Good things come to us unexpectedly and in many forms, don’t they?
I have been reflecting this week on my life, especially about the last few, very full years and the changes that have occurred. Prior to those years, however, one of the biggest blessings (if not the biggest) of my life was given to me, unexpectedly. My baby girl was born.
I became a mother and had to learn to pass on what I learned from this life to this precious human being who depended on me for everything. That responsibility sometimes still overwhelms me, but I have learned that the Divine is always there to help me. However, the gift that would come from this infant being was something even more priceless!
They say that sometimes life happens, and we have no idea why things occur the way they do. Only in retrospect are we grateful that things took the route they did and not the path we expected. I’ve discovered that if I choose to appreciate when this occurs in my life, I learn and grow from my experiences.
One case in point: my daughter and her eating habits as a baby and toddler. There was nothing that she wanted to eat, really, but fruit and cheese! I began to worry and wonder what in the world I would feed her, and where was she going to get her protein and nutrients. So, my research began.
I had to find a way to get her to eat REAL food, not just vegetables, fruit, and beans. I then partook in the average American diet – had my coffee in the mornings, sandwiches and French fries for lunch, meat, pasta or rice, chicken and/or potatoes with bread in evenings. I even loved a soft drink once in a while. This was normal, and of course, normal for most people.
But, not for my daughter. She would not eat meat. I was in a bind.
My research lead me to the vegetarian diet because I needed to find something to feed my child. ANYTHING. So, I began to read about the protein content in beans, the health benefits of vegetables, the fiber in fruit, the harmful chemicals found in meat. Truly fascinated by what I read and by the examples of vegetarian (and vegan), fit and healthy people that I read about, I decided I needed to “go vegetarian” to save my daughter from all the “nutrient-less” fruit she consumed. I had no choice. She needed to eat something other than fruit and cheese. I had to do this!
As I dug deeper into researching the vegetarian lifestyle, I was convinced that not only was it NOT harmful for my daughter to eat fruit, but it was very beneficial. And, having been diagnosed with large, painful uterine fibroids, asthma, and rosacea, I needed to do something about MY own health and not just hers.
I embraced vegetarianism and slowly started to change my eating habits. I learned that feeding my child a meatless diet was OKAY, and I let her eat all the fruit she wanted. And, she took advantage!
After a while, my health began to improve, and I discovered veganism. I learned about the atrocities that occur daily to our animal friends, and I could not participate in their demise any longer, so I chose to go vegan for ethical reasons. To my amazement, my health improved dramatically! I now eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables in addition to the delicious cooked vegan food available these days. So, I have come full circle. Besides, it was “raw” fruit that my baby loved, wasn’t it?
There is something about a child that is pure, simple, unassuming, and intuitive. Very young children have innocent minds until they are socially and environmentally conditioned. Their bodies, minds, and spirits abound in curiosity, love, and energy, so they are able to choose what is pure without reservation, question, or judgment. Such is the case of my daughter, who knew, in some fashion or another, that fruit was good for her. She has not only inspired me to change but propelled my life in the most fulfilling direction I could have ever imagined. I am truly in awe and speechless sometimes at how this part of my life (and hers) has unfolded.
Eating and experiencing all that comes with a healthy, meatless diet is beautiful and very satisfying. There is nothing that I can think of that has transformed me more than living vegan. It has opened my eyes to the horror that animals experience, allowed me to eat the most nourishing, tasty food, and given me abundant health.
I owe my transformation to the catalyst that made it happen: my precious child, who, by the way, still LOVES her tomatoes!