Monday Mindspacing Vol. 132

1) I watch way too much tv. The fact that I have what feels like billions of shows drives me batty. I can't add another one until I drop at least one. Maybe 2 or 3.*
2) I've started a list of food-related things I want to do. Some are big, some small, all awesome!
3) When we hit 6 months of marriage, I told Rashan every time he gave me a kiss, he had to give me at least 6. Then 7 kisses for 7 months. (I know. We're disgustingly in love.) Now that we're heading into 8 months (on Thursday!), neither of us knows how this ends... or even transitions to something else. Like at 9 months, do we just do a kiss for every 3 months? At a year for every quarter? #newlywedproblems LOL
4) "Walking Dead" is Ambien for Rashan. (The show does nothing for me.) Every time he watches, he gets instantly sleepy. This also happens when he watches true crime shows. What a psycho.
5) I love watching the Oscars! It's a great excuse to get all fancy! :) I'd show you a picture but blogger hasn't let me upload anything in weeks. Next year we'll be hosting our own party. It shall be marvelous!
6) I tasted star fruit for the first time last night. It was fine. Not bad, not good. I had meatless meatballs, too. Never ever again. I was right when I said I don't believe in stuff like that. Completely right.
7) I'm addicted to running. I think about it all the time. Addicted is maybe the wrong word seeing as I can control myself and manage to run no more than two days in a row... but I love running! I'm doing 7 miles for the first time on Tuesday!! But also thinking of waiting until Wednesday so I can run on Leap Day. I have a strange fascination with Leap Day.
8) Maya Rudolph is funnier to me every time I see her! I love that woman!!
9) I didn't write any goals this month... or get enough accomplished... Back with a vengeance in March!
10) Yo son! The conference room scene on "The Office" last week? One of the BEST scenes in the entire world! HILARIOUS!!! Dot dot dot dot DOT. Tell me you saw it!!!!
11) No grown man should wear boot cut pants or pants with pleats. There is your fashion tip for the day.
12) Last week on twitter I was talking about the snobby palate I had as a child. I hate canned tomato soup. I think it is one of the most disgusting things known to man. I haven't even tried it since I was a 8 or something. Back when I hated all non-ketchup, non-pasta-related tomatoes. I'm going to try to make some fresh tomato soup one of these days and see if I finally like it. I love gazpacho with fresh tomatoes. Let's see how tomato soup fares.
13) "The Sandwich King" is better in season 2. He's more comfortable. But the SET. It makes a huge difference. I know you were wondering. You're welcome. (Let's also hope fewer of his sandwiches take LITERALLY hours. I wish I didn't mean literally. But I do. Made the first season unwatchable.)

*You're more assured of number one after reading this, aren't you? You should be. I justify my food shows by cooking... and writing a syllabus for a food writing class. TYVM.


Movies 2012: Weeks 2-5

I realized I've documented every film I've watched for more than 3 years. More than 1250 films. I calculated. GOOD GRIEF!! No wonder I'm tired!!! So that's where these movie posts have been. I've still been keeping track but even that extra step of posting them has worn me out! I'll be catching up over the next few Sundays. Thanks for reading and commenting! I do so love our conversations about film!

Week 2: January 8-14, 2012
9) Freakonomics. A documentary of vignettes by famous directors based on a best-selling economics/causality book explaining elements of culture including crime, parenting and cheating. It blew my mind in the first 3 minutes with the most basic concept explained- real estate agent incentives. The second segment made me uncomfortable as it was about names, more specifically, black names. Side eye. Overall, I enjoyed that this film took basic concepts and made them even more basic. You got to see an economist showing his work in a way that could make sense for even the most economically-challenged person. I speak from experience. Have I ever told you economics was one of two classes I ever struggled in? I excelled in AP English I & II, History, Statistics (not Physics) but I couldn't get basic, entry level economic concepts to make sense. This was film was also helped along by a multitude of likable people. There have been complaints that no concept was fully explained. How much could really be explained in six separate stories in one movie? Would you watch a movie that strove to fully explain economics? I wouldn't. 4.4 stars
10) Leon: The Professional. A little girl takes lessons from her friendly neighborhood hitman after a drug lord wipes out her family. Amazing film (editing, directing, cinematography) that would have been even better without the hypersexualization of a pre-teen Natalie Portman. The characters really came alive. 4 stars
11) Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Werner Herzog does another beautifully shot but meandering documentary. This time about the stunning and truly riveting Chavet's Cave in France. Discovered in 1994, the caves were immediately sealed from the public and have only been seen by scientists and artists who will verify their worth. The paintings look fresh but have been carbon dated to 32,000 years old. WHAT!?! SO amazing. But 14 minutes in I couldn't figure out why this film was 90 minutes. The cave was amazing, I liked hearing from people who've studied there for years but at the end, I still didn't know why the film was so long. 2.4 stars
12) Rise of the Planet of the Apes. James Franco and Frieda Pinto star in this prequel to Planet of the Apes. Set in modern San Francisco, testing on apes turns into a revolt against humans. Most of the CGI is very good but I wonder what we'll think in 20 years. Can you imagine how awesome it will be then?? Good plot for the most part. Some things invoked my skepticism but not enough to make this film unwatchable. 3.9 stars

Week 3: January 15-21
13) Animal Kingdom. An Australian thriller about a teenager caught between his criminal family and the police. There were so many awesome and unexpected turns in this film that you couldn't ever completely get a handle on what was going to happen. So cool. A great watch. 4.3 stars
14) The First Grader. An 84-year-old Kenyan man who fought for the country's freedom faces stiff opposition when he tries to enroll in primary school. This film based on a true story was really cute at some points and infuriating or annoying in others. I wonder how much was lost in translation and what are the details of the actual story. 3.6 stars
15) The Ides of March. Ryan Gosling stars as the staffer on a presidential campaign who finds himself cleaning up a massive mess by the candidate (George Clooney) and almost simultaneously double-crossed. The mess was were things really started to get interesting. They unraveled so quickly that I was reeling at the end and wondering why it was the end. My goodness! Rashan and I both really enjoyed it. 4 stars

Week 4: January 22-28
16) 50/50. Joseph Gordon Levitt stars as a 27-year-old diagnosed with a rare cancer, his treatment and his best friend (Jonah Hill). An emotional roller coaster. Extremely funny, really sad but well-written, well-acted and well-directed. A truly enjoyable film. 4.4 stars
17) Another Happy Day. Ellen Barkin is a divorcée on the outs when she attends her estranged son's wedding. Demi Moore plays the groom's tarty step mom. A ton of tension created was squandered in the conclusion. Essentially the film had a plot but didn't capitalize on it. 2.5 stars
18) Our Family Wedding. Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia find themselves at odds when their children announce their engagement. As they plan a quick wedding, all sorts of things go wrong. Cute enough, predictable film with America Ferrera as the bride. 3.4 stars
19) Dive!: Living Off America's Waste. A documentary centered around man feeding his family well from dumpster diving. It was pretty repetitive even in the first 10 minutes. Like the first time I read about dumpster diving as a kid, it did make me want to go find some free fancy stuff. (But I'm squeamish.) It was only 52 minutes but I still wanted it to be shorter. 27? 20? I got the gist of the story quite early. What was the point of having shots of "starving" African and Haitian children and Haitian mud cakes? That's not even really the point of this particular story. Way, WAY too many stereotypical black and minority faces of poverty. Terrible. There were also waaaaaay too many stats. From reading the reviews, I see a lot of people learned there are poor, hungry children in America. (Seriously.) So I guess the film did some good. I just wonder when we'll reach our saturation point with food documentaries telling us the same thing. 2.4 stars
20) Hell and Back Again. This 2012 Academy Award nominee for best documentary follows the readjustment period for a wounded Marine who finds himself lost and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he's back in the states. Difficult to watch, the director and editor skillfully weaves the Marine's time in Afghanistan with his time in recovery and the effect of those disparate and interconnected experiences on him and his wife. He was a frustrating, sympathetic and irritating character in one, not terribly likable though still watchable. It did confirm my feelings about war in general as an unnecessary evil that ruins lives but that was not new. 3.7 stars

Week 5: January 29- February 4, 2012
21) Crisis. Cary Grant stars as a surgeon forced to operate on a dictator's brain tumor during a brewing uprising. The film started off decently then got quite sloppy and completely and irrevocably deteriorated in Act III. If you, like myself, are a Cary Grant fan, maybe you should watch it. Otherwise, you're not missing much. 2.9 stars


I'm A Smoker

I'm not really a smoker but apparently I play one in my home. Remember when I first moved into this apartment a year and a half ago and constantly complained about the smell of smoke? SOMEBODY (I really don't even remember for certain who it was) acted like it was no big deal. So I never really talked about it again. But today I'm going to reclaim my blog to talk about whatever the HECK I want. Yeah. I said HECK.

I walked out of our bedroom this morning and was slapped in the face with the smell of SOMEONE ELSE'S SMOKE. Can you imagine what it's like to have your HOME to smell through no fault of your own??? I HAAAAATE cigarettes. I will tolerate people who smoke just about anything else (minus crack) but cigarettes??? Hate 'em. I live in an former single-family home comprised of three apartments. We all have separate entrances and share no facilities. But we share walls. When I first moved in, I discovered BOTH of my immediate neighbors are smokers. I discovered this at the same time I discovered different brands of cigarettes have different scents. Something I never wanted to know... Anyway a few months ago, one of the neighbors moved out. Woohoo! Can we please get a non-smoking neighbor????

HAHAHAHAHA!! This is the city that RJ Reynolds built. It is called Winston-Salem after TWO BRANDS OF CIGARETTES.


So if you haven't guessed, new neighbors smoke, too. Wonderful. And it smells like a third brand. There are many nuisances to living next to these people. The greatest nuisance is obviously the smell. There are days when the scent is so fresh that it smells like someone is smoking a cigarette in my living room. I'm not kidding. I WISH I WAS KIDDING. We have to leave the windows open all year long. It's wonderful that utilities are included because our energy bill would be sky high. The smell of cigarettes lingers. Apparently for all eternity when there are constant refreshers to the odor. I don't really notice it on my clothing until I go somewhere cigarette-free for a few days. I always sniff around when I leave like what is that smell??? It's ME!!! All of my clothes have eau de cigarette. It doesn't smell like I smoke per se. It just smells like I live with someone who smokes in the house. WHY DON'T I JUST START SMOKING??? At least then it will be my own fault! And returning home after the windows have been closed for several days??? DISGUSTING!!!! I hate this place. Right now I have both windows and the front door open trying to air it out. I look forward to the day God delivers us from this den of iniquity. I know it's coming.


Safe! And Stream of Consciousness...

We made it through Valentine's Day just fine! And it was even better because we had some free Krispy Kreme via his job. What what?! In case you forgot, Dunkin Donuts, bad. Krispy Kreme, AWESOME!! To live in the birthplace of the best doughnuts, there are surprisingly (and disappointingly) few KKs here.

Do two doughnuts the night before a run count toward carb loading? Because they should. And if they do, then I'm ready to run 6 miles later today! Woohoo! I need some LMFAO on my running playlist! Crunk music gets me moving! Team Jameil have a great run!!

Did you see Lady Gaga's face mesh at the Grammy's Sunday? I LOVED IT! I want some. It's not that far from veils on a hat and we all know I love me some veils! So I'm definitely gonna need some face mesh for the Oscar party I better be invited to next month.

I went to a documentary lecture yesterday and it was such a breath of fresh air. MAN I need to be using my brain more. I'm so bored at home. Reading, cooking and watching movies isn't enough for me.

On Demand has some of the most horrible Black History Month programming I have ever seen in my life. Since when does being black automatically qualify you as a black history moment? Raunchy comedy show performances? Black chefs cooking? BHM fail, On Demand. Please go back and research the intent behind the month. UPLIFT and AWARENESS of our contributions to society.

Did you see Mariah Carey on the BET Honors? I LOVE HER!! She is theeeee best! I sure do listen to her Christmas music out of season. And so what? LOL

I was supposed to make Valentine's day cards from scratch this year. Oops. Didn't quite make it.

Why am I awake all night again? Tyler no likey.


A Season of Loss

I will never meet my father-in-law. Ricky died of a drug overdose in 1995. 13 years before I would meet his son. The man who became my husband. But Ricky's February 14th birth is the reason Rashan and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day in February. I love all holidays. Real and imaginary. But it's the one day of the year that most reminds him of his father. I tried to force it for a couple of years until Rashan blogged about it. I felt awful. So last year we moved the day. And for the first time in years, Rashan was fine on Valentine's Day.

But this year... this year Whitney Houston died. After years of a very public battle with drugs. We both get this very stricken look when people die after struggling with addiction. I'm pained in part because I know it pains him. But also because the last two very public deaths hit me so hard in my limited musical adoration. I used to consider myself a person who loved music until I met people who REALLY loved music-- namely Rashan and my BFF Stace. Those two can wax poetically about music and producers and influence until long after my eyes glaze (which admittedly usually happens in the first 5 minutes). I never know anyone they're talking about it and really don't care. I can sit in complete silence for hours and feel perfectly fine. Happy even. They both need music to fill that void.

There are some notable exceptions. 112, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston & Amy Winehouse. I listen to all of those artists as my fall backs. When I'm getting ready to go out, riding in the car, relaxing, whatever. One of those 4 is likely to be in the rotation. When Amy died, I was utterly stunned. And once again disgusted by how blithely people dismissed her and her addiction. EVERYONE has the capacity for overcoming those drugs just as they can succumb, though the former is maddeningly more difficult than the latter. I never give up hope that people will find and fight their way from addiction's grip.

I rarely talk about my aunt and uncle, drug addicted for decades, who continue to hang on. Yes. Decades. Rashan said before I told him about them, he didn't know people could live that long on addiction. And even without many of the health problems that plague the rest of their siblings. We didn't think about Whitney. I don't talk about my aunt and uncle because most of the time I try not to think about them. The fact that they've thrown their lives away behind addiction. That they have children who cannot or will not talk to them. That they have grandchildren who at this rate will never know them even though they are still technically alive. Stranger still is the fact that we know where they are. Living in squalor in the house where they grew up. When Rashan and I went to Rowland, we drove past the house that I hadn't seen in well over a decade and didn't even recognize. My dad told me to stop by and say hello. I couldn't. I was scared of what I would find and who I would find. My aunt comes around every few years but I haven't seen my uncle in over a decade. I also couldn't see them because Rashan couldn't see them. Couldn't see another reminder of drug abuse. And I certainly couldn't face them alone.

At Amy's death, I fell back on my mom's favorite words for these types of situations, "What a waste." WHAT A WASTE!!! That beautiful, BEAUTIFUL voice forever silenced. I tried to begin the healing by playing Back to Black. Hands down one of my favorite albums. I listened and sang along to every track. I even threw a little Frank in there. But I had to stop because it was making Rashan sad. It made me sad to end the tribute. But I can't imagine his pain so I do my best not to exacerbate it.

My heart filled with dread yesterday as I read reputable news outlets confirming Whitney's death. Why????  Such a waste! I thought of Bobby and Bobbi and Cissy. Now another father, daughter and mother have to experience the pain of that loss. The pain of what could have been and what never will be. Now that Rashan's asleep, I can't stop crying. For them, for her, for Rashan, for me, for our children. It hit me again, just like it does almost every time I think of addiction or Ricky, that our children will never know their grandfather. Rashan said, with the saddest look on his face, "Why today? Why did she have to die two days before...?" He didn't have to finish. It was already on my mind.

Ricky was also there on our wedding day. Rashan said Ricky didn't cross his mind. But he crossed mine. My dad was there and it made me a little sad that Rashan's dad wasn't. I wasn't consumed with it. But I took a moment to think about him and hope he was at peace. And hope that Rashan was okay knowing Ricky wouldn't be there. I was sad all over again that I'll never meet him. Never know him beyond stories. Even what Rashan knew of him is limited because of how early the addiction began. Ricky was a sporadic at best part of their lives by the time Rashan turned 9.

With Whitney's death, I had an immediate urge to listen to her greatest hits. My mom, sister and I used to sing along with the "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack like it was the last album on earth. We loved that thing! Remember when soundtrack releases could be more exciting than the movies? Whitney's cd of the national anthem and "America the Beautiful" were also in heavy rotation. We could listen to them over and over again. Those songs were forever transformed for me. I thought of her renditions while watching the Super Bowl last Sunday. For me with those songs, NO ONE matches Whitney! And I'd just been listening to the soundtrack of "The Preacher's Wife" thinking, "I need to watch that movie again!" I also loved Maya Rudolph's Whitney impression. Loved it! So as silly as it is, I mourned the loss of any joy in that for a while. When I saw Maya will be hosting SNL next week, the loss of Whitney hurt again.

The pall was heavy in our house with thoughts of lives ended so soon because of drugs. I was cooking dinner. Rashan was watching tv. But both of us had these dark thoughts that remained mostly unexpressed. I didn't want to add to those things weighing him down. This time with all of the memories of Whitney-filled times and songs playing on a loop in my head, I showed restraint. I didn't listen to a single Whitney song. I didn't watch endless (annoying) speculation and chatter on news channels. I even stayed away from twitter and facebook because the group grief was just too much. But now I need an outlet. I need Whitney's music. I need to remember her as the vibrant, talented woman, filled with promise who provided so many songs on the soundtrack of our lives. I DON'T WANT THIS. I don't want these feelings of hurt, sorrow, grief and loss. I don't want this fist of feelings wrapped around my heart. And the fact that it will all resurface with the next light extinguished after a battle with drugs is almost too much. But this is our life. For better or for worse. These next few days may be difficult. If you pray, pray for us.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 131

1) I like watching butter melt. I think it looks cool. Too bad I'm only using butter for baking now. Womp womp.
2) I had a FANTASTIC run yesterday! I felt magical during my four miles! I'm running 6.2 (10k) on Tuesday! I also read some things about shaking up your training that I'm excited to try out!
3) I ruined my sleep pattern again when Rashan was off two weeks ago. Oops. The 8 books I read last month are also to blame. I read several of them in one day. I was sleepy but so far in that I was like I should just read these last 100 pages. It's so good! 50 pages more isn't bad. Keep going. For shame.
4) I have at least 6 posts I need to do, several related to my 30 before 30 and other goals. -_- This is the longest blog slump I've ever had in 6.5 years of blogging. Sheesh that's a long time. My mouth dropped open after I calculated it.
5) I'm trying new produce and I really want somebody to tell me how to get into this knobby thing labeled an "African yam" at the grocery store. AND tell me how to cook it.
6) I started a free online foreign language program (Mango) via my library on Friday. Two lessons in and I'm already ready to impress the workers at my favorite produce purveyor. Estoy bien, gracias. Y tu? J/k. LOLOL I know about 2 phrases more than I knew before. (And I already knew that one.) But I understand some things I never did. I took Spanish 3-6 grades. French in 10-12th. I'm starting with Spanish, then French, Italian, Urdu (one of my good friends is Pakistani), Portuguese and Arabic.
7) I'm doing the February photo challenge but I haven't figured out where or when I'm posting them yet. I'm enjoying y'all's photos, though.
8) Some days I'm very zen about everything. Other days I'm impatient about taking over the world. Today is a zen day. Om.
9) Speaking of om. I'm terrible at yoga. I know that shouldn't be but the quietude makes me nuts. And it's so sloooow. And I'm a competitive person and have to constantly remind myself yoga is supposed to be the opposite of competition. I don't have to be able to hold the same pose as the teacher. Duh. It's a very annoying experience. And yet some of the stretches feel so great that I keep going back.
10) I don't want to be one of those people but I'm about 5 minutes from shutting facebook down. It just annoys me more than anything else most days. There are a couple of people (and my eye roll of a running group) that I'm ONLY connected to via facebook who are the sole reason I keep the account.


28 Days

A few weeks ago my running partner asked me to join a healthy eating program at WholeFoods. I did some marginal research and saw I'd learn about reading food labels and eating a plant-based diet. Sounded great to me! I'm always looking for new recipes and ideas on incorporating more vegetables into my diet. I should have done more research before I agreed. After I tell my running partner I signed up, she casually mentions it's a meatless diet. Say whaaaa??? I have no desire to give up meat. Eat less? Sure. Completely abstain from chicken, chicken stock, fish, bacon and EGGS? I'm all good on that. Come to find out, it's a rather stringent 28-day program.

Week One: No dairy, no processed foods (I take this to mean white flour/sugar)
Week Two: Same + No meat, fish, eggs
Weeks Three & Four: Same + No oils

I love cheese and milk with my cereal but it doesn't really love me so the idea of limiting my dairy intake had already been floating in my head. I also liked the idea of limiting white flour and sugar. Pork is increasingly distasteful to me so that wasn't much of a problem. The point where they COMPLETELY lost me was giving up oils. The reasoning? They're empty calories. I run 10+ miles every week. I'm pretty sure I can withstand a few extra calories. Especially if I'm eating all/mostly plants and whole grains.

One of the things my mom did all the way right was teach me to avoid diets. Her advice: Change your lifestyle rather than doing something extreme for a few weeks or months. I decided to give this plan a try anyway because I'd already said I was going to and for the other aforementioned reasons. I'm 12 days in so let's start with the positive things I've discovered:
  1. I love almond milk! I am all in for substituting it in baking (where possible), oatmeal, my rare coffee, cereal. This is one of the great joys of this process for me! It would've taken a lot for me to buy an entire carton of almond milk in case I didn't like it. Now I had an excuse. I also found I like the Harris Teeter store brand but not the Whole Foods store brand. I re-tried soy milk. Still don't like that. Sweetened oat milk? AWESOME! But has a crazy amount of sugar which kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? Hemp milk tastes like cardboard. It's almost grainy. BIZARRE. The WF almond, oat & hemp I tasted for free in store.
  2. Eggs are just as delicious with olive oil as with butter. I've ALWAYS cooked my eggs in butter because the times I had it cooked in oil, it seemed to be lacking in flavor. In retrospect, I think it was usually cooked in canola oil. Why? Just wrong. A dash (and really the scantest amount is enough) of olive oil in a non-stick skillet is enough to make my eggs a delight. Butter, you're out!
  3. Grilled veggie burritos are DELICIOUS! I really didn't miss the meat! (But the fact that it's only 60 cents cheaper than the meat burrito? That's a fail.)
  4. Eating fruit is so much easier when you are eating eliminating all that other stuff. In the last two weeks, I know I've had more fruit than in a shamefully long time.
I'm so glad to incorporate all of these things into my life! I love the positives! So much that I'm trying to be less effusive about the negatives... but for me, they're pretty big negatives.
  1. I'm starving. Not literally but I'm really, REALLY hungry, really, REALLY often. I don't stay full enough long enough. And yes, I've incorporated more fiber (oatmeal, whole grains, quinoa, barley, etc.) and still my hunger is OFF THE CHARTS!!
  2. I have NO desire to eat fake meat. You know "bacon" and "chix" which are made of soy/tofu or seitan or tempeh. If you call it what it is, maybe I'll eat it. But when you give it a name like an actual meat product? Automatic turn off. If I need to taste meat that badly, there's a simple solution: I'll just eat meat.
  3. It is woefully difficult to find appealing vegan recipes. I know they exist. I have found some but there is so much WADING through things that are too basic, not filling or that look like a collection of side dishes, soups, stews, curries and salads. The plan's own list of recipes was a huge letdown. I'm looking for things that expand my cooking repertoire, not just remove the meat and/or add tofu. 
  4. Vegetarian recipes are almost no help since so many (way too many, really) of them rely heavily on cheese. In most cases, if recipes use feta, blue or goat cheese, a lot of the dish's flavor resides in the cheese. I love cheese but it seems lazy to add it to things just to say you ate a vegetarian meal. I'm talking to you, food site that had MAC & CHEESE as a meatless monday meal. Again, if you want meat, just eat it. Come on, people. Mac & cheese as meatless monday is a cop out. And a side dish. I know that's a cultural thing but mac and cheese is a side dish.
  5. There are too few easy fast food/restaurant meal options, particularly in this city. When I don't feel like cooking, it is VERY difficult to find even varied vegetarian options. Remove cheese from the equation (+ my disdain for raw onions and winter tomatoes) and I'm so straight on buying a salad with lettuce, carrots and dressing. Let me just go get a piece of fruit. And then another one an hour later...
  6. Speaking of which, this isn't the plan's fault but I still hate apples as a snack. With most fruit, I eat it and I'm good for a while. I eat an apple and I'm not satiated, not hungry but RAVENOUS within an hour of eating apples. Like I might as well start cooking while I'm eating the apple if that's my snack. Because I'm going to be ready to eat a (meatless) horse in 5, 4, 3, 2...
  7. Shopping is incredibly time-consuming what with all the label-reading. Milk is in the weirdest places. Why is there milk in certain wheat breads? Only certain ones? It's bread. And a healthy bread. You don't need milk.
  8. There is only one vitamin you can only get from meat. B12... Which is essential for brain function. You can take a supplement, though. Pass. I like my brain functioning without having to supplement with a pill.
  9. It's making Rashan miserable. He doesn't want to tempt me by eating things I can't eat (no matter what I say) so he just mopes around the house when he's hungry.
  10. I'm probably not supposed to binge on the things I'm giving up the following week. You should've seen my meat and dairy binge preceding week one. I ate more milk and dairy than I ordinarily would. I also rarely eat dessert & suddenly became obsessed with it when thinking about all the dairy and eggs in my favorites. I never save bacon grease but I cooked Rashan some bacon last night (and actually didn't even want any!!) then wanted to fry something up in the bacon grease just because it was there. Ma'am...
I'm sure there are many, many, MANY things I don't know and haven't tried with this lifestyle. But I know one thing... I normally eat 5-10 eggs per week and after almost a week egg-free, those two eggs I ate as I wrote this post were FANTASTIC!! BABY, I'M BACK! Oh I know something else. I can definitely eat less meat. Most of the time I actually like the challenge of deciding what to eat when I'm not eating meat. But for me, this process became way too stressful and way, WAY too restrictive. Like everything else I do, I'll take what I need and leave the rest. I want to enjoy my every meal and I'm going to work hard to make that happen with and without meat. But on my own terms.


Get Your Guns!

My mom lives in the suburbs of Charlotte. In the 25 years that she's been there, literally thousands of people have moved within 5 miles. I wouldn't be surprised if it was near 10,000 with the number of housing developments that have popped up. It's only 20 minutes from downtown and I can see the skyline from the entrance to the neighborhood on a clear day. But her house is also less than two miles from the next county over... a very rural county. I felt pretty cool running over the county line on my first ever 5.5-mile run yesterday! ... But not for long.

To recap, near the country, but definitely a large suburb of the city. So you might understand why I'd be a LEEEETLE bit upset when I'm on my run and a kid on a bike rides past me toting a package. He's no more than 12 and what do I see when I take a closer look? The butt of a rifle peeking out from under his arm.


It's 5 o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon and this unsupervised kid is riding around with a rifle under his arm!! I was shook. There was a constant stream of traffic on this well-traveled road AND yet... he could probably get away if he decided to turn around and get in a little target practice on the runner... you know... ME. But why was twitter COMPLETELY unfazed when I related this yesterday? I got ZERO responses. I hate all of them. Get mad, everybody! I theoretically almost died! (This wouldn't have been a problem if I could be more like the rest of the women in my state.)