The Jealous vegan is raising The dialogue about plant-based lifestyles while being honest about the benefits and challenges of sustainably changing the way that we eat & how we think about food.

I recently found myself in a conundrum.  My parents moved out (more about that situation in this article) and I now have portions of my house completely without furniture.  I had been looking forward to this opportunity for many months and when moving day came and went and space became freed up, I pounced on it with the fervor of a lioness.  I took measurements, started scouring the internet and called up my ‘decorating buddy’, the awesome friend who spent multiple vacations in 2005-2006 to come to Texas and help me paint and decorate my new house in Austin.

I bought a few pieces online and was disappointed when they didn’t hit the mark, so I decided to slow down and be more deliberate in my approach.  I sat back and thought about what I really wanted, what I wanted to feel when I walked in a room, what I hoped to accomplish in the space, what I wanted guests to enjoy when here with me.  

While it seemed like a smart approach, it turned into a full-blown episode of paralysis analysis. Each item was reviewed multiple times for it’s ability to mix with my evolving style and whether or not it was getting me closer to the look I was hoping to create.  I read and re-read reviews, peppered my friends with questions and drowned their inboxes with links and ideas to get feedback. I pulled out my measuring tape multiple times, moved chairs from one room to another, moved them back, then moved them again. I was determined not to repeat the pattern of assembling and disassembling furniture, only to ship it back and lose money on the return shipping cost.  

Why couldn’t I settle on the pieces I want for my new life?  Why has this been so hard? Then one day this week, it hit me.

I’ve been too afraid to make the wrong choices and that’s meant I’ve stopped myself from even trying.  

While this situation is about furniture, we do it all the time.  Have you heard your thoughts whispering (or maybe even shouting to you), ‘Don’t go after that promotion, they’ll never pick you’ or ‘Who are you fooling?  You deserve that raise, but I’m sure they’ll say it’s not the right time’ or ‘You can’t start your own business; you better keep this good job and be happy with what you have!’.

The same thing can happen when we are considering changing our health or establishing new habits.  Are we afraid to try something new because we don’t think we can ’stick to it’? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned the Jealous Vegan to someone and their immediate response is ‘I can’t give up chicken’ or ‘I love cheese too much to be vegan’ and maybe that’s sincerely how they feel.   But why not take a moment to consider the possibilities of something and determine what steps we can take toward our goal? What’s the harm in trying, even if we discover we ‘failed’.

I had that proverbial ‘doh’ moment with the idea of buying furniture that I don’t absolutely love. The truth is, I can order a piece to ‘try at home’ and if it doesn’t work, I can return it!  If I can’t return it without a fee, I can sell it online: there’s eBay, Craigslist, LetGo, Bonanza, etc. If none of those pan out, I’m sure there is a needy senior or family in the area for whom the piece will be just what’s needed.   As one friend put it, ‘it’s not even like a bad haircut. You don’t even have to wait for it to grow back!’

I have come to realize that there aren’t any “perfect” pieces, just as there are no perfect eating plans.    

I shouldn’t sit back and over-evaluate my options for new home decor, and we shouldn’t spend so much time mulling over plans that we delay our start to healthy living.  

Should I be vegan?  Is Ketogenic the path for me?  How about the South Beach Plan?  Maybe the good old fashioned Weight Watchers method is best? What if none of those are the right fit and instead we need a combination of approaches to reach our personal nirvana?   Why are we trying to fit into a mold that doesn’t respect our individuality?

Yes, do research and consider the pros, cons and medical implications of a change to your eating plan. Get advice from a trusted friend, partner or physician. However, don’t let overanalysis prevent you from getting started and moving in the direction of better health.

Here’s another case of progress over perfection being the order of the day!!

For Community Discussion

Plant-based as gone pop. Is this a fad or a real sustainable shift towards healthier humans and a healthier planet.  Part of our mission is to raise the dialogue about plant-based.   

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