Friday, December 12, 2008

Life is Short. Life is now.

A women that I knew through neighborhood parties, said hi to in the grocery store and, from the outside, lived a life very similar to mine, passed away last night. She was 39, had three children and a wonderful husband and although seemingly healthy, was diagnosed with leukemia less than 8 months ago.

I had heard about her diagnosis through the grapevine and ran into her in Target once after that. She looked fine to me. I expressed my concern and chatted for maybe a minute. Now she's dead. She's dead with three children at home that are the same age as mine and will grow up without a mother.

I did not follow her condition and heard this morning that she would not live through the weekend. I came home today and read all of the Caring Bridge posts over the last 7 months. I am now intimately aware of how horrific and yet hopeful the last 7 months of her life were. There was such an amazing outpouring of love and support from her family and friends. I feel guilty that I read it all after the fact and did nothing myself to help her or express my support. My heart and entire body aches for her and for her family.

Today I hugged my husband a little tighter and my children a little longer. I lay with my 2 year old at bedtime and she gave me sweet kisses in the dark. I have no idea if my life will be short or long. What I do know is all I have is NOW and I want to make the most of it. I want it to be on purpose. I think I will finally read the book that is referenced in the prior post. And, of course, make more pancakes.

Just Like Any Other Day . . . but with more pancakes

My mother bought me a book awhile ago called Life is a Verb: 37 days to Wake Up, Be Mindful and Live Intentionally. I was familiar with it from a very well written and inspirational blog she introduced to me. The premise is, basically, what would you do if you knew you had only 37 days to live. This is based upon a life experience of the author which you can read about on her blog. My description would pale in comparison. It's a great blog. Check it out.

So, I finally read just the introduction of the book a few weeks ago. After asking the 37 days question she wrote about many responses. One response that I haven't been able to get out of my head went something like (I'm paraphrasing because I have dogs and children in my lap), "the same thing as every other day but with more pancakes".

My children often ask for pancakes for breakfast in the morning before school. My usual response is something along the lines of, "I don't have time, I have lunches to pack; I don't want to mess up the kitchen; How about cereal this morning and pancakes on the weekend?" But ever since I read that intro in the book I have not been able to refuse them pancakes. The truth is, the time it takes me to whip up the pancakes does not compare to the smiles on their faces and the knowing that they are going to school with full bellies, smelling of syrup. I hope that they will remember the pancakes and not necessarily the fact that they were embarrassed that I wore my pajamas to the bus stop.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

365 days?

It's December 2. I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions yet it is that time of year when one starts to think of such things. It is quite possibly spurred by that turkey, gravy, dressing, coconut cream pie coma that I'm just coming out of. I can't seem to get the healthy, fit & balanced mantra out of my head during these last days of 2008. That is a good thing. If only it would stick.

And you? What is playing in your head? Are you thinking of all you can eat or drink during the month of December because you are going to resolve to lose it in 2009? Don't kid yourself, compadre. Are you too stressed about gift giving to think about next year's resolutions? Don't stress. Giving should be purely about joy, not obligation (although I strongly disapprove of the word 'should'). I am proud to have eliminated that stress from my life. I love to give and that is the only reason I do it. If nothing jumps out at me to give you then, well, you probably won't get anything.

I've been toying with the idea of resolving to post something every day during 2009. I love to write. It is a great outlet for me. I wouldn't want it to be a chore. However, sometimes those types of challenges are necessary for growth. I've also been thinking about a real resolution to be a vegetarian in the new year. That would be a great challenge and something I truly believe in. I think it would be the perfect thing to take me outside of my comfort zone. It's not really a challenge if it's not outside your comfort zone, right?

I would love to hear the resolutions that would push you outside of your comfort zone.

I am also really excited about the new Bachelor starting January 5!!! Totally in my comfort zone. I will snack on only vegetarian snacks while I watch it : )

Monday, November 24, 2008

What to Write?

I've been feeling my blog calling me lately but I have no idea what to write about. So this is me just writing and figuring that nobody is really reading it right now.

I sliced the shit out of my fingers today while trying to add some sort of vegetable (seedless cucumbers) to the Burger King chicken nuggets my children were devouring. Don't you love seedless cucumbers? Really. I love them. With dairy free dill dressing. My fingers hurt like hell though. Sweet Lucy tried to fix them up with all sorts of band aids. "Poor Mama", she said. Meanwhile the boys were laughing about all the blood and elbowing each other about how it must have really hurt since I cursed. "I cursed? What did I say?" I said. In unison they replied, "SHIT". Oh, yeah, well it really fucking hurt. At least I didn't say that. I also resisted the urge to call them ungrateful jackasses. That's being a good mom right there.

Speaking of dairy free, I've been eating meat and dairy all day, every day. As Henry said, "that vegetarian thing's not working out very well is it?" I am still very aware that I want to eat a meat free diet but my intention and action are just not matching up yet. Oh well. Viva la turkey!

I'm still a little depressed about Obama winning. I won't go in to it, but I am.

I got my 2ND of 3 laser skin treatments today. So excited about that. I can't wait to show before and after pictures. I can't tell any difference so far but soon . . . . the pictures will tell.

I am hosting my first cookie exchange party in a couple of weeks. I have invited a bunch of random people who don't know each other and I'm really excited about it because I really like all of the people that are coming. It's too bad none of them read my blog. They might be flattered.

Last but not least, I am wearing new jeans today that I LOVE. Noone noticed how good my ass looked today but it did. I was asked to model them at a Newcomers Meeting, a group that I just joined in my new neighborhood. I really think they asked me because I'm new and eager. I almost embraced the modeling thing but not really. I haven't quite channelled my AMNTM persona yet. That's American' Next Top Model for anyone who's actually reading this. The jeans are IT brand. And I am IT. as in the shIT. Just kidding. Oh what the hell. I am the shit. As far as you know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mulligatawny Spicy Soup

This recipe is from I have not tried it yet but it sounds like a wonderful fall soup full of flavors that are sure to excite the palate. My initial thoughts upon reading the recipe would be to substitute lite coconut milk for the soy milk and coconut extract. I will use vegetable stock (not water) and canned, diced tomato instead of fresh.

This spicy, guilt-free dish will warm your stomach. Knowing it’s meat-free will warm your heart.

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small chili, seeded and chopped (or a pinch of cayenne, to taste)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. ground coriander seeds
4 cups water or stock
1 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large potato, cut into small cubes
1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 firm tomato
1/2 tsp. coconut extract (optional)
2-4 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

• In a medium soup pot, saute the onions and celery in a little broth or water.
• When the onions are translucent, add the chili, turmeric and ground coriander. Saute for a minute, stirring to prevent the spices from burning. Add the water or stock, soy milk, salt, carrot and potato. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
• Add the pepper, tomato and coconut extract. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
• Then add the lemon or lime juice and cilantro.

Serve at once or let sit for an hour or so to bring out the flavors and then reheat gently and serve.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taxes Simplified

This is an example that I was forwarded in an email. I thought it was appropriate to share.

Tax system explained in terms of beer - to give you some perspective:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so,
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back
when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We
didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not
understand, no explanation is possible

P.S. If Obama is elected we have told the children that we are moving to Costa Rica.

Friday, October 17, 2008

How do you think we got here?

Someone asked me recently "Well how do you think we got here?!" referring to the current economic crisis. This person obviously thought it was the fault of republicans. I disagreed. Take the time to watch this video and the next one and then tell me how you think we got here.

TIP: click the button on the bottom of the video (next to the volume control) to view full screen

another very informative and distubing video . . . this one especially should be viewed full screen.

A Timely Joke

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost.
She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below.
She shouted to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level, at 31 degrees, 14.
97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.”

She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be a Republican.”

“I am,” replied the man.
“How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost.
Frankly, you've not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Democrat.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist,
“How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don't know where you are or where you are going.
You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air.
You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Are You a Donkey or an Elephant

I took the The Republican Loyalty Quiz
10 Questions to Test Your Allegiance to the GOP

The results were:

"Your score was 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. You are a devoted Republican. You are quick to rally behind the party, even if you have not agreed with every decision Republican leaders have made. The few differences you have are nothing compared to your complete and utter disdain for the Democratic Party and the elitism, cowardice, and godlessness for which it stands."

Don't be a JackassTake your own political party loyalty quiz

Friday, October 3, 2008

Obama: Without the Teleprompter

I am a McCain/Palin supporter. I am not one to dog the opponent although opportunities do abound. This post is in response to my mother's post where she is obviously disturbed by a previous Palin interview. Everyone has faults. Obama is a fine person but unelectable in my opinion.

And another . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Conservative or Liberal

You scored 71% which means you are


You believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.

Conservative or Liberal
Take More Quizzes

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love my new Keurig!!

I retired my Senseo with the old house and purchased a Keurig Home Brewing System for the new house. I love it!! Why, you ask? Well, first I just love to get new kitchen gadgets. Besides that, it has a bazillion choices for coffee, tea and hot cocoa. No mess. I like the coffee better than the Senseo. I didn't really dig the frothy European thing.

Juleah, you would love it!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yard Sale Update

I meant to take a picture of all my junk that was left over at the end of the weekend but instead I just packed it all up, left it for the VVA to pick up and hightailed it outta there . . . . to the new house. Ahhhhhh. Where everything's better.

We made about $150. That's a lot of work for $150 but I had to get the stuff out of the house anyway so it's much better than nothing. However, I still have a whole hell of a lot of stuff to clear out. Ugh!! It will be all over by Aug 29. I think I can. . . I think I can. . . I think I can. . .I think I can.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yard Sale

I'm stuck now. I posted neon signs all over my neighborhood that I'm having a "moving sale". I hate yard sales. Most people I know love them. Instead of blogging, I should be organizing my shit but I just can't get motivated. Do you think I could just charge a $2 admission and let people go through my house while I drink my coffee and take what they want?? It's got to be worth a lot just to get people to take my stuff away without me having to do anything.

We've pretty much got everything we need in the new house. The rest of this stuff is just a pain in my side. How did I end up with so much STUFF??!! I think I need to do some serious soul searching regarding this issue. The good thing is that I don't want to take any of it with me. The less the better.

We've had a couple of people that work for us come by and take what they want. I am so glad to give it to people we know that really want/need it but now my big ticket items are gone which means my yard sale is going to be pretty boring. Whatever. The kids will be in heaven to sell their stuff and I know our good, useful stuff has already gone to people who can really use it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My First Time Tagged

I have been tagged by NurseExec, one of my new favorite bloggers. She's honest and flawed, two of my favorite qualities. It's my first time to be tagged for anything and I'm so excited! Not to mention this is honest to God proof that someone besides my mother reads my blog.

Six Unspectacular Things About Me is the topic. I know what you're thinking. I am just so fucking spectacular that this could take me all night.

First you post the rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks you possess.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Here's my list:

  1. I can't stand it when people drink my water, mostly at home. My children could be dying of thirst and I growl "GET YOUR OWN WATER!" I always have a full glass on the kitchen counter so I can make sure I get my required ounces. Everyone in the house, big and small, will walk in the kitchen and, rather than get their own damn glass, drink mine!! How hard is it to open the cabinet and get your own glass and, imagine this, fill it up. Now they all know it pisses me off so they drink it on purpose. They're out to get me.

  2. I have the most horrendous, stinky gas. All the time. I can't control it. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat. healthy or not. I think by the time I'm an old women I'm going to be exiled to some far away place. I am a cute girl. I take care of myself. Not that it should matter but I think it's my cuteness that has kept me from being exiled so far. It's just weird. It's really a problem. Any advice out there???

  3. I compulsively pick at the skin on my fingers and toes. Also really gross and not compatible with my cuteness.

  4. I can count on my two hands the number of periods I've had in the last 8 years. I've had three children and I have an IUD which has the side effect of no periods. It's completely healthy. It's awesome.

  5. The only television I like to watch these days are reality shows. I do like Grey's Anatomy but my absolute favorites are America's Next Top Model, The Bachelor or Bachelorette, Rock of Love, Denise Richards- It's Complicated (which it's not btw), on and on and on. I have not been able to get in to Pamela Anderson's new show though. She should be exiled to a remote island where they send all the other big boobie sex addicts.

  6. I love really gross things like puss and blood and things like that. As long as it's not stinky or too too yucky. I love to pop zits. Any time my kids get a scrape I can't wait to put peroxide on it and watch all the bubbles. I love to play doctor with my razor sharp tweezers when someone gets a splinter. One of my absolute favorites was when my son had a spider bite on his knee. Swollen. Painful. We put hot compresses on it frequently to draw the infection out. You could tell it was full of nasty stuff but every time I tried to squeeze it he would scream in pain. whatever. finally, when he was running and playing one evening it burst and exploded all over his leg. awesome.

Tag You're IT!!

  1. Connie (my mom)
  2. Motherhood for Dummies
  3. Juleah (my sister-in-law)
  4. Natalie
  5. Nap Warden
  6. Unfortunately, I don't have many followers so I can't think of anyone else to tag.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How to Look Good Naked

I love this freaking show!! It is crazy how Carson can change the perception of women's bodies in like 5 days. Carson is able to stroke any big 'ol thigh or big 'ol booty and all of a sudden women love themselves and are able to see their worth. They believe him, and well they should.

I won't go in to how many women's worth is tied up in their body image. That issue is just f*cked up and I don't have the time or inclinaton to go in to it. It is obvious when you watch the show. If you don't have this issue, you are in the minority.

As far as the show, I would really like to just do the part where they take you into a room, in your underwear, and have you pick your body double and then realize you're not as fat as you think you are. That is the always the biggest perception changer. Most of us apparently think we are bigger than we actually are and, at a minimum, don't realize how attractive we are at our own size.

In the back of my dysfuctional head I would always think they were just f*cking with me for ratings but I'm not on the show so it doesn't matter. I just have my 6 & 7 yr old boys to give me their honest opinions. They are brutal but honest. And I love them for it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lucy doesn't suck her thumb anymore

For the last 2 yrs, every time Lucy held that bunny her thumb went in her mouth. I loved it. Oh, so cute. A few weeks ago I noticed she wasn't sucking her thumb anymore so I started paying more attention. I haven't seen her suck it for a loooong time. I think she's done. Everyone I mention it to says, "Oh, that's great!". It just makes me sad. My baby is growing up too fast.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Morgan & Milo

Morgan & Milo. Just about the cutest shoes I've ever seen for little girls. I showed restraint by buying two pairs that were on SALE: )

These lovelies (size 7.5) immediately went on Lucy's feet and were worn for the rest of the day. We both loved them and so did random people on the street. She was so proud to tell people that they were new and that her mom got them for her. That's all I ask. A little gratitude.

and these cuties which are a size 8; a little big so we're saving them for school.

Lastly, I splurged on a this pair of boots that were not on sale. Also a size 8 so will be saved for the Fall/Winter. I can't stand how cute she is in these. A little big but as soon as fall arrives we will wear them any way.

Lucy and I both absolutely adored these shoes. I would have purchased them even though not on sale but they were out of her size. Bummer.

She was even more excited about all the new shoes than I was. She couldn't tear open the box quick enough when it arrived. Such a relief not to have to buy those booorrrring boys shoes all the time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tofurky Kielbasa

I was really trying to feel moved and inspired to write something profound and introspective today. In general, I feel conflicted and overwhelmed and self-destructive, aware of all of it but still not inspired to write about it. I guess if you are trying to feel inspired then you're probably not going to be really inspired.

I was moved by my mother's post today and the posts on 37 days but the one thing that I can't get out of my head is this . . . Tofurky Kielbasa. Even the raccoons don't want it.

I tried the above veggie sausage and after eating it twice just couldn't embrace it so I pitched it. Invariably, when I take the trash outside there are empty packages on the ground of things formerly in the trash that I couldn't believe any animal would want, starving or otherwise. Those little fuckers must be desperate I often mutter to myself.

Well, today I was taking out the trash and noticed the package of my remaining Tofurky Kielbasa sausages on the ground. dirty but ALL still there. Are you f*cking kidding me?! Even the raccoons won't eat it?? They'll eat rotten hamburger but not my Tofurky kielbasa? For the record, I really like typing and saying Tofurky.

That's it. No metaphor for life. Just Tofurky Kielbasa. Even the raccoons don't want it.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I finally tried seitan, pronounced say-tan, which I purchased at Whole Foods. It is a chewy, neutral-flavored, protein-rich food made of wheat gluten, used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. It is sometimes referred to as "wheat-meat".

Most of the meat substitutes I have purchased at our local grocery store contain TVP, textured vegetable protein. I haven't minded the taste of the TVP products but have found it gives me monster gas. Seriously bad. Plus, those products are pretty processed. Still better than processed dead animals though.

The seitan had a much nicer texture than the fake beef crumbles and fake chicken strips, tasted better and so far noone has kicked me out of bed. Unfortunately, I can only buy it at Whole Foods. It is fairly simple, but time consuming to make from scratch. As soon as we move I'll make some in my new fabulous kitchen!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

13 Ways the Restaurant Industry F**ks With You

These are all from an article I found today on MSN written by the author of Eat This, Not That.
  1., which has analyzed more than 55,000 foods—reported that an order of Outback Steakhouse's Aussie Cheese Fries has 2,900 calories, and its Ayers Rock Strip has 60 grams of fat.

    Sarah says, "Big butt, so what?!"

  2. Since Eat This, Not That hit bookstores, IHOP has discontinued the Omelet Feast which oozed off of your plate at 1,335 calories and 35 grams of saturated fat; 150 percent of your daily fat requirement and 300 percent of your suggested cholesterol intake. Still on the menu are the Garden Omelet, 1,150 calories, and the Big Steak Omelet with 1,490 calories

    says, Lesson #121: Don't order anything with the word "feast" or "big steak" in it if you're watching calories you fucking idiot. Also, don't be fooled by the word GARDEN. That'll get you every time.

  3. Since Eat This, Not That called Applebee's out on it's "low-fat" menu (many items contained more than 500 calories), that menu has disappeared. However, the chain does have a new eight-item Weight Watchers menu — all with fewer than 500 calories.

    Sarah looks over her shoulder and whispers, "It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you"

  4. At Red Robin, an A.1. Peppercorn Burger has 1,440 calories and 97 grams of fat, more than you would find in 32 strips of bacon! Add onion rings to that and you've just crossed the calamitous 2,000-calorie barrier, more than most people should eat in an entire day.

    Sarah wonders, "Who the hell would want to eat a peppercorn burger, anyway?"

  5. Arby's doesn't want you to know that the FDA has no definition of "all natural." Thus, chains like Arby's can say they serve "100 percent all-natural chicken," despite using artificial flavoring.

    Since Eat This, Not That hit bookstores, Arby's has stopped advertising "all-natural" chicken. The assistant manager at the Emmaus, Pennsylvania, location told a reporter that he doesn't think the chicken is all-natural anymore. No, shit?!

    Sarah says, "Do you think that made a big dent in the chicken sales at Arby's? Are the jackasses customers who can't decide what to order for their 5 for $5.95 now just going to get an extra order of curly fries or mozzarella sticks instead of the "chicken"?"

  6. Dunkin' Donuts doesn't want you to know that each of its medium-size fruit-and-yogurt smoothies packs at least 60 grams of sugar - more than seven times the sugar in a chocolate-frosted cake doughnut. The fruit purees used in the smoothies are mixed with liberal doses of sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup.

    Sarah says, "If you're going to Dunkin' Donuts for anything other than the coffee or donuts you deserve that sugar coma from the g*damn smoothie. Come on."

  7. Burger King doesn't want you to know that its French Toast Sticks (which deliver more than 4 grams of fat per stick) share a deep fryer with the pork sausage, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Fries, Big Fish patties, hash browns, onion rings, and Cheesy Tots - and that all of those items contain harmful trans fats.

    Sarah just threw up a little in her mouth.

  8. Panera Bread doesn't want you to know that the synthetic food colorings in its pastries have been linked to irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbances in children.

    Sarah says, "That's why I make all of my own bread and pastries from scratch for my ungrateful children little angels." Yeah right.

  9. Maggiano's Little Italy doesn't want you to know just how many calories and carbs you're consuming in those massive pasta portions. In Italy, a standard pasta serving means 4 ounces of noodles with a few tablespoons of sauce. At Maggiano's, a large order of pasta translates into 2 pounds of noodles piled high on a hubcap-size dinner plate (15-1/2 inches in diameter). A Maggiano's PR rep responded to our request for nutritional information a week later: "Sorry for the delay, I had to wait for corporate's approval. Unfortunately, they have declined to participate."

    Sarah says, "Apparently, Americans are bound and determined to get fatter and fatter and fatter. It's disgusting. Doesn't everyone know what a freaking serving size is by now??"

  10. T.G.I. Friday's doesn't want you to know how little nutritional info it provides. A Friday's PR rep told us that the chain makes the data available for only its "low-fat" dishes-those coming in under 500 calories and 10 grams of fat. Ah, hello, that's three items on the entire menu.

    July 2008 Update: When T.G.I. Friday's was forced to comply with the New York law, we realized why it had been hiding. The menu is riddled with fat traps like the Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad, which is an outrageous 1,360 calories.

    Sarah says, "That's why I only drink alcohol to celebrate my Friday's."

  11. Sit-down chains don't want you to know that their food is actually considerably worse for you than the often-maligned fast-food fare. In fact, menu analysis of 24 national chains revealed that the average entree at a sit-down restaurant contains 867 calories, compared with 522 calories in the average fast-food entree. And that's before appetizers, sides, or desserts-selections that can easily double your total calorie intake.

    Sarah realizes, "That's why we have to put out after a sit-down dinner!!"

  12. Hooter's doesn't want you to know anything about what's in its food. Although chains such as Chili's and Uno Chicago Grill divulge the hundreds of calories in their chicken wings, Hooters blames its nutritional-disclosure negligence on its expansive menu, which contains about 25 entrées: "Because of the millions of combinations available and our desire to frequently give you new menu options, it is impossible to provide accurate nutritional data," responded a PR representative.

    Sarah is confused, "I thought guys just went there to look at tits. Are there really guys out there eating at Hooters that give a shit how many calories are in a chicken wing?"

  13. Studies found that 85% of minimum wage restaurant employees don't wash their hands well after they take a shit. And then they cook your burger. Fry your nuggets. Dish up your french fries. Make your shake.

    Sarah says, "Ok, I just made that up. But what do you think? Are they really paying attention to those signs in the bathroom that say they MUST wash their hands. That's the perfect opportunity for them to say FUCK YOU while no one is looking. Salmonella poisoning is all the rage now after all."

For more Thursday Thirteens click HERE!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Obituary

We are moving soon and I've started to pack. Man oh man, do we have a lot of shit. We have vowed to live simpler and clutter free in the new house. No piles of random stuff, just a few toys (hah!) and I will not stockpile food just in case gas prices go so high that food becomes scare and exorbitantly expensive. If you listen closely you can hear me chanting under my breath "everything will be better in the new house, everything will be better in the new house, everything will be better in the new house. . . ".

As I was packing my books I ran across an old journal from a course I took about 6 years ago based on the book "The Artist's Way" I don't usually save my journals because when I find them they're often quite depressing. I opened the journal to find an exercise that required me to write my own obituary. Here's what I wrote six years ago:

Sarah Brooks lived a full life. She was preceded in death by her husband, Chad. She is survived by sons, Sam & Henry, four grandchildren, best friend Jennifer and young lover. What a magnificent woman! A recording of her own piano jazz was played at the memorial. She was known by all as a most compassionate woman, helping to feed and clothe many around the city. She also brought music to many underprivileged children and adults. Her garden will be donated to the city. Sarah travelled the world and made a difference to children in many countries. She will be greatly missed but it is certain she is happy wherever she is.

Isn't that funny?! It almost sounds like I think I'm Angelina or something. I have not thought about my jazz piano career in years. It's especially funny considering I don't play piano or garden AT ALL. I wonder what I would write if I wrote it today? What would you write? It's something to think about.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

butterflies, butterflies . . . where are you??

Ten Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Today I am thankful for . . .

1. waking up early enough to walk

2. actually getting my butt out the door

3. cool mornings before a hot day

4. coffee

5. my hardworking husband

6. my healthy, beautiful children

7. everyone is still asleep at 7:30 am, even the dogs!

8. the library

9. our new house is almost done!

10. college babysitters home for the summer : )

To see more like this click HERE!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Haiku Friday


muggy, rainy day
went fishing in pouring rain
with twenty children

haven't fished in years
hooks were flying everywhere!
but no one was hurt : )

except the poor fish
an awful surprise for them
a hook, not a worm

we caught and released
we pierced gooey, yucky worms
ewww, ewww, ewww, ewww, ewww

rain finally stopped
all finally caught a fish
smiles for everyone

Haiku Friday

For more Haikus click HERE!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Haiku Friday

Haiku Friday

what does it take for
a family to stay strong?
love is not enough

nor is flesh and blood
pride, stubbornness, ego, trust
they get in the way

Is the loss worth it?
yes, say some; no, say others
where will the cards fall

the question remains
what happens when anger fades?
scars are left behind

very troublesome
which way will the wind blow now
only time will tell

For more Haikus click HERE

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I looooooove shoes

I figure if I wore these with the right white t-shirt & black pants I would look very athletic, don'cha think? I've also got a lot of really cool ball caps that would look great with these. Besides shoes, ball caps are my biggest accessory.

I love these Donald Pliner sandals but can't decide which color. Any thoughts? Either would go with my wardrobe which consists of black, white, brown, khaki and the occasional blue.They are a little pricey but money well spent.
Don't these look comfy? Love the colors and either would go with my standard uniform.

Btw, did I mention I have a birthday coming up? I'm 37 and fabulous

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oh yeah, baby, I had . . .


I went to an indoor water park on Saturday with my two boys. Usually, this is the type of thing they do with their father while I stay home with Lucy and do 2yr old activites. But this Saturday Chad was beat, it was supposed to rain all day and I was ready to get the hell out of dodge. The boys were a little wary as they think Daddy is sooooo much more fun than I am. I was ready to prove the little ingrates wrong. The three of us set out on the 2hr drive not knowing if it would be worth it or not.

I never really did things like this as a child so it was all new to me. We ALL had a blast! I was finally able to forget about my daily duties and responsibilities and just ENJOY! I rode in 2 person tubes with the boys down pitch black water slides, screaming at every drop. Halfway through the day I was going down water slides. all. by. myself. I was actually having pure fun by myself and not just for my children. It may sound odd to most but I have never really done that, even before children.

I'm even thinking about making my mom go when she comes to visit next month : )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

13 Reasons to be a Vegan


Here are thirteen reasons that have compelled me to give veganism a try.

1. Because every package of chicken contains a little poop. Yes, POOP.
A USDA study found that 98 percent of broiler chicken
carcasses had detectable levels of E. coli, indicating fecal

2. Because grain used to feed animals could be used to feed hungry people.
Eighty percent of U.S. agricultural land is used to raise chickens, pigs,
and other farmed animals; seventy percent of grains are used to feed
them. If the massive quantities of grain, soy, and corn now fed to
factory-farmed animals were freed up, there would be plenty of food
for the world’s starving people.

3. Because when animals feel pain, they scream too.
If you burn them, they feel it. If you give them electric shocks, they feel
it. Animals feel pain in the same way and to the same degree that we
humans do.

4. Because more than half the water used in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food.
A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a
meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.
Time magazine reports, “Around the world, as more water is diverted
to raising [cattle], pigs, and chickens, instead of producing crops for
direct consumption, millions of wells are going dry.”

5. Because you wouldn't eat your dog.
Most people are horrified that some cultures eat dogs or
whales, but these animals suffer no more than animals
commonly consumed in the U.S. The difference is only cultural,
not moral.

6. Because no one should have to kill for a living.

Slaughterhouse workers have among the highest rates of
injury and illness in the country, and working in a
slaughterhouse would dull anyone’s sense of compassion.

7. Because this is not what wings are for.
Chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals never get to breathe
fresh air, feel the sun on their backs, build a nest, nuzzle their
young, or do anything at all that they were born to do.

8. Because eating fish does not make you a vegetarian.
Fish have the same ability to respond to pain that birds and
mammals have and are also interesting individuals in their own
right. According to a review of the science published in Fish and
Fisheries, fish are “highly intelligent”—they have long-term
memories and learn from one another, use tools, form social
hierarchies, and “can even be favourably compared to nonhuman
primates.” Explains marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle, fish
are “so good-natured, so curious. You know, fish are sensitive,
they have personalities, they hurt when they’re wounded.”

9. Because they feel fear.
Their hair stands on end, they urinate on themselves, and they shake,
just as we do when frightened out of our minds with the prospect of
being hurt or killed.

10. Because no matter how you slice it, it's still flesh.
Other animals are made of flesh, bone, and blood, just as we are, so
“meat” is just a euphemism for a decomposing corpse used as food.

11. Because even prisons aren't this crowded.
Animals on factory farms are crammed into so little space that many
of them are unable to do anything natural to them for their entire lives.

12. Because no living creature wants to see her family slaughtered.
Cows love their calves, sows love their piglets, and chickens
love their chicks. Farmed animals love their families and
mourn their loss.

13. Because you shouldn't have to lie to your children about the food you eat.
Children would be horrified to learn about the cruelty and
violence involved in turning chickens, pigs, and other animals
into nuggets and other “foods.”

These reasons are all from

For more Thursday Thirteens go HERE

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What am I Thankful for Today?

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Today I am thankful for . . . .

1. 84 degrees instead of 92 degrees

2. air conditioning

3. sunscreen

4. the best friends and neighbors

5. smart, healthy kids

6. a fabulous hair stylist/colorist

7. guacamole

8. the world wide web ~ what did I do before this? Oh, yeah, I read books.

9. my wonderful husband

10. air conditioning; did I say that already?

See more thankful posts HERE

Monday, June 9, 2008

Another Vegan Revelation


I'm not sure, but I think I stink less! Yes, that's what I said. I stink less. I've always been one of those people that needs to wear deodorant . . . all the time. It's not like the person standing next to me is offended or anything but by the end of a hot day, like today, I need a shower and a fresh coat of Secret Clinical.

From the moment I wake I feel like I'm sweating. This morning I realized I hadn't put deodorant on yet and also realized that I didn't stink yet! I still put some on. I'm not going to be one of those vegetarians. It's now the end of a hot, sweaty day and, although not odor-free, I still smell pretty good! Interesting. And really gross if you think about it. Was all that dead animal flesh I've been eating all my life seeping through my sweat glands and making me stink. Ewwwwwww.

I know this doesn't hold true for everyone. If there's a meat platter on the menu, my husband orders it. He has virtually no body odor. Ever. It's weird. And nice.

Now, the gas I'm passing is a whole other story that I won't go into. I just can't catch a break.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Haiku Friday

It is hot today
So hot my bones are sweating
Yes, I feel my bones

Am grateful for sun
But hate the sun all the same
Will try to love it

The bright flowers wilt
My spirit seems to wilt too
It is all ego

Go beyond feeling
Access the stillness, it's there
The stillness is true

For more Haiku Fridays click here

Seven Levels of Veganism


I recently purchased a vegan cookbook, was flipping through it and saw a recipe that stated once I prepared and ate it I could classify myself as a 'Level 7 Vegan'. What the f*ck?! There are levels?? I've already given up all the animal products I've ever eaten. What the hell else do I have to do?

So I googled it and this is what I found. Apparently there was a reference to a 'Level 5 Vegan' on a Simpson's episode so it's kind of a joke. Ha Ha. Those funny, self-righteous vegetarians. Just kidding, of course.

This is just one random person's very non-official description of the levels.

Vegan Level One:
Doesn't ask if there is chicken stock in the rice, doesn't ask if there is lard in the beans.

Vegan Level Two:
Occasionally buys milk chocolate products. Doesn't worry about how the wine they drink is clarified.

Vegan Level Three:
Only eats milk chocolate if someone else bought it. Eats doughnuts at work if someone else brought them in. Eats their roommate's ice cream. Also known as a Freegan.

Vegan Level Four:
Still wears the old leather and wool products they had before they went vegan, but feels guilty about it.

Vegan Level Five:
Stopped using their car because of the animal products in tires, the animal testing of vehicles, the animal products in the pavement.

Vegan Level Five point one:
Stopped riding with friends to the movie theater because of the above and the fact that film is processed with animal gelatin.

Vegan Level Six :
Has given up all products that involve animals in any way. Hires someone to sweep the path ahead of them as they walk so they don't tread on insects.

Vegan Level Seven:
Similar to a Jain. Wears a mask to keep from breathing in small critters. Uses a mild vegan soap that doesn't kill microbes, it just floats them away. Washes their raw organic produce outside with bottled water so that any little beasts will return to the earth rather than going down the sink. Realizes that having someone sweep ahead of them hurts the insects and so doesn't move around much anymore.

This was this person's disclaimer:

(Actually, the above list is just a fanciful fabrication. We shouldn't feel guilty if we have a weakness for an occasional non-vegan chocolate or whatever. Animal ingredients are so pervasive in our society that it is nearly impossible to avoid them all. More important than being a "pure" vegan is to keep compassion for all animals as an important goal and to live our lives so as to be examples for others.)

I agree with the above statement (not necessarily with the levels) and without knowing about any 'levels' I have read every label and put down or thrown out anything that contained milk or eggs, milk chocolate or otherwise.

I've been wondering how long I have to eat this way before I can call myself a 'vegan'? I have to admit there is a part of my Ego that will enjoy telling people that "I am a Vegan". Oooohhhhhh. You're a what?! That being said, I feel very committed to this lifestyle and from a much different place than I have ever been before. It's not just all about my ego this time. Some, but not all.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Day of Summer Break


I think I'm done writing about my Quantum Cleanse. I am going to continue with being a vegan eater. I'm going to do the other stuff in moderation. I'm going to work on the other aspects of quantum wellness like meditation, self-work, etc.

On another note, what the hell am I going to do with these kids all summer?! I am usually good about signing them up for camps already but so far I've got nothin'. I'm going to check on some today. . . . .

It's going to be 90+ here tomorrow. We only have window air. Motherfucker. That's all I have to say about that.
Sweaty Hot

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Did You Have Fun Today?

I don't feel like I have that much fun in my daily life and I'm coming to realize, at the age of almost 37, that it's really important to have that FUN. Part of the problem might be that I don't remember having a whole lot of fun as a child. Most of my memories are of being sad, depressed and anxious. I'm sure I had some fun; It's just not the dominant memory. I witness my kids having fun all the time, often to my annoyance. "Calm down!", "Go outside!", "What's wrong with you?!" I often scream say.

My intention is to have some fun. Every day.

Today, as part of that intention, I stopped cleaning, folding laundry and surfing the net and found my 2 yr old daughter on the trampoline all by herself. It's quite impressive that she got up there all on her own. I joined her and jumped, layed on my back and belly at her instruction, looked at the beautiful trees and sky and it was fun.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 10 of Quantum Cleanse

I'm not sure if I should continue to call this the Quantum Cleanse. It feels more like 'Day 10 in the Life of a Virgin Vegan'. Veganism is the one thing I feel really committed to right now which is huge for me, in and of itself. Although, I have given up caffeine, unless you count decaf coffee which apparently still has a little. I have given up the big wheat items like bread and crackers but if a vegan item, like a veggie burger, contains wheat then I eat it. SO MANY things have wheat in them; you would be surprised. I have been pretty good about the sugar although I have definitely not omitted it entirely. I've pretty much eliminated artificial sweeteners. I have not given up wine. Overall, I'm definitely cleaning up my act.

How do I feel? I feel best about the vegan thing but more in a mental and spiritual way. Physically, I feel good because I've lost a couple of lbs but I would probably feel the same if I had lost it another healthy way. My skin looks a lot better which I attribute to the vegan lifestyle. I am sure the effects of a vegan lifestyle will have even more/better long term effects as time goes on.

What is the hardest part? I think it's just breaking old habits. The way I miss caffeine is more about my habits and ego than anything. I feel just as awake in the morning drinking decaf but I feel like a dork ordering decaf at Starbucks. I miss my afternoon diet coke, not because of the pick-me-up but because I love diet coke and chocolate together. I have to admit I had about 4 sips of a diet coke this afternoon with a choc/pnut butter protein bar. The Cliff Builder's Bar happened to be one of my favorites even before I started paying attention to vegan ingredients.

Even though I have never big a big sandwich eater I have been craving sandwiches lately. Soft wheat bread with anything in between. I'm more than happy to fill it with vegan mayo, vegan ham and vegan cheese (which is really hard to find btw). I haven't broken down yet but maybe soon. Oh, and pbj sounds sooooo good. It's just not the same on a rice cake.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 9 of Quantum Cleanse


So, yesterday I woke up all cranky and thinking that eating this way sucked. I wanted to pig out on something. My normal vices weren't available but I wasn't ready to give up yet. I was reminded about what I read about 'feeling the feeling' instead of self-medicating with food. Whatever. I had a spoonful of peanut butter. I went to Whole Foods and had a vegan oatmeal chocolate chunk cookie. Deeelightful. Satisfying. A little wheat, a little sugar, no one harmed.

Today I went to Qdoba and had a naked (w/o taco shell) vegetarian taco salad. no dressing. black bean corn salsa. grilled veggies and pico. guacmole. no cheese or sour cream. baked corn chips. I had some vegan sour cream I was going to try but I was too hungry and scarfed the salad as soon as I walked in the door.

For dinner I tried something new. Tempeh. It's a soybean cake. I bought one that had added carrots, red and green peppers. I sauteed it with olive oil, garlic, onion, portobello mushrooms,fresh green beans and teriyaki sauce. It wasn't bad at all. The texture of the tempeh was not what I am used to but it was good. Plus, I was comforted by the fact that is wasn't animal flesh.

Oprah had her vegan chef fed-ex food to her in Vegas. What a pussy. Just kidding. You know I love ya Oprah.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 8 of Quantum Cleanse

Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. . . . . Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

~Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel Prize 1921

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 7 of Quantum Cleanse & Game 4 of Stanley Cup Playoffs - Go Pens!

I don't want to jinx myself but as of this morning I finally weighed less than 138 lbs. I have not dropped below the yellow line since my third child was born . . . 2 yrs ago. I lost the weight from my first two bundles of joy pretty quickly but this last time it has been harder. Really I think I've just been lazier but whatever.

I tried a gluten free waffle this morning which looked better than it tasted. It was a little dry and fell apart easily. Next time I will toast it longer. For dinner I had a Gardenburger Chik'n Grill which wasn't bad. I just ate it plain with some fresh corn off the cob and guacamole. It would probably be really good dressed up in a wrap or something. I found these nifty little 100 cal guacamole packs at the grocery store which were quite good, not to mention convenient. Portion control is key for me since I could easily eat 600 calories worth of guac in one sitting.

Other than that we are all just up late watching the Penguins : )

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 6 of Quantum Cleanse

It really seems like its been more than 6 days. What did I do before I focused on eating this way? I'm still going strong. No gluten, refined sugar (unless wine is refined sugar), wheat, caffeine or animal products that I'm aware of today. Beware, they can sneak that stuff in where you would least expect it. Did you know many of the "veggie" products on the market are not "vegan"? Many of them contain milk or casein. Casein is the predominant phosphoprotein that accounts for nearly 80% of proteins in milk and cheese. Apparently that's bad.

Saturday morning is almost upon us. In our household it is often a morning of biscuits and some type of pork accompaniment. In honor of all the bacon and sausage that will be eaten tomorrow here are the

Top 10 Reasons Not To Eat Pigs per

1. Porking You Up
It’s a fact—ham, sausage, and bacon strips will go right to your hips. Eating pork products is a good way to increase your waistline and increase your chances of developing deadly diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and impotence. Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters. Every time you eat animal products, you’re also ingesting bacteria, antibiotics, dioxins, hormones, and a host of other toxins that can accumulate in your body and remain there for years.

2. Pigs Have Feelings Too
Ninety-seven percent of pigs in the United States today are raised in factory farms, where they will never run across sprawling pastures, bask in the sun, breathe fresh air, or do anything else that comes naturally to them. Crowded into warehouses with nothing to do and nowhere to go, they are kept on a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive and make them grow faster, but the drugs cause many of the animals to become crippled under their own bulk.

3. Pigs and Playstations
According to research, pigs are much smarter than dogs, and they even do better at video games than some primates. In fact, pigs are extremely clever animals who form complex social networks and have excellent memories. Eating a pig is like eating your dog!

4. Pigs Prefer Mud, Not Crud
Pigs are actually very clean animals. If they are given sufficient space, pigs are careful not to soil the areas where they sleep or eat. And forget the silly saying “sweating like a pig”—pigs can’t even sweat! That’s why they bathe in water or mud to cool off. But in factory farms, they’re forced to live in their own feces and vomit and even amid the corpses of other pigs. Conditions are so filthy that at any given time, more than one-quarter of pigs suffer from mange.

5. Farming Family Values
Factory farms are pure hell for pigs and their babies. Mother pigs spend most of their lives in tiny “gestation” crates, which are so small that the animals are unable to turn around or even lie down comfortably. They are repeatedly impregnated until they are slaughtered. Piglets, who are taken away from their distraught mothers after just a few weeks, have their tails chopped off, their teeth are clipped off with pliers, and the males are castrated—all without painkillers.

6. The Manure Is Blowing in the Wind …
A pig farm with 5,000 animals produces as much fecal waste as a city of 50,000 people. In 1995, 25 million gallons of putrid hog urine and feces spilled into a North Carolina river, immediately killing between 10 and 14 million fish. To get around water pollution limits, factory farms will frequently take the tons of urine and feces that are stored in cesspools and turn them into liquid waste that they spray into the air. This manure-filled mist is carried away by the wind and inhaled by the people who live nearby.

7. Bacteria-Laden Bacon and Harmful Ham
Extremely crowded conditions, poor ventilation, and filth in factory farms cause such rampant disease in pigs that 70 percent of them have pneumonia by the time they’re sent to the slaughterhouse. In order to keep pigs alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them and to promote unnaturally fast growth, the industry keeps pigs on a steady diet of the antibiotics that we depend on to treat human illnesses. This overuse of antibiotics has led to the development of “superbacteria,” or antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. The ham, bacon, and sausage that you’re eating may make the drugs that your doctor prescribes the next time you get sick completely ineffective.

8. Hell on Wheels
More than 170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse. Transport trucks, which carry pigs hundreds of miles through all weather extremes with no food or water, regularly flip over, throwing injured and dying animals onto the road. These terrified and injured animals are rarely offered veterinary care, and most languish in pain for hours; some even bleed to death on the side of the road. After an accident in April 2005, Smithfield spokesperson Jerry Hostetter told one reporter, “I hate to admit it, but it happens all the time.”

9. Killing Them Without Kindness
A typical slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs every hour, which makes it impossible for them to be given humane, painless deaths. The U.S. Department of Agriculture documented 14 humane slaughter violations at one processing plant, where inspectors found hogs who “were walking and squealing after being stunned [with a stun gun] as many as four times.” Because of improper stunning methods and extremely fast line speeds, many pigs are still alive when they are dumped into scalding-hot hair-removal tanks—they literally drown in scalding-hot water.

10. Ditch the Bacon and Get Fakin’

Save pigs from hell and yourself from bad health by feasting on faux pork products instead. Stuff a sandwich full of Yves brand veggie ham slices, or throw some Lightlife Smart Bacon into a sizzling skillet—the freezer and “health food” sections of your local grocery or health food stores are packed full of these and other tasty substitutes.

If you are still reading and want to view the evidence, take a look at this video.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 5 of Quantum Cleanse/Day 13,489 of my Human Existence

WARNING: this is a long and rambling post. It may be one only a mother would want to read. Thanks in advance, Mom : )

I'm beat. It was really sunny and hot today which I know most people are loving but being in the sun just makes me tired and hot and stinky.

I took Henry, Lucy and a friend to a park this afternoon that has a great little creek. The creek is super shallow and it's hard for anyone to get into too much trouble. As usual, the boys went straight for it. Lucy then convinced me to roll up my jeans and walk with her through the middle of the creek. She was absolutely NOT going down the big slide but apparently uncharted water was not a problem. The water barely covered my feet most places so it was perfect. I really wanted it to be one of those days where I appreciated the cool water running over the rocks and felt grateful to be in the shade. I wanted to enjoy just BEING with my 2 yr old daughter who delights in just about everything. I did enjoy her and her delight but I was also a little edgy and ready to get the hell out of the dirty creek. I felt like I had an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Eckhart Tolle would say the fact that I was aware of my ego means that I am growing spiritually. If you haven't read A New Earth then you may not know what I'm talking about. But trust me, I'm growing.

On another note. The Quantum Cleanse one. I am doing really well overall. I did have a moment of complete weakness last night when I was starving and my husband brought home a piping hot pepperoni pizza. My unconscious self took control and I furtively scarfed down a greasy, cheesy piece of animal produced goodness. I have to admit, it was really good. I quickly resumed control, did not eat another piece and vowed not to let it effect my day or my plan.

Today has been a day of vegan, gluten free leftovers so there is nothing new to report there. I have to say that it has been remarkably easy to stick to the vegan part of the cleanse, especially considering that I am not a person who normally eats many fruits and vegetables.

I have jumped on every Atkins, Nutri System, Weight Watchers, Tae Bo, Ab Roller bandwagon in the past with no long-term success. I realize 5 days does not constitute long-term success but I really think that the added aspect of being kinder to the earth and animals has made this 'bandwagon' easier. It has taken my whole concept of eating to another level that is not all about ME. I'm actually thinking about other things besides the size of my ass. Although, if this vegan thing doesn't doesn't make my ass just a little bit smaller I will be sorely disappointed. I don't think disappointed enough to go back to eating defenseless animals though.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 4 of Quantum Cleanse

I made the trek to Whole Foods today to purchase a few items that weren't available at my local grocery such as vegan mayo, sour cream and cream cheese. My husband is starting to wonder why it's so expensive to be a vegan since it seems as if I'm not eating a whole lot of anything yet I keep going shopping.

As I searched for nutritional yeast flakes, slowly walking the aisles, reading label after label, looking like a total vegan virgin, I stumbled upon some vegan tuna salad in the cold aisle. When I got home I was a little nervous to try it. I tentatively put a little taste on a gluten free sesame ginger rice cracker and holy mother of earth it was downright tasty!!

Why give up gluten (for 21 days) I wondered? Gluten, a protein found in many foods, including wheat, barley, rye, and malt, is the most common irritant of the small intestine. For most people, consumption of gluten can cause the immune system to attack the small intestine through inflammation, leading to gas, diarrhea, skin rashes, and may prevent the absorption of vital nutrients and vitamins, leading to depression and exhaustion. Holy Moly! Are you telling me that's my problem and not the three kids and two dogs?

Each individual has a different sensitivity to gluten, but almost everyone suffers some irritation from it. Abstaining from gluten for the period of the cleanse is supposed to allow the small intestine to soothe and heal itself.
(Kathy Freston, Quantum Wellness, p 82-83)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 3 of Quantum Cleanse

I took veggies burgers to the cookout last night and was able to resist the buffalo chicken dip and pork tenderloin.

I almost caved on the caffeine today as it is my second day without. I pushed through though and ordered a decaf soy latte.

My lunch today was my best vegan meal so far! I had a Boca Vegan Burger which was the best tasting veggie burger I've had yet. I melted soy cheddar cheese on top which was tasty as well. On the side was a spinach salad with cucumbers, avocado and miso dressing. Yum!

I had a massive headache by dinner but Tylenol cured that. I made Smokey Cowboy Beans and Rice for dinner and it was quite satisfying.

Today: no gluten, animal products, refined sugar, or caffeine!Way to go!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day and Day 2 of Quantum Cleanse

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a tough one for cleansing. However after reading all of the information about where my meat comes from on it was not hard at all to resist the burgers and dogs.

I started the day with some herbal tea, gluten free cereal and soy milk. For lunch I snacked on potato chips, spicy hummus, fruits and veggies. We went to our neighbors for a Memorial Day feast and I passed on the meat and had a small serving of Orzo Salad (contained wheat) and Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad. I did eat a small amount of the bacon and blue cheese in the salad. Oh, and 1 glass of wine.

We are invited to another cookout tonight and I am taking the boys. I feel confident I can pass on any animal products, sugar or caffeine but am not sure about the gluten and alcohol. We shall see.

In honor of all the burgers eaten today I am including this video. Did you know that by drinking milk you are supported the veal industry? I didn't.

The Egg Industry

I am posting this because my mom said she thought it was ok to eat eggs because the chickens weren't harmed. I had no idea until I googled it that this was how the chickens were treated. I guess I have had my head in the proverbial sand. I will have a hard time eating an egg (or a chicken) after watching this video. Keep in mind that this is from

This website says, "According to the egg industry, 98% of eggs come from hens in battery cages."

For more information on this topic go to

To be fair, I will do some follow up research within the egg industry.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 1 of Quantum Cleanse

I decided that there's no time like the present even though I started off the day with caffeine and dairy. I am not going to have an all or nothing attitude. I figure I have a whole lot of room for improvement so I might a well get crackin.
Breakfast: coffee with sf creamer and then a skim sf caramel latte
Lunch: Veggie Chicken Strips with Garlic Teriyaki Sauce, Brown Rice and Edamame

It had been in my fridge for awhile and was past the due date but still tasted ok. The rice was a little mushy and the teriyaki sauce had too much sugar to be ideal but it was a better choice than the pulled pork bbq sandwich that I would have had otherwise. Lunch is generally pretty easy for me. The true test will come later in the day.

Snack: apple with Whole Foods honey roasted peanut butter. I'll have to wean myself off of that sweet peanut butter. It's yuuummmy.

I said NO to my usual afternoon Diet Coke.

Snack #2:
A premium blend of organic sugar snap peas, roasted potatoes, and red peppers with garden herbs, lightly seasoned and steamed to perfection. Quite tasty. I have purchased before and will again.

Baja Burger over spinach with miso dressing. The burger wasn't vegan because it had cheese although I couldn't taste any among the big pieces of black beans, corn, roasted peppers and rice. It had a lot of flavor but was quite dense and made me feel like I need to have BM soon after. The pkg came with two burgers. I will eat the second but I don't think I will purchase again, although it was quite a filling meal for under 200 calories.

Alcohol: I did have wine this evening. I wanted to congratulate myself on a job well done: ) The thought of no coffee or latte in the morning is already making me squirm. I don't think I can tackle caffeine, dairy and alcohol all at the same time so I'm going to start with the caffeine and dairy and leave my favorite for last.

It appears I have a lot more time on my hands that Oprah to have given such detail. I suppose I could have spent that time cooking up some of those gourmet recipes but blogging with pictures is the one thing that kept me motivated. Oh, and the environment of course. And all those little piggies and chickens.

Why Reduce Meat Intake? Producing 1kg of animal protein requires approximately 100 times more water than producing 1kg of grain protein.

Pimentel D, Piementel M (2003). Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment. AM J Clin Nutr 78 (Suppl), 662S

Quantum Wellness

Oprah had Kathy Freston on her show the other day talking about her new book Quantum Wellness. Most of the things they talked about rang true to me. That being all that body, mind and spirit stuff (she calls them 'pillars'). They also talked about something that I hadn't thought about before and I always love to ponder something new.

There's one wellness practice that Kathy says should be observed above all others. "The mother of all pillars is conscious eating," she says. "It doesn't only make a difference to our own personal health and well-being, but conscious eating means you stay aware of where your food comes from, how the animals are treated and how the environment is affected by the foods that you eat. You take in the energy of whatever went into creating that food." Kathy is a vegan, which means she doesn't eat meat, eggs, or dairy. "Nobody was harmed—that's conscious eating," she says.

Sounds great! I see my children being harmed with me eating that way.

She suggests a 21-day cleanse in the book where you give up
* Sugar
* Alcohol
* Caffeine
* Gluten
* Animal products

That's pretty much my entire diet. Sounds pretty impossible. But I like her point about being realizing your attachment to certain foods and letting your mood be ruled by those attachments. I really do think it would be beneficial for me to address those issues in my own life.

So Oprah is doing the 21-day cleanse and blogging about it. After three days she has been completely satisfied feasting on vegan dishes such as asparagus "cream" soup, strawberry rhubarb wheat free crepes and an eggless quiche. Other suggested recipes include Tempeh Scallopini with Madeira Peppercorn Sauce, Artichoke and Oyster Mushroom Rockafeller and Cajun-Seared Portobello Fillets with Avocado Cream. Ok, that all sounds yucky great but I really can't see myself juggling those recipes while preparing our normal fare of chicken nuggets and bagel bites.

But I am thinking about trying it and blogging along with Oprah. I'm not sure what would be the hardest to give up. . . wine. . . lattes. . . Jimmy Dean Lite breakfast sandwiches . . pizza. . . morning coffee . . cheese . . wine . . . oh, I already said that. I definitely think its going to make me crazy worth a try. But I'm still just thinking about it as I drink my coffee with caramel creamer. Oh yeah, and I need to find a personal chef to whip up those delicious recipes.