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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Pescetarianism

I’m happier saying ‘yes’ to the occasional piece of fish or sushi than sitting around, staring at an empty plate, while others eat.  There’s no point in making someone who has cooked a fish dinner feel bad because I can’t eat it, when in all reality, it’s quite the healthy and delicious food.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to be shoving a fish steak onto my plate with every meal, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that I will be chowing down on fried cat fish with my family.  But if it means having a spoonful of fish because of a sushi tray or eating fish three times because I’m visiting my dad who has caught his own fish, then I am perfectly fine with that.  After all, I have absolutely no moral qualms with eating animals.  My qualms only lie in health, as usual.

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To my friends and readers in the Saint Charles area, I’m thinking that we should go to the local farmers’ market over this summer.  It’s supposedly right by Lindenwood University, and I’d love to check it out.  Here is some information about it from the Missouri Farmers’ Market website.

St. Charles County

Town/City: St. Charles
Name: St. Charles Lions Club Farmers’ Market
Open Days: Saturdays, 7:00 a.m. – Noon
May 16 – October 31
Contact Person: Gerry Shatro
Mailing Address: 907 Lindenwood
St. Charles, MO 63301
Phone: 636-723-2412
Directions: Take Riverside Drive 1 block north of Frontier Park in downtown St. Charles, on the riverfront.

I’ve never heard anything about this market, but if it is really there, you can bet that I will be going each week this summer.  That way, I’ll actually be able to live while home from university.  Seeing as how more than half of my diet is only fresh fruits and vegetables while at school, going home is rough where everything is mixed with meat or the oranges have been in the fridge since I was last home (whaddup four month old oranges?).  My plans are to be able to buy tomatoes, fresh greens, and berries to help sustain me through the week.  Then I’ll supplement my diet with the usual fresh baked bread, humus, cheese, store-bought fruits (bananas, pears, oranges), home-made apple sauce, and lots of chickpeas and red kidney beans.

Ugh.  I overly enjoy healthy food.

So, if you are interested in coming with me this summer, let me know.  And if you have recommendations on other markets, things to try, recipes, et cetera, leave a comment.  I hope you guys can attend a local farmers’ market this summer.  It’s a sure way to get organic and local foods.

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As I talked about in my last post, parties with my extended family usually don’t go well.  They either end with me being made fun of, me being ganged up on and then made fun of, or me falling in the mud.  Yesterday, all three occurred.

There wasn’t any making fun of my nerdiness, oh no.  They had something far more fun to tease at–my being a vegetarian.  When my aunt, who’s in the medical field, mind you, heard about me becoming a vegetarian for the health benefits, her only response was, “But, like, eating that healthy food all the time just isn’t good for you!”

She was being completely serious.  Later, she harassed me about my tofurkey, being a hippy for animals, and other related topics dealing with being a vegetarian.  This, of course, lead to her three children to also harass me.  And, you see, I can deal with her.  She’s just a 47 year-old with low self-esteem.  What I cannot deal with are her children making the same claims toward me.  My cousin, who is ten, has it in her mind that I’m the most boring, loser person in the world.

For instance, I sat in an arm chair and read some pages for my  psychology class.  We ended up having a conversation while I was reading, and I mentioned somewhere along the way that reading was fun when you had a good book.  This was immediately labelled as boring and loser-ish activity.  Later, when she said that she wanted to watch Twilight, and I told her to read the book before she see a movie based on the book, I was met with a scoff and a reply that I was a loser.

Hey now, I wasn’t the one who said that I wanted to see the new Twilight movie, ma’am.

And my tofurkey and eating the healthier menu options?  Of course, an echo of her mother’s statements.  Later, when I asked her what her dream job was, and she mirrored the question to me, I told her straight up: I’m working to be a psychologist and do counselling, but I would love to have a Travel Channel show where I go around the world and eat new foods and see cool cultures.  She said that was “stupid”.  I told her three good reasons why it was not: 1) You get to see the world for free; 2) You get neat new dishes for free; 3) You get to be on television.  She tried to challenge my statement: 1) Why would you want to leave America? 2) That food is gross; 3) They probably won’t like you.

Hmm.  Why would I want to leave American?  Because I want to experience the rest of the world, see what it has to offer, see different ways of life.  I want to get out of the suburbs, walk around 400 year-old streets, and meet people with completely different world views so that I can not only better myself culturally, but also understand the world around me.  Yes, not all food tastes good, but I tend to think that most of it does.  I’m not a picky eater like her (unless you count the whole meat aspect, now).  And, the last one was her failed attempt to get three.  People won’t like you.  Well, for starters, not everyone likes me.  I fully acknowledge that, and it does not bother me (it bothers her).  But, because I am an open minded person and because I make a solid attempt to understand other cultures, I’m pretty sure that most people would like me.  Besides, I’d even use the language when shopping or ordering food.  And, let me tell you, that made my trip to Germany so much easier.

I won the conversation, but she didn’t know it.  Nobody around did.  to them, their still closed mind means that they won.  To me, remaining open minded meant that I won.  Everything is a matter of perspective, I know.  It’s just that I’m thinking mine is right for the time being.

It simply infuriates me, though, that there are people like them who, if you don’t fit into their perfect, suburban, television drained world, then you are a loser.  It’s even more infuriating when the girl who calls you a loser, is actually the loser.  She hasn’t any friends.  She hasn’t any other hobbies than sitting in front of a television.  She just shoves her void of self onto other people, too, claiming that they are incorrect.  Don’t push your lack of self-esteem on me; it won’t work.  I’m smarter than that.  I’m more successful than that.

And, of course, the day ended with slipping in the mud and practically destroying ever piece of clothing that I was wearing.  I borrowed some of my grandmother’s clothes (whaddup Missi in thirty years?) and immediately drove home to wash the cakes of mud off both my clothes and myself.

But, I know that I shouldn’t complain about Thanksgiving, that was just a well needed rant.  Otherwise, things went well.  I got to see some family that I hadn’t seen in a while, was able to talk with my grandparents, and I was even able to read a few pages of psychology (though I’m still terribly behind).  That’s how it went, though.  I’ll tell you if anything changes for Christmas.

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It’s Tuesday, and I’m missing Kirksville.  My mum stresses me beyond all reason, and my waterbed is no longer as comfortable as it used to be.  My dorm bed has spoiled me, which is an odd statement to make.  Usually, people complain about those things…

Meanwhile, I finally got a car–my step-dad’s old Explorer.  It’s not much, but it will get me from point A to B, it has working heating, and the CD player is… well, there.  It’s not the best, trust me, but I’m still pretty happy with it.  The only downside was that it took a little time at the Licensing bureau to get all of the paper work ready.  And after that, I just renewed my license.  Ha Cha Cha–and it was a much better picture than last time.

Aside from my daily drivels, I’ve been cutting more and more meat out of my diet lately, and now I’m down to about one serving of meat per week.  It’s much healthier for you to cut down on meat, which is why I’m doing it (none of that obsessive PETA crap).  I’ll most likely be a vegetarian at the start of the new year.  That will give me a lovely goal for 2010.  I’m sure I’ll do fine keeping it up, especially with Aaron encouraging me; he’s already a vegetarian and often informs me that I might as well become one.

The cool thing with cutting down on meat, though, is that I’ve actually lost weight.  I lost six pounds (which really isn’t all that much), but I did lose two inches around my waist and went down a full dress size.  So, after getting home, I had to stop by the mall to get new jeans.  Size eleven definitely feels nice.  Plus, I actually treated myself to some Levi’s skinny jeans instead of Walmart’s sorry excuse for trousers.  So, much to Rebecca’s liking, I now have fitting jeans.

And pause.

Why would Rebecca care if I bought new jeans?  Well, it wasn’t the new jeans part, but she’s been trying to get me to buy Levi’s for the past three months now.  They’re good quality; I won’t deny that.  It’s just that, when I had looked at the Levi’s store a year ago, they didn’t have any skinny jeans above a size nine, and nothing in talls.  Being the five foot nine giant that I am, I was in serious need of thirteen talls.  But, now, not only do they have all sizes in skinny jeans and in talls, but I could buy the elevens.  Awesome time, seriously.

Anyway, time for dinner, even though it seems to early at 17.17; I like that time.  My mum made spinach lasagne for me, which is nice.  I’m honestly surprised that she has become receptive of my attempts at limiting meat.  That, or she just feels bad that I had to eat a chicken sandwich yesterday and it upset my stomach since it was too much meat.

Either way, I’m happy.  Let’s just wait and see how Thanksgiving goes, though.  After all–it is the holiday that’s celebrated with turkey…

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard the title Skinny Bitch thrown around once or twice.  Granted, you may not know what Skinny Bitch pertains to, but you’ve most likely heard of it nonetheless.

Skinny Bitch is a health book by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, two former Ford fashion models who have helped counsel models, athletes, and actors using their method of weight loss.  The book stresses that health leads to weight loss and not the other way around, and gives a smart-mouthed approach to getting in shape.  The back cover of the book basically sums it up:

“Stop being a moron and start getting skinny!  If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shovelling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight.  Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin are your new smart-mouthed girlfriends who won’t mince words and will finally tell you the truth about what you’re feeding yourself.  And they’ll guide you on making intelligent and educated decisions about food.  They may be bitches, but they are skinny bitches.  And you’ll be one too–after you get with the program and start eating right.”

I first heard about the book around a year ago and immediately bought it.  Unlike dieting books or fad eating habits, it actually pertained to vegetarianism and veganism because of health related issues rather than the usual “don’t eat meat–you kill animals” argument that I kept hearing.  It also had strong arguments for eating organic materials and really thinking about what you were eating and how those chemicals are going to affect you later.

So, I ended up reading the book over the winter and spring, and I must say that it honestly did change my eating habits.   It was direct about eating meat and its consequences, and it encouraged me to start eating only three or so servings of meat per week (a more healthy level when compared to my former three servings per day).  I also enjoyed that it was more about health in choosing to be vegan rather than just the Peta crap.

Though it ended up having a full chapter about animal cruelty while advocating veganism, it was interesting to point out the health concerns associated with animal cruelty.  When animals get scared, they produce more hormones, and upon hearing other animals dying in line, these hormones sky-rocket immediately before slaughter.  These hormones are still in the animals after death, and we end up eating them.  It’s one of the reasons that animal meat can make your heart-rate increase (not to mention the animal fats).

Another interesting thing pointed out was that high levels of protein are actually really bad for you (take that, Atkins).  Americans and Europeans eat several servings of meat per day.  In comparison, the rest of the world usually limits its meat intake to three times per week.  This is much healthier for your body since it decreases the amount of urea in your body.  The big thing about urea is that, when you eat large levels of protein, your body’s digestive process produces nitrogen waste in the form of urea.  Urea itself must be removed the from the body immediately, as it’s toxic.  So, have problems peeing to much?  Maybe you should lay off the meat.  It’s flooding your body with urea, and your body needs to use the restroom because of it.

Skinny Bitch also highlighted statistics of health when comparing meat eaters to vegetarians, how our bodies are not meant to digest meat, and how the government basically doesn’t give a shit about what’s in your food.  It stresses taking eating into your own hands, which we should anyway but rarely do.

Generally, if you are at all interested in losing weight, getting healthy, vegetarianism, veganism, or learning to filter your food, I highly recommend this book.  Just be prepared for some strong language and getting yelled at constantly by the authors.

Hopefully you’ll find this book interesting; I certainly have.  Enjoy.

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After typing my 1200 plus word blog, I cleared my mind by eating lunch.  I wasn’t all that hungry, and maybe it’s because my mind was too busy, but I set out to eat something before the cafeteria shut down until dinner.

While there, I ate beef strogonof and an array of vegetables, and I have to admit that the beef was terrible.  Or, at least, it was in my opinion.  I really haven’t been eating much meat lately, and my friend is encouraging me to become vegetarian since I’m only eating about one or two pieces of meat per week anyway.  I’ve been putting thought into what he said lately, and I know that it really wouldn’t be that difficult to become a vegetarian.  Besides, I’ve stopped drinking milk for soy milk, I already refuse to wear leather, and I’m really not that big of a fan of meat anyway.

Plus, meat is really difficult for your body to digest, which can lead to intestinal problems (thank you Skinny Bitch for that information).  Not to mention there are a lot of antibiotics pumped into meats that mess with your immune system.  And while there’s the worry about pesticides in vegetables, you can buy organic at the local farmers market.  If you’re worried the label “organic” is false, buy from the Amish woman rather than the man wearing a ripped t-shirt.  It doesn’t work every time, but it makes me feel a little bit better about what I’m eating and who I’m funding.

Aside from that, the Amish woman was nicer and gave me five tomatoes for a dollar–not half bad.

Anyway, as I sat at an empty table, eating the beef as quickly as possible in order to get to the good parts of the meal (i.e. the noodles, peas, green beans, and onions), a girl asked if she could sit next to me.  Of course I said yes; I enjoy meeting new people since you never know what they’ll be like.  She was easy to talk to, and we ended up finding that we both loved Muse.  After a long conversation, I felt that I had made a new friend, which was fairly exciting.

And, the reason I bring this up is because I was surprised by it.  I’ve lived here for a month, and I’m still meeting new people.  With that, I’m still gaining new friends.  It just goes to prove that people you can appreciate can be around you all the time, but sometimes, you have to open your eyes to see them.  And, meeting someone new may seem trivial, but who’s to say that trivial encounter won’t yield a friendship or at least aquaintance?  Life is funny, and you never know how things are going to work out.  Just remember that, as much as life is a raft ride down a river, sometimes you have to take the initiative to get yourself into a new river if it looks better.  It may be as trivial as pushing your hand across a rock, but who’s to say that it won’t lead you to a greater ride?

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