VEGAN IN A DAY – PART 2

Roberto Blizzard - That's where I'm going.

After eight weeks following the vegan path, my total cholesterol was down by 20% and LDL cholesterol was 25% lower. That’s the takeaway from this post. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the rest. Nutrition affects our health. You knew that. This is just another example, with some numbers.

I didn’t do anything in a logical, well-planned way, but those results speak for themselves.

Looking back now from just over a year later, I smile at my rushed purchase of a slow cooker (still in its box) and a (now very well-used) blender. Thank you, blender,  for all those green smoothies. I’ll get around to using the slow cooker someday.

Nana lent me a great cookbook and gave me a pack of index cards to copy out the recipes I liked. I enjoyed flipping through that book and looking at the pictures, but I did not prepare any of those meals. I returned the book a few months later and I still have the cards … somewhere. I also have a year of vegan living under my belt, so it was all for the good. Thank you Nana.

Namaste

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HOW TO BE A VEGAN YOGA DUDE RIGHT NOW, IN FOUR EASY STEPS

(Note: Women can be Vegan Yoga Dudes, too.)

1. Say “I am a vegan yoga dude.”

2. Integrate the word “dude” into as many conversations as possible.

3. Skip the meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. (If you’re a Canadian, you can start this part tomorrow, so by all means, go ahead and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner. You’re welcome.)

4. Do yoga. (There are many videos available on YouTube.)

Congratulations: You are a full-fledged Vegan Yoga Dude. Carry on.

Namaste

GLOBAL?

In the thirteen days since I began this blog, it has been read by people in 12 countries on five continents. Trinidad is merely 11 kilometers off the coast of Venezuela, so if I wanted to stretch the truth I might include South America and say six continents. It has triggered a few stimulating conversations both online and offline.

And so what, you might ask. And I’d agree. So what?

I don’t have an answer to that.

Here’s the list of countries:

Canada

United States

Trinidad and Tobago

Sweden

Taiwan

Australia

Jamaica

United Kingdom

Israel

France

Morocco

India

So that happened.

I don’t think this is earth-shattering (I’ve seen other ventures—not mine—expand much further and more quickly), and it actually makes me a bit nervous (so what do I do now?) but I’d like to put the following spin on it:

I procrastinated forever before starting this. If you’ve been thinking of starting something, there’s no time like now. Start. You’ll never know what’s going to happen unless you start. Summon up all your mojo and make your move. Step up to the edge and jump and see what happens. At the very least you’ll learn something. Good luck.

And that right there is probably about as explicitly inspirational as it’s ever going to get with me here, folks. If you can find any other inspiration in this ongoing reporting venture as I explore Vegan Yoga Dudeness, then that’s great. I’ll be attempting to stick to “Just the facts. M’am.” (We’ll see how long that lasts.)

Namaste

ONE STEP CLOSER TO YOGA: ON THE FLOOR IN A COFFEE SHOP

Until recently, I had no interest in yoga. When I was physically active, I’d always done something aerobic with lots of impact and bouncing, like running, or, well, aerobics. Yoga was for those other people: people who … did yoga. The word itself made me think of incense and exotic music and hippies and Indian words like chakra.

Last year I met Christa, a fellow editor, for only the second time in person. We’d met years earlier at a conference, at which she led a workshop on Yoga for Editors. I didn’t understand why editors, or for that matter anybody in their right mind, would bother with all that twisting and bending. I didn’t participate in the workshop, but I remember seeing Christa doing one of those impossible-looking bending-backwards-till-your-hands-touch-the-floor moves. I thought the whole thing was a bit unusual, if not a little loopy. Why would any sane person do that? It just looked so … painful.

Last year when we met again, it was still months before I’d started this new hot yoga thing, and I had never done a yoga class or even tried a yoga pose at this point. I had mentioned on the phone that I’d recently gone vegan to lower my cholesterol levels. When we met for coffee at a busy restaurant, Christa insisted on showing me a few yoga poses and moves that were supposed to help reduce cholesterol. Right there, right away, in the restaurant. Her son Yarrow and her friend Stan calmly ignored us and kept chatting while we walked around and around looking for some space to do whatever it was we were going to do.

I don’t remember much other than being down on the floor beside Christa, both of us in the push-up or plank position, and listening intently to her instructions and following along with whatever moves she was doing, and watching the waitress’s feet going back and forth a few inches from our faces. That’s a pleasant and funny memory for me, that visual of those feet going back and forth almost under my nose. It might not have been that much fun for the poor waitress, however.

Christa, you planted a few seeds that day, there, down on the floor in the coffee shop. Thank you again. That was my first-ever experience of doing yoga. I’m sure few in my yoga class, or anywhere, can say their introduction to yoga was on the floor of a busy coffee shop. And, not that she’ll ever read this, but apologies again to the waitress, who was very sweet about it. I’m not entirely sure about that last bit, but at least nobody kicked us. I’m sure about that.

More to follow. Namaste

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX: HEY, HAVE YOU SEEN MY LIBIDO?

Empty Dojo

Newsflash! Oh, snap! The mojo has left the dojo! Zounds!

Flash forward to four months after my first Hot Yoga class. So far, no trips to the Emergency Ward, and I’m enjoying a new, deeper level of serenity as I go about my daily business. There’s this curious … thing, however, involving some pretty far-reaching serenity of a kind I did not expect … extending far beyond the areas where I thought I’d experience such … peace. Let’s call it … full-body serenity.

For the record, I’d noticed a significant uptick on the zesty frisky scale when I began practising Hot Yoga, and I’ve read that this is pretty much the norm. I’m a wee bit surprised, therefore, at how amazingly calm the seas have become, recently. I’m not panicking over it, just … observing and pondering.

Now this might not sound like a ringing endorsement of Hot Yoga or a plant-based diet (and I’m not trying to promote either, here), but let’s all stay calm, and please try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Bear with me, and read on: I’m convinced it has nothing to do with the Hot Yoga or veganism, which I believe are great for us, even in that department. Please read that sentence again.

I’m sure that much of this might be due to the fact that I still smoke. Yes, a vegan yoga dude who smokes! I know, I know … I’m heading out shortly to a Quit Smoking Group meeting …

Age is also most certainly a factor, and I know the testosterone level began its gradual descent towards the runway ages ago.

A curious thing is that this new development really feels like a blessing, rather than a problem, and here’s why. I’m frankly delighted that I’m not 18 any more, when it seemed that every passing breeze would get me all revved up and … driven to distraction. I enjoyed that time of my life, but I’m grateful that those days of semi-permanent excitation are over for me. To every thing there is a season, and so forth.

So! Now that All Is Quiet On The Western Front, what to do?

Well, I and my reproductive system have already done our part for the survival of the species. At this stage of my journey, the only purpose of this area of human activity is simply recreation, right? I’m just as happy with the absence of the usual reactions to all the in-my-face sexual stimuli in the environment, the incessant demands on my attention and the ensuing automatic wild sparks of lusty zestiness, as I go about my life. That spell seems to have been broken.

So, again, what am I going to do about this state of affairs?

I’ll post as soon as I’ve answered that for myself. For now it’s just full speed ahead with the Hot Yoga and the plant-based diet. Namaste, everybody.

More to follow (I promise). Thank you and Good Night. Out.

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF “SO, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!!!”

So I hear about a free Hot Yoga class, and I remember that my friend Greg did some of this Hot Yoga stuff a few months ago, and, well, he’s still alive, so … feeling a wee bit adventurous, I decide, “Hey, okay! Let’s give it a shot!” Famous last words.
Now here I am, with thirty women, none of whom I can see through the perspiration that’s running into my eyes. All I can tell is that I’m surrounded by a bunch of blurry figures. And even without the sweat, I’m squinting from the pain and the effort, and I’m grunting and gasping and I can’t see the instructor through the sweat, so I’m trying to follow what the person next to me is doing, and my eyes are burning and my body is screaming “Stop! Get the f… outta here!” Because, of course, it’s HOT! Now I’m from the tropics, but this was HOTTT! Holy heat wave, Batman! Hose me down and drag me outta here by my ankles … please!
And on and on it goes: All the other people are breathing calmly together, and I’m panting away at twice their speed. At one point I nearly pass out. And all along, I’m questioning my sanity and trying for the life of me to remember what possessed me to even think of trying this.
So, fast forward to THE END. A bell rings three times, everybody says “Namaste,” and the instructor says to get up when you’re ready. All the ladies pitter-patter outta there rapido-presto and I can’t move. So I decide that I’m going to spend the night right there on my mat. She said get up when you’re ready, right? So I’ll be ready some time tomorrow, thank you. Except, of course, that it’s HOT! I gotta get outta here!

 

I lurch and wobble to the dressing room, probably looking very drunk, but I’m not. And as I start cooling down, I start feeling big-time … what’s that? It’s like … yeah, SERENITY! I’m feeling … happy … and all the regular aches and pains are gone, and I’m getting that “I love everybody! Life is great!” vibe. And this is with no booze! I wanna sing and dance! (But I don’t, of course.) And I just KNOW I’m gonna sleep great tonight.
So … on the way out, I put my money down and sign up for more classes. My next post will probably be from a stretcher in the Emergency Ward of a hospital, but dammit, I’m gonna be SO SERENE. And that’s that. Thank You and Good night. Out.