Birthdays

Remember when you were a kid and you lived for your birthday.  You could not wait for the entire day to be about you.  You were excited about your presents, cake and party.  You thought about it for weeks in advance, with excitement and anticipation.   Flash forward “years”  …. As my birthday approaches I feel none of this.  I am not excited, I am not anxious, it is almost just like any other day, complete with to do list.  I know how this sounds, but I don’t know if it is my age, the circumstances I am in right now, the fact that my sister won’t even be coming…. or something else.  Yes I will appreciate the day, I will love being with my family.  I am sure I will love the gifts, though I want for nothing.  But I just sort of long for that old birthday feel again, complete with a cake, that I can no longer eat.

Proud Mama Moment

Last weekend I took my daughter to San Francisco to buy her Pointe Shoes.  She has been working for this goal for over FIVE years.  I could not be more proud.  The day was not exactly as we had thought it would go, but it was great none the less.  She was beaming.  I love that feeling as a mother.  You get to feel the excitement through your child, and it is even better than feeling it for yourself.  You get that extra sense of pride and love for your child, and there is nothing better.

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That day was wonderful, on a funny note, when we got home from the city I fell asleep on the couch about 6pm.. My husband woke me and sent me to bed about 8pm.  I slept a total of something like 11 hours that night and I woke up still tired.  I guess that is what happens when you burn the candle at both ends…

Notes on a Chicken Farmer

Maui is still not doing very well.  She is eating and drinking, but since the weather has changed she has to live inside, until she gets stronger.  Thank goodness for scented candles….

 

End Note

Be thankful for what you have every second of everyday.  Don’t dwell on things too long and feel sorry for yourself.  You never know what instant will change your life forever and what you might lose.  Appreciate everything you have right now and always. Take the time for the extra hug; smile and tell people you care about you love them, all the time.  Make the cookies with your kids even if you are too tired to stand, make the memories that count and just be there.

Song of the Day

Kelsea Ballerini- Legends

I heard this last night onthe CMA’s and I just loved it!

 

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Pressure

My life again has been turned on its ear!  My Father has had to have unplanned major surgery, which is scary in its own right.  I also work with him.  I have been given the task of keeping his business afloat.  It is a very busy time for us.  I am struggling with having the confidence, or pretending to, to pull this off.  Everyday I second guess myself, and worry I am going to fail.  I have to keep the illusion I am handling it all with ease as to not worry anyone, our clients, our employees.  I can’t let them think things are not being handled.

 

Then there is the task of helping my parents out.  My mother is unable to leave my father right now.  So I am running all of their errands for them, after work or on the weekends.  I do not want them to think I can not handle everything they are relying on me to do, so again keep the illusion of I am doing fine, while also keeping my house and kids going….

I know I will get through this, I always do. I am a fighter and have broad shoulders.  But sometimes when I am on my walk, I just break down and cry from the pressure of all of it.

 

So I have decided this is my song to get me through…

 

Notes of a Chicken Farmer:

Maui has had a relapse, and is not doing well.  I don’t know if it because the weather has changed and she is not thick enough to keep herself warm, or what.  She has moved to our laundry room, on top of our dryer until she gets stronger.

 

Note to my new readers:

I think you are awesome too…you know who you are!!!

 

I have been so overwhelmed I have not taken any outfit or food pics since this all began… I will get back to that soon-ish…

 

Please pray for strength for my family to get through our current situation and as we come upon the one year anniversary of losing my dear niece.

 

 

 

So why am I Vegan…..

So why am I Vegan.  I was asked this the other day by a good friend.  I was not able to articulate it at the moment.  So I have been thinking about it for a few days and I decided to blog about it. My decisions to become vegan was not an all of a sudden decision, it took me a while to get to it.  As you know I am plagued with food allergies, so some might think :” why add more restrictions?” I already could not eat Dairy, Beef and Pork because of my IBS. And since I was feeling rotten with all that plagued me I began to do internet research.  I watch documentaries, I read blogs, I watched vlogs, I read books.  Given all that I had read and seen, I decided to try and go Vegan, for my health.  I had to do something.  And I began to feel great!  I was sleeping better, I had more energy, my skin was looking better….the list goes on.  So I decided to stick with it.  I got better at making Vegan meals, so it became pretty easy.  I don’t think I will ever be able to look at a piece of meat the same after some of the things I have seen ( in documentaries) But the main reason I will never go back is because of how I feel.

Personal Note

I had a lung test this week.  My doctor is now asking me to get a CT Scan, more blood work and see a specialist.  I am really freaking out about this.  I am really sick of this cough, and I am hoping the specialist can make it better, but there is always that “what if it is something worse?” hanging in the air.

On a happier/funnier note

Today at 6:30 am  I was walking. No make up, ball cap on… not cute.  I was asked for my number! I was flabbergasted.  This guy I walk past every morning literally asked me for my number.  Man was that a boost to my ego!  I told him ” Sorry I am married, but I am very flattered” and walked away with Fitz and the Tantrums in my ears!

Life of a Chicken Farmer

I had quite the scare with Maui this week.  I found her face down in her water bowl.  I quickly got her out of that position and she was fine, but my heart literally stopped.  I had the feeling the rest of the day that she was not going to make it.  But yesterday and today she has been standing up, which again gives me encouragement that she is getting better.

Vegan Life

I joined a new group on FB this week. And one of the members was asking for advice on what to cook.  It felt good to potentially help someone transition to this life style.  They were looking for the health benefits.  I told her about my and my son’s improved health since going vegan and pointed her to my meal planning board on Pintrest.

Here are some of the meals I have been making (From scratch):

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Coconut Curry
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“Pulled Pork” with Jack Fruit
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The only option for me at at Steakhouse
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Lentil Sloppy Joes
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Mexican Rice Casserole
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Pho

 

 

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Lasagna

What I wore

Asthma/ Vegan Life/ Chickens

Personal Note

Life has been really hectic and my asthma is out of control.  My Doctor has put me on Prednisone again, not my choice.  So far I am on day 9 of 12 and it is helping nothing.  Oh I have the wonderful side-effects; no sleep and hot flashes, but not helping my horrible cough.  I have to have a Breathing Test done in a lab next week, to see if something else is going on.

I am also obsessed with Salt lamps right now, which my Husband loves making fun of.  Before the Prednisone,  mine was really helping me sleep.  I read they help with asthma symptoms, so I bought a few for the living room.  I also like the light they give off, very pretty.

I have added yoga to my morning routine, which has been lovely way to start my day at 5:20 and I am still walking about three miles every morning too. Other than not being able to breath I feel very healthy.

Vegan Life

So the only real struggles I am having with being a vegan is still eating out.  The world is not nice to Vegans.  I was at a county fair on Saturday- ZERO OPTIONS!  So I was starving when we left, we went to taqueria, usually my best option to get some food to go.  I asked for no dairy.  They put sour cream all over it, so I had no food.  Very upsetting.

I am already trying to find a place to eat and a “cake” option for my birthday in November.  My town does not have  a ton of options. I don’t want my family to be miserable on my birthday, but I don’t want to only eat salad either….

I also just found this amazing new website I heard about on a vlog.  Cron-o-meter.  You put in all your food for the day and it tells you your daily values.  I am over on protein every day!  I can’t eat nuts and I don’t eat tofu everyday, so I was amazed.  They really make you think you need more protein in your diet than you actually do.

 

Life of a chicken farmer

Our Baby Chicken Maui is very sick.  We have to have her in an isolation crate.  We no longer have to force feed her, but she still does not have complete control of her feet.  The virus she has is affecting her motor skills. She is starting to gain weight and is becoming lively, which I think is  a very good sign.  The vet gave her  a 30% chance of living through last weekend. I am very attached to this chicken so I hope she continues to get better.

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What we ate

My son continues to gripe about what I am choosing to feed our family.  It is very hard to come up with nutritious meals from scratch,that very every week.  Here are few of the things we have eaten.

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Pumpkin Pasta with Zucchini
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Vegan Spinach Lasagna, with Roasted Eggplant
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Vegan Chorizo and Bean Nachos, with Spanish Rice
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Eggplant Stew
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Spinach and Garlic Gnocchi
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Mediterranean Bowl

 

 

What I wore- Outfits

My clothes continue to get bigger, this might be the last time for a few of these outfits….

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Life in fast forward

Personal Note:

Adjusting to a driving child is very hard.  I rarely get to see my child anymore.  I realize now that a great deal of our relationship was done in car rides to her various engagements.  With my  not needing to do this I miss out on the time and being with her.  I am saddened by this.

I have a bit of alone time now, since I am not driving my daughter around.  The time is in the morning and in the evening when  my husband is not home, for work.  My son is home, but he is 18 and spends all of his time in his room.  I literally don’t know what to do with myself.  I don’t want to watch TV, so I clean and bake.  My house is really clean. I do not think I will be a good empty nester.

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Notes of a chicken farmer:

We had two chickens for almost two years, we recently lost them in a heat wave.  This was a difficult thing to get passed. We have our chickens mostly as pets.  We have replaced them, but the company I bought the chickens from messed up and we got our two chickens two weeks apart.  When we put them together the older one attacked the little one.  We read up online and put the little one in a cage next to the  coop, so they could get used to each other’s presence.  The older one still attacked the little one through the cage.  So My Daughter and I made a makeshift coop, so the poor thing could have some room.  We obviously were not going to be able to get these two together.

Being a Vegan:

I am still in love with being a vegan.  I have never felt so good. But I was having a bit of tummy trouble, but I figured it out that since I became busy with back to school I was eating more convenience/ packaged vegan food.   My body was not liking this as much.  I have gone back to my wholefoods based diet and feel better. My good friends are taking my Husband and I to a Vegan Mexican Restaurant tonight.  I am very excited!

I watched another documentary: Earthlings 

http://watchdocumentaries.com/earthlings/

Man was this hard to watch.  I am glad I am already a Vegan after watching this.  It literally moved me to tears more than once.  I suggest you watch it.

I do not believe in “ignorance is bliss”

 

Marriage:

This Tuesday in my Second Wedding Anniversary. I can not believe it has been two years! Man I love this Man!

 

Outfits:

 

 

So Grateful

Personal Note:

This was a HUGE week for me!  My Son turned 18! This was a proud and sad moment for me.  I still can not believe I have a child that is a legal adult?!?! Also the very next day my daughter got her drivers license.  It is still surreal watching her drive away from me.  It makes me feel sad to not be needed in that capacity anymore.  My kids are growing up.

We are still doing the vegan thing.  It has been a  bit more of a challenge, as we are in a money crunch and trying to still eat healthy filling meals that are vegan on the budget we have set up has made things….interesting, but I am always up for a personal challenge.

Thought of the Day:

Today I was doing my normal morning walk and I was thinking: I am so glad I grew up in the Bay Area.  I was thinking about the state of our country right now; the terrible things that are happening, and I could not help but be grateful for growing up in such a diverse area.  I have had friends of different races and religions my entire life.  I have never thought of living a different way, or thought myself any better than the kid in the desk next to me.  I am so glad I was brought up this way.  Thanks to my parents for bringing me to this wonderful area so I could grow up like that!

Song of the Day:

People are People by Depeche Mode (one of my favorite songs)

 

Outfits:

Here are some outfits just because I have not posted some in a while.

Different than I expected

So I am back from my wonderful vacation.  We went to Universal Studios in Hollywood, and we also visited the Warner Brothers Studio.  It was amazing!  I highly recommend both!

The most amazing part of the trip was that I was able to stay Vegan!  I was able to stay Vegan even in the park at Universal Studios. Given my lunch both days was French Fries and Watermelon… But my dinners at the Three Broomstick in Hogsmead, in Wizarding World of Harry Potter,  were amazing!  Truly delicious and I lost weight on vacation!

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I was even more surprised that I was able to stay Vegan in UTAH!  The town My Grandparents are from had many many options for me: pizza, Mexican, Italian, Hawaiian and multiple healthy grocery stores.  I was flabbergasted.

The road trip from Utah back to California was tough! We brought snacks in the car, thinking that in the middle of no where Nevada there would be no options for me, we were right. But I was surprised that in Reno there was literally nothing I could eat.  We walked around for over an  hour before we settled on one place that had plain rice and beans as an option.  I was completely bummed and disappointing.

Due to time constraints we had to skip the animal sanctuary, and my daughter and I were very upset about this.  I did get a pinched nerve in my back and now have a numb spot on my leg…. so I didn’t walk away with nothing.  We are planning a small trip to visit some other time.

Since I have been home My Husband has taken me out for a date night.  Eating out is always a challenge for me.  Ironically I had French Fries and Watermelon as part of my dinner, given it was a fancy watermelon salad, but still funny. But check out my dessert!

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Thought of the Day

I walk every morning as I have mentioned before.  I always make a point to smile and say “Good-Morning” to everyone I see.  It amazes me how many people just flat out ignore me! I don’t expect to make life long friends, but a smile or a nod might be nice.  There is this one couple I see almost everyday, they look at me like they are angry for me wishing them a good morning.  And yesterday there was a gentleman who had two puppies.  I said Good Morning as he approached, he ignored me, the dogs both jumped on me, he scolded the dogs….still ignored me!  WTF!! Is this a commentary on how selfish our world is becoming?  Can we no longer even greet each other with civility?  I am disappointed in my neighbors. I will continue to be polite though.

Ran into some problems this week

So I am still Vegan, but I can say for sure it is not as enjoyable when you can not cook for yourself.  I found it very difficult over the long Holiday  weekend. We had family in town, so when I went to my parent’s house for BBQs I had to bring frozen vegan meals for me to eat.  I did not like most of them, in fact I really don’t like any of the prepackaged vegan anything.  It seems to defeat the purpose, and is not a pleasureful meal. We went out to eat  a few times.  You would think in California there would be at least a few items for a Vegan or Vegetarian to choose from.  Not the case in Monterey.  We read the menus from six or eight different restaurants, we only found two that had anything for me to eat at all, and each restaurant only had ONE!  We went with the one thing that sounded the most appetizing…it was not…. I was really disappointed. Monterey is right next to Castroville one of the leaders in artichoke production, none of the items available had anything with artichokes.  I was forced to eat Gluten free pasta with carrots and zucchini with bland red sauce.

I am beginning to worry about my vacation that is coming up.  We are traveling to Universal Studios with our children.  I found out I can bring food in, but must I live on packages crackers and cookies in my backpack for three days?  Directly after that my daughter and I are road tripping from Utah. Utah in itself, as far as I can tell, has only chain restaurants and fast food.  I am wondering what I will be able to live on while I am there and on the way back.  I really really don’t want to give this up.  Not even for a day.  I will do my best, even if I have to make a salad in the car!

The few days I have been home I made some pretty good things:

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Homemade from Scratch Veggie Burgers
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Sweet and Sour Chickpeas
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The Vegan/Gluten Free Pie my daughter and her friend made me for the 4th

The Continuing Saga

So on Monday I will complete my second week of going Organic/Vegan.  I am really loving the challenge of creating new meals, it makes the change very exciting.  The kids are really liking most of what I make, my Husband not so much.  He really misses the meat.  I told him I was not forcing him to go vegan, but he wanted to “try”.  Both of my teenagers have decided to go full Vegan.  Shelby indefinitely, Willy is giving it a three week try.

I have watched a few more documentaries, and I don’t know if I will ever be able to eat meat again.  I really don’t know how I could consider myself an environmentalist and continue to support that industry.

The documentaries I watched were:

Cowspiracy (on Netflix)

Food Matters (on Netflix)

In Defense of Food (on Netflix)

Sustainable (on Netflix)

Of the Land ( on Amazon Video)

These films have really opened my eyes.  The information available is overwhelming and abundant.  I feel you really have to be trying to avoid the knowledge to continue the practice.  Are we really that stuck in our habits that we will knowingly continue to harm not only ourselves, but the planet as well? I challenge anyone who reads my blog to watch just one.  I guarantee it will change your life and your perspective, unless you are like my darling Husband….and just fall asleep.  I will forever be changed by what I have learned.

Side Note- In Cowspiracy they talk about a animal refuge, where animals that were to be killed are saved and sent to.  My daughter and I will be visiting  on the tail end of our road trip.

The meals I have made this week:

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Vegan Jack Fruit Enchiladas
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Vegan Paella
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Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
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My Normal Breakfast
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Vegan Sweet Potato Tacos

 

As I said I am really enjoying finding new and interesting things to eat, or just rethinking an old recipe.  I have discovered Jack fruit, a very versatile vegan meat replacement.  I really like it because it is not a processed food.  It is a fruit.  I made it twice this week.  Once I cooked it with Mexican spices and put it in our enchiladas, the other I cooked it with BBQ Sauce and ate on a bun, like pulled pork. Both times I really enjoyed it.

I continue to feel really great.  I feel super healthy and energized.  I am still getting my 10,000 steps almost every single day, mostly while walking in the morning listening to my “theme song” (see previous blog).  I feel full of life and I feel a little proud of myself for trying to do good and be good to my body.

Vegan/ Plant Based?

Hiddy Ho  I am continuing my adventure with Organic and Non GMO.  It is going very well. I feel great and have a lot of energy and I have been sleeping very well!  The sleeping thing is amazing, because usually I have great difficulty sleeping.

Based upon the research and documentaries I have been watching I have also decided to go plant based.  I have not mentioned this to anyone in my family yet, and no one has really noticed, or said anything that I have not been eating meat for about a week now.  The last time I ate meat was dinner Father’s Day.  I mainly did this because I did not want to make a big deal about my decision, and my parents would notice if I did not eat the meat.  Since then I have been making Vegan meals at home.  I few nights I made a protein for the men in my house.  But again, no one said anything when I ate a portobello mushroom burger and salad for dinner last night.

I am not going to go full Vegan, at least not right now.  I have decided I am going to eat meat very rarely and only Chicken, Fish or Eggs, but for the most part it is Vegan.  I have based this decision on my health.  I can no longer ignore or be blinded to what the industry is doing to our food and environment.  Our food is being altered and is harmful, and no one says anything because the corporations run everything.  I feel I can not eat meat safely, because I do not know what they are feeding the animals and how they are treated. I do not want to go back to being ignorant or ignoring all of this information just to eat a hamburger.  I feel I can be best to my body by feeding it healthy organically grown food.

I am expecting to have to argue my decision with a great many people when they find out.  I am ready to do that.

Here is my new theme song to help me: (sorry for the bad language)

“I am not messing around with my life, no more.” I am not going to take my health for granted any more and I am going to be proactive in preserving it.

 

I am going to ask my family to watch a few documentaries:

What the Health

 

Forks over Knives

and

Plant Pure Nation

To see if I can get them on board.  I am hoping to try and get them to do a two week trial, and see where we can go from there.  I will let you know what they decide….

 

I have been doing it only a week and I  literally feel better. I am able to get my 10,000 steps a day no problem.  Some days I go way over that, and almost feel like I have  some energy to spare.  I have also been able to up my walk in the morning from 25 minutes to almost an hour, since it is summer and I don’t have to get kids ready for school. I really love my walk.  It really clears my head and prepares me for the day. I listen to my new theme song and just go!

Here are some of the meals we had:001006008

Little more food for thought….