Metaphysical Freedom

Psychotherapy, Spirituality, Mindfulness, Intuition, Wellbeing


Thinking About Going Vegan? Here is My Experience.

“Eat your vegetables!”

Did you ever hear that when you were younger, or do you have to say this now as a parent or guardian?

Well, you would have LOVED me as a child. Eating vegetables was a non-issue. Do not tell anyone, but one of my nicknames was String Bean. It had a double meaning. Some people called me a “Little Rabbit”.

As a kid, I did not like the smell of chicken, but would eat it (most of the time). At one point, I remember I had grown tired of the weird-smelling bird. One time, my mother mixed pieces of the chicken in my rice. I recall pointing at it and saying, “That’s not rice!”

For a long time, I had a love-hate relationship with sausage and eggs. ‘Why?’ You might ask.

I clearly remember biting into a sausage link and crunching into a piece of BONE. Although I was a kid, I knew something was wrong with that. So, for a little while, I only ate grits, eggs, and biscuits together. (I’m from the Southern United States).

What made me stop eating eggs for a while? One morning I saw my mom crack open a bloody egg. It grossed me out enough that I stopped for a good while. Unfortunately, with no eggs, I went back to eating sausage. I needed some type of breakfast protein, right? The dilemma!

I was a sensitive child and remember being sick from allergies and sinus infections often. I was mildly “lactose intolerant” but drank milk anyway to “build strong bones.” More on that later.

When I was about 15 years old, one of my brothers pointed out to me that my skin was breaking out. He was not talking about pimples, but a breakout like a reaction. This was DEFINITELY NOT something I wanted to hear as a teen. My brother then asked me a question that became a game changer for me. He asked, “How much soda are you drinking?” At that time, I was a soda connoisseur. Immediately, I stopped drinking sodas. If there were situations where soda was the only option, I’d pour small amounts of soda in the cup, put more than half a cup of ice, and let it melt until the soda was more like flavored water. Guess what happened when I stopped? My skin cleared up. Fast forward to now. I still do not drink sodas.

This experience sparked my awareness about the foods I was putting in my body. I asked my mom if I could start baking most of my foods instead of frying them. It felt good to make this minor change at the age of 15.

I went off to college and continued to be conscious about the foods I was eating. I chose lean meats and continued baking most of my foods. I stopped drinking whole milk and switched to 2% to reduce “side effects.”

Horror Story Number One: Beef, it’s not for breakfast.

When I graduated from college, I went to visit family members in California. For the trip back, I decided to purchase a breakfast sausage biscuit from McDonald’s at the airport. BAD IDEA. Less than 30 minutes later, I was feeling dizzy and shaky. I sat on the floor at the gate to my flight awaiting to board back home. I vomited once but managed to make it on the flight. I do not remember everything that happened on the flight, but needless to say, I spent the whole flight in the bathroom sick. When I got back to my place, I had to be taken to the hospital for dehydration and given an IV.

I stopped eating beef after that (and stopped eating McDonald’s too).

In all honesty, I was still eating pork. Bizarre, right? I gave it up one night after I cooked pork chops with gravy over rice. I just did not like the smell anymore.

Horror Story Number Two: Goodbye Chicken.

One day, on the way to work a morning shift, I went to Chic-Fil-A to have a chicken biscuit for breakfast. No big deal, right? WRONG. Within an hour, I began to have an upset stomach and was forced to leave work early. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it all the way home before I pulled over into a grocery store parking lot and vomited for what felt like 5 minutes. (Sorry for the visual.)

I had no intention to stop eating chicken or poultry, but I developed an aversion. I did not know until I had some food with chicken broth in it and it tasted disgusting. I thought I could eat turkey instead. Nope. I let poultry go completely. What meat was left at this point? Fish. I never had an issue with fish, but I did not eat it that often. Somehow, I was still eating eggs too.

I’ll share with you about eggs after these two points:

Milk

I stopped drinking cow’s milk by “accident.” In 2014 I lived with two other young women in a three-bedroom house. We had one refrigerator. At least one of my housemates did not drink cow’s milk, so to save space, we shared certain food items. We drank Almond Milk, Rice Milk, and Soy Milk. I lived there for about a year and was only drinking those types of milk. When I moved out, I had my first bowl of cereal with cow’s milk. I spit it out immediately, thinking the milk was spoiled. I had someone else taste the milk, and they said it was just fine. I tried again, but the milk tasted terribly sour. I could not make myself drink it if I tried. It was only later that I learned about the things in cow’s milk (pus and other gross stuff). So, I stopped drinking cow’s milk in 2014.

Organic Apples

Many years ago, I was curious about organic foods, so I did an experiment. I went three months eating organic apples only. Everything else I ate was either organic or not, but I made sure all the apples I ate were organic. After three months passed, I bought a mixture of organic and non-organic apples. I cut up a non-organic apple and bit into the slice. It tasted like wax.  I could not believe it. Over time, I tried to eat non-organic apples, but kept getting the same result…they tasted fake. I began researching more about organic and GMO foods and was surprised at what can pass as food in the US.

Now back to eggs:

In 2015, I was on the fence about whether I should stop eating eggs. I meditated on it, asked for clarity, and asked for signs. I was pescatarian, only eating fish for meat, but I still had eggs for breakfast every day. Then it happened. The horrible memory from childhood came back to me. I was about to make a breakfast omelet and cracked open a VERY bloody egg into the mix. There was my “sign.” I stopped eating eggs from that day forward.

What was left?  Fish and CHEESE.

Becoming Vegan

By this time, I was ready to give Vegan eating a chance. Vegan means no dairy products and no animal products. It is eating plant-based foods. I had close friends who were Vegan and their food tasted good. I had gone to Ghana and the family that hosted me ate Vegan as well. It didn’t seem too bad.

I sought out a friend who was Vegan and knew about nutrition. He was excited to learn about my decision and directed me to start by documenting everything I ate for a few weeks. Then, we reviewed my eating patterns. Overall, they were pretty good, but he pointed out something to me that was surprisingly true. He said, “You’re addicted to cheese.” Writing down my daily meals and snacks revealed that I had been eating cheese with EVERY meal and sometimes with snacks. He then said to me, “You need to detox from these foods and products. For your detox, you cannot have processed foods, nothing that comes in a box, no soy foods, and you will fast until 12pm or later each day, only consuming a shake if you get hungry.” He gave me a recipe for the shake and I was directed to drink plenty of water, of course.

He directed me to follow this prescription for three weeks. Being the overachiever I can be at times, I did it for 6 weeks or so. I really wanted to detox from all the crap that was in my system. During the detox, I started eating 100% Vegan foods. If I started to feel hungry, I was surprised at how filling the shakes were.

I told myself I’d give this new way of eating for 1 year, check in with my doctor, and then go from there. I had to learn a new way to prepare meals, cook, and season foods. I saw this as a positive challenge and it caused my creativity in the kitchen to increase. I started playing with oils, seasonings, and vegetables I never tried before. In hindsight, I see that I ate mostly raw meals for a while and created some staple items.

Changes I experienced while becoming Vegan:

Eating vegan, I felt more energetic, alert, and didn’t get tired after I ate. I was quicker on my feet and overall I felt happier. There were a few challenges. Going to restaurants required me to read more, ask more questions, and educate people about vegan food. I realize it made me more conscious of what I was eating and that I didn’t trust everything at restaurants. Dating became a challenge as well. Many people who expressed romantic interest in me cited my eating habits as a barrier. Oh well. I knew this issue would resolve itself. 🙂

Vegan benefits

The final test:

As I mentioned, I decided to try vegan eating for 1 full year, then do a follow up with my primary care doctor. I had bloodwork drawn, did the full physical, etc. The results came in. Everything was perfectly normal.

It was late 2016 and I had a decision to make. Do I keep eating vegan, or go back to what I used to do?

The benefits I experienced far outweighed the disadvantages. Besides being more alert and feeling energetic, my meditation practice became stronger and deeper. Working as a metaphysical teacher and coach, this new resonance amplified my skills.

So, here I am, still Vegan.

You may be wondering if I have thought about “going back”.

Yes. I thought about it just out of curiosity. I only thought about going back to fish. Oddly enough, even though I never had an issue with fish, since I have been Vegan, it does not smell good to me anymore.

I wrote this post to share my experience and satisfy curiosity you may have about the journey. I’m not trying to sway you either way.  AFTER I made the decision to be Vegan, I watched many documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and Supersize Me to name a few. These only supported my decision to eat plant-based foods and continue on this journey.

If you are thinking about “going Vegan”, do your research. Pay attention to your medical needs and nutritional needs and ease into the process. Seek support where needed.

Vegan

 

I became vegan not because of the popularity or what others said, but because I listened to my body. I’m grateful that I listened.

Be well and live well!

With love,

Dana (Intuitive Dana)

www. MetaphysicalFreedom.com

 

 


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Double Rainbows Do Exist

Recently I stepped away from all of the activities that I do in the big city in order to spend some quality time with my family members at the beach. I went on this trip with the intention of healing and to build stronger bonds with my family.

This mini vacation was manifested from a combination of desires that my sister and I both had. She wanted to take her two sons on one more special trip to the beach before they went back to school, and I wanted to spend more personal time with her. The Law of Attraction delivered her a prize from a drawing which included a trip for 4, lots of free and kid-friendly events, and a few days at a nice hotel directly across from the dusty white sands of the beach.

It was pretty awesome.

During this time away, I had a much-needed opportunity to take a step back and observe the path I have been walking so far. There is something about being near the water, especially the ocean, which cleanses me and puts me in tune with Source unlike any other part of nature.
I reflected on how I started the beginning of the year, and I slowly took note of the things that have manifested since the first day of January. I asked for clarity and assurance of my next steps as I dive deeper into my calling and take greater leaps during these last four months of the year.

One thing about being in nature is that an answer is always waiting to reveal itself. I was riding on a boat, breathing in the refreshing air, and staring meditatively at the ocean waves when a group of dolphins appeared. It was five of them, and each one came up of out of the water to say hello before diving back into the deep. I was asking Spirit a question, and they were my answer.

A few of the dolphins that appeared.

A few of the dolphins that appeared.

One evening, my sister, my nephews, and I left the beach and headed back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. She turned on the television and it was on the Weather Channel. They were doing a segment on double rainbows and explaining the scientific conditions that make them occur. She and I briefly watched the segment, commented on how neat that was, then continued getting ready. I had a quiet thought in my mind, “I wonder if I will ever see a double rainbow.”

The next day was our departure date. We loaded up the car and headed back towards our hometown. The weather was unusual, with patches of scattered showers and sunshine throughout the drive. I continued asking Spirit for answers to questions, and excitedly noted the signs in nature. I saw beautiful deer, turtles, and other animals along the ride.

We came to a four-way stop in a small town when I noticed a rainbow in the sky. “Look, a rainbow,” I said to my sister. She smiled and expressed gratitude that it was there. In that moment, I thought to myself again, “I wonder if I will ever see a double rainbow.”

Rainbow that was present for almost an hour

Rainbow that was present for almost an hour

We kept driving, and the one rainbow stayed in our sight for nearly an hour. It felt magical. Then my sister pointed and squealed with delight, “Double rainbow! Double rainbow!” I looked up and saw a double rainbow in the sky. I said to her, “You know, I was just thinking to myself if I would ever see a double rainbow.” She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “I was thinking the same thing too!”

Look closely, and you will see the double rainbow.

Look closely, and you will see the double rainbow.

And there it was. We laughed and chatted like we used to as little girls. She pulled the car over, and I took several pictures and even made a video. It definitely was magical, healing, and inspiring indeed.

You may wonder why I am telling you about this experience. Because I want you to know that:

Double rainbows do exist.

For me, a “double rainbow” was something that seemed like it was impossible for me to experience or witness.

What is your “double rainbow”– that thing that you think is impossible?

Is it World peace, healing from an illness, unconditional love?

This simple message is to let you know that it is NOT impossible.

Believe in it.

In joy and bliss,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Adventures in Africa Part 1: Confronting Stereotypes/Myths

In March 2015, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa and stayed for a month. This was my first official flight overseas, so I was nervous. I was not sure what to expect on my way to Ghana. I flew solo, and was going to meet my host family at the final destination in Accra. I took a red-eye flight, but there was a brief layover in Amsterdam. When I made it to Amsterdam, I could already feel a difference in the air. There was a sense of movement and action that did not feel like mindless busyness.

My layover was only for a few hours, so I made my way to the next gate for the plane heading to Accra, Ghana. When I got to the gate, I immediately noticed that almost everyone was Black. The people’s beautiful dark skin had a supernatural glow. I KNEW I was among Africans. It was an exciting feeling. The second part of the flight was long and turbulent. When the plane landed in Accra that night, most of the passengers applauded in relief. Shuttle buses came to the plane to pick up the passengers and take us into the airport. It was raining and humid, but I was in Africa!!

Ghana flag and name

The customs line was long, and I had to wait for over an hour to make it through. Many diverse people were  in the line with me. I saw Chinese, Lebanese, Nigerian, Belgian, and Canadian visitors, just to name a few. I admit that I was surprised to see many “foreigners” coming to Ghana. Then it hit me…I realized that I may have had some subconscious stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa even though I consider myself to be a very open-minded and an independent thinker. Due to this realization, this first post of the series is going to address some of the stereotypes and myths that many people might have about Africa. Although I was only in Ghana, I think that a lot of this information is relevant.

Language Stereotype
Prior to leaving the US, many people asked me, “Do they even speak English over there?” Often times, the tone of the question was condescending and judgmental more than curious.
To answer that question…Yes. A majority of the people in Ghana do speak some English (and also one or more of the native dialects).
Honestly, even if the people didn’t speak English, I was willing to learn their language. As people of a culturally diverse world, I think it is beneficial not to be xenophobic or extremely ethnocentric. It benefits us if we do not go into another country expecting the people to speak the language that we are most comfortable or familiar with. It causes us to open up and develop an understanding of each other that verbal language can sometimes distract us from.

But yes, a majority of the people spoke English. This was a blessing, and I was extremely grateful.

Sign Above the door at a Primary school

Stereotype: There is extreme Lack of Education
This is not completely true. There are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers, etc in Ghana. I did notice that public schools seemed to get the least amount of assistance and care. The conditions were not the best ones for learning. (I will discuss this in a more in depth post later on in the series.)

There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.

There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.

Stereotype: People only wear Traditional Clothing
I can admit that I expected a majority of the Ghanaian people to dress in traditional African clothing. This was not the case.
In all of the places that I visited, the majority of the people were dressed similar to me or my close friends. They looked like Americans. I did learn that this varied based on regions, belief systems, and age.

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Adults waiting for a ride near the Volta Region.

Young people dancing in the park at Aburi Botanical Gardens.

Myth: There are only Dirt Roads and Villages with no Running Water or Electricity
There are some paved roads, and there are some unpaved roads in Ghana. I had the joy of experiencing both. In some areas, when it rains, the paved roads get washed away and turn back into muddy roads with enormous craters. It can make for a bumpy ride or limited access to areas, especially if you do not have a moto (motorcycle).

Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.

Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.

There are traditional villages and thatch roof houses like the ones that are often portrayed on television. However, many people do have homes like the ones in America, and they are HUGE!

Village home in Dodowa.

 

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Back view of a “toilet” at a village home in Dodowa. The owner was kind enough to let me use it.

Private bathroom in my bedroom

Private bathroom in my bedroom in West Legon.

There IS running water and electricity in parts of Ghana. Not all places have running water or electricity, but many of them do. Unfortunately there is an issue with frequent electricity outages. The people are accustomed to it, and even have a name for it: Doomsor. Some days I had electricity, but almost every day I did not have electricity for 6, 12, or more hours. I seldom had hot water, but it was bearable because the weather is very hot and humid.

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Village children pumping water while a man walks by carrying goods on his head.

Stereotype: There is dangerous “Wildlife” (lions) roaming everywhere.
There are several animals in Ghana. I did not get to see the monkeys, elephants, zebras, and giraffes, but I learned that they have nature reserve parks in different regions where I can go see them. Everyday I did encounter many cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep freely roaming around the streets and in harmony with each other.

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Baby goat in Dodowa casually heading under the vehicle for shade.

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Herd of cows calmly crossing the street in the city.

Myth: All of Africa is only Deserts. There is no Vegetation.
Ghana is beautiful! I was able to experience the lush Aburi Botanical Gardens, go to the beach, see mountains, and visit the bush areas. Plus, almost every where that I went, there was mango, papaya, avocado, and plenty of foods growing naturally. It was magnificent!

Home on a hill in Aburi

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Walking a path out in the “bush” north of Aburi.

Cape Coast (The other side of the Atlantic Ocean)

Stereotype: There is nothing for Tourists because the countries are underdeveloped.
I would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in the continent of Africa visit at least one country, even if it is only for tourism. In Ghana, there are hotels, spas, shopping malls, museums, national parks, and movie theaters. I am certain that other countries in Africa have the same amenities as well. 🙂

Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)

Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)

Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)

Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)

Myth: They do not like African Americans.
My experience was that many of the people do like African Americans…and people in general. I was often referred to as “sister” (or “girlfriend” or “wife” by some guys who were really trying to push the envelope). The mindset of the Ghanaian people that I interacted with is , “We are family”. The people were extremely nice, helpful, and I felt very safe. I met some kindhearted individuals and made wonderful new friends during my time in Ghana.

My message to you is this:
Africa is a rich and enchanted continent.
Do not allow stereotypes, myths, and targeted media coverage prevent you from visiting Africa, meeting the beautiful people, or exploring other regions of this planet.

If the inner guidance of your heart is pulling you to venture out, give it a try.

DSCN1920A loving presence is understood across all cultures and languages.

 

In Joy and with Love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com
Questions about my trip? Contact me.


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Give Thanks

You may have heard numerous times that “gratitude is the best attitude” or some similar type of slogan. The ideology behind these types of quotes implies that staying positive helps one to cope with life’s stress.
From an energetic perspective, everything has a vibration, frequency, and overall feeling. Our thoughts, words, pictures, places, vehicles, jobs, etc. all emanate some form of energy.

We are energy.

Imagine what it would be like if you got up every day and expressed thanks instead of dread.

I have found that the more I give thanks, the more I find things to be grateful for.

Here are a few examples…

  1. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I usually say out loud (or in my thoughts) is: “God, thank you for this lovely new day.”
  2. When I get up and do my morning routine (shower, eat, wash my face, brush my teeth, etc) I say different types of thanks, but they are usually like this: “I am thankful that I have warm, clean, running water that I can bathe myself with. I am thankful that I have the ability and functionality to take care of my own body. I am thankful that I have food to eat and it is easily accessible. I am thankful for my life, and I know that everything works for my good and in my favor.”
  3. When I am stuck in traffic, I still give thanks and say: “I am thankful that I have a car that is in good condition and takes me to and from where I need to go. I am thankful that I have a job and a way to take care of my needs.”
  4. Even when I have felt “hurt”, upset, and frustrated, I have given thanks saying: “I am thankful that I can experience emotions. I am thankful for my tears. I am grateful that I can allow myself to feel my feelings.”
  5. When there is a death, I still give thanks and say: “Thank you God for allowing this person to be in my life. Thank you for my role in this person’s life. Thank you for the wonderful experience that I had in sharing Life with this Being.

 

I encourage you to begin this type of dialogue in your daily routine. You can start with small steps. For instance, being out in nature made giving thanks such an easy “task” for me.

Giving thanks shifts our perspectives from lack to abundance.
Giving thanks opens the door for more things to be grateful for.
Giving thanks is a form of prayer that affirms our victory.

Have you noticed the trees today?

 Mossy Trees

Give thanks for the simple things.

 

In gratitude,
Intuitive Dana
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com