I get the question often on how do we maintain this vegan lifestyle. Well, for starters we are a family of SIX, sheesh! Ha! What I have found is that starting your children young in making healthy choices is very important. As I discussed in my previous post, children watch everything you do and in most cases want to mimic or do what you do. If your child watches you eat chips, candy and drink soda often then in turn what do you think they will want? If fast food is a regular occurrence what will your children begin to prefer? I definitely understand that families are busy, everyone has a schedule BUT in the end...you still have some control.
Priorities...everyone has them but what are they to you? For me, I decided that my family’s health was a priority and therefore that is where I invest my time. The interesting thing is that me investing in their health is much broader than one would think. Your health is what you put in your mouth but also, what you put on your skin, the environment, mental health, spiritual health etc. Once I began to look at this holistic landscape of health it became more clear. So yes, instead of watching a television show for 30-45 minutes, I spend that time slicing carrots or making our hygiene products. This is not to say I never give myself a break but I understand the priority I have set forth. Essentially, if I take care of their health i will have MORE time on the back end to do other things...I do not have to worry about taking them to the doctor, dealing with fevers, diarrhea, etc. because I did my due diligence on the front end...which again plays out better for their mental health, environmental etc.
I try to be organized but I don’t over stress. This school year I have asked my teenager to come up with meal plans or ideas of meals to pack for lunch. She was excited and mapped out a plan to attempt to be better prepared. I also plan to do the same with my little boys. Having a plan and including them in the plan. Allowing them some autonomy is important in order for them to understand making choices. Additionally, I have items that I always keep in stock such as: pasta, nuts, seeds and oats just to name a few. My weekly shopping consists of produce and other needs like plant based milk and bread. We have managed to cut down on waste and eat everything that we buy.
Is it hard to maintain? In the beginning, it was challenging. Now, it is a breeze! We pack our food wherever we go and plan accordingly. Again, giving the kids a choice in what to pack or bring decreases the chances of a tantrum (hopefully!) and it has shown them that they can still enjoy themselves.
You CAN do it, promise!