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 GoVeg.com.

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 GoVeg.com 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 GoVeg.com.

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 GoVeg.com

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.







Dinner:
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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Haiku Friday

Haiku Friday

I have been absent
From more than this blog of mine
I am here again

We have had great pain
My husband has lost his mom
A beautiful soul

I don't have the words.
It is so painful to see
Someone you love hurt

So deeply, deeply
Raw indescribable pain
So hard to witness

I will miss this soul
I was blessed to know shortly
Ever so shortly

I am inspired
To live truly and Godly
She inspired me

See more Haiku Fridays here

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TMI Tuesday #1

I am always looking for some mindless inspiration to write. Here's the latest.

For more TMI Tuesday entries click HERE.

1. How many credit cards do you own? Are they paid off?
Just a few . . . .and not all paid off.

2. Can you be in love with someone you don't trust?
Personally, I can't be in love with someone I don't trust. I have very high standards for myself and others. I completely trust my beloved husband.

However, I fully believe that one can be in love someone they don't trust. Love is not always logical, practical and up to your standards.

3. Should prostitution by legal?
Yes, definitely. It's pretty much a farce that it's not already.

4. On a scale of 1-10, how good of a lover do you think you are?
Well, a 10 of course.

5. What are three mistakes someone could make on a first date with you that would automatically make you turn down a second date.
I am happily married and didn't date that much before I was married so this is all hypothetical.

First, I have a real problem with cheap shoes. It's not a deal breaker but you would have to really impress me otherwise.

Second, bad breath is real turn off.

Third, common courtesy and manners are key. If you can't get those right then there's not much hope.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Future American Idol

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star performed by Lucy (26 months)

video

You Are My Sunshine performed by Lucy
(a little high on fame at this point)

video

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

This is a funny video and appropriate for the day. Enjoy!