Archive for The Day to Day

Vegan on a dime

One of the most common reasons I hear from ominvores about why they haven’t gone vegan/vegetarian yet is the cost. However, if they really looked and considered the prices of most veggies, beans & whole grains against the cost of meat and dairy, they would see very little difference – in face, a veg diet would afford more variety and nutrient dense foods.

I’m bringing this up now in particular b/c I just reevaluated my budget for 2010 and as I’m trying to pay off debts and have allotted a mere $150 per month to food – that’s about $37 per week [as I recall, this is slightly above the food stamp allotment in circa 2005]. At first I was scared, but when I went to the local supermercado (NOT Whole Foods!!) I realized that is is actually doable with a little industriousness and creativity. After all, I rationalized, people have been cooking from scratch with very little animal product for thousands of years. Peasants seldom have access to much animal protein and make do on beans, grains, and vegetables, and fruits. In fact, the price on avocados, a staple of most vegan diets, is lowest at el supermercado (50 cents!). Forget organic! I can do that later when I’m growing my own. for now, I need to make it through the next 12 – 18 months on this slim budget.

So anyway, here’s a sample of my shopping list from January (for 3-4 weeks) for all you non-veg so you can see how ‘the other half’ lives. All this cost me about $100.

I don’t plan my meals strictly, but I have a pretty good grasp on what types of foods & flavors go well together and I am quite creative in the kitchen … I like to cook Mexican b/c it’s easy, nutritious (protein!) and there are infinite variations on the theme.

Sundays I try to make a large batch of something & bake bread if needed, to last for weekday lunches [yes, I pack my own lunch!] I had to go to a couple different stores, and I returned about $10 in bottles also towards my bill … I will admit that this month I did shop at Trader Joe’s, Whole foods in addition to the supermercado but I plan on reducing my dependence on those next month.

I already keep a large supply of flours and rices & oils, & onions, spices etc. in my cupboards … I still make room for [cheaper] luxury items such as tea & chocolate [most chocolate darker than 75% is vegan; read the label!].

January Groceries:

Coconut milk

5 lbs. Spelt flour

Agave nectar & giant tub of hummus (Costco)

Guacamole & Salsa – handmade

4 roma tomatoes

2 tomatillos

3 limes, 2 lemons

3 lb. bag of organic gala apples

whole baby mushrooms

2 blood oranges

2 persimmons

3 lb.s of sweet potatoes

Celery Hearts

bag o’ baby spinach, romain hearts

1 chayote squash

Apple Cider

3 gal filtered water refill [I bring a jug & refill it for $1]

Almond milk

2 cans black beans, 1 can garbanzo, 2 cans vegetarian refried beans

white corn tortilla chips

Whole wheat tortillas (locally made)


Organic Tofu, veg ‘chicken-less’ strips

fake chicken patties [I do not recommend eating this much soy, or buying vegan convenience foods, b/c they ARE expensive]

Instant Oatmeal (about 25 cents per breakfast!)

Cinnamon raisin bagels (I’m sort of addicted to these for my morning snack, smother with sunbutter)


Box o’ jasmine green tea

Roasted salted cashew (not cheap but they pack a lot of calories & fat)

savory rice crackers (to go with hummus)

Yeast (for baking bread)

Dark Chocolate (from Trader Joe’s)

My Sunday cooking:

This week, I’m baking 2 loaves of bread, I made a tub of lentil pate (very simple recipe, reminiscent I suppose of chopped liver. Ok so maybe it doesn’t sound tasty, but wouldn’t you rather eat lentils than liver?!), used some of the bread dough to make little sourkraut-stuffed rolls (yummm). For breakfast I made some tofu scramble w/toast that was quite good. I don’t eat soy everyday (I’m sensitive to it), so I try to only have it a few times a week and instead eat a lot of beans & lentils for protein; and supplement with a rice protein shake once in a while.

Last week I made a giant quinoa salad that lasted all week! the week before that I made a delicious gluten-free ‘hippie’ meatloaf out of mushrooms, quinoa, and black beans. that lasted me all week also.

Hope this has been informative! I welcome comments or questions!


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twitface II

Hey, my twitter feed is now located on the sidebar of this blog. I likely update twitter several times a day in lieu of lenthy blog posts. This at least helps me to feel connected and archive ideas that I may want to write about or reference at a later point.

Feel free to follow me on twitter, or comment on my ‘tweets’ on wordpress. It’s all about staying connected!



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coffee buzz

I think I understand why people drink coffee now. I stopped a few months ago, switched to black tea, then just to green. They each have their own “buzz” qualities.  Today I had a mocha-espresso drink (w/rice milk) from the cafe (second time in a week) … “Do more stupid things faster” I believe is the tagline on those retro-looking shirts & signs. It’s true. I’m firing off emails left and right on several topics and researching, talking, multitasking. so that’s good.

The part I don’t like is how I feel this buzz is subtlely masking the actual sadness & amotivation I’ve been experiencing lately. I’m ‘feeling’ those things but moving through space and time and keeping my committments regardless of how I’m ‘feeling’ — that at least gives me a little boost. This morning I woke up at 5:45, went for a run at 6 a.m. – ran 6 miles in this putrid humidity – and made it to work by 8:10 for a breakfast event [I usually get here by 8:45].  

At the same time I am feeling sad, defeated, and, as I said to my BF yesterday “deflated” mainly by a three things on my mind: 1) struggling to meet my fundraising minimum (due next week) for the CCFA half-marathon; 2) BF decided to keep distance [4 hours away] for a bit longer & commute after two weeks of “I’m moving to Detroit” and finding a place to stay here and everything; 3) Trying to get on track to take pre-req classes so I can get a degree that will actually work for me [Dietician/Nutrition or PTA].

So, I guess that’s a lot to think about. It all sort of contributes to an overall feeling of low self-esteem that I am operating on, and makes me wonder if, as they say in 12-step, [paraphrasing] the core of my problem is fundementally low self-esteem. I immediately bristle at the suggestion that I have ‘low self-esteem’ – yet I wonder if it is true …  How can I know? Does it matter? Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t …

Thanks for listening/reading. Now back to work.

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the darkness within

Suicidal thoughts are fewer and farther in between. But they still happen. I’ve had these feelings as long as I can remember. When I was as young as 6 or 7 years old it was daily and I expressed it very outwardly. Now it occurs only monthly, for a few hours on a given a day, but I turn it inward. Very few ppl know this about me and would probably be shocked … I don’t care. It’s very real for me, even though I know they are just thoughts.  Since I know by now that this feeling passes eventually, it make it somewhat easier to bear. Still, in the moment, and I think anyone who’s experienced depression or hopelessness will tell you this – it seems like an eternity.

When your purposefulness in life seems thwarted, you feel stuck in everything you do, your creative expression is limited by … whatever, internal or external forces … you may think “What am I doing here? What’s the point” … For me I have compulsive imaginings of self-harm.  Walk off this bridge, jump out that window, break my fist into that brick wall, take a knife to … Well anyway you get the idea.   It is compulsion. I don’t act these things out. It’s rather the feeling of just wanting to dissappear, hoping that no one will notice you’ve gone, wanting to leave behind the thousand little mistakes you’ve made b/c you can’t seem to forgive yourself for not being ‘perfect’ even when you know that ‘perfect’ is an illusion.

Knowing and feeling are two different things. I can have knowledge that my ego is playing tricks one me. I can still fee like shit. Because I still gain something from it. … It’s easier to be small than to try to live up to your potential and fail. And fail again. And try again. And fail. I guess it’s a vicious cycle and I’m caught temporarily in the down part. I have to be thankful that my ‘downs’ are much shorter and less frequent … I think. Or am I just supressing that part of myself???


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oh the mayhem

I keep planning on writing and then spending hours surfing Model Mayhem instead … sheesh. It’s weirdly addictive and probably unhealthy …

But anyway. Couple of things. I wanted to say that the day after I posted the item about PCRM protesting U of M’s use of animals for trauma training .. I was driving in my car and heard on NPR that UofM agreed to stop using live animals!!! Yaay! I was so escstatic I think I actually cheered.

On to the more real to life stuff.  I have been feeling up and down, overall rather depressed lately.  Main reason being that my most recent romantic relationship is over. I mean, I ended it, at the end of a perfectly ‘normal’ and even delightful weekend trip. Even I was not quite expecting it, but I just thought “It can’t go on like this.”  “Like this” is my being totally ambivalent and at times quite dissatisfied, but rationalizing why I should stay in. In the end, I really needed to be back with myself. Which is what I wanted in the first place, six months ago … [the sad part is, he didn’t even protest, fight, try to convince me otherwise. Then, we might’ve had a chance. ]

UPDATE 3/11: A few days later, EXbeau called me to finally tell me how he really felt. What a relief to hear the anger, sadness, etc. for real! We had a great conversation and cried with each other, and at the end came out as friends. I feel good about that. I think it was a new experience for him, and we both got to learn something about ourselves …

UPDATE 3/20: EXbeau and I are not talking.

This is nothing new. I’m really trying to pay attention to the patterns here. I’m someone who has hardly been single since practically the 6th grade when I was kissed on the cheek on the monkey bars… Though I would say I generally am a confident person, I have long defined at least part of myself by my partners.  This is the part that is difficult. I really begin to view my propensity to pair up as an addiction cycle.  It’s like, just when I am feeling most alone, sad, whatever, I can usually find someone who will not only listen but take me away, at least temporarily from that pain. I catch myself going there again and again. I have to stop and tell myself that I have a choice, how could I constructively focus that energy on myself and not on another person?

I don’t think that hiding from pain and lonliness is what I should be doing anymore. Besides, I’m so cynical now from all my ‘failed’ relationships, it’s hard for me to rejoice in the midst of a potentially happy, magical, loving one.

Some of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself ‘sober’ – on the relationship fast, if you will – are swimming (I got a gym membership and loving it!); writing; working on my two current creative persuits: modeling and crafting. They jockey for position, right now the modeling is primary, but I think that crafting will get me more in touch with myself again. I’m hoping to try some collage along with some dreamwork that my Best Friend and I have been sharing …

That’s it for now… Thanks for tuning in to my world!!

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Life seems to be best encapsulated by music (for me lyrics usually) but I will refrain from posting an entire song on here today. The one that’s been running through my mind is Synthesized by The Epoxies (again, another DDR-X pick).  Look it up on you tube if you want. ‘Nuff said.

Anyhow .. have been feeling more creative lately and small bit sof narrative, story, questions, etc. are coming out. The challenge is to keep them going, hopefully to produce something tangible.  We shall see.

In other news … have been working on modeling, putting together a portfolio. I should have some photos up on flickr soon from two photographers I met … Also secured a position [on-call]  figure modeling for a large art center in the area. Have yet to do a class there though.

Hey check out my etsy shop!  – Free form and custom crochet & knit goods.

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Always on my mind

The last post may have sounded rather, well , sad & depressed … b/c that’s how I was feeling.. I thought I was abruptly and uncomfortably, at the end of a relationship. I was wrong, and it’s on the mend.

I’d like to balance those lyrics with the lyrics of this song, which I’ve heard wayyy too many times lately due to a steady dose of DDR:

You Are Always on My Mind (Pet Shop Boys)

Maybe I didnt treat you quite as good as I should
Maybe I didnt love you quite as often as I could
Little things I shouldve said and done, I never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Maybe I didnt hold you all those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you, Im so happy that youre mine
If I made you feel second best, Im so sorry, I was blind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasnt died
Give me one more chance to keep you satisfied

Little things I shouldve said and done, I never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasnt died
Give me one more chance to keep you satisfied

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Maybe I didnt treat you quite as good as I should
Maybe I didnt love you quite as often as I could
Maybe I didnt hold you all those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you, Im so happy that youre mine

(maybe I didnt love you…)

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