Real Talk

Woah boy is this a big topic…one that I have wanted to write about for a long time.

WHY I QUIT VEGANISM.

If you’re vegan or if you’re not vegan, I hope that this post helps you in one way or another. I’ve compiled facts and resources for you if you’re inclined to dig deeper and do more research on this topic. More on that as we go.

2000 was the year that I stopped eating all red meat after my family and I drove by Harris Ranch on I-5 as we traveled to LA from Northern California. Seeing those cows packed into confinement made me so angry. I declared right then and there that I was done with red meat. Looking back, I totally get that this was Speciesism. 

But I stuck to my word and never touched red meat again…after one last In ‘n Out burger because they were my FAVORITE. Spoiler: I wish I knew better and did not stop because NOW I am grossed out by it and don’t have the desire to eat red meat. 

I continued with everything else though: poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Just no beef.

In 2014 I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I hate the idea of exploiting animals. By the beginning of 2016, my body was screaming at me to stop. I spent several months prior to quitting veganism trying to ignore my body’s cues. I experienced extremely dry skin, indigestion almost all of the time even after eating the ‘right’ combinations of foods and eating little to no ‘junk’, fatigue, and the list goes on. Side note: one of the junky foods I would eat a lot were Beast Burgers from Beyond Meat. Finally an option packed with protein! Until I came to learn that Beyond Meat products are packed with bad-for-you ingredients. Occasionally I’d cheat and eat fish. To my dismay, I would feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. My digestive issues resolved, and I felt satiated. The way that I felt started to really nag at me and I constantly weighed my options: feel good in my body but feel guilty AF about the impact of my choices. 

I lumped animal products into one evil category of factory farming. You know those horrifying videos of animals being abused. I have not watched one purposely and I never want to. But I do know what goes on at many factory farms. I saw it with my own eyes at the California State Fair with a dairy cow. What I was not aware of was a whole other world of meat, eggs, and dairy, grown by independent farmers who practice regenerative agriculture. “In short, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. It is a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them”. {via}

These farmers use techniques that enhance their environments and treat their animals humanely, allowing them to engage in their natural behaviors and eat the food they’re meant to eat. The additional benefit is that the meat, dairy, and eggs produced by these farmers are more nutritious than your run of the mill shitty factory farm. 

I chose my health and my body as my priority and having the education behind independent farmers and the benefits, I do not place any guilt on myself for consuming animal products now. I am very selective about where my meat and eggs come from – I still don’t consume dairy because it grosses me out and I am lactose intolerant. Tip: If you’re looking to forego grocery store meat, I highly recommend visiting your local Famer’s Market to support your local farmer(s).

Let’s get into the specifics of why and how eating meat is not something that you should feel guilty about – because this information helped me a lot. All of this information is via The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Paleo Leap. You can visit their site to read more about the biological benefits as well as environmental benefits, but here is a brief list:

♡ Meat contributes greatly to our overall health and contains many nutrients that cannot be obtained in any amount from plants:

  • Carnosine, a molecule found in meat sources, is an antioxidant that protects against degeneration.
  • Vitamin B12, found in meat, helps make DNA, prevents certain types of anemia, and contributes to the health of nerve cells.
  • Meat is a complete protein source with a higher biological value.
  • Meat is a good source of the difficult to get vitamin D, contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iron.

Book recommendations:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

How to Heal Your Metabolism

The Vegetarian Myth

Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness

There you have it. I hope this helped you if you’re vegan and feeling guilty about the thought of adding animal protein in to your diet, or if you’re just looking to make healthier choices in general. Because I wish I would’ve read something like this when I was struggling.

xo,

Lynn

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know this, but if you don’t – my baby, Daisy passed away last week. Hence the radio silence over the last several weeks. 

This post is to get my thoughts out “on paper” and to hopefully help anyone who is struggling with the loss of an animal family member. Because so many just do not get it. If you’re not a cat or a dog person, no problem, but you’ll have to be to get this post. Tune out those people who say “oh, she/he was just a cat and you can get a new one” – ya know those people. Animals cannot be replaced. 

Daisy has been by my side for almost 12 years since I adopted her from a rescue organization – she had been found in a barn with her mom and siblings as a tiny kitten. I chose her out of her litter because she was such a sweet girl, and had the prettiest green eyes with a pop of eyeliner. 😉  She’s been through my college years, a marriage, a divorce, my second marriage, and SO much more. She sat in my lap purring day after day as I worked on this blog. She slept across my chest every night until she got too sick and weak to jump up on the bed – there were times I had nightmares about being strangled to wake up to Daisy’s weight over my neck – lol. When she did become too weak to jump up on the bed, I would lift her up so that we could snuggle at night. In the morning, she’d still come in to visit and try her hardest to jump up on my side of the bed. Instead, I’d pull her up to be with me so we continued to share bed snuggles until her very last day. She would chirp every single morning as my wake up call to feed her – sometimes as early as 5 AM, and always right in my face. If I didn’t listen, she’d gently love-bite my hand until I got out of bed to feed her breakfast. She was a mama’s girl through and through but she loved Jeff so much too. She LOVED it when he’d pick her up and toss her on the bed, for her to come running back and have him do it over and over and over again, chirping and meowing always asking for more.

Daisy was just as feisty as she was sweet. Those who knew her know this about her. She was always ready for a little sibling rivalry with her sister Nala, and if she didn’t like you, she’d let you know with a hiss and if she was REALLY pissed, a growl. She especially hated my mom and held a grudge on her for the entirety of her life…and I know it was because my mom was always the one to give her shots as she is in the veterinary field (since day one). Daisy got a lovely red tag on her carrier when she went to the vet because she was considered ‘fractious’ and let everyone know how much she hated to go to the vet. Once when she had to be sedated for a procedure, the doctor had to give her more and more doses of sedation because she was just so angry that she was being held down for a procedure and let them all know it. He told me once they were done, “Daisy is not a cheap date!”

It’s been five weeks since Daisy was diagnosed with cancer. I will detail some specifics here as again, I want to help others who might be going through this because it’s hard, sad, confusing, and heartbreaking. 

Since Daisy was a kitten, she was a high-maintenance girl. I remember when she threw up days after I’d adopted her at 12 weeks old and I wondered what was wrong with her when it continued on and off. Food changes and trips to the vet ensued over the course of her entire life, and the girl has had WAY more than 9 lives. At 2 years old, Daisy was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease which requires food modifications and sometimes medication. Throughout her life, she was a picky eater, making it extremely difficult to have her fed and nourished but I always managed to find something she liked that didn’t have an explosive combo with her stomach issue. She’d decide she wasn’t into certain foods on average once or twice per year, which always caused me stress and I recently learned that this is typical of cats who have IBD. 

In 2015 she stopped eating once again due to stress of having construction done in our home, and quickly lost weight, so to the vet we went to find out that she had Fatty Liver Disease, a reversible disease caused by a significant decrease in calories. She was on her deathbed and the vet told us she would have died had we not taken her in that night, but she recovered swiftly and put on weight. 

That was the last big scare until earlier this year. Daisy went to the emergency vet in January because her behavior quickly changed to find out that she had some kidney issues. Fast forward to April, and she was diagnosed with kidney disease, liver disease, and lymphoma. Daisy went through some shit but she was always tough as hell and she always came through. 

The test results were very confusing, even to some of the best veterinarians in the world at UC Davis. Her lymphoma was mostly made up of small cells (lymphocytes) which is typically classified as small cell lymphoma, a less aggressive form of lymphoma in cats, but she also had medium and large lymphocytes, which are classified as mixed and/or large cell lymphoma, which is more aggressive. Layer on kidney and liver disease and Daisy’s cocktail of illness was complicated. So complicated that a UC Davis faculty member spent his own money to “stage” the cancer and look at it more closely. 

As we waited for the specifics to come back on her cancer, Daisy began treatment with Prednisolone and weekly B12 injections given by my mom. Chemotherapy protocols are different depending on the kind of lymphoma the cat has, so we could not begin with Chemo until we had more answers. When we got the answer and set up a consultation to begin Chemo, Daisy started to breathe with effort, which is NEVER a good sign. We took her in to the vet to find out that she had fluid in her chest, around her lungs, which the vet drained. This is called pleural effusion. However with pleural effusion, even after draining (thoracentesis), it will come back within days or weeks. Daisy’s vet told us that the likely cause was that her cancer had metastasized to her lungs, making it very late to start Chemo. This also confirmed that Daisy’s cancer was super aggressive. And so our plan was to let her go when the fluid came back instead of repeating thoracentesis over and over and over again, likely everyday, putting Daisy at a huge risk for infection and an extra poor quality of life. Jeff and I snuggled her, gave her treats and so much love. And then Daisy’s respiratory rate went up 24 hours after she’d had the fluid drained. She began open-mouth breathing, which we had never seen from her before, and is a very negative indicator, so we took her right in to the vet to confirm what was going on. The fluid had come back in her chest and in her abdomen. We were so thankful that her vet confirmed that euthanasia was the best option – I NEEDED to hear it because I was willing to do anything to save her from the nasty cancer. Seriously, FUCK CANCER. 

I hemmed and hawed over whether I could be there for the euthanasia. I asked myself and beat myself with guilt if I wasn’t going to be there. But ultimately I decided NOT to be in the room. I went in and I said goodbye to her. I told her how much I love her, I thanked her for everything she taught me, and I put my forehead against the top of her head like she always loved to do with me when we snuggled. I told her not to be scared and I told her to come visit us afterward.  I did not want her to feel and see my hysterical sad energy during her last moments earthside. Instead, Jeff, the most amazing, calm human ever, stayed with her from beginning to end. She loved him dearly and it was perfect that he was with her, looking into her eyes and telling her how much each of us love her so dearly. 

Daisy is being cremated and I will have a diamond made from her ashes so that I can carry her with me everywhere that I go.

Daisy was and is the most special thing to me. I read somewhere that when a pet is ready to ‘go’, it’s because their mission in life has been completed – to teach us what we needed to learn. I believe that Daisy taught me so much about compassion. Caring for her and her health challenges throughout her life is something that I am grateful for. Also, stuff… it doesn’t matter. At all. Love is what matters. Her and I shared a unique bond that I will forever cherish. Thinking about the rainbow bridge is the saddest fucking thing though and I absolutely hate reading others’ similar stories – in fact I avoid it – so thank you for reading if you’ve made it to the end. 

If you’re going through something similar, please feel free to send me an email. I’m here for you<3

Xo
Lynn

Have you ever done a life edit? If not, I highly recommend doing one ASAP.

I am still working on my life edit, and MAN does it feel good. I feel like I’ve changed so much in just a matter of weeks after doing everything I go over in my new podcast episode – it’s a must listen if you’re wanting to get organized, get shit out of your life from stuff to emotions to people.

You guys, in 2 weeks, I cleaned out 60,000+ emails, unsubscribed from all that I didn’t want to receive any longer using unroll me, I am in the process of auditing all of my social media, cleaned out my closet, and a whole lot more.

In this episode, I cover mental, physical, and emotional ways to edit your life. Listen to it HERE.

This entire list is about picking up your life and putting all the shit DOWN. Never have I listened more to my inner voice and not to the competing voices outside after doing this.

An edited life is yours because it’s the one you are choosing to live.

I don’t know about you, but I spent the first two weeks of this quarantine sitting with my emotions. Letting myself feel and process them. I didn’t have a creative bone in my body because my energy was completely devoted to doing something I had never done before.

I then decided to take this unique time to do a major Life Edit. I’m still working on it and I will write a blog post all about it soon. Today though, I want to talk about processing your thoughts and feelings in a way that will serve you. I am not a counselor (although I do have a Psychology degree!) but I have learned what I am about to share through experience and from my own therapist.

Personally and knowing and talking to others about this, I have learned that many people find it really difficult to deal with negative emotions – the bad shit. When that stuff shows up, we run away, scroll on social media, ya know…distract.

To actually sit with our feelings and process them though, we can allow space for new + better ones to enter. And when that happens, awareness is ‘there’, and you will have more control over your thoughts and consciousness.

 Ok, so here was is (and was) my process for processing:

Sit with your shit:

When you sit with your feelings and understand that it is a part of your experience as a human being, negative feelings usually decrease on their own. Through feeling everything means feeling the tears, worries, a pounding heart, the list goes on. Just let them all be and acknowledge them.

Ask yourself some questions:  

After you’ve had a chance so sit with your feelings, start asking questions. The first thing that I asked myself and continue to ask is “What can I give myself right now?” This question alone is just life changing. Sometimes the answer for me is a long & HOT shower with fresh eucalyptus and my salt rock night light on in the bathroom. Sometimes it’s to go outside for a walk. This question and answer…and then DOING will allow you to connect with yourself on a new level and with your own intuition.

A couple more questions to help get your mind going:

What will lift my mood right now?

What tool will change my state?

At the risk of sounding ‘woo woo’, I believe that we are ALL going through a huge emotional shift and I really wanted to share this message with you so that you can ascend into your highest self.

I wanted to share this message with you on how we can best navigate this time as a collective, take care of yourself, and reach your ‘highest self’.

Let’s chat about undies.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might remember when I asked you on Stories what your favorite undies brands are as I decided that at 32, my Victoria’s Secret undies were just not cutting it anymore. You know, the barely covered look, discomfort (especially at the gym) etc.

So I set out to try a bunch of different brands and now I’m here, 3 months later to share the results. Before we get into it, know that each pair I am sharing are thongs. I don’t personally wear anything other than thongs because I don’t find other kinds of underwear comfortable.

I am also very much about prettiness. I love everything around me (and on me) to be pretty, if possible…and I aimed to do that when I purchased all of these undies. You want a little luxury when it comes to your underwear.

I chose 5 pairs of underwear to share with you, and they are all beautiful, comfortable, and wash well. Ok, let’s break it down:

There are two brands that just KILL IT when it comes to undies. I’m going to break down my favorites from each:

SOMA

Allover Geo Lace Retro Thong: A super-soft crochet-inspired lace wide waistband looks and supports like a panty in the front, with the benefit of no-show coverage in the back.

The Geo Lace Thong is so comfortable and the high waist adds a tiny bit of extra support (don’t expect a lot of support here), but enough to make you feel ‘secure’ and covered while still looking sexy.

Allover Lace Thong: Made from ultrasoft, stretch lace with a pretty floral motif. A fit so close and comfy, it’s virtually invisible under clothes.

There is no digging or scratchiness with this thong, like some other lace thongs I’ve worn. LOVE. This thong is also an improvement from Hanky Panky undies. I’ve had my fair share of Hanky Panky’s over the last 10+ years so you can really trust me on this. Not only are they higher quality, Soma’s are 6 for $36 vs. Hanky Panky’s $22 for ONE pair.

AERIE

Ribbed High-Cut Thong: Made with a high cut to show off your legs.

These are SO comfy and just work in all the right places. These undies serve as ‘everyday’ undies and I also wear them to the gym. They’re super soft.

No Show Thong: ZERO undie lines (even with leggings!) These are the most multi-purpose pair of undies I own but the #1 use for them for me is to wear them under a tight dress, thin pants, faux-leather leggings, and silky pants because they are literally no-show. I also like to wear these to the gym because they are so comfortable and there are no lines when I wear them with leggings. The WORST is when you’re wearing a thick lacy thong at the gym and it gets twisted. I know that I’ve been seen untwisting undies while on the treadmill. #GUILTY

Lace Thong: This thong has a wide band, making it super comfy and non-restrictive. I love that the length of the crotch just fits well. Like long enough to cover everything up, so you’re not popping out everywhere or getting a wedgie.

So there you have it. The best thongs money can buy. Are there pairs you guys like? Please share in the comments!

xo,

Lynn

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