April 12, 2017

Why I became a vegetarian (Do I miss eating meat?)


If you had told me a year or two ago that I will be writing a blog post about becoming a vegetarian, I would have laughed at your face so hard! I was one of those people who thought vegetarian/vegans were weird and always tried to make you feel like they were better than you. In fact, let me give a few reasons why back then, omitting meat from my diet would have never crossed my mind.

     1. This is going to sound super stereotypical, but I used to LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE chicken. I can’t remember a day when I was offered chicken and said no. If there was a world where chicken was the only meat available, I would have had no problem eating it on a daily basis.
     2.  In cases you didn’t know, I’m African. And in a typical African household it is virtually unheard of to not eat meat. Basically if the food doesn’t have meat in it, it won’t be as enjoyable as if it did. Think of it as having spaghetti and meatballs without the meatballs. The chances of us eating spaghetti with no meat balls are virtually non-existent. Out of every meal we eat, I would say at least 8/10 times it has some kind of meat in it. 
     3. I was uneducated. When I thought of non-meat eaters, I thought of hardcore animal lovers who would get upset with you for accidentally stepping on an ant and I simply could never relate. Ever since a dog took a bite out me when I was little, animals and I haven’t been the best of friends. I’m not a fan of them, and they aren’t of me. I’m okay with us co-existing and all but I’m not about to dedicate my life to saving them (do I sound heartless?).

Things quickly changed when I finally got a Netflix subscription and quickly developed a love for documentaries. After binge-watching too many documentaries to keep count, I finally stumbled on a documentary called FOOD, INC.  It was as if I had been blinded for years, and the movie basically removed my blindfold. I was completely flabbergasted by what I was watching. I never really paid any mind to how the food I was buying got to the grocery store, where it was made, and how?



FOOD INC. opened doors to many other documentaries just like it and before I knew it, I had watched Cowspiracy, Fork over Knives, Plant Pure Nation, Vegucated, and countless YouTube videos. With every documentary and video that I watched, it became apparent that I couldn’t allow myself to indulge in animal flesh any longer. The chicken I liked so much spent most of its days in an overcrowded room, away from sunlight and pumped with so many hormones to make it grow faster that it couldn’t even walk. The chickens’ legs will often give out because they couldn’t handle the abnormal weight of their bodies. Watching that and many more like it honestly made me want to puke.

Not only is Animal agriculture unsustainable but it is also a huge contributor to climate change among other things. One thing I learned that absolutely baffled is the fact that we could very well feed the millions of people who go hungry every day with the grains we reserve for livestock.  Learning facts such as these further reinforced my decision to stop eating meat.
And so after years of being a proud carnivore, at the beginning of this year I decided that it was time for me to break up with meat. I slowly removed meat from my meals and before I knew it, the sight of chicken I used to drool over made me nauseous. I will admit that at the beginning of my journey, I sometimes missed eating meat. Not so much the taste of it, but more so just seeing it on my plate. I’m not the biggest fan of change, so I think I probably missed the routine or familiarity of always eating my meals with a piece of meat on the side. Like I said earlier, in our household there wasn’t much we cooked that didn’t include meat.

Now that I am four months in, I can’t possibly imagine myself ever eating animal flesh again. My chipotle order now, actually costs less than before and that’s with guacamole! I walk by a chick-fil-a almost every day to get to school and I barely look at it whereas before all it took was the smell of chicken nuggets to get me through the door.
I eventually plan on transitioning to a vegan diet in the future, but as of right now, I’m having lots of fun trying vegetarian recipes and making vegetarian versions of foods that I used to eat with meat.


I’ve been really careful not to reinforce the belief I previously had about meat-free eaters when I get asked questions (even ones that are…challenging to answer to say the least). I always felt as though they were condescending towards carnivores which is why I was so quick not to show any type of interest in their lifestyles. I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone how to live their lives but I do believe that sharing what I learned with others could possibly encourage them to do their own research and take whatever action they see fit. I know I probably would have become a vegetarian sooner if I had been informed. With that said, here are some of the videos/movies I watched that helped me decide to become a vegetarian.


FOOD INC. (Netflix)
Forks over Knives (Netflix)
Cowspiracy (Netflix)
Plant Pure Nation (Netflix)



-Yvanne

Feel free to share!


March 17, 2017

5 Great Yoga Videos For Complete Beginners on Youtube


I recently talked about beginning my yoga journey and in case you were wondering how that's been going, i'm happy to announce that so far, it's been amazing! I'm so glad i was able to successfully incorporate it into my daily routine and stick to it. I refer to yoga as my daily cup of coffee because It's amazing how rejuvenated and energetic i feel after every sequence.

February 26, 2017

What To Do If You Missed Class in College

The good thing about college classes is that your professors will most likely not take attendance which means they probably won’t notice if you’re not there. Especially if you’re in a large lecture class. 


missing a college class


BUT...

It’s all fun and games until it’s two days until your midterm and you have no idea as to what you’re going to be tested on. YIKES.

Missing class in college is definitely not the end of the world It’s fine if you had a family emergency or you were really sick. it’s more of what you do after being absent from class that really matters. If you go about your day as if nothing happened and expect your professor to come up to you the next class to hand you notes from the lesson you missed, you’re playing yourself. It’s your responsibility to go above and beyond to try to catch up on whatever you missed. Here’s how to go about it:

January 29, 2017

A Student's Guide to Surviving Long Lecture Classes

Let’s all give a round of applause to the genius who thought three-hour lectures were a good idea.


My first ever lecture class in college was surprisingly quite interesting. I actually looked forward to the class and barely noticed how long it was. I thought “this isn’t bad at all. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.” Turns out, I spoke too fast. The next semester I had to take another lecture class and this time I did understand what the fuss was about.

January 18, 2017

Starting My Yoga Journey

I used to be one of those people who thought yogis were some weird hippies who talk about their auras all the time and do alien-like shapes. 

beginning my yoga journey

Well...obviously my mind-set has changed.
I had been thinking about doing yoga for a few months but I was really intimidated by all the other yogis. When I looked at all the poses everyone else was doing, it was hard to believe that I could ever come close to achieving anything like it.

A couple weeks ago, I finally took the plunge and never looked back. I’ve been following a few beginner videos on YouTube and loving them. My first practice was one heck of a roller coaster. At first I thought “well this isn’t too hard” but before I knew it, I was begging to be back in child’s pose every two minutes. I was super sore afterwards but after a few more practice, my body actually started cooperating. I’m still not able to do the downward facing dog right, but i'm getting there.