From a vegan to a vegetarian (transition)

This is a quite uncommon topic and that’s the main reason why I think it is so important to write an article about it. When you search in Google how to make the transition from being vegetarian to become a vegan, you’ll find a lot of articles, videos etc. but there are almost none for the opposite.

This took me some time, half a year, I suppose, just like before it took me the same amount of time from omnivore turning to vegan. Fully I have been vegan for two years and now it’s time for a new chapter in my life. To make things clear, I am still all for animal rights, veganism, I support it as much as I can. I haven’t changed my thoughts (just a bit due to these small changes with my further eating habits), I’m not turning into someone who’s against veganism. I wasn’t radical while being a vegan and I won’t be radical now.

Now, how this can help you? Simple. Nowadays turning into vegan is no longer a problem, each second Youtuber have tips on how to do that, there are a lot of articles, more and more celebrities are trying out veganism. New vegan restaurants and cafes are opening and thriving. But, like I mentioned before, people don’t talk about how you can change your plant-based eating habits back to being an omnivore or in simple words – back to eating meat and other animal products. And there is even fewer information about how to become a vegetarian after you have been vegan. I can understand why.  Veganism is not just about eating habits, mainly it’s a lifestyle and in time, it creates an image of who you are, it takes quite a big part of your personality and the outlook how you project yourself in this world. So it’s absolutely understandable that it is challenging to reset your mind again and to create a new image for yourself because people already got used to you as that vegan persona and all that comes along with it. It is difficult for you as well, to cut some of your strings in your brain and replace them with new ones. You have to change your viewpoint looking at the retrospect. You have to be honest with yourself and clear, why you need this change? For example, for me, it’s quite simple. At the beginning, the reason I went vegan was because of health reasons, I was into a healthy lifestyle, I did some research, I convinced myself that veganism would be even better for my health, although, due to some issues because of my previous eating habits I thought that in time I could have some problems due to being a vegan, well, I wasn’t wrong. But at that time, I went so deep into the topic of veganism, that I also pushed a switch in my brain which turned on the alarm for my ethical and moral views over animals and their rights. So I decided to become a vegan. And that was an amazing choice! No doubts and no regrets. New recipes, new people, activities, places etc. Definitely, if you are a vegan or you’re looking into this lifestyle, your health allows to do that, go for it! As you can tell from the title, I decided from plant-based eating habits turn into a vegetarian. Why? For sure I didn’t lose my faith in this field. I have some health issues, more precisely digestive issues and I can’t handle them too well with plant-based food. I don’t see myself eating meat, fish, seafood or anything that’s made by killing animals so I will try vegetarianism. More precise, I’ll be the basic ovo-lacto vegetarian. I will have more articles about vegetarianism further on. Yet, I still wouldn’t want to support the dairy and egg industry but at this point, I’m not able to help in any way if I feel like crap all the time. But there are some ways which make it at least a bit more humane. Like free range eggs, supporting small local businesses, where they treat animals with respect etc. I tried for a year (from two years being a vegan, the last year was a struggle), I tried some enzymes and probiotics etc, but in the long run that wasn’t a big help. Before I went vegan I had low carb-low fat-high protein-low calorie eating habit regime. And at that time it worked well for my well-being unless I went too deep with “low calorie” part. So now I will try something similar with some changes here and there, let’s see how it works for me. My stomach can’t digest too well high carb intake, as well it’s quite unfriendly to gluten and, well, this was a struggle while being a vegan – it doesn’t cope with legumes ( which is an essential source of protein for vegan nutrition). Being a vegan and having struggle with digestion by eating carbs and legumes (that includes soybeans and products made out of them) plus having problems with gluten…well, it can be quite challenging at times, to say the least. So other I had to deal with discomfort, pain or I ate a lot of sweets and some other stuff to get calories. But that’s not a solution, I want to have a healthy eating habit, that benefits me in a long run not ruin my health. IBS, some other issues. And I’m not alone in this. As well, you are not alone, if you are reviewing your decision on veganism. We all should look closer to our health and wellbeing. Those are the most important things, without them, nothing else really matters.  We should help others (that includes animals as well) but first, we need to help ourselves. And we need to do our best, not for all “the best” is the same.

Pros turning from vegan to vegetarian:

  • Easier to get all your nutrition from food
  • A larger range of foods
  • Easier to fit in and have larger food choice at social events (let’s face it if you are a vegan and you hang out a lot with people which are not even vegetarians, not mentioning vegans, there is a barrier between you. The struggle where to go if the plans are to go out, always planning what to take with you, or give directions to hosts, if you’re planning to come over. Although veganism has grown, yet, there are places where you will be able to get only french fries with some sliced tomato on a side, while your family or friends will have a wonderful 3-course meal. If you hang out mainly with vegans and vegetarians, there are no problems)
  • Socializing gets easier (A lot of people still don’t understand veganism, or for their own reasons they deny it. While being a vegetarian, still meat-eaters will look strange at you, more likely they feel uncomfortable about their food choices, yet, they will understand that a bit more than they do if they need to deal with vegans.)
  • More places where to eat out

Cons turning from vegan to vegetarian:

  • Depending on what type of vegetarian you are, you will be a part of an animal suffer support system. (dairy, egg, etc. industries)
  • Vegetarianism does more harm to the environment than veganism.
  • A lot of vegetarian products (cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, butter, cakes, other sweets) are high in calories and not too healthy. So mainly, if you want to stay healthy, still veggies will have to be your best friend with some pinch of low-calorie dairy products (just make sure that fat are not replaced with tonnes of sugar)

I still have dual feelings due to this transition from veganism to vegetarianism. But I’m excited about trying out new recipes. My favorite meals are one-bowl meals. I find them to be easier to make, a bit faster (especially if you meal prep), as well it just looks like a heavenly rainbow and seems quite appetizing (if you take a bit of time and effort to make it look like a little masterpiece, not just throw everything in a bowl, like I do most of my days when I don’t have time for artistic activities). Bowls of Goodness is a great book for one-dish meals. Delicious and beautiful. And vegans, there are recipes as well for you. You can see for yourself by checking it out on Amazon.

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What are your eating habits? Did you had some changes with them or you’re planning to change something? Leave a comment down below 😉 

 

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Could it be even more cliché – love?

What is love? The butterfly feeling in the stomach? Trust and commitment? Mutual sympathy and feelings? Trying the best for yourself and your loved one? Going together hand by hand through rough times? Doing all you can to make compromises in problem-situations? Doing the best to solve tense situations? Not giving up no matter what…

Honestly…all that and million other things. There is no particular description of love. It feels and it is completely incomprehensible at the same time fully reasonable. We would like to choose the perfect one whom we would love till the end of our days and that person would love as back but, unfortunately, or fortunately, it doesn’t happen like that. We can’t choose the person we will fall in love with, other it happens or not. If it doesn’t happen from our side but for the other it does, we shouldn’t feel guilty about it. The best way here is to let go…because it’s not worth it. In this way, there will be no happiness despite from which side we look. And we should keep this in mind as well when the situation is reversed. Fighting and not giving up is a great thing to do but, clearly, you should feel that there is hope that the relationship could succeed, it’s necessary to understand that it is worth the pain and nerves to solve the issues. If there is mutual love, understanding, and trust within each other, it’s worth it. Otherwise better to let go.

There are millions of people which are happily in love and millions which are heartbroken. If your heart has been broken once, you know how painful it is and how deep the wound remains and how long time it can take to heal it, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on love and build walls around your heart and lose the capability to feel. Although it’s understandable, myself, I have built some walls a long time ago and even if I have tried a couple of times to break them down in last few years, yet, I haven’t manage to do that fully. But I know that it will happen. Need to work on that a bit more.

I have to say…I didn’t see myself writing this kind of post. Selfdvelopement, health, veganism, food, carrier, even politics and economics, and a lot of other topics bring it on, baby! Romantic relationships and love? Well, I kind of like to avoid this topic and focus on different areas but at some point, I felt that it is important enough, because what is life without love, affection, emotions? Without that, it feels empty no matter how hard you try to do your best in different areas of life. People are social beings, we need to feel a  deeper connection with others. Friendships, family ties, romantic relationship, it all fulfills our heart and soul and it gives meaning to our lives. This is significant and it is a reminder to all of us, who sometimes forget about it.

Make sure you tell your closed ones how much you love them. If there is someone special spend some time together. If you feel a bit hopeless in terms of love, don’t worry, it will come, when least expected in a condition that you’ll won’t run from it and will accept it…just take your time, move slowly but surely.  Right time, right place, no doubts.

Christmas is coming, make sure you surround yourself with people you care for.

What’s your story about love? How do you feel about it? 

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136 km hike along the coastline

That was a useful and magnificent experience! I would describe it as well as self-torturous adventure with a pinch of pleasant and fun moments. When you feel like crap and you want to fall on your knees and start to cry what would you do? Stop? Cry? Surrender? No, you swallow your sh*t, put your mind on the right wave and you keep on going…at least if you want to get from that point A to point Z. That’s what I did.

136 km in 55h, those were the rules. As usual, I broke some rules a bit, so I didn’t fit in those 55h but I made it in 58 h. But, heck, I made it till the end even with half-destroyed feet, painful knee and swollen ankle and stomachache, and no purpose whatsoever except to go till the end. As well quite late starts after a sleepover under pine trees and long breaks. In beginning, I wanted to just chill and enjoy the ability to feed the creature that lives in me, who is always craving for walking journeys, but it got harsher than I thought because of the trauma but power wise I was doing OK. Good to know.

And here it began…

dav[Photo: Latvia/Kolka. Taken by author]

Definitely, it was useful experience from the perspective of self-growth. In this kind of a challenge, you can see yourself from a different angle. I don’t mind it, I wasn’t too surprised about how I dealt with certain situations but still, I got to know me more and the person that I went together on this adventure.

dav[Photo: Latvia. Taken by author]

Ok. 100 km is done. Last 36 km to go…and man, I can tell you, it was like going through hell! At least my feet felt like I was walking through hot coals hahaha. Hiking shoes you disappointed me. Oh, well. Next year I will try some other shoes, all though, I always have problems no matter what shoes I choose. So I’m looking for a miracle. Do you have one? Or at least a recommendation?

dav[Photo: Latvia. Taken by author]

Walking never ends…day or night…sunshine or moonlight. Breathe in deep the fresh air. Know your surroundings. Enjoy what you can.

dav[Photo: Latvia/Kolka. Taken by author]

First time as well for sleeping under the clear sky without a tent. Just some invention to not get killed or at least annoyed till death because of all those million mosquitoes who tried to get to every single inch of my body. I love animals and all living beings but these little insects…oh, may! They are evil bloodsuckers!

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Let’s not forget about the backpack, at some point I felt like it would have been anchored and I still needed to drag it with me hahaha

dav[Photo: Latvia. Taken by author]

Normally I don’t drink coke too often but at this point, I seriously needed some sugar intake.

dav[Photo: Latvia. Taken by author]

Some nice spots along the way…this is in Latvia. From the point where is the open sea (Baltic sea) at the place called Kolka. Along the gulf coastline till the place called Dubulti.

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dav[Photos: Latvia. Taken by author]

Mmmm…that cold, refreshing feeling. After this kind of experience, people learn to appreciate even more the small things in life. Shower, nourishing food, clean clothes, etc. Thumbs up for all this! It was rough but worth it. I would recommend you to go for a long hike if you haven’t done that already. Alone or with someone. You can see yourself and partner from a different viewpoint and you can learn a lot from this experience. Would I do it again? I would say more yes than no, but I would change some things here and there to get a disparate experience.

This blog post may sound quite whiny and negative but I can mention that during this hike I had around 80% positive emotions and attitude. I had a good dose of laughter, I smiled a lot, spent some time with great people, had calmness within me etc. So it was all well most of the times.

dav[Photo: Latvia. Taken by author]

Some tips and tricks

You should take:

! don’t take too much stuff

  • hiking shoes are ok, but the ground surface in this area is quite soft most of the times, so good, breathable running shoes would do.
  • adequate clothing for weather conditions
  • extra socks
  • mat and sleeping bag. Good sleep and rest for your body will be useful.
  • a hat that covers as much as possible and protects from sun
  • sunglasses
  • flashlight
  • anti-insect spray
  • take some medicine if you know that you could have some issues. Plasters, etc. And cross your fingers that you won’t have to use them and everything will go smooth like silk thread.
  • snacks
  • water

Tips:

  • If you aren’t an active person on a daily basis, do some cardio training already sometime before you go

Some more tips:

Try this kind of experience!

What about your hiking experiences? What did you gain from it?

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Radical statements and beliefs. No! Why not?

Simply because since I remember myself, I always have thought that everyone should have the freedom for their own opinions and beliefs and their way of life till it’s not acting out and destroying other living being lives in a malicious way. You’d call me a freedom fighter? Be it so, if you wish. I just have my own beliefs and values for life. We all are unique with some similarities, the point in this uniqueness is that we are different and because of that I am not seeking for agreement or acceptance from all sides, actually for me it is fun and pleasurable to see all the people’s different faces. This is what makes this world so unrepeatable.

I don’t fight for a perfect world to live in, equal rights, no injustice, and paradise on the Earth. I am not preaching for rebellious acts, bohemian lifestyle and veganizing the world. Yes, I may mention this, it may appear in some of my acts in a daily basis, some sentences in this blog and some conversations along the way but it is not preaching, I have never forced my thoughts, beliefs, and values upon someone else’s. During my lifespan I have changed some, I have found and accepted more compatible approach for my own self, it’s not carved in stone, some may change, some will develop in time, some can be added but this one, which I mentioned earlier, never leaves me – everyone should have the freedom for their own opinions and beliefs and their way of life till it’s not acting out and destroying other living being’s lives in a malicious way. And this is the reason why I am not a preacher. Even with this one, I just tend to “walk away” if I see the one-way road from the other side. Because I don’t spend my precious time for meaningless, nowhere leading and endless argues. My mission is to interduce you with some ways of life, to lead you to your own path of deeper awareness and most importantly, to lead you to think.

Thinking is the key. When we stop following the crowd, blindfolding our true selves, we start to question, to analyze, to think, magnificent changes and miracles start to happen and that’s the path to our happier lives.

So If I truly believe that everyone should be free to have their values, beliefs, opinions, and way of life, why am I telling about mine or paying more attention to some more than others? Simply because I am telling you this to complete my mission – to lead you to awareness, thinking and understanding, afterward you have your own choice, then it is up to you which way you go.

I’m telling about things which have meaning for me, I am passionate about and I know something about them, in this way it is easier to interduce you with the process of thinking.

Why is it important? Well, I was in the same place. I followed the brainwashed crowd full of society dogma’s and wondered why am I unhappy till the moment I “woke up” and decided to put a stop to this ignorance and found my own “voice”. There is nothing wrong with any way of living, if it doesn’t do harm to others and if it’s something you really like and enjoy. If I’m telling that it is important that everyone can have their own way why am I excluding harming others and being cruel to them? First of all, some borderlines always should be, second of which, it lays in the same box if you lead your life in a way that does harm to others without their approval, your forcing your sh*t on others. Speaking about myself, of course, there are some ways with which I don’t and won’t agree, but it doesn’t give me the rights to blame and force my own beliefs upon someone. It is normal, we can’t all be the same and have the same viewpoint and beliefs if I won’t agree, I simply “walk away” and put my attention to things I and like-minded people care about. Problems arise when people think that there is only one right way – their way and they try to prove it in all possible ways that it is the only right one and are forcing it upon others no matter what.

In the end, I wish well to our planet, people and all living beings. Enough of ignorance.

May seem that this blog post is about me and my viewpoint, it is and it’s not. It’s about creating a splash of curiosity and awareness for you, that you can take at least 5 minutes and think about your beliefs and way of life that is important for you.

What are your main life guidelines?

 

 

3 quick and healthy breakfast ideas for a ​busy schedule​

There is a saying – eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. There is also an argument about if skipping breakfast really leads to weight gain if having breakfast really is healthier and so on. I think everyone should listen to their body, by saying this, I mean listening with a healthy state of mind, not to your cravings and urges and the unhealthy routines, and do what feels good for your own body and mind.

For me, I love breakfast, it is my favorite meal of the day because mostly I eat my favorite foods like overnight oats, oatmeal, porridge topped with some berries and fruits, seeds or nuts and preferably also nut butter or tahini.  Love it! Sometimes, if I feel that I  want something different, I make pancakes, toast or whatever else comes to my mind. Occasionally I can have a piece of cake or a muffin or a cupcake and so on.  I love sweets but I try not to have them too often, but those times when I do, mostly it’s in morning or until midday, at least I try and prefer like that. Lunch and dinner I prefer lighter. This way of eating just makes sense for me. In morning I need energy throughout whole day but in evening I will go to sleep, so I don’t see the point to have a big meal, it’s just more work for my digestive system and whole body. During sleep our body and mind can rest but if we had a big meal and even worst, if it wasn’t the healthiest one, then the body can’t get proper rest during the night because of its work to process that food. I prefer not to eat 3 to 4 hours before going to bed. And if in the morning I have something not as healthy, I can still burn those unnecessary calories throughout the day.  Then again, I have used to this a while ago already, if you haven’t it can take a bit of time and effort to change this habit but it’s not impossible. In the beginning, the main key is to replace the big, saturated dinner with something lighter and to have your dinner at least couple hours before going to sleep. It is normal that you don’t feel like having breakfast if you had a big meal just before you went to bed! It needs a bit of willpower and patience but I believe that you can do it! 

A lot of people tell that they don’t have time for breakfast, well, it’s about prioritizing. If you want to feel better, lose a bit of weight, be healthier you have to choose between spending a short amount of time (5 – 15 min) in the previous evening or in the morning for breakfast preparation or go on like you did before, just if you chose the second one, don’t complain and expect a different result. It’s up to you, I know you can do better. If you are reading this, it means you have the interest to change something and that is already your first step. Well done!  

So here are 3 of my favorite healthy breakfast ideas:

I won’t write precise amounts because I usually don’t measure anything (in time I will try to create more precise recipes). In any case, need to keep in mind that everyone has their own amount of food they need to have for the best well being and performance for their own body. So try to figure out what is the best for you. 

Overnight oats:

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dav[Photos: Taken by author]

You will need:  

Main:

  • oats – you can choose which you prefer, I use rolled oats
  • chia seeds or flax seeds
  • pitted dates or apricots
  • cinnamon
  • plant based milk (mostly I use oat milk or almond milk)

Topping:

  • frozen berries – choose your favorite ones or seasonal ones (it’s better for the environment and your wallet as well) My faves are blueberries and raspberries.
  • a fruit – mostly I use banana or apple but I like to change every now and then, then I go for kiwi, persimmon, melon, pear, peach, pineapple etc. 
  • shredded coconut or coconut flakes
  • nut butter or tahini – most of the times I use peanut butter or tahini, yeah, I love it and I can put it almost on everything haha. There are various kinds of nut butter.
  • granola

What you have to do:

Take your main ingredients, put them all in a mason jar, glass or a bowl and mix everything, then pour plant-based milk on top, stir once more and put it in the fridge. In morning put toppings, it literally takes maximum 2 minutes unless you’re not trying to win a prize for the best-looking breakfast meal or something like that. If you use a mason jar, you can put your toppings already the night before, put the lid on, place it in the fridge and voila! In morning you can eat it straight out of the jar. If you don’t have time to eat at home, I would recommend this, because you can take it with you to work, university, etc.

Warm oatmeal bowl:

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dav[Photos: Taken by author]

You will need:  

Main:

  • oats 
  • chia seeds or flax seeds
  • pitted dates or apricots
  • cinnamon
  • hot water – if you prefer, instead of water, you can warm up plant-based milk. It takes a bit longer time, but it makes the oatmeal more creamy.

Topping:

  • frozen berries
  • fruits 
  • pumpkin seeds – you can choose any other seeds you like or you can use coconut flakes.
  • nut butter or tahini
  • granola

What you have to do:

Basically, it is almost the same ingredients as for overnight oats, the method is a bit different. This recipe is better if you feel like having a warm meal. Take your main ingredients, put them all in a bowl and mix everything, then pour hot water on top, stir once more and put a lid or a dish on top of the bowl. Wait for at least 10 – 15 min, at the same time you can do your things, I usually meditate, write in my gratitude journal etc. If you use quick oats, those can be just 5 minutes. After the time passed put on your toppings and it’s done!

Avocado toast:

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dav[Photos: Taken by author]

You will need:  

  • sliced whole grain bread 
  • ripe avocado
  • cherry tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds
  • oregano
  • dill
  • black pepper 
  • sea salt

What you have to do:

This one is good if you prefer savory meal over a sweet one. Toast the bread (you can use a toaster if you have one or non-stick pan), mash the avocado (you can slice it but I prefer when it’s mashed then it is more creamy), cut into half cherry tomatoes, put your mashed avocado and tomatoes on top of the toast, add oregano, dill, pepper and salt and your meal is ready. Yummy, healthy and quick to make! Because I am not a lover of gluten (or more likely my stomach), instead of whole grain bread more often I use whole grain rice cakes, like that it is even faster because I don’t need to toast anything.

Bon appétit! 

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Why Vegan: Ethical aspect

People tend to go vegan for different reasons – health, environmental and ethical. Some have a balance between all three of them, some have, more likely, just for one or maybe two. Those who tend to care more about their health are more categorized into eating a whole food, plant-based diet and in some cases, they haven’t put their thoughts too much into what’s really happening “behind the scenes” in meat, dairy and egg industries. Some ethical vegans don’t care too much what they put into their belly as long as they know that they don’t do any harm to non-human animals as much as it is possible (hopefully also humankind haha). Those who care about our planet, know that veganism is the best way to don’t do as much damage and they tend to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle that includes different choices – eating a vegan diet, ethical clothing, local shopping, less plastic consumption, minimalist lifestyle etc.        

This blog post is not about putting one reason and way of living higher than others. I believe that all of them are important in all their forms. As it is for me, I try to balance them all with a little pinch of a bigger drive toward ethical veganism, but it doesn’t mean that I’m being skeptical or judgmental if others do differently. A person has a choice and if some reason gives more drive than another, then, heck, just go for it, if it still does less harm, I’m OK with that! 

If you’re not vegan but at least you have a bit of spark of curiosity, you can check out my post – introduction (Go Vegan?). You can apply also to 10-week email series, from “Vegan outreach” that can make the transformation a bit easier.

In this post, I will write more about ethical veganism, but later on, there will be more posts that include also other reasons. I will try not to sound too harsh because on a daily basis I am quite OK, with a positive attitude, I try to show an example. I’m not for judgmental and disheartening attitude and “brainwashing”. But there are some moments when I’m flared up if it comes to beliefs, animal rights, and activism. OK, let’s get into it!

As the definition of veganism tells us, it’s about doing less harm – reduction of exploitation, and cruelty to animals as much as possible.

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

Even though I found out about veganism because I was diving deeper into a healthy lifestyle and my food choices, when I watched documentaries and read articles and some research papers, I couldn’t bear anymore the fact what’s happening to animals in the livestock industry. I always felt love and compassion toward animals, I just didn’t acknowledge that there is no difference between that cute kitten on the street, neighbors dog, my own cats and the chicken on my plate or pork chops on my friend’s. They all feel pain and they all can suffer. More about that you can read here. And, oh please, don’t go with that lame line “But what about plants? Don’t they have feelings too?”, instead, read some information and you’ll figure out that plants don’t have a nervous system, animals do. Even if some recent studies suggest that the life of plants is more complex, still we clearly can see (and it’s proven) that animals show their pleasure or pain. And even if that’s not enough, you should know that by eating animal products, you consume more plants than if you eat them directly. Generally speaking on a vegan diet you consume less and do less harm. Before I didn’t make the connection. And mostly, in the beginning, it’s for all of us – other we don’t see it or we simply refuse to see it. It is because we don’t know a different way, we have been raised up like that due to norms of society and all the stereotypes and because of this, a lot of people don’t even take it under consideration to doubt it, to do research, to see and try. But it shouldn’t be this way. We’re not living in the undeveloped world anymore, we can choose and we should. There have been already enough research to prove that humans can live healthy without consuming animal products. Then we are left with ethics. Why? Why should we put animals through suffering and kill them if it’s unnecessary for our survival and well being? To please our taste buds or entertain ourselves? Where are the morals? Why should we take advantage of them just because they may not be as intelligent, they’re a bit weaker and they can’t speak up for themselves? So what. Especially because of this we should know better and make sure that they are OK. It is in our hands – the lives of animals, our planet, and our health. Ethical veganism is reasonable, cruelty and suffering free choices about food, clothing, shoes, cleaning products, cosmetics, entertainment, etc. 

Why should we look into our ethics? We are naturally born compassionate toward all living beings, and I mean all, also animals. When we’re little, from all our heart we want to do good to animals and we show our love to them and we don’t see the difference between a dog and a cow. We weren’t speciests when we were born, it comes with time and dogmas of society.  All animals should have their rights as humans do. It doesn’t matter that they can’t speak up for themselves that doesn’t mean that we can use and abuse them. Here comes animal activism – a movement that speaks up for animals and their rights. Thanks to all of those who are into animal activism! Also thanks to those who are looking into it. It comes with knowledge and will.

Of course, it is not possible to have a perfect world and don’t do any harm to any live being but there is no perfection! Veganism is in favor of inflicting the slightest possible harm.

Here you can find more detailed information about ethics.

It is up to us how we choose to see the world. Let’s be and do better. Be kind towards yourself and other living beings. 

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Why Vegan?

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Benefits of meditation

There are moments when you realize that you feel like you’re trapped in a hamster wheel which endlessly keeps on spinning. Usually, there are some triggers which may help you to notice this feeling before comes in the big “explosion”. Pay attention to your feelings, listen to yourself. Do you feel exhausted? Cranky? Sad, for no obvious reason? You notice pessimism even if usually you’re quite positive? Lack of motivation, enjoyment? Do you experience long-term fatigue? Lack of concentration? Lack of productivity? Maybe even anxiety and/ or depression? Also, some health problems could arise and so on. Generally, you feel like it’s too much and you can’t take it anymore, you would like to put your middle finger in the sky, drop everything, take your bags, catch the first flight to the Bahamas or some other place close to being “paradise” and just take a nice sip from a glass of cold drink, lay on the beach with warm sunshine on your face and mild, refreshing wind from the ocean gently touching your warm body and most important – you would “switch off” your mind and just enjoy the moment. I call it “explosion” but there are terms like emotional exhaustion and burnout to describe this.

The key words are “this moment”. Most of us get so tight up in things we need to do, that we barely notice what’s happening at the moment. That’s what kills your happiness. And this is the part where comes in meditation. It can be so helpful at moments when you’re “hamster wheel” starts to take over especially if you notice some triggers before the big “explosion”. It’s not that you need to take out everything that’s happening in your life, you just need to learn to hear and feel the silence and peace that is already within you and let it take over for a while.

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there”

– Deepak Chopra

Benefits of meditation:

  • improvement of concentration and attention

  • improves your sleep

  • reduction of stress

  • reduction of anxiety

  • reduction of some health diseases

  • increases self- awareness

  • increases the sense of gratitude

  • increases self-control

  • increases the level of patience

  • more thoughtful breathing

These are just a few of the benefits that meditation offers. Practicing it long-term you will experience a lot more. Other positive effects of meditation you can see here. Remember that to experience most of the benefits you need to practice meditation consistently but at first don’t think about how you will find the time for that if you already don’t know how to deal with some things here and there and just try, you’ll see. There is always enough time for the things we care for.

Meditation is a good way how to calm down your mind and body. And no, it’s not only for spiritual people and monks which lives far away in mountainous areas in hidden monasteries. One of the best things about it is that everyone can do it anywhere. I will get into some more precise and practical advice about how to meditate in another post, but now, I want to mention this app called Insight Timer which I’m using and I’m absolutely satisfied with it. If you’re a newbie at this it can be quite useful and helpful for your meditation journey. You can find guided and unguided (timer, music) meditations. You can find more spiritual or more basic ones, long and short, with or without music and sounds from guides all over the world. Basically almost all sorts. You can put headphones and use this app at home, on public transport, in the car (hopefully not while your driving), while taking your dog for a walk, before going to sleep, after waking up, etc. You can find also different kind of groups, you can join in and participate in conversations or just read and get some useful information. You can build your friends list. Location available, it is quite interesting to see all sorts of people from all over the world, it just reminds me how different and unique we all are. And most important, it gives you the chance to track your meditation sessions, in this way, especially if you are a beginner at this, it is easier to keep on going. It keeps track and you can see your progress. I love it! There are days when I’m using it, and some when I don’t, like in those days when I feel like meditating with no distraction, in silence and even without a timer, I won’t reach for my phone just to switch on this app.

I hope to see you on this meditation journey! Stay present. Breathe deep. Be aware. Love yourself, others and this world. Just be and enjoy!

What are your favorite methods of meditation?

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25 life lessons in 25 years

Couple days ago I had my 26th birthday. One step closer to 30, I have dual feelings about this. One part is quite scared of getting older (Quite common fear. No one wants to get older, that means closer to the end of this life. Mainly, all fears, in the end, lead to one – fear of death, but this can be another subject and I am not going into it at the moment), but the other part has this indescribable feeling that the best moments are just ahead. All thought, I have to mention that I look forward to my future, but I am not “living in it”, I try to live my life like it goes. At this moment, because it is really the only time we have. We can be joyful and happy if we have a sensation of consciousness for the present moment.

So here I am my new age, I welcome you with an open mind, arms and heart.

In the list below you can see some of the things I have learned. I have stories and experiences behind all of them and I could continue this list for a while, but let’s stick to 25 for now. Maybe you will find associations with yourself and your life path or you may find something useful even without your own experience. If you wish, in the comment section, you can share your life lessons, would be interesting and useful to hear from you, dear reader.

So, here are my 26 life lessons:

  • Health is the most precious “thing” you can have. Without that, nothing else really matters.
  • Be yourself. It is your life and you live by your rules. Don’t let anyone or anything to take over. Some may like you, some won’t, but in the end…you are the one who tells your own story, others can choose to listen or to skip it. You should be happy and proud, so write and tell the best damn story you can imagine!
  • Life really is too short to try to please everyone. Just be you, do what you love with your best intention. The right people will come along the way and will accept and like you as you are.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. But if you want to do that, compare to yourself. You are the only person you should compete with.
  • Don’t be too self-critical and perfectionist, in this way your mind-blowing ideas will go down the toilet even before they will have the opportunity to get out your head and rise. Have an idea, go for it, work for it, afterward you can let your criticism and perfectionism to take over a bit and smooth out unevenness.
  • Listen to constructive criticism. Listen. Analyse. Learn from it. Do better.
  • Your family are the closest people you will ever have, don’t let some small issues get in the way and destroy those close ties. Spend some quality time with your parents, you are not the only one who is getting older.
  • Your childhood friends, after you all have “grown up”, won’t have as much time as before. New duties, responsibilities and generally speaking – life. But even if you’ll meet quite rare, if it’s from the heart, you all will manage to maintain that wonderful friendship. Just need to put a bit of effort from both sides, same as in a romantic relationship.
  • Spend your time with people with whom you have useful, interesting, positive and fun times. People that help your own growth (consciously and unconsciously).
  • When you meet people, be more interested in who they are, not what they have or what they do. Pay attention not only to what they are saying but as well how they are telling their stories, sometimes it may say more about them than their words. (body language, etc.)
  • You shouldn’t feel guilty if someone loves you but you don’t feel the same. You can give earned respect, kindness, affection…but you can’t require your heart to love someone and you shouldn’t even try. It knows better.
  • Don’t sign anything if you haven’t read it properly. Twice. Always get your duplicate.
  • Don’t buy things at unknown, “fishy” online shops. Possibilities are – it’s a fraud.
  • Save some money. Life is unpredictable, there can come times when you will need some extra money, so it’s always good if you have your savings and no need to borrow or stress yourself till bones to figure out how to get it.
  • Learn from your mistakes. First time – can happen, we are human beings, errors happen. The second time, well, you should take it into consideration that you’re doing something in the way that’s not suitable for the thing you’re trying to do. Third time – defenatly, seems like you won’t go far doing that same sh*t all over again. Try out a different way. Now!
  • Don’t “play with fire” unless you know that you will manage to deal and live with “burned parts” if something goes wrong.
  • Nothing comes for free, everything has a price in one way or another. You have the choice and the challenge to figure out what are you willing to pay.
  • Don’t fu*k up your mind and body with million diets and unreasonable fasting. It is not worth it. But if you do it – do it wisely and healthy. Make it as your lifestyle choice, not a short-term campaign.
  • Learn to love yourself even more. Take care of your body, mind, and soul. No one else will do that for you. You will need all three to live thriving and fulfilling life.
  • Do what you like and love. That will give you the power to keep on going even in though and rough times.
  • Traveling on your own and living abroad is one of the best ways how to step out of your comfort zone, get to know different cultures, people, learn some useful lifehacks and new things, expand your horizons, it leads to self-growth, etc.
  • More useful, pleasurable and meaningful are the amazing moments you have throughout the years and the people you spent that time with, not the things you own or crave for.
  • Listen more to your intuition and inner self. It knows better.
  • Stay positive and kind. At least most of the time. There can’t be too much positivity and kindness because there is already enough of negativity, cruelty, sadness, and anger.
  • You have the choice and power. This is your life. Live the best of it by being the best of you. But keep as well in mind that there is something higher, we can’t control our lives to a 100%, so at moments, let it be, accept it, be spontaneous, go with the flow. Enjoy! The worst and the best – it’s all life.
  • And just one more, because I’m already with one foot into 26. Spend your time wisely. Learn new things. Read books. Do regular physical activities. Go to courses, classes. Study. Have your hobbies. Take long walks in nature. Watch interesting and instructive movies. Listen to great podcasts. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Learn languages. So on and on. Sometimes it is OK to watch a dumb comedy, get drunk with friends (right place, right time) or lay in bed, watching TV or listening to music and doing nothing all day long, just don’t make these things as your daily (weekend) routine. You’ll thank yourself later.

What are your life lessons?

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