Sunday, July 12, 2009

To Date or Not To Date... Omnivores

(thanks to my pal Craig of DoodleBlog for the cute photo)

VegNews, my favorite magazine at the moment, had a fantastic article with that title last issue. Hopefully I don't get slammed for copyright issues by titling this blog the same. I'll change it if so.

The writer (a vegan) was so amazing. She shared stories of dates she went on from an online dating site. Most of the men were omnivores (she said carnivores but I'm sure that those men did not only eat meat exclusively or they would've all looked like John Wayne.) She gave a decent account of the inner-dialogue that went through her head on each date. It seemed like the guys were cool too. She would ask them about their eating habits. The one said he only ate fish. She felt like she could deal with that. He couldn't. He emailed her an hour after the date and said that eating meat would feel like cheating on her. Oh well. Next date said that he would never change and not even be flexible enough to not eat meat in front of her (which was what she asked for, not to quit eating meat all together.) X off the list.

So, I'm on and I'm having a tough go of it. I joined in October, met a fantastic guy in November who is vegetarian. He's a great guy but we live four hours away and decided to keep it casual. He's younger and still in the college life. I'd never dated a younger guy and it took a lot of getting used to. I could usually deal with that because he was so awesome and intelligent and compassionate towards animals and people alike. He was European which meant a great accent and NO obsession with American football (my least favorite sport on the planet.) He's a great guy but I'm not sure of the long term possibilities. And that's where my luck dried out with Match.

They used to have an option of displaying your "Daily Diet." I think that what people put into their bodies shows a great deal of how informed they are, and how concerned they are for themselves and the environment. The options for the Daily Diet display were Meat and Potatoes, Vegetarian, Keep It Healthy, or Fast Food. And you could actually SEARCH for those who clicked Vegetarian. One downside was that it was actually possibly to click all three, which makes it kind of hard when someone is checking Meat and Potatoes and Vegetarian. The two lifestyles cannot co-exist. Yet, left it that way. I emailed them about it and got an automatically generated response to the tune of "thanks for your concern on our website but we're not changing anything just because you're a stuck up snobby vegan." Not exact wording, I paraphrased it.

Then, my world on collapsed. They completely removed the Daily Diet option! So now, I had no idea how these men eat! I mean, that is serious business for me! My world and job revolve around food and I couldn't see at a glance what their lifestyle is. So, I emailed them again. Automated response ensued. I'm pissed.

So, now I'm stuck on with no possible way except by the "search words" which really aren't helpful anyway because I lot of people don't add them to their profile, to find fellow Veg-lifestylers. Grrrr. I've found a few possibilities that I hope to meet at some point but it's just so hard now. I've met a few that eat meat but I've stopped even doing that because I know that it's such a turnoff for me that I can't even try to be understanding about it. I can't date an omnivore. I could maybe make out randomly with one at a club but that's where it would stop. Sex is better when you're at least vegetarian. There's a lot of reasons behind it but I'll just leave it at that. I've gotten pickier since I've gotten older and I just can't handle the thought of kissing a mouth that has consumed meat recently. It's gross. I need someone that lives the same lifestyle as I do and for a girl in Central Pennsylvania, even in a city, that is a hard feat. Someday, my Vegan Prince will come. He doesn't even have to be a prince, just a vegan and not stupid.

How about you? As a vegan/vegetarian, would you date someone that ate meat? How would you handle it?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sniffles and Snots and Snorts oh my!

I am a horrible blogger. Quite possibly the worst in the world if you ask me. I always have these awesome ideas for posts and never post them for whatever stupid reason invades my common sense at the moment. I did promise a blog on allergies and honest to God (gods, Diana, Nature, Jeshua, whoever you dig) I started writing it one night and blogger would not have any part in publishing it and told me to try another time. You would think that I'd be smart and save it somewhere... you'd think that if you didn't know me personally. Anyway, here's some info for you less fortunate souls who are plagued with seasonal allergies and don't feel like taking the chemically poisoning way that the FDA so strongly suggests in form of pills and shots (which I got for years as a kid. Not awesome.)

I was lucky enough that when I finally quit dairy completely, after about eight months of it working itself out of my system, my allergies disappeared. I have no clear, concrete idea how this happens except that possibly all the hormones and crap in milk keep your body from being able to produce the correct amount of anti-histamines to fight off the allergens. I'm not an expert, just a snarky little know-it-all but not really. I wish I knew it all.

Anyway, here are some natural remedies that helped me for years and also a lot of what the professionals in the health food store I work in suggest.

1) Stinging Nettle. It's a weed. Most natural cures are. But, it can be traced back thousands of years as being used to help with colds, puffy eyes, and sore throats (most likely all caused by allergies.) Stinging Nettle (or just "Nettle") comes in a variety of forms. It works naturally with your body to produce anti-histamines to help with the inflammation caused by nasty little allergens that get into your sinuses and wreak hell on your system. You can get it in loose tea form, capsules (make sure they're V-caps), tinctures and teas. I love Traditional Medicinals Organic Nettle Leaf Tea. I am not into sweet drinks and if you like more bitter teas like I do, you'll like this. I would suggest not sweetening it with sugar. If you need it sweetened, maybe some agave or local honey, which brings me to my next love.

2) Local Honey. If you are a strict vegan, you might not use honey. I have visited the local apiary where my boss buys the honey we sell in the store. They are extremely compassionate and natural in the way they produce their honey. The man loves his bees. Honey contains bits of pollen. Keep reading, Sniffles, I'm not crazy. When you introduce LOCAL pollen to your system on a constant basis, your body begins to get used to it because it's not being overloaded. Honey acts as an immune shot if you use it on a constant basis (once or twice a week for me). Your body consistently has it in its system so it is not slacking on building up an immunity to it. The more local, the better because local honey is going to have what YOUR body needs to fight off the over-exposure of pollen when it happens (say... Spring and Summer). Stir a little in your tea, drizzle some on a baked sweet potato, or spread some on toast. If you are a militant vegan (honey is the ONLY animal bi-product I consume personally) and refuse to consume honey, then you're out of luck on its healing qualities. If you go for local honey, try to find one that says "Free Apiary." That means that the bee-keeper is working together with local farmers to pollinate their crops when they bloom. Like I said and I can't stress it enough- LOCAL.

3) Neti Pots. I love mine. Actually, I have two. I have a nice white porcelain one for at home and a kitchy teal plastic one to travel. If you've never heard of a Neti Pot, check this out. CLICK HERE (This is the one I have.) It looks like a little tea pot but you mix a warmish saline solution in it and stick it in your nose. Watching a video a few times is helpful. The water goes in one nostril, fills your sinus, and comes out the other nostril. It's like what the gross boys at lunchtime in school did with spaghetti noodles but so much more beneficial. What the saline water does is warms and releases allergens, pollens, dirt, etc that you breathe in on a daily basis and washes them right out the other side. You can also massage your sinuses a bit before use to help loosen everything up. I use mine almost daily during the Spring and Summer, especially after hiking. If you live in a city, they're wonderful even if you don't have allergies. Think of all the dirt and pollution bits you can wash out of your sinuses at the end of the day. With allergies, you can use this as much as possible to help keep your sinuses clear. And, if you have a good sense of humor, you'll get a good laugh out of using them too. They make you feel pretty undignified but they're fun.

4) Apple Cider Vinegar. My mother hates this stuff. My housemate and I love it. I love vinegar anyway, on anything so it is awesome. You can take it as a daily tonic. An ounce or two in a glass of water a day is a great way to keep taking it regularly. My favorite is BRAGG'S. They are as natural, live, and organic as I've been able to find and they have the tackiest website I've seen in a long time. They have a lot of other great products too (their Ginger salad dressing is to die for). Apple Cider Vinegar is said to help stop histamine response and allergic reactions if you take it immediately when you feel it coming. I've been using it for a while as my vinegar for salads (goes great with flax oil) and never knew it helped with allergies until recently. It's good stuff. Found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or anywhere that sells things of the more natural persuasion.

5) Turmeric. This is one of what I call my "magic spices". It tastes amazing, I use it in tons of dishes, but it also has amazing medicinal qualities to it. My mom makes her own capsules of it to help with her joints. It also helps with allergies. This awesome little ground up goody spice is an anti-inflammatory and helps calm your immune system. You can find it in your favorite Indian dish (the spicier the better to help release the pressure in your sinuses) or in capsule form. Buying it in a bulk spice section is most likely the cheapest. From there, you can mix half a teaspoon in water twice a day if you can handle the taste or make your own capsules with empty V-caps. I just like it sprinkled on rice or popcorn. Try and get organic. If not, you run the risk of getting chemicals and pesticides in your system- not awesome. It also makes a great food coloring for icing on cakes too. Gives a great yellow color.

So there are some natural cures that I used for allergies for years. Like I stated before, mine are mostly gone but every now and then, if I get overloaded with pollen and start sneezin and getting all swollen, I use these natural cures and they definitely help.