Lifestyles of the Vegan and Karaoke-Famous

A look into the life of a 25 year old mother, wife, sister, friend, vegan and karaoke lover. Fair warning... what you are about to read a) is personal and you might feel uncomfortable at times, b) is very funny and should not be read if you are trying to spy on me without getting caught, c) is so enthralling that you might become obsessed with my life and my karaoke news flashes, and d) contains lots of 3-period endings to sentences... Don't say I didn't warn you...

The Song List...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I am a tweeter now. It has given me such a powerful and happy outlet to find a vegan community who shares the same goals, passion and happiness I do in my vegan lifestyle. I am also almost finished reading Vegan, The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to live consciously and compassionately.

This is the month for me that I always feel a little sad. I believe in the human spirit and that it can endure death. The spirit I speak of is that of my father in law. He was the most eccentric person I have ever met... the most unique person I will probably ever have the privilege of having a relationship with. He was so full of energy and life and never had regrets. Of course he was not perfect, no one is. However, I miss our chats over red wine and his unannounced visits to our house where he made himself perfectly at home. He was so damn weird and funny and annoying. And I sure loved that guy. We miss him tremendously in our home. He left us on April 23, 2005. I was barely pregnant with our son at the time and my heart breaks knowing that my little lovebug will never meet Steve face to face. However, his spirit and memory will live on within us. His death prompted my passion to live consciously and in every moment. I cannot let a single breath pass me by without the knowledge that I make a choice for every single minute I am here. How will I live my life? Who can I inspire today? How can I do better, be better. Veganism is a natural extension of this passion. Parenting, loving, my friendships, my boundaries, are also a part of that. Sometimes I feel frustrated but, like I tweeted today, I will not be defeated. My life is my own. And I choose how I live in this moment.

Cheers to my father in law and the loves of my life... my family and friends. Without all of you, I could not be my true self. And for that I am truly grateful.

PS - if you want to follow me on twitter I am at

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

College Dropout?

Today is my first official day of class for Spring '09 quarter. Where do we sit one year later? This time last year I was so excited to start my new venture of pursuing my degree. Now, a year and a full time job later... I am frankly so tired of it I could puke. Literally puke on your shoe if you were standing next to me. It's the truth. I am, once again, at a cross-roads. I miss my son, my happy life. Each break between quarters is just enough to give me motivation to push through another 11 weeks of hectic school, work and mommy-life. I don't know what to do. This quarter I am doing my internship, so that is realistic. These night classes are killing me though. I want to have time in my life to have a glass of wine with my husband, race cars and play tag for hours with my son, to see friends... to make it to Yoga a few times a week. With one more thing added to my plate, its that much less possible. So I will probably drop my night class and work one class at a time until I graduate. And its only a two year degree! How do people do it... get their masters while working full time and supporting a family life? I have no clue.

So what else is going on with me? Hmm... I have been scouring the internet and cookbooks for a good gluten-free, vegan bread recipe without luck. I also have found out that I am sensitive to yeast which means it must also be a yeast-free bread recipe. Good luck with that one Abigail. I saw Tom Malterre, a Nutritionist. He is awesome and inspiring and has a lot of the same food sensitivities that I have. So I feel like I can make it work. Its better for me to feel better and maybe feel a little deprived once in a while rather than being bloated, fat and miserable. I also have realized that in my quest to prove everyone wrong, I have been getting WAY too much protein for my petite frame. So I am backing off the protein wagon once again and feeding myself whole foods - loads of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains... and not worrying about the issues that everyone seems to think will happen to me due to my veganism. In reality, most Americans get WAY too much protein. The average daily recommended amounts are equivalent to 2 or 3 times more protein than the average "healthy" American needs. One last little snippet of information - did you know that statistically speaking, one in every two Americans will die of heart disease? This is just considered the norm... people actually expect to die of heart disease. This when a Vegan diet is scientifically proven to REVERSE heart disease. That's right - REVERSE it! Ahh... I will get off my info-craze now so you might consider continuing to read this.

I am reading a new book that is also very inspiring... and loaded full of great information - Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating. Its books like these that remind me just why I am vegan... that re-inspire me. I am vegan out of a decision to live each moment consciously. There is not a single animal that must die for my well-being. And I also am scientifically proven to be less susceptible to diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hyper-tension, gout, obesity, auto-immune diseases and more. With so much information (see, there it is again - I guess I am not off my info-craze) available it still amazes me that so many people think I will end up with rickets or malnourished from a choice to not eat animal products.

And here is one more random question... why are people so unwilling to work on their relationships anymore? I see marriages, friendships failing all around me. Is it that I am getting to that age where this stuff starts to happen to me and my friends or is THIS becoming an epidemic as well? I have grown very wary of watching people give up just because it will take too much work... they just stop trying. Any relationship takes work - whether its with a spouse, it might be having a loving relationship with a child, a friend... or having a working relationship with a co-worker. I am just so tired of all the drama... I can hear my karaoke self singing it now "No more drama... no, no more drama!" (shaking my "no more drama" finger at the crowd) . Ick. Seriously... no more drama! Please! Let's all sit in a circle, hold hands and sing some sappy hippie song about love and peace...

Anyway, I am feeling renewed and confused, all at once. At least I know that I can continue to live each moment of each day and do what I can do to be happy and healthy. If I can be in the moment for the majority of my life, what more can I ask for? So many people allow life to pass them by... just "wasting time" on meaningless junk. I am so happy to be fully living, aware of what's going on inside of me and around me. I could go on and on but, for now, I will stop.

Love and Green Smoothie Cheers,

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I am going through a stage of personal growth and learning. It has been a very interesting battle within myself for the past few months. Most days I don't know if I should cry or shout for joy. God is good and His blessings are new everyday. I know this to be true. However, in that truth is the fact that I must be discerning in my own life. I have to only allow those into my life who respect me and themselves. I literally do not have the space inside to allow people to rob me of anything... my time, my happiness, my strength. I have compassion and can easily fall into the trap of wanting to rescue others. To learn how to set and keep those boundaries has been quite the task for me. I have a very broken relationship in my life right now and I wonder if it will ever come back. I know and have learned that with healthy and loving boundaries, and within a healthy and loving relationship... my "no" should help the love and mutual respect to grow. But that has not been the case in one relationship in my life. I am broken-hearted and sad. Another thing I have learned, though, is I am allowed to be sad. However, to get mad at someone who is not healthy is not healthy for me. So I have to keep moving and keep working on being my best self (at the risk of sounding like Dr Phil...). So on this day, I will keep moving and decide that I won't let this tear me apart in this moment.

As of yesterday my dear Grandfather has been gone for 3 years. I am currently walking into a season of sorrow. I don't let the past hold a grip on my life but every March-April is difficult for me. One year maybe it won't be but as of today, the heartache of my current situation as well as the overwhelming fact that it has been almost 4 years since I last hugged my father-in-law, 3 years since I last kissed my Grandpa on the forehead... its a difficult reality. So with that, I will leave on one final thought... I am my own responsibility. And for today I choose happiness, joy and an outlook of discerning love.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

high fructose corn syrup is from hell

High Fructose Corn Syrup. Are you KIDDING ME!?

Are you effing kidding me?!?!?! I just about fell off my bed last night when I heard this crazy flipping commercial that was attempting to dispel the fact that high fructose corn syrup is bad for you... using terms such as "in moderation" "no artificial ingredients" and "made from corn" to try to plead its case. Folks... take a close look at who is funding these insane $30 million + ad campaign and you will realize it is the corn refiners association. Well duh. What do you think pads their bank accounts and makes the rich richer? HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.

What gets me is that the idiots portrayed in the commercial have nothing to say in their rebuttal to why HFCS is bad... only a blank look on their face. They make the people against HFCS out to look like total assholes who are uninformed. You can label me an asshole any day if it means that my son will never have another drop of that satan liquid in his life. I am sorry America. Can we really stand by and let the corn refiners association tell us that we are too dumbed down to even have a response for why HFCS is bad for us? Puuuuulease! Let's start off with the FACT that it is a genetically modified food. Unless corn is organic you can pretty much bet that it is genetically altered. You may say who cares but let me tell you that feeding myself or the people I love genetically altered food scares the crazy out of me. There are absolutely no long term studies showing the effects of genetically altered food.... therefore, we don't know if we will all be dropping like flies in 20 years from the over consumption of CHEAP, nasty genetically altered food. Second, not only is the corn that is grown for this hell food altered, the chemicals that are used in the process of converting the stale corn into HFCS are also genetically altered... thus allowing products containing HFCS to sit on the shelf for years on end and not go "bad" although they are considered bad in any way you can look at it anyhow. Third, look at what foods contain this junk... soda, candy, chips, sweets, sauces, overly-processed junk food. Is this crap you should be putting into your body anyway? No. Absolutely not! More importantly, should America be allowing our children to consume this shit in incredible amounts. HECK NO.

I always say that I will not judge you... but I take it back. I will not tell you what I think of how you are feeding yourself or your children. Not unless you ask, that is. But if you ask, be prepared for the answer. Please know that if you ever want an honest opinion that is backed up with lots of research and learning it the hard way evidence, I would be more than pleased to tell you what I think. In the mean time, I am ready for the haters to not read my blog unless they are going to come to it with an open mind. If you don't like what I have to say I have a solution for you... DO NOT COME TO MY PAGE AND READ WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. Brilliant, I know. (I know, I know. I have to do the shout out to the haters every 2 or 3 months. They just start to really get annoying.) Anyhow, I have posted these insulting commercials for your viewing pleasure as well as a 9 minute interview with a dietician who outlines how/why HFCS is bad for you. I will say I agree with the corn refiner's commercial on ONE single aspect and that would be that we really should know what we are putting into our bodies. However, we don't need to learn it from a biased website that is funded by multi-billionares (and their secret societies - that was for my regular readers right there) who are looking to protect their fortunes. Screw them.

Dietician Video about HFCS and its Effects



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One more thing.

I just recently discovered something amazing, right here in Whatcom County that has helped make my life easier. I would highly recommend it! Dandelion Organic Delivery Service. They deliver within Bellingham (I pick up my bin at the Easy Entree). You can choose to do weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, whatever. There are no contracts, just lots of yummy organic produce. I am set up to do bi-weekly and I chose the Harvest bin. This week's bin has tons of great stuff in it that will all get eaten. The great thing is picking up my bin saves me lots of time from having to run from store to store trying to find organic produce. They put it all together for me in one cute little bin to bring home. I absolutely love it! Check it out and if you decide to sign up, make sure to tell them I sent you! I will add their link to my favorite websites, too. Click here to go to their website.

Cheers. I am off to take a mid-term and go pick up my bin!

Monday, May 12, 2008


The nice thing about really knowing my body now is I can see patterns within myself and how my system reacts. Currently, my body is on its way to freak out mode. Why? Well, I haven't been being exactly nice to it lately. Long hours spent studying, attacks of the munchies being satisfied with brownies and chips, loss of sleep and not enough stretching... this has all led to a couple of problems in my behavioral cycles that are concerning to me. So instead of sulking and feeling sorry for myself, like I would have done a couple years ago, I am going to be pro-active. I cannot take away a whole lot of the stress in my life right now, so I just need to be better to myself in coping with it. I have a tendency to think I need to have a nice cocktail at the end of the week to reward myself. This habit is one that I had kicked for a good 9 months or so. But now the sun is trying to peek out again and I just get that urge to sit on a patio somewhere with a nice cold chocolate martini or vanilla lemon drop. Now, don't get me wrong, one cocktail is not going to be the end of me. However, when I have a cocktail, I tend to have other things along with it that don't work... like a lack of self control. So I am not ruling out cocktails all-in-all, I'm simply limiting myself. And no, mom, I have not become an alcoholic, I promise. I am too busy to be an alcoholic. Anyway, no more baking for me for the majority of the summer months. I will enjoy a couple cookies or a brownie once in a while but when I bake them, I feel compelled to eat them... all.... in one sitting. So let's not do that anymore either.

My cousin Jennifer asked me the other day how I do it all. I was flattered that she really thinks I have it all together. Ha! That is not the case, ladies and gentlemen, I assure you. Those who know me well and have stopped by my house mid-week within the last few months know that we have just enough clean clothes, towels, dishes and cups to get us by for the week. Where I used to sweep twice a day, now I am sweeping every other day (ick with wood floors, not recommended!). My dishes are always awaiting my attention. The area around Merritt's chair is always sticky (that's a given whether I clean or not, he is a two year old boy). I am so upset that I cannot clean as much as I used to that it has really been getting to me. I know I can do more and be more productive, I just have to plan out my days a little better and stop committing to so many things. So what is the plan, beyond all this blabbing? Well... let me tell you. I am going on an Abby DeTox Diet. It's not all about eating, it all about treating myself better and giving me and my body the attention it needs. So today is day one. I will explain the elements of this diet.

Abby's DeTox Diet Daily Requirements:
- Have a meal plan and stick to it including three healthy meals, 2-3 healthy snacks a day, lots of water and at least one of those Arbonne Figure 8 Citrus Fizz drinks a day.
- Follow weekly homework schedule to stay on top of it all and maybe even get ahead!
- Follow house cleaning schedule
- Check up on business and personal bills every Tuesday
- Get outside for at least 30 minutes a day with my adorable son
- Read with Merritt for at least 20 minutes a day
- Take some time each day to do nothing and feel ok about it
- Limited sugar intake, watch gluten intake, munch smartly and carefully and hide the vanilla vodka from myself
- Go to bed by 11pm every single night during the week

Some of these requirements might sound simple but I assure you this will be a challenge. I am putting myself on the DeTox diet for the next 30 days to see what it does for me. By then I will have finished up Spring Quarter and bikini season will be upon us. I will be updating my blog as often as possible as it's therapeutic for me and it helps to hold me accountable. So to start with the whole accountability thing, here is my meal plan for the week.

Breakfast - Strawberry Mocha Smoothie: (1 scoop Arbonne chocolate protein powder, 1/4 cup toddy coffee, 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup fortified chocolate rice milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 handfuls of ice) This is about 20 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and includes a lot of my daily vitamin and mineral needs. Very filling and yummy, too!

Lunch - Balsamic Garbanzo Salad: (1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, cucumber slices, 15 halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 green bell pepper chopped, handful of chopped onion, 10 sliced kalamata olives, 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts, dressing (1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, couple shakes of garlic powder, chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (from my herb garden!) and cilantro (b/c I have it on hand) shake together and marinate on salad for about an hour before eating). All of this goodness goes on top of a bed of fresh romaine lettuce.

Dinner - Chinese Veggie Soy Ginger Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Peanuts

Breakfast - Smoothie of some sort, probably chai with chocolate chai rice milk and coffee.

Lunch - Mexican Black Beans, Rice and Veggies (Bringing to school)

Dinner - Big Ben's Lentil Burgers (How it all Vegan, page 110) & Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Lemon Asparagus

Breakfast - Fabulous French Toast (How it all Vegan, page 47), pear slices, pure organic maple syrup

Lunch - Rice Pilaf with slivered almonds, veggies, ground flax seed, lemon garlic sauce. Apple.

Dinner - Artichoke Rotini Pasta (How it all Vegan, page 105). Romaine Salad with Veggies and that new Kalamata Olive Dressing we got at the Co-Op

Breakfast - Smoothie - probably raspberry mocha (Can you tell I love these?)

Lunch - Sandwich on whole wheat toast with Sunflower Seeds, Avocado, Tomato Slices, Onion, Green peppers, Cucumbers, Lettuce. Fruit. Leftover roasted potatoes.

Dinner - Quinoa, Hummus and Veggie Stuffed Whole Wheat Pitas. Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad (garbanzo beans, garlic, tomatoes, celery, lemon juice, fresh mint, fresh parsley, olive oil, kalamata olives, lettuce) I will post the exact recipe later.

Breakfast - Raspberry Cornmeal Muffins (How it all Vegan, page 131)

Lunch - Some sort of leftovers from the week

Dinner - Baked Beans (How it all Vegan, page 99) & Curried Potatoes (How it all Vegan, page 43), Grilled Veggies. Fresh fruit.

So that's it for now. I think you get the picture that I am actually planning things so I will stay on track. Beyond that, I will be doing homework according to a plan instead of whenever I can squeeze it in; thus alleviating a lot of the stress and frustration I have had lately. I will keep y'all updated on how things are going. Oh, and I will be having lots of snacks every day in addition to the meals listed... stuff like fresh fruit (probably apples with peanut butter), veggies, Lara Bars, Arbonne Weight Loss Chews, Arbonne Citrus Fizz drinks, etc.

So maybe you should try taking better care of yourself for the next month along with me and we will all be feeling better and ready to take on the Summer in full force. Here's to hoping!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Healing and Clarity

No Time to Say Goodbye. While I have not had much free time lately, I did manage to sneak in some extra reading the other day that has been really helpful, has given me some clarity. I was looking for a new vegan cookbook in Barnes & Noble when I stumbled upon this book. It is No Time to Say Goodbye, Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One. It was written by Carla Fine, whose husband suffered from depression and lost his battle after 21 years of marriage and so many hard times. Carla gives an unfiltered look into a grieving widow who doesn't know how to feel from one minute to the next. While reading this book I have realized a few things. Suicide is one of those subjects people don't want to talk about; they don't want to think about it. So when a person loses someone near to them to suicide, the survivor is often ostracized and not allowed to grieve in the standard fashion. Another thing that really spoke to me was the level of depression that the people suffered from prior to taking their own lives. Most of the stories included statements like "We knew he was depressed, we just never thought it would go this far." Confused mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, children, relatives... the list of stories within this book goes on and on. And throughout it all, the people all felt so alone after the death of their loved one... as if they couldn't talk about the person to others... that the person they lost is all of a sudden being judged for that one final act instead of their life as a whole. It made me so sad to read the stories... one story after another of heartache, sorrow and confusion. But it also brought me a lot of closure, which is what I was looking for in this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever lost a loved one to suicide. It is very healing, to know that your feelings are normal and justified. I have decided to stop being pissed off at that person we lost to suicide and just let him rest in peace. No one can stop this awful act and no one can ever fully understand it... so that's that.

Oh, and on another note, I think that the lack of respect flows over to people who are depressed and willing to do something about it. If someone knows they need it and seek medical help, they should be praised for taking initiative rather than judged for needing a little help. It drives me crazy to hear people sitting around judging others when they have never walked a mile in their shoes. Until you have hit rock bottom and made it from the hardest times in your life and over that hump, you can't begin to understand how hard a single day can be. When you wake up and wonder if you want to even get out of bed. Those feelings are real and they are heart-wrenching and cannot be ignored. So if someone you love is suffering from depression, lend a helping hand instead of a judgmental stare or a whisper to someone else behind their back. It's time we all hold each other up. One day you will need someone to reach out a hand when you don't know if you can climb up out of the miry pit on your own. Grace... we can all pass it on to one another.