Saturday, March 31, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* cleaning the Stone Harbor house with Andy. We made a great team!
* checking out a bunch of new CD's from the library.
* spending some time on this lovely blog. It's so hard to keep up but I love having it to look back on.
* watching the movie Courageous- it had a good message but it was a little funny because I didn't realize it was a Christian film. It got a little weird at times and I know Andy was thinking "What the hell are we watching?"

Day 12

"In these challenging times it's crucial to become 'Prevention Is Hot' cheerleaders. Set an example, teach your children, and lead the way to health, spiritual wealth, and happiness through personal action. Nobody knows your body like you do, and waiting around for someone else to fix your woes is playing a risky game of roulette." Crazy, Sexy, Diet
A few months ago I watched the documentary Food Matters. It was full of great information and was not at all "preachy." One thing that grabbed my attention was the discussion on prescription drugs and the idea that food can be medicine too. We all know there is a major problem in this country with the "fix it with a pill" theory. It seems like some doctors write a prescription faster than you can tell them your symptoms.

And preventative medicine? Yeah right. Try getting your insurance to cover anything preventative aside from a pap or a mammogram. Not happening. I've been asking for years why can't my insurance cover holistic doctors, acupuncture, massage and other preventative "medicines?" I am lucky enough to be healthy and I'm working hard to make sure I stay that way. I believe in Eastern medicine and instead of going on drugs for some of my issues I choose to go to acupuncture. I don't want to wait around until I'm diagnosed with cancer or whatever else to treat my body. I want to treat it now so I never have to hear those words I fear so much..."you have cancer."

I agree with Kris, it's up to us to take care of ourselves. And to try teaching the people we love to take care of themselves too. No one else is going to do it. Most of our society is so conditioned to eating the way we eat, treating illness with pills, and doing very little prevent some of the most preventable diseases. We treat the effects instead of the causes, let's change that.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 11

"There are many things that are out of your control (your neighbor's bratty kid, rainstorms, skinny jeans and tube tops), yet you actually have a lot of power over your health, happiness and life---and it all starts with your mouth. What you put in it, and the words that come out of it, determine your destiny. Shitty nutrition and chemical crutches will wear you out. Stinkin' thinkin' and verbal self-abuse amputate your angel wings." Crazy, Sexy, Diet
Whoa, that's a lot to take in right there. There are few things we have complete control over in our lives and we should thank God one of them is what we feed our bodies. Yet many of us (myself included) feed ourselves crappy foods more often than we'd like to admit. We know a whole lot about what foods are good, bad and in the middle, but still find it so hard to make the right decisions. I struggle with that everyday, during every meal. I love the idea of feeding myself the foods that are best for me and cutting out all of the garbage, but it's never easy. I pray that one day it will be easy for me, that I won't even be attracted to the crappy foods. I hope I get there, slow and steady, because I can promise you I'm not on the fast track.

Our bodies get tired of working so hard when we feed them foods they don't want or need. Our minds get sick of us saying to ourselves we're not doing a good enough job. That's what I take from Kris's quote above. This 28 Day Challenge started out as a "don't eat meat for 4 weeks" thing, and it's turned into so much more. I'm learning about myself everyday; this journey has taken on a life of its own---one I did not plan for or expect. I find these quotes and really start to think about how they make me feel and what they say to me. Writing about it all makes me slow down and take it all in.

We all have the power over our health, happiness and life---but do we actually believe that to be true? I'm trying...
Determine your destiny
I have gratitude today for...
* Mom & Dad's emails this morning thanking us for the Bruce tickets and such a great night last night!
* officially signing back up for Tastefully Simple. I really do love their stuff and I just have to give up a little 'surfing the internet' and 'tv' time and I could probably get something going with it.
* seat locations for DMB summer tour coming out. We made out pretty well!
* an easy drive to Avalon, no traffic.
* free wi-fi at the library so I could finish up some stuff for work while waiting for Andy to get down.
* watching Hungry for Change. Uhhh, we have sooooo many changes to make.
* pizza from Via Mare. It was the best we've ever had from there!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 10

"No meat is a truly low-fat food. Because saturated fat is marbled throughout the muscle, and the cholesterol is found in the cell membranes of the meat itself, trimming the excess fat off your steak doesn't do much good. Dr. William Castelli, director of the Framingham Heart Study, says a low-fat plant-based diet would lower an individual's risk of heart attack by 85%. You heard me. 85%." The Kind Diet
To everyone I love: Please read the above quote over and over until it sinks in. Maybe you're not willing to cut out meat completely (I don't know if I'm even quite there yet.) Do what you can to lower your risk of having a heart attack. I want you to live a long, healthy life. I want us to be on this Earth together for a long time. Please...use portion control, limit the amount of times a week/month/year you allow yourself to eat meat, become aware and conscious of your choices, educate yourself about food. If you think about what you are eating, you will start to make little changes in your habits because you want to. For my Oprah fans, "When you know better, you do better."

Be Kind to Your Heart!
Day 10, I made it into the double digits! I was like a little kid on Christmas morning all day today, I had ants in my pants, I couldn't focus on anything but the clock. Tonight was the Bruce show with Mom & Dad and some good, good friends in Philly. B-R-U-U-U-U-U-C-E!
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band 3/29/12
Stephen, Ben, Lou, Mom, Dad & Me :-)
I spent the day making calls and sending out emails for work, waiting patiently for the work day to end. I had leftover potato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. I might as well just throw two pieces of bread on the griddle with a little bit of butter and then dip it in ketchup because I could really care less about the cheese part of it all. (Yes, sometimes I eat like a 5 year old. Cheerios are still my favorite cereal!) I kind of like my grilled cheese with bacon but obviously skipped that part today.

I was bad and didn't make a green juice today. I can't promise it will be any better over the weekend since we'll be in Avalon and I'm not dragging my juicer down there. I am not there yet. I think it's safe to say I'll resume the green juice thing on Monday.

I've been wondering how I'd do with the no meat thing after a night of several beers; that's usually about the time I'm craving something greasy and bad. After the (awesome, incredible, I want to go again!) show, we headed out to a bar in the city for one last drink and some food. Steve sat down next to me and ordered a chicken parm sandwich---he is mean. He tried to tell me it wasn't good, but I know he was lying because he finished the whole thing.

Anyway, I survived. Now, I told you I'd be honest so I'll just admit I shared mozzarella sticks and onion rings with Ben. I consider it a victory that I didn't cave as I was surrounded by chicken parm and chicken fingers. After several beers it was hard to focus on all of the lovely quotes I've been sharing with you all. That chicken parm looked really good.

I am trying to be honest with myself because I love the way a lot of these foods taste. I love a lot of foods that are bad and gross for us to be eating. I wish I didn't. So I know it's going to be hard sometimes, because I'm going to want bad and gross for me foods. I'm trying to train myself to think about all of the things I'm learning; about what my body needs and how the animals are treated. So maybe one day, I won't even want them anymore. Right now, being aware of all this is key.

What I ate today:
1 cup cheerios
1 cup potato soup
1 grilled cheese (2 pieces of wheat bread, 1 piece of American cheese)
5 or 6 beers
2 mozzarella sticks
3-4 onion rings

I did not weight myself today

I have gratitude today for...
* dreaming about winning the lottery. The Roth family bought 50 tickets for the insane Mega Millions drawing on Friday. It's fun to dream about all of the amazing things we could do with that kind if money. I dream of taking care of friends and family, donating to charaties galore, traveling and all that good stuff. Anyone can dream, right?
* getting through the work day---I was soooo excited for the Bruce concert tonight it was impossible to concentrate.
* drinks with Ben, Steve and Lou at Misconduct before the show.
* finding Mom & Dad on the floor; the lights went down and we still hadn't found them. I walked around for a few minutes by myself, found them, and then got the others to move near us.
* an incredible night at the Bruce Springsteen show! To me, there is nothing like it!

* good times at the bars after the show with Steve, Lou and Ben.
* Steve & Kate letting me crash on their couch tonight so I didn't have to take the train home by myself so late.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 9

"diet: (noun) a way of living, or thinking, a day's journey; This was the definition of diet when it entered the English language in the mid-1600s. So simple! So sane! How did this cute little word become synonymous with deprivation, suffering, and---let's be honest---total hell? With the Kind Diet, we are returning the word it its original definitions, for this journey is about changing how you think and live, one day at a time." The Kind Diet

Ask anyone in the U.S. and I bet you they don't know the true definition of "diet". We have become such a diet-crazed society when the real formula is simply eating healthy foods - crappy foods + exercise = weight loss and good health.

I've been lucky enough to be "one of those people" that never really had to diet. Yes, I gained weight in college (thanks to beer and living across the street from a pizza place) and when I look back at the pictures I think to myself "uhhhhh". But, I also ate french fries for lunch everyday freshman year in high school and didn't gain a pound. (Sorry Mom, you didn't know that. And no, I don't recommend trying them as an every day lunch choice.) In a way, people like me are at a disadvantage because we don't have much of a reason to educate ourselves early on about health and nutrition. We can eat whatever we want (pretty much) and don't put on significant amounts of weight (that easily), thus leading to eating crap more often than we should and not doing much about it.

Back in January 2010 when I weighed the most I've ever weighed (including my college years) I realized I ate way too much junk. I hated the way my clothes fit, how my face looked and I started to feel guilty about my eating habits. That hadn't happened before---I knew I had to make some serious changes. I started reading about the food industry, what's really in our food, how animals are treated and so on. I started out by eating "less crap" and exercising...that's it...and I lost 10 pounds that year. And more importantly, I felt better about myself.

In 2011 I started doing changed my life. My mom and dad told me to give yoga a try a few years ago and I didn't take their advice until January of last year. I found myself saying "you really should have started sooner." Yoga helped me calm my mind, gave me strength and somehow my clothes started fitting better. My mom always said "you lose inches!" Yup, you do. I don't know how it happens, but after a few months of yoga you really do "lose inches." You feel better. You're more focused, more alive and stronger. It's pretty amazing. If you've been wondering about yoga, give it a try. You won't be disappointed!

I think society and the media put way too much emphasis on weight and not enough on health. We have young girls going through their teenage years with serious eating disorders because we aren't learning enough about food and nutrition at a young age. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with food. The above quote, about learning the true definition of "diet" and taking it one day at a time really struck me. We can make little improvements, one day at a time. Baby steps. It's all so overwhelming. My advice is to try changing one thing, do that for a while, then change another. You'll get there, we'll all get there eventually.
Why do we have a "dieting" problem in this country?
Perhaps it's because critics were saying this girl is "too curvy"? Seriously...
I have gratitude today for...
* all of the emails I'm getting with juicing suggestions after yesterday's disaster.
* the note from J. Lydon about my blog. It meant a lot for her to tell me she's been enjoying it and that I may have even encouraged her enough to give the 28 Day Challenge a try.
* acupuncture- still thankful I am able to afford going on a regular basis. Thank God for Communtiy Accupuncture.
* Kelly coming over tonight. We went to a yoga class and then she stayed for dinner. I made potato soup and salads with all the fixins. It was really good!
* sending her home with a ton of food.
* going to Totaro's to support Megan's night with the Philadelphia Soul. I felt bad because I missed her radio show appearance but at least she knows I tried.
* Andy coming home from Jersey City one night early.
* finding out Kerry got the new job she wanted so badly!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 8

Change of plans---in addition to The Kind Diet, my daily quotes will be coming from some other sources as well. Today, it's from Crazy, Sexy, Diet by Kris Carr. A little bit about this girl; she's amazing! She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2003, it was stage IV. She took it upon herself to find a way to stay alive and she did just that. I watched the documentary Crazy, Sexy, Cancer several years ago and find her book to be inspiring and potentially life changing. You should read it, everyone should read it! For more on Kris Carr visit her website;
"The belief that we need enormous amounts of protein to be healthy and strong is one of the most pervasive myths in America. In fact, overdosing on protein is one of the key reasons why we've become so unhealthy. Studies show that as protein consumption goes up, so do the rates of chronic disease. In truth, protein deficiency is virtually nonexistent in industrialized countries. The USDA's recommended daily allowance for protein is about .36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight." Crazy, Sexy, Diet
For me, that comes out to about 41 grams of protein per day. When you look at the list of plant foods high in protein that is pretty easy to reach. I already eat foods like black beans, brown rice, almonds, peanut butter, peanuts, quinoa, sunflower seeds, broccoli, cashews, spinach, baked potatoes and walnuts on a regular basis. Before giving up the meat I was probably one of those people getting excess protein, considering a chicken breast has about 27g. Now that I'm conscious of what I'm eating each day I can refer to the list and create meals that ensure I'm getting enough protein.
I have gratitude today for...
* setting more appointments today!
* running out to Lee's Produce at lunchtime to look around. I picked up some beautiful tomatoes and broccoli.
* making another great stir-fry for lunch today.
* all of the encouragement from friends while I continue with a meatless diet.
* the email Debbie sent me today telling me how proud she is.
I just wanted to write quick to say that I am sooooo proud of you!!!!!!!! Just TRYING this is a HUGE deal! I remember when I first started - how scary everything was - how much info was out there - how overwhelming it is. I promise you - it gets SO MUCH better with time. So much that it just becomes natural. Even if you do end up eating meat again, you will never think of it in the same way.

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!
I am so excited and proud!!
xoxoxo debbie
* experimenting with green juice.
* laughing at myself when broccoli and kale were going everywhere. I forgot to put the bucket back to collect the pulp when I ran the veggies through for a second time.
* great yoga class with Marissa and finding out she teaches at Sol Luna in Avalon as a sub!
* treating myself to a couple slices of pizza for dinner. It was almost 9 by the time I left yoga and I didn't feel like cooking tonight.
* looking through old family pictures for a project I'm working on. There are so many good ones!
* making plans for the Bruce concert on Thursday. I'm sooooo excited!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 7

"Killing is a big deal... We tend to hide from this fact, but let's open our minds to it for just a moment. That was a life. Not it's dead. And it's in your body. These animals experience lives tantamount to humans being strapped into straitjackets, locked in cells, abused by jailers, awaiting nothing but death. Their God-given instincts are repressed and their very beings denied. And by the end, they know what's coming. Don't kid yourself. They can smell the blood. They can sense the fear. They can hear the other animals moaning. Wouldn't you understand, in their position?" The Kind Diet
That's enough to break your heart right there. I can understand how we're not all going to give up meat, and that's ok. Like I mentioned in my last post, I am not even saying I will never eat meat again. But, we can all start learning about the horrendous treatment of these animals. Their filthy living conditions, the despicable ways they are killed, the lives they never have, the jail-like conditions they spend every living day in and the impact this way of life has on our environment.

We choose where we buy our meat from---do we go to a local farm where they raise the animals, feed them what they are supposed to eat (and digest) and let them have space to roam or do we buy from Tyson and Perdue? When we give our money to these money hungry giants that think it's ok to treat animals this way we are saying "it's ok." I am guilty of doing this, I don't know anyone that isn't. I've spent my whole adult life buying chicken, pork and beef from the grocery store and buying "what was on sale." I am now researching different companies and paying more for organic, grass-fed beef and organic chicken. The next step for me will be to find local farms where I can buy meat from to ensure the animals are in fact treated the way the labels claim.

We rescue puppies from puppy mills because they are abused and treated this way. Their living conditions aren't much different from the photos below. For some reason we don't stand up for the pigs, chickens and cows like we do for the puppies. Why is it ok for them to live like this? We can all do something, will you?

Their sad reality. Could you imagine living like this?
7 days with no meat! Wow, I can't believe it's been 7 days that I haven't had one bite of chicken, steak, or bacon. I was telling Andy last night that it's been much easier than I thought it would be. Quoting The Kind Diet and writing how I feel about the quoted topics has really helped me stay committed. The more I think about how disturbing some of this stuff is, the easier it is for me to skip the meat.

I had an apple with peanut butter and some granola for breakfast this morning. My regular appetite is back and I'm going to have to start trying out some of the new recipes I've been bookmarking.
I had leftovers from last night's dinner for lunch. It was nice having something already made when lunchtime arrived. I think I'll be making lots of extra at dinnertime so I have already made lunches!

I went to yoga and since Andy wasn't going to be home for dinner tonight I just had the rest of my soup from Saturday and a salad.

It's 11:30pm and I'm starving! I might have to something before I go to bed because I think I'm too hungry to go to sleep like this.

I have to say, I'm really proud of myself. There have been so many times when I've wanted to try out the "no meat" thing and I always made excuses. "So and so is coming over for dinner","we're going out to dinner","we have a wedding"...blah, blah, blah. There is never going to be a time when you can't find excuses. I am so glad I decided to attempt this challenge because I proved to myself that I can actually do it!! I realize 7 days isn't that long, but it's the first time since I've been eating solid foods that I've gone an entire week without any chicken, beef or pork. I knew giving up the beef and pork (I don't really eat pork, just bacon occasionally) wouldn't be too hard, but I never would have thought I'd be able to give up chicken. Not counting this last week, I would bet my life that you'd find chicken in my diet nearly everyday for the last 10 years. When I think of it that way, it's pretty gross.

Moving into Week #2 I'd like to start incorporating juicing. I bought a juicer a few months ago and haven't used it much. I've made orange juice and grapefruit juice a couple of times. I haven't made any "green" juices or juices with vegetables, period. I'm upping the challenge to myself--for week #2 I will be experimenting with juicing everyday. I plan on starting with Kris Carr's "Make Juice Not War Green Drink." I mean, she basically cured her own cancer so it's probably a good place to start.

"Make Juice Not Wat Green Drink" Kris Carr
-2 large cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
-big fistful of kale
-big fistful of sweet pea sprouts
-4 – 5 stalks celery
-1 – 2 big broccoli stems
-1 pear or green apple (optional)
-1 inch of ginger (or less)
I have gratitude today for...
* one of the girls from yoga (Sheila) driving me home after my dumbass locked myself out of the house.
* Kelley calling to make sure I was ok.
* spending time on my "28 Day Challenge" blog entries.
* 1 week with no meat!
* setting a bunch of appointments and filling my work schedule for most of April.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* remembering Erin; I can't believe it's been 15 years since that awful day. It made me feel good to be able to send pictures to Cari & Jackie. Maybe they helped comfort both of them on this difficult day.

* Sunday breakfast with Andy.
* getting the rest of our crap out of Andy's mom's house. How did we end up with so much stuff???
* taking a walk around town.
* talking with Vanessa tonight. I feel horrible we can't go to her birthday party but we already committed to cleaning months ago for next Sat. in Avalon and couldn't back out.
* making a stir-fry dinner---it came out really good!

Day 6

"Did you know that more than 50% of the corn grown in the U.S. is eaten by animals? Roughly 8% of corn grown is for human food use. 60 million acres of the U.S. are devoted to growing hay primarily for livestock, while we use only 13 million acres to grow fruits & vegetables. While 1.2 billion people do not have enough to eat every day, we're bending over backward to make damn sure the 20 billion cows, pigs, and chickens are getting fatter and fatter by the minute." The Kind Diet
The quote above really got me. If you know me, you know it causes me great pain to throw food away. I hate wasting it. I joke that I must have lived through The Great Depression in another life because I don't know many other people like me. I am actually proud I don't like to waste food---I think it says that I am grateful that I even have food. I can understand how all of this information may be overwhelming. It just keeps coming and coming and there is no end in site. Who knew that we devote almost 5x as much land to feeding animals that feed people, than feeding people! And, the most frustrating part to me is the fact that cows are supposed to eat grass!!! Instead they are being fed corn and grain and all kinds of things they are not built to digest because there isn't enough grass to feed the obscene amount of animals we raise and kill every second. We do whatever we can to feed 20 billion animals an unnatural (but cheaper) diet to plump them up and produce as much meat as possible (filled with antibiotics and hormones among other things) but don't do a whole lot to feed the hungry people in the world? Learning about all of this really makes you think about our priorities as a society. Greed has taken over and it's out of control. Where is our government in all of this? How is this happening? I keep asking myself these questions and feel like there is nothing I can do. But then I sign the petitions, try to tell other people what's going on, and make the difference I am able to make right now.
Yup, cows are supposed to eat grass...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the yum broccoli cheese soup I made for lunch
* lazy afternoon watching stand-up comedy and Food Network. We were out until 2am and knew it was going to be another late nigtht so it was nice to take it easy for a couple hours.
* Tony A's pizza for dinnner.
* a fun time at Kelly & Alex's to celebrate his 27th birthday!

* being fair about the extra Bruce tix and still ended up giving it to the guy I felt wanted it most.

Day 5

"The meat industry has a nasty reputation for not containing its waste very well. Not only does the poo, fertilizers, and other sludge get into the soil, it can also leach into nearby rivers and water tables. We have strict laws about the disposal of human waste but none for the animal equivalent, and according to Worldwatch Institute, U.S. livestock produces 130 times more waste than people do!" The Kind Diet
Um, ewwwwww!!! This is just the very beginning of the disgusting facts you can find when you really start digging. I remember there being a lot of information about the environmental effects of our livestock in The Omnivore's Dilemma. I feel like the environmental impact of the meat industry is something that is overlooked, rarely acknowledged, and sorely in need of some attention!!! We need to wake up...we are ruining our clean water supply, messing up the food chain, taking away animals' habitats, wasting resources and slowly killing the Earth. The damage happens at a much faster rate than you would think and it will take centuries to start reversing these effects. I find it scary that there are millions of people out there that don't give a damn! They don't even take the extra step (not that it's even an extra step anymore) to recycle in their own homes. They are teaching their children that the environment doesn't matter, that we don't have a responsibility to take care of it.  What about making sure our children and grandchildren can enjoy clean water and green grass and oxygen so they can breathe?!? It makes my blood boil, it really does. So I realize there is A LOT of work to do on getting people to open their eyes to the very real problems effecting our environment. The food industry is a major one and I hope people start paying attention.

We kind of need this to stay clean, don't we?

Friday, March 23, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* going to acupuncture---I know I always write this but I am so thankful I can afford to go on a regular basis.
* Rita's on a beautiful spring day!
* picking up the extra Bruce tickets. I'm so happy I was able to find them at a fair price!
* talking with Amy about Tastefully Simple. I'm going to give it another shot.
* spending some time on the front porch in the sun,working on my blog while I waited for Andy to get home.
* talking with Grandpa, Uncle Kevin & Grandma this afternoon.
* a night out in Philly with Andy. We went to Helium Comedy Club to see Todd Glass. He was hysterical and the comedians that opened for him were great too!
* randomly ending up sitting with Kyle & Kelsey. Andy used to play hockey with Kyle in high school. It was fun to sit with people we (sort of) know.

Day 4

"Every single creature wants to live fully. That's what God designed us to do. That's our purpose. Who are we to take that away unless we have to? And these days, where's the 'have to'? We used to think that slavery was okay, but we got over that. Why can't we get over the needless torture and killing of animals for our sensory satisfaction?" The Kind Diet

I've learned over the last couple of years that animals such as cows, pigs, chickens and even fish know what's going on. They love their babies. They have separation anxiety. The can sense fear and death. They have long memories. They have feelings, just like we do. How I've continued to eat meat after learning all of this, I don't know. It's so easy to dismiss the information and make yourself numb to it. But then I find a picture like this and think "we inhumanely kill millions of them a day, what is wrong with us?" And what would humanely killing them consist of anyway?
A photo like this puts it all into a different perspective, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* meeting some good contacts at Philly I Day. I think I am going to ask if I can go to the one in Pittsburgh.
* DVR'ing Ellen today. Her segment on the documentary coming out about bullying brought tears to my eyes. She is so genuine and so right; why do kids treat other kids so poorly? When I was in school to become a teacher I decided early on my cause would be bullying. I feel so strongly about it---kids are killing themselves because of the bullying they endure from their peers. It's awful and schools need to start addressing this!
* spending a few minutes on the porch reading PEOPLE before Andy got home.
* finding a website to use for our wedding album. I've been looking for a professional style album that isn't going to cost $400!
* finding a pair of Bruce tickets for sale and finding someone to buy the ticket I don't need. I've been feeling so bad that I didn't have a ticket for Steve's friend--I was determined to find one!
* Andy saying he will support me and my efforts to change how I eat. It meant a lot. I just hope over time he will want to change too.

Day 3

"Meat contributes to cancer. Dioxin is the most toxic chemical known to science and is recognized as a human carcinogen. It is estimated that 93% of our exposure to dioxin comes from eating animal products." The Kind Diet

There are 3 things I am most petrified of happening to me---being raped, getting shot and being told I have cancer. When I watched the movie 50/50 I could almost feel what the main character was feeling when the doctor told him he had cancer. I'm scared to death of those words exiting a doctors mouth with me on the other side of his desk. If this a fear you share with me, watch Forks over Knives and take what you will away from it. If you dive deeper into the studies available about this topic (such as The China Study) you will be blown away. The foods we eat are feeding cancer! Isn't food supposed to be something we can't live without, not something that may shorten the number of years we live? I don't need to say much more, the quote above says it all. Cut down on the amount of animal products you consume and you'll cut down on the amount of ammunition you are feeding cancer cells that could already be living within you.

Imagine a world without cancer!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* feeling much better this morning, still no appetite though.
* setting several appointments for work today!
* buying tickets for Todd Glass @ Helium Comedy Club on Friday.
* all of the Facebook love after I posted my blog entry about my 28 day challenge.

Day 2

"People used to say, 'Listen to your body' and I had no idea what they meant. 'What is my body saying? I don't's here." The Kind Diet

This quote actually made me laugh inside, because I know exactly what she means! After reading through these books I've thought the same things to myself. How do I listen to my body? One of the reasons I am doing this challenge is to find out. I've read about the changes that occur when we go without meat for a length of time and I want to see what it's like. Now, Alicia gave up meat and dairy and she probably experienced more intense changes than I will because of it.  I'm not there yet. Like I mentioned the other day, I hardly eat dairy anyway but I love pizza and I'm not ready to give it up. I don't know that I ever will be. Anyway, I hope at the end of these 4 weeks I'm able to look back at this post and know what it means to "Listen to your body."
What if we just paid attention to what we need?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* emails back and forth with Mom and Kelly today.
* deciding to go to the Mt. Laurel office instead of taking a sick day even though I felt like I was going to die this morning. These pains are the worst!
* a nice time seeing everyone at the office.
* my Vega arriving today!
* Andy being very sweet about me not feeling well.
* watching a bunch of HIMYM episodes and the Foo Fighters documentaries (again.)

Day 1

I've decided to use a quote from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone each day. Maybe you aren't aware of what's going on and want to learn just a little bit...maybe you'll want to learn even more and you'll read one of these books. Who knows?!? It's taken me years to take this step. The quotes I am using are the ones that hit me hard and made me decide to do this for real. I will briefly comment on the quote and then share about my day. I will also list at the end of my post what I ate that day and my weight.
"How could I spend so much energy saving one group of animals, then turn around and eat other ones? There was a fundamental hypocrisy in my thinking. Weren't they all living beings? Why did we buy some of them cute little doggy beds while slaughtering others? I had to ask myself- in all seriousness- why don't I just eat my dog?" The Kind Diet
Wow, when I read this I thought it made so much sense, it made me feel like a hypocrite too. I've always loved pigs and used to want one as a pet (I can't even get Andy to say yes to a cat so I'm pretty sure a pet pig isn't happening.) I love animals in general and have always felt "connected" to them. If I had to stare an animal in the face, or see babies being dragged away from their mothers before I ate them, I probably wouldn't be able to do it. We are so far removed from what our food is (cute little pigs, chicks, cows, etc.) and how they are treated (we'll get to that later) that it's pretty easy to eat meat and not feel too bad about it.
How freaking cute is this guy?

Monday, March 19, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the email back from Katie Lydon I woke up to this morning. It was so good to hear from her and I'm looking forward to seeing her soon. We don't talk often but she's still one of my favorite people ever!
* deciding to challenge myself to 28 days of not eating meat starting tomorrow, the first day of Spring.
* trying to make PA residents aware of the Mandatory Ultrasound Bill today after I read about it. I signed a petition, called and left a message for our senators and posted the info on Facebook. I don't have much hope that it matters but at least I tried. What really gets me about this bill is they are violating women's bodies. If a woman is raped, how can the government then tell her she has to have an unltrasound before she has an abortion? I would never have an abortion (unless I was raped), but I appreciate the right to make that choice.
* going to yoga even though I felt those awful stomach pains that I get coming on.
* the oven stopped beeping! It has been beeping for almost 24 hours and we didn't know why. I tripped the circuit breaker and when we turned it back on it stopped. I didn't sleep at all last night because of the loud, constant beeping. I wanted to rip my hair out.
* watching a few more episodes of HIMYM.
* my new heating pad. I've known for a while that I needed one and randomly picked one up at Bed, Bath & Beyond over the weekend.

A Challenge to Myself

It's been over two years since I first set out with the goal to lose some weight and learn about eating healthy. The scale had tipped 130 and I felt disgusting. To some that may sounds ridiculous, but for me--- I had let myself go, I felt crappy, my pants weren't fitting and my face was chubby. I had to do something about it. You can read about the beginning of this journey here when I was first started to learn about making better choices.

In those 2+ years I have read books like Skinny Bitch, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Crazy, Sexy, Diet and The Kind Diet. I've watched documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, Fat,Sick & Nearly Dead, Food Matters and Food Inc. Guess what? They all tell you the same things! And that tells me this isn't a bunch of bullshit---we are killing ourselves with the food we put in our bodies. Milk, eggs and meat aren't of the same quality they once were when our parents and grandparents were growing up. You may not buy into the thinking of Forks Over Knives; that animal protein is bad for us. But, it's hard to argue that the hormones, antibiotics and other disgusting things found in our food mentioned in these books and documentaries are a good idea to put in our bodies! Not to mention the appalling and cruel ways animals are treated almost all of the time.

So far, educating myself has been a roller coaster. Most times when I was reading one of the aforementioned books I would make better choices. All of the information was in my face and it was hard to eat a burger or taco after reading about what ends up in our meat. But then, I'd finish the book, time would go on, and the info would lose it's "top of mind" status. I've tried to share this information with the people I love, not to start arguments or preach to them, but to at least make them aware there is information out there they should be aware of. I've always been able to acknowledge that even though I was sharing/discussing this information, I haven't made any permanent changes.

Can I say I will never eat pizza, my favorite chicken dishes or a perfectly seasoned aged steak again? Not right now. But something has changed for me after reading The Kind Diet. The description of animal cruelty that occurs everyday really got to me, to the point I had tears falling down my face and it felt painful to continue reading. I've read this stuff before but the way this book was written, it struck me big time. Obviously the reminder of the conditions in which these animals live, the filth, disease and drugs that end up in our food was influential as well.

Right now, the thought of eating meat disgusts me, so I am challenging myself to eliminate meat from my diet over the next four weeks. I'm not going to put the pressure on myself to give up dairy too, I already don't each much dairy and think I need to allow myself to eat pizza while I go through this. Maybe down the road I will eliminate dairy as well, but for now I'm happy with going meatless to start.

My goal is to write about this journey everyday. Something consistent throughout these books is the four week timeline. They all say within those four weeks you will really start to notice changes in your energy, skin, sleeping habits and how you feel overall. Writing about it will document my progress and help keep me accountable. We'll see where I am at the end of these four weeks.

Spring is about rejuvenation, cleansing, new life, and being open. My challenge to myself will start on the first day of Spring. What better time to start?

Are you trying to make changes like this too? Do you have books or documentaries you recommend? If you've already started a journey like this what have been your greatest challenges? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the gorgeous flowers Andy brought home for me for our 6 month anniversary.

* my acupuncture session today. I was in a private area and it was dark, I'm pretty sure I fell asleep. I was able to relax and Eva said we're making some practice.
* reading some more of The Kind Diet on the front porch.
* taking a nice walk around Conshohocken with Andy.
* drinking 8 glasses of water again today. I'm really going to try to stick with it!
* Debbie writing a post on her blog about her favorite vegetarian/vegan items. I thought it was cool to do it on her blog in case others we wondering the same thing. She took pictures and explained why she likes them. I will be trying them out!
* making dinner tonight; I had planned on a roasted chicken before I read The Kind Diet. At least it was organic--I bought it at Trader Joe's last week and it was almost 3x the price of a normal roasting chicken but I decided it's worth it. I hardly wanted tonight and had mostly the sides. I did have a little bit of chicken though because I wanted to see if I saw a difference with the organic.
* a really sweet message from Jess Lampe. She said she noticed how I'm always sharing information about food and nutrition. She decided to make some big changes about 5 years ago and told me some of her favorite blogs. I thought that was really nice.
* watching 2 episodes of HIMYM tonight. I think I slightly overdosed a while back and with Andy being away we took a break from watching. We really enjoyed the episodes last night!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* thinking about our beautiful wedding day. I can't believe 6 months have gone by already, time is flying by!
One of my favorites!

* another beautiful day!
* finally putting away the laundry that has been piling up and starting to switch over my closet from winter to spring clothes!
* deciding to spend the day outside on our deck. So many people were going into the city for a St. Patty's drinkingfest. I just didn't feel like it. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and read The Kind Diet. So that's what I did and it was a great decision, I really enjoyed my day.
* starting to make an effort to drink more water. I drank all 8 glasses today and didn't find it to be too hard. I also didn't have much of a desire to snack either like I normally do during the day. When I was hungry this afternoon, I had veggies and dip.
* Andy texting me pictures of the kids in FL with their adorable St. Patrick's Day outfits on. They are so stinkin cute!
* talking with Mom & Dad this afternoon while sitting on the front porch. I love how we have somewhere to sit out front and out back!
* all of Debbie's comments on my blog. As I've said before, I'm pretty sure she is the only person that reads it, haha.
* Kelley coming over for a drink. We talked wedding and some other stuff for a while. It was nice to see her.
* Andy arriving home safely! We stayed up until almost 2am talking, I'm happy to have him home!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* being free on the day of our friend John's fundraiser to raise money for Cancer in memory of his mom. She was told she had 6 months to live in 1994 and just passed away last year. Talk about strong will, I thought that was pretty incredible. I'm glad we'll be able to go to support them!
* filling out the survey for RYAH Yoga. I'm hoping they'll add Yin Yoga and earlier classes!
* lunch with John & Bill at The Great American Pub. It was so great to see Bill and the 3 of us had a nice time together.
* picking up my books on hold from the library; The Kind Diet (I've wanted to read that for a long time!) and Crazy, Sexy, Diet. Even though I've read it before and have the digital version there are some things in there I really want to study (lists of foods high in calcium, protein and GI index).
* decorating the house for St. Patrick's Day and cleaning up.
* Jen Cardonick, Kossler, Adrienne, Laina,  Kristie Chila, Marisa & Beckman coming over tonight. We had a great time catching up and eating all kinds of food! Kristie even brought a pizza from Mack's. Some of us hadn't seen each other in years so it was a lot of fun to hang out.  
* Mom sending over some pictures she put together for Vanessa's 30th Birthday. They are adorable!

How cute were we?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Dad talking with Darryl and offering to be his temporary sponsor. They are supopsed to go to a meeting together tomorrow. I really hope he can stay sober now that he has a baby to care for. Addiction is the biggest heart breaker.
* being able to go to Andy's mom's house to do my work today (she is in FL.) The workers next door were putting carpet down and it sounded like hammers were going to come through the floors and walls.
* going shopping at the mall after work. I went to try to find a cute green top for tomorrow night. I have come to the conclusion that the only clothes made to fit me are super expensive. I love that I lost a few pounds (and inches!) but clothes shopping has been a pain in the ass. Like I said on Facebook, it would be nice to find clothes that fit that don't break the bank and don't make me feel like I should be 19! I was that girl in Forever 21, Charlotte Russe etc. looking for a cute green top. I felt like every girl in there was looking at me like "what is she doing in here?" It didn't help that I was in yoga pants, sweatshirt and UGG clogs. I did, however, find an awesome pair of yellow shoes to go with my new dress that I bought yesterday. :-)

* making a meatless meal for dinner. I had sauteed spinach, mashed potatoes and applesauce. It was delicious and I didn't miss meat at all. I am obsessed with sauteed spinach these days!
* relaxing tonight; gave myself a much need pedicure, ate dinner, watched American Idol, Grey's & Private Practice and picked out photos for a new frame I bought.
* Mom sending me the funniest picture from when I was little. Dad took me to see Big Bird and when we got there the costume didn't look like Big Bird at all!

You would be making that face too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* emailing back and forth with Debbie a little bit over the last few days. I reallllly wish she lived within driving distance!
* getting up really early to drive to Harrisburg and feeling ok even though I was up (again) until 2am last night (this morning, really...)
* talking with Lora for a bit during my drive. She thought about something I told her a long time ago and had some information she thought might be helpful; I was thankful that she remembered something from so long ago! I am so lucky to have great friends.
* a great meeting this morning at Nationwide.
* grabbing lunch at Panera. I got the tomato soup and realized the copycat recipe I made a couple of weekends ago really tasted just like it!
* picking up a calendar for this summer's cleaning schedule; time to get all of that organized!
* beautiful weather considering I had to drive for four hours today. I had the sunroof open, windows down and Bruce's new album blasting. It was great!
* Kerry coming to spend the night with me. We had the best time! Drinking wine on the porch, sitting on the rockers, talking and talking and talking. I made quesadillas for dinner and then we went back outside until 1am. How we can talk for 9 hours straight I have no idea but I absolutely love that girl. It's amazing to me how well we know each other. We have been friends since we were 14 years old!
* a point Kerry made about one our mutual friends. She pointed out that she very rarely responds to me when I reach out and that I try too hard. After the last few times I've tried to find a time to visit her I have to agree. Kerry made me see that if I stop being the one to reach out I may never hear from her again. And do I really need that? Something to think about for sure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* finding Vega on for a good price and placing an order. I like that it's vegan and gives 50% of the daily needed vitamins, protein and minerals.
* going to Trader Joe's and buying an organic roasting chicken and organic boneless chicken. I also bought coconut oil, rice vinegar, roasted cashews, and two kinds of organic rice. I spent $50 on what seemed like very little but a big part of learning to shop like this is quality vs. quantity, a concept we learn at an early age but usually find hard to apply. I know eventually I won't feel so lost in stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.
* beautiful weather for our get together at Viki's house! It was warm enough to sit on her deck for a while with Viki, Jane, Lori and Lorin. We had a great time talking as usual and my peanut butter ice cream dessert was a hit!
* giving Viki & Lori their (very) belated Christmas present. A framed picture of the three of us from our wedding. One of the very few I have with friends. :-(

With Viki & Lori on my wedding day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the nice cashier at Pier 1 that tried to help me when I showed up to pick up my order and they didn't have one of the items in stock. I was really annoyed because I went a half hour out of my way to pick up the order and it turns out they had the item at the store in Hamilton.
* another beautiful day. The last few years we haven't really had Spring so this weather has been great!
* lunch w/John and Ian at Blue Pacific.
* free wifi at the King of Prussia; I was able to get a lot of work done while I waited for the guys to get there.
* going to yoga tonight before Megan Regan came over.
* catching up with Megan over dinner. I made rice pilaf with veggies and bruschetta. It was really good!

* finding some new blogs to read with great information!
* coming across this daily photo challenge where you take a picture everyday of something specific. They are broad topics so you can interpret them however you want. I think I want to try it! It also got me thinking about buying a good SLR camera.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* daylight savings, already! We forgot about it when we went to bed last night. When I woke up this morning I was wondering how on earth it was 10am!!
* a relaxing morning reading my iPad on the couch.
* the amazing tomato pie from Manninos for lunch.
* all of the awesome produce I picked up from the new produce market in Hamilton!
* sitting out in the backyard in the warm sun for a while this afternoon!
* talking with Grandpa & Uncle Kevin.
* going to Mercer County Park with Missy & Dane. She filled me in on everything that has been going on with Darryl. I pray he has straightened himself out for real this time.
* dinner at Friendly's with Missy & Dane. Darryl had to meet her for something so I got to see him. I told him to call Dad if he needed someone to talk to. Dinner was interesting---horrible service, horrible unhealthy food, and a wait! What the hell? After watching Food Inc. last night it makes me feel like there is very little hope for our coutry, overall. People dining there tonight were severely overweight and feeding themselves and their children fried crappy food and then huge ice cream sundaes. I hadn't been to a Friendly's for at least 10 years, and I won't be going back anytime soon.
* showing Mom Pinterest. She started pinning recipes immediately.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* breakfast with Mom & Dad. Fresh fruit and french toast, yum!
* checking out the book sale at West Windsor-Plainsboro library. It was incredible! I bought a few books for myself and a few as gifts.
* lunch with Mom & Dad at Hot Wok. They had great lo mein!
* a really great massage at Angel's Touch in Hamilton. It was a Living Social find and it did not disappoint.
* shopping with Mom at The Shoppes at Hamilton. I bought a few new cute dresses for work at Kohl's. I can't wait for Spring!!
* finally watching Food Inc. Even though I've exposed myself to a lot of information about our food, the food industry, etc. I've always dreaded seeing it. The thing is, I new most of what I saw during the film. What I didn't realize was how messed up the laws are and how companies like Monsanto are royally screwing over farmers! I was infuriated. "How can our government let this happen?" I thought to myself...well, the lobbyists pay off the congressmen, congress appoints the FDA personnel which so happen to come from the big conglomerates and companies like Monsanto. How's that for a sick triangle? I really couldn't believe all of this is happening and nothing is being done. FOUR companies control the majority of the foods and brands in supermarkets. I had no idea Stacy's chips and Kashi were bought out and are no longer their own brands. There is so much for all of us to learn, which I have been doing for years. Now, I really want to do something about it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the email Erin sent me about the Living Social Sky Dying offer. I'd love to do it but I'd want to do it with someone and I don't know anyone else crazy enough!
* lunch with Cathy G. at OOKA

* finally catching up with John. I felt bad because I've owed him a call back for two weeks.
* being able to afford yet another acupuncture treatment.
* Andy arriving safely to Cocoa Beach, FL. He is there all week--lucky guy!
* surprising Mom and Dad with Bruce tickets for the show on 3/29. I taped them to the inside on an article from last week's Inquirer on Bruce. They were so surprised and excited!! It was a lot of fun to do that and I'm so thankful I've been able to do things like that for them several times over the years.

Mom took a picture and put it on Facebook!

* Dad going out to Barnes & Noble to buy me a copy of the new Bruce album. (Wrecking Ball)
* Lisa coming over to hang out. We had wine and apps and talked all night. It was great to see her!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the email from Maureen asking for our address so she can send our wedding gift. I felt bad because she emailed me a while ago and I completely forgot to respond to her. It was good to hear from her!
* going to yoga tonight when I didn't feel like it.
* an easy dinner- leftovers.
* a night out with Andy; we went to East Falls Taproom to see Josh & Andrea play. They sounded great! We hadn't been there in ages!
* Andy getting through to buy Radiohead tickets since I had no luck at all.
* finding out two people used my Groupon link and I now have $20 in rewards!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Andy selling the Flyers tickets for tomorrow night since we weren't planning on going to the game.
* seeing a link on Facebook for a free Legos magazine subscription; I signed up and had it sent to Edie, Molly & Henry.
* mailing out a St. Patrick's Day package to the Greenwich Roth's---I included necklaces, pencils and stickers. I remember how much fun it was to get stuff in the mail when I was little! (I admittedly still think it's super fun to get stuff in the mail, assuming it's not a bill or junk mail.)
* going to walk around the new shops at Plymouth Meeting Mall after work since it was so nice out. I can't get over the weather we've been having!
* exploring in Whole Foods for a while. I was there over an hour just looking around at the different products, brands, vegetarian and vegan products and health care products. I picked up some organic granola and organic celery. Some of the prices seemed outrageous but a lot of the produce seemed very fair. I liked that most of it was local! I find Whole Foods and Trader Joe's overwhelming but I'm trying to become more comfortable going to stores like that.
* making the best of my yoga class tonight because I wasn't the biggest fan of the instructor.
* our yum grilled fillet mignon dinner with the baked potato "chips" and spinach.
* the text I got from Jillian about loving it when she gets cards from me. I'm glad something I do that is so simple means so much to people.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Alison showing appreciation for the birthday card we sent her. I was happy she got it in the mail today. Cards are so simple yet so few people send them anymore, so I think they mean even more when your mailbox has a card waiting for you!
*making my train this morning after absentmindedly getting on 76 in the wrong direction, parking my car and running through the station like a lunatic. Naturally I got the platform and the train wasn't even there yet.
* getting to visit good old NYC again today. I had a training in lower Manhattan and then Chipotle for lunch before making my way back to Penn Station.
* being able to laugh at myself when I could not find my car anywhere. Since I was in such a rush to park this morning I didn't pay attention to where I parked. I even asked the office if it was possibly towed. After hitting the panic button and trying to follow the alarm I found it 25 minutes later. If you had been watching it would have been quite a comedy show.  
 * printing and framing a picture for Erin of her and I on my wedding day and one for Liam's room too since he technically was part of the wedding party. :-) 

             Erin & I before the ceremony                                  "Baby Fry, we can't wait to meet you!"

*going to the Penny Auction with Erin and Maria. Even thought I probably spent $50-75 and didn't win a thing it made me feel good to donate to the school and we had a fun time!
* my chicken taco dip being a hit with everyone. I love it when people like the food I make.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* my first commission check!
* going to acupuncture today.
* cleaning up my email and unsubscribing from a lot of the email lists I'm on that I never read.
* Radiohead and Sarah McLachlan dates coming out for this summer!
* a great yoga class with Jen.
* a free small pizza from Tony A's for my birthday; easy dinner on a Monday works for me!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Andy making a nice Sunday breakfast; waffles, potatoes and bacon. I contributed by making fresh orange juice with the juicer.
* relaxing on the couch watching Food Network for a while this morning. Sometimes Sundays are perfect for doing absolutely nothing and not feeling bad about it!
* using the $10 Dave & Busters offer I got for my birthday for me and Andy to go play some skeeball and basketball games. It was like being a kid (and I won more than he did, haha)! We gave all of our tickets to a little girl playing skeeball next to us. We always pick a kid and give them our tickets.
* Chipotle for lunch. I absolutely love their food (and new commercial)!!
* our trip to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. It's the little things like roaming the aisles that can be fun sometimes.
* Andy cleaning the shower doors and tile. They look brand new!!
* the awesome roasted chicken dinner I made tonight for Andy & me.
* chatting with Mom & Debbie on gchat.
* getting Warehouse confirmations for all of the shows we put in for. I can't wait for summer and to see all of our friends.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* sleeping in this morning. I was going to go to yoga but I was so tired from being up late last night I decided to sleep.
* getting all of the laundry put away, cleaning the bathrooms and our room and trying out the copycat Panera tomato soup recipe I found last night.
* going back to acupuncture. I hadn't been there since last Wednesday.
* Josh & Lauren coming over tonight. I made a bunch of apps and we had drinks here and then went to Baggataway's. I tried a new IPA beer and really liked it.
* watching a few episodes of HIMYM when we got home.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* buying a whole bunch of St. Patrick's Day stuff for my girls night next weekend and cute stickers, pencils and necklaces to send to Edie, Molly & Henry.
* finally mailing out my birthday thank you's.
* trying a new way of making chicken for fajitas; in the crock pot w/spices and taco sauce. It came out so good!!
* watching 'Ides of March' tonight. It was really good! I like dramas that have a lot to them but aren't violent.
* playing on Pinterest for a while tonight; I found some great recipes!
* chatting with Kelly tonight on the iPad. We talked about our plans to visit Grandma & Grandpa in May!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting most of my expenses done today. They took forever!
* Andy getting a bonus today for all of his hard work. He deserves it x100 and I'm so proud of him for being recognized.
* having time to go to Produce Junction before meeting Andy for the Flyers game. I got tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, strawberries, red peppers and cilantro for $10! I wish there was one around the corner!
* a fun time at the Flyers game with Andy. $1 soft pretzels were a nice surprise. I also got an awesome Flyers Winter Classic zippy sweatshirt 50% off  and we were able to use our 'stored value' so it was basically free! They also won, we're 3-1 this season. :-)
* Celebre's after the game, yum!