Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Say it with me: "Eating For Health"

Wow.  Whew!  I knew it was going to be a long week last week and I was right!  Kung Fu Vegan powers I'm fighting off illness ALL around me.  All 3 kids have been home sick with me.  Coughing, sneezing, snotting in my direction.  I have been trying to fight off illness.  I feel it there trying to take hold, but thus far unsuccessful.  I have been juicing over time.  Even my husband has been juicing for me!  It's little wonder I'm teetering on the brink of illness disaster.  Last week was stressful, but the kind I like.  I actually thrive on these kind of things.  Book Fair chaos, and it was huge too.  We had great sales and great events.  But Friday as we were closing up I noticed a cold sore on my lip starting.  Always a sign that my immune system is wearing down and I'm fighting something off.  Looking back over the week of eating, I'm not surprised.  I wasn't eating my 4 to 6 cups of veggies a day.  I was BARELY even eating breakfast, if at all.  Plus I had been eating out for lunch.  I had a cheese mishap one day.  I scrapped, but I'm sure I got some cheese in me.  So, hello cold sore!  I took that as my cue to catch up on my healthier way of eating and immediately got out the juicer.  Thank you Tess for your immune boosting recipes, cause I've been hitting them hard.  Nothing says Kung Fu to germs like garlic, ginger and a plethora of fruits and veggies.  So I felt better this weekend, even as my children started to drop like flies around me.  But, I still feel it hovering there..waiting.  I've been back to the plan, my modified diet from Tess' 2 week plan.  That is to say here's how I eat (and it's something that has become natural to me):  First thing in the a.m. a big glass of water with 1/2 to whole fresh squeezed lemon (I use my ancestral hand juicer).  Then I usually munch on 1 cup of whole fruit while I get my breakfast ready.  Breakfast varies with my mood.  This a.m. I had an organic flax & granola cereal with organic raisins thrown in with almond milk.  Then lunchtime I have 1 or 2 cups of veggies....somehow some way.  Usually raw, as that is how I prefer vegetables. But, again lunch consists of where my mood takes me.  I try and get another veggie in as a snack, but that just depends.  If I'm not hungry, I absolutely do not eat.  This has been a huge thing for me, and one that I still struggle with.  I know you should eat as consistently as possible, but I've been "listening" to my body and well, that's that.  If I'm not hungry, forget it.  Not listening to my body and blithely indulging in whatever food addiction I had has brought me to the sad state of health I HAD been in until this point.  I like now way better than then, so I will choose to listen this time around.  And besides, I am in no danger of starving or losing too much weight.  Really.  I could keep a small family alive on my fat for at least a season.  Anyway, I usually try to finish eating by 7 p.m. (usually...that didn't happen fair week) that way giving my liver time to do it's magic.  And I'm all about trying to be nice to my body now.  After years of abuse, I feel like I'm kissing a friend's butt that I have wronged somehow and has been mad at me.  You feel like orange juice?  Right away, no problem.  What?  You want asparagus?  I really don't care for that...oh, fine.  I'll eat it, but only because you keep reminding me of the time I ate food from 2 different fast food places in the same meal.  (yes, that is a true, sad story.....much darkness lies in my past! lol).  So, yeah.  That's what's going on.  Eating for health.  What a great mantra or me.  I've also been taking care of business in my yard.  I pruned this poor apple tree that I swear NEVER had a thing done to it.  Now, I want to coax it into baring lots of nice fruit for me organically.  Wish me luck, I have NO idea what I'm doing.  Thank God for the internet.  Also, I started to compost in the kitchen.  A friend (Thank you Tonya if you're reading this!!) gave me an extra kitchen composting canister that she had at her house not using.  Now I can plan my garden.  This is all new stuff that normally would make me shut down and not be able to do out of fear of failing (wow, I never realized this about I know where my son Owen gets it from) but I keep pep talking myself into doing it.  Who cares if I do it wrong, right?  The police won't come out and ticket me for the improper placement of carrots in my garden.  I just always want to know everything about what I'm doing and do it perfectly right the first time.  It's a madness, I realize that.  For me, I don't enjoy the learning process.  It would be so much easier if I could go see Lawrence Fishburn on "The Matrix" and learn by them downloading the info. in my head.  So, me being me, has to go crazy.  Do I start small and say master composting?  Oh, no.  I have to try: composting, gardening (organic), holistic medicines, food as medicine, making kombucha, making tofu, change my diet, change my activity levels, and change my life.  That's it.  Just that.  There is something wrong with me.  Now, I feel like I have to go because I should be reading a "how to" book or something.  Good grief.  At least I have great people around me and supporting me.  You are all awesome and I wish you nothing but the best life can bring you.  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  I had a bit of a hunger thing going on.  Not sure why.  I doubled up on veggies, because I noticed I have unspecific cravings when I don't eat as healthy.
Mood:  Better now.  Spring Break is about to start and it's beautiful out!
Cravings: Nothing specific, just hungry, but not knowing for what.
Health: Precarious.  Trying to fight off illness with all the arsenal at my disposal.

Sorry, it's been a while.  I wasn't at my best for writing last week and didn't want to subject you all  to ranting about book fairs and poodle skirts.  Don't ask!!  I'm back at it and am sure I will have many misadventures and hopefully victories to blog about.  Thank you.  Have a great night.  Be happy =)


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Staying Grounded

Okay, first of all I'm sorry it's taken so long.  Second, I apologize in advance, because it might be a while after this before I can blog again.  Monday begins the week long Scholastic Book Fair at my kid's school that I co-chair.  You wouldn't think that a simple book fair could drain someone, but we have lots going on during it: trivia contests every day, a gumball guess, a special visitor day, ice cream social & sock hop...  It'll be crazy!  Fortunately, I'm trying to plan ahead for my eating so I don't get stuck with food all around me but nothing vegan.  As the weather turns nice (although it's cold as I type this), my thoughts have been turning to organic gardens and lawn care.  I am wanting to really learn more and do these things (like compost) but have never done it and don't know where to start.  Anybody out there compost and can give me some direction?  There's literally 50 different compost drums you can buy!  It can be a little over whelming exploring these new directions I'm taking my life.  I become a little timid about trying something new.  Tess, who wrote "Radiant Health, Inner Wealth" (and if you've followed my blog at all, know she's my vegan mentor), has been blogging her first foray into making her own Kombucha.  This is so cool, something I would love to do, but lack the confidence to take that step into actually trying it.  I don't know where this fear is coming from.  I mean if you mess it up, you mess it up!  Who cares, right?  This is going to have to be something I need to work on.  I noticed it coming out more during all this "change".   I keep getting burned by hidden egg whites and hidden cheese.  I have become so disillusioned with restaurant salad dressing, that I'm starting to carry mine around!  I had a Greek Salad somewhere, and became suspicious later (the colon never lies!) that there was cheese in it.  When I went shopping later I looked at the ingredients in Greek Dressing and yes, feta cheese was in it.  I learned 2 things this day: 1. don't trust employees as to the ingredients, they have no clue (in most places...not all...but most!).  2.  Take more responsibility for the foods I eat.  Meaning, I can be mad at these places, but really it's my health and lifestyle choice that's slightly NOT mainstream, so I have to be more vigilant.  So, I pulled out RHIW and got busy making sauces.  I get so busy in my life I forget what a pleasure it is to make food.  Especially, food that is so good for me!  I think that this is a normal pattern. Life, like an undertow, can keep slowly dragging us off the course we want to take.  When we finally notice that we've drifted, we get back where we want to be.  So, now I'm going to be focusing on staying where I need to be as my life (this week in particular) tries to pull me away.  It's the little things that can keep us rooted.  Composting, bottling my own salad dressing, meditating to keep my ear turned inwards to listen to my body.  When I get too crazy from the busyness of life, that's when I don't hear my body as well or I misunderstand it's needs.  That's probably why I have been falling way short of my 4 to 6 cups of veggies a day.  I gotta keep in the moment.  And right now my body wants green (green= healthy) pancakes =).  Let's do stats!

Hunger:  had uncontrolled eating last night.  I put this down to not eating a balanced diet recently.
Mood:  Pretty good.
Cravings:  No, not really.  I kind of been wanting vegan sweets (I don't get them often, but sometimes I REALLY want one!).
Health:  Really good.  No illnesses since beginning this lifestyle. 

My goal this week is to stay focused and handle all the chaos around me.  I also, need to stay focused as I go about making more changes in my life.  I think if I can keep grounded it will help me be less frightened of doing what I need to do to make the changes that I want.  Be happy everyone! =)


Saturday, March 13, 2010

What Up My Vegans!!!

I went to a Vegan Meetup tonight!!  It was very nerve racking for me, because anyone who knows me knows I have a hard time doing new things...hahaha, which in retrospect is kind of funny considering how much my life has changed!!  I guess I have selective phobias.  However, Kyna (Michiana Vegans creator), very kindly offered me to ride with her (which is good or I doubt I would have gone).  So before I went I looked at my designer, LEATHER, purse and decided maybe I shouldn't take it.  My husband just laughs at me.  I imagined myself walking into the place saying: "What up my vegans!!!" (which I never would really say, but I think it's funny to picture) and them collectively gasping in outrage at my purse.  We smell the leather on you poser, GET OUT!  Now, remember, I became a vegan because of the health benefits.  Not that I don't care about animals, I do, but as an omnivore I never thought about it because lets face it, you can't know that stuff and happily keep eating whatever meat is in the grocery store.  So, I am only recently appreciating what being vegan means in other avenues besides the health.  I don't necessarily care what people think of me or that I need to be a certain way for them, but I do like to be respectful of others beliefs and since I wanted to friend these people I figured down playing my big leather purse might be prudent. (especially if they happened to be the blood or red paint throwing vegan kind).  As it turns out everyone was way cool and wouldn't have showered me in blood for my purse.  We talked for a long time and I learned new things from each one of them.  Yay!  Now I don't have to troll the Farmer's Market vegan baked goods stand for friends!!!  We are having another meetup in April and I look forward to it.  Only 4 of us went out of 16, but it was so worth it to meet the 4.  We all had odd ties to each other.  Two members live in the same apartment building, as in one directly over the other and they didn't know it ahead of time!!  Me and another girl both worked at the same vet clinic at different times and the other girl works with my sister.  Weird!!!  Meant to be?  Maybe!  Not to change the subject, but I am.  I have been attacked by egg whites and I am p.o.'d about it.  Stupid Morning Star chicken patties.  Then I investigated some more packaged foods I got "just in case".  3 more have stupid egg whites or milk protein.  Now I have to give them to some dairy eating vegetarians I know.  It's not cheap you know.  Now I will have to be more diligent in my label reading.  And the egg whites made me have gas =(.  On a happy note, my Sis, brother-in-law and parents are back from Florida so now I don't have to feed my sis's devil cat anymore!!  I did, by the way, hold a cheeto for her to lick.  Twice.  After she licked it, she then would hiss dismissively at me.  I feel so used!  And my parents failed to tell me they would have workers at their house while they were gone remodeling their bathroom!  My dad made me go feed his "outside critters" (this would be any stray, outside pet or wild animal in a 10 mile radius) while they were gone.  I pull up on Monday and the garage was open and a truck was in the drive.  I almost called the police, but 2 guys were sitting there not moving, looking at me.  I decided they were either incredibly stupid thieves or innocent hired workers.  Thanks Dad!  Tomorrow I will weigh myself.  It has been a while so I'm nervous.  I feel lighter.  But right at this moment I feel bloated from the accidental egg white and the big vegan cookie I just snarfed down.  Ah, well.  It is what it is.  You'll still love me no matter, right?  Ow, man, I totally burned my wrist on a 450 degree oven door the other day.  After I took a shower today, I was getting dressed and bumped the spot and it pulled off a layer of skin!  YUCK!  And it hurts.  Feel free to think this is a sad ploy for sympathy and attention, because it is....but It really did happen!  Okay, I want to spend some quality alone time with my hubby so let's do stats:

Hunger:  So not like it used to be.  I rarely get out of control eating rampages like I used to.
Mood:  Happy =)
Cravings: Nope, except I do love the bean curd Asian style.  Sigh.
Health:  Gassy, thanks egg whites!

My husband and I went to the kids school for Logan's "Living History" project and 3 people told me how handsome he is.  That made feel good, but I wondered if anyone says that to him about me.  Pathetic?  Maybe, but I want to be the hot wife.  Who doesn't?  But it did make me feel good, because 2 people told me they really noticed my weight loss and one even said I was radiant!! Thanks "Radiant Health, Inner Wealth"!!!! =)  Good night everybody, be happy!!!


Monday, March 8, 2010

A harmonious Balance

Ughhh!  I can't believe how important it is to stay up on stuff.  I turn around for one minute (okay, it was more like a couple of weeks..but it seemed fast!) and my potatoes have sprouted (and I don't think that's a good thing like beans), onions became strong (and I didn't even notice them pumping weights..haha), cilantro gone limp, toilet paper disappeared, dinners unplanned, laundry piled up, dishes gone crazy and me looking around to see who made the mess so I can blame them!  And then my darling of a husband (said with a hint of sarcasm) said we are having poker here this week!!  That would be HIS weekly game.  Maybe I should serve them a vegan feast!! I would if I didn't think they'd boohoo over it.  No, they want meat and meat they must have!  However, I am almost done with my frozen meat in the extra freezer.  Remember how Rick wants me to use it all up before serving vegan meals at night?  Yeah, it's stretching my imagination a bit.  And now I don't even really feel like thinking about meat let alone cooking it.  I still have a lot of ground turkey frozen in there.  I could make them turkey burgers.  I'm not going to worry about that right now.  First thing is first, I must plan, plan, plan our meals.  Otherwise I'll be eating my left over birthday cake for lunch.  I don't even want any today.  It's the most sugar I've eaten in 2 months and I can't believe how immune I am to it's sugary siren's call.  And that's not all, now I eat veggies I never would have eaten before.  It was so right that my tastes would change.  And before it was hard sometimes to eat all my servings of veggies, but now I can get a couple in with fresh juice.  That thing is so awesome.  And the dried up bits of waste is perfect for composting!!  Now I have to get a compost drum, especially since I want to start an organic garden this year.  I want to, but I don't know if it'll happen or not!  This will be our first spring and full summer in this house and I'm not sure what the yard is like yet.  I do believe it's very sandy dirt.  And we have a rather neglected apple tree I want to coax into giving more apples (organically of course) this year. It's times like this I miss Rick's Grandma the most.  She had the best apple tree.  And thinking of her makes me think of my juicer my mom found for me.  Do I still use it?  Heck yeah I do!  It's perfect for my morning lemon water.  And it's a nice reminder of where we came from.  Before the beautiful electric super juicer, there was just a simple aluminum tool, powered by muscle.  I love it really.  They sit side by side on my counter. Present meets past.  I like that.  I embrace both the old and the new, I think we can learn from them.  It gives me a nice complete harmonious feeling.  Am I getting to deep?  I think so for the time of night I'm typing this.  I get a little contemplative later in the evening.  Ahh, is that the gentle beep of a washer done?  Yes, I do believe it is.  Good, now the kids will have clean uniforms for tomorrow!! Hooray!  Score one for the bad housekeeper.  Hey, I was volunteering at the school.  Mon. after school is Spanish Club with the Kindergarteners and 1st graders.  I was creatively playing "around the world" and "red light green light" using Spanish words. However, occasionally I did slip with French.  I really don't know Spanish all that well, I took French in college.  That's when my preschooler Carter (he goes with me of course), who happens to be very good at languages, says: "Mom that's French, that doesn't count!".  Just so you know there's an actual Spanish teacher with 1/2 the kids and I'm just watching the other half until it's their turn or it's time to go home.  What does this have to do with eating a plant based diet?  Nothing! hahahahaha.  I think it's time for me to go to bed, I'm getting slap happy.  Let's do the stats:

Hunger:  I'm good.
Mood:  Good
Cravings:  None
Health:  A lot of sickness around me, I better juice!! =)

I am kind of an easy going, non structured kind of person.  So it's rather difficult for me to maintain the structure of the planned menus, although I do see it's benefit.  I do well for a while and then (like now) I fall off and revert to chaos.  If I could combine the two states of being, it would be nice and harmonious.  I'll keep working on that and let you know!! =)  Good night everybody, be happy!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

We've Got Juice!!

Wow, It's my birthday and I'm so high on juice...fresh juice.  BECAUSE I GOT A JUICER!!!  Yay!!!!!  My sis-in-law and in-laws went together and got me a high powered awesome juice-a-matic!  So I've been playing with it, concocting different blends, forcing my children to unconsciously consume  vegetables!!  Bwaaahaaahaaa (cue maniacal laughter).  And my sis-in-law made me a vegan birthday cake with vegan frosting!!!! It was very special.  And just when I thought my birthday was over, my friend brought me a present and got me a FOOD PROCESSOR!!!!  Can you believe it?  I about died, I wanted one so bad!!  And it's a really good one too!  Now I'm going to have to make some really awesome kick butt food for them all.  And juice.  It's just amazing the awesome people I have in my life.  Did you see my status on Facebook?  I fit into the "thinner" jeans now.  You know, they're the ones you DIDN'T try on at the store but thought you were safe because they are your size and then you get them home and find out they are actually like a size smaller.  Yep, I found a pair in a box marked: "can't fit right now" (notice I try to stay positive with the "right now").  They still had the tags on them, because like an idiot I didn't try them on (I'll do just about anything to not have to try things on with the 80 sided mirror and florescent lighting highlighting every fat dimple on me!!) and so of course they didn't fit.  However, I can now add them to my bonus jeans =).  Now I have to share with you a HAPPY restaurant moment (I have to add the good ones when they happen since I always complain of the bad!).  We went to Uptown Kitchen and they use mostly organic foods and had more than 2 choices for vegans and that DIDN'T include salad or going out in the back and eating grass!!  It was very good. Very healthy.  I think the happy restaurant experience combined with the sun makes me feel hopeful for Spring, for me, for the name it!!  Speaking of which (and I don't know what that means exactly but felt it was appropriate here) I won a free t-shirt online!  All you had to do was respond to a post on this vegetarian site and they'd choose a winner, but no one did but me, so I won!!  It says "No Meat Athlete".  I am totally excited about it!!  I'll probably work out more when I wear it (cause, you know, I have to live up to that kind of title), which means at this time next year I'll be a hundred pounds lighter and I'll be in People magazine's "They lost half their size" article and I'll talk about Tess and she'll become hugely famous and they'll tell Dr. Oz to hit the bricks because there's a new guru in town!!!!  Whew!  I love a long winded sentence =)  And if that wasn't crazy enough for you, I have plenty more coming don't you worry!  I also think I am quite addicted to exclamation points.  I can't really be expected to give them up, I mean I already gave up meat, eggs, dairy and caffeine for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I threw in some extra for dramatic effect).  My family, (sister, bro-in-law, mom & dad) went to Florida for my birthday as they do every year.  Now I have to take care of my Sister's devil cat.  She is the nutsiest cat around with ISSUES!!  I may have to hold a cheeto for her to lick.  No lie. And you can't turn on a ceiling fan because she freaks out.  So I better go to bed with these kind of responsibilities on my back!  Stats baby:

Huger:  I ate a lot today and didn't care.  Today is my birthday and tomorrow is not.  I had fun with a littl indulgence today =)
Cravings:  Nope!
Mood:  It's my birthday, how could I be anything but happy!
Health:  Great!!

I keep forgetting to buy batteries for the Wii Board so I can weigh in.  I'm not too concerned because I feel good and fit into smaller clothes.  Thank you all for reading my blog, I can't tell if people are or not except when they comment.  So thank you everybody who reads here and I don't know it.  I'm off to bed!  Good Night and be happy =)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bonus Pants

Hello!!!  Long time no see right?  Well, I had a lot going on!  I had my son's birthday sleep over with a family party the next day.  Really busy!!  I couldn't write in my blog because there were 9 year old boys running all over my house shooting Nerf guns at each other.  It was a little distracting to say the least.  Anyway, remember the old fashion juicer I was getting from my Mom?  I LOVE it!  It makes me so happy to use it.  And I didn't even spend any money, which makes my husband happy.  Having a cooking low point right now.  Don't feel like doing it, so I been relying on my old easy things to make like, mushrooms, burritos, etc.  I did make "perfect Pintos" from RHIW (Radiant Health, Inner Wealth for those of you just joining me.  Written by my friend and guru of all things healthy & vegan, Tess Challis) and then made refried beans from them for Logan's "family" party.  Everyone liked them and some were impressed they were from "scratch".  I was amazed at how easy it was to do it, and it seemed so much fresher and better textured than from a can.  I really am getting into eating fresh.  Speaking of that, I STILL haven't weighed myself, but get this!  I had a pile of jeans sitting on the floor in the closet that I couldn't fit (too small) that used to drive my husband CRAZY.  I kept meaning to put them away, but never seemed to get around to it.  Well, I was in a panic for some pants and spied those on the floor and I thought: well, I'll give them a try.  I fit every pair!  Even better, there were these ones I never fit, (they were snug in the waist when I bought them) and they fit great.  Now it's like I suddenly have bonus pants!  YAY.  I like bonus pants.  Pants always seem to be the hard things to find.  Especially work out pants for the chubby girl!!  It's hard enough to get myself to do it, let alone in pants that my show every ripple and dimple.  If you've never been significantly over weight, it's hard to imagine the strain on your body from the extra pounds.  Try to imagine wearing a cloak that weighs 100 pounds and you get an idea.  People often think fat people are lazy, but in reality it is a lot harder for them to do what an average weight person does (again, imagine the cloak).  It becomes a vicious circle of not being able to work out because it's so hard and humiliating.  I will tell you this:  I have been really thin and I have been really heavy.  Life is way harder on so many levels for the heavy, but I do believe I am a better person now for it.  I have learned as much as I possibly can from this weight and I'm ready to now lose it again.  So with losing the little bit of weight I have lost and with my new way of eating, I have more energy now to exercise.  Trust me, cause it takes A LOT to get me to put on spandex pants and haul my large rump up on a tread mill!!  But I've been doing it.  It's been really different for me eating this way. I have way mor energy to do the things I want to do and I have been way more in tune with my body. It's been saying "orange juice" today.  The weird thing is, I know I must really need it for some reason (trying to ward off illness??) because when I drink it at any other time it will hurt my stomach.  It doesn't hurt my stomach when my body wants it.  Freaky!!  I love that I can tell what I need versus cravings.  And I really don't crave anymore either.  The feeling of control is empowering.  And the extra pants are nice too =).  Let's do stats:

Hunger: very manageable.  I had some extra hunger today, but I fed it and it went away =)
Mood: well, it was a full moon last night!! hahahahaha
Cravings: None!
Health:  I may jinx myself for saying this, but other than the poop attack during week 2 or 3 of becoming vegan (detoxing?) I have not been ill.  This could be a record, which is sad because I have a crush on my Dr. and like to see him!! ;)

Everything fits me again, so even though I haven't been weighing myself, it must be good news.  My husband hooked the Wii back up, but now I have to  find batteries for the board.  I promise to get the results to you soon!!  Sun is shining again, weight is coming off; yep, I think it'll be a great spring!  Good Night Everyone, Be happy =)