Finding Happiness Through New Positive Habits

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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For Lent this year, I have launched Project Happy FACE, which refers to four things I am giving up (FACE): Fish, Alcohol, Cheese and Eggs. Essentially, I’m not eating anything with a face, or anything that comes from anything with a face (i.e. cheese or eggs).

I have always found happiness through creating new challenges for myself and adopting new positive habits. I have wanted to eat an entirely plant-based diet for a while now, and decided to officially give up alcohol as well to keep my diet as pure as possible.

I realize that for someone people, bacon means happiness! For some people, giving up burgers would be unthinkable.

For me, honoring all life as sacred and caring about where my food comes from is more important to me than eating meat. I haven’t eaten meat, besides fish, for ten years.

That part isn’t hard for me! Giving up cheese feels challenging right now, and I am used to having eggs for breakfast most days.

But as a vegan friend told me, focus on what you’re gaining and not on what you’re giving up. I am living a lifestyle that is good for the earth and good for my body.

I am living a lifestyle that doesn’t cause any harm to any living creatures.

I am living a lifestyle that will help me to meet my own current health and fitness goals. And I feel great and have lots of energy most of the time.

Happiness for me is partly found through honoring my body and honoring the earth.

image PETA eat your veggies

Sexy Vegans!

I have so many sexy vegans who have paved the way for me as I learn more about this lifestyle! For starts, Mimi Kirk who won PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 is one of my personal heroes.

She eats a raw vegan diet and at 76 years old is still a beautiful blonde bombshell. Mimi travels the world teaching the raw vegan lifestyle, and inspires the next generation, like me, to live healthy.

Kris Carr is another one of my heroes, who adopted a plant-based diet after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. She changed her diet and lifestyle completely, and not only is healthy and thriving, but now teaches others how to live this way.

Kris also travels and teaches and has published several books, including the Crazy Sexy Diet.

Lindsay Nixon is another sexy vegan who has written several cookbooks as the Happy Herbivore. I have followed her Website for years for the amazing, free recipes.

She also offers 7-day meal plans for only $1 a day for those who want a little extra help in adopting a plant-based diet.

There is a long list of celebrity vegans and vegetarians. Beyoncé has even recently launched a vegan meal delivery plan!

Here is my favorite reason to go vegan, from PETA’s list of the top 10 reasons to go vegan in the new year: “Vegans tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone!”

So Far, So Good!

I am only one week into Lent – but so far, so good! I have been frequenting a vegan coffeehouse called The Brakes and a vegan teahouse called Lil Buddha Tea on Lark Street in Albany, New York, near where I live in Troy, New York.

I have had lots of vegan soups and sandwiches, on gluten-free bread, and lots of kale salads, since kale is one of my favorite foods. People tend to worry that you won’t get enough protein as a vegan, but it’s easier than you think, and recommendations for daily protein intake are also often higher than is actually needed.

As a vegan, you can still eat beans, legumes, soy, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and other meat substitutes. Green veggies actually have some protein in them, and there are miracle grains like quinoa which is a complete protein.

I lift weights, and so require a good amount of protein daily, but I also supplement my diet with protein shakes and nuts (almonds or cashews generally) as a snack.

I attribute the fact that I get carded often to my very healthy diet and to not drinking very much (for now, not at all!) or smoking. I never mind people thinking that I am half my actual age!

Wish Me Luck!

My goal is to eat a vegan diet from now on. Lent can serve as a trial period so I can really get adjusted to it.

I stopped eating meat except for fish in 2005, and have been super-happy with that change in my diet. I think it’s time to step things up to the next level!

Even the United Nations says that reducing meat and dairy consumption is the best move we can all make for the planet.

Here’s to living healthy and honoring the earth! No matter what our diet or exercise practices may be, may we all be increasingly mindful about our dietary choices for the sake of living a long, happy, healthy life while also honoring our Mother Earth.