To Vegan or not to Vegan?

19 Feb

For the past few days, I’ve honestly been considering trying to switch to veganism, both for heath reasons (Dairy seems to affect my skin and my voice) and for ethical reasons.

I came down with some sort of oral infection a few days ago, which has made it difficult to eat any solid food– I’ve been sticking mostly to ice cream and yogurt, so I guess this will be my last dairy-extravaganza (not to mention I ate the rest of a huge bag of Valentines M&M’s, yum)

I really need to start eating better — I haven’t gained any weight, but I haven’t been feeling great. Tired and cranky, plus my skin has gone nuts. Hopefully I’ll start using this to catalog what I eat/how I feel when I’m eating it to find out the triggers that cause me to eat junk food!


Goodbye, old friends!


A New Experiment

16 Feb

For the past month or so, I’ve been so fixated on everything I CAN’T do.

Every few days I try to start fresh, try to start doing everything perfectly…

but that always fails. No matter how many times you hear the old addage, “nobody’s perfect,” sometimes it’s hard to remember that when you see everyone else around you suceeding at keeping everything together while inside, you’re struggling.

So instead of trying to do everything and be everything, I’m going to try to do only two things:

1. Take care of my responsibilities (when I don’t do this, I feel guilty, which makes me less likely to do what I need to do — vicious cycle)


2. Do things I love and/or start finding enjoyment in everyday things. Life can be wonderful for the smallest of reasons, but if you aren’t open to recognizing it, then it has the tendency to pass you right by.

Hopefully it works! I’ll try to post more often, but things are getting really hectic as the first round of midterm exams close in. Wish me luck!

Starting Fresh?

31 Jan

It’s been awhile since my last post– starting up the new school semester was way more stressful than I imagined it would be.

With all of my responsibilities piling up, I’ve really been taking awful care of myself — eating when I’m not hungry, choosing the wrong foods and playing around on the internet instead of doing homework! And the more I do it, the worse I end up feeling about myself and the situation I’m in.

I hope that keeping this blog will help me stay accountable.

Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer

10 Jan

I finally found my digital camera! It’s currently charging at home, but I can safely promise that this will be the last post without real pictures.

My university classes start up again next week, but until them I’m working full time at my on campus research job. I’ve been in this laboratory for over a year now and I love it — the professor in charge is dedicated to his work and very kind to his students and all of the other researchers (both undergraduate and graduate) are awesome people.

The one drawback? I do work with mice.

My PI did give me the option to opt out of the mouse research when I first started at the lab, but after weighing the pros and cons, I did decide to choose the research project he’d created for me. The research protocols we follow are humane and carefully monitored, and much of our research is geared towards finding medications to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and to find ways of making wound healing faster to lessen the pain and discomfort on surgery patients. I feel that it is a truly worthy cause.

Some people don’t understand how I can be a vegetarian and work with mice, but I tell them the truth — I do what I can to prevent my mice from suffering or experiencing any discomfort, and in return, I don’t contribute any business to the meat industry. I know it doesn’t make perfect sense, but I feel good about my decision.

Kind of a heavy post, so I’ll leave you with a happy thought:

‎”Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.” – Emerson

Meet the Family

9 Jan

Hey there. I’m posting early today because I’m heading off to work soon. Hopefully I can squeeze in a trip to the gym before I go. I love my gym, but I hate that they close early on the weekends 😦

So I decided that it was time for you to meet the family! They’re all Shiba Inus, a Japanese breed of dog kind of similar to the Akita.  Sampson and Sadie are Taz’s biological parents.

Taz. He's the baby!

Shibas on the move!

Christmas Card 2010.

From left to right: Sampson, Sadie and Taz! Taz and Sam are big little dudes — they actually have a genetic form of canine hypothyrodism, which causes them to gain weight/have low energy. Fortunately, we’ve just started them on a new round of medication, so they should be feeling ship-shape in no time!

For anyone who might actually be reading this — tell me about your fur family!

Doctor’s Note

9 Jan

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the doctor to get some stuff checked out. For the past month or so, I’ve been experiencing extreme hunger/dizziness/irritability 1-2 hours after eating a meal and I was curious to know whether it had anything to do with my new vegetarian diet.

My doctor says it sounds like I have “reactive” hypoglycemia — most people get sugar crashes four hours after eating a meal, but *special* people like me actually have hypoglycemic attacks right after eating. Her recommendation was to have a  small, high protein snack like peanut butter crackers whenever I felt the icks coming on.

On a whim, I got a hair cut this morning! It went from shoulder length to a short, super curly inverted bob (love). Is it just me, or does getting a hair cut make you feel like a new person? Feeling rather happy and optimistic about life, I decided it was time for new makeup to go with my new hair. Luckily, almost everything in the cosmetics section of my local CVS was 75% off, so I got a full set of new things for under $20! Including my favorite new nailpolish shade… Gunmetal Grey by Sally Hansen.

After half a day of procrastinating, I finally went to the gym and got in my 30 minutes of cardio. I choose to do 30 minutes, seven times a week instead of longer workouts because I honestly don’t have the attention span for the longer workouts. I usually bring killer music or a great book/magazine to distract myself from the fact that no matter how fast I am run/climb/bike, I’m not actually moving anywhere!

Current read -- I'm a sucker for paranormal fiction.

I’m doing well so far on my mission to “Eat Clean” in the new year; I ate mostly fruits and veggies today, with black bean burritos for dinner. I do have chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt almost every night  — denying myself treats altogether doesn’t ever turn out well.

Not thrilled with this particular brand -- there are only about five chunks of cookie dough in the entire container!

Right now, I’m dealing with some seriously strange cravings — in particular, a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich. I used to eat these all the time as a kid, being the picky eater that I was, but I haven’t thought about them in years!

I’m gearing up to do Shoulders and Arms, the third day of my p90x workout. I actually love this particular workout, but I hate that it’s paired with the Ab Ripper X or whatever it’s called — I didn’t know the true definition of pain until I experienced that 15-minute hell session.

Have a good night!

Filling Up

6 Jan

I work in the afternoons and lately I’ve been getting so hungry during my work shift that I can’t think about anything else! Instead of my usual carbohydrate/protein mix for lunch, today I thought I would try a huge serving of vegetables to see if that makes a difference. Lucky for me, after a bit of searching, I came across Tina’s post about this awesome Cooking Light recipe for Honey Roasted Root Vegetables. Now, I will eat honey on just about everything…

Photo Cred: The Daily Green

But I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on the parsnip. In fact, I had to Google parsnip before I went to the store. I was expecting a vaguely round vegetable of generous proportions, but much to my surprise discovered that a parsnip appears to be nothing more than an anemic carrot.

Credit: The Daily Gardener

I included everything except the turnip — I know from experience that my kitchen knives are far too dull to cut through one of those bad boys. I seriously recommend giving this recipe a whirl; it tastes more like a savoury dessert than vegetables! It’s probably a blessing in disguise that my camera is out of commission, because mine didn’t come out looking nearly as good as hers do! Despite a few charred edges here and there, they tasted wonderful.

While I prepared the veg, I munched on second breakfast: a cup of dry quaker oat squares (milk and I are not friends) and some honeydew melon. I had just enough time to shower, change and yank everything out of the oven in time for work. I also packed a sliced green pepper and the world’s greatest hummus:

Photo Credit: Chicago Examiner Online

My favorite white bean hummus flavor is the basil, which tastes EXACTLY like pesto. Now, as an Italian girl, my greatest dream has always been to dip everything I can into a jar of pesto, but I’ve been told this would be slightly unhealthy. This amazing hummus is the next best thing!