like it cheesy, add some and stir in to melt!
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burgers