Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
Have you noticed that when you make plans with someone, you almost never really make plans with them? You essentially make plans to talk with them on the phone at a certain time from a certain location. This drives me crazy. If we’re meeting at 6:30 and we’re both on time and know where to meet, why do we have to call each other at 6:29 and say where are you? I’m walking up right now. Oh wait, is that you? Right where you said you were going to be, right at the exact time? Oh good, that is you approaching. I think you see me. Yeah, hi, oh you’re waiving about ten feet in front of me! So glad we had this talk! Why doesn’t anyone just show up anymore?! For some reason, this seems to be particularly pronounced in Los Angeles, where people are more iPhone-than-Blackberry obsessed and where the entertainment industry seems to attract a lot of flakes.
I went to dinner recently at Zengo, the excellent-if-overpriced Latin-Asian fusion restaurant atop Santa Monica Place. I had made the plans a weak ahead of time and additionally, I had emailed the day before to confirm. My intent was that our next communication be in person – unless of course a change in events required an update. On the designated day, I showed up at the restaurant early, checked in with the host and waited at the bar.
Now let me interrupt my story to warn you that as a longtime customer of AT&T, I have a particular aversion to using my beloved iPhone for any of its actual telephone features probably because it is so wonderful for everything except for anything that requires actual cell service. I don’t get any service in my apartment, I sometimes get a bundle of text messages from the previous 12 hours in one large cacophony of harp alerts in the middle of the night, and it’s not uncommon for one cell phone conversation to involve three or four instances of a dropped call and subsequent so sorry, my service is terrible here. So this my have something to do with my aversion to useless telephone communications. But it’s even more than that too. Doesn’t anyone want to make an entrance anymore? Remember the anticipation of meeting people before cellphones when you didn’t know if the person was there or not and you had to look through the crowd until you finally found the person you were looking for!
So anyway, while I was sitting at the bar, ten minutes early, I pulled out my phone to turn it off as any polite dining-out patron would do and I noticed that I had received a missed call at 5:30 from my companion and a text message a few minutes earlier that said “where r u.”
I was irritated that he wanted to reconfirm via phone when we had such clear plans and I don’t like wasting my time to repeat a conversation I’ve already had. While holding my phone, I got two more text messages “about 15 min away” and a few minutes after that, another one that again said “where r u.”
So much to my dismay but not wanting to be rude, I texted back “at the bar.” I decided that was sufficient communiqué and I would see my dining partner when he got there, turned off my ringer and put my phone away. Over the course of the next ten minutes, I could tell my phone was vibrating but refused to pull it out. We didn’t have anything to tell each other! He knew I was here. I knew he was on his way. We both knew where we were meeting. Why why oh why must we talk about this all?
Ten minutes later, I finally gave in. I pulled my phone out and read the following
“at the valet”
“up the ramp now”
“at front desk”
“no one here”
“will walk in”
“going to bar”
I didn’t respond to a single one. I just watched new ones drivel in and thought about what I could have been doing instead of reading a bunch of useless text symbols. I could have been talking to the people around me, interacting with actual people. I could have read the New York Times on my phone or responded to emails. But no, I had to get dragged into a time sucking completely useless communication.
Finally, my dining partner showed. Ah there you are! Did you get my texts?
I looked surprised. Oh no. What texts? What was I going to say? Yes, I did but on principle I didn’t respond because I like to help build anticipation and create an element of surprise when I meet people, also do you know about capital letters?
Dinner was lovely, but I just can’t help wondering what happened to the element of surprise? The element of being tapped on the shoulder and whirling around to be face to face with your date! Looking through the crowd for the familiar face and feeling a moment of elation at your friend. Look, I appreciate the cellphone as much as the next girl but have some discipline. You’ll never be able to make an entrance if you’re giving someone the play by play of your whereabouts. For whatever reason, there’s just more satisfaction in finding something if you were looking for it first. So let him look and wonder for a moment where you are. Then, enjoy the look on his face when you get found!
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November 11, 2011 | 8:31 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I’m about to leave for my yogi pow-wow about this past week’s cleanse. I’m dreading having to admit that I’m a cleanse-failure. The thing is, I know I didn’t do it properly so I shouldn’t really comment on it but I really did try. If you’ve ever had ultimate meal, you know what I mean – that stuff tastes worse than almost anything I can think of.
My roommate who did a much better job of staying on the program for the past week went with me to lunch to break the fast. We both skipped this morning’s aloe vera juice shot (again so disgusting) and breakfast so we didn’t have to deal with what to eat. Our first solid food was going to be raw organic vegan food at lunch. We went to Planet Raw to toast our natural bodies. We both started with smoothies. I had had two yesterday so having one again for lunch felt good. She was starving and couldn’t wait to eat. Our entrees came and as soon as she ate hers she said she felt drunk – she was feeling so happy and loopy it was like she was high off of the foods. I imagine the taste of good food was releasing endorphins or serotonin and giving her that sense of bliss. I felt but was unable to eat my meal. The smoothie was all the calories my body could handle, so I took mine to go and am eating it now for dinner.
We both came back exhausted though. Maybe digesting the food was taking so much energy our bodies needed to rest. Either way, we kept talking about the Starbucks we were going to have tomorrow. I’ve agreed to stay off of coffee and diet soda and even what I normally eat till tomorrow but for all intensive purposes I’m done.
I can honestly say though, I am never going to do a cleanse again in my life. I guess it’s good to try everything once but my body is just not made for this type of thing. Technically, my roommate and I both lost a few pounds but I doubt this is the kind of weight loss that we will sustain when we go back to our normal eating and exercising routine next week.
I’d like to tell you, that after a week of being off coffee, and aspartame and all the chemically diet drinks I love, and all the protein bars and Amy’s frozen meals and wine and soy I normally have, that my body feels amazing. But I don’t. I feel tired, really tired. Still a little weak and annoyed that I wasted so much time and energy on this. And otherwise, no different. I guess I do eat somewhat healthy to begin with so perhaps if my diet was mostly fast food, I’d feel differently. But I’m in my eleventh year of being a vegetarian and I try to limit my caffeine intake to a cup a day and just eat sensibly all the time. Treats in moderation, preparing vegetables in a way I like them so that I eat them, trying to buy organic when there’s an option.
In a health conscious world, maybe there is a limit to being too healthy for some of us. I think I got sucked into this idea that there’s this pure healthy ideal out there that we all are reaching for. This person who never puts a single bad thing in her body and always gets a good night’s sleep and grows her own organic vegetable garden and is so purely healthy her hair and nails and skin are an oasis of wholesome sterile perfection. I guess I have “health guilt” sometimes. I feel bad when I order a diet coke because I think all those chemicals must be bad for me. I worry about the sodium in the organic frozen food I heat up when I’m in a rush. I worry about ingesting too much soy when I have fake meat products. So because of this guilt, I guess I believe people when they tell me that there must be toxins in my body. But I feel great, my doctor thinks I’m in excellent health, and my health allows me to have a happy life. How did I let myself get brainwashed into thinking I needed to drastically change my life to get healthy? I think I’ve decided that even though my body may not be the epitome of perfect purity, I’m healthy enough.
November 11, 2011 | 1:56 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
So after yesterday’s debacle, I wasn’t sure what to do about finishing out this cleanse. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t completely go off of it because I didn’t want to immediately start inhaling caffeine and foods that could be hard to digest. And I do often eat without thinking about it so I liked the awareness it was calling to my eating habits and we all ingest lots of things that we know aren’t good for us. I figured I could finish out the week trying to adhere to these principles but I also wasn’t going to get anywhere near an ultimate smoothie – just the idea of it makes me nauseous.
This morning, even though I had probably only had a few ounces of soup and some OJ last night, I felt completely transferred. I was still weak and tired with a mild headache but compared to the state I was in last night, I can’t believe I even tried to work when I was like that. I decided I would just get smoothies and soup that actually tasted good for my meals today and that I would eat what was necessary to be functional. Then, I’d still be off all of the processed chemical food-stuffs I normally eat, I’d still be off caffeine and diet coke, and even my normal snacks, but I also wouldn’t be in debilitating pain wishing I could die.
I went to Planet Raw which is a raw vegan restaurant in Santa Monica and got a Maca smoothie for breakfast. It was heavenly. If you think that raw food doesn’t taste good, this place will change your mind. Trust me, this is coming from someone who apparently would rather starve herself than eat something that didn’t taste good. This restaurant is incredible and will make the most die hard meat and potatoes person a fan. But because they’re so dedicated to using organic non-processed vegan foods, I’d still sort of be cleansing my system of these “toxins” but eating something that tasted good and had enough calories to keep me going. I had the rest of my miso soup from last night for lunch and went to Planet Raw again to grab a vanilla protein shake for dinner and even threw in an organic orange – my first solid food in days.
After my morning shake, I felt so incredible I went to a yoga class. Right away I noticed I was definitely light-headed every time we stood up after bending over and would lose my balance randomly. I took it easy but was sort of annoyed that this whole thing was causing my yoga practice to suffer. The only reason I did the yoga teacher training in the first place was to deepen my practice. The only reason I did the cleanse is because yogis had convinced me I would feel better and bring more awareness into my life and would have the most amazing practice of my life. Instead, I wasn’t able to practice for the last three days and then when I finally got to class this morning, my practice was suffering. Plus I had to listen to my mother use her I told you so voice to ask me what toxins? What are these people talking about? What are you cleansing? like I had joined a cult.
The cleanse for all the yogis ends formally tomorrow. I think I’m going to continue to try to eat raw vegan for one more day and then go back happily to ordering soy lattes and wine and even processed fro yo when the occasion calls for it. My yoga teacher training meets at 7pm and I assume I’ll have to listen to everyone talk about how transformative it was and how they felt the “toxins” leaving their body. I still have on more day on this thing so maybe euphoria will come to me tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to dream about the Starbucks I’m going to have on Saturday…
November 9, 2011 | 8:51 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
This is the stupidest thing I have ever done in my entire life.
At about 6pm tonight, the third day of my stupid ayurvedic cleanse for my yoga teacher training, I started to feel really ill. I hadn’t been feeling well all day, and it had progressively gotten worse and worse, till I really felt debilitated. I had a pounding headache, my stomach was painfully aching, I was freezing but sweating, my hands were clammy, and I pretty much wanted to die. Then my heart started racing and I really thought I was going to faint. I knew I had to do something but I also couldn’t think clearly enough to figure it out. I was just lying in my bed cursing yoga.
My yoga teacher who had designed the cleanse had said that if we felt like we were really going to pass out, we should eat an avocado and then we could continue on the program. I finally gave in. It took me five minutes to peel the thing, I was so weak.
I know part of this is my own fault. We were supposed to drink three veggie juices today for our meals and they were just so gross I couldn’t get anything down so I just drank water. Plus, the last two days, we were supposed to be having these Ultimate Meal smoothies. But it is no joke, the absolute worst thing I have ever tasted. I really tried and tried that first day to get it down but I couldn’t. I even cut the amount of ultimate meal in half that I put in my blender and it was still too repulsive to swallow. But that smoothie has all the calories and protein we’re supposed to need, so I knew I wasn’t getting enough of what I was supposed to.
The first bite of the avocado was amazing – I never realized how complex the flavors are. But after I swallowed it, I became more nauseated. I ate the whole thing. Then I threw it up. Yeah, that’s when I started to wonder if I was going to die for real and was seriously considering calling the hospital. Luckily, I’ve had the same family doctor for years so I got through to him. He said it might be severe dehydration (even though I told him I was drinking lots of water) or I might be on the verge of metabolic shock. HOORAY FOR CLEANSES! Apparently drastically cutting your calorie intake from like 2000 calories to 10 for three days can do that to you. He said to try eating something a little lighter like soup and if I still felt the same, I should go to the hospital.
I called my boyfriend who was on his way home from work and he offered to come by with miso soup and OJ. He said the traffic was bad and it might take an hour. I was just relieved that if I did pass out, someone would realize it quickly and get me to the hospital. I feel like I closed my eyes for a minute and he was there but it must have been 45 minutes and he came in bearing liquid food for me. Eating still seemed repulsive to me so I just had a few sips of soup. Mr. DB stayed in bed with me, coaxing me to eat more and rubbing my back. About fifteen minutes after my first bite, I realized I was feeling better enough to probably not need to go to the hospital. About an hour later and I had kept a few sips of OJ down and a few ounces of soup. He had been doing the cleanse with me and felt ok but had said he would end it after Wed night because it was starting to affect his performance at work. So he ate his own miso soup as my face started to slowly change back from greenish to just pale.
I still feel pretty miserable but a thousand times better than a few hours ago. So now that I’ve essentially “cheated” on this cleanse because I thought I might die, I have to decide what to do for the last two days. Should I give up completely and have cereal in the morning or do some modified version where I have like a sweet tasting fruit smoothie and veggie soup and stick to liquids?
I’m just so mad at myself for even trying this. It wasted so much of my time and money and it didn’t do anything but put me in incredible pain. Plus, my doctor added that there is no proven medical benefit to these cleanses or fasts and that a sensible diet is the healthiest thing for everyone.
I can’t believe I bought into this BS. I thought I was going to feel guilty if I cheated and went back to my yoga teacher training this weekend and admitted that I didn’t finish. Now, I just feel annoyed that I even tried. I guess getting off of coffee and diet coke was good for a few days but it doesn’t really seem worth all this. I can’t wait to give those self-righteous cleanse-aholics a piece of my mind this weekend. Although my mouth is probably going to need a good cleanse after that…
November 9, 2011 | 2:05 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I hate this stupid cleanse. I feel like I’m about to faint. Part of the problem is that one of the integral aspects of doing this cleanse is eating this Ultimate Meal smoothie. It is just so repulsive I cannot force myself to get that thing down. I ate about half of it for lunch and maybe a quarter for dinner. So this juice cleanse is quickly turning into a fast for me. I’m assuming today’s headache and feeling like I might faint are all due to eating so little.
My roommate seems to be doing better. She says she doesn’t mind the smoothie as much as I do – maybe I just don’t have a very sophisticated palate. However, she was talking a little crazy about what she would do for one single cracker. My boyfriend however has all but given up. He’s pledged to finish out tomorrow, but he doesn’t think he can go pass three days.
Meanwhile, I keep fantasizing about cheating. We’re supposed to eat an avocado if we’re dying and I came very close tonight. If I feel like this tomorrow I may have to, because it’s making it very hard to work.
I went to the AFI screening of The Artist tonight at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I enjoyed it and really wanted to hang out at the cast party afterwards but instead, I couldn’t wait to get into a car so I could have more lemon water and possibly crawl into a hole and die. Why am I doing this again?
I must admit that if my roommate and boyfriend weren’t doing it, I would totally be cheating right now. As much as I love my yoga training and all the other yogis, it’s just hard for me to believe that this is all going to do anything for me in the end. Some of the other yogis said that this cleanse changed their life the first time they did it. Some said they could feel the toxins leave their body in a powerful experience. If that happens, I’m open to it. But in the mean time, I’m still skeptical and still miserable. Tomorrow is the all juice day. What I wouldn’t give right now for a piece of bread…
November 7, 2011 | 7:31 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
Man this cleanse sucks. I’m reconsidering my pledge to write about it daily because right now I don’t have much to say about it except how awful everything tastes. I’ve also had a horrible headache all day from caffeine withdrawal so this may be tainting my outlook right now.
The whole cleanse is based on ayurvedic priniciples which is deeply connected to the yogic tradition and is meant to detoxify the body. My roommate and boyfriend are doing it with me, which is nice but also has made for a hostile atmosphere as I feel everyone a bit short tempered already.
Aloe vera juice is disgusting but we all forced ourselves to drink it first thing this morning. Breakfast was a bunch of green veggies juiced together with a little carrot and ginger for flavor. It was gross but somehow I drank it all down. I felt bad because the one I got for Mr. DB had beets in it and basically tasted like dirt with a little ginger. But nonetheless, I made him his lunchtime Ultimate Meal smoothie, put it in a thermos and sent him on his way to continue his cleanse whilst at work.
The thing I love most about yoga is that it teaches you to breathe deeply and remain calm despite whatever challenges you are confronted with, be it physical or mental or emotional. In class, this means that when my thigh is burning and I desperately want to come out of Warrior 2, I focus on breathing and allow the sensation to continue without reacting it which ultimately makes me physically stronger and also mentally stronger.
At the very least, I’m hoping to strengthen myself in the same way by following this cleanse. It has very real consequences for a relationship. Last night, I was feeling super stressed, exhausted from a lack of sleep and yoga teacher training that began at 9 in the morning, and already irritable from beginning the process of weaning myself off of caffeine. I was on the phone with my boyfriend and he hadn’t yet done something he promised me he was going to do that day and this just became the last straw for me on a bad day. I started to feel myself wanting to take it out on him. My cell service was cutting in and out and soon this too became his fault along with the rain and the traffic and finally I lost my cool. Luckily my phone cut out and he didn’t hear my voice change into that tone when I said well, just forget it, I can’t come over now anyway. This apparently is the only reason to have AT&T cell service.
Anyway, I got home, complained to a friend about my day who helped me see what a brat I was being. I called Mr. DB back and much to my relief he had done what he had said he would. I regained my composure, drove over to his place, and we had a nice little dinner.
The point is, most of the time, yoga has helped me develop the tools to be non-reactive in situations like that. I’m hoping that this week’s cleanse will help me go further in my ability to remain calm and not let my emotions get the better of me the way they did last night as I learn to strengthen my willpower. Now, I’m off to make my ultimate meal smoothie for dinner and drink detox tea. Hopefully I can do it without thinking about how hungry, annoyed, and grossed out I am…
November 4, 2011 | 10:32 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I’ve been doing a yoga teacher training on the weekends for the last few weeks. I did it mainly to deepen my yoga practice but it turns out, I love it a lot more than I realized I would. In any case, I’m approaching Week 7 and this means that on Monday, November 7th, I begin a five day cleanse. I’ve never done an actual cleanse/detox before and I’m a little apprehensive about it but it’s only Monday through Friday next week and I’ll be writing about it every night to report on whether my detox actually changes my life as much as all my yogi friends seem to believe it will. It’s not nearly as intense as the infamous Master Cleanse, although I have friends that have done that one for up to thirty days and swear by its effects. But this modified cleanse we’re doing is supposed to achieve similar results and all the yogis who have done this before swear that I’ll still be able to remain active, work, and continue my regular exercise routine while participating.
So if anyone else is interested in joining me, I’m publishing all the secrets of this yogi cleanse. It appears that my boyfriend and my roommate are joining me which is great because then I won’t be the only around here that’s possibly irritable. In any case, I went to Target today to stock up on water bottles and thermoses so that we can bring our allowable liquid food intake to work with us. I’ll have to stock up at Whole Foods on Sunday for the rest of the stuff. So here are the details.
Breakfast: Veggie Juice/Lunch: Ultimate Meal Smoothie/Dinner: Ultimate Meal Smoothie or Juice
*Before Bed Drink Smooth Move Tea*
Breakfast: Veggie Juice/Lunch: Ultimate Meal/Dinner: Ultimate Meal or Juice
Breakfast: Veggie Juice/Lunch: Ultimate Meal/ Dinner: Ultimate Meal or Juice
*Before Bed Drink Smooth Move Tea*
Breakfast: Veggie Juice/Lunch: Ultimate Meal/Dinner: Soup (like a Miso) or Salad
Drink lots of lemon water
Drink daily Yogi Detox Tea
Drink Ginger Tea
First thing in the AM (even before drinking water) 4oz. of Aloe Vera Juice (*Recommended brand “Lily of the Desert” Whole Leaf Juice)
For energy - take Spiralina Powder or Tabs between Meals (even 10 to 15 tabs if you have a very active job)
**Ultimate Meal Smooth: Pick up Ultimate Meal powder and follow the recipe on the side of the container which calls for a half of an apple, banana, and ice
**Veggie Juice: if you don’t have your own juicer, you have to go to a Whole Foods or health foods store/raw food restaurant or even some gyms have smoothie bars that can do this. You’re supposed to
get all the green veggies that are available plus either a little carrot or beet and lemon and ginger for flavor.
—If you feel like you’re going to die and are about to give up on the whole thing, you’re supposed to eat a raw avocado. Then you can still continue on with the rest of the regimen.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress and if my handstands start improving…
November 2, 2011 | 7:29 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
Vicki Larson posted an article on the Huffington Post recently about ‘Why Young Men Fear Marriage.’ She writes about two young men who write a blog called We’re Just Not There Yet. Daryl, 31, and Seth, 28 write this shtick about how even though they’re smart, and have great jobs and are attractive, they’re just not ready for marriage. Larson’s take on it is that one of the motivating factors for these two
honest guys is that they’re crippled by their fear of divorce because some gold digging shallow girl is going to come in, marry them for their money clean them out because the court system unfairly favors women and leave them with nothing to show for their years of hard work and success.
This article made me livid. I’ve read it and reread it. And every time it makes me madder. Even as I sit here writing this I feel my teeth clenching. And no, I’m not mad because I think all men at that age should be ready for marriage. It’s the perpetuation of this stereotype that women are out to marry guys for their money and then bleed them dry. Where did an entire generation of men get this idea that all girls my age are money sucking leeches? It literally makes me want to scream!
First, let me get a few things about the marriage issue out of the way. I was talking about this with my friend Beth two nights ago and her take on the whole thing was as long as these guys are being upfront and honest with the girls they date, there is nothing wrong with not being ready. She was lauding them for being honest and not misleading girls. I don’t want to ignore that this is important but it’s not simply the fact that these guys aren’t ready for marriage that got me upset. It’s the reason they’re not ready.
If the guy is not ready because he is truly not ready to be in a committed relationship and truly doesn’t think he’s met the right girl, of course he should wait. This was Beth’s point. A guy’s not doing any girl a favor by rushing into something he’s not ready for – especially because he’ll probably end up divorced a few years later or even worse, a really angry parent.
If the reason is he doesn’t want to give up time spent on his career to devote to a family yet or he just knows he needs to swim with a few more fishes before settling down, I get that too. That isn’t what made me livid either. Yeah sure, I’ll complain about it because waiting longer to settle down for a woman can severely impact a woman’s ability to have healthy children and it’s harder to be single as a woman in your forties than as a man. But it’s hard not to be selfish when making big life decisions and if I were a man, I’d be enjoying the end of my salad days with absolutely no plans on settling down for a while. So, I get that. Personally, I’d love not to think about a family for another ten years, but all the research suggests that if you wait to have children, you are more at risk for having a child with birth defects, Down syndrome, and a whole host of other scary things. So the next time you hear a guy complaining about how modern feminist women still expect a guy to pay for dinner, remind him he’s got the better deal on the biological clock thing.
Anyway, none of that bothers me that much. It is what it is. However, what makes me want to track down Daryl and Seth and shout in their faces you cowards! How dare you turn women into some parasitic bottom feeder to cover for being selfish scared paralyzed bums! is the reason they don’t want to get married. Has it ever occurred to these guys that there are women out there who probably make more money than them and they have more to lose from a divorce? Do you really think that a woman you love, who’ve been with for years, who you think would be a wonderful mother to your child is going to drag you to court to get all your savings which probably couldn’t even buy you a nice starter house? Beth tried to tell me, but there are girls out there who do this. There are women who are just gold diggers. And of course this is true, but this is a small minority of women. I asked Beth to name one girl she knew of who had done this and she couldn’t think of one. Like any stereotype there are always a few people for whom the stereotype is true. But that never justifies using the stereotype as a widespread fact. Where do Daryl and Seth get off spreading this evil myth that all men should fear marriage because women are out to take them for everything they’re worth. Living in fear of an illusion seems like a very sad way to live.
I want to marry someone for love and I want him to want to marry me for love. I don’t want his money. I want the fairytale. The fairytale for me may include fights and hard times and bumps along the way, but it doesn’t include divorcing someone and taking off with a windfall. I feel sorry for a guy that doesn’t want to get close to a great girl because he’s assumed the worst about her. Maybe a guy like that doesn’t deserve to get the girl anyway.