Saturday, September 27, 2014

Spread Some Good Karma Today

Respect for self
Respect for others
Responsibility for all you actions

Most people live a hurried life and they are very self absorbed.  It is hard for others too look outside themselves and see the big pictures. 
I was at the coffee shop this morning and they only had one barista and 3 people in line (me being the 2nd person in line).  The person behind me was giving off some bad vibes.  She was huffing and tapping her foot with her arms crossed.  She had parked in the handicap spot and I could see her car from the door and I knew she had no sticker to park there while there was ample parking around.
Basically this person was part of the rat race.
She needed to go go go and me me me.
This creates a bad vibe to others around..  It actually made me start getting anxious.  But I was determined to keep the coffee shop as my happy place.  I do not allow negativity there at least what I can control.
So she said under her breathe..."They only have one barista working?"
And I turned and said, "Yea, typically they have a change over around 10 am because it gets kinda dead. "
She replied,"I am used to star bucks where they get you in and out."

I do not personally like starbucks as I feel the chain has killed the spirit of a local coffee shop and is nothing more than a coffin of what a coffee shop is. Impersonal and dead.

But I was refusing to give in to this I asked her"Would you like to get in line in front of me?"
My drink generally takes a bit longer to brew because I do not imbibe in the drip coffee. I have a latte addiction.
She at first did not want to get in line but I convinced her to go ahead since she had somewhere to be and she did.   She said thank you and went about her day.

To me that is passing on good karma.
I kept her happy, so maybe she will see that the local coffee shop is a nicer place than starbucks.  The coffee speaks for itself and it better.  I got the coffee shop a few more $$ that might have otherwise walked out the door, which helps keep my favorite place in business.
And even if I do not see the immediate effects of passing on some good will, the fact is that energy is out there.

Pass on some good karma.
That is your homework for today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I luv Rice!

I just have to take a moment and show some gratitude for rice.
And i dont care what kind.
Jasmine rice is my favorite.
But I like a hearty brown too.

It it the perfect addition to just about everything I eat.
Sauteed veggies/tofu/legumes

Plus I am guaranteed a great meal at any Chinese or Mexican restaurant.

I finally found something that has curbed my hunger and gives me energy.
I am in love.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dealing with Family Functions and Holidays

Sometimes I just want to scream.
Why does every single festivity have to be centered around food?
Holidays, birthdays, celebrations, funerals, graduations, weddings, ect...
All centered around food.  And I do not have a supportive family.  Meaning I am the only real vegetarian.  There is no support person to back me up on anything.
Even when I am surrounded by omnivores spouting off the most asinine bull.
It is exhausting.
I have taken to bringing my own awesome dish.

But heaven forbid you are at a BBQ and you bring a marinated portobello mushroom so you can have a burger too.
And if you are vegan it is even worse.
Everything has cheese o eggs hidden somewhere.
IT can be very frustrating.
The easiest thing to do is to bring a dish like a casserole that anyone can enjoy so that you are guaranteed a meal.
Or you can have your own party and make everything delicious and vegan/veggie.

How do other people deal with he frustration?
This website offers a plethora of recipes to share with omni- famiy and friends.

And tips for dealing with a functional family that cares about one another.

It is a bit harder with a hard headed family.
But sometimes you have to resign yourself to go without and just reward yourself with a nice meal at home later and a kombucha tea.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why be protein obsessed?

Questions I ask myself and encounter about protein can include anything from...where do you get protein in a vegan diet? Are you crazy you are going to get sick without protein!! Protein digest slower so you feel full longer, aren't you hungry all the time?  You aren't going to deprive your child of protein and nutrients are you?

And ect...

But the real question is why is everyone so obsessed with protein?
Is protein even healthy for  you?

From body builders who add protein why to their after workout drinks, to the Atkins diet, Americans especially are obsessed with this notion that diets need to be high protein and that usually means eating meat.  Usually it is typical for Americans to over eat.

Eating to much protein can cause an array of health issues.

*Weight Gain being the most common.

*High protein diets like Atkins, promote the build up of ketones that can shut down the kidneys.
I only have one kidney so that is important information to me.

*Dehydration from kidneys not functioning properly
*Increased liver enzymes

A person needs about 40-70 grams a day.
one 100 calorie serving of seitan is 20 calories.  That is half of my needs in one meal. Not including the protein from the rest of the meal.
So do not worry about me friends. I am good.
But I should be asking you why do you want to overdose on protein so badly?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Self Imposed Rules...A new way of being

At an early age, it is taught to just about everyone that a meal consists of a main meat dish, a veggie side and some starch or grain like noodles or potatoes.
However, when a person goes veggie this thinking needs to change for obvious reasons.

It is not unusual for me to have issues creating a dinner plan.  When I alter my thinking on dinner it makes it a bit harder with new “rules” in place.  These old rules are self-imposed. 
Gardein and their line of mock meats helps a lot.  However, it is hard to think of beans or tofu as the new main course because it is not.  Tofu and beans are an addition to the dinner.
A nutritious meal is all about balance.
Salads get old quick and they are not calorie dense enough to fill you up for long.
Mushrooms are great filler and fill you up but are mainly water and very low calorie.
Potatoes are great.  They are very filling. Sweet potatoes are best and a staple of many vegan diets.
I am going on my second month of being veggie and I am feeling very overwhelmed about what to make to eat.  Almost obsessive compulsive and slightly anxious about food.  Which is odd because I was never conscious about food this much.  I believe it will pass after I get into the groove of eating veggie.
I hope. I cannot stand focusing on what to eat all the time. I want this to just become a natural way to be. 
But it is hard to break old self-imposed rules and create a new way of being.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Being Hungry Makes me MEAN

Today I have been snappy and mean.
I have woken up hungry every day for the past 2 days.
This is my biggest issue is that I do not feel like I am ever full.  And I realize that veggies have less calories in them than most processed foods and are quicker to digest than meat.
So today I broke down and bought an AMY's veggie meal for lunch and had fake steak tips and potatoes for dinner.  Fake steak tips are basically just seitan but loaded with protein. It is almost like real steak which is my go to food....the veggie version is much cheaper.
I love it.

I am under a lot of stress right now.  Worrying about things out of my control.
I have been mean and snappy.

I havent had any kombucha tea is over 4 days.
No black dog coffee in 2 days.

Those are the staples I need to live...well at least the kombucha the probiotics in them really help my tummy feel good.

I yelled at someone before I had a chance to eat lunch. Being hungry is no good for me.
I have to make it a point to make time to eat.
That is hard for me because I get full so fast but get hungry later in the day.  I have no idea how to combat this.
Other than by eating more.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cows are Angels--Dairy is the Devil

Everyone around me can thank dairy for being the scourge of evil that made me want to become Vegan.
I got my first taste of animal rights violations from a video I viewed of the Conklin Farms in Ohio and their mistreatment of the dairy cows and their calves.
It did not help I was pregnant at the time.
I felt this weird kinship with cows when I was pregnant.
And to see mother cows being stabbed with pitchforks, and forced to watch as their calf's heads where being stomped on by grown men, who should know better.
You could hear the calves screaming and the mother cows mooing in response.
I can imagine their terror and confusion and I could feel it.
And since I was pregnant when I viewed this, it made it much more harrowing.
I watched this video that can be found on youtube now. And I almost fainted. And I cried and I freaked out. And I vowed to kill this "farmer" and his employees.
And I tossed out all the milk and cheese and other dairy in my house.
Since I was pregnant, my stomach would go tight if I had a heightened emotional state and I could barely breathe.

I had never seen people performing atrocious acts on animals before.
I had no idea how cruel these industries are.
I had no idea how cruel people could be.
I had no idea that this happened.
I was blind.

But my eyes opened.

I was already having a severe reaction to milk while pregnant and seeing that sent me over the edge to not wanting milk in the house ever again.

It does not help the dairy industry, when I found it is in bed with the veal industry.
Calves are of no value to the dairy farmers as they take the milk. So what to do with them?
Sell them out for veal or to veal farmers. Who chain them down and not let them enjoy life.
Veal is cruel...that is common knowledge.
But if you drink milk you might as well eat veal. Because you are supporting them indirectly.

Milk can be hard to give up for most people.  It has addictive properties.  Cheese especially.
But dairy and its products are not healthy for most people.  It is full of deadly cholesterol and too many calories. Not to mention the hormones the cows are forced to get to produce more milk.  This in turn creates mastitis which requires antibiotics which weakens the strength of antibiotics for human use over time.

Think twice about that bowl of ice cream you are enjoying and realize that it is fill with tears and terror.

Cows are a wonderful creature that have allowed humanity to progress during our darkest days.  They are to modern humans what the Buffalo was to the American Indians.  The provider of clothing, and food.  An animal to be treated with respect. DESERVING of respect.
They are the spirit animal of the mother.
Never disrespect your mother.

Where do you get your protein?

*Vegans get all the omega-3s they need from chia seed oil, flaxseed oil, linseed oil and walnuts.  No need for supplements or fish.

*The vegan diet provides iron through spinach, kale, and beans. Compared to these plant foods, meat is an inferior source of iron on a per-calorie basis, and therefore unnecessary.

*A person can get all the protein they need from eating a varied diets of whole foods so there is no need to rely on meat.  All food has some protein in it, some more than others.  Beans, seitan, tofu and veggies! Some people prefer meat analogues such as Gardein meatless meat but it unnecessary.

 When transitioning to a meat free diet many people will question how you are getting a nutritionally sound diet.  It can be annoying.  Especially since this lifestyle is new and strange to older people in extended families.
I am finding it hard to navigate family functions and holidays as they are centered around food.  Since I have a child I cannot just stop going to these functions, though I would love to have a life not so focused on food  .
Literally just yesterday I had to spend 20 mins explaining that I do not care if my boyfriend wants to eat what I do or not, he is an adult and can care for himself or he can eat what I do.   It is not my job to cook a separate meat based meal to perpetuate outdated standards of living.
However I cannot get mad at my boyfriend for not wanting to stay omni as I was not veggie when I met him and this is a huge life change.
Change can be scary for some people.
Some people feel attacked because I dont want to eat their meat foods.
Some people don't care.
I am surounded by the former.

I cant describe the abuse I have taken in the name of Veganism.
But I do it because I want to change the world and in order to do so I need to become the change I want to see in the world.

Why do you do it?
Feel free to comment.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I am a Kombucha Mushroom Person

Kombucha tea is my new love.
Especially GT Synergy Cherry Chia.  The chia in the tea has a serving of Omega-3s so that I do not miss out on any nutrition and the probiotics from the tea itself is wonderful.  However, the price is daunting at about $4 a bottle. 
I have decided to make my own.
I am not sure how my family is going to respond to my desire to grow a SCOBY..basically a special form of mold or fungus that is edible.  But I do not care.
I love kombucha tea and it has replaced yogurt and kefir in my life. 

I am head over heels for Kombucha.
The tangy sweetness and the way the effervescent bubbles kiss my tongue. I am unable to get enough.

The process of making the tea is semi-involved.  It basically just takes times and patience.
It is made from black or green tea and time to ferment.
It smells awful.

Why are probiotics so deliciously addictive despite the smell?
I have no idea! Why do people like sour cream and pickles?  It is a matter of preference.

Unlike yogurt and kefir the probiotic found in kefir is called S.Boulardii.  The probiotic found in yogurt is usually LActobacilus.  The lacto refers to a dairy loving bacteria.  Boulardii is technically a yeast but this yeast is different from bread or the kind that causes vaginal infections.  This yeast is beneficial to the body and enhances the immune system and digestion.  It even kills candida albicans which is the yeast that causes infections.

Not everybody's tummy reacts the same to all probiotics but I think everyone should check this one out.  I always had problems with yogurt and kefir in the past and this particular food has really helped me out.  I no longer have any bloating, which makes my stomach look distended and unsightly.
And the tea itself is loaded with energizing vitamins.  So I have not even craved any caffeine, which cuts out soda and coffee.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hippie thoughts:The push to make you move

I have been struggling to be vegetarian for awhile now.  I have always tried to eat a flexitarian diet based on plants more than meat, however I would always trip up over stress.  Stress of the holidays, break ups or working late hours.  But when I became pregnant my body and budding baby rejected all meat and dairy.  I was forced into veganism, minus my love of eggs and honey. 
This was the begining of a new way of life for me.
It has been an off and on struggle since 2010.
In 2013, I worked in a grocery store that has the best selection of organic and only selection of most natural foods in town.  I became friends with a Vegan guy and my interest in veganism and vegetarianism as a way of life began to take hold.  Then I found out my best friend has been Vegetarian for several years and she does not even cook!  Just more support to help make this change permanent.

Everyone has their own way to convert their lifestyle to suit heir needs.  Some do it fast and cut out everything cold turkey and some do it in small amounts. 

My first attempt, I tried the cold turkey method.  Ironically, it did not work.  I suffered from common pit falls such as lack of calories and that lead to a back slide.  I regained my composure, brushed myself off and took my time as I figured out another way to become what I wanted to least vegetarian.
My second attempt that I am on right now, is taking things much slower.  I am looking at eating meat as an addiction.  So like a heroin addict that uses methadone to wean themselves off of the drug I am using meat analogs to transition.  I am not a whole food vegan yet, but I am on my way to my goal.

People are often curious about why a person would want to become vegan or vegetarian and the reasons are personal to everyone.  There is no right answer. Just wanting to be should be a good enough reason but when people question you they seem to get annoyed when you say "just because I want to" especially at dinner with the family or inlaws. 
I find it best to have a reason like animal rights, which I do agree with.  I call them my hippie thoughts.  I do sit and think about how in essence we are eating a dead carcass and it bothers me.  How can I have pets and love animals but kill them for my dinner?
It creates a sense of anxiety inside of me.  A dissonance that I need purged.  I find that not partaking in the holocaust of animals helps.  This anxiety is very apparent to me when I am feeling sensitive, particularly after I meditate and as I walk near the meat section in a store I feel tension and revulsion.
I do not feel this way as I walk through the produce section.
I salivate as I walk near watermelons, bananas, apples, lettuces, and kale.  Even the dirt smell of potatoes gets into my stomach.
I do not feel that way when I walk past the meat areas.  I see the flesh, chopped up, sometimes sitting in its own juices and I feel sick and anxious.
Maybe I am developing a weak constitution as I get older, but I can still watch horror movies where people get chopped up with no qualms.
My personal integrity is telling me that I do not want meat.

What is the push that made you move?
 What do you feel as you walk around a grocery store?
Are you interested in cooking?
How can I make this work for me?