The Guidelines

I’m many things. I’m Mom, wife, caregiver, pet owner, author, flexitarian, photographer, happy, demanding, empathetic, logical, loyal, a dreamer. I live with dysthymia, depression, Type 2 diabetes, and have struggled with weight issues my whole life.

I’ve been fascinated with the world of raw veganism for several years now. This is my flexitarian focus. My goal is 80% vegan, with majority of it raw, and 20% is more flexible and keeping life easy. I have learned that 80% takes diligence. It’s my goal, but I often miss it. The key is, I don’t give up trying.

I came up with some basic guidelines. The word guidelines is important – they are not rules. Rules are hard and fast, black and white, inflexible. I use the word guidelines because they imply flexibility. I can bend them and then bend them back. I can make them work for each day of the week, or each hour of the day if I need to work in smaller chunks. Guidelines are forgiving.

My 10 guidelines:

  1. Eat vegan 80% of the time. Preferably raw vegan, even if I need to warm the food in winter. The other 20% is about making life easier, healthy choices but not necessarily vegan.
  2. No sugar. (I’m diabetic)
  3. No dairy. (I’m lactose intolerant)
  4. Low carbohydrates. (I’m diabetic)
  5. Drink LOTS of water.
  6. Repeat mantra: Veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds first.
  7. Yes, chicken and seafood, some pork, but rarely red meat.
  8. Read the ingredients lists. Is there sugar? Put it back.
  9. Don’t be so strict that your friends stop inviting you out. Stay social! There are ways to make healthy choices in restaurants.
  10. Exercise regularly, with LOTS of variety.