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Archive for November, 2012

No Thanksgiving Run…

Last year, I ran a 5k for MS on Thanksgiving Day… this year I wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, I managed to catch two mega colds this month that just wouldn’t quit. I feel like I’ve been super sick for almost the whole month. Both were respiratory so I just couldn’t imagine running. I haven’t run at all in the month of November, total bummer.

Why did I want to run this race so much?

  1. Thanksgiving races feel a little different. Like everyone is a little extra jovial.
  2. MS means something to me. Last year I ran with the names of people I know with MS on my back. I planned to do the same this year. I’ve also learned about more people in my life affected by MS and I wanted to add the names of their loved ones with MS to the list on my back as well. I may not know the loved one with MS, but it affects my dad/friend/boss/co-worker and I want to offer the little support to them that I can by offering a little nod to their loved one.

I blurred their last names, just in case they might prefer that. This was taken after the race.

I felt terrible not making it to this run: even though the course is absolutely the worst one I’ve ever encountered, the cause is so worth it. All day on Thanksgiving, I thought about those in my life dealing with MS. Every year, I give thanks for my health, and it just makes me sad that they can’t… I really hope some day they can!

So when my friend posted on Facebook that she was thankful for this study, curing a mouse of MS and giving her real hope for the first time in a while… well, I may have actually teared up.

Good luck to everyone dealing with MS! I hope this cure in mice is able to be replicated on human cells so that you have a cure someday in the near future! And next year, I look forward to being back on that course trying to help the cause!

Thanksgiving Recap

After all my whining and complaining about how I don’t like Thanksgiving, it actually turned out to be not so bad. I may have also realized that I don’t hate Thanksgiving, I hate all of the stress and obligation associated with 2 Thanksgivings.

I have been blissfully in love with my wonderful boyfriend for over ten years, but we’ve only started “sharing” Thanksgiving in the last few years. We would spend (late) lunch with one family and then drive 2 hours to have dinner with the other family (total driving for the day: 5 hours). So lately, Thanksgiving feels rushed and stressful and gross.

Unfortunately for my boyfriend, he was super sick on Thanksgiving. He stayed home napping on the couch, and I only had to attend one meal this year! The one with my family where all of my favorite comfort foods would be! (His mother is a wonderful cook… but their family eats different things than mine on Thanksgiving… so it doesn’t have that cozy feeling that I associate with my mom’s cooking… and I’m sure my boyfriend feels the same way about the meal at my family’s house, and that’s ok.) It was really nice. No stress, no feeling late. I got to enjoy the whole meal. And for the first time in years, I got to enjoy a nap after the meal! Lovely!

Now I remember why people actually like this holiday!

I’m so thankful for so many things in life: my wonderful boyfriend, my family, my friends, my job, my health, and not getting pulled over when I sped past that cop on the highway on Thanksgiving! (oops!) My life is wonderful and I’m so happy with all the little blessings!

I hope you are able to feel the same with your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

This was NOT my Thanksgiving this year and I’m thankful for that!

Thanksgiving – Vegie Humor

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This is the little centerpiece at my parents house (my father is also a vegetarian). I warn them every year: someday, I shall kidnap it… if I ever do my own Thanksgiving meal. However, whether on their table or mine, it always cheers me up!

Give thanks!

(and yes, I was super upset the year I noticed his little broken toe!)

Vegie Humor – Zombies

One more post before Thanksgiving to make fun of vegetarians and cheer myself up!

Enjoy!

Vegie Humor – Barbeque

In honor of Thanksgiving and to cheer myself up about it, as mentioned here, I’m posting silly humor about vegetarians! I hope it also makes you laugh.

How I often feel at barbeques:

Lesson on Levels of Vegetarians

So I mentioned yesterday that I’m a vegetarian and don’t generally love Thanksgiving. (Thanksgiving is actually my anniversary of being a vegetarian).  I thought I would give a quick lesson on vegetarianism because I feel like people ask me questions about it all the time.

Let me first say that I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the taste and texture of meat. It doesn’t bother me at all that anyone else eats meat. I just wanted to say that I’m not writing this post to convert you to vegetarianism (ugh, I hate people like that, the more forceful they are, the more they make me want to eat chicken). My wonderful boyfriend eats meat, he has to cook it himself, but he really loves meat! And if you love meat, please continue to eat it. Biologically, we are built to eat meat – and if you love it – go for it! I just thought I would share some information that I have learned over my life about it.

Types:

My personal leanings: besides avoiding meat because I don’t like the favor and texture, I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years (since I was 9). I have never eaten a hamburger (my mother doesn’t make them). The first type of meat I gave up were hotdogs. I’ve only had one bite ever… that was enough! 🙂  Turkey was the last meat I ate, because I felt obligated to because of Thanksgiving. I am an “Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian” meaning that I eat eggs and dairy – this is the “standard vegetarian” if you will. (Note, sometimes the phrase is flipped as Lacto-Ovo). There are also plenty of people who drop one or the other (ovo or lacto) We do not eat seafood. See below.

Vegans, a more extreme version of vegetarian, do not eat the “ovo-lacto” part. They will not eat eggs or dairy. This limits a lot of baked goods for them as well as those often contain dairy. Vegans will not eat honey (it’s an animal product). Good vegans also won’t wear leather or other animal skins, furs, etc.

People who do not eat poultry or red meat, but do eat fish and other forms of seafood are known as pescetarians. I have found that the pescatarians I know call themselves vegetarians because no one knows what a pescetarian is… and no one knows it because they don’t use it, it’s a catch 22. This is personal opinion though. I have also found that most people who meet me, offer me fish when they find out I’m a vegetarian… but that doesn’t really work out. The worst place to take a vegetarian for dinner is a seafood restaurant, unlike most restaurants, seafood places have almost no vegetarian options because they think seafood works… ah well…

Reasons:

I have found that when it comes to being a vegetarian, everyone has their own very personal reasons (just like with people who go to church – you can’t lump everyone into one boat). Some common reasons are ethics towards the treatment of farm animals, disliking the taste and/or texture (like me) – or having a “grossed out” moment after eating bad/raw meat, meat is expensive, or an attempt to be healthy. (Note, if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian for health reasons, please keep in mind you have to eat healthy across the board… you can be a vegetarian and still only eat Smarties, Doritos, and Diet Coke… but it’s not actually healthy).

Tell the World!

I recently had a friend tell me that she had stopped eating meat but felt bad calling herself a vegetarian. She asked what I thought was an appropriate time line. I told her 6 months. If she hasn’t eaten meat in at least 6 months, I will totally accept her as a vegetarian, my best friend (also a vegetarian of about 20 years) agreed.

However, I do find it a little offensive when someone who ate a cheeseburger yesterday calls themselves a vegan today (a vegan lifestyle is very hard to maintain). It’s a little disrespectful to my lifestyle that they feel they can be a part of the club without paying any dues. It’s like hearing someone tell you that they are a gym bunny… after only going once. Come back to me in 6 months and tell me how many times you’ve used that gym membership since your New Year’s Resolution… I know that many people don’t see it as hurtful, but it often comes across as mocking my lifestyle if one thinks it’s so easy to emulate (personally, I find it easy… but again, that’s because I don’t love meat. I feel that if you love meat: eat it!) I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t try to be a vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian… just announce your new lifestyle slowly… when it’s actually a lifestyle and not just one lunch.

It also hurts my feelings when someone says that they were a vegetarian for years but ate meat on holidays  (like they had roast beef and filet mignon… that’s kinda major). That’s like telling the world you’re a non-smoker with a cigarette in your mouth…

Random:

Also, as a vegetarian, if I’m going to a party or staying at someone’s vacation home or whatever, I feel it’s my obligation to bring food that I like. I never get mad if someone cooks eggs for me in bacon fat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to eat it, but I’m not going to get upset that they didn’t realize. I’ll eat a muffin that I bought at Dunkin’ Donuts the day before… I always travel with food, always. I always check an online menu before going to a new restaurant with friends. I always bring something I love to a pot luck in case that’s the only thing I’m eating. As a vegetarian, I know that I’m a dietary pain in the ass for the average world and therefore it’s my responsibility to feed myself – it’s no one else’s responsibility. If someone makes food that I love: bonus! But it’s certainly not a requirement.

I hope this doesn’t come across as too negative. I always try to come across as positive in this blog and I really am positive about both my own vegetarianism and anyone else’s dietary choices (eating meat or not – whatever, that’s your lifestyle choice!). I’ve just also seen and heard a lot of silly things from well-meaning people over the years.

So yeah, that’s a basic overview of vegetarianism… peppered with a bunch of my own life experiences and beliefs. Please let me know if you have any specific questions! I’d be happy to answer anything! Or if you’re a vegetarian and you think I missed something, please chime in!

And the Holiday Season Begins…

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. And to be totally honest, as these major holidays go, Thanksgiving is my least favorite. In fact, I almost hate it. I used to just have a “meh” attitude towards it, but then I started having to share Thanksgiving and it all spiraled out of control.

I know many people love Thanksgiving (heck, it’s my super awesome boss’s favorite). I understand, that unlike many of the other holidays, it’s not all about shopping and gifts and commercialism. It’s about family… and turkey…

And that’s pretty much why I don’t love the holiday… I’m a vegetarian so… eh… on the turkey. Although my mother makes a lovely spread. But now that my wonderful boyfriend and I share Thanksgiving, we go to both family’s houses. It means a total of 5 hours of driving, missing parts of meals, and being generally stressed about leaving early/arriving late. Plus, there is a huge change in mental attitudes from one house to the next. One house is super chill, in fact it’s “pajamas Thanksgiving” so we can all be thankful about being comfortable! The other house has a lot more people, is super chaotic, is formal, and generally a little more stressful. It’s a little complicated to switch gears that drastically.

We’ve thought about only going to one… but that wouldn’t fly with either family… and we don’t think the families would mix well… So while for many this is a holiday about family… for us it’s also a little about obligations to family. Please don’t get me wrong though, I do love both families and I do love the idea of taking a day out of life to really focus on all that we’re thankful for. It’s nice to stop and notice all of the blessings in one’s life. I do really love that part about the day.

It’s just one day and we’ll all survive. But! To keep my spirits up for this day I thought I would post little Thanksgiving or vegetarian jokes/cartoons leading up to Thursday. You have to be able to laugh at yourself right?

So here’s the first one (I posted it last year, but I still love it):

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