Today is the feast day of Saint Francis of Paola (1416-1507). Named after Saint Francis of Assisi, his barren parents vowed to name a child after him if they were to conceive. Living as a hermit, he attracted a following of men. He and his followers took the usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In addition they took a fourth vow to abstain from meat, eggs, and dairy for their whole lives as a type of perpetual lent.
Essentially they were vegans. (So are all of the people in the heading!) However, the term veganism wasn’t coined until 1944 when Donald Watson co-founded the Vegan Society of England. Talk about being ahead of your time!
St Francis di Paola had a very long life of fasting, prayer, miracle working, and holiness. In 1562, his tomb was unsealed by a group of Protestants and his body was found incorrupt. His remains were desecrated and scattered. (Some people aren’t very nice.)
So what could we learn from this holy hippie? Being vegan, even if only for a short time, is a way to simplify your life. Eating less animals makes for a healthier planet. Choosing a plant based, whole food diet has always been a healthy choice. Today, for just one day, I ask you to simplify your diet and improve your health. Most people fail by trying to make too many changes all at once. Try to make a small step to a better future. Remember to start with just one day.
- If you currently eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) try going vegetarian.
- If you currently eat a balanced vegetarian diet, try going vegan.
- If you currently eat a vegetarian or vegan diet but rely on lots of prepackaged foods, try eliminating processed foods.
- If you currently eat a healthy vegan diet, make double of your favorite meal and gift it to someone with the recipe attached or invite another family over for dinner.
If today goes well, consider trying this out with your family once a week. Make it a fun way to explore new foods. You could call it – Meatless Mondays, Tofu Tuesdays, Weird Wednesdays, Taste-it Thursdays, Fancy Fridays, Silly Saturdays, or Smart Sundays depending on which day and attitude works best for you. Take your time learning and exploring. Giving up processed foods, meats, eggs or diary will simplify your life.
The AMAZINGLY SIMPLE way to give up at least 24 unhealthy foods!