Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Healthy--Gone Vegan

Veggie Pride Parade NYC

In September, I started following a vegan diet with PCRM's 21 Day Vegan Kickstart. We've now come to the end of October, and I'm still hanging on. I'm meeting more and more people who have chosen to be vegans and I'm finding out about a whole lot of new food options too!

One disappointment I had recently was an allergic reaction I had this week. A trip to the doctor confirmed that this allergic reaction was not topical, it wasn't from a new soap or anything like that. No, this reaction was to something I ate. So now comes the fun part of trying to figure out what exactly set off this allergic reaction. First by removing all the foods I ate within the 8 hours or so before the reaction and then re-introducing them slowly. I have it narrowed down to about three different foods. The good news is that since I'm vegan, I know it's not a milk or egg allergy.

A major win though? I'm losing weight--or at least fat. I don't trust my scale here at home, because even though I know I'm losing, it doesn't show that. The fact is that I am now able to wear two pairs of pants that I couldn't get on in September. And my darling husband told me I no longer look pregnant....sweetheart, isn't he?

So now that I finally feel like I'm getting healthy, I have to work on the fit and organized parts. Fit is going to be a matter of getting my butt back up and moving by using my Wii Fit again. We were without a television for a bit and it was easy to stop doing it. I will have to work that back into my daily routines. Organized is another matter all together. I'm trying to do a little bit everyday and pick up things when I see them in the wrong spots. We seem to get buried here in paper clutter especially. There is so much stuff that is really just garbage, or in this case recycling, but it gets piled up around the house instead of going out to the curb. I'll keep whittling down the piles bit by bit.

We're also finally painting our bedroom. We bought the paint last year! Two walls are completely done and the other two are partly done. Yay! It's so nice to finally see something getting done here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Little Bit of Silliness Via Monty Python

Looking at my last post title reminded me of the "Bring Out Your Dead" sketch from Monty Python's Holy Grail. The poor old fella who isn't dead yet says, "I feel happy! I feel happy!!" What can I say, I've got a wacky sense of humour.

This is one of the many movie quotes my brother and I will bring out to use on various occasions--some appropriate, some not. Hey, we come by this sense of humour honestly. Three of our four great-grandparents on mom's were from England, so we get the very dry British humour from her. Then dad is from Italy and I don't think Italians are really known for their humour, but they do have a fun side. Having a mixed cultural background lets you see the funny side of both cultures and gives you an appreciation for different types and forms of humour. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Just for fun, here is some Italian humour via Australia with Joe Avati:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stop the Presses! I *FEEL*....Happy!


I had a great day, and this evening, I was sitting watching television with my husband and had this realization that I felt happy. Big deal, right, people are happy all the time. Yes, I'm sure they are. But for me, living with depression and taking anti-depressants, I don't *feel* a lot of anything. The medication helps to level out your emotions so that you don't live in the darkest pits of despair. The downside is that they also numb the feelings of elation and happiness as well. I don't know if I can explain it very well, because I hardly understand it myself. It's just that I'm not used to feeling this way, but I really like it.

I wonder if this is the effect of eating healthier and following a vegan diet? It is hard to know. I guess I'll just keep eating this way and see how it goes. I could definitely stand feeling happy a lot more often. I know that following a vegan diet helps to reduce the need for medications for some illnesses. Trust me that the thought of being able to reduce the anti-depressants I take was an additional spur toward vegan eating. I am interested to find out if taking animal products out of my diet will help to balance the chemicals in my brain. I am tired of feeling numbed by this drug and by the shadow it casts on my life as this drug in particular was one which doctors were told was not habit forming only to find out later that it is and it is very hard for people to get off it. The last time I tried to reduce my medication, the side effects of reducing the drug were very hard on me.

I'll have to do some more research on veganism and depression and I'll share my findings here. In the meantime, I'm going to smile and enjoy this strange feeling of happiness while it lasts :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

How to Freak Out Your Mother-In-Law at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Feast

Yes, I did it. I totally freaked out my mother-in-law and I feel bad about it. See, we were trying to decide if we needed to make the ham as well as the turkey. Mum was counting how many wouldn't eat one or the other and I said, "Don't worry, I won't be eating either." Mum was digesting that when my husband and daughter both told her that I was "eating vegan" now. Oh yeah, thanks guys. Let's not ease her into it or anything.

Mum started to question me and my sister (in-law, but we call each other sisters) told her not to worry about me because I was not doing this without having researched it and following a program (kickstart). Mum dropped it then, but I saw her a few days later, and that's when the questions started.

I know Mum is just worried about me, but its hard to describe why I want to be vegan to her because she's an English baby-boomer. She's used to meat being something that you didn't get very often, so it was special and yes, an important part of a healthy diet. And to be honest, it's hard to explain it anyway. I want to be vegan because I feel it's healthier and it's better for the environment and animals. I feel healthier not eating animal products. I'm losing fat. My weight hasn't decreased a whole lot, but I am wearing pants that I couldn't even do up before I started eating vegan (and they are comfortable!).

My plan right now is to stick with what I am doing and not worry about what other people think. I'll give Mum more info in small pieces and see how it goes.

By the way, there is a new vegan social network I found out about this week. If you are interested in vegan or vegetarian eating or animal rights, you should check it out! This Dish is Veg Social. If you sign up, add me. My user name there is Jess. (and I just joined a group there called "Living with Omnivores"--might help me out!)