I had a crap week last week.
I will save the details for future Saturday fuckery, but it involved somewhat of a breakdown followed by an important epiphany. Which, if you allow breakdowns to happen, epiphanies aren’t usually far behind.
It’s like drinking a bottle of wine on an empty stomach. A hangover is guaranteed.
Details aside, my breakdown happened because I wasn’t taking the time or making choices to keep my foundation solid.
And when our foundation is wobbly we have the tendency to overreact, blow unnecessary things out of proportion, become filled with fear, question our entire life, act like a cranky dick, have a hard time staying focused and ignore the things that will ultimately make us feel better.
On the other hand, when our foundation is rock solid, we go through life being held up, supported, self actualized, inspired, entertained, balanced, happy and capable of handling ourselves like a champ when the shit hits the fan.
And the shit will hit the fan at some point. That’s life.
Building and maintaining a solid foundation is simple in theory.
As much as we are able, we have to take the time to nurture ourselves and then avoid the things that bring us emotional and/or physical pain (either immediate or eventual).
Here are a few examples of what building and maintaining a solid foundation might look like for you:
- getting out in the fresh air and moving your body
- hitting that yoga class
- eating more whole plant foods and less of everything else
- drinking enough water
- reexamining an abusive relationship
- sitting on your meditation pillow
- cleaning out your car
- going grocery shopping and vowing to cook this week instead of eating out
- drinking mineral water instead of booze
- choosing to be happy instead of being right
- getting a solid 7- 8 hours of sleep every night
- giving up crappy habits like smoking
- cleaning out your fridge
- getting caught up on laundry
- saying no to that request
- getting a pedicure…this is fun and I could go on, but you get the point.
To create a foundation that will stand up to any shit storm, swap out the shit that isn’t good for you physically and mentally with the shit that is good for you physically and mentally.
And if you’re not sure where to start, start with upping your sleeping game and eating more whole plant foods and less of everything else. These are two essential factors in creating and maintaining a super solid foundation.
And coincidentally, the better we eat, the better we sleep. It’s like a double headed dildo – a total win-win.
Okay – More good shit and less bad shit. Moving on.
Now I want to bring it home and tie it all together with something that I call the Healthy Eating Threshold.
- Let’s look at Ken. Ken eats nothing but whole plants. Everything he eats is grown in a one mile radius from his yurt, he constantly smells like patchouli mixed with sweat – even after a shower, he doesn’t eat sugar, never wears shoes, sweats chia seeds and won’t touch anything processed that’s been tainted by “big brother”.
Okay – do you have him pictured in your mind, just hanging out slicing an apple with his pocketknife and smiling as he pops each slice into his hippie mouth?
Okay – good.
- Now let’s take a looksy at Julie. Julie is a chick who won’t eat a vegetable, needs meat with each meal or she doesn’t consider it a meal, she drinks soda like Miley Cyrus drinks social media, and she’s convinced herself that Pop Tarts belong in the fruit category.
Let’s go back to Ken. It would be hard for Ken to eat healthier than he already does, and a crappy eating day for him only means that he forgot to drink his wheatgrass shot because he accidentally meditated too long.
For Julie it’s a different story. Julie has lots of room for improvement. If she even swapped out one of her McDonald’s burgers for a veggie burger just a few times a week it would be a great start. And a crappy eating day for Julie might mean she skipped breakfast, ate a Snickers bar for lunch and had cheese fries for dinner.
So – Ken’s Healthy Eating Threshold is quite high and Julie’s Healthy Eating Threshold is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Here’s the thing.
Each and every single one of us has a Healthy Eating Threshold, and they are as unique as our morning bathroom routine or how we choose to groom our pubic hair (or not, especially if you’re Ken’s woman).
So when I hear people spouting attitude about faux meat it drives me batty.
Whether it’s from the school of thought that faux meat is too much like the real thing and the whole reason for going vegan is to stop eating meat and anything reminiscent of meat.
Or the campers who see faux meat as being a poor substitution for “real food”.
Faux meats aren’t good and they’re not bad. What they do is play an important role in people’s lives who happen to have a lower Healthy Eating Threshold.
For Julie who has just been told by her doctor that she needs to get her cholesterol and blood pressure down and to watch out for diabetes, a meaty, teeth sinking, satisfying vegan burger is a godsend.
For Ken, he doesn’t need it. Good for him.
But for the love, we’re not all Kens. If people find comfort in faux meats to help them eat less regular meat, it’s an awesome day in my book. And as the Healthy Eating Threshold gets higher, the less necessary faux meats will be because the diet will become more nutrient dense and less dependent on comforting and familiar alternatives to meat.
And once we’re running on an abundance of nutrients, amazing things start to happen and our foundation starts to feel super fucking solid.
And there’s absolutely no shame in eating a vegan turkey on rye in the effort to get there. We all learned to crawl before we got our ass up on two legs and booked it.
Start working on your foundation right this minute by making this nutrient-rich soup. And if you want to eat it with a side of vegan chicken fingers, then go on with your bad self!
Whole Food Plant Based Sweet Tomato Bisque
1 yellow onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger (12g)
4 cups sweet potato, chopped (475g)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups water (709ml)
1 teaspoon cumin powder (3g)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder (3g)
1 teaspoon sea salt (6g)
1 cup full fat coconut milk (235ml)
- Heat large pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Add a tad bit of water if things start to stick to the pan.
- Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, water, cumin powder, cinnamon, chili powder, sea salt and stir.
- Place a lid on the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally seeing that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- After 20 minutes, take off the lid, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Blend the soup in batches along with the coconut milk until all the soup is creamy and smooth.
- Garnish with cilantro.
I hope you have an endearing week. May it be filled with compassion, grace and taking zero bullshit.