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GET OUR FULL ISSUE HER E D I G I TA L I S S U E S PRINT ISSUES SUBSCRIPTIONS AND MORE! @paigeschmidt Paige Schmidt is an Intuitive Eating Counselor working with women who want to make peace with food and stop dieting for good. She loves traveling with her husband in their camper, trying new foods, seeing new places, and making life fun! @amymoorephoto Amy Moore is a Maryland raised, Maine obsessed, New York resident who is currently living and working as a photographer in Rochester. While her photography expertise runs the entire gamut, she is truly passionate about photographing people, food and nature; together or separately. She loves to meet new people or places, learn about their stories, and capture what makes them unique. When she's not working, she can be found exploring new restaurants and bars downtown or traipsing through the woods with at least one camera in tow. @pinch_dash_glug Casey lives on the west coast of Australia, in a little house near the beach with a big sprawling veggie garden, her boyfriend, some friends and her dog, Maple. She loves cooking healthy vegetarian meals (especially using homegrown vegetables), writing, photography, and an assortment of various other creative pursuits. She's currently attempting to finish her degree, and making up recipes is her primary form of procrastination!

@sweetlillovemaker Lowe is a 23-year-old art student from Sweden who loves the forest, cuddling her little fur babies and curling up in bed with a book. She loves being in the coziness of her home, knitting, writing and indulging in vegan sweets and comfort food.

@ela_brat Ela is a 20-year-old traveling circus performer/ acrobat with a strong addiction to tahini. She's also a visual artist and a budding musician. She has a freckle in her left eyeball, doesn't have any wisdom teeth, and can get her elbows to touch each other with her hands behind her back. @lesleyrogershobbs @lesleyhobbs Lesley Hobbs is a writer who specializes in health, personal growth, food and parenting. She loves dogs, hiking and her family, though not necessarily in that order.

Julia Shaw is a mad cat and cake lady from tropical Queensland that loves bad puns and British panel shows. @evonneb Based out of Toronto, Evonne has been working her way through the commercial photography field for the past ten years. Her passions are increasingly gravitating towards painting, cooking, gardening, and traveling. All the simple things! She dreams of owning a little sustainable BnB to host people from all over the globe.

@JShepEDU John Shep is a school board consultant supporting initiatives in well-being and caring, safe and inclusive school climates. Moreover, he writes professionally and personally through his ‘year in the life’ blog and speaking on mental health panels. On a personal level, the new father is passionate about his marriage, growing family of animals, veganism, running and fitness.

@danielxoliver @no_desh @mmack12 Molly is a 24 year old NY native, who recently found herself becoming a Bostonian. In love with living a positive life. When she isn't working at Boston based healthcare tech startup Wellist, she can be found obsessing over her dog, sweating it out in a hot yoga, boxing, or barre class, or more likely, eating all the donuts she can find.

Daniel was raised in North Yorkshire and now lives in London vegetarian most of his life, vegan since 2012. Focusing on an effort to lead a slower life in 'The Big Smoke', his passion is producing music + working on graphic design projects while grafting as a Digital Marketing Manager. Only vice: coffee. @bebeautyorg Amanda Citarella is the Executive Director of the non-profit Benevolent & Enlightened Beauty (BE Beauty). BE Beauty's mission is to grow the self-esteem of young women through its unique humane education program, which focuses on fostering self love, showing compassion to others, and caring for the planet. Amanda is also a plant-based health coach in her local community of New Haven, CT. @czuleger @camillazuleger Copenhagen-based writer and translator while also running the German publishing house Nord Verlag. Lives in the middle of the city in a self-made jungle of books and plants. Emma Faesi Hudelson teaches writing at Butler University in Indianapolis, where she lives in a house by the woods with three dogs, two cats, and one husband. Her work appears in Booth, BUST, Linden Avenue, Lost Balloon, the Manifest-Station, and others, and she was a finalist in the 2017 International Literary Awards in Creative Nonfiction.

by Cara Livermore / Sometimes I get disillusioned by cooking - the way

me feel like I'm in control of my body again - letting

simple hunger can turn into subpar meals and a pile

go of my mind allows my body to chill, which feels

of dirty dishes, countertops to wipe, and floors to

instead like relaxed, meditative breath.

mop. The repetition of it all, the cycle of preparation and cleaning: it can get to be too much, especially when I'm going through "it" and get too depressed to start the cycle anew every day. So I'll reach for tortilla chips or a bowl of cereal, or just eat cereal out of the box. Sometimes even pouring the bowl and cleaning up after it can be too much.

The same goes for cooking. That repetitious cycle, when you make it a mindful experience, can have the same grounding effect, and I use it to my advantage quite often. I give myself an easy meal that will give my brain some chill time, turn some music or a podcast on, and make the most of my time - and by the end, I'm in a completely different

I equate this kind of low with stressed, short

place. Repeated over the course of the month, I look

breathing. It usually happens when I'm overwhelmed

forward to these new food rituals, and they become

with work and responsibility and my anxiety takes

habit instead of chore. Here, I've designed a few

over. I've found that, in those moments (or weeks,

meals that don't take a ton of effort, but help you

sometimes), grounding myself in my senses can turn

get into that mindful state and bring you back to

my mindset completely around. Becoming mindful


of what I can see, smell, touch, taste, and hear makes


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

No meal feels more ritualistic than a morning tea or coffee. I love to start my day with this simple sequence of steps: making the tea, frothing the milk and simple syrup, watching them mix together, then slowly sipping it while I go through my inbox or read a magazine. It feels luxurious but doesn't have to take much time or effort. Make the syrup ahead of time and have it for weeks of lattes. Feel free to change this up - use chamomile or hibiscus instead of lavender, or green tea instead of earl grey. It's not about the recipe so much as it is about the act of making it.

Pour into a medium saucepan 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup edible lavender. Stir to combine, then let it come to a simmer. Take it off the heat when all the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a sealable container, straining out the lavender, and keep the syrup refrigerated.

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Make some earl grey tea. Whisk or froth the milk & syrup together in your mug, then pour in the tea. The ratio is up to how milky or sweet your like your tea - I like 1/4 of my mug filled with milk and 1-2 tsp of the syrup, then filled to the top with tea.



Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

There are so many good dinner recipes that you can turn into this ritual type of meal. The act of chopping vegetables, putting things in a pot one after another in order of how they cook, hearing the sizzle of roasting, having the whole house smell lovely - it's all a great experience. Any stew or soup is perfect for this, or you could make a one-pan roast like the one below. Make the most of cooking this meal by using the cooking time to your advantage. While you wait for the roasting to be done, clean up the counter-tops, do the dishes, load the dishwasher, or clear off your table. If the cleanup is quick and you have extra time, maybe prep your meals for tomorrow, make dessert, or just chill with a magazine or book. By actively spending your "wait" time, the dishes don't pile up and you won't be left with the headache in the morning. And don't forget to put music or a podcast/audiobook on in the background, it can make a huge difference in how you move through your kitchen. This dish is super versatile - you can pair it with some pre-prepped grains in the fridge, drizzle a sauce on top, and you can use up all your about-to-go-bad ingredients in the fridge. It's our favorite go-to dinner.

3-4 cups fresh veggies (we used onion, bell pepper, and cabbage) 1-2 cups potatoes (can substitute in the finished dish for grains) 1 cup cooked beans (we used chickpeas) 1 tbsp melted coconut oil or olive oil 1 tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika salt & pepper

1. Heat your oven to 375°F. Wash, peel, and chop your veggies (and potatoes, if using.) Place all but the beans in a large mixing bowl and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Pour out onto a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan every ten or so minutes to prevent sticking. 2. At the 30 minute mark, add in the chickpeas and shake them into the pan to coat with the oil and spices already there. Let them roast with the rest, and get started on your greens. 3. Tear the greens into bite-size pieces, discarding the thick stem. Place them in a sautÊ pan with the rest of the ingredients,

4 cups hearty greens (we used kale)

cover, and keep the heat at medium low. Shake the pan every

2 cloves garlic, minced

few minutes to prevent burning/sticking. When the greens are

2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk

wilted and tender (about 10 minutes) turn the heat off and

1/2 tsp bouillon paste or crumbled

keep the lid on.

bouillon cube

4. Your veg is done when you can stick a fork into the heartiest ingredients (the potatoes, here) and it goes through easily. Pour into a bowl along with some greens and enjoy!

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness



Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

This is the kind of breakfast I like to make on an early weekend morning. I'll get up really early and get it started, then when I'm waiting for them to rise, I can read a book or make a latte, or do some yoga - and then when the rest of the house gets up, we get to eat cinnamon rolls. Is there any better way to start a slow Saturday morning?

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1. Warm the milk and sugar on the stove until it feels slightly warmer than body

1/4 cup sugar

temperature. Take off the heat and add in the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes - it

1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast

should be bubbly and smell strongly of yeast.

1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/4 cups plain flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt

2. In a separate bowl, whisk/fork together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Into a large mixing bowl, pour the milk mixture, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir in the dry ingredients in batches until it forms a dough. Knead for about five minutes. Lightly oil your mixing bowl, put the dough in, and cover with a towel. Let it sit somewhere warm (near a preheating oven works fine) for one hour. Like with the one-pan dinner, this is a great opportunity to clean up, prep other meals, or just chill.

1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 tsp cinnamon

3. When the hour's up, your dough should've risen, so take it out and knead for another 2 minutes. Let it rest again for 15-20 minutes. While you wait, beat together the filling ingredients until a paste forms. 4. Roll the dough onto a floured surface, to reach about 12x16" in size. Spread

4 oz. plain vegan cream cheese 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk

out the filling evenly on top of the dough. Roll the dough up towards you, slowly and gently rolling tightly until you get to the end. Make 1 1/2-2" slices until you cut all the rolls. 5. Oil your rectangular baking pan and place in the rolls, leaving about 1/2" of space between to leave for rising. Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place again for another hour. Preheat your oven to 375°F. 6. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. While you wait, make the icing. Beat together all the icing ingredients until smooth. If too thin, add more cream cheese; if too thick, and milk in a teaspoon at a time. When the rolls are finished baking, cover completely with the icing. Enjoy! r

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness


words by Lesley Hobbs /


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

It’s 9am and already I have made too many

lack willpower, but rather because our

decisions. Snooze or rise? Yoga or walk?

decision-making muscles are exhausted.

Tea or coffee? Spinach or kale smoothie?

Just like at the gym, the more we do,

Skirt or shorts? And on, and on; the list

the more fatigued we become. The more

is endless. I am exhausted and I have yet

decisions we make during the course of

to leave the house. Absentmindedly, I

a day, the harder it is to make good

wonder if there is something wrong with

choices. This phenomenon likely explains

me; should I make an appointment with a

the almost 100% increase in non-fatal

doctor? Instead, I google my symptoms.

car crashes during evening rush hour vs







apparently, so does every other person living in the developed world.

we're at the gym doing bicep curls and eventually, we’re unable to do even one more curl, no matter how strong we are. Decision fatigue is not too different; it is the idea that making many choices impairs subsequent self-control.

seemingly flip-flops)

insignificant while










altering (which career to pursue) and each one places demands on our limited abilities. In recent years, our choices have multiplied exponentially. In 2003, Starbucks boasted that it offered its patrons 19,000 options in every store. The





carries more than 250 options and every year approximately 50,000 new products are introduced to the market.1 Seriously? No wonder life is tiring! This do







purchases made at the end of a long day.6 Most of us don’t make decisions daily that dramatically alter the course of another’s




















do. by


that cases held early in the day or shortly after a break with food are 65% more likely to have positive outcomes that those cases coming later in the day, regardless of crime or behavior of the incarcerated individual. The judges are not corrupt; they are likely unaware of the discrepancies. They are simply human and just as susceptible to decision fatigue as the rest of us. All this information is interesting; I am sure most of us can relate. But if making decisions is part of daily life, what can we do about it? There are several steps we can take to reduce decision fatigue



cost the Seahawks a back-to-back win,


Every day we face decisions, by some 35,000

final minutes of Super Bowl XLIX that and the much higher number of impulse

We are all familiar with muscle fatigue;


morning commutes3, a lousy call in the


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

we we

and avoid many of the poor choices we all make when our brains hurt.


Got a bulging wardrobe? Take a leaf from President Obama (gray or blue suit), Mark Zuckerberg (grey t-shirt/jeans) or Steve Jobs (black turtleneck.)4 Limit clothing choices; black pants with white blouse, anyone? What’s for dinner? Creating a meal plan significantly reduces the daily stress and choices around meals. An added bonus – the shopping list is easier to build because we already know what we’ll be eating on

Whether it’s an important work decision or shopping for a home, make the most important decisions early in the morning or directly after a meal and a short rest. We will then be more likely to ponder the options, make better decisions and reduce the chances of future regret. Consider the time-frame impacted by each decision and decide how much time each deserves. Will this matter in 10 hours, 10 months, or 10 years?9 Skirt or pants

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and so on.

affects you for 10 hours, and so deserves

Delegate. A spouse chooses the menu three

start a business may affect you for 10+

nights each week. Children love to choose

years, so take extra time and ask for input

their own clothes, so have them do so each

from a team of supporters.

little decision time. Quitting a job to

evening. Build a support team of friends and loved ones and bounce big decisions off them.


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Just because there is a large selection


to choose from does not make the decision important. I hate to admit it, but I have

Most of us reading this have already made



values-based decisions about food; allow

ridiculous number of choices on a menu

those same values to dictate other choices.

or neatly hanging on the sock display. A

By writing them down, we reduce the choices

better approach is to limit the time set

we have to make.






aside to make an unimportant decision and move on. If you're meeting friends for a meal, check out the menu online and make your choices beforehand.

• I only drink wine on Saturdays. I always ride the bus to work. (No more waffling.) • I don’t spend over $100 without discussing it with my spouse/support team. (No more expensive impulse purchases.) • I only donate to X and Y organizations. (No more dodging those endless requests for time or money donations.)

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness


As we become more aware of our daily habits and how often we are faced with a choice, we adjust course, practicing techniques that enable us to better function. By limiting choices, we do not limit our lives; rather, we increase the energy needed for the activities and decisions we deem truly important.

1. Put breakfast smoothie fixings in the blender and refrigerate overnight. 2. Pack a lunch in the evening to reduce temptation. 3. Arrange to meet a friend for an early morning workout. 4. Always shop with a list and limit purchases to that list. 5. Keep a running list of needed items on the fridge. 6. Shop only once or twice a week, including online shopping. 7. Find a brand that works and stick to it. (E.g. jam, shampoo, running shoes, etc...) 8. Hang tomorrow’s clothes on the door before bed. 9. Reduce a bulging wardrobe.5 10. Remove all social media from a phone. 11. Turn off any computer applications not currently in use. 12. Check email as often as you'd check physical mail. (Once or twice a day.) 13. Create a checklist for every regular activity and consider having the equipment in one place. 14. Only choose books and music recommended by trusted reviewers. 15. Prepare and send all birthday cards and gifts on a single day the month previous. r

1. 2. 3. 4.

6. 7. 9.

5. Check out Project 333: https://bemorewithless. com/project-333/


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness



Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

words by Page Schmidt / photos by Evonne Bellefleur / Let me introduce myself as an extreme-dieter turned

peace with food. Connecting with these women led to

food-loving-enthusiast. I started my first diet back in

my desire to start a business in health coaching, where

2004 which, like most of you who have ever been on

I now support women in one-on-one private coaching

a diet, was initiated by an intense desire to lose weight.

and in my online intuitive eating program, Finally Free

This first diet led to me controlling what I ate for the


next six years of my life. During that time, I downloaded more calorie-counting apps and picked up more food rules than I ever knew to be possible. After this six year stretch of intense dieting (ah, poor body) I began to find peace with food. I began to enjoy it more, appreciate it, and the fear I had around food began to lift.

I’m on a daily mission to help women make peace with food, ditch dieting, and learn to listen to their bodies. To enjoy food and appreciate it more fully. To not fear it. I don’t have food restrictions myself, but I coach a handful of women who do. Whether you’re transitioning to a vegan lifestyle or you’re cutting out gluten because you

I wanted to share more of my experience, so in 2011

have Celiac Disease (for example) you can have peace

I started a blog that worked to challenge all that I had

with food. You don’t want to feel limited in your food

learned. You can feel healthy without dieting? You can

choices, you don’t want to feel stressed when choosing

feel good in your skin without dieting? Who knew! If I

what or where to eat, and you don’t want to feel like

had known how great I could feel by simply appreciating

a burden when eating around friends and family; you

my food, slowing down, and eating mindfully, perhaps I

want to feel good! Making dietary changes doesn’t

would have never started a diet in the first place.

have to be stressful or scary. I hope the following tips

Starting my blog led to the building of a community of women who were looking for what I had found:

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

encourage you so you can have peace and ease as you transition your eats.


Eating becomes much more difficult when we’re focused on what we can’t have, so focus on what you CAN have. Make a big list (one that you can continue to build on) of any food ideas that fit within what you CAN eat. As you scroll social media, flip through magazines (like Chickpea), or as you skim the menu of a neighborhood restaurant, jot down ideas and add to your list. When you can see how many delicious and satisfying foods are available to you, options will feel abundant and you’ll feel more calm about your new food changes.

Have fun with food! Use this transition time as an opportunity to explore new foods and try new combinations and find out what you like to eat. Instead of focusing solely on what’s healthiest, consider what you’d feel excited to try. What would taste good? Do you want something cold? Hot? Sweet? Savory? When you get into the fun and flavors you get to experience, you'll instantly feel more excited about what’s on your plate. Make sure you keep yourself fed with enough food. Just because options are more limited doesn’t mean you have to eat less. Listen to your body. Just because something is vegan or gluten free doesn't mean you have to like it. Figure out what foods agree with your body.

Imagine a time where you had an awesome restaurant experience. What did you enjoy about that experience? What was the environment like? Clean? Bright? Mellow? What did your plate look like? How was the table set? What was on the table? Use this information to think about how you can create a more positive and fun experience at home. Should you light a candle? Turn on music? Set the table? Use white (or colorful — whatever you like!) dishes?

Avoid announcing your food decisions to everyone around you

Bring something (or a few things) to share with everyone

as this will only draw more attention, stress, and comments from

that you can also enjoy.

others. If someone makes a comment toward you that makes you uncomfortable, you can ask them to stop. It’s likely that they don’t even recognize they’re doing it. To avoid feeling like you’re missing out, make sure you have replacements for all of your favorite foods. Thankfully, there are so many options today for people with dietary restrictions.

Visualize how you want the dinner to go before you get there — visualize yourself feeling calm and comfortable. Think about what else you can focus on when others are around, like: enjoying the company or seeing someone you haven’t seen in a while. Bring tea or something to sip on after you’ve eaten so that you can relax and feel calm.

Toward the beginning of the week grab your list of food ideas that you’ve been adding to (mentioned earlier!) and pick a few meals for the week that sound good. Pull out your grocery list and build a list to take to the store from there. Write down the ingredients you need for meals first, then add any of your regulars. As you go through the week, give yourself the freedom to listen to your body and choose what sounds good from your list each day.

I hope this shows you that as you’re making a dietary change you can eat intuitively and experience peace and freedom around food. Perhaps you can even feel grateful for these new changes in your life as you begin to feel better in your body. r

words by Julia Shaw I first started being mindful of food and food packaging

through my Instagram feed a week later: #zerowaste. It led

waste while emptying trash into the dumpster at the major

me to thousands of other people around the world that had

grocery chain where I work in rural Australia. It was a

my same thoughts and feelings about our resources and our

mixture of damaged and expired food, plastic bags and

environment, but they were active in their commitment

plastic packaging all tied up in plastic garbage bags destined

to stop contributing to landfills. I spent hours poring

to live their life in a landfill where they’ll take thousands

through feeds and blogs and books on the subject that only

of years to break down. While putting more bags in the

cemented my resolve and desire for change.

dumpster, I asked my manager what happened to our trash and all she could tell me was that it went "away." She closed the lid on the dumpster and I got back to work, spending the rest of the day noticing every piece of trash I made and noticing the gleam of single use plastic on every shelf and in every shopping cart. The sheer amount felt overwhelming and when I asked my co-workers if they had ever questioned our consumption, I was met with irreverent mumblings that it was unavoidable. Going home after my shift, I turned that same inquisition to my household trash too; it bore striking similarities to the work dumpster on a smaller scale. I first became vegan for ethical and environmental concerns, yet my own consumption was neither. Why do we spend so much time and resources to create a product that’s used for minutes or even seconds before we throw it out? And why is such an unsustainable system so readily adapted? I mused my feelings and found a hashtag while scrolling

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Aptly entitled, zero waste is a rising movement dedicated to creating no landfill waste and a return to the closed loop of recycling and reusing that mimics our natural environment. The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash a day, or 1600 pounds a year and in Australia we’re quickly catching up. If every person in the world was to consume at this rate, we would need 5 planets to maintain and support these habits. Typically, a third of our trash gets recycled and half is biodegradable in the form of food scraps which turn into methane when broken down in landfill. Methane is a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more damaging to our atmosphere then CO2 and accounts for 10% of carbon emissions. I started my zero-waste journey a year ago and that same sense of bewilderment I first felt still lingers while I’m at work. Food was the starting step for me and this guide has become my collective findings and personal experiences on how to zero waste grocery shop and also be budget mindful.



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Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness


words & photos by Cara Livermore / My sweet boyfriend is quite guilty of never bringing lunch with him to work. He forgets to make a sandwich, forgets to prep anything, and even forgets to bring takeout leftovers, which to me are the greatest kind of lunch. So I wanted to share some of the best lunches that are hard to forget at home, and help you bring some bright, colorful, satisfying food with you to work or school. They don't necessarily need to be refrigerated or heated up, so they're great portable options if you find yourself on the go more than you might like. They're also easy to prep once and reap the rewards all week - spend your Sunday afternoon making some of the base elements of these and you'll be good to go until Wednesday or Thursday. Step up your lunches with these simple, versatile meal ideas.


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness



Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness



Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

r Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness



Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness



what you’re looking for, usually high quality and for a much lower price. Not only are you giving Composting




something a second life before it

effective way to use your

gets summoned to the dump, you

food scraps as the process produces super nutrient rich







packaging and plastic.

soil whilst breaking it all down. Sprinkle that on your garden (whether backyard or windowsill) T h o u g h

and watch it thrive. There are



loads of different options for


physically see the rubbish, the

compost bins; if you go to your

furniture, high quality blenders,

way you travel could be producing

local garden store they will be

yoga mats, bikes, prams, picture

a lot of waste and having a bigger

able to help you out.


If you happen to have any waste




big is

cities pretty




online to check what is available in your city and for timetables.










many bikes

online for free or super cheap.

If you have the time, plan out












since So Fresh 2010, try selling

biodegradable bin bags - they can

it online, or at a local buy and

be found in health food stores

sell market to make a bit of extra

and some supermarkets.

$$. Otherwise, ask friends if they


want it or take it to a charity/ Do some research online on bin through


thrift shop.

local This one also falls

government or community groups. find

under the secondhand

out that you can request for your

shopping header because honestly

compost to be collected once a

you can find some of the snazziest

month or that there is a place you

things in those palaces. (That

can go to drop off your scraps.

was originally a typo but I think






it suits!) Instead of searching big shopping centers for hours to find that perfect present, get Check


your friend a one-of-a-kind hat

community gardens. Usually they

or an old book with a second story

will be very welcoming of good


to tell.





places you will be spending most


of your time, i.e. work, school,





scraps who



Homemade presents are also my go-


to gifts! Some of my favorites




their it



university etc. It will save you

• DIY hot chocolate ingredients

money and time in the long run.

in a jar.

If you really have to drive, save you

• Old candles melted down into

can buy secondhand. Next time you

a cute repurposed jar with new






a trip and pack the car full.

need something from the store,

Same goes for errands - if you

be sure to check out the local

must drive, plan out your trip


to be the most efficient use of


time and energy that you can.




rush to get your errands done and between places by foot.




your day so that you don’t have to enjoy the process of traveling




collection You



CD player that hasn’t been used

composting, In



never go back.

think. Here are some simple ways without changing too much.


start secondhand shopping you’ll

impact on the planet than you to reduce your carbon emissions








groups Odds


recycled materials.


• And if you’re artsy, portraits


of loved ones and pets are

will be able to find plenty of

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

scents added. • Homemade notebooks made from

always a winner.


words by Emma Faesi Hudelson / First, I had to get sober. I thought I wanted to be vegan; but how could I make a commitment that big when I couldn’t stay sober for more than a day? I drank the way a hummingbird sucks nectar from a redstemmed feeder. Long pulls, then back for more in five minutes. I drank like I needed it to breathe. Like my heart might stop beating without booze.


Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I’d black

I’d been ovo-lacto-pesca-vegetarian off and

piece together a sense of morality. Ethics

out every time. The next morning, I’d

on since age twelve—which sounds more

became important. For the first time, I felt

wake up with a hangover that started deep

like a diagnosis than a lifestyle. It meant

like a piece of something bigger, a thread

in my brain stem and squeezed around

that I liked animals, but only enough to

within a tapestry instead of the wobbling

my skull like a fist. It made the birdsong

make a show of not eating meat. Unless,

center of an out-of-control top.

filtering through the bedroom window

of course, I was drunk. On my way home

sound like a dentist’s drill. Some days, I’d

from whiskey and cokes poured four

drag my body to the bathroom cabinet for

fingers high at the Alley Cat, I might

Excedrin in time to make it to class. Other

swing by a Steak ‘n Shake drive-through

days, I’d email lies to my professors and

for a Double ‘n Cheese Steakburger.

go back to sleep. My dog needed surgery. My car blew a head gasket. I’d picked up Giardia from swimming in a lake. A great-uncle from Texas had a heart attack. My best friend slumped into a coma. My Swiss grandmother died.

Martens, line my eyes with Maybelline,

to Laura, and she’d tell me to probe deeper,

and meet my friends for drinks and

ask me what stood behind “upset.”

dinner. Over margaritas, I’d tell my friends that I wanted to be vegan—just as

I lost track of the stories I’d told. Once,

I’d say, dousing a $9.99 burrito in queso

unable to remember what excuses I’d

before ordering another $12 pitcher of

made last week, I emailed the editor of the

sticky-sweet green liquid cut with tequila.

He gave me a pass for being honest, but I never had the guts to tell the truth about my drinking again.

Are my shoulders hunched? Is my brow Okay. I feel upset. I’d report these findings

and vegetables. “I’m too broke right now,”

been hit by an Early Times delivery truck.

signs of trouble, like anti-virus software.

and animal testing, then lace up my Doc

sicken or kill off in the name of bourbon.

couldn’t come in because I felt like I’d

sensible shoes, I learned to scan myself for

creased? Does my stomach hurt? Yes to all.

soon as I could afford all those fresh fruits

I’d gotten too drunk the night before and

from me in an earth-toned skirt and

I’d claim to hate the leather industry

After a while, I ran out of relatives to

paper where I interned and told the truth:

With my therapist Laura sitting across

Liquor deadened me to anything larger than myself. I couldn’t choose between right and wrong—I could barely choose between tequila and whiskey. My drinking swept me to darker places than eating a cheesy burrito and lying to my professors, but the same root problem stood behind

Usually, I answered “fear” or “shame.” When I was drinking, these two instincts drove me like cattle prods. I feared that I wouldn’t have anything to say at a party, so I got wasted enough to say anything. Then I’d feel ashamed about what I said, and I’d drink the next day to hide from it. In session, Laura would smile, nod, and prompt me to go on. “So this is what fear feels like for you. Notice it. Where in your body do you feel fear the most? What would you name it? What would it say if you gave it a voice?”

Like the hangovers, these lies clung to me.

it all, from driving through a Steak ‘n

The answers didn’t even matter. The

I felt like a dishonest piece of shit. I was

Shake to getting strapped with handcuffs.

noticing mattered. Holding the fear up

a dishonest piece of shit. Drunk, I could

I wouldn’t—couldn’t—follow a personal

long enough to look at it meant I could

hide from that truth. Hungover, its glare

resolution. No code, no philosophy, no

do something about it. I could make a

made me hate myself.

spirituality. I wasn’t anything but an

decision instead of just reacting. Laura


called this mindfulness, and urged me to

None of this stopped me from getting wasted six nights a week. Along with a lot of other things—good grades, a working car, a boyfriend with a job—I aspired to be vegan, but alcohol

Getting into recovery took the blindfold

apply it to every area of my life.

off. Suddenly, I could see myself, and what

A few months into recovery, I took a bite

I saw made me shudder. I had to change

of my dad’s buttery, lemony tilapia and


felt sick. Not because of his cooking, but

blocked me from realizing any desires

Change came slowly. With a recovery

except the next drink.

program and a lot of therapy, I began to

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

because, clear-headed, I remembered that what squished between my teeth used to be alive. That fillet came from a living,


moving being that felt pain and pleasure, that wanted a full

way out of class, I showed up. I couldn’t even use my student

belly and a safe place to rest, just like me. I finished my plate,

I.D. to get a discount at the movies without feeling dirty.

but when I got home, I told my boyfriend that I wanted

Months earlier, I would have gone out for cocktails after the

to give up fish. Three days later, I said I changed my mind.

film and drunk the dirtiness away. But sober, I knew it would

We went to Red Lobster for dinner, but I broke down in

stick to me.

the parking lot at the thought of eating popcorn shrimp. We drove home, unfed. I never ate seafood again. Had I still been drinking, I would have shrugged off the post-fish sickness. Sober and mindful, I didn’t simply feel ill after eating fish, I noticed that I felt ill. There’s a difference. I acknowledged the queasiness and interrogated it. The tilapia’s fleshiness, its former alive-ness, shook my guts up. If I didn’t want to feel that way anymore, I’d have to change my habits. Later that year, my boyfriend and I went vegan. We finished the gallon of milk and carton of cottage cheese

My behavior was beginning to line up with my beliefs, like folding a chain of paper dolls back into a single shape. Simple. Circle head. Triangle torso. Rectangle legs. Getting into recovery isn’t a cure-all. It doesn’t mean automatic, perfect self-awareness. Like anything else, it’s a process. Mindfulness doesn’t come easily. I struggled. I made mistakes. I did the wrong, un-mindful thing—like telling the old woman who cut me off in traffic to go fuck herself, canceling concert plans because of anxiety, or giving in to depression and sleeping all day. I feel just as much

in the fridge and bought Silk

pain in recovery as I did drunk.

soy milk and tofu instead.

More, really, because I don’t

We ordered pizzas without

anesthetize myself anymore.

cheese. avocado




But I deal with that pain


without drinking.

cheese on our veggie burgers. In the grocery store, we combed over labels for things like casein, whey powder, and gelatin. Once we got used to eating vegan, it was a piece of (eggless, butterless) cake. Of course, veganism is much more than a diet. Depending on who you are, it can be a political, ethical, or spiritual statement. Every time I eat a vegan meal, I’m recognizing that humans don’t have the right to enslave, exploit, and kill others. I’m choosing not to support suffering. I’m acknowledging the sanctity of all sentient beings. Being thoughtful about my food choices is a practice. A prayer in action. A nod to the divine.


As my friends in recovery say, the paths we walk get firmer and sharper by the day. What used to be a postapocalyptic wasteland, no safe passage in sight, becomes a clearly marked wooded trail, lush and green. The fear that dragged me, ass-first, into that wasteland has weakened. Sobriety lets me fumble forward on my own two feet. As I write this, I’m more than eight years sober. Every day, I drink a 36-ounce green smoothie instead of Jim Beam. In the communal fridge at work, the sweating mason jar of green slush stands out, almost glowing, prompting jokes. “Is that a science experiment?” “You’re not actually going to drink that, are you?” Or my favorite, which I hear at least once a week, “What is that, anyway?” When I shrug and say it goes down

All this newfound awareness spilled over into other areas of

smoothly, eyebrows rise. I take a sip, wipe the green from my

my life, too. Instead of calling in sick to work or faking my

lips, and smile. r

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness

Chickpea magazine #26 mindfulness




26: mindfulness