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My Resolutions

It must’ve been something about 2012, but I was definitely NOT into blogging last year.  Maybe it was the moving from Chicago to Denver to Ohio.  Or maybe it was the fact that I finally got into grad school and it was HARD.  Maybe it was my time-consuming addiction to TNT reruns like The Mentalist, Bones, and Castle.  Whatever it was, I was DEFINITELY NOT into blogging.

But, if the date of this post is any clue, one of my new year’s resolutions is to get back in the saddle again!   And I’m starting tonight.  So let’s see…what’s been going on recently?  The holidays were not the best time for me in terms of sticking to my diet.  In fact, the LT and I have been complaining to each other for the past week or so.  It goes something like this:

Me: Uuugh!

LT: What is it, babe?

Me: I feel like a wildebeest.  I’ve been eating so awfully.  I’m all bloat-y and don’t even want to look at my skinny jeans.

LT: Well, the last time I worked out was 2 months ago.  I think I’m gonna return those Christmas jeans you got me for the husky-size.  I can’t even remember when we last had salads for dinner.  Speaking of…can we have vegan corn dogs with some of that awesome Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Mustard tonight?

Me: Mmmmmm.  Great idea.

So you can tell that our hearts are in the right place, but we just haven’t been motivated.  We need a meal- and workout-plan makeover/motivator sesh.  My master plan is to blog about some of our progress here and that will help keep me accountable.  And if I’m doing it; he’ll do it, too.

So for tomorrow, the plan is get a brisk walk in, in the morning with the LT.  And then maybe a little bit of lifting in the gym.  I don’t want to psych myself out by going too hard too fast.

So here are some of my resolutions:

  1. Workout more
  2. Eat more raw foods
  3. Start fencing lessons (yes, I want to learn to handle an epee!)
  4. Dress up at least once a week
  5. Learn to sew (I got a sewing machine from the LT for my birthday this past year)
  6. Go to bed earlier (like before 11pm!)

I’m getting started on the workout tomorrow and the bedtime piece now.  Toodles…but till later, below are some pics of some of the raw munchies we actually DID manage to sneak in over the holidays.

Addicted to Veggies No Pasta Pasta Salad

Addicted to Veggies No Pasta Pasta Salad

Raw Pizza with Cashew Nut Cheeze

Raw Pizza with Cashew Nut Cheeze

Green Juice and Cacao Mylkshake

Green Juice and Cacao Mylkshake

Raw "Roasted" Veggie Tart

Addicted to Veggies Raw “Roasted” Veggie Tartlet

Raw Sunflower Butter

Raw Crunchy Almond Butter

 

 

 

 

Home for the Weekend

 

Shannon's Hair Was AMAZING!

Though the LT and I actually live in Chicago, “home” is Ohio where my parents and extended family. Before the wedding, we were making the 5.5 hour trip once or twice a month so having been away for 5 weeks seems like a bit of forever!

 

 

Baby Sis Looks So Pretty!

This weekend was my little sister Shannon’s senior homecoming. Her high school whomped their opponents in Friday night’s game winning 67-10 so everyone was in a great mood for Saturday night’s dance. I sat with her while she got her hair did and helped with her make up Saturday afternoon. That night her friend Andrew picked her up (he’s half Filipino and super-cute! I hope me and the LT’s kids are as smart, friendly, and handsome) and my mom and I went with them to meet up with 25 other Seniors to take pictures.  Shannon looked so pretty…I think the prettiest there, even though I am biased!  (Will have to post the picts later–can’t find the camera!)

 

Anyway, this weekend ties into raw foods because when I’m “home” in Ohio, it’s very hard for me to eat high raw.  The simple reason is my willpower and my conditioning.  Though my mom has recently caught on to green smoothies, my family is far from the raw food diet.  They much prefer a frozen pizza or some cereal for dinner than to make a salad or other raw creation.

 

Yummy...But I'm Paying for it Now!

When I’m there, everyone around me is eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) and that type of processed food is mainly what is in the house.  I confess, on Saturday, I ate like I was intent on clogging my system: English muffin, Schuler’s doughnut(s), Diet Big K Cola, and even some pizza.  It all tasted so good, too!  But then I awoke Sunday morning feeling sluggish and gross and like my face in particular was covered in a thin film of “processed food sweats.”  Delightful.

 

 

Strawberry-Bananas

 

Even with those feelings, I craved a bagel or some pancakes–and seriously thought about having a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles.  It’s interesting how quickly your body can revert to the SAD “addiction”.  Despite my desires, I had a delish Strawberry-Banana Smoothie with some agave and cacao nibs and a big, ole green salad.  It’s 5:30pm and I’m feeling much more energetic than I did when I woke up.

I read about it all the time on raw food blogs, but you REALLY do notice a difference in your energy levels by eating what’s actually good for you.

Back After My Hiatus!

This book is a different take on raw!

Hello, All!  I am back after my month-long hiatus!  So sorry about that.  As the summer came on, I just seemed to lose all of my energy.  The LT and I have been traveling back and forth to Ohio every weekend over the past month or so and this Fourth of July weekend is when our parents meet for the first time, so you can understand it’s been a little crazy.  Plus all of the wedding preparations here, like invites, programs, music, etc.  Needless to say, I haven’t been the greatest about eating raw during this time. (Insert unhappy face here!)

However, on one of the trips, I picked up my sister’s Natalia Rose book The Raw Food Detox Diet.  It’s just what I needed to kick-start my butt back into the place it should be: eating mostly raw vegan.  Ms. Rose has a very interesting take on raw foods, too:  In order to optimize your absorption of nutrients, you must properly combine your food.  This means no fruits after nuts; no starches mixed with raisins, cranberries, etc; and a couple of other “rules.”  The point is that the extra energy your stomach would spend trying to digest different types of foods could be better spent detoxing your systems.  Very interesting and a bit new to me in the raw world.  Until now, I hadn’t paid much attention to food combining since I felt like as long as it’s raw, I don’t want to place other rules and restrictions on myself.

So in honor of my newfound motivation (thank you, Ms. Rose!), I am committing right here and now to go for a run after work and eat a big, ole beastly salad for dinner tonight.  In fact, I’ll even make one for the LT, too.

Get Up Eight

I know I’ve been posting more sissy-type “inspirational” blogs lately, but I really did like the Japanese bit of wisdom below.  I promise to move on to more tangible, less pansy-ass type blogging in my next post.

As I briefly mentioned in my last note, my fiance had some eye surgery a week or so ago.  He’s healing well (as far as I can tell!), but his physical restrictions have diverted me from raw food more than I would like.  It goes something like this:

  • I get off work (from my awesome raw food job!)
  • I head to gym.
  • I run an errand (to the library, grocery, RedBox, etc).
  • I get home and make dinner.

Tick, Tock! Tick, Tock! I feel too busy to plan a meal!

After a busy day and coming home to care for someone, making a raw dinner can be a bit much, especially if you’re not making a simple salad and dressing.  Since my fiance is not a raw foodie, but he’s pretty much a vacuum and will eat what I put in front of him, I’ve got it better than most.  However, if something raw smells funny or tastes “off,” he will abort mission and head for a Totino’s pizza from the freezer.  Therefore, I need to plan our dinners.  This ensures that I can eat raw, and he will actually eat.

Since I’ve been pretty busy lately, the planning part has become difficult…ok, honestly non-existent.  So for the past week or so, my dinners have been cooked (still vegan, though!)  I can definitely tell a difference in my energy levels and not in a good way.  It also feels like eating cooked food, makes me crave more cooked food!  That’s not the direction I want to be trending towards!

After Mass on Sunday, I was reading the bulletin and dreaming of a Starbucks hot chocolate, when I read a line that re-lit my motivational fire.  It’s a Japanese piece of wisdom, that I hope helps you on your journey this week:

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Raw Pizza for The LT and me tonight!

Even though I may fall off the “raw wagon” now and again, I know that this is truly the path I want to follow.  So starting tonight, I’m bringing home a raw pizza from Cousin’s IV.  I may have fallen seven times, but I’m getting up for an eighth…and bringing some raw pizza with me!  Keep this line in mind during the week and when you fail or falter, know that you are just one effort shy of getting up and succeeding!

Skinny B*tches Save the Piggies

I’ve read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin once before awhile back.  Checked it out at the library this past weekend and I am remembering what a treat it is!  Though they promote a vegan as opposed to raw life style, I can totally relate to these girls and I love this book!  It’s just what I needed to give me an extra boost of motivation before the LT and I head off on a mini-vacay.

There are so many parts of this book that I want to post about, but I will start with the portion I read at lunch today.   I would guess, most of my readers became vegetarian, vegan, or raw for moral reasons.  To protect the little piggies and chicks.  I confess, I got into raw foods for the nutritional aspects.  I used to LOVE, LUFF, LUV some beef jerky.  And a Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich?  Fageddaboudit.  And now I really try not to judge people who eat meat, dairy, or eggs. I did it, too.  It’s your choice what you put in your body.  (Plus if you’ve read my last post, I occasionally eat breads which I’m pretty sure must contain eggs)

Anyhow, after reading the below excerpt, it’s really hard NOT to judge meat eaters!  I mean, as I used to, they must purposely avoid knowing where their food comes from, but just reading this, gave me chills.  It would be a good thing that anyone who wishes to continue using or eating animal products to avoid reading the below, because after a few paragraphs, you will be gung-ho about changing your diet!

CAUTION: THE BELOW IS NOT FOR THE FEINT OF HEART.  IT IS DISTURBING AND DISGUSTING. AND MAY MAKE YOU WANT TO CRY EVEN IF YOU CUT OUT ANIMAL PRODUCTS 10 YEARS AGO.

Even knowing how abysmal the living conditions are for animals on factory farms, you cannot begin to imagine

Please don't eat us!

what the slaughter practices are like.  “Humane” protocol calls for animals to be “stunned” before they are slaughtered.  For cows, this means getting a metal bolt shot into the skull and then retracted.  When done properly, using working equipment, this renders the cow unconscious.  But time is money, and slaughterhouses operate at lightning speeds, some killing one animal every three seconds.  Because thousands of frightened, struggling cows are not easy to stun, it is extremely common for a “stunner” to miss his mark.  Panicked hogs, also difficult to “hit,” are stunned with an electric device.  And if the jolt is too high, it bruises and bloodies the hogs’ flesh (bad for business).  Because business comes first on factory farms, the jolt is lowered, despite the fact that it doesn’t properly stun the hogs.

Save Us! Help!

Stunned or not, cows and hogs are then “strung up” from the ceiling by a chain attached to their leg(s).  In theory, while they dangle there, they are supposed to be unconscious.  But often they are fully conscious, struggling, screaming, and fearfully staring at the workers while they have their throats stabbed open.  Next they travel along a “bleed rail,” where they should bleed to death.  But again, these large, frightened, struggling, conscious animals are difficult targets and the “sticker” (workers who cut their throats) don’t always get a “good cut.”  Before cows can bleed to death, they are sent on their way to the “head-skinners,” where the skin is sliced from their heads while they are still conscious.  Of course, this is excruciatingly painful, and the cows kick and struggle frantically.  To avoid getting injured by the struggling animal, workers will sometimes sever the spinal cord with a knife blow to the back of the head.  This paralyzes the animal below the neck so that the worker is safe.  But these cows can still feel their skin being sliced away from their faces.  Next their legs and head are chopped off, their entrails removed from their bodies, and then, finally, they are split in half.  Often before hogs can bleed to death, they are dunked fully conscious into 140-degree scalding water to remove the hair from their bodies…there’s much more where that came from.  Get the book and your eyes will be opened.

From Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  The whole point of this passage is two-fold: 1) To gross you out and open your eyes enough so that you won’t eat meat or use animal byproducts; and 2) This animal-abstinence will help you to become a Skinny Bitch.  And if I can be skinny and save the cows, well, I’d be happy as a pig in sh*t! 🙂

And for those of you who are inclined to research more, below is the work referenced in the above two paragraphs.

  • Eisnitz, Gail A. Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the USMEat Industry.  Amherst: Prometheus Books, 1997.

Here Piggy, Piggy!

This is a copy of a piece I wrote for the raw food company I work for.  I’ve gotten some great responses from our mailing group so I thought I’d post it here in the hopes that other vegans, vegetarians, and raw foodists can have a laugh and know that we are all in it together!

Whether you have called yourself vegetarian, vegan, or raw for 1 week, 1 month, or 10 years people look for you to be perfect.  Maybe not in your fashion choices or in your movie recommendations, but certainly when it comes to the food you put in your mouth.
This past weekend, I was stressed out due to a recent operation my fiance, The LT, underwent.  (Things are fine; he’s recovering nicely thanks to some green juicing!)  I went out to dinner Saturday night with some friends to celebrate a birthday.  I had a glass of wine and (gasp!) some bread.  Now I know that I am a raw foodie and my friends know that I am a raw foodie; and apparently everyone at the table knew it, too.  Immediately after I had finished my first slice of bread, one of the men I didn’t really know triumphantly asked me,
“I thought you were raw, Meagan.  Are you done with that now?  I mean, I just saw you eat some bread and that stuff is cooked.”
He thought this was a “GOTCHA” moment.  He thought he caught me “cheating.”
This is probably one of the most difficult problems I face as a girl into raw foods.  I’m certainly not perfect, meaning 100% raw, but I do try.  And compared to the average person, I eat a ton more uncooked foods.  However, once people label you as vegan or vegetarian or raw, they believe if you eat outside that label once, you’re no longer a “real” vegan or vegetarian or rawist.
I’m sure most of you have experienced this moment, too. I don’t mind it when there is intelligent conversation surrounding it, but when someone seems to relish my fall-from-raw, I bristle.  There’s an old saying about never getting into a mud fight with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.  And while pigs are intelligent, feeling animals, this guy was not.  So I just smiled, took a sip of wine and reached for another slice of bread, “I’m still raw.  I’m just on a 20 minute break.”