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A Venture into Veganism: Consistent Outcomes

Yesterday afternoon left me feeling “some kinda way” as we say due to complicated professional relationships and interactions. I came home prepared to be fully present for my kids and my husband...and stew about the work thing later. Since I got home late, my husband had already started dinner for the kids, their weekly favorite of “breakfast for dinner.” I decided to make soup for the grown-ups: Vegan Mushroom Wild Rice Soup . I’ve made this recipe before and fell HARD for it. Surprisingly rich in flavor despite modest and few ingredients, it is rich and creamy and embraces the weary soul like a warm hug. As I peered into the pot of sautéing mushrooms and garlic and onions, I inhaled their aroma and remembered a scene from Julie and Julia . In it, Julie has had another horrendous day at work. She comes home and makes a chocolate custard pie. Standing in their tiny Queens apartment kitchen peering into a steaming bowl of chocolate custard, she says, “I love that after a day when nothin
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A Venture into Veganism

My book club’s April book is Jen Hatmaker’s Simple & Free: 7 Experiments Against Excess . It arrived early in mid-March. I was not a fan of March’s book, so I gladly put it down and started this instead. I finished it in two days. Jen embarks upon a social experiment with her family and a group of close friends she calls “The Council.” They examine seven areas of life and whittle out the excess to live simpler and freer. It is a fascinating premise and a quick and engaging read written like a journal. The first topic is food. Jen and her husband ate only seven foods for a month, and she writes about the struggles, triumphs, and lessons she learned along the way. Tucked in here and there are small, digestible nuggets of research. Late in the month, she mentions the brilliance of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. T hen, she references Jonathan Safran Foer’s thesis from We Are the Weather : "by making 'a collective act to eat differently (no animal pr

Mindset Matters

Eyes flutter open. Checks time. 5:40 AM. Inner Dialogue :: Shoo. I'm glad it's 5:40 and not 6:40. I don't know how many more rough mornings I can handle around here. Inner Dialogue #2 :: All of them. Because you can do hard things. Mindset matters. Intentionally shifting the stories you tell yourself towards the positive makes a difference. Intentionally telling yourself new and better stories about yourself WORKS. What a pleasant revelation before even getting out of bed. Cheers. Happy Thursday.

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Many times I’ve heard it said that the key to curtailing anxieties or worries is to shift your mind towards gratitude instead. Some people recommend starting your day in gratitude and naming what you are grateful for the moment you wake up and before your feet hit the floor. This method is meant to set the entire tone for your day so that you walk through life with a grateful heart and spirit. I believe Oprah used to talk about writing in a gratitude journal at the end of every day and writing down three things for which you appreciate. I quite like this reflective action, possibly meant to soothe the mind to welcome peaceful sleep. The written record of gratitudes also appeals to me; in a particularly fraught moment, a skim through the journal might be useful in remembering the good and in quieting the mind. Worries consume my thoughts today and most days, quite frankly. Therefore, I am trying to practice gratitude. I am very bad at remembering to do this, and instead usually persever