Lifestyle

//Americana//

We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of Earth.

~ Abraham Lincoln

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Please enjoy these photos! All of them were taken by me.

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Over It

A Weekend of Good Eats: Wichita

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Lifestyle · vegan

Vegan Thanksgiving Recap

This is a little late, but there is still one day left in November so I guess it’s okay. Thanksgiving can be stressful for vegans or those on a plant based diet. Your family might not be supportive or could pressure you to eat animal products.

If I am being honest, I had some of these feelings too. My family has no problem with my vegan lifestyle, but I still had a little anxiety about the holiday. Turns out, it is really easy to “veganize” thanksgiving food.

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I was so grateful because my parents made all of the sides vegan friendly. I didn’t make a tofurkey this year, so I just ate sides and it was delicious! We had roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes with pecan topping, vegan friendly stuffing, and vegan friendly mashed potatoes.
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I also made a vegan and gluten free dessert. This is sweet potato bread and it is topped with pecans, almond butter, and agave. This isn’t my original recipe, the recipe is from: http://frommybowl.com/sweet-potato-bread/

Thanksgiving and holidays in general are great opportunities for spreading the vegan message. I like to use the holidays to showcase how great vegan food can be and I respectfully talk about why I think it’s a great lifestyle. This is the important part (respectfully). People will be turned off if you constantly criticize them about how they live and eat. Please keep this in mind during the holidays.

Now, I can’t wait for Christmas! I will for sure be posting more holiday related content, keep your eyes peeled!

Thanks for reading!

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October Overview

Fall Inspired Meals (Vegan)

Lifestyle · vegan

Goodwill Haul | Round 2

In my opinion, a vegan lifestyle partly involves reducing waste. I have never enjoyed shopping and I typically prefer going to thrift shops before going to a mall. There is so much waste and consumption that goes into producing new clothing. Also, let’s not forget that factory workers spend 8+ hours a day in poor conditions producing clothes. I believe that it is super important to go to thrift stores, second hand stores, or even just swapping clothes with friends.

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This trip to Goodwill, I bought a patterned blouse, a pair of cropped jeans, and some dishes. I also like to get dishes at thrift shops because it makes my Instagram look more unique. I always check to make sure what I am getting is in decent condition. We need to break the stigma surrounding used items. People discard perfectly good items. You should not feel ashamed for saving money and reducing waste.

Thanks for reading!

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Cruelty-Free Haul

Goodwill Haul 

October Overview

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Lifestyle

They Were Hurting Too

When you are hurting emotionally, it’s easy to be consumed with your own feelings. It’s much easier to despise the person (or persons) that hurt you, than it is to just forgive them and move on with your life. I haven’t felt this kind of hurt in a long time, but I stumbled upon a quote one day that said, “forgive those who have hurt you, for they were hurting too”. It made me think of those times where I was hurting. I never even thought about this, I was just blind with anger, self-loathing, sadness, and basically all of the feelings possible.

I don’t think this justifies someone’s hurtful behavior, but it is important to think about what the other person might be going through or feeling. If they are also feeling down, they are going to want to lash out. If you are both feeling crappy, you are just going to resent each other. Most friendships and relationships fail because of communication issues.

Let’s say you are in an argument and the other person says something you don’t want to hear. Fast forward a couple of weeks or a couple of months and you and that person no longer talk. You might be thinking that it is entirely the other person’s fault. Maybe, you also hurt them. You might have said something insensitive in the heat of the moment without realizing it. Or you didn’t register their feelings as valid. You don’t have to become best friends with that person, but being consumed with hurt and anger will only hold you back. You don’t even have to apologize, you just have to realize that you cannot hold onto that resentment.

I know we have all been told that, “you don’t know what someone else is going through”. This is so true though and so important to remember when you are mad at someone. Thanks for reading!

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Lifestyle

October Overview

This month has been go, go, go. I want to apologize for not posting very much this month. Blogging isn’t always my top priority. Getting that out of the way, I thought I would share some of what I have been up to lately.

I have been spending a lot of time outdoors and a lot of time stuck in the classroom this month. This year my academic program has been a little more strenuous than normal. To become a social worker, you have to have a set amount of unpaid agency experience. One of the places I volunteer is a home for developmentally disabled adults. It just so happens that this home is on a tree farm, so it has been a great place to relax and get nice photos. Most of my photos are from here, but I also included pumpkin patch photos and a few others that I took throughout this month.

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My friend staring off into the distance.
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To relieve stress, I like to go on random drives.
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Me feeding an Alpaca.
 

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I hope you enjoyed these pictures. If you have questions for me, leave them in the comments and let me know what made your October memorable. Thanks for reading!

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A Weekend of Good Eats: Wichita

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Lifestyle · vegan

Running Your Best

To some, running is hell. It is the workout that everyone dreads. I felt that way several years ago. But now running has become a regular part of my routine. My running journey has taught me several things. One thing I have learned is that it’s hard to run your best each time. Some days it’s hard to pick up your legs and other days running a half marathon seems like a piece of cake. I want to share advice that helps you run great each time (I’ve also included a helpful graphic).

One of the most important things is fueling your body. For me, following a vegan lifestyle has been the best for my energy levels (and the animals). Plant-based diets are great for cardio workouts. Inflammation levels decrease and your heart health increases. Whatever eating plan you follow, just make sure that on the days you run you are eating more fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and plant sources of protein.

Building a base and wearing the right gear. Running takes patience and it is important to stay consistent with your workout routine. Building a base makes running so much easier and strengthens your muscles overall.  It is also important to wear the right gear. Dress for the weather and also invest in good running shoes. You don’t need tons of Nike gear, but your shoes should be the most expensive part of your running routine. Choose a pair that will last a while and that suits your running needs.

Staying calm and focused. Being calm when you run will improve your breathing and allow you to run longer. Also, focusing on your form will distract you from your sometimes labored breathing and tired legs.

Running at the right time. In my opinion, it is best to run in the early morning or at night. One of the reasons is because it is cooler and you will be less likely to get dehydrated. I also like to run in the evening or morning because it is a good way to either wind down or start the day off right.

My last pieces of advice are: stretch, hydrate, and refuel. You don’t have to do these things in order, but it is super important to grab some water and then stretch. I like to do a quick 10 minute yoga video to loosen my muscles. I will also grab a snack. I like having a banana with some peanut butter or a small smoothie after I run.

I wanted to include this graphic from Aaptiv. Aaptiv is an audio fitness app. It provides workouts and is like having a personal trainer in your ear buds. If you are new to running, I strongly suggest checking this app out. Next month, they are launching new 5k trainings so that will be super helpful to your running routine.

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www.aaptiv.com

I hope this post was helpful! Running is a great way to stay healthy and it always relieves my stress. If you have any other running tips, please leave them in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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Lifestyle

Full Circle

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might think I am a very moody person. Sometimes I try to be motivational, other times I talk about sad experiences. My life is hectic and I have ups and downs (which is normal).

But, I have come to this point in my life where I feel like everything is working out like it’s supposed to be. Trust me, my life is not perfect. I don’t know how to describe it, other than saying that my life has come full circle. As full circle as the life of a 21 year old can be. This doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. I would not necessarily consider myself a wise person. Recently, I’ve just been having this overwhelming feeling that everything is interconnected and that the positives and negatives are meant to happen.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives. We don’t stop to think about everything around us. We don’t notice the small flowers in sidewalk cracks. We don’t pay attention to the beggars on the street corners. Humans are all ego sometimes. But, sometimes there are magical moments where it all makes sense. Moments where an overwhelming feeling of gratitude surrounds us. These moments come and go so quickly. They happen to us because we need to be reminded to slow down, to breathe, and to enjoy life.

Thanks for reading!

Sorry I haven’t been posting regularly. My school and work responsibilities come first.

Coming to an End

Summer Love

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Lifestyle · vegan

A Weekend of Good Eats: Wichita

Kansas isn’t necessarily the most vegan friendly place, but there are some hidden gems. We also have really great grocery stores and farmer’s markets, so if you are in Kansas and can’t find vegan options hit those places up. Anyway, I wanted to share some standout dishes I had last weekend while I was in Wichita.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is great for both herbivores and omnivores. This restaurant has many vegetarian options that can be made vegan and the ingredients are farm fresh. The day I went, they actually had a vegan soup as the special (spinach gazpacho).  The sandwich I ordered was called the Lulu and it had edamame, guacamole, hummus, tomato, and spinach (I think, I can’t quite remember). The bread was wheat toast (no butter). This restaurant was affordable, quiet, satisfying, and had more than one vegan option.

College Hill Deli and Catering 

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This restaurant offers simple Mediterranean dishes. There were many vegetarian options that could’ve be made vegan easily. The hummus was so good! I ordered the falafel sandwich and sweet potato fries. Overall, this was a solid Mediterranean restaurant.

Tuta’s Teriyaki 

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Tuta’s Teriyaki is a very small restaurant offering Thai and Chinese food. I ordered vegetarian pad thai. They use rice noodles instead of egg noodles. I also made sure that there wasn’t fish oil. Not all vegetable pad thai is vegan. The picture doesn’t do this meal justice. It was so yummy and filling!

At My Sister’s House…

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I am so thankful that my family supports my vegan lifestyle. My sister bought tons of fruit for me so I decided to make smoothie bowls. This one has bananas, mangoes, cherries, kale, chia seeds, and vegan protein powder. I topped it with bananas, agave, and mixed nuts.

I ate more last weekend, I just didn’t take a picture of everything. I hope this gives you some vegan inspiration. Thanks for reading!

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Fajitas ~ Vegan Style

Vegan Chili

Lifestyle · vegan

Do I have an Eating Disorder?

For the most part, I have always had a healthy relationship with food. My mother had anorexia in her 20s, so she always warned me against unhealthy eating behaviors. When I was a child, I was under the impression that I was fat and I occasionally got teased for it. That being said, I just ignored the haters and continued to eat the same way. Now looking back at my childhood photos, I was actually normal-sized. Either I thought I was fat and other kids latched onto my insecurities, or someone told me I was and I then believed them. I had some insecurities about my weight like most young girls (this is an idea for another post), but I didn’t excessively think about it.

Fast forward many years, and now I follow a vegan lifestyle and I have been for about 7 months. I started eating plant-based because I was tired of feeling like crap (physically). Then, I made the connection. I realized how viewing animals as products negatively impacts society. I also learned how terrible consuming meat is for the environment. I have another post about the benefits of veganism that I will link at the end.

I don’t know how it started, but I started restricting unintentionally and I also cut out most fats. I was following a HCLF vegan diet. There is nothing wrong with this, but I turned it into a control issue. I was becoming afraid of certain foods and I wasn’t enjoying cooking like I had before. I was becoming a slave to my food. I snapped out of it pretty quickly though. My acne flared up and my hair became very dry and brittle (no, it wasn’t a detox) and this is what caused me to take a look at how I was eating. I started tracking my nutrients and calories to make sure I was adequately eating. I reintroduced healthy fats (nuts, avocados, seeds, etc) into my diet as well. I wasn’t any healthier on this restrictive diet and my body was giving me warning signs. I don’t know if I would consider this experience an eating disorder, but for about two months I definitely had negative feelings about food and was developing restrictive behavior.

I get upset when people associate eating disorders with veganism. But, I also wanted to share my story because I feel it can help others in the vegan community struggling with restrictive behavior. There are so many vegan diets and I think we should all try to find the one that suits our bodies and lifestyle best. Some people thrive on a raw vegan diet and others do best with a whole foods vegan diet. For me, I try to find balance and I listen to my body. I am not suggesting a high fat diet, but I incorporate healthy fats into my mostly high carb and non-processed diet. Some days I want healthy salads and smoothies and other days I want vegan pizza. Please do not obsess about your food! If you are an active person and eating a plant-based diet, you are healthier than most and one tablespoon of olive oil every now and again isn’t going to ruin your health.

Thanks for reading!

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Benefits of Veganism