Archive for September, 2008
Well, only 1 more sleep until vacation. I’m going to keep this post short as you can guess I’m getting things done before leaving. Unlike our trip to Hawaii I won’t have internet readily accessible. Okay, it will be accessible, but at multiple dollars per minute, that’s not worth it. So this is us signing off until we get back….
I’m been on a mission recently. Big surprise, I’m always doing/changing something. Gotta keep life interesting. So my recent challenge to myself is to make my lifestyle more green and cruelty-free at the same time. Let me explain….
Everyone knows that I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for several months now. As stated in previous posts, It’s been awesome and I can’t believe how much variety I have to choose from for food. In addition I tend to stay away from most “junk food.” You know I gotta have my ice cream and sweets but other than that I think I’m doing quite well. So with my “success” and easier transition than expected I thought it was time to take it to the next level. Now I’m not going to get all crazy on ya’ll, expecting people sit around the fire singing kumbayah or chant, “peace, love…” I’m also not going to go out and protest about animal rights or anything. It’s just not my thing. With that being said, I also think it’s important that I take my own personal changes to be more green and make conscious choices on a daily basis.
I have launched my search for new personal products along with cleaning products, etc. over that past month or so. Thanks to the help of Caring Consumer.com they’ve helped guide me through cruelty-free products along with animal-free products. I have hit a few roadblocks here and there. First, trying to weed through the defintions of organic, natural, cruelty-free, animal-free. The list goes on and on, but it seems like there’s a different name for everything and when you really look at them they all mean totally different things in regards to ingredients, where they’re derived from, and how the product is formulated. And even though it’s one thing, it doesn’t mean it’s the other. For instance, organic AND animal-free. I’ve come to the point where I may not be able to have my cake and eat it too, and may have to choose my battle. Meaning, what’s most important to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are products out there that cover all of the bases, it just takes me longer to locate them. But that’s cool with me. At this point my focus is on cruelty-free, then animal-free, and finally products that are as earth-friendly as possible. Meaning, I’m also keeping my eye on the other ingredients in the products, verifying that they don’t have some crazy chemical, which would defeat the entire purpose of my mission.
My plan is to slowly transition to “better” products as we need them. For instance, I’m not going to throw out all the toothpaste I have and run out to get the “right” kind. That would definitely defeat the purpose. As I run out of products I will replace them with the products that I have researched. My first purchases were shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, facial cleanser, and lip balm. I chose Giovanni Organic Cosmetics for haircare due to it’s accessibilty, but I must say that I’m really interested in David Babaii’s line. Nature’s Gate was my first pick for deodorant. My face cleaner is now Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash. And my lip balm choice was Merry Hempsters to begin. There are many more products to choose from than expected so these next coming months will be interesting as I try different products to see which ones I like best. So far I’ve been ecstatic with the outcome of the products I have chosen. Of course you’re always hesitant to veer from your normal products but I took a leap and they’re all leaving me fresh and clean.
My future transitions will be makeup, detergent, fabric softener, household cleaning supplies, reusable underpads (instead of disposable puppy pads), and toothpaste just to name a few. For most of the items I have already chosen which brands I will start with. I’m thankful that we have Health Plus, a local small store, and Kroger’s decent-sized “natural, organic section.” It’s not like living in a big city but at least I have choices and if I can’t find the products I want the Internet fulfills my needs. In the future I also plan to look at alternatives for clothing. For instance leather belts, shoes, etc. Once again, I’m not going to throw what I have out that’s in good condition. My plan is not and will probably never be to become vegan, meaning no animal products whatsoever. I personally think that’s darn near impossible, especially with food and even more, with eating out. But if I can limit my animal products, especially in simple choices of clothing and products, then why not?
I’m sure a lot of people may say, “Yeah, that’s all well in good, but that may get expensive.” Very true, but thankfully it’s just David and myself, not an entire family to change over. In addition, I believe it’s a small price to pay to keep myself and the earth healthier. Heck, maybe with the cost it will help me be even more conservative in my usage of certain products. Now you know I’m not going to let myself go getting all stinky and stuff. I’m sure you understand. And lastly, the products aren’t all that much more costly than your other daily products, depending on where you purchase them.
I’m also trying to make general better daily choices. I’m crazy about recycling and am constantly looking to see if this or that is recyclable. Our trash has diminished to less than a bag a week. And the majority of our trash is pet waste. I’m always looking to change bad habits and hopefully am well on my way to reducing my carbon footprint while considering the life of animals.
This morning David and I got up at about 7:30am. We sat around awhile and then finally got up and ran 3 miles. I hadn’t eaten anything knowing I was going to run. If I run I either need to eat about an hour before, let it settle, then run, or just not eat. By the time we got out it was after 9am. At that time we had Alpa coming over to assist us in moving an old chest freezer from our basement to outside.
After the run I was sweating like a pig and knew I needed to get something in me. Both water and some form of sugar. I could feel myself not feeling “right” but was focused on the challenge at hand. It seemed to take forever, it was VERY heavy and awkward. At some moments we didn’t think we’d be able to get it out of the house. Long story short, we made it possible but it wasn’t easy and all of our bodies were paying for it. By the time we finished hauling it out of the house I was gone.
The room started spinning and I knew I needed to lie down and get something into me fast. It’s the hardest sensation to explain other than the room spins, my body temperature seems to rise several degrees and all my body wants to do is either vomit or defecate….sometimes all at the same time. I started by taking a bite of an apple and laying on the kitchen floor. The coolness of the ugly linoleum took the edge off after a few minutes so I was able to get up. I got my apple, a few bites of peanut butter, and some vitamin water down. Usually by that point my body starts to come back. Not so this time. At that point my dinner from last night decided to revisit me from my rear….Onion loaf and french onion soup from Damons, topped off with some wine. I finally made it upstairs only to find myself sitting in the shower and not standing. The waves of nausea kept coming over me. I finished in the shower and the moment I got out the nausea hit hard core and my apple and peanut butter hit me from the front end. Thankfully I have good aim and it landed in the toilet. At that point I wanted to die. I was able to get dressed and made it downstairs.
We decided it was time to get lunch and headed out. The car made my “sickness” worse and I had to tell David to stop by the mall. I was hoping that if I went to the bathroom one more time my symptoms would end. Unfortunately it didn’t help and the thought of food made me want to vomit. David reminded me that needed food in me to get rid of the symptoms I was having. We were at a loss of food choices so David became creative and stopped at Target. He ran inside and bought me a plain soft pretzel. It was so hard to eat. It took me forever to take bite after bite. The nausea wanted to take over but I knew I needed to keep eating the pretzel. I finally finished the sucker and within 1/2 hour my body came back to homeostasis and I was my “normal” self.
The scenario is unfortunately something I go through more often than I’d like. I never had this problem so much before I ran, but now that I run on a daily basis it rears it’s ugly head here and there. Thankfully I can read my body well and notice the symptoms before they become incapacitating. I’ve also been able to tweak my running and diet (when and what I eat) to avoid these situations, however sometimes your body does weird things unexpectedly. That or your schedule gets messed up which throws everything else off. And lastly, whenever I increase mileage it’s a challenge for me to decide how much and what to eat to get me through those runs.
It’s times like these that I can’t help but think of Erika. In no way am I comparing my situation with her having diabetes. However, in talking with her, reading her blog, and watching her overcome her struggles I can see how diabetes can be a bitch and attempt to ruin your life in anyway possible. Thankfully she hasn’t decided to lie down and take it. She’s decided to take control of it in any way possible even in dealing with daily or hourly highs and lows. I can only imagine being in her shoes. I run for many reasons, whether they be personal or private. But one thing’s for sure….one reason I run is for Erika. I run to thank her for getting me off my ass to run. I run because I see she can do it through her own strength and tenacity, even with obstacles at every step. I run for all of those other diabetics out there that do the same. And even though I’m not the fastest or strongest, I run because I can.
Just as with Erika, I will not let struggles, obstacles, lulls, discomfort, or fear stop me from running. It’s with this that I’m announcing David and I will be running a marathon within the next year. Yes, ya heard right….a marathon….that’s 26.2 miles. I’ve had reservations about posting this on the blog but I figured if I post it I’ll hold myself to it. As of this moment we’ve got it narrowed to a couple options and will keep you posted on our choice. Here’s to many hours of pounding pavement alone, and some discomfort along the way, but with a payoff of pride.