121 Hours Vegan

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Canon – Candid

  It’s 10 at night and so marks the 121st hour of vegan eating. Yes I know many will say I’m late to the party but I’m not doing this to be “cool” or “trendy”, nor am I claiming the entire vegan lifestyle. My Camaro has leather interior and I have a few select leather pieces in my closet I’ve already established a relationship with. I’m doing this for my own health and personal satisfaction.

While I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism and veganism for a couple months at a time, this is the first time I’m really broadening my horizons to a variety of creative raw recipes besides lackluster salads. However, this is not without hard work and commitment.

The first problem began early with breakfast, an acai bowl. In case you didn’t know, honey and bee pollen (two ingredients in my favorite bowl) are not vegan. Bummer. As for coffee, I’m partial to two coffee breaks a day and I’m not a big fan of replacing dairy with soy in my beverages. Instead of the usual, I’ve been opting for an iced green tea no sweetener, or a half passion – half black tea. It’s thirst quenching and while it’s not as awakening, I’ll take whatever caffeine it’ll give me. We all know whipped cream isn’t a necessity anyway.

The process of eating any meal is quite eventful. There are no vegan restaurants for at least fifteen minutes driving distance from school in any direction traveled. Days include reading the nutritional label on literally everything, and asking waitresses for detailed ingredients that aren’t specified on the dinner menu.

Today I turned down a Starburst candy because I read it contained gelatin. Salsa Verde Doritos? No dice, they contain chicken flavoring, yes, chicken flavoring. McDonalds french fries? Nice try, the oil used for frying them has a natural beef flavoring and hydrolyzed milk. On the other hand, there are snacks like the original Chex Mix, strawberry flavored Pop Tarts, Kettle chips, Ritz crackers, and a few others that are deemed “accidentally vegan.”

There are however restaurants and shops quickly multiplying that are all-vegan or have several vegan friendly options. I’ve found many of these places are in LA and further west, but believe me these places are totally worth it. Instead of bland veggies and boring grains, you can dive into cashew mac n’ cheese or a Portobello burger. A few places I recommend for flavorful options are Sage Vegan Bistro, Veggie Grill, and by Chloe.

A couple important things to be aware of before going vegan; first, understanding what absolutely no animal products means. This means you’re saving yourself the antibiotics and hormones, but it also means you’ll probably need to add a b12 and iron supplement to your daily routine. Also, you will have to work to make sure you’re getting enough protein and calcium in your diet. Common calcium choices are milk, yogurt, and cheese, but leafy greens, legumes, and fruit are all nutritious sources often neglected.

Secondly, your friends and family with ask questions, a lot of them. You will also get the occasional smartass joke and stereotypical comment, “being vegan is unhealthy…the Bible says you can eat meat…who cares we’re at the top of the food chain!” Save yourself the smart remark, because this will most likely never stop.

I don’t know how long I will be able to keep this up and if it will be a forever long decision for me, my craving for meat as of now reminds me of the first Twilight movie when the vampire Edward tells Bella he never feels “fully satisfied” without the blood of humans. I can practically smell the beef tamales and biscuits and gravy, but then I look at my plate and it’s my fruit salad. Maybe I just want what I can’t have, but I do know one thing, I don’t feel so sluggish after eating, something love about going vegan!

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Shipwrecked

IMG_1491_2.jpgAly Reyes at Point Reyes! On my solo trip finding a boat with my last name.

“Known as the Tomales Bay Shipwreck, the Inverness Shipwreck, or the S.S. Point Reyes, the tall fishing boat was once in danger of being removed, but it was local photographers who actually saved it. The vessel was originally dragged aground by the land’s previous owner who had intended to fix the ship up. However, like many fixer-upper projects, he never actually got around to the repairs, leaving the boat, which still bears the name, “Point Reyes,” to decay on the shore.” http://www.atlasobscura.com/users/cattbertt

iPhone + attachable fisheye lens

Solo Trip

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The first road trip I took, by myself. Here I felt most alive.

iphone only

1. Solitude allows you to reboot your brain and unwind. Constantly being “on” doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time.

2. Solitude helps to improve concentration and increase productivityWhen you remove as many distractions and interruptions as you can from your day, you are better able to concentrate, which will help you get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

3. Solitude gives you an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice.When you’re a part of a group, you’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which isn’t always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.

4. Solitude provides time for you to think deeply. Day to day responsibilities and commitments can make your to-do list seem as if it has no end. This constant motion prevents you from engaging in deep thought, which inhibits creativity and lessens productivity.

5. Solitude helps you work through problems more effectively. It’s hard to think of effective solutions to problems when you’re distracted by incoming information, regardless of whether that information is electronic or human.

6. Solitude can enhance the quality of your relationships with others. By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.”

The Healthy Aspects of Solitude