Tag Archives: veganism

Raw Vegan for 108 Days

Why Are You Doing This, Jayne?

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One day I was minding my own business at work when my coworker walks into my office, stands there and says, “I dare you to go raw vegan. If you do it, I’ll do it too.”  I responded with a cocky and curt, “Sure, how long, 30 days? How about 108 days?” Thinking he would never agree to so long on such an extreme diet. He agreed instantly. We both looked away and were quiet, taking a moment to comprehend what we just agreed to. I was like “Hold on a minute..” and he was like “Holy shit that’s so long.” Then I realized 108 days is almost a third of a year! I won’t be drinking alcohol, which is good, but what will my boyfriend think of this? Will we still be able to go out to eat? What about our anniversary dinner at the Thai food place, I want to eat Thai food just that one day! My thoughts were racing.

So we made our parameters for the challenge:

108 Days Fully Raw Vegan

  • Edamame Hummus is ok as training wheels
  • Miso soup broth only is OK
  • My Anniversary Thai Food Dinner is OK
  • NO Tofu
  • No processed foods whatsoever
  • No bread
  • No caffeine
  • No alcohol

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I was instantly excited by the idea of this diet! I had done it before in a very half-assed way when I first went vegan, but didn’t look into recipes and couldn’t keep it up. I did lose a lot of weight quickly, which was appealing!

I decided I was going to do this completely, and do this right. I have a lot of trips coming up and I want to feel amazing this summer. A drastic change will bring drastic results. I was totally excited! I decided to not even eat the warm miso broth or hummus. Fully raw with no exceptions!

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I instantly looked up ‘raw foods’ on my Podcast app because I’m obsessed with podcasts. I found The Rawtarian and fell in love with this cute Canadian lady named Laura Jane. Her podcast is very clear, friendly, respectful, comprehensive and completely friendly for beginners. She has an adorable personality and the recipes sounded so insanely easy. Three or four raw ingredients in a blender and I have soup?! Even I could do that.

I have been burning toast my entire life and messing up boxed macaroni and cheese somehow for years. I found myself loving preparing this food, since it’s not really cooking! It’s embarrassing how inept I have been throughout my life in the kitchen. I basically try to hide this fact and buy prepared foods for parties. It’s terrible, you guys, I know! I was made fun of about it a few times, so I built up a mental block, it was a whole thing in my head.

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Pre-Raw Vegan Faves from the College Market in Angwin: Love their Vegan Burritos!!

The thing that appealed to me the most about this way of eating at first, was how detoxifying it would be, and that I wouldn’t have to cook. Now that I have been doing this for 12 days, the most amazing part of this experience is that I’m learning to  really enjoy preparing food! I cannot believe how easy and delicious these recipes are.

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I started by buying a Ninja Blender. I tried really hard not to be biased and just buy it because it was called a ninja, but it had more horsepower than the others and it has so many blades sticking out if the center axis, I’m kind of scared of it. It was $100 but it is so worth it. It crushes ice and cashews easily, so I’m very happy with it. I started by making mushroom soup. Just raw mushrooms, cashews, water and sea salt! I made that for my dinner and felt so happy about this simple, clean food!

Living Foods

Over the next few days I continued learning more about the benefits of raw foods, and started to really understand the powerful healing effects of raw foods. What I’ve learned is that the enzymes in living foods are still active, and help feed your immune system, giving you the best possible nutritious value. Since the food is alive, the nutrients haven’t been depleted, giving the body more energy and health benefits. I am still learning a ton. I love learning this information about how every plant benefits different parts of your body and systems, it’s becoming so obvious to me that plants in their most natural state would be the best way to consume them.

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I Have So Much Energy I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands

The energy I felt surging through my body after my morning green smoothie was crazy. I felt like jumping, running! I woke at 4 in the morning about three days into this diet, feeling completely refreshed and energized, enough so to go for a run. This energy surge perplexed me. I always wake at 5:15am, like clockwork. To wake this early, and feel this wired was absolutely new!

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Detoxing and……….Defecation

Another interesting fact: Detox Symptoms. About two days in, I noticed I had a vague, but persistent headache. It was always there, but barely uncomfortable, just an awareness. I also noticed on the second day, my bowel movement was bright army green! I started to realize that I could actually read my excrement and see what meal had been digested. I know poop is gross, but the way our bodies work and how the food passes through fascinates me. Depending on the consistency of the movement, I knew whether or not I needed more greens, fats, or fruits. I’ve never been able to “read” my body this way, it’s been so empowering to start to learn how.

Another Digestive “D” Word: Diarrhea

I made some banana cream freezer pie that was delicious! I also made chocolate cookies. They were easy and fun, and I kept sneaking bites of pie, a couple cookies, another bite of pie. I knew I was eating too much sugar, but I was like whatever I’m raw vegan there are nutrients in these foods! WELL! Just yesterday, I woke up at 1am with cramps in my stomach. I woke to try to use the bathroom, and kept having to return, with uncomfortable diarrhea. That lasted a few hours, thankfully it was mild. I looked it up online, and diarrhea is also a normal symptom of changing your diet drastically to a more-than-usual amount of fruits and vegetables.

I drank lots of water and ate broccoli slaw with avocado and sunflower seeds, and I felt a lot better. I’m learning how to make sure I consume enough food, and what KINDS of foods I need at any given time to have a balance. When I feel like I need something heavier, I have nuts or an avocado. When I feel like I’ve overindulged, I’ll eat a huge green salad. In the mornings, I make big 32 oz green smoothies and that has me feeling amazing. I’ve fully recuperated from the bout of diarrhea and have learned a valuable lesson about over-eating sweets and skimping on greens.

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My friend Claire made me this incredible raw meal! Asparagus, pesto with pine nuts, beets, carrots, romaine, beet chips, english pea dip, and jicama?! I can’t fathom my luck <3 Follow her on IG @Mcconnellculinaryadventures

I highly recommend this diet so far. I’ve lost 7 pounds in these 12 days! I think the hardest part is planning your meals in advance, and getting used to not eating the foods you’re used to eating. For me, it was hard giving  up olive oil popcorn and my favorite “science chicken” (Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Orange Chicken.) I had become a junk food vegan without realizing it! It feels incredible to eat this clean. My energy is unbelievable, I feel like my body is shrinking. I feel light and my pineal gland has been throbbing. My meditations have been much more focused. I love eating this way, and right now, I feel I could do this for a long time. Which is great because I have 96 days to go!

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MY BIGGEST TIPS SO FAR ARE THESE:

  • If you want to try raw vegan, be normal vegan first. To try to give up meat, dairy, and bread in one fell swoop is quitting three lifelong habits, three major addictions with genuinely addictive properties. It will be way way way too hard and not fun, and won’t be sustainable. When you do it slowly and just add more raw foods, it’ll be easier to celebrate small victories and move up from there, rather than beat yourself up when you can’t stick to the extreme changes you’re asking your body and emotions to accept. Be nice to yourself. This is a HUGE change and it’s not a socially normal thing to do, so it takes tremendous internal strength. It’s hard, but like anything, you learn how to do it and it gets easier! The way you begin to feel and look makes it all worth it.
  • Educate yourself. Listen to podcasts about nutrition, read books, get information from MANY different sources. Research the people giving the information, ask yourself, who is this website sponsored by? Look into it. Look at all angles. Ask questions and dig deep in the rabbit holes. There is a lot of information out there, sift through it with a mass amount of info and then use your ability to deduce and your intuition. Test the theories!
  •  Eat PLENTY of fruit, vegetables, GREENS and water. Do not overdo it with the desserts or your stomach might tell you it isn’t happy like mine did to me!
  • Have Fun! Enjoy the energy, bring food with you everywhere, and snack all the time on fruit. Let me know how it’s going for you, if you decide to add more raw into your diet! Good Luck and have fun! Try to remember, your attitude regarding change can make it so fun. This is not a burden, it’s a joy, it’s all your choice about how you choose to feel about it. I feel that feeling this healthy is a beautiful gift and worth every effort.

Links:

This website has the best easy recipes! Laura Jane is my raw guru! therawtarian.com

This man is extremely smart and is an expert on raw foods and nutrition. So much to learn from him, I’m a bit obsessed.  davidwolfe.com

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Introducing the Napa Valley Fitness and Wellness Podcast

 

The Napa Valley Fitness and Wellness Podcast is a new podcast I’ve just recently started as of April 2017! The intent is to be a platform and community to motivate and inform those with an interest in fitness to start or continue their journey in the Napa Valley area, from American Canyon, Napa, St. Helena, all the way up to Calistoga.

There will be:

* interviews with fitness professionals

*physical and spiritual transformation stories

*motivational tips

*vegan nutrition information

*in depth information about gyms, yoga studios, teachers and trainers of all kinds within the Napa Valley.

You can follow me on Instagram @seejayneyoga

Episode 2: Jayne Forest’s Life Story: Transformation, Awakening and Purpose

photo by Joe Burke on IG: @joeburke108

In this episode I tell my complete, authentic story. A lot of people meet me as their yoga meditation teacher, and don’t know quite how different I used to be. I was an atheist, who loved the Napa Valley fine dining and hospitality industry lifestyle with amuse bouche, sous vide pork and truffles. After a deep depression, I turned to yoga, started meditating and my WHOLE life changed. I explain here in as succinct a manner as possible whilst allowing myself occasional tangents to further illustrate my personality.

I understand a lot of people may not “get” me, enjoy me or resonate with me, and that’s ok! You can just listen to the interviews and skip the more spiritual episodes. Before I gained a new understanding of spirituality I didn’t care and didn’t want to hear about it, because I didn’t have any experiences or understand at all what the hell all of this stuff was all about, so I understand. You have to be ready and open to this information on your own terms.

I’m just sharing my genuine self because it doesn’t do anyone any favors to put on airs for likability, and I can’t suppress who I am anymore to blend in with the masses. I realize my lifestyle is very different and that I’m swimming upstream, and that it’s not easy and not everyone’s journey. I’m simply sharing what has made me so happy and feel healthy and good in life, so others can hopefully take away some valuable motivation and tips and start to find ways to feel better in their day to day lives. If even one person starts doing something that makes them happier or feel better in any way, and appreciates this podcast, that will make me feel fulfilled!

Thanks for listening!

 

The Top 5 Reasons I am Vegan

WHY WOULD ANYONE CHOOSE A LIFE WITHOUT ICE CREAM AND CHEESE?!

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Jayne Forest pre-veganism

I worked in the fine-dining and hospitality industry for 10 years. Short ribs and ice cream were a huge part of my passion for life. I made fun of vegetarians and ate entire marinated calamari squid bodies to make my friends squeal and squirm. I thought it was annoying when I had vegans at the tables I was serving. I would roll my eyes internally and think to myself “Why go out to eat at all if you can’t eat meat or dairy?!” I was a tomboy, and I considered it a mark of pride to be a girl who hung with the boys and proudly and unabashedly enjoyed meat. Ice cream was one of my favorite things about life! I considered cheese and ice cream to be a part of my personality. I was always an animal lover, and was always mildly lactose intolerant, but a proud and happy, contented person eating meat and dairy.

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One day while pregnant with my son, I watched the documentary “Food Inc.” I had a rude awakening from the self-imposed ignorance I had shrouded myself with. My previous thought process had always been, “I know that meat comes from dead animals, of course! I don’t need to see slaughterhouse footage, I’m sure it’s awful. I will feel bad and then I won’t want to eat meat! Don’t show me that sad shit!”

 

What I didn’t realize is that by watching that “sad shit” I cemented a new understanding in my heart that I could never again provide any kind of support to such horrible atrocities. Once I started studying the food industry, I dove into a deep rabbit hole that quickly became one of my biggest passions: veganism and animal rights. How could I love animals and pay for them to be tortured and stabbed/bled out/boiled alive by desensitized professional animal murders? What is the difference between the soft fur and beautiful eyes of a cow, or those of a dog? If I saw someone hurting any animal on the side of the road, would I just drive by? Absolutely not! So how could I continue feeling good about myself while supporting and consuming animal cruelty with my own money and mouth?

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The transition was not easy. I cried for days and felt panicky not knowing what options I had to eat other than chips and salsa, or apples and peanut butter. I was changed forever, and since I wasn’t ready for this change, it was jarring and made me question my entire personality, who I was, what defined me. It shook me to the core to realize that I wanted to be vegan. I had found vegans previously so annoying! And now suddenly I was one, and there was no going back.

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BECOMING VEGAN IS A VERY PERSONAL AND CHALLENGING CHOICE.

This post is to provide information to individuals who desire to know more about why I choose to live this unorthodox lifestyle. This post is not meant to make people feel badly for consuming meat. It is information that I have been studying and collecting for years. Becoming vegan took years of vegetarianism, cheese relapses, fish cheat-days…It was admittedly difficult to adjust to this completely foreign lifestyle. Now I don’t consider animal parts and secretions food, and I absolutely love the lifestyle. I’m leaner than I’ve ever been in my life, my skin and my conscience are clearer than ever, and my energy levels soar without coffee. The best part is knowing I am not voluntarily contributing to the animal agriculture industry’s devastating impact on the environment, and, most importantly for me, not contributing to animal suffering.

photo by Jayne Forest

 

5) Water consumption. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) states that the livestock industry in this country uses 2 billion gallons per day. There is much conflicting information on the internet, but to produce one hamburger is said to use between 440 -1,800 gallons of water. Beans take on average 5 gallons of water per gram of protein, as opposed to 9 gallons per gram of protein for chicken, and 29 gallons of water per gram of protein for beef. An 8 minute shower uses approximately 17 gallons of water. Taking shorter showers may make you feel as though you’re helping the drought, but consuming meat is using exponentially greater amounts of water.

photo by Jayne Forest

4) The environment. The leading cause of deforestation in tropical countries is creating land for livestock to graze. The Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations (FAO) says: “Livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.” This same organization estimates that “livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport.” Meaning livestock industry is more of a contributor to global warming than cars, planes, trains, all of it.

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Photo by Jayne Forest of the Yuba River

3) Health. The top two leading causes of death in this country are heart disease and cancer. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing and thickening of arteries and develops for years without symptoms. Atherosclerosis is caused by excess deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Cholesterol is only found in animal products. When cancer researchers were searching for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat were much less likely to develop cancer. Studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.

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photo by Jayne Forest

2) Anarchy. The American government spends $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries so that meat can be affordable. The USDA then indoctrinates children with the food pyramid and other false information that has been disproven in huge studies such as The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, which is the largest scale and most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.  The most heavily subsidized commodity crops are corn and animal products, which are used to produce the foods that are the leading causes of disease in this country; Corn is used to make corn syrup which is prevalent in cheap convenience food, and induces spikes in blood sugar which is associated with developing type 2 diabetes. Animal Products are the leading cause of a build-up of cholesterol as stated above, which is what leads to Atherosclerosis and eventually sudden heart failure as the deposits cause little to no symptoms until the condition has become dire.

So basically what I’m saying is, the government is subsidizing food that makes humans die of cancer, then makes it cheap and markets it to impoverished communities with fast food and highly processed , antibiotic-ridden public school lunches.

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When people start getting fat and sick, what must they do? Go to the doctor. The doctor that you definitely have because the government forces you to pay for health insurance. The doctor finds that you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure and gives you a prescription for blood pressure medication instead of telling you that 2 celery stalks a day will help you decrease cholesterol up to seven times. Celery also stimulates the secretion of bile acid that is responsible for the elimination of cholesterol from the body. The doctor can’t make money if they tell you that! Why do you think the government wants you to have health insurance? Is it because they care about your health? Or is it because they MAKE MONEY off of you being sick?

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1)THE ANIMALS. Did you know that animals in slaughterhouses are legally completely exempt from animal cruelty laws because they are considered commodities, inventory, as opposed to live beings? This is why the idea of “humane slaughter” is utterly meaningless. Do you feel that rape could ever be considered humane? If not, how could murder of a struggling, sentient, innocent being that desires to live, possibly be considered humane? Cows, pigs and chickens are imprisoned, tortured slaves and to try and believe that the disembodied body parts belonged to an animal that lived a happy life and died a painless death, when meat is purchased from massive wholesale retailers like Costco and Safeway, is unfortunately the farthest thing from the truth. Cows are routinely dehorned without anesthesia, baby pigs are castrated without anesthesia, baby chick’s beaks are sliced off with a hot blade. Animals in these environs are unhealthy mentally and physically and are regularly given antibiotics and growth hormones. No matter if they have huge tumors or disease, all are slaughtered and consumed just the same. Ground beef is all processed together, so diseased cow flesh is mixed with the ground flesh of 100-400 other cows, which is then cleaned with ammonia to eliminate pathogens. So it’s safe?

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photo by Jayne Forest

Being vegan isn’t easy, and the jokes about bacon never cease. The most exciting thing for me about being vegan is how I feel. I used to think that burping, farting, and feelings of bloating and lethargy were normal symptoms of digestion. After I eat now, I feel light and energetic, as if the food I ate was actually fuel for my body. Knowing my money is voting for foods that don’t use animal bodies or bodily fluids as commodities, makes me feel fantastic. I know most people won’t be willing to make the extreme choices that I have, but if reading this post makes someone think twice about ordering a burger or makes the connection in their mind of seeing pigs as individuals with intelligence and feelings, equally as worthy as dogs to a long, healthy, happy life, then I will be overjoyed.

Gary Yorofsky gives a compelling argument with this eye-opening speech

Bill Clinton is Vegan

Even Steve-O from Jackass was appalled and became vegan

Click here to read about my experience being Raw Vegan

How Veganism led me to experience a spontaneous spiritual awakening

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I used to be an atheist. I didn’t care about God, or finding a religion. I thought it was a strange compulsion that I was relieved to not be afflicted with. The closest thing I had to religion was yoga. I have been doing yoga since I was a small child unknowingly, throwing my legs overhead into plow pose while watching David the Gnome, rolling my head down into rabbit pose. I continued doing yoga as an adult because I was into fitness and loved stretching. I always thought yoga people were kinda strange with their sanskrit and chanting and symbols, but I loved that they were kind, capable, flexible and calm.

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I became a vegetarian after watching Food Inc. I was horrified and traumatized by these truths, and couldn’t bare to continue. I was left feeling panicky and in shock from the intense loss of footing with my life’s foundation. I felt so stupid for not realizing that it took torture and violent death to make my favorite Short Ribs dish at Martini House. I couldn’t kill animals myself, I couldn’t pay someone else to kill animals for me. I had realized that animals desire to live, they never choose to “give” their life. Their life, dignity, and comforts are violently taken from them, and I pay someone for that service. How could I ever eat meat again in good conscience?

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Well one day, shortly after the newness of being vegetarian had worn off, I was starving on my way back from a job. I pulled into a drive thru and ordered a burger. No one would know, and I was getting hangry, so I justified it easily. I took a bite and immediately was disgusted by the texture, flesh and blood just like mine. I imagined the cow who died that I was eating, I saw her bleeding out of her neck. I wondered how many cows were in my burger. I let my mouth fall open and the meat tumbled out. I was appalled with myself and knew burgers were over for me. I wasn’t vegan though. No CHEESE or ice cream?! You’re hilarious to suggest such a preposterous notion.

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I went through a string of bad relationships. I went through bouts of depression, anxiety, self-loathing and emotional wallowing. I turned to yoga more and more to help dig myself out. Meditation at the end of yoga became a place of release, I just poured tears and breathed shaky, labored breaths.

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I started meditating at home. I broke up with the guy I was seeing and suddenly felt FREE. I felt so empowered, I starting smiling brighter. I was already vegetarian, but I decided to go vegan again to lose weight. I had no desire to drink alcohol because I was doing so much yoga.

I stopped drinking coffee which was HUGE. I used to ADORE coffee. I drank it black daily, religiously. I didn’t want it to make me jittery when trying to meditate, and being vegan, I had a ton of energy. I honestly felt like running everywhere, I felt incredibly light.

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One day I was at a concert. I was sober, surrounded by drunk, silly teenagers in bikinis and tiny shorts, and I was so happy in my sobriety. “What is happening to me?” I thought to myself.

It was Easter Sunday. My Atheist sense of humor had me joking to myself all day about this Zombie Jesus holiday. I was browsing Facebook’s newsfeed when a headline jumped out to me. “Are You Having A Spiritual Awakening?” I clicked on the article and pressed play on a YouTube video.

I was slouched over my computer screen, watching this video, and everything it was saying was fascinating me. The video was reiterating my observations of my lack of desire to partake in my normal vices. It explained my strange and abnormal lack of a sex drive, my desire for solitude, my enhanced sensitivities, all of it. I even stopped smoking weed because I was reaching greater depths in meditation without it, and it gave me similar feelings to being high on cannabis when I reached a certain state of meditation.

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Photo by Jayne Forest

Suddenly, while watching this video, I felt an energy come up from my stomach and out through my mouth, a profound feeling that was so intense and unexpected that my body rolled upright physically and I began breathing heavily and crying immediately with wide eyes. I looked up at the sky and said aloud “Thank you! thank you! Thank you!” In my head, I was like “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?! WHY ARE YOU THANKING THE SKY? WHAT WAS THAT?!” I was beyond confused in my head, and all the while, I was crying and feeling an INTENSE presence of love within my body. I felt like I was jolted with a Loving energy. I was so happy, and I had NO idea why. I KNEW I wasn’t alone. I KNEW I received a gift. My brain was so confused, I cannot begin to explain how demolished my mental foundations were. My heart, on the other hand, was rejoicing.

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The next day, I went to work and told my Atheist co-worker (whom I had always related to because we shared the same beliefs!) and tearfully and shakily told her my strange, overwhelming story. She did not know what to think or how to respond at all, understandably. My other coworker Joe, had overheard the story and was like “That was your Kundalini rising!”

Thus began my spiritual journey. There is SO much more that happened, but the point of this story is to explain the connection between spirituality and veganism. What I learned in the past two years, after hungrily diving into as much spiritual philosophy as I could get my hands on, is that the spiritual journey begins with raising your vibration.

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Photo by Jayne Forest

If you’ve studied Quantum Physics or Nikola Tesla, you are aware that everything in this world is made up of vibrations. Matter is actually an illusion, and on a molecular level, everything in this entire world is made up of atoms and ether, or space. There is more space between atoms in objects that are less dense, less space between atoms in heavier, denser items. These atoms are constantly vibrating.

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Everyone talks about vibes, but what people sometimes don’t realize is vibes are literally vibrations. When people are negative and have bad vibes, they are vibrating lower. They don’t feel in control of their lives and they often have unhealthy habits. Happy people vibrate higher. Their atoms are actually moving at a faster pace, making them feel lighter, happier, and the Law of Attraction brings more happy things into their lives faster.

 

Food also has vibrations. Fruits and vegetables have high vibrations. They are colorful, you feel light and energetic after eating them, and they provide your body with valuable nutrients that protect your immune system. Meat and dairy come from animals that experienced torture, enslavement, murder and early death. These extremely negative vibrations permeate the animal’s being and the stress hormones that have coursed through that animal’s body throughout it’s life are being ingested. This causes you to vibrate much lower, inhibiting spiritual growth.

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Photo by Jayne Forest

The main ideas I read over and over regarding spiritual growth and expansion of consciousness, is that compassion is the KEY element of spirituality. Through meditation, raising your vibration, and quieting of the mind, the consciousness within your body expands outwardly into the world around you, making you aware through personal, visceral experience that you are ONE with everything. Your consciousness within your body can be spread outside of your physical body so that you will actually FEEL as though the trees are part of you.

You begin to be able to sense subtleties in energies in rooms you enter, your innate psychic abilities start to show themselves, and you start noticing synchronicities in your life. You start being able to manifest things faster. You start to understand on a deep spiritual level that every single person you meet has the same desires you do, the same desire to live that you do, and that every person is just another aspect of YOU, which is the whole universe of consciousness. This is why I’m vegan. Through these experiences, I have come to feel within my heart and soul the pain and suffering of the animals in the world.

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Photo by Jayne Forest

The idea of being vegan is a huge turn-off for most people. Cheese is so very delicious and soothing, fried chicken was as enjoyable as sex for me at one time. Now that I’ve experienced the spiritual, healthful and peace within my mind, I could never eat meat or dairy again. The feeling of knowing I’m not supporting slaughterhouses, or the rape of female cows, is a permeating feeling of inner peace. Through meditation, I’m learning to ascend beyond my thoughts and ideas of how the world works, and instead I retain an open mind, a loving heart, and a burning desire for TRUTH. Truth even if I don’t like it. What do I know about the world, when new information can erase a lifetime of belief? I’m endlessly humbled. All I can do is share my experience with others in hopes of raising the vibration of the entire planet.

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The tree is on private property in Napa and it is amazing, I love it photo by Jayne Forest

Famous Vegetarian Quotes:

” A man of spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Know that the same spark of life that is within you, is within all of our animal friends, the desire to live is the same within all of us.” – Rai Aren

“Whatever we sow, we will reap. When we harm others, we harm ourselves, when we enslave others, we enslave ourselves. Spirituality is about Liberation, calls us to awaken to the interconnectedness of all life and to practice kindness and respect for others.”-Unknown

 

 

How to Begin a Spiritual Practice and Raise Your Vibration

These are the practices that worked for me as a coadjuvant system that helped me discover different experiences of my own consciousness. It changed my life Completely when suddenly I had a WHOLE new sense of the scope of possibility of my reality, and this exponentially expanded my understanding of the wide range of depths of consciousness that can be reached within the human experience without the aid of drugs.

Spiritual practice is called Sadhana in Sanskrit, and daily Sadhana keeps my focus and intention on spiritual advancement. The idea of advancing spiritually is not driven by ego, but rather as a natural progression that we move steadily toward, and then slightly away from, spiraling back, learning lessons and gaining deeper understanding as to how this whole life game works!

photo by Joe Burke Instagram: @joeburke108

*Breath control: Pranayama. Every breath we take is life itself. Every emotional state we experience has a corresponding breathing pattern. If we learn to use pranayama and consciously and mindfully adjust our breathing pattern, we can in turn change our state of mind at will. Pranayama is insanely powerful and in India, it is commonly  understood that there is a different pranayama breathing technique for almost every ailment.

A Dutch man named Wim Hof  learned about some of these techniques and has been able to scientifically prove and document that he can fight off viruses by releasing adrenaline at will and boosting his immune system consciously, all through breathing techniques. Click the link for a super fascinating documentary to learn more about that guy!

Photo by @joeburke108

Pranayama used to only be taught to those initiated, and was not taught to women. You could only learn Pranayama if your Guru deemed your practice sincere enough and that you were mentally and physically worthy of knowledge of Pranayama, and you were only given one at a time, working with one until you earned the right to advance. I can’t stress enough how magical and powerful Pranayama is, and how working with your breath requires respect and understanding of it’s power.

Photo by @joeburke108

*Twice daily meditation practice . For myself, if I only meditate for 10 minutes, that is barely enough time for my mind to settle. When first beginning a practice, ten minutes can seem like a treacherous goal. Like anything, with practice, your brain will be able to dive into meditation mode easier and easier, which will make the whole process more enjoyable and in turn, you’ll be able to reach deeper states of meditation. Even 5 minutes of mindful breathing each day to start is a successful practice if done consistently. The more you practice, the more adept you become, like everything!

Photo by @joeburke108

Although the learning curve can seem daunting, once you get past the first few weeks, I promise it’s an infinitely rewarding practice. The way that it changes how you FEEL and handle stress, and the way stressful feelings happen less often because calmness becomes your default mode, makes life SO much more enjoyable! I can’t type complex enough explanations to give it justice how much this practice is imperative and completely life changing. Baby steps, and just try to stay consistent! Visit my “Beginner’s Guide to Meditation” post here!

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Complete sobriety from alcohol, cannabis, and caffeine.

Alcohol lowers our consciousness to the point that we are saying and doing things we aren’t even aware we did the next day. Not only is it drowning our prefrontal cortex so that we aren’t making rational decisions, drinking alcohol poisons our body, which causes our liver to have to work hard to process it.

When doing yoga, we are purifying the mind AND body to prepare our bodily vessel for higher levels of spiritual experience. Alcohol will not help you advance your spiritual progress. Everything in moderation of course, but remembering that everything is either helping or hurting your goals, it becomes easier to abstain completely. Not to mention how good and right it feels NOT to be hungover! 🙂

Aaaaand here’s a beautiful temptation for ya now that I just told you drinking lowers your vibe. Temptation is everywhere, it’s a test of your fortitude! Photo by Jayne Forest

Cannabis is used in sacred spiritual ceremonies and can absolutely lead people to spiritual experiences. I have loved cannabis for years and have found it to be infinitely beneficial. HOWEVER….the more I study spiritual advancement, and look at my own personal experience, I’ve come to realize that the only way to really dive deeply into spiritual experiences is with complete sobriety.

When trying to explore expanded states of consciousness, such as dreams, or deep meditation, it’s best to have a clear mind to be able to stay conscious within your dream and have much better recall. It is a known fact that cannabis affects lucid dreaming ability and dream recall, which is unfortunate because there are many spiritual messages sent to us in dreams.

When we are foggy of mind it becomes even more challenging than it already is to expand beyond normal awareness and maintain memory and full waking consciousness in different states of consciousness.

When you are meditating, you are riding the line between sleeping and waking, your brain goes right in between alpha and theta brainwaves, like between being sleepy in the morning and riiiiight before you fall asleep. Obviously it’s challenging to stay conscious during this sleepy state, so cannabis does not help, in my humble personal experience. I’ve spent weeks falling asleep during meditation instead of staying conscious and possibly receiving insight, it was very frustrating!

As for coffee, it speeds up our heart rate and makes us jittery and unable to sit still! The body and mind work together, if the body is moving, the mind cannot be still. Coffee creates the opposite of what we are trying to achieve with meditation, basically.

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Conservation of sexual energy with periods of abstinence. I know you’re like “hey whoa” right? Don’t stop reading now, haha. Definitely not suggesting you give up all of these
things, sex CAN be an insanely spiritual experience. When we have sex with someone we are merging energies, body fluids, thoughts, pain, everything. So we should be aware if sexual intimacy is meaningful and helps us feel more connected with our partner, or if it makes us feel empty. If we experience the latter we can be sure this sexual union is sucking energy away and lowering our vibration. Sexual Energy is an energy that can be used for spiritual advancement, according to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There are 8 limbs of Yoga, and the first one is called Yamas. The Yamas are moral imperatives on the yogic path, having to do with self-restraint.  The Niyamas

photo by Jayne Forest

*Dedication to daily yoga practice. This doesn’t have to mean going to a yoga class every day! Just a handful of easy poses done daily for just a few minutes even, can make a big difference in your body over time. The thing about our bodies is, it is constantly evolving according to what our lifestyle is like. If we spend 8 hours on a chair in the office five days a week, and do yoga once a week for one hour, the chair sitting is going to have the most impact on our body.  The more often we can consistently train our muscles and ligaments to become more pliable, the more you will start to see the benefits of the practice.

Photo by @joeburke108 on IG

*Abstaining from consuming dairy, eggs, and meat. More about this later, but when you are consuming the corpse of an abused and mutilated innocent sentient being, it grounds you firmly in this Earthly reality.  Everything in this entire universe is comprised of vibration obviously, and there is a kind of photography called Kirlian Photography that can document energy. Here is a visual representation of the energy you’re consuming when making the choice between plant foods and animal foods.

Raw Vegan Pizzette from Lydia Organics. Photo by Jayne Forest

*Plenty of Sleep, not too much or little
*So Much Fruit and vegetables! The more plant based foods you consume, the more smoothly your digestive system will function. Plant foods contain information in their DNA that becomes our body. The more we consume plant foods, the more we tune ourselves into alignment with nature.
*Avoidance of negative people like the plague

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Exercise is key! Moving our energy is a guaranteed mood booster and will have us feeling good and moving into alignment with our highest self.

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Doing selfless and kind things for others
*Speaking your personal truth honestly, but of course mindfully, tactfully, without shame or guilt (yeah, I’m working on this one.) The more you come to know yourself in meditation, the more your faith and confidence grows, and it becomes more difficult to stay silent in the face of injustice. This is a great sign of growth because it shows that you are in alignment with your highest self by acting from the heart.


*Consistent practice of all of the above. One thing that has helped me tremendously is recognizing that every decision we make is either helping or hurting our goals, there are no neutral decisions!

*Not trying too hard. We strive so much in life and we tend to use that same trying energy with our spiritual journey out of habit. Recognize that our higher self is available to us at any moment when we learn to just be, without striving and effort. In moments of effortlessness and deep, conscious relaxation, we can receive insight. These experiences are not impossible to achieve,  they are available to every single human being who is willing to do the work, it is our birthright!

Photo by @joeburke108 on IG