94 – Victoria Moran and Karma!
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Do you know what karma is? Find out on today’s show!
I am recording today from the New York home of guest, Victoria Moran. Victoria Moran is an author, speaker motivator, inspiration, and my good friend. She has written several amazing books including Main Street Vegan and her most popular Creating A Charmed Life. My friend and Yoga instructor, Sandy, who is also vegan, recommended that we read Victoria’s book Main Street Vegan. My wife and I credit this inspiring book with helping us make the transition to completely plant based eating.
Victoria Moran Interview
Dr. Dave: “How do you wake up every morning with all this energy and motivation? What get’s you out of bed every single morning?”
Victoria: “I have a very spiritual life. To me that’s the most important thing. It’s the exciting thing and it’s the only thing that doesn’t get old. So before my feet touch the floor in the morning, I am doing my gratitudes. That’s what gets me up because I don’t necessarily feel fabulous every morning as I am just lying there thinking oh there’s a day ahead. But once I start churning those gratitudes I have to get up because…”
“I have one of the top 5000 lives on the planet! “
Dr. Dave: *chuckles* “How do you get one of those lives? What exactly does that mean?”
Victoria: *laughs* “When the occupy people were doing their thing and talking about the 1% it got me thinking. I believe there’s probably a 1% of happiness. And certainly it takes a base level of a certain amount of health and prosperity and things to just get by. But I have also met a lot of people who are extremely happy who don’t have anything. At one point I was working with Tibetan refugees in Nepal and Northern India. These people lived a much simpler life than you and I do. And they certainly had grief in their life. I remember one family whose little girl died and we asked how she had died. And the father said oh she didn’t die of anything, she just died. And he just had this incredible acceptance that sometimes things happen. So to think of all the things I have to be grateful for and not want to bound out of bed and get on to the day would be really ungrateful.”
Dr. Dave: “So this wasn’t on the script but I got to ask. Tell me some of the things you are grateful for.”
Victoria: “Oh wow!” *laughs*
Dr. Dave: “Just a few. Maybe even your top several. Maybe even number one.”
Victoria: “They change day by day. It’s dangerous to come up with number one because then someone else is always number 2. Well my dog, Forbes is such a happy maker. I’ve had cats my whole life and they have been amazing. And I never really thought I was a dog person. We did adopt a dog when my daughter was a little girl. The dog was absolutely wonderful but it took my current dog Forbes to teach me an incredible kind of unconditional love with another being. So I am very grateful for Forbes. I am grateful to live in New York City because not only is it Disneyland for vegans but it is urban intensified and I am a very urban person. So often people think that because I have been a vegetarian for over 40 years that I must like growing vegetables or going to the country and I really don’t. I am uncomfortable in those atmospheres. I really like concrete and tall buildings. *laughs* It suits me! So I have there here. And I am also really grateful for what’s going on in my life right now because at 65 years of age, when a lot of people are thinking about leaving their life of activity and going on to another phase, I have never been so immersed in my life of activities. I am still writing books and just finished my 12th book, traveling to speak, directing Main Street Vegan Academy a training program where we teach vegan lifestyle coaches. We do that four times a year which is miraculous! So there’s a lot of great stuff going on.”
Dr. Dave: “So that was a beautiful segue into being in your 60s now. I just turned 60. When I was 30 and even 40, I always thought that when you’re 60, it is pretty close to the end of your life. You’re not productive anymore, you have aches and pains, you can’t really get around, and I didn’t really want to be 60. Now I’m 60 and I tell you I’m loving it! I am feeling kinda like you. I have more things going than ever and I feel great! I would normally never ask a woman her age, but since you mentioned it – although I don’t believe it – how do you feel? How do you feel everyday? Do you wish you could go back to 40 ever?”
Victoria: “Not really. 50 was the hard year for me. It always seemed like to me 50 was half century mark and the start of antiquity. I remember when I turned 50, certain changes happen with women. And around 50 I went to bed one night with a nice flat stomach and a round bottom and I woke up one morning with a round stomach and a flat bottom. And I said wait a minute is this invasion of the body snatchers? I mean what happened to me?! *giggling* I actually kind of panicked. And I wanted to turn things around. And so you have the book over there that came out when I was 53. It’s called Younger By the Day. Because I really needed techniques, and tips, and procedures that could make this thing go backwards instead of forwards. But now at 65 I see it differently. And I actually loved turning 60. I think I was glad to get out of my 50s because I had such a bad attitude about them! *giggling* But I started getting happier in my 50s and by the time I turned 60 I just felt really solidly rooted in my life, grounded in who I am and what I am about. But another interesting thing happened around 60 for me. I developed a very strong vegan community here in the New York area. I moved to New york at 50 and I had a very supportive group of people back in Kansas City. When I left that it took me a while to build another one. I know all these articles and the studies about longevity talk about how important community is. I think it’s more important than most of the things we focus on.”
Dr. Dave: “Very interesting!. Now how do you feel about getting to 70? What do you think is going to happen when you are 70 years old?”
Victoria: *laughing* “I don’t know!”
Dr. Dave: “Is this something you think about?”
Victoria: “No because I am very much in the one day at a time thing. I have been schooled for many years in this idea of living in what Maxwell Maltz called ‘day tight compartments’. Twenty four hours at a time. The Native Americans said that was the only span of time there is. So anything longer than a day, we can’t figure. So I don’t think about future, but I do believe if we are able to live this day well; it doesn’t matter what the chronology is or what’s going on, we gonna live another day well with a different chronology and other things going on.”
Dr. Dave: So how would you say the 65 year old Victoria compares to the 30 year old? Do you feel better? The reason I’m asking you is because the 60 year old David feel better than the 30 year old David. I wouldn’t want to go back to 30 right now”
Victoria: “Yeah. It is and it isn’t. When I was 30, I could stay up all night and I could do it for a few days. You would not want to be around me if I stayed up all night. So there are some things that I have to acknowledge and honor the body and what it needs more than I did then. But I understand the body and it’s needs more than I did then so I can treat myself better.”
Dr. Dave: “I have your new book here, The Good Karma Diet. How long has it been out?”
Victoria: “It has been out since May, so two months.”
Dr. Dave: “So it’s really new”. I wanted to ask you, tell me about karma. What is karma? I kinda know what it is but I want to hear it from you”
Victoria: “Yeah ok. Theologically, karma comes from it’s Ayurvedic roots and then it translated into Buddhism and all the Eastern religions. The idea is that every thought, word, and deed comes back to us in kind. But it’s not just an eastern idea. It’s in every religion, every philosophy. Jesus spoke about reaping what you sow. It’s everywhere and I think we see it. People in the west tend to discount it sometimes because we don’t see it immediately. We’ll see someone who might not be a nice person amass a lot of wealth and we’ll say yeah right karma! But in the east, because they believe in reincarnation there’s a lot longer time for all this karma to play out. Either way when you are talking how you are treating your body and how you’re treating the people around you, that kind of karma will absolutely shows up right now in this lifetime. If you’ve been are feeding your body well, thinking some good thoughts, exercising, getting enough rest, doing some meditation, you are going to have a very difference body at 50, 60, and 65 then if you have been treating yourself poorly. The interesting thing about The Good Karma Diet approach is that it’s not just about eating organic food, and drinking fresh pressed juice, and thinking aren’t I cool? It’s I am not harming others. My very first priority in my diet as an ethical vegan is to do no harm and the second priority is to feed myself the very best food that I can find in a given circumstance. Usually those are perfectly in harmony and I can do both at the same time and it’s no problem. There are times that I have been at a truck stop or an appointment and the only non animal food available isn’t the healthiest food in the world. But that’s alright once or twice here and there as needed. For me it’s more important thing is to do no harm than to pick the healthiest thing if it happens to not be vegan.”
Dr. Dave: “Your subtitle is gently feel amazing and age in slow motion. Which I love! I’m trying to age in slow motion. So tell me about some of the recommendations you make here.”
Victoria: “Sure. Well age in slow motion is kind of what I learned between Younger by the Day and now. We’re not going to go backwards, that would be creepy. To age in slow motion, in today’s society, really means to age normally. What happens is that through the way that we live, all the stress, not treating ourselves well, not knowing ourselves well enough to treat ourselves well. I am very interested ayurveda. Ayurveda is an ancient healing tradition of India where you come to know the kinds of foods and the kinds of things that you need for your own individual self. So you honor the person that you are not just some person on some chart. So treat yourself well and the aging process doesn’t accelerate the way it often does in this culture. So in terms of tips I have some called the M.E.N.D. program. M.E.N.D. stands for meditation, exercise, nourishment, and detoxification. You get those four together and you have got it going on!”
Dr. Dave: “Please talk briefly about each of these things. Especially meditation. We both love meditation.”
“Meditation is simply quiet time. The studies that say such wonderful things as that people who have meditated for 5 years or more are 12 years younger physiologically than people who don’t meditate, are typically only looking at people who do a formal kind of mantra meditation 20 minutes twice a day. But you know what? It works if you just go with it. Whether it be journal writing, the rosary, prayers, scripture reading, it doesn’t matter. If it takes you inside and connects you to your highest self and to the higher power that you perceive him. Than you got it. It just has to be regular to make you younger or it’s not going to make you younger. If it’s every now and then or oh my gosh something terrible happened, I better go pray about it. No! Every day!”
“The more I come to study ayurveda the more I come to see that not everybody needs a huge amount of exercise necessarily. But you have got to move the body. And because we live in the first time in history that you can be completely sedentary and still have a reasonably interesting life. That’s absolutely frightening. So just things like standing more than you sit and moving more than you stand as well as whatever exercise really speaks to you. And it really took me until recently for me to find an exercise that I love. I have liked weight training and I have liked different kinds of things here and there but I love aerial yoga.”
Dr. Dave: “Aerial yoga? I am not so sure we ever talked about that on the show. What is aerial yoga?”
Victoria: “I just discovered it. Fabrics are hung from rigging points in the ceiling. And you do standard yoga positions using the fabrics so you are suspended. You spend a lot of time upside down. It’s not very high. I love it. It’s an exercise that I really want to do. I will also do some weights and some cardio but I do that because I need to. The aerial yoga I do because I love.”
“Nourishment is more than just food. You really want to nourish yourself in every possible way. With your environment, with the colors, with the conversations you have, with the books you read, and the movies you go to. But you also want to nourish yourself really well with food. Food that’s whole, food that’s fresh, and food that suits you. A food might have a lot of nutrients on the nutrient list but if you can’t digest it or tolerate it then it’s not all that nutritious for you. So you come to know yourself and you want to get up from every meal feeling like your body is thanking you for the nourishment.”
“Detoxification is a little but of the same. First it means that you don’t want to toxify yourself. So many of us get so many poisons that we don’t even think about it. Most people have a toxic waste dump under their sink just with the products that we clean our houses with. When instead you get all natural products, which are also not tested on animals, or use things like vinegar, baking soda, and club soda. And you want to put the most natural products on your skin. Many people think, but that is just on the outside! But these things go into your skin and into your body. Things like sweating, dry skin brushing, and oil massage are wonderful, sweet little things you can do to make your body love you.”
Dr. Dave: “Great stuff! Now I am assuming this is available in book stores all over right?”
Victoria: “All over.”
Dr. Dave: “If anyone wants to get in touch with you personally to take one of your courses what is the best way to get in touch with you?”
Victoria: On my website at www.mainstreetvegan.net. You can find all of the information there. All of the phone numbers and emails for getting in touch are there as well.”
Dr. Dave: “Victoria thank so much for being a guest and allowing me to be in your home studio. This has been fantastic! I got a question for you. I’ve got some more that I would love to talk about and I might be here for a while. Is it possible we can come back next week and maybe even answer some questions some of my listeners have had? I think you might be the perfect person to help me answer some of these questions.”
Victoria: “I’d be honored! Wow!
Dr. Dave: “Let’s do it! Thanks again and until next week!”
Victoria: “Thank you David!”
Victoria Moran has been a Main Street Vegan® for 31 years and is an obesity survivor, maintaining a 60+-pound weight loss for all this time. She’s the bestselling author of twelve books, including Creating a Charmed Life (in 30 languages around the world) and the plant-based weight loss classic, The Love-Powered Diet, and the iconic Main Street Vegan. Her latest book is The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion. Her college thesis became Compassion the Ultimate Ethic: An Exploration of Veganism, originally published in 1985 and the first work on vegan philosophy and practice to come from a major publisher. Victoria is also an inspirational speaker, corporate spokesperson, certified holistic health counselor (HHC, AADP), graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation/eCornell program in plant-based nutrition, host of the Main Street Vegan radio show/podcast, and founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training and certifying vegan lifestyle coaches.
Cited by VegNews among the Top 10 Contemporary Vegetarian Authors, Victoria appeared twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show and she’s one of the celebrity coaches for PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. Her articles have appeared in Yoga Journal, Mothering, Natural Health, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, VegNews, and Vegetarian Times. Her work has been noted in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, Self, Elle, Glamour, Allure, and O, the Oprah Magazine. She was named Vegan of the Year 2012, sharing that honor with male counterpart Michael Greger, MD, and she speaks extensively for vegetarian/vegan festivals, health events, women’s conferences, associations, corporations, and religious groups.
Moran lives with her husband, writer and musician, William Melton, in a LEED-certified green condominium in New York City’s thriving Harlem neighborhood. They’re co-writers of the feature film in pre-production, Miss Liberty, and co-humans to a rescue-dog, Forbes. To keep in touch, please:
- Follow Victoria on Twitter: @Victoria_Moran and @MainStreetVegan
- “Like” her on Facebook: Main Street Vegan
- Share with her on Instagram: @MainStreetVegan
- Subscribe to her YouTube channel: VictoriaMoranNYC
- Subscribe to the Main Street Vegan Podcast on iTunes
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