Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

One-Month-Old Vegan

It’s been exactly one month since I turned vegan so I wanted to record my experience thus far. Where do I start? Maybe I should talk about why I decided to turn vegan. It didn’t happen overnight. Back in August, I had heard about a movie with a hashtag called #unitythemovement. I heard that Casey Affleck was one of the narrators and I LOVE Casey so I really wanted to go watch it, not knowing exactly what I would be watching. I didn’t care as long as Casey was a part of it. As someone who has always rooted for the underdog, I loved Casey while everyone else loved Ben.

“Unity” wasn’t a movie, I soon discovered. About 5 minutes into the film, I realized this was a documentary about human rights uniting with animal rights. About humans finding their compassion and finding out that there is a more peaceful way of living than we all know. They talked about history and all the wars the world has suffered through, all the deaths that occurred and questioned why after all these years of living, we still cannot get along and resort to war. The part that stuck with me the most was the footage of animals who were suffering and living a “life” for human consumption. The film was 99 minutes long. While there was only 12 minutes total of animal footage, those are the parts that stuck with me the most. They made me uncomfortable and since I was in a movie theater rather than sitting in front of a TV, I couldn’t change the channel. I had to sit there and watch the horror unfold before my eyes. That’s when I decided to go vegetarian. I still consumed dairy and eggs so it wasn’t that bad. Surprisingly, I found vegetarianism quite simple and I didn’t think I needed to go vegan. Besides, I would probably have fallen off the wagon anyway.

After 3 weeks of going vegetarian, I started researching more about dairy and egg factories. I started reading about how the dairy industry really works and I started to question why DO we drink the milk of another species that is meant for baby calves? The answer is that growing up, it was ingrained upon us that we need milk to build strong healthy bones and teeth, to stay healthy and to get tall. Slowly, I started to utilize what I learned in my Critical Thinking class in college. Exactly who is feeding me this information? The dairy industry of course. People who make money off of dairy are the same people telling us we need milk to be healthy. And the people telling us why we don’t need the milk are the people who don’t profit at all from telling this to us. Do your research, it’s true.

I was still afraid of turning vegan. I was afraid I would fall off the wagon. I was afraid it would be too difficult. I was afraid I wouldn’t get the right nutrients and I might end up not getting enough vitamins & minerals to survive. I decided to do it anyway because now that I know about how factory farming really works, I can’t go back to eating meat. I just know and have seen too much. So this is where it began, September 5, 2015. I turned vegan and my first breakfast was avocado toast, sprinkled with a little salt & pepper and drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil. I paired it with a glass of chocolate almond milk. After eating that breakfast, I felt great. I didn’t have any regrets and I didn’t feel overfull like I used to with toast and eggs with orange juice. My next meal was a vegetarian gyro I ordered at a greek restaurant and I asked them to make my order vegan. All they had to do was leave out the tzatziki sauce. That was it! Simple!

Doesn’t this look delicious?
IMAG0647

I was with friends when I ordered it. They laughed and mocked my new diet. I couldn’t blame them though. It annoyed me but I knew I had a pretty good track record of switching my diet every three weeks. They didn’t believe I would be able to stick to it. Honestly, I didn’t think so either, but here I am, a month later, and I feel GREAT. I haven’t fallen off the wagon even once. Yes, I had some opposition at first. Some friends requested that I postpone it or give it up for just one meal. Some people decided to exclude me from meal invites because they didn’t want to accommodate me. I can’t say that didn’t hurt but I still knew I was doing the right thing for how I wanted to live.

Yes, I did think it was going to be hard to give up meat, eggs, milk, ice cream, all the things I LOVE about being a foodie, but it’s really not that hard to be kind & compassionate. I would say that I have more compassion for animals than I do for some humans! So here’s the thing. I’m not giving up meat or dairy or eggs or seafood, I’m giving up animal cruelty which is the single most important reason for me to do it. I cannot contribute to their suffering anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love vegetables. I still struggle with them day to day. but I choose compassion. I choose to live a kind life. I know I won’t save all the animals from dying but I can choose to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. I cannot just sit there and buy into the “It’s part of the food chain” argument. It’s not. Animals are not a part of our food chain. In Unity, they said “We are not the same, but equal.” That’s the world I want to live in.

egovseco

There have been nothing but good things physically that has happened to my body as well. I’ve lost 7 lbs, my hair has been behaving every day lately, and my double chin went away. My double chin has been the one thing that has always bothered me whenever I took photos. However, lately, I’ve been noticing a lot less chin and a lot more smiles. My skin has gotten smoother, my energy levels are higher and most importantly, I’m eating with a clear conscience. No animals have been harmed because of my existence and that makes me feel much better. Veganism today is so much easier to do than it was 10 years ago. I think that’s why I’ve been able to stick to it. Almost everywhere you look, there are vegan options available to me. What’s great is that I have a wonderful support group of friends who share my values. One of them even has her own vegan Youtube channel: Astig Vegan.

All changes in the world happened gradually, nothing is immediate. Why should we afford one group of animals our compassion but not another? Children by nature are opposed to violence and murder. Now that I know about the violence and murder that animals have to go through to put food on my plate, I choose to be a part of the change, the vegan movement. I choose to live a conscious life. I choose love over cruelty.

If anyone is interested in living a kind & compassionate life, watch Earthlings on YouTube and open your eyes. It is possible to live this way. Or listen to Ellen DeGeneres. No animals raised for human usage is living a natural life.

DTM (Doing Too Much)

Man, I haven’t blogged in a minute! Been super busy doing hella shit, aka DTMing it. So much is going on so this blog is going to be all over the place, I bet. I know I’m really late on the train but I’m so happy to hear that Will Friedle got engaged!! I think he got engaged the week before his birthday. You know, for the longest time, I had wondered how I would feel if that ever happened. Would I be sad? Would I be heartbroken? Would I be happy? I was honestly unsure of how I would feel but after I heard, I discovered I was extremely excited for him!! All I want is for him to be happy and that’s all that matters.

The whole month of August, I’ve been trying to get a new job. Something in the filmmaking field would be great since I love it so much. I want to wake up every day wanting to go to work, yknow? I do have a lead for a job but it won’t be available until next year so for now, I’ll have to just grin and bear it.

I’ve also been venturing into vegetarianism. I watched this film called “Unity” which showed across the nation all at the same time on one night. That film was quite effective. It really opened my eyes as to what kind of person I truly want to be. I want to be the most compassionate version of myself that I can be. I still eat eggs and dairy but I think I’m inching my way towards a vegan lifestyle. I really want to watch the documentary “Earthlings” but I’m terrified of seeing any images that will make me sick. Here is a trailer in case anyone is interested. It’s narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.

Thankfully, I have a shit ton of supportive friends, some of which as also vegetarian/vegan so it’s a lot easier when you have support. I’ve been vegetarian for about 3 weeks now. Haven’t lost any weight though. As a matter of fact, I think I might have gained! I’ll need to re-examine my diet one of these days.

What’s also cool that happened today is that my favorite band, Finish Ticket, released their first major label EP!! This is the same band that wrote me a song specifically for my short film, Accident. You can check out the songs on their new EP here on Soundcloud. As a matter of fact, you should totally buy it since it is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Google Play. I am currently downloading it from iTunes as we speak. :0) They are going to do great things someday. They will be as popular as The Killers or Weezer someday. I promise you. Catch them now while you still can. They’re on tour with Twenty One Pilots right now as their opening act. People are being blown away by their music everywhere they go. I know I was.

Oh yes, and the best news this month, I received an email this week with this message:
Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.21.19 PM

YEEEEEE!! This is the festival I had been wanting to get “Accident” into and I’m so glad it did! APAture is a multidisciplinary arts festival that includes film, music, comics, art, literature, etc. I had submitted it last year but it didn’t get in. Then a friend of mine encouraged me to resubmit and it made the cut this year! I’m so excited! I’m currently uploading the ProRes version of it online. It’s been going at it for almost 40 hours so far as it is 15.5 GB!! I can’t wait to see it on the big screen. I did have to fight a little bit because they had asked me to cut it down to 10 min (my short is 11 min 11 sec) but I had to kindly resist because while I did try, I ended up cutting out scenes that I was told were pertinent to the story. Thankfully, my protest got through and I was able to keep my extra 71 seconds of footage. Yesssssssss!!!!! It’s going to play on 10/10/15 at the SF Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. I can’t believe this is happening. If I don’t get into any other festivals, I’d be completely fine with that actually. This was the first festival I had submitted it to last year so that fact that it got rejected back then and now accepted a year later means the world to me.

I’m also excited to participate in the remount of Pilipino Counter Cultural Night (PCCN) next month. I helped produce this show a year ago and it was so popular that a lot of people requested we do it again so that those who couldn’t see it can see it this time. I actually heard that we already have an audience waiting for tickets to go on sale. Perfect! Oh crap, I need to be off book by Tuesday. Better get crackin!

Plus, my comedy troupe Granny Cart Gangstas has decided to do another show next year! We had a very productive meeting last weekend and I can’t wait to start on our material for the show. This time, we are urging some of the other girls to produce the show so that they may learn how to become a producer. This is one of my main goals for my troupe. I want everyone to have produced at least one project whether it be a film, a show, a photoshoot, anything really. Having this amazing sisterhood of women should somehow benefit us one way or another. I’ll post more updates on that another time. I need to go to sleep. Good night! Here’s a pic from our meeting:
IMAG0284_1

Clean Eats and Jam Out

Have I ever mentioned how wonderful life is? I keep having these amazing moments in my life and I can’t believe all these things are happening. Thursday was a pretty awesome day. First, I wake up, get on the scale, and find out that I finally moved past the 4 lbs that I’ve been yoyoing up and down all month and get into losing the 5th lb. Second, I get an email saying that my favorite band, Finish Ticket, is coming by my house to drop off a vinyl of their album, Tears Your Apart. My HOUSE!!! WHAT??!!! The part that was really cool was that I got an email asking exactly when I’d be home because they said they wanted to deliver it to me specifically when I was there because I had been such a long time loyal fan. *THUD* Third, I found out that I won tickets to a concert at the Great American Music Hall where Seeking Empire, Happy Fangs and New Diplomat were playing! I had interviewed Seeking Empire and New Diplomat a few years ago for a website I was helping out on and they are just such great bands. Seeing them perform Thursday night and for free topped off my night! And then yesterday morning, I got on the scale and I had lost another 2.2 lbs. Whut whuttttt!!!?!!

Here are some pics from Thursday:

Brendan Hoye & Michael Hoye from Finish Ticket
IMG_20150423_1

They signed the back but they also wrote on the front!
20150423_190906

Seeking Empire
20150423_202716

New Diplomat
20150423_222451

What a wonderful day. Right now, I’m listening to my new record and some other records, drinking water and roasting veggies. And for the first time, I’m actually really excited about them. I’m roasting potatoes, red bell peppers and colorful carrots which I seasoned with avocado oil, olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, rosemary, dill, and himalayan pink salt. Can’t wait to taste it! Ever since I saw that pic with me and Will, I just felt heartbroken. However, from that broken heart, I rose from my ashes and decided that this was going to be the last year that I’m overweight. My imagination of how I want to look standing next to him motivates me to get healthy. I’ve actually been pretending I’m in a weight loss challenge with Will. And of course, it super helps that it seems he’s been trying to get healthy too. He posted that he was doing a juice cleanse and there were pics of him obviously going out running or something. Gawd, I’m just jealous by how much weight he’s lost, but I will get there. I promise. And if I ever do get the chance to stand beside him and take a photo again, I’d better look good. I don’t even actually care what he looks like, he’ll always be a beautiful person to me.

So, the things I’ve been doing lately to get healthy is mainly working out and eating clean. I’ve been cooking a lot more and researching about clean eating. I started cooking without sugar and making foods that are good for me. I have a Filipino vegan chef friend, Astig Vegan, who has made lots of vegan foods for me to taste and because of her, I am no longer disgusted by the sound of something being vegan or vegetarian. Last weekend, she taught me through text messages how to make cashew cheese and it turned out delicious!

Blending the cashews
Cashew Cheese
Forming for culturing
Cashew Cheese2
Delicious with lentil chips
20150419_110405
Also made gluten free, grain free & sugar free brownies. Sooooo goooood!!
20150421_203452

You know, they say…

Motivation1

However, after eating clean for about 3 weeks now, a friend of mine who I see almost every week told me I did look thinner. What?!!! I was shocked. I mean, I did look in the mirror and thought about whether or not there were any changes but I just wasn’t sure since I see myself every day. However, it’s great to know my efforts are actually working. I always used to just give up after 3 weeks because I never felt like anything I was doing would be lasting. Fortunately, I discovered Amelia Freer through Sam Smith’s weight loss story and I’m so grateful! I’m currently reading her book “Eat. Nourish. Glow.” to help me along. I’ve tried low carbs, I’ve tried no carbs, I’ve tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, oh my god. So many phases of hell I’ve put my body through and it finally said to me, “STOP! Just be good to me.”

Amelia Freer writes “Listen to your body. It’s smarter than you.” I completely agree. I’ve actually said these words to friends of mine who were dieting and yet, I never listened to these words myself. I know the body finds ways to tell you what it needs. If your pee is super yellow, it’s telling you you’re not drinking enough water. If you’re craving veggies when you never have before, it’s telling you that it doesn’t have enough nutrients. If you get sleepy in the afternoons, it’s telling you that you’re not getting enough hours of sleep at night or that you’ve had too much sugar. In my previous eating habits, I never listened. I ate based on scent, thoughts, desires, and cost. Today, I eat to nourish my body rather than for convenience. I also cut out a lot of sugar. Amelia says that sugar has been shown in studies to be 8 times more addictive than cocaine!! I did hear that before and I believe it. Whenever a coworker brings sweets to work and I refuse by saying I’m on a diet, their answer is always “Oh please. One is not going to hurt you.” Unfortunately, that’s not true. One WILL hurt you because you’ll get another sugar craving later in the day and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it until you have it and the worst words you can say to yourself on a diet is “I might as well…” No thanks, I’d rather not spiral down that sugar hill, gang. Go on without me.

While typing this, my veggies finished roasting and they smell and taste delicious!
20150425_140121

20150425_144510

20150425_151030

Yummy yummy yummy. I never thought I would enjoy a grain with just veggies but I do. Yeah, there are potatoes but since everything else is healthy and homemade, I’m gonna say that’s ok. I ate this with some bulgur rather than white rice. Tastes great! I feel so proud of myself today. Anyway, have a great rest of the weekend and may everything good happen to you. I love life!!