What I Want to be Like when I’m “Old”

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Have you looked into the future and decided what you want your life to be like when you’re 85 or even 90 years old?  I know, not everyone lives to be so old, but have you considered it?  I was in a doctor’s office with a client of mine when a woman walked in the door.  She walked with great difficulty, holding onto her cane for dear life.  Once my client went in to see the doctor this woman began telling me all about her aliments.  It turned out that she too suffered from Fibromyalgia (just like I do), and was on all kinds of medication.  When I told her I had the same ailment, she promised me that when I hit 50 (her age), I’d be unable to walk without medication.  I simply smiled, told her that I was 52 and didn’t take any medications. In fact, I did all the things that her doctor had warned her off.  I exercised, did yoga, lived a vegan lifestyle, and took various herbs for help in coping with the insomnia, pain and “brain fog”.  She got quite huffy and told me that I must have been misdiagnosed, since she’d been told that all people with Fibromyalgia needed medication.  I told her that I’d gone to a specialist to be diagnosed who had told me to inform myself and look into alternative ways to deal with the disease.  He never even offered to medicate me, which suited me just fine.  I’ve had this disease for almost 20 years, and try to keep up with all the new information that comes out, as well as all the new ways of coping.  I have good days and “bad” days, but never once have I been unable to walk.  I often think about this women and wonder how she’s doing.

My point is, that even though we’re not given a choice concerning certain things in our lives, we are usually given a choice on how we deal with it.  So, how do you intend to live out your life? Do you want to be infirm, or do you intend to go into old age as healthy as you can?  Here are a few people to emulate.  Enjoy, and choose well!

 

 

Carnage – A Mockumentary

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I don’t know if any of you saw this mockumentary, but I wanted to talk about it today.  It’s by the BBC and Simon Amstell.   The film shows the “history” of veganism from 1944 to 2067 with the focus on people in the future trying to come to terms with their carnist pasts.  The young people of 2067 don’t understand how people could have eaten animals, and this mockumentary explains the mind-set and attitudes of people regarding animals that helped with the exploitation of animals.

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The movie is actually quite funny, starting with the portrayal of early vegans as absolute nut-cases, as is the usual portrayal.  However, as the United Kingdom begins to deal with extreme weather due to global warming, the attitudes about veganism change.  In case you didn’t know it, animal production is indeed one of the leading causes of climate change due to the cutting down of vast forested areas, and the huge amount of emissions from intensely factory-farmed animals.

https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/

In the movie, following the invention of a device that allows humans to hear the thoughts of the other animals, veganism goes mainstream, and by 2067 no one eats other animals.   There are some video shown of factory-farming, however the clips are not nearly as graphic as some of the slaughter-house clips you can see on your own on YouTube.

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I hope that many people watch this mockumentary which is available onYouTube and the BBC website.  It’s engaging, funny and a wonderful way to present the facts without being “preachy”.  I really hope that this makes a difference in people’s lives.

https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/carnage-review

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBCaIYAG7IPKs7mafExL1nQ

 

Food and Exercise

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I’ve been on the Engine 2 Rescue Diet now for almost three weeks.  This diet is a no oil, no preservatives plant -based one.  How is it going?  Well, at times all I really want to do is to eat all the chips in the bag!  However, I haven’t done that, and it’s going pretty good.  I haven’t fallen “off the wagon” at all, and when I do get chip cravings, I tend to eat either some grapes – which are totally delicious, by the way, or an orange.

Learning how to make stir-fry without oil was a little hard to get used to, but I’ve got that down, now.  Tonight, is Chinese night, so I’m really looking forward to the steamed veggies with white rice.  A meal that I don’t have to cook is always a source of excitement.

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I’ve been having Quaker Quick Oats for breakfast with some maple syrup, cinnamon, banana and blueberries.  At first I thought yuck! I hate oatmeal, but when I have it like this, it’s really good!  If I get hungry later in the morning (sometimes I’ve already eaten by 6:30, I’ll have an orange.

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Here’s a lunch that I love.  I just cut-up some onion, mushroom, squash and peppers, then I stir-fried them in a little water.  I put them on a Sandwich Thin (again, no oil), added a little no-oil homemade hummus and dug in.  I also ate the leftovers.  Good lunch!  Next week I’ll give you some dinner recipes.  I have to take pictures, since I haven’t gotten around to that, yet.

I’ll also eat a salad with extra veggies and chickpeas. If I still feel hungry I’ll throw a small red potato in the microwave and cook it up.  I’ll then eat it with some garlic powder.  No vegan butter for me.  This was actually a little strange at first, but I’ve gotten used to it, and now like the potato with only some herbs on it.

I’ve added some more exercise to my routine also.  I now work-out in the morning, then go for a walk with my dog around eleven, then come home and work-out some more.  In the afternoon, I’ll do so again.  So, this is what I do:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’ll do my Soloflex machine (yes, I’ve had one for more years than I want to admit), then a Denise Austin DVD with weights in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a Denise Austin Pilates DVD.  I hate Pilates!  Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll do a Fitness Blender video in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a bunch of Sun Salutations very slowly.  On the weekend, I usually mix it up with some Denise Austin workouts and different Fitness Blender videos.

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The whole process has been a major time-commitment, what with the meal planning, making things that I usually don’t from scratch and working out.  However, I’ve finally seen a positive change in my body.  Have you changed anything about your diet or exercise routine?  Let me know how that’s going for you.

 

Rebooting my Diet

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I’ve been Vegan for a few years now, and while I feel really good on this lifestyle, as a fifty-something woman dealing with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and the other aches and pains that come from (those dreaded words) growing older, I felt that I really needed to make a change with my diet.  No, I’m not talking about beginning to eat meat and dairy again.  Instead I mean that I want to start eating the way Dr. Michael Greger promotes in his book How not to Die.  So, luckily, I was able to go and see Rip Esselstyn on his book tour promoting his new book, The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health.

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While my diet is mostly healthy, I haven’t been eating the way that I should.  As you probably know, there are a lot of prepared food products out there for Vegans.  While these foods make life easy, they’re not exactly healthy.  I’ve been eating half-a-bagel at breakfast with vegan butter, and then there is the wonderfully delicious mandarin orange chicken (I prefer the Gardein brand).  However, since these are prepared foods, they of course, are not really good for you.

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Due to the increase of pain related to my Fibromyalgia, I decided that I really had to change my food consumption to only whole plant-based foods.  Lucky for me, along came the Rip Esselstyn book tour.  I’m so glad that I went to see him.  A lot of the recipes for vegans require that you are able to both afford and go to a store such as Whole Foods.  While Whole Foods is a wonderful experience, I absolutely cannot afford to buy much there.  That’s what’s so good about the recipes in the Engine 2 book.  I will be able to buy everything I need at my local grocery store.  So, I originally thought that I would start this on Tuesday, however, I just realized that I should probably read the book and then start – know, what a novel idea!  I’ll let you know when I start, and how it goes.  Wish me luck!

 

Good Things This Week

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In a conscientious effort, I’m trying to keep myself looking at the positive while working against the negative, so here are a few good things about this week.  I finished my Entrepreneur Seminar, got some really good information (and free gifts), and am feeling energized to continue along this path!  Then of course, I’ve been trying some new recipes, and making up some of my own.  Here is one that actually came out really good.

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Steamed veggies

Steamed Veggies:

Green cabbage, sliced thin – I used about 1/8 of a cabbage  (Just a note, green cabbage is incredibly cheap)

¼ onion, sliced

About six baby carrots, sliced thin – use as many as you like

Some mushrooms, depending on how much you like.

I then put all these in a bowl  and mixed some herbs and spices in.  Use whatever you feel like.  I put in some sage, rosemary, garlic, marjoram, thyme and sage.

Steam for about five or so minutes.  My steamer is pretty small, so I made a few batches.  This made enough for my lunch.  I added a little soy sauce for the extra flavor.  I also had a baked red potato to round out the meal.  I also saved the leftover water, since it was infused with the taste and smell of the veggies, spices and herbs.  I used it in the soup I made last night.  Very good!

Vegan cooking is so easy.  I’m not saying that all my improvised meals are good, however, I’ve had more hits then misses lately.

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I’ve been working out every morning, and walking before lunch.  I’m starting to feel pretty good.  I’ve also added Sun Salutations to my daily workout, and find that the proper breathing is helping with my stress.  Another “good thing”.

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The full moon peeking out from behind the trees at dusk.

I hope that you’ve had a good and productive week and that you’ve found some things to be grateful for.  I’m glad that I’ve been making the effort to spend some time looking for the positive.  Here are some pictures I took this week.  The first is sunrise the day after the snow, and the other is one of my hemlock trees draped in snow.

 

Vegan Recipe, a new Blender & Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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I haven’t posted a vegan recipe in a while, so I thought that since I’ve just concocted a new one, I would share it.  This one is for stuffed roasted acorn squash.

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Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

I used two medium to large acorn squashes, cut in half, scoop out seeds and fibers, rub a small amount of oil on insides, put in pan with about a half cup or so of water, cover and bake at 400° or until the insides are soft.

While the squash is roasting, make rice, I used one cup of brown rice along with spices.  I love sage, rosemary, thyme and basil.

Then mince about half an onion, and some fresh mushroom, I used about a half cup each (next time I’ll use a full cup).  Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil along with minced garlic and spices such as sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, coriander, and whatever you like.  I also added some sun-dried tomatoes that I had on hand.  Once the squash is done, scoop out as much of the flesh as you can without compromising the skin, and mix the squash with the finished rice and everything you sautéed.  Then pack the mixture into your roasted acorn squash.  Simple, simple, simple.  I served this with left-over Italian bread and a salad.  It was quite a filling meal, and very delicious.

I’ve had a blender for 31 years that has served me faithfully.  However, about three years ago, it became clear that I could no longer pull the entire thing apart to clean it.  The little seal at the bottom was going to fall apart if I continued cleaning it.  So, as I used this blender every day, I was waiting for it to begin to seep.  However, it didn’t.  I realized not that long ago, that at some point the thing was just going to stop working.  Not only that, but it was never made to be used constantly, nor to be used to blend up all kinds of fruit.  When I came to this surprising revelation, I knew that I would have to replace it.  Along came the Black Friday sales, and I knew that now was the time.  So, my daughter and I went out after dinner one night and bought one that was on sale at BJ’s.  I can’t explain how this has changed my life!  I can put all kinds of fruit into it, and it actually works!  How wonderful is that?  And, most importantly of all, I got it at a bargain price.

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Okay, and now for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  What a great movie!  As a Harry Potter fan, this movie was simply magical.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  The acting was good, the story-line was interesting, and the movie-making was magical.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and do so.  3-D is great!

Looking for Happiness

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This week was rather difficult.  I got a large unexpected credit card bill, actually, this brought the grand total of my recent credit card bills up to over two thousand dollars, over the course of the last three months.  That was what was on top of the past due amount of over three thousand dollars.  This is the last card that I have to pay off, however at this rate I’ll never do it.  I feel like Sisyphus, and my free-spending husband is the rock.  This is what happens when you get married to someone whose money-management skills caused the rent to be over-due by three months, and the electric to be shut off due to non-payment in the fourth month after you married.  Needless to say, I pay the bills now.

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But, I digress.  The recent past included the wonderful experience of my first Thanksgiving with Tofurky.  I couldn’t believe how good it tasted, and the smell of the spices cooking filled my house with deliciousness.  It has taken all these years for Tofurky to make an appearance at my local grocery store.  It was one of those mystical beasts that we’d always heard of, but never seen.  Our Thanksgiving dinner was peaceful and filled with love.  I hope that yours was also.

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Another happy occurrence was that we finally got some rain.  Not a lot, but some.  And, since we’re in an extreme drought, that was a good thing!  In my town, some people have lost their wells, and they’ve had to have the well-driller come and drill deeper.  Luckily, we’ve got a deep well, but this is still a little bit of worry for me.  Yes, I am a real world-class worrier.

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The leaves are finally picked up.  We had some really high winds, and it cleaned most of them out.  What’s left will probably not come down until spring.  So, another fall related chore is done!   What are some of your wonderful happy things that have taken place recently?  Share them in the comments below.