Sunday, March 29, 2009

Doldrums.

As in, that's where I've been this weekend. I managed to pull myself out of it a bit yesterday. A little retail therapy and sunny, 60 degree weather helped. Today though, it is rainy and gray and I've been wallowing. Never a good thing to do, I know. But if you can't wallow on a gray and rainy day, when can you? 

This past week was difficult for me, for reasons I won't get into here. Suffice it to say, I've felt I've had to compromise on something I feel should not be compromised on, and am suffering for it.  All things for a reason, blah blah blah. I'll figure something out sooner or later, I always do. But right now I'm not a happy camper.

So I'm letting me feel sorry for myself. A luxury perhaps, but there you are. No one is going to take care of me, and always being strong without having anyone to truly lean on gets tiring. So, sometimes a girl just has to hole up with some junk food, junk reading material, and a good comfy couch and just stew for a bit. I'll pull myself out of it tomorrow. Maybe.

Friday, March 27, 2009

*Sigh*

I read this article this morning. It makes me sad when I read this stuff, because when they say "cow retirement" they don't mean letting them spend their days in a sunny green pasture. They mean hamburger. Because they extended their reach, thousands of animals we're already exploiting for our own "needs" are going to be rather brutally killed and chopped up for cheap ground beef.

I'm not a political vegetarian by any stretch, but I hate the fact that innocent animals are killed because "we can't turn them off." You put them in that state to begin with, you have a responsibility to them. Yeah, I'm sorry your dairy is losing money, really I am. I'm sorry you are having a tough time economically. But these are living creatures.

This is why I stopped drinking milk.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sometimes...

Sometimes, you can speak your truth and be heard, validated, understood and accepted.

Sometimes, you can speak your truth and be heard, but told that it doesn't mesh with everyone else's truth, so you must change.

Sometimes, you can speak your truth and it falls to the floor and shatters.

How far can you, will you, should you go to preserve your truth?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What did I learn?

So... what did I learn after my three days of hellish denial cleansing?
  1. There are many things I want/desire, but only a few things I actually need to survive.
  2. I do NOT like Hijiki.
  3. I had a lot of misconceptions about what and how much my body needs to stay satisfied.
  4. Caffeine might have actually effected my moods and not just my energy.
  5. I am lucky to have all the choices I have. Food-wise and in my life generally.
  6. I think generally speaking, most of my everyday food choices are on the right health path.
I'm sure there is other stuff I learned, but dinner is calling. I am doing an experiment though. After getting through yesterday with no caffeine or caffeine headaches, I started re-thinking my plan to go back to coffee. After all, I'm free of the habit. Maybe I should see what it's like on the other side? So far, I'm liking it. My energy level is pretty constant all day long; I'm not getting the mid-afternoon crash. I'm also beginning to wonder if my caffeine levels had anything to do with my stress levels. I think I am also sleeping better.

Overall, I'm glad I did the cleanse, and I'd do it again. Except maybe with different recipes. I can tell you one thing though, I'm not doing it again any time in the near future!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Squeaky Cleaner.

Third and final day of the cleanse. My caffeine headache is officially gone. Yay!!! Of course, I am so having a cup of coffee tomorrow morning. I am still feeling light and clean, and I know I will not be able to maintain that. There is no way I can continue to eat the volume of greens and veggies I have been without carbs. I'm at the point where if I have to eat another salad people may die.

I must say, out of all the recipes I've made for this cleanse, there is only one I really like. Okay, I haven't actually tried the Ocean Stir-Fry yet, that's for dinner tonight. It scares me. I'm afraid I wasted a lot of money on that because it's gonna taste narsty. Anyway. The black bean stew is spicy, flavorful, filling, and yummy. I added some leftover brown rice and it made it perfect.

Some more things I've learned:
  1. Sprouted mung beans and split mung beans are not the same thing
  2. You can get really sick of roughage
  3. I actually don't mind brown rice, so long as it is the "short-grain variety"
  4. I can go without caffeine quite easily, once the headaches are over
Finally, my back has been killing me yesterday and today. I don't know if I accidently wrenched it in yoga on Saturday, it's some weird side effect of the cleanse, or what. I had to break down and take and advil this morning. Not cleanse-worthy but at least I'm able to sit at my desk today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Squeaky Clean

On Saturday, I started the 3-day cleanse/detox/whatever you want to call it. So far, it's going pretty well. I am having some headaches from the lack of caffeine, but they aren't unbearable. It could be worse, I suppose. I have been a little tired as well. But, luckily I had nothing planned this weekend. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow unfolds, as I have to work and have dance class tomorrow evening. 

The article said to be prepared for any emotional stuff that would come up, as detoxes often get rid of every kind of crud in your body; emotional or physical. I haven't had much emotional stuff come up. I don't know... either I'm in denial about all my emotional crud, already dealing it or just exceptionally well adjusted. Pardon me while I fall off my chair laughing at that last statement.

I will say I'm having a tougher time today staying on track. It probably doesn't help that I just finished baking bread. It smells so good! And I have raspberry jam in the fridge just screaming to be put on still-warm-from-the-oven bread... no. I have a ton of cleanse-appropriate food in the fridge. It will be enough to get me through today, tomorrow and part of the rest of the week. Although, I do plan on slowly adding stuff back in on Tuesday. Like, say, bread. I am not the bread addict my mom is (she admits it), but I do enjoy it a great deal. 

The diet I'm following is very simple and basic, and strict vegetation. I've made it a little stricter simply because the diet was already not outside of what I would eat on any given day. Unless I was going for the junk food. Which I have been lately, a lot. Hence the cleanse. Besides, I just didn't like some of their suggestions. No dairy of any kind, no eggs, no grains except for rice. Basically, I'm eating a lot of greens and fruits, with some beans thrown in for protein.

Some things that I've learned/that have come up so far:
  1. Having weaned myself off coffee since Monday, I've determined that I like the luxury and ritual of having it in the mornings. Tea for whatever reason doesn't cut it. Of course, I've been drinking hot lemon water which really doesn't cut it, but I digress. I am definitely adding it back in on Tuesday, but I do think I'm going to cut it down to just one cup.
  2. I don't like a lot of variety in my weekly diet. I'll make a couple things on Sunday and gladly eat off them all week. Then I'll make something completely different the next. Having something different every day for every meal... not liking it. The cleanse is made up that way for variety, but I've chosen not to make everything on the menu, just because it seems like too much.
  3. What I'm eating for a "cleanse" would be considered a grand feast to many others, or to some their every day meal. It is a luxury for me to have my choice of quality (or even non-quality) foods. I'm not wondering where my next meal is coming from. That small bunch of organic kale or broccoli isn't a rare treat for me. That bed I sleep in, this computer I type on, they are all luxuries, and I am a very, very lucky person.
All in all, I do think it's working. I feel much... lighter... than I have in a while. Not that I've necessarily lost any weight. That certainly wasn't my intent with this venture. Maybe I wanted to test my willpower. Maybe I wanted to finally break that crazy hold cheese has on my body. I don't know. But I don't feel weighed down any more. It's a nice feeling.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So My Next Thing...

So this weekend when I was out with my Mum I bought a copy of Yoga Journal. I need to just suck it up and subscribe to this. 

Anyhoo.

In this particular edition was a 3-day cleanse, complete with asanas (yoga positions). I thought... Hmmm, I can do this! I certainly feel like I've been slacking on the healthy eating department, and perhaps my insides could use a little spring cleaning. So... I'm going to do it.

This cleanse is very different from the Master Cleanse. Mainly because they actually encourage to eat. The food they recommend is very simple and healthy: brown rice, fruits, vegs, flax oils and nuts, etc. The asanas they recommend are all positions I enjoy and are gentle enough to hold for a little while. Plus, it's only three days long. So, yeah. I think I can do this!

In order to get ready for this cleanse, one the first things I felt I should do was wean myself off caffeine. Better to wean than go cold turkey. Right? Yeah, well. I'm starting to feel it, I've got to say. I've gone from two very large cups of coffee every morning, to just a smidge of coffee today and two green teas. Tomorrow it's just the two teas. Friday, just one tea. Sigh. It's making my days very, very long.

Did I mention my days are really long without my morning coffee?

Anyhoo.

I will report back on said cleanse... and whether or not I actually made it through the whole thing. Hopefully I will. The last time I tried the fruit and veggie fast I don't think I even made it one whole day.

Willpower. That's it. 

Now... where did I leave mine again?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Fan-Fraking-Tastic Saturday

Saturday started off by me waiting for my mum to drive down from Newport. She was coming down for our Myths and Legends performance last night. Once she finally got here, we went out to lunch at the Pub & Brewery and then went shopping. She had a list. When coming down to the "big city" one always needs a list.

Anyway, the show last night. Fanfrakingtastic. I had so much fun!!! All of the dancers were phenomenal! Mine went really well, and I had a lot of positive feedback from it. Definitely a keeper! My friend Heidi's husband was video-taping it, so hopefully I'll be able to post the actual performance here at some point in the near future. I wish I'd thought to give my cousin (who also went) my camera so she could take pictures. Ah well. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

After the performance my cousin Chrissy and I decided we needed to dance. We met up with Jen and Tracie at Retronome (80's music all night long), and were joined later by another Jen.We were there for a couple hours before we got bored with that so headed up to the area gay bar and finished the night off there. Music was much better. I'd been wondering if there was a decent dj in Burlington. Apparently he hides at the Two Friends Cafe. Who knew?

So, now I'm at home, trying to convince myself that going outside to take a walk is okay. It's a stunning bright blue sky out there right now. Tempting for even hardcore vampires. We'll see if I make it out there, or stay inside for fear of turning to dust by the light of the sun.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Proud Sister Moment.

My brother's band was totally written up in the New York Times! How unfreaking believable is that?!?!?

Of course, he's not actually mentioned in the article; after all it's more about the phenomenal back story than the lone white bass player in the background. Still, this is something he's a huge part of, and this is, like, huge.

Besides, if you look really closely in the small picture in the left-hand column, you can totally see him.


Random Thoughts #...um. 7? D? Purple?

1. I am watching Bram Stroker's Dracula. I love this movie. Don't ask me why. Leftover from my vampire-obsession days, I guess.

2. I just ate my own weight in homemade chapatis. Ugh.

3. Tonight I got all crafty and made cute little wreaths for my belly dancing troupe tomorrow. We are Somodivi, or something like that. Bulgarian wood nymphs. So, we gotta wear twigs in the hair of course.

4. If I keep eating I'm not going to fit in my costume tomorrow. Bloat much?

5. I managed to clean the apartment this evening in addition to everything else. Mum is coming down from Newport to go to the show. So I figured I should at least make a passing attempt at straightening up. Don't know why. She's knows what a slob I am.

6. Okay, so tonight's episode of Battlestar Galactica totally sucked. I mean, really. It was the second to last episode, and that was the best you could do?? Next week's two-hour finale better kick frakin' ass. Just sayin'.

7. How many times can a girl go grocery shopping in one week? Three. Oh wait, is it four? I need to go again tomorrow. Sigh. All that food would probably last longer if I stopped eating it.

8. Day 7 I think it is without diet pepsi. Hopefully I can make it stick this time. It became a crutch. When I get stressed at work, instead of getting a candy bar or doritos, I was getting a diet pepsi. I guess this is the strange kind of things a girl does after she's lost ~35 pounds. Instead of stress-eating a pint of ben and jerry's, I was drinking 12 oz of diet pepsi. Which is worse?

9. I need to take a shower before I go to bed.

10. That wedding dress Lucy wore in Dracula is really freakin' weird.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Later.

So, the sun came back and warmed things up nicely. Squeee! As I was driving back from an impromptu dance rehearsal this afternoon, I did so with my window rolled all the way down. Lovely!! In fact, I spent the better part of the afternoon with the apartment's windows wide open, every one of them. The place needed a good airing out after being shut up all winter. It was nice to do it. Unfortunately, I know all too well that winter isn't quite through with us yet. It is only March after all. The snow may be gone for now, but it will give us at least one more swift kick in the rear before it leaves for good. Sigh.

So this weekend, as per usual, I cooked. Once again did not feel like making loaf bread. So, yesterday I made some quickie dinner rolls. This recipe has become my go-to recipe for quick, yummy bread without the hassle of 3-hours worth of rising. I also make the Galician Garbanzo bean soup from The Enchanted Broccoli cookbook. Yum!

This morning I tried my hand at making chapati. I must say, they came out really well! Very yummy and they go very well with the butternut squash vindaloo I made for dinner. I think I've mentioned this vindaloo recipe before; this time I altered it slightly by adding some seitan in it, in place of chicken. I let it stew in the broth while the squash and taters were cooking. Mmmmmmmm. This is SO good!!! I think this may go into heavy rotation.

Knee-deep in a Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family right now. They're playing Goblet of Fire, which has the pre-Twilight Edward Cullen actor in it. I think all he can do is look around with a smirk on his face. Ah well. All Keanu Reeves can do is say "woah" and look where it got him.

Anyway....

Sunshine Day

I think I'll go for a walk outside now
The (March) sun's calling my name
I hear ya now
I just can't stay inside all day
I gotta get out and get me
Some of those rays
Everybody's singing
It's a sunshine day!
Everybody's feelin'
It's a sunshine day!


Of course, as soon as I wrote that, the sun went away. Drat. Come back, sun! We love you! We miss you!!! 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Morrigan

I wrote this up for my upcoming Myths and Legends performance next Saturday. This is a greatly watered-down description of both The Morrigan and the Cattle Raid of Cooley. But it gives you an idea of where I'll be going in regards to my own personal performance.

The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, and fertility in Celtic mythology. Her name translates as either Great Queen or Phantom Queen. She is a soothsayer and shape-shifter, and was known to fly over battlefields in the shape of a crow.

In the famous Irish tale the Cattle Raid of Cooley, the Irish hero Cúchulainn defends Ulster by fighting a series of battles. In between combats, The Morrígan appears to him and offers him her love and her help, but he spurns her. Angered, she tells him she will hinder him as he fights, saying “I guard your death.” 

True to her word, she intervenes, first in the form of an eel who trips him, then as a wolf who stampedes cattle across the stream, and finally as the cow leading the stampede. However, he defeats his opponents despite her interference. As the hero rides to meet his enemies in what will be his final battle, he encounters The Morrígan as a hag washing his bloody armor in a stream, a sure omen of his death. 

Later, mortally wounded in battle, Cúchulainn ties himself to a standing stone with his own entrails so he can die upright. It is only when The Morrigan, in the form of a crow, lands on his shoulder and he slumps over that his enemies believe he is dead. 

CuChulainn’s misfortune was that he never recognized the feminine power of sovereignty that she offered to him.



I'm sorry I don't know who painted this. If this is your's, please let me know and I'll link/credit appropriately.

Friday, March 6, 2009

12-Step Program?

Hello, my name is Kate and I love soda. Or pop. Whatever you chose to call it, I lurves it.

I know it's rotting out my insides, I know the diet varieties can actually make you gain weight.

And I still lurves it.

I'm down to one a day with most weekends seeing none at all. But it's a battle. I'd drink it all day every day if it weren't so horribly bad for me.

I have no will power when it comes this this effervescent goodness. I want to drink it. I enjoy drinking it. It makes me happy to drink it.

Well, okay, not the Moxie stuff. That's nasty.

But I lurves soda.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sometimes...

Sometimes, there are a lot of things I'd like to write here. Not necessarily to tell the world, mind you. But just to get them out of me. Sometimes they are bitchy things, sometimes they are sad things, and sometimes they are just crazy things my brain is getting paranoid about.

But you see, as much as this venue is a kind of "immediate gratification" vehicle, once it's up there people can see it. So, as much as I may have something I need to get off my chest, putting it here would probably come back to bite me in the arse (cute little thing it may be).

So, instead of spewing forth all the craziness out into the big bad world, I'm writing this really stupid note instead. Because at least I'm writing something, and it helps.

But nothing of what I really want to say is here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Well...what do you know...

As those of you who read this blog regularly (all five of you) know, vegetarianism is a struggle for me. Not a daily struggle, but one I wrestle with from time to time. I don't regret going veg by any stretch of the imagination; I don't think I've ever felt healthier. But sometimes it's tough.

This past weekend when I went out for dinner, my date ordered a (rather large) steak. Now, I would never presume to ask anyone I'm having dinner with to refrain from ordering meat. This was a decision I made; I'm not going to force it on anyone else. Order whatever you want. I don't care.

Anyway, as I was watching him eat this steak, it suddenly occurred to me that even if some day I do start eating meat, I would probably never be able to eat steak again. I mean, I found it truly disgusting. The size of it, the skin, the fat, the blood (it was medium rare)... ugh. And a scant four years ago, it would have been something I drooled over.

Vegetarianism, you may make a permanent convert out of me yet...

I am a genius.

How else can you describe someone who manages to sprain their ankle without leaving bed? I mean, that takes a certain special person to do that.

I don't know if it is truly sprained or not; I just know I heard a very loud *snap* and now it hurts if I move it a certain way. So, of course I am now refraining from moving it that way.

At least I can walk...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sllloowwww Sunday

Boy, it was tough to get going this morning. My body just said "No. Nuh-uh, not gonna do it." Still for an entity that didn't want to go, I got quite a bit accomplished today, and this weekend!

I went to yoga yesterday, and when the teacher mentioned she needed volunteers for an upcoming yoga conference, I decided I wanted to participate. So, I am now a volunteer. Those of you who know me know that while I'm willing to give just about anything to friends and family, I'm not big on actually volunteering. I'm really not much of a "joiner." Still, it seems like it will be fun, and I was considering attending anyway, so why not? It will be a good opportunity to meet new people. Something I often struggle with, being an introvert at heart. I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday evening I drove down to Middlebury and had dinner at Fire and Ice, which is a nice, well-known restaurant in the area. It is not haute cuisine by any stretch of the imagination, but it is good, and fun. I would highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.

Today... well. Like I said, it took me a while to get going. It was supposed to be a bread day, but I just didn't feel up to it. Instead I made some burger rolls for the tofu burgers I made for dinner this week. I also made some rajma (curried kidney beans) and rice for lunch this week. It's yummy. Probably not anything like true rajma, but it's yummy and I'll take it! S

ince I've been having homemade toast for breakfast lately and I didn't make bread, I had to do something else. My aunt gave me some amaranth and I decided to cook that up for breakfast. I added some almonds, sugars, vanilla and local golden cherries I froze from the summer. Oh, and cinnamon. It's... different. Not bad necessarily, I guess I'm just not used to the grain's texture, as I've never eaten it before. Still, I'm stuck with it for the week, so I best get used to it!

Early night tonight, I think. I never quite got going. Despite the three mile walk I managed to get in. It was a beautiful day... just too wiped to care, I guess. 

Today, You are Ten

Well, as far as we know, anyway. We're not sure of your exact birthday, so we use your "Gotcha Day" instead. You've been...