Monday, December 28, 2009

Kind Countdown to 2010

I recently sat and read my New Year Resolutions...from 1989 to the present. It is fun to see how much things change...and how much they stay the same.

I am still thinking about what I want to create in my life in 2010 and what will go on this year's vision board. (Lots of *dreams* came true in 2009, so I know the importance of setting the intention. I also know, however, that manifesting dreams requires action, determination, and willingness to risk - therefore, one must choose wisely.) Regardless of the details, I know that I want to be KIND...or should I say KINDER...or should I say LIVE KIND.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received Alicia Silverstone's new book The Kind Diet for Christmas. (Actually, I received it twice!). I have been inspired by both the book and her new website - The Kind Life). Alicia, Kris Carr (of Crazy Sexy Life), and other Superheros will share their tips for healthy living as part of a "21-Day Vegan Kickstart" hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine beginning on January 1. I have already signed up! The first step of many to a Kinder 2010.

Let the Kind Countdown begin.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

It's a White Christmas . . .

The most beautiful tree of all . . .

Wishing you, your family, and friends . . .near or far . . .

Much happiness, health, love, and all things *magical* in the coming year! 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let it Snow!

My favorite kind of snow is what I call "Snow Globe Snow."  It's as if someone took the world and gave it a good shake.  What comes down are big fluffy flakes that you can spin around in and catch on your tongue.  It's most fun at night when the streetlights reflect on the snowflakes and you can feel the magic in the air - because it is there - all around.  

While I will never get tired of this type of snow, I have to say that I was glad to make it out of D.C. ahead of the BLIZZARD!  I arrived home to find perhaps as much snow; only here we are prepared for it and can adjust accordingly!

In addition to looking out the window for much of the morning (as part of my self-imposed-snow-day), I did an in-home workout with resistance bands.  I never tried them before, though several people have recommended them to me - especially for travel.  I like these because they don't have plastic handles and are therefore easier to pack.  Doesn't look like much, but they definitely did something because my muscles are now sore!!  I guess that is a good thing!  (Let me know if you have used resistance bands before and found them useful or can recommend any exercises or websites for a good workout.) 

I also made a really good lunch (to offset all the Christmas cookies that I have to admit I have been eating!).  Organic salad, tomatoes, carrots, and avocado and a plate of baked pita chips and organic hummus. So good.

Finally, I came home to find that my mom bought me my FAVORITE DRINK!  When I tell people that this is my all-time-favorite-thing-to-drink (this particular brand of sparkling water), they always seem confused - as if it could not possibly be, but it is.  Love it!!

So, no excitement today - finally just a few minutes to RELAX.  How nice to be home. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Kind Diet

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I am jumping up and down in my living room!! I am so excited, and happy, and grateful.  Why?? Because I just had a Christmas gift exchange with my friend, and she gave me THIS - Alicia Silverstone's new book "The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet!!!!"  How did she remember (I made a comment about wanting it in passing - as in when I was passing through town a month ago!)?  How did she know how happy she would make me?!  I can't wait to read it and tell you what I learn! 
Books are one of my most favorite things in is KINDNESS. Looks like my Holidays are off to a great start! :)  I wish for you the same!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mac Food: Share the Love

I LOVE my MacBook. He told me I would.  Of course, he reviewed all the features - the photos, the files, the virus protection, and the customer support.  But what sold me was when he said, "People who buy Macs LOVE them.  Have you ever heard someone say, 'I LOVE my [insert PC name here]?'"  I had to think about that one for awhile...but no, I had not.  Then he said, "Mac users recognize other Mac users when they see them.  It is a really nice, supportive community."  (I wasn't bargaining for all that, I just wanted a way to write papers and check email!). Of course, I was a little skeptical...

...until it happened.

I brought my purchase up to the counter and the cashier enthusiastically exclaimed, "Oh, you are getting a Mac! I LOVE my MacBook!"

Fast-forward two months and several countries away to the airport in Istanbul, Turkey.  As I was waiting for my flight, the guy at the next table asked, "Are you a Mac user?"  "Excuse me?," I replied.  "You look like a Mac user.  I can always tell," he said. (I still don't fully know what that means.)

So, I thought...there must be something to this after all.

I now find the same to be true of eating Raw and Vegan food.  Like Mac users, people who eat this way tend to LOVE their food and food choices.  They LOVE how it tastes, how it makes them feel, what it does for the animals and the environment, the effect it has on their health, and the list goes on.  On the other hand, you rarely hear people extolling the virtues of diets comprised mainly of "manufactured food products."  While they might like the immediate sugar high of pre-packaged food, they are not raving on to friends (and strangers) about how good they feel and how happy they are with their steady diet of highly-processed junk food.  

For example, I LOVED these sweet potato fries dipped in maple syrup. How often do you want to lick your plate for food that has no cholesterol, is high in fiber, low in sodium, and an excellent source of vitamin A?  Doesn't happen every day, unless you actively look for it and plan ahead.

Also like Mac users, I am starting to realize that you can spot people who are concerned with their health and the health of the planet. It shows in their skin, in their attitude, in their posture, in what they bring to the world. They may choose to do that by being Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, or just by making better food and health choices one day at a time. Regardless of HOW they do it, wouldn't it be nice for everyone to say I LOVE my life and share that with as many people as possible?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheesecake on a Mission Meets Pizza with a Mission

I came for the cheesecake.  I heard it was THE BEST vegan cheesecake in town.  I don't particularly like cheesecake, but I LOVE the IDEA of cheesecake.  (My favorite place in all the world to eat cheesecake is Prague, but I digress.)  The friends, the laughter, the cafes, the simple pleasures...all of it, I have experienced at one time or another through cheesecake.  So, you can imagine that I was excited to try this vegan alternative.

Um, I don't think cheesecake is supposed to be white.  Am I wrong?  I gave it the benefit of the doubt, but no.  I mean, I still had the benefit of friendship, laughter, and fun surroundings, but it was not the cheesecake experience I was hoping for!

I also tried the pizza, mainly because it came with a Mission.  "Every time you order this pizza we will donate $1 to Second Harvest Heartland, Minnesota's largest hunger relief organization."  That works for me!  I tried the Vegan Second Harvest Heartland pizza - tomato sauce, daiya vegan cheese, organic roma tomatoes, garlic, and fresh organic basil.  It looked like this:

I think I would have liked it better without the "cheese," though it did come out looking beautiful.

So, for my first-ever attempt at "dining-out-vegan," there were mixed results.

This place came highly recommended per reviews at the online Happy Cow Compassionate Eating Guide.  I do admit that it had a fun vibe, really nice staff, and a cool philosophy.

But I really wanted my cheesecake to be yellow.  Who knew?  I am sure, however, that there are far more pressing ”Galactic” issues.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"You Don't Eat No Meat?!"

"What do you mean, you don't eat no meat?"

"Is okay. You eat turkey."

I felt like I was in a scene from the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." My 87-year-old Italian Great Aunt kept offering to share her turkey with me throughout our Thanksgiving dinner - thinking that there must be some mistake that I didn't have any turkey on my plate already!  I tried to assure her that it was not an oversight and that I would not starve as a result.  Regardless of my attempts at explanation, she was not to be convinced.  

Once I got her off the topic of meat, however, she shared with me some of her "folk remedies" (as she calls them) to promote a long and healthy life.  Among them was her daily habit of drinking a glass of water mixed with two tablespoons of organic Apple Cider Vinegar and two tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.  I bought the ingredients, but haven't tried it yet.  While I am not entirely convinced to drink Apple Cider Vinegar, I can't argue with how good she looks at 87.  She can climb stairs, balance her checkbook, and remember her long list of remedies (of which this is only one).  

I am trying to pay attention.  Not only do I want to look and feel that good in the years to come, but I am a firm believer in the wisdom of our elders...even if she wants me to eat meat (*wink*).