The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 50 – The Full Blown ADD Episode

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Fifty episodes in the bag! I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with the podcast thing and I plan to keep it going. My fiance and I celebrate this episode by embracing our ADD and talking about Mexican cartels, grilled cheese sandwiches, growing up thinking the brontosaurus is real, the sexiness of various Saved By the Bell cast members, the meaning of the word bougie, and more! Enjoy!

Run time: 1:11:53

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Previously: Episode 49 – Susan Is Workin’ on Her Fitness!

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

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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.

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 48 – Life After Bacon

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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

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

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.

Daily Opinion: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Vegan Cheese

daiya cheese

I may have to become a vegan. I don’t want to be vegan. I went vegan maybe four or five years ago and I only lasted maybe seven months. Do you know why I stopped?

Cheese is effing delicious.

I went vegetarian sometime last year and I haven’t missed meat at all. Truthfully, when I went vegan back in the day, it was simply for health reasons, but my recent vegetarianism was sparked by something else.

You may not agree with me, but I have a theory about living things. Basically, evolution shows that creatures that develop attributes that are beneficial to survival are the ones that survive. Essentially, life does what it can to keep living. But sometimes I wonder how much resistance comes into play. Is there a scale to how much life “wants” to live? I know that sounds dumb, but why is the level of resistance for a cow so much more than, say, a head of cabbage? If I were to start chopping up either of them, one would scream and struggle while the other would be seemingly indifferent.

So I stopped eating meat. That combined with just how horrible the food industry can be to animals, particularly in the US. I have no problem with anyone else making the decision to eat meat; I just personally don’t want to play a part in all that. I want to leave as positive of an impact on the world as possible.

But then my fiancé had to go mess all that up for me. We were speaking on Skype last night and she says, “I may have to become vegan.” After laughing my ass off at the very notion of vegan cheese (ugh), I realized she was serious. She asked me one simple question: How many years are cows pumped for milk? See, in the pre-internet days, I would have thought it was the majority of their lives.

Nope.

We milk those suckers for about four years and we throw them into the beef market.

Goddamn it…

Well this messed up the game for me. I don’t want to give up dairy products, but knowing this makes me want to become vegan. But I don’t actually want to be vegan. Catching a theme here?

So can I have my cheese and eat it too? Maybe. I’m going to damn well try anyway. So here it goes: my fiancé and I have been back and forth on whether or not we’re going to travel for a while or find somewhere to settle down. I personally feel like we may end up settling down. If we do, I want to be as self-sufficient as possible. I’d want a garden/greenhouse, solar paneling or some form of green energy, and a 3D printer. Can a brother own a cow in order to avoid becoming vegan?

This is how much I don’t want to be vegan… I’m thinking about owning a cow. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d ever write that. But is it so crazy? Those suckers produce 2-3 gallons per day. Maybe I could share a cow with other people who really don’t want to become vegans for the same reasons as me. Anyone want to share a cow for milking purposes? Hit me up.

Argh… this is ridiculous. I mean, I know I don’t have to become vegan, but my logical side is conflicted with my desire for delicious food. How can I get past this? My fiancé is already thinking about this too. If she becomes vegan then it’s likely I’d end up following suit. We can’t let that happen, people!  Andre can’t survive on vegan cheese!

Okay, take a breath. Being vegan isn’t the worst thing in the world, right? Life could always be worse. Still, I’m reaching out to all of you to help me figure this out. Is there anywhere in this world that doesn’t send cows to slaughter after milking them dry? Are there any companies from which I can buy dairy products while guaranteeing the cows won’t become burgers in a few years? If I can only get milk, how the hell do I make cheese?

#priorities

If I can’t figure these questions out, I’ll be forced to become vegan. Well, not “forced,” but you know what I mean. I’m going to definitely cut back on the amount of dairy I consume, but in the meantime, you better bet your ass I’ll be searching for a solution to this dilemma. Because, you know, CHEESE IS EFFING DELICIOUS.

Previously: Why So Serious?

5 Ways I Maintain Balance in a World Determined to Throw Me off It

balance

If you read my blog, you know that I am a big proponent of the concept of achieving balance and peace in one’s self. The path I took to get there was… unconventional. At least for your average person.

But how I got there is of little consequence. The fact is, I got there.

Yay, me!

But maintaining this isn’t always easy given the life I currently have. It’s tough for many of us.  I’m working toward a life that is much more conducive to my daily balance, but I’m sure as hell not there yet. So here are a few ways I maintain my sense of inner peace in a chaotic world.

  1. Mini Meditation Sessions – I’m not one of those guys who thinks people need to meditate a certain amount of time every day. Why? I think it depends more on the individual and their daily circumstances. Personally, I just need 5-15 minutes every few days of focused meditation. I generally sit or lay while letting my mind run free. I just don’t acknowledge any thoughts. Like a kid throwing a temper tantrum, it relaxes and I feel that sense of connection.
  2. A Greener Diet – In my 33 years on this planet, I’ve realized old adages stick around for a reason.

    Like ‘Stupid is as stupid does.’

    Or ‘Cowabunga.’

    Really, the saying I have in mind is ‘You are what you eat.’ I kid you not, I’ve noticed a difference in my sense of balance when I eat meat and crap carbs than when I eat more plant-based, natural foods. I’m not saying I’ll never eat that stuff. Bacon is effing delicious, after all. But when there’s too much of that, I feel… off. Thankfully my girl is moving in so I’ll have her to help keep me honest. Because seriously, bacon is effing delicious.

    So are Combos.

  3. Meditative Walks – I love walks. I actually don’t think much during them, but I often find I come back with something insightful. I make a walk meditative by feeling each step as my foot strikes the ground.

    Also, as insane as this sounds, I use my glasses as a way of imagining I’m viewing the world through a screen. This is something I took away from my meditative experiences and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to explain it properly. But I will say this, it helps me separate from myself. I don’t think of myself as an individual; instead I just include myself and everything around me as a singular experience.

  4. Workout – If you’ve stuck with me thus far, you’re a brave one. Reward yourself with a workout. Nah, not like a round at the gym or anything. I just do things throughout the day. My shoulder sucks right now so I’ll do light sprints, jumping jacks, situps, curls, etc. I’m by no means an Adonis, but if I ALWAYS embrace sloth, my balance is thrown off.
  5. Verbalizing Thoughts – I talk to myself.

    A lot.

    I don’t even do it consciously. I do, however, notice that this keeps my mental chatter to a minimum. Before I found balance, my inner monologue didn’t know when to shut up. It was so bad I had to go to sleep with the television on EVERY NIGHT. Seriously. So I talk in the moment instead. Give it a shot sometimes. It’ll only feel silly if you pay attention to yourself. Half the time I’m not aware I’m doing it.

These things sound so simple, but you’d be surprised how effective they are if they become a part of who you are. Sure, there’s different strokes for different folks, but give it a shot. You never know how much of a difference it’ll make unless you try.

Peace out, party people.