Sunday, March 13, 2011

30 Day Vegan Check In: Week 1

Oh my! What a week this has been. Full of cooking and delicious food.  What I have really taken away from this, however, is a renewed mindfulness about what I am eating and how my body feels.  Heather, who is facilitating this workshop posed a list of questions about how we feel so here goes!
Energy and Vitality:  The first three days were a bit rough.  I was low on energy and woke up with a headache on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday was my big turnaround, though and I woke up feeling great! Even though I was tired early in the week, I felt good inside, like my body knew this was a good thing to do.
Chewing and Digestion:  This might be a little too much information but the switch to a plant-based whole grain diet was pretty ummmm....cleansing. I also felt pretty bloated by evening most of the week.  I think my body is slowly adjusting, though and I feel a little better every day.
Cravings:  I've been craving sweets which is pretty normal for me.  I've been pretty satisfied with the carrot ginger cookies and a little dark chocolate. I had a couple of non-vegan cookies that my co-worker made as well. But only two which is victory for me!
Hair and Skin: My skin looks amazing! It's much less congested and so soft! My hair doesn't really feel any different but...I'm in week 5 of 7 weeks between cuts. 
Body Shape:  Definitely much less puffy. I can tell the difference in my wrists and fingers as well as my abdomen.  Pretty much all of me just looks leaner. I've lost about 2 lbs this week without stressing myself out or feeling deprived.
Posture and Breathing:  This course just happens to run in conjunction with my yoga course so I'm extremely aware of remembering to breathe.  It's always a work in progress for me, though.
Mood and Emotions: The first three days, I was pretty cranky but more mindful of it than I usually am.  Today I'm calm and handling stressful situations much better than I usually would.
Relating to others:  I am really aware of how short I've been with my kids lately.  I'm 'hearing' myself more.  I'm still working on this and counting my victories!  This is an area where remembering to breathe really helps me. 
Most nourishing food:  Chili with black beans and quinoa for two reasons.  It was the first recipe from this program that I cooked for myself then sat down, ate it, and was mindful of every bite.  It made such a huge amount that I was able to share with a friend and nourish her on a night that she worked late. 
Special person I appreciate and why:  My mom, who my kids and I live with, and is supporting me 100%
Biggest Challenge:  My biggest thing with my kids is to not label foods as 'good' or 'bad'.  So my biggest challenge is explaining why I'm eating the way I'm eating without making them feel like what they're eating is wrong.
Greatest Accomplishment:  Going out to eat twice and staying vegan!!
Most fun I had:  Making the carrot cookies with my daughter!
I got clear that I really want to:  Take care of myself.  I also want to continue to limit animal products and be mindful of what I'm eating. 
Other thoughts:  I had gotten so lazy with my eating! I wasn't planning and I was eating a ton of junk and fast food. It feels amazing to be mindful again of what I'm putting in my body and listening to what my body needs. 
Next week I plan to:  -Start my day with hot water and lemon
                             -Do yoga at least twice in addition to my weekly class
                                    -Try 3 new recipes

Sunday, March 6, 2011

30 Day Vegan Day 0

Today is my set up day for my 30 Day Vegan Whole Foods Cleanse.  I made my trip to Whole Foods to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, dried beans, and soy milk and yogurt.  My pantry is set up and labeled and ready to go. I'm ready to do this!

Two of the books that I love and plan on using heavily for this month are Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair and Flying Apron's Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book by Jennifer Katzinger.  Feeding the Whole Family has great basic techniques on how to cook basic beans and grains as well as recipes that incorporate them that are vegetarian and non-vegetarian.  It also has modifications in the recipes to make them appealing and safe for babies and toddlers.  The Flying Apron cookbook is a great resource as well because all of the recipes are already vegan and gluten-free.  While we aren't a gluten-free household, we live with my Mom who has a gluten sensitivity so we've used several recipes from this book already.  The basic bread recipe makes an amazing pizza crust that my kids love!

Over the course of this month, I plan on sharing my meals (both hits and misses), my challenges and my victories. As Heather says, this isn't about taking away, it's about nourishing our bodies.  I do plan on staying mainly vegan but eating salmon once or twice during the month.  Thanks for joining the ride.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Today I...

Made white beans in the crock pot and learned that they may need a bit more liquid in the future...

Worked on my Discovering Y.O.U. ecourse

Re-arranged and cleaned my back entryway (for the 4th time in 2 1/2 years!)

Went to yoga.

Had a meat-free day in anticipation of 30 day vegan.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Wow...I guess life just gets away from all of us sometimes! Holidays, family, art deadlines, work.  All of this derailed me from my blog for a couple of months. 

I have several adventures in my sites for the next couple of months that I'd like to share with everyone!  Discovering Y.O.U. with Traci Bautista, a 30 day vegan workshop with Heather from Beauty that Moves, and Soul Restoration which is starting in April.  I'm also continuing to participate in the Sketchbook Challenge! Whew! Exhausted yet? I am but I'm also exhilarated.  I put a lot of thought into the time each of these things would take and how to structure my time so that they would be beneficial to me and my family. 

My goal is to use my blog to keep me accountable to all of this and to share these experiences.  I hope you'll all follow along with them!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

#reverb10 Lesson Learned

Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

This is MUCH easier for me to talk about!

The best thing I learned about myself is that I can remain positive and have great faith in the universe regardless of circumstances.  It's been an emotional, financially challenging, amazingly rewarding year for me.  No matter how frustrated or broke or angry I've been at the universe, I've always had faith that things will work out.  And you know what? They have! Even today, I started out wondering how I was going to get gas to go to work tomorrow and pay bills and maybe squeeze in a little Christmas gift buying with my paycheck.  I was stressed beyond belief! But I let it go knowing that those that love me aren't worried about what I give them or when they get it.  I just had faith that it would all work out the way it was supposed to and I got a check in the mail from my state's Department of Revenue from my ammended return!

When you find yourself spinning in circles, wondering what to do, just take a deep breath and HAVE FAITH!  I promise, it will all work out. 

Blessings to all.

#reverb10 Friends

Today's prompt:
Author: Martha Mihalick
Editor at Harper Collins

Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

This is a hard one to write for me.  The person for me is a man I dated this year. 

We met online (I know, I know!) and emailed throughout the summer.  He's an artist and we would send pictures of our work back and forth along with some flirting.  I took the summer off from dating so it was fun but I didn't think it would go anywhere.  His emails were very supportive of my art which, for me, was the first time a semi-impartial party had commented either way! It felt great.  He encouraged me to post more of it online and to enter it into shows and to magazines.  He encouraged me to dream and grow as an artist. 

After school started and summer was 'over', I decided I was ready to meet him in person.  He was great!! Kind and caring.  We ended up dating for an amazing 2 1/2 months.  Short, I know, but wonderful.  Life changing.  He was nothing but great.  Sadly, his life changed drastically and we broke up.  I will always remember him as a HUGE influence in this year and in my life.  As one of the greatest influences in my artistic life.

Monday, December 13, 2010

#reverb10 Action

I've hopped on the reverb10 bandwagon! I love the idea of reflection and figuring out goals for the new year.

Today's prompt is:
December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

So really; what IS my next step? What am I going to DO to achieve my goals this year?

One of my big goals for this year is to really improve my technical art skills. I've signed up for the Sketchbook Challenge, I'm commiting to sketching as much as possible (trying for every day), and I will take a drawing class. In addition, I will take a class in acrylics and one in watercolor during the first half of 2011.  And, of course, I'll attend Art and Soul in Portland in the fall.

2010 was a big year of goal setting and action and 2011 promises to be as big, if not bigger!