Using Lists

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I know that some people say that making lists just isn’t too effective.  However, I have to say that if it weren’t for my lists I’d feel like I was getting basically nothing done.  I started making lists after I gave birth to my son and became a stay-at-home mother.  I was encased within the fog of no sleep and endless new-baby tasks.  My husband would come home and ask what I’d done all day and I struggled to remember doing anything beyond baby-related tasks.  So, I started making lists of tasks to be accomplished each and every day.

To this day, my list consists of such things as washing dishes, running the dishwasher, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, etc.  All those little things that you do during the day, but don’t really consider them “work”.  But, my lists also have the bigger things on them like: writing a blog post, chapters for a book, and illustrating the book, along with the dreaded paying of bills, grocery shopping and meal making.

There have been times that I’ve neglected to make lists, however I’ve found that one thing is completely clear.  In order to function, I need a list.  It’s not so much the remembering to actually do what’s on the list, it’s the crossing out of the things that I’ve accomplished.  I get great satisfaction in crossing out the tasks that I’ve finished.  Now when my husband comes home and asks what I’ve done, I can reference the crossed-out list.  Of course, my list often consists of all the things that I’ve done for him so that he doesn’t have to do them – making doctor appointments, calling insurance agents, etc.  All those things where you can be put on hold for thirty minutes or so at a time, which is why I call and he doesn’t.

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Probably one of the reasons I like to make lists is that they keep me accountable to my goals.  Let me know if you’re a list-maker, and if it helps you accomplish what you want to achieve.

Health Care?

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Okay, so I’ve simply got to say something about the plan for healthcare under the TrumpCare proposal.  I realize that “they” don’t want us calling it TrumpCare, however, if “they” were allowed to call the Affordable Care Act ObamaCare, then I really don’t see why this proposal can’t be called TrumpCare.

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Actually, the plan is to throw as many people off health insurance as possible.  Does that sound extreme?  Then tell me why, as a fifty-something year-old, under this plan, my insurance would go up 5 times what I’m paying now.  Yes, not 5%, but 5 times the cost.  Are they insane?  My health insurance per month would cost roughly what our monthly income is.  That would leave us with no money for food or shelter.  Oh, and by the way, Jason Chaffetz, I don’t have an expensive phone, instead I probably use one of the oldest flip phones still in use, and have no internet connection on it.  My husband though, has an expensive one that is for work, and therefore is paid for by his place of employment.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/07/if-jason-chaffetz-wants-to-compare-healthcare-to-iphones-lets-do-it-the-right-way/?utm_term=.1801ab53d187

I’m leaving some links below for those of you who want to educate yourselves further.  Please read them, as the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/03/07/the-new-republican-health-care-plan-is-awe-inspiringly-awful/?utm_term=.b904f58689ee

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/how-republicans-plan-to-ration-health-care.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/health/risk-of-losing-health-insurance-in-republican-plan.html

 

How the Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet Worked for Me

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I wrote a post two weeks ago, about going to see Rip Esselstyn talk about the plant-based rescue diet he recommends in his latest book, and how I was planning to use this rescue diet in order to reboot my diet.  I’d been relying on prepared vegan foods too much, and since prepared food is not good for you, even if it is plant-based, I needed a rescue.

So, here I am, after my initial seven days to tell you how it all went.  First of all, most of the meals I prepared were his “bowls”, and they were all delicious!  I also tried some of his oil-free dressings, and they too were really good.  In the future, I’m going to make my own hummus, since it’s really easy and you can make it without any oil.

Talking about oil, on Thursday I did have a terrible craving for “naughty” foods, including potato chips.  I can tell you that I didn’t eat any and instead had some red seedless grapes that astonished me by how good they tasted.  One of the most difficult things I found on this diet is that I had to eat, not drink my food.  So, no morning smoothie for me.  I missed that, but found that I really like drinking cold water in the morning.  I still drank my coffee, only without sugar, and I put some non-sweetened almond milk (even though that wasn’t recommended).  The other huge change is that I ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast.  I’ve never really enjoyed oatmeal, but I was able to put some maple syrup in it, along with cinnamon and various fruits.  I’ve used oranges, bananas and blueberries, which were good and pretty filling.  Some days I have either a Halo orange or a banana around ten o’clock or so, and other days I’m good until lunch.

My lunches either consisted of a large salad with one of the oil-free dressing along with a good number of chickpeas thrown in, or a concoction of fresh veggies that I cooked up, oil free, which I put on some toasted oil-free multi-grain sandwich thins.  Again, if I got hungry in the afternoon, I just had one or two pieces of fruit.

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Again, my dinner usually consisted of the “bowls” that I got the recipes out of the book.  Thursday night I made whole-grain pasta along with fresh vine ripened tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and broccoli that I cooked up with some oil-free tomato paste.  That was also a good meal, and I served it with a large salad.

The physical results from these seven days are that my pain that’s associated with Fibromyalgia has lessened somewhat, and I have less brain-fog.  I’ve also lost about 4 pounds, which is always nice.  Am I going to continue?  The answer is yes!  I like the way I’ve been feeling, and want to see if I continue to feel better the longer I stay on this plant-based, no oil or preservatives diet.  Has it been easy?  No, this is not something that you should do without a meal plan.  Also, like I said I plan on making my own hummus, and continue to make my own salad dressings.  This requires planning and cooking – not my strong points.

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While this diet is not easy, and it does come at a cost – time to plan, time to cook, I am trying to look at it this way – What is the cost of your health?  Do I want to be sick and have to pay for that with my time and money, or do I want to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can?  This choice is up to me, and I choose health!

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72 year-old Annette Larkins, Vegan

Unity

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The only way to fight injustice in the world is make sure that we fight for all who are in need of it.  That means that we need to stand up not only for ourselves and our own concerns, but we must stand up for all the others who are marginalized.  We must stand and resist together.  It’s the only way change will occur.

 

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International Women’s Day

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When I was initially talking to my husband about International Women’s Day he wondered why women needed one.  At first I was taken aback.  Seriously?  Then I realized that he looks at the world in only one way – as a man.  So, I thought that I’d make a list of why there needs to be an International Women’s Day.

Equality – women in general are paid less, however that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Maternity leave is not a paid for; as well as a higher cost of health insurance for being a woman.  Clothing marketed exclusively for woman is sold at a higher cost.

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Poverty – women and children are the largest group worldwide to live in poverty.  At any given time 795 million people go to bed hungry.  This number is on the rise due to war and the number of refugees.  More women and children live in poverty than any other group.

Restriction of Rights – women’s rights around the world are restricted in various ways.  Some include how they are “allowed” to dress; whether they can attend school, drive or even leave their houses by themselves; in some areas women are restricted from voting and owning property.   A woman’s right to many forms of health care has been restricted.  In many countries the kinds of work that a woman can legally perform is restricted by law.

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Violence – girls as young as 12 are routinely married in many countries; rape and domestic violence against girls and women is rising worldwide.  Sex trafficking has become rampant world-wide.

These are just a few of the reasons that there is an International Women’s Day.

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What’s Wrong with being a Social Justice Warrior?

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I have to admit that I’m extremely confused here.  A few months ago, I started to see strange memes on Instagram which were all very anti-social justice warriors.  Since A, I had no clue as to what this is, and B, it looked like typical back-lash to me, I decided to finally look up the whole thing.  This is what I found:

“‘Social justice warrior’ (commonly abbreviated SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views,[1] including feminism,[1][2] civil rights,[1] multiculturalism,[1] and identity politics.[3] The accusation of being an SJW carries implications of pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction,[4] and being engaged in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to raise personal reputation, also known as virtue signalling.[5]

The phrase originated in the late 20th century as a neutral or positive term for people engaged in social justice activism.[1] In 2011 when the term first appeared on Twitter it changed from a primarily positive term to an overwhelmingly negative one.[1] During the Gamergate controversy, the negative connotation gained increased use, and was particularly aimed at those espousing views adhering to social liberalism, cultural inclusiveness, or feminism, as well as views deemed to be politically correct.[1][2]

The term has entered popular culture, including a parody role-playing video game released in 2014 titled Social Justice Warriors.[6][7][8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice_warrior

WOW!  So, other people presume they know what these individuals think and feel, and ridicule them for supposedly trying to improve their own social standing through fighting for the rights of minorities.  Cool.  Apparently working for others isn’t really a thing anymore.  I mean, seriously, if you believe this, then all the people who work at places like:  soup kitchens, food pantries, for United Services, NAFI, Habitat for Humanity and the like, are really only volunteering in order to make themselves “look good”.  Of course, oftentimes others go to help out in the aftermath of a hurricane or tornado.  So, these people also are only working in such a way to make themselves look good.

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This, of course, is an attack on human and civil rights.  In this way of thinking, no one really believes in helping others, they only do it to make themselves look better.  Apparently, we’re just a collection of individuals who couldn’t care less about each other and only want to inflate our own egos.  According to this logic, the following individuals really didn’t want to change anything, their motivation was to “look good”:  Jane Adams (better housing for the poor, founding member of NAACP); Louis Brandeis (defended labor laws, etc.); Florence Kelley (fought against child labor); John Dewey (founder of NAACP, fought for freedom of ideas, etc.); Eleanor Roosevelt (advocated for worker’s and civil rights, etc.).  I could go on and on, however, I’ll stop here.  Many of the individuals who have worked for social justice have done so at their own peril.  As it is, many people are arrested every day advocating for social justice.  Yet, the logic of those who denigrate social justice warriors is that they only do so for their own social advancement.  This is said in order to negate any good that comes out of working for the poor, downtrodden, and ignored in society.  After all, if you’ve got yours, why bother helping others?

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So, my take-away from this whole thing?  I feel sorry for those with this kind of belief system.  To spend your life making fun of others whose purpose is to make life better for everyone is just sad.  Too sad.

 

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/10/07/why-social-justice-warrior-a-gamergate-insult-is-now-a-dictionary-entry/?utm_term=.3ebc48e08622

 

It’s a Lifestyle not a Diet

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When I decided to change my life, I started with what I thought would be a small change.  I went from eating a Vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based one.  I already “knew” the cruelty involved in eating dairy and meat, but the longer I’ve been Vegan (someone who tries to live as cruelty-free as is possible), I’ve found out more and more about the animal industry that I truly wish I didn’t know.  However, learning new recipes has actually taught me to be a better cook.  When you can’t just throw cheese on something to improve the taste, you’ve really got to know what you’re doing.  I use many more spices than I ever did before, and also spices from different parts of the world.  My cooking has most definitely improved, but most of my meals take longer to prepare.  So, there is the good along with the “bad”.

That being said, I’ve been on a journey that has stopped at more than a few rest areas along the way.  And, being stuck in too many rest areas, I’ve come to the realization that there is really only one way to look at the rather large goals that I have.  I’ve been changing my thoughts on these goals, and thinking of them as a lifestyle, not a diet, and not “just” goals and steps, but as a deliberate way to live my life.  So, every time the alarm goes off and I know that I’ve got to get up and work out, I tell myself it’s a lifestyle.  So far, this has worked, and I’ve gotten up and done what I’ve planned on.

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Part of what has helped me, and might help you too, is that I’ve been making goals for each week and working daily to achieve them.  Some of these goals deal with house-work, and some deal with my goal of finishing the book I’m working on.  I find that if I break them down into smaller steps, I’ve been hitting more goals than not.  This is helping with my confidence, since I’ve been tracking everything and seeing more successes than failures.

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So, how have you been doing with your goals for the year, and what has been helping you achieve them?  Let me know.  You may have great ideas for the rest of us.