The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 49 – Susan Is Workin’ on Her Fitness!

rp49

The Ramblings Podcast is back and this time I have a new guest! Fitness and nutrition blogger and friend Susan Cabezas hops on the mic for the first time as we discuss healthy eating, working out, blogging, and vlogging. All topped off with a light sprinkling of rambling. Delicious. Check out Susan’s blog (http://www.workinonmyfitness.com) and her brand spanking new YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/susanjcabezas)!

Run time: 42:54

Download Here | iTunes | RSS Feed

Previously: Episode 48 – Life After Bacon

Antibiotics: They’re (not so) Magically Delicious!

antibiotics

The beautiful thing about life is how adaptable it is. Life seems to always find a way to exist in one form or another. When life already exists, it does its damndest to try and stay alive.

I admire you, life. You’re one tough S.O.B.

I was watching a documentary over the weekend called Resistance. It focused on the overuse of antibiotics in the US and, man oh man, am I glad I decided to go vegan.

I knew the US has a love affair with antibiotics, but the degree to which we use them is insane, especially in farms. I mean, sure, we’re over-prescribed them also, but 80% of antibiotics sold in the US are used for the farm industry.

Eighty. Percent.

Good Jeebus, that’s pretty freaking high, though it’s not completely surprising given the fact that many animals in farms live in close quarters surrounded by their own feces.

Yum.

I know the answer! Give them antibiotics! That way is surely better than not having disgusting living conditions for eventual food. Yup, that’s the ticket. The only problem is bacteria will develop resistance to antibiotics over time. That’s a fact. Scientists have even found ground turkey that has a strain of salmonella that’s resistant to all antibiotics. All of them.

Yum.

So by pumping antibiotics into everything, we kill off most bacteria and leave behind the resistant ones. Life, once again, found a way to survive. I’m sure we’ll find a way to survive too, but we need to correct this bad behavior. In order to accomplish this, we need to put pressure on the farm industry. They’re providing food you put in your and your family’s bodies. That’s a big deal, right?

As for me, I’m going to be even more vigilant about the food products I buy (it’s easier now that I’m going vegan). I know not everyone has the means to do so, but those of us that do may want to bypass convenience for a way that’s better for our future health. We all have to adapt sometime.

Experiment Complete: What I Learned from My Fast

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

I finished my fast, y’all! I’m not going to lie; it was tough, but rewarding. Want to know what I took out of the experience? No? Too bad because I’m going to let you know anyway.

  1. I feel lighter. Not in a weight type of way, though I suppose a fast will do that also. I mean I feel spiritually lighter. “Spiritual” is a word that can come with some baggage, but the way that I’m using it refers to my sense of being. I feel less stressed (not that I had much) and I have a ton of energy.
  2. I have renewed clarity. I now have a much better sense of what I want to do with my life going forward. Not specifics, mind you, but a general direction. I’ll definitely be writing about this more, but my focus is to make a positive impact on this world as much as possible.
  3. Food tastes MF’ing awesome. Do you know what I first ate after fasting? Grapes. And I kid you not when I say those were the most delicious grapes I’ve ever had. There’s something about deprivation that makes you appreciate the most common things like, I don’t know, the flavor of good, natural food.
  4. I’m officially out of my creative rut. The inspiration is back, baby! I’ve been writing like a madman and I can’t wait until this book is done.
  5. My eating and sleeping patterns have been reset. I’m actually getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night and I’m now eating smaller, but more frequent meals. I think the former was brought about by the meditation as well, but I can’t say for sure.

All in all it was an awesome experience and I’m grateful for the lessons I learned. Fasting isn’t for everyone, but it definitely did a world of good for me. As an aside, I just read this awesome article on IFL Science that talks about the benefits of intermittent fasting (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/how-fasting-might-make-our-cells-more-resilient-stress).

Kind of convenient timing, no?

Anyway, I may do this from time to time just to have a reset every now and then. Meditation, veganism, and now fasting? I’m transforming into quite the hippie, aren’t I?

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Taking a Sabbatical with a Fast

Mistaking Climate Change for a Fairy Tale… Sigh

Photo Credit: Christopher Michel

Photo Credit: Christopher Michel

Over the weekend, I helped a friend of a friend for a freelance project. For all intents and purposes, he was a really nice guy albeit a bit overly chatty.

As he yapped my ear off, our conversation veered into a really interesting direction.

Client: So where are you from?

Andre: New Jersey.

Client: Oh man, I feel sorry for you guys. How you holding up with the snow there?

Andre: It’s actually not so bad right n-

Client: You see, this is what I don’t understand. I hear all this talk about global warming, but I think it’s nonsense. How could we get so much snow if global warming is real? Those guys are bulls**t.

Andre:

I wasn’t about to get into this topic because I would school this guy. However, he’s not alone in his thinking. For some reason, there are a number of Americans that debate this as well.

I’m living in Crazy Town.

I can’t blame them though – not totally anyway – because some of our own leaders deny climate change like a bastard child.

No offense to all the bastard children out there.

I LITERALLY heard a politician once say, “I disagree with scientists.” Think about that for a second; the guy who sits in an office all day discussing man-made politics disagrees with people who research things like climate change for a living.

LOL.

That’s no different than Bible thumpers who still think evolution is some theory bred from the bowels of Satan himself. But instead of god being the motivating factor, money is running the show here. Oil companies lobby to keep this machine moving and their friends in high places shovel BS down the public’s throat as a result.

Symbiosis FTW, amirite?

Later that night, I watched an episode of Vice (if you aren’t watching, you totally should) that focused on rising ocean waters and, good Jeebus, is this more of a dire situation than I first thought. Call it willful ignorance on my part, but I had no clue Antarctica was melting at such a rapid rate. I had no clue very flat countries like Bangladesh are already feeling the effects with receding coasts. I had no clue we are facing an inevitable crisis.

Inevitable.

I know, I’m quite the little ray of sunshine today, right?

It seems humanity is in quite the pickle, one that we’re not prepared to eat. But maybe this is something on which we should focus because our future generations will have to carry this weight. I mean, at least I don’t have kids nor do I plan on having them.

But what about all the parents out there? Are they actually cool with this? I really, really hope not because this is the future we’re facing. One day we’ll be gone and someone else will have to bear the weight. If we’re on a runaway train, let’s at least plan on how to brace for its eventual crash.

Or, you know, we can just keep pretending this isn’t a thing.

Sigh… Gossip Is Annoying

I’ll make this post short and sweet. Apparently someone has taken it upon themselves to report to my family about my blog as if I’m anything important to speak about. Thank you if this is that interesting to you, but why do you care so much? In my personal life I really don’t involve myself in the lives of others much so it always confuses me when others do so, especially when they don’t know me.

Either way, I guess, right?

Anyway, to the person I don’t know, I will still say peace and love to you and yours. But maybe you can find something better to discuss than me. I’m not that interesting.

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 48 – Life After Bacon

rp48

It’s been a while, party people! My fiance and I get right to it rambling about veganism, my fiance’s dislike for the word veganism, fasting, grilled cheese sandwiches, stress eating, and life after bacon. Enjoy!

Run time: 1:01:00

Download Here | iTunes | RSS Feed

Previously: Episode 47 – It’s Only Stalking if It Doesn’t Work

The Gibbler Podcast: Episode 8 – Chappie, The Walking Dead, and the Fate of the Next Alien Movie

chappie

This episode was supposed to come out last Friday, but I’m an admitted slacker. We discuss Chappie, Apple’s streaming service, the upcoming Alien move, and, of course, The Walking Dead. I also try to stump Chakktor with a game called… uh… “Stump Chakktor!” Trademarked. Enjoy!

Run Time: 1:29:57

Download Here

Previously: Episode 7 – HBO Now, Carol’s Cookies, and the Dickishness of Chevy Chase

Experiment: Taking a Sabbatical with a Fast

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

I’m going to try something new this week: I’m going on a fast.

So before the cavalcade of questions regarding my health and sanity come my way, you should know something about me: I’m at a crossroads. An important one at that. At least for me it is. I’m stuck between either working to pursue my dream as a writer or go back to the corporate world to something less fulfilling.

O woe is me. I should be so lucky to have suck minuscule problems.

Yeah, I am lucky. I don’t know if I could ever forget that. Still, this is a decision I have to make nonetheless. The only thing preventing me from moving in a direction either way is fear. If I work a corporate gig, I fear I won’t be happy. If I continue chasing this dream I fear I may not be able to actually become a success because the playing field is so crowded.

So I’ve been at a stalemate. Creatively, I’ve been in a rut and I’m fully aware I’m just going through the motions. Therefore, I’m going to do what I always do in these situations: I’m going to meditate a bunch. Not contemplative meditation; I’m not going to focus on anything. Additionally, I’m going to fast.

But you already knew that.

So what’s the fast have to do with anything. Well, that fear, as minor as it is, is nothing more than an attachment. A fast for me will be a period of ridding myself of attachments. The only television I’ll be watching is the stuff I need for The Gibbler Podcast. No alcohol. No food. Any time not spent working or with my fiance will be dedicated to reading, writing, opportunity hunting, or meditation. All I need is five days.

I’m a big believer in not hunting for answers to questions. I used to hunt, but over the years I’ve found the right answers come to me as long as I’m open to them. This “cleanse,” if you will, is to help me do just that.

I’ve juiced – not the steroid type – before long meditation sessions before and I always felt the difference. A five day fast shouldn’t be too bad as long as I still get water and take a multivitamin. I’ll let you know how this one goes! Hopefully I don’t get the urge to cheat, heh.

Dre (Slowly) Becomes a Vegan: Almond Milk FTW?

almond-milk-fridge

Oh snap, Dre’s becoming a vegan, y’all!

Yes, it’s true. I didn’t think I’d officially make the jump, but now that I actually have a reason to do it, I’m just to bite the bullet. The thing is there’s no way I’m quitting animal products cold turkey. Meat was easy, but a brother still loves his bougie cheese. So I’m going to wean myself off with a makeshift detox plan.

So I plan on slowly introducing veganism into my life by removing something from my diet every few weeks so I don’t miss everything at once. Otherwise, I’m going to slip faster than something that slips a lot. Here’s the order of things I’m cutting out:

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Butter
  4. Honey
  5. Cheese =(

Yeah, I don’t really eat honey much, but I’m just trying to delay giving up cheese as long as possible.

I already gave up milk. Right now I’m using almond milk, which is decent enough, but that creaminess isn’t there. I can get used to that though. Still, I’m going to try other options. Soy milk is an obvious option, but I had a REALLY bad allergic reaction when I tried it years ago. I’m going to try an organic brand and hope my live to see the next day. My fiancé also tried oat milk, but she wasn’t too enthused about it. I may try it anyway to see if my palette says different.

For now, I’m rocking with Silk almond milk. If anyone else has suggestions for milk replacements, feel free to let me know! Once I’m comfortable with the transition I’ll move on to eggs, which, admittedly, will be just as easy to give up as honey. I prefer butter over things like vegan margarine, but like I said, cheese will be the toughest.

I mean… pizza, right?

And don’t give me that vegan cheese, nonsense. I already wrote about that one. Unless there’s an actual delicious option. Then I’m all in. In the meantime I’ll do my research and enjoy this grilled cheese sammich while I still can.

Peace out, party people.