Saturday, March 17, 2012


“Looks great! But no thank you.”
“Thanks anyway, I’ll pass.”
Let me ask you a question - do you consider a politely stated “No thank you” to be an act of courage?  
I do. Every time I say these three words, I am staying true to myself and my health. To me, these words are NOT words of deprivation--they are words of strength and empowerment. 
Many people fear losing out on pleasure in life if they deny themselves of certain foods to which they are accustomed. For whatever reason, they would rather continue eating the harmful foods that got them in this dire health situation. For reasons they may not understand they continue with their addictive behaviors are addicted to disease causing foods.
These are the people who think eating a plant-based vegan diet will not be pleasurable. 
Developing New Pleasures
If you are reading this then you must care about improving your health. Breaking a long time addiction to food can be tough, but it is possible. It only takes a small act of courage: saying “No.” 
Soon you will develop new pleasures. Your tastes will change and you will no longer want to settle for anything that is not healthful. For example, it used to be one of my favorite things to try out new restaurants with my friends. Now I’m not against trying out new restaurants, but I have found a new pleasure which is preparing my own healthful and wonderful tasting food. I much prefer cooking for myself and knowing exactly what is in my food and how it has been prepared. 
Doing this takes consistent planning on my part. Every week I try to plan my menu, usually a new recipe or two. I plan one day to shop and one day to cook for the week. Cooking can take me 2-4 hours, but then it’s done for the week. What a reward! I never have to worry about what I’m going to have for dinner or lunch. And I know that what I am eating is staying true to my health and goals. Cooking has become my catharsis. I much prefer the taste of healthful foods, and my desire for the unhealthful has greatly diminished. 
Practice Your New Pleasures
It takes practice to develop new habits. Practice your new-found pleasures until they become habit. Once you have taken the first act of courage to say “No” find those things that give you pleasure and say “Yes” to them. Trust me, you will find new pleasures in all parts of your life. Lately, I have noticed how much walking I do and have found myself walking along thinking about how great I feel. This may sound a bit strange, but I know plenty of people who can barely walk because of health issues. I am very thankful for my health and well-being. Eating healthy takes practice and tenacity. 
Social Situations
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day my friend cleverly decorated a bunch of cupcakes and then proceeded to hand them out to everyone at work--except me of course.  When she came by my cubicle she apologized and politely told me that she would have something for me later. I asked to see her handiwork and complimented her on how she had decorated the cupcakes. Later in the afternoon, as she had promised, she brought me some fruit. I loved that my friend was so respectful of my dietary choices and I loved the fruit! 
Often people are afraid of social situations knowing they will be surrounded by unhealthful foods. You must prepare ahead for these situations and put into practice your new found pleasures. Practice your words of courage and simply say “No thank you.”  When you confidently do this over and over the fear of social situations will no longer cripple you. You will be rewarded with increased health and become a wonderful example to others.
Your new found pleasures will sustain you and reward you with excellent health and longevity. When you say “No thank you” you are really saying “yes” to true pleasure. You will no longer desire unhealthful foods and you will be rewarded with increased health. 

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