Minimalist Baby Gear (0-3 Months)

We’re well on our way to having baby number three and so child-rearing has become a practiced skill for my husband and I. We also originally thought that we would stop at two kids and so most of our gear has been gifted away to friends and family. In preparation for baby number three, we’ve had to start fresh, on a budget, and with our new minimalist mindset.

The following is my “must have” items for baby. I’m not including diapers or clothes in this piece because I will be covering those categories elsewhere (see link above). This is everything else and I hope that this is helpful to new mamas and papas out there as well as parents who have recently embraced minimalism.

Feeding

Everyone’s situation will be a little different. My two older kids certainly were: my younger would have nothing to do with any artificial nipple or pacifier. My eldest had major feeding and reflux issues and required just about every intervention and product you could think of. The truth is, your situation for each kid is very unpredictable. As a minimalist, I’m planning for my ideal and I will have no qualms buying additional gear if warranted.

These are my “must haves”:

  • burp cloths (about 6)

  • a nursing pillow (Really any pillow will do the job, but I’m spoiled.)

  • a nursing throne (Hey, I said I was spoiled. Stake out a place for mama, or papa, to sit for long stretches of time. I have a glider rocker and side table for this purpose.

  • a place to record feeding/changing information (You will be asked this information everywhere or, if nursing, you may want to keep track of which breast the baby drank from last. Some use their phone for this purpose, I have a little notebook.)

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Things I would wait to buy:

  • a breast pump (Manual is fine for occasional use, but an electric can be a real life-saver for kids exclusively on the bottle or for mothers working away from home.)

  • breast milk storage containers (I plan to use mason jars if I need these.)

  • bottles, nipples

  • bottle brush

  • more burp cloths (if the child has reflux or GERD)

  • pacifiers

 

Some Things for the Breastfeeding Mama:

  • Washable breastpads for catching “let down” milk
  • Nursing Bras or Nursing Tanks
  • Nursing Cover (if that is your preference)

The numbers you want will be determined by your laundry schedule, but keep in mind you may want more nursing bras/tanks than you usually have because milk and baby spit up can prevent re-use between washes.

A set up that I love is a nursing tank and a largish t-shirt (short or long-sleeved). My belly stays covered, my chest stays covered but I can still pop open my tank to nurse discreetly.

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Sleeping

Consider how you want to set up your sleeping arrangements. Are you and your partner both into co-sleeping? Would either of you prefer that the baby has a nursery? We got a convertible crib for my first-born. It seemed very eco-friendly. We could buy the crib, turn it into a toddler bed and then buy rails for a twin-sized frame down the road. He spent his first months in a nursery and I spent the nights jumping up to check on him at the slightest whimper.

For my second-born, I bought a sidecar co-sleeper for our bed (an Arm’s Reach Mini). This worked well for the first three months, but necessitated a new arrangement when he became more mobile. A major mistake that I made with his sleeping arrangements was relying too heavily on nursing him to sleep. This limited his ability to put himself to sleep.

My plan for baby three is to put the baby in our side-car co-sleeper for the first three months (we got this item back) and then outfit a pack and play with a comfortable mattress for the remainder of the crib years, eventually switching to a twin-sized set up and skipping the toddler bed altogether. If I didn’t have the co-sleeper, I might just begin with the pack and play in our bedroom.

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Arm’s Reach Mini Co-sleeper (not yet strapped to the bed)

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2 breathable blankets, 1 night light, 2 burp cloths, 1 organic cotton crib sheet (the other is on the mattress)

These are my “must haves”:

  • a safe sleeping surface + mattress (our co-sleeper for the first three months)

  • crib sheets (x2)

  • crocheted/ knitted/waffle woven blankets (x2, these are very “breathable”, unlike the heavy synthetic baby blankets which are great for day time snuggling but are potentially dangerous) NB: I am not suggesting that a newborn should be left unattended with a blanket, but that I am more comfortable with the breathable kind when I am beside the baby in a co-sleeping situation. Use your own judgment.

  • burp cloths (2 near the crib)

  • a night light (1)

Things I would wait to buy:

  • swaddles, some babies don’t enjoy these

Travel & Parking

I’m not sure whether this is true or not, but I’ve been told that hospitals won’t let you leave with your newborn without first seeing that you have a car seat. Regardless, as a car-dependent, rural mama, I didn’t feel the need to test this out. We originally had a car seat and stroller system. You could snap the car seat directly into a huge stroller and never have to wake your babe. As my eldest was born in a cold October and was shuffled from hospital, pediatric, and specialist care, this system had some appeal – until the snow melted and he was in healthier shape.

For my next born, we kept the car seat with the base, but let the stroller get dusty. We had gotten into baby wearing. He was a spring baby and carrying him around, especially on trails and around town just seemed so much easier. I never needed to put him in a sketchy shopping cart either as he snuggled me in his carrier.

This time around, we got a car seat with two bases (for both cars) and a newborn insert all second-hand. I ditched the bulky hood and added a car seat cover as we’re due for another cold-weather baby.

For the first three months, I intend to wear my baby in a stretchy moby wrap. This kind usually only works for around 3 months anyway, but it takes care of the issue that newborn’s have with their tiny frog legs. (After which, I have my choice between my trusty mei tai, a ring sling, and a woven wrap I’m borrowing from my sister-in-law.)

When I want to put my baby down away from home, I’ll put her in her car seat. At home, I have our old bouncer back (minus a few unnecessary attachments).

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I think as a minimalist parent, you should feel comfortable getting rid of the unnecessary elements on baby gear – especially when you don’t think you’ll be able to sell the item after you use it.

These are my “must haves”:

  • car seat (the kind with a base are really great for this stage)

  • baby carrier or a stroller

  • some place safe to lay your baby down during the day such as a bouncer or baby swing

This time around, I’m trying:

  • newborn insert for car seat

  • car seat cover (if you’re having a warm season baby this may be completely redundant)

Things I would wait to buy or reconsider getting altogether:

  • a stroller

  • a grocery cart cover

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Bathing & Pharmacy

Kids don’t need to be cleaned very often. And they don’t need a lot of specialized gear. I know, marketing seems to make this realization a little counter-intuitive, but think about it: why do babies need their own nail clipper?

These are my “must haves”:

  • a nail clipper (that the family shares)

  • a soft brush (mostly for cradle cap, both my boys had this so I expect to deal with it again)

  • a baby towel (x1)

  • baby wash cloths (I have a store of these for washing kids’ faces and for multiple kids bath times)

  • a mild soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Nature’s Gate’s Baby Shampoo and Body Wash)

  • a mild lotion or oil (my favorite is coconut oil but I also have Aveeno’s Baby Lotion)

  • a nasal aspirator (for getting boogies out)

  • saline solution (for the aspirator)

  • a thermometer (the kids share)

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There is a hooded baby towel, baby wash cloths, Nature’s Gate Baby Wash, a soft, vegan baby brush, a nasal aspirator that comes apart for easy cleaning, saline spray, nail clippers, and a thermometer. I’m not a fan of Johnson & Johnson but this is one of their safer products that I intend to use up before replacing with coconut oil.

Things I would wait on or completely reconsider:

  • eczema care

  • cold care

  • pain relievers

  • a baby bath tub

Toys, Books, Stimulation

Babies from birth to three months usually don’t have a lot of interest in toys and you will probably receive some as gifts so there is no need to stock up on these at this stage. At about 3 months exactly, kids seem to universally gravitate toward those plastic keys – so don’t throw those out if you get some.

I believe in reading to your child, but a library card is probably the best route to take. You can purchase any favorites, but get a much wider selection and save a lot of money and clutter by taking this route.

Stimulation comes from you and all those people who want to be in your baby’s life. Simple games and cuddles are priceless and come without any clutter!

These are my 0-3 “must haves”:

  • a library card

  • any book that is fun for the parent to read out loud

  • some books written in French (or whatever family language you have other than English as these may be hard to get at the library, depending on where you live)

Memorabilia

I’m a failed baby booker. OK, I’ve admitted it. Moving on. I am a big believer in having some stuff to remember this time. It seems like a never ending cycle of kid care until you blink and then try to recall the time later on. The trick is to make memorabilia super easy for you.

For my first born, I tried the baby book thing because that is what my mom did for us. Later, I learned about baby’s first year calendars and I was won over. Put the calendar somewhere very easy to access, like in the pocket of your nursing throne. Keep a pen handy. Don’t worry over perfection.

Cameras that can be set to put the date in the corner or organize data by date are worthwhile. I haven’t used it yet, but I plan to have milestone stickers to put on the baby’s clothes for pictures. My husband made the brilliant observation that blank label stickers would be great for those milestones marketers haven’t considered. Such as: “baby’s first game night”.

Also, a fabric or permanent marker can be a great way to turn a onesie into some occasion-specific outfit. I’ve written all kinds of events or messages on my kid’s clothes.

These are my “must haves”:

  • baby calendar and pen

  • camera

  • fabric marker / permanent marker

Thing I’m trying out this time around:

  • milestone stickers / blank labels

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A first-year calendar, some milestone stickers, some blank labels for our own milestones (such as “baby’s first game night”), a permanent marker. We might use the marker on the kids’ clothes directly or add dates to stickers.

 

So, that’s it! I think you’ll find that a newborn comes with very little of his or her own expectations. This is a great time to introduce your child to the luxuries of less.

Happy Parenting with Mother Earth in Mind!

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A Minimalist’s Approach to Hobbies

You can collect hobbies like you collect stuff. Trust me, I know. I’ve mindlessly collected quite a few over the years and have let very few of those go. I’ve collected the stuff for my hobbies and diligently housed that stuff in climate-controlled, rented space. I’ve schlepped that stuff to and fro with every move. I’ve even allowed those hobbies to guilt me about their neglect.

Now, each of us only has 24 hours to the day. Some of us, like me, require about 8 hours of sleep to function, and while sleep is so, so good (I write this before the crack of dawn while my kids are still asleep), it offers little in the way of task completion. That leaves about 16 hours, give or take for individual needs and preferences. That’s actually not a lot. We pack in all sorts of stuff in those 16 ish hours: work, school, commuting, housekeeping, parenting, basic self care, and so on.

Who has time for a ton of hobbies? I’ve found that the hobbies I’ve tended to collect are aspirational in nature. The kind of hobby that leads to some grand achievement. One that makes you look good for others.

My aspirational self has time for all kinds of neat hobbies, because this fake self doesn’t live in the real world. She can play the violin, knit a pair of socks, has earned a black belt, guides wilderness expeditions, teaches yoga, runs marathons, speaks about 35 languages, and so on. Yes, these are actual goals that I’ve aspired to with my hobbies over the years. And trust me, there are many, many more.

The problem isn’t hobbies. It isn’t even hobbies which come with impressive but hard to reach goals. The problem, in my opinion, is not taking the time to revisit one’s hobbies on a regular basis. Not allowing yourself the freedom of letting go those hobbies that no longer ignite you. The problem is when you start to beat yourself up for not practicing that instrument you no longer like just because you wanted to get good at it.

Downsizing Your Hobbies

There are three basic steps for culling your hobby collection.

The first is the Marie Kondo, or “Konmari”, approach. (She is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.) That is, ask yourself if the hobby in question still “sparks joy”. Is it personally satisfying for you to take the time to do? You might be surprised with the answer. If the hobby no longer excites you, it’s time to let it go. Free up your time, remove the guilt. Keep in mind that if, in the unlikely scenario that you rekindle your interest, you can always take the hobby up again at any point in your life.

The second step is to set yourself some limits. What those limits look like is up to you. Perhaps you give yourself a daily or weekly time slot for your hobbies and refuse to feel guilty when you can’t achieve grandiose goals because the allotted time doesn’t allow for it.

Maybe you pick 6 hobbies per season, or work on 3 hobbies each month, or whatever number seems to call to you. By setting yourself a cap, you avoid the “jack of all trades, master of none” pitfall. By making your choices explicit, you may discover that you care more for a hobby you didn’t include than for one that you did. Being explicit leads to clarity in my experience.

The third is downsizing the stuff you’ve collected for your chosen hobby. A great example is camping gear. It may be time to weed out the tarp with all the holes, the old tent with the missing pieces, or the camp stove that you’ve long since replaced. It’s time to take into consideration the way you like to play your hobby and weed out the “what if” items.

The Hidden Danger of Too Many Hobbies

The reason I decided to write about this is because I’ve been neglecting both my hobbies and the act of dealing with them. They’ve sort of taken up a holding pattern in my life. Instead of pursuing the hobbies I’ve collected and am now overwhelmed by, I might surf Facebook or watch TV instead. This is a sad, cluttered state of affairs.

While I’m mindlessly killing the little down time that I have, I feel guilty that my archery gear is collecting dust (a hobby I might best let go of) or that my hiking boots are crying in the closet from neglect (to the deep pain of me and my boots). It isn’t just about the guilt associated with not doing something you set out to do, it isn’t just about all the stuff you’re tripping over instead of playing with, another hidden danger of having too many hobbies is that you lose focus on what can bring passion, creativity, or joy to your life. Because, at the end of the day, hobbies are supposed to be the things you do to refuel and recharge yourself.

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Minimalism for the Environment

When I first came across the concept of minimalism, around the year 2009, I wasn’t too impressed. It seemed to me that minimalism was all about getting rid of stuff. Sometimes perfectly good stuff and where that stuff went after leaving the home wasn’t touched on much, so minimalism seemed to me to be supporting a heavier use of landfills. After reading the first book on minimalism that I found, the idea that minimalism was all about housekeeping and de-cluttering was cemented in my mind. I moved on to other things.

You see, back in 2009, my environmentalism was more a field of study and a rallying call behind my activism. I didn’t yet understand that each of us in our daily living creates our legacy. So home upkeep seemed irrelevant to me back then, especially as an unmarried college student.

This year, I began my minimalist journey in earnest and I don’t think I’ll ever see the world the same way again. I was initially lured back into the realm of minimalism by stumbling upon the concept of capsule wardrobing. The idea that I could finally look decent without breaking the bank, filling the laundry basket, and ravaging the Earth held great appeal. I saw a minimalist practice as both personally and environmentally beneficial for the first time. I began to see that less really was more and that there was more to less.

Rather than simply ditching things, minimalism has become a call to rethink my consumptive habits. I am in a process of considering what I really need or love to have in my life. It is a lens that I’ve begun looking through that puts a damper on my desire to collect things for that false sense of security or to keep up with the Jones’. In simplifying my everyday habits, I am content with less and so I buy less.

The things I have around me I have because they help me to be the person I want to be. I know better who I want to be by exploring what is meaningful to me and this exploration is at the heart of minimalism. It is an ongoing and personal process. There is no end point and there is no contest between me and other minimalists.

How Minimalism Has Shaped My New Environmentalism

As I mentioned above, I didn’t see the environmental benefits of minimalism at first. Like many new to the concept of minimalism, I focused on the most visible attributes of the philosophy. It wasn’t until I began exploring another movement, called Zero Waste, that I understood that the practice of sustainable living benefited from a framework, or a hierarchy of decisions. At the peak of the Zero Waste hierarchy, created by Bea Johnson in her Zero Waste Home book and blog, is the first “R”, which stands for “refuse what you do not need”. The second “R” is “reduce what you do need”.

What would have been painfully obvious to a practicing minimalist but took me some time to grasp was that these first two “R”s, are a call to minimalism, because waste is naturally reduced when consumption is reduced.

In fact, whatever the impact you have on the environment, whether your choices are considered wildly harmful to the environment or only mildly so, choices both big and small, that impact is made automatically less harmful be curbing the consumptive level. For example, say you have a Hummer as your family vehicle. You’re not in a position to replace the vehicle right now, but you have become more environmentally conscious. To make the least impact, you decide to combine errands, to carpool, and to simply drive less when activities could be walked or biked to instead. This is clearly not the ideal scenario, but it is a realistic one that improves the situation just by making the decision to consume less.

I now consider minimalism at the top of my environmental hierarchy of decision making. I first look to refuse and reduce the things coming into my home before I look at other issues such as buying second-hand, limiting plastic, avoiding animal products and testing, and so on. The decisions I could make might be endless, but if I am already refusing an object that I decided I don’t need, I no longer have to worry about how ethically it was produced (I’m protesting an unethical or unnecessary product by not handing over my money in the first place).

And, by the way, when I do de-clutter, I’ve learned that I can think minimally and responsibly at the same time. I always think about alternatives to the landfill first.

Learning about minimalism has been a life-altering journey, but by placing my minimalism in the framework of my environmentalism, I have also found that the impact has even broader repercussions than I had thought possible.

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Do We Live in a Post-Environmentalist Society?

At the risk of dating myself, I grew up in the Captain Planet and Fern Gully generation. I participated in Earth Day clean up events before I understood much about the consequences of my ingrained consumerist behavior. When I was a kid, the big environmental problems could be addressed with a grocery bag full of litter and curbside recycling.
This past Earth Day, my normally celebration-happy town square was deserted. I was the only one shopping with cloth bags. I ironically wrote the words “Earth Day” on my “Nature’s Power” themed wall calendar, which had left the square unmarked.

There’s talk of the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, being disbanded. Our National Parks are defunded, and the internet meme is that Smokey Bear is eerily correct … only we can prevent forest fires.
With the CO2 levels in our atmosphere, climatologists are now predicting that there is no way to prevent global climate change.
Do we just give up? Is the environmental battle over? Do we turn in our chasing arrow badges and our planeteer rings?

I would hope that the answer is a resolute and resounding NO! Because, we still haven’t found a replacement Earth. We still live here and we’re still having children and we’re still hoping to eat, to breathe, to drink from the planet we live on. We can’t afford to be blaissez about this issue.
This isn’t a special interest. This is the root of all interests. We can’t eat money. We can’t make products from snapping our fingers together and willing them into existence.

What do we tell our children? That we’re sorry, but the continued existence of life on Earth, and their lives, were just too “fringe” for us to consider?

What Can We Do?

I suggest we do away with “the environment”, a cold, sterile word that seems so “special interest” and refocus on activity that is “Earth-friendly”. Refocus on “Our Planet”. Our connection.
We don’t give up in despair in face of the over-sized problem we’ve fallen into. We fight for as long as we wish to eat, to breathe, to drink, and so on.
You, me, our children and our grandchildren – we’re all in this together. Maybe we all find different solutions to work on. Our interests and specialties may vary, but our passion shouldn’t. This is situation critical. We can’t be lax now.
But if you have no idea what you are going to do. May I humbly make some suggestions to get you started:

  • Consume less stuff. Everything made has an environmental footprint. Check in with yourself before making a purchase. Do I really need this? Will this serve a function in my life?
  • Replace the plastic. If you have a choice between two materials, choose the item that isn’t made from plastic.
  • Avoid single use everything. Figure out how to use and reuse items for as long as you can.
  • Speak up. The reason there was no Earth Day celebration in my local town square, the reason the EPA is in danger of being disbanded, that National Parks are being defunded is because politicians believe we just don’t care. You and I both know this isn’t true.

Notes:

EPA
According to NBC News, in an article written by Avalon Zoppo, “On Feb. 3, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, introduced a bill in the House that would terminate the EPA by the end of 2018”.
How seriously should we take this? The Washington Post published an article reviewing in detail the proposed 2018 budget in an article called “What Trump cut in his budget”. Guess which three letter agency received the largest funding cut.
The Guardian notes, in an article entitled “Donald Trump ‘taking steps to abolish Environmental Protection Agency’”, that eliminating the EPA was a campaign pledge of Trump. The article points to specific and worrying regulations already taking place. “Fears of a purge of EPA climate data, research, and reports have been fuelled by the removal of climate science material on a White House website and a ‘temporary hold’ placed on new publications until they have been vetted by politcal appointees.” (political appointees, not scientists) Let’s be clear, American citizens have funded this research, but we’re not being allowed to have access to the results. For political reasons.

Climate Change

According to a New York Post article, “Carbon dioxide levels hit ‘point of no return’ by Lauren Tousignant, “in 2015, when CO2 levels officially passed 400 ppm, which climate scientists call the ‘point of no return.’ After this mark, they claim, climate change is irreversible.”
Some may think that this is the signal to stop fighting. But consider this, while carbon dioxide is slow to dissipate, methane, the second most prevalent greenhouse gas can trap up to 100 times more heat inside the atmosphere and can dissipate from the atmosphere, if the problem is addressed, much more quickly.
I reiterate: we can’t afford to stop fighting. We may have to change our battle strategy, but we can’t just quit.

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How Vegans Party (Day 26)

We’re about to celebrate my second-born’s third birthday this May. As a result of going vegan, I know that I want to make some changes to how we celebrate. Right now, I’m in the planning stages. I have to wonder, though, how do vegans party?

In this piece, I want to share with you some of my thought processes about transforming the average birthday party into a vegan one.

Determining Your Party Audience

I don’t know any vegans in “real life”, so it’s safe to say that everyone (minus me) attending this party is not vegan. That means I’m not going to make anything overtly vegan, for a party, this generally just means food.

 

Now, if you have more vegans in your circle, I’m sure this will impact your choices.

Invitations

We prefer to invite people pretty casually. We usually create a Facebook event and call non-Facebookers individually. This cuts down on waste and postage and gives a very easy built in option for RSVPing. It also allows us to warn our guests on what they might expect. We usually give an idea as to whether the event is indoor or outdoor, what activities we’re planning, what food we’re planning, and what gifts (if any) might be a good idea.

I haven’t explicitly written “no toys with animal exploitation imagery (such as farms or zoos)” as I’m not comfortable with actually saying that to my circle, but that certainly is an option. We feel that presenting ideas cuts back on undesirable gifts.

That said, I have had to make certain gifts disappear in the past. We once got a gift which included a cow singing about how good her life is on the farm. It was rather obnoxious!

Food & Drink

As I’m playing hostess to omnivores, I’ll be choosing food and drink options that are accidentally or incidentally vegan. No tofu scrambles or seitan sandwiches. Food choices might include things like: potato chips, corn chips and salsa, veggies with hummus dip, fruit, a potato salad made with Just Mayo mayonnaise, drinks, and so on. I haven’t determined the full menu, but I’m going to stick to foods that appeal to omnivores.

How Do Vegans Party?

I assume that vegans party just like everyone else. Food, drink, chitchat, some fun activity, and gifts.

Maybe there isn’t pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey or an animal shaped pinata? No idea. Just silly speculation on my part.

Here’s your chance to weigh in on what makes a party vegan. Please post your ideas in the comments below!

Until next time, keep that talk walking!

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My 2017 Favorite Vegan Resources (Day 25)

I imagine that as the years go by and I get exposed to new resources, my vegan favorites list will change. However, I have been “vegucating” myself during this challenge, and I think these are pretty good resources, resources that I feel could be valuable to others.

My Favorite Vegan YouTubers:

My Top Three:

Honorable Mention:

My Favorite Vegan Movies:

Available on Netflix:

  • Vegucated
  • Food, Inc.
  • Cowspiracy
  • Forks Over Knives + Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue

Available on YouTube:

My Favorite Vegan Books:

  • Vegan Pregnancy: Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal
  • Low-FODMAP and Vegan: What to eat when you can’t eat anything by Jo Stepaniak
  • V is for Vegan by Ruby Roth
  • Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier

My Favorite Vegan Website:

Vegan Essentials 

My Favorite Vegan Substitutes:

I don’t feel that I eat a lot of vegan specialty foods. Mostly due to availability, my town isn’t very veg friendly. That said, I do have a few vegan swaps that are returning champions in my home. These are:

My Favorite Vegan Products / Companies:

Until next time, keep that talk walking!

 

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The “Perfect” Vegan (Day 24)

I’ve sabotaged myself for YEARS and I hope other would-be and new vegans don’t make this same mistake.

When I went vegetarian, I went vegetarian overnight and it was shockingly easy. It’s pretty easy to spot rotting flesh posing as food. It has a look, a taste, a smell, etc. One doesn’t have to read labels or get science-y about it. I’m also reasonably sure it won’t show up as a hidden ingredient. It’s not so much a lifestyle change as a recognition that corpses aren’t a viable food source.

When meat has appeared amidst my food accidentally, I usually tasted it and (discreetly) spat it back out. I’ll even admit to trying small bites once or twice in my 15 years as a vegetarian. This was out of concern that I might eventually lose the ability to eat meat and this would decrease my survival chances in, I don’t know, the zombie apocalypse or something. I’m not saying it was a rational choice.

The point is, when accidents or momentary lapses in sanity did take place, I didn’t relinquish my identity as a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian because I believed that eating meat was wrong.

The funny thing is, in recent years, I’ve attempted to go vegan over and over again. I wasn’t convinced that veganism was wrong when I stopped calling myself or acting vegan, but I did find the logistics strikingly harder than going vegetarian and lapsing as a vegan was easy to do.

When Perfectionism Gets in the Way

I have an unhealthy tendency toward perfectionism. And if I made a mistake in my veganism or had a lapse in judgment, I would start again at “Day 1 – Vegan”. This treatment was like an unsuccessful diet regime that always restarts “tomorrow.”

I need to get over myself and my stupid perfectionism. I’m a vegan like I was a vegetarian. I am convinced by the philosophical underpinnings, I just need to work a little harder on the logistics. If I forget myself in the moment and eat a slice of cheese and then remember that I don’t want to contribute to the dairy industry, then I made a mistake. It does not negate anything.

It gets easier with time and experience. I will get to a point where my vegan decisions are on auto-pilot, but until I’m there, I just need to keep trying. Keep training the habit. Don’t give up so easily. Don’t beat myself up over accidents, but work to avoid them in the future.

Until next time, keep that talk walking!

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