Sunday, July 22, 2012

Modifying food choices even further

A few weeks ago I decided to eliminate dairy products from my diet just to see what would happen. I've had one common recurring health issue that many women get that has plagued me since I was in my 20s off and on. I found out that this issue is likely caused by milk and its other by-products.

I don't drink milk, but I do consume plenty of dairy: yogurt, cheese, half n half in my coffee. It's not a whole lot, but enough just the same. So I bought some soy creamer and a couple cartons of almond milk and coconut milk at Trader Joe's. I tried coffee with just the almond milk one afternoon and it was rather nasty. Half soy creamer and half almond milk was good. I don't want to go too heavy on soy products because that can be unhealthy too, so I try and balance it out.

A week ago I got the book Skinny Bitch from the library. In the past I was was put off from reading it because I had heard it was rather vulgar, but in the end, the salty language made it funny and not much different from how I hear people talk today anyway. But the basic message in the book is to recommend a vegan diet because it is the healthiest and most morally responsible way to eat.

So now I've been eating vegetarian as often as possible, filling up on my fresh fruit and vegetable juice in the morning and eating a big salad before having lunch or dinner. I've been trying out tempeh and making more vegetarian dinners. I've eliminated Diet Coke and have seltzer water or club soda if I want something bubbly. I put away the Splenda and now use raw agave nectar and use my steevia more often - no more artificial sweeteners.

I've lost SEVEN pounds!

I'd like to lose another 10-15 pounds, even more if possible. I've never been very overweight, just a little bit, and those pounds added up slowly over the years beginning with my happy comfort 5 pounds I put on just before getting  married. It needs to come off.

My husband is not vegetarian, nor contemplating a vegan diet, but to his credit (and he deserves a lot of credit) he has also modified his eating habits. This is a man who used to insist on meat for every meal and he'd eat big portions of meat. His weakness was beef.

He's now open to having beef only once a week, (I'll eat a different vegetarian meal on that day). The rest of the week has lighter meats with less portion sizes and a vegetarian meal once a week. He incorporates more vegetables into his meals and even joins me with a morning juice, something unheard of earlier!

Here are a couple of websites I enjoy reading that has been helpful:
Vegan Coach
Green Smoothie Girl
Forks Over Knives (great movie you MUST see. Their articles and recipes are terrific resources.)
Happy Cow

Do you have any recommendations? Success stories? I'd also love to hear comments if YOU are vegan or vegetarian with a non-veg spouse.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Summer Happenings

Since Aidan got out of "regular" school a few weeks ago, I've been spending a majority of my time with him. It's given me some time to think about the direction my life has taken and I'll sum it up as follows.


Golf is getting on board for a healthier lifestyle and I couldn't be happier. But our eating schedules are exactly opposite as are our sleeping habits, and that is a challenge.

I need to lose at least 15 pounds, preferably 20,  and it's becoming an urgent matter, mostly because I can't stand myself any longer. A friend of mine at the Thai temple says she simply does not eat after 4 pm. I like her idea and I'm considering giving it a try. However, Golf eats his main meal at night and if I have to cook, I will have to forbid myself to eat a bite.  Maybe I will have to eat a nice salad before 4 o'clock and then I won't be tempted.

I'd like to know if you've successfully committed to a lifestyle change regarding food when having to cook for your family. How did you do it?

I still juice every day, and now Golf's interested in joining me, so I've been getting lots of fresh produce at Berkeley Bowl for good prices and running them through the juicer every morning. I drink a liter of juice and I give a pint to Golf, who is still getting used to the taste.

I have not yet done a juice fast, because I think it might be too challenging having to fix meals for Aidan and Golf, but I might check out the Reboot forum to see if anybody there is doing that and finding support.

But I still get very tired, and I think that part of it is my mental state regarding work.


I feel utterly defeated with my online businesses. Last month gave me a total of $365 in earnings after 3 years of hard work. I don't have to tell you what kind of ROI that is. I have three websites right now and I'm letting one go. I'm not doing much with the other two because I feel so badly about them. The business model sucks, that's all I can say, and every webmaster and business owner is a slave to Google's whims. That's the bottom line and I don't want it any more.

The new business venture is definitely promising, and it incorporates art and writing. I am enthusiastic about the possibilities and I already have a story and am working on the preliminary sketches.

But instead of going at the task wholeheartedly with vim and vigor, I prefer to chat with other moms at the temple. When I do work I get sidetracked easily and find excuses to do something else. What is going on here?

I feel like I'm floating in some sort of weird void when it comes to financially contributing to the family. This has been an issue ever since we moved back from Thailand and it's a spiritual/emotional block I need to work through. Maybe I'm still reeling over my online failure.


I'm supposed to be meditating every day. I don't.
When Aidan was in regular school I would meditate every morning, but something about his summer schedule is not making me do it. I have plenty of time during the three days he's off, but instead I check FaceBook and now I'm writing in my blog.

When he goes to Thai school I am pretty good about sitting for half an hour in the main room, so I do feel good about that and it is helpful.

I have been listening to inspiring dharma talks where I want to work on myself and also change the world. But I also feel like I can't do much when my first responsibility is to take care of my family. And my family is my priority, so all things in good time. I'm not stressed about it, for taking care of Golf and Aidan gives me so much peace and satisfaction. It feels wonderful.

And so these are the three areas in my life that need some work. Writing it down gives it clarity and I see what I need to do. Hmm.. maybe once summer vacation is over, I'll update this to chart my progress.