Almond Milk, Quinoa, Flax

These are 3 foods I never thought would be in regular rotation in my diet. And yet, here they are. I also eat a lot of:

Avocado

Frozen Banana

Cocoa

Nutritional Yeast

Lemon Juice

Chickpeas

Mango

Coconut Oil and Milk

Hemp Powder

 

That’s right, I’m a healthy vegan. I look completely mainstream, but as soon as I start talking, people understand I’ve drunk the Vegan Kool-Aid and eaten the Animal Rights Granola. I am so far gone that I don’t even care what ‘normal’ folks think of me. I’ll probably never stop trying to convert everyone in my life, but I’d like to think I’m respectful of those who are close to me but don’t live in my house.

And even at home where I’m the most passionately trying to change everyone’s minds, I have a good sense of humour about my quest. The running joke around here is that if Mommy made the food then the kids will hate it but Husband will be tolerate it because he has to. But make no mistake, I’m engaged in Vegan warfare and it’s me against the world. I cannot stand to watch videos detailing animal abuse through either farm living/killing conditions or laboratory settings, or plain old abuse for abuse’s sake. I can’t stand it, same as I can’t stand to witness child neglect and abuse. I don’t need to have intimate regular knowledge of these tragedies to understand it’s bad. That sentiment reminds me of a Bill Burr routine wherein he says he doesn’t need any more awareness lectures regarding spousal abuse. We all know it’s terrible and no one in his or her right mind would even try to argue otherwise.

As a result of giving these animal issues some thought, along with environmental issues and humanitarian issues around the world, I’ve become an ardent vegan. I’m enthusiastic about it but I’m not a nutritionist. I certainly don’t know everything. I can’t instruct others on how to eat to alleviate physical annoyances and problems. All I can do is Rah-Rah about how great I feel physically and (wait for it) spiritually. I love that I can eat without being directly responsible for an animal’s suffering. My satisfaction is not being traded for an animal’s life.

I like to eat food that tastes good, just like everyone else. I have terribly shitty days when all I want is to find comfort in food. I like to eat to celebrate occasions like birthdays and other holidays. Going out for a meal is a wonderful date with Husband, too. So it’s not like I’m without epicurean desires; I choose different food now than I used to do, but they do the same job as far as I’m concerned.

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“I’ll never go back to my old way of eating, because I don’t find any joy in it.”

Just ignore the Four Hour Workweek part of the link, and read this inspiring article written by a daughter about her father’s accidental lifestyle transformation.

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/05/01/family-fat-loss-foodist/

Now, I don’t have a lot of knowledge about nutrition beyond the bit of reading I’ve done and the 1 kinesiology course I took at university. But I know, without a doubt, that I feel better in general since I’ve become a vegan. Maybe I’m just used to seeing myself without makeup? But to me my skin looks better than it has in a long time. I get tired and sluggish occasionally but that happens much less frequently than before when I was eating eggs, dairy, and fish. I have a juicer and I use it fairly regularly. I make delicious nutritious smoothies for myself and my family. (The smoothies taste like chocolate cake batter! But the nutrients in them are undeniably good for overall health.) My physical self is just better. Better than last year at this time, and I have every reason to expect to improve more and more each year. Husband says I look younger every day, and although I think he’s extremely biased, I appreciate the flattery.

As for converting the people who live with me? It’s starting to happen but very gradually. So gradually in fact, that the progress is nearly unnoticeable. But I keep trying a little bit, and have lowered my expectations of them. Baby steps add up!

Plastic is Rubbish

Plastic is Rubbish

This is my new favourite blog. I’ve been reading for a while via Facebook, and today’s post really grabbed my attention. Today there was a photo of individually-wrapped organic potatoes. If only this occurrence was unique. I scrolled down the screen a bit more and saw a photo of individually-wrapped carrots!

I’m linking you to a post about a new sort of supermarket that – get this – doesn’t use plastic packaging. Seems impossible, but apparently not.

xoxo

Sure, why the fuck not?

I’m thinking of making a game of doing chores at my house. Specifically, a chore wheel! A wheel with prizes and chores both.

A-gung-gung-gung-gung…..gung….gung…..gung.

Big money, no whammys! Ooooooh looks like you landed on dishwasher emptying/filling. Sucks to be you. 

Tonight/tomorrow morning I have to get the apartment set up again for our next airbnb guests. I am enjoying a lot of success with this venture. We’ll see how the winter months go, but so far so good.

(https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/732835)

 

Wheels!

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Prize-Wheel

https://www.google.ca/images?q=how+to+make+a+prize+wheel&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=&rlz=1I7NDKB_enCA571&gfe_rd=cr&hl=en&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=Sm9_U6rMF8bD8AHQkIHIBg&ved=0CDgQsAQ

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/475481673131065507/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RTiZh9NaTQ

http://www.u-createcrafts.com/2013/05/diy-spinner-prize-wheel-by-doodle-craft.html

 

 

No I don’t want that

I really had no idea how complicated life can become.

Unrelated to that comment, I’ve been sick in bed for 2 days with nausea, headache and clammy skin. Stupid body broke down on me. Isn’t it enough that I am fighting my brain’s natural tendencies at every turn? Fuck!

This aft I decided that I am no longer sick. I cleaned the kitchen and fridge, took a shower, and did a little tidying up. I’m going to the office tomorrow no matter what.

Remind me again why I need to give a crap?

I am feeling a lot more energetic and positive today, which isn’t really saying much but it’s something. At least I don’t want to put my head in an oven a la Sylvia Plath or stay in bed all day. I still feel very cynical about the world but I think that’s my normal neutral state, given that my life is currently made up of have-tos and shoulds.  

I put up some shelves with husband this weekend, plus did some gardening. I also broke a wooden ceiling fan blade using my head. That’s what I get for standing on the bed without taking into account my head was then the perfect height for the ceiling fan to crash into the side of it. A few minutes later, after the feeling of blood rushing to the site of the injury subsided, I deemed myself to be ‘fine.’ A little bruised, but fine to proceed with our plans to improve our domicile.

The Binder People outside our office building are back in full force. Because I Am a Girl, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Give Me Money Because We Need to Help Others Besides You. Srsly? I am taking care of my own family, I am a taxpayer, and I don’t litter. I support local commerce and I’m kind to children and animals. I also recycle and I’m starting to use the Green Bucket to collect the pet waste from our backyard. I think I deserve some credit for not causing any problems for society. I’m raising my children to be civilized responsible citizens, even! When I was a teenager, my reward for not causing trouble was the elimination of a curfew. The adult equivalent is….what? Starbucks takes pity on us bourgeousie who buy their products by giving out a free beverage after we accumulate 12 purchases. 

Mother Theresa, who has proven to be a controverial figure but is still held up as an example of humanitarianism we should all strive to emulate, once said that if we want to promote world peace, we should start by going home and loving our family. Nearly every action every day is geared toward bettering my family. Every bit of folding laundry, cooking after a long fucking day of being unappreciated at work, grocery shopping, paying for piano lessons for which our offspring seldom practice, trusting the public education system because we can’t afford private school, general toiling, commuting, sleeping, setting an alarm clock, accepting criticism for not buying the right clothing for someone else, emptying the dishwasher, picking up dog poop, spraying febreeze, sweeping mud clumps off the floor, putting out the garbage and recycling on a strict schedule, sweeping leaves into a paper bag and setting that bag out at the street on specific yet random days, remind the offspring to clean their room (and I use the word ‘clean’ advisedly, since I can’t even get them to strip their bedsheets for laundering), clean themselves, help with homework, take the rap/shame from the school when offspring are late arriving there because it’s obvs my lack of good parenting that is causing the downfall of punctuality, remind offspring of forms and field trips, tell the dogs to shut up, teach the offspring how do chores to improve their character and help the household stay afloat neatness-and-sanity-wise, remember to make offspring do said chores, pay out weekly allowance, and pay each of the household bills. My second time through grade 7 is going well. By the third time I’ll have straight-As for sure. 

Oh, when?

When can I expect my midgets to truly grow up? What does ‘grown up’ mean, even?

Starting this week, everyone here is doing his or her own laundry. Enough is enough and the last straw for me was seeing dirty clothes on the bedroom floors. Currently I wash everything that’s in the communal basket, but if it’s not in the basket I don’t. This means I wash & dry, fold, and bring back upstairs to the bedrooms. Well fuck that, if the effort of putting dirty clothes in or around (if the basket is full) is just too much for a certain boy and girl. Fuck that.

Just keep swimming

 This weekend is our Spring long weekend and husband and I have lots of things on our To Do list. I’m sure lots of other people have a similar situation. I’m hoping for no heavy rain. Light rain is fine, sunny is ideal, but heavy rain is the only weather that would quash my plans.

This morning husband asked me what he can do to help my mood. I was at a loss for words. I don’t want to think/worry about anyone else’s needs, nothing complicated anyway. I do not want to be hugged or physically restrained in any way, even in a loving manner.  I cringe at the very thought. I don’t want to have to explain to anyone else what my plans and thoughts are. I feel very impatient. The closest approximation is that I feel like a grumpy old man who wants nothing more than to be left alone. And yet, I don’t feel antisocial. I enjoy a quiet sort of company at this point.

Husband and I spend a lot of time together not talking. We have a quiet togetherness that brings us a lot of peace. Sometimes for fun, we pretend we are meeting for the first time. What do you tell someone you have romantic designs on, about yourself? My description of course always includes my midgets. But I am much more than a mother, and so what else should a stranger know about me in the first 5 minutes of meeting? Another useful exercise is to write your own obituary. By starting backwards, you focus on your life’s goals in various categories: relationships, career trajectory, social connections, friends, volunteerism, health, age at your death, athletic accomplishments, and the accomplishments and relationships of your offspring.

When I was 17 I dated a 23-yr old university student who I had met during my summer job in a restaurant kitchen. He was a pizza delivery person. He drove a red Fiero and had a beard. I thought he was hot shit. My parents were terrified, but they need not have worried; I was completely focussed on going to university after high school and nothing could have derailed those plans. I took that relationship seriously, and pursued him with the typical zeal of a 17-year old girl. Of course the age difference was what broke us up; how can a university-attending man be interested in a highschool girl for very long? The point is, there was just no way I was going to do anything but continue school. For me, school was my way into a successful adulthood.

My own children have had the School Continuation Message drilled into them for years already, and I’m not stopping now. University is a wonderful time of self-discovery and intense growth; a chance to study exactly what you are interested in with no distractions. It’s also a time of extreme poverty for the student, and I consider that to be a worthwhile rite of passage too.