Archive for the ‘Practically Vegan’ Category

  • I don’t have much, but…

    1

    I only shaved one of my legs this morning. Figure that out.

    What is it, exactly, that goes through my head in the shower? I have no idea. I was probably distracted by my boobs.

    You would be, too. They’re lovely!

    Oh, and a No ‘Poo update: Yes! It’s been over a month now, and I can say, with confidence, I will not be going back to shampoo and conditioner. About once every week and a half, I used the baking soda/apple cider vinegar cleansing to wash the gunk out of my hair and now? My locks are shiny and soft and full of bounce and volume. Seriously, I’m like a hair commercial, but for people with real hair.

    I decided that even if I have to clean it once a week or so with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, I’m still doing something good for the environment, my hair, and (most importantly) my wallet. I can clean my hair for a year with the cost of one bottle of shampoo (depending on the shampoo, I suppose).

    I will admit that the greasy phase was a little rough. Day 7 of unclean hair is nobody’s idea of a good time. And I’m not sure the washcloth thing is really going to work for me. It seems to MAKE my hair flat and greasy, rather than doing anything useful. So from now on, I’m just going to wet my hair and massage my scalp in the shower and not use the washcloths. If that works, I’ll keep it up, and use the BS/ACV cleanse when I need to.

    I can already tell that my scalp is producing less oil, though, and that’s a relief.

    When I blow dry my hair (not often), it’s easier to get it straight and when I don’t, my waves are more natural. I’ve taken to using the TINIEST bit of coconut oil on my waves to keep down any stray frizz and define the curls a little. Sometimes, I even use it as a gloss when my hair is straight (although, really, my hair is ridiculously shiny without it…again, it helps with frizz if it’s humid out). I cannot stress enough: THE TINIEST BIT goes a long way. You don’t want to make your hair look oily and it’s very easy to use too much. I put a dab in my hand, rub my palms together to distribute it evenly, and then start putting it in my hair on the underside, rather than the top, in case I have too much.

    There are lots of different ways to do the BS/ACV on the internets. Just google “No ‘Poo” and you’ll find plenty. But here’s what I do:

    I have two plastic cups that I keep in the shower.

    In one of them, I put a tablespoon of baking soda. I mix that with one cup (8 oz) of warm water and stir until it’s dissolved. Be careful with the baking soda, it can really dry out your hair. I pour the liquid only on my roots (and down most of the grease in my hair, if there is any), not the ends. Massage scalp and hair for about a minute. Hair will feel sort of slippery while the baking soda is in it. I rinse under warm/hot water until the slippery feeling is gone.

    (BEWARE: It burns like hell if you get it in your eyes and tastes like a salty mess if you get it in your mouth.)

    In the other cup, I put a table spoon of apple cider vinegar. Mix that with one cup (8 oz) of warm water. I like to soak the ends of my hair in the cup for a minute. Then I pour the liquid down my hair, skipping the roots. Comb through to distribute evenly. I usually leave the ACV on my hair while I wash my face and body and shave my legs (one or both of them). Rinse with cool/lukewarm water.

    Yes, your head will smell like a salad until your hair is dry. Deal with it. Once dry, the vinegar smell goes away completely, I promise.

  • Yeah, I said “no ‘poo.”

    10

    If you’re interested, check out the new posts up at Seriously Shiny. No pressure.

    After much (little) contemplation (basically on a whim), I’ve decided to go no ‘poo.

    What’s that, you ask? I’ve decided to stop shampooing my hair. Yes, I am basically just becoming a giant hippie. Suck it.

    I started reading about it a couple of weeks ago. It makes logical sense to me (basically, that shampoo strips all the natural oil from your hair, causing you to overproduce it). So I’m giving it a whirl. There are several different ways to opt out of shampoo. Some more extreme than others. I, of course, have decided to go with the most extreme.

    The easiest way is a way used by a lot of African American women. It’s called “co-washing.” I think. Anyway, you basically don’t use shampoo, just conditioner.

    Next, some people “wash” with baking soda and water and then “condition” with apple cider vinegar. I’ve done this once, just to get the gunk out of my hair. It worked pretty well for me, but I also hadn’t washed my hair in a week when I did it.

    And finally, the method I will be using is called “Mexican washcloth.” Basically, you “brush” your hair with a washcloth while it’s wet, to redistribute the oil. After some trial and error, I’ve found that what works best is to stand under the hot running water and wipe the washcloths (I use two, one in each hand) down my hair from root to tip, 100 times on each side.

    I last washed my hair on Saturday, September 18. It’s still going through what I would call a “transition” period, meaning it’s still producing more oil than necessary. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be through this transition period in about a month. Since my hair is longer, it’s going to take a little while to get the natural oils all the way to the ends. (I’ve also been using a boar bristle brush, to help the process along.)

    I gave myself a month. If, in a month, I see no changes, I’ll probably at least switch to the baking soda/apple cider vinegar routine. I can already tell that less of my hair is falling out and it’s less frizzy…sometimes. I really need to get a microfiber towel to dry my hair, as I’ve heard that helps with frizz and drying time, but I don’t really want to spend the money on one.

    My shower routine is so different now, I barely recognize it. I don’t use any harsh chemicals or products. I use homemade facewash (I’m thinking about making some toner next!), olive oil instead of shaving cream, Castile fragrance-free soap, and I no longer use shampoo or conditioner. I have a lot of washcloths.

    Tonight, while I’m doing laundry (as soon as I run out of laundry detergent, I’m going to make my own), I’m going to go through my drawers and cabinets and collect all of the things I need to give away. You heard me right, friends, my beauty products are making an exit. I’m not going to throw them out, as that would be creating a lot of waste. I’ll give away the things I can and then try to donate the rest to a shelter.

    Future homemade items:
    Toothpaste
    Toner
    Laundry Detergent
    Cleaning products

  • On being vegan.

    14

    I’m almost through my first month of this two month stint. Aside from some minor cheeseburger cravings, it’s going just fine. I’m thinking about just keeping with it, even after the two months. I mean, I’m never going to go without fish for the rest of my life, so I’d probably eat it once every couple of months or so, but everything else I can completely live without. I may also eat eggs on occasion.

    I’ve had some success adapting some of my favorite recipes. Yes, even those delicious creamy chicken enchiladas. I’ll admit they weren’t AS good, but they were still pretty tasty. By the end of this, I’m hoping to be an expert at making vegan cheese sauce.

    This time, I decided to take the veganism a little further. I extended it to my beauty products. At least those I could easily replace or that I needed to purchase. It seems silly to be wasteful, so I’m going to keep using my Burt’s Bees moisturizer until it’s gone. I stopped wearing makeup almost entirely a couple of months ago, so I’m still not doing that. Every once in a while, if I have a blemish, I might use a bit of concealer, but that’s it. Half the time, I even forget to do that.

    I got a solid shampoo bar from Lush, which I love. And a solid conditioner bar, which I don’t love. I made my own deodorant, and I like it! I made my own lip gloss last night out of beets (this one still needs some tweaking, but I have two more beets, so I’m all good). I’m thinking I could use something similar as a cheek stain, too, if I needed something. Plus, I read a really interesting recipe for bronzer, using cinnamon. I’m already terrible at bronzer, so I think I’ll skip that one.

    I started recycling at home. I’m trying not to buy or eat anything that’s hugely processed, with the exception of the few vegan fake meats I eat occasionally. Pretty sure those have been processed to within an inch of their lives.

    Being vegan, though, comes with some interesting side effects. And no, don’t worry Lexa, if you’re reading this, I’m not talking about poop.

    People really feel entitled to get in your business. They make quick assumptions about who you must be, because you’ve said you’re vegan. I wouldn’t even say anything about it at all, but so much social stuff revolves around food. People notice.

    I will say that I’ve met and known several really self-righteous, preaching, judgmental vegans. I make no excuses for their behavior. However, plenty of omnivores are the exact same way.

    My question to you, who feel entitled to tell me that I’m “fucking stupid” or “ridiculous,” is how is what I’m doing affecting you? If I don’t come out and lecture you about what you’re putting in your mouth, how can you possibly feel that you have the right to do that to me? Personally, I don’t give a flying fuck what you eat.

    And just so you know, I’m completely aware that there are other ways to eat healthy. But this is the way that works for me. Why do you care? I’m about thisclose to becoming one of those self-righteous, preaching, judgmental vegans, just so I can rip you apart. Trust me, I know the facts well enough to pull it off.

    The thing about veganism that I can get on board with (because seriously, we made cows to eat them, and they would die if we stopped eating them), is all about humans feeling entitled. The idea that we, as humans, have the right to bend and twist the environment and all its creatures to be the way we want them. I just can’t get on board with that. I don’t think we should be fucking with nature so much.

    No, I’m not going to give up my cell phone or my television just yet, but I’m trying to change my behavior and do my part, however small, to be kinder to our planet.

  • Loving my face off…without makeup.

    19

    A while back, there was a blogger who started some “Bloggers without makeup” thing. I meant to participate, I really did. Now I can’t even remember who it was. I promise to look it up later.

    I really started thinking about it, though. This whole makeup thing…what’s the point? To enhance my beauty? That just doesn’t seem fair to the other women around me. I am dead sexy. To cover my flaws? I kind of like my flaws. Those flaws are what make me so very me.

    So…I stopped wearing makeup. Almost entirely. In the last three months or so, I think I’ve worn makeup about three times. In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t a huge makeup wearer anyway. I’ve never been able to stand foundation on my face and I don’t even understand eyeliner. I’m a simple girl.

    I do like to get all gussied up (shut your whore mouth, I live in Texas, where we say things like “gussied”), and put on some makeup and a pretty dress and heels. Day in and day out, though, I am purely a creature of comfort. Why then, was I bothering to put all this junk on my face?

    Goal: Learn to love my face, without any makeup at all.

    Result: After three months, I can tell you guys that I truly love my face. I can now officially look at it in the mirror and not think I look tired or sick, simply from a lack of mascara or blush. I like my eyes and my smile. I wish I had a bit more color in my cheeks, but it’s nothing terribly important. I’ll just have to do something fun to get a flush, right?

    I still feel a little weird when I’m out without any makeup on. Mostly because everyone else is wearing makeup. I’m starting to realize, though, that really, no one notices but me. The difference between mascara and no mascara? That’s pretty much all in my head. No one else cares how long my eyelashes are.

    Now, I don’t even love my made up face in pictures. The fact that I’m posting a picture of myself without any makeup at all is a HUGE step forward. And here it is:

  • It’s Friday, we should break up – Being Vegan

    30

    Well, guys, it’s my last day of the Vegan Experiment. While it’s been fun, I’m so looking forward to eating sushi tomorrow, I can’t even explain it to you.

    I’ve learned lots of things in my tenure as a vegan. Mostly that the general population has no effing clue what being vegan means, nor do most people have ANY idea what’s in the food they’re eating. And no, I’m not getting all preachy about chemicals or processed food or meat packing (hehe). I’m talking about the fact that people have no idea how to make bread or what’s in salad dressing or that cheese is made from milk which comes from cows. Or goats. Or squirrels, whatever.

    Also, in general, vegans are REALLY obnoxious. But I’m not.

    I did eat one piece of a yellowtail roll last week because I accidentally checked that box instead of vegetable roll. And I discovered three bites in that there was parmesan in my salad dressing last night. Aside from that, though, I’ve been a pretty damn good vegan.

    I lasted through family vacation without messing up. I got really sick and still stuck to the vegan diet. I went to a lock-in and didn’t eat barbecue. And really? None of it has been very hard. EXCEPT FISH. I miss fish so much.

    Since I don’t really care that much about animals, and since fish isn’t really bad for you in any way, I’ll be adding fish back into my diet TOMORROW. My main plan is to continue to eat very little dairy, but maybe be a little less of a crazy person about eggs and butter.

    My stomach really DOES feel better. It’s amazing how you can change the way you feel with what you eat. And for me, this wasn’t some weirdo diet I was trying just to lose weight. I really wanted to feel better. And I do. In addition, the 22 pounds I’ve lost certainly speak to the efficacy of eating healthy.

    I didn’t keep up with the Shred like I’d hoped. I did it everyday for the first week and a half, but then I went on vacation with my family. I did take my DVD, weights, and workout clothes with me to NYC, but there was really no way to Shred with Jillian in the hotel room with my Aunt. When I got back, I shredded for a couple more days, and then I got REALLY sick. Since then, I have been doing some form of lower impact activity everyday, including rock climbing. But I’d like to see what Jillian will do to me if I start the Shred again tomorrow.

    All in all, this was an awesome experiment. I would recommend that anyone try it for a while, just to see how your body feels without all the meat and cheese. It’s kind of amazing. Even after 30 days, I still feel motivated to continue to improve my health. So Jillian? Let’s go.

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