Beat the Meat: Let’s go Vegan

By Leigh

I’m your average American. I love MEAT; steaks, hot dogs, BACON. You name it, I want it. For the past weeks I’ve heard, through social media mainly, about the newest documentary on Netflix called “What the Health?”. Most of my friends would post messages about how this two hour film changed their lives; they could finally see the light! I’m quick to tell my plant loving friends “veggies aren’t my thing”, “healthy is plain”, or any countless number of ignorant remarks about why I don’t enjoy eating plant based products. Plus what makes this documentary so different from the others; using footage of the disgusting livestock conditions as a means of encouraging Americans into a healthier lifestyle. I’ve seen Supersize Me, Food Inc, etc and I still eat at fast food establishments with no regard as to where my food is coming from. As I sit at work, starving, because my McMuffin didn’t pack the nutritional punch like I wanted, I started thinking about “What the Health?”. So I found it on Netflix and immediately found myself absorbed.

 

Kip Andersen, narrator and director, started by telling his story. He explained, at the beginning of his researched he assumed that the illnesses that we suffer from (diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc) were purely a result of our genetic disposition. Unfortunately and fortunately, this is not true. Though a small percentage of us do contract illnesses from our genetic makeup, the main cause is diet. It was found that those that consume large amounts of animal product, including but not limited to meat and dairy, from all domesticated livestock such as cow, pig and chicken, have significantly higher chances of contracting these diseases.

 

WHAT?! How is this possible?! My entire life I’ve eaten cheese burgers, chicken wings, deli meat with no concern about the effects that it was having on my body. It took for me to step outside of self before I realized: I’m my own problem. I’m the reason why I can’t seem to get healthy and lose weight. I’ve been going about it the wrong way.

 

Starting today [July 15, 2017] I am going to experiment to see what will happen to my body over the next month by living a semi-vegan lifestyle. As a lover of cheese, processed cheese, that is going to be the hardest thing to give up, so I expect to have some problems with that. Substituting tofu for my beloved steak is going to be so so sad. Right now I sound like an addict and to a certain degree, I am addicted to the unhealthy lifestyle that I live. So with that being said, wish me luck as I detoxify myself over the next 30 days.

 

Have you seen the documentary? Did you love it? Thoughts? Please feel free to leave us a comment letting us know what you think.

Advertisements

Fictitious Nonfiction: A Tale of a Ghetto City Part II

By Leigh


Things were good. Too good. The calm before the storm. The weather started changed as September came to a close. Jaime made it a point to prove that he was in charge; went from dressing like a normal 23 Year old to Don Juan. His oversized white tee had outgrown him but the flamboyant satin ones that he bought at the swapmeet fit just right. The white linen pants that he wore had to be creased and cuffed; like Tupac, the goal was to always look like Tupac.

He needed to show people that he was a boss. My half brother, Robert, had a friend that knew someone who’s cousin could help them get pounds of their own. They started transporting from San Diego around Christmas. I’ll never forget the first time they came home after a hit.

“C! Ay, C!” Heavy knocks pounded my bedroom door so hard I could have sworn it was the police. Before I reached the knob, the door flung open. Two clumsy giants stumbled into the room with black duffle bags. They were too eager to tell me what was going on, before I knew it, my bed was covered in bricks of light green marijuana. And it was all theirs.

“Now who the boss?!” Jaime gloated as he tore open one of the firmly compressed packages and began rolling up.

“Shut up stupid.” Robert packed their investment back into the duffle bags.

Somehow, they were able to move 6lbs in about a month. Once they ran out, the plan  was to take the money and reinvest but unfortunately the partners didn’t have the same intentions. Robert wanted out. It wasn’t really his thing anyways. I feel somewhere deep down he made that first move just to help Jaime.

Now Jaime was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He didn’t have the money to get another 6lbs or anywhere near that amount. The little money that he had made was quickly splurged on girls and alcohol. He needed a plan, fast.

Six months passed in a blink of an eye. My brother moved out of the house with his baby mama to the East Side. We stopped seeing him as much but we knew he was alive. Jay took a small leap of absence but I kept things afloat while he was gone.

Jaime started buying from Jay once he was back on the scene. This was keeping his image afloat but it wasn’t a forever thing. His regulars started disappearing. The crips two blocks over were picking up the slack where Jay wasn’t.

Jaime befriended one of my childhood friends, Christian, but everyone called him Tiny. Tiny was a cool guy; about his family and money. He got caught up in the gang life when he was 10 years old. He’d done a few bids in juvie and 3 years in prison for robbery. His name did not reflect his reputation; Tiny was well connected.

I’m not sure how it happened because around this time I met the girlfriend from hell and had my own drama. From what I heard, Jaime was able to convince Tiny to hook him up with his connect in Sinaloa. Jaime played the roll perfectly. He gained the trust of some smaller guys in the Mexican mafia.

“So are you ready to get that?” Tiny asked Jaime.

He had arranged for Jaime to pick up 6lbs of the best weed that Mexico had to offer. The agreement was that Jaime would meet with their friends from Mexico, give them $5,000, flip the weed, pay the connect. Because of his connection with Tiny, Jaime was finally going to be the hood Tony Montana.

“Yeeep. I’m more than ready nigga. Look at this.” Jaime pulled a stack of hundreds out of his pocket in a rubber band. He smiled, stuffed the money back into his pocket and took the last swig of his beer. He needed liquid courage. He got into his car, giving Tiny one more reassuring look before taking off.

The pick up was between Hesperia and Las Vegas. Usually a busy road, the 15 highway was eerily empty due to massive amounts of construction, plus who is driving to Las Vegas at 4am on a Tuesday. Behind him red and blue light began flashing. As he slowed the car and began pulling over, a black dodge pick up truck pulled beside him.

“Sigue el desvío!”

Follow the detour the driver yelled as he pulled ahead of Jaime’s car. About three miles down the road was a broken down, hand made detour sign with a guy waving it like it was a ad for a nail salon. He followed with caution, the dirt road came to an end shortly. The driver of the truck that had flagged him down was standing behind his truck bed. He seemed much older and taller inside of the truck but in reality, he couldn’t have been more than 19 years old. Before Jaime could come to a full stop, the young man walked over to his car, yanking open the back door.

“Aqui?!”

Jaime couldn’t move fast enough for the anxious young man. Before he could open his trunk, two overstuffed black Jansport backpacks sat in his back seat.

“Donde está dinero, cabrón?!”

Jaime shoved the money into his palm. Without counting it, the younger man shoved the money into his pocket. He walked with haste to his truck, started it and took off before Jaime could turn the key in his ignition. After picking up his accomplice, the two men headed towards Las Vegas.

Jaime pulled off the detour road, heading back to the hood with the biggest score of his life. It took everything in him not to call his boys for a smoke sesh but if he’d learned anything it’s TRUST NO ONE.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

A small diner was the first well lit place to stop and count the money. The two men in the pick-up truck knew what their responsibility was; make the drop, get the cash, bring it back to jefe.

Though they were alone, they whispered.

“Is it all there?” The passenger asked anxiously through a thick spanish accident.

The driver pulled the large wad of money from is pocket and began counting…100…200…300…320…340…390…400…401…402…403…404…

It was dollar bills. The entire stack was one dollar bills.

“Puta madre…”

Home Sweet Home

By Jenna
I’m home sweet home! Las Vegas was an adventure that made me want to go back, or just stay there permanently. I even took the time to notice jobs that would be available. Yet, like all good things, it had to end. Now, I get to recollect my fondest memories for you lovely people! Also a few things to avoid doing.

 

Day 1 Wednesday night

Before heading out on our trip I got super elevated. Partly because I get car sick, and partly because I needed to readjust my attitude before leaving. The drive wasn’t long because we left on a Wednesday. Once I was out of California traffic, it was smooth sailing. The kiddos slept the first 2.5 hours, cried for about 40 minutes, then relaxed the rest of the way. As we came up, we decided to drive down the strip and see the lights instead of going straight to the hotel. I felt a bit lame that we didn’t do anything Wednesday night, but I have a two year old and one year old. We got to the Venetian Hotel at 11pm, so we were exhausted. The Venetian Hotel is absolutely beautiful! We had two queen beds, but what really set the Venetian apart is the sitting area. The room had a full couch, two large sitting chairs, a desk, a table, as well as the mini bar area. I didn’t want to leave that room because it was so comfortable. I even got to take a video of the classic jump onto a cushy bed. I want to be super excited about the strip view from our hotel, but the hotel that was in full view was a certain Trump hotel.

Day 2 Thursday

Breakfast was at the of the small restaurants in restaurant row. The food was amazing! We then threw on sunscreen and started walking the strip. Of course I stopped by Fat Tuesday for a frozen margarita! We didn’t get too far, but the walk got hotter the longer we were outside. We went back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the evening. We went to dinner at Cut by Wolfgang Puck for some wagyu filet! It was my father-in-law’s first time eating filet, he typically eats his steaks cooked completely. We also had, for the first time, pork butt cutlets. The worst part is the dish came with only 4 bites distributed among the adults, but those bites were heavenly! I ate them so quick I didn’t even get a picture! I was a bit surprised to be able to get a table without a reservation. I skipped dessert, to my dismay, because the little boy was ready to go, like 15 minutes ago. I had warned my husband that as soon as our steaks came out the baby would start being done, and I was right.

IMG_5846

Day 3 Friday

Friday we switched from the Venetian to Treasure Island Hotel so that the family could all be on the same floor. I had hoped to go swimming at Mandalay Bay because they have a lazy river that I was dying to enjoy. Since that didn’t happen as I had planned, we waited for everyone else to arrive and check into their rooms. Friday night was planned to be Guy’s Night. We had enough time before the guys took off to go to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. By the time we got there I was just tipsy and that made me have a great time! The guys departed from the women and children and proceeded to hit the town. I convinced my SILs and MIL to do at least one thing before turning in for the night. That one thing was to walk and see the fountains at the Bellagio. The show was beautiful as expected. This was one of those times when it was fun to have a kid because they were astounded by the show. The down side is the walk was hard on the kids and they saw pictures that made them ask questions. I ended staying awake until my husband got home at 5am.

IMG_5877

Day 4 Saturday

Saturday was surprisingly easy for how little sleep I achieved. My son woke me up at 7am! I don’t know how I was completely functional Saturday on less than 2 hours of sleep. We went to breakfast at Denny’s then back to the hotel because no one could agree on what we should do or where we should visit. My hope to visit a pool was let up and then dashed again as only a few people wanted to go, then no one wanted to go. I couldn’t go alone because my husband wasn’t functional, at all. We went back to the hotel and got all packed up to go to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. It was a cute little aquarium for the kids. Saturday night was Girl’s Night out and our first stop was the entire reason we were in Las Vegas. We had bought tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert at the Axis at Planet Hollywood. The concert was fantastic! I wasn’t excited to go but it ended up being exactly what I hoped for and needed. I was starving before hand though, which fell on deaf ears. I ate my only edible available which only got me high for 30- 45 minutes. That was the most disappointing edible EVER! After the concert we grabbed a quick bite at La Salsa Cantina, I would go here again. My youngest SIL was being drama queen, per usual, and didn’t want to go out anymore. She was the reason we were going out to start. I bought a round of shots in hope to improve her mood, to no avail. We then went to a bar with a DJ along the strip. She didn’t enjoy that either and immediately wanted to leave. We finally walked back to Senior Frogs. The walk was extra long because the girls didn’t want to listen to me about which bridge to cross. The youngest SIL was the only one wearing heels, so she suffered from the walk. At Senior Frogs I had a blast dancing with the two older SILs, but the youngest still was a stick in the mud. We finally retired from our night at 2am.

Day 5 Sunday

We packed up and headed out early. I grabbed food from Starbucks while the rest of the family went out to breakfast. I wanted to try and get a head start on the majority of traffic, and I was done with family time. It worked! We made the drive back in about 5 hours.

 

Next time I go to Vegas it will be with fewer people. I didn’t mind going with my kids, but I would wait for them to be old enough to stay the weekend with their grandparents. I wanted to go to the pool, but never was able, so that is still on my To Do List. I also didn’t get to eat at a buffet or try many drinks. I also wouldn’t go without the ability to smoke. I am an adult and absolutely can handle not smoking, but it helps with recovery from a night out. It also relaxes me so I can enjoy my time better.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑