is fine in december, not so much on february....
Sunday, February 16, 2014
My husband loves to play devils advocate, he just has to throw in his 10 cents worth in.
Last night while I was pinning some new recipes into my recipe folder on pinterest, he brought up that vegans shouldn't get to eat burgers or "meat replacements"....... his reasoning? Because they deliberately gave up meat, so they shouldn't want to eat anything that resembles it.
When I first decided to become a vegan it had nothing to do with animals. I actually had no interest in animal liberation or the dreadful facts of factory farming.
I was sick. So sick that I could really only move from the bedroom to the bathroom to the living room on my own, If I wanted to leave my house or take a drive I would have to be assisted.
What started out as a rash on my scalp turned into 6 months of terrible pain and humiliation as my body fought against itself. Within 1 week of discovering a rash up my legs I was crippled by the worst pain I had ever encountered. My toe swelled three times its normal size, my right side locked and my head flopped to the right and rested on my shoulder. I could not stand up for any length of time and simple things like going to the bathroom by myself ended up turning into a fiasco. Sores started sprouting all over my body. Thick angry red scabs. The only place I was spared seemed to be my face and hands. Even my ears were coated in scabs.
Being a mother was put in the back burner. So was being a wife, a daughter, a worker, friend, a human being.
Until I watched a PBS special about vegan diets. Not only did they say that it was a cure-all, they all but promised me I could see results. Cancer, lupus, crohns, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis patients all were said to be curable with a small change in diet.
Within 2 weeks I had a vegan cook book, I believe it was an idiots guide to becoming vegan. Withing a week of reading it, I was determined to change.
I remember sending my mother out to buy what I needed from the grocery store and her telling me I was going to get even sicker from eating this way. I had no idea what I was doing, only a basic guide to start and a belief that I was going to cure myself.
I remember forcing myself to walk up and down the hall in my mothers house. Back and forth, back and forth....Totally exhausted and dripping sweat from that 8 foot hallway. I was determined to build up the strength I lost in the 6 months of being bedridden. It felt like forever, but I was moving more and more and by my 2nd month of vegan food and moving everyday, I was able to go up and down stairs without any help. I was cooking again, albeit was nothing overly healthy. Loads of bean nachos and ranch salad keep me going. I was unaware of any meat alternatives at this time. I had not yet tasted seitan or tofu. I was mainly eating beans and trying to create as much country food into vegan as I could. Being brought up on pork chops with fried potatoes and gravy and having to live without them was a hard rough to hoe. My mother bless her heart, was sabotaging me left and right and my husband was no better. I was living in a house with 4 meat eaters. It was soooo hard!
Fast forward 14 years.
Health- remarkably good
Family- 3 meat eaters, 3 vegetarians
Knowledge of veganism-priceless
Knowledge of animals-Excellent
Am I still getting heat for eating vegan-OH YEAH
Do I care- yeah, it pisses me off...still
I admit, I have fallen off the vegan wagon more than once. I have talked myself out of veganism and into vegetarian, flexitarian and paleo, even into raw. I have been sick, healthy, happy, miserable and totally irritated with the whole business of animals and food. I wish it were just cut and dried. I wish everyone felt the same way about food so it would be easy and not a damn dilemma every time I went grocery shopping.
This is the whole point of this long winded post.
After all this time, my husband who loves me dearly still doesn't get veganism. He knows all about factory farming. He knows all about animal testing, hormones and antibiotics. He knows the toll meat takes on the body and the planet. He admits both his parents could use the vegan diet to halt their increasing dependence on diabetes drugs, high blood pressure medications and weight issues.
He still eats meat. Everyday.
I cannot convince him otherwise.
I am totally and completely at a loss.
No matter how hard I try, I fail. with him.
But, everyday I try.
That is all I can do. I try to stay positive. My youngest daughter is a vegetarian too. My oldest eats vegan when she is with me, but it was too hard for her to maintain and she quit, and I totally get that. I know her distress. Half the time I cannot find anything even remotely healthy in our small town grocery store. It is full of Morningstar and Boca gmo laden foods. That are freaking delicious. I admit it. I could eat spicy boca chicken patties every day. Hand me that GMO corndog, the grilled burgers.
But instead I make our food.
I like to be able to eat what other people eat.
I don't want to be called out as an outcast. Who does.
But, that is the clothes that I carry. I am against the grain (ironically not at all), so to speak.
Animals mean something to me. So does our earth. And the health of our children.
Nothing should have to suffer so that I may enjoy my life.
As far as I am concerned, I am a vegan. I have the tattoo to prove it. It is literally ingrained into me.
What I am not, is a hell raising advocate of yesterday. I leave that up to my like minded 18 year old. I fought my food fight, now hers is beginning.
As I listened to my husband expound on his opinion of what a vegan shouldn't be allowed to do, I began prepping my retort.
Here it is.
Why shouldn't we get to eat burgers and hotdogs and foods we grew up with because we choose not to participate in what society claims to be the norm. Why deny ourselves the chance to participate with family at holidays and birthdays and outings due to our choice not to consume flesh.
Why should it concern any meat eater including you, whether I chose to consume a vegetable based portion of food that resembles the burger you eat, the shake you drink or the dessert you enjoy. Am I to be outcast and ashamed in the choices I make and the direction I go within my own person? Do I make you feel ashamed about eating the food you chose to eat by eating one without fear, pain and neglect.
My point is this, if you want to eat your burger go ahead. But, allow me to eat mine as well, As it takes nothing away from you.
After a brief moment of silence, he said he had never thought of it like that. He apologized if I was offended, which I wasn't, and told me that what I said was right. Which I admitted I was.
Posted by Brandi at 4:08 PM
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Good Morning everyone! I hope you are having a leisurely breakfast and snuggling with someone you love!!! Recently my youngest daughter and I traveled to Kansas City to see Panic at the Disco in concert at the Uptown Theater. Since I am from Overland Park, Kansas, I wanted to spend a few days just hanging out. Call it a mini vacation. Last year while my daughter was interning at The Art Institute of Kansas City, I found a hotel that had a full kitchen! Being somewhat thrifty I thought that I would save a lot of money if I made our food instead of trying to hunt down vegan/ vegetarian restaurants.
I don't think I saved any money, but we did eat really well, especially with the Whole Foods that is located a little too conveniently to our hotel.
Before we headed to OP, I threw together a simple granola. It is just a basic recipe that allows you to play with it. You can add anything you want to the original recipe. The original recipe calls for honey, but I use agave.
8 cups organic oatmeal
1 cup agave
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sliced almonds
1 Tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flax seed, ground.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix everything together in a large bowl and spread over 2 baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven and mix around a little, then spread it back out over the baking sheets again. Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until it is cold. Place in a glass container and enjoy! This will keep for weeks if kept in a cool dry place....if it lasts that long!
I love this recipe, it doesn't call of any oil. It is a low fat granola with a ton of flavor! Top it with some french vanilla soy yogurt and the fruit of your choice, strawberries are especially tasty!
The Nelson Atkins Art Museum, went to the Oak Park Mall, and cruised The Plaza!
We ate some amazing food from Whole foods. For lunch one day we had buffalo chicken wraps that were made with beyond chicken (which I highly recommend), spinach, tomato, and a vegan ranch sauce, a spinach almond salad with raspberry dressing that I made to go with the wrap. We also had some cinnamon crunch bagels with almond, agave cream cheese, granola parfait and fresh coffee and orange juice for brunch.
We made the mistake of trying to eat out at a Panda Express, because we heard they had vegan options...it was horrible and expensive. I will not do that again...lol
I love to go visit the place I grew up, I love everything about it. But, in all honesty....I was so glad to come home to my little house and see my family and cuddle my cat, Hatsumomo!
Have you gone on an adventure lately?
Posted by Brandi at 8:15 AM
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I know I already had this picture on my past blog, but I just love it!
How has your January been so far? Have you begun your resolutions....or broken them yet? So far I am on the straight and narrow.
My resolutions this year were not to lose weight or donate more time to look better or keep up with the Jones'. It was simply to be a better person and to talk to God every single day and tell him how thankful I am for everything he provides for me. Not to ask for special things or selfish things. Just thank Him every night and let Him know I live for Him. I normally do not talk about faith on here as I know everyone is different, but I also think that as a christian, I should let other Christians know that I am here. I have many friends of different faiths and we are all in this crazy world together. We should all be united!
Being a better person is the hardest thing I have ever done. I know it sounds easy and I suppose most people would think that could entail give more to charities, being pleasant, and basically putting on a happy face.
To me, what that means....and with all honesty I share this with you....
To stop being judgmental towards others and also to stop sharing my biased opinions. To wake up and be happy, just because.
Last year I was so negative I could hardly stand it. I mean, I literally knew I was being horrible and negative and nasty....and yet, I continued... It is really shameful.
For every step forward we took, we got knocked 3 back.
We paid off our house, our bedroom ceiling sprung a huge leak and almost ruined our new mattress.
Our daughter announced she was expecting and her husband got laid off. The only job he could get was in Alabama.
It goes on and on....
But what I couldn't see then, that I see now are the blessings.
We paid our house off.... HUGE deal...How many 40 somethings have a house totally paid off? Not many!
My husband fixed the roof. Just in case we have a huge tarp to slap up until we can afford to have the entire roof replaced.
I cleaned the mattress myself and saved a lot of money.
My daughters family did have multiple setbacks, but...her husband jumped to the task of finding a job and keeping one. He is now in Oklahoma and planning on trying to get transferred to Wichita. He sends his paycheck home every single week. He even managed to get home for 2 weeks to be with Emma at Ella's birth.
This resolution has been really hard. I am not a spiteful person and I would like to think that I am kind and patient. My friends and family say how sweet I am, but they do not listen to my inner monologue while I am shopping.... I can really be an ass.
I am short tempered at times and I am judgmental to a fault. But what makes it worse, is I smile. I smile at the people I think need to go home and get redressed in real clothes not pajamas, at the elderly while I think they need their drivers license revoked for driving 25 in a 60 mph. I smile....and roll my eyes when they turn away. Shameful.
So to wrap this up. Every single night, I thank God. Every single morning I decide to be happy. All day long I am not judging a single soul. Not one. My inner monologue is everyone is fighting a hard battle, be kind.
My daughter says I frown a lot. She asks me what is wrong at least 4 times daily. I tell her I am concentrating so hard to be good, I forget to look sweet. I really never thought I would have to concentrate so hard to not judge and be a better person.
Tonight when I got home there was a sack setting between my front door and screen door. My neighbor whom rarely wears more than a smile and at the best of times is questionable... went to get his commodities today, and he decided to share his cheese with me. He left me 4 lbs of strawberries this past summer.
I think about what Mother Theresa would say. I think she would tell me to be grateful someone is willing to share with me. Oh, and to say thank you.
Posted by Brandi at 10:06 PM
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Posted by Brandi at 5:09 PM
Sunday, January 5, 2014
I had a wondrous 2013 and lived it to the fullest! I hope you did the same and that you regret nothing of last year. I am hoping to hope back into blogging and speak to each one of you as this year progresses.
A lot has changed since I last spoke to you.
I fell off the vegan wagon and hopped back on. I tried to go get off my psoriatic arthritis medicine and found out that I cannot. My youngest daughter interned at a culinary college and decided to go there after she graduates high school. My oldest daughter had another precious baby. Her name is Ella and she is wonderful.
I have had ups and downs and in and outs and I am so glad to come back and share it all with you!
My youngest daughter and I are headed up to KC for a Panic!@ the disco concert in two weeks and we are thrilled!
I cannot wait to hear from you and read what this new year holds for you!
Posted by Brandi at 8:16 PM