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ZEELEMONS has moved!

Hi there!

ZEELEMONS has moved to www.zeelemons.com! Please remember to bookmark that new page because I will no longer be updating this blog.

Thanks for following along!

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twenty-eight!

Dear Self: You’ve accomplished so much this past year, I am proud. And happy. Don’t forget about your goals and dreams, they are there for a reason.  Dear New Year: This is going to be a year of change, I know this because the plans are almost ready to be set into motion. Many hours will be spent working and learning and I may stop and doubt my persistence, but I’ll remind myself that it’ll all be worth it in the end. A clean conscious and positive attitude out-weigh a salary every day. Dear Twenty-Eight: One year closer to being debt-free, welcome!

Yesterday was a simple day, filled with an overwhelming amount of thought and love. Thank you to every single one of you that took time out to message me; I’ve read every message and appreciate every one.

Cheers to a new year filled with much happiness, better health, great workouts and new inspiration.

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone who left a comment here or sent a private message to me over the weekend regarding kitty kitty cocoa puff. I really appreciate it and can’t believe the support I have, even if you’ve never met kitty or myself. We finally have an answer to the bizarre behavior we’ve been experiencing this past month: diabetes.

His symptoms: Kitty started drinking a lot of water, right around the time we got our Christmas tree. I didn’t think anything about it or the fact that he was urinating a ton, until the urine no longer smelled like ammonia. It was sweeter in smell, and mixed with the walnut litter I buy, it kind of smelled like spoiled cheese. Odd, I know. He was eating his food quickly and begging for food constantly, but I didn’t think anything of it because I was home for two weeks on holiday and didn’t know if my schedule changed his. And despite being so hungry, he lost weight. When I adopted him, he weighed 21 pounds. He’s now at 14 pounds. Much healthier weight but not by healthy means. He stopped playing around the apartment and stopped grooming himself over the last two weeks.

Diagnosis: It took a few minutes for the veterinarian to draw blood and test his blood glucose. Normal range for cats 75-120. Roscoe’s glucose levels after a 12 hour fast was 417. His poor pancreas!

Our treatment plan: I have done a lot of research about diabetes in cats over the last week/this past weekend and want to start off by saying that I am not a professional and don’t claim to be one. I’m using what I’ve found in research, paired with his veterinarian’s recommendations to treat kitty. We all do our very best to sustain life in those we love and this is my very best.

Kitty needs an insulin injection twice a day following his meals. This is very expensive and I am determined to find an alternative to the name brand that was prescribed on Saturday. His veterinarian and I have a follow-up on Monday and this is something that is going to be discussed. Like people, his glucose levels have to be checked frequently, especially in the beginning when we are trying to drop them to a normal range, so I may purchase my own tester so that I don’t have to travel once a week with kitty. This will be determined once I see how he’s responding to his change in diet.

The veterinarian also prescribed him a diet of Purina D/M canned food, of which I’ve refused for a number of reasons. First, do a little research on the Purina brand and where they get some of their meats and fillers. You’ll be disgusted to find out that they put euthanized pets in the mix. Yeah, I’m not kidding. Second of all, I’m not going to purchase food that can only be purchased from an animal hospital. If it’s “so good” for the health of an animal, it should be available to all. And it’s ridiculously priced. Lastly, per the veterinarian and the website he gave me as a highly reputable source (catinfo.org), this brand still has too high content of carbohydrates. Check out Purina’s website, it’s 18%. For a diabetic cat, there should be less than 10%; 7% ideally.

After a few hours of research and asking a close friend, we’ve chosen a brand that is found at your local Benson’s and is 95% animal protein. Don’t get me wrong, this canned food option is also more expensive than what we’ve been paying previously, but I am optimistic that it will contribute to a better health. Hopefully the all protein diet will drop his blood glucose levels to a normal range and we’ll be able to wean him off of the insulin in no time.

If you have or had a cat that was diabetic and have any tips for me, please, pass them along! This is all so new to me that I tried to make the best decision over such a short period of time to not only try and help him fast enough, but as efficiently as possible.

Oh, and kitty doesn’t mind the needles at all. He really hasn’t reacted and is in heaven that he has been eating like a king these past couple of meals. I don’t think he realizes it’s permanent.

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I’ve been a little MIA this week for a couple of reasons. First, we don’t have the Internet at the apartment anymore (for now). Story of our lives, right? This may be a dumb question, but who do you get your service through? The beau and I might bite the bullet and finally pay for it ourselves but we REFUSE to use Time Warner. Is there any one else out there that doesn’t require a land line? Secondly, I’ve had a different kind of writer’s block happening: I feel like I have so much to share/start but I miss sharing photographs. Poo. Positive to that plop: I’m finally working on changing this little space on the internet. New host. New address. New look. And possibly a new name. Can you handle it?!

To jam in as much information into one post, I’ll make short and sweet.

  1. I haven’t been sharing any running streak photographs on Instagram because, well, it’s been a boring week. I’ve ran every day on lunch, on the treadmill. 9.8 miles ran total with 9 more scheduled for this weekend. Slowest mile: 9:37. Fastest mile: 8:37. Can you handle THAT?! Now to learn to hold it for miles on end!
  2. I’ve officially found the best french fries in Troy, NY! They are found at Broadway Cafe (on Broadway); they are crispy, they are fresh and they are delicious! Can you tell I had them for lunch this afternoon?
  3. I got a sewing machine for Christmas! I’ve been wanting to learn for quite some time now and am excited to learn the basics. My plan is to have my own line of sewn items at the store (napkins, tea towels, pillows, etc). Tutorials may be on the horizon as I learn!
  4. Speaking of learning, I’m on the fourth level of French in Duolingo! And it’s the level I’ve been looking forward to: FOOD! There are seven lessons in this level and I’m on lesson two; I’m still having a little bit of trouble with the word: to eat. My Spanish background comes out a lot and confuses me, but I’ll get it. Practice practice practice! Oh, and I like the phrase “Merci, beaucoup!” It’s got the word beau in it. And egg (oeuf)… it sounds like woof! when pronounced.  Makes me giggle each morning in bed when I practice.
  5. Today I picked out my birthday dinner: tempeh meatball subs! I have no idea where that craving came from but I’m looking forward to a good homemade sauce and Italian salad. I suggested a shortcake for dessert but am not concerned because I could skip the sweets. Excited that my parents will be joining in on the big birthday celebration with the beau’s entire family.

Lastly, I’d like to mention Kitty kitty cocoa puff. He’s sick and we are heading to the vet. tomorrow morning for blood work. He’s lost a lot of weight over the last two weeks and hasn’t been himself. Please send him some positive vibes if you remember. And because I’m prepared for bills totaling over $500 this month, I will unfortunately not be running a race in January. No worries! I am definitely running the Polar Cap 4-Miler on February 1st. I plan on doubling up one month to make up for a missed race. Hope you all have a happy, healthy and warmer weekend! Give those you love an extra squeeze. But not too tightly.

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Well, the time I was dreading and avoiding has finally come. I’ve run out of free space on this blog.

You may have noticed this because some of my photographs have started to disappear.

I am now forced to buy storage and if I’m going to do that, I might as well find a host and dive into purchasing my domain. But the problem is: I don’t know if I want to keep this blog.

This is something that I have been discussing out loud for only a few days but has been in the back of my head for the past couple of weeks. I have become bored and to say it simply, unmotivated and uninspired to share my life. There are a few reasons as to why I think this has happened and I’m trying to figure out if changes (to this space) were to happen, if that spark will return.

It’s not about the number of viewers or the amount of likes. Nor is it about comments. I have always continued to write for myself with the knowledge that someone, somewhere could read it. My content has changed a lot over the past couple of years and I’d like to think that things (my writing and photography) have changed for the better. I just don’t want to write because I feel like I have to; I want to continue to write because I can’t wait to share (and document, really).

So, on top of having to work every single day this week, like to the maximum to prepare for black Friday, I have this looming over my head. I have to evaluate my next move and count pennies because like everything else in life, this isn’t free. As a heads-up, if I do post, it won’t be documented with photographs. The good news is I’ll still be posting on my Instagram feed until I figure this all out. And I say this only because as a reader of many blogs, the photographs pull me in. I’d miss them too if I were you.

But I should be posting sometime in the near future; Thursday is a huge day for me goal-wise.

Are any bloggers out there reading this? Ever have a “writer’s block” and not think you want to continue? Did you just jump right in and buy your domain from the beginning? So many questions in my head.

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pumpkin beer!

one: Sometimes when I’m bored at work or need a little pick-me-up after a rough phone call, I eat a spoonful of cookie butter. Or three spoonfuls. I can’t help it! I don’t know what it is about this crisp weather; I go months without touching that glass jar of deliciousness sugar and then bam! Gotta have it!

two: Lunch dates and pumpkin ales with dashes of cinnamon are also at the top of my favorites list this time of the year.

three: I’ve been listening to far too much Tom Hagerman on Spotify these days. It reminds me of this little tiny toy piano my sister had as a kid and also of being in Paris… some place I’ve actually never been but can only imagine; I would want his music playing in my head as I stroll the streets eating yummy (vegan) French food! We all have dreams, right? Its just music that makes me smile and not sit still.

four: I’ve caught the running bug. And am scouring the Internet for a race this autumn. Buuuuuuut it’s tricky with every weekend already booked up with hiking and traveling. An impromptu half marathon may or may not happen within the next thirty days. No more skipping my morning runs!

five: Despite all of the awesome shows on television these days (i.e. Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men), I’ve been loving re-runs of… Antiques Roadshow. I can’t be the only one out there that loves watching other people bring their treasures (and junk) in for appraisal.

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eleven

This is a plea to all my female readers out there: where can I find the most perfect pair of jeans?!

Seriously, the task of finding a pair of pants that properly fit shouldn’t be this difficult. I want a pair of jeans, preferably bootcut, that fit the following requirements:

  • Can be worn with flats! If I’m going to choose a pair of jeans for the day, I most likely don’t want to be in heels/wedges.
  • Aren’t faded on the thighs.
  • No low-rise; I don’t need muffin tops.
  • No granny pants; the belly button needs to breath.
  • The waist fits! No belt needed! See my issue is, my thighs and butt are much bigger than my waist. I always have to go up in a size to fit the bottom half but am forced to wear a belt, which isn’t my favorite accessory. Personally, I think some people should never wear belts. I am one of those people.

When I was ten pounds lighter, I paid a ton of money for a pair of jeans from Buckle. Yes, they fit me like a glove then but now, I look like a stuffed sausage. They also aren’t appropriate for casual Fridays and I have to wear heels. High heels. Now, I’m lost.

To give you all a head’s up, I’ve already tried on the following brands: American Eagle, The Gap, Banana Republic, Forever 21 (p.s… if you’re bigger than a size two, don’t ever shop for jeans at this location), Buckle, Express, NY&Co and yes, even Old Navy. I’d prefer not to spend more than $150 but in all honesty, if I find a pair that fits just right, I’d buy more than one at any cost.

Do you have a perfect pair of jeans? Where did you get them? Do you have some of the same fitting “issues” that I have? 

(The photograph above was of me in a cute pair of jeans from BR however a) I had to wear wedges and b) they no longer fit. Story of my life.)

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Jumpstart2013Logo2_650

Before another day passes us by this month, I’d like to share with all the ladies out there a series I’m participating in. It’s put on by Girlnetic Fitness and is basically a networking group, for women, who share the common interest in staying fit. The Jumpstart to Fitness series kicked off last month and unfortunately I couldn’t make it. However, during the entire month of April, there are fitness classes and groups meeting, giving us all the opportunity to try new activities at a very low cost ($5) or free! There’s crossfit, kickboxing, yoga, spinning and running to name a few, and I’ve already registered for four events. I’m really looking forward to meeting women runners that may be at my same fitness level and share the same goals.

Take a click over and check out the schedule; they have events all over the Capital District and hey, maybe you’ll see me there. Say hi and maybe we can catch up over a tasty vegan lunch!

A second event (or challenge really) that I’m still undecided to participate in is also being put on by this group. [p.s... Girlnetic is free to join] It’s hosted on the site, DietBet.com, and is basically a fitness bet for 28 days. You put in the challenge amount, $25, and at the end of 28 days, if you don’t lose the required amount for that specific challenge (4%), then your money gets distributed to the people who did lose enough, and essentially won. If you are considered one of the winners, you get to split the pot. As of right now, there are FOURTEEN players- meaning the pot is up to $350! I have until Saturday night to decide whether or not I’m going to make the financial commitment and as of this afternoon, I’m leaning yes. More information regarding the challenge and the rules & regulations, click here.

Don’t feel like joining that bet but would like the financial motivation with friends and coworkers? You can create your own bet and wager- I’ve suggested this in my office/department.

Stay healthy and active, my friends!

*This was a sponsored post in exchange for free admission to any/all workouts, however, all opinions are my own.*

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Garlic & Sapphires.

garlic and sapphires

I’ve been meaning to write about this book for a few months now; I read it back in December. I had purchased it (secondhand) for the beau and his advent calendar… but I got to it before he did. It was a great, fast read- it only took me one shift at the bar to start and finish it in full. And to be completely honest (and this sounds funny now coming from a vegan), but I loved the way Ruth described her food, even if it was meat, seafood or cheese. It was almost as if I was eating the meal with her.

Ruth Reichl was the food critic for both the LA and NY Times. As you read through her story and new job in NYC, you get excited for each “new person” she became to taste the food that the city has to offer. She knew that rich people got better service and better food, but she wanted to put it to the test. Reading the reviews online, some people thought that she sounded snobbish and condescending, I thought it was personable and actually caught myself giggling out loud at some of the situations she got herself in. As I dined in New York that holiday season, I glanced into specific restaurants and actually caught myself imagining having that job. It would be so delicious- but so against my current dietary restrictions. Maybe I’d just write reviews for real food… vegan that is.

I would recommend this book to everyone, especially if you do enjoy food (and cream and cheese and meat and seafood). She does add her personal recipes at the end of each chapter- all of which I’d have to modify, but I did appreciate that fun gesture. Once the beau finishes it, I’ll offer up our copy to anyone- reduce, reuse, recycle my friends.

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field goods.

photo

In this week’s bag:

  • microgreens medley 
  • portobello mushrooms
  • frozen broccoli
  • leeks
  • mixed potatoes
  • frozen blueberries

photo (1)

For dinner I sauteed up the leeks and portobello mushrooms in a little coconut oil and once they were good and brown, I added some spicy, local tomato sauce. While that was cooking down, I spiraled us each a zucchini; this time making bigger “noodles.” So stinkin’ good and so good for you!

sushi

Earlier in the day (and this morning) I used up some of the leftover veggies from last week’s delivery and made nori rolls! This time instead of rice, I used some homemade hummus (chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, smoked paprika). Spiraled carrots, pea greens, avocado slices and black sesame seeds to top it off. Roll, slice and enjoy! I personally ate them (yes, I had two) as burritos and may have dipped them lightly in hot sauce. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

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