I am not usually one for New Year resolutions; however, my recent lifestyle transformations have led me to consider setting goals that I have progressively worked to achieve over the past few months into a concrete idea for the new year. Merely as a means to fully visualize where I see myself now and in the future.
100% Vegan – No excuses, no cutting corners (even for holidays), I can do this
Try some new recipes and start making tonics
Workout at least every other day at the gym including cardio, yoga, and weight training
Do P90X daily (contingent my boyfriend ever getting around to sending me it)
Get outside!! Bundle up and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight.
Go horseback riding at least once a week
Spend more time playing with my dog and taking her on little adventures
Read more – I have an enormous stack of books that lay untouched, desperate to please me
Sleep – try and get a full 7 hours every night
Pass all parts of the CPA exam
Complete all class requirements for admission to vet school
Write a baller personal statement for admission to vet school
Yesterday and today were about the same. Lots of water in the mornings and a delicious peach, banana and mango smoothie with coconut milk for lunch.
Yesterday I stuck with more water and tea for dinner. I simply was not feeling food. I had an incredible amount of energy and did a lot of at home exercises with dumbbells and my yoga mat.
I woke up today feel light and healthy and a little bit sore. I did go to the gym today for an hour-long yoga class, about 25 minutes of interval training on the treadmill, and a whole bunch of machines working every muscle till they fatigued. I came home to a small cup of butternut squash soup and some sliced tomato with balsamic vinegar. Yum!!
Also, I completely forgot the weigh-in I was supposed to do Monday! I ended up doing it Tuesday and hit 135lbs!! So a 5lbs loss so far despite my little misbehavior around Christmas. Final day of accountability is Saturday. Going to keep up my good habits and weigh in Saturday morning before I consume mass amount of alcohol.
“See, I have given you every plant-yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”
– Genesis 1:29-30
“The Garden of Eden” by Lucas Cranach der Ältere, a 16th century German depiction of Eden.
Jewish and Christian biblical interpreters have agreed for millions of years that God intended humanity’s first diet to be meat-free. It was not until after the fall of man that men started to consume meat.
“The wolf shall live with the lamb … and the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isaiah 11:6-7)
Many doctrines of Christianity believe the consumption of animal flesh to be against the nature of creation. Modern religious leaders from Pope Benedict XVI to the Dalai Lama have condemned factory farming. Christianity, Islam and Judaism when not condemning the consumption of meat have surrounded it with cautions and restrictions.
In the ninth chapter of the bible, God grants man permission to eat meat out of concession for human weakness. He requires the draining of blood, of life force, as a reminder that this was not his intended plan. “Mankind has a right to nourishment, not to life. Hence the blood, the symbol of life, must be drained, returned to the universe, to God” (Rabbi Jacob Milgrom, PhD).
“Not to hurt or humble our brethren, the animals, is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it. If you have people who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity you will have people who will deal likewise with other people” (Francis of Assisi).
St. Francis by Johann Baptist Moroder-Lusenberg
“I’m not against organized religion, but I don’t take part in it… when they interpret their religious books as being in favor of meat-eating… [Vegetarianism] is my protest against the conduct of the world. To be a vegetarian is to disagree- to disagree with the course of things today… starvation, cruelty- we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it’s a strong one” (I.B. Singer).
Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism consider vegetarianism to be the theoretical ideal of the perfect world and it is advocated as a basic aspect of the spiritual life. The guiding principle of ahimsa means nonviolence and stands for all living things being sacred and they should not be hurt.
I am by no means a religious person, but belief in a deity or practice of faith is not a requirement for bearing witness to the cruelty and injustice of the current meat, dairy and egg manufacturers throughout the world. Faith is not a requirement to understanding that there is something essentially wrong and perverted about our modern practices. Animals are a life force and deserve our respect and care.
Lana Del Rey (aka Gangsta Nancy Sinatra), beautiful blonde with a gorgeous full mouth and a soulful voice that sets your soul alight.
I came across her song Video a few weeks ago and have been slowly discovering a few other songs from her album Born to Die to be released January 31, 2012. She is earthy and soulful with a sarcastic sense of humor and impeccable style. Here are a few of my favorites.
Monday began with a bagel with Earth Balance spread. Not good. It continued with nothing but water till evening when I had a little bit of left over pasta my parents brought home and some tea. Also not good. Definite lack of anything with nutrients or color.
Today was much better. I began with a smoothie. A delicious combination of peaches, banana, spirulina and water. I ran out of my usual coconut milk and found a can of Goya coconut cream. I didn’t use it. NEVER buy this. It is not natural. It is the water from a coconut with enough sugar and crap added to create a sticky and disgustingly sweet syrup. Stay far, far away.
I drank my smoothie around lunch time so I skipped food until evening. My parents and I went out to a local Turkish restaurant. I had a piece of bread with baba ghanoush and a smoked eggplant dish with some spicy rice and roasted tomatoes and peppers.
Goals for tomorrow are to maintain mainly liquids except for a big salad at some point during the day. I feel the need to cleanse after so many grains.
New York City – Destination for New Year’s celebrations. Times Square is of course the first thought that comes to mind. However, standing in the freezing cold, packed like sardines with a bunch of tourists for hours on end waiting for a ball to drop does not entice me. Also, I have done it already. Well not exactly. Last year my boyfriend and I headed to Times Square around 11:30PM and he talked our way through the crowd and barricades by pulling the whole “in the army and deploying to Afghanistan” thing with all the police officers. We ended up right next to the stage little Justin Bieber sang on. Missed his performance though… thankfully? I don’t think I can hate him. Sorry.
Anyways, New York is the champion of exotic. Check out one of the many masquerade parties throughout the city, or the huge circus parties with lots of beautiful people and wild things covered in glitter. For the more adventurous, there are numerous kinky sex parties involving little to no clothes and rules are optional. Whatever the ultimate plan, these are a few essentials to get the night started.
New Year’s Eve Essentials:
Sequin/Metallic dress – a must for any sexy lady on New Year’s. Simple LBD does not cut it. Any sequin or metallic finish is some super sexy flattering style is perfect. Aim high with glitz and glam.
Classy option – Aidan Mattox Bloused Cold Shoulder Sequin Dress found at Nordstrom
Frisky Option - Haute Hippie Sequin Halter Dress found at Nordstrom
Metallic - Herve Leger Metallic Bandage Dress found at Neiman Marcus, the back is simply stunning
A luscious pair of heels to go with your crazy, shiny dress. Many of you may turn to the black as it is simple and complements such a wild dress. Do not be afraid to add more sparkle with the shoe or even a burst of fun color or detail.
Cinderella's sold by everlastinglifashion on etsy.com - these would look awesome with a colored sequin/metallic dress, maybe a red or purple!
If you're leaning more towards simple, snazz it up with some feathery or lacy detail. These peacock heels are done by Louisa Cash on etsy.com, check out TheHeadbandShoppe
If those are still too bold, go with a classy black bootie. Suede is great for winter. These are the Adena Bootie by MICHAEL Michael Kors and can be found at Piperlime.com.
Now you have a few options. Depending on your plans for the evening and how elaborate your outfit already is, there are three options: Pretty jewelry, a masquerade mask, or a headdress/hair ornament. There are a bunch of masquerades throughout New York City for New Year’s as well as many other parties you may with to remain anonymous at.
Simple and sophisticated - thecraftychemist07 from etsy.com
Renaissance - BridalBijou etsy.com
I adore anything with a veil - HeadFullofFeathers on etsy.com
Peacock delight - BaroqueAndRoll on etsy.com
Simple and cute - byfato on etsy.com
In regards to jewelry, sequin and metallic dresses are done best with big, dangle earrings. Unless you’re wearing a sleeveless dress, I would skip the necklace and go straight for a statement making pair of gorgeous earrings.
Gorgeous! - delezhen on etsy.com
Edgy - Michael Spirito
Edgy - Michael Spirito
Jumbo bottle of Grey Goose for home made martinis and fruity concoctions both for pregame and recovery tonics. Vodka is the nectar of the gods. Drink and enjoy responsibly.
Grey Goose Magnum – Can be found at the Whiskey Exchange, Masters of Malt and many local alcohol stores
New Year’s Party Favors- Really? I honestly don’t think these are essential unless you’re having a house party in which it is kind of nice to have the tacky streamers and noise makers, but if you plan on going out, leave these home. It is extra nonsense to carry and for you ladies out there, best to bring as little as possible. Not many pockets in the tight, sexy dresses we plan on wearing.
For a kinky end to the evening, edible panties are in order. I am not entirely serious about this one, more for fun. If you’re thinking of something special for a loved one, try something new together. The parties and alcohol loosen up the morals and allow for a greater intimacy with less inhibitions. Just remember to share a kiss as the clock strikes midnight.
Candy G-String from Babeland
New Year’s is about fun, adventure and welcoming the new year in style. Express yourself, be wild, be unafraid, and above all, LIVE.
Christmas music has a tendency to drive me insane. The cheery, upbeat nature and tacky lyrics penetrate my eardrums causing a painful migraine to set in and pound against my skull with every gleeful note.
Here my boyfriend and I have comprised a list of holiday songs that are not only bearable, but really quite superb.
#1 – This is the only song that will receive a number as the rest are pretty much equal. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kristy McColl is worthy of the title of number one Christmas song EVER. My boyfriend actually reminded me of this recently and referred to the hopefulness for next year’s Christmas rather than the present Christmas (being stuck in the drunk tank). He compared it to our situation – him being deployed in Afghanistan and me being home, celebrating the holidays as best I can without the man I love.
After that, nothing compares; however, if I were to do a second choice it would be The Killers, Don’t Shoot Me Santa Claus. This video is absolutely hysterical.
Tom Waits, one of my favorite voices of all time, wrote a song entitled Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis. Gritty, rough, and hardcore lyrics. Daniel Durchholz once compared Waits’ voice as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.”
Next is my boyfriend’s pick and a definite classic – James Brown’s Please Come Home for Christmas.
Simply hilarious, I Want an Alien for Christmas by New Jersey natives, Fountains of Wayne.
The Flaming Lips, Christmas at the Zoo.
Another fun one with a pretty crazy story of violence and drunken festivities (of sorts), Oi, To The World by The Vandals.
Christmas in Cape Town by Randy Newman. Dark sense of humor noted.
It isn’t Christmas without the classic Elvis – Blue Christmas.
Elvis’ Santa Claus is Back in Town is another essential, raunchy blues Christmas song.
Now I am going to propose something very classic, Frank Sinatra’s Christmas Song. This is a very traditional song, yet it makes it on my list because Frank is simply amazing.
I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and please feel free to add any favorites of yours to the comments. I would love to hear them.
Christmas Eve and Christmas – a time of holiday festivities, traditional meals and lots of pie. I did not even attempt to fight the traditional meals and goings-on of these two days.
Christmas Eve started off well with a smoothie for breakfast, but ended with a late lunch/dinner of pizza. With the house empty of food and most places closed, my parents came home with pizza and I merely fell instep and grabbed a slice. Not the worst thing, but cheese is not on my new vegan kick.
Christmas Day includes two traditional meals. Breakfast is always cottage cheese pancakes with maple whipped cream and baked apples. Delicious. My mom is an amazing cook. No words can describe how delicious these are. I’ll post the recipe. Christmas lunch, which is so late it is basically dinner, consists of salad and antipasto with various meats and cheeses. I stuck to the salad, loading up on tomatoes, olives and cucumbers. Next, a massive piece of lasagna. Luckily, my cousin is a vegetarian so there is always a meat-free lasagna which I enjoyed a small piece of with some garlic bread. Dessert is even better. I had a piece of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum!
While absolutely none of this was in line with my goals, I gave myself some leniency being the holidays and being in a situation in which I cannot prepare a separate meal for myself. Next year, I hope to be more steadfast in my ways and will prepare my own dish to bring along and share. Penni Shelton of Raw Food Rehab has a lovely ebook Raw for the Holidays I have been meaning to buy. Great recipes apparently all based up on classic holiday dishes.
I have also decided to push today’s weigh-in to tomorrow morning.
School concluded for the semester on Wednesday and work gave employees an 11 day holiday starting today. First full day of freedom. It was beautiful. I slept till 10AM (unheard of!) and took my dog for a two-hour walk/run to the reservoir. Along the way we met two very angry geese, two deer, one of which was eating a huge hunk of pumpkin, and a whole bunch of dogs out for a midday stroll.
Breakfast: Before I left for my walk, I made a quick strawberry and banana smoothie with coconut milk. Delicious and refreshing. It is always great to start the day with fruit.
Lunch: A delicious salad of mixed baby greens and baby kale, chopped cucumber, golden beets and pear, raw pecans (“candied” with a little maple syrup and cinnamon). The dressing was made with a teaspoon of raw honey, about 3 tablespoons of apple sauce, dash of cinnamon, about two tablespoons apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. It came out a little thick so I added a splash of water to thin it out.
Dinner: I made the mistake of not preparing a dinner for myself. Instead I ended up munching a bit. I began with a kiwi before moving on to a few rye Triscuits, all the while making a coconut flan for my family. It can be difficult to make a delicious dessert that I know I should not be eating. I did manage to resist. All except for one little taste test at the end.