Hello! Episode 49 is here and this week I was so very fortunate to interview Victoria Moran from Main Street Vegan!
Victoria (www.mainstreetvegan.net) is the author of thirteen groundbreaking books about inner and outer wellbeing, and has appeared on The Oprah Show, Today Show, Good Morning America Now, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She’s been an ethical vegan for thirty-five years, maintaining a 60-pound weight loss as a result.
Victoria’s undergraduate thesis in religious studies became the 1985 Compassion the Ultimate Ethic: An Exploration of Veganism – her first book and the first full-length book on vegan philosophy and practice ever to come from an actual publisher. Twelve additional books have followed, including the best-selling Creating a Charmed Life (in 30 languages), the essential vegan weight loss guide, The Love-Powered Diet; the good health/peace-of-mind manual, The Good Karma Diet; and the genre classic: Main Street Vegan, which VegNews magazine called “The Vegan Bible, New Testament,” and which Ellen Degeneres wrote “offers practical advice and inspiration for everyone interested in going vegan, no matter what tax bracket you’re in!” Victoria was assisted on Main Street Vegan by her daughter, Adair, a lifelong vegan who is now an aerial performer, a stuntwoman, and a wildlife rehabilitator.
Victoria has written for Yoga Journal, Mothering, Natural Health, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Vegetarian Times, VegNews, and The Huffington Post; and her work has been noted in publications included USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Self, Real Simple, Glamour, Woman’s World, Vegan Health & Fitness, and O the Oprah Magazine. She hosts the weekly Main Street Vegan podcast, recipient of a Vegan Media Outlet 2015 Award. In addition, she has appeared on the covers of Barefoot Vegan and La Fashionista Compassionista magazines, and she was voted Peta’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50 in 2016.
A moving and engaging speaker, a certified holistic health counselor (CHHC, AADP) and graduate of the T. Colin Campbell/eCornell program in plant-based nutrition, Victoria is the founder of Main Street Vegan Academy, training Vegan Lifestyle Coaches and Educators in a boutique program in Manhattan with graduates from twenty-four countries. The program inspired The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, coauthored with JL Fields, which debuted in December 2017 in the number 1 spot in vegetarian diets on Amazon. Victoria is also the producer of A Prayer for Compassion, a documentary from filmmaker Thomas Jackson which will debut this fall with the mission of introducing veganism to people who identify as religious or spiritual. She lives with her husband and their rescue dog, Forbes, and a handicapped rescue pigeon, Thunder, in a LEED-certified green condominium in Harlem.
I absolutely loved hearing Victoria's perspective on food addiction, over eating, compulsive eating and have been hearing the quote 'There is a God shaped hole within us, only God can fill' (it wasn't in front of me when I wrote this so I may be mis-quoting) over and over again since we spoke. I'm not a religious person but I do consider myself a spiritual one and this resonated with me so strongly.
'A God shaped hole...'
I think for a lot of people that thought might be a little uncomfortable, but when I think of 'God' I think of my connection to nature, to my loved ones, to my purpose in my life, to my connection to my community, to humanity, to the animals, to earth... I see God everywhere, in all living things.
When I think of my own toxic relationship with food, 'a God shaped hole' made a lot of sense. For much of my life I have felt disconnected from not only my self, but to everything. I spent so many years suffering, believing I was all alone, believing I was unworthy of love, that because I was overweight, because I was loud, because I was a tom boy, that I was, at my core unloveable.
The 'hole' within my heart grew bigger and bigger year after year and the bigger it grew, the more messed up my relationship with food became until it consumed my every waking thought and along with it came the self loathing, the suicidal thoughts and the belief that I was utterly helpless to the debilitating and unending thoughts that filled my mind.
Speaking with Victoria, was so refreshing to me as I am only still so new to this awareness and to healing myself with what I call 'Conscious Eating' - connecting with myself in a new and loving way, filling my God shaped hole with God, with time in nature, with being present and joyful with my children, in taking things slower, with listening to what my body, mind and soul are truly telling me, in forgiving myself and loving myself unconditionally. This has changed my relationship with food and what and why I eat forever.
I honestly feel like I have been in an abusive relationship to a food monster for most of my life and have gained so much inner strength and self awareness through listening and learning from the guests on this show, guests such as the wonderful Andrew Taylor , Chef AJ, Victoria Moran and so many other amazing people who have spoke about their own food and healing journeys.
Their stories have given me so much strength and I am forever grateful to them for their willingness to share their stories with me and all of you. It takes courage to be vulnerable and share the parts of our lives when things have been dark and heavy for us as individuals but the darkness is where the light enters as they say.
I finally feel like it is not only possible to break up with my food monster permanently, but that it is inevitable. The more I let 'God' in, what ever that looks like for me/you, the less I feel inclined to fill my mouth with food.
It's not a magic pill, or a weight loss shake, and it's not easy, it won't happen over night either but, there is hope of living a life that isn't consumed by the thought of food, by self loathing, disgust, shame and endless guilt.
That thought feels so good to me.
It feels like freedom.
Thank you so much Victoria for coming on the show and thank you all so much for listening.
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Thanks again for listening.