Saturday, February 18, 2012

Norovirus - Nowhere To Hide

Well, I guess knocking wood in my last post and bathing in Purell didn't help. I woke up at 4 o'clock this morning with full on Noro - vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and pain. Apparently I can expect about 48-60 more hours of this. I feel like they need an ad campaign for Noro like the "It Gets Better" campaign for gay teens. Like someone coming on the screen saying "yesterday I thought I was going to die on the floor of my bathroom, now I'm feeling well and have lost five pounds. It gets better."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Veg Veg Revolution - One Year In

First off, let me say that the plague may have finally left my house (knock wood). The viral bronchitis triggered a lovely inner ear infection which left me partially deaf for a week or so. Fun all around. Norovirus is sweeping through Boston right now and recently Thing One was running a 103.1 degree fever. Luckily it never turned into the puking, diarrhea and stomach cramping of Noro, but the virus is particularly quick to spread so we are all bathing in Purell anyway.

Now, on to the main subject of this post. I have a really difficult time wrapping my head around the fact that I've been a vegetarian for a year. That's 365 days people! As the song goes - 525,600 minutes! (Math and musical theatre in one sentence. Winning!). Anyway, here are a few things I have learned on this journey.

- Being a vegetarian right now is pretty easy. Plus, with all the vegans out there us vegetarians seem low maintenance in comparison.

- Vegetarianism makes you aware of what you are eating, but it isn't all consuming (pun not intended). It's relatively easy to know what is and is not vegetarian. Sometimes eating out can be tricky because many soups and sauces have meat stock bases even if they sound vegetarian.

- When people hear that I'm a vegetarian they inevitably have a few questions and comments. 1. Why? 2. Does being around meat bother you (answer - no). 3. I wish I could do that! (you can). It's fascinating how relative strangers feel compelled to ask about a personal decision like vegetarianism.

- It's a lot easier to hear news stories/read articles/ see movies about the hideous meat industry in America knowing that I'm not taking part in it.

I don't want to sound like the perfect vegetarian, so here are a few things I could do better.

- Find better ways to get protein. I try to get protein in regular foods (protein rich cereals like Kashi are great).

- I could do a better job getting a wide variety of veggies. I'm working, going to school and have very little time to cook. I try to get veggie nutrients in other ways (adding spinach to smoothies, raw multivitamins, etc), but I could do better.

All in all, I find that I like being a vegetarian. I don't really crave meat, and when I do it's easy to recognize that I crave the preparation of the meat rather than the meat itself (ie chicken strips instead of a simple steak). I encourage you all to give vegetarianism a go, whether for a few days or a few months. I think it's important to occasionally go outside of conventional ideas and try something new. If nothing else, you will learn a bit about what million of Americans do daily.

Here's to another meat free year. I have to get through a meatless month in Italy soon which may be difficult. Do the Italians have a word for vegetarian? I'm guessing no.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

San Francisco, View From Takeoff

It's a lot of fun to fly in and out of San Francisco because the landmarks of the area are so easily defined. This shot shows San Francisco (peninsula on left side of picture), the Marin Headlands (hills to North), and the Bay Bridge (two spans of bridge with Treasure Island in the the middle at center of picture).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sunset In Napa Valley - Christmas Eve

Not a bad place at all to think of as "back home".