Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Sunday, May 29, 2011


So, last Monday I was enjoying a lazy Victoria Day with Jules, watching movies and relaxing when I got a phone call from my boss at work asking that I come in a bit early the following day. I asked why and she said everyone was coming in and that she couldn't really tell me why.

Um... Yeah, she might as well have just said 'the business has been sold and/or will be closed down' because that's all any of us were thinking for the rest of the day and all freakin' night.

Sold ended up being the right answer and boy will it be a change. Going from working for a very large company to a smaller, less structured company is quite an adjustment. I don't even know how huge that change is yet because all week was spent just trying to regain control on the various components that keep the plant running. Honestly, this past week has been the most stressful week of my entire life. There is nothing like fighting with the old company to regain control of seemingly simple tasks (like, say, ordering materials!!) while simultaneously being shadowed by the new company because they need to understand our processes. I like the new company and the people I've met and I understand why they need to be there right now but it was stress overload. To top it all off, it is the old company's fiscal year end this weekend so on Friday I was trying to reconcile items to close that off but didn't have access to all the tools/programs to do it AND something was all fucked up in the numbers. Oh, add to that the fact that I was supposed to be in two meetings at the same time that were both mandatory... I was so upset I nearly threw up and burst into tears at my desk. I could hardly eat my stomach hurt so much. Every night I came home and just sat on the couch and stared off into space or sat in a hot bath for a couple hours before going to bed ridiculously early.

Luckily, I live with an amazing woman who took on the cooking, cleaning and support this week and weekend. She does not enjoy cooking but this week she was checking out recipes and we went shopping for the ingredients yesterday and she made an incredible vegan dinner and dessert for us last night. I nearly tear up just thinking about all she's done for me this week while I've been a stressed out zombie.

So, a lot of unknowns right now in regards to work but hopefully in a few weeks/months this will all be just a... well, painful memory. It's hard to change companies when not by choice... Work is my 9 hr relationship Monday to Friday... to have to change allegiance so suddenly (after 10 years) and try to adjust on the fly, it's mentally exhausting. Hopefully next week is better...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Experimenting with a vegan diet

Two weeks ago, I decided to switch to a vegan diet for a yet-to-be-determined period of time.

I've been asked several times in the past two weeks why I have 'gone vegan' and so abruptly. That is quickly followed with 'how are you going to get protein' and 'why are you wearing leather shoes then?' Yeah, I said vegan diet not straight up vegan. I'm honestly not doing this for the animals or the environment - I'm doing it because the skin on my face felt irritated constantly and frequently broke out with adult acne. I felt like garbage after eating yogurt, a dairy product I love to eat as a mid-day snack and cook East Indian dishes with. I was passing the meat section of the grocery store thinking, 'Well, I should pick up some kind of meat for this week' and then looking around and going 'ugh... we'll pass this week'.

Now, that's not to say I don't like meat on occasion. I really enjoy a good steak. Same with ham and bacon and lamb and eggs, dairy and shellfish. I just don't enjoy them as much as I used to. Skin irritation and indigestion aside, I don't feel the need to include most of these things in my daily meals. In the case of meat, I have a theory on why I've gradually become disenchanted with it. Up until two years ago (when I made a huge shift in the healthy direction food-wise) I would prepare or order meat in a meal at least once per day (always dinner, usually lunch and sometimes breakfast on the weekend). I learned from my family that a complete meal included meat. I also learned from my family how to season meat - heavily. Barbecue sauce, steak seasoning, chicken seasoning, fish seasoning, all containing a ton of salt and usually MSG. Two years ago I threw out all seasonings I had in the cupboard with MSG and salt. The result was less flavourful than it used to be but we got used to it and eventually became quite sensitive to food that had a lot of sodium in it. It was at this time that meat started dropping off the dinner menu one or two times a week. A year went by and meat started to be a two or three times a week fare. This year chicken and beef pretty much dropped off the radar (with the exception of a monthly steak). Pork stuck around but only because I had a whole package of pork chops from Costco in the freezer and let's face it, some days are really lazy cooking days. Less tasty seasoning = less tasty meat. Healthy eating has some casualties, I guess.

I'm going to stop rambling now (I'm slowly losing my train of thought because I'm watching Real Time with Bill Maher - he's interviewing Amy Chua, the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and just say that within two days of switching to a vegan diet the skin on my face started looking awesome and my acne rescinded quite fast. For the first time in forever I have found it easier to fall asleep (usually I can't fall asleep unless I'm exhausted) and the quality of sleep at night has improved to the point that I can drag my sorry self out of bed after only hitting the snooze button once instead of the usual four or five times. I feel full longer during the day and I haven't been snacking in the evening. Despite eating more things like rice than I normally do, I've continued my weight loss. I'm still tracking through Weight Watchers and I find I'm using a few of my weekly flex points every day. Meanwhile I'm continuing to research recipes, medical studies and guides for this kind of diet because I don't want to miss out on any important nutrients. I honestly don't know how long I'll continue strictly with this diet (despite how much better I feel) because let's face it, some of my favourite things are made with dairy or egg product or honey, etc., but I think I'll be sticking with it for a while yet. It's like an experiment and hobby rolled into one right now. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Cleaning (It is Spring time, after all...)

I'm not sure how, but I've taken out six big black garbage bags full of stuff in the past week and yet our small apartment looks exactly the same. No wonder hoarders don't know where to start or give up several times!

Of course our apartment is kept fairly clean and organized so it's not like this stuff was lying around out in the open or anything. I re-organized and cleaned the kitchen cupboards. I donated non-perishables I no longer wanted (i.e. the box of microwave popcorn I shouldn't have around because I always tell myself I will only eat half the bag but I end up eating the entire thing because it's hard to have willpower when it comes to popcorn) to my mom and dad's kitchen pantry. I also got rid of some knives - for some reason we had accumulated a ridiculous amount of knives in all sorts of styles/varieties. I also got around to throwing out the nearly empty bags of cereal. You know when you're at the bottom of a box of cereal and there is almost enough for a bowl but there's also an inch of cereal dust so you keep it to use what's left when you open the new box... but you never go back to that little bit in the bag, you just keep using the new box. So, yeah, I had four of those nearly empty bags of various cereals thrown in the back of the cupboard. At least I have my bag clips back, I was wondering where they had gone.

I also tackled my side of the clothes closet. I'm in between sizes right now so some of my shirts look ridiculous on me while others are loose but still passable to wear. I pulled out all of the baggy stuff and some of my shorts that I know I'm never going to wear again. I got a little scared because it now looks like I have barely any clothes but when I think about it, the clothes I got rid of were just hanging there keeping the clothes I actually do wear company. I really should purchase some new articles of clothing at some point this year because I really am lacking but if I'm going to go down another clothing size or two this year, I don't want to waste the money. At least I'm lucky that I wear a lab coat all day at work so it isn't obvious that I wear the same stuff every week!

I went through my books to see if there was anything I could get rid of but I only picked out a few. We went through our books last fall and got rid of probably half a bookcase worth so there wasn't much to go through this time.

I rearranged our living room area back to how we had it last year. Julie may have a problem with that when she gets home tomorrow night but I'll fight her on it. She had the couch perpendicular to the television so nobody wanted to sit on it because of the angle. We'd end up sitting on a foot stool in front of the television or on the floor. So yeah, that was dumb even if it looked nice. Sometimes functionality has to beat style.

I think there are a few other things I can throw out or donate before Julie gets home. She's been texting me this week saying she's missing our nice clean and organized apartment and our quiet life (she's staying with people that have four year old twin girls). Oh, yeah, she's decided she doesn't want to go through with the child thing anymore and I'm sure her stay with these people has probably reinforced that decision. Her and I are at a crossroads now because of this and I'm not sure where it will be leaving us. Weeks of thinking on it has not helped me resolve anything in my mind so not sure what our next step will be.