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Everything posted by Michelle

  1. Kinda juvenile, but kinda hilarious.
  2. I'm so jealous. About the food AND the clean dishes. Can I come over too?
  3. willpeavy, how do you usually prepare it? I need ideas! I got some okra from the food co-op a few times last year and couldn't quite figure it out. I put it in vegetable soup, and my kids very politely asked me not to include it the next time. In stir fry, even I thought it was a bad idea... it made everything sort of slimy and weird. So, I'd say all of my attempts at cooking okra so far have failed. The only way that I've had okra that I liked, so far, was fried okra in restaurants.. and I liked that a lot. But, no telling what's in the breading/batter or what else gets fried in the oil, so I haven't had that in a long time either.
  4. Just for some perspective - the rodeo is a huge deal here in Houston. It's not just about rodeo things, they also have concerts just about every night, carnival rides, and I really don't know what else. It lasts for about three weeks every spring and was attended by over one and a half million people last year. (most of them carrying cell phones of some sort, of course) According to their website, though, Verizon sponsors this one. As does Ford, Kroger, Randalls, bp, CVS, valero, Fiesta, conoco-philips, and a few others. Sponsorship = advertising. I can understand why a company would be interested in advertising to that many potential customers. Whether I agree with it or not is another matter entirely.
  5. Oh, JACKPOT!! I just got an ad for vegan ice cream! (yum!) Nice work tweaking the filters, or whatever you did to get more context-appropriate ads to show up.
  6. I should start randomly asking people that at the gym. For some reason, there are always a lot of super good looking guys in the parking lot at the gym, but I really don't see many inside the gym while I'm working out. Logic dictates that they spend more time in the gym than in the parking lot, thus I'm more likely to see them inside. Maybe I'm just not paying attention while I'm working out?
  7. Fantastic pictures! Makes me want to come visit, too!
  8. My son and I concocted some baked mac 'n' cheez yesterday and it was just ok. Edible, but not that impressive, in my opinion. (But we made up for it with the utter awesomeness of our chocolate-amaretto silk pie afterwards.) I think I need to use the recipes from this thread next time... recipes that already have the official thumbs-up.
  9. If that state has a lot of farmland, making it cheaper would be great progress. I wish it was Pennsylvania, you could grow so much here, as opposed to wasting it on dairy farms. They're going to have to do something with all that unused farmland in a couple years, after all the vegans in Pennsylvania show all the other people how healthy and cool it is to be vegan, and the whole state quits consuming dairy. The land might as well get used for hemp, right?
  10. Whether the federal government lets it get far or not this time, the fact that a state has finally legalized hemp production is progress, in my opinion. More states will follow suit. Hopefully people will continue to demand hemp by way of their voices, their votes, and their consumer choices... so that the necessary change will happen. I don't think I've ever heard it called "emp"
  11. TVP always contains MSG? Just when I thought I had gotten all of the MSG out of the house, I have to question something else. GRRRRR!!!!
  12. Oh yuck. Those nails are like... I dunno... voluntary disability. Seems like a lot of important things (like preparing food, tying shoes, etc) would be almost impossible to accompish without help. I wonder, what happens when she gets an eyelash in her eye and tries to get it out?
  13. Oh yeah, I forgot about light. That's a good one. When I lived further north, I was prone to "Seasonal Affective Disorder" during the winter, which is a sort of depression caused by not enough sunlight. At the time, I couldn't afford the actual light therapy equipment... but... my mom happened to be experimenting with hydroponic tomatoes in her living room and I found that if I sat next to the grow lights for while, I felt a lot better... so, I'd definitely recommend trying light therapy of some sort.
  14. You are braver than I! I'll definitely be picking up a copy of his book(s) after Christmas, though. In the meantime, I've been reading the articles in the "Ask John" section of his website, and finding some good stuff.
  15. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (labelled as 5-HTP) which is an amino acid that breaks down to serotonin. I've taken it in the past, with good results. Most health food stores carry it, I also found a vegan version at veganessentials. http://www.veganessentials.com/catalog/5-htp-by-now.htm Only weird side-effect I noticed was that my dreams were more vivid and that I was more likely to remember them. I suspect this had something to do with sleeping better in general, which is a good thing, but it did make it really easy to sleep through my alarm a few times.
  16. Some of the experts say that pollution is the reason for global warming, other experts say that global warming is normal cycle that the earth goes through, and still others say that we haven't been tracking temperatures long enough to determine whether what we're experiencing is normal or not. Personally, I'm not 100% convinced by any of them. What I am convinced of is that we've got a multi-faceted problem caused by lots of poor planning. For the most part, our cities aren't well planned, our public transportation systems don't (or simply cannot) serve everyone in the city well, and individuals don't plan their lives well. As a result, we've got a huge pollution problem, we're completely dependent upon petroleum but we're running out, and all the time spent stuck in traffic takes away from our family and personal time. People should, if at all possible, try to live near their jobs. Just a little bit of personal responsibility would solve a lot of the problem. If people demanded housing near where the jobs are or jobs near where the homes are, things would have to change, wouldn't they? I know people who commute 30 minutes, 60 minutes, even longer... every day... one way. In Houston, this is perfectly normal and accepted. I guess I could understand doing that for a finite period of time, like maybe for 6 months until you're able to find a suitable home closer to work if the career opportunity warrants it, but I can't understand how anyone can do that indefinitely. Who wants to spend 10 hours per week commuting? I do live in the suburbs in a small house with a yard (no pool, and I don't want one) but my commute is about 2 miles. If it was safe to do so (no sidewalks!!) it's close enough that I could walk to work. For all except about two months of the past 20 years, I've not had a commute that was longer than 10 miles - by my choice. Public transportation could be improved, in many cases. Even in Houston, which is so spread out that it takes me an hour to drive from one corner to the other. For example, we had unused railroad tracks that ran parallel to I-10, which is one of the main highways to the suburbs. For reasons that I can't comprehend, the highway was expanded to accommodate an extra lane or two of traffic, and the railroad tracks (which logically could've been used by some sort of commuter train) were removed. Things like this frustrate me so much. Check out this documentary: http://www.endofsuburbia.com/ if you haven't already. Another issue is our choice of housing. My grandparents live in a 200-year old house, that will probably be around that much longer it's so well-built. The McMansions I see being built in the neighborhoods surrouding mine don't look like they'll still be standing in 30 years. Then what happens, they bulldoze and replace them? Not to mention, they're going to require lots of energy to heat & cool and require excessive resources (wood, etc) to build in the first place. I'd like to see more efficient homes like these: http://www.aidomes.com/ or, like offense mentioned, sensible apartment buildings. And one more thing I'd like to complain about while I'm on a roll... our choice of vehicles. I don't know what the rest of the country and rest of the world are doing, but in my area people go for the biggest vehicle they can find, whether they need it or not, which makes life dangerous for those of us who prefer a bicycle or a little tiny fuel-efficient car. I talk to single guys, who own a HUGE 4-door pickup, they drive 50 miles each way to get to work, and maybe actually use the pickup for hauling purposes once a year... they have the nerve to complain about gas prices and I wanna smack 'em in the head. What's worse is, the government encourages this. Check out this article about tax deductionsfor the self-employed. If I remember what I was told in the small business administration workshop I attended, we can buy a vehicle over 6,000 pounds and write off the full purchase price during the first year of ownership, so long as we use it at least 50% of the time for business.
  17. Oh, yuck. That zebra scene couldn't have been pleasant to watch. All moral considerations aside, I don't think there's any reason why humans can't eat raw meat. (Well, aside from the fact that nothing in the stores today is probably fresh enough to consume raw without becoming ill for one reason or another.) If our ancestors consumed meat, then they ate it raw, just like their fruits and veggies. Apparently there are some advocating a raw meat diet. http://www.karlloren.com/human-raw-meat-diet.htm if you're curious. I couldn't do it, I wouldn't recommend it, and it makes me want to puke just thinking about it, but I'm still fascinated to read other perspectives on what's "best" for our bodies.
  18. Epsom salt is awesome, I recommend to my massage clients all the time. It's magnesium sulfate, which I've read helps to reduce muscle contractions by inhibiting the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. (I try not to recommend something without being prepared to answer the "Why" questions - search google for lots of neat info about epsom salt.) Use generously - most people don't put nearly enough salt in the tub. I've heard that Thai massage Nicole mentioned is fantastic for flexibility. I haven't learned it yet, but it's definitely on my to-do list. If you don't find a massage therapist that does Thai, then your next best bet is to look for someone who is trained in orthopedic (sometimes called "medical") massage and/or some form of assisted stretching and ask for that.
  19. And again, I find the "inconvenience" confusing. I breastfed in public all the time. Part of the reason was that I didn't think I should have to go hide somewhere to feed my child. Unless having other people around created distraction for the baby, I had no problem breastfeeding in a restaurant, a crowded mall, airport, family gathering, or anywhere else. And definitely no problem doing it in my own living room, no matter who was visiting, since it was MY living room. The other part of the reason that I breastfed in public was to set an example. It's a perfectly healthy and perfectly natural thing to do, and I wanted for people like your friend, who might've felt uneasy about breastfeeding themselves (and others who might've criticized them for doing so) to see it as natural and normal and accept it. Society is so uptight about things! I'm sure I offended some narrow-minded people in the process, but I figure that's their problem.
  20. Based upon my own experiences, I find her statement about breastfeeding being inconvenient just a little confusing. I decided to switch to formula with my first baby at about two weeks because breastfeeding was making my nipples hurt so bad, I couldn't stand it anymore. It felt like someone was dragging a dull razor back and forth across my nipple, and I was desperate for the pain to stop. Not that I actually know what that feels like, but it was the most accurate description I could come up with. So, I packed said baby into the car on a Sunday night and headed for the store. Convenience store at the end of the street had formula, but there was no telling how fresh it was, and they didn't have any bottles. Then I went to the grocery store, and another grocery store. Did I mention it was Sunday night? Everything was closed. By this time, baby was hungry again and crying, so I pulled into a parking spot somewhere to feed her. This was when I realized that it was "inconvenient" for me to do anything but breastfeed. I didn't want to be dependent upon having bottles and formula with me all the time; breasts are impossible to leave behind and the food is always fresh, sanitary, and at the perfect temperature. I didn't want to have to wash bottles or purchase formula, I didn't want to have to wake up in the middle of the night to prepare a bottle, and I certainly didn't want to end up overfeeding because there was just a little bit more left in the bottle that shouldn't be wasted. It really doesn't get much more convenient than that. Not to mention, breastmilk is about 18,000 times healthier than anything else one could feed a baby. And thankfully the pain (guess it was some sort of nipple breaking in period? who knows) subsided after another day or two. Anyway, Richard, if you are able to get your friend to listen, http://www.lalecheleague.org/ is a good resource. They have stacks of info and volunteers that might be able to help her through whatever challenges she's having.
  21. I just spent the last ten minutes thinking these were addresses of some sort, and trying to understand them. I still don't completely understand, but I have discerned that they are not directions to your house, nor to JW's house. You see, I decided to make the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cookbook today. They were quite fantastic and delicious, but they only used like 1/3 or 1/2 cup of the chocolate stout. What else could I possibly do with the leftover, but drink it? I suppose if those were directions, I could mail it. Or at least mail a cupcake, right? Baking with beer makes me feel so hardcore.
  22. They've been playing Christmas music where I work, too. Nonstop. Except not in the native format, it's like, day spa new-age instrumental relaxation music style christmas carols. No idea of the title, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was "Yanni Does the North Pole, volumes 1 through 6" or something similar. So, I'm listening to this stuff most of the day in a small dark room for an hour or more at a time, with no way to get away from it. Torturous! Not sure what would fit that description, really, without pulling a Weird Al on the lyrics and changing it up to suit your needs. (which is what I've been doing to entertain myself, in case you were wondering) War is pretty much the antithesis of the whole peace & love & christmas thing. AR may logically fit into that, but it's not really a focus. Best I can think of is "Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer" because he totally saves Santa and Christmas and all.
  23. I've done a few cleanses, with very good results. The one I've used is called the "Master Cleanser" and you can find a book about it by Stanley Burroughs at most health food stores or order online. I recommend it. It involves drinking a lemon juice mixture containing maple syrup and cayenne pepper (sounds horrid, but it's actually kind of tasty) and an occassional cup of herbal tea for a period of time. You also do a salt water flush in the mornings (ok, this part isn't fun... but it works) to flush out the colon. Longest I've lasted on this fast was 14 days, and the results were fantastic. I was usually energetic for the duration and the cleansing side-effects like headaches, cramps, and such were minimal. I know it was cleaning stuff out, though because the morning salt flush turned up all sorts of bizarre looking bits. A search just pulled up this forum: http://www.mastercleanser.com/forum/
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