Notes from a New Meditator

Before embarking on this journey of self-care through yoga and meditation, I had no idea what meditation was let alone how to actually do it. “Sit.” “Breathe.” “Let your thoughts go.” Well, I could sit and I could breathe, but let my thoughts go? How in the world do you just stop thinking? Spoiler: you don’t! It turns out I had it all misunderstood. Meditation isn’t just about sitting, breathing and letting your thoughts go or telling the mind to hush. Meditation is about being okay with the natural human processes of the mind and the body and learning to love the fact that you exist in such a beautiful human way!

Along my journey, I learned that meditation is a practice in relaxing into myself. When I began relaxing into my body, feeling the air of my inhales and exhales, peacefully sitting with my eyes closed and focused just on my breaths, I was meditating! It was so simple once I got there. And that’s just it. Meditation is a process and a practice for recognizing and enjoying the self without the extra thought baggage that sometimes blocks our view of the miracle.

photo by @ _communal_

The Best Beginner Tips for Veganism

If you’ve recently made the decision to go vegan, congratulations! Sometimes taking that first step can be the most difficult part of the journey, however, we can assure you that this is a transition you will be grateful for making.

When you first make the switch, things can feel pretty overwhelming to say the least. You might not know where to start or have a clear idea of what things you should eat and what you shouldn’t, but don’t panic; we’re here to help you. With time, you’ll find yourself getting creative in the kitchen and discovering new recipes and meals that will excite you!

Here are some of my best beginner tips for veganism that will make the start of your vegan journey run smoothly.

Do Your Research

With sites like Google and YouTube right at our fingertips, there are thousands of websites and documentaries available to educate yourself on veganism.

This tip is essential as doing your research will allow you to discover the core foods and nutrients that your body needs, provide you with new recipes and ideas for meals, familiarize yourself with healthy and/or harmful ingredients to look out for, and so much more.

With veganism, you can never educate yourself enough! If you are curious or have a question about something, try looking it up! You’ll almost always be able to find the answer.

Start with Alternatives 

As a beginner to a vegan diet, it’ll take some time before you start to utilize your own cooking and recipes to replace your favorite previously loved non-vegan meals.

An easy way to ease into veganism without completely ridding yourself from some of your favorite meals is to purchase vegan alternatives and substitutes. If you’ve always loved burgers, swap out a meat burger for a veggie burger. If you’ve always loved milk, try out almond, coconut or soy milk and determine which one you like best!

While I don’t recommend you rely too heavily on vegan-based alternative foods that contain a lot of soy as you move forward in your vegan diet, it is a great starting point to get you moving along. If you decide to go along with this step, don’t forget to sustain yourself with plenty of whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables alongside the alternatives that you choose to eat!

Find a Partner

Whether this be a family member or a friend in person or online, find someone who can support you and possibly even embark on this brand new journey with you! Whomever this friend may be, they might be able to provide you with some additional knowledge on veganism that you may not have even been aware about.

Having a partner in general is a great way to gain some extra support and motivation when it comes to lifestyle switches such as this one.

Stay Prepared 

One of the downsides to being vegan is that not every place or situation accommodates the vegan diet. Always be prepared to deal with a lack of vegan options whether you are going out to eat with a friend or attending a meeting.

It’s important to make sure you have some snacks like nuts, fruit or energy bars with you whenever you come across moments like these!

Be Patient

When starting out as a vegan, patience is key. It’ll take some time before you master determining what is vegan and what isn’t or how to perfect certain recipes to your liking, however, if at any point you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it!

Just with everything else that we do, practice makes perfect. In no time you’ll become a master of the vegan diet and with these tips, I hope you’ll now have a solid foundation as you get started. Best of luck!

Part 1: Discovering Self Love

Part 1: Discovering Self Love 

People often look at my Instagram and assume that I have it all together. The truth is, just like a lot of people, self-love hasn’t always been easy. It’s a practice I consciously work at each day. For the first time in my Getting Loved Up column, I wanted to share a bit more about my journey and the practices that have helped me find self-love. Yoga, meditation and plant based eating are key ingredients in my self-love practice.

I wasn’t always the yogi you see on social media. When I first started yoga, I couldn’t even touch my toes! It started in college, when I injured myself from running track and field. Before my injury, I pushed myself to work as hard as I possibly could to be the best on the field. I would push myself past my body’s limits, but when I got injured, my body forced me to slow down. It was really hard for me to do that at first – I didn’t know life without track and field. A school counselor recommended I try yoga, and that’s how I started my yogic journey…

Read the full story here



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