taking a “break”

November 27, 2009

Hi guys,

I think I need (and actually kind of HAVE to ) take a “break” from this stuff and shut down the bloggie here.

a) my internet is being disconnected soon :(…so if I ever occasionally drop into library to check it , I will only have time to check my email and the “important” stuff,

b) my camera is a fail – and I definitely cannot afford a new camera (when barely paying for food and rent :))…so

its probably best this way anyway….I was going so paranoid that if I don’t show the big pizza in my freezer or the cookies I eat, or something like that…then SOME people might think I eat “super-healthy” and that is REALLY not NOT the case at all….I indulge way more than most — and I eat a ton more than anyone I see on any blog or in my own life…but whatever, I have to do what I have to do…

The blog-o-sphere is tricky sometimes because I fall into the dangerous “comparing” thing, and I don’t like that…I REFUSE to go down that road again…where will it lead me?…a month from now…still worrying over the same silly things??….NO…sorry, I have been there and done that…and i am EXHAUSTED from it….there is so much more to this life than comparing and worrying….some of us….myself…I…need to get over ourselves and move on and just stop the comparing, the worry, the guilt, the anxiety, the PARANOIA….

I feel guilty if I forget to photograph my cookies or pizza or ice cream (i LOVE these things…and usually when i sit down to eat them , I am in one part of the house and the camera is in another…OR i am just sitting and yummy enjoying it and could less to photograph it :; Just doesn’t cross my mind…

unfortunately, I also know people from my family with problems deeper than my own….and I don’ t want them to ASSUME erroneously something NOT TRUE about me….and then turn anorexic or orthorexic because of me…that would be horrible….because the glimpses you see on a silly blog are just silly glimpses and not even a 1/4 of the real truth….

so anyway….i have loved having u all check in…i am SO going to miss u and reading your blogs..your funny quirks and all that….it was SO NICE to have people follow and Be interested and helped to boost my MORALE during a really really really difficult time in my life right now…

but i WISH u all well and keep up your fantastic successes in life…u r all great :)

Always eat YUMMY :)


and the camera gave up on me…

November 26, 2009

Oh yeah, it was inevitable. Hmmm….not sure what to do with this thing actually…

its not broke, it is just out of batteries :)

The problem is this: in only 7 days I have went through battery-changes 3 times. That is weird. And I cannot afford that either…a pack of 10 batteries every week cycle? Expensive. Not sure why it uses up so much energy so quickly. It is only a tiny buy. But I definitely cannot afford a new one, what kind of camera, how much did you spend on it? Like, I seriously cannot afford even the cheapest amount at this time. Money is tighter than tight for me.

I had some nice pictures to show anyway: a new pizza buy, mixed beans salad (yum beans!) with toast and other things, lots of bananas, grapes, berries, apples, bread, some new treats, etc….oh well :)

So, giving thanks:

1. I am thankful I have 2 eyes that see.

2. I am thankful I have 2 ears that hear.

3. I am thankful I have 2 hands that feel.

4. I am thankful I have a nose that smells.

5. I am thankful I have a mouth & tongue that taste.

Be thankful everyone. I personally am trying to not think about a lot of the negative in my life and my inability to do any of what I once did, rather I will be just thankful for those simple things above.

Have a great days guys.


November 25, 2009

Hi all,

First of all, thanks for all the thoughts yesterday. I appreciated them a lot. I am still not sure about the things I want to write about or the point even of this blog, but I am just going to play with it for now.

I was thinking this morning about how the blog-network seems to be filled with people at different stages of their lives. There are students, professional workers, girls, boys, artists, people who just want to talk about life, and people who just want to talk about food.

I guess that is why this kind of network is so interesting at best….and addictive at worse. Where else can you find entire pages devoted to the sweet potato. Strange or fascinating? Whatever your opinion, it is interesting to note the variation in taste…

Sweet potato baking in the oven

One thing I have noticed on several blogs is a high prevalence of (usually) young girls chronicling their current struggles with or recovery from eating disorders. Even more frequent is the prevalence “typical” and assumedly healthy girls who make random comments about guilt associated with eating a certain food or certain amount.  While I don’t plan to talk about heavy topics too frequently on this blog — I do think that discussing ideas like these can be enriching and even as interesting as watching a documentary or a book of a completely different nature…so I would like to “dip” into various issues on this blog, particularly to spark discussion and to get your thoughts.

Various sources will provide different statistics on the prevalence of eating disorders. The latest I have found to be consistent are that approximately ten million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders, including about 10 percent of high school and college-age youth. Of these individuals, 90 - 95 percent are said to be female. I have also read estimates that anorexia nervosa affects about one percent and bulimia nervosa affect three percent of high school girls.

Kind of crazy when we consider that the US is facing an obesity epidemic. Obesity is the disease that is more frequently highlighted by the media. And its affects on individual health and on healthcare and the economy are enormous and widely recognized.

However, statistics and facts do little to interest me and I have no intention to educate about disorders or issues on this blog. Rather, I would like to just spark the discussion, particularly since I have seen this issue raised recently on several blogs. Particularly the idea of calorie-counting and feeling guilty for the things eaten/not eaten or the quantity eaten/not eaten…

I recently read that persons who have eating disorders spend 90% of their time thinking about food (Himmel, 2009). That is 90%…

That is 90% of one’s time contributed to counting calories, when instead one could be reading literature…that is 90% of the time possibly stepping on and off scales, when instead one could be dancing.

You might often read about a person underweight (or overweight) who can rhyme off every number of a food….and can tell you the numbers in pounds at each stage of life, the calories to stay there, the numbers to crunch to burn it off….I get dizzy thinking about it….all the numbers associated with food, weight and calories are known,  just like a swimmer might know the exact numbers of his splits in each olympic trial he does from session to session, and from year to year, etc.

What mental energy that takes!

No wonder persons enduring such thoughts become so run-down, exhausted-looking, and gain a weary perspective on life. The ironic thing is that often a person might worry over the number of calories he/she eats that day or worry he/she will weigh more….but then even that is not enough. If he/she arrives at the “right number” or at the “right weight”, then the worry changes to how to possibly maintain that number on that day. Then the next worry is over the food choices that will be the best choices…worry, worry, worry.  Worry over whether eating chocolate is fine…

PB-Turtle Cup

Nothing is ever enough.

This subject can be explored to such great depth by anyone, but its not my intention to write long posts that detail all the aspects. Truthfully, there are a lot of features of weight obsession that I personally do not understand. Weighing scales mean little to me…so I find it difficult to understand why there is such an obsession with them. Most females will admit insecurities at some point during their life….during their day….when they compare themselves to another. Or there are times (rarely for some, occasionally for others, frequently for many) that a female might bemoan a certain body part that is “just not cooperating”….

What craziness, no? The worry over something so trivial…so silly…so unnoticeable and unimportant to others. It will be nice if one day women in general…women and men…can learn their judge their own self-worth and another’s self-worth based on qualities that matter. Like the ability to think, to articulate, and to love.

Any thoughts? This is just a topic to get your cogwheels churning today, and I am sure I will explore it further (as will other blogs) on a continuous basis.


Nothing exciting…and a question…

November 24, 2009

Hey all (if anyone wants to read :)

Ha! Sometimes I am surprised that people read this blog or might want to , etc…so I get excited when people visit…nice :)

Initially when I started this up I had more intentions to display more meal creations, experiments, and pics…unfortunately I am not sure that is the best thing for me to do now. I think some of family members may know about the blog :(….not that there is anything entirely wrong with that – but I liked the idea of creating this blog as a “haven” of sorts. I wanted to have a place where I would express positivity and creativity alone….something “refreshing”, like a cool glass of chocolate beverage…

Almond Breeze (chocolate)

Honestly, if I were to bring more of my personal conflicts and stories into this, it might be a lot more interesting :)

But I hesitate to be too open and too “out-there”…although it is tempting to share and converse with others re experiences and thoughts. But for now, not so sure. Either way, my current issue is even with posting pics. I worry that if I post certain meals or items, I may be judged on the items….or stereotyped as eating a certain way or buying only certain things…and that would not be true. I feel that the pics I might show are only a corner of the larger picture of my eats. It just so happens that what I show is things that might interest you, are popular to the blog-o-sphere, new finds I have picked up and enjoyed, or just the easiest things to photograph :)….the latter being very true. Photo-taking and uploading is a full-time job when a girl just gotta eat!

Pumpkin seed butter

So, I wanted to present you guys with a quick question: how open are you on your blogs? Do you like to share insights, stories, schedules, personal battles ? Or do you try to keep it real while just sticking to the fun eats and the light conversation?  (I do read your blogs and get an idea, but just hearing what you feel your personal approach is might be good). Its always good to get others opinions….like when you find something new at the grocery store….

Raw Revolution food bar

I would also like to use this blog as a medium to talk about a lot of the ideas that I am passionate about or interested in. Of particular interest to me is to highlight issues with depressions and eating disorders prevalent in society. I love reading about different health topics, latest studies, etc. Honestly, I debated about starting a new blog and leave one for my personal “talk” and the other for more of a journalistic approach. I like that idea, but I also feel that a person is a person is a person…and that it is easier to garner comaderie, followers, real “friends” …by being real, well-rounded….livin’ it up….like grabbing a some figs/raisins/dates/gogi berries and “dressing” them up real nice- like :)

Dried fig stuffed with pumpkin seed butter

 I feel like there are a million of different topics I would like to chat about on the blog: mental health, healthcare, politics, books, entertainment….and maybe even a little bit of LIFE….so two blogs would work out quite well…but want to keep it real and all…so what are your thoughts??

As I said, I had considered starting a new blog…new name, to be unknown and to “tweak” my writing so that I would not be familar to lurking family members or others…but…when I thought about it some more I realized that in the end a person always ends up being who they are..sooner or later, the “person” shines through and you just cant hide it….

Apologies for the strange type of post today…just feeling this out….another last question: ever feel like you sometimes act or present or are a certain way that you do not like? I feel like my current situation in life has in a position where I do not really “like” – really “like” myself – and a result, I feel that others do not “like” me….

I want to like me.

So that is why this blog is for this positive spot and not for all the other hogwash that sucks life out of life.

Eat something good today guys :)


What is your chocolate factory?…and a surprise…

November 23, 2009

Note: there is a new surprise find I talk about at the end of this post…might be fun for you :)

In the movie/book Charlie and the Chocolate factory (or maybe you prefer the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…), the chocolate factory is presented as the utopia that the little boy dreams of reaching. He is excited to step inside this place where everything is chocolate, that ever-elusive delicacy that is adored all over the world.

CharlieChoc029.jpg

Really, chocolate….I mean even the word sounds decadent, rich, inviting. We know that there is a wealth of chocolate out there. There are the chocolate treats, bars, coated-candies, coated-nuts, chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, chocolate milk, chocolate cookies/bars/cakes…chocolate oats :)

So what is your chocolate-factory? What is the food, delicacy, dessert, food item, anything …that could potentially mirror that “utopia” quality that chocolate held for the little boy in the popular movie/book ? Maybe it is chocolate….maybe it is oats or a nut butter (according to all the popular blog-titles that include these 2 items :))….maybe it is a rich carrot cake desert made from scratch in a “special” way….maybe it is as simple as pancakes…or as complex as a rich stew.

Pieces of Chocolate

Or, if you are like me, it changes from day to day.

Yes, at first when I thought about this concept I could not make up my mind of what my “chocolate” would be. I quickly concluded that this meant one thing: I am an indecisive girl who really does not know what her likes or dislikes are!! (If you have ever seen Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, you might remember that scene where Roberts is unsure if she really likes her eggs fried or poached…)

But then I decided that that is just me. Maybe my “chocolate” is variety…a bit of everything you know ? I am sure there is probably 1 or 3 items that stands out above the others, but for now I hold no prejudice.  I kind of like that approach for right here for right now for me. Keep my mind open to possibilities. Be open to trying a new stew (Kath just featured a new lentil and sweet potato stew on her blog), or oats-in-a-jar, or try out one of the many holiday desserts that numerous blog and recipe collections are now featuring.

I have a lot of foods that make up the majority of my daily eats. But I think being open to new foods and ideas might be a good feature. At least be open to it, consider it.

An unfortunate occurrence in the food-focused-world (and in any selective world) is the practice of judging. I mean the judging of others for their choices.  For some people, their “chocolate” may be a bowl of nut butter-banana-oats…

Time for oats in a jar ?

and this particular person might receive a few “what?” looks….for others, their “chocolate” might be a really good quality ice cream at a specific shop…and for another it might be butternut squash fries with coconut butter. Should we judge one another for our choices ? Should we judge the chosen items on their healthfulness, their quality, their positive or negative connotations? No, I don’t think so.

I don’t think the food-blog-world is meant to be a virtual tour where others analyze, critique, judge, or worse compare one another’s choices. I don’t even think that what a person photographs encompasses everything  that they eat. Some may choose to display what they feel is “pretty”, or what might interest others, or what they have time for in their rush, or whatever their camera (and their patience) chose to take. We cannot accurately glean from a collage of photos whether a person follows any kind of regime. We can get an idea of their food approaches and likes/dislikes, but we don’t know the whole story.

I guess this would be a good point for me to now bring up that if I show any photos on this blog, they do not emcompass everything that I eat. If I display some veggie burgers, it does not mean I am a vegan. If I display almond milk, it does not mean I do not drink hemp milk, and others as well. If I display “healthy” foods or “not-so-healthy” foods (those popular, but disdainful, labels), it does not mean I do not like or eat the opposite. I guess that is my “disclaimer” of sorts.

With that last note, I will ask again what is your chocolate-factory?

And now for something fun:

Extra! Extra!

A new nut butter alert:

And on another note, here is a new nut butter I found. Maybe I am not the “first” to find it, but I haven’t seen it. I haven’t opened it yet, because my fridge is on nut-butter-overload :)…soon…

"health NUT" nut butter

The ingredients on this? cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, agave nectar, cacoa nibs….

hmmm….kind of represents that “chocolate-factory-utopia” of mine doesn’t it?? The best of all nut butters combined?  Surely, this might be a winner :)

 


Gaining hope in Life

November 22, 2009

I have seen several posts in the blog-world about how to de-stress during the holidays, or how to cope with difficult situations. One great article I read can be found at www.getinthehotspot.com, just search for the article titled ” 10 ways to shake up your life and feel energized” as written by Annabel Candy.

As I wrote in my “About” link, I am exploring myself, my life, my writings, my passions, my interests, etc. I also wrote that I have a lot of “lows” in my life, and so this blog is meant to be my haven of positivity and creative expression. As a new blogger and as a person, I am still trying to find my style…what do I really want to write about? what do I really want to offer to others? …what do I really want out of life?

Staying positive is a tricky skill for me to grasp. Or maybe I am not trying hard enough, maybe its not a skill to be earned or learned, but instead a quality that you have to believe is inherent in everyone. Why do I find it so difficult to be positive? Maybe because right now , in this very moment, I have not achieved what I would like to have in life….I am not going fast enough towards the things I really want….and on a more specific note, I am not sure if, when or how Iwill even get there.

Have you ever felt like that?

The suggestions Ms. Candy makes in her article to energize your life are worthy to read. Some of them not as easy or realistic (i.e….quit your job, or move abroad). But if your goal is to leave your job, then maybe you can formulate deadlines or target dates. Even if this means it will be 5 years from today, at least it is a goal….at least you are setting a specific, measurable and timely goal to aim for.

Maybe another goal of yours is to start an exercise program. But maybe at this time in your life you are physically unable to do that. That is okay. You can immerse yourself into positive thinking and other forms of creative expression. And in the meantime, you can develop a plan….perhaps you can outline the month of december where you will walk for 30 minutes outside during the day for 5 days of the week and the other 2 days perhaps you can participate in a 20-minute meditation-sequence.

Maybe a goal of yours is to get a job that you enjoy. If that is not possible, and you need money, then find what you can. If you are interested in books then maybe you can get a full-time job at a bookstore. Does it pay a lot of money? No. Does it offer prestige and reward to be a bookstore cashier? Most likely not…..but at least you can work and make some money (some money is better than no money)….and at least you can semi-enjoy it for even just a little while. And what you do in the interim (perhaps this job will endure a few months, or a year, or 3 years),  is to make a goal and a deadline of ways to reach what you really want to do.

Grocery Store Cashier clipart

We do not all have the resources for the things we wish to obtain or do in life. We do not all have the physical ability, or the money, or the connections and contacts to get to the things we want. But at least we can make goals for ways in which to get to that end-goal, no matter how far in the future they may be.

If you want to be a runner , but circumstances are offering you the ability to walk at this time, then what do you do now? You walk. And you damn well appreciate it.  And you strive to be able to jog for 30 seconds in about 6++ months time. And if you at that time, you are still unable, then keep walking and make another timely goal.

If you want to join a gym or participate in a yoga class but cannot afford it, what do you do now? you walk outside, you wear warmer clothes to tolerate the cold weather, you do stretching and meditation 2-3 times a week, just for 10 minutes, sit down and stretch and take a minute to “zone out”. You do not need hour-long sessions daily. You may want it …but you cannot have what you want…so that does not mean that you cannot make it an end-goal and that you cannot do just 10 minutes a day. Even if its 10 minutes a day for longer than you want or you hope. You do it and keep building to the future.

Making friends is another excellent suggestion written in the article I have mentioned. Do you have friends? Well, make some more. And even further to this, why not lend a smile, a hand, an encouraging word to another person? Know someone going through a tough time right now in life? Someone with low finances, a physically unhealthy body, etc? Well, why not give encouragement to them ? Instead of feeling very un-thankful for your own physical abilities and opportunities, why not realize how lucky you are to have what you have and lend a word of support to others.

How about trying something new? See a new chocolate-flavored almond milk, a tofu burger, or maybe a curry-chicken dish you would like to try? Try eating vegan for a few meals? Try a new hummus? Buy that box of christmas chocolates you think would be really enjoyable to have? Well do it, and enjoy it. Be confident in what you want to try and respect and accept your  choice.

chocolate milk

One of the tips given in the article that I like the most is the one to stop wasting time. Productive time really does differ from person to person. For some, writing on a blog, baking a holiday recipe, sitting and reading an interesting book….for some, these activities are unproductive…for others they are entirely productive. So, this point to “not waste time” is very individual.

However,  spending too long on the internet reading comments from others who exercise every day and feel guilty for doing “nothing” for a few hours, is that really healthy? is that really worthwhile? Some people may jump from blog to blog trying to find the latest diet trends and find what they can do to be the “perfect eater”….wouldn’t it be better to shut off the computer and do what you desire? what you can? what you feel is for you and not anyone else?

Being productive can be a lot of things. If you are unable to participate in physical activity, then get a pile of books…humor, fantasy, fiction, anything….and read…can’t afford to buy any?….borrow some from a friend, go to your library, etc.

Find some time once a day to write in your journal, it may be nothing…it may be 2 sentences…well, write them…maybe one day you will have something to write. Watch a movie on TV. Talk on the phone with a friend. Volunteer at a food-bank.

And, sure, there will be unproductive times, particularly for those unable to do more. But accept your position in life. Do what you can do, and only you. Phase out others and ignore others that do so much and have money and have opportunities…as they might complain and do not appreciate all they have and all they can do….and ignore them and accept your position in life. If you spend so much time worrying about someone else and their fortunes, then who will worry about your opportunities?

No, opportunities may not be available at this moment. It may be over a year before you can initiate an exercise program because of a health problem….it may be over 5 years before you can really pursue a job you want, because money realistically is needed….but that is okay…in the meantime, make a plan…and each day , maybe try one step closer to get there. And those small steps do not have to big, giant steps….they can be as simple as going for a walk….or phoning a friend…or planning to do meditation before lunch.

I encourage you to find ways to be positive in life. Every individual has insecurities, challenges, and even negative thoughts. I have them. I sometimes analyze my own current situation in life and am saddened by how I have not achieved what I would like to have, and how at this moment I appear to be “stuck” ….but if I say the future will be better…even if it is 2 years from now…well, I think that has to be okay. In the meantime, I will appreciate what I do have, as little as it may seem sometimes – it is something – and a person has to appreciate that.

Have a nice weekend :)


Fun Fall Survey

November 21, 2009

To anyone reading my blog (and thanks if you do :) ), you may have already completed this “Fun Fall Survey” since its been floating around the blogs. I thought I would do it today for a simple and fun post and spread the last bit of fall love as winter approaches.

Feel free to answer/comment/ or post on your own blog if you have not already done so. And to the person who originally started it, this was a nice idea :)

1. favorite variety of apple?  Golden Delicious

 2. apples dipped in? walnut/cashew butter

3. favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? pumpkin-oats 

4. favorite soup? with crackers or bread?  split pea, either crackers or bread

5. do you eat orange foods all year round? orange foods are popular and they will probably be frequent in my eats

6. most used spice in your autumn cooking: cinnamon, thyme, curry, garlic.

7. you are baking some homemade bread, what flavor combination of bread would you like to make? pumpkin gingerbread, with cocoa nibs and walnuts
8. favorite autumn vegetables and ways to eat it?  roasted brussel sprouts, mashed rutabaga and sweet potatoes…baked squash 

9. hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee or tea? exclude the coffee

10. favorite seasonal dessert? pumpkin pie bars 

11. lets make a fall stew! pick any 6 ingredients to create your one: black-eyed peas, carrots, onion, sweet potato, collard greens, curry.

Heartyblack-eyedpeaandtomatostew

12. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or almonds to snack on? impossible to choose 

13. popcorn flavor/seasoning? warm, nutty flavors; cinnamon; salty and sweet flavors; i can adapt to any flavor

14. bowl of hot cereal you have been wanting to try: cream of brown rice topped maple syrup, fresh banana, chopped dates, figs, cashews and raw coconut butter….this was on a blog recently and looked entirely unique….or (courtesy of KathEats) pumpkin banana oats, with muffin and nut butter

15. post a link to a recipe that you recently bookmarked. Vegan Crustless Sweet Potato Pie, at The Vegan Dormitory

 
Enjoy.

 

 


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