The Planner

Hi, I’m Marina. And I am a compulsive planner.

It probably comes from the fact that control is very important to me. It always has been, but this fact has been further exacerbated by having my power taken away as a teen, when I was sexually assaulted.

As a result, life became a perpetual search for control, to return a sort of feeling of safety and ease that I lacked daily.

This perpetual search slowly disintegrated, but its essence is still felt, at least a little.

It is felt in the “refresh” action I perform daily on all my social media accounts and email list (let’s be honest – these platforms were built to capitalize on our addiction for being loved, on growing numbers and on the wish of that little kid in us to be popular; I am totally working on furthering myself from my constant presence on these platforms, for sanity’s sake).

It is also felt in the love for planning, in daily life.

While I am grateful that I am such a marvelous planner – it gets me ahead in many aspects of life and business – I do sometimes wish that I could be like those people who just “go out to a movie” or “have a picnic”, just like that, mid-day.

Nope, that’s not currently the me that I am.

When we lived in Israel, there was a clear distinction between the Jerusalemite crowd and the Tel Aviv crowd. The Tel Avivians were the beach-loving, bathing-suit-wearing-always-ready-for-the-beach, unplanning, spontaneous, mid-day activity doing people.

The Jerusalemites, the crowd to which I so closely belonged (it is for a good reason that I have chosen to live in this tumultuous and tension-ridden city), were the old people. The ones who walked around with calendars, to pencil in all appointments at least a week in advance. Who went to bed at 9PM.

I belong with those people.

And Mexico Changed All This

Vegan in Puerto Vallarta | Soul in the Raw

When we started planning the trip to Puerto Vallarta, that’s what I did. I PLANNED.

I asked around, I joined vegan Facebook groups, I read blogs about hikes in PV.

And everyone said the same thing – when in PV, go with the flow. Because things will probably not work out the way you planned.

To my horror, I realized that this would have to be my 30th year lesson.

On the day of my birthday, the one day in the whole year that I want to be the most perfect, the most planned, the most excitingly boring day – things did not go according to plan.

We walked in shit, literally, wearing expensive water shoes that were extremely shitty (before and after walking in shit). They had holes in them, so all the little stones and shit went inside.

We tried not focusing on this fact, and attempted to enjoy the adventure.

We were not sure that we would find the waterfall at the end of the hike – and this unsureness alone would have thrown me into a true hissy fit. Yet, I decided to act as they do in PV.

Everything is an adventure.

And then came the “worst” part. The lack of vegan restaurants. On my 30th birthday.

Apparently, in Puerto Vallarta veganism is (sometimes, possibly) for breakfast or lunch. But for dinner? No, for dinner they eat meat.

I am quite familiar with this concept, but living in my vegan bubble here in San Diego, it was quite shocking to hear that such thinking still persists in the world, in the minds of people other than my almost 80-year-old grandma.

After 2 hours, and zero luck, the family decided to visit a grocery store and cook dinner.

I must say the results were amazing. Probably a better meal than from a restaurant. I must also say that if I did not have my “I am going with the flow” mindset, I’d probably spend at least 2 hours crying before finally eating. And I’d probably also not enjoy the meal prepared for me

Vegan Travel Foods to Pack & On-the-Go Travel Vegan Recipe

Vegan in Puerto Vallarta | Soul in the Raw

I’ve made a really great list for you of vegan-friendly foods that are a total MUST to take to your travel adventures, plus my favorite 5-ingredient vegan meal to make while traveling. Download it here:

The Lesson is…

No, don’t fret. I am not giving up my planning habit.

My superstar planning abilities are freaking awesome. They are closely related to manifesting, because when you plan stuff on paper and in your head, you’re telling the universe, “listen up, I’m ready for you. And this is what I want”.

Instead, I am learning to be a little less plan-y and really indulge in the moment.

I found that when you welcome the adventures that the universe conspires for you, you can enjoy the moment.

I gotta say – I’ve never enjoyed any moments quite like this. Covered in shit, hungry, and happy.

I saw waterfalls, I saw ways of life that I have never seen before, I saw happy and very sad animals walking around, I saw life and took it all in.

Vegan in Puerto Vallarta | Soul in the Raw

Coming Home

When I got home, I started doing lots of reading about animal agriculture. Something I was not emotionally ready to do before. It hurts so much reading about it, but I want to fully understand what animal agriculture entails.

I also started appreciating Tomer a bit more, and his super impressive improvisation abilities. My boy whipped up an incredible meal for me (with my mom as his sous chef). Wow!

Vegan in Puerto Vallarta | Soul in the Raw

And I also did some deep thinking about the animals. And whether it’s ok for poor people to commodify them.

Ok is not the right word. What I mean is, whether we can excuse it.

I’ve always been a white-guilt person. I’ve always felt guilty as shit when walking around poor places. I’ve always felt it was my fault somehow.

I am sure it is somehow my fault, indirectly, having lived in all these countries that participate in the worst atrocities that occur on our planet, indirectly of course.

Strangely enough, this time, I didn’t.

I was so sad for the people who were poor, because they just shouldn’t be. Period.

But I also almost felt like I was seeing the whole thing from the eyes of the horses, chickens, and donkeys that lived amongst them. And were suffering.

No one should use a being of any kind (human or non-human) for anything. Beings have feelings. I could see it in the horse’s eyes.

Horses and donkeys don’t want to be ridden. They want to run free. Their spirit is broken in order for people to ride them, and that killed my spirit when I looked into their eyes.

Instead, we need to educate everyone about a plant-based lifestyle. We need to do this to help all humans (especially poor humans) to live a better life: healthier, more compassionate, and more loving.

Vegan in Puerto Vallarta | Soul in the Raw

Eating plants will elevate all of humanity.

I am so grateful to be able to educate people about eating plants. If you’re with me, please help me do so by sending your friends and family a link to my FREE 2-week vegan meal plan. They will never look at plants the same way again:

Thank you for sharing it, I love you, and I’ll see you soon.


Vegan in Puerto Vallarta | Soul in the Raw

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Marina Yanay-Triner is a wellness coach and recipe developer through Soul in the Raw. Marina creates easy and delicious vegan recipes and writes about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, focusing on evidence-based nutrition information. She loves to help clients go and stick to plant based eating through her powerful coaching program, combining nutrition and cooking education along with transformational mindset work. Marina adopted a whole food, plant based lifestyle over 7 years ago, inspired by her mother's incredible healing story of reversing a crippling bladder disease. She has reversed PMS symptoms and encourage emotional healing from trauma as a result of this transition. Marina is incredibly passionate about the vegan diet for human health, animal welfare, and the well-being of our planet, all of which she envisions as co-dependent.