Monday, May 28, 2012

Had To Share...*Warning: May Make You Cry*

I saw the following video on a friend's wall on Facebook, and I had to share it.  It's a video by Kellie Coffey, and it's a song about wanting to have a child. 

My husband and I tried for 7 years before we had our twins.  I think it's needless to say that this made me bawl.

To those TTC and having problems, my heart goes out to you.  It goes out to you. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So I Eat Fish...Sue Me.

So I've given up meat.  Mostly.  I don't eat pork, chicken, or beef.  I don't eat venison, lamb, rabbit, or any other creature with feet.  I do, however, eat fish.

I have to just point out here that "vegetarians" don't ONLY eat vegetables.  They eat wheat.  They eat cheese. They eat eggs.  They eat fruit.  They eat Oreos.  So that whole "fish isn't a vegetable" argument doesn't really work for me.  Because eggs aren't vegetables either.  
I know that according to some people, if something has a face, it's "meat".  So if that's the case, I eat fish meat.  If that's a person's definition of a vegetarian, then I'm not one.  But according to Dr.Sears, you CAN be a "vegetarian" and eat fish;

"Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs along with plant foods. (We believe this is the healthiest diet for most people)."

Maybe I'm not a "vegetarian" (though more than once on Dr.Sears' site it names "fish" as a food for vegetarians).  I've never been much for labels anyway.  I rarely fit them completely, and I really doubt most people do.  I've found that when you label someone, they "have to" fit every single thing on the list of "what it takes" to be [insert label here], otherwise they're a "wannabe", or a "fake".  It also implies that those who DO fit every single part of a label are somehow superior than those who are missing one or two points.  And I think that's a slippery slope...deciding who's a better [label], based on a pre-determined set of "rules".  Maybe I'm not the "best vegetarian" because I eat fish, but I'm okay with that.  It's not easy to go from eating whatever I want, to eliminating entire food groups.  I know for me, at least, that if I don't do this in a way that I'm comfortable with, it's not going to last.  And I really want this to be long-term.  Forever.

I don't eat pork, beef, or chicken because I don't agree with how they are raised or killed.  They *generally* live a shitty life, and are killed in the least peaceful way possible because it saves money.  Fish generally live a normal life before they're caught and killed.  I go out of my way to not eat farm-raised fish.  (Not because I think they're unhappy, rather because I've tasted the difference between farm fish and fish living in the wild, and farm fish tastes like nothing.  It's weird.)  And if that explanation isn't good enough for anyone, sorry.  If you don't like it, label me a "bitch", because I don't give a crap.  ; )

I eat cheese.  
I eat fish.  I eat eggs.   I'm not vegan.  I don't know if I will ever get that far.  In a perfect world I could just do it.  This isn't a perfect world, and all I can say about it is that I'm going to work toward it.  If it happens, great.  If not, whatever.

I am hoping to move more toward a dairy-free diet, which I did for 20+ years due to a very severe lactose intolerance.  (It went away with the pregnancy of my twins and never returned.)  But as with every other major life change, I'm doing it slowly, so it's not just a "stage"'s forever.
I'm removing one dairy product at a time and replacing it with a dairy-free option.  I've started with milk...and switched (for now) to soy.  I can get Organic (non-GMO) Soy Milk from the dollar store here.  It's good, and I'm used to the taste.  I'm not a fan of soy products (I think I've mentioned that before), but short-term it'll do.  I'm going to be trying out other options along the way before I settle on something more permanent.
  I'm struggling with the idea of losing things like chocolate, and cheese, after living most of my life without them.  But I'll find something to replace them too.  (How hard will it be not to pop one of those Peanut Butter Balls in my mouth at Christmas?!  It'll suck.  But I'll survive it.)

As for the fish thing, I don't eat large-species fish (like shark or sword fish).  I prefer fish that are native to my area, like salmon, trout, or catfish.  And this diet is one I can maintain long-term.  I don't miss eating pork, beef, or chicken.  I know I can be happy without them in my life.  I seriously think I could live on fish, though.  Cooked or raw.  Perhaps after I have removed the rest of the foods I would like to stop eating, fish will go too.  But for now, it's staying.  And if that makes me a "vegetarian wannabe", LOL, who cares.  I'm sleeping at night.  ; )

And finally, the eggs...are from free-range, antibiotic-free, happy and loved chickens, and owned by a good friend of my husband.  We get them $2 a dozen.  Can't beat that deal!!

**I also want to say here, for those who raise their own stock animals, that if you love your cow/pig/chicken/whatever, and you give it a good life where it's happy and treated with respect, and then you shoot it and kill it instantly, I have no problem with that animal being eaten.
If that makes me a bad [veg-based label], so be it.  As I said, I don't fit well into categories, and labels don't really work for me.**

So that's that.  No secrets.  Just telling it like it is, and probably pissing people off along the way.  And I'm okay with that.  Because I'd rather be honest and have someone mad at me, than to be a liar.

I Don't Eat Meat*, But I Still Love Food!!

So this is just a quickie post about the food I have made since I stopped eating meat.*  

*I do, actually, still eat fish.  So maybe I'm not a "vegetarian" in that traditional sense, but I don't care much for labels anyway.  And on "Ask Dr.Sears.Com" I found this;"Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs along with plant foods. (We believe this is the healthiest diet for most people)."
Anyway, this isn't a post about what I eat, or why I eat it.  That'll be the next one.  This is just recipes.  If you don't like fish, don't eat it.

Cheesy Eggplant Bake.

1 Eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 brick of marble cheese
1 cup cream cheese, softened in the microwave
Garlic Plus (spice)
3-cheese spaghetti sauce

Layer eggplant along the bottom of an oven safe dish.
Pour some of the spaghetti sauce on top, covering the slices of eggplant.
Put another layer of eggplant on top of the bottom layer.  (Stagger the pieces so it covers the spaces between the bottom layer.)
Pour the rest of the spaghetti sauce on top.
Spread melty cream cheese into spaghetti sauce.
Top with grated marble cheese.
Sprinkle with Garlic Plus.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until eggplant is soft.


Vegetarian Chili

1 can red kidney beans
1 can chick peas
1 can 5-blend beans
1 can brown beans in tomato sauce (no pork!)
1/2 red pepper and 1/2 an onion cut up and sauteed (so good this way!)
1 can black beans
1 cup carrots, julienne
1/2 cup lima beans
1 cup corn
1 can 3-cheese spaghetti sauce  (*you can make this vegan by using Original sauce.)
1 pkg. Chili seasoning

Throw it all in a pot, stir, and add 1 pkg. of Chili seasoning.
Cook until everything is soft.  (About an hour or so.)
Serve on a bed of rice.

Creamy Vegetable Soup (Vegan recipe)

1 butternut squash (cook it in the oven tastes better that way)
1- 1/4 inch thick slice of turnip, cubed
1 whole pepper, cut into pieces (I used 3- 1/2 peppers...yellow/orange/red)
4 potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 stalks of celery, cut into pieces
1-2 cups of corn
1 cup peas
1 bunch of broccoli
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion (I ran out so I used 1/2 a pkg. of onion soup mix.)

Cook it all in about 6 cups of water until it's soft, and when it's done, stick it in a blender until it's creamy. Use the water you cooked it in to get it to the consistency you want. (You'll have to dump what's blended into a big bowl as you go makes a lot.)

Or don't blend it. Either way it's awesome. : )

(If you don't like turnip, don't use's a really strong taste.)

Shish Kabobs

This one is super easy, and can be altered to your own tastes.

Mushrooms, however you like them.  (Whole, sliced thick, etc.)
Green Peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
Yellow Peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
Orange Peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
Gardein Beefless Tips
Soyganic Smoked Tofu, cut into 1-inch squares
Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch thick slices (then halved)
Red Onion, cut into big chunks
1/2 of a rainbow trout, skinned and boned

I started with the pepper going onto the skewer, because it holds more firmly than any of the other items.
I put it no particular order, but ended with a pepper as well, to hold everything on the stick.

**FTR, I hated the smoked tofu.  It tasted like eating a chunk of pork, and that's not my cup of tea.  I have never liked pork, and the smoked flavor was a little overwhelming for me.  My meat-eating husband LOVED it, though.
The "beefless tips" were excellent.**

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Call Bullshit...Coke Eats Nails?!

Okay, so this ended up on my news feed on Facebook. I'm sure some of you have seen it. Also, I'm sure some that have seen it are thinking what I'm thinking...BULLSHIT.

WATER or COKE - Can you believe this....? Not even about the sugar!

#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (also applies to half the world population)
#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.
#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79% and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?

#1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.
#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the 'real thing' sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
#4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.
#8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

#1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.
#2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup! (the concentrate) the commercial trucks must use a hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.
#3. The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean engines of the trucks for about 20 years!

So the question is, would you like a glass of water? or Coke?

By: A**** D***

I hate to sound skeptical, because I do know that for sure Coke takes rust off of things.  I've been using it since I heard that fact as a kid.  (Never stopped me from drinking it, funny enough...)

But it's going to EAT a nail?!  Yeah.  We'll see.  And when I posted this link up on my own FB wall, I had a friend tell me that it will completely dissolve a penny in less than a month*.  So now I'm going to put a penny in a container and see how that goes too.

*He did say it was a "pure copper" penny, which we don't have in Canada...but we do have some that are 98% copper, 1.75% tin, and .25% zinc (1980-1981).  So that's what I'll use.

My main question here is that if Coke can dissolve metals, how do they sell it in a tin can?  LOL

So I'm going to pick up a some Coke tonight and do some experiments.  (I feel like I'm in grade 6 again.)  We'll see.  And I'll document it as time goes on.

As for the rest of the claims made in this post, lets see...

#1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.:

I looked for answers on this one.  Short of calling a police station in the US to find out for sure, there's not much I can do to find this out one way or another.  But Snopes had THIS to say about it.
The fact is that the internet is full of shit...bullshit, that is.  And as many things have been posted saying that "Mythbusters" proved it to be true, as there are things posted saying that "Mythbusters" proved it to be false.  I even tried looking up episodes of that show on YouTube, and never found the one about "pigs blood".#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.

Yeah...well, I'm not about to go and buy a steak to see if the pop can eat the whole thing in 2 days.  I highly doubt it.  I'm pretty sure that I'd end up with a soggy steak that tasted like pop.  I'll pass.

#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the 'real thing' sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

I'm going to try this.  I'll let you know.  Hopefully it doesn't stain my toilet.  My husband would be pissed!  (Pun not intended, though funny.)

What happened:  I didn't do it.  I'm afraid.  I'm afraid it's going to stain the hell out of my toilet.  If someone else does it, take before and after pics, and I'll post them here.

#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

Fact.  Coke eats rust.

#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

Apparently there is no #6.  Whatever.  LOL
Well, again, I'm not going to pour pop in with a ham to see if it makes a "sumptuous brown gravy".  Gross.  I'm going to pass on that one too...though was told that beer makes a ham very tender.
I'll take your word for it.

#8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

Well, I'm going to try this out on my husband's van windows.  I'm sure he'll be thrilled.  LOL  I guess the worst thing that could happen would be the sudden swarming of a thousand bees going after the smell of the pop...

What happened:  It left a big streak residue on the middle of his windshield.  The statement didn't mention rinsing it off...  *Running away*

I'm NOT pouring pop into my washing machine.  So that will remain un-proven either way.

So all that remains now is to see if Coke can eat through metal.  I'm doubting it.  There will be an upcoming blog post about what happened in the experiment.  Stay tuned!  ; )

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Giving Up Meat...again.

Once upon a time I was a vegetarian.  For four years.

It wasn't difficult, really...I was young, I lived with a bunch of friends, and we were dirt poor.  Meat costs a lot of money, and we were able to buy a cardboard box full of canned food for $5 (as high as we could pile it).  That left us with about a hundred cans of veggies.  So, we'd make "shmeg".  Sounds lovely, right?  LOL

We would dump whatever canned goods (peas/corn/beans/mushrooms/etc.), we had into a big pot, add a can of tomato sauce, some curry, and let it cook.  It'd thicken up, and we'd eat it on toast.  LOL  Yum.

Well, now, 10 years later I was sitting on the fence on whether or not to go veggie again.  And really, the only time I even eat meat is when it's something like bacon...which barely counts as meat, right?  Or there will be odd time I'll use chicken in a stir-fry.  But...the last time I made a stir fry, I made it with tofu, and no one even noticed.  So I'm not afraid to starve and die if I give up meat.

As much as I'd wanted to remove meat from my diet, I knew it was going to be harder than it was before.  Now I have a family that I need to think about too.  I have three young children, and a husband that I'm pretty sure could survive on meat alone.  The day HE gives up meat is the day the sky falls.  As for the kids, the little one is a huge meat-eater.  If she has six piles of food on her plate, and one is meat, she eats that first.  Always has.  My son will eat meat after his veggies.  My Ooie McGooie really doesn't eat much meat, and I've joked that she was born a vegetarian.

It's not as though I'm feeding them hotdogs (well, not normally...but they DO eat those "Country Naturals" hotdogs from time to time when we can get them on sale.  I'm not going to lie about it!)
Anyway, the meat in our house is normally things like roasted chicken, bbq'd pork chops, or roast beef.  I prefer things I can cook along with one big pot.  But I'm not going to stop my husband from bbq'ing.  He just got a huge, brand new one.  I think he loves it.  And it's less dishes.

The problem I was having with going meat-free is the fact that I'm going to have to make two separate for them, and one for me.  And honestly, as much as I can cook (I can COOK), I am not a fan of spending my day in the kitchen.  I already cook 3 meals a day, plus end up making the kids 3 or 4 snacks.  They eat non-stop.  No kidding.  It's a pretty good thing they love fruit and vegetables, because if we were one of those Twinkies and Pop Tart families, they'd be 400 lbs.

So yes, I am citing "laziness" as the reason it took me so long to make any kind of real decision.  (Saying I was "thinking about it" was a pretty good way to get people to think I was actually going to choose what I wanted to do either way.)

Then, thanks to a very sweet friend, I ended up watching the following video:


If for some reason you have problems being able to see it, you can find the video right HERE.

The documentary I posted up there opened my eyes to things I didn't know.  Maybe I wish I didn't know them...I kind of preferred to walk around with my head up my ass just assuming that all meat animals lived some kind of lovely life for years before being killed humanely.  Well, sorry folks.  That's not the reality of it.

I'm honestly CHANGED from what I saw.  I am someone who has worked as a meat-wrapper, I've worked along side a butcher and held those 1/2 cows up so they could cut them into smaller, more workable pieces.  I've scooped chicken gizzards from a bag and put them into plastic containers with my hands.  I have had blood covering my white apron, and up to my elbows...and never thought twice about it.  To me, those things bleeding on me were chunks of meat.  Meat.  Not chunks of a cow that was treated like shit it's whole life, only to be tortured during it's death.

It really does explain why the last butcher I worked with told me that all butchers are alcoholics.  He told me they had to be.  And at the time I thought maybe it was something he hadn't meant to say, so never pressed him about it.  But after watching this......he wasn't a bad man.  He was a good man.  People are, generally, good.  And that's why I think these butchers are alcoholics.  Because how can you kill something that did nothing to you, then cut it up into pieces (EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIFE), and not end up being haunted by it??  **And I'm not saying that EVERY single butcher in the entire world has been, or will be, an alcoholic.  But the five I've worked with in my life...they all were.  And it was the words of one that brought that to light.  If you want to argue with someone about it...argue with him.  lol  Though I don't think that's probably a great idea...**

Anyway, I've stopped eating meat.  I've stopped making excuses as to why I think it's okay to eat it, and stopped.  Because I think that before we do something...whether it is circumcision of our baby boys, choosing to have an elective c-section, or eating meat, we should have to see it for what it is.  The truth of it.  Not the PG-Rated TV version of it.  The TRUTH.

I think that after we see that baby boy's face turn purple as a Dr. peels the skin away from his tiny penis, we suddenly become aware of the gravity of the situation.  I think we can no longer deny that it is extremely dangerous, painful, and traumatic for someone who is brand new here.  Someone who deserved to be protected from harm.

When we see a brand new baby being pulled by the head out of it's mother's body with no care being taken to help him/her enter this world in a peaceful manner, we suddenly become aware of the reality of it.  It's not what we assume it is.  It's not butterflies and unicorns.

And, when we see how the animals are treated as nothing more than a commodity, only here for our benefit, who's lives are not valuable or worthy of any type of respect, we can no longer deny that the steak on our bbq didn't just fall off of a cow that died of natural causes after a lifetime of frolicking in a field of clover, crapping rainbows.

I am, several days later, still somewhat in shock about the things I saw in "Earthlings".  And it's not as though I live in some bubble.  I don't.  I knew those animals met an untimely death.  But I had no idea it was that horrible.

On top of all the MORAL and ETHICAL issues that surround eating meat, there are also medical issues...ones we all know about, but choose to ignore.

One of those things is the synthetic growth hormones they use.  I got the following statement from HERE:
Do hormonal substances given to cattle impact human health?
“Hormonal substances” is a term used to describe sex hormones given to cattle. Health Canada has approved three natural hormones and three synthetically produced hormones for use in cattle in Canada.
Many experts and agencies, including Health Canada, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, have reviewed the safety of hormone use. At present, there is no evidence linking the use of hormonal substances in cattle to health risk in humans.
Now my two cents on it is that using sex hormones on meat that will be consumed by humans cannot be without risk.  Why is it that there are so many girls who are hitting puberty at such a young age?  Why is it that it's not uncommon for a 9 year old girl to get her period?  Maybe it shows my age, but back in MY day it was a whole lot closer to 14 years old before that happened.  Were cattle treated differently back then?  Maybe.  And maybe it's got nothing to do with hormones in beef.  Maybe it's our environment.  Or maybe it's both.  I can't say for sure.  Even if I had proof one way or another, there'd be some link to information out there that would say I was wrong.  There always is.  (The joys of the internet!!)
For those who will not be swayed in the way of buying the meat, the above link also provided this:

"Having said that, if consumers want to consume beef that has not been given any hormonal substances, they have the choice of purchasing certified organic beef."

I found these alarming stories when I started digging around:

As for milk, I did find the following statement from Natrel (find more information HERE):
Does Natrel milk contain any artificial growth hormones or antibitics or preservatives?
No. All Natrel milk is free from artificial growth hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. In Canada there are very strict rules governing the milk supply and inspection and testing both at the farms and dairy processing facilities to ensure the safety and quality of our milk."
The following came from Dairy


Are there antibiotics in milk? Dairy regulations in Canada are very clear. When a cow is receiving medication, the dairy farmer must follow strict protocols.

Farmers place a high emphasis on the safety and health of their cows. Just like humans, cows sometimes get sick, and when they do, they may need medications such as antibiotics. Antibiotics are administered only in case of illness to preserve the health and well-being of the animals.

The cow undergoing antibiotic treatment must be clearly identified. The farmer continues to milk her, but her milk must be discarded for a mandatory withdrawal period until her system has cleared the medication. Very strict penalties apply if regulations are not met.
And as for growth hormones to increase milk supply, I found the following information HERE:
"Growth hormones to stimulate milk production are not approved for sale or permitted for use in Canada. To maximize milk production, producers make sure that their cows are healthy and well-nourished.
In Canada, no cow can be given artificial hormones to increase its milk production. This means that no milk, cheese or yogurt produced in Canada contains these hormones.
To optimize milk production, our farmers use state-of-the-art methods. These techniques do not require the use of hormones and are based instead on traditional good practices, meaning that cows are kept healthy and well fed.
Although Health Canada does not permit the use of recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), this growth hormone is legal and considered safe in the U.S. and other countries."
And so, after some research, I'm still going to be drinking milk and eating cheese.  (For now, anyway.)  But meat is a thing of the past for me.  And I'll still cook it for my husband.  Whatever.  I will never get him to watch that video, and he'll stick to his guns and say animals were given to us to be eaten.  And, as much as I know that in theory he's right, I don't think it was ever supposed to be this way.  I don't think animals were given to us so we could pack them into stalls and beat them with wrenches, and skin them alive...  Because the reality of it is that I'm not against eating animals.  I'm against the mistreatment of animals, and the torture inflicted upon them in order to kill them.  I think it could be so much better.  I think those animals could live their lives with some respect, and some love, and deserve some basic rights.  And I think that there are much better ways to kill an animal that doesn't make it suffer.

Well, I'm going to stop now.  And before I go I want to say that I don't think that anyone is a bad person for eating meat.  Because it's pretty hard to know what no one tells you.  And if you can continue to eat meat after this, no one will ever say that you aren't aware of the truth.  All I want is for people to know the truth.  All I want is for people to live in reality.  I can't make anyone stop eating meat.  I can't make anyone do ANYTHING.  But what I HOPE to do is just open some eyes.