Saturday, December 11, 2010

Changes and friendships

Today has turned out to be a pretty good day.

I am feverishly working on updating a new online calendar.  I'm kind of a calendar nerd and love setting them up, getting organized, and having all that info at my fingertips.  I'm not always so good at following through with the long lists I place on the to-do section or remembering to log in daily to see what I am supposed to have each day.  Still, we'll see how this new one works out.  You can check it out for yourself at Cozi.

I slept in late and then took a short nap later in the day.  I had my book club on Thursday night, and we talked late late into the night.  We don't quite have down the style to actually talk much about the book, but it's fun to chat with a great group of girls at least!

On my own I'm reading The China Study, and am transitioning to eating vegan now.  Why I decide to change my eating habits during the holidays I shall never know, but so be it.  I already feel much better when I eat only vegan foods.  We still have a decent amount of non-vegan foods in the house, so I imagine it will be a slow transition as we eat up the non-vegan items at home.  It doesn't seem right to waste a bunch of food, so we'll probably eat some and donate some.

Irish has vehemently refused to watch Super Size Me with me.  He is enjoying a guy's night at the movies right now, and it is recording on my DVR for me to watch alone.  Thanks to Discovery Health for airing it so I can finally see it!

Question of the day: Do you think there is a particular time in line when we are the wisest at choosing our friends?  I think we always choose our friends based on the set of people available to us at the time.  As kids, it is the others in our neighborhood or schools.  As adults, it's people at work or the infamous FOAFs (friend of a friend).  I recently rediscovered my childhood best friend online.  We moved apart and didn't keep in touch starting in early elementary school.  But strangely enough, when I found her, it turns out that she's a vegan!!!  Who could've guessed!  And I'm making friends now in our newly formed book club, which is great, but I think it's been well over a decade since I've had friends with priorities so drastically different from mine.  I see the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality now.  I certainly wouldn't be able to invite them to my home after hearing about where they live... they would probably be too afraid to step out of their cars anyways.  And yet, they consider themselves average to below-average for the crowds they associate with.  It's an interesting and very different group from my norm to be sure.  So when do you think we have the most authentic friendships?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sore throat woes

This past week was total chaos.   Things were insane at work, there was almost no down-time at home either, and healthy eating dwindled to a minimum.  A sad state of affairs, for sure!

In light of all that, I can't say that it surprised me when I woke up this morning with a sore throat.  One of those that makes all the sinus connections in your head hurt.  So I used the neti pot on my nose, hydrogen peroxide rinse for my ears, and concocted the mother of all sore throat gargles.  I figured, why pin my throat comfort on just one gargle recipe with one ingredient.  So I combined several ingredients into one.

Oddly enough, I also think I stumbled upon a quick easy vegan/vegetarian broth base as well in the process!

So here is my Sore Throat Gargle info.  You have the option to make it acidic or alkaline, depending on your preferences.  From what I read, either can kill the bacteria, but some are more immune to acid while almost none are immune to alkaline. You should rinse out your mouth after using the gargle, especially if you use the acidic version.

Sore Throat Gargle

Start either version with
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Heat until very warm.

  • Add 1 tsp baking soda
  • Add 2 tsp ACV (apple cider vinegar), 1 tsp lemon, and 2 tsp honey.
Stir well.  Gargle for 1 minute.  Repeat in 15 minute intervals, then less often as the pain subsides.

If you don't have all the ingredients listed above (cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, etc) you can omit them as you wish.  They each have various "claims to cures" for sore throats.

Oh, and the vegan/vegetarian soup base?  All those optional ingredients!  Mix all of them with the amount of water that makes it palatable to your tastes.  1 cup water (as used in the gargle) will be very strong.

Vegan Soup Base
  • Water
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or less for less of a punch)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch of sea salt

Well, it's time for me to gargle again, so wish me luck and I hope you all stay healthy this weekend!!

Any big Halloween plans this weekend?  Anybody else have sore throat remedies that help?  If so, I'm all ears!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Up to speed

Sadly it's been a long dry spell without time for blogging.  That's because it's been a very busy time in real life. For the most part, it's been a good busy.  There has been some turmoil at the workplace, but other than that it's all been positive. And there's always going to be some kind of drama anywhere you work. At least that's my philosophy.  I try to be very go-with-the-flow and avoid all the mess that I can.  Life is an adventure, why make it a bad one right?!

We've taken a few trips, about to take one more, done some spring cleaning, visited with friends, explored new hobbies... fun stuff!  It's just meant that I haven't had time at the end of the day to hop on the computer and write.  All in all the computer is now a very tiny part of my life.

I've been vegetarian for about 10 months now and am so happy that I changed my eating habits.  I love the flavors and variety that you can experience eating veggie, and I now have no problem requesting veggie options at restaurants.  I used to be timid about it, afraid that I'd get eye rolls or spit in my food.  Now I'm bold and eager to make requests.  My favorite is when they check back to see if this or that ingredient is ok, basically to see if I want it vegan.  Usually I very graciously thank them and request that because it means they're aware and I love that.

Another new development is that I'm now lactose intolerant.  I had a couple weeks where I did not eat or drink any dairy.  When my mother-in-law came into town, we ate out a lot and that led me to having dairy again.  I woke up sick each morning from the previous night's dinner and had doubled-over tummy pains.  I was relieved when she left and I could control my foods better.  I started to track and pin down the issue, and it was definitely dairy.  While I will occasionally have dairy foods and take a lactase enzyme pill, I am by-and-large one step closer to eating vegan as a result.

One of the most challenging things about eating differently is the questions and comments you get from people.  I'm pretty sure my in-laws hate that their son's wife is a "granola hippy dippy fruit loop" who is encouraging them both to eat crazy things like vegetarian entrees.  I frequently get comments that the person could never live without meat.  I also get grilled about my protein sources.  Usually from out of the blue and from people who have not reached any level of friendship with me.  It's certainly a question that I can answer, but I kind of feel like asking them to name which foods they ate that day to reach their 5 fruits and veggies and 11 whole grains.  I'd bet money that I could answer easier than them.

The most pleasing result has been some of the surprising people who are supportive.  It just proves that you can't judge a book by its cover.  One was a woman whose husband guts deer in their garage after he hunts. (Although realistically it should not surprise me since she regularly has to walk in on that gruesome scene.)  Another was a big ol' redneck guy who would love to hunt one of every animal if it were feasible.  He just asked if I'd be asking him not to eat meat.  I said no, and he said we were cool.  Que sera sera, let it be, amen!

Well I've rambled quite awhile now, so I better get going.  I'm using our TEeeny computer so I can't do pics.  Sorry! :(  Hope everyone is doing well and I'll be trying to make the rounds as time allows!  Lots of love!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Myth busting

Hi my long lost friends!
Yes I am still alive.  Yes I still try to read as I get the chance.  Yes life has completely gotten in the way of blogging.

So here's the short version:  Life was getting a little out of control.  I was trying to juggle too many things at once, and my health was suffering.  Sleep deprivation, frustration, stress, quality time, it was all just getting messy.

I took some drastic measures that really shook things up for a little while.  Forced myself to create some boundaries in work-life.  Slept when I got too tired, even if that meant I fell asleep on the floor.  (Let me just say that I think my back is now prepared to visit an ashram in India one day from the number of hours I crashed on our living room floor.)  Didn't touch a home computer, blog, email, or anything personal that related to electronics for a week+ on end.  When I did, I would pay bills, check quickly that I hadn't received dire emails of relatives falling ill, and sign right back out.

I had to put the life back in living.

I have to say that I love it!

I doubt I'll be a full-time blogger.  I definitely want to post as I'm able.  I have a long list scribbled on a piece of paper of things I've been wanting to post.  I may not have many pictures.  I may not be whipping up a ton of original recipes.  I may have a few days between posts.  It will come as it comes.  It will be organic.  It will fit into my life and not the other way around.

While I don't feel like blogging ever became a burden before (because I enjoyed it), I was pulling in too many directions.  I have wrapped up several projects during this outage, which helps immensely.  I have made changes in other areas of my life as well.  I may have future periods of silence when new projects crowd out the few minutes I have available each night to be productive.  Life always has those curve balls.  The only way to plan for them is to plan to be flexible.

Coming down the pipeline one day soon will be my new domain name.  It's been purchased already so I just have to seam the site and blogger together.  Then from there may be further changes at some point.  One thing at a time.  Blog will be laid back, not type A!

So there you go.  Question of the day is your turn.  What do you want to ask me?  Is there even anybody left??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yoga and Expectations

I went to yoga again tonight.  I'm really enjoying it and one of the best parts is rearranging my work schedule to try to ensure that I can break free in time.  Kind of makes me want to line up classes every night!  Of course the logical thing would be to realign my day anyway and practice when I get home each day. 

I just try to be happy with what I can do each day and not set specific expectations onto myself.  When I do, the success is shortlived and it creates disappointment.  I strive to be the best version of myself every single day and that is the best goal of all.  You can still live with goals, just not set yourself up for a fall.  When I was in the dating world, there were guys who tried to put me up on a pedestal.  I never liked that for two reasons.  One, they were worshiping a glorified version of my true self.  Two, what goes up must come down, and the taller the pedestal, the harder the fall.  Creating unobtainable expectations or goals for yourself is the same thing.  But this time, you hold both the disappointment of being let down and the pain of the fall.

Of course, you have to hold yourself to standards and set some goals.  This isn't a get out of jail free philosophy.  I actually think it frees you up to live with more passion.  Speaking of passion, it's time for bed and I don't think I need to spell out anything more than that!!!

What is your relationship with goals and expectations?  How passionately do you live your life?

P.S. As class ended tonight, I found the sweetest level of relaxation that I probably have ever had in the relaxation pose.  Looooooved it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Praise for the path

I pondered an interesting revelation the other morning on my way into work.  I can remember about a year ago when I first heard of green monsters and Kris Carr.  I totally understood why she took the path she did, ate the foods she did, and really loved and adored her outlook and vibrancy.  I couldn't in my wildest dreams imagine how she sacrificed all the "good" foods to force herself to eat only healthy food day in and day out.  I thought it must get miserable.  I also assumed it had to be a full time job to prepare all the healthy specialized foods.

It really made me laugh to reflect back on that.  I wake up every morning with a grumbly tummy that craves my daily green monster brekkie.  My favorite desk lunch on earth is a whole grain pita with hummus, kale, broccoli, and carrots.  I know have ZERO desire to eat meat, fast food, donuts, and many other unhealthy foods.  I have even been craving less chocolate lately!!!!!!!  I NEVER knew that was possible! 

As I continue to learn more about nutrition and what food works best with my body, the changes continue.  I am a dairy junkie no more and have learned that "not all money is good money" also refers to free food.  Not all free food is good food... some of the cheap unhealthy junk just needs to be left on the counter.

I'll continue to enjoy my green monster every morning and the inexplicably happy feeling my tummy feels after getting filled with all those nutrients.  I'll continue to munch my pita while my coworkers pack on the BBQ.  I can really truly honestly testify to anyone that you CAN love eating healthy.  You have to give it a little time, but it really is true. 

Oh and I can promise you that it is nothing close to a full time job.  I have a full time+ job and a million other things on my plate.  I still manage the veggie path every day and I have my morning monster down to a science.  It is totally do-able.  Plus think about how much faster and easier it is to eat raw... no cook time at all!

Did you have any beliefs that you personally disproved as you continued your path in life?  What foods can you happily eat day in and day out?  What cravings fell by the wayside as you ate better?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I got my OM on tonight!  I saw a bulletin listing for a yoga class nearby and decided to take the plunge.  I've done yoga on and off for most of my entire life.  When I was a wee little lass, my mom did yoga.  I used to find it sooo hilarious that my mom would have to struggle to get the poses because it was so easy for me to contort my little body into the positions.  My favorite (very modified) yoga move was to run at a breakneck speed down the hall that ended in my parents' room and launch myself into a headstand on their bed.  I considered it gymnastic yoga, my special hybrid.

Over the years, I forgot about yoga.  I would return to it from time to time, but had never actually taken a class.  I had an old yoga book from the '70s and DVDs up until tonight.  I have to say I really liked taking the class.  It was a small class and everyone was older than me.  I could do some poses better than others and some worse.  The teacher wasn't too handsy, but did offer correction and detailed directions on how to do things correctly. 

The hour flew by and I felt strong and accomplished at the end.  I loved NOT being in control of what poses are done, not knowing what we're doing next, and not being sure if I'd ever tried the pose before or not.  I can be kind of a control freak and was very nervous walking in not knowing what to expect.  While I found a parking spot I told myself that I was just going to surrender to the experience.  If everyone was more advanced than me, if I had to get corrected on every pose, if they seemed unwelcoming, or anything else negative, that was ok.  I was there to let everything go and to learn.  It was oddly empowering to be out of control.  I definitely plan to go back!

Let's see, things have been pretty good lately.  I'm taking better care of myself and getting closer to the healthy amount of sleep each night.  I am on bottle #2 of toxin free castile soap for my hair.  That saga continues but I'm very optimistic that this shampoo gets along better with my hair.  I'm whittling down my real life to-do list.  I'm eating delicious vegetarian foods.

What have you been up to lately?  Are you taking good care of yourself?  What has been your best outcome from stepping out of your comfort zone?  Do you like challenging yourself like that or do you like staying in your safe cocoon?