Monday, January 9, 2012

Vegan potuluck, and how to get more sleep!

/hihi Can you believe that fresh strawberries are cheap in Florida right now?  Its the middle of winter and they in every health food store and supermarket. I made this delicious whole wheat strawberry waffle before hitting up the trails on the weekend (where I saw a BISON- not kidding- pics to come in my next post!!)

In my last post I laid out my resolutions for the year. There is something else I want to try out for a few weeks and see if it changes anything- more sleep. Or specifically:
 9 hours of sleep a night.

 Most work nights I only get 6-7 max and Im drinking waaaaay to much green tea and even the occasional soda (not good- not after last years battle to wean myself off the stuff!)

This website suggests 7.5 to 9 hours, and I think 9 is a safe number to shoot for so that I know I will at least get 8.5 hours by the time I actually fall asleep (it can take me a while sometimes)

This is going to mean timing my workouts earlier (I like to go at 7 or 8 p.m when the gym isnt crowded) Its going to be really weird going to bed at 9:30p.m. but I want to try it out, and see if I feel like a whole new person :D

The website says this about sleep deprivation (I will highlight in purple the ones I feel really apply to myself)

The effects of sleep deprivation and chronic lack of sleep

  • Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Reduced creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Weight gain
  • Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems
I bet I will feel more creative, optimistic and passionate about life rather than snarky and bored and clamoring for a nap if I have more sleep under my belt :)

How do you know if you are sleep deprived? Well, according to the website:

You may be sleep deprived if you...

  • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
  • Rely on the snooze button
  • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
  • Feel sluggish in the afternoon
  • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
  • Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving
  • Need to nap to get through the day
  • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
  • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
  • Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed

I got 9 hours a night over the weekend- easy right!!?

On Sunday night I was aiming for 9 but got 8 instead by the time I finally got to bed. I lost my wallet somewhere in the house and it took forever to find it and threw off my schedule (which again, is why 9 is a good number to shoot for cos at LEAST you get in 8 by the time you've dealt with all the random things you remember you need to do before bed!

The website suggests creating a ritual before bed. I've been having a cup of hot Sleepytime tea which has natural sleep herbs in it,

and a hot shower + making sure I dont use bright electronics right before bed + making my room dark to promote melatonin (sleep hormone), and so I easily fell asleep before 10:30 :) This morning I don't feel as tired as I usually would

In other news- I went to a Vegan Potluck this weekend! There is a local group that meets on the first Saturday of every month and everybody brings a vegan/vegetarian dish. It was great! Check out their website for recipes.

These are some pics from their site:

There were about 40 people, and tons of yummy food including desserts! The crowd was mainly older people but there were about 5 people in their 20s there too. It seemed like the elder people were quite excited to see us, I think they really want to pass on their wisdom to the new generation! I made vegan mac and cheese from (which garnered quite a few compliments!) Ty made a dip with corn chips and one of our very pregnant friends came along too (here due date is tomorrow!!), she loved the food as well.

There were lots of conversations about eco-friendly and sustainable ways of eating, as well as a speech from a vegan dietitian about how to eliminate gluten in your diet.

 I dont have any gluten issues, but it did make me think that it might be cool to eliminate various things from my diet for a week at a time and see how I feel. Who knows- maybe I'd feel great after a week without gluten or milk etc? I dont know what if mildly intolerant of certain things or not, without testing! I know a few people who feel congested if they have milk products or get headaches. I'm trying to be more aware of how what I eat affects my skin, hair, energy, mood etc.

With work and school keeping me so busy my community involvement has been kind of lacking, but this is the kind of group I can definitely support and be a part of in the new year!


  1. Which of the mac & cheese types did you make? I'm thinking about trying out her butternut squash mac & cheese recipe and was wondering what you thought of it!

  2. I made the pumpkin one because it is the quickest and I have cans of pumpkin on hand :)
    I've never actually made the butternut squash one, because whenever I have squash around I just want to bake it and eat it as it is! Let me know how it turns out if you make it!

  3. omg that waffle...and the potluck! I've been to many raw potlucks, but would LOVE to go to a cooked vegan one.

    I hear ya on the sleep...haha, I struggle with insomnia, and find it really hard to concentrate on things or find energy when I'm sleep-deprived. I've been pretty good lately, though! :)

  4. Will do! The pumpkin sounds good too :) and I agree, it was realllly hard to roast butternut squash yesterday knowing I wasn't going to eat it until this week :P