05 April 2012

Thankful Thursday: Waves

I haven't wanted to cook all week. The reasons are multitudinous, but for the most part, food simply has been an afterthought. It's quite the contrast to what usually occurs when I'm in the Bay Area (where I spent the seven days prior to my return to the Central Coast last night); I typically take advantage of the region's vegan-friendliness, turning my trips into a combination of visits to loved ones and edible adventures. It takes a certain amount of distraction to get me to not indulge my vegan food cravings, so one may (rightly) assume I've been hugely distracted by much more important things than being a glutton.

I recently mentioned signing up for April's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, which began on Monday (2 April). I regret to say that it hasn't exactly been going well. My interest in food suddenly reemerged enough to supplement some of my incessant worry, just prior to Kickstart. So let's just say I am a bit off-schedule, yet not completaesly giving up on the plan. My mind and body really do need a serious dose of healthy change.

Those are just superficial representations of a more complex undercurrent of negativity. Trust me, I'm working on turning it around. My first step is to keep my head above water; identifying the positive aspects of life at present, à la Thankful Thursday, seems like a good way to go about riding the wave, rather than drowning beneath it. Here are a few sources of brightness lately:

My Bay Area family. Always the gracious hostess and host, my sister (hey, lady!) and her boyfriend allowed me to once again share their Oakland home for the week. I can't even begin to express my appreciation for their generosity and overall awesomeness. I adore those two.

My Bay Area friends. Along with the aforementioned couple, my friends are some of my favorite people and equally awesome. And I love them to pieces. Seeing each of them reminds me just how much joy, laughter, perspective, hope, strength, and inspiration they bring to my life and how I want to do the same for theirs. Whether we're having serious, deep, meaningful discussions or just having a carefree, fun time, we always enjoy each other's company. I certainly treasure my friendships (a sentiment that has emerged with growing older and maturing, no doubt). It's such a treat to be near my friends, especially because visits occur only a few times each year. One trusted individual in particular--who has been the main listening ear to my current emotional distress--has managed to not only tolerate my ineloquent attempts at talking through the situation, but has also remained amazingly attentive and supportive. (Edit: Just so you know and to avoid potentially hurting someone's feelings--the last thing anyone needs right now--I do, in fact, love all of my family and friends. My Bay cohort have been most directly instrumental in keeping me afloat mentally.)

Time. Although having too much time is something of a curse, having enough of it to spend with the people I love, in a place that sometimes feels more like home than my permanent residence, and to personally evolve at my own pace is a precious privilege.

Simple joys. As I mentioned, food often has a way of demanding a noticeable amount of my attention and enthusiasm. The occasional indulgence keeps me relatively healthy overall, because I don't find myself craving and possibly overindulging in ridiculously unhealthy habits. I sometimes struggle with walking the fine line between mindfulness and near-obsession, so allowing myself to relax enough to actually enjoy food was something of a relief. This Mushroom Bibimbap (clearly marked as vegan on the menu = instant brownie points) from Be Bop* in Berkeley is not one of the most obvious examples of overindulgence--it was actually a not-too-unhealthy combination of brown rice, quinoa, and assorted sauteed mushrooms and veggies--but it was huge, hearty, and utterly delicious. It's the kind of thing I would normally had approached with very cautious nibbling, had I not decided to let myself live a little.
(previously posted on Instagram)
For the record, I did, at various points during my trip, enjoy goodies from Spices 3Saturn Cafe (vegan nacho fries, oh my), Cinnaholic, Pepples Organic Donuts, and Nabolom Bakery* (the double chocolate chip cookie is my uncontested favorite--something about the chocolate, I think). I follow a much more balanced diet during a typical week.

Who or what makes you happy?

*Full disclosure: I visited each of these businesses on my own accord, without paid incentive to praise them on my blog. The opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Sarah Farsh4/6/12, 8:23 AM

    Vegetable Bibimbap makes me very happy! 

  2. Oh, sorry you have been struggling so much lately.  It's hard to pull ourselves out of the blues when we are mired in them.  I'm glad you have friends and family to help.  And good food in "the city."  I'm from Sacramento, and that's what we call S.F.  Anyhow, not to sound cliche, but it's true for me...I don't know where I'd be today, or happy I'd be, if I didn't have the Lord in my life.  He is always constant, always loving, and that pulls me through my down times.   Good luck to you!

  3. Thanks so much for the kind comment. :)

    My friends and I also referred to SF as "the city" when we lived in Davis, and still do even when we're just over in the East Bay.


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