Everyday, Vegan

Vegan 2017

The times could finally be changing.  I watched a great YouTube video this morning put out by Plant Based News called:  Vegan 2017.  It documented the shift of going to a plant-based or vegan diet and it is picking up speed worldwide.  I will let this video speak for itself.  I hope it helps to open everyone’s eyes to the changes that need to be made for all of mankind as well as for ALL life on the planet.

There is the link!  Enjoy and lets make 2018 speak even louder!

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Blogging, Everyday, minimalism, Vegan

Was the Grinch a conspiracy theroist?

Have the holidays turned into a huge conspiracy theory?

I have learned a lot about how certain ideas and industries really work, rather than from the way that they are perceived in real life, from being a vegan.  I won’t go too far into that, but I don’t believe that all the facts, are always presented, all the time to the public.  And as consumers, we tend to place our heads in the sand when it comes to the things we enjoy doing, having, eating or pursuing.  Sure lots of things are “bad for you” but how many of those things do we choose to still enjoy anyways?  From foods, to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs of all kinds (legal and illegal); we want what we want and sometime we choose to look the other way even if we have an inkling that those things may not be what’s best for us.

After having many realizations that everything isn’t always as it seems, my mind often gets lost and I find myself thinking on a deeper level then ever before.  Just the other day, my family and I were in the car, on the way to dinner listening to Christmas music on the radio.  As I was listening and singing along I had a profound thought:

What if the government has hidden subliminal messages in all of our classic holiday songs that encourage us to buy more?

I know that is a pretty crazy notion, but what a genius way to trigger us to spend more… and more… and even more.  A way to boost the economy at the end of the year, so that when tax time comes around the rich get richer, the lobbyist dig deeper and you and I are none the wiser because we are all waiting to get our tax returns to pay off our holiday debts.

It would be the perfect ploy.  Think about it:  we are taught holiday carols pretty much from the time we could understand them.  We are trained like little monkeys when we are in school to perform them for our families.  And in all that time we were being programmed to always want more.

As children we  learn to associate the holidays with receiving gifts.  We are excited by the commercials on TV and the ads online and can’t wait for our moment with Santa (and what better place should Santa be stationed then in the local shopping mall).  Even children with the best upbringing are hoping to get more stuff.  And parents these days find it harder and harder to say no.  So they work more and more while little Johnny is left home alone not understanding any of it.  The greatest gift that any child needs is for their parents to be present in their lives.  I know when I look back at my life, I don’t think about the gifts that I got, but instead about the time I spent with my family (some of whom are no longer with us).  The traditions that we had and the memories that we created.  Sure I remember the year that I got the Inspector Gadget doll that I really wanted, but I would trade that in a second if I could just have spent one more Christmas with my dad now.  Just one more holiday together with the people I lost over the years.  But I digress…

I know there will be some parents who will say that they have taught their children the “real” meaning behind whatever holiday their family celebrates.  But let’s get real for a second mom and dad of the year.  If you were to ask most kids what they looked forward to during the holidays, I can bet 90% would say the toys and/or gifts they received score way above spending time in church with their second aunt that they see once a year.  I mean how many kids do you know that actually want to celebrate the holidays for what they are “supposed to be” rather than what they have become?  That magical day, that for a lot of children, all their materialistic dreams come true wrapped up with colorful paper and ribbons.  Sure some children will have it better than others, but what is the real toll that those gifts have played on their families?  How many extra hours did mom and dad have to work to get little Johnny the most sought after “what-cha-ma-call-it-imal” so that in a month or two it could be shoved in the corner and forgotten about, then trashed or hopefully donated?

Was that really the best use of time and money from parent to child?

Then, as an adult there is a shift.  You go from the receiver to the gift giver.  Feeling that you have to give bigger and better every year to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Blue collar consumers have to work harder and longer the rest of the year just to give gifts that many will forget about or re-gift to someone next year so that they can instead buy that Black Friday TV for themselves.  And the circle goes on and on while Bing Crosby plays softly in the background.  The triggers come into to the radio earlier and earlier and stores stay open longer and longer.  But your holiday bonus gets smaller and smaller while interest rates climb and you fall deeper and deeper into debt.

I am by no means an anti-holiday person.  And I love giving and receiving an awesome gift as much as the next person.  But as I get older (and try to live a more intentional life through minimalism) I just can help but shake my head at the Black Friday crowds I see on TV.  And I am disgusted by the stores that are open on Thanksgiving.  And for the love of all that is holy, please stop playing holiday music right after Halloween!  I feel like the holidays should be a time that we all slow down a little and really reflect on our lives and loved ones.  Life is too short to be waiting in line, in a tent, in front of Best Buy at 3pm on Thanksgiving day just to buy a TV that was probably already marked up so high in the first place that when the price drop on Black Friday the only person really winning in the end is Mr. Samsung himself.  Not you, nor the poor employee that is working and missing time with their family.

And so many wonder why the family system is falling apart.  Maybe the Millennial’s have the right idea after all?  Not wanting to have children and instead choosing to spend their money on living in the moment instead of for the moment you remove the plastic film from the newest fruit phone.  Some people probably spend more time with their electronic devices then their actually living and breathing family members and friends.  Or if they are spending time with their loved ones, everyone is sitting around the dinner table like zombies paying homage to their little blue screens.  Scrolling through websites or pinning the next best thing that will “make them happy”.  The next best thing.  But I digress….. again.

Anyways, just a long and drawn out thought.  I hope everyone reading this has a great holiday however you and your loved one’s choose to celebrate (or not celebrate) it.  Just live every moment like it could be your last because you never get a chance to do today over again.  And no one really needs a hippopotamus for any reason, they can be mean SOB’s!

 

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Everyday, Vegan

AMA Comes Out Against Serving Processed Meats in Hospitals!

This is amazing. Please spread the news and reblog this important break through!

JaneUnChained.com

Breaking News: The American Medical Association (AMA) just passed a resolution that calls on hospitals to serve plant-based meals and to eliminate bacon, sausage, hot dogs, ham, and all other processed meats! That is now official AMA policy! This is a huge victory for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine which has been pushing for this much needed change!

There is also good news about the AMA’s position on food options for the SNAP program, which will help low income Americans adopt a healthier, plant-based diet. Jane Velez-Mitchell talks to PCRM President Dr Neal Barnard, author of the hot new bestseller
The Cheese Trap!  This is why we all need to support PCRM.  #JaneUnChained

Resolution 406: HEALTHFUL HOSPITAL FOODS

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association hereby call on US hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by (1) providing a variety of healthful food…

View original post 85 more words

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Everyday, Fitness, minimalism, Running, Vegan

Living with intention

I want to live a more intentional life.  I want to eat better.  I want to love harder.  I want to exercise and get faster.  I want to cut out the crap and be more inline with my personal values.

I know today is actually June 5th, but for me it marks the start of many things.  For awhile now I have gotten a little off track with my eating (don’t worry still vegan, but being vegan doesn’t automatically mean being healthy) and with my exercise.  I want to incorporate better food choices into my diet and get back into my running after a brief, but very much-needed break.  I also haven’t been to the gym since maybe November?  My work picked up and my hours changed to a point that I couldn’t get motived to workout.  To be honest with myself, yes work did pick up, but I am still working under 30 hours a week, so not having enough time is not an excuse.  And my hours did change, but truth be told, it’s more about me not wanting to wake my ass up earlier to hit the gym!

Having a good balance between food and exercise is very important.  Even though I haven’t been eating as well, I am by no means overweight, but I have noticed that my muscle to fat ratio has changed.  Last summer I actually weighed more but the extra pounds were from the extra muscle I had built.  I would like to build back some of the lean muscle I have lost in the past 6 months.  I am not sure what I am going to do about the gym; whether I am going to rejoin or join a different one, but I am going to get back into my running, actually starting today.  I have joined an 8 week speed work program that meets every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30pm.  I don’t particularly like speed work.  It is hard and the Central Texas summer weather doesn’t make it any easier, but I am more motived to get back into it because it is a group effort.  I have a couple close friends that are joining the group and our coach, is my trainer from the gym that I have been friends with for over 3 years now.  Plus if you can run in the summer you will be in tip-top form for when the fall/winter races start back up again!

As far as food goes, I am going to try to focus more on whole foods; getting in more fruits and especially more vegetables.  Last week I went to see my new doctor (Dr. Linda Carney in Buda, TX) because I was having issues with dizziness, foggy mind, and my cycle had been going  a little wack-a-do these past few months.  Dr. Carney is a 100% plant-based, vegan doctor.  So many people have raved about her in the Central Texas vegan community.  She is located about 40 miles from where I live, but after meeting her I have absolutely no issues with the distance.  She promotes healing through nutrition and tries to steer clear of medications whenever possible.  She ordered up about 15 different blood tests for me, to help her narrow down what/if anything is wrong.  I go back to hear my results on Wednesday!  This doctors visit was the first one I was ever excited to go to.  I had no anxiety and I can’t wait to find out what blood tests say.  Dr. Carney had a great “bedside manner”.  She sat and went over a bunch of different things with me for probably over 40 minutes.  Asked a lot of questions and took notes on our whole meeting.  Her office has plant based resources everywhere.  From Forks Over Knives posters on the walls, to a book shelf full of plant based authors (many of whom’s books I currently own) and a website for clients filled with even more plant based nutrition information.

I mentioned that my female cycle has been off for a little while now.  Nothing too extreme but sometimes, somethings are just too much to let go unnoticed.  I ordered a book called:  “WomanCode:  Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source” by Alisa Vitti.  The author takes a very close look at how what you eat during your 4 stages of your cycle (yes I said 4 stages) can affect your overall health.  While she doesn’t promote being 100% vegan, I am curious to read about what foods she suggests to eat when and then why.  I do not plan on adding animal products back to my diet but I am open to reading as much information as I can about how what we eat can affect who we are.   The book has great reviews, so hopefully I won’t be too disappointed at the mention of animal products.

One more thing that I am finding to be more and more important to my overall health and welfare is just living my own life.  Cutting out things that don’t add to it and focusing more on things that do.  I realized this past weekend that I had spent a lot of time on social media.  That time could have been used for far more important things.  I literally could have written this blog yesterday and then had time to write another one today.  I could have spent more time with all of our fur-babies more evenly (we recently got two new kittens and our rabbit I think has been feeling a little left out).  I could have went out and bought the rose-bush that we wanted to commemorate the passing of our 13-year-old kitty, Raspberry.  I could have read more.  Talked with my husband more.  Or just enjoyed the silence, that comes with the lack of social media clutter.  (OMG I just realized that I just checked my Facebook page, oh my phone, while typing this on my laptop!)  It is time to disconnect a little.  The Minimalist talk about how they both took all social media off of their phones and only allow themselves 30 mins or so a day to scroll through their feeds while on their computers/iPads.  I mean do we really need that much information at the tip of our fingers at any given moment?  No.  I know for a fact we don’t because I am old enough to say that I grew up without the internet (until I was in High School) and without a cell phone (until I was out of High School).  (OMG I literally just did it again!  Something live came across my feed so I had to click on it!)  We have become like Pavlov’s Dog when we hear our phone “tweet”;  we are zombie slaves to our little glowing screens.  It is time to make a change.  So besides changing up diet and exercise, I am going to delete all social media platforms from my phone for the rest of the month.  Hopefully I will live to share the accounts of my actions with you all.

Oh and one more thing I forgot to add is that I will also be cutting back on all alcohol and caffeine intake as well!  Man, when I set out to do something, I really know how to go to the extremes, don’t I?  Honestly, I don’t drink much of either substance.  Alcohol I am eliminating just from the weekdays, and will only have a drink with dinner on the weekends.  And the only source of caffeine I have is from my morning tea, but I also have plenty of decaf teas and herbal teas that I can use as substitutes if needed.  I love having the will power to make these changes in my life.  I am the master of going “cold turkey” and I can’t wait to see how I feel about everything in a month.  If you have changed up anything that you consider pretty drastic in your life, please feel free to share your story in the comments!

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Fitness, Running, Vegan

Starting all over again is going to be rough…..

Short and sweet and right to the point!  I started running again about a month ago.  This morning I did my first group strength workout in about 3 months.  Little by little I want to get back to where I was this time last year.  I want to see my pace be closer to the 9 minute mark then the 10 it currently is.  I know in order to do that I have to commit to the long runs, the speed work and the strength training I used to do.  My body feels great; no aches and pains and no injuries (knock on wood).  I literally have no excuses to not give it my all and become a better me then the summer me.  I have a half marathon in January and I want to PR and run it in 2 hours.  I know that is going to require work and determination on my end and I am ready.  Let’s do this!

One hour group workout @ 6am

Warm up 1000m row in 5 mins

First set x4

  • 12 kg kettle bell front squat holds for 30 sec (x4, x4, x3, x2)
  • Partner plank holds tapping opposite hands for a minute
  • Alternating dead bug for a minute

Second set x5

  • Front squat with barbell (35 lbs x1, 55 lbs x4)
  • Squat jumps x10

Third set x3

  • Single leg dead lift to a row, using cable machine set at 25 lbs both legs x12
  • Single leg tap down both legs x12

Forth set x3

  • Deadlifts with dumbbells ( 17.5 lbs x2, 20 lbs x1) x12
  • Push ups x12

Cool down foam rolling

3.8 mile run 88 degrees @ 6pm (from yesterday)

  • Overall time 38:35
  • Average pace 10:09
  • Splits 9:46, 10:00, 10:25, 10:28
  • Average cadence 176

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Running, Vegan

Priceless practice

This morning my Lifetime Run group had a change of pace (pun intended) and we went out for a long run instead of doing our Saturday speed work.  I was thrilled with this.  The temperatures here in Central Texas are finally starting to cool off and feel like fall; like perfect running weather.  We met up at Brushy Creek Regional trail before the sun had even come up and the temperature on my Garmin said it was a chilly 59 degrees!  There were about 10 of us that made it out this morning and after introductions, distance goals, and when the sun started to make its grand appearance, we were off.

It felt really good to be out there this morning.  I ran with one of my running/work out buddies the whole time and we pushed each other through an awesome 5 miles that neither of us thought we would survive in the beginning.  I love being able to run with someone else that has a similar pace to my own.  I feel like I push myself harder to keep moving when I am running with someone, instead of behind someone.  Lately I have been a “back of the pack-er” and honestly I still was this morning, but today it just felt different.  I didn’t hit my 2.5 mile wall, my body felt good, I still love my new shoes and the temperature…. oh man did I already mention how great it felt outside?  Well either way it was wonderful!

When I got a little past the 4 mile point I picked up my pace a little and started to feel like I could have gone an extra mile.  Afterwards I wasn’t overly tired or sore and really felt like myself again.  Even though my pace isn’t where it was this time last year, I can defiantly see where over time it will get better.  And right now I’m pretty happy with just running and not looking to “beat” something.  Improvement is great but just feeling like yourself again is priceless.

5 miles 59 degrees @ 7am

  • Overall time 50:23
  • Average pace 9:52
  • Splits 9:56, 9:50, 10:13, 9:53, 9:29
  • Average cadence 176

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Running, Vegan

It has begun….

This morning marked the official start to my 2016-2017 running season.  The weather was amazing at just under 60 degrees.  I threw on my new running skirt and headed out the door to meet with the Lifetime Run group for the first speed work I have done in over 4 months.

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The “before” picture.  Gotta make it look good!

Oh what a difference temperature makes for a runner.  I had been in such a slump these last few months.  My pace was in the toilet at over the 10 minute mile mark.  It was really starting to get to me.  Everyday I would run I would have to give myself a pep talk to convince myself that pace didn’t matter when it was over 90 degrees outside with thick, sticky air.  But as a runner it is hard to look down at your watch after your run and see a pace that you haven’t seen since you were in your rookie stages.  I hadn’t run over a 10 minute mile in at least 4 years.  But with the hot summer and the rest needed to recover from spring injuries, it was what it was and it SUCKED!

But this mornings run offered a glimmer of hope that I hadn’t lost it.  I still had the ability to be better, it was just in a sort of reversed hibernation for the summer.  Starting with a two mile warm up, I felt pretty good.  My body felt great but I could tell I needed to work on getting my breathing back under control (nothing a little added spin class wouldn’t help).  Then it was on to 400m repeats.  Our coach wanted us to do 4-6 of them, but I settled for half and did three that were really strong.

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Some of my peps from Lifetime Run North Austin

I don’t want to do too much too soon.  This was only the beginning of a long season ahead.  I have several races that I have already signed up for from now until April, including, dare I say it, my second half marathon!  So a little at a time will be just fine for now.

2 mile warm up, 3×400, 1 mile cool down, 61 degrees @ 7am

  • 2 mile warm up average pace 9:35
  • 1 mile cool down pace 9:24
  • 3×400 @ 7:08, 6:59, 7:02
  • Average cadence between 178-194

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