rocket ship go!

May 9, 2008

being better

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 3:27 pm
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The air is clear and warm, the trees outside my window are tremendously, almost surrealistically green: it’s spring, and a testament to that is the transition from eating heavy foods to more nutritious, vitamin-filled ones. I’ve noticed different bloggers doing this, which is pretty cool, but for the most part I thought, “Meh, everything in moderation.” Right? I can stick to my carbolicious, refined-flour-and-sugar kick that I’ve been on lately, just so long as I don’t overdo it. Cuz high fructose corn syrup and white flour are low in fat, ya know?

Well I suck at moderation. I’ve been gorging on soooo much sugar lately (mostly in the form of granola and other processed crap) and consuming little to zero protein and iron. I haven’t been eating actual meals off a plate either, but just sampling a little bit of everything until I don’t want to eat anymore. This style of eating definitely results in more prepackaged nastiness rather than wholesome foods. So yesterday, after an excess of pumpkin-flaxseed-granola (mmmm) and frozen cinnamon rolls, I decided to take a bike ride. But about halfway down my street I started feeling really gross, like the food I had eaten was rising up in my throat. I pulled to the side of the road, leaned over the frame of my bike, and really thought I was going to spew. I didn’t, but I rode back home and laid in bed for a while and thought about things.

So it’s time for me to jump back on the healthy train. I was all about that kind of thing last summer, when I did a lot of raw foods stuff. However, I have come to believe that eating 100% raw foods relies too heavily on non-local foods from completely different continents and that it is classist, because you can’t stick to it unless you have a crapton of money to spend. I know I wanna eat better and be better, though. General guidelines:

  • A lot less wheat/gluten- This is hard because I love baking, but I’ll try to quickly give the food away?
  • Less sugar, no HFCS
  • More healthy fats- I went through a phase, that I’ve seen other teens do, of total fat-phobia. I thought it was healthy and “slimming” to eat starchy, low-fat foods all the time and to try and completely exclude fat. That always left me hungry, though, and I thought since what I ate was low-fat it was cool to just eat more and more. Now I believe there is such a thing as “good fat” (I didn’t feel that way two years ago) like nuts, nut butters, and extra virgin olive oil, that satisfies you and nourishes you.
  • Lots of rooibos teawhich I already love.
  • More fresh vegetables (especially raw)
  • More protein (beans, tofu, tempeh) and whole foods in general

When I woke up at noon today I made some creamy sesame rice: brown rice, 2 t. tahini, roasted garlic and onions (which came out of the oven smoky and sweet and so much better than I remembered), a few drops of toasted sesame oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. It turned out really really good (no pic though), and I think a big batch of it would be great for a potluck or as a side dish at a dinner with friends. Since I boiled the rice and roasted the veggies last night, it came together really quick. I also had an orange, and some tea sweetened with turbinado sugar (that I jacked from the cafeteria before leaving school). It was nice.

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April 20, 2008

me? tagged?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 4:24 pm
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Sorry for the whole not-posting-in-forever thing. I have made things, it’s true: cupcakes, muffins, even an amaaaazing cheezecake (which was absolutely my favorite food pre-vegan, so the fact that I enjoyed it means it kicks tofutti). But I have been busy lately, mostly trying to read actual printed books as opposed to blogs (and regular books, not cookbooks). Have you read Off the Map? You really should; it will make you think and make you happy. How many books do that at once? If you know of any, you should recommend.

In being all busy and such, I forgot to check my blog, thinking that no one would visit because of no new postage. Apparently I was wrong, because one of the several hits I got was from Liz of kamutflake girl, who tagged me to share 5 random things about myself with my “readers.” (BAHAHAHAHA like those even exist)

But that’s far too vague a question! I couldn’t stand those first few days in middle school and high school, when your teacher would give you all those forms to fill out about yourself, monotonously listing your birthday and address, for every teacher. And one of them would be personal enough to ask you to tell him a few things about yourself, but I always had no idea what to say. I am too complex a person to be able to draw out of my depths the 5 most interesting points of my life, that I would most definitely care to have others know about me, on the spot. My head doesn’t work that way: my essence flows, it isn’t extracted and distilled like vanilla! So with me, you get some boring parts for sure, some repeats, but the beauty is steeped in there too, murky and milky with the rest of the it. You know?

That used to mildly stress me out, but whatev’s. Five things, as they come to me:

  • There a greenway near my school, and it’s rather green and lush, with the exception of all the middle-aged business people and their kids, in gym shorts and t-shirts. But running beside the span of this greenway is a creek, and by the creek is this official looking metal sign that says, “AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT: BIOLOGICAL HAZARD” and lists stuff that it’s contaminated with, like septic waste. So no swimming in that river. Yes, there is a nuclear power plant (supposedly where the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was made??) a few miles from my school. No, I do not have cancer (yet).
  • Speaking of school, I’m studying abroad next semester in Guayaquil, Ecuador! I’ve always wanted to travel in Latin America, but Ecuador wouldn’t have been my first pick: I would have chosen Nicaragua or Guatemala, which have more prominent revolutionary histories. But the program that I’ll be enrolled in is focused on social justice, and I’ve heard that Ecuador has one of the most revolutionary histories of all the countries in South America. Obviously, I have a lot of learning to do.
  • I don’t shave my legs or my armpits, and I’m proud. It took a few shy (winter) months of hiding my legs from my boyfriend and wearing pants and long skirts, but I rock the shorts these days, because a month or two ago I was just like, “Know what? I love me!” I had said that kind of thing to myself before, but never meant it so strongly. And my boyfriend is so down with it. Oh, and on that “I love me” day, I kind of stood in front of the mirror and pulled up my shirt, and rubbed my belly and smiled at myself. Do you think that’s weird?
  • I miss my mom’s broccoli-cheese-rice casserole so bad, and I wanna veganize it soon.
  • I was gonna live in my own apartment over the summer (woo no curfew! woo biking to everywhere I need to go!), but the girl whose lease I was gonna take gave it away to another girl. Without telling me. After she had agreed with me first to give me the lease. Lame?

I know that I’m supposed to tag 5 other people, but I’m not going to continue the tag chain-of-fools, so I hope you enjoy my random factoids.

December 1, 2007

i feel so lost!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 10:26 pm
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Wait, what? It’s not November anymore? No more Vegan MoFo?! I don’t know what to do with myself! I’ve basically chronicled my first month of veganism through daily (or near-daily) posting on this blog, and now, with absolutley no to-do whatsoever, it’s over. I feel sad, like after an amazing concert is over, or the feeling that you get when you’ve spent the weekend in an awesome city, but it’s Sunday morning, and you have to go back to your real life. Of course, I’ll continue on with veganism and using this blog as a creative outlet… But what about goodbye, Vegan MoFo?

November 12, 2007

what goes in, comes around

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 7:46 pm
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There are some definite intricacies to veganism, like if the sugar you used has been filtered with charred bones. And whether or not your clothes are made of wool (forgot about that one, but I bought my peacoat pregan!). Or if that B12 in your cereal came from an animal or not. Some vegans care about these intricacies, some do not. And that’s okay. I think it depends on whatever mood I’m in, whether or not I want to be virtuous and meticulous today or laid-back and lazy. At the moment, I’m feeling responsible. My dad says I’m one of the most disciplined people he knows, but I don’t really see myself that way. I like to indulge! But I guess I can also be a little bit of a purist, too.

Today I was calling up Kashi, inquiring as to whether certain ingredients in their instant oatmeal (evaporated cane juice, natural flavors, vitamin B12) are vegan. Thankfully, they are, so I can have my instant oatmeal gratification in my room, only made easier by the electric water boiling kettle I got for my birthday. But know what’s neat? The operator that I was speaking to, in her thick, indiscernible accent, told me she’d send me a whole bunch of coupons, just because I decided to call in and bug her. There are rewards for being picky and obsessive!

Actually, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being concerned about what you’re putting in your body. Some people imagine that it’s a total hassle to read ingredient labels, and to actually understand what those ingredients are. If they would rather walk around eating Twinkies and Doritos, that’s really their choice. I do enjoy sweets as much as the next person (or more…), but there are so many additives and artificial ingredients in most commercially prepared food that it’s like chewing on plastic. Something about that just doesn’t sit well with me. For a while now, I’ve held the belief that what you put into your body directly affects your appearance and overall well-being. For instance, it really seems to me like people who consume more soda have worse acne, so they take pills to try to make it go away. Why not try and change your lifestyle?

I can’t preach, though. Although I do strive to buy organic food when I grocery-shop, the majority of what I consume (i.e. cafeteria food) is not organic. I would like to change that, but I can only do so much at a time. As long as I’m trying, I’m moving in the right direction.

November 8, 2007

in our salad days…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 9:07 pm
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Blinded by cauliflower! I love cauliflower.

Today has been a definite salad day, very chill and laid back, not much effort put into things. Ermm, actually… what does “salad days” mean? I’ve never actually looked it up before now; I’ve only heard it used a couple of times, and I get totally mixed meanings from the contexts that they’re in. Crazy? Youthful? Fresh? Wacked out?

When in doubt, we kneel at the feet of the master, Wikipedia.

Wikipedia say:
“Salad days” is an idiomatic expression, referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person.

It also says that the first person to come up with this phrase was… Shakespeare?! In 1606? I didn’t know people in Renaissance-era England ate salads, or called them that, for that matter. I thought they ate roast beef and potatoes all the time. (Ewww…)I hope I’m in my salad days right now. I want to be inexperienced, enthusiastic, idealistic, innocent, and, yes, indiscrete. Yes, I want to see the world with wide, enthusiastic eyes…

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