23 February 2011

Status Report

Vacaaaaaaation! This week is midwinter recess and hoolordy, it couldn't have come sooner.  I was feeling like I was JUST making it day to day at school and we had a drama explosion last week, so it's a necessary break for everyone.  I'm in St. Louis for the week, hanging out with Boyfriend and Neko, pretending to do homework (and hopefully meeting up with Stacy!).

In addition to playing the Sims for hours on end, I've been embarking on many baking adventures and doing a lot of vegan research.  Without getting into the reasons that I'm currently vegetarian, I'm the kind of person who worries about feral and stray animals when the weather gets bad, so it's a pretty natural decision.

I've been talking with Jessica a lot lately about her own transition to veganism, and I've decided to make the move slowly; I don't have a dairy allergy like Jess does, so I can afford to take my time.  I've already begun replacing my health and beauty products with cruelty-free, vegan versions (goodbye, $2 shampoo!) and I'm also working on cutting back on dairy.  Last night I made vegan mac & cheese and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it (I think Boyfriend even liked it too!); the vegan cheese I've had in the past has been pretty terrible, but this was rich and creamy and melty.

Besides the obvious benefits for animals and the Earth, I'm also hoping that a shift to veganism will help me eat more vegetables.  I'm a regular ol' vegetable hater, so I'm gonna do this the old fashioned way - exposure therapy.  I'm taking on one vegetable at a time, starting with my most hated: broccoli.  (Onions are actually my #1 Most Hated, but I'm just not ready for that yet!)  Does anyone have any foolproof broccoli recipes to convince me of their deliciousness?

In other news - J.Biebs got a hairscut and he still looks like a lesbian.

Aaaand moving on, I'm officially halfway through my first student teaching placement.  After vacation, I'll only have 3 weeks left!  It feels like I just started, in so many different ways - I feel like I haven't gotten the chance to actually teach anything yet, but I hope that's a result of all the learning that I've been doing.  Student teaching is a huge reality check; I've spent three semesters writing lesson plans for the perfect students that I teach in my imagination and it's been a hard adjustment to "real" students.  I really hope that I'm not messing up too terribly in my first placement; I know the second will be better. :]

What've you been up to, Internet?  What's the weather like where you are?


  1. I haven't ried it, but basically the whole internet SWEARS by this broccoli http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2008/11/the_best_brocco.html

  2. The time I made that broccoli was the only time I didn't HATE it. But I still couldn't manage seconds. :(

  3. For skin care I recommend Skin Organics. They're fantastic, affordable, and vegan.

    On another vegan note, be careful about not replacing meat or animal products with soy. It's up there with corn on the GMO scale and too much soy can be really bad for your endocrine system.

  4. I agree on the soy. Soy is in EVERYTHING and it's almost all GMO's. I've heard bad things about too much soy as well. I would also shy away from the processed fake meats out there, but I think you probably already do this.

    I want to cut back dairy too but oh do I love it so. Meat is easy peasy for me compared to dairy. I need to seriously work on it though.

    I'd like to switch my shampoo over too (and other body products). My hair is SO thick that almost every shampoo/conditioner I've tried that has been from a "good brand" just doesn't touch it, so I end up using half the bottle at once.

    I hope I see you Saturday! I'll email you in a bit.

  5. So obviously I'm a bad vegetarian because I hate vegetables, but I think I might be a bad vegan too because I don't like soy that much haha. The most soy I eat right now is probably from any fake meat, which I do try to avoid (but sometimes you just want some facon, okay!).

    Thanks for the skin care rec.. I just ordered some hair stuff from Aubrey Organics and it was expennnnnnsive!

  6. I agree to the fullest - cutting out meat was easy for me, but dairy is going to be a different story. I'm starting with milk, since I don't drink it that much anyway. Have you ever had rice or hemp milk? Almond is as exotic as I've gotten but I'm not the biggest fan.

    I found a bunch of good cruelty-free stuff at Target the other day.. Organix was on clearance and I even found vegan cruelty-free mascara! ;)

  7. What kind of Almond milk did you try? Every brand tastes sooo different! My bf loves the Silk vanilla almond milk, but i feel like its just too heavy. Blue Diamond has a really light vanilla milk that i loveeee

  8. Good luckkkkk!!! Feel free to ask me anything related to veganism! I'm so glad you liked the mac and cheese. I haven't had the money to pick up any vegan cheese lately and I am missing the mac and cheese so much!

    Steamed veggies are the only way I really eat them. Add a ton of seasoning and garlic and they are pretty edible :)

  9. I'm definitely going to try the broccoli recipe that Tanie posted one more time.. I think my expectations may have been too high the first time ;)
    My boyfriend buys Pacific almond milk which I've only really used for cooking and baking (tastes exactly the same!). I had some on my cereal and was less than impressed, but I've got to find SOME substitute so maybe I'll just suck it up.

    Thank you soooo much for all of your help and advice so far! You're the bomb xox

  10. i had no idea you went veggie, ella! that's awesome - and you sound like you're already better at it than i am, since i eat those fake meat products (oh lordy, the gmos and too much soy, etc.). . . but i'm not a cook, and i'm so busy with everything else that i don't think about it too much right now. i will have to work on that.

    the vegan thing, however, i know i will never be able to do. 1) i love cheese too much! and 2) i think rudy would freak out. i'm so thin already, and i think that being vegan would be really hard on my body. keep me posted on how it's working out for you though! you can be my inspiration. :)

    p.s. you should write me a letter since you have nothing to do but play sims all day! ;)

  11. Yes girl! I've been on and off since probably 2007.. living at home makes meat kinda tempting sometimes! And cheese will DEFINITELY be a struggle ;)
    I didn't bring ANY letter writing supplies to StL with me (and you cannot count on boys to have such trivialities as paper and envelopes.. :roll:) but I will write you once I get back to NY! xox