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…
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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.
October 31, 2011 | 3:36 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I was downtown recently and stopped by the Occupy LA protests. My heart is with the Occupy Wall Street protesters and I truly believe they may bring about positive changes in our political system. But on a lighter note, I also noticed that there seemed to be a lot of new friendships/relationships that were emerging from the movement. Hence, here is some advice for dating Occupy LA Protesters:
1. If you are older than 35, you are too old to be hitting on anyone there.
2. Don’t focus on more complicated issues like the fact that less than 50% of Black men will graduate from high school, instead focus on white college-kid protest issues like how recent grads have to take low-paying jobs out of college that don’t utilize their liberal arts degrees.
3. Dress Like a Hipster (ironic t-shirts, skinny pants, vintage clothing, Ray-Bans, American Apparel). Also, police brutality bruises are in - flaunt ‘em wherever on your body they are.
4. Remember that if you’re white and participating in a protest, no you still don’t have enough street credit to use the N-word.
5. The woman passed out on the bench, has not been roofied. (Skid Row is nearby and organizers are giving out free food).
6. This isn’t some sort of 60’s lovein. Protest girls still expect you to make some sort of effort. Your tent or mine, isn’t going to cut it. And I’m already sick of you can occupy me lines.
7. If your boyfriend has dreads and you are a white USC student, expect him to get arrested and possibly beaten while you are given a lecture about the trees on the lawn.
8. Change your Facebook profile pic to a picture of you holding up a protest sign, preferably while hugging Tom Morello.
9. Beware your hook-ups may end up on tv. MTV is filming a new reality series of True Life: I’m Occupying Wall Street so choose wisely if you’re occupying in the bedroom.
10. Never admit that you secretly would jump at the chance to date a hot 1 percenter.
October 28, 2011 | 3:18 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I showed up this morning at my boyfriend’s apartment at 6 am with three dozen pumpkin cookies. Perhaps I’m not the most naturally domestic girl I know, but every so often I feel inspired. He’s had to put up with a lot from me lately and I wanted to do something nice and surprising for him to let him know how much I appreciate him. However, being flat out broke lately left me with only two options - making something or baking something. Seeing as Halloween is approaching, I thought it timely to make something sweet that he could bring with him to work. He seemed delighted this morning and it’s just brightened my whole day knowing how happy something so small can make him.
I’m including the recipe from All Recipes below. I think they came out tasting pretty good but unfortunately I was a little embarrassed by how they looked. The consistency of the dough made it really hard to get them into smooth balls before I baked them so they turned out a bit misshapen which made them look even funnier when I iced them. Perhaps a more seasoned chef would have known how to fix this but Mr. DB didn’t seem to care.
Now, I have to figure out our Halloween costumes for our big plans this weekend. So far I’ve narrowed it down to my favorite 2011 sex scandals: Anthony Wiener and pregnant Huma Abedin, Dominque Straus-Kahn and Sofitel maid, Ghadaffi and Ukranian nurse, Schwarzenegger and maid, Silvio Berlusconi and teenage girl…I’ll keep you posted on what we decide. Enjoy your trick or treat!
Iced Pumpkin Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.
October 27, 2011 | 5:48 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
I’ve gotten the distinct feeling lately that as my relationship has gotten more serious, there are a couple people in my life that seem to prefer that I be single. Early in my relationship, I had a few reservations that I discussed with friends – they seem trivial and meaningless now and to be sure I had actually forgotten about them but recently some friends of mine have brought them up to me. A month or two into dating Mr. Dreamboat, I was wary of an exclusive relationship because I felt like I hadn’t yet sown my wild oats to speak. It seemed to me that before I settle down, I needed to explore a few more trysts with a few more men. But when love happens to you, these notions of what you should do become irrelevant and so I had completely forgotten about it till my friend Ted recently brought up to me. Are you sure you really want to be this serious with someone, he asked me. As I’ve decided to at least postpone moving to New York to explore where my relationship goes, my sister reminded me, you’ve only known him for a few months. Then two nights ago, I expressed what I thought was a typical common relationship hiccup to my friend Shepp and he told me maybe you wouldn’t be feeling this way if he was the one. I get the distinct feeling some of my single friends don’t want this relationship to be it for me and I can’t help but wonder if it’s more a reflection of where they are than where I am.
For some people, being single can become your identity. And there are lots of benefits to being single: you only ever have to do what you want to do, you have more time, some studies even suggest you’re more ambitious. Personally, I have found some of the habits of singledom are hard for me to break. I’ve gotten so used to flirting with men to get what I want that I am constantly confused about whether or not I’m being respectful to my relationship or not. Old habits…
On the other hand, some girls are relationship girls. But if being in a relationship becomes your identity, this too has its own pitfalls. These girls are always in relationships and in the brief periods they’re not, they’re figuring out how be a good girlfriend in the next relationship they will shortly jump into. For a brief time in my life I was one of these girls who was single and looking around desperately not for a life partner but someone who would make an adequate temporary partner. I was shocked at what I was willing to overlook to be in one of these fleeting relationships. Ok, he may be a little dumb, but I’ll just keep him from saying more than a few sentences at a time. So we made out a few times, I cringed at every other sentence which had some made up word in it. Or ok so he’s constantly quoting Ann Coulter to browbeat your liberal tendencies, I’ll just keep anyone from mentioning anything political around him for a few months. Or so he’s fifty-three, it’s not like he’s married.
Yes, this was a bleak time in my life, but I had just been through a heart-wrenching break-up and thought if I could be with someone again right away, it would just ease the pain as I slowly arose out of my depression. Of course, this was a dumb idea and I’m embarrassed to be writing about it because it’s a sad commentary on my emotional state at the time. But I was young and naive and not sure of myself enough to have faith that I could get through it on my own.
Of course, in the end I did get through it on my own and am a much stronger person now. But the point is, all these filler boyfriends didn’t do anything for me except buy me a lot of meals. In the end, I did pull myself out of the darkness on my own and realized I was so happy with where I was in my life that I hardly thought about wanting a boyfriend (unless my Grandmother was telling me I needed a man in my life). And of course as fate would have it, once I finally become truly happy being single, I found myself in a relationship again.
But I can’t imagine that I would end a good relationship with someone I’m very much in love with in order to be single again. When my friends have repeated back to me my own hesitations about being in this relationship, while they may be true, they hardly seem like good enough reasons to give up the person I love. It does seem though like perhaps they’d like some company. As much fun as being single can be, it’s way more fun when you have good friends to share it with. And of course, therein lies the irony…human beings just weren’t made to be alone, even when life demands that we go through it completely single.
October 26, 2011 | 11:03 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
In a follow up to yesterday’s post about relationship psychobabble, I happen to read a very relevant New York Times article yesterday. It was all about how we make confident predictions about performance and why we’re usually wrong. Daniel Kahneman focuses on how stockbrokers are on average no better at predicting stock values than randomly generated selections, yet stockbrokers think they can predict stocks because they research companies and spend a lot of time focusing on past performance. But markets are so volatile, it turns out that the future conditions are so unlike past conditions that predictions are no more valid than mere guesses.
This got me thinking about relationship conventional wisdom. People give out relationship advice they’re not qualified to give but we listen to them because we trust their opinions. I first noticed this widespread phenomena when the book and Sex and the City principle He’s Just Not That Into You first dropped. I heard girls quoting this line back to each other all the time. He didn’t text you back immediately? He’s Just Not Than Into You. He called but didn’t leave a message? HJNTIY. And so on. But this turned out not to be true all the time. Some guys just prefer texting to calling or are too busy during the week to talk on the phone or really thought it would be weird to bring you to his sister’s wedding for a second date. Men are individuals and sometimes the traditional wisdom just doesn’t apply. We’re so quick to give our friends advice on their dating lives based on our own past experiences but there’s no reason to think that there is any correlation between the guys we’ve dated and the guy our friend is now dating. We are all limited by our own experience so it’s really just ridiculous to think that we know what a guy’s behavior means because we also have dated people of the same gender. Your friend’s advice on this subject is as valuable as asking a magic eight ball whether or not he really likes you.
The best indicator of whether or not he likes you or how quickly to contact him again is your own intuition based on what has happened between the two of you. If you like him cause he’s hot and has a good job but you’re forcing a conversation, yeah when he doesn’t return your text, he’s probably not into you. But if you felt like the two of you really connected and you haven’t heard from him in two days, don’t be so quick to write him off.
In the beginning of my current relationship, I really struggled with this because after seeing Mr. DB on the weekend, I would go most of the week without hearing from him and then Friday would come around and he’d be eager to make plans for the whole weekend. My friends kept telling me that I should go ahead and make plans for the weekend without keeping Sat night open for him to show him that I was busy and to teach him how desirable I was and that maybe he wasn’t that into me. Now, I know it was not nearly this complicated. He works finance hours during the week and just got so consumed with work during the week he wasn’t able to get in touch as much as he would have liked. It wasn’t because he was lukewarm about me or was trying to communicate some apathetic interest.
We all think we’re experts. And dating is so hard we like it when there are rules to follow. But the truth is there are no short cuts to find out what he’s really thinking. You just have to find out for yourself by being willing to take risks and pursue what your heart leads you to. The next time you find yourself asking your friends if they think he really likes you, remind yourself that they are no more reliable than the tried and true test of pulling petals off of a flower. He loves me, he loves me not turns out to be way more effective than we all thought…