I was turned onto the Law of Attraction (by my friend Jessie!) around the same time I began experimenting with a vegan raw food diet. And after eating totally raw for over a month, I found Abraham-Hicks, the philosophers who popularized the Law of Attraction. Over the next few months I met several others who went raw and got into Abraham around the same time too. What's the connection?
Diet isn't the key to happiness
When I was in grad school, I spent a LOT of time thinking about my diet, learning to cook, and eliminating foods. I was convinced that if I could just find a system of eating that was sustainable, healthy, and kept me skinny I could be happy forever. But after going as far as I could down the "healthy diet" spectrum, I still wasn't satisfied. Sure, I felt super healthy and looked great, but it still didn't solve that underlying "why is diet so complicated?!" feeling.
Enter Abraham, who cleared up the mystery. What you think about, you bring about, and if you think diet is complicated, it will be. If you think a raw food diet will make you feel good, it will. If you think donuts will make you fat, they will. I thought that what I ate greatly influenced my reality, so it did.
Thought is the core, not food
Addressing the basic activities in your life (diet, sleep, exercise) means you care about how you feel. But while tweaking and refining those activities will make you feel good, it won't "fix" your life, because you are still looking outside of yourself for peace. You choose your diet based on your beliefs, but your beliefs are only thoughts you think a lot. If you can take control over the seed of your experience, your thoughts, then you can eat whatever you want.
Is this a trick?!
Sounds pretty great right? Change your thoughts and be able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Well, after a whole year of trying to change my thoughts about food, I can't say it's any easier for me to believe I can eat a whole pizza and not feel sick. But I have reached an equilibrium in my diet, and a way to think about food that brings me peace.
Food doesn't make you fat. It's resistant thoughts about the food. When I eat, all I have to do is question whether I'm truly hungry, or whether I'm being lazy and looking to something outside of myself to make me feel good. If I'm truly hungry, my thoughts are of gratitude and relief. If I just want something to make me feel good, my thoughts go crazy, trying to figure out how much I should eat, can I get away with eating that, oh let's just eat everything in the fridge if it'll feel good.
If you look towards something outside of yourself to feel good, when it is gone it will make you feel bad. The only peace can come from within, and that peace is just a straight up choice. Choose to feel good first, and the rest will work itself out.
A reader asked me for suggestions on things to do while visiting my fair city of Austin. Since Austin is my favorite place in the world, I was happy to oblige!
Vegan food!Austin is the best city to be vegan! Most restaurants are very accommodating of special diets, and there are many places that are all vegan or offer an entirely vegan menu.
- Whole Foods on 5th & Lamar: The Whole Foods flagship store is enormous and has many many mini restaurants/food counters inside. The Green makes vegan and raw vegan food. There is a great field roast burger at The Grill. The vegan dragon roll sushi and any of the other vegan sushi and wraps are incredible. You can get Daiya cheese on pizzas at the pizza place, and soyrizo and Daiya on tacos at the taco bar. All the donuts are vegan, they have infinite packaged and frozen vegan food, and the juice bar is delicious in that super healthy way. Kelly and I eat here ALL the time; they have great patio seating and lots of indoor seating all around the store. Best part? You can crack open your wine or beer as you shop or chill at Bar Lamar in the back of the store.
- Wheatsville Co-op: Like a baby Whole Foods, Wheatsville has yummy vegan sushi, popcorn tofu, sides, vegan desserts, and vegan frozen food. Beautiful produce selection.
- Vegan Yacht (food trailer on East Side): Best vegan trailer hands down. The couple who run it, Mike and Danielle, are the sweetest! Try the mock chick'n sandwich!
- Bouldin Creek: A coffee house and restaurant on South 1st that has many vegan offerings.
- Mother's: A semi up-scale vegetarian restaurant north of campus. Great food and there is usually a harp player!
- Veggie Heaven (on campus): THE BEST "healthy" vegetarian Asian food restaurant. They deliver, but eat there because it's such a gem of a place.
- Conan's Pizza: Best vegan pizza in the city! And they deliver! Get the thick crust with vegan cheese, not the soy cheese (has eggs). We also get onions, black olives, jalapenos and green peppers. We definitely eat here at least once a week!
- Ken's Donuts: The donuts aren't vegan, but they have VEGAN SAMOSAS.
- Kerbey Lane: 24 hour diner with a vegan menu. Enough said.
- Mr. Natural: Vegetarian restaurant and bakery. Good tacos!
- G'Raj Mahal: Late night Indian trailer with gorgeous outdoor seating; will deliver to some of the bars on Rainey Street.
- Fast food: (Disclaimer - we don't do much deep research on the vegan-ness of french fries, but we do pass on McDs.) We get fries at Whataburger, Chik Fil A, Jack in the Box, and P. Terrys. P. Terrys has a great veggie burger. Taco Cabana has black bean burritos, a salsa bar, and margaritas!
- Beauty Bar on 7th has good shows and outdoor seating.
- Cheer Up Charlies is the coolest queer bar on the East Side. Lots of dance parties and live music and good DJS.
- Disgusting, dirty dubstep night on Sundays at Barcelona on 6th.
- Barbarella: queers and dancing, always packed.
- Elysium: Austin's goth bar!
- The Yellow Rose: my fav strip club.
- Rainey Street has lots of houses converted into bars that have fun outdoor seating and activities like ping pong tables and hula hooping.
- Jumpoline: Indoor trampoline park! $7/hour! Best use of $7 you'll EVER find!
- The Alamo Drafthouse theater serves dinner and drinks while you watch your movie. SO MUCH FUN! They have several vegan entrees.
- Bingo! Austin bingo halls (I go to Big Star and B12) are BYOB, you can win big bucks, and it's a super fun thing to do with friends on birthdays (only a penny to play on your bday!). You may or may not get shushed for laughing.
- Pinballz Arcade: skee ball, pinball, video games, and BYOB!!
- Mount Bonnell: the highest point in Austin. Great place for a picnic.
- Barton Springs: the best swimming spot in Austin. Circus practice on Sundays on the Robert E. Lee side.
- Town Lake: you can find joggers, a dog park, Stand Up Paddling, canoeing, Acro Yoga, trails, and beautiful views of the city in this area.
- Green belt: gorgeous hiking. Sometimes has water to swim in!
- McKinney Falls: exquisite camping right in Austin.
- Toy Joy is an incredible toy store with a vegan ice cream counter!
- South Congress has great boutiques & vintage, street vendors and restaurants.
- The Domain is an upscale outdoor mall with designer stores.
- The drag on campus (Guadalupe St) has a few decent clothing stores like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.
- I love shopping at Savers, which is a well organized thrift store.
- If you're into athletic wear, check out Luke's Locker on west 2nd. High quality clothes and great service.
My fav head shops
- I go to Briza at True Blue on Red River.
As for events, Amber Demure has the hookup! Austinites, what are your favorite things to do in this beautiful city?
Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning Beginner's Mind. "It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would."
One of the reasons going vegan for the first time feels so good is because it gives you a beginner's mind about food. Everything is new. Sure, you've had the perfect BBQ, the perfect pizza, and the perfect dessert before, but what about the perfect vegan BBQ? Finding good vegan BBQ is like discovering the pleasure of food for the first time all over again.
So it is with great excitement that I announce the invention of the perfect vegan queso! Nacho Mom's has concocted a cheezy treat that is an exquisite complement to SO MANY dishes! We've been putting it on tacos, pasta (mac & cheeze!), potatoes, English muffins with salsa, chips, and bean burgers. It's delicious warmed up or straight out of the fridge. And ONLY 160 CALORIES in the whole jar! The Fire Roasted version is completely allergen free and the best part is that they are based in beautiful AUSTIN!