18 months to Today

I met her when we were in pre-preschool. We were 18 months old to be exact.

We spent a lot of time together.

At 5 years old, she moved. At 7, I moved.

We wrote letters that always began the same, “I miss you. Do you miss me?”

Between 10-17 we had annual mall trips and sleepovers.

At 15, I met her future husband.

At 19, we became college roommates.

At 22, we moved apart.

At 26, I stood up in her wedding and bawled my eyes out.

Tonight, we are eating Mexican, having deep conversation, and trying to make the wine label talk…it’s a thing, gGoogle 19 Crimes.

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Low battery

For those of you who have been reading my plant segment, I’m apologizing now.

My computer cord is at school, my phone charger is barely working, and my phone is at 31%, which according to my phone, is the same as 3%.

So, tomorrow, the story will continue.

Powering down.

Have I mentioned plants lately?

Welcome back!

So, this whole new blogging style is really difficult, especially when I have a huge report due and I need to find time to write part three, but hey, I was trying to challenge myself…

Quick recap…can’t eat dairy, but still do, can’t eat gluten, wish I could, don’t eat meat, no one I live with does…

College ends and it’s a time of transition, change, and new experiences: I get to start my career that I always dreamed of and I get to move back into my parents’ house. Can you tell which was exciting and which was slightly depressing? I ended up living with my parents for about three years and I know that sounds like an incredibly long time, but my bank account is forever thankful. During that time, my relationships with my parents grew tremendously. I was still eating a vegetarian diet and my dad was more pro-vegetariamism than I ever could’ve imagined. He supported my mom’s lifestyle choices through all the horrible meat substitutes, cooking fails, and lots of plant-based videos, articles, and “fun facts”. She had even started cutting out all dairy products from her life and our fridge.

By this point, I had accepted my vegetarian lifestyle, however, I referred to myself as a pesciatarian. (I still struggle with sushi. It’s just so incredibly delicious.)

The years went by quickly and before I knew it, this past school year was almost over. It was the night before the last day of school. I had gone out with some co-workers and gotten back to my parent’s place around 11ish, which was super late for a school night. I heard my mom walk downstairs and thought that I had woken her. She walked into the kitchen and stared at me. She said she had gotten her test results earlier that day, but wanted to tell me in person.

I never realized how quiet my parent’s house could be until that moment. I never really knew how long a pause could feel. I never thought I would ever hear these words come out of my mother’s mouth.

“It’s cancer.”

My entire world changed in that moment. This one word, so common, yet you never expect it to come out of your loved one’s mouth, had just crept it’s way into my life, our lives.

What we didn’t know in that moment was how her diet, her lifestyle change, the recommendation I made, would have impacted her medical results just a few months later.

Stay tuned for part 4. (It will be the last, I promise)

It’s really all about those plants …

Part Two:

Just to recap, I was lactose intolerant as a young child, grew out of it, then grew back into it, and was probably also gluten intolerant the entire time, but didn’t find out until I was in high school .

Fast forward to college, I was fending for myself and living with a vegetarian. Living with a vegetarian definitely impacted my diet; I never bought meat,  I tried new recipes, and ultimately discovered a variety of other food and how to cook (poorly, but I had to start somewhere…). One night during college, I was laying on the couch and scrolling through Netflix. I had been on a documentary kick and found a food one that sounded interesting: Forks Over Knives. I started to watch and quickly became engrossed, disgusted with the information, and ultimately fell asleep somewhere in the middle. Engrossed and falling asleep probably doesn’t seem right, but in my defense I started watching it around 1am. At some point over the next couple days or weeks, I mentioned the documentary to my mom. She watched it, didn’t fall asleep, and became a vegetarian overnight. It was quite the shock to our entire family and started the painful process of adjustment for my dad, brothers, and myself. She was so intrigued, might I even say obsessed (she will kill me if she ever reads this…) that she and my aunt (also loved the documentary) followed the Forks Over Knives guy on social media, bought his books and food, and went to a workshop/retreat he was hosting. I created a monster. For her birthday, which happens to fall right after Christmas so my brothers and I were home from college, she made us watch Forks Over Knives. I fell asleep again.

Over the next couple years, I lived with a vegetarian both at school and when I was home on breaks. I never really made a “no meat” decision until much later in my life, but I just so happened to be on almost vegetarian diet due to my living situation. In hindsight, recommending that documentary to my mom was one of my best decisions; I don’t know what would have happened years after…things could have turned out much differently. Why is that? You’ll have to come back and find out…this is only the beginning.

P.S. I still fall asleep when I try to watch Forks Over Knives, but it really is interesting and I recommend it.

Stay tuned for Part Three.

It’s all about those Plants, those Plants, no Animals (part 1)

For those of you who have read my blogs in the past, you know I tend to write short blurbs on just about anything. This SOL, I wanted to branch out and try something different. Will I keep writing short blurbs? Yes, of course; I’m a creature of habit and I love writing short posts, but today will start one of many posts about my plant-based diet journey and it will be long.

Before you roll your eyes and think, “ugh, just another vegan”, listen to my story first. If you read my story and still think, “ugh, just another vegan”-then feel free to judge.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with food. I was lactose intolerant when I was an infant; my mother refers to me as the “exorcist baby”. I’ve never seen the film, but from other’s faces when I say that, it can’t be good. I “grew out” of my intolerance around 4th grade and my parents started making me drink milk. Gag. It was disgusting. The smell. The taste. Gag. Luckily the making me drink milk part didn’t last long. I may have, and still do, despise milk, but cheese quickly become one of my favorite foods. I could eat an entire block of cheese and not think twice.

When I was in high school, my cousin had a test done to see if she had any food allergies or intolerance’s. My mother decided to go ahead and order the test for my brothers and I. I had always had stomach pains and problems, but hearing about this test and thinking of the possibility of cutting out dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, etc, was so terrifying, I tried to talk my mom out of it. Of course that didn’t work. A few weeks later, I got the results. I can still see my mother opening the envelope, she haf to open it since I refused to acknowledge what I knew was coming, and she read the paper. I was intolerant to dairy and gluten. I remember thinking, “well, sh*t”. That was the last day I ever intentionally ate gluten. I didn’t cut out dairy right away and I don’t remember why, but I remember those first few weeks of being gluten free and realizing how much I couldn’t eat. I remember eating lunch with my friends and one of them hiding her sandwich, because she felt bad that I couldn’t eat it or asking my friends if I could smell their food, because as weird as it sounds, it helped. About 4-6 weeks after quitting gluten, I woke up for the first time in my entire life without a stomach ache. I never knew that people could walk around for days and weeks without a stomach ache. That moment was the point that really changed my life; that moment was 10 years ago.

End part one. Part two tomorrow.

3 Hour Naps

I just woke up from a 3 hour nap. It was one of those “accidental” naps. You know the kind. You lay on the couch with the intention of closing your eyes for about 20 to 30 minutes and you wake up not knowing what time, day, month, or even year it is anymore. You feel a tad groggy and, if you’re like me, you walk to the kitchen and have some ice cream because how else do you cope with an intense awakening?

So, now I’m here, writing and trying to think of something more exciting to tell you, but my brain is a pile of mush.

So, here’s a fun sneak peak into tomorrow’s post instead. Tomorrow will be more exciting:

My Place

 

The featured image is one of my favorite spots. It’s one I’ve visited for years. If I stare at the picture long enough, I start to feel as if I’m there; the water rippling and splashing onto the shoreline, the smell of complete inner peace, the breezy chilled air…it all becomes so real. It’s a place that I’ve explored as a child-swimming in the lake, running around the park, fishing with my dad, finding out the hard way what leeches were, and crying every time we caught a fish that we didn’t release. It’s a place that’s seen me grow into an adult – sitting by the lake watching my second cousins run around the park, fishing along side my dad and brothers (catching some of the largest fish – and no, no one helps me bait my hook or anything. I’m an independent fisherman!), avoiding leeches, and still sometimes refusing to keep the big fish. This place is my happy place.

On days like this, during weeks like this, when the world decides to put you to the test in every single aspect of your life, this is when I stare at this picture. And in that moment, everything is okay again.

 


Welcome back, Slicers! I can’t believe it’s March again; I know I say this every year, but can you believe it?! I can’t wait to see what this month of slicing and writing brings. Stay tuned for more short posts about anything and everything!