Sunday, July 31, 2011

Balancing Act

I feel with this delicate balancing act of being a good mom, self employed, and a wife- that the scale can tip easily. I carved a hard life, getting pregnant at 17. I fought to be self employed to make my own schedule. I really have issues with someone telling me I have to clock in at precisely at 8:00 am (what if someone wasn't a responsible puker that morning and I'm running "late"), when to leave, when to eat, and what I am allowed (not, in my case) to say.  I spend summers playing with my kids, volunteer at school, and take most their days off school with them. This also means late nights of working, sometimes panicked bill paying time, but it is worth it to me. Life at 33 with a 15, 12  and 9 year old blended family can be crazy. And to add to the hysteria-toss in one vegan, one vegetarian and one meat eater (but not pork). I thank God every day my husband is the most patient and loving father/husband I know. This is seriously the like being told you are being forced to learn to tight wire walk, with no teacher or instruction manual, 60' above ground with no safety net. Throw in an ex-wife who really doesn't like me. Now I feel like just for shiz and gigs, somewhere along the way someone informed me they were changing the already skimpy 1/2" wide tight rope wire to barbed wire... just to "shake things up a bit".

When my two youngest let me know their other mom was going vegan and demanding they follow suit even at our house, I was left speechless. I was forced to take on the struggle of trying to learn to cook without use of milk, butter, sour cream, yogurt, eggs, honey, chicken, fish, meat, cheese, etc. Why not just cut off my hands to really make my cooking entertaining, while you are at it? (I'm a fighter, I'd learn to use my feet.  I'm a remodeler, I'd build the chair to reach the stove or rip out the kitchen and rebuild to better suit my needs.) All while trying to support something I personally did not agree with, nor did my kids want to do. I thought, what is there left to eat?  Carrots, salad and rice?

Surprisingly, there is a lot to eat, it just takes some creativity and an open mind. I am stubborn, extremely independent, hard headed and never wrong. This was definitely going to be a challenge. However, I am proud to say after a long and hard struggle, I have embraced my inner vegan. Vegan Lunch Box cook book saved my life. Sneaky Moma's tomato sauce is awesome. We meat eaters in the house have unintentionally changed our lifestyle and eating habits from the research I was doing to ensure we were supporting the nutritional needs of my one vegan as best as possible.  

After a week of researching online we were shocked at what is really going into a fast food hamburger. (just cause it's "ground" beef folks, doesn't mean it was healthy or even alive before it was ground. Can I get a round of "ewwwww!") Did you know Gelatin is made of crushed up cow and pig bones? Me either!? It's in a lot of things, including Starburst! Did you know Carmine is boiled bugs and gives a great red hue to your yogurt? Check the container, it's really on there!

I recommend to anyone reading this post to watch the documentary "A Beautiful Truth". It is not disgusting nor a mistreatment of animals video. It's really enlightening, educating and is a documentary on a school project of a 15 year old. If you are daring, Youtube, "Meet your Meat". Stay far far away from PETA videos as you will never sleep the same again. 

We have made a simple switch to organic meats and cage free eggs. I can afford these more expensive alternatives because I now have a simple garden that was really easy to plant even on a very tight budget. Packets of seeds are only 99 cents, plus two bags of organic potting soil and it is much cheaper in the long run than constant trips and the every rising prices at the grocery store. I simply went to the local landscaper and asked for their left over black plastic pots (free and saved from the landfill) bought a $4 can of made for plastic spray paint for a better looking exterior, and viola! Insta food that grows insanely fast for a whopping $20.  Hard to tend? I think not. I rigged an irrigation tube (that isn't the prettiest, but does the job) and it is now hooked up to the auto drip system. Even if you do not have this luxury, watering is an every other day, every three day deal. Who knew? Empty a bag of soil into a pot, sprinkle some seeds, put one more inch of soil and water. That is really it, people! Food on your patio! Holler!!!

P.S-the dorky canvas shopping bags are really cheap and much easier to carry than plastic bags. I only need to own four canvas bags for my family of five. This is a $5 one time expense. Go get you some!

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