Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: Veganist

The other day, I started reading this book about vegan eating, mainly to satisfy my curiosity about what it was. The main thing I couldn't figure out (before I started reading about it) was... what exactly do they eat, if they don't eat meat, dairy, or eggs?? That's like... 90% of my current diet. They can't possibly survive on salad, can they?

I found this book called Veganist, and it's totally interesting. She talks a lot about the health benefits of eating vegan, as well as the moral issues (which I'm not totally sure I'm buying, but whatever). Anyway, now I know what a vegan eats: Vegetables! Beans! Nuts! Fruit! Whole wheat bread! Brown rice! It actually started making me hungry just reading about all the stuff they eat that I never think to eat. Way better than salad, for sure.

I did a test on myself to see if I could make a vegan meal, based only on what was in my refrigerator at the time. It was easier than I thought. I made a sandwich with whole wheat bread, peanut butter, and raspberry jam, and I made a salad of romaine lettuce, walnuts, and just a smidgen of dressing and cheese (okay, cheese isn't vegan, but I'm not going for the letter of the law here). Anyway, it was good! Way better than I would've thought a vegan meal would be. And it even filled me up faster than my normal food would've. Interesting.

So anyway, I've kept eating that way for a few days now and amazed at how much energy I have. I've always thought I was naturally lethargic, but maybe not. I'm not sure I'm going to go completely strict on this, but I definitely think there could be something to this way of eating.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This Single Gal's Take on Valentine's Day

I have a love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day. I want to be a princess, doted on by her prince... however I have no prince at this stage in my life, so it ends up feeling like a pity party for one. My dad got me chocolates. :) Yeah!! And I bought myself some flowers. So it wasn't a complete loss.

I do love the holiday in general though. I'm a self-proclaimed "hopeless romantic", meaning that I will always believe in "the one" and "happily ever after". Valentine's Day is pretty fun and frilly and sweet. It's just a little depressing sometimes if you have no one to share it with.

Oh well, time to break out the girly movies! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunnyside Cafe

Today I woke up and my first thought was, "I want to go out for breakfast."

Not my normal instinct first thing in the morning, but I figured, sure, why not? Sounds like a plan. Any place with coffee would work.

I did a quick Google search for "breakfast" in my area and decided to try Sunnyside-Up Cafe. It sounded like a tasty place to eat, although I couldn't for the life of me picture it in my head. Not surprising though, since I have zero sense of direction and can seldom picture any place in my head, let alone a place I've never been.

So naturally, as I forged on down the road into the great unknown... my inner nay-sayer started having second thoughts.

"Maybe I should go somewhere I've already been to... and know I'll like.""What if I hate their food?"

"What if it's weird there? Not my style?"

"Why don't I just go somewhere I've been before? What's so great about trying something new anyway?"

Then I told myself to take a chill-pill, relax, and just go try it. What's the worst that could happen? Better yet, what if I actually like it?

Onward I went...

Turns out, it's a great restaurant! Yum yum! Friendly people, excellent food. I'm definitely going back. :) Goes to show that trying something new doesn't have to be intimidating and scary!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek

I've been reading The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss, which is a really neat book, by the way. Anyway, he asked: "What would you do if you woke up this morning and had $100,000,000 in your bank account?" I was reading this at work, on my break, and my knee-jerk reaction was, "Well, I sure wouldn't be sitting here!" Lol. Basically, his point was, if you could disconnect making money from the time you normally spend making said money, what would you really want to be doing with your time?

So I let my imagination roam free...

(assuming that I could break the time-space continuum and not have any unwanted travel time...)

I'd roll over and go back to sleep until I felt rested. Then I'd fly to the South of France and dip my toes in the warm water. Next I'd sit in a French cafe and eat a croissant and coffee and watch the people walk by.

Next I'd take a train over to Italy and put my toes in the water there. I'd photograph the great Coliseum and take a gondola ride in Venice.

After that, I'd hop a boat to Greece and eat... Greek food... for lunch. Maybe I'd take a nap then.

Then I might fly over to New York City and find that store with the giant piano in it that that guy in the movie Big danced on... and I'd dance on it. Maybe I'd have a hot dog for dinner from a vendor on a street corner.

Next I'd take a train across the length of Canada, stopping for a month in each major city to get of taste of what life was like there. I would adopt the Canadian accent because it sounds really cool.

When I got back to Oregon, I'd buy a house in Portland, in the Laurelhurst district - one of those big, fancy Victorians that is super old but really well kept-up. I'd paint every room, by hand. I'd take forever and paint it whatever color I felt like. Then I'd sit on the front porch and sip coffee.

After that I'd fly to Denmark to visit my old roommate. Then I'd travel further north so I can photograph the Aurora Borealis.

On my way back south, I'd stop off in Ireland and lay in a field to watch the clouds go by. Then I'd photograph the cliffs of Dover.

Continuing south, I'd buy a little cabin in the outback of Australia and explore for a few months. I'd photograph kangaroos, wallabies, and... whatever else lives around there. I'd also learn how to scuba dive and get a water-proof case for my camera so I can photograph the fishies in the Great Barrier Reef.

After that, maybe I'd hop over to Lesotho (South Africa) and stay for a month or two at the orphanage where my (adopted) cousins grew up. I'd help the teachers out there as much as I could, but mostly I think I'd probably learn a lot about life.

Next I'd go back to my Victorian house in Portland and hug my cat. Then maybe I'd go take swing dancing lessons downtown.


Anyway, I'm sure I could gone on for quite some time, so I won't bore you with the details. But... it got me to thinking, I've always thought that it would be neat to be rich, but I think my real dream would actually just to be afforded the lifestyle of not being tied down to a 9-5. A job like that is so far from interesting to me that it's not even funny. I'd much rather be seeing what there is to see and creating interesting things and lying back and watching the clouds go by. Maybe, hopefully, someday I can achieve even a fraction of all this. That would be so awesome. :)
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