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It’s like Christmas in March, exciting to have new ‘plant strong’ dietary choices.

Ordering organic, whole foods online  feels decadent, almost naughty;

savoring the fragrant scents as I slowly peel open the foil tops from each spice, my eyes rolling back in my head.

It’s exciting to imagine how new, vegan dishes will entice, delight and beckon as they sizzle in golden olive oil; or exude the creamy goodness of aromatic coconut oil while spices like the whole coriander and cumin seeds pop and crackle, scenting up the whole house.

In the past two decades I’ve learned that our ability to stick with something, be it a long-term relationship, dietary change or lifestyle improvement, is the amount of ‘spice’ and flexibility we sprinkle on it over time.

Notice I don’t mention ‘force’ or ‘control’, but have come to understand that small doses of excitement(newness) seem most complimentary with increasing our chance at success.

My experience has been that when we work in small, manageable ‘chunks’ or layers, we can get to the root of a problem, addressing the mind, body and spiritual connection that keeps us bound in stagnant waters, so we can remove the whole weed from our system, feeling free again.

It’s like a little aquarium where the filter isn’t cleaned regularly, so it gets trapped in old waste and toxic stuff, and eventually stops working all together, allowing the water to become murky and choking out the aquatic life.

When we throw that away and get a new filter, the water then goes through a series of natural  cleaning agents, like charcoal, sand, or sponge, pumping and re-filtering, over and over, until all of the gunk is ‘caught’ and the aquarium is clean, ready for new life and enjoyment.

If we look at our holistic journey in this way, then we may be kinder to ourselves, willing to spend some time understanding the value in spending a little more for healthier food choices, grieving old traumas, getting quiet with ourselves so we can hear the Divine inside, giving us guidance and love.

Switching to a Paleo lifestyle last year has been a tremendous benefit, as well as a challenge. I’ve enjoyed the creative way to exclude starches, gluten and many processed items from my diet.
My cholesterol has dropped about 60 points, with my ‘good’ cholesterol now over 100. That is a HUGE success, as my mom’s family makes too much estrogen, leading to very high cholesterol counts, like over 300; and my mom is a tiny woman who barely weighs 120 pounds. It is exciting to see changes, and to get confirmation.

My next layer to peel away is to move to being completely vegan at least five days a week, which means not only me, but also my two teen boys. We will work on it in steps, baby ones, and see what develops.

I will start by explaining in separate posts the spiritual and physical value of each of these foods above, and how they can not only offer better meal choices, but also nourish the needs of our soul.

When we cook to involve all of the senses, not only to we bless ourselves, but all in our family or even workplace who smell or see what we’ve created.

When people come home to the sights and smells of  home-cooked food, it nourishes body and soul, strengthens bonds of love, and encourages conversation and intimacy. Children and significant others alike feel secure, special, and nurtured.

Add to that the high vibration of less processed and cleaner foods filled with love from the home chef, and a recipe for overall well-being and happiness is created.

Let’s start by learning about the wonderful addition of umeboshi plum to our table…