Surviving Tofu

I did it! I bloody well did it! I have eaten tofu and lived. I didn’t actually know that it was possible to almost (note the ‘almost’) like the damn, weird, curdy bean.. beany curd… stuff…

The featured photo is indeed featuring an entirely plant based lunch. AND I am drinking soya milk in tea now.. like all the time. We’ll conveniently forget the cheese pizza we had last weekend because I just can’t do pizza without cheese and right now I am not ready to forgo the lot. So, I’m proud to present myself as an almost-teetotal-nearly-vegan. I reckon it’s got a ring to it.

I have definitely skipped a lot today… mentally and physically. I am very pleased with my efforts to embarrass the MO at the docs as he needed his trillionth skin issue sorted out (he must have weak skin). We sat for far too long in the same spot and that’s when I began to fidget.. we both realised that we weren’t going to be leaving before I had done some damage, although maybe telling the doctor that once he had to sit on a cushion because the boil on his bum was sooo sore, was a little too far. To be honest, he usually proudly carries said cushion around with him but maybe it was all a bit too early in the morning.. and yes, constantly holding his fringe back so that the GP could actually see his face, was probably irritating but I like to think I made my point. And maybe reading the sight test card thing, with my head upside down, wasn’t necessary but I was getting bored.

After that I skippity skipped – ok, drove – to the gym where I tried to suck my belly in whilst using the bike machine and nearly passed out as a result. Lots of young, fit and nubile people walked past and I tried not to dribblglare, meanwhile repeatedly  forgetting that bouncing one’s head to the drum ‘n bass playing in my earphones was probably very un-cool. It is however, imperative.

I then returned via Tesco to home, where I am now sitting at the dining table which needs tidying (as does everywhere), writing this and not sitting in the garden office planning my next assignment.

The very, despite invisible, point to this post is to say, that one can come out of the other side of the doldrums.. even when nothing essentially has changed. Maybe it’s the sun. Maybe it’s self-love (not masturbation, just to clarify).. maybe its listening to my instinct.. who knows but today is a good day. IMG_1612.jpg

Shifting.

Some rather monumental changes have been occurring in 2018. I didn’t plan any of this; there were no pre-meditated goal-setting sessions or  earnest  recordings of my 2018 resolutions (which are never stuck to anyway). This has happened almost accidentally, but not quite. I planned to do Dry January and in doing so cemented the fact that I was seriously damaging my mental and physical health if I continued to drink as much as I was in 2017. To date I have drunk alcohol on 13 days out of 85 and as already established in previous posts, this is something short of a miracle for me.

During this time I have found the head space to meditate more. Still needing my hand held by using guided meditations, but nonetheless, learning to be more mindful is helping me in situations where I would normally let rip and decapitate someone, mainly my family – so at least they are appreciative of the new, sparkly, 2018 model of Chloë.

They may be less enchanted by my very new vegan status. This has been bubbling on the surface for a couple of years but due to my complete inability to maintain grand promises of change, I have – to date – been a proper shit vegan. As evidenced in previous blog posts, I have a tendency to fall of my various wagons on a regular basis. The vegetarian and vegan wagons appear to have particularly lose bolts and I tumble from them.. well… daily. I then run as fast as my legs will carry me, desperately trying to scramble back up, clinging onto my dreams of a more humane way of living, clutching at the sides of the wagon, hoping that perseverance will finally pay off.

I am a source of huge entertainment to my friends – they seems to simultaneously despair of and yet, almost appreciate these efforts of mine. For most of them probably, they think I am just making my own life (and possibly my family’s…) too difficult by trying too much at the same time and that if I only just calmed down and gave myself a break, then life would be a bit more peaceful. So, maybe I can explain what drives me:

There are two Chloës. Fuck it Chloë and Peaceful Chloë. We don’t get to see the latter very often because the former gets in the way. Peaceful Chloë often seems Frantic in her quest for Peace. But bear with, this is how I work:

know that ultimately there are things I need to do in this time on earth that will fulfil my spiritual expectations of myself. Often ego gets in the way but this is not what is happening here. I am not on a VeganTrain – this isn’t about fashion. Since I was a child I have tried to go veggie. I failed miserably because I literally kept forgetting and didn’t have the willpower to do it successfully, which is interesting because I was basically brought up a vegetarian in that my mum would only seem to cook quiche, pasta and omelettes. And all were without meat. In excitement on my school lunch breaks I would dig out a 50 pence piece and buy a sausage roll. I wasn’t given lunch money and was expected to go home and have a cheese sandwich instead. However, this wasn’t deemed cool and as we know, being cool has never been my go-to status but I at least needed to appear willing, so shop bought sausage rolls were bought and I nonchalantly ate them as if this were an everyday occurrence, forgetting about proclamations of being a vegetarian. I was a member of Animal Aid by about 12 and once pinned a horrific picture of a sheep in a slaughterhouse on the wall of my room so that I could macabrely remind myself and my friends of the horrors of what went on to produce the meat we ate. Since then I have tried and then failed and for as long as I can remember I have only eaten free range chicken and eggs and veered away from any caged or intensively farmed animals, clinging to the promises that the RSPCA assured us, in their blue stickered meats.

It wasn’t until I watched Earthlings last year that it was so effectively drummed into me that I was practising specieism. I loved my cats and my two chickens (but not all the other chickens I ate) and I wouldn’t eat that cow but I might eat that pig. Since watching Land of Hope and Glory last night, I kept myself in a joyful little bubble of thinking that UK slaughter houses were different. They are not. They beat piglets that aren’t thriving against the walls until they die, it’s the most cost effective way of culling. This isn’t hearsay. It’s filmed. Farmers are shown kicking the shit out of ‘free range’ pigs and torturing them for fun and a new born calf is kicked repeatedly whilst being called a ‘little fucking cunt’ and a pregnant cow kicked whilst lying down as she is ‘fucking useless’. These farms are in Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Kent.. up North, down South, along to the East and not forgetting the West of the country. These are the free-range, organic farms as well as the intensive ‘shit’ ones.

This makes my heart bleed, the tears that fell as I watched this, were angry tears. Tears that, we as humans, are plundering this earth,  in a bid to push ourselves higher and higher up the ladder of our preconceived ideas of grandeur.

I am not jumping aboard a vegan wagon in a bid to be fashionable. Just the same as I am not moderating my alcohol intake to prove a point to anyone else. This is my journey and there is an inherent need to calm my disquieted mind and soul. You see the frantic me is the scared me. If I want to see good in human beings then surely I need to see good in myself first? In order for me to make changes about mine and my family’s lifestyle, I need to have a clear head. So not drinking and practising mindfulness faciliates this. Without the ups and downs of hangovers, anxiety and depression, I can start making decisions and actually sticking to them. We don’t need to eat meat. We don’t need to contribute to the torture that animals are subjected to daily. We don’t need to drink milk, it’s not for humans, it’s for calves. Yes I will miss cheese. God I will miss cheese but I will get over it and if somehow I can also bring up children that might follow this train of thought in the future, then maybe we can contribute to lower levels of carbon emissions and less flooding and just maybe, we won’t be using as much water because the food we eat doesn’t need as much as the ‘free-range’, grass pastured cow, pig or sheep.

The Peaceful Chloë is actually starting to emerge and I want my children to feel this peace. They, too, love animals. They, too, want to live in a world that feels safe. We can’t control what everyone else does but we can control what we do. The EO watched some of the films, the youngest two didn’t. However, they  solemnly agreed as I announced that I wouldn’t be bringing anymore animals products into the house.

The Frantic Chloë is calming and the kids can sense it.. Fuck it Chloë is slowly being pushed to the side and, just maybe, some will start to call me Sanctimonious Chloë 😉 .. meh… whatevs… I am sure in time they’ll get used to my levitating ways ;-)…

 

Hah! In your face Year 1!

Today I submitted my last essay of my first year in nursing. This makes for a happy Chloe. A relieved Chloe. A ‘Hah in your FACE‘ Chloe. I finally feel that I can sit back and relax for a few weeks before we go straight back in full throttle to, apparently, the worst year during the degree. What is great about writing this blog is that one can experience amnesia about the academic hypothesising that one must partake in whilst examining psychosocial aspects of nursingOh to write a Mills and Boon… the fancy pants of that! All flowery and such like. Anyway, luckily I have had a Bramble to keep me company.. She is such a darling.

 

Still, before I can really chill, I still have just under a month of placement to go with a good 2 weeks of not having a fucking clue about where I am going to stick the kids because it will be the school holidays.

I must admit I feel a little bit over this whole fucking ‘being an adult’ shite. In the mornings as I am feeling practically homicidal because Mr P has to be woken up the same amount of times as our stroppy teenager, I battle with the demons… I could, I think, just walk out… (just keep walking.. just keep walking.. (think Dora)). As the Middle One, systematically runs through all of the shitty irritating things he can do his siblings and the Little One decides he is going to emulate his brother and also be a prat.. as I realise that the kitten shit in the litter tray is only ever going to be emptied by me and that despite it already getting on the late side of ok, I will still find time to put on another wash, hang the wet one out, tidy the sofa, draw the curtains, redo the sofa, make the bed, yell at a child, do the sofa again and finally load the dishwasher.

Amazing what you can do when you put your moany mind to it, isn’t it?

On to other news, after being ripped into by a good mate about me veganism failingism, she brought me around a potted rose. Very pretty and very sweet I thought. Well.. after Saturday evening drinks with a group of lovely girlfriends, I am now awaiting a delivery worth of a fecking truckload of potted plants.. the amount of laughter at my expense means I can probably now completely redesign my garden.. so watch this space. In the meantime, here is a picture of me chooks…

And here are some of the LOVELY dishes I have made and eaten and (listen up plant buyers) enjoyed… Roasted tomato soup… Mmmmm and falafel, spinach and mushroom wrap…

 

Now, where shall I put all these new plants????

A plant based foray

Today is my first day of going vegan. I’ll be aiming to cut out all refined sugar, yeast and the one I’m probably least happy about… booze. All for 26 days. This is because I have just planned a last minute birthday shindig on 22nd July and will be going yurting in Cornwall in August where I am hoping to don a bikini (if the weather manages to allow it) and don’t really fancy looking or feeling like this anymore.

As you can see I have an incredibly bloated abdomen which is accompanied by lots of lovely sounds and smells. Nice. I am not sticking it out, honestly.

I have a couple of fungal infections caused by too much candida that seems to having a right good ol’ time raging inside and outside my body. My hair is getting thinner, PMT worse and I am smellier than I used to be. Delightful eh?

I have battled with my ethical demons for many years and with a couple of extra stone for the past 8. So going plant based seems like a good option. Unfortunately I like the taste of meat – not something I am particularly proud of but there you have it. I don’t anticipate this to be the easiest three and half weeks but I am hoping that by the end of it, the benefits outweigh the cravings and that’ll lead to a healthier life with a clearer conscious.  However, I am going to the South of France with two uni friends in August as well.. not sure how easily the cheese will get past me unswallowed (word?) and I already know that red wine will most definitely be drunk!