Love Actually

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       “Distance is just a test to see how far love can travel…”

Love, it is a funny thing. It comes when you least expect it and it stays when you need it most. Love is the meeting of two souls, fully accepting the dark and the light within each other bound by the courage to grow through struggle into bliss. It is more than just a word or material things…love is, well… multifaceted, delightfully complicated yet simple, and above all it is wonderful. You know that moment when someone is trying to tell you something, but you don’t know what it is? Where you think you aren’t going to ever be able to have that certain thing you have been looking for so you just give up and say fuck it? Then all of a sudden it just…well happens? That basically describes this whole situation, at least basically.

I have had a rough time in the dating world. Unlike most of the population that is focused on external things and not much for rocking the boat, I on the other hand have a more old fashioned way of seeing things…with a dash of a modern twist, of course. I love deeply, I think deeply (and often), I feel deeply, and I have a more grand understanding of what is going on around me than most of the people I have come into contact with. I do understand that having a brain, plus being relatively attractive does make me a bit intimidating. I have scared the shit out of many men, I have made many a man mad, and I also have caused many a man to turn into a beast and make a total ass of himself (not on purpose, mind you). I hate to say it, but I kinda gave up on love for that very reason…almost. Not completely, but I was rather fed up, to say the least.

How did it happen? Well, it goes a little something like this… I received a message from someone who was in town for furniture market and wanted to hang out. Needless to say, I bit for a moment, but decided maybe it wasn’t a good idea to get involved with someone who wasn’t going to be around for very long. So, I went about my business as usual. Then, one fine day while I was working a very handsome man decided to show up to the store. I admired his ensemble and thought he looked rather dashing in his “where’s waldo” like hat. Once I got a good look at him though, I realized i had seen this man before…but not in person. I watched as he looked about puzzled through the store, occasionally giving me glances with the same thought I had rolling around in my head. “Who are you and why do I know you?” He walked up to the register and I was blunt and said, “Are you here for furniture market?”

He replyed, “Yes, I am.” “Are you a photographer?” “Yessss…I am.” he said puzzled. “I think you messaged me.” “Yes, I think I did…” “Hi….my name is Michelle and it’s nice to meet you.” I waved my hand in a slow circle. “Hi, my name is Jeffery and it’s nice to meet you.” We both laugh a little bit at the situation, make idle chitchat about kombucha, and then said we should talk more. then he left. Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback at the randomness and highly unlikely situation that just occurred in the past 10 minutes. I received a message a little bit later saying, “Well, now that we have met in person, would you like to hang out tomorrow?” Of course I said yes…and so we met for crepes the next day.

I wore my hair curly and donned my favorite sweater-dress that had a fox on it, along with cowgirl boots because I just got off of work. He just being off work as well wore a very nice red plaid aztecy button down and jeans. We talked over a vegan crepe. He had coffee and I had Le Croix. We decided to take my car to head to the “big city” of Winston and I took the back roads. I showed him around a few of my favorite spots, grabbed a cup of coffee that was a bit too hot so I made it into ice coffee, then settled on having drinks at a few of my favorite bars. He let me try his scotch while I had an old fashioned. We talked the night away, laughed and shared stories. Later a girl came by and he bought me a rose, which he said were his favorite. We kissed…and in that very moment I knew this was different than anything I had ever experienced in my entire life. I had fireworks, my heart lit up like a Christmas tree, and I felt a warmth that I had never imagined was possible. Everything just stopped…and the rest is history.

We have been talking ever since and even though we don’t live very close, the passion is still there. We message, talk on the phone, send random e-mails and pictures of what we are doing, share songs that we think the other would like, and even watch movies together (at the same time at least). If distance makes the heart grow fonder, I will go ahead and say that is a damn true statement. I honestly cannot wait to see him again and the feeling is mutual. I don’t know where this road is going to lead me, but I am going to go with it because I feel like there is some higher forces in the cosmos at work here. Love is an amazing thing and I am glad it happened over kombucha in a small town during furniture market with a one in a billion chance. My dreams are leading me there, so lets see how it goes. Namaste.

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Breakfast of Champions

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I went to a cafe that advertised breakfast anytime, so I ordered French Toast during the Rennaisance.” –Stephen Write

As we all know, breakfast is really good for you. It wakes you up, breaks the hunger from when you are sleeping (thus breaking the fast), and it boosts your metabolism. But what is a vegan suppose to do at breakfast? Most breakfast foods now a days are not vegan friendly. Sure, you could get the vegan bacon that tastes like cardboard or the sausage that resembles a hockey puck (I have had good versions but most are sub par, mind you) or even do a tofu scramble which is a poor substitute for eggs. But what about soup?

Tons of Asian countries have vegan friendly breakfast options that most people are not familiar with. A few of my top favorites are Congee, a rice porridge from china; Nabe; a Japanese breakfast soup; Miso, another Japanese soup; and Golden Milk; a thick Indian drink. There are plenty of others, but what I have been doing lately for breakfast is just making a quick vegan veggie soup in the morning. Sometimes even in the microwave if I don’t have much time in the morning. All you need is some hot water, a miso packet or vegan bullion cube, a few greens and mushrooms or veggies of choice and BAM! Breakfast is served. It’s warm, healthy, and easy.

If you want something crunchy or toothsome then make a piece or 2 of toast from some local bread. I really like Jewish Rye because it has a lower glycemic index and it also has lots of flavor. Plus it tastes really good when you dip it in the broth. Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel better when I have something warm for breakfast and it makes me feel alive again. So, next time you don’t know what to make in the mornings, try some soup along with your morning cup of coffee or tea. Namaste

Cleansing

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“So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.”–Antonin Artaud

So every spring, I tend to do a cleanse. With Seasonal changes, our bodies change and must adapt to the new things around it. That is why it is important to eat with the seasons, and take time to listen to our bodies instead of forcing it to be a certain way. It always is telling us something; physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, what better way to kick off Spring than to pump it full of nutrients from fruits and veggies? No to mention ramping up my yoga routine and spending more time outside. With warm weather comes bike rides, picnics and being one with nature. Who doesn’t love that?

So, that is the reason for not posting yesterday. I had to take a bit to regroup and let go of some stuff. Plus, being super grumpy and detoxing is no fun. Just trying to get through a yoga routine without crying was hard enough, plus headaches and body aches…it was a nightmare. But, with lots of sleep and sticking to things, I was able to get through it and I am a lot better now. 🙂 I’ll be doing this for a few weeks. No gluten. no sugar unless from agave, maple or stevia. Staying the heck away from corn if I can at all help it. Bye bye junk food… I will make my own. (poor Oreos…)

So, what’s on todays menu? Lot’s of herbal and green tea, fresh made juice, and stir fried veggies. Oh, and a handful of nuts and seeds for snack. I might take a crack at making veggie chips this weekend for an extra treat. That will be interesting since I will have hit the one month marker with Bryce on Saturday. I shall post a few recipes of the things I make and let you all know how they turn out. Now, off to go and do yoga at the park! Namaste!

Thoughts on food (monthly update)

“Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.”–Socrates

So it’s been a good minute since I have done an update on how my vegan diet is going. For the most part, I have been pretty good about staying vegan, but I have had times where I had no other option but to eat vegetarian. I have avoided dairy at all cost though which has been the most challenging, especially when you live in a family that really doesn’t understand why you are vegan.  Being taunted about your diet choices plus having a limited amount of food that you can eat at home tends to make things difficult when trying to prepare food. hopefully that will be changing soon once I am back in the routine of making enough money to buy my own groceries.

I have hit a bit of a plateau as far as loosing weight. I have been hovering around 125 lbs for the past 2 weeks or so and I am thinking it has to do with not being able to eat all the things I normally would on a regular basis. Having to rely on carbs is not a good thing so I am thinking of giving up bread all together for a good bit to see if that helps. Yay not having gluten! On a brighter note, I have seen major improvements in my skin. No breakouts for a few weeks, my PMS is not nearly as bad and my hair even seems healthier.

I am also going to be amping up my meditation and yoga routines to combat the lack of healthy vegan options right now. I think an hour a day of yoga and 30 minutes of meditation will help me out greatly. That will be starting this weekend, plus a mini juice fast to boost my metabolism starting on Monday.

In other news, I am quite pleased to say that my new man (Bryce) is very interested in my vegan lifestyle and is wanting me to cook some things for him this weekend while I am in Chapel Hill with him. Can you say awesome?!?!?! I am so happy that I can share that with someone that I really care about. Most men I have dated previously have been outright carnivores; tolerant ones, but still carnivores none the less. His interests aren’t just for physical health, but more on the spiritual side of things. Eating a vegetarian/vegan tends to open people up spiritually, which in my opinion is a fantastic thing. Ill be posting a few of the recipes that I will be making with him this weekend (plus pictures) so stay tuned! Hope you all enjoy and Namaste!

Trial and error

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese. –Luis Bunuel
So I did have some cheese on Friday and I am utterly regretting it. It was just a little goat cheese on my salad, I figured it couldn’t hurt and well…now I am sick. I feel like I have a cold, my sinuses are horrible, and my body is soar. So yes…no more cheese ever ever ever again. I will admit it tasted absolutely divine, but I am NOT going to eat it since it made me feel this dreadful.
Trial and error is utterly important for me right now. The fact of me trying that smidgin of cheese does not make me a bad person or a horrible vegan, but it did remind me why I use to feel like total poo before. So, all in all it makes me much stronger in my diet choices now. I can really look at that piece of cheese and go, “Screw you, you make me feel like crap. BE GONE FOUL ONE!” (so punny, I know. it was too easy).
On that note, today was my juice day. I did have soup and a salad, (partly because the local smoothie place was closed when I was in town and I was starved) but they were raw veggies and a coconut based veggie soup so I will let it slide. Again, no one is perfect. I did have 2 green drinks before I left the house though so all in all I think i did fairly well. Still feel a bit crudy but hopefully that will pass in the next few days.
So here is the recipe for one of my favorite juices. I call it “The Cremecicle” because it is orange and it tastes a lot like one, only its healthy!!!! Juice 1 large sweet potato, 2 oranges, and 3 carrots. The sweet potato makes it creamy and the carrots and oranges make it really sweet. Its delicious and a great way to start out your day. Plus it is chocked full of vitamins and minerals like beta carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium.
So, there you go! New recipe, how much I hate cheese and, and a fairly well done juice day. I hope you all enjoy and Namaste!

Status Report End of the Month

“High-tech tomatoes.  Mysterious milk.  Supersquash.  Are we supposed to eat this stuff?  Or is it going to eat us?”~ Annita Manning

So I have made it to the 1 month marker of being vegan and by golly I feel amazing! 😀 All kidding aside I do feel pretty nice. Still loosing weight but not as fast as before (no issue for me really because it is still coming off) and actually feeling healthier is fantastic. Sleep is still a bit wonky, but I think that is sue to stress and letting go of some things spiritually.

My skin is clearer, my dark circles are not as noticeable, I haven’t got any crud that the kids I work with have brought home, I have more energy, I am more creative and I feel unstoppable. Thus why I am continuing on this path. No, I won’t be the perfect vegan and I am just going to say that right now so no one gives me crap about it either. We humans are omnivores. We have developed into this type of being because we are able to eat all those plants, fruits and the occasional meat if other sources were scarce. That is why we have an appendix, to process raw meat and catch some of the rocks and twigs we aren’t suppose to swallow.

People always get caught up on the whole “we don’t have the digestive system of a carnivore so we shouldn’t eat meat.” Well I hate to burst your bubble guys but science says otherwise. We don’t have 4 stomachs like a cow does, we have stomach acid that is able to break down meat and we can break it down into energy. However, we are conscious of ourselves. We know we exist and we ask ourselves why we are here. That gives us a choice to eat how we want.

If you want to eat a plant based diet, go for it. If you want to eat meat and potatoes (although I think that isn’t the healthiest thing in the world and rather boring) then go for it. It is your choice and your body. All we can do is live by example and maybe enlighten others. Shoving one idea or another is not going to make someone do things willingly. It is just best to live in peace and harmony and just get along with each other. We do not solve anything with fire, only love.

So there is my rant and it is how I feel. Take it or leave it, but I am sticking to my guns. Anywho, from this point onward I will be making updates only 2 times a month on how my diet is going, partly because I think it is rather boring otherwise. I will be posting more recipes though to fill the void of posts. I also will be posting more yoga routines/ poses and meditation exercises, all within a frame of mindfulness of course. I get asked for those quite a bit by people so stay tuned!

So what is my plan for next month? Well I shall be traveling, still juicing one day a week, creating more art to sell, go deeper into my meditation and yogic practice, drink more water and keep writing. I hope you all enjoy and stay tuned! Namaste!