Thursday, July 31, 2014

Grateful for Progress

I have to apologize because I feel like my blog took on a more negative tone than what I want, and I want to be a positive force in this world, not negative. So I definitely don't want to bring anyone down, and I apologize if I did.
That being said, I also started this blog because I want to spread the message of veganism, but I also selfishly started it as a way for me to get happy and healthy, and part of that is expressing how you feel, and if venting on my blog is going to help me stay on the path of no cigarettes, than I am always going to try to make the healthy choice. This week has been super challenging for me, and I'm still learning how to cope with life without smoking and drinking the feelings away and it is hard, especially when you live in a place where being unhealthy and miserable is celebrated, and anything else is weird. So this week I am battling that side of me saying " if you can't beat em, join em. "
I also think that maybe some people out there may not know how much of a fight we have on our hands. When I lived in Seattle, I certainly didn't know that racism was still this bad. I lived in the wonderful bubble of Seattle and was completely unaware that there are parts of  America that don't care about the environment, don't care about human rights or animal rights. So this has been very eye opening.
I'm also aware of my own hypocrisy, as I scream tolerance and compassion, yet I have no tolerance or compassion for intolerant people full of isms, so I guess that's a flaw I have to work on. I don't know if anyone has been face to face with hate, but I have and when someone is looking you in the eye and ranting using the  n word to describe people, it's a dark place, and I don't know if I will ever be able to have compassion for that mindset. Maybe I will just have to let myself be a hypocrite on this one.
So I guess I'm apologizing, but also saying that I can't promise I won't be venting again because I am fighting to keep my sanity, and continue down a more fulfilling path, and as pathetic as it sounds to my own ears, this blog is pretty much all I have right now to air my feelings as I have an almost non-existent support system.(hi Drew)
Now onto gratitude. 1) I'm grateful that I feel a little bit stronger today than I did yesterday 2) I'm grateful that I have a safe place to call home 3) I'm grateful for my wonderful grandparents who were my everything when I was a child, and I believe they helped make me who I am today as they always celebrated my love of animals and their three dogs, Muffy, Angel, and  Lucy always made me so happy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


As I wrote yesterday, I live in a town full of isms. I also live in a town that is full of hunters and people who love guns. When I first moved here, I could not watch the news, because I couldn't  believe how many gun shootings went on here, and I was starting to really develop a fear of leaving the house. As I started meeting people and having conversations, I became completely shocked and depressed when I learned the amount of racism, and because I am a woman I have never dealt with such overt sexism. I mean it is everywhere, and it is accepted, and it is the norm. And when I mention to anyone that racism or sexism is not acceptable, I get dirty looks, or looks of shock that I am so upset.
Something else I've noticed is a general lack of compassion. Even when people are talking about their friends, or family members going through hard times, there's a lack of compassion, however they are down with getting drunk with someone to "wash away the sorrows."
Drinking is also the number one activity. I am still shocked by the amount of bars in this city/town. In my neighborhood alone, there are four bars I can think of. And there are at least ten or more bars around me within a two mile radius. And it's like that all over this place. And people still drive drunk, which is a whole other rant! And most of these bars open in the a.m. and are open till two a.m.! And people go to these bars! I know, I've worked at a few. I would personally never drive a car here, as it seems like the roads are always filled with drunk drivers.
I know when I drank a lot, I was less compassionate. I think alcohol allows you to have somewhat of a hard shell. It allows you to care less, have more of a who gives an eff, or what can be done kind of attitude. Trying to change something would interfere with unhappy hour. And I know alcohol makes you irrational, and angry. The racism and sexism and general hatred for anything different comes from their own choice to be ignorant.
When I see so much contempt and lack of compassion for humans, and I see these people who take a genuine  joy in hunting beautiful wild animals who are innocent, not to mention peaceful, I feel very hopeless, and all I see is the ugliness of life. I want to hulk out and run down the street kicking people's asses and destroying this good for nothing city. I'll build hulk's ark, and take all the animals out of this dump, and let the humans and their hate wander around like hate filled zombies.
I think the fact that the nobody ever leaves and nobody new ever comes to this city, all this negativity just is stagnant, and nobody knows any better, and what's worse is that they don't want to know any better. I'm always leery of people who don't want to learn and grow. Those kind of people usually come with a big bag full of toxic energy.
What I'm struggling with the most is that as a woman, if these ignorant men want to be gross, I'll live.
But all of the people in the world who for whatever reason choose to eat meat, animals are dying. I do try to focus on the positive to keep my sanity, and I know that veganism is gaining momentum, or at the very least an awareness of eating less meat, and I know that things are changing, but unfortunately, as I am reminded daily things are also not changing. And that there are people who truly will fight change every step of the way.
Today I can only think of one thing I'm grateful for and that is Compassion. And if I could serve up any outbreak onto humankind, it would be compassion, and the ability to see what kind of changes we could really make if we demanded compassion.
I'm sorry I ranted on this subject twice in a row, but I thought the grooming shop was a sanctuary like my apartment where I can feel safe from hateful people, and it was a sudden reminder that I'm not really ever safe, unless I'm tucked away in my apartment. Agoraphobia here I come!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Yesterday I had a rough day. I am still feeling drained from it to tell the truth. I was at the grooming shop getting ready to leave and some guy who works for the landlord came to fix something, and he was so disgusting. First of all, he had screwdrivers in his hand, and his opening line to Maureen (the shop owner) was I'm here to screw you. Wow dude what a completely original and very appropriate thing to say to a woman. Maureen introduced us, and he said a few other gems that suffice it to say were completely ignorant and offensive. One of them involved him shooting his neighbors cat! So I simply told Maureen that I needed to leave because I was disgusted by this guy. I was seriously having so many emotions on my walk home I thought I was having an anxiety attack. I know that this kind of mentality exists everywhere, but seriously I live in a town where that's the norm, and when you say to people wow that's not okay, you get a lot of weird looks like "what's the big deal", or if a guy is a pervert, and you say something you get "oh him, he's harmless". Well I don't agree. I feel it is harmful to be so disgusting towards woman.
I'm going to do some research, but based on what I've noticed in this city where racism is rampant, I think a lot of isms go together because sexism is big here too. I think some people think I'm a radical feminist simply because I don't feel the need for a husband, and I don't want strange men touching me, or calling me babe, hon, sweetie, any other name other than my name.
And I think cruelty goes right along with it, as I have never seen such a large population of hunters/gun enthusiasts in my life. The general response I get when I mention I am vegan is "well animals were put on this earth to be eaten". And they clearly think that woman were put on this earth to ogle and touch whether we like it or not, and if George Zimmerman came to town I'm sure a parade would be thrown. I feel so sad today, and so pissed that I am even living here, and the worst feeling is that I feel stuck and helpless, because if it were just me, I would have been long gone, but I have a fleet of felines, and I just don't know what I'm going to do.
It's hard to think of three things to be grateful for, but this is probably what I need most so here goes nothing. 1) I'm grateful that my kitties are safe inside and away from maniacal gun owners. 2) I'm grateful for my apartment as it really is my only safe haven in this town. 3) I'm grateful that I've lived other places in my life, and I know that not every person is mean and cruel, while trying to say that they are good Christian people.
I'm sorry this post was a downer, and probably makes no sense, but my life in this place makes no sense to me.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Grateful I got Teesed

A few weeks ago I was strolling through Wegmens, and I looked up, and almost died when I saw Teese vegan cheese on the shelf! It was next  to the shelf stable tofu. As I've mentioned I live in what I would call a vegan hostile town, so I mean what a shock! And someone has to be buying it, or they wouldn't have it on their shelf, right? So, I decided to try a tube. I don't really buy things like Teese  because it is out of my budget, and I have been eating very clean lately, but I had to splurge, as I seriously didn't think I would ever get to try Teese! Wegmens  had nacho, mozzarella, and cheddar style. I went for mozzarella, as I was already planning on making another oatmeal crust pizza.
Last week I finally put Teese to the test and it passed! I made my favorite pizza crust, which I got from Fit on Raw on YouTube, sorry I don't know how to do the linky thing, but she is easy to find on YouTube, and this crust is delicious! Anyway, back to the cheese factor. I topped my pizza with some jarred pasta sauce that was leftover, some sliced onion, black olives, thinly sliced kale, and Teese. When I was slicing the cheese, it reminded me of Follow your Heart cheese. I did not taste it raw because unless it is cashew cheese, I feel like vegan cheese needs to be cooked before I can stand it, and I learned that lesson with Follow your Heart, so yea I was way to scared to taste it raw. However, I can tell you that it melted, and it was cool because since it is circular, my pizza looked like a nice pizza with the homemade mozzarella, and it tasted great! In all honesty, I didn't think it was better or worse than Daiya. They both melt, and add a cheesy element, and both imitate mozzarella well. I liked the look of the Teese on my pizza, because it melted but also retained it's circular shape if that makes sense. I wouldn't seek out one over the other, but how cool is it that we now have options? Teese would be a perfect cheese for sliders because of the size of the circle. So I just feel so happy that there are more and more options, and these companies are making really great products! It is getting harder to use taste as an excuse for cruelty, but us vegans know that already, it's our job to show the non vegans that we don't have to be cruel to have the things we want.
I do have to mention that Dylan feels that Daiya is the only way to go, and he is pissed that I chose Teese over Daiya, so please take that into consideration when you make your choice.
My Gratitude list for today is 1) I'm grateful for all of the vegan companies who are working so hard to make products that are so delicious, even non-vegans can't argue. 2) I'm grateful to Dylan for allowing me to add to the fur family. 3) I'm grateful for my years spent in Seattle. They were filled with everything struggle, good times, terrible times, and everything in between. I feel like I discovered myself in Seattle, and I learned so much, and I truly feel like Seattle is home, even if  I never live there again.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grateful for Cheap Eats

One of my favorite new dinners lately has been bibimbap. It's a Korean dish with rice, topped with veggies, and typically some kind of meat, a spicy chili sauce, and sometimes a fried egg. I have seen  bibimbap in restaurants, and there is even a children's book dedicated to it! It is of course beyond easy to veganize,  just by leaving off the egg, and subbing tofu, or really you can just have it with veggies, as I have done many times. It is so delicious, and it is one of those meals that is so flexible you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. You can also use different techniques. You can sauté the vegetables, or leave them raw. For me what makes it awesome is the sauce. My favorite bibimbap sauce is just two tablespoons of sriracha, one tablespoon of sesame oil, one tablespoon of agave, and a few splashes of soy sauce or tamari. However, there are a ton of different versions online, so experiment it's fun! I love this dish because it's quick, cheap, and so easy to switch up and not get bored. It also fits in nicely with my Raw till Four plan, and you can really make this a veg heavy meal.
Now onto gratitude. 1) I'm grateful for the fresh smell in the air from the rain this morning. 2) I'm grateful for all the tasty vegan food that is available. 3) I'm grateful that veganism is being taken more seriously, and seems to be on the rise.
One more little thing about bibimbap is that it is also delicious with the sriracha mayo sauce I talked about the other day. Like I said it's so easy to play with this meal and keep it exciting, which is important when you are eating on a budget. I also think this would be a wonderful dish to serve to non-vegans, just make sure you use veggies that they like of course!
Have a groovy day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stinging Gratitude

So two weeks ago one of my coworkers was complaining of a month long migraine, and also she is experiencing very long painful periods, and she is in the beginning stages of menopause. I asked her if she had ever heard of drinking stinging nettle tea, and the answer was no, so I told her some of the amazing benefits of nettles, and that for me personally it has really made a difference in my menstrual cycle. She seems doubtful, but I told her I would bring her some to try. She had been taking massive amounts of Excedrin, Tylenol, and even some kind of prescription medicine. Nothing was working.
Last week I brought her in a bag of nettles, and she tried some on Wednesday, and she told me that she hasn't had a migraine since, and her cycle has finally ended after a month!!!! I could see the look of shock on her face, and honestly I'm kind of shocked too! She is not usually very open when I talk about my natural remedies, and this was pretty cool that she was even willing to try it, and I really couldn't be happier that it worked! She has already told a few of her friends who are having similar menstrual issues, and if it works for them, they will tell a few of their friends, and on and on. It was nice to be a part of something positive, and also help someone find a healthier option. And as ashamed as I am to admit this, it feels nice to have been right, and maybe my coworker will be open to more natural options in the future.
I am far from being a doctor, so please do you're own research, but I cannot say enough good things about drinking nettle tea. I always drink it in iced tea form, sometime I mix it with other teas, sometimes alone either way it is so refreshing and delicious,  and the health benefits are pretty amazing, and the best part is if you can find them in bulk, they are so inexpensive. The last time I bought nettles, I paid eighty eight cents for a bag that I'm still using, and that was three weeks ago, and I drink nettles every day. I now forgive nettles for all the torture throughout the years! Ha Ha.
Now onto gratitude. I'm going to list six things today, three for today, three for yesterday. 1) I'm grateful for animals, who never ever cease to amaze me, and uplift me every single day of my life. 2) I'm grateful for the still silence of early morning. 3) I'm grateful that my body is still holding up after some of the stunts I've pulled on it. 4) I'm grateful for how far vegan cheese has come! 5) I'm grateful for the birds that are always singing and free cat entertainment. 6) I'm grateful to anyone who reads this blog, as I know it still needs a lot of work!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Feeling Proud

For some reason yesterday was kind of a rough day, and I really struggled to maintain a positive mindset. And it was made harder by the fact that I was around some negativity at work, so it was a super tough day, and all day I kept thinking I just want to buy a pack of cigarettes smoke and feel better. That is insane! Smoking makes me feel worse! But regardless of how insane it sounds, it was a battle in my head!
To make a long story short, I fought the feeling all day, and kept telling myself that smoking is not going to solve anything, and that it's okay to feel my emotions without a "buffer". And guess what? My feelings didn't kill me! Anyway I feel proud of myself because I was strong, and I made the right choice, which will snowball into today, and help me to be strong today, and so on and so forth. Maybe I can even inspire someone else to be brave and feel their feelings!
So this gratitude challenge helped me yesterday also as I thought of what I have to be grateful for often! So here are my three for today. 1)I'm grateful for the out of this world organic plums I found. 2) I'm grateful that a fierce love of animals was instilled in me pretty much from birth. 3) I'm grateful that I have the luxury of counting my blessings.
Have a healthy day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Serving up some Saucy Gratitude!!

I made the best sauce last night and I had to share because it made my mouth so happy! I was making myself a rice bowl, with tofu, romaine, and radishes, and I always make either a vegan bibimbap sauce, or a peanut sauce. Well I felt like sprucing it up a bit. In all honesty I was inspired by a picture I saw of  Just Mayo sriracha mayo! I thought of how delicious that sounds, so I decided to make my own version. Luckily I have Just Mayo in my fridge, and I try to always have sriracha as I am a spicy girl! So I threw a couple of spoonfuls of mayo, a few spoonfuls of sriracha, and because I wanted to thin it out a little, I used about a teaspoonful of teriyaki sauce, then another squirt of sriracha to increase the heat, and then I fell in love! I assembled my bowl with rice with a few scant drops of sesame oil, then four sliced radishes, a small head of romaine, and some tofu that I dry fried. Then I drizzled this sauce over and it was so delicious! If you aren't a super spicy person, but you like a little action, just start out with only one spoonful of sriracha, and you can add more as needed.
I did a little review of Just Mayo, but I will say it again it is so delicious that all I can really say is that you have to try it yourself! It is so creamy and it even has that mayo smell that actually is a little freaky, I sometimes have to reread the ingredients to reassure myself. I think that there is not a person out there who would not enjoy this mayo. Andrew Zimmerman who is a very meaty chef and a host of various shows on the Travel Channel, has a quote on Just Mayo's website saying he preferred Just Mayo to Hellman's his preferred brand in a blind taste test. This is the kind of guy who makes fun of vegans, and vegan food, so that quote is a pretty big deal if you ask me!
I'm sorry I'm a dork and I can't post pictures, cause this bowl looked and tasted beautiful, and I know I like looking at pictures myself. And as I told my friend a few weeks ago I need to write down actual measurements. I'm such a dash of this smidge of that type of cook, and I need to start writing things down. So once again, I an working on improving my skills!
Onto my three things I'm grateful for 1)I'm grateful that I have the means to buy extra cans of cat food to feed the feral kitties who are hungry and have no one to feed them. 2)I'm grateful that I overcame my feelings of dorkiness and I keep writing this blog. 3)I'm grateful that I have clean, safe water to drink.
Have a happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Letting Go of Ego

As I've mentioned for a few months I have been doing raw till 4, (for the most part) and really stepping up my workouts. I'm striving for inner health and happiness. But of course I'm hoping on my way to health that I lose the weight that years of living excessively put on.
I have been feeling somewhat frustrated that the weight has not been falling off as fast as I had imagined. As a matter of fact, the other day I kind of let those old "feeling fat" thoughts creep back in my head. I felt like giving up on my quest. I will never give up veganism, but I thought why keep working so hard when all your doing is hitting a wall. It was a very rough day, and I kept thinking of the guy who not to long ago said to my face that he was surprised to hear I was vegan, since he always expected vegans to be very thin. I was stunned, and I was at work so I couldn't cry, tell him off, slap his face, or any combo of the three.
I had to really take a minute to calm myself down, and think of something Freelee the Banana Girl always says which is that you are healing yourself, and your body after however many years of abuse, and it is a process. Although I couldn't shake the feeling of frustration altogether, I was able to stop myself from a total meltdown.
So now I am working on taking my ego out of the equation, so I can focus all my energy on continued health. Because the truth is that I feel great! I feel strong, and I feel proud because I am really sticking to this and I can see muscle, and my clothes do fit better, so is it worth it to get all worked up over not being skinny, and something some person with no manners said to me? The answer is no. At this stage of my life, health trumps looks. I just want to be healthy and strong so that I can be a shining example of how wonderful your life is when you are vegan.
We tend to want things immediately, and we've forgotten the art of patience. I'm going to work on bringing that into my life, as I think patience will serve me well in all areas of life. So I've decided two things. One is I choose to believe Freelee, that more changes in my body will happen, and the other, more important is that I am okay even if I never have a bod like Freelee, cause I only need to be healthy and strong to save animals. Having gone from an eating disorder/obsession with how I looked, to going the opposite way and drinking too much and not caring at all, finding the middle ground is tough!
I want to save animals, not obsess over my body.
Now in my quest for happiness, today is day two of my twenty-one day gratitude challenge, so here are today's three things I'm grateful for. 1) I am grateful that today I get to hang out with dogs. 2) I am so grateful for all the vegan blogs, and vegan YouTube channels that have taught me so much, and are my support system for this time of my life when I have none. 3) I'm grateful that despite how horrible I have been to myself over the years, I am healing and bouncing back. Our bodies are pretty amazing. I'm only on day two, but I do think this is working, I felt a little extra bounce in my step yesterday, and I was humming way more than usual as I was shampooing the pooches!
Have a beautiful day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Because I Want to be HAPPY!

Staying positive throughout the day can be a real challenge. I find so many times I wake up in a good mood and I do everything in my power to start my day on the right foot, and then as my day progresses, I let outside influences take over, and before I know it I come home feeling like a completely different person, and not in a good way. There are so many books, articles, blogs, and vlogs  to help find happiness, and how to make positive changes, and I think overall most people want to be happy, and a natural side effect of happiness is a positive attitude. But for me the never ending battle is how to not let the negative people of the world bring you down. And avoiding these people is just not always an option. If we could all just avoid toxic people no one would really be struggling.
One thing I have learned for sure is taking the best care possible of yourself is the most important part of remaining positive. On days where I haven't taken the best care of myself, I notice it's way easier to get sucked in the toxic dump. And it's also easier to get pulled into their negative ways of handling life. It's the "if you can't beat em, join em" theory. So I have certain things I do in my morning routine that I don't let myself stray from, and they make me feel stronger to defend myself against the world.
I always make myself workout in the morning. I don't feel strong when I don't workout, and if I don't do it in the morning, I find it can be super easy to blow you're workout off. I also make sure I have time to have a few cups of tea, and read a few of my favorite vegan blogs. And of course breakfast. I have noticed that since I've been doing the raw till 4 that starting my day with fresh fruit has been really making me feel good. I feel like fruit is happy food. Maybe it's the fructose going to my brain! While doing these things in the morning is no guarantee of all day positivity, I find that it does make it easier to defend myself.  I also find the early mornings to be very peaceful, and I feed off of that peace.
I read a little factoid yesterday that said you can "rewire" your brain to be happy by recalling three things your grateful for every day for twenty- one days. So I am starting that challenge today. Since I am so miserable in this city I live in, I think it's a great challenge because I need to be reminded that I have much to be grateful for, and I need to keep fighting so all animals can sit back and count their blessings too.
Today I am grateful that I have a roof over my head, I am glad that I have food in my refrigerator, and I am grateful that I have fur friends who are always ready to cheer me up when I come home!
So from today until August tenth, I will document three things I am grateful for, in the name of eternal happiness!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Earth Balance Sour Crean and Onion Chips

Before going vegan, sour cream and onion chips were not really my jam. I was more of a plain old chip, or maybe barbeque if I was feeling sassy. I think the only kind of sour cream and onion chips I've had is maybe Lays it has been so long I can't really remember.
Because of my neutral opinion on the non-vegan version, I didn't really have any expectations, other than assuming these would be better than Lays. Well I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I love this flavor! It had more of an onion flavor than I remember non-vegan versions having. And just like the cheddar flavor, the perfect crunch and thickness. And what I really love about both flavors is that they are not so greasy and powdery. I never liked the greasy powdery residue left on my fingers after eating Cheetos or Doritos. I really can't believe how well they have mimicked the sour cream flavor. I truly think you could put both flavors of  these vegan chips in bowls and serve to non-vegans, and I think everyone would love them. I think sometimes you have to surprise people, as not everyone is open minded, and there are a lot of people who hear the word vegan in front of any food, and forget about it, they will not like it. So if they taste it and they like it, they can't really say all vegan food is gross!
If you're life has been deprived of Sour Cream and Onion, or Cheddar flavor potato chips Earth Balance is you're new best friend. I have now had both flavors and I am in love with everything, flavor, texture, and no laundry list of weird ingredients. And just like the cheddar flavor, I'm sure these would hold up well to a hearty dip.
On a side note I am so happy with all these truly delicious vegan products that keep coming out, and it's like one is better than the next. It's getting harder and harder for people to say that all vegans eat is wheatgrass, and that vegan food is weird or gross. So I think it really is one way to open peoples minds, even if you have to trick them at first.  When someone's mind is opened, we can save animals.
So buy a bag and fool an Omni!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cats Rock my Kasbah

I complain about the city I live in a lot. Actually I have nothing positive to say about it. My mental health has suffered tremendously since moving here. I have no positive experiences to speak off since living here, and because of how horrible public transportation is, and how low places pay, my daily life is a million times more difficult than it was in Seattle. And let me tell you something I went through some rough patches in Seattle, so to say my life is harder now is crazy but true.
Through my years of living in Seattle, when I would hit a rough patch, my parents would try to talk me into moving back here, and seriously no matter how bad I had it, I would always resist. I call that my intuition, and you should always listen to you're intuition. I always stuck it out, and somehow I always was able to pull myself up and start over, and I always felt that I made the right choice.
Fast forward to about three or so years ago, I had hit yet another rough patch in my life, and I had recently started a new relationship with an old flame, (big mistake), and here come my parents wanting me to move back home. Well the old flame felt like maybe a change would be good, he was I think eager to try a new city, as he was born and raised in Seattle. So we make the move and I swear to you that my heart was hurting so bad the whole trip here, because I knew it was a mistake.
It took less than a week for us to realize wow, this place is weird and not in a good way. Neither one of us were really able to make any friends, which was strange, because both of us had many friends in Seattle, and are both friendly people. We noticed a complete lack of culture, we couldn't believe how scary it was to listen to the news, as the amount of gun violence made us sick. And we just noticed a toxicity to the people that was very hard to handle, and the struggle greatly affected our relationship. I also struggled to find a job that wasn't abusive. My top three worst jobs in my life have all been in this city, no joke. And I have had some pretty bad jobs, I've been sexually harassed, and verbally abused, and underpaid pretty much my entire working life, so yeah it's bad. I don't know if I can really explain what it feels like to have someone who is paying you $2.83 an hour think it is really okay to cuss at you at the top of his lungs in front of customers. It makes me realize why people snap, and I am a peace loving person.
Anyway, enough complaining, onto the reason I'm stuck, because the obvious solution to my problem is moving. Well, two summers ago, I noticed a stray kitty living under our neighbors van. Long story short, we decided to give her a home. A few weeks after we took her in, we noticed she was turning into a real chunk, and then the light bulb went off, and yes she was preggo! So she has a small litter of kittens, and I was pretty much her midwife when she gave birth. At this point things in my relationship were pretty terrible, and I had no friends to talk to, and my now ex was either ignoring me, or we were fighting and he was pretty vicious when we fought, so life was pretty rotten for me. The one high point in my life was these little kittens. What can I say I fell in love. My ex was telling me every day that we needed to find homes, and I did talk to a few people, but I didn't trust these people I talked too. To tell you the truth I don't like or trust the people where I live. A ton of people who live here hunt, and I have witnessed some mistreatment of animals and people act like you have a problem if you try to stop the mistreatment. It makes me sick. So it just got to the point where I realized I was keeping these kittens. Needless to say, the old flame packed up and moved back to Seattle. As much as I wish I could have packed up and moved back to Seattle, I know these kitties kind of saved me because I would have moved back to Seattle with him just to get out of this city. But the truth of the matter is my ex was emotionally abusive when he got angry, and I don't need that.
So now, I'm stuck. When I originally moved to Seattle, I had no pets so I could be reckless, and just move with no plan, which is what I did and it was amazing and taught me so much! But this time around I have to have shelter and all of those normal grown up things people do when they move.
I do feel stuck, and I wish I could find a solution to move, because I am so unhappy in this city and sometimes I feel like why am I even trying to find health and happiness when it seems impossible to sustain happiness. But Dylan and my other fur babies enrich my life, and I know none of them would just dump me off at a shelter, so I will never do that to them. I just need to keep washing all the dogs I can to try to save money. I know I can do it, because I know I have to.
I struggled financially in Seattle, but I struggle here to so living here not only has not improved my life, but like I struggle more on the daily here for sure, but I don't regret my choice to take on a larger fur family. Some of us need to balance out all of the people who won't open their homes or hearts to fur babies.
If anyone reads this sorry I feel like I was all over the place, but I feel better, and that is the point of getting things off of you're chest right?
And in case anyone is wondering, I definitely never planned to become a crazy cat lady, but ironically these cats are what keeps me sane in this city! And also if anyone is curious, you can have more than one cat and a clean house too I promise.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Giving up Coffee

Coffee is something that was a huge part of my life, and part of my daily routine for years. I started sneaking coffee when I was around eleven and I never looked back! I never even got to into the latte coffee shop thing either. I always liked plain old drip and lots of it! Sometimes I liked it black, sometimes I liked with milk in my pre vegan days, and after going vegan I loved it with almond milk.
About six years ago, I decided to give it up. I wasn't going too hardcore, I  switched from coffee to green tea, because I didn't want to deal with the awful headache, and also I just wanted to find a gentler, healthier way to start my day. I remember that first day I was such a zombie! I went to Trader Joes that day and I remember I felt so out of it, and so so fuzzy headed. Those first couple of days were so hard and it was so tempting to go back to coffee! And I was living in Seattle at the time so coffee was everywhere and everyone was drinking coffee! But I stuck with it, and I started feeling really amazing. After a few weeks, I started waking up right out of bed alert. I didn't feel that grumpy "oh I need my coffee before I even look at anyone feeling anymore. And oddly enough I started to become much more of a morning person. Nowadays early morning is my absolute favorite part of the day!
I still start my day with a small amount of caffeine, but in the form of either green tea, or yerba mate. And since making that switch, I don't drink as much tea as I did coffee. Sometimes I would just drink so much coffee, I'm surprised that I didn't give myself a heart attack! Now I have a few cups of tea, and I feel satisfied.
Maybe one day I will give up caffeine altogether, but for right now I feel great with the switch I made. If you've been toying with the idea of giving up coffee, I promise it can be done and there is life after bottomless cups of coffee! Tea is a gentler way to start you're day, and you're body will thank you I promise!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stamping out Negativity

Something I've known for awhile is that it is easy to be negative, and it takes work to be and remain a positive person. For me, the hardest has always been staying positive. It is so easy to become infected with people's negative energy, and most negative people desperately want to poison you. As someone who has not had an easy life, and as someone who has taken the easy way out of the pain for too many years of my life I work hard every day to make the healthiest choices I can. I am far from perfect, I have days where I feel down and feel tempted to say why bother, happiness is only for other people, I don't have the means to be happy. However now, unlike in the past, I fight those feelings off as best as I can, and I don't allow myself to go back to toxic behavior. It  is hard work, and I don't always succeed, but my success rate is getting better by the day. I really mean that, the hard work pays off, and then it is so worth it. I have been able to make small changes in my life to improve the quality, so I have less to feel bad about, and it frees up a lot of my headspace to focus on more positive things. I think in the past I would have missed some of these chances because I was too busy drowning my sorrows in one negative way or another. And it is a very tough cycle to break out of, and for a lot of us change is very scary, even if it is a positive change. Sometimes when I feel outnumbered by negative people, and I start feeling like what is the point, I try to focus on how much better I feel, and how much stronger I feel. That's where the mind/body part comes in I think. For me, the fact that if I start smoking cigarettes and drinking again, I won't be able to keep improving my fitness level, and I'm pretty proud of how far I've come, and each time I do a super hard workout, I notice I'm grunting less so I'm pretty damn happy with myself and it feels great. So my body getting strong is helping to motivate my head and heart to stay strong. Far from scientific facts, but it's the best way I can describe what's happening with me, and it's pretty awesome.
I think people who are negative somehow think that people who are happy are dumb, or have it easy. I hear a lot of "I'd be happy too if I had...." . But the truth of the matter is trying to remain positive in this cold world takes work, plain and simple, because some of the most toxic people I know have more than I probably ever will in my life and they suck the life right out of you with their negativity.
In my humble opinion, and what I've learned is that change can only happen when you make it happen. So if I can make these changes I know it's possible and it feels so great. It feels so great to be typing out my feelings this morning, and setting myself up to have a positive day.
I feel like I sound like a broken record, but I can't help but think about how the world could be kinder if humans were kinder.
If you are working on getting yourself healthier and happier, stay strong and know that you are working hard, and it pays off, and if you let anyone pull you back down, there's nowhere to go but down. And I don't know about you, but I've spent enough time in the gutter, and I have things to say, and changes to make in this world, so if you have nothing nice to say, please have a seat and zip it right on up! The more we stand up to negativity, the better chance we have of making it go away.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vegan is the new Black

I just read an article about a popular blog, called The Blond Vegan (which I had never heard of before today) and the author is now saying that she was suffering from orthorexia, which if I am understanding her correctly was brought on when she became vegan, as she became obsessed with juicing, juice fasting, eating raw, and on and on. I'm not going to waste my time discrediting her or putting her down, I am simply wanting to say to her as someone who has dealt with both anorexia, and bulimia, and now I am a healthy vegan, eating disorders and veganism are two very different things, and you are very misinformed if you think differently end of story. My parents know a couple of people who are "vegan" and they are very pale and sickly looking, and have very strange, I would say at the very least neurotic eating habits, but in all reality it's pretty disordered. One of the oldest tricks in the book if you have an eating disorder is to play vegetarian or vegan as an excuse to miss a lot of meals.
Orthorexia Nervosa seems to be relatively new disorder, and it is described as an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. So I could see where if you have that disordered way of thinking veganism would be the way to go because it is HEALTHY. However there is an obsession in general in this country at least with health, because we are so unhealthy. There are more books, shows, blogs, vlogs, and whatever else you can imagine to guide omnivores to perfect health, and eating disorders affect people, they don't discriminate, and it is definitely not a "vegan disorder".
I will say it till the day I die that I don't care why you are vegan as long as you are vegan. I don't even get mad at celebrities who hop on veganism temporarily. I remember not too long ago, Beyoncé and Jay Z went vegan and they really had some delicious food, and Beyoncé looked even more amazing than usual. When they went back to their normal diet, they did so quietly. They have nothing but positive things to say about their vegan experience.
For whatever reason some people suffer from eating disorders. As an ex sufferer, I strongly feel that it is irresponsible to blame an obsession with healthy eating on veganism. Apparently this blog is very popular, so now young girls could read it and say sweet veganism can make me get too skinny, or people who don't know much about veganism could be scared away. And while we argue and fuss over healthy, not healthy, this that and the other, animals are being murdered. So if anyone ever reads this who is wondering if all vegans do is drink green juice and eat kale, the answer is of course not. Just like meat eaters vary, some try to be conscious  and limit their meat intake, and some meat eaters have to have meat on everything, the same can be said for vegans. You do not have to be health obsessed to be a vegan there are so many different types of food for everyone!
I truly believe that everyone can thrive on a vegan diet, but I am also not a doctor, however the author of this blog is also not a doctor, and I understand that she has to address not being a vegan anymore, I just wish she would have not blamed veganism for an eating disorder.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Anything is Better than Nothing

As I've mentioned a million times before, I live in a city that on a daily basis reminds me that racism is most certainly alive. It has at times made me feel extremely depressed because hate filled people are depressing, and it always makes me feel like if people can be so hateful towards other people, and show no desire to change, and are raising children to be hate filled, what hope is there for getting people to be kind to animals? I should also mention that this city also has an alarming amount of bars, and oddly enough churches. It's strange to see so many churches, alongside so much pure hatred of other races, and cultures.
I say all of this to say that when I get depressed, I'm letting evil win. I may not be able to stop the racism in this city, but when people are drop a slur during a conversation, I can say "no thank you I don't like that word" or somehow let them know that intolerance is unacceptable. It's better to kindly let them know that not every white person feels that way. It probably won't make a difference, but than again maybe it will.
I feel the same way about veganism. I may not be able to convince everyone to give up meat, which is what I so desperately want to do, but I can do what I can to spark interest. Anytime I go to my local Co-op, and my dad saves me a trip on the bus and gives me a ride, I get him a vegan treat from the little baked good section. This past Saturday it was a vegan chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream type frosting. The time before that it was vegan whoopee pies which are to die for by the way! It doesn't mean he's going to go vegan, but it's showing someone food can be delicious without harming animals. We can have it all! A kind planet and delicious foods. And if you give one person a delicious vegan food item, and it surprises him/her with the deliciousness of it all, chances are they will tell someone, who might try something vegan, and pass it along and it can be a whole change!! I feel very strongly that we can't do nothing, we have to do something. Animals are being brutally murdered every second.
I used to think that since I'm more of a non confrontational person, what could I really do beyond my own choices. But there is a need for all types of people trying tons of different ways to be kind to everyone. We need to be trying big ways small ways and everything in between.
I know that even in this whole that I live in there are some vegetarians and vegans, so our numbers might be small but we exist and we have to fight for those that don't have a voice and we have to keep fighting. I am constantly amazed by the loyalty and unconditional love that is given to us nasty humans by animals so we have to stay loyal to them and not ever give up! Make or buy an Omni you know a vegan treat today and spread the love!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fending off Negativity

About a year or so ago I was going through a rough breakup, and before the actual breakup, about six or more months of a really bad relationship, and we lived together so life was pretty hard for awhile, and I had many bad days. It seemed when I would go to work upset, or angry and needed to vent about this person, I was met with open arms, and encouraged to speak freely and often. Pretty much any negative topic is welcomed. But fast forward to this year and I have really made some great progress in my quest to be happy, and most recently finding out that washing dogs is for me an awesome way to make extra money. That is huge for me as I have really struggled with the working environment in the city I live in. The top three worst jobs I have had in my life are all jobs I have had in this city. So I went to my serving crap food job on Friday and was feeling pretty good about life. Big mistake! The joy got sucked out of me within five minutes of being at work. I really felt that I was annoying people by saying anything good. And I finally stopped. This is like the age old question Why do some people hate happiness and why do they need to try to halt all signs of it? And what I've really been noticing lately is often it's people who are blessed in life who are the most toxic and negative. I feel very sad and drained. I also feel pissed because who is anyone to rob you of you're joy and happiness? I've noticed people who are more on the negative side will sometimes act as if you are dumb or naïve to be happy, or content. It makes me feel mixed emotions, on one hand when I'm not around them I actually feel bad for them, as I have been stuck before in my own web of toxicity, but on the other hand when I am around them I start to feel pissed after awhile.  I still don't know how to fight off the energy vampires. I wish I had the answer to not only fighting them, but curing the problem. Toxic people don't seem to have any passion for anything other than misery, so it's really a problem, because let's be honest, the world is a mess right now, and we need to start caring about things other than ourselves, and at a certain point realize that we need to change some things. And you know what? If you're going to sit around being all negative, just keep it to yourself. It serves no purpose to suck the joy out of people. So my advice to the negative nellies is to have several seats, and let the real warriors fight for change in this world.
It's funny but also sad that when I was a toxic, hopeless person, I had a lot more friends. I had a lot more people to talk to. Now that I'm on a quest for health, I'm feeling like I am on a lonely quest. But as pathetic as it may sound, I have some awesome feline friends, and thanks to the good old interwebs  I have lot's of imaginary friends to keep me motivated. And I feel so good physically that I would never trade how I feel for friends, because if I have to not be me to have a friend, what's the point?
It seems like dealing with negative people is a very important issue that a lot of people including myself deal with, and have questions about. I think we all need to keep talking about it, and trying to find a cure. And the more we talk about it and stand up to it the better, because it takes massive strength to fend off negativity. If  we can find a way to inspire people to be happier, the world would be kinder, that I know for sure. I don't have all the answers, but one thing I can do, and anyone can do is try to be the healthiest you can be, and lead by example. But what else can we do?

Saturday, July 12, 2014


When I was younger and really was not in touch with who I really  am, and I was trying to find ways to fill voids in my heart, I was a lot more shallow and needing of "things". I would have died if you would have told me that one day I would be washing my hair with baking soda! I worked in a few different clothing stores in the mall, and I shopped pretty much daily. If I wasn't buying something, I was putting something on hold for my next payday. But I remember that I wasn't happy. Shopping and acquiring things was just a temporary distraction, much like any addictive type of behavior. All the pain inside was still there. But at the time, I didn't know anyone who was a minimalist, and to be honest, I don't think I even knew what the concept was. When I look back on that time I can't believe what a horrible toxic cycle I was on. My life pretty much consisted of bingeing and purging, shopping, obsessing over every little flaw, and really any self destructive behavior I could engage in.
What first led me to minimalism was I guess necessity. I moved from the east coast to beautiful Seattle, Washington. I knew no one, and I moved there with very little money. So when I got my first apartment, it was furnished on things given to me by customers at my first job. What I remember most about my first apartment in Seattle was how it felt being in this new big city, and I remember the cast of characters I met, and I have so many emotions and the one thing I have never thought about were what things I had. But I know I had the basics and what I learned is that is all you need. I lived in Seattle probably for at least five years before I became a total minimalist. I hung on to the need for lots of clothes for a long time for some reason. Even though along the way I had pretty much stopped buying new clothes, I was buying a lot of clothes I didn't need at thrift stores. And let me repeat myself, I was not happy. Because the majority of the time I lived in Seattle I was so broke that a lot of the time I couldn't even buy food, things that weren't absolutely necessary just started to become naturally less and less important. I never really made a conscious effort to become a minimalist, it just kind of naturally happened. You can find amazing things in thrift stores, and not to mention I can remember a very groovy orange velvet couch that someone had set out for free! Honestly after some of the things that I have been through in life I'm happy to have food and a roof over my head. Anything else is extra.
People don't always understand minimalism. When I moved into my apartment that I live in now, which is a one bedroom pretty standard size, my mom was less than impressed. I remember she asked me why I didn't want something bigger, and I couldn't figure out how much space she thinks I need! In my opinion I have everything I need, for me, since it is my home, and the two people who have been in my home have kind of seemed horrified at my lack of stuff, and I felt hurt and offended at first because I take pride in my home. But you know what? Who cares what they think. We are out of control in this country with our constant needs and wants. And I am so proud of letting my need of things go. I am so much happier I really mean it. I don't have a lot of money, and I would rather be able to buy organic strawberries and feed my kitties quality food, and be able to feed some stray kitties, I feel more satisfied doing that than trying to fill my life with so much "stuff". I say don't judge the minimalists, because there has to be some kind of balance to the mass overconsumption that the majority of this country partakes in. So high five to all my minimalist friends out there! Have a wonderful blessed day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dogs Rule, People Drool

Last week was a very hard week for me and I was tempted to engage in unhealthy behavior to escape. Well I am so happy I did not do that because I would have missed out on the chance to wash dogs! I think most people who would be reading a vegan blog, and certainly anyone who has worked in any type of customer service job for more than a year would not be surprised to hear that washing and drying dogs is a million times better than serving people food. For the first time in maybe my entire adult life I am not pissed, drained, depressed, suicidal, homicidal, or in need of a drink after work. It is so great I don't even have words! Imagine if everyone could feel this way after work we would be so much kinder. Earning money to live should not be so soul crushing.
I mean I got a huge wet bear hug from a white Goldendoodle! How could I not be in an awesome mood?  And not one single dog has sent any food back, stiffed me on a tip, or been a pervert! Ha
Please do yourself a favor and hug a dog today!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Brewing Some Booch

If you are like me you are a huge fan of the delicious fizzy fermented tea known as kombucha. If you tried it once and found it a little on the vinegary side, try it a few more times, and try different flavors. It might grow on you like it did me. Once my taste buds acquired the taste for kombucha, I noticed that it gave me this little pep of happy energy. Not the aggressive kick in the ass that an energy drink gives you, but just this good little feeling. As someone who used to abuse caffeine in many forms, I appreciate the good "buzz" I get from good old booch. As someone who is never not on a strict budget, Kombucha was always a very rare treat, and I lived for any kind of sale! For maybe three years or so, I have flirted with the idea of making my own, and watched YouTube videos, read as much information as I could, and it just always sounded too scary, and too out of my skill set, and you can die if you do it wrong apparently. And I always thought, how will I know if I've made it wrong if it's the first time I've ever made it? See what I mean? Way too risky. I just was reading too much stuff and freaking myself out! Last summer around this time of the year, I was at the local Co-op, and above their Kombucha cooler was a starter kit and I must have been feeling sassy that day and I bought the starter along with a gallon glass jar. I had tea and sugar at home already, so that was all I needed. I bought Oregon kombucha brand if anyone is curious, I know there are many different brands online. As soon as I got home and read the instructions I calmed down. The people at Oregon Kombucha have a relaxed way of brewing the booch. According to them, they use plain old tap water, so unless you live somewhere where it is not safe, so should you! A lot of videos I watched online said you must use distilled water. Anyway I decided to not listen to the internet, and follow the instructions that came with the kit, and I had success, and I have not had a single bad batch, I have not died, and most importantly, I have saved TONS of money! I have learned tricks along the way to improve my kombucha, but even in the beginning when my brew skills weren't what they are now, I still never had to throw a batch out. I have experimented with different teas and found that I prefer a white or green tea over the more commonly used black tea. I also learned that a little more sugar than the recommended one cup makes for a more carbonated final product which I prefer. What can I say, I like my fizz! I followed the directions the first few times, then when I felt like I understood what I was doing, I started mixing things up to tailor it to my needs. I make my booch, then I bottle it with a juice of some kind, lately my fave  juice to use is Wegmens organic strawberry lemonade. It makes for a very refreshing booch. So where I live the two brands of kombucha available to me are GT's kombucha, and Reed's brand. Both are around $3.79 a bottle. I can make a whole batch for less than that, and a batch makes probably at least ten bottles which are 16 oz. for the GT's brand, and 13.5 oz. for the Reed's. So quite the savings and I swear it is so easy it takes no time. And every time you make a batch, it creates another  scoby, which is what makes the sweet tea turn into Kombucha. Scoby stands for symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria if you're curious. The scoby, with a cup of booch, plus the instructions are what make the starter kit. I have more scobys than I can use! And I always have 2 batches going, so I never run out! I don't think I mentioned that the kit was 12.50 give or take! That was a year ago and I drink one, sometimes two servings of kombucha a day! So really if you love Kombucha but can't afford the good stuff, try brewing you're own! I promise it is so easy and you don't have to be deprived of everything just because you're on a budget! And brewing you're own booch also is gentler on Mother Earth as it cuts down on packaging so really everyone comes out a winner. Have a wonderful fizzy day!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Workin' at the Dogwash

So I have a little side dog walking/pet sitting business that I am really having a hard time getting it off the ground. I have been so over being a server, bartender, any menial job for a really long time. The problem with being an actual adult and trying to live off minimum wage, or barely over is not only the financial struggles, but for me it's just I am capable of so much more as many people stuck in these jobs are. If you didn't go to college, it doesn't mean that you just put you're brain to the side and just become useless other than to serve people who are more educated than us. Many people who have better jobs reach a point in their life where they just can't deal with their career anymore. Some change careers, some travel to find out who they are, and some stop working for "the man" and start their own business. And when I see or read interviews with those people man do they seem happy and fulfilled doing what matters to them. I want to be fulfilled. But where I am currently living, my choices are limited. Being a cashier or telemarketer is not too different from serving people, the only difference is cashiering is less cleaning up after people. Also the state of Pennsylvania where I live thinks it is perfectly okay to pay servers 2.83 an hour! If you work at a restaurant and it's not that busy, or the food is inexpensive and you're not making much money. I also am finding it harder and harder to help people navigate the menu because I am actively involved in the selling of meat, even though I'm not eating it, I am saying it is okay to eat animals. I used to have an easier time rationalizing this in my head, and I think the drinking and smoking made it easier to numb those feelings down, and say to myself "what else can I do, I have to earn money". So I decided to try to make a go of dog walking. My choices are limited, so try to make you're own choices right? Well that has been more of  an occasional source of extra money, nothing I can count on. One of my neighbors owns a grooming shop about three blocks away from my apartment, and not only does she display my business cards, she also sometimes has me take care of her kitties when she and her hubby go out of town. Well this awesome lady is now also my new boss!! She has been very busy lately, and she has a small business so she does everything herself, and I am her new dog shampooer! I will wash and then blow them dry for her to groom and she's going to show me some grooming tricks along the way! She is paying me a set amount per wash, and it will pretty much be what I would earn working 8 or more hours at some soul crushing minimum wage job, the same for serving people food. And the woman who owns the shop is so sweet, I really enjoy chatting with her. She is a real animal lover so it's nice to have that in common. I am so excited, and I realized today that this is what happens when you keep working towards change, and actively participate in you're life. Things can change even if it takes awhile. This is so new to me. I don't think shampooing dogs is going to be my a ha dream job, but guess what? I won't be serving people bacon stuffed ham flavored chicken wings with a side or sausage gravy either. So progress! And I get to hang out with dogs! As my kitties have a strict no dog policy, I don't get to hang with pooches too often. So if anyone is reading this feeling hopeless, I know it sounds cheesy but honestly if you keep pushing yourself and focus on the big picture of peace and happiness, and not let yourself fall prey to negativity and toxic people/behavior, and most importantly have patience, things will start to change. And I know if I keep going, it's only going to get better! So I'm sorry this was kind of rambling on and on, but the last time I rambled, it was pretty negative, so it feels great to ramble in a positive direction. Have an amazing day!

Monday, July 7, 2014

New to me Vegan Items

I was at my regular old grocery store yesterday, and I saw a few new to me things in the freezer aisle. I knew Gardein  made a beefless burger, I've had it and it was definitely delicious, and my boyfriend at the time loved it. But they now have a new Chipotle Black Bean Burger that is also gluten free, which is pretty cool because I believe that most of their other products do have gluten in them. And I also saw that they make a Fishless Filet! Wow we have come a long way baby! I have read a few reviews of the Filet, and they have all been positive so that makes it even better! What surprised me the most was that these things were not at the Co-Op, they were at just a regular store, and I can't believe it myself but there must be a market for meatless burgers and such in my little ole city. Since I've been doing my best to stick to a mostly raw till 4 diet, I haven't really been eating those types of foods, but I usually like to have a package or two of veggie burger type foods in my freezer for lazy/ too tired/busy days. 
 I think for me what made me feel happy is that a corporate grocery store like Giant Eagle ( which is where I was shopping)  is not stocking their shelves with products just for laughs. No they are in it to make a profit, so there must be a demand for it. When I was looking at the items, I noticed that they only had one bag of the Filets left! I wanted to buy the last bag, but I am on a hardcore budget this week so some other lucky person will get that last bag. With all of the new products that seem to come out daily, it tells me slowly but surely animals are being saves. Someone might be curious, lets say and buy a bag of Fishless Filets as almost a joke, taste them and be very surprised and bam mind opened which means animals saved. As an ethical vegan, I used to give an inner eye roll at people who were plant based for health/beauty/anti-aging/weight loss, but I now realize who cares. The reason is not important the act of not eating animals is what really matters. Same thing when celebrities go vegan. Even if it is only temporary, they bring a huge amount of attention to vegan foods, and most of them achieve their goals and have a positive experience, and outcome so why get irritated? Of course I wish they would stick with it forever, I wish seeing vegan products wasn't a surprise, but rather the norm. But we are fighting towards the day where we do not see a need to murder animals for any reason, so when I see signs of progress I have to acknowledge it and feel happy about it. Progress not Perfection right? And support companies like Gardein and the countless other vegan companies, because for people who really love meat the thought of a plant based meat is very hard to imagine, so when these companies make these products so delicious they are not only feeding vegans, but they are helping to open minds, and that equals saving lives! Have a groovy vegan day!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Month of Blogging!

I've made it a whole month! I can't believe it. Time really does fly when you're having fun! I can't believe I've actually hung in there because I cannot be more serious when I say that every time I post something I feel so nervous and dorky. And I feel even dorkier because I don't know what I'm doing! But along with the dorkiness I feel proud too. I'm trying something new, and the stimulation for my brain has been invigorating. I think we forget that our brain needs exercise, at least I have definitely forgotten that in the past. I highly recommend anyone to learn something new! So maybe my new challenge will be overcoming my fear of a classroom  environment because my private lesson plan is not going my way. I will have to really think on that one, as that is a big huge fear! Anyone who has or is reading this thank you! This blog, much like me is very much a work in progress. Goals don't always come as fast as we want. I'm learning that lesson for sure. I kind of gave up on goals in the past, so making goals and working every day towards them is very new for me. If anyone struggles with that, I can only say that it does feel so so so much better working towards something. I can say last week was a very challenging week for me. Everyday I wanted to give up and give in to toxic, " quick fix" type behavior. But guess what?  I didn't , I fought off the negativity as best as I could, and I did a lot of crying, but that's okay, I've read that a good cry every now and then can keep you young. ha ha! My liver and my lungs thank me, because I didn't drink or smoke, and it looks like this week will be a better week. So is my life where I want it? No, but I am fighting for happiness, not against it. And I'm going to end on a little lie. I said I was done going on and on about baking soda, but sorry Almost Vegan, this tip is for you! If you have pets, and also have carpet, baking soda is a great deodorizer for you're carpet. About 3 times a week I sprinkle it on my carpet and let it sit for awhile ( you can sprinkle it on overnight if you want ) and then vacuum and you have carpets that are nice and fresh! I know it works as I workout at home, and my workouts include yoga, so my face is flush with my carpet often! Its so much better than one of those scented shakes they sell, and cheaper! And those scented shakes are so bad for pets and you. And it doesn't take much baking soda, and it is so much cheaper than the fake smelly stuff. Dylan used to run for the hills back when I used the gross stuff. See he knew how bad it was and I'm sure it sucked to be that close to it. None of my kitties mind the plain baking soda. The vacuum is another story! Have a wonderful summer day!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Oat Flour Success!

Well just as Swayze of Fit on Raw said, grinding you're own oat flour is so easy! You put the amount you need in a blender and in under a minute, oat flour. And if I can do it anyone can because my blender is on the lower end of the scale. So no need for an expensive blender for this one. As for the actual pizza crust, I really loved it! I found it very easy to work with, once you get over the initial sticky phase. I wouldn't make this pizza for any people in you're life who are skeptical of the vegan diet, as it is definitely a healthy tasting crust. But I felt full in that great energized way after eating 2 slices. I followed Swayze's recipe for the crust but I added some garlic powder, and of course nutritional yeast. I topped my pizza with some leftover jarred sauce that I needed to use up, along with some thinly sliced broccoli, green olives, garlic, and nutritional yeast and a liberal shake of crushed red pepper. I absolutely loved it! The crust held up well to the toppings, and I was able to eat the pizza with my hands, no fork needed. It is very different from a traditional pizza crust, but I don't think that is a bad thing, both are delicious, and this is such a great inexpensive gluten free option! Sometimes when I'm at the grocery, and I look at some of the gluten free items, I think how hard it must be for people who are on a very strict budget, and absolutely have to avoid gluten. Or people who live in small towns, some of the gluten free flours may be hard to find, but oatmeal is cheap and I think even gas stations sell oatmeal! If you're curious about the recipe, check out the video on Fit on Raw on YouTube. I think I will probably always use this recipe for a pizza crust. I think if we try different approaches, a lot of our favorite foods can still be enjoyed, and give us pleasure, and fuel our bodies. So for me, to be able to have all those flavors of pizza, I'm willing to have a denser crust, because I'm not really compromising anything, I'm just accepting a little tweak. I really can't say enough good things, and it was so friendly on my wallet. I will be trying oat flour in more recipes now. I think it might make good muffins. I bet it would be a good substitute for regular flour in banana or zucchini bread. If you are curious, don't be scared, both making oat flour and the pizza are so easy! And one more thing, the pizza crust recipe does call for ground flaxseed, which a whole bag of flax meal can be pricey, a lot of bulk bins sell whole flax seeds, so you can buy a smaller amount and grind them yourself, using a spice grinder. Have a great day and I hope the sun is shining for you!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Finally I Can Cook Something

So today is the first day in awhile that my apartment is below 82 degrees, so I can finally try a recipe I saw on Fit On Raw which is an awesome YouTube channel if you haven't heard of it you should definitely check it out I have learned a lot of great tips and recipes. Anyway she made a gluten free pizza with oat flour that she made herself by grinding oatmeal in a plain old blender! I don't avoid gluten all the time, but I do limit my intake, and I've always wanted to try experimenting with gluten free flours, but they can be on the pricier side, even in bulk. Oatmeal, on the other hand is inexpensive, even organic oatmeal if you can find it in a bulk bin is inexpensive. So today I will attempt to make my own oat flour for the first time! I never would have thought it would be that easy. The crust looks like it will be sturdy and a little more dense than traditional pizza crust, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I will definitely report back. I don't know about anyone else but this is so exciting, because if I like the pizza, I might try making cookies, or muffins with oat flour. I think oatmeal is actually cheaper than regular all purpose flour. I think this is great news for any people with celiac disease, or people who are very sensitive to gluten, but are also on a budget, because as I mentioned, gluten free flour can be on the pricey side. So I am so happy to learn of an inexpensive alternative! I will report back on making oat flour, and I will report back on the pizza. I know it will be good. I have had a rough couple of days, and cooking always cheers me up, and then the end result is pizza? I am feeling  happier already!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Cat Does Love Daiya!

I wanted to say first of all I'm sorry for the messiness of the last post, but sometimes emotions can almost make you crazy, and I clearly needed to vent. I actually could feel myself feeling better as I typed.
 Okay now that my apology is out of the way, I wanted to tell a funny little story about my best fur friend Dylan. When I still ate cheese, Dylan use to always come running for cheese, but it had to be either cheddar, or mozzarella. And it had to be shredded. So when I first went vegan, Daiya was not around so poor guy went through some dark, lonely days with all dreams of cheese swept away cause mom had to go vegan. Well just like how Daiya  has brought dreams of gooey cheese into reality for vegans, it has done the same for my Dylan! He loves it, but just like before, it has to be cheddar or mozzarella and it has to be shredded. I bought a block of the cheddar once, and he turned up his nose! I also once bought the Follow Your Heart shreds and he was not impressed! I'm forever amused by the animals that I am fortunate enough to have in my life. I'm glad I ended on a positive note, I will think of that cute story while I'm at work and need a laugh. Have a wonderful day!

Losing Myself

I have spent the majority of my life hating everything about myself. And I have spent a majority of my life being teased in about one thing or another. This has led me to make many poor life choices and partake in abusing myself however I could. I am definitely not proud of this fact, but it is a part of me so it is part of my truth. I think that started my deep love for animals because they are so loving and accepting and I have always found comfort with animals where I have struggled to find those qualities in humans. Relationships with animals are relaxing to me, where a lot of human relationships in my life have been exhausting. Ever since I can remember if I really close my eyes and let my mind wander, and visualize my perfect world, I'm in nature and I live surrounded by animals.
  Since I have been working on becoming healthy and happy, I have been learning to like myself and let me tell you, when you come from a place of self loathing, retraining yourself is tough! And what is making it harder for me is not really feeling like I can talk about anything that has to do with who I really am. I do feel like I'm losing myself and I'm not even done finding myself! One of the best decisions I have ever made in my life is to become vegan. I will say that on my deathbed. My love for animals is so deeply a part of who I am, and if I do say so myself, it's one of my better qualities. Yet I live in an environment where I'm teased about it, and might I add by adults as I am not in high school. And I have mentioned that I am a server, and I don't work at a vegan restaurant.
   This post is kind of all over the place and I'm sorry for that, but my mind is all over the place so I'm just going for it. When I wrote about The Shame of Happiness, one response was of course avoiding toxic people. What I've realized is that the town that I am currently living in is toxic to me. Clearly other people don't find it toxic, because it has a population so yeah, some people like it. I could write a novel about the bad feelings I have towards this town.
     I personally have never witnessed so much intolerance in one place. I have never heard so many racial slurs, and I have never met so many people who hunt, and also believe in guns and walking around carrying guns. I walk around keeping all of my feelings to myself, save for my once a week long distance talk with my long suffering friend Drew. (hi Drew) I've lost my voice, I stand up to mean people, or people who use slurs. But that was the me who lived in tolerant Seattle. I feel scared that I will get beat up or people will give me a hard time even more.
     I have really rambled and wow I am sorry I kind of went all over the place! To wrap it all up I spent most of yesterday crying violently. And what I realized when I was done is that I need to stop trying to change things for myself living here. I need to quit letting people bring me down, and instead focus on how to save money so I can move. When I am surrounded by people who have so much hate for other humans, I feel very hopeless about our world, and I feel like we will never be able to really make a difference as vegans and feeling hopeless is what makes me start engaging in drinking and smoking the feelings away, and I have come too far. So if anyone feels as lonely and  isolated as I do, have a hard cry, and think about any little or big thing you can do to change you're surroundings. Do anything you can do not to fall into the darkness. It is overwhelming thinking about moving and starting over again, mostly because I have kitties to worry about. But I guess no said finding happiness is an easy journey. And if you're getting teased by grown ass adults, try to remember it is them not you. If you are an adult and you feel the need to bully anyone or anything, you clearly need to find some inner peace. I would love if anyone has any suggestions of cool cities. I'm looking for tolerance, and not too expensive, and someplace wit somewhat of a vegan community. If you read this whole rambling thing wow I'm giving you a gold star!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My last post about Baking Soda

I hope I don't regret that title in the future, cause I really love baking soda! My favorite use of baking soda is as a face scrub. I make a little paste, around the texture of thin toothpaste, wet my face with warm water, and scrub away. If my face feels really in need of extra tlc, I will let it sit for a few minutes. Then I rinse, splash with cold water and wow my skin feels so soft! The first time I tried this was in the winter, and my skin was so dry and tight from the brutal cold and wow,it improved my skin right away. I felt like my skin better absorbed my moisturizer and I felt dewy, which is not a word I use on winter skin very often! I wash my face this way about two or three times a week. It has replaced the apricot St. Ives scrub I used to use! I used to really love that stuff! It was my jam for a really long time. But I feel that I get better results with the baking soda scrub. When I look back at various times I've been flat broke, I've had to buy the cheapest of the cheap cleaning products and hair and skin products.  What a shame for me and the earth that I didn't know what I know now. Not only are they toxic, but a lot of times you have to use more because they just aren't effective so it's just bad all around. I hope I'm not boring anyone who is reading with my constant love of baking soda, but it has been such a money saver, and it has made my skin, hair, and home cleaner and shinier and I am using way less plastic, glass, paper, etc. So I encourage everyone to save some money and use baking soda. Have a shiny happy day!