Thursday, September 08, 2016

Food for thought - or the yeast?

Dairy ends up being the point of contention for many people trying to transition to a less animal product heavy diet. All that cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, cream cheese, and what not are hard to make alternates of that are exactly the same in texture and flavor.

Why eliminate dairy?



What do I substitute it with?

There are so many brands of non dairy milk now in the market. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut Milk, rice milk, Hemp Milk, macadamia nut milk, hazelnut milk, Oat milk, mixed milks. Brands Almond breeze, So Delicious, Silk, califia farms, pacific and many more.

There are many brands that also offer vegan cheeses such as Miyoko's kitchen, Tree line, Chao Field Roast, Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Tofutti and so on.

Many Ice creams as well made with coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk etc. Brands so Delicious, Nada Moo, Coconut bliss, soy dream, almond dream and many local brands.

Or you can soon find milk made by yeast which is basically dairy milk as it uses the cow's dna sequence. Animal Free Cow's milk!

Why kill a cow and calf when we have so many options!

Wait there is more.
Cows are often killed by the dairy industry to keep milk prices high! This was revealed in a nationwide class-action lawsuit against dairy cooperatives, groups of farmers who pool their supplies but, as a whole, serve as middlemen between the farmers and dairy processors. The settlement was $52 million. The cows are not going to see a penny of that.

The Us government gives billions in $ to the diary industry in subsidies. Because of falling demand, they also bought $20 million worth of cheese.

Hypocrisy?

Often I will see questions or statements like the following on forums and discussions. Here is what I think about them.

Q: You are a hypocrite if as a vegan you use an iphone or laptop or drive a car or... enter whatever other..

This is basically the similar to the question or statement - why do anything, since one cannot do everything. Everyone is a hypocrite in one way or the other. A person or an issue can have a higher priority for some while the same issue can have a lower priority for the other. A family member will have a higher priority than someone else. Most issues or problems are not really comparable. They are all either connected in some way or are completely different. As a vegan, a person is trying to tackle One of the problems of animal exploitation and commodification. During the life as a vegan- human, many of the connected issues might surface as well, they might be better understood and actions might be taken. LGBT, women's rights, child labor, cheap labor. Many of these are tied together by the concept of rights and equality.

I digress. For the above question, Sometimes it also helps to look at the scale of the problem. People buy Consumables like electronics once in a couple of years. Not all people buy or use the products however. They might come from factories where laborers are exploited. In comparison, one eats animals and animals products a few times daily which leads to 59 Billion animals being killed per year. 59,000,000,000 animals per year, 161643835 per day, 6735159 per hour, 112252 per minute, 1870 per second. If one doesnt want to think of the animals at all, Factory farms also count for incredibly high rates of worker exploitation.

Another point to note is the demand and availability of alternatives. As a vegan, one can omit all animal and animal products and eat well on plants, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. With constant demand, now there is also a huge collection of alternatives to animal products, non dairy milks, fake meats etc. With increasing demand and pressure the factories and exploitation of works in any of the electronic consumables industry will go down or alternates will surface.

Do what one can do, instead of pointing out xyz that someone missed in the bigger picture of actions. For eg, If someone sees a neighborhood kid being abused, they might do something, from taking pictures to document, to calling 911, to intervening then and there, anything. Now would you go upto that person who is helping and say - hey man, you are hypocrite for saving that kid, coz you know, you have an iphone, or man millions are dying in another part of the world. So whats the use really?

The use is that that kid that got saved. The use is that that dog that was adopted from the shelter, his life changed completely. The use is that that animal who did not die to be on someone's plate.


Q: What about insects, animals dying during farming because of pesticides, or side effect of agriculture (machines, processing etc)

Vegan-ism is about reducing suffering and exploitation of animals as far as possible. There is a sideeffect of some number of living beings getting hurt or dying because of huge operations in many industries. As far as farming is concerned, the world would need far less farm land, resources and food production to be done if everyone just ate plants. Animal agriculture uses 100s or 1000s of times more plant food to sustain the animal, and produce animal based food. That means 100s of times more farms and 100s of times more side-effected animals getting hurt as a result of more farms. We are currently growing enough food to feed more than 10 billion people, but most of it is fed to farm animals being raised for food. 

The World Bank estimates that 91% of the land deforested in the Amazon since 1970 has been cleared for grazing. Raising cattle for food requires far more land than growing plant-based foods directly for consumption. It also is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than all of transportation according to the UN.

So in all, 100s times less number of animals will have to suffer to make plant food for the population.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Podcasting!

video


Just trying my hand at podcasting. Lets see how it goes. I will upload them elsewhere if I continue to podcast regularly. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tears

I am quite an emotional person. Tears will leak out of my eyes at anything, any video of someone doing something really nice for someone else, some recovery or rescue stories of animals, or even a movie.

I watched a video of a woman's wedding with the person who was giving her away was the person who received her dad's heart when he passed away in an accident some years before. I mean serious tap action.

The other day we were at a new dentist's office. And they were being so nice, saying they would try and adjust to however my seating needs are etc, take breaks and so on. and a few minutes into the discussions hubbs says, don't be so nice to her, she will tear up :) and that I did.

How many times do you find people who are ready to help you outside of their comfort zone. Taking extra time, adjusting and so on are all time intensive activities, they possibly cannot charge for and also difficult on the person. For this reason and the adjustment needed (bending and working etc as I cannot lay flat on the dentist chair), more than half the dentists send me back with either they cant do it, or it would be easier if i just went under anesthesia for all dental work. Atleast they are honest instead of subjecting me to appointments and pushing me to adjust etc.

Life.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The good and the bad

The good stuff. We had an amazing 7 weeks with family visiting.

The bad stuff, they left, so now i have to get back to eye exercises. some new stuff with a polarized glass. ie. crapped out eyes and vestibular system. Why cant things be simpler. Sigh. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Coining new trendy terms of exploitation

What the hell is veggan , seagan, vb6, seaganism!

I get emails about many new book releases because of the blog. There seems to be a trend these days to create your own labels and terms for the way one eats. Especially because certain terms are trending way more than others, like vegan. Often people want to associate in some way with it for the cool trendy factor. The term people come up with often doesn't even exist and is just plain offensive.

veggan - vegan who eats eggs. There is already a term for that Ovo-vegetarian. 
Seagan - Seafood + vegan. There is already a term for that pescatarian.

Here is how most of the PR mails read ...
Sticking to a strict vegan diet can be a challenge – some occasionally fall off the wagon, some are looking for a less militant but still very healthy diet, and some might want to try it out without going whole hog at once. For them, we’d suggest trying seaganism.".

You might want to research the blogger you are sending these mails to. If you find the lifestyle militant, why even use that to describe something that already has another label? Why would an ethical vegan be interested in reviewing and supporting something like this?


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good Stuff

Thought I would write some other stuff for a change. :)

Its my Book-iversary! 1 year since my first book release. It has done amazingly well being a niche book. I am super happy that so many people are cooking up Indian and vegan food from it!

Publishing has been a fun as well as frustrating experience. Books are a lot of work. Much more work than blogs. The consistency over recipes, and editing has to be perfect. Also, in terms of $, most of the money goes to distribution, most of the rest to the publisher and a minuscule % to the author.

On the other hand, once published, there is a credibility to being a published author and reaching a lot more people. Books are also perennial. they will always be there.  A win some lose some situation.

I just posted a garam masala recipe on the vegan richa blog and 2 copies of my book giveaway. All the love from everyone in the comments = more of a win win situation!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Do things ever get better?

This post is more for record keeping than a question really.

2006 is when stuff hit the fan. Everything went smoothly and I was almost ok after the first 2 weeks. And then bam, vertigo and balance issues. Was it the accidental double steroid dosage? Was it those weird lying down exercises? Was it the post surgery constipation that the hospital did not treat and let me go home with? Was it just waiting to happen? who knows. But life as I knew it came crashing down.

About 2 years, several doc visits, concluding that the nerves were still healing and the visits were only making me more depressed, so healing at home at my own pace and accepting the changes, later, I was walking around more. Doing some things. Even trying to drive a short drive. Eyes were doing better. Being able to read or work on a computer for more than a few mins and so on.

Another year and half of healing and then it was time for a checkup MRI. and bam, PTSD and panic disorder and agoraphobia. I was crippled for that whole year in 2010. A bit of therapy (with a bad therapist coz that was the only option near home), better therapy with hubbs and my own self, things were functional in another year.

Blog work, book work, new house move, family visits, made up the next 2 years. My balance on average days was better. I could sit on quite some supportive chairs and go for long drives.

And then bam allergies or sinus inflammation. 2012 I had my first 2 month long (who knows what, maybe sinusitis), episode that affected my balance so much that I couldnt be in the kitchen, couldnt sleep much and forget driving out. Sitting the car suddenly became imspossible (angle of seat?, allergens in car? who knows. But it gives me crazy sinus pressure to be in the car esp when it is not moving). Loads of natural remedies and corticosteroid sprays which gave even worse headaches. Then it got better by itself.

Now 3 years of repeat sinus issues every winter and nothing seems to work. This year bam, spring allergies. Allergy tests show I have no pollen allergies, just a mild dust mite, which we already handle at home. So non allergic rhinitis or something to do with the pressure changes. But that applies to winter, what about spring? Why is the high tree and grass pollen crapping my sinuses out?

The sinus inflammation makes balancing myself much more difficult. Balancing on a chair, balancing while walking. Everything more difficult. And it affects my eyes a lot, so eye work gets limited as well. So basically things are generally worse than avg days before. Car trips are not fun anymore on those days.

Oh also this year, I have more trouble sleeping. I have to wake up completely some days and then try to fall asleep again. Lot more random heart rate bumps at night peri-menopause or just allergies causing balance to go bad? who knows.

So many unanswered questions. The things with docs is, I don't want to see them. Coz its an endless cycle of trying to find answers, many specialists, many tests and no diagnosis or no meds that work. So I don't even bother (its super difficult to get to all those appointments with the  limited driving days)
If I can find solutions with the least number of tests and least number of visits and least number of specialists or people seen. With this health care system = impossible.

If you are wondering about my general health (to help me diagnose the new symptoms), It is generally ok. A bit low on Iron (runs in the family), low on vit-d (runs in the pacific northwest). I supplement for b-12, iron and D.

On the other good side, some pointers from a new therapist I found this year and I am getting a bit more comfortable with reducing the dependence on hubbs, so he travels. Yay for that. Now to figure out how not to get low about another set of shiz this year. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

People

I get all sorts of feedback on the recipes on the blog and esp my book. Some of the feedback is about how there isn't enough variety in the flavors and options in the recipes. With the book, it was a hard problem to solve. Have more new recipes with all new flavors from regional cuisines, or add more of versions of favorite meals or restaurant style sauces. There are many regional options esp in the Veggies and Dals Chapters and many restaurant style meals in the Mains. But of course the balance is not going to be perfect for everyone.

It is obvious that many people try out the recipes that they are familiar with, have tasted before or atleast know the names of. So most of the regional  recipes or recipes that need some specific ingredients are made by fewer people and made after trying out other recipes. So how can someone who has not yet tried those options interpret that there aren't enough options? Of course some recipes will taste similar. They are from the same cuisine.

With this new world of social media, everyone is open to express their options (and sometimes demands).

Somedays, it gets disheartening that the only comments on a blog post are about asking me how the recipe can be made something-free. I understand that people cannot always eat everything. I cannot either and I also understand the difficulties with it and try to provide options whenever possible.
But seriously 1- read the post, half the answers are already there ( there are similar recipes on the blog already that are "something"-free depending on what you are looking for and they are generally linked on the post), 2- ask nicely, instead of leaving rude comments about how the recipe "sucks" because it is not "something"-free. (yes, there are several comments on the blog with 1 star rating and on social media about how things suck or pity it isnt something!)

It gets to me somedays, because I literally am scared to post something for the fear of getting many comments and having to deal with them.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Overwhelmed

So the first few months of the year uneventful because there is only so much I can do when my balance is incredibly crappy because of the sinus inflammation. Finally, that seems to be subsiding and I seem to be able to drive further, sit in the car longer, walk farther and so on.

And then things keep piling up. 

I signed up for eye therapy which I haven't been able to move the graph anywhere and I literally hate the weekly or bi-weekly checks. Clearly the therapy speed is totally not suited to me. It is supposed to be a 1 yr therapy which I bet is going to take 3 or more years. 
(on a side note, why in the world did none of all the innumerable specialists suggest this therapy earlier. For so many years I wasn't even doing anything, when this would work out so much better. My eyes were anyway crappy and making them crappier with exercise was something that I could adjust to faster. Now with all the activities planned around every day and being in the state where living with the limited abilities is easier, why would I want to disrupt it all over again, in the hopes of making things better (there is no guarantee to that). Bah). 

I have to eventually get to my dental schedule. root canals and other things to do. 

The usual blog, recipe creation, photography, editing, social media etc always keeps increasing obviously. 

And we are also trying to figure out how to get hubbs to travel. <- div="" most="" nbsp="" pressure.="" the="">
(on another side note, my therapist asks me that do I see that my anxiety is affecting his ability to fly for whatever purposes. And I am like of course I know that. Whats the use of guilt-tripping me for something that I know already, feel bad enough for already, and am trying to find solutions to. That is why I am there for therapy. Strike one for therapist.)

I might just crash this week or have a panic attack.
Note to self. Hang in there.
-----
The low or overwhelmed state usually lasts for a few hours to a 1-2 days. We usually find things that work to get me out of it. All good. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Looking for a caretaker/friend

For more than a decade now hubbs has been the pillar of everything around me. He has been through surgery, through all the vertigo attacks, the balance issues, anxiety, post traumatic stress, ups and downs and everything.

When he is hiking or elsewhere, just being able to talk to him or reach him, calms me down. That everything is ok, everything will be ok. Being too far from him where he cannot be immediately reached or from where he cannot come back within a few hours makes me very anxious. It's combination of anxiety disorder, and the fact that if something happens that I cannot handle myself, then how will I get through it. Things like me losing my balance, or a vertigo attack. some of these are real possibilities that can put me a in a situation where I am stuck sitting in one place without being able to reach my meds or phone. Who knows how long the vertigo will last without the meds.

Because of this hubbs hasn't been able to travel or do things that take more than 2 days. For the first few years post surgery we were just trying to deal with and find solutions to the disabilities, for the next few we accepted those and were trying to live with the disabilities. Now those things are settled and I would like to be less dependent on hubbs for some things that can be delegated elsewhere for some periods of time.

Ideally, it would be more of a person/friend to rely on, who I am comfortable with and who is available when needed. I take a long time to warm up to anyone, so spending enough time together will be important.  It would be amazing to have something in common, someone who is (or has a deep understanding or experience with) vegan, Or Indian, Or knows some about balance /vertigo issues or anxiety. Eventually, I have to be able to be comfortable with and depend on this person when my husband is travelling for a few days. Comfortable to be me, i.e, not always pleasant and maybe demanding person if I have certain levels of balance issues :). and so on.

When he is travelling, that would mean a day and night live in. When he is in town, just a few hours a day would be sufficient. But we are open to a live in for a couple of months (6 to 9 months) situation.

So we are looking for a caretaker of sorts who can

- be a daily few hours caretaker or live in if you wish (will have loads of time for you to do your stuff as there are no kids in the house).
- there isn't much to do in the house, dishes, some kitchen clean up, walking chewie are the only daily things. You can help me cook and clean :) . I cook a lot some days.
- laundry every weekend, reorganize things once a month. - Optional.
- drive me and chewie around if needed to grocery store, or you do the shopping if I am not up for it.
- our house is a vegan household  (we have one kitchen to use if you live in. the kitchen is generally very heavily used).
- would appreciate a very calm, non judgmental, nurturing person who takes instruction well.

There are other things you can do as well. Help me with VeganRicha social media and pinterest (scheduling and comments), help with shooting and editing recipe videos and so on. These are all optional.

Please write to me at richahingle @ gmail . com , with short info of previous experiences, rates, and other questions.  I live in Seattle, south of capitol hill. For live in option, we have a room with full bath on the lower floor with privacy as there are no other rooms on that floor. For staying over for the few days during hubbs travels, we also have a guest room with bath on the same floor as other bedrooms. You might have to stay awake with me for a good part of the night though :).

This could mean that I am transferring some of the dependence on someone else(caretaker), but the immediate future, that seems to be my only option.



Thursday, March 03, 2016

Dependence

Hubbs has been through all the thick and thin with me. The lows, the vertigo attacks, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, then getting better and slipping back and everything. He is the only person who knows how to help me in any situation.

With the anxiety therapy, one of the things we have to try is to reduce the dependence I have on him, so that I can be less anxious when he is unreachable, or when he is hiking or when he is travelling (which he hasnt done yet for more than 2 days). Why the dependence in the first place. As a limitedly abled person there is always some things I cannot do. Something like me losing my balance, or getting a vertigo attack (which sometimes does not give any warning) is a real possibility anyday, that can put me a in a situation where I am stuck sitting in one place without being able to reach my meds or my phone. Who knows how long the vertigo will last without the meds, how long will I sit there, will I yell for help, will anyone hear it? The therapist wanted to know if I had anyone else around that I could depend somewhat on, family and good friends. And I told her that family lives far away and all the good friends have either moved from the city, or moved on with their lives.

Thats a common occurrence isn't it. Everyone sticking to similar minded people, with similar lifestyles, similar abilities and similar priorities. Anything you are or do differently, simply means a slowly increasing distance from the non different set. For me, the time when I could have cultivated deeper friendships, went in recovery and understanding my limited abilities. Who would want to spend their time sitting and chatting away at home when they can get out and party. So now, as a limitedly abled, no kid, vegan person, it is practically impossible to find people who can be good friends and dependable.
I do have a few, but I have learnt from experience, that the dependence on anyone other than spouse, ( & sometimes family), doesn't work. A friend is always a second priority after children and family.

So the only way, is to figure out dependence on myself. We will see how that goes. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Do it do it Do it. Or not.

I have had generalized anxiety since surgery. I also went through panic disorder and agoraphobia for a year in between caused by the post traumatic stress. that got better, But different levels of generalized anxiety are something I deal with every day. Anxiety about going out to any new place because I don't know if i will be able to find a place to sit. The darn balance and sinus issues mean I cannot sit anywhere except soft sofas to stabilize. Going out on a drive and the anxiety of getitng stuck in a jam, coz the car seat is bothersome as well.

I just started meeting a therapist to help me deal with generalized anxiety more easily and hence improve my day today life and experiences. One of the methods she suggested was exposure therapy (which isnt a fun name really). Keep exposing myself to different levels of the activities that make me anxious and soon they wont affect me as much.

There are several issues with this.
1. I have been doing that since many years, and every year, through the winter Sinusitis, I can't get out or do most of the things that I could do during the rest of the year. So the confidence resets and i have to start from scratch again.
2. Any kind of anxiety causes my balance to start to go off. The main reason for almost all of the activities that give me anxiety is the fact that when I get any level of anxious, even the least bit, about say going somewhere, it triggers my balance. If I do not let that pass and let the balance calm a bit, the upset balance feeds back into the loop where i get anxious about the fact that my balance is upset. That anxiety causes the balance to get even more upset, and hence more anxiety and so on. So exposing myself to more anxiety, leading up a very upset balance is just going to move me closer to getting panic and vertigo attacks. which isnt going to help me. So onwards to some other mixed therapies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lessons in popularity

Sometimes there are recipes that I really like and when I post them. But for most, the recipe might be too new, different than their everyday food :) , so the pageviews and social media shares are minimal.

Chocolate, 3-4-5 ingredient something and cauliflower always are super popular though.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Compartmentalize

The hardest thing so far as a blogger and author has been to keep the negative opinions and reviews out of my head. Even though I know that 99% people love the food, the book, the blog recipes and do let me know, some comments or reviews just get to me.

For example with my book, some not as positive reviews means it is reaching many more people than the intended audience. But reading them is not fun. Sigh, reminder to self, one cannot please everyone. Just do what you do.


Thursday, February 04, 2016

Influences

I am Punjabi by birth. Punjabis, as Mom puts it, can be a bit hot headed. That totally applies to me.

I am always ready to fight if cornered. I mean I get very angry very easily. I get other emotions in extremes very easily too. I also have strong opinions. It probably is also amped up by the fact that I am female. Those hormones. :)

On the other hand, hubbs is a this super calm chill person. You'd really have to do something really bad to make him mad.

On many occasions, when I am just starting to get angry, or cursing, he just looks at me like why, what's the use of all that and my anger will die down.

Over the years I have picked up some of that calm energy from him. Thankfully I did, because it is really helpful when as a blogger I have to be out on social media to deal with all kinds of people, or get rude mails and things, and always be politically correct and nice.

On the very few days, when things get to me, the anger just doesn't die down. Today is the day, when everything I say, will have a swear word attached to it. (on most days, I do not use swear/curse words. I think I didn't even know proper swear words till I came to the US. Also learnt them because of the abundant use by guy-friends who use them in the name of free speech since no parents are around).

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Crash

I started my visual therapy treatment last month. It started with a program that can be run on my computer, with exercises for eye training like moving targets, moving boxes, matching targets etc. In the past month and a half I tried the exercises just 4 times. and whether I do them for 10 minutes or 30 seconds, I crash. My eyes stop working (being able to read or work on a computer etc), my ears and head hurt, my balance gets crappy, and I get vertigo.

I was thinking of an analogy of what might be happening so I can use it to make others around understand and here is how the analogy works.

Think of a big computer system/software or a computer. Something stops working in that computer, say a driver or software. The computer knows that something isn't working, but the computer cannot fix it. It can keep running with the not working part, just like the body and brain keep functioning even with messed up nerves or muscles. You can keep working the computer or the body, keep telling it to work, it will work, but the problem is not going to get resolved by itself.

Now a developer/coder comes in and attempts to figure out the problem and fix it. The initial few passes, any code that he writes will most likely cause crashes in the system. After a few tries, he may find something that works. After a couple more tries and a deeper understanding of how the software works, he may figure out what solution is needed and proceed to write it. The code that he writes for the solution might not work the fist time he writes it. After a few iterations, it might finally start working as expected.

The visual therapy is working similarly on my brain. Trying to create new paths of dependence as some nerves just do not work. In the initial stages, everything just crashes, and it will.

Its always a complete crash. I get from being able to do loads of work continuously for 8 to 9 hours on the computer, in the kitchen, photography, editing, walking chewie, driving around etc, to being able to do nothing. I just sit and listen to audiobooks, curse the vertigo (the vertigo always comes back), sleep and repeat. All this after just 30 seconds of exercise. #$%#$*

I don't know, how I will keep getting motivated to do the exercises, even though I know they will likely help me in the future.

The down time of 3 to 4 days, the bad eyes and vertigo are extremely depressing. I was doing so much every single day of last year, except for a few bad days or rest days. Every dingle day I was accomplishing something. I am keeping up the hope that I get used to the exercises soon and crash less and less with less extremes just like the computer fix.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Polar Opposites

The wood flooring on one side of he kitchen seems to be absorbing water from somewhere and buckling up.

I saw the 2 wood boards this morning and noticed the slight darker shade and on close inspection noted that they were starting to expand. I looked up and called out out hubbs, #$%F**v$% we have a leak!! Call a plumber!

Hubbs, comes by calmly, looks around, misses the boards and says where. I point it out to him. He says it was probably always like this. Then he inspects it. He says its getting pasticky, maybe just a bit of moisture, or maybe the cleaners dropped something yesterday, chill. Roams around, comes to the corner again, hmm, seems like the cabinet wall is expanding too. must be some water spill. it will dry out. More inspection and 10 minutes later, yes we should probably call a plumber.

pretty much sums us up. I see the worst possible scenario and he sees the best possible.


Monday, November 09, 2015

Be Brave?

There are many ways to be brave. From being brave enough to say something you want to say, to being brave in facing the unknown, in facing one's fears, in battle, in life, in health and everything.

Everyone has their own level of bravery. We are all brave in some things and not so much in some others.

I am not sure about being asked to be brave. Be brave and do something. Be brave, you can do it. Nope, doesn't work.

I am not sure Someone who has just gone through a crippling accident, a crime committed on them, life threatening condition etc, wants to hear things like you are so brave to be dealing with it, or be brave and get through it. Maybe, you are doing good, or take your time with everything, are more comforting.

I just spoke to my vision therapy co-ordinator and heard the same thing. Be brave, you can get through this.

Nope, I do not want to be brave. I do not willingly want to do exercises that will mess up my eyes, my balance, capabilities and cause nausea, awfulness and stuff. I will do them because I know they might eventually help. There are all types of people, some who will force themselves to do things faster, try many things at the same time, push themselves to the limit, in the hopes of getting normal/better and get there sooner (or accept a new normal somewhere on the way and adjust accordingly). And there are people who will do the exact same thing, but at a slower pace. Eventually, it is about forcing one self to endure something unpleasant. These people, whichever path they are on, do not  necessarily want to hear- Be brave, you can do better (or maybe some do, because that works for them). For everyone though, an appreciation for whatever they are doing is what will keep them going. You are doing good. I am doing good. We are doing good, at our own pace, we will get there wherever that is.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sharing

A quick PSA. Images found on web searches, on blogs etc are not free to copy anywhere. They are covered by copyright laws. Please always ask for permission. The same goes for recipes, write ups, cookbook photos and recipes, or anything online for that matter. Online on the web is not equal to free to copy esp without credit. Please ask for permission before sharing (copying in entirety) in any public form, blog which is visible to public, forums, social media etc. Hard work goes into photography, recipe development, editing, content development.

The optimal way to share is to share links to the blog posts, website articles etc. Any way of sharing that only uses a snippet or one photo from the post and links back to the original, so everyone has to come back to original article.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Maasi

Maasi literally translates to Maa - si, like mother. I am not sure about the origin of the word. But culturally it seems appropriate.

Maasi in north Indian groups or other parts of India as well is used to refer to maternal aunt. So all of my mom's sisters are name Maasi. A Maasi, b Maasi etc.  like Aunt A, aunt B, where A and B are their names.

It probably makes sense to be called so as Maasis are the ones who would step up to help their sister when she needed a break or take up the kids responsibility like their own for a while. Their hearts and houses were always welcoming and love was always freely given.

I lost one of my Maasi this September when Mom was visiting. Mom and me sat and cried together and lived through some of the memories. Maasi was terminal for almost a year and had a really bad last few weeks. The C word just sucks.

Rest in peace Maasi. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

in home services

Wow, do you know how difficult it is to find people to do house calls for services?
I am trying to find mobile hair dressers and the only salon that does that in Seattle is booked through the entire month.

I have been cutting my own hair since the past few years, because it is such a pain getting an appointment when I want it, then sitting on the skinny moving chairs to get the cut and getting through all the hair pulling, all of which gives me a headache and balance issues and wastes my entire day. So i'd rather do it on a weekday and not spoil my weekend. And taking 2 hours of hubbs time weekdays for a haircut is super wasteful.

There have to be better solutions to this. How do people with limited abilities get simple things like haircuts. How about super busy moms or other sets of people who need basic services at home.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things not to say to anyone

Just today I was told that I should read a book x to figure out why or how I got my tumor. So that if I do find out I can avoid those things/circumstances (nutritional deficiencies, environmental factors etc) and it wont happen again.

I mean in theory it sounds like a the right thing to do, but in real life, why one gets tumor/cancers is highly speculative, unless there is a direct connection with something. And we already went crazy trying to find answers the first year post surgery, with no luck. The obsession to find an answer, any answer to several questions, took a toll on my recovery.

And are you kidding me by reminding me that something so crappy and so out of my control can happen again!

I am sure I might have said something similar to someone going through something in their life as well. It is amazing how difficult it is put yourself in someone else's shoe and say the right things.

I don't know why I am cribbing really. Indians in general are known for throwing out advice about what one should do to cure or avoid getting sick with anything and everything. Everyone around always seems to have the answers. Kapal bharti breathing right now will cure me. SOS diet will too. miraculously cure my damaged nerves.

Sure, there is finally studies now about how plant based diets do slow cancer, but that doesn't mean that vegans or plant based people cannot get cancer.


anxiety

It is difficult to think logically when I am anxious. We've been trying and trying since the last 2 years for hubbs to be able to go overnight hiking or elsewhere overnight. Getting a satellite phone so he is always connected by messaging, planning well, practicing etc. He hasnt left me alone at night in 9 years. Through the entire surgery, ptsd, vertigo, anxiety and everything, he has become my safe person. Someone who makes me feel calmer and that everything will be ok.

The activity during the day keeps me occupied so it works well. But nights are very difficult to spend alone. Negative thoughts stay at bay during the day.But at night if I am alone, I havent found a way yet to keep them out. And it just gets worse if I cannot fall asleep.

Maybe one day, I will find something that works or with practice it will be a more approachable thing. Maybe one day, I will be able to let hubbs do what he wants to, all the trips he wants to take, the overnight hikes and everything else.
He did do a ton of day hikes and spent a night at Base Camp on Rainier, which was something I wouldnt have imagined happening last year!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Dairy

India is the largest producer of dairy, with an annual production of about 120 million tonnes using about 35 crore (350 million) cattle.
Cows are forced into body-breaking cycle of pregnancy, birthing and milking throughout their life (either through common bull or an equally torturous process called artificial insemination) in all the dairies. The semen for the insemination is taken forcefully from bulls by electrocuting them. 
The mothers also endure a lot of misery in not being able to spend time with their babies since the calves are taken away soon after birth. Male calves are often sold for slaughter or left to die of starvation. 

More than 10 million calves are slaughtered per year in India, that is 1 every 3 seconds....

Dairy comes from grieving mothers and dead babies.. 


Do Vegans hate others

This excerpt from Bite size Vegan's video sums it up.
"I believe that is where so much of what is often seen as vegan “hate” really comes from- a devastating sense of loss, a profound mourning, and a feeling of utter powerlessness. when your eyes are opened to the extreme enormity of unnecessary animal suffering and death at the hands of our species, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed with anger and disgust. 

of course, this passion can sometimes overwhelm us and come out sideways in petty aggression or arguments. but to my non-vegan friends out there, know that this almost always comes from wanting so bad to save the lives of innocent animals and feeling powerless against what often seems to be a losing battle.
It is equally important to note that many non-vegans honestly and truly don’t know any better. We were also non-vegan at some point...."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Acceptance

Its hard living with limited abilities. More often that not, I have to make peace with the fact that I wont be able to do something and that the rest of the family can. Most of the time, its just hubbs and me and he tries to make sure that we do some other activities that I like and I can do, to balance out his other activities, which he does alone. But when family is visiting, the things that I can do with them outside home dwindles to almost nothing (usual tourism = crowd + noise = not for me). It sucks sitting at home and it sucks more. It is hard for regularly abled/active people to make time and adjustments for the limitedly abled, and that is understandable, though often frustrating.

Is the key to happiness with any situation just acceptance?. Acceptance of what things are and not wanting more. And if that is so, how do I get there....

Friday, May 08, 2015

Fridays

Fridays are Fridays. I always want to start the weekend early. So I call hubbs after 6 pm to check when he will get home. And he is always in some kind of get together. And every time its a new reason.

- someone is leaving the group
- someone is leaving the company
- someone just joined the company
- someone has been there for too long so he is celebrating
- someone completed their first year so they are celebrating
- its an intern party
- it was sunny
- the product shipped
- the product did not ship
- the demo went well
- the demo did not happen and everyone was there
- we got a new kegerator 
- the kegerator had not been used in a week, so we had to do something
- met someone after 5 years, so had to have a drink
- fought with someone so had to cool down
- the week went especially well
- met someone in the elevator who was leaving the company
- there was vegan beer
- there were vegan cup cakes
- the recent most. it was sunny, went on bike, bike died in the middle of I-90

and it continues!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Indifference

I have not visited India in more than a decade now and have forgotten how difficult it can be to look at everyday life and try to find one cause to do something about.

Everything exists in parallel in India. There will be affluent neighborhoods, people who can afford most of what is needed. Outside the same neighborhoods, will be a slum where people and children barely survive, live in poverty, have diseases, and work longer than 12 hours of the day. The problems range from not having the right color shoe to wear, to no shoe at all, to no food for the day either.

I remember being like most Indians growing up, trying to block out everything most days. It is hard to open yourself up to care about each and every living being, human or not as there are so many of them who need immediate help, surrounded by poverty of all kinds. This explains why most of us Indians project an air of indifference about everything.

Living in the US, the problems are generally only seen on tv, online or heard of from a third person. Things are never right in front of your eyes. There are causes we can choose to pursue and others we can choose to not know about.

In both situations, there are always some of us who go against the norm and do something. Here in the US, we pursue some causes and do much more about them without being bogged down by every other thing. In India, it is easier to get overwhelmed with the enormity of the many issues that are always right in front of the eyes, but we can choose a few to pursue and keep doing something till we can pursue more.

Why this post you say? Yesterday I read Eileen's write up about her trip to a bunch of cities in India. Eileen is the founder of Help animals India which is a 501 c3 based in the US. Her charity writes up grants for several animal welfare, rescue and sanctuary organizations in India. Every few years she also visits them to see the progress and the use of the financial help.

Her trip write up is eye opening. To read about so many people, most of who have their own problems and needs, who are not rich, who work or volunteer to help the animals in distress, work tirelessly for long term solutions for the strays and other animals, is humbling.

Most of these people are Indian, they also grew up in the same country, are faced with enormous number of issues every day, and they still go out of their way to take a cause and work selflessly for it. It is people like them who don't have much, who care and help, and now the younger generation who also see the work and compassion and get inspiration on social media, that end up helping. Most of the developed class, middle class, tech and other people think of the problems (strays, animal issues, poverty) as nuisance rather than something they themselves can help solve.

Indifference because of over exposure to something, or no exposure (ignorance) of something, is hindering the path to any change for the betterment of people, society, animals, and the earth.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

threads

I have these random threads that keep going on in the back of my head which suddenly show up out of nowhere. Hubbs cleaned up the living room and kitchen over the weekend. Everything is all cleaned, no clutter and good. Monday, we are driving to somewhere and I suddenly ask, where is the cheesecloth that was drying on the chair? hubbs.. what cloth? Me: ok another one probably thrown away during the cleaning. :)  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holidays

Lol, you knew a holiday rant post was coming right.

Holidays are just not fun really. But anywho. I would like for everyone to read this PSA.

By not being cognizant of other people around you, their needs and requirements and not making an effort towards being inclusive. (it obviously needs a step or 2 out of the comfort zone), what one is teaching their kids is that clique behavior, callousness, and self serving behavior is a-ok to learn and continue to do.

Nuff said.

Be inclusive for a change, be nice, be sweet. I mean seriously, I do not want to dread holiday gatherings. Be my friend this year?

Oh well, a ton of other things to think about and do something about.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Say Nothing at All

Lets make today a Compliment/praise day. Take the response that you were going to say, write or express (at work, elsewhere, somewhere online), if it is mean, judgy, preachy or negative, chuck it. Say nothing at all. or if you do have to say/express, say something positive, encouraging or just a nice thank you for being you. :)

Why? Because people are getting more and more unabashed about expressing the first thing that comes to their mind on the web. There is a level of anonymity and being able to not put any rules on yourself when speaking anonymously to strangers, that seems to be bringing out the worst is us.

How? More cases of bullying and cyber bullying, more mean spirited exchanges, more name calling, and other things. all of which you would never do if you were face to face with the person.

This affects everyone at some point in life. it is detrimental to happiness, to sharing, community and support systems.

and lately it has been detrimental to the vegan movement.

Why?

Because everyone on the web seems to know the stories of anyone being discussed and loves to offer an opinion. Its like everyone is a celebrity online, whose lives, choices, and everything else can be dissected and commented upon. Even the celebrities for that matter should not have to deal with it.

Because, one small group based on empathy and compassion keeps calling out other small groups instead of offering support.

Vegan-ism is based on empathy, compassion and reducing suffering of all animals. The whole concept and way of living is based on empathy and compassion, and should also extent to the non animal humans.
Then why all the bashing in the Vegan community.
Most of the yelling happens because of the concept of "more vegan than thou". I am more vegan that you because "fill in the blank". which is ridiculous. We are all on the vegan journey and we are all on it together. some might be just starting off, some might be in coach number 1 and some coach 100, but we are all on the same train.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Accepting Disability - post 1

What I Cannot do/WICND : Stand and talk for more than a few minutes. Talking to someone needs looking at a moving face. With the standing still already a big issue, this doesn't work out at all.
What I Can Do/WICD : Stand for an hour or longer in the kitchen and cook, move around, cook multiple things, write it down, take pictures, and also talk. This I have developed over the past years with practice. From being able to stand for just 10 minutes at a time to now.

WICND : watch most action movies or go to a theater
WICD : watch hindi movies coz they are usually light, and use stable camera work.


WICND : walk more than 2 blocks on flat concrete ground
WICD : walk 4 blocks on grass or slight elevation or climb stairs

WICND : go out and eat in a restaurant, because most do not have sofa type seatin and usually have too much noise
WICD : go out and eat in some few restaurants or go out for coffee that do have sofas

WICND : read anything farther than 4 feet. it's basically like trying to read things which have 10 shadow images.
WICD : read on the machine. I do need new glasses to help though.

WICND : fly out for a vacation to a beachy town
WICD : drive out to a beach in the PNW

sucks, but thats life. I can do a lot more than what I could do one year back. :)

Monday, January 06, 2014

Why a Sustainable Plant Based Diet?

This year saw a trend in big money investors like Microsoft's Bill Gates, Twitter Co-founders and Google co-founder Sergey Brin all investing plant based fake meat/eggs companies. 
Why We Must Shift to Sustainable Plant-Based Eating
These investors recognize that the planet cannot sustain its current level of industrialized animal farming. There’s a big problem with our reliance on meat, dairy and eggs, and it’s only going to get worse.
If you’re an animal lover, you already despise the grinding, horrifying cruelty of today’s factory farms. Gone are the bucolic, rolling pasture lands dotted with roaming farm animals that our grandparents remember. Farmers just can’t meet the staggering worldwide demand for meat, eggs and dairy by doing business that way anymore.
To make raising livestock profitable, chickens are caged together so tightly they can’t spread their wings or walk around – ever. Pigs are jammed into gestation crates they cannot turn around in, their teeth and tails cut off without anesthetic to keep them from chewing at one another out of madness or boredom. Cattle are kept constantly impregnated so their milk will never stop flowing, while their newborn calves are carted off to become veal.
If the plight of farmed animals isn’t enough to turn you plant-based, have you taken a close look at the effects of today’s farming practices on the environment? The statistics are sobering:
  • 76 percent of all U.S. farmland is used only to graze livestock. That’s 614 million acres of pasture, 157 million acres of public land and 127 million acres of forest.
  • In addition to the above, if you also factor in the land used to grow feed for animals, a staggering 97 percent of U.S. agricultural land is devoted to sustaining livestock and poultry.
  • Animals raised for food create 89,000 pounds of manure per second, causing extensive groundwater pollution.
  • 30 percent of the entire land surface of the Earth is used by livestock.
  • 70 percent of Amazon deforestation is directly due to clearing land to provide livestock grazing area.
  • 33 percent of the world’s arable land is used to produce feed only for livestock.
  • More than 70 percent of the crops we grow in the U.S. are produced just to feed meat-producing livestock.
  • 70 percent of available water is used for growing crops, most of which feed livestock, not people.
  • It takes 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat.

Despite all of the above, worldwide meat production will explode from 229 million tons in 2001 to 465 million tons by 2050, while global milk output will increase from 580 million tons in 2001 to 1043 million tons by 2050.
“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,” according to a report issued in 2012 by Stockholm International Water Institute.
Our current system simply won’t enable us to feed 9 billion people a the current rate at which we consume meat, eggs and dairy. Crunch the numbers and it becomes disturbingly clear that something must change – soon.
That’s why smart, high dollar investors are eyeing companies which understand this coming crisis and are offering solutions. They’re out in front, paving the way for a plant-based future. 

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-skyrocketing-business-of-vegan-food-aims-to-save-the-world.html#ixzz2ph9QOCYp

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Adjustments

I have been thinking about how we humans seem to be programmed to choose to be surrounded by the most similar people, make close group friendships around close to the group equilibrium of common behaviors. It makes sense in a way, because it is the least effort path. No adjustments and life goes on.
It is a bit different with family because we dont have a choice who we are related to. Luckily, my family adjusts very well around me. So sometimes we are forced to adjust, but friendships and other relationships are a choice.

There are a few(or probably lots) instances this does not work well. For me, I am the not so normal individual in our friend circle, who doesn't conform to the least effort state.(I need a minimum of good back support seating, decent lighting and limited moderate noise if I have to spend anything more than 5 minutes anywhere). For this reason, most times we (hubbs and me) or me depending on the event, dont get invited to things. Though I am not even sure I want to keep getting invited to things I cannot do. And when we do get invited, there is hardly a thought put into if the event actually works for us (and I am not even talking about food). More often than not, a little thought would provide an answer of how to make the event more not normal people friendly. Each event for that matter for me is different levels of adjustment, that i do for several reasons including being with hubbs, for myself, for everyone around.

I dont know how this translates to how we all deal with other issues like kids in a group who have slightly different needs like food intolerances or other bigger differences.
I can maybe understand the frustration faced by parents when no one.. friends, schools, relatives, are open to changing something or adding options or generally even giving a thought to the not so normal needs or requirements of the kids. This is probably a bigger question too. The way we deal with anyone with a different interest(creative arts versus science), different lifestyle, with the non conforming lot.

I dont know the answers to these questions. I dont know if I would want to take the easier route if I was within the easy equilibrium circle, maybe I would too. In a way, it makes sense that why would you want to make the changes, take extra steps when those extra steps might make the event or change not as enjoyable for you. For example, changing a venue or an activity of your birthday or celebration changes how you want it to be. It is your birthday after all. The change though means that the not normal someone can participate. But then do you really want the person there? It is probably a hassle to keep adjusting(eg. food allergies). And if you are thinking probably not, did you ever stop to ask why not?. Some Close and strong relationships happen when people spend time with each other. Do you see the irony here. Its a cycle, if we dont spend time with each other, we dont get to know each other well and develop a bond. Maybe after the closeness, we automatically choose options that are friendlier to the not normal set.

Isnt all this related somehow. If we cannot take that extra effort to accept, be cognizant of and adjust with certain issues with our fellow family and friends, how will we take the extra effort to change something for the animals. Though both can be done mutually exclusively, the changes someone makes for any living being gives a window into the compassion that is there even if stronger for certain people/species, but its there.

Till we find answers, there will be loneliness.

my last year's thanksgiving post here. my ponderings seem to happen around the holidays.

As Isa says and I hope more people follow" A larger tradition for Thanksgiving is inclusiveness. Or, at least, that is what we’re supposed to tell our children. Let's keep that tradition by providing something out of nothing. Or, more specifically, cutlets out of chickpeas. Here’s to new traditions!"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Plans and babies

As I mentioned some time back, there has been an explosion of babies being born around us. Most of our friend circle and extended circle around got married between 5 to 8 years ago. There were only a few babies in the years till last year and few and far between. And then pretty much everyone that was left got pregnant one by one and the deliveries are still going strong. 5 done and a few more to be this year.

With the first few kids, no one really asked us about our plans, because I was still trying to figure out the health issues, the diagnosis, the solutions and waiting for unknown things to heal and get better.

Now after a bunch of years, we know that some of the issues are here to stay and that I have to live with them. Both me and hubbs have realized and accepted that. Life goes on. 
Hubbs has lately been getting more comfortable thinking about an addition to the family.

I dont know what I feel about reproducing or caring for a baby though. Whenever I do spend time with any baby or toddler, I have done so in not familiar and high stimulus environment(different home, levels of noise and activity which keeps me far from getting  comfortable) and hence constantly struggle to associate any comfort and joy with the baby. I think for a few months last year, I would go into a mixed set of emotions. I would try to be happy because it is a joyful occasion and at the same time feel depressed because I dont know when, if ever, I would be able to experience it. 

Then I accepted the fact that I am getting depressed for no reason, because there are other options(adoption). Most likely I did not even want a baby right now. I was getting depressed about something I cannot have, but dont even necessarily want at the time.

Most days I am worse than a kid. You can leave a kid at a day care, but you can't leave me anywhere. I dont let hubbs get too far away from me. He is my safe person because of my PTSD. If he is around, I feel less anxious. I dont know how he handles my clingyness. 

It probably stems from the experiences during and post surgery. The helplessness a day after the surgery where your body doesnt listen to what you tell it to do and there is no way you can get up by yourself, walk or do anything, is the scariest thing ever for a control freak. 
Whenever people tell me I am brave and strong, I think to myself, that I am not. If i really was that brave and strong, why would I get post traumatic stress disorder. Why would I be so shit scared of something similar happening again or even another vertigo episode. 

And to think that I can be responsible for another life during a vertigo attack is incomprehensible. I remember I got an attack once while in the car. Hubbs had to pull over and then he got down to take a pillow out of the trunk so I could stabilize myself, and chewie got out with him without him knowing. The only thing I could do was yell to alert him, which he heard only after 4-5 yells. I couldnt move to catch chewie. He is my 4 legged baby and if something happened to him I would be devastated. But when I cant even crawl during an attack to stop him, how in the world will I cater to the needs of a baby. Forget the trips to the hospital. every trip is a panic +vertigo attack in the making. And all the responsibility will again fall on hubbs.

Sure, all the mommy oxytocin might just make me do things. But who knows. 

If I get to the point when I can either go through a pregnancy or adopt and care for a child, I think I would rather use the ability to get a bit more independent, to accompany hubbs on travels(its been 8 years since i stepped foot on a plane and he hasnt either because I get panicky if he is more than a few hours away from me), to fly and meet parents, parents-in-law, brothers and sisters and everyone I havent met in 8 years., and so on. but maybe my priorities will change. 

This year is about finding, moving into and setting up a new home. That postpones this difficult discussion by another year..

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Humane - what humane

When I first started about changing up my diet after reading a few things here and there.. I gave up meat and then I went about trying to find more "humane" options.. cage free eggs. Milk from Pasture fed and happier cows.
Then after finding out more and more about those farms and reading stories on vegan food blogs, I decided to replace each of the products which used animal ingredients one by one..

Whenever I read a detailed post, the questions that would come to my mind were "what the heck.. Why are these people doing all this." and not questions like " Where will I get my protein and nutrition" or " Omg I love cheese, I have to give it up?" Or "surely this is all made up information by hippies and I cant care about each and every extreme post out there"(Real questions by people in discussions).  

I just knew that I couldnt cause that much pain and suffering and there would be ways to either substitute some or just change up my taste buds.. It took a while to sub out everything especially the milk in our tea, mainly because I was not cooking breakfast for a long while. Once my health improved enough to take that over, milk was out the door. 

As for "Humane". to this day I dont understand the meaning of the term. By definition it means having or showing compassion and inflicting the minimum of pain.

Who decides how much compassion and how much pain?

Are cage free eggs "Humane" because the hens have some space to move around, even if their beaks are cut off so they dont peck at each other?

Are low calf cull rate dairy farms "humane", because the cows are not impregnated every few months and their calfs not killed(they all grow up and end up in the beef industry instead).

If there any such thing is "humane" slaughter. How about humane murder.. the notion of "humane slaughter" is at odds with the physiological reality of concussing, electrocuting, slashing open the veins of, and/or violently decapitating an animal, the idea that one can be "humane" while killing for profit is self-contradictory.

I just dont get the usage of the word humane. It seems like a band-aid term to band-aid our conscience and continue eating whatever we want to. 

Read more from a farmer's perspective here
http://www.humanemyth.org/haroldbrown.htm

and more here
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sue-cross/humane-slaughter-a-contra_b_2220480.html

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Offensive or not

So I posted this yesterday on my Fb status.
'If you can respect "my personal choice" to fondle your wife/spouse whenever I want, then I will "respect" "your personal choice" to eat meat/dairy/eggs. - via Several sources.'

It is a quote with several interpretations. What I am talking about is "a choice", not the person.

For example, while growing up, several of us made decisions and choices that our parents did not agree with, disliked, got offended by, or even hated. Did that mean that they did not love us anymore. It is the choice they do not like.

My brother is currently a big carnivore. I love him as my brother, but I do not have to like or respect his choices in food. In fact, he hears exactly that from me every time we talk. But I love him, the person. 

To put it in better terms..please see the Extract below from Colleen's post. Entire post here

“Eating meat is my personal preference, and since I respect your desire not to eat animals, I would appreciate your respecting my preference to dine on them.”
The problem with this justification is that it assumes there is no victim, no other.
As a society, we collectively decide that certain behaviors, certain actions, certain personal preferences are inappropriate or morally reprehensible, particularly when they cause injury or harm to another. When confronted, abusive parents or spouses often protest that it is nobody else’s business how they treat their child/wife/husband, that people should not meddle into their affairs, and that they can do what they like in their own home. Though there was a time when the law protected such people and practices, this is no longer the case.
As conscious consumers, we make choices every day about the products we buy — we choose those that do not contribute to child labor, those that use the least amount of the Earth’s resources, those that do not exploit indigent farmers. How, then, can we possibly ignore the animals whose miserable lives have been so violently cut short because we hold onto a particular taste preference or habit? The animals whose bodies we have locked up, used up, and cut up for our enjoyment are no different than the victims of domestic abuse who, if they had a choice — if they had a voice — would choose not to be tormented or killed.
A choice made from personal preference might be the color I paint my bathroom, the kind of car I buy, or the way I style my hair. But a personal choice to hurt someone else???"

Sure, my fb post is probably not the best way to put things, it is offensive, distasteful, and other adjectives. It got the attention though, didnt it.


How is it a personal choice of someone who is being abusive to their family, children or their pets?

A personal choice that someone is getting hurt and tortured so bad as a direct result of someone else's action.

Does it matter that the "someone else" we are talking about is not someone's family or friend but an animal. That animal is a sentient being. That animal is my family. My family is being hurt. How is it "a personal choice".
And How do I "respect" that choice.

Please watch Earthlings here if you havent.
Or under cover videos at MFA here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Predictability

As I mentioned on my food blog.. My eyes are being very ridiculous since the past week and I am ready to learn to walk blind folded.. I couldnt stand in the kitchen for more than 2 minutes for 2 full days last week..gaaah... finally I realized I can walk easier on the carpeted area, so we put a thick rug on the tiles and I made it to the 15 minute in the kitchen mark. I dont know when they will get back to a the normality i know. 

Thats the frustrating part of this messed up eye, brain, legs, balance.. There is no predictability really. 

Some months I will be running around, over working my eyes, walking 10 blocks, taking 300 pictures in a day.. some other months, just a block, or not even to the elevator in the building or to the kitchen and back..

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Midway The film - Effects of the pacific garbage patch


The MIDWAY film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. 
Production of the feature film "MIDWAY" continues through 2013.
Please go to midwayfilm.com for more information.


Read the blog here. Please watch the short trailer below.


MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.

Shoes

Hubbs' everyday wear shoe sole broke at office the other day, so he dropped by the puma store to pick up a new shoe. He liked a few shoes, looked inside at the material label, read the insanely tiny print, then selected a few from them, tried, found one, confirmed the materials and bought one.

Several things to note here.
He searched for the label inside the shoe and read it.
eliminated all the obvious materials he wouldnt wear.
Confirmed the materials with the salesperson to be sure. how many guys would know what polyamide or rayon are or if the fleece is cotton based or wool or synthetic.

He came home and was beaming coz he found something he really liked and could buy.

You know you are vegan when you look at the materials before looking at the price tag.

There are always more things to learn and change.... like child labor practices or eco friendly ness of the companies... finding local, all vegan and green companies.
It is one step at a time.. and I am so proud of hubbs that he remembers some of the points I keep harping about, takes time to understand why and unknowingly applies them even when he is alone..:)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Another day another reminder

Its been 3 years already..

3 years since the UW Neurology department reminded me that i need to do follow up MRI. which after a few months of delaying, i went for in may 2010 and got hit by the panic disorder. A reminder sits in the mail.

3 years since I had to meet my neurosurgeon, who is a brilliant technician and one of the best to let handle your brain, but lacks a bedside manner, who at every instance tells me that I am complaining about the problem too much or tell me that maybe I dont want to get better.(nasty!) This year i am changing my follow up to someone else.

3 years of re-fixing everything. The panic disorder pushed my progress with my balance back a year and i am yet to get it to a predictable state.

How do you deal with Post traumatic stress. How do you come to terms with the change in life. How do you get that closure. Till I can figure that out, the ptsd will keep coming back in some form or the other.. and keep putting huge blocks at my balance rehab and progress towards some things i want to be able to do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simple gestures

A post at Hannah's, about a simple gesture by a lady offering to share her umbrella in Hawaii heat, reminded me of how a simple gesture can make your day.

One day sometime in December on one of our house tours, my balance got messed up. I wanted hubbs to see the other under construction units as well, and was contemplating either sitting cross legged on the side walk to wait for him(which would still be unstable for me) or try to make it to the car by myself. Eventually he would walk me to the car which was 3 houses away, as he always does. He leaves the shopping cart with the teller, walks me to the car, goes back and bills and so on and so many other things. But this time, the house listing agent offered to walk with me.
When my balance in unpredictable, I can still walk (though awkwardly) and dont necessarily need to hold onto anything or anyone. But there is always a fear of falling. So I prefer to walk close to walls or railings or anything that I can hold on to if needed or to have someone around.

There are so very few times that someone offers help, that I feel warm and get very emotional when a complete stranger does. Also probably because hubbs is almost always there to help, so people dont really get an opportunity :).

It feels really good though. I dont know if I am that kind of a person, who would notice something different and offer anything, something, how much ever simple or small. Maybe , maybe not. I hope maybe in some ways, some days I am. Maybe I will never know, because almost all days, I am the one who needs that simple gesture. What I can offer maybe is a smile, if I am not falling off my feet that is. :)
Note to self, pay it forward.