Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chick-fil-a cows may not know how to spell, but now they have super powers

When people find out I'm vegetarian the first thing they ask me is, "Are your kids vegetarian?" Then, "Is your husband vegetarian?" Here's the state of things: I only cook vegetarian at home... mostly vegan. All my baking is vegan. Occasionally I consume things at home or away from home that have dairy or egg, but I'm always vegetarian. The girls are permitted to choose to eat meat away from home. Usually I encourage them to avoid beef in restaurants, but when we go out with grandparents, I let it go. My husband is mostly pesco-vegetarian, but also consumes other animal flesh away from home. I am open and frank with my children about the health benefits of eating vegan and about the raising and processing of animals and animal products.

The Veg Blog explains more about the various types of vegetarianism and confusions surrounding the diet.

Speaking of confusion, have you seen the Chick-fil-a comics? Okay, okay, being a working mom is terribly tiring and this school year I have the additional after-school teaching two days a week and it's led to some frequenting of Chick-fil a. Anyway, their new comics feature cow superheros. They have super powers, of course and their goal is to save fellow cows from being slaughtered and eaten in the form of steak, burgers and hotdogs. In one comic about deciBell, who has a very loud moo, everyone in a town is hypnotized to want to eat nothing but beef. One scene shows a man being offered a steak. He responds, "Uh, no thanks, I'm a vegetarian." But then, he's hypnotized. Oh, I forgot to mention a man uses a magic lasso to hypnotize people. Is that some jab at Texans or cowboys? Anyhow, in the end deciBell blasts everyone out of their brainwashed state and the king pin behind the hypnotizing of the town is himself hypnotized to want to eat chicken. Not surprised by the ending as that is the point of all the comics. I was surprised by the mention of the vegetarian. It was basically unnecessary to the story and could confuse people to think vegetarians eat poultry.

One day I'll look back and remember the old days when we supported Chick-fil-a. Until then, it's the lesser of many evils. I also like to go to Arby's where I can get a killer vegetarian sandwich. I think they feel so sorry for me not having the turkey they really load it up with extra vegetables.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Today I cried. I was very tired, I was dealing with stupid insurance bureaucracy and not getting in touch with anyone, I was POed with a computer system and whoever didn't FIX it at the insurance company, I have a cold and had to drive in a terrible storm. So, when I was parked, I called Will and I cried. "I never get enough sleep, even if I do I have no energy, I hate the dark, I hate getting up in the dark, I miss the sun, I hate being sick, I have to much too do."

Flash forward. I picked up my 7 year old from dance practice. She immediately gives me terrible attitude. I'm driving the girl's home and they are being terrible. They are bickering about every little thing they can think of... that's not fair... nuh uh... yes huh.... blah blah blah. I pulled into a parking lot, turned around and threatened them with groundings, time outs, smacks across the face... this led to giggles because they know my bluff. I was losing my voice and couldn't take it, so I got Will on the phone and had him speak to each of them. The 7 year old, S, started crying. She felt so guilty. Then she told me everything I'd told Will earlier... everything and more. "I have too much homework, I never get enough sleep, I'm always tired, I have soccer every weekend, the dance recital is tomorrow and I'm hungry!" My poor, poor baby. We are in the same boat. We like to be at home, we like to have time to relax and do only what we choose, however, we are more productive when there is a schedule. But then there's a fine line between happily involved and over-involved.

I love teaching, but when I feel tired and unwell, I'd rather be home, maybe getting some laundry done!

Oh well, colds come and go. This week will end, S will enjoy her soccer game however early it is (8 am and we have to work concession wah!) and I will find some time for myself in the coming weekend. Heck, I just took some time to myself this evening and watched a show on Hulu and typed this. And thanks to some cold meds, I'm feeling better already.

Additionally, I'd like to address the dairy issue. I've been doing well, but not completely successful. Basically I am more conscious of it in my food and have made strides to choose differently. For instance, I take vanilla almond milk to school with me to have in my coffee instead of creamer. But then I had mac n cheese at my parents last weekend. So, the process continues. Truthfully, I haven't quite nixed the fish yet. Every other month Will makes salmon cakes and I chow down like I haven't eaten all day, even when I have! They are so good. Right now it's something good I'm doing for my body and my psyche because I'm not including other healthy fats regularly (like flax seed and flax seed oil and avocado). It's all about balance and it's all about feeling good. Obviously, I'm not feeling my best right now with a cold and with the change of seasons. I started taking Zoloft last... spring, I think. Early spring, maybe late winter... like March. So this is my first fall going in taking it daily. And maybe it's not enough. I don't want to increase the dosage, because does that just continue? I need to get back to my doctor and talk about this. It's not terrible to cry every so often, especially when literally sick and tired. I don't have any feelings of anxiety or overwhelming hopelessness like I did when I started taking it, but I definitely need to monitor how I'm feeling and get on top of it if I feel myself slipping. I want to enjoy each day, not dread them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bye, bye dairy

If my daughter can go through life not ingesting dairy, I can do it, too. I gave it up once for her and it ended up being awesome for me, too. For the past few years not drinking milk has been enough of a change for my body that I've seen improvements. However, when I ingest cheese I see and feel the side effects. I get phlegm in my throat and reflux over night (and that's on Prevacid daily). I highly enjoy cheese and eating dairy makes eating out vegetarian-style super easy. I'm not looking for a challenge, but I am looking to heal my body. Here's the state of things: I have adult acne that flares up from time to time; I have reflux that has improved with the vegetarian diet, but still requires daily medication and sometimes still breaks through over night; I have atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, which has recently flared up on my finger tips and can be painful; and I have seborrhea dermatitis on my scalp--this isn't just dandruff, it's itchy, scaly skin much like eczema--and while it is somewhat diminished with medicated foam, it flares up terribly sometimes. Right now ALL of it is flaring and I can't take it anymore! I KNOW these are not symptoms to be covered up with creams and pills, they are signs that my insides are not happy, that there is inflammation inside my body that is showing itself on the outside as well. I know what I have to do. I have to cut out dairy and be completely vegan and I need to eat alkalizing foods to clear my acidic system. It's time for another book! Oh how I love getting new books to read and this is one I've been needing to get for a long time. I have three to choose from: The pH Miracle, The Ultimate pH Solution, The Acid-Alkaline Diet. Basically, I'll just see what my library has and go from there. I mark today, October 11th, the day I move my body forward into better health by finally, FINALLY, going vegan. I KNOW I CAN DO IT!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Three things to say

Today I did something I've always wanted to do: Teach a class at a library! Woohoo! I work for Young Rembrandts, which is a national drawing program for kids preschool through eigth grade. I teach after school lessons two days a week at my kid's school and now I get to teach Saturday library classes when they are in my area. I had eleven kids and two moms participate today. They were between second and ninth grade and we did a cartoon. They all did very well and were wonderful, respectful students. It's nice, because all of them were legitimately interested in drawing and enjoy drawing, so they paid attention well. I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to doing it next Saturday as well with a different lesson.

The girls are with my sister today, so neither came to the drawing lesson. My sister and her husband took them to a pumpkin farm where they could do a hay ride and a corn maze. They are keeping them over night so Will and I can go out with friends of ours! Woohoo! (Can you tell I'm in a good mood today?) Anyway, we'll be dining out later this evening and then we get to....wait for it..... drum roll.... SLEEP IN!!!!! Seriously. We have early morning soccer every Saturday, so Sunday is the only day we get to sleep in and then it's only till 8am because we have church at 10 and the girls still get up by 6:30 anyway. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a most wonderful morning of sleep ahhhhh.... I'm almost looking forward to that as much as I am looking forward to going out. Ha! I'm sure other parents feel me. Hm. Can I pull that off? The teenagers I work with put these phrases in my head and well, they come out sometimes, but it sounds weird, dude.

Alright, man, to wrap up this post, I have one more thing to say: I Heart boobies is an annoying campaign and I can't stand it. If breast cancer and any other type of cancer awareness actually wanted people to survive and heal they'd put out information on eating a plant-based diet. Wake-up, America! Milk and rare steak are food for cancer cells, not healthy cells.

And that is all.