Monthly Archives: December 2012

Documentaries, Vegetarianism and Healthy Changes

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I have never been one to typically make New Years resolutions because I always feel like people make too big of resolutions…you know the ones I mean, the ones that you never have a chance of achieving.  I’ve always looked at this as just setting yourself up for failure too early in the year.  Look at all of the people who say that they will stop smoking on New Years, get to the gym every day or lose an incredible amount of weight…hopefully they do succeed, but a study done in 2007 shows that an average of 88% of New Years resolutions aren’t kept.  I’ve never wanted to be part of that 88%, so never made any resolutions…until 2012.

My New Years resolution for 2012 was for my husband and I to watch at least 52 documentaries.  Educational, fun and a high chance of success. We reached are goal within the first 2/3rds of the year, but kept on watching as documentaries are now our favorite films (followed by comedies, a good drama and an action flick now and then).

Many of our documentaries revolved around food, sustainable living, health, economy and nature.  We also found many common threads between these movies that tied them all together and helped us look at our lives and health differently.

Some of the documentaries that we watched that we highly recommend are (please note they are not in any particular order, just  how they popped into my mind, but ALL worth the watch):

FOOD, Inc. (http://www.takepart.com/foodinc)

Vegucated (http://www.getvegucated.com/)

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/)

Forks Over Knives (http://www.forksoverknives.com/)

Ingredients (http://www.ingredientsfilm.com/)

Fresh (http://www.freshthemovie.com/)

King Corn (http://www.kingcorn.net/)

David vs Monsanto (http://www.percyschmeiser.com/DVD.htm)

Fed Up!

Freakonomics (http://www.freakonomics.com/)

Blue Gold: World Water Wars (http://www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com/)

Vanishing of the Bees (http://www.vanishingbees.com/)

Know Your Mushrooms

End of the Line (http://endoftheline.com/film)

Farmageddon (http://farmageddonmovie.com/)

Killer at Large:  Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat

Food Fight

The Gerson Miracle (http://foodmatters.tv/dvds/the-gerson-miracle)

The Beautiful Truth (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/beautiful-truth/)

Super Size Me

Sicko (http://sickothemovie.com/)

My husband and I watched all of these movies within the first half of 2012 and they really made us look at our health, food and choices we make.  We had already been working on living a healthy lifestyle as we do not eat any fast food or drink any soda, we limit the amount of processed foods and sugars, but the biggest change came on May 27th.

On May 26th I arrived home from a trip to northern Minnesota (750+ miles from where we lived at the time…left on a Tuesday, got home on Saturday afternoon and was extremely busy during the entire trip—emptied out a HUGE storage unit).  I was tired, sore, and STARVING!  Looking in the fridge the first thing I spotted was two very large pork steaks and I knew that they would only take a short amount of time to cook so that I could sit down, eat and just relax.  As soon as the pork steaks were cooked, I plopped them on our plates and we sat down in front of the television and decided to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives.  Yes, our entire meal was MEAT…I made no side dishes, nothing, was tired and hungry.  Usually we ate very healthy, small portion of meat, lots of veggies and so on, this day was not one of the healthy meals.  Part way through the documentary and through our giant pork steaks my husband looked at me and said “Can we be vegetarians?” I looked at him with a huge smile and said “yes, that would be great.”  We then discussed everything we would need to do (aka who to give the meat in the freezer and fridge to) and what our favorite vegetable are.

For months prior to this we had limited our meat intact.  We had no red meat as it caused me “gastric distress” every time we had it I would be miserable.  Our main meat go to’s were chicken breast, turkey and fish like salmon.  So, cutting these items out of our diet wasn’t really very hard.

We are proud to say that we have been 100% meat free since May 27th (our first full meat free day).  We are lacto-ovo vegetarians as we do still partake in a limited amount of cheese and eggs.  We do try to make sure the eggs are free range, hormone free, anti-biotic free and that the cheese is too (the picture in my head right now is a cartoon hunk of cheese in a large plush green field eating grass and clover).

Along with becoming vegetarians the other biggest change we have made MORE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY!  Healthy food choices, fresh, organic, yumtastic.  Healthy body choices. TONS of water…water, water, water (can’t stress this enough).  We are caffeine free (yes, we have the occasional piece of dark chocolate 72% or more which does have a small amount of caffeine, but not like drinking a pot of coffee in the morning).  Oh, and we juice…our favorite is carrot & apple (sometimes we add some ginger and/or spinach).

Things that we have noticed health and body wise:  we both have more energy, joints do not hurt as badly (both have arthritis), HAPPIER, feel healthier, less moody (your welcome honey!).  We have both lost weight…the hubby has lost about 15+ pounds and I have (since November of 2011) lost just over 85 pounds—HIGH FIVE PEOPLE!!!!

So, I guess I want to end this blog by encouraging you to watch a few, some or all of the above documentaries, educate yourself, research more on your own, care about your health, mind and body, support your local community by purchasing local, grow a garden (can be any size), respect and enjoy nature and BE HEALTHY & HAPPY.  I would also like to thank all of the people who put so much of themselves into the wonderful documentaries they made…and for helping change our lives.

This is a fun t-shirt I got a while back.  I LOVE it!  Mine is orange…plan on getting in other colors too.

vegetarianshirt

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Diet Folk-Cold (Live)

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Please Check out the website to get to know this great band better:

http://dietfolk.com/

“Established in 2010, they have brought their inimitably unique style of Americana from the Northland of Minnesota to countless stages and garnered fans across the globe.”

WORTH THE LISTEN!!

Moved West

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I realized, only after reading a whole bunch of other blogs, that I have been missing in action the last few months.  Yes, there has been the occasional tidbit here and there, but that just doesn’t cut it or explain my absence.

Our summer was busy helping a friend in need and then getting hurt by that same person, long story, and just not worth getting into…so on to happier things.

In the summer of 2011 I was injured while at work and finally in November received the workers comp settlement.  The settlement wasn’t much, but was more than enough for my husband, boys (the Boston Terriers) and myself to finally follow our dreams and move out west.

For months Tim (the hubby) and I spent time talking about where to move and why, and after purchasing many maps, doing a ton of research and with some “gentle nudges” from me we decided on beautiful Central Oregon.

 Our last move was from Northern Minnesota to Illinois and needless to say I was not interested or enthusiastic about that move at all.  Thankfully it did not take long for my husband to understand why I had no interest in Illinois.  As soon as we had the means to get out of Illinois WE DID.

Overall our 2,075+ mile move went very well.  We could not have asked for better weather, especially in the end of November.  We didn’t hit any snow, the sun was out the majority of the trip and we only hit some rain on the final day of our move (and only for about 150 miles all together).  Our moving truck overall worked well, minus the design flaw with the fuel line that goes into the fuel tank.  The fuel line sloped down as it should, but a couple inches prior to going into the tank turned into an upward slope.  This showed itself to be very inconvenient because 4 (YES 4) times on our trip I would pull in to fuel up and the truck would be angled wrong causing the fuel not to be able to go into the tank, I would then have to get back into the truck and pull it into another pump, run the card again and start all over…just a hassle.  At one of these 4 fill-ups the guys thankfully had a large chunk of wood that we were able to drive up on and get the fuel to feed into the tank.  Do you have any clue how much of a hassle it is to turn a large moving truck with a tow trailer on it around is in a gas station…not fun.  Other than that issue our trip was one of the best moves I have ever had in my life.

We LOVE our new forever state of Oregon.  From our living room (and both bedroom’s windows) we can see snow capped mountains…well, with the snow we have gotten the last couple of weeks they are more than just capped.  We love our new house and that our dogs finally have a large fenced in yard that they can run and play in.  I can’t think of a single thing that we don’t love about Oregon and that makes me smile.

We have been able to do some exploring and can’t wait until spring and summer to explore more.  We’ve visited Smith Rock State Park, Crooked River Gorge, and a few other beautiful places and have plans to explore more.

Our town is loaded with breweries, antique shops, and thrift shops…all three places make us happy.

Figured I would just share the news of our move with you and let you know to expect many more stories, photos and other fun stuff.

ImageSmith Rock State Park