Friday, October 26, 2012

{ Green Smoothie Girl Event }

This past Wednesday, several friends and I attended a free (I love free!) Green Smoothie Girl event in Alexandria, Virginia.  I was familiar with the Green Smoothie Girl blog and her book the Big Book of Green Smoothies, but didn't really know much beyond that.  Green Smoothie Girl, also known as Robyn Openshaw, told us her story and how she came to live and love a whole foods diet.

I really loved that Robyn talked to the group of about 100 (give or take) men and women about how a whole foods diet is about abundance, NOT scarcity or loss. How, in addition to her various smoothies everyday (at LEAST a quart), she really does chew food too (that got a laugh!).

I have never been a huge smoothie fan, but left this event feeling motivated and inspired to really live a whole foods life to include green smoothies every day.  I am vegan, but have many times (as witnessed by my weight and how much I have to lose) gone the easy processed vegan foods route instead of the nutrient rich plant based direction.

Robyn says that we are the first generation of Americans that can't rely on our parents or grandparents to teach us how to cook healthy.   Americans want to eat right, but most don't know how.  The average American eats only 1-2 servings of vegetables a day. If we fix a quart of green smoothie every day, that is about 10 servings (and probably only about 200 calories).  Wow!  Big change!

A big part of Robyn's talk was about using food as medicine.  She reminded us of the Hippocrates quote, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."  I thought her discussion of her history of multiple autoimmune diseases and all kinds of bad health and how a whole foods diet and her green smoothies cured her was impressive.  She and her children have not been to the doctor in many years. I am impressed, but unsure about this.  I know that a whole foods diet can indeed cure many conditions (blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) and I am going to work hard to get off my blood pressure meds, but I also have osteoarthritis in both knees and feet.  I am not really convinced that I will never need any pain meds and that the condition will go away.  Cartilage doesn't grow back and it sure is painful.  I know that losing weight does make me feel better and the pain less, but I am also a firm believer that if I need my pain meds, I am going to take them. Just my two cents.  Who knows - maybe a year from now, I will have to eat my words.  That would be nice.  We'll see.

Anyway, it was a fun night with friends, her discussion was interesting, and there were some giveaways (I didn't win!). Although I had no money to purchase anything, her "store" was interesting.  A few pictures of just some of the product she had on display:

She has some other classes coming to the area in the coming months on other topics, and I would definitely attend.  She is very motivational and a very effective speaker!

Until next time, friends, 


Monday, October 22, 2012

{ A Fat Vegan Making a Change }

Many people have asked me over the years why I am vegan.  One of my first blog posts was about why I am vegan - you can read it here.  Some have even gone so far as to say something to the effect of what's the point in being vegan if you're still heavy? I know. Rude, right? But when I first became vegetarian almost 17 years ago and vegan about 4 years ago, it was strictly because I wanted to do no harm to another living being. There is a quote from George Bernard Shaw that exactly describes my feelings about animals - "Animals are my friends and I don't eat my friends."
Sweet baby calf from The Gentle Barn

Adorableness! Love.
It was a conscious decision on my part to no longer eat anything with a face or a mother.  And I never looked back and have had nothing but support from my family and most of my friends.  In fact, I bet folks already thought I was veg since growing up my mom was a hippie (it was the 70's) and a wildlife rehabilitator (birds mostly) and so I literally grew up with animals of all kinds.  

It's only in the last few years that I have really thought about the health benefits of eating a vegan plant-based diet.  And this is where I struggle. I struggle not with the decision to be vegan, for that is a great joy in my life, but with my emotional eating and binging.  There are an awful lot of VERY unhealthy, processed vegan foods and I bet I have eaten most of them.  I am tired of being fat.  Tired of the rude questions. Tired of not being a role model for a plant-based diet that I so want to be.  I don't preach to others about a vegan diet but if they ask me, I always give my two cents and would LOVE to be a living example of the health benefits of going vegan.

I need to lose more than 150 pounds and that is overwhelming.  I am doing the work right now to figure out EXACTLY why I overeat and binge and how I can stop going to that place when I am (fill in the blank).  I no longer want food to make me feel bad, I want it to be pleasurable and I want to know that what I am putting in my mouth is benefiting me in some way.

I feel like I have been all over the place for so many years and I just want to be normal - or at least to have a normal relationship with food.  Is it possible?

I am going to go back to making all my meals - I know I have said this before - but this time I mean it (a friend actually gave me a pin that says just that - "this time I mean it").  I do - I really do! My history tells me that when I cook my own food (real food), I feel better. To that end, I signed up to participate in this Fall's Virtual Vegan Potluck on November 1 and have been busy thinking up what I am going to post for my Main Dish category.

As i said in my last post, I felt like change was in the air, and I am ready to be that change.

Until next time, friends, 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

{ Restless Ramblings }

 I've been feeling a restlessness lately....I've been something is going to change....more particularly, that I need to change.....that it's time to change.  Perhaps the restlessness I'm feeling today is signaling that change is on the way. I think it's time.

Change.  It's scary and exhilarating at the same time.  
For so long now, I have had big dreams, big goals, big ideas, and will start but then...... then I stand still.  Instead of moving forward, I stand still and nothing really gets accomplished.  Perhaps it's part depression, but I think it's mostly fear.  Fear of change. Fear - wow.  That probably deserves a whole post of it's own, so I'll move on for now. :)

There are so many things that I need to change - that I want to change. Most importantly right now - I need to change my weight and my health.  I need to change my relationship with food and introduce myself to exercise. I've been doing the soul work required to change my unhealthy eating habits, but I think know that I need to kick it into high gear to not only continue to figure out the emotional aspects of my overeating and binging, but to make sure the pounds come off at the same time. Permanently.

I need to go through some of my papers, magazines, notebooks and consolidate and/or get rid of stuff that I just don't need.  I like to be organized but the last few months, my piles have gotten away from me.  Not to the hoarding level, but definitely not to my liking.
My Freida likes to help me go through my papers! :)
I need to go through my studio (an entire room devoted to my crafts and creations and scrapbooking) and downsize projects.  I haven't done anything in the studio for all of 2012.  How wasteful of me.  Time to change that.  I think I will stick to just a handful of crafts/creations. I will continue to scrapbook for pleasure and will continue making my bookmarks and blocks for my etsy store. The rest of the craft supplies and fun bits and bobs I will put up for sale in my ebay store.
I once had a grand idea to use scrabble tiles for some craft....
of course never used them.  Off to ebay they go.
So many things that need to change. So many things have been left undone.  Now is the time - the time to change.  Baby steps, right? If I just do one thing each day that will help me facilitate the changes I am looking for, I will make it.

And as luck would have it, tonight is trash night and I was able to get out four bags of "stuff", ready for the trash truck to take away.  It's a start folks! :)
Who would think that a picture of trash would make me so happy?
This picture symbolizes the beginning of change.
And finally, this is my view as I was writing this blog (well actually I was on Facebook at the moment I took the shot - guilty!).  Is there anything sweeter than my little Suzanne?  Her ears kill cute.
Suzanne and her ears = LOVE

Until next time, friends, 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

{ Thankful Thursday ~ 10/11/12 }

It's good to be grateful every day for things big and small, and I am, but it's also good to sometimes write them down and share them with friends, so I will do that on Thursdays......let's call it Thankful Thursday.

Today, I am thankful for......
...all of my beloved four-legged furry children (not all are pictured)
for they make my heart sing and fill me with joy

...for my beloved pups (pictured are Bess and Lily) and kitties that have 
passed over The Rainbow Bridge - we just don't have long enough with our beloved furry kids, but I would not trade one single second of my life
with any of them!

...being vegan - for not being willing to harm any living creature for my 
culinary pleasure.  It is my choice and I don't judge others, but am
extremely grateful that I made this decision many years ago for me!

....for my president.  I will never make this blog political, but I am a woman
who loves her party and and her president.  Enough said. 


Until next time, friends, 


Monday, October 8, 2012

{ Friend Makin' Monday }

I just discovered Friend Makin' Monday over at Kenlie's blog All the Weigh.  I guess the rules are for each blogger to answer this weeks questions on their own blog and then link back through Kenlie.  Sounds like fun and a great way to meet some awesome new blog friends.  So, without further ado, here are this week's questions with a few pictures thrown in for fun!

Inside Your Home

1. Do you live in an apartment/condo, townhouse or house?  I own a cute little townhouse and I love it!  
Part of my house - I love the red brick and siding and
the random greenery I have planted over the years as well as
the huge tree that is over 30 years old and towers over the house!
2. What is your home’s coolest feature? I like a lot about my home, but I love that there is a big kitchen!  I definitely want to update some things in it, but I love the size!

3.  Do you enjoy DIY projects?  If so, what are you working on now?  I kind of do and kind of don't if that makes any sense?  I tend to start and then get involved in something else so I am sorry to say I have a lot of unfinished projects.  One project I am anxious to get done this fall is my stairs.  A long time ago, I pulled up the carpeting on the stairs with the intent of painting the stairs and possibly even using some vintage wallpaper on the back boards of the stairs.  Something like this:
Love this idea from She is so creative!
4. When using the dishwasher do you use powder detergent or liquid? Sadly, my dishwasher has been broken for almost a year, so I am the dishwasher and just use dish soap that is gentle on my hands!

5. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?  Hi, my name is Lolly and I am a TV addict, so I will admit here that I have a TV in almost every room in the house except the kitchen (and I eventually want one in there, too!).
My cat, Zeke, loves the tv, too.  He thinks he's a tiny kitten.
6.  Is your range gas or electric?  Electric.  No gas in this house (okay, that made me giggle - yes, I am immature at times!).  I love my stove, but I don't really like the smooth surface.  It also looks messy and stays hot for so long that it is dangerous for the kitties. 
My stove - and my wonderful purple cast iron
skillet and stock pot.
7.  How often do you sweep/mop/vacuum?  As needed for both which is a lot because I have multiple cats and two puppies.  You can imagine the pet hair that is always floating around.
A gratuitous picture of one of my adorable puppies, Suzanne.
She loves to help me with paperwork!
8.  What is your favorite place to shop for home furniture and accents? I love flea markets and yard sales if you want to know the truth! (and if I'm honest, I've even pulled things from the trash and refurbished them). If I had to shop at a brick and mortar store, I would say Home Goods is the place to go. 
9.  Do you decorate for holidays?  I do, but I can only use cat-friendly Christmas decorations - in other words, no Christmas tree when cats are around.  They just can't control themselves! Here are some of my cat-friendly decorations:
I found these adorable christmas cat cards and put them in
frames to decorate for the holidays!
A pinecone Christmas tree that the cats leave alone,
so this is what I call my Christmas tree!
10.  If you could have HGTV come in and redo one room in your home which room would you choose?  My kitchen for sure, but I would want it "shabby chic-afied" but with all new appliances and french doors instead of a sliding glass door to the backyard. I love this idea below......seriously this is my dream kitchen.  Multiple chandeliers in a kitchen.....spectacular!
Okay, now I am off to *meet* some other bloggers through Friend Makin' Monday.

Until next time, friends, 


Friday, October 5, 2012

{ It's Small, But I'll Take It }

So, I had my weekly weigh-in last night and only one pound was lost.  I was a bit discouraged, but then reminded myself that it is a loss and ANY weight gone is a good thing.  Even if I only lost a pound a week for the next two years, that is still more than 100 pounds!  I'll take it.
Eye opening, isn't it?
As I am sure I have mentioned before here on the blog, I have lost and gained thousands of pounds over the last 25 years.  That is not an exaggeration. And I have always gained it back.

I am 47 now and MUST get a handle on my weight.  I was watching Dr. Oz recently and he was talking about yo-yo dieting and and the many dangers for your body.  It was as if he was talking directly to me.  Then my beloved Dr. Oz pulled out the purple gloves to show us (me) the dangers of yo-yo dieting on a human heart.  You can see the video HERE.  Oh. My. God.  We saw a healthy vibrant heart, a healthy muscle and then we saw a heart of a yo-yo dieter and it was absolutely frightening.  The good news is WE CAN CHANGE this destruction.  Losing the weight and keeping it off and having a healthy blood pressure, pulse, etc. is critical.  Honestly, this episode was such an eye opener.  According to Dr. Oz, one study found that women who were weight cyclers (yo-yo dieters) – especially if it occurred five or more times during their life ( many times I have lost count)   had a great risk of heart disease beginning shortly after menopause (and I am currently perimenopausal).

So, I will take that one pound loss this week and hope that it will be more next week.  But as long as it is a loss and I am losing consistently, I am happy and my heart will thank me and keep on ticking.

Until next time, friends, 


Monday, October 1, 2012

{ Oh, Fall, How I Love You }

Welcome Fall!  Oh how I love you!  For as long as I can remember, I have loved this time of year.  Anyone that knows me, knows for sure that I am not a summer, hot, sunshine loving gal.  I don't do well in the heat.  So when the air conditioning in my house and in my car broke this year, I wasn't sure how I would make it.  No job and only unemployment meant no a/c repairs as the mortgage and the furry kids come first.  But this week, the weather here in beautiful Virginia turned the corner and I survived the summer.  Fall has arrived and I am in heaven.  I sleep better, I smile more and even my many worries seem less intense.

The leaves crunching under my feet - what a glorious sound.  Welcome fall!
I love the falling leaves and the crunching under my feet.
My ivy grows rampant this time of year in the front yard and in the back and I just love the look of the ivy with some of the falling leaves thrown in.  Welcome fall!
My ivy in the front yard comes alive this time of year!  Love!
 There is nothing more beautiful than the lovely colors of the changing leaves on the trees in the front yard.  The sun peaks through but it is not a hot sun.  The colors are spectacular and really, this time of year is a time of renewal, a time of fresh starts and new adventures.  Welcome fall!
Oh the beauty of the changing colors in the trees in the front beautiful!
And of course, being all snuggly inside working on the laptop or watching tv - yes, I admit it, I am a tv addict and this is the best time of year for that as well since all the new show premiers are starting.  Welcome fall.
The kids and I love to sit and work (ok and we watch tv) curled up 
on the big chair with a light blanket.  Cozy, cozy!
And really, although I am not a fan of actual pumpkins (those weird orange blobs), there is nothing better than pumpkin-flavored anything. Yummy! One of my favorite dishes is my Vegan Pumpkin Chili and now is the perfect time to make it.  I will have to post that recipe once I make it in the next week or two.  Hearty soups, stews and chilis - it's finally cool enough to turn the oven on or have the crock-pot running all day.  Welcome fall!

Oh, Fall and sweater weather, I love you so! Welcome!

Until next time, friends,