Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As I sit here at my computer and reflect upon 2013, I realize that I am completely different than I was on this day in 2012. So many things have changed in my life, and I wouldn't trade it in for anything. All of the experiences I had throughout 2013 will make 2014 even better.

Here's a rundown of how crazy and awesome 2013 was:

  • January: Got married after five years of saying we wouldn't get married.
  • February: Started juicing and cleaning up our diets. Had my first panic attack.
  • March: More panic attacks. 
  • April: Even more panic attacks. Went on a cruise with my family. Went gluten free.
  • May: Got food poisoning from eating meat so I went full vegetarian. Went camping!
  • June: Quit college and my birth control pills. Editing picked up.
  • July: Went fully vegan. More panic attacks, hair loss, minor depression. Editing picked up more. Went even more part time at work than I already was. Started running.
  • August: Major depression. panic, anxiety. Saw a therapist. Had to stop running for hormones. Went to Vegas for a book event.
  • September: Turned 28. Got depression/panic/anxiety "under control." LOTS of editing. Visited family and friends back home.
  • October: EVEN more editing! Started running again. Josh turned 30. Decided to quit my job at Chase. Quit Chase. 
  • November: Made my dream come true by editing full time. Battled only one day of depression. Started writing a book. 
  • December: Still working super hard at editing 7 days a week and LOVING IT. Started going to yoga classes.
Holy whoa. So now I'm a plant-based/gluten-free vegan, full-time freelance editor (and nothing else), and aspiring writer/runner/yogi. Who is this girl?! LOL! It's me now. I can't even begin to explain how amazing this year has been, even in the worst of times. I hated the depression while I was going through it, but looking back now, even in the face of so many questions about life, I feel okay with it. It happened, and 2014 is full of mystery, but I can handle it. Here's to a great year!

Eat your fruits and veggies in the new year, kids. <3

Meatless Monday - Avocado Rice

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Meatless Monday! It's the last one of 2013, so I hope you're enjoying it! This is the perfect time to think about going meatless on Mondays for 2014. It does so much good for your body, the animals, and our planet. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer this close to NYE, so we'll talk about it later, but going meatless for just one day a week would be a huge step in the right direction for our world. <3



In any case, I want to leave you with a really simple recipe. It can be a side dish or it can be added to tacos or burritos, but we eat it as a meal in a huge bowl. Haha! It's easy, inexpensive, and delicious. YUM.

Avocado Rice

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice, steamed
  • 2 avocados, ripe, pitted, out of skin
  • Lemon (or lemon juice) - just a squeeze
  • Garlic powder to taste
Directions:
  1. After you've steamed your rice, mash avocados into rice (or cut avocados into small chunks and mix into rice).
  2. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the avocado rice.
  3. Sprinkle garlic powder on to taste.
  4. Mix well and enjoy.
Optional extras: Add a splash of gluten-free soy sauce and/or some lightly steamed peas and corn.

If you try this rice, let me know. We enjoy it a lot over here, and it all happened because I really wanted to try some rice and avocado together. Actually what is really good is rice and avocado with some mixed veggies (carrots, broccoli, green/red pepper, mushrooms, etc). Mmmm. :o) 

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

POPSUGAR Australia


Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having the exact day they want to have. Spend this time being happy and full of love. It's the Christmas gift you give yourself.

Don't forget about your health today. Celebrate your health along with your family, friends, and loved ones. Nourish your body and be will this holiday season.


Love, light, hugs, fruits, and veggies,
Mickey

Meatless Monday: Green Bean Casserole Pasta

Monday, December 23, 2013

I know I've been horrible about Meatless Monday posts! I've been so busy with work, but I vow to take a little bit more time out of one day a week to get some Meatless Monday recipes up here for you. Today I want to talk about one Josh made for us last week. He found this blog called Plates for Plants, and it has some amazing recipes. I can't wait to try more, but this one caught Josh's eye and won my stomach over.

I, too, loved green bean casserole. It was the dish I always made for Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, cream of mushroom soup is now out of the question since I'm vegan. I'm also gluten free so the french fried onions are out. But this recipe is a seriously delicious replacement. And serving it over some brown rice pasta is a fab idea. YUM!

We didn't take any photos, but you can check the whole thing out on Plates for Plants and get the recipe there. It's super delicious and pretty easy. Not a lot of ingredients or time. Enjoy!!



Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

What Worked For My Depression

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wow. I am so surprised and thankful for all of the amazing responses I received yesterday from my post about depression. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you all so, so much.

I haven't been shy about my issues on this blog, but I haven't written about them in a while. I'll try to do more of that kind of thing over here, but honestly, I've been doing pretty well. Just trying to work on the questions of mortality and life in general, but I may never find those answers.

Either way, the support has been so encouraging. A lot of you understand that depression isn't as easily cured as some will have you think. Reaching out may not save anyone. Talking to someone may actually make things worse. It's very hard to get out of your head when you are supposed to be able to trust your body. If you can't trust yourself, what do you have?

So I just want to say thank you. The comments, tweets, and messages were all outstanding, and I'm so grateful to have you all in my life. Things haven't always been peaches and cream over here, so I try to take some time every day to remember all the good in hopes of keeping away the bad. Hopefully it works.

I'd like to talk today about some of the things that really helped me during my short bout with depression. I can't honestly say if they helped it go away, but they were a shining light through the bad times. I refused any and all medication, and I did end up seeing a therapist three times. Other than that, here's what helped:

  • Watching comedy.
    Shows like New Girl and Modern Family made me laugh even in the dark. It was fairly mindless, so I was able to disconnect and focus on something else. This wasn't all the time, but more often than not, the TV shows worked. I'm certain a funny movie I'd already seen might have helped too, but this kind of thing doesn't work for everyone. I can say that going to a live comedy show did not make me feel any better, but that was more because of the anxiety of being in a large group of people and possibly having a panic attack. 
  • Not fighting it.
    The less I tried to hate myself for going through the depression, the less it affected me. The less I focused on it, the less it took over. Not by huge amounts, but the more I sat with it and tried to accept it more than push it out of my mind, the more I felt a bit better. This is probably why the comedy worked. It also worked for the panic attacks. The more you fear a panic attack, the more they'll control you. Try to let go, as the panic attack will not, in fact, kill you. Your body can handle everything about a panic attack. Trust it even when you think you can't.
  • Exercise.
    I'm thinking more like some yoga here would have been good, but trying to get up for walks around the block helped. However, getting myself off the couch or out of bed for a walk wasn't exactly easy. It's not like you feel able to walk down the stairs, and it's not like you're eating enough to support a cardio workout. But movement, even if it's just walking to the bathroom, reminds you that you're alive, even if you don't feel that way or want to be. 
  • Good food.
    When I was able to eat, I was eating fruits and veggies for the most part. That's basically by diet anyway, plus some grains, starches, and beans, but the better the nutrition, the more likely you'll start seeing the darkness fade. Makes sense, right? Also, I'd highly consider a gluten-free diet if you're battling depression.
Notice what's not on the list:
  • Reaching out for help.
  • Talking with loved ones.
  • Calling the Suicide Hotline.
  • Medication.
These are just some of the things I tried to do while working through my depression. I really only had two mad months of it, and it wasn't the whole two  months. It came and went, which sometimes I think was worse in a way. Every time I thought I was through it, it would eventually seep back in for a time. Maybe it wasn't worse, but it was pretty bad. I wouldn't wish what I went through on my worst enemy. EVER. 

In either case, I hope these posts find people who can use them. I am always here for anyone who needs to talk about their depression, anxiety, panic, etc. 

On Ned Vizzini and Depression

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Before I start this post, I just want to clarify that I am not, in fact, suicidal (anymore). I don't think I ever truly was, but this post is just to show how gray the whole thing is. I do believe that there is a difference between depression and being depressed. This is about actual mental depression. And I'm not reaching out for help or screaming for attention. I just want to explain some things. I'm good right now. Cool? Cool.

Yesterday, we were shocked by the news of young adult author Ned Vizzini's death. It wasn't just his death that rocked us. He committed suicide after battling mental illness, depression, and anxiety.

Since then, I've seen a whole lot of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs about how we should speak out when we have problems with depression, tell someone when we want to hurt ourselves, and never let mental illness lead to suicide. I've seen many people come together, posting the Suicide Hotline number and other great resources. I've seen lots of this kind of stuff, and all of it has been great, but I need to speak out on the other side. Having been through some seriously dark bouts of depression with thoughts you can't even imagine, I feel like I need to let you all in on something.

It's not as easy as speaking out to someone. It's not as easy as remembering you are loved. It's not as easy as thinking, "This life actually is worth living for." Because if you had the thoughts and feelings I've had... If you've been truly clinically depressed and not just sad about awful luck in life... Then you know it's not just as simple as telling someone you want to hurt yourself or end your life. Until you know what that is like, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's wonderful that we're all speaking out about this and making it known that help can be found. I can truly appreciate all of the support for a condition such as this. Many things are possible with technology these days. We can reach out to each other in so many ways. But the more plugged in we are, the less connected we are. The less we can actually understand what others are going through.

What I don't want people to think is that it's just as easy as reaching out for help. I did reach out for help. I went to many different kinds of doctors. I wanted to work through my depression. And you know what they did? Offered medication after medication after medication.

I walked away from the ordeal with four different prescription medications and a suggestion for two others. This was not the answer for me. I did not want to drug myself up with meds that may actually make the problem worse. I did not want to hide the issue through pharmaceuticals instead of curing it and actually overcoming it. So I chose not to.

Was that the best choice? For me, it sure was. I'm not completely cured, but my head is much clearer, and I know my thoughts are at least my own. So when I have a strange thought run through my head, I'm able to somewhat think it through before it takes over.

Am I presuming Ned Vizzini was on medication? No. I have no idea what his situation was. I won't pretend to know. This post really doesn't have much to actually do with him and his life and death. But I do know that he had a wife and a two-year-old child, so his head had to be in a very bad place for him to kill himself. And it's possible even with all the love and success in the world. I promise you.

I suppose I am assuming that this had nothing to do with his environment. Depression doesn't have to come from an outside source. Our brains are very good at painting a very horrible, bleak picture of the world we live in, even if it is actually amazing and very blessed. Anxiety and panic attacks on top of depression make things spiral out of control very quickly. VERY quickly. And the feelings are so beyond uncomfortable... You have no idea if you haven't been there.

I've literally wanted to crawl out of my skin. I've thought about taking one of the many guns my husband owns and just shooting myself in the head to end the horrible feelings running through my body and awful thoughts bouncing around my head nonstop. Every day I'm faced with wondering why I don't have control over my life, why things are the way they are, and why I am even HERE. Why do we have life on this planet in the middle of a universe so large I can't even comprehend its size? And why was I lucky enough to receive it? Or am I actually horribly unlucky? Is life not the gift we think it is? Is life actually punishment for something? Or will my death be the worst punishment of all? I could have control of my fate and just find out if I...

Suicide not so unreasonable when my brain thinks about it sometimes. As scary as that sounds, it's just not. Living life may be more courageous, but death sometimes sounds like the only answer there is.

The why questions kill. And I can't stop them. The more I talk them through, the more I think of new questions to ask. And I still have zero answers. Will I ever get answers? I have no idea. I honestly try not to think of them, but my brain has its own agenda. And it usually sets off a panic attack.

I'm not sure if Ned Vizzini had panic attacks as well, but let me tell you about those. They are scary as hell, because even if your brain has said, "Eh, maybe we should just kill ourselves to be over this already," the panic attack makes you think you are dying and you realize you just aren't ready yet. And you start pleading internally for your life. You're sorry. You won't think about killing yourself again because you want to be here and you don't want your life to end. But when the panic attack finally settles (after ten minutes or even two hours) you start to think that going through that again could be the worst thing ever. And killing yourself would make that go away.

But will it? I don't think we know that. I have no idea what happens when we die. But the brain really does some tricky things, and from having been there, from being able to understand that kind of thought process, I can't possibly blame them for thinking that suicide might make it better.

I realize that saying that probably sounds awful. I'm not at ALL an advocate of suicide. I would never tell someone that they should just kill themselves to get it all over with. I'm just saying that I can relate to those thoughts, emotions, and feelings. And everyone saying that it'll get better and that nothing is worth killing themselves over probably hasn't been in my shoes. Certainly it can get better, and I'd agree that nothing is worth killing myself overright now.

In the midst of depression (especially with anxiety and panic on top of it), nothing seems like it's ever going to get better. Nothing seems worth living for. Nothing. Just nothing. Things that once made you happy sound like torture. People you once cherished don't even seem to matter. All that matters is ending the suffering.

I know why I ended up in my position. I don't know if it's so clear cut for other people. I just want people to understand that the thought process depression creates makes suicide a completely reasonable solution to the situation. Taking your own life actually feels like the right choice when depression is at its worst. Please understand that.

To Ned Vizzini's wife and child, this had nothing to do with you. I fully believe that you couldn't have loved him more. This situation probably would have happened with or without your love and support. So please try to not feel guilty or like you could have done something different.

To everyone else, thank you for your support of this mental illness. I don't think I know a cure, as mine was a different situation, and it luckily didn't last long enough to do too much damage. I was able to work through it, but obviously some people aren't. It's not because they didn't have enough support, and it's not because they didn't reach out. Sometimes the depression just skews things so badly that things just have to end. I truly think that people suffering from depression feel like nothing can be done. It's so uncomfortable and horrible that death is the only answer to make it end.

My life has been completely changed from my short bout with depression. I am perhaps one of the lucky ones, but I still am not sure. I think about death (specifically my own) several times a day, but now it's more curiosity instead of desire. I try to celebrate life when I can instead of wonder why I am here. If this truly is a gift, then I want to make the most out of it. Staying positive, getting off the computer, and reminding myself of things like this help a lot. But it's not a cure, and it won't work for everyone.

I just know that my thoughts on life have been flipped upside down and twisted so far that I'm not at all the same person I used to be. I understand what going through true clinical depression is like. Or maybe I don't. Maybe I only touched the surface. And if that's true, then I can only wish those who have committed suicide over it have found their peace.

I hope you can understand this post and why I wrote it. I love you all.

Meatless Monday - Refried Beans

Monday, October 28, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here.
(All MM recipes are vegan and gluten free since that's how we roll)


Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week we ask you to go without meat. See how you feel for just one day without meat. Or even without any animal products. It's not that hard - I promise! Especially with the recipes my husband comes up with.

Today it's all about how to make the best refried beans. Seriously. We make them on the weekends (almost every weekend) and do so many different things with them. Well, mostly we make taco bowls, but we could do so many things with them. Like eat them and enjoy them. :o) Yum!

Vegan Refried Beans




Ingredients:

  • 2-4 jalapenos 
  • 1 yellow onion 
  • 1 green(or red) bell pepper 
  • 3-4 garlic cloves 
  • 2-3 cups beans (black or pinto, I prefer black) 
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tsp chili powder 
  • 2 tsp cumin 
  • Sea salt to taste


Directions:

  1. Chop up peppers and onions and sautee in pan until sweated through. Add to bottom of crock pot. 
  2. Add beans to crock pot - no need to pre-soak. 
  3. Cover with about 6 cups of water or so - enough to put at least 1 inch of water above the beans. 
  4. Stir in chili powder and cumin.
  5. Cook on high for 8 hours - adding additional water as needed to keep beans covered. 
  6. Strain beans, saving the liquid.
  7. Add beans back into pot, add salt to taste, and mash together using potato masher or hand mixer. 
  8. Add some of the liquid you drained off as needed for desired consistency.
You can make taco bowls with some spanish rice, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and vegan sour cream and cheese. You can add these beans to a breakfast burrito with spinach, potato, avocado, tomato, etc. You can serve these up as a side dish as well. Delicious!

Eat your fruits and veggies (and beans), kids.

#FruitSoHard: No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

Monday, October 21, 2013

Anyone want some no-bake whole-foods pumpkin pie? OMG you guys. This is so good! So full of flavor but without any of the junk. And the best part is that you can be lazy and not bake it. It's fine on its own and needs no baking. The crust is super simple and delicious, and the filling is creamy and sweet without being overbearing. Enjoy this with some coconut whipped cream too! :)


Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Pie



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 15-20 dates
  • 5-6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice OR the following:
    • 1/2 tsp allspice
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 tsp ginger
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • Pinch of sea salt

First, we make a crust for the dish. For this, use the walnuts, half of the dates, about a half cup of the oats, and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Mix in the food processor until crumbly and sticky. Press into bottom of pan to form a bottom crust layer. 

Once that's done, combine the pumpkin and rest of the ingredients in the food processor and run until smooth, stirring occasionally. Once mixed up, it should be about the consistency of cookie dough. Using a spoon or spatula, spread evenly in the pan. Cover, set in refrigerator to chill. Enjoy!



Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Everything Good is Gradual

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

While watching the sky light up from the sun's impending presence this morning, I realized that this world doesn't have an on switch.

That is to say, everything in nature takes place gradually.

The sun slowly rises and sets, steadily bringing day after day, night after night. The seasons quietly change, one fading into another. All living things start small and grow over time. Thus, health is also a progressive process.

Millions of people believe they need to lose weight in order to be healthy, and while that may be the case for many, some just need a different lifestyle to achieve actual health. Either way, weight loss is another thing in life that shouldn't have an on switch. For it to be safe and natural, you need to have it occur by degrees. Slowly but surely if you will.

But weight loss does not equal health. On the same token, weight gain does not equal failure.

I've said this all before, but watching the sunrise this morning made it all very clear to me. Perhaps this is something you need to experience (both slow weight loss and a breathtaking, gradual sunrise). The point is that we should be striving to live through nature, and in nature, things take time.

If we take a step back from the weight loss theme, which I'd like to do, then I think this sunrise also reminded me to have patience and trust. I'm taking a huge leap by making editing my only job, and I'll admit to feelings of apprehension and fear. But this morning I remembered to have trust, hope, and optimism. It's not always easy, but I woke up today, so I'll keep trying.

And you should too.

Everything good is gradual. Practice patience and acceptance. Give and take love. Be love. Life is so much easier that way.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday - Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Monday, October 14, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here.


Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week we ask you to go without meat. See how you feel for just one day without meat. Or even without any animal products. It's not that hard - I promise! Especially with the recipes my husband comes up with. But today is one that's all me!

Well, not technically. My sweet friend Tammy posted a recipe for a pumpkin pie smoothie, and I thought it sounded incredible. As you may or may not know, I make a smoothie almost every day, sometimes twice a day. It's almost always a green smoothie with lots of bananas, so the idea of adding pumpkin and spice to it intrigued me. So here's what I did.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie



Ingredients:
  • 3 bananas, medium
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 1/2 cup almond milk^
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 8 ice cubes
Directions:

  1. Add the bananas, pumpkin, and almond milk to the blender. Blend until mixed well and smooth.
  2. Add the pumpkin pie spice and ice cubes. Blend until mixed well and smooth.
  3. Enjoy!
^ - If you don't half almond milk, water will work. I used coconut water and it was still delicious.
* - If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use this mixture:
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Serves: 2 "normal" people. I drank both glasses. Hehe!

Feel free to add some protein powder (I use hemp) or some leafy greens to make this a green smoothie. It's customizable and totally up to you. On a side note, I think this would be delicious with sweet potato too. My fellow book blogger friend and smoothie drinker, Asheley, recommended sweet potato to me a while back, so I need to try it. Yum!

Next Monday I'll share a pumpkin oatmeal bar recipe my husband threw together for me. It's SO good! Then maybe I'll quit with the pumpkin for a while. But we love pumpkin! :o)

Eat (or drink) your fruits and veggies, kids.


Watching the Sky

Sunday, October 13, 2013

While snuggling in bed on this slightly chilly fall morning, I decided I would make some tea and watch the sun come up. I snuggled a little too long because the sky was already lit up a bit before I made it out there. But that didn't stop me. Green tea in hand, I sat on a the patio near the pool and just observed nature in the company of my dogs.

What I witnessed brought me to tears.

As I sipped my tea and cuddled with one of my puppies, a flock of birds, maybe fifteen or so, flew over the house. They caught my eye and made me start thinking. First it was the obvious: I wish I could fly. Then it was a little more complex: Birds' wings must be very strong to fly that long. I wonder how well they know each other. They're so in sync for not speaking to each other.

Speaking. Sure, they make sounds or gestures to communicate, but they were very quiet while up in the sky, and I saw very little that would indicate they were communicating with each other. Of course, I don't know the language of the birds, but they all went in the same direction, taking turns in the leader positions, just gliding along. Soon other birds joined up and the group grew to about thirty.

Here's where I probably made a few assumptions. Or maybe we could just call this a lesson in human behavior, since birds probably don't have the same values, practices, and customs we humans do. But this is what happened in my head.

As I watched the other birds join, I realized the original group was accepting these new birds. And some of them even flew at the front of the pack. No questions asked—they just absorbed them into the group. Maybe they already knew them. But maybe they were complete stranger birds. I'd like to think they didn't already know each other. I want to believe that these birds were just so willing to accept new friends without judgment or needing answers. Nothing was required for them to join the journey.

The soft swoosh sound coming from their wings pushing through the air reminded me to thank the universe for this experience. Watching those birds fly around, accepting the other birds who wished to join, made me grateful for the love in my heart. It doesn't matter who you are, what you are, what you believe in, what you look like, how you live—I want you to know love. I will show you love. I want peace and harmony in this world, so I will be that shining light.

And here is where the tears fell.


This morning I posted a series of tweets on Twitter. I got some very positive responses, which warmed my heart. I'm not always that upbeat though. I get down too. I complain at times. And I haven't always been this full of love and positivity.

But the tears came because I'm just so thankful. I'm grateful I've come this far. After everything I've experienced in the last twelve months, I've come to realize that we aren't guaranteed another second on this planet. Life is fleeting, and appreciating the small things will make you remember how amazing this life is. Why complain when we have so much good around us? The small things we get irritated over won't matter in a week from now, so don't waste any precious time on them.

The birds taught me a lesson this morning, whether it was true for them and actually happening in their world or not. They did not complain. They did not reject anyone. They did not judge. They did not show prejudice or hate. They just seemed to practice love, kindness, and acceptance. And that's something I wish we all would do.

So start with yourself. Forgive and release all negativity. Then it will radiate to all parts of your life soon after.


Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Monday, October 7, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here.


Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week we ask you to go without meat. See how you feel for just one day without meat. Or even without any animal products. It's not that hard - I promise! Especially with the recipes my husband comes up with. And this one is total comfort food.

Today's recipe is basically portobello mushrooms stuffed with mashed potatoes and corn and covered with cheese. Vegan cheese was used in our house, but you can use cheddar if you'd like. This one came from his head one day, and I'm so glad it did. It's comforting and delicious. Yum. Check it out!

Potato-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms



Ingredients:
  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 lb frozen corn or 2-4 ears of corn with corn cut off cob
  • 1-2 tbsp butter/margarine/vegan option
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, stem removed
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese/vegan option
Directions:
  1. Boil potatoes. Mash with butter, garlic powder, and black peper and mix with corn.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, bake portobellos (and stems if desired) at 400F for 15 mins. Remove from oven and place in baking dish. Snack on stems if you want since we won't be using them here.
  3. Place portobellos in casserole dish, spoon in mashed potato and corn mix to cover. Sprinkle some additional corn on top. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Put back in oven at 350F for about 15-20 mins.
  4. Serve with side of steamed broccoli, asparagus, or some other delicious side. Enjoy!
Check out a whole how-to posted by my husband here.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

In Which I Question Everything...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Existential thought of the day: What is natural?

I don't really mean "What comes from the earth?" or "What is pure?" I mean "What is essential, true, and real"? What is basic necessity for human life? And why weren't we happy with that? We didn't come with an instruction manual, so how did we figure out to live with what we had? I want know about our roots and our beginning.

The idea that we live in a world where we have all this technology that connects us to the other side of the world in just a few seconds is amazing. But are we supposed to have it? Were we actually supposed to discover all of this? Does it make our lives easier or does it just add more stress and unhealthy, unnatural abilities?

A lot of these thoughts and questions come from my existential thought from yesterday: I am HUMAN.

So I wondered what it means to be human. What it means to be limited to this one body and mind. I only have so many capabilities, but technology allows for some unnatural potential. Are we supposed to be able to do all of this? I feel like it may bring about some really amazing things: spreading the message of love and happiness; allowing us to connect with friends and family with a mere phone call, video chat, or plane flight; and helping the world find peace. Yet, we obviously still have so much hate and suffering! So is this really helping?

I don't know. I just know that it's part of a world where we have war and savage deaths. We still have slavery, human oppression, and animal cruelty. We live in a world where there is so much suffering, and I want to change it. I want to live with peace on earth. It sounds like nothing but a wish, but if there are living things out there suffering, then I am too.

Does that make any sense to you?

I do know that we have to advance in some ways. We need light to see at night, right? But do we? Didn't we once live and sleep by the sun and moon? We need heat to cook, but do we really need to cook any food? Even people today are living off raw vegan diets. Some things just aren't adding up anymore.

I think tomorrow I'll blog about a conversation I overheard while walking down the street last night during First Friday, but for now, I just had to get some of that out. It's just what I've been thinking about lately, and I feel like this blogging thing helps me a little bit to let it go.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Random Thoughts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I've previously mentioned my recent bout with panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. What I'd love to talk about today is what's been left behind by them.

These bizarre and very existential thoughts pop into my head. Sometimes they're normal (Why are we here? What's the point of life?) and sometimes they just weird me out. Ready for this list? It's...interesting.

  • How did we figure out that sex makes people?
  • Within reason, I can't ever leave this planet. Does that make me trapped?
  • What if reincarnation is real and I become a man in my next life? Will that be weird?
  • Are there many versions of this world where people who have died in my reality actually live on?
  • What if, while flying on a plane, gravity stops and the earth drops away and the plane has nowhere to land?
  • What if I'm on earth and gravity stops? 
  • What if the earth just stops rotating? What if it just stands still in space and stops orbiting the sun?
  • What if I wasn't ever meant to be this Michelle?
  • Could it be possible for my memories to on reflect what is true in my reality today?
  • Do dogs like being dogs? Or do they look at humans and wish they were humans?
  • Cats obviously love being cats because they're kind of evil and really lazy.
  • Was society truly meant to end up like this? Where we work desk jobs and waste our lives according to some system?
  • Humanity really effed up.
That's just the beginning. My poor husband has to suffer through most of these, but bless his heart for not really judging me for thinking of some of them. Sometimes the thoughts are so dumb, but sometimes they're kind of misinformed and/or just my need for answers about this world.

A lot of my thoughts revolve around death. I've decided that this is because I don't really have a belief about life and death and what it means to die. I don't know what happens, and no one can prove it to me, so I'm stuck wondering about it a lot. I don't partake in any religious beliefs, and I don't know if I have that ability to blindly be faithful. 

Also, I frequently think I'm about to die. This is the panic taking over, but I get a general sense of danger or impending death from time to time. I think about my health, the food I eat, the amount of exercise I'm getting, the water I drink and if it's enough, and my stress levels. Oh the stress.

Either way, all I know is that I've been left with some residual effects from the panic, anxiety, and depression. I look around from time to time and wonder if and/or why everyone else isn't thinking about when they are going to die. I can't comprehend why people waste any time on this planet by stressing over the small things, fretting about their appearance so much, and killing each other. Ugh.

I could go on for days. Do any of you think any of this stuff? It's not so dreary now that I'm not depressed anymore, but I can't help but thing some weird thoughts. Hmm.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday - Raw Chocolate Ice Cream

Monday, September 30, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here.

Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week we ask you to go without meat. See how you feel for just one day without meat. It's not that hard - I promise! Especially with the recipes my husband comes up with. Wait until you try this one!

Today's recipe is actually what you'd call dessert by it's name, but you'd be able to find me eating this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner too. You'd eat bananas at any time of the day, right? Nuts aren't a dessert food. Coconut water goes in all of my smoothies. And cacao? Well, okay. Maybe that's the dessert part. Either way, this stuff is delicious! Enjoy anytime. You have my permission. 

Raw Chocolate Ice Cream



Ingredients:

  • 3-5 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup  pecans/walnuts/combination of both
  • 1/3 cup coconut water
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
Add all ingredients to your food processor and mix well!

It made two decent sized bowls. Maybe I just like a big serving though. Haha.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday - Spaghetti Sauce

Monday, September 16, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here

Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week I hope you all try to eat all meatless meals. I'd even challenge you to go without animal products at all and see how you feel. Either way, the animals will appreciate you going a day without eating them. ;o)

Today's recipe is my husband's fresh spaghetti sauce. He can whip this up in less than an hour, but you can make it an all-day sauce to infuse the flavors of the spices even more. He usually uses Roma tomatoes, but you're welcome to try any kind you have. Romas are small, so adjust for size when finding the amount you need if you opt for a different kind of tomato. I'm sure this sauce would taste even better when homegrown tomatoes are used. Mmmm!

Fresh Spaghetti Sauce



Ingredients
  • ~20 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • Mushrooms, chopped and sauteed (optional)
  • Herbs and spices to taste: 
    • Oregano
    • Basil
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Minced onion
    • Crushed red pepper
    • Salt and pepper
Take the seeds out of the tomatoes. Cut them small enough to go into the blender to liquefy. Also cut the onion to go into the blender as well.

Add garlic cloves to the tomatoes in the blender and blend to a liquid.

Add tomato and garlic to a large pan or pot over a medium to high heat until it comes to a rapid boil. Then back the heat down to a medium/low heat.

If you want to use the mushrooms, have them chopped and sauteed before adding them to the tomato and onion sauce here.

Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, etc, to taste.

Let it simmer and it'll get thicker as it cooks. Simmer for however long you desire to let flavors blend.

Makes about 40 oz.

Try this sauce on your favorite pasta noodles. Try brown rice or corn pastas to avoid gluten. Or even top spaghetti squash with this sauce. Let me know if you try it!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday - Lentil Burgers

Monday, September 9, 2013

You made it to Monday again! Hopefully today is a meatless day for you all. I'm going to do better at posting these earlier, but there are a few to choose from already up on the blog. It's easy to be meatless at least once a week, with or without my blog. However, I smell today's Meatless Monday recipe cooking, so I'll see you all later. Enjoy!

Vegan Lentil Burgers




Ingredients:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup lentils, uncooked
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1.5 cups carrots, finely grated 
  • 1.5 cups oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1 small onion, finely grated 
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil in pan to cook patties
Directions:

  1. Cook lentils and rice in 4 cups water for 45 minutes, simmering over low heat in a covered pan. Allow to cool.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. 
  3. Shape into patties and cook on griddle or pan over medium heat until brown.
  4. Enjoy with toppings such as avocado, ketchup, vegan mayo, tomato, onion, or your favorite gluten-free bun. Yum!




Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.


Prayers Answered

Saturday, September 7, 2013

If you would have asked me a couple months ago if I prayed, I'd have told you no. I still may tell you no because I guess I don't consider what I do to be praying. Sure, I wish for things, and sometimes I even tell the universe out loud what I want or need or hope for. Questions are asked as well. And one of my questions was answered in a way I was not expecting at all. That's how it works though, right?

I've always struggled with weight and body image. So when I finally came to this lifestyle, I felt like it would help me create a much more positive body image. Doing the right thing for my body never felt better, and I figured I'd look like all those raw vegans out there sooner or later. But patience is a funny thing, and I rarely have enough to keep me from going crazy some days.

Looking in a mirror at my naked body, I'd ask, "When am I going to think that THIS BODY is good-looking enough? What is it going to take for me to accept how this body looks?"

I've always seen my flaws. My husband loves to point out how ridiculous I sound (in the best way possible), but it was still hard to think I was sexy or "perfect" with my clothes off. People at work were constantly telling me I was too skinny, but they were seeing me in clothes I'd been wearing 40 pounds ago. I was losing weight, getting fit, and feeling healthy, but my body image wasn't improving the way I would have liked it to.

That is, until I got off my birth control pill.

Now, I'm not at all saying that it was clouding my judgment of my body or anything like that. What I am saying is that it created a hormone imbalance in my body. Those fed my anxiety and panic attacks. And when I felt like I was dying, about to drop dead, or completely off my rocker depressed and/or insane, I realized that this body is good-looking enough.

It always was.

Do you see what happened there? I asked the universe to let me look at myself and say, "Hey, you know what? This body I have? It's awesome. It doesn't need a flat stomach or a gap between the thighs. It doesn't need a certain amount of booty or arms that don't jiggle a little. I don't need to have a certain amount of body fat to be sexy. This body is all I'll have, and I better appreciate it for everything it gives me." And guess what? The universe delivered. Albeit in a sneaky and somewhat shitty way, but I will count my blessings where I can.

Another thing I'm not saying is that you have to develop anxiety and panic attacks or have a near-death experience in order to just be grateful for your body and love it for however it looks. I'm just saying that I asked for something and it was certainly given to me. I'm also saying that I could have just loved myself enough to not felt so negatively about my body.

Sure, my stomach isn't flat. No, I don't have washboard abs. And yes, my arms have some jiggle. But damn, this body can do some pushups! And it has a brain that can edit books, and that's what I like to do. It is able to walk long distances. It loves and hugs and breathes and lives. It cares and feels and gives and moves. It can run a mile without stopping. Well, it could. And I'll work my way back up to that if I can. Because this body can do that, for goodness' sake. And I should be proud of that. I eat right, I get enough sleep, I'm exercising again, I soak up the sunshine, and I drink a lot of water. So why not just embrace everything about myself?

True, I have a man who's loved me through it all. I'm sure that helps me accept it a little more, knowing he loves the way I look. But it doesn't have much to do with him. It really hit home when I thought I was truly about to die. And while I didn't realize it at first, it hit me pretty hard, smack dab in the middle of my face. And a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Sometimes our bodies need rest, and I apparently wasn't listening to mine. Now I am.

Part of what I'm saying here is that we shouldn't focus our energy so hard on looking a certain way. If we truly only have this one life, the last thing I want to do anymore is waste it on the trivial things. You're a person who has a lot to give, so give it freely without concern of your outward appearance. Love who you are, but that means treating your own body right. Nourish it, and it will in turn nourish your life.

Be kind - that includes being kind to yourself.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

First Run in a While

Friday, September 6, 2013

I thought I'd go for a walk this morning. This is kind of a big deal for me. I'll give you a little background.

In a previous post, I've gone over the list of symptoms I've been experiencing recently. They've all created different things that have kept me from exercising. Thus, I've lost a lot of my cardio ability and drive to do anything that would likely make my heart beat faster than normal. I went for a gentle walk last weekend, and it felt good. I figured I'd try again today.

But I put my running shoes on instead.

Yes, I have different shoes for different things. My walking shoes don't support my shins right if I run in them, and my running shoes don't really make my feet appreciate just walking. So I had to make a choice when putting my shoes on. I didn't even hesitate. And it felt so right.

I use my walking times as mini self-therapy sessions. I talk about issues or problems, and usually I find some good answers by getting all my thoughts out into the universe. I'll have an epiphany or two while out there that help me come to terms with the things I'm dealing with at the moment. When I run, though, I try to only concentrate on my breathing. It helps me settle in a way that's probably similar to meditation.

And I was getting good at it too. To run a mile without stopping was really a massive challenge, but I overcame it two times (!!) before I had to stop due to my hormone imbalance. I read that long cardio sessions were not good for hormone imbalances, so I took a break on the running. The imbalance was also causing some depression, so I added some cashews to my diet. Then I started to gain weight - no surprise there - but they really super helped. My mood improved, and my hormones seemed to have found out how to regulate themselves.

I'm feeling a whole lot better, so I've scaled back on the nuts and felt like dialing back into the running. I said I'd do one small run and walk for a while to see how I feel. I did four runs. Nothing too long. Maybe a minute max each. But that was my first run in over a month I think. We'll see how I feel later, but for right now, I'm totally happy with the progress.

I sit here, still sweating from the heat and exertion, feeling brave and accomplished. I smell like sweat and human, and it's glorious. I'll explain why in another post, but take my word for it for now. I'm a happy girl this morning. It was a huge step for me.

Time to edit a screenplay and inhale a whole watermelon now. Have a lovely day! <3

Here's My Story

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I know it's been a long time. I'd love to apologize, but I cannot be stressing out right now about things that aren't terribly important. This blog has been fun, and I'll continue to post, but I can't stress about posting everything I eat every day. I'll try to focus more on posting at least some recipes on Mondays for Meatless Mondays. But I did want to let you all in on what's been going on with me. So here it goes.

I know I've mentioned the whole thing about not taking my birth control (Yaz - yes, I know) anymore. It has created more trouble for me than I could have imagined. A lot of the time, I felt like I was the only one going through something like this, like no one would be able to help me. And then there were times when all I wanted was to go to the hospital so medical professionals could save me. Google told me that MANY women getting off Yaz had these symptoms. I was glad I wasn't alone, but I don't want ANYONE to go through any of this. Here are the basics in a list because that's how I roll:

  • Major hair thinning/loss
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Lethargy
That's just the basics. There are things I can barely explain. Things like wanting to crawl out of my skin, needing to go to Urgent Care because I just wasn't myself anymore, and feeling like I was going absolutely insane. For hours I'd feel like I was about to have a heart attack. For days after these episodes I'd feel like I was about to drop dead. I didn't think my body could handle the stuff I was going through. I could see myself grabbing a gun and shooting myself in the head to end it, and that scared me! I didn't want that! I never have. I don't want to die. But the depression and unease in my own body felt like more than I could take.

The symptoms would stick around for days. I'd feel physical pains in my chest, head, and stomach and think I was dying. I felt like I couldn't trust my own body to tell me if I was safe or about to die. I felt like I was stuck in my brain, and it was a scary, awful, terrifying place to be for a while. Even now, a headache makes me worried about impending death. Ugh.

I got my thyroid checked (normal) and I had an EKG done (normal). I saw three doctors in a week. Guess what they all did? Every one of them prescribed me medication or suggested a pill to take. I was prescribed Buspirone, Effexor, and Ativan. It was suggested to me that I take Lexapro as well. I was even told to just go back on the pill. No one wanted to hear about the probably hormone imbalance from getting off the pill. They heard anxiety and depression and wanted to cover that up. There are a couple different things from my past that make me wary of taking pills, so I took none of them.

When looking up the Lexapro, I found Panic Away. Listening to that man talk truly settled my feelings about the anxiety and depression. I realized I wasn't crazy and wouldn't feel like this forever, even though it felt like I certainly would be locked up in a mental institution soon or crazy in a hospital, left like a vegetable. Ugh.

Then I met with a therapist. After spilling my story, she advised me to only take the Ativan if I absolutely needed it. Luckily, I haven't yet. And the Panic Away techniques and information really helped me take power of my situation. The anxiety and panic fed the depression, and then the depression would feed the anxiety and panic. Panic logic, as I call it, allows this to continue, so once I learned to stop feeling the panic and anxiety, I was able to ease the hormonal depression by listening to my body in a better way. I'm also still seeing the therapist. She's been helping me with the leftover thoughts and feelings about death and dying.

I've also looked into adrenal fatigue. A lot of this was brought on by stress, change, and medication, but stress is always something I've been bad at dealing with. I generally avoided it, but I put myself in a situation where stress was constantly glaring at me. Two jobs, school, two blogs, a husband, many pets, a house, friends, family, a whole lifelystle change, and no time for myself really kicked me in the butt. I've since learned. And I think my adrenals are tired of being overworked. So now I'm working on myself. I'm still editing and I'm still working at the bank, but I'm taking a break with school and making time for my family, friends, and pets in a way that doesn't stress me out. I'm making time for myself as well. It feels good.

One day at a time, people. That's TRULY all we have.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.


Hormones

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hey all. Just stopping by to say hi! I know it has been a while (again) but I've really not been up to it. Or anything for that matter. I've mentioned plenty of times here about how I stopped taking my birth control pills, and now three months later I'm in a bit of a pickle. Perhaps when I'm on the other side of all this, I'll talk about it some more. Today is actually a great day, but the bad days are beyond bad. I'd never wish it on my worst enemy.

So I'm taking steps to getting better. I have an appointment with my OBGYN tomorrow for my normal yearly checkup, but I obviously want to talk to her about this mental state I'm in. I also have a physical scheduled for Wednesday and a therapist appointment on Thursday. Even if this is all anxiety and hormonal issues, I still have some lingering things to chat about. It'll be helpful if I need time off work as well, which I've needed as of late. I've been off since very early Wednesday morning. I pretty much ran out crying, so I couldn't go back. I'm supposed to go back tomorrow, and right now I feel prepared, but things change every half hour around here so we'll see.

Basically, it's been anxiety/panic attacks, which lead to me thinking I'm seriously seconds away from dying. I'm pretty healthy - you see how I eat, which hasn't changed, and I run, get sun, drink water, sleep, etc. - so I highly doubt I'm actually dying. But my brain gets pretty convinced that I am. I had to go to urgent care last week because it got so uncomfortable in my body.

Eh, just talking about it makes it bad, so I'm going to stop there. I'll talk about it when I can, but for now, I just wanted to say HI and that I'm still here! Just going through some things. Hope all is well with you all. Come find me on any of my social media accounts and say hi. <3

Absent!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey all! Sorry I've been MIA lately. I've been ridiculously busy, and when I wasn't so busy, I was dealing with my emotions and such. Detox from this pill has been just awful. So today I started taking the Evening Primrose Oil pills again. We'll see how it goes. I've still been including the hemp protein powder in my smoothies, which I've only missed two days this week (but I've made them twice on two days, so I'm good. Haha!), and I think that's been doing me some good. My hair loss seemed like it was slowing down, but now it's out of control again. I swear I won't have any hair soon. It's really not cool. Vain of me, but seriously. I'm used to having my hair on my head. Other hair could fall off my body, if you catch my drift. That would be nice. Haha.

Other than that, things have been the same. I've been eating more fat than normal, and I can feel it in my skin, see it in my belly, and notice it during my period. My cramps are a bit worse than normal right now. So I'm going to really focus again on eating lower fat. We made this really amazing potato salad using the Vegenaise stuff. It was incredible but totally full of fat. And I eat corn tortilla chips with everything - salsa, hummus (more fat), etc. We also made a taco salad the other night. More corn tortilla chips, plus beans, olives, and this vegan "sour cream" that I didn't really want to eat in the first place, but my husband bought it. Won't be eating it again. So yeah. I need to take it easy on the fat! It'll only help me in every single way in the end.

Limiting the fat isn't a way for me to restrict foods. I love everything I eat. I eat what I love. So if there is something I'm wanting, I'll probably have it. But a lot of the time the fatty foods come from when my husband pulls the hummus out after work or when he makes a dish with a lot of oil or something. I've mentioned this to him, and we're going to work on it. For my body's sake. I think that's reasonable.

How have you all been? I miss writing in here. I don't miss detailing my day's worth of food, but I miss making videos and writing some positive messages. Let me know what's been going on! <3

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Laughter

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Laugh. We all should laugh more. Find little things to make you laugh, and make it loud and long. Laughter is a great way to get your body active, your mind in tune, and your soul back in check with the positive. Watch a funny movie, tell a good joke, or go to a comedy show. Find something that will make you laugh and let me know how good it feels. <3

Breakfast:
  • Small cantaloupe
  • Good size honeydew
Snack:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, spinach, hemp protein, chia seeds, coconut water, ice, cinnamon
Lunch:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, spinach, cinnamon, coconut water, ice
Snack:
  • Big bowl of veggie chili with corn tortilla chips
Dinner:
  • Eggplant and portabella cap with homemade marinara
Calories: 2000+
Colors:  Orange, green, yellow, brown, black, red, white, purple
Water: 130 oz
Exercise: HICT, swimming
Sunshine: 20 mins
Sleep: 7ish hours
Grateful for: A full editing day and the sunshine.

That HICT is no joke. I whole body felt like Jell-O when I was finished. And I only did one round. It only talks about doing one round, but I might try for a second the next time I do this. If you really push, it is a hard 7-8 minutes. So I rewarded myself with  light swim and some sun. I lay on the patio on top of a towel in my swimsuit for a while. Front and back. I'm usually pretty white, so I try not to stay out too long. And while I could have stayed out longer, all worked out just as it needed to today!

I finished a big edit today, and it was awesome! The MC is hilarious, fun, spunky, and vulnerable all at the same time. I can't wait for you guys to read this one. If you like adult PNR, you'll enjoy this one! Audra, I'm looking at you! Hehe.

Time for a shower and bed. Back to the other job tomorrow. I've found that it makes me much more stressed and panicky than anything else. Blah.

Also, I didn't post my weight yesterday. Today it was 117.0. Can't remember where I was last week, but it's been fluctuating a lot. I think today might be the last day I weigh for a while. It's been something I stress about - don't get too worked up about what the scale says. But I fall into the trap as well. This means I need to get rid of it for a while. Know your strengths and weaknesses, folks.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Two Days' Worth

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - spinach, banana, mangoes, grapes, hemp protein, coconut water
Snack:
  • 5 smallish bananas
Lunch:
  • White rice and chili with some sweet potato
Snack:
  • Big bowl of sweet cherries
Dinner:
  • Eggplant and brown rice spaghetti with homemade marinara
Calories:
Colors: Green, yellow, black, brown, white, red, orange
Water: 180 oz
Exercise: Stretching, work
Sunshine: 60 mins in car
Sleep: 7 hours
Grateful for: Patience

Broke my computer. Fantastic. :o)



Wednesday

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - spinach, bananas, coconut water, hemp protein, ice
Snack:
  • 5 bananas
Lunch:
  • LOTS of brown rice spaghetti with homemade marinara
Snack:
  • 1 banana
Dinner:
  • Large salad - iceberg, herb mix, carrot, red cabbage, tomato with RVO/EVOO dressing
Calories: Dunno.
Colors: Yellow, green, brown, red, white, purple, orange
Water: 150 oz
Exercise: Work, stretching
Sunshine: 60 mins in car
Sleep: 7 hours
Grateful for: Men who fix computers.

HUGE thanks to my husband for finding the guy and helping me get there. I have to get back to editing, but I wanted to say thanks and hello to everyone. Love you all!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Care About Your Insides

Monday, July 15, 2013

In case you missed it on Facebook:
 

While watching TV tonight, I saw a commercial for Nutrisystem. It was all about losing weight, feeling sexy, and getting back in a bikini. They were so focused on weight loss and getting thin through prepackaged, cardboard food. It was terrifying.

Then a woman said this gem: "I got this body eating pizza, pasta, and even chocolate!"

Because we should only be worried about being thin, right? Let's eat sugar, fat, and garbage, but we're gonna get skinny! Um, no. Sorry guys. Let's care more than this. Let's care about health. Let's care about our insides! They're much more important than aesthetics. Our outsides will feel beautiful when we care about what we're putting in.

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, spinach, cinnamon, hemp protein, coconut water, ice
    • Noticing a pattern here? ;o)
Snack:
  • Sweet cherries - the whole bag. Not sure how many. Just kept eating 'em. LOL
Lunch:
  • 4 cups black seedless grapes
Snack:
  • Veggie chili with white rice
  • Small amount of chips and salsa to tide me over to dinner.
    • I'm a bottomless pit on days when I run.
Dinner:
  • Portabella mushroom caps with mashed potatoes
    • Vegan butter and cheese with the potatoes
    • I use the terms butter and cheese obviously very loosely.
Dessert:
  • Coconut milk chocolate ice cream
    • Probably less than one serving. But I didn't measure. :o)
Calories: I think I'm done counting. I eat when I'm hungry. I eat until I'm full.
Colors: Yellow, green, brown, black, red, white
Water: 150 oz
Exercise:  15 mins trampoline, stretching, C25K - W5D2, light swim with arm exercises
Sunshine: 60 mins
Sleep: 7 hours
Grateful for: Sunshine and catching up with friends

I finally broke out my trampoline! I bought it used for $10 a while back, and I've used it a few times. But today I took it out back and jumped in the sunshine. I did some oblique twists (thank you, Jillian Michaels) and some regular jumping. It was fun! It was cloudy when I went to take my normal day-off morning walk, so I waited for the sun to show its gorgeous face and got out there to jump. I'll definitely be doing that again!

Then I did my run today. I can't begin to explain it. I've never been a runner. I used to hope to run during the chorus of songs and then walk during the verses to catch my breath. I've found a great pace and now I'm running through two complete songs. Maybe three depending on the length. 8 minutes is my longest streak, but not because I felt like stopping exactly. I'm following the Couch to 5K program, and that's the longest I've had to run so far. I'm going to probably try the next run, which is 20 mins straight, on Thursday. I've been repeating runs because I'm scared of it, but my body has been capable of things I didn't think it could do lately. We'll see how it goes.

All on plant food. Who would have thunk? ;o)
 
Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Love and Be Loved

Be kind to yourself today. Say some nice words about your physical appearance. Let your creative juices flow. Find some positive energy to wrap yourself in. Love and be loved today.

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - kale, bananas, cinnamon, chia seeds, hemp protein powder, and ice.
Lunch:
  • Homemade veggie chili
Snack:
  • Large salad
    • Iceberg, carrot, red cabbage, tomato, and cucumber with RWV/GSO dressing
Dinner:
  • Veggie chili with white rice and part of a sweet potato
Calories: Not sure
Colors: Green, yellow, brown, black, red, white, purple, orange
Water: 140 oz
Exercise:  50 min walk, 40 squats, C25K - W5D2
Sunshine: 60 mins
Sleep: 8 hours
Grateful for: Friendly clients

This is late again! I worked until bed last night. Sorry guys. Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Late Night

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eating right is crucial to health. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. You also cannot out-diet laziness. So find a balance. All is possible when we nourish ourselves the right way. <3

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, kale, hemp protein, ice, coconut water, cinnamon, chia seeds
Snack:
  • Half of a honeydew melon
Lunch:
  • 4 cups of red and black seedless grapes
  • A few corn tortilla chips with homemade salsa
Dinner:
  • Dinner at our friends' house - they eat like we do! <3
    • Rice with mung beans, asparagus, and mashed potatoes with radishes and cauliflower
Calories: Don't know.
Colors:  Green, yellow, brown, black, red, white
Water: Not sure.
Exercise: C25K - W5D1 modified (I did more running and less walking. YAY!)
Sunshine: 30 mins (but lots of car time!)
Sleep: 6.5-7 hours
Grateful for: Market on the Move and a new pair of contacts

I'm late! Sorry. I hope you all have a wonderful day. I'm SUPER busy for the next few weeks, but I'll try to post every day! Had a late night with some friends last night. They invited us over for dinner, so I passed out when I got home. I also went to an author signing with another friend yesterday, and it was just a great day. Love you all! <3

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Video: Cravings and Changes

Friday, July 12, 2013

New video: Cravings and Changes
Why I don't crave things, and what I do when I miss certain foods.
 
 
Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think!!

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - kale, 5 bananas, hemp protein powder, coconut water
Snack:
  • 4 cups red seedless grapes
Lunch:
  • Leftover pasta salad
Snack:
  • 15 oz spinach/spring mix/iceberg with carrots, red cabbage, and tomato (RWV/GSO dressing)
Dinner:
  • Brown rice Pad Thai noodles with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini in a liquid aminos/honey/ginger sauce
Calories: Not sure.
Colors: Green, yellow, brown, purple, red, orange
Water: 180 oz
Exercise: Stretching, work
Sunshine: 60 mins in car
Sleep: 8 hours (like the dead)
Grateful for: My husband making dinner when I just mention that I'm hungry.

Editing, editing, editing. I have lots and lots to do! It's a great thing, but I'm definitely super busy. Catch you guys tomorrow!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Video: Get Off the Scale!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New video! Get off the scale!
 
 
Let me know what you think! Please subscribe to my channel. :o)

Breakfast:
  • Small green smoothie - kale, bananas, grapes, water, hemp protein powder
Snack:
  • 25 or so almonds
  • 1 lb strawberries
Lunch:
  • 55 oz orange/cucumber juice
    • 6 oranges and 3 cucumbers
Snack:
  • 2-3 cups sweet cherries
  • 12 green olives
    • Husband brought them home. So salty but I couldn't stop. That's saying something..
Dinner:
  • Pasta salad - corn and quinoa pastas, broccoli, Roma tomatoes, black olives (rinsed), and carrot with RWV/GSO, garlic powder, and onion powder dressing
Calories: Not sure
Colors: Green, yellow, purple, brown, red, orange, black
Water: 100 oz
Exercise:  C25K - W5D1
Sunshine: 5 minutes, not cool.
Sleep: 7.5 hours
Grateful for: Being able to make a good dinner for my hard-working husband.

I edited like a rawkstar today! 125 pages today. WOO! Hopefully I finish this book tomorrow so I can move on to the next one that's due ASAP. ;o) I love my job. LOVE it. I wish it were my only one. Sigh. I'll get there!

I made dinner tonight if you can believe it. I asked for some advice so it wouldn't suck, but I made everything. And I happened to love it! I think Husband enjoyed it too. Nom nom. I have started almost all sentences with the word I. Talk about myself, much? Oh yeah, this IS my blog. *wink*

Today was nice. The days away from the office really let me channel my inner-stress-free busy bee. I get work done, chat with friends, make videos for this blog, and get my runs and walks in. Didn't walk today because the weather was on the sad side. I walk for the sun more than for the exercise. Today there was zero sun in the sky. Oh well.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Cravings and Bingeing

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When talking with a friend today, I realized that I really don't crave things anymore. I don't think, "Oh man, I'd KILL for a Snickers bar!" or "Wow, I could really go for some barbeque potato chips!" I don't even really think, "Goodness, a mango sounds really good right now!" It's rare that I actually crave something. When I do eat something that has ingredients I don't normally eat, I can tell the difference in feeling when I eat it. I literally can't stop eating things with added ingredients in them. It's scary when you think about it. Yikes. Do yourself a favor - eat natural, real foods.

Weight: 115.4 lbs
(down 0.6 from last week)

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, spinach, water, hemp protein powder
    • I swear this must be keeping me fuller longer. Blech.
Snack:
  • 4 cups red seedless grapes
Lunch:
  • 6 smallish bananas
Snack:
  • 2.5 cups whole sweet cherries
Dinner:
  • 2 portabella caps with mashed potatoes, corn, Daiya "cheese," and broccoli (recipe on Monday)

Calories: Unsure
Colors: Green, yellow, red, orange, purple, brown
Water: 150 oz
Exercise: Light stretching, work
Sunshine: 60 mins in the car
Sleep: 8 hours
Grateful for: My husband - he made dinner and it was ready when I got home from work. <3

I'm starting to realize all the different restrictions I've put on myself that seem like a little too much. I don't really worry about what I'm eating because I stick to mostly raw and fresh produce. But that's still really restrictive. In my house it's fine because I don't have anything that I need to say no to. But at lunch today, I just wanted everyone's food! I don't know if this is a phase, but everyone else's food looked so good. I didn't actually want to eat it when I thought about it, but it was more than bananas. So when I came home to dinner, I was so happy. However, I think it made me eat more than I really needed. I'm still pretty full, and I ate an hour and a half ago. That was a little unnecessary.

So was this my first binge? There wasn't anything terrible in it. It was all vegan, though I would have said no to the "cheese" if I'd known. It was all pretty good. Felt like comfort food. Which is, I'm sure, why I ate more than I needed to. Oh well. Getting my walk and run on tomorrow since it's a day off from my part-time job.
 
Check back tomorrow for a new video!
 
Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Video: Don't Blame the Diet!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New video: Don't Blame the Diet for Everything...


Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think!

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, spinach, blackberries, hemp protein powder
    • I only drank a little more than half. Didn't get to finish it before work.
Snack:
  • 3 bananas
    • Wasn't hungry even though I didn't drink my smoothie. Weird morning.
Lunch:
  • Pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro mixed together.
Snack:
  • 2 bananas, a bunch of strawberries, and a few walnuts
Dinner:
  • Tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and zucchini in garlic and olive oil
Calories: Not sure, but I suspect not enough
Colors: Yellow, green, purple, red, brown, white
Water: 160 oz
Exercise: Light stretching
Sunshine: 60 min in the car
Sleep: 8 glorious hours

I got a lot of compliments on my skirt today. I should have taken a photo, but I didn't. My husband was cleaning this weekend and this skirt turned up. I bought it used and hadn't worn it before. I settled on a shirt, but the skirt stands on its own. It was nice to hear some good things today. So thanks to everyone who gave me confidence in that skirt today. <3 <3

Today I was thinking that perhaps, since I write this blog every day, I should start acknowledging more things I am grateful for every day. So maybe I'll start doing that each day. I might add it to the trackers, under sleep or something. I think it's a good idea.

Lastly, I just saw a commercial for Carnation Instant Breakfast. It proclaimed it to be "good nutrition." Gross.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids

Meatless Monday: Video - Weekly on the Blog

Monday, July 8, 2013

What I do weekly on the blog..
 
 
Please subscribe to my channel and tell me what you want to hear about! <3

Breakfast:
  • Green smoothie - bananas, raspberries, spinach, water, and hemp protein powder
Snack:
  • Banana smoothie - bananas, water, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, and cinnamon.
Lunch:
  • Salad - iceberg, carrots, red cabbage, Roma tomatoes, with a RWV & GSO dressing


Dinner:
  • 3 tacos - homemade corn tortillas with pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

Calories: ?
Colors: Yellow, green, red, brown, purple, orange
Water: 150 oz
Exercise: 40 min walk, 50 squats, stretching, C25K - W5D1, short swim
Sunshine: 60 mins
Sleep: 6.5 hours

Today starts the No Salt Challenge. Are you participating??

Meatless Monday
 
I feel sad about doing this, but today's Meatless Monday post will be a list of a few dishes that are meatless and simple to make. I've been so busy that I didn't even get a recipe together for today. But check out this list for a quick meal that has no meat in it at all.
 
  • Smoothies
    • Fruit smoothies are the best. Blend up your favorite combo.
  • Salads
    • Lots of greens and veggies with a homemade dressing is quick and easy.
  • Fruit plates
    • Just stick with fruit! Lots of delicious with no animal meat.
  • Pastas
    • Use brown rice or corn pasta and make your own marinara.
  • Rice
    • Make a rice and veggie dish and eat to your heart's content.
 
I hope this list helps! I will be prepared next Monday with a real meatless recipe for you guys. Either way, you can always make your favorite dishes without meat in them. I don't suggest substituting tofu for your meat because it's mostly GMO, but I always recommend meatless dishes. Have a great week!
 
Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.
(not the animals)

What's Important

Sunday, July 7, 2013

We've lost sight of what is important. I've heard things like, "It doesn't taste as good as skinny feels." How terrible does that sound? Don't eat because it feels better to be thin. That's an awful mantra to have. Yet we instill these messages in our teenage girls because having a perfect outside is more important than being healthy on the inside. Which would, in turn, lead you to be healthy on the outside as well. It's possible to eat and be thin, but we shouldn't have to strive for thin. Strive for healthy and you'll be beautiful no matter what.

Breakfast:
  • 1 banana
  • 32 oz orange/pineapple juice
Snack:
  • Green smoothie - spinach, bananas, mango, hemp protein

Lunch:
  • 1 banana
  • 12 oz iceberg lettuce with carrots and red cabbage (RWV & GSO dressing)
Snack:
  • 2.5 cups cherries
Dinner:
  • Baked potatoes (with salt and EVOO) with some spaghetti sauce and ketchup. Oy.
Calories: Not sure.
Colors: Yellow, orange, green, purple, red, brown, white
Water: 150 oz
Exercise: 40 min walk, 50 squats, C25K - W4D3, stretching
Sunshine: 60 mins
Sleep: 8 hours

I finished the No Cheese Challenge successfully! Did you?? Today is also day 7 of the 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Have you been participating? I have! And I'm feeling great. Tell me how it's going for you. <3 Tomorrow is the beginning of the No Salt Challenge. Will you be participating? Let me know!

I finally got my run in today! It felt good, but I think I'm going to repeat this week on a faster speed. Just a little faster. I went too long between runs to feel comfortable. So we'll see. This could also be fear of next week's runs. I'm not going to stop, so I feel okay about it. Haha. Got my walk and squats in too. 50 was kind of hard, but I'll try to do 5 more tomorrow. I'm trying not to make too many goals. I just want to listen to my body and push myself when I'm ready.

Today I also took my first evening primrose oil pill and added hemp protein to my smoothie this morning. These are supposed to help with my hormones thanks to the BC pill detox. I'm all over the map, and I'd like to get back on track. I'm feeling a little weird about taking pills for this, but it's a natural supplement, so I hope it helps. Wish me luck.

I have so much editing to do, so I'm going to try to get lots done tomorrow. I want to walk, do my run, and get my squats in again tomorrow. Have to stay on track! I'm about to sign up for a 5K that's in September! WOO! I've never been a runner, but I've never been more excited about this. All on fruits and veggies, too. Hmm. ;o)

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Saturday FAQ - Video: Part 5 of 5 in my Essentials Series!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Last part of my Essentials Series!


Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think!

Breakfast:
  • 5-banana and 6 oz raspberry kale smoothie

Snack:
  • 12 oz blackberries
Lunch:
  • Large salad (5.5 oz half and half mix, one carrot, one cucumber, red wine vinegar/grape seed oil dressing)
Snack:
  • A lot of watermelon. Not sure how much exactly. I was pretty stuffed.
Dinner:
  • Brown rice spaghetti with homemade marinara
Calories: Don't know. 1800?
Colors: Yellow, green, red, purple, brown, orange
Water: 120 oz (so far)
Exercise: Light stretching
Sunshine: 20 mins
Sleep: 8.5 glorious hours

Saturday FAQ

  1. Do you drink any coffee then?Short answer: no.
    Long answer: I have never been a coffee drinker. I can't even stand the smell of it. It's just not for me. But if you're really asking about caffeine, then I just don't really recommend it. If you want the energy, eat a few bananas or oranges. Fruit sugar gives me all the energy I need to get through the day.
  2. How is the No-Cheese Challenge going?Thanks for asking! It's going wonderfully. I've been sans cheese for six days now. Tomorrow is the last day, and I suppose I'd be allowed to eat cheese on Monday, but I think I'm good without it! I usually get so far away from things like dairy and meat that I'm worried it'll hurt my tummy if I do eat it. However, we've found a decent vegan cheese brand, so I'll have to locate a place that carries it if and when I do want some cheese. We'll see!
    I've also been on the 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge, and that's working out just fine too! I have a banana smoothie almost every day, so I just add some kale or spinach to it. Have you been participating in either of these? Let me know!!
  3. What challenge is next?The No-Salt Challenge starts on Monday! I'm going to focus on fruits and veggies for the week and see how it goes. My husband is the one who cooks with a lot of salt, and we eat tortilla chips with salsa a lot. I'm slightly more worried about this challenge, but I just want to see how I feel while not consuming all the extra and unneeded salt. Joining me?? :o)
Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Vegan Coach Mickey Copyright © 2009 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template for Bie Blogger Template Vector by DaPino