Thank you for joining me today.
There is something I want to share with you, I've struggled with wanting to tell you for a long time now. I have gone back and forth. Ultimately it's my karma, integrity, heart and soul and I have to share.
I went a raw food seminar, I was excited with the advice to try a vegan or vegetarian meal once a week like Meatless Monday. I did it. It was easy living in California at the time, we had a lot of options. I felt great. I increased this to a few days and soon was eating vegetarian meals weekly with whatever I desired on the weekend. Granted if my choices had been healthier maybe the contrast wouldn’t have been so great but I couldn’t help but notice I felt weighed down and sluggish come Monday. I soon went Vegetarian full time.
He passed suddenly, I was shocked. Alone. Mourning. My soul mate, the love of my life, my future, everything we had planned, gone. Just like that. I was living alone in Mexico. My family came to visit. Soon, a friend took me under his wing. We started training at the gym, it gave me a reason to get dressed, get out of the house, create some endorphins and work through my sorrow.
Up until this point, I had really not tried the Mexican food, the authentic delicious food that surrounded me or known the culture. Generally preparing all our meals vegan and at home. The first meal I tried was soup, pozole. An outrageously flavorful and comforting soup in Mexico. My friend Jesus bought it, brought it over, took the meat out of the soup, gave it to me and said, here it is vegan. Haha! Not wanting to make a fuss, I tried it, and asked how do they get the broth to taste that good? It was insane! That soon became a Friday treat. It tastes like soul food, it made my heart feel better.
We’d go to the gym and he made an appointment for me to see his local nutritionist who put me on a diet, I explained my lifestyle, he suggested just introducing a small amount of alternative protein sources.
Jesus would help make meals that had food outside of veganism in it as I didn't feel alright cooking it. My body responded in a way that said “thank you!!!” not being upset with this new source of food but grateful.
I was still eating primarily vegan and vegetarian with minimal animal based products and the hardest part was mentally processing it all and being at peace with my brand and my decisions. I was a hardcore vegan for years and on board with all of it. I still am a plant-based advocate and lover and believe it can be great for people! It was perfect for me for 10 years and I really did feel good as a vegan. I am not one to say well veganism made me sick, weak and tired... it depleted me... it didn't, it made me energized, healthy and happy.
I still practice a vegan to vegetarian lifestyle the majority of the time and often only on my “moonthly” cycle do I seem to crave some chicken broth or fish, sometimes more than that but other times less. I don’t really have a defined way of approaching this. Since starting to eat some meat and dairy, my body really seems to like it. I eat it in moderation when I truly crave it. Most of the time I crave plant-based meals, although everything is subject to change, as I don’t really want to label myself and we are all in a constant state of change. I am not here to push you to choose one lifestyle, one meal, one decision over the next. I'm just sharing where I am at today.
It's been such a touchy subject given I created the blog and brand Artistic Vegan, so I put the label on me. I truly honestly did believe I would be vegan for life. I truly believed in the vegan lifestyle. I’m not saying one way or the other what you should do or if it is healthy or not, I’m just sharing where I am today as integrity to me is huge. I live in integrity in all the areas of my life to the best of my ability, and this is the one area that I feel I fall short on.
I recently changed my name on my YouTube channel to Christa J Clark, I started a new website ChristaJClark.com, I have a new Instagram account @ChristaJClark and will share my life there outside of recipes, yoga, travel and so forth.
However, I put over 10 years into ArtisticVegan.com and the brand, and as of today will continue to keep that blog and that IG and FB account and post plant-based recipes as I do believe they are delicious, nutritious and I still cook and eat this way nearly 80-90% of the time and will be happy to share with you fun ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your life. I won’t press what I’m eating on you and will keep it vegan and respectful. (Unless you are interested in that, in which case perhaps we could explore that, I’m open to positive feedback and ideas.)
Intuitive Eating is really what I’m doing now. I follow my body and what it desires. I love salads, juices and many plant-based options for energy and ease of digestion and continue to incorporate them in my life.
I’m not here to sell you anything, to change your point of view, I’m just sharing my journey. I’m only human. I’m finding my way. Maybe one day I will go 100% back, but maybe not and that’s okay. I accept myself as I am in this moment.
I was an extreme vegan for so many years, I used to get so pissed off when a vegan said they weren’t vegan anymore, I couldn't even hear them out or listen to them. I even hosted a podcast with a guest on how to stay vegan...so I understand if you feel that way and can't hear me out. I totally do.
I was so scared to tell you because I didn’t want to loose you, I didn’t want you to get mad, I lost my husband and feared I’d loose you too. I love you all so much. Thanks for being with me on this journey for all these years.
The truth is, I had to tell you as to be real and true to me and to you, to be authentic and in line with my integrity. Thank you for being here. Thank you for hearing me out. Thank you for your understanding.
Please note, I will not accept mean behavior. Please keep the comments kinds and compassionate. Thank you.
With love and respect,