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TEOTWAWKI and Vegans

I was asked by a close friend recently, “But what if the world as we know it ends and you HAVE to eat meat so you don’t starve?”

Well, that’s a bit of a no-brainer, boys and girls. In the case of the world ending and there being a scarcity of food, ALL of us are going to be a lot more humble about what we put into our mouths and bellies. Those high and mighty, “It’s fine to eat cows, but it’s a sacrilege to eat dogs,” folks are going to be taken down a few pegs, too. Grasshoppers and grubs and biscuits made from mud mixed with lard will totally be on all the coolest menus. It won’t be just me having to change my way of thinking about food, now will it? And to set the record straight, in the case of a zombie apocalypse, I have no intention of wandering around, half-starved, in search of tofu – I’ll be eating brains, just like the rest of you.

The point of eating a vegan diet TODAY is that I don’t have to eat meat. I live in a place where I have many, many options, and my choice is to not eat anyone who has lived a miserable existence at the hands of factory “farmers,” thereby increasing the perceived need for more someones to live miserable existences. I am simply NOT important enough to contribute to anyone else’s suffering. Frankly, all moral quandaries aside, my whole body looks and feels better when I eat entirely vegan and mostly raw, which is a huge (yeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwg) bonus!

I know it rankles many of the folks in my life’s circle who continue to eat/wear/use animals/animal products when I don’t, but the thing is, I’m doing MY thing. I don’t agree with your way of doing things, either, but I’m not abusing you in any way about it, subjecting you to weird, half-smirking lines of “what about” and “what if” questioning, basically ridiculing me for believing what I believe. If anything, it makes me less inclined to do what you think I should, on the grounds that you’re kind of pissing me off with all the rude assumptions about my answers to the questions you’re asking. I didn’t ask YOU about what underpaid, 7 year-old child laborer made your Nikes, did I? (but that is something you should totally be considering)

The way I’m living feels right to me. I have in no way solicited any opinions about that, from anyone. Agree or don’t. Change or don’t. Whatever *you* are doing, *I* will continue to do my thang because it makes me happy.

Milk

I have never been a big fan of milk – it has always felt so…thick and mucus-y.  Ew. If my mom were alive today, she would recount coming over to visit during my pregnancies and having to watch me pinch my nose to chug half a gallon of milk, in order to “get enough calcium.” Oh, had I only known back then what I know today, I could have saved myself such misery…

It’s a wonder, then, how much I enjoy vegan milk alternatives, especially the ones I make for myself at home. While some of the grocery store versions are meh…okayyyyy, they are still full of mystery ingredients that I do my best to avoid. Those, then, are options I only explore when I’m feeling too harried and hurried in my usual day to day (atypical, for sure). The cleaner mouth-feel of plant-based milks is just so appealing to me, and because of that, I find myself sipping ice cold “milk” any old time of day. You know, instead of forcing myself to choke (and keep) it down.

I bought a SoyaJoy soymilk maker 8 years ago, and still use it about once per week, but I’ve found lately that making milk from raw nuts, a few dates, and some salt results in an end product I actually CRAVE. I’ll shake it up with raw cacao powder for a late night snack, or add it to an occasional smoothie (I still prefer juice to smoothies because a weird texture can really throw me off), or even sip it straight out of my sexy “GODDESS” mug. I can almost hear the milk calling me throughout the day from its glass jar in the fridge. And the real beauty is I can use all of the pulp from the “milking” process (granola, veggie burgers, bread, raw cookies…) so I’m not wasting ANYTHING. Yay!

I’ve heard the dairy industry it taking exception to plant-based milks being called “milk” and I figure that since I take exception to socially accepted cross-species breast feeding for adults, and because I figure that anything milk-like should be able to call itself milk if it wants to, I’m going to keep calling my veggie milk “MILK” because calling it anything else based on someone’s hurt feelings seems utterly ridiculous (and because “nut juice” just sounds wayyyyyyyyyy gross). Milk. Milk, milk, milkety milk. Toughen up, kiddos.

A few people will argue with me about the calcium content. Ummmm. Sure, you aren’t getting a ton of calcium from milk made from walnuts, or say…cashews, but no one is getting as much calcium from a glass of dairy milk as they would get from a cup of almonds, either.

Frankly, I’ll take the almonds. 😉

 

 

 

Noooooope!

It seems like I’m always growing weird sh*t on the kitchen counter – kombucha… sauerkraut… kimchi… It’s a never-ending cycle of lacto-fermentation.

Last night, I opened a bottle of my newly-minted pineapple kombucha (over the sink because my homebrew likes to fizz all over the place and make a colossal mess). The brew tasted strangely of beer – hoppy, sulfury – which apparently is a result of over fermentation (I’m guessing that’s because the sugar in the pineapple sped up the process? I’ll have to experiment and try it again). Anyway, I commented about this beery anomaly and my husband, being a brave soul, asked to try it. I handed him my glass, he took a sip and… nooooooooooope. I don’t think his eyes actually watered, per se, but he was not impressed.

I have clearly not converted a new fan of this crazy probiotic happy juice – yet. I’m going t give him another shot tonight, this time of the blackberry brew that turned out utterly amazing. My hope is, eventually he’ll see the light and I won’t be the only one knocking back a bottle every day.

LOVE

I’ve been listening to pretty much every audio interview from this year’s Hay House Summit, and as with every year, the most prevalent theme, the single common denominator for every spiritual and health speaker is “love.”

I’m not talking romantic, riding into the sunset, hand-holding luuuuuuuuuuuurve, here, though that is surely important in its own way. I’m talking about the energy that makes all things wild and wondrous possible. Love in the way that the Universe intends, in that when you send love out to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, all positive things manifest in your life.

On a daily basis, I send love out during my meditation, as directed by davidji. Breathe in love from the Universe, breathe it back out to everyone/everything. Love to my family, love to my friends, love to mere acquaintances, love to all beings, love to people who have wronged me (yes, even you, since you and your crew still lurk here and that means you very likely feel at least somewhat guilty for your behavior – let it go and try to be better.  I have and I am.). Love creates space for more love whereas anger, hurt, jealousy, and insecurity (which all are basically different incarnations of fear) all take up so much space they eventually consume their hosts.

What does giving away all this love do for me? Interesting that you should ask. First and foremost, it creates a good-mojo-infused morning, every morning. Second, I’m seeing so many odd but lovely synchronicities beginning to unfold, from always having exact change find its way into my hand at checkout, to random checks showing up in the mail. Seriously, all “love” IS in this world is an investment of good energy into the world, and when we invest that energy, it returns to us.

You don’t have to take my word for it, but I think you would be cheating yourself if you don’t at least try it.

Me-ness

Not to be confused with “meanness,” me-ness speaks to the essential state of being my self. It’s my fundamental essence of fun/creativity/joy/peace/love/individuality. If I’m talking about myself, it’s me-ness. If I’m talking about you, it’s you-ness. Get it? 😉

Anyway, the point…

I was talking to a friend of mine who is burnt out on her job. She’s caught up in all the internal BS that is common to pretty much all corporate roles, fraught with backbiting and slacking and idea thievery and all sorts of other dramas we run into in the typical workplace and she’s wondering why this is all worth it. Ho hum. I imagine most of us have been in precisely that spot, and frankly, it’s a boring, boring tale.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the whole entire reason I even have a job is to allow me to fund the things that contribute to my me-ness. If a job basically robs me of that, then I no longer need or want or keep that job.

How about you? Are you well settled into your you-ness, or are you working/living/dealing in situations where your soul is being deprived of the precious oxygen that feeds your individual essence? And if it’s the latter, what do you intend to do about it?

Here and Now

Today is another rainy one, and while I love the rain, I’ve found myself bemoaning the absence of the ample sunshine Colorado is known for. I’ve lingered for more than a few moments, thinking how much lovelier the days would be with golden sun to brighten up the dull gray of clouds and rain. What struck me, though, was that when July brings me 30 garden-scorching days in a row, I’ll be wishing once again for the weather we’re experiencing this week.

This recent round of spring storms is teaching me to appreciate the moment, maybe, and to stop wishing my life away by hoping for whatever isn’t happening in the here and now (for instance, praying for heat when it’s cold and wet outside). So, in acknowledgement of the lesson, I will spend today loving the rain and the overcast skies, knowing that the heat will come and I will have to love that, too.

PS  Has anyone registered for the Hay House Summit 2017, besides me? I hope I’m not alone – it’s free and the only issue I have is choosing which recordings/videos I can fit into my day. So enlightening, so uplifting…it’s absolutely worth the time!

Groovy!

What a wonderful weekend! Lots of shopping (bought a new JGC Overland), lots of family stuff (parties, visiting, more shopping-as-sport), lots of yard work (tres zen!) and… at my daughter’s baby gender reveal party, we discovered she and her hubby are expecting…wait for it…a GIRL! Hooray! Two grandbabies in one year, one of each…my cup truly runneth over. 🙂

I don’t have oodles of sage wisdom (lol) to impart today, but wanted y’all to know I’m still alive and kicking, and currently riding the joy-wave of all things baby.

What could be better than that??

Girl Power

I’ve been on a more of a Girl Power binge than usual for the past few months, from my “Feminism: the radical notion that women are people” t-shirt to the books I’m reading “Pussy: A Reclamation.” I figure, being a chick and all, it’s in my own best interest to have my own back. During a conversation I was having with a gal pal at Starbucks a while back (about the aforementioned t-shirt), some uneducated, uninvited troll actually interrupted us (a COMPLETE stranger) to ask me if I planned to stop shaving my legs, because, “That would be a shame since you’re hot.” Ummmm…WHO are you, exactly??? I didn’t hit him, but I wanted to. Instead, I told him in a slightly impolite way to mind his own business and perhaps his attitude was reason for feminists like me to exist (nothing that would get me punched, I hoped, since you never know with some guys these days, but at least enough to leave said troll with his mouth agape, in what appeared to be genuine surprise).

First off, I am not a f*cking ornament. I do not care if you think I’m hot (or not). Wanna know why? Because I do not care about you at all. Until that very moment, you did not even exist in my world. You. Were. Vapor. And once this post is done, you will be vapor again – that is how little you and your tiny…er…opinion…matter to me. Second, you don’t even know me – maybe I ALREADY don’t shave my legs! Maybe my leg hair is dreadlocked with beads that match the shade of my Birkenstocks.

I mean, if a woman decides to go full-on, leg-hair-braiding hippie status, that isn’t necessarily about feminism (though it could be one of her ways of projecting her devil-may-care feminism to the world) – I would imagine it’s about wanting to have soft, furry legs or about wanting to save time/resources or just not really feeling like shaving, or maybe it’s even about nonconformity in general. I do, in fact, shave my stems daily but, if I did decide to stop shaving my legs, what the fcuk business is it of YOURS, buddy? It’s beyond obtuse to assume that saving on my razor bill MUST be what feminism is about – that it’s not about wanting to not have to carry car keys like a weapon at night, or to take a walk without having to map out my safest path, or to just tell a man “no thanks” and not have to worry about being attacked verbally or physically for it. It couldn’t be about having my health care cost the same as what men pay, or having birth control be finally fully covered by insurance in 2012, whereas  Viagra was completely covered from the very first day it was on the market. Surely it isn’t about how if I wear makeup and a short skirt, I’m “asking for it,” but if I wear jeans and no makeup, I’m a lesbian (but probably still “asking for it”). Or hey, maybe it’s about the right to have a conversation with a friend without being effing interrupted because as a woman, *I* don’t have the keys to the kingdom where it’s socially acceptable to interject my opinion into a personal conversation with two strangers that clearly does not include me and fully expect that my unsolicited opinion be quietly accepted. I love being a woman. Love, love, LOVE it. But saying that doesn’t mean that I’m not fully, painfully aware that there are some rather egregious inequities in this supposedly enlightened country when it comes to being born female.

I’m still me, for chrissakes, and I happen to enjoy smooth, hairless legs. But the thing is, THAT isn’t about anyone or anything BUT me. I’m sure my gorgeous husband appreciates the silkiness, but that’s a positive side effect, not a guiding principle. At my age, I wear what I feel like wearing, and I’m altogether TOO tired of feeling like my appearance on any given day determines my worth…to anyone. I say what I feel like saying, and as I have (somewhat) jokingly told my spouse, “I do what I want.” I don’t know how long I have to live this life – maybe 50 years, maybe 3 days – but I plan to make sure that every single time I have a chance to speak up for what every fiber of my being feels is right, I will do exactly that. And if that makes any fellow uncomfortable, he might want to ask himself why any woman would decide she no longer cares about his comfort over her own.

And lest we get any boxers in a knot, I LOVE men. I really do. Ask around – there aren’t many women who love dudes as much as I do. 😉 Pro-woman does not mean anti-man – the two ideas are not at all mutually exclusive (the enlightened Jacks and Joes out there totally get it already). That’s like saying if you like chocolate chip cookies, you must loathe strawberry ice cream (which is just a stupid notion, if we’re thinking in terms of analogy). All feminism means is that I am a person, and I shouldn’t be molested/raped/beaten/murdered/talked down to/discounted simply because I might be “someone’s daughter,” or “someone’s mother,” or “someone’s wife,” but because as a human being, it isn’t the right way to treat me – and I am done, done, done, making myself small or inconspicuous so any small-minded person can feel big or important.

If this sounds a bit ranty and pissed off, well, at least I wrote it correctly. 🙂

Reboot

This morning, my 4am wakeup call felt just a teensy bit too early. I woke up at first, resorting to my previously-normal, “OMG this is early. Ugh,” train of thought. But that was promptly replaced with a mental shout, “YOGA!” I hopped out of that bed like it was on fire. 🙂

I will say that despite my enthusiasm for yoga in general, today I was just not quite feeling up to a difficult practice. Instead, I opted for a restorative practice, designed to quiet my mind (tricky, but genius!) and to gently stretch out muscles tired from heavy-hitting asanas earlier in the week. This is the first time I haven’t gone all-out in typical, balls-to-the-wall fashion, so it felt a little like slacking at first. But the deeper into the motions I got, the more relaxed my body, the more energized my mind became. 45 minutes later, I was rejuvenated and ready to face another challenging day – fearless, dauntless, and actively participating.

This all got me thinking about how in life, we tend to run full throttle toward just about everything, and how exhausted we probably all are without even realizing it. Without setting aside time to rest and restore (and I’m not just talking about a good night’s sleep, though that’s necessary, too), we end up feeling depleted. Our brains get foggy because there is simply too much “stuff” up there that doesn’t ever get turned off and reset. Heck, even our PHONES need to be rebooted regularly to keep them running at maximum power – if Samsung knows this, why don’t WE?

Today, I ask you to consider what it would take for you to make time for yourself to recharge your inner batteries. What will allow your mind/body to slow down? How can you build some down time into your day/week/month, in order to “reboot?”

Lies.

It’s no secret that I make a TON of juice these days, usually about twice a day. It’s an easy process, but the cleanup can be a bit of a chore, so if I know I have a bunch of 5:45am commutes to my office 45 miles from home, I tend to make juice the night before and put it in the fridge. I only get grumpy about cleaning the juicing filter if it’s still dark outside and a commute is looming before me. Hey, it’s a method that works for me, and the best juice is the kind you’re actually going to make (and drink). So, I’m not really sure WHY I bothered with buying two bottles of juice this weekend to supplement my juice habit, other than they were there, the bottles were pretty, and they said, “Raw” and “Organic” on them. I figured, hey, how nice that if I end up in a tight spot, I can just crack one of these bad boys open.

So, time warp forward to today. I grabbed my homemade pineapple/spinach/ginger/cilantro juice from the fridge, saw one of the bottles of store-bought behind it, and I grabbed that one too – you know, for elevensies. The homemade juice was so amazing, I was bummed to have slurped it down so quickly. Seriously, it was that good – I wasn’t halfway through my drive and it was, sadly, gone. 😦 But, I reminded myself, I did have an extra juice for a snack midday. Hooray!

Skip ahead to just now. “Hooray” has morphed to “damn it!” because the “raw, organic” pineapple cucumber juice was mostly apple and pineapple juices, made from concentrate, with a bit of cucumber puree mixed in. Quel dommage! I mean, this slurry was basically sugar, masquerading as “health food.”

My point here, is that paying attention to ingredient labels is vital if you’re planning to avoid any particular items in your diet, regardless of what the big, flashy front label might say. Because the big, flashy labels tell lies.

Argh. Lesson learned, moving on.

 

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