What happens when you take away cheese…

So, I mentioned it on Facebook, but I’m intending on going vegan for the month of August. Last year, I didn’t drink alcohol for the month of August and I wanted to do something restrictive again. I love challenges and being sort of bored with my daily goings on, I decided having to switch up my diet pretty hardcore was a good idea. And I don’t want to do this half-assedly. I don’t want to stock up on high-sodium, all-soy frozen products. I’m hoping to eat as cleanly as possible during this month. I’ve made a few starter vegan meals and so far they’ve been great.

Luckily, I have about seven years of vegetarianism still under my belt (college ruined that) and I prefer drinking Almond Coconut milk rather than regular milk. It’s so good. Seriously. I don’t even…it’s so good. My biggest struggle will be with making sure I don’t fall into monotony. Could I eat my Kashi cereal and AC milk every morning? Technically, yes. Will I end up throwing the box across the room in frustration after about a week? Oh, totally.

Unlike last year, when I planned fancy non-alcoholic beverages after the first and found myself staying in a lot because I wasn’t sure what I was going to drink, I want to go into this really well planned. If I like it, I might stay vegan. Probably not, but, here’s to hoping. I really like cheese. I mean, I really like cheese. I could survive without meat, that doesn’t bother me, but fish and cheese would be hard to never ever eat again.

I’ve found some great websites that have really good recipes and stories about going vegan (how they did it, why they did it, what was hard, etc). I never realized how expanded the ‘dairy-free’ arena of substitutes there were. Here are a few of my favorites, if you’re ever thinking of trying a recipe or challenging yourself:

The Gluten Free Vegan

Oh She Glows

Clean Eating Chelsey

Veggieful

My pinterest page also has a lot of good ideas brewing: Pinterest

If you know of any other good places for vegan recipes, or, hell just some motivation, don’t hesitate to post! Before I run along and get ready for work, I wanted to share my recipe from last night for the (vegan) soup I made. It was an absolute hit…with my parents and me anyway. My little brother said it looked like poop in a bowl but he also eats McDonald’s on the regular so…ignore him?

Asparagus and Leek Soup

Not the world's best photo, but nonetheless.

Not the world’s best photo, but nonetheless.

I cannot take credit for this recipe, however, and won’t attempt to try. I found it at Veggieful! Her photo is way prettier than mine, too. The only thing I changed between her recipe and mine was a.) no vegan margarine because I don’t have any, b.) wayyy more olive oil. Not a crazy amount, but it needed far more than a tablespoon, c.) I added half cup of the AC milk to add some creaminess.

Please try the recipe! Asparagus and Leek Soup

It. Was. So. Good.

Anyway, hope you all are having a great Hump Day!

What would be the hardest food for you to give up?

What suggestions would you give to someone changing their diet?

Have you ever gone ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ before? Would you do it again?

– a.

Why California Pizza Kitchen is a tricksy hobbitses.

Well good afternoon! You’re all looking smashing. Is that a new haircut? You look like you’ve gained some muscle tone all up in your – you know.

Great, now that we have all of the pleasantries taken care of…I have two orders of business. One relates to the title, the other relates more to the ongoings of my exciting life.

But first, California Pizza Kitchen…your frozen pizzas are TRICKSY. They are a delicious tricksy little sneaky hobbitses. At first, I pull you out of the freezer and I’m all like:

gollum

And then I plop you in the oven and bounce back and forth on my heels for 11-13 minutes. By the way, when it actually takes 13 minutes instead of 11, I feel sort of like I did when I got a B+ on a project for doing TOO MUCH of the work and not giving enough to my partner. And then you come out and you’re so hot and delicious and really hard to cut into eight pieces. And then put three pieces on a plate and fall into this sort of happy, fat, world-could-be-ending-but-I-give-no-shits trance. And then my plate’s empty and I’m not sure what’s going on because my stomach is still pretty empty. So I go back and end up eating THREE QUARTERS OF THE PIZZA. SIX PIECES OF PIZZA. So I feel guilty and I wrap up the one sad last piece (giving the other to my complaining younger brother) and put it in the fridge and walk away, justifying that they were thin pieces of pizza and it took that much to get me full and – HOLY MOTHER OF CHRIST I AM FULL. Your little devil pizza when all “rice in water” on my ass and blew up in my stomach so that I am rolling all over the floor feeling like the world is actually ending and how if Brad Pitt burst in now I wouldn’t mind the zombies behind him so much. Damn you, California Pizza Kitchen. Your thin little wafer slices tricked me.

So that happened about 20 minutes ago. And is, sadly enough, the precipitating event for me writing this post. But I did want to actually say what had been going on in my life because it does involve relationships. And normally I wouldn’t share specific details, especially because they aren’t positive aspects of my life (things I like to share), on here but…sometimes I feel like one of the only single bloggers out there. Most blogs I follow are of women either married, engaged, or in healthy (mostly) happy relationships. I’d just like to say to you single folk: you aren’t the only ones. And if you are struggling with being single or being in a rocky relationships or pseud0-relationship or WHATEVER that was, you aren’t alone. What you’re feeling is often times normal. And it’ll get better. But life in general was hard for me for a while, I mentioned it last time I wrote. Luckily, I’m doing better enough now to feel comfortable reflecting on it. I will also be using references from Bridesmaids to illustrate my points.

sssshit

There was a large combination of factors and a lot of people noticed that I was struggling (including my boss and my boss’s boss and patients and my parents and all of my friends…apparently I wear my emotions on my sleeve I CAN’T TELL). I wish I could tell you that I had a stiff upper lip and dealt with things in any sort of quick or mature manner but who are we kidding here? I got ‘dumped’ (if a Manthing can actually officially dump you, anyway) in a very much so disrespectful way. Said Manthing then moved on to another girl, who I have a feeling he will be doing the same thing over with.

I’d again like to say that I was a total adult about my feelings and handled everything in a smart, healthy way but that didn’t happen. I cried every day for two weeks, probably because this was the first time I had ever had someone dump me as an adult. Wow, that sounds stupid conceited and I don’t mean it that way. I just haven’t really been in more three serious relationship or relationship-y situations as an adult. fuckingkiddingme

So, when it came down to it, I could have continued crying all the time, wondering what I did wrong, hating him, hating her, hating EVERYTHING, wanting to throw things, and giving myself what is probably a stress fracture from running so much…or I could just accept it and try to move on. After a month or so, being sad, angry, spiteful, jealous, and confused were just too heavy. I could be a heinous bitch to him and his Womanthing every time I saw them, but what good would that do? Who would that help? And, this is a big one, why should I want to be with a guy who doesn’t respect me? Did having to avoid watching them make out the entirety of the Fourth of July become tiresome and irritating? Sure it did, I am an emotional person and there’s still (dare I say it) love for him there that feels hurt by the change. But was I going to huff and puff and bitch and make snarky comments and noises every time one of them walked by? No! What’s the point?

bridesmaidsA part of me still hurts but I am no longer hurting. Over the past month, I started actually feeling like myself again. I think I mentioned before but it wasn’t just the ‘break up’ that had me out of sorts. I’d been feeling not like myself for a while, struggling and confused with my own life path. I’m not sure, honestly, what I did to truly get back on track. I guess a lot of the coaching I do at work rubbed off. I know all of the coping skills one can use to help with depression, anxiety, or anger. Yeah, I totally did scream “GODDAMNIT IT” in my car once, and it felt super duper good. I’ve read about 40 books in the past two months, no exaggeration, and made a few grumpy statuses on Facebook waxing poetic about love (or whatever). Granted, I was also hit on by a scary number of guys right afterward. It’s like men smell vulnerability. But I’m not interested. I’m haven’t actively pursued any relationship, sexual or otherwise, since then (TMI? maybeee). I know rebound potential when I see it and I’m not putting myself or another, well meaning person through that.

Long story short? Break ups are hard. People can be dicks. None of it is worth losing your self-love, dignity, or world view over. Sure it’s fun to shit talk sometimes, sometimes it’s straight up healthy to vent. Being that I’d avoided getting close with men since I ended my last long-term relationship a few years ago, having this happen when I was relatively happy really sucked. It sucked a whole bunch. It still kind of sucks. I’m not used to it. But I’ll get over it. Funnily enough, from those first days when I was unable to stop crying even as I was walking to my car to go to work (also, I cry a lot), I always knew I’d get over it and move past it. And I am. Even when I’m feeling lonely, denial was pointless, sadness is exhausting, anger is boring, bargaining is useless, holding on is endless, so I might as well accept it. Are there still a million and one things I’d like to say to him? Of course there are. Will I ever? No. And that’s okay.

– a.

Cheers, world.

Cheers, world.