I am a Vegetarian, sort of. Society loves labels, and because I eat fish now and then, I’m rightfully a Pescatarian. Are you starting to judge me now?

Four years ago, I decided to try something new, from ballet to pilates to yoga. After weighing out the cost and time commitment needed, yoga topped the scale in all aspects — and I was on my way to begin my journey into the new me. I threw myself into practice, literally. I took on 30 day yoga challenges, blogged about yoga, and tried my best to embrace this new lifestyle. It was pricey, time consuming, and worse of all, I didn’t fully get it. Those 30 day challenges turned out to be a chore, and I started making excuses about school and sleep two weeks into them. Blogging wasn’t my niche and I struggled to write about something that I didn’t quite understand. Much of my material were taken from other blogs, and I felt guilty about betraying my new found ‘tribe’.

During my immersion into the world of yoga, I began getting caught up in the notion of vegetarianism. Being a baker, I started to explore different options, thinking that all yogis would be interested in the ‘natural and healthy eating’ food fare. Over the course of four years, I have tried the raw, gluten-free, vegan, and full-pledged vegetarian diets. WholeFoods and Choices market (BC) have profited from my exuberant spending, and I would cringe at the cash register, trying to process how Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil, rice flours, organic avocados, flax and chia seeds could cost so much. I kept up with that lifestyle for a bit, till I realized that I was all but just a folly.

The turning point in my life to date, was my big move from Vancouver to Toronto in the late summer of 2011. After another breakup with an ex-boyfriend, I called it quits. The walls of my 930 Seymour Street apartment were closing in on me, the place I called home for three years. Bouts of anxiety built up in me, and I knew that a move was necessary. And Toronto, it was.

My choice to give up meat after my move wasn’t planned or forced down my throat (by myself), but I slipped into it by pure willingness. The process of giving up meat and turning into a whole new diet on a full-time basis brought life back into me. For the first time in many years, I felt real and alive, and completely aware of my choices. Vegetarianism gave me an opportunity to try different grains and foods that are available in the market, and made me realize that I didn’t need to spend a huge fortune at WholeFoods in pursuit of this new diet. The best part of this diet — it gave me a chance to experiment and explore. And this idea exploded to beyond my choice of diet, but into my life.

The past year has been filled with adventure rollar-coaster rides for me. Apart from my constant moving from jobs and places, I was brought into a whole new spiritual dimension that I never thought as possible. I have been watching my body more, learning to appreciate it for it’s worth, and to really provide it with the nutrients and love for it to continually nurture and grow.

Vegetarianism is not for everyone, and one doesn’t need to take such measures to explore and be more aware of themselves. Did I turn to vegetarianism because of ethical reasons? No, I didn’t. I did it mostly for myself, which is perfectly fine. Like I mentioned earlier, I still consume fish once in awhile because that was a staple dish during my growing up years, one that is tough to exclude from my diet completely. And because I no longer want to force myself to do something that I’m unwilling to, it’s ok to eat fish.

I’m still on this journey of exploring the worlds of vegetarianism and yoga, and the ethics and animal rights behind these two worlds are starting to make more sense to me. By embracing these two worlds, I am not only learning to be more aware of myself, but my surroundings and environment.

And this, is the reason why I turned to the green side.

Featured Photo Credits: Pinterest