Monday, November 8, 2010


I know I've been neglecting my blog big time! Of course this goes hand in hand with being ultra busy, and neglecting myself a bit along the way. I'm doing fairly well, some weight loss is happening again, big time good news for all my efforts. I've just not had much time to really cook new things, so we are doing our 'usual' vegan quick meals.

I did this vegan dinner party though. I don't even know if I blogged about it? Hmmm It was a few weeks ago, and everything went off very well. I made two different main courses, a stew and soup, with a few sides. Everyone enjoyed the offerings, and were surprised they had a vegan meal and were happy. :-) A success!

We were on vacation last week, and alternated meals of vegan and cheating. It was vacation! OK so it was an excuse, lol. At any rate, I still made pretty good choices, and felt decent about what I ate.

In the mean time I've been following another Vegan blogger and she is doing much better than I am keeping up with posting and keeping it all interesting. You might want to check out some of her meals and photo's  VeganMoFo  I like her style of writing. :-)

My daughter looks great! Everyone thinks so, she has a lovely glow. I even have a few telling me I have nice healthy glow too. Which considering my stress levels and how my IC can keep me really messed up, this is a tribute to healthy food choices!

One side note though, she is as most teens are her age, VERY busy with life and friends. This had her not eating enough for a little while, we even saw a pretty significant change that was not good! It was a wake up call, that if you choose Vegan you MUST eat well! It's not enough to grab this and that, what ever you can say is vegan. Eating real food is a must. Planning your meals, watching your protein intake, keeping up with those key supplements, etc. To be a healthy vegan is work, real work! So for me when I'm too busy I will eat a none vegan choice on occasion. She has chosen to not do that, I've not had any warning signs and she did go through one.

So as you find your path, remember this is about a healthy you as well as saving the planet, loving animals or whatever else motivates you to thrive on veggies! Yet, your personal health is the most important part of your choices as it has the most immediate effect and impact. So if you being Vegan, or thinking about it, make sure you are dedicated to you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September can it be!?

I can't believe it's September! I've obviously let way too many things get in my way, because so much of the year has gone by and I'm still not completely back on track. Still I am making progress, and eating better and better as we jell into this new thing called public school with my boys. It's been stressful and chaotic and I have yet to find that elusive extra down time every one seems to think happens when your kids are in school. I'm thinking yeah well the house work, and work work still piling up on me. Only now my clock ticks to rules and regulations of the school day.
Still it's different and better in some respects. I see some important changes in my boys as they learn to cope with things that are new to them. At this point they are old enough to handle these events and pressures w/o loosing themselves and who they are meant to be. Raising authentic children has always been part of my goal as a parent. Having them be the people they should be instead of molded by forces people just assume are the 'norm'. I don't accept the 'norm' because I believe people are very short sighted, and often aren't even in touch with how much things have slid down hill in this world. Anyhow... that's a whole other blog I've never started. ha! ;-)

Food! What have I been doing? Well making it easier that's what! I have been keeping it simple. In some respects too simple, because I've lived on a bit too much natural peanut butter and grained bread some weeks. Fast & easy is tempting most days.

Still I've been finding ways around my dinner time needs. My men are not vegan and they are hungry big time at the end of the day. So I do things like make spaghetti but keep everything separate so that everyone can take what they want and need.
See four pots, meat in the back, pasta, sauce, and then veggie pot with zucchini and portobello mushrooms, oions and garlic. This way myself and my daughter can easily skip the meat, but I'm making one dinner. :-) This method is working out well. Tonight I made two pots of soup, a meat soup and a veggie soup. The men sometimes try me and my daughter veggie meals and sometimes not.

Today my daughter made chickpea kale salad, in the food processor. Now this is a REALLY yummy spread for a sandwich and it makes me feel calm and energetic. One of the changes we have made is to buy canned beans. All the soaking and such just wasn't happening anymore and I would soak, forget, sour, toss, or manage to cook them but forget they were on the stove, see the pattern. ugh We make sure though to be BPA free CANS! (check out both of those links helpful info for you with plastic as well).

This has really helped keep me going. I have been falling down on all the food prep needed to be a healthy vegan. My daughter is so great she always makes enough for both of us if she cooks. We have been working apart, but also trying to keep each other going. She is doing WAY better than me, she has been totally vegan since the beginning.

Me I'm still trying to get motivated to total commitment. I'm proud of myself though, I've had lots of hurdles and I'm going going going till I get back to being organized enough to do this all the way every meal again.

One last note my favorite breakfast right now is short grain brown organic rice, dried apricot, umboshi plum, walnuts, and parsley. All these flavors mixed together in the am is so good. I feel good for a long time after a bowl. I am still fiting in miso soup here and there I have to be careful though because it sets off my IC if I'm already stressed. Honestly when am I not stressed!? sheesh.

Oh I guess I need to make one more personal note on things going on with me. I had a bad accident at age 17. The damage to my neck has never been fully addressed. The past month I've been having treatments that have taken me through and beyond places I never thought I would get past with the limitations it has placed me on more than half my life now. I know I'll always have residual effects, but I have regained so much feeling and range of motion having finally the soft tissue issues worked on. This though has been time consuming, painful and required of me to take all the down time I could steal from my weeks. It's paid off though! My doc is thrilled with my progress, I've really surprised her with how far and how fast I've progressed. Me I'm just ever grateful she had the courage and back ground to tackle these old injuries with me. :-)

Anyhow.... more food will come. I'm getting there!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Have not given up

So this whole putting my boys in school thing has been more of an adventure than planned. As everything in life usually is. I would say it's going VERY well at this point. It's a relief that both of them are adjusting in a very positive way to this brand new experience for them.

I have been running on empty. The big thing going on with me lately is how stress affects my spine. I had a near death horse back riding accident when I was 17. Yes, a very long time ago. I'm grateful to be alive no doubt, how I managed to survive, not be paralyzed???? Is a miracle. That being said my head has sat on my neck for a quarter of a century by a thread. I've had plenty of chiro care, but no one has ever had the knowledge to address the muscle damage until now.

I'm finally after all these years on the road to a recovery that will be life changing. Literally she found my problems right away and understands them so well. She having had a major head injury herself. I've always felt my head was barely on, and yesterday it was confirmed I have one muscle on the left side doing all the work, all of it. I won't go into all the problems, pain, etc I've gone through for more than half my life.

At any rate, this is what happens, stress, neck goes crazy, Paula can't function. This time with all the changes of putting the boys in school it's nearly wiped me out. So desperation, leads to finding real answers. If your ever even visiting here, I highly recommend going to BeWell . It's not that there are not wonderful chiro's out there. I've even worked for some. It's a whole understanding I have found here, and we rarely even take our children to a pediatrician anymore because she has helped them with everything from depression to allergy's.

I had stopped letting anyone work on me, because the relief from an adjustment often was so temporary due to the muscle damage. I've watched her treat my whole family for over a year, I think she and I both have anticipated the day I finally let her work on me. lol

Vegan??? what does this all mean to how I'm eating. When my neck is like this I can't function, to an extreme I'm willing myself to handle everything. I usually can't eat, and live on a coke maybe two a day to get through. That's where I have been. So with 2 treatments down, many more to go. I've finally had the courage to give up the coke cola, and work on veganizing my diet again. I'm in withdrawal. It's awful but I'm already in mega pain, so what's a caffeine headache to boot? ha ugh

As soon as I'm back actually cooking more than a basic pot of soup, or rice and beans. I'll be blogging again with photo's and food based posts. For now, I'm doing my best, mostly vegan. Gotta let go of my old addictions again, sugar and coke will be plaguing me with cravings. I've let them go before I can do it again.

I do not give up, may fall way off track at times. Giving up is not an option. I do apologize for saying I'd blog daily and not doing so. I think I'll leave those type of promises out from now on. ;-)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bad habits

So you've not heard from me in weeks. I've not had time even yet to process personal photos' of meals, although to be honest there has not been much cooking going on around here. We've gone to farmers market and had to toss out unused food many times in the past month. Good intentions, gone to waste.

I've eaten out mostly, and sometimes it's vegan, sometimes vegetarian, and some times I have shrimp or chicken. Mostly I've fallen into all my old habits, only with a veggie twist. Skipping breakfast 80% of the time, super late lunch/early dinner at some restaurant after I've realized I feel like crap and can't go on and don't have enough energy to make a meal. So basically a single actual meal once a day, and then ending up snacking on something not great at night. The kitchen's a mess all the time from the kids getting whatever they want and leaving me the mess, and I just haven't had the organized time to deal with the slipping away of everything I've been working for.

Emotions, they've always been a problem for me. If I had a switch like Data on New Generation I'd be set! lol So my switch? Yep of course at a young age I found one that worked. A single can of coke and bag of m&m's.
OK so your thinking, so what? Big deal? For me it's a very big deal. This single bad habit has shaped my life, how I cope and deal. For some it's a cigarette, a few cans of beer, a dozen doughnuts, or worse whatever it is, it's that thing you physically rely on to shut down and keep going in one fell swoop. This is mine. I can stop feeling all the things in my heart and head swirling around me in this life we lead. Those little & big problems things you have no control over, mistakes coming back on you when you thought you were doing your best, grief, anger, overwhelm, whatever it is, and all of it. Sometimes you have to shut it down and keep going on with the day to day, be in the now and get the work accomplished.

So it started this week, the physical ramification's of this bad habit. One it's a large amount of sugar especially considering I was going w/o any sugar for months. Two, it feeds my other health issues exactly what they need to start my body into crisis. I started having back pain yesterday, and last night I slept through the pain out of exhaustion, but woke up at 5:30AM barely able to move. I've had two pain pills a hot bath, and been blogging in my head before I even opened my eyes. ha

My boys are going to school on Monday. This is a huge change for us, and they both want to go. The emotions I've been feeling for this change have been intense. Then of course you get opinions on your decisions, some in favor some against, you have your own thoughts of what this all means and what it might mean. My heads been spinning, my heart realing and it's too exhausting,... at some point you have to let it go and get back to this is today and I'm doing my best.

So I started relying on old habits on a daily basis about 10-14 days ago. Of course the opening for this habit came when I went Flexitarian for my son's sake, because we already know about Pandora's box.

Where to go from here? Of course the only place to go is through, and through for me will mean a week or more of intense withdrawal from the caffeine and sugar, I've known it was coming and have kept putting it off, tomorrow I'll start, and then well I need to keep going a little longer, after this hurtle, no this one......

Then of course I always knew if I didn't do it on my own my body would have enough and not allow itself to be beaten up for the sake of my head and heart. Hit the wall isn't that what they call it in a marathon? I've hit my wall, my body is mad it's had enough of this silly childhood destructive habit.

So here I go,... I'm here now and my best way out is to get accountable again. To blog, to release the truth even if some think a simple coke and bag of M's is no biggy. Maybe it wouldn't be for any other purpose, but it's for a shut off switch - coping mechanism then all it represents is a weakness of being, a crutch, and crutches cause bruises, aches, pains, imbalance.

Today is pay day, I have school supplies and clothes to buy. We'll be out and about today getting those things done. I'll probably be miserable with my back, and want a coke really really bad. So lets see do I choose, I'll deal with this tomorrow and have one before the day is out? Honestly I can't say yet. It's easy for me to think once the boys are in school I can put myself first again? At any rate, Monday is my deadline to restart my goals w/o being really mad at my own weaknesses.

I am going to commit to a blog a day until I get this all on track. So read you soon. ;-) Hope your weekend plans are ones your excited about!

Monday, July 12, 2010



Well OK so I've not been here, for me or for you. I've been here for my family, and all the crazy things going on with us, and it's been too much for me of late. I've been a total flexitarian/flirt the past few weeks. I have Vegan days, and not so Vegan days, I've even been extremely bad and had a couple Coke Cola's. So even a little sugar has crept into my diet.

I'm also though still shopping at the farmers market and eating good things. Just have NOT had the time and not been able to steal the time for being my committed to Veganism self! It's disappointing, but not the end. ;-)

We are putting our youngest in public school in a few weeks, and possibly our middle son as well. This has been a HUGE decision and will be a mega change for us all. He's always wanted to go, so there is that. In this direction of doing whats best for my youngest I've let my Vegan commitment slide so he could regain his balance in his own food choices. He is now a total flexitarian and eating a much needed wider variety of foods. WHEW. Once he is in school I can again be a very committed vegan w/o worrying that he will start feeling guilty for his food choices and wanting to copy me and end up starving again.

He watches my every move and I've just had to act like whatever I eat I'm good with. Honestly since my changes were never moral ones, I have been OK with eating some meats and dairy. Now though I see the light at the end of this muddled tunnel. Once he is in school I'll have more time, and the freedom to not be overly influencing his guilty gene, and I can get BACK on track! I really really really miss being total vegan and superhero at that! So part of me has just been well ashamed to even blog that I had a taco or piece of chicken. It's not every inspiring for either of us.

One bright light in all of this is that my lovely daughter has not wavered from the vegan path we began together. Not once! She is my hero! I'm so proud of her and she looks and feels wonderful. :-) Thank goodness my changes haven't thrown her off track. I can't wait to be vegan partners with her again. Well that's all for now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Keeping up with it all

Well obviously I've been pretty danged busy to not be posting. At any rate, I have photo's but no time to process them, as I'm behind on my clients edits. I had a computer virus that took my computer down for a while as well.

My youngest has been really struggling with the what to eat thing. He decided his is a 'flirt' WHEW! I'm so relieved. I mean sure I'd be way happy if he was able to do the Vegan with me and my daughter, but he is just does not like veggies enough. I couldn't get him to eat enough things.

I ended up eating a taco out when it was just the two of us. He watched me so closely, searching for signs of regret on my face. I told him I felt fine and it tasted really good. Then a few nights later I made taco's, my husbands favorite, he's been suffering in the dinner department (dearly supportive loved one he is). I've honestly not been cooking enough.

So my son was really hungry and admitted it smelled super good. I told him it was because his body was telling him that it needed protein. He ate a taco and I was so relieved! He's been trying to copy me and he is just too young and too picky to be a healthy vegan. Since then he has also had two chicken legs for different dinners. I made an organic fried chicken (from Fresh Earth Farm), my husband's other favorite. I was able to resist, my daughter fried her and I up some fresh veggies. :-) We all enjoyed our dinners, and all the sides over lapped into my Vegan diet.

I love Cole Slaw! I've never liked it before, but fresh cabbage, carrots, Umboshi Vinegar, Vegenaise, salt, pepper, and tiny amount of Agave.... it's Soooo good! We've also had clean mean burrito's, but basically we've been eating super simple meals, soup, and sauteed veggies for the most part. My daughter loves what I did with the rice this week. I used Wild rice and Arborio Rice, black and white. I knew the Arborio isn't one you want to use all the time, but she wanted it for one of the Kind Diet recipes (remind me to discuss this topic in a minute). So anyhow, it's white and not really one you want to eat all the time, so I used half of each to keep it more in balance. She says it's her favorite rice combo now. ;-)

Ok so this is an issue I've got to resolve, she has been making up the list for me. Things she wants to eat and make right? So you would think that the page numbers or something would be saved. Nope! So I go buy her all this food, to make 'recipes' with. And she doesn't cook anything? What is up with this? I mean she wants to eat certain things, I use up my budget to buy what she wants and then she can't remember what she wanted to make and doesn't have the time to cook. It's a problem. The thing is I've been too busy to get on her about this time. I went and bought LOTS of veggies and honestly we won't be able to eat it all before we head out for a 3 day weekend.

I'm a bit frustrated, but too busy to deal with this lack of preparation, organization, and communication, let alone the wasting food of not cooking things you ask for. ugh

When I get back home, I'm really hoping we can get into a better routine and I can have time to cook, photograph, and relate how we are doing. Mostly I'm doing very well, most every day I'm 100% Vegan. Sometimes I'm Vegetarian when I'm eating out at times it's happened. I don't go nuts about it though. My IC is also in remission for now, and so life has been easier on that front. WHEW! I know my PH water has made a huge difference for me.

OK well until I can post images I won't take any more of your time for this post. Have a wonderful first weekend of Summer!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Farmers market day!

So I've made it, until last night I had some delivery pizza. BUT until then I had stayed completely vegan from when I said until last night. We had just enough foods to get me buy. The thing is though, not even close to being super hero. So I still feel terrible. This morning I woke up sick in pain with my neck, shoulders, and stomach, and working on being a migraine day. grrrr!

I could NOT be more tired of feeling bad! Ok enough venting.

We're going to the market this afternoon, then to Whole foods maybe even Trader Joe's. I want to stock up and restart and get back on track. I've realized in the past two days I failed on the Candida front, it's not out of my system yet. For now I'm going to be Vegan and try to get that feeling back where I was before this Candida battle.Then I'm going to try again, but better prepared, and I will allow for the weeks I need meat when I tackle it and I won't go with that extreme 16 food list. That was well, frankly it was dumb. ;-)

Here are two images of foods we have made that I really enjoyed. Spaghetti squash is SO good and SO easy. I know lots of you already knew that, even non-Vegans know this. I've just never had it or it's been so long I do not remember having had it.
The other memorable dinner we had was Dolma. Miranda made this and it had wonderful flavors. We did the grape leaves version.
Miranda has also made tofu scramble for breakfast, with asparagus, broccoli, leaks, it was really good! I do not remember which day she was inspired to cook though, and the photo did not look very good. ha I've had miso a couple of times again and it makes me feel SO good! I do not know why, but whatever is in there my body really needs this soup. Even though aspects of it are bad for my IC the digestion benefits are well worth it the precautions and extra things I have to do so my IC isn't irritated to keep Miso in my diet.

I think I'll bring my camera to market this afternoon. ;-) Maybe some fun shopping images will be nice to blog.