Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Darn it, my seasonal affective disorder has kicked in and HARD...
I feel absolutely miserable.
"People who have winter-onset SAD often crave more food, especially foods with high carbohydrate levels. Therefore, people with winter-onset SAD tend to gain weight. Also, winter-onset SAD sufferers may suffer from body aches. Here are some more symptoms of winter-onset SAD:
* difficulty concentrating
* difficulty processing information
* diminished sex drive
* body aches, often with no apparent reason
* feeling excessively tired
* feelings of hopelessness
* increased sleep
* loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed.
Overall, winter-onset SAD sufferers feel depressed."
Check, check, check, check...
I've got all the symptoms in spades. Except the weight gain. Hopefully.
I am having a hard time with food - I want lots of sweets and it's a struggle to avoid them.
I'm doing reasonably well but I'm stressing out about food, about my weight, about this knee thing that's making running hard to do, about money, about work, about the rats, about the weather, about how I need xyz and can't afford them ... about EVERYTHING basically and it's all the type of stressing where I end up crying over nothing or physically/verbally punishing myself to try and feel numb for a bit.
I hate this.
I am so unmotivated but I'm slogging through my workouts. I want to eat but I'm roping it in and, while eating more sweets than usual, am still within my ranges. Mostly, I just want to climb into bed and never get up again. But I'm too stubborn. So I keep slogging along miserably and dreading waking up and doing it again the next day.
Stupid freaking SAD.
Can it be time for Jamaica yet?
And then, a couple days later, spring?
MN is the worst possible place to live for me (barring, you know, ALASKA or someplace with even less sunshine) and I always am miserable for at least a couple season. Since in MN the seasons are Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Road Construction I'm a bit boned.
Still... just trying to keep my head above water right now as best I can.
Totally CANNOT afford light therapy and even though I have full spectrum lights at home it's apparently not enough.
I just hate how I feel right now.
So hopeless and down and frustrated because there isn't a freaking real CAUSE to feel like this.
End of whining.
*EDIT* Hrm. I wonder if my insurance covers light therapy if I get a diagnosis from a doc? Thanks for the comment GIANT-STEPS, it made me think of insurance which made me go 'wait a minute, I have great insurance!' I'll look into what my stuff covers. At the very least my PWA should be okay to use on light therapy.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is a public service announcement.
Do you like seitan? Think veggie burgers are pretty darn tasty? Flip over tempeh? Think tofu is tops? But then you have a Tofurky and you go "blech!"?
Then you, my friend, are the victim of Poorly Cooked Tofurky Syndrome (PCTS)! A well cooked Tofurky is a thing of beauty to behold. One suffering PCTS is not a happy Tofurky. And the folks eating a PCTS dinner are also pretty darn Sad Face.
Want to have Tofurky you can be proud of? Want to serve one that makes folks sit up and go "Boy Howdy!"? While I can't promise that some family member who is a Outspoken Omnivore Who Makes Fun of All Things Vegan won't be a dork (and really OOWMFoATV, it's Thanksgiving. Give it a rest.) I can guarantee a delicious flavor and moist texture.
So, if you're TIRED of bland, dry or just plain bad Tofurky, read on.
Every time you cook a Tofurky poorly, you make LEONALIONESS face palm.
Please, think of my forehead!
Awesome Rockstar Tofurky Recipe (of Doom!)
1 defrosted Tofurky. (Seriously, defrost it. It takes like a BILLION hours if you forget and have to cook it frozen.)
About 4-6 cups of good veggie broth. (I've used just regular veggie, miso, soy ginger, etc. The miso was very distinct and different. I prefer the veggie. Though the soy ginger added a nice sweetness.)
Spices! Lots of them. You can use Herbs de Provence for a truly special flavor. Did that last night and it's my favorite so far. Alternatively, a mix of sage/thyme/marjoram/basil is nice. Use about 3 TBS total spices.
Carrots and Parsnips.
Cut them into thick long matchsticks. I did two huge parsnips and one absolutely enormous carrot. Suit the veggie amounts to your needs.
= = = = = = = = = = = =
* Pour your broth into a glass baking dish.
* Cut Tofurky in half down the middle so you have two half circles.
* Put those circles cut side down into the broth.
* Add the veggies around the roast.
* Crush the dried spices over the whole lot. Make sure you crush them between your palms to release the oils and the full flavor of your spices!
* Baste the Tofurky by ladling broth over the tops of the roast halves about a dozen times.
* Cover pan in foil.
* Bake at 350 for an hour and fifteen minutes, as directed.
No need to baste again, this method keeps the Tofurky very tender. If you want, you can baste. Some of us just really like to do it and I won't stop you. If anything, It'll just make the outside a bit softer.
Let sit covered on top of the stove for a few after the cooking time is done.
The tops/sides of the roast should be a bit drier and a light golden color.
The inside should be moist and flavorful from soaking up the spices and broth.
Eat with your favorite vegan gravy, garlic mashed spuds and those delicious root vegetables that cooked in the broth, too.
Never have PCTS again!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
First of all, thanks for all the kinds words about my Jakey. His rattie friends and I are coping well enough. We all miss him but knowing I did the right thing for him helps my heart.
Secondly, I went shopping today. Like, for reals shopping.
I got some new bras (down to a 36A - weeeeeeeeeeeeeeep) and some new underwear (5s, though I really probably should be in 4s since my hip measurement is 2-3 inches smaller than the listed. Target just doesn't sell any smaller than 5s. And yes, what the hey!? I feel sorta wacky and proud about this fact) which were MUCH needed. I also tried on some pants and managed to fit well into some 2s. Once again, what the HEY?
Didn't buy them, though, as they were $$ and I knew we were going thrifting tonight. Smart girl! I did cave under the pressure of an ADORABLE hedgehog shirt, though. It's supposed to be PJs but I wore it all day anyway. :D Looks like a cute shirt to me!
This brings me to my main point. When I go shopping now I feel ... anxious? in the area by the small clothes. Like, we went to Savers tonight and I was hanging out by the 4s in the pants and felt uncomfortable. I was a bit hunched up expecting someone to come by and tell me that no WAY do I belong in size 4s and I really ought to move on down the line to my REAL size, okay? Or I'd wonder if folks were looking at me thinking "no way is she a 4!"
What the heck? I've been a four for a while now. I don't fit every pair of pants I try on - some of them are made for folks with no leg muscles and won't even clear my calves, for instance - but I'm confident that this IS my size, logically. In my crazy brain, though, I'm still bigger. I'm still barely able to squeeze into 12s. I look at these tiny pants and go "ha! no freaking way!" but then they fit me? It never stops being sort of perplexing.
For instance, my mom is tiny. I mean, seriously. She's like 5'7" and weighs under 130. Tiny. I figured I look WAY bigger than her. I mean, I always have in the past so I still do, right? Yeah, I'm borrowing pretty much all her bikinis/tankinis for Jamaica (she has really good taste! They are all so darn flattering - how does she find these suits?) plus some dresses/tank tops/etc. I fit into pants she fits into. Admittedly, they are probably bigger on her, but ... wow. I still can't quite wrap my head around it.
I got three pairs of jeans (4s that fit well, not too snug and not overly crazy loose), a pair of running pants (yay!) a cute kids panda shirt (smallest shirt I own. Aaron loved it. Men!) and two dresses. One that's a black backless strappy number (a 7/8 so it's airy and loose and very pretty and sexy! It's cut such that it doesn't look too big on me. Just need to figure out how the heck to wear a bra with a backless dress with spaghetti straps!) and a long sundress type one that's a chocolate brown print to wear at HEZLIZZIE's wedding ceremony as it's pretty and just dressy enough for a Jamaican wedding (eeee!)
I also scored an ICE CREAM MAKER! A Cuisinart!!! For five flipping bucks!!! I hope it works. LOL. I've already found recipes for pumpkin ice cream and peppermint ice cream. OMG, homemade vegan ice cream for the win! I've been moaning about there not being any pumpkin, pistachio or peppermint stick ice cream that's vegan for ... oh, forever. Now I can make my own! With almond milk! Mmmmmm.
This blog is all over the darn place.
The main point is that I'm a crazy person.
Still working on switching my brain over a bit.
It's ridiculously difficult! Sigh.
Friday, November 13, 2009
My big handsome is gone.
He left a big hole and it aches. So much.
Jake was diagnosed with a very arrhythmic heart, related to congestive heart failure, about 6-10 weeks ago. Heart meds gave him some relief and bought us some more time together but in the end he couldn't be held stable. He started to have issues breathing and I didn't want him to pass frantically panting for air he couldn't find. I had him PTS yesterday afternoon. It was peaceful and dignified. A good passing.
Jake was my special guy, my mama's boy. I could wake him out of a dead sleep just by calling for him. He'd come running to put his head and front paws in my palm, lay down and give me kisses. I think he loved me more than any other rat I've ever had. His heart was utterly and totally mine. And I loved him back just as much.
He and Jack would fight over who got to sit in my palm. Oh, they'd shove each other away from me! My two mama's boys, fighting for attention. Jake usually won. He was always a big, strapping fellow so he'd just flop onto Jack and then sloooowly stop supporting his weight... and Jack would get squished.
He was such a gentle boy. Never aggressive, always accepting of new friends and new humans. He was sweet and kind and a truly beautiful soul. He was as beautiful inside as he was outside. He was a special friend.
I miss him terribly.
So does his brother, Eddie.
Enjoy your rest, big guy.
Mommy loves you so so much.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
There are not enough words in my head to fully express how awesome this is. Agree, 100000%!
In a recent interview with Larry King, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain quipped that it was OK for humans to kill and eat animals because we've been designed to chase down "smaller and stupider creatures." Never mind that cows and pigs, two animals that are slaughtered by the millions for food, are most certainly bigger than we are. It was the "stupider" remark that caught my attention, and not just for Bourdain's obvious grammatical shortcomings.
I think many of us feel that animals are dumb; that animals lack the intelligence we humans seem to have so abundantly. I believe this looking down on animals plays a big part in what allows us to treat them in the most heinous ways -- from factory farms to fur farms to laboratories to circuses. We believe that because animals can't write a book, compose a symphony, or do algebra that we're so much better than them.
What a load of bulls**t.
Did you know, for example, that pigeons can fly thousands of miles to find the same roosting spot with no navigational difficulties? Some species of birds, like the Arctic Tern, make a 25,000-mile round-trip journey every year. Many species use built-in ferromagnets to detect their orientation with respect to the Earth's magnetic field. Can you do that?
Dolphins have a very distinct language that scientists now refer to as "dolphinese" which humans can't decipher. For all our human knowledge, we have no idea how to understand what should be, according to Bourdain, a "stupider" means of communication.
Salmon are born in rivers, but swim thousands of miles to the ocean only to return to the exact same spot upstream to die.
Elephants communicate with each other subsonically, using low rumbles that can travel for miles underground. They also mourn their dead and have been seen cradling the bones of family members that have passed on.
Butterflies are now thought to have the equivalent of a GPS system in their antennae.
Pigs have the mental capacity of a four year-old human child and have beat humans in memory games.
So, perhaps animals are not stupid. Perhaps it's we who are stupid for not recognizing the amazing things animals can do, many of which we can't do ourselves. Perhaps it's we who are dumb for not being able to circumnavigate the globe without instruments as albatross do, or find our way home across thousands of miles of ocean as Blue Whales do.
Maybe humans can actually learn a thing or two from these "stupid" animals. How about we start with this: animals don't create trash. Animals don't build nuclear weapons to annihilate each other. Animals don't conjure up religions and then kill each other in the name of their Gods. Animals with white fur don't discriminate against animals with fur of a different hue or color. Animals only take what they need. Animals are self-cleaning and don't waste water -- my cat has NEVER had a bath yet he'd smell better than any human who didn't shower. Animals don't gay bash homosexual animals. Animals don't screw over other animals for financial gain a la Bernie Madoff. Animals don't breed other animals to be prettier, fatter, or tastier. Animals don't systematically torture and abuse and kill billions of other animals (or each other) the way humans do. Animals don't commit Holocausts, they don't factory farm, and they don't ethnically cleanse each other. Animals don't cheat. Animals don't front. Animals are their authentic selves.
Yes, humans can do some amazing things: we can cure diseases, we can build skyscrapers, we can figure out how to travel into space. But only human arrogance would suggest that we're better or smarter than animals. The animals of the world evolved to be just as they are. They exist for their own reasons. Only an idiot would call them stupid.
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