Two Weeks In: The Beginning Of A Vegetarian Life?

So, a little over two weeks ago I stated that I was going to try and remove meat from my diet. I was reluctant to say the word vegetarian, however. I couldn’t even say it to my boyfriend, or my family. I told them “I want to eat as little meat as possible.” Yeah, that’s why I went out on payday and bought all of the veggies I could get my hands on. Seriously. I never used to buy so many veggies, and if I did chances are they were frozen. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with frozen veggies, let me start there. But this time around, instead of my frozen corn and brussel sprouts, I got all sorts of lettuces that I’ve never tried, broccoli, carrots, artichokes, green onions, cilantro and that’s just the few that come to the top of my head. I’ve never really had room in my budget for fresh produce because I was saving most of my money for meat.

That’s the first thing I noticed, more money for the things that make me feel good, that until now were a luxury. Really. Artihcokes were a luxury. I couldn’t condone spending a whole dollar on the worlds smallest artichoke, when you only get such a tiny amount to eat from them. I bought two, and it didn’t even hurt. I couldn’t condone spending so much on herbs that I could just grow, so I’ve rarely bought herbs from a store unless they were dried. (And I still think growing them is the preferred method.) I even spent the extra dollar to buy dried beans because you get more in a bag than you do in a can. I’ve never even had a reason to do so until now. But beans are soon to be my main course in at least a few meals, I have the reason to get all fancy with my beans.

Why does it all feel so fancy? Buying fresh produce feels freakin’ fancy right now. And that’s not even considering the food I’ve made with it. Walking out of the super market with a paper bag (one paper bag, already less waste!) full of produce is kind of fancy. That’s what you see in comercials on prime time tv. It feels fancy because meat was always my mian course, meat is expensive, I never had the extra money for the produce to go with the meat, unless it was potatoes and an onion.

So, that’s my shopping experience. Filling up my cart with produce as my boyfriend shops for the biggest piece of meat that he can find that won’t break his wallet and will feed him for a week, I’ve got the whole top part of the cart full and he’s got just one measly package of meat and some cheese in his (and eventually he grabbed greenbeans to make stew). Onto the kitchen. I spent that afternoon cooking.I made myself some sesame noodles, which turned into a few lunches last week. I also made some rice and bean concoction, mixing crushed tomatoes, cheddar cheese, cilantro, green onion and carrots into it. This became the stuffing for some tortilla burritos, which became the other half of my lunches for the week. I had already been having overnight oats for breakfast in the mornings, so that was a quick and easy thing to make up every couple of nights. Then I had to figure out something for dinners, which wasn’t terribly hard. One of the nights I went out with my dad and his girlfriend, and I decided to try a veggie calzone with mushrooms, olives and broccoli. That turned out to be delicious, and I have no regrets. I had the two artichokes another night, stir fried broccoli, mushrooms, onions, sesame noodles and carrots another night. My favorite by far however was this recipe for roasted four cheese spaghetti squash. I could eat that every day, and I only had to make on change to it. Instead of using chicken boullion, I simply used a few spices I would put on a chicken myself, only because I’m not sure what “chicken powder” is, and that was the main ingredient in the boullion cube.

I’ve found, within the first two weeks, the most important tips a new vegetarian could find. Prep your meals. Always. Prep them, and also, shop for certain recipes. Make sure you’re buying what you need, rather than random things that you’ll throw together later in the week. Make sure what you’re buying can go together, or you risk having to go out again in the week for more ingredients, or whole meals. The second tip I’ve found is to not worry about your label. I feel odd calling myself vegetarian, I am afterall a very very new vegetarian. So am I really a vegetarian? I’m not a seasoned vegetarian anyway, so the word still leaves something of an aftertaste in my mouth. Forget labels. You’re not a vegetarian, you’re not anything. Just a human trying to eat, which happens to be humanities favorite past time, we even do it while experiencing our other favorite past times. When addressing my family, and my new diet, I left out the world vegetarian. They were the first to call me anything, and it was okay. No weird after taste, just pure conversation as I explained the things that turned me onto this new life style.

Turns out, I’m liking this a lot. I’m not finding many difficulties with it, and I’m already seeing good side effects. The most obvious was the money situation. I’m not struggling to keep my cart below a certain amount, in fact I’m struggling to spend everything in the budget. But I’m also mostly headache free, I’ve had one over the past two weeks, which is like  an all time low. I’m regular in the bathroom (sorry if that’s tmi, but it’s important even if we don’t talk about it.) I find that I have more energy already, I don’t get tired until sun down, where before I was yawning as early as noon. I’m finding that I’m fuller longer, and when I am full it’s not uncomfortable. I think these are all good things, and I’ll keep you updated on whatever else I notice.

The first two weeks have been successful, and I think this week I’ll be trying a new recipe. Something comforting as we fall into the fall season, litearlly. Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Chowder. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Advertisements

While We Are Here, Lets Have Some Food


I remember when I was in middle school and took home economics class. I was taught the ins and outs of buying and consuming foods, how they are advertised, and a bunch of other things. They eventually did away with that class in my school, and I can’t figure out why. After all, I baked my first cake in that class. It was a double chocolate chili cake. It was really good and it showed me that baking wasn’t that scary. I wanted nothing more than to cook after that. It was during this time that I decided that I wanted to be vegetarian. I remember coming home and being told by both of my parents that it wasn’t do-able. I couldn’t for a few reasons, but mainly because how would I get all of the nutrients I needed, and it wasn’t cheap. How would they afford it? At this point, my home life was pretty rough as it was. My dad didn’t have a job, my mom was the only one working, and none of that helped my already difficult transition into young adult hood. My first reason for being vegetarian was for the animals. I had found a few articles online about what the animals in factories go through, and I couldn’t handle it. Secondly, I knew it was healthier, and here’s the funny thing. Nobody had ever told me it was healthier. If anything, I had been told that vegetarians are lacking in nutrients because they don’t eat meat and don’t drink milk. My efforts to become vegetarian were squashed, quickly. Before they even began.

So I sit here now, an adult, thinking back to all of this. I’ve seen video after video of the abuse that happens to animals, and I have always wanted it to end, and I’ve wished I could do my part to help it end, but before I moved to where I live now, I didn’t even have a way to help. I was throwing all of my money into bills, and the only places I could food shop in town were the pharmacy, dollar store and gas station. I didn’t have regular access to grocery stores. I had to do what I had to do, but I began noticing that I craved more and more natural food. I tried growing my own, but that didn’t go very well and I came out with a handful of sweet peppers, a lot of cilantro and mint, and three very small green tomatoes. I didn’t stop, I tried again this year, but I’m here with again, more mint, and one very tiny green tomato that I’m hoping will at least get big enough and red enough to give me seeds. I will try again in a year.

But the tension between my brain and my body is growing. I’ve been buying and eating almost nothing but veggies and fruit. When we have hamburgers, I find myself craving the crisp crunch of kale on top, with onion, pickles and dijon mustard. Take the patty off actually and throw on some olives, basil, spinach, cabbage, peppers and tomatoes. I’ll give you my patty if you promise I can have the rest. Each and every time, this is my wish. But I eat the damn patty, and I pay for it. My body doesn’t like the patty as much as my mouth seems to. My mind doesn’t like it either, my taste buds are lying to the rest of my body, and the rest of my body has become wise to these lies! So this morning I skipped breakfast. I have bacon here, and the plan was to have that bacon. I know that if I were vegetarian I would still have eggs, and probably yogurt/cheese too, and fish, but that’s the extent of my animal eating. Not because of anything except for how my body feels. I realize that those items are from animals, but I have to start somewhere and as of right now the only meat I’m eating (happily) is fish, eggs, and cheese/yogurt. I think I could leave it at that for now, and still be fine. I wouldn’t be alone either, there are a lot of vegetarians that eat those, but no red or white meat. I’m cool with that life.

So I’ve been adding things to my pinterest board that I have lovingly called Food 0.0. I know the whole board isn’t vegetarian, but I’m going to add those on. I know that part of my problem is not knowing what to eat. I’ve literally been surviving on grapes, fish and kale this week because I’m not sure what else to eat. Time to spice up life.

So here’s to beginning a new journey, and perfect timing too as we just welcomed a full moon into our skies. I’d call that synchronicity? Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but we will see. I’ll give myself a month to say goodbye to the meat that I already don’t want to eat, meaning if I have to eat a meal with meat because I’m stuck or out of food I can, but I really want to try this, all the way. I’m doing the searching now for recipes and ideas. So here goes, one full lunar cycle. I’ll check back and let you all know what I’ve found. I might even upload recipes that I find!

Wish me luck!

(P.S. You all should know that my cat is chasing her tail.)

A Little Something Special For You

Sometimes I get that feeling that I am boring. I’m not very special, and there are other people that are far more interesting than me. I don’t get that feeling just when I’m depressed though, I get it randomly. Weather or not I’m trying to progress in life or just sitting there watching the cat’s sleep. I get it.

I realized something though. No matter how many other people can write better than me. No matter how many other people have the exact same hair style or taste in music, no matter how many people like chocolate and vanilla ice cream but do not like them in a twist ice cream, I will be the only me. There will never be another combination of human traits quite like me. That of the 7.5 Billion people on this plant, I am the only one that ever is, was, or ever will be.

I think that’s something special, don’t you? I think that each and every one of us is as special as the next person because we are rare. As a species, not really so rare, at least not on Earth. But individually we are so rare that we are all on the endangered list. We are all a protected life form, because we are so rare. And that is why we have to treat each person that we bump into with love and respect.

That is why you have to treat yourself with love and respect, undoubtedly. 

14440905_10210617191212156_8761634440297721594_n

The Road to Self Love

My apologies. I’ve not been writing for a while. I’ve started this new job of mine and been busy trying to balance the work life, my health and my time off. That is the main thing. Balance. 

 

What comes first in your life? Is it your health? Your job? Happiness? Family or friends? To some, the answer is obvious. Their image means most to them and they will do all that they can to make sure that their image is not damaged. This is usually very bad for their health, and for the relationships that they have in their life. Then there are those who put their health first. These are the people who tend to be happiest, even if they don’t have everything worked out yet, their mental and physical health is taken care of and they are fully capable of handling what life throws at them. And then there are those who put everyone else first. Neither their image or their health matters most, and these kind souls are usually the ones that burn out. They take care of others as long as possible and then burn right out, like a candle that ran out of wick. I used to be, and sometimes still can be, this type of person. I would sacrifice my happiness to make someone else happy and it wasn’t until my last friendship failure that I realized what I really needed to do. I needed to focus less on others, and more on myself because you simply cannot pour from a pot that is empty. And trust me, I’d love to share all that I have.

These days, I come first. At first, I felt selfish. Very selfish. I don’t like turning people down because of my ‘health issues’. I don’t like making them feel like they don’t matter to me but even if I were to try and help another while I’m in a bad state of mind, I wouldn’t be giving them my all. In the back of my mind, I would be thinking of myself. I would be  halfheartedly listening to their problems or questions. How would that help them? It wouldn’t help either of us, and a real friend would want to help, to really help. Sometimes help comes in the form of just an ear, open and willing to hear. Other times, that help comes out in what you can do for them. You have to be working at full capacity to be there for another.

Luckily, self care isn’t hard to do. It’s not tedious, it’s not terribly time consuming. At first, though, it can feel overwhelming. And lots of people might not understand the sudden changes you are making. You might not even fully understand them. I will give you a few tips, things that I’ve learned, but of course you must know that I’m no expert. I’m just journeying on this path, wandering more like. I too have been lost, and at times I still am lost. All that I can do is give you tidbits of knowledge that I have found through my own experiences. I can’t make you see the truth or feel any kind of way. I can pour you the cup of tea but I cannot make you drink it and I cannot make it heal you. That is what you can do for yourself.

So I ask you this, with this post and all posts you will come across in my blog, I ask you to be open. You won’t agree with everything that I say and that’s okay. I ask that you also do not judge. Take what you need and leave the rest. I won’t be offended or hurt. You’re you, not me. Everything that works for me won’t work for you. But most of all, I ask that you take a moment, now or later, to be honest with yourself. To give yourself a moment to just feel. To just love yourself. You can do so in many ways, and I’ll tell you a few now.

The first thing I learned about self love was that I have to love myself. This has always been hard for me. I grew up being told I was a bad child because I threw fits, I was defiant, and I stole from my mom and stores. I did so because I was battling for control of my own life and I was losing simply because I was the ‘child’. My mom has the mental capacity of a child, and once I surpassed her, the problems really began. Things got worse when I needed more, new clothes or personal hygiene items. I began craving real food, rather than the fake cheap stuff she would buy for me. There were many battles, and because I started defying her and stealing money from her to buy the things I needed (or just stealing them from the store), I was known as the bad child. And because I wasn’t getting the healthy food that I was craving, I began to gain weight. Thank you puberty. My hormones made me become insulin resistant (a side effect of PCOS) and I gained weight but have never lost it, regardless of how much I’ve tried. So here I sit, 240 pounds. I’m technically overweight. Everything makes me look bad, I think. So the first step to self love was hard. Still is hard. I’ve got it in my head that all I do is fuck up, and that I’m gross. But I sit here telling you, no matter your size, color, hair style, income or mental status, you are god damn beautiful. You are a masterpiece. You own you, and you own it well. Lift up your head, walk with your chin up, and make eye contact with those around you. Smile. Even if it feels weird at first, I promise it begins to feel good. When you walk into a room with your head held high, there will be a sense of confidence about you that others wish they had. This isn’t to make anyone jealous, it’s to create that confidence in yourself. Holding your head high is the first thing you can do to promote self love.

Secondly, get enough sleep. Please. Calculate when you should go to bed, get at least 6 hours of sleep, but if it’s possible get 8. Fall asleep in your comfiest clothes (or lack of). Hug your pillow. Make friends with the bed. You need sleep to survive. You have to dream to be healthy. There have been many studies done on the topic, I even did a paper in school about the effect of dreams on health. Did you know that people who don’t get enough REM sleep have lowered immune systems and are more susceptible to stress, depression and mental illness? So go to sleep. Take a nap! If you’re yawning and you have time, take a nap instead of make another cup of coffee.

Third, eat something good. I don’t mean brownies with peanut butter frosting. I mean go to the store, buy a pomegranate and some kale. Snack on the pomegranate seeds, put the kale on your hamburgers or ham sandwiches. Make salads. Drink tea. Use almond milk, or cage free eggs. Real cheese instead of processed cheese. Real meat instead of processed meat. Drink water. Eat something that is good for your body. Start small, make it a habit. Have an apple a day. Use almond milk creamer in your coffee. Snack on nuts instead of chips. Start small and add to it. Don’t just overwhelm yourself with foods that you have no idea how to even use. And yes, they can be more expensive. That’s where my next tip will come in handy.

Guess what, kale is super cheap. So is spinach. And peppers. But do you want to know what’s cheaper? Seeds. Grow something. Even if you start with easy herbs. Cilantro, chives, mint, parsley, dill, basil, oregano, ect. Use those super fresh herbs in your food. You’ll come back later and thank me. Once you’ve mastered growing those, go grab some pepper or tomato seeds. Those tend to be easy to grow. Spinach, kale and cabbage, onions, garlic, cucumbers, squash and carrots are also easy. All of these can be grown in pots too, so you can grow them on a balcony. And you’ll have fresh food to eat, that costed you less than a dollar. The dirt and pots can cost a little more money that one would want. Get the dirt on sale, or in bulk, and pots are sold at dollar trees, and can be made out of many things as well. Herbs and small plants can be grown in anything. Cups, bowls, bottles, coffee cans ect. Be inventive. 🙂

The next two can fall into the same category. They are also the two that I would stand on a box and yell out to everyone. Meditate or do yoga. (Or both.) I know, a lot of people feel that yoga is a fad, and I can’t blame them. It seems that there are many going around, like the gluten free diet that possibly has no positive effect on people who aren’t gluten intolerant and is expensive just because it’s a fad. Yoga is not that kind of fad. Yoga has many many benefits, proven benefits. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need a yoga mat to do it, just something you won’t slip on. However, if you can afford it, do get one. It makes yoga life easier. And there are thousands of yoga videos on youtube. The one I started out with was Yoga with Adriene. Branch out and find what works for you. Adriene has many many other videos, but I like her because she encourages you to not be perfect. Take breaks when you need to. If you can’t do a pose, don’t freak out because before you know it you’ll be doing it like a pro. As for meditation, I’ve been told many excuses as to why someone can’t do it. “My mind won’t quiet down enough.” “I tried it and it didn’t have an effect.” Well, meditation’s effects aren’t seen as quickly as something like yoga. Meditation can take a month or so for you to actually see an effect. Stick with it. It will help, but it takes time to form the habit and to change your brain (and yes, meditation can alter your brain.) When you meditate, and your mind won’t stay quiet, just keep sitting there. You are a mountain. Imagine yourself as such. Your thoughts are clouds, and they are passing by. Meditation is not about clearing your mind, it is about living in that moment. Know that the thought is there, and just let it be. Don’t think on it, don’t try to force it out, and don’t give up. It will pass. Focus on your breathing. In, out. In, out. Deeply, using your stomach, not your chest. Slowly, deeply. In, out. If it helps to light a candle and focus on the flame, or an incense and focus on the smoke, do that. Your mind might never be completely quiet, but that’s okay because you’re human.

The last tip I’m going to give you today is to be honest with yourself. Don’t lie to yourself or try to convince yourself of anything. You feel what you feel, you think what you think and that won’t change if you give yourself the illusion that it has. If you want something to change, work on it, but don’t convince yourself that it has already changed. The same goes for weather or not it should change. As long as you harm no-one, then you are okay. Believe what you want, feel what you feel. Be solid in what you feel and believe, and explore everything else. Be open minded, and if your mind is changed about something, accept it. Don’t fight it, you are progressing. When we refuse to change, we refuse to grow. And when we force ourselves to feel or think another way, we do more self harm. Things have to happen naturally, and when you’re ready, so live in there here and now and let things happen.

Self love takes a while to get used to. Self love isn’t something you can learn, it’s not something you can teach. All that you can do is be open to receive the message that those around you send out, and that your body sends you. Above all else, listen to yourself. Do what feels right to you, step out of your comfort zone at your own pace. Don’t let anyone force you.

What Is The Meaning Behind “The Indigo Way”?

Since I was little I remember thinking way outside of the box. The first instance of this that I remember is when I first learned of Ancient Egypt. I was told that they didn’t have money then, the ancients didn’t deal in coin but instead had a barter system. Almost everyone farmed on a large scale or a small scale. The jobs provided were those that did something for the people, rather than something for the individual. I remember very clearly asking my dad why we were not a part of that system. I understand now why, I mean how many loaves of bread would you have to make in order to trade for an Iphone? And how many wooden chairs can get you a house? The things that we value have grown in value, from small houses that were just what a family needed to houses that are much too large for that family and you have to fill the extra rooms with decorations and electronics. The cars we own are no longer to get us from point A to point B, they are to be our homes away from homes, some even have TV’s or wifi in them. Money is needed for these things. Even the laptop I’m using to write this on now costed money, and I’m sure that I couldn’t have  offered anything to barter to get it.

Since I was little, I couldn’t understand why people fought over land, or resources. “Just share them.” I thought. Why do I have to have permission to cross a boarder into another country. I didn’t see a line on the ground. I didn’t ask to be born an American. So why on Earth do I need to pay all of this money and prove that I’m first a citizen of America, and then prove to the people guarding the boarder that I’m a citizen using the passport I just paid to get, just to go see the Niagra Falls? It’s not even like I live on a separate chunk of land, it’s connected and I still have to prove I am who I say I am! The same goes for moving within the country. Sure, I’m free to pack up and move anytime I want, but if I want to drive, own a house, vote or get things like medical insurance or a library card, I have to prove I’m a citizen of that state. Why? I’m still American, why do I have to be a citizen of this state too? What if I want to move from state to state but also visit the library and check out some books while I’m passing through? The law states that I have to do these things and I never could understand this.

From a young age I have questioned such things. I’ve always wondered why the world was the way it was if it makes no sense. Perhaps there are those who it does make since to, but people like me don’t fall into that category. People like me are what are being referred to as Indigo’s. We aren’t from this time, we don’t conform to the current system. We are here to make a difference.

It is my belief that there are so many of us here today, and there are so many who are discovering their true calling and it’s happening at much quicker rates, because the world is getting ready for a massive change. Our society, weather or not it’s in our life time, will become one that helps the people rather than the few. We are here to make the changes necessary for everyone to become happy and healthy and that is why so many of us are less and less afraid to be who we are truly.  There was a time when I wouldn’t say out loud that I am an empath. I would know things, and someone would ask me how I knew, and I’d shrug and  say “I don’t know.” That’s not a lie, really, I don’t know how I know things, but I know why I know things. I know things because I felt them.

So The Indigo Way  is just a blog from an Indigo’s point of view. It’s me expressing my thoughts and feelings in words, sharing them with like minded people, and introducing them to those who might feel the same, but not know exactly what it is. It’s the Indigo way of life. The Indigo path. And I’ll tell you that it’ll be different for each and every one of us. The only thing that is true for all of us is that we want peace and happiness, knowledge and health but most of all acceptance. We are all here to make the world a better place and to heal this Earth.

If you are interested in learning about Indigo’s I suggest you read about  Nancy Ann Tappe, Jan Tober, and Lee Carroll. You can also look up the term “Indigo Child”. There are documentaries, books, blogs and videos about the topic. I hope that you find everything that you are looking for, and with that you can gain peace of mind and happiness.