Monday, February 1, 2010

"Make Me Whole"

So I finally did it... get your minds out of the gutter!  I officially went off processed foods... well I became a pseudo-vegan!

Last week I watched this movie about where the food in our grocery stores comes from, and that was enough to turn me off 90% of what they sell there forever.  This probably seems dramatic, but if you watched the movie you'd be disgusted as well.

Most of the food we buy in the grocery store is not even 'real' food.  By that I mean, that most of what we buy there is processed, or so filled with chemicals and hormones that you might not even know what it really tastes like.  So when I say I'm a pseudo-vegan, I'm officially off meats and dairy but I'm still going to eat fish.  Just not fish sticks... real fish!  Now I don't mean that I will never eat meat ever, but only if it's 100% organic.  I am not buying any more pre-packaged/processed foods in the store, but I will attempt to cook a lot more and make healthier choices when it comes to convenience options.

Now I have always been health conscious, mostly so that I can practise what I preach.  I want to feed my body good food so that I can get everything I demand out of it.  I always avoided fast food, and I am that person who never gets cheese on my sub at Subway, but I never realized how much other "crap" I was eating.

Tonight I went and familiarized myself with the Organic & Vegan section of my local grocery store.  I bought organic Yogurt, several pounds of vegan meats, and soy cheeses.  I'm not giving up the foods I love, just finding healthier options.  I raided the fruits and vegetable section, and also found whole grain options of all the starchy foods that I love.  I do realize that this kind of shopping/eating is going to be expensive, but I will probably become a less wasteful person in the process.  This food will all go bad faster than chemical filled foods, but that's the trade-off.  I'm not going to be one of those die-hard vegans, but I am vouching to only eat real whole foods.

So what does this have to do with my studio you ask... well the very first parent in my doors tonight brought with them 2 dozen donuts from Tim Hortons to celebrate her son's birthday.  Normally I would indulge myself with one, as they are sitting on my desk, but instead I restrained myself the entire evening.  I can't make a rule that says "no crappy food allowed" in the studio, but I probably will write up a newsletter to all my parents letting them know about the benefits of feeding their kids good food before dance class, and in general.  It's not to scare people about what they're eating, but just to realize that as dancers we demand a lot out of our bodies and as parents and teacher we should be encouraging kids to make better choices when it comes to food.

I discovered there is a Vegan restaurant near my house, which I will visit this week at some point to familiarize myself with their menu.   Some of my friends and me even went to our favorite little Mexican Restaurant on Friday and I ordered a vegetarian burrito dinner with no cheese or sour cream.  I had fresh salad, rice and tons of vegetables all without the guilt.  I think there are many ways I can eat well even within my lifestyle of not eating at home all the time.

My vegan chocolate cupcakes are in the oven, and I'm about to get some potatoes cooking for my Vegan Shepherd's Pie for tomorrow.  My mother will probably fall out of her chair when she reads that I am cooking!

There is just something really satisfying about cooking things from scratch with healthy ingredients and then enjoying them afterwards.  It's the same feeling that I get after a great night of contemporary classes.  I am tired, sweaty and cannot feel most of my major muscle groups... but it is so satisfying!

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