Friday, May 13, 2011

Eating Out and Making Changes

Technology is wonderful until it doesn’t work and then it isn’t so great. Blogger has been acting up since Thursday. For those of you whose comments got lost I apologize. I did see them by email but can’t post them now since they have somehow disappeared. Like I said I love technology, when it works. It seems to be back up now and that is good thing. Let’s hope it stays that way for a while. I shouldn’t complain since Blogger is fairly stable.  Since it has been a little while since I could get a post up I am abbreviating this one to leave out the dull stuff. ;-)

Thursday we ended up going out to dinner, and you all know who cooked by now. Yes, of course it was Ian. We made it to the restaurant late, after 8pm, and even had to wait for a table. The weather was gorgeous so everyone was out on the patio. Since Will wasn’t working I did my usual routine of scanning the menu and then heading into the kitchen for a hug from Ian and to chat about what he could make vegan for us.

As soon as I walked into the kitchen he handed me a package of “feuille de brick” which is the pastry he uses to make his version of samosas. Apparently he and Dan were talking about it Wednesday night (while I was in cooking class Dan was hanging out with Ian and the gang) so Ian thought I would want to play with some at home. Seriously isn’t Ian just the nicest guy? He is always doing things like that for us. Is it any wonder that we adore him so? ;-)

After we talked about the items Ian had on the special’s menu we settled on the following options:

We started with the tomato, chickpea and spinach soup which was vegan and very nice. I love that there is almost always a vegan soup on the menu these days. Go Ian!

Next we had the sesame noodle appetizer that was simple to modify to make vegan for us. This version was served cold and was spicy (undoubtedly from sriracha), had pickled watermelon rind, shitakes, and chunks of avocado. Seriously, this stuff was delicious. How did he think of pickled watermelon rind in here? I love to see the combinations that he comes up with.

Our entrée was tofu in romesco sauce with couscous and wilted spinach. The sauce on this was amazing because Ian makes the best sauces. They are always complex and flavorful. I would happily eat his sauces with a spoon like soup. ;-) I have said for years that eating Ian’s food has made me a better cook and I hope my describing his dishes is helping you to think of new ways to combine foods.

There was an interesting table sitting next to us that was a group of men, between my age and Dan’s that seemed like they were either FBI or CIA. They had very big personalities and voices and you couldn’t help but overhear their conversations. There weren’t enough details that you could figure out specifics but let’s just say the world is not a pretty place from what little I could make out. *shivers* Over hearing atrocities does have a way of making me appreciate the relative calm of my life.  It is very sad that the world is such a scary place.

Changing Your Perspective:

While reading a book today it asked me to list the three situations that were the most difficult in my life and then to see them from various perspectives: mine, the perpetrator and what lesson it taught me. There are times in life when situations seem all bad until you step back and reflect on them. I wanted to share the details with you so that you can think of these things for yourself. This isn’t easy for me but I think it might help someone else so I wanted to put myself out there.

Many years ago, over 30 to be specific, I was the victim of a violent rape at knife point. It was a very difficult time in my life because I was young (just turned 18) and had never experienced violence. This situation forced me to grow up quickly and deal with something that I never thought would happen to me. However it did prove to me that I was stronger than I thought and capable of handling things that I never imagined. Additionally it had the impact of making me more cautious of other human beings going forward which may have saved me from a more serious situation later on.

If you had asked me what good came out of this before today I would have thought that question was irrational. However when I sat back and thought about it I realized there actually was a silver lining. Before the attack I was a very trusting person to a fault. This situation made me much more cautious but in a protective way.

I can say the same thing about cancer being a learning experience. If it hadn’t been for the cancer we would still be abusing our bodies with unhealthy lifestyles and indulging ourselves. However after the cancer I feel like I was put here to share my lifestyle with anyone that wants to get healthy so that they can possibly avoid chronic disease. You have no idea how much it means to me that I get so many hits here on the blog, Twitter and Facebook. As I have said many times if only one of you modifies your lifestyle I feel that I have made a difference in the world.

So why am I telling you this and what do I hope you will take out of it. I think most of us get into a rut and tend to see ourselves in various roles. Some of the roles I tend to see are: victim, martyr, hero, dumb pretty one, smart ugly one, the fat friend, the nice one who never gets a guy/girl, etc. Why do we tell ourselves stories like this? If I had taken the rape and cancer and turned myself into “a victim” how do you think I would behave now? Would I go out alone for long walks or would I stay safely at home? Would I be reading everything on cancer to try to try to help the situation or would we just be letting medical science take control? Do you see where this is going?

The problem with putting yourself into a role is that you get stuck. Victims can’t help themselves since they are powerless, martyrs can’t be happy since they have to suffer for others, fat friends will never lose weight, the nice one will never find love, etc. When we tell ourselves stories we are shutting ourselves off to possibilities. Many people let their histories dictate who they are now and more importantly what they can/will become in the future. However if you see each new moment as a chance to do something differently, see the world differently, then you can change.

I will give you another example that may make more sense. Let’s say you want to lose weight or get healthier but you tell yourself that you can’t give up your favorite foods. When you do that you are putting up a roadblock to making real change. If you know you want to be healthier then ask yourself how you can expect to continue your old habits but still somehow change your health. Does that actually make sense?

If your whole life you ate meat, dairy, sugar and flour and you want to be healthier why do you think that if you continue to eat those things your health will improve? I can imagine what many of you are thinking now. But if I change the quantity of what I consume that will make a change. Really? Haven’t you tried that in the past? Did it work long term? Before you say yes if it did work then you wouldn’t still need to make a change now would you? Could it be that you are telling yourself a story? We have all heard that phrase about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing and expecting different results. At the very least it is something to think about. For any of you that want to be healthier I would only suggest that you ask yourself some tough questions to see if there are any changes you are willing to make. You can always return to your old habits if it doesn’t work. However if you never try, you will never know what could happen if you did change.

In summation if you want to change your life, or your outcome you can do it but you have to be willing to change how you see yourself. You also have to be willing to change how you do things. If you stay stuck in the vision or yourself, and/or your habits, things are not going to change. Please give this concept some thought before you dismiss it as new age psycho babble.

Happy thoughts:

• This week has been extremely busy but also fairly good. Dan and I had a nice dinner out on Thursday. Whenever we go out to eat I am reminded how fortunate we are to have Ian around the corner. We are very spoiled to have somewhere that is a short drive or walk away where we can get gourmet vegan food. Not to mention that Ian always gives me ideas just from looking at the menu.

• Our weather has been fantastic this week. There really is nothing like spring weather. Fortunately there has been little rain this week which has allowed me to air out the house and I love that.

• Today I was able to actually put on my running shoes on and get in a little walk. My toe still hurts however it has vastly improved. Tomorrow I have a long walk planned if the weather holds up. *happy dance* I am very much looking forward to hitting the pavement again.

• Friday I ran some errands and checked on my parents who are both holding up well. It is nice to be able to help them out in their advancing years. I am fortunate to have the time and ability to be able to do that.

• With my birthday coming up next week I have been reflecting on what I want to be when I grow up. Since it is time that I figure this out I decided to work on a vision board for myself. To get that moving today I started painting a cork board to hang in the family room. I hope to have my vision board finished by the end of next week and when I do I will share it with you. After all if you don’t know where you are going then you probably aren’t going to end up where you want to be right?

• Big news today from Pam at our CSA. We got an email that she will be bringing us a tray of wheat grass to the market on Sunday. *yay* I am very excited that we will be juicing wheat grass on Sunday. *happy dance*

Signing out:

I hope that you had a great week. Mine was good even though it was busy. It is wonderful that today is Friday *woo hoo* as you all know I love the weekends. I have a few fun things planned for the weekend that I will tell you about soon.


  1. Alicia, you always amaze me. you have had some rough patches of life.i love you friend.

    all that about making our own roadblocks really got me. lately i have been doing lots of things that i never thought i could.

  2. Michelle,

    We all have rough patches it isn't just me. However we can either overcome things or wallow in them and get stuck. It really comes to down what choices we make.

    Good for you doing things you didn't think you could do. :-)

    big hugs and lots of love right back to you,

  3. Excellent post. You are a very amazing person! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Possum (N),

    Thanks, I am glad you liked it though I have to say that I don't consider myself amazing. Bad things happen to everyone it isn't just me. However we can all decide how we are going to react to those situations. Being a victim never helped anyone be the best they could be.

    hugs, :-)

  5. How is it you can make me nearly cry, then laugh, then start some deep thinking all in about three paragraphs? Another amazing post.

    You are so right about just doing smaller or different quanitities of the same thing, it works in the short term, perhaps, for weight loss, but does not generally make one healthier, nor does destructive thought patterns. Those are called self-fulfilling prophecies and they work both ways. Thank you again, for the great posts!

  6. Good Morning Joline,

    I am sorry that I made you cry, that was not my intention. I realized yesterday that I rarely think about let alone mention any of the dark moments in my life. However I do know other people that seem to wallow in their problems. That was what gave me the idea for the post in the first place.

    The reason I mentioned food changes is that I have so many friends that say things to me like, "I can't give up cheese" or "there is no way I could drink green smoothies", things like that. When you tell yourself that you can't do something or won't like something you are setting yourself up to fail. Life is much easier when you are open to change.

    hugs to you,

  7. You are brave. I know how hard it is to "put yourself out there" and I admire you. Sometimes it takes 30 or more years to be able to open up, especially to strangers. Your story is important, so thanks for being brave.

  8. Elizabeth,

    The crazy thing is that I didn't talk about it for the first 10 years after it happened. After that I was able to discuss it and now it is something that I think of very rarely. I was fortunate that it didn't turn out much worse than it was. Many women don't survive violent attacks like I did.

    I remember years ago reading that 1 out of 3 women report being raped in their lifetime and they suspect the number would be much higher if they were all reported. Scary stuff isn't it? Maybe one day things will change. *fingers crossed*


  9. I was wondering what the name of the restaurant you go to is, if you feel comfortable sharing.

  10. Martine,

    I just happen to be at the restaurant now. I will ask the chef again how he feels about that. It isn't a vegan restaurant so he hasn't been keen on my sharing. Almost everything we eat here is specifically made for us.



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