Monday, May 14, 2012

News, Some Structure, and a Meatless Monday

It's a fresh, sunshiny new week! Gosh, it's gorgeous outside, so I am going to try to key quickly!

My ankle is healing nicely and I'm hopeful to perhaps try a little jogging on it next week; YES! We'll see. I am being cautious in all that I am doing with it. In the meantime, I started this fresh week with a little bit of yoga. I had stopped my yoga because it had strangely started causing my back to ache. When I was sharing this with my sister, she wondered if it could be connected with my running. I immediately said no, because I had gone an entire year doing both running and yoga and had been in the best shape I had ever been; my endurance was terrific and I felt strong. Then in late January of the following year, I started struggling with my back. It was always irritated after yoga. Eventually, I just stopped. I've always thought it was kind of strange, given that yoga is often used to strengthen one's back and, indeed, entire body.

I was telling my siter this while we were on the way to the plant sale last week when what she'd mentioned clicked with something I hadn't thought of before. And while I kind of felt like a numbskull for not noting this before, I am so very hopeful that my problem may be that I had bought new shoes around that same time. While they were the same brand, the store where I purchased them did not have the same model of shoe I'd had such success in the year before. I don't know... maybe they don't even make that kind of shoe anymore, so I bought the newer one. The arch, I'd noticed was different and kind of cramped my foot for some time in the beginning and I thought I just had to get used to it, which I did, but I wonder if it kind of did a number on my form and therefore my back.

SO, I am in the midst of a new experiment. While I can't run, I am going to try some gentle yoga this week and see if my back can handle it. I love the way yoga tones me all over. When I feel the stretch in a Down Dog position, for example, in my legs, my arms are also being worked. Brilliant for time-crunched mamas!

I've been thinking about introducing a little bit of structure in this space. Ugh. I so rarely seem to stick with this kind of thing, but I'm going to try. I'd like to continue writing more often and a loose structure may help guide my posts. Perhaps they won't be as ramble-y.

I haven't talked about my vegan diet in some time, so I thought that joining the folks over at Meatless Mondays would be a good place to start. But first, a confession. I can't claim a strictly vegan diet anymore, because when my husband and I locate a farmer that meets our criterea for kindness to their chickens, we will occasionally buy eggs. I know how important it is for some who are vegan to be clear in what it means to be vegan, so I can't claim a strictly vegan diet anymore. I may go back to being completely egg-free again, because I still don't like the idea of so many male chicks being tossed aside into bags to suffocate or straight into a machine that mutilates them immediately upon their birth (deemed as the "humane" way of disposing of those animals not profitable). If I do, my reasons will be for that, not because I think it is exploiting a chicken to use it's eggs for food.

What I did want to mention today is why we remain dairy-free. I won't go into any gruesome details here. There are plenty of websites out there that do that. I just want to clarify by stating some facts that I think some of those who know me just don't understand, because it is true, consuming dairy does not (directly) kill the animal.

Here are just three (though there are more) reasons we don't consume dairy. The first two are from Robin Robertson's fabulous cookbook, Vegan Planet:

1) "A factory-farm dairy cow must endure a painfully swollen udder and spend her entire life in a stall, being milked up to 3 times a day. She is kept pregnant most of her life, and her young are usually taken from her at birth."

2) "Veal calves - byproducts of the dairy industry [often male calves that have no "purpose" on a dairy farm] - are locked up in stalls and chained by the neck so they cannot turn around their entire lives. They are kept in darkness and fed a diet without iron or roughage in order to produce tender, milky-white meat."

3) I don't need to.

What we WILL be eating this week is as follows:

Monday: Pakistani Kima ( curry dish from the More With Less Cookbook)
Tuesday: Rosemary Lemon Potatoes with Black Olives and Sundried Tomatoes (from Vegan Planet)
Wednesday: Baked Polenta with Red Beans and Salsa (Vegan Planet)
Thursday: A la Carte Veggie Wraps with homemade Hummus
Friday: Lentil Veggie Loaf with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

So, perhaps you'll take a look at the Meatless Mondays website or any of the books I mention and be inspired to try your own Meatless Mondays every week. There are thousands upon thousands of  free, wonderful meatless recipes out there on the internet and from your local library to try and there is so much fresh, fabulous produce available now and in the months to come here in North America that you'll never be lacking in choices for flavor and variety! The Avocado Raddish Salad over at Meatless Mondays is something that looks divine to me right now! We didn't get any radishes for our garden this year, but that doesn't mean I won't be looking for them at the farmer's market! Ooo... and that reminds me of a fantastic radish recipe I want to share with you! I'll have to get it from my friend, Lily. Good grief, it's making me hungry just thinking about it. Thank goodness I've still got my blueberry Silk yogurt - right here - yum! - and some peach iced tea. Happy Monday! :)


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