Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oh, Hi!

So, I've been doing good with trying to transition...but not really.  I did, however, cook a lasagna that used the protein crumbles instead of actual ground meat.  I have also been aiming for meatless choices when I buy food.  I discovered Healthy Choice Steamers, which have quite a selection of mushroom based meals.  I have also eaten many beef meals.  In fact, last night I had a wonderful steak with a couple friends and had a delicious slow-cooked pot roast tonight.  One good thing about the pot roast that my roommate cooked is that I have kinda figured out not only how to reproduce it, but how to make it with meat and meatless for me.  I am going to put just a small amount of roast in the slow cooker and add lots of vegetables.  That way, Marc will be satisfied and I can eat meatless.  I know, I know, that's definitely not "kosher" vegetarian, but for a couple, it might have to do.  Btw, my roommates loved the lasagna, and they didn't freak out when I told them what the meat actually was. 

I can't honestly say that I am feeling better already.  To be frank, I feel just the same.  I am starting to stress out a tad.  In two weeks, I'll be moving northward a couple hours.  My life is about to get pretty hectic.  Band camp will begin for me August 6, and classes start August 15. 

I am getting excited about my hobby.  I have a "book" on this website called Wattpad.  I entered it into their annual writing contest.  As of right now, I am #411 out of over 37 thousand entries.  My "book" is #93 in the romance category, and I am not listed as an "undiscovered" author.  If anyone would ever like to read it, let me know. 

So, here's a small discussion.  My roommate has a dehydrator.  My discussion question was a random thought after I saw it.  Is there a recipe for veggie jerky?  I absolutely love beef jerky, especially the teriyaki flavored, and would love a recipe for teriyaki veggie jerky.  I would also be nice if I could find a tasty low sodium way to make it.  I guess I could always google it, but I think it would be more fun to create the recipe.

Well, that's it for now.  Thanks to whoever reads this!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcome! You've got mail!

Not really, but you do have me!  Hello.  My name is Emily, and I'm a meat-a-holic.  Actually, I should say I'm more of a food-a-holic.  I have decided to phase from an omnivore into a vegetarian.  This will be my thoughts and adventures in that transition. 

About me.... Well, in my profile I claim to be old.  The truth is that I am twenty-nine years old at the time of this publishing, but I have an old soul.  I have witnessed many heartaches and tragedies.  In my freshman year of high school, Pearl High School suffered the first nationally publicized school shooting.  I, thankfully, did not witness the shooting itself, but I was there as the crowd of students ran away from the building towards me.  It was a deep tragedy that no one will forget.

Throughout high school, I had the privilege to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade as well as Pres. George W. Bush's first Inauguration.  Those were both awesome experiences that I will cherish for a lifetime.  After I graduated school, I began attending a local community college as a music major.  My first semester my aunt passed away with cancer.  We lived with her, so it really hurt me.  The next semester was even worse.  During my final concert for band, my mother had to be rushed to the ER.  She had suffered a mild heart attack.  That weekend, when she had the angioplasty, my siblings and I unknowingly spent our last dinner with our father.  The night of the angioplasty was the night my father had a major heart attack and passed away.

I honestly wanted to quit school after that.  I was scheduled to fly to California for mission work.  Had it not been for my mom reminding me that Dad would have wanted me to go back, I would have quit that also.  My father was reared in California and constantly spoke of his adventures.  It was the hardest ten weeks that summer.  I was a rollercoaster of emotions.  One minute I was happy, then the next I would begin grieving again.  My mom was right, though.  I'm the type that needs to keep busy when I'm mourning or upset, so this was the best thing for me.  I constantly thought of Dad, but it was happy thoughts.  I would occasionally picture my dad doing the same thing I was doing, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the stores of Little China, and strolling through the college in Berkley.  You know what they say: momma knows best.

I did not quit school.  I did, however, switch my major to elementary education.  The next year, I met the man that would change my life forever.  Brian was charming and funny.  He was exactly what I needed.  We became close friends after our first conversation.  I ended up having a major crush on him.  The next summer after almost a year of friendship, we began dating.  It was a fast relationship.  Three months later we were engaged.  He was perfect.  We never fought.  He made me feel emotions and sensations I had never felt before.  Seven months later he took my virginity, and a month after we were married.  (The wedding is a whole other ball game.  I'll save that for another entry.)  I gave up school to spend our first year with him.

Our first year of husband and wife were wonderful.  We had a lot of fun together. We decided to move a couple months after our first year.  After that first year, our marriage began crumbling.  The charming, funny man was quickly replaced by an impulsive lying child that couldn't hold a job.  I still loved him, though.  I fought so hard to keep our relationship strong.  After four years, we separated.  He had had an affair.

The first affair was physical.  It upset me, but I was willing to work things out.  The second affair happened about a year later.  He was having an emotional affair and didn't want me to work it out with him.  His grandmother passed away around that time.  The day she died was the day he gave up.  A month later, I was handed divorce papers.  Seven months later, we were divorced. 

The events during those seven months were life altering.  I had my rebound.  I thought I loved him, and honestly do sometimes feel that we should have still been together, but I am so very glad that we're not.  He was a grade "A" asshole.  He knew how to manipulate me.  One day, out of the blue, he broke it off with me.  That same day, after breaking up with me, he kissed me on the lips.  I am still confused about why he did that.  The next day, he texted me and said he needed to talk to me.  I told him that I was still too upset to face him, but he said it was important.  He told me that he thought he loved me, which is why he needed to talk to me.  I agreed to meet with him.

He explained to me that he had slept with someone else.  I was in shock.  The man that promised he would never treat me like my ex-husband did had just completely broken his promise.  I felt betrayed and empty.  In my mind, I was screaming at him.  Why?  Why did you cheat on me?  Am I just destined to be with no one but cheaters?  Am I doomed to be the one that gets hurt and betrayed time and time again?  Despite the storm in my heart, I told him that I forgave him.  I told him that everyone deserves a second chance.  We held each other for a while.  We walked by the lake holding hands. (Remember this lake, btw.)  

I was so lonely after that.  He didn't want to get back together, but I was clinging to him romantically.  It was what I thought I needed.  A week later, he broke my heart even more.  He told me that he did not want to be my friend, that he did not want me to talk to him, and that if I tried to contact him, he'd put a restraining order on me.  He claimed that I was co-dependent, which at the time I was dependent on others because the divorce left me lonely and empty, but I was never co-dependent on him.  He almost ruined my life.  I fell into a deep depression.  I had even had suicidal thoughts.  Not completely his fault, though.  It was a mixture of what he had done plus what my ex had done.  Back to the co-dependency topic, I needed friends.  I thought of him as my best friend.  I could tell him a lot of things that I could never tell anyone else.  He was the first man that I trusted completely.  I may still trust him with my life, though I really don't want to risk it. 

It took months for me to get over Steve.  Our relationship was over in March.  I did everything I could to get over him.  I joined dating sites.  Came very close to dating a few of the guys, but I could never find it in my heart to date any of them.  It still belonged to Steve.  On the Fourth of July, I did something that I would never have done.  Ever.  I was desperate, so I had a one night stand.  I thought that it would break the string Steve still had me by, but it didn't.  It just made me long for him even more.  I cried that night for the last time over Steve. 

A couple weeks later, I reconnected with a guy from college.  We started dating quickly and passionately.  My divorce was finalized July 31.  Long story about why it took so long, condensed version:  Brian tried to say that I was the one who cheated on him and tried to make the divorce my fault.  I refused to sign the papers.  When I got my tax refund, I paid a lawyer $75 to take care of it.  He did.  The divorce was finalized as a no fault, which was what I had told him we needed anyway.  Back to the new guy. 

Joe was what I needed for the time.  He made my heart forget about Steve.  It was not what I needed.  He was too clingy and was taking advantage of me.  He manipulated me into letting him move in with me, didn't pay many bills, stayed on the computer or whatever technology he was using constantly, and was just plain rude.  My whole family hated him, and most of my friends didn't like him.  We had talked about marriage in the first month we were together.  Around Thanksgiving is when I knew we were over.  We went down to New Orleans for a mini vacation.  I, of course, paid for everything.  That, however, wasn't the breaking point.  When we returned home, we went to Walmart.  I saw a little toy that we thought his mom would love.  I decided to buy it.  I also needed chapstick, so I picked up a tube.  At the cash register, I needed a dollar.  His mom's gift was $2.50.  I asked him, and he got mad.  He gave it to me, but as we were walking back to the car, he said that I wouldn't have needed a dollar had I not gotten my chapstick.  That night, I wanted to put the Christmas tree up.  He played video games while I assembled the tree, vacuumed the carpet, and began stringing up the lights.  As I was struggling to do it by myself, I just walked out of the apartment and down to my mom's.

My mom lived a couple doors away from me.  I walked in, looked at her, and couldn't control my tears anymore.  After I told her what all had happened, she loved on me and walked down to my apartment with me.  She helped me decorate my tree.  Why was it so important that Joe helped me?  Tree decorating was always a team activity.  It brought our family together.  A few days later, I kinda cheated on him with my best friend.

Brian (different one, btw) is my best friend.  We were hanging out with my best girl friend and her husband, David.  Brian and David are twins, which is how I met Brian.  We had always been deeply attracted to one another, but the timing was never right.  That night, however, was different.  As Brian and I talked on the sofa, we were feeling sparks.  I was avoiding going home because I didn't want to be around Joe.  Well, one thing led to another and we ended up making out.  After kissing and holding one another, I went home.  Joe was still asleep, so I crawled in bed and fell asleep. 

When I woke up, I wrote Joe a "Dear John" letter.  It pretty much said that it was over and he needed to get his stuff out and whatever he needed to do.  I called the electric company and had the electricity changed to my name.  After leaving the letter for Joe to find, I went to spend time with Brian.  Joe came home during his lunch break, read the letter, and became upset.  It was finally over.  Unfortunately, the romance between Brian and I was halted.  We still have feelings for one another, and he is still my best friend, but we wouldn't have worked out romantically.  Either way, it was a necessary event.  Had we not experimented, I would have still been stuck in that relationship.

A month later, I reconnected with a friend from high school.  We had dated a week, but I broke up with him.  A month later, we made it official.  Remember the lake?  His grandmother lives on that lake.  Every time I go over there, I look out at it and thank God for ending that romance.  Obviously, Marc and I have worked out.  We have been dating since Feb 2010.  I have never been more in love with someone.  Marc is absolutely perfect for me.  We plan to move in together August 1.  I am back in school and finishing what I left off seven years ago. 

After ten years of heartache and grief, I am finally happy.  So, what does all this have to do with transitioning to vegetarianism?  Not much, really, except for the fact that I want to become healthy so I can live a long life with Marc and our future children.  Last time I checked the scales, I was 210ish pounds.  I have had an interest in vegetarianism for about five years.  Living in the south on minimum wage makes it hard to do, especially when you share a community refrigerator.  I gave a suggestion to Marc, and he agreed to it.  We are going to replace one or two meals a week with meatless entree's.  This blog will be focused on that adventure.  I want to loose enough weight to reverse the heart disease curse that is on my family.  It is obviously a major problem when you consider my dad died from a heart attack while my mom was in the hospital recovering from an angioplasty. 

My dad was about 52 years old and my mom was about 49.  I have twenty years to win this battle. Wish me luck, and if anyone has any advice, do not hesitate to give it to me.  I know that with God and perseverance I can become healthy.