Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Livin' La Vida Vegan

Yeah, I'm not too sure where the title came from either. Perhaps Ricky Martin is dancing around my subconscious. Be that as it may, I'm loving my vegan life. I still have a lot to learn, and I definitely need to learn some more vegan recipes, but overall, it's enjoyable.

So, it's been almost 6 months now. That's the longest I've stuck with anything for my health. Even my beloved Wii Fit is sitting unused most days. I've found "going" vegan to be a lot easier than I expected--except maybe when I'm out. Last weekend, my mother-in-law was going to serve me pork, then remembered I don't eat meat, so then she offered me cheese. It was cute. I just said "No thank you" and my 8 year old said, "Grandma, Mama doesn't eat anything that comes from animals!"

It kind of reminded me of one of my favourite scenes from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with Aunt Voula:

Here are some things that I've noticed. I don't feel hungry as much as I used to. It's surprising how filling a plant based diet can be. My pants are fitting better and I've lost some of my belly. The other day, I looked in the mirror and noticed that I only have one chin! I don't know how long it has been since I had a single chin. I am now able to wear the ring my husband gave me for our second anniversary, and I'm hoping to eventually be able to wear my wedding bands. PMS symptoms have improved a lot. Very little bloating, and next to no mood swings. This is a huge plus right there because in the past, PMS was at times debilitating, making me feel miserable.

I'm still getting headaches, but not as many as I was. The headaches I'm getting seem to be tension headaches or migraines. And I still get stressed out, but I feel better equipped to deal with the stress. That may be because I'm also sleeping better. Now it's not so much a problem of falling asleep as it is to stay asleep. I guess eating better and drinking more water contributes to my night waking because I have to get up to go to the bathroom often. And of course, being a Mom, I often have the kids coming in during the night if they are having a bad night. And I must add that being vegan also helps to keep one regular. All that fiber is a good thing.

I've also become a compulsive label reader. I thought I checked nutritional content before, but now I know I was just scanning the label. I'm reading ingredients all the time now. I was able to tell a friend that Cracker Jacks had molasses in them and I think she was a little surprised. I guess it was a bit of a weird factoid, and she doesn't know that I have a reason to check the label.

I haven't weighed myself for some time, mostly because I don't know where my scale has disappeared to (it's around here somewhere, likely hidden by one of the kids), but I'm not as focused on losing weight. The weight is coming off slowly and I'm feeling better, and I'm happy with that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Love Groundhog Day, Wiarton Willie & The Bruce Peninsula

When I say that I love Groundhog Day, I'm not talking about the
movie starring Bill Murray, although that is a funny movie and if you haven't seen it, you really should! I really just love Groundhog Day.  Part of this may have to do with the fact that I have spent a lot of time in Wiarton Willie Country.  I mean, who doesn't love a place that capitalizes on an event that happens once a year and is centered on an albino rodent who may or may not be able to predict the arrival of spring?

Groundhog Day is a frivolous celebration, really an excuse to break up winter if you ask me.  It's quirky and it's silly, and that's why I love it.  It's really ridiculous to think that a rodent could predict the end of winter, especially when you consider that if he sees his shadow, it means 6 more weeks of winter; and if he doesn't see his shadow, it will be 6 more weeks until spring.  So basically, either way, it's the same thing. 

Groundhog Day also reminds me of my Grandfather.  He was a fabulous story teller.  He would tell us stories about growing up in Cooksville in the 1930s, about different characters and funny things they did.  I sometimes think that my interest in writing comes from him.  He mightn't have been able to write his stories down, but he really knew how to keep his listeners interested.   His stories always got better with the retelling, but that was half of the fun of listening to him.  Grampy retired up in Willie Country and I spent a lot of time there with he and my grandmother.  He taught me how to snowshoe, how to track animals, how to watch at the window for the phesants to come to his feeder as dusk was falling. 

Grampy loved living on the Bruce Peninsula.  He loved the wildlife and the solitude, and he loved the stories about the area and telling stories of some of the local characters too.  I couldn't help but appreciate the irony when he passed away on Groundhog Day two years ago.  It was like he was sharing one last joke with us.

If you want to know more about Wiarton Willie, you can check his live Webcam here:

For details of this year's Wiarton Willie Festival, check here: