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If at First You Don’t Succeed…

Hey everybody! I’ve been pretty busy lately helping my parents with their meals. They’ve both been transitioning their diet into a more Plant Based one which is awesome! My dad has actually been taking walks and he looks so much better these days. I could not be more thankful and happy about the changes he willing made on his own. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Aside from all the blessings going on in my life, there has been some rough patches here and there. The usual. For the most part. The almighty dollar… or lack there of. The ongoing violence in my neighborhood and just in my city… it makes you fearful to even go for a walk. And that awful feeling I’ll be stuck living here, struggling to buy my bananas (heh!), pay bills and rent. Negativity gets the best of us sometimes. It definitely took a toll on me today.

I woke up at 5:30am to help make my husband with his breakfast and get his lunch together for work as he got ready to leave to work another double shift, again. I just felt too tired to stay awake (usually I try to stay awake and get some exercise in). So I crawled back to bed. Unfortuntely, it took me an hour or more to fall back to sleep and the alarm went off as soon as I got some shuteye. So, I turned that sucker off and went back to bed. Probably not the best idea since it was pretty late when I finally did get up. I don’t know about you guys but, I’ve never been a morning person. I use to have a keychain that said “Night Owl”. I hated mornings. I’m still getting use to them but, it’s so much nicer out that early in the morning for running/walking. It just seems far more peaceful.

As the day progressed, I decided I would get some Pilates in and give my leg a rest, which for some reason has been bother me. I like to listen to the not so… “New Age-y” music they got going on on my Pilates DVD, so I play some Punk or something that gets me awake and in a good mood. That was the plan anyway. Until I spent over an hour looking for a particular CD that has magically disappeared. I haven’t a clue where it is but, I’m sure all the Pop-Punk haters are laughing their butts off, heh! Yeah, I like Pop-Punk… so sue me.

After spending way too much time searching for my Paramore CD (whoops! Probably shouldn’t have admitted I like THAT dreadful band 😜.), I finally got Pilates in. But of course I was starving at this point. I finished up, made myself a smoothie and got out to run my errands. When Wal-Mart is a part of your day, expect to be in a bad mood at some point, my friends. It’s just… the worst. No matter how cheap their prices are, they will always be (unless they change) the worst. So, I’m coming home with a few pounds of bananas and some almond milk, and I just wanna cross the street. I live off of a very busy street which doesn’t have any lights. You can walk a block to get to the lights, but it annoys me that I have to do this in order to get across the street. So, this guy speeds down the street, sees me in the middle trying to get across and he just speeds up some more and then has the nerve to stare me down, like a piece of meat. I don’t like skeevy guys. At this point in the day, I’m tired, hungry, annoyed but mostly hungry. And this guy just got on my last nerve. I was doing SO well. And then it happened. I Stone Cold salute the guy. That’s a wrestling reference btw… basically, I flipped him the bird. As soon as I did it, I knew it was wrong. I felt awful. I didn’t feel good about myself. I heard a car horn beep several times and thought to myself,

"This dude could have a gun. Or worse! He could be one of my neighbors!" 😳

Don’t ask me how I thought that scenario could’ve been worse…

I guess what I’m getting at is, whatever you’re going through in a day, a week, a month or longer! It shouldn’t take over your whole life. Struggles, problems, whether they’re big or small, should NEVER keep you in a bad mood where you get to the point of taking it out on a complete stranger (skeevy or not) or your friends and family. Don’t ever let problems take over YOU. I’ve done that for years. And I’m still trying to NOT let my problems get the best of me. The difference now, compared to a few years ago is, I know how to deal with it, what triggered it and how to get on with my day. I know most people think that I had every right to flip that guy off or be angry and annoyed, that, that emotion is normal and “healthy” which is what I use to think. But… for me, personally, I don’t find that to be true any more. I don’t find that having high blood pressure because I don’t know how to control my temper or having my family worry about whether someone is going to retaliate one day, is normal OR healthy. I’ve always been a little sarcastic (I blame my dad) and I like to kid around, that’s part of my personality. Being a jerk… that’s not something I wanna be known for.

I guess my advice is, try not to let your problems get the best of you. Yes, you may be working on your temper like I am or maybe you’re just bummed all the time. Whatever it is that you’re struggling with, work on it. Try harder. Be better. The LEAST you can do is try, right?

Enjoy the rest of your week guys! As always, thanks for following!

Is The Vegan Diet Sustainable? With Chris Randall and HandyManBananas - YouTube

Hey guys!

So I’ve been dabbling in the whole Raw Till 4 lifestyle. I’ve been vegan for a little over two years now and I’ve changed my eating habits here and there. But it wasn’t until recently that I’ve decided to cut out a lot of the food that I was eating. I was curious about this lifestyle and asked one person in particular because he seems to be quite knowledgeable about it. Unfortunately, there’s not much research on it or the raw vegan lifestyle. I’m not sure if I worded it wrong or what but the reply I got seemed like he thought I was very young and hadn’t a clue about the vegan lifestyle…I’m probably ten years older than this guy but…that’s okay.

Anyway! I’ve been trying this out and all I have to say is, WOW! So much energy you guys! I’ve always loved fruit but, to eat fruit most of the day and feel great is pretty ideal. I’m not going to go on about it here but I just wanted to bring that up since I shared this video because they make some good points about eating what works best for you. I think that’s what really counts and that’s what’s most important. Not everyone is going to eat this way, not everyone is big into being raw. I remember when I first became vegan, I thought raw vegans were insane. I just didn’t understand how they could survive the winters without eating cooked foods. Although, the majority of the raw vegan community seem to be living in warmer climates.

I kinda started off as a preachy, annoying, know-it-all vegan. I thought raw vegans weren’t healthy. I also thought people who claimed vegan ice cream and any other vegan alternative (like vegan “chicken” nuggets) was perfectly healthy. And don’t get me wrong here. I still say that any vegan alternatives to the real deal is definitely healthier in the long run, especially if you’re trying to get someone to transition their diet or get them interested in eating less animal products. But, with that said, after a couple of years of being vegan, you start to realize how these things don’t give you the energy you need. They’re loaded with salt, preservatives, fat. I think the real issue is that a lot of vegans become vegan for the sake of animals, not necessarily their health.

I guess what I’m getting at is why I, personally, changed my eating habits. What’s funny to me is that, I’ve watched Forks Over Knives quite a few times and they never promote vegan “cheeses” and faux meats, they promote a whole food plant based diet. And I honestly didn’t think about that when I watched it the first time, or the second time so much. I just thought if it’s vegan, it’s healthy. It may be healthier than the S.A.D (Standard American Diet) diet but for optimal health, food in it’s whole form is always going to be best.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I wanted to share this video because the guy brings up how he experimented a little with what worked for him. And I think it really does come down to what works best for you. I’m not going to bash the junk food vegans because I use to be one of them. And in all honesty, I’m not perfect, I may have a treat or two once in a while. You really can’t point your finger at anyone. Chances are, you’ve been in their shoes at one time or another.

Check out Raw Till 4 on YouTube if you haven’t really heard about it and you’re interested or curious. Please make sure you change your eating habits for the right reasons if you do plan on doing so. I personally just wanted more energy, better digestion and better health overall. This definitely does the trick. I’m no expert on health. I do NOT have any degree of any kind so if you have any questions on it as far as research goes, there’s always google, or you can go to 30bananasaday.com I believe it’s called. They have a forum full of Raw Till 4 vegans and I’m guessing you can always ask Forks Over Knives about this lifestyle if you’re unsure of it. I just go by how I feel and what works best for me. I think everyone should.

As always, thanks for following! Enjoy the rest of your week guys!

Deer!

I had a pretty interesting weekend. I decided to take a bus ride out to the health food store for organic potatoes that were way too expensive so…then I walked a ways to check out a thrift store. On the way there, there’s a nice park with a bike trail and I saw a total of three deer! I love deer. I think they’re so peaceful looking. That young buck came out of nowhere and did not look happy with me taking a photo of the female deer. I kept a respectable distance, hence the out of focus photos. Zooming in with a cheapy digital camera means poor quality pics.

It was a decent day. Until I waited over an hour and a half for the bus, had to go to the bathroom, ran to walmart, came back and missed the bus. I didn’t feel like waiting any longer, it was getting dark and looked like it may rain so I walked…roughly 12 miles. I had a handful of dates and like two oranges and I was beat when I finally made it home a couple hours later but, it was kinda fun. I had plenty of time to think and just be at peace for a change.

So, I just wanted to clear something up about my last blog. I was really upset and worried about my dad and got a little too frustrated with the whole thing. And surprisingly, my dad has not ate any meat since he’s been back from the hospital. He made this decision on his own. Sure I informed him many times before he ended up in this situation, about the health benefits of cutting out meat but, I think he genuinely wanted to change his diet on his own. Which makes me so happy. I can breath a little easier now I guess. And me and my mom hugged it out. All is well. I don’t think we’ve ever stayed mad at each for very long.

I recently watched an interview with Mac Danzig and he said something like this…

"Don’t force anything on anyone. Just lead by example. And if you lead by example, then people will start understanding…"

Alright guys, I’m gonna finish up my dinner and talk to you soon! I promise I’ll try to post something more often.

Enjoy the rest of your week and as always, thanks for following!

Is Veganism More Extreme Than a Heart Attack?

Let me start off by asking you guys a question, what was your reason for becoming a vegan? Because my main reason, was for my health. I was gaining weight, I felt sick and I was scared to death I would end up like my parents, sick and relying on meds to get through the day but still suffering from pain, discomfort, not being able to do the things that everyone else is perfectly capable of doing. I didn’t want that life. And that alone was enough for me to make a huge change.

Recently my dad went in for heart surgery. This happened unexpectedly. It was a Sunday night and he was just not breathing well and we had to call 911. This wouldn’t be the first time we had to call 911. My dad has had health issues for as long as I can remember. In fact, when I was a kid, I was hit by a car and my dad had a heart attack at the same time. We were both in the hospital that day.

As far as I can remember, there was only a few times that my dad was able to run around and play at the park with me when I was a kid. He loved throwing the frisbee around. That was our thing. But when I got a little older, I had to shovel the walk when it would snow because my dad would have to pop a nitro to prevent a heart attack when he would shovel. It was scary. He always worried me. Not to mention my mother who suffers from some illnesses as well. It’s like, all I have to do is look at my folks and I know exactly why I eat the way I eat.

My dad is back home with us and doing better, considering he had a triple bypass. While he was at the hospital they actually fed him beef…yeah…at a hospital. Crazy, right?! It’s like they’re trying to get him to come back to fill their pockets up again. I know some doctors and people in the medical field really do care about their patients but, let’s face it, it’s a business and not everybody is genuine and compassionate. Our standard American diet makes the hostpitals a booming business. Patients are simply dollar signs.

The problem that I have is shutting my mouth about how my parents eat. I don’t see ANY excuse being valid enough for eating the same way they did before my dad had a sudden heart attack (several actually). I love my parents just like anybody else. I want them to live a long and healthy life. Not a life full of pain and pills and constant doctor appointments. I just got done getting into a little argument with my mom because she was convinced that turkey meat was healthier than red meat and that my dad could at least eat that. You know because saturated fat and cholesterol vary…I guess…? I…can’t tell you how infuriating that is after reading and watching so many articles and videos on the studies, FACTS that have been made known for quite some time now. I don’t expect them to become vegan over night, but at the same time, my dad had a heart attack…I mean, that should be extreme enough for a person to wanna change. Wouldn’t you think so?!

Although my dad has said a few times since having this surgery that he does wanna change the way he eats. It’s still not the way he should eat. And I don’t blame him for that because I know it’s the nurses, doctors and so-called dietitians that have filled his head with what’s referred to as “healthy eating”. Time and time again I have tried to share the information that that I’ve learned with them and their reply is that everyone has a different opinion and that it may not be for everybody. *sigh*

I did, however, get them to watch a little bit of Forks Over Knives even though it was like pulling teeth. They still haven’t seen the whole film. I feel like they’re trying to avoid it and just want to make me happy and watch it. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to get them to watch that documentary to begin with.

I wouldn’t be so pushy if it was anybody else. But this is my parents we’re talking about here. I have to watch them go through all the pains and surgeries and what not. I’ve had to watch this for years now. I’m seriously fed up. And I can’t help but be extremely blunt with them versus with a total stranger, friend or anyone else. I’ve seen what they’ve had to go through over the years. I’m still seeing it. I just don’t wanna see it any more.

How do you guys deal with family and loved ones who may have illnesses that you know could be greatly improved by a plant based diet? Because I don’t know how to deal with it any more. Any advice, experiences would be helpful!

As always, thanks for following and I promise I’ll try to keep this blog updated more often. Enjoy your weekend, guys!

Back to the Basics

Hey, guys! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. For the past month or so, I’ve been looking at veganism in a whole different light and thinking twice when I go shopping lately. I stumbled upon some fellow vegans on YouTube who share their views on the Plant Based Diet. What’s crazy is, I’ve known about the majority of the info they share because it’s coming from documentaries I’ve watched, Doctors I’ve read about, articles and videos I’ve been aware of. Yet, it just didn’t hit me until recently.

It’s been a little over two years now that I’ve been vegan. And during that time I’ve been eating far more healthier than I ever have. During those two years, I heard about gluten being an issue, oil is not healthy and soy is a big scary monster. I started to drop certain foods such as soy and gluten because I thought it was the healthy thing to do. I kept seeing so many other vegans talk about the benefits they felt when they dropped certain food items. I got on the whole “gluten-free” train for several months as well as minimizing the amount of soy I ate and…then I found vegan cupcakes. I dropped the ball. I was convinced that the bloating, discomfort and other issues I was having was from lack of exercise. I also thought it was normal.

What am I getting at? Well, I recently dropped gluten and processed soy (Now, when it comes to the gluten, this is me. Not everyone has an issue with it). I also found out too much oil, or even oil at all is NOT healthy. I actually argued with Forks Over Knives on Twitter on this subject, defending my huge bottle of olive oil in my kitchen cabinet. Yup. You heard me right. I…am pretty ashamed at this point, as I watch the popular and informative documentary again for the second time.

So, recently I cut back on oil and once I run out of the remainder of my coconut oil I bought a few months ago, I won’t be purchasing bottled oil any more. One of the benefits from this is, my skin is clearer, my pants are looser, and I save money. I think when we become vegan, we think we have to replace everything we ate before like, meat, cheese, eggs, dairy and all the processed snacks. I’ll be the first to admit, I love chips, I love cookies, cakes, crackers. The vegan “cheese” they have now is pretty awesome. I live in Wisconsin, guys…so, yeah. But what I’m starting to realize is most of these foods are designed for people who are transitioning into a Plant Based Diet and to help people make changes in their eating habits. Yes, in the long run, the majority of these processed foods are healthier than animal based products. But I’ve come to realize I don’t really need them as much as I did any more.

It’s a good feeling to know what you’re eating is simple and in its whole form. I’m not asking everybody to join me on my “Hippie Journey” (as my sisters would call it). I’m just sharing how I feel now vs. how I felt and how much money I’d go through buying packaged foods. I still eat some processed vegan treats now and then but not nearly as much. My food list mainly consist of whole foods now. I guess it’s something to think about. I’ll give you a list of some of the YouTube channels I’ve discovered. And if you haven’t watched Forks Over Knives yet, check it out on Netflix. It’s very informative and encouraging, especially if you have or had, or know someone with health issues.

Enjoy your Monday, guys! Thanks for following!

YouTube Channels to Check Out (they are also on Twitter)

Bananiac
http://youtu.be/Nq5caziKKu0

Julieanna Hever
http://youtu.be/VZtkJ9IOg74

PlantbasedAthlete
http://youtu.be/sS0hTQV3IRE

Finally! Some beautiful weather. Yesterday me and my husband spent some much needed time together down by the lake over here in Milwaukee. Enjoyed some vegan cheesecake (which I forgot to take a photo of) and had a nice long walk. Exhausted! But well worth getting out of the house and getting my mind off of everything stressful. Hope you guys were able to get out and enjoy your Sunday!

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