Healthy Humanist

Today is the first day I’m chronicling my move towards a more compassionate and healthy lifestyle. From the evidence I’ve seen, there is no denying the fact that the meat and dairy industries are doing more damage to our environment than the oil industry. There is also no denying that a plant-based diet is the healthiest one. It is also the most conducive to preventing and reversing disease.

I have known this for years. But it wasn’t until health challenges touched me personally that I decided to give a vegetarian diet another look.  I have tried vegetarianism two other times in my life. One time I lasted a year; another time I lasted two years. Each time I was starving all the time and gained weight. However, both times I only focused on not eating animal flesh. I never worried about consuming fruits and vegetables nor avoiding sugar and refined products. This time, because I am actually trying to reverse a medical condition, I’ve changed my approach.

This week was my first shopping trip since making this decision. Not knowing what I was doing, I simply dumped a bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables into my cart. I bought a veggie steamer and a strainer. I’ve started every day this week with a veggie smoothie and have thrown random vegetables into whatever I’d planned on eating. For example, I bought some pasta and a simple pasta sauce. Then I stir fried a random combination of vegetables and dumped them into the pasta sauce. It. was delicious!!!

I’m hoping that, by blogging about this and making videos, I am going to stay on track and successfully change my diet. I am easing myself into this lifestyle, being diligent during the week and letting up on the weekends. I had originally decided I was going to eat whatever I wanted on the weekends. However after only three days, I found that I really didn’t want “whatever” – meaning junk. For example, on Friday I was in a food court and – with every temptation surrounding me – ended up eating a falafel sandwich. It was divine.

I am noticing that, as a humanist, I am taking things like my health much more seriously. Prayer does not save people from their terrible habits. Prayer doesn’t do much of anything other than make people feel better. My approach is to take action, and then document the results for anyone reading to see. It will also help keep me accountable. For better or for worse, this is an experiment worth conducting.

Stay tuned!

Raven

My First Time

Last night was my first attendance at any kind of atheist gathering. It was a meetup called Atheists United, San Fernando Valley. I went “blind,” knowing no one. The meeting was about fifteen miles from my house and I don’t take the freeways. So, as I drove, I had time to contemplate what I was doing.

 

I thought of how much we are communal creatures, how important it is for us to find like-minded people to go through life with. I thought about how our likes, dislikes, interests, and passions can bring us together with strangers and pull us away from the people we already know. And I thought about how good it would feel to actually speak freely with people who agree with me.

 

Although my expectations were low, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I was received warmly and the ensuing discussion did not disappoint. People made reasoned comments with humor and grace. People listened respectfully to others and never seemed to take themselves too seriously.

 

My previous notions of atheists were that they were angry, condescending, humorless creatures with dysfunctional private lives. This is probably why it takes time for new atheists to even use the “A” word. I, myself, refer to myself as a “naturalist” in public. (Someone in the group last night quipped that “naturalist” sounded kind of like “nudist,” so maybe I should revise my label!) In any case, my own atheism is part of an overall evolution in my consciousness. I have felt that I am traveling this journey alone, which I have been okay with. However, it is much nicer to have some sympathetic people to relate to. I look forward to engaging further with this group and possibly others.