Monday Monthly Mission #12

May 31st, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.

vices1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16


Our MMMs most often focus on the ‘Socially Conscious‘ aspect of mindful life, but this month we’re shifting our attention – to the ‘Totally Fabulous‘ half.

I’ve written a bit in the past about practicing positivity – about setting intentions and taking control of your life – and these articles always garner an enthusiastic response. So lets do a little more work there, shall we?

One of the most critical parts of positive living is treating yourself with love and respect. And that means facing down your demons, big and small. Maybe you’re a smoker and it’s making you sick. Or maybe you drink too much and feel the guilt of it. Maybe you smoke weed, or withhold needs, or are hopelessly addicted to caffeine. I have been all these things, too (and more), so don’t worry. You’re not alone!

This month is about confronting a vice. Any vice. It doesn’t have to be your biggest vice this month. You can start off small. All that matters is that you’re honest with yourself and that you put in the work.

Currently I’m confronting . . . SALT. Oh lordy I love it so. And guys, I’m not talking about a few extra shakes. It’s truly obscene, the amount of seasoning I add to my food. It’s totally out of control! So this month, I’m cutting it out. No extraneous salting. Zero. Zip. I’m allowed what the recipe calls for, but nothing more.

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I’m hoping to retrain my palate so that by the end of the month, I’ll taste food as it is without the need for so much salty enhancement.

What new habit can you form this month? And are you willing to try?

Do you accept this mission?

  • Minna

    I love this mission, I would call it THE mission! It will be so much easier to get rid of these old habits with the help of other Bonzai readers who are trying just as hard :D

    I’m sure this one will touch each one of us. I’m glad that I’m clean when it comes to overconsumption of alcohol (“thanks” to my skin condition), thankfully I’m not a smoker and don’t do drugs either.

    I guess my number 1 vice right now, would be one of these small ones, is snacking on sweets. And not only vegan. I tend to eat vegetarian sweets as well if I haven’t bought them – it’s making me feel weak and incapable. Just cause I’ve told myself that it’s ok to be socially vegetarian with family, it doesn’t mean I should take advantage of that and eat as much as sweets as I want and whenever I want it.

    The only thing with sugar though, is that I believe it to be related to the psychological condition – if something’s wrong and makes me unhappy, I tend to crave sugar.

    So. To say goodbye to my overconsumption of sugar (cakes, muffins, chocolate etc) I should try and work on my mental health first and somehow make my body not to crave sugar. Sounds pretty impossible :D

    I’m sure I’m not the only one with that bad habit. If there’s anyone else with the sugar problem, feel free to share tips!

    GOOD LUCK to everyone!!!

  • Helen

    Good mission. I was thinking something along the lines of Minna’s comment above, but then I realised we’re moving soon and I’m trying to eat up all the food in the house to make moving easier….

    So… my vice is going to be processed, mass-produced sweets. Pre-made cakes and biscuits, fudge, candies, puddings. I will still eat and enjoy sugary treats but I’ll promise to make them myself from the ingredients I have at home. I’ll see if I can find some good recipes for making treats that taste good but have some nutritional content as well. I do have some brown sugar and white flour to use up, but I’ll try and combine it with using up the whole oats, nuts, dried fruit and agave.

    In fact I realised I’ve already kind of started – this weekend I was trying to use up the big box of bran flakes we never touch and I made them into chocolate “cakes,” like you would do with cornflakes. They were pretty good, actually – didn’t taste worse than the cornflake equivalent and plenty of fibre!

    I do admire you going for salt, I’m not sure I could… I get salt cravings more than anything else. Then again, I figure since I don’t eat meat or cheese I’m probably getting much less salt in my food unless I add a fair amount…

  • Heather

    Hmmm…for me it would probably have to be less TV. Since cancelling my gym membership to exercise at home, I’m watching way more tv (WHILE) working out.
    For my hubby, he’s gonna quit smoking. He’s going skydiving June 6th, and he said, “Babe, if I make it, I’m quitting. Done.”
    I pray he does make it and does quit, he’s been smoking since he was 11 and has tried everything except acupuncture to quit.
    Hopefully this whole jumping from an airplane thing will motivate him to quit for good!

  • Hope Hughes

    Good luck with the salt addiction. That one is hard to break, but I think I’ll do it with you! My main thing is I need to become disciplined on when I go to bed and get up. I need to drag my butt out earlier, especially now. I LOVE sleeping in though, so it’s a toughie! So here’s to us: early to bed, early to rise…it’s the salt shaker we must defy!! LOL!

  • Theresa

    Great idea! I’ve been thinking a lot about how gross my nail biting habit is and this is a perfect opportunity to work on that. No more biting, picking, chewing, etc. with my hands my mouth. I’ve tried to quit several times with variable success so hopefully I can come up with a few ways to distract myself this time around. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Karly

    I’m going to try to give up drinking Coke all month. AHH! Thanks for believing in everyone :)

  • A Green Spell

    OMG, this is so me. I realized a few weeks ago that I had a really bad problem when I had salt shakers in my office, kitchen, AND bedroom, AND I was trying to figure out how to carry a salt shaker in my purse for those to-go meals. WHAT?!

    I also salt my food at least four times while I eat it.

    I’ve been trying to cut back. There’s only one salt shaker in my house now, in the kitchen, where it belongs. I salt before I eat, then no more. Though, I started cheating and over-salting since I know I can’t come back. So now I have to focus on one little shake, and then walking away!

  • Ginger Baker

    I’ve been working on changing a number of things in my life lately. I’ve found it very helpful to focus not on what I am taking *out*, but what I am bringing *in*, I feel less restricted that way! It’s so hard sometimes to really Love Yourself, not your right-this-minute-instantly self, but your WHOLE self lol! Having some candy might make me-in-this-moment happy, but it sure does hurt future-me. Though where I REALLY see this is in my housekeeping routines – whenever I want to go to sleep or just putz around and not do my dishes (my key evening routine) I try and remind myself that my poor morning-self is NOT going to feel good walking into a kitchen with dirty dishes!

    Largely this month I am working on Doing It Now (versus I suppose my vice of Laziness Rules!)

  • Stephanie

    Hooray! A challenge I need to take part in! I will be cutting out alcohol. Not that I drink into oblivion every night, but I cannot seem to go without at least a beer. Every day.

    Deep breath.

  • Claudia

    This is so great :) I love a challenge. I don’t know what I can give up…caffeine I suppose is one of my last lingering things that creeps in every once in a while these days.

  • Valerie

    Hmmm, what to choose, what to choose? There are three things I should work on: TV, Chocolate & sleeping in. I try not to tackle to many things at once because it can make sticking with them difficult. I will focus on TV and try to improve a little with the chocolate & sleeping in.

    Since becoming unemployed in November I watch a ton of TV & movies. I tell myself its because I don’t like a quiet house, & it’s educational because it’s mostly PBS. However, instead of focusing on what I should be doing I get distracted. I will stop watching the TV during the day, and limit myself to the shows my husband and I enjoy catching up on together in the evenings. I will allow myself 1 movie or 2 hours of tv shows from my netflix queue on Tuesday, Thursday & Friday as a maximum & my chores need to be done. I must be doing something at the same time, like working on my sewing projects. We will see how it goes.

    Thanks for listening to my confession & plan of action. and of course for the inspiration to undertake this mission!

    @Theresa-I had this problem when I was in middle school. I wanted fingernail polish and my mom wouldn’t let me until I didn’t bite my nails for 3 weeks. I always wondered: If I had the pretty fingernail polish on wouldn’t I do a better job of not biting my nails because it would ruin the polish? Give it a try, after three weeks you may not need to wear it all the time because you will have already broken the habit. Good Luck! :)

  • Monique

    Ah, I love MMM; what a brilliant idea.

    I’m going for getting up early in the morning, for me this means out of bed by 6 am at the latest! As much as I love the idea of sleeping past my alarm I always feel worse for it.

    I’m loving the community aspect of this and am inspired to share. Thanks so much.

  • Kat

    I would like to floss, every day. I’ve been trying for quite some time to make it into a habit but so far it hasn’t been sticking. I’m thinking that having floss on my nightstand might help – I like to watch TV on my laptop at night in bed so maybe I can try flossing while I do that.

  • Diana

    Wow, good mission because I find it’s always easier to stick to a commitment when I feel that someone is holding me accountable. I’m tempted by Ginger Baker’s mission to ‘do it now,’ since I’m a big-time procrastinator. But since I just started my pre-baby maternity leave, I really want to take things as easy as possible – now is not the time to pressure myself to be productive.

    So I’ll focus on the monkey that just won’t stay off my back for long: Sugar. I’ve done many short-lived sugar fasts over the years, and when I first became pregnant I got super motivated and cut sugar out completely for a while. That was actually pretty easy when I was feeling nauseous, but I went back to my regular excess pretty quickly. I’ve got the ‘can’t eat just one’ problem, which is further negatively reinforced by my partner. We end up pushing each other to eat more sweets since we’re afraid the other one will eat our share if we don’t get to it first!

    Minna asked for tips, and I’ll just mention a couple of books that have helped me in the past, which I think I’ll look back over to get motivated again. The first is an old classic called ‘sugar blues’ by william duffy, a bit extremist at times, but he does a good job of making sugar seem downright evil and it’s much easier to stay away when reading his book. And the second is called “the sugar addict’s total recovery program” by Kathleen Desmaisons, which has lots of practical suggestions as well as great explanations about what she calls sugar sensitivity.

    And one quick tip that I don’t always follow but which works really well when I do is to drink a big glass of water whenever I want something sweet. Whether the craving is emotional or physical, it usually helps nip it in the bud.

    Good luck everyone, rendez-vous at the end of the month to see how we did!

  • Rebecca

    I am not sure why I thought you would find this interesting..disturbing..and amusing all at the same time, but I immediately thought of BonzaiAphrodite and all its readers when I came across this:

  • ultrasound technician

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

  • Salekdarling

    I’m not sure if you can consider this a compulsion or a bad habit but I am a skin picker. I have been for almost 20 years… it first started out as hair pulling and then moved away from that to picking at my skin. I think it is my way of coping with stress but, looking at myself in the mirror every morning with nasty sores from my habit just makes that stress even worse. Time to put an end to it!

    I’m going to take a picture of my face before I start the mission (which will be when I wake up today. =]) and after the mission. I’m going to write down everything I test at attempting to relieve myself of my anxiety. Let’s hope to a less stress filled Salek!

    Good luck to everyone else with their MMM!

  • Sayward

    @ Minna – I agree completely, there’s strength in numbers!

    Sugar is such a beast. You are definitely NOT alone in your struggle there. It’s something I have had to deal with myself (haven’t we all?) And it *is* often mental. Sounds like you’ve figured it out and have a good idea of how to combat it.

    For me it really has to be all or nothing, at least at first. Because sugar is truly addicting, if I have some during the day I’m pretty much craving it intensely for the rest of the day, which SUCKS. So not worth it. I also find that if I eat processed carbs/white flour/bread, I end up craving sugar, so you might want to monitor that as well. Just a thought. Good luck!

    @ Helen – Good plan! Processed foods are the worst, you will feel so much better getting rid of them. Good luck with it!

    And you’re right that we get less salt as vegans. It’s something that I try to remind myself of (also get less salt since I cook pretty much everything from scratch). But still . . . I was going through A LOT, haha.

    @ Heather – Oh good luck to both of you! For you, maybe try podcasting while you work out? Podcasts are so great and totally intellectually stimulating in a way that the vast majority of TV just can’t be. A much better choice (I love my podcasts!)

    And for your husband, all the luck in my arsenal is aimed at him. Quitting was seriously, hands down, far-and-away the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It took over a year to go through the whole ordeal, and I could not have done it without Damian’s unwavering support and PATIENCE (because, um, I was a bit of a handful). So my advice to you is to remember how much he needs you, and maybe let him get away with more than usual. He’s probably going to be hell for a while, and he’ll need you to let him be. At least that was my experience. GOOD LUCK!

    Hope Hughes – Love the rhyme! =D And excellent goals. I was such a night owl in high school. I used to leep until 2pm! (oh my god!) But then I had an early class in college that I had to take, plus a lot of my research had to be done on the rising tide in the way way am, and I just sort of switched to being a morning person. It actually didn’t take to long to get used to and I was AMAZED by how much more time I had and how much more I could get accomplished each day. I’ve sort of backslid since then, into somewhere in between. So, maybe I’ll try fo that one this month too. =)

    @ Theresa – Now that’s one I never had to deal with, but I’ve had friends who struggled for ages to quit the biting. I know nail polish works for some people. Also dusting your fingers with cayenne pepper (but then don’t touch your face, eek!). I hope you find something that works for you. Good luck!

    @ Karly – Ahh, soda. Liquid satan! Just wait till you get to the end of the month without having it, and then you taste it again (if you decide to taste it again). It’s crazy how chemically sweet it is! You’ll trip out. Good luck! Maybe you can start drinking kombucha instead! =)

    @ A Green Spell – Oh I so relate! I used to keep a shaker on my bedside table! My husband jokes that I should wear a salt lick around my neck like a piece of jewelry. Good luck – we can totally do this!

    @ Ginger Baker – That’s a great way of thinking about things. I’m going to use your technique and keep ‘future-me’ in mind this month. Thanks for the idea – and good luck with not procrastinating!

    @ Stephanie – You can do it girl! And just so you know, it is SO common. I feel like most of my friends are in the same position. And it’s not even necessarily bad for you to have a drink a day, from a purely health perspective. BUT, from a mental health perspective, things can get shady. Especially if you feel like you’d like to be able to skip a day but aren’t able to make it happen. It’s so great of you to recognize that and nip it in the bud now. Good for you, and god luck this month!

    @ Claudia – I always get a 3-day-long splitting headache when I quit caffeine. But it’s so worth it! Between pregnancy and breastfeeding I’ve beeb pretty much caffeine free for a year, and not having the energy ups and downs is SO awesome. Good luck!

    @ Valerie – I think focusing on one thing at a time is a sound plan. I also fall off the wagon if I try to take on too much at once. It seems like you have a really clear idea of how to proceed, which is super awesome. You can do it lady! TV is delicious but should be treated like a condiment to life – not a main course! =D

    @ Monique – Good goal! I always feel better too when I get up bright and early. It makes the whole day unfold differently, and I feel so much more accomplished. Good luck with it!

    @ Kat – This is a great one! I need to do it myself (maybe next month?) Damian recently got himself flossing regularly, exactly the way you said. He keeps his floss hidden on the coffee table so it’s always right there during TV time. He totally trained himself to remember and actually do it daily, which I’ve NEVER been able to do with flossing. Good luck!

    @ Diana – That was my thought exactly, that we can all hold each other accountable (in the best way possible). Sugar sugar sugar. Grrr, I feel ya. You and Minna should team up! But again, it sounds like you’re familiar with your issue and have a good plan of attack. Thanks for the book recs, it’s good to know which ones have worked for people so I can pass along the recommendations.

    You should enlist your partner to sign on and conquer this thing together! I bet it’d be great for the relationship too (no more fighting over the last cookie!) =D


    @ Rebecca – That is a trip! I love weird technology like that. I bet it has some really great, practical applications too, like treating seasonal affective disorder.

    @ ultrasound technician – You’re welcome? (my spidey senses smell a spam bot)

    @ Salekdarling – I’ve heard about that, I think it’s related to cutting/self mutilation (I was a cutter in high school). I found this site about it, apparently it’s a diagnosed disorder and has a name and everything – not sure if you know this.

    I definitely have that tendency in me. I used to pick scabs on my legs over and over when I was a kid. Now I’ve got scars all over my legs (I was a huge tomboy, haha, so there were always lots of scars) So I can totally relate to the inclination. I wish you the best of luck with facing this. For me, when I quit cutting, I kept a rubberband around my wrist and I would snap it when I got stressed or upset. I bet that technique would work well for this too. Good luck lady!


    Look at us all! A bunch of beautiful, powerful, imperfect people, willing to push ourselves to grow. I’m so proud of all of you for having the courage to put yourself out there like this. It takes courage to face a demon and it takes courage to admit a flaw. You guys are awesome and we’re going to have a great month! Stay strong!

  • Salekdarling

    Sayward, thank you for showing me that site! I did know about Trichotillomania/Chronic Skin Picking but I didn’t think that there could possibly reasons or help for it. I already requested information from the site.

    There are some possible at home treatments available on the website that I can do, such as putting a piece of tape down on the bathroom floor a certain distance from the mirror so I don’t get too close and want to pick, or squeezing a rubber ball so I don’t get the urge to pick while doing a time consuming task. I’m definitely going to try those because I am very determined. Haha!

    I don’t have health insurance but maybe I can find a specialist in my area who can work with my lack of insurance…I hope.

    Thanks again Sayward, you’re the best. <3

  • Kelly H.

    Oh my…where do I start?! My sugar/carb addiction? My lack of consistent dedication to yoga and meditation? My critical nature? My lack of patience? My laziness? My lack of confidence and drive? My inadequate appreciation for myself and all that I have in this life?? I consider all those vices. Goodness!

    Say…I think I need some time to process your MMMs before I can dive right in for the month. Would you consider giving us a hint a week or so before, so we can ponder and then be ready to take it on come the first of the month? Sometimes, it takes me even longer to hop on board. Just THIS month I vowed to not drive at all. I’m walking/running/busing/biking/mooching rides everywhere I go this month. :o) The devastation in the Gulf is what really sent me over the edge. :o( I looked at my gas tank on E and couldn’t bare the thought of filling it up! So, I guess, the vice I’m working on this month is giving in to the convenience of a car!

    With sweets…It has to be all or nothing for me as well. With smoking…that’s one vice I’ve never had, but my bf has also said it was the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • Kenna

    I’m studying for the Bar Exam, so my vice laziness and too much sitting on my butt. I’m going to commit to going to the gym at least 4 times a week. Plenty of cardio and strength training.

    For those of you giving up salt, try making kale chips. Do not put any salt on them– just olive oil. The bitterness will seem like salt on your tongue. It should satisfy any salt craving, and it’s really good for you.

    Good luck to everybody on the mission.

  • Sheperd

    Oh, this is such a good one! I feel absolutely and completely ashamed to admit this but…sometimes I’m quite disrespectful to my boyfriend. It’s nothing crazy or abusive or probably even unusual, but I need to slow down and think before I speak/act! He’s extremely patient and kind so he doesn’t really take offense to most of the unpleasant things I’ve said/done and I’m forgiven before I even realize how I’m behaving, but still! It’s totally rude and does not make me easy to live with. This month I’m going to use words to communicate my needs and wants instead of pouting, getting angry, or saying mean things. I’m going to take more time for myself. If I want him to do something I’m going to ask him to do it instead of taking everything on myself and then getting upset when he doesn’t read my mind. If he’s doing little things that bother me, I’ll go do something else away from him or ask him to please stop instead of freaking out. I’m going to try to be more tolerant and flexible.

    This month we’ve commited to getting up a half hour earlier than usual to read together (we read out loud and out of the same book). It sounds so simple that it’s almost stupid but even in the last two days I’ve been feeling much less snooty toward him. I think it’s been good to read and talk BEFORE the craziness of the day, when things are still calm and quiet. Thank you soooo much! Hopefully I can continue to take the edge off my crankiness!

  • Courtney

    I really really want to participate in this mission, but we’re hopefully going to be moving this month and we’re going to be quite busy. There are quite a few things that I look forward to changing once we have our own place and I have a kitchen again! I’m not really sure if I’ve got a vice that I want to get rid of. The one that leaps to mind is reading, but it doesn’t interfere with life. Good luck everyone! I hope that you can reach the goals you’ve set!

  • Melisa

    Sheperd, I think your plan is awesome! :)
    This is perfect timing, as I very recently decided to make the jump from vegetarian to vegan, and I have next to NO support around here. Hey, surely I can make it a month, right?!
    Also, inspired by the RadioLab podcast I listened to today, I’m going to give up lying. Hopefully that wasn’t a lie…

  • Sayward

    @ Salekdarling – I’m so glad that website was useful to you. Sounds like you’re forming a really solid plan, a multi-pronged approach. I think that’s very wise. You are taking on a big challenge and I think it’s just so brave of you. I can’t wait to see you at the end of the month, and hear how far you’ve come!

    @ Kelly H. – Aw lady, we all have a million areas we could improve! But for you, it does sound like a lot of yours are related – tied up together in the way you view yourself. That’s something that you can chip away at a little bit at a time, and I hope you do. You deserve to love yourself!

    That’s a really good idea about the new MMMs. Maybe I’ll start hinting or ‘previewing’ the next one in the last Feedback Forum of the month. Hmm . . .

    @ Kenna – Oh! Good luck with the Bar! One of my oldest friends just took it (passed!) and I was one of his references. I had to fill out a survey on his ‘moral character’, haha. Very strange.

    Good luck with the gym! That’s a really smart move – cardio will get your brain going full force. You’ll have tons of energy to study!

    @ Shepherd – You don’t have to be ashamed, but I know what you mean. It’s hard to admit things that we don’t like about ourselves. If it’s any comfort, I think I can relate. It took me forever to realize it, but whenever I’m picking at Damian, it’s because I’m actually angry or dissatisfied with myself! It’s to the point now where if I’m being hard on him, he’ll ask me what’s wrong with *me*. And it’s always something, like I didn’t get enough work done or something. I dont know if it’s the same thing with you, but you might want to check in with yourself at those times and see if maybe you aren’t projecting your own stuff onto him. Just a thought. =)

    I LOVE that reading ritual. That’s so sweet, and I bet it’s so bonding. Love it.

    @ Courtney – Don’t give up any reading! No way! =D

    That’s okay, you can sit this one out this month and maybe you’ll do it at a later time. I’m sure eventually we’ll have another ‘choose your own mission‘ month.

    Maybe for this one you can just lend your support. The Bonzai cheerleader!

    @ Melisa – YAY! Love it! Let me know if you need any support from me. You can definitely do it – just try to make it a month and then reassess from there.

    Also, <3 RadioLab. =)

  • saundra

    i think i’ll make my mm to get up before the kids and actually do my choresinstead of constantly being on the computer. my main problem is i am a total nightowl it takes me all day to wake up and i can’t fall asleep at night until 2 3 in the morning. my husband and one of my friends say it’s bc i don’t excercise enough and i need to take my vitamins. but i’m hoping if im accountable to you guys i will actually wake up hopefully at 6:45 7:00 when my hubby does… now the big question is how do i not sleep through the sound of the alarm?? i will wake up in the morning!!!!

  • Melissa

    I am on a mission to stop biting my nails this month. I have been biting them since I was three years old. The only time that I have been able to stop biting them has been either during pregnancy or nursing. I have always wondered if I had some sort of vitamin or mineral deficiency. I have read more than once that nail biting can stem from a lack certain vitamins and mineral. Then one day I read about Pica and nail biting ( Now, I try to eat foods that are high in inositol ( Here’s to healthier hands!

  • Meghan

    Hmmm… I think I would like to WASTE LESS TIME ON THE INTERNET. It’s though, because I stay in contact with a lot of my friends through facebook and gchat, so I feel like if I’m not on the computer I WILL NEVER TALK TO THEM AGAIN NOOOOO. And I still need to be able to check emails, pay bills, do some moddin’ on LJ, and read your blog (and vegandad… and a musicology blog) So I’m not sure how to go about quitting the “wasting time” part of the internet without quitting the whole shebang cold turkey.

  • Meghan

    Oooh, I have a question about caffeine! Is it like… totally bad for you? When I was in college (the first time!) I drank a ton of code red mountain dew (ew.) to stay up to do work and stuff, and was totally addicted, and obviously that is bad. These days I pretty much just drink tea, with the occasional vegan drink from starbucks (one or twice a week) and SUPER occasional soda (a few times a month, maybe). Although now I have a french press. This could be bad news.

  • Sayward

    @ saundra – Oh man, resetting your schedule can be so tough. But it’s totally doable! I think your husband has it right, exercise would definitely help. Maybe a nice 1/2 hour walk after dinner? Getting to bed at a reasonable hour is also key. Maybe you could try taking melatonin to help you get to sleep? Or even just a cup of chamomile.

    You can do it lady! Good luck!

    @ Melissa – I haven’t heard that about inositol, that’s so interesting. Luckily I eat tons of those foods (and I’ve never been much of a biter). I know it can be such a tough habit to break though. Good luck this month!

    @ Meghan – I’ve been trying to curb my internet time, so I totally feel you. I’ve found that (amazingly), whatever time I cut out is totally un-missed! I seriously don’t even notice the difference, which just goes to show how much of our time online is wasted and worthless! Obviously not all, but a lot.

    I think a good strategy is to set allotted internet time. Like, an hour after dinner each night (or 2 hours, or whatever you need – the point is that it is a set amount at a set time) or first thing in the am . . . NOT every 15 minutes or between every task at work or whenever you’re bored, etc. That sort of rigidity is what’s worked for me and like I said, I really don’t miss it. Luck!

    I think caffeine is like soy – fine, even beneficial, when taken in moderation in it’s proper form (coffee, espresso, green/black tea). But unhealthy when taken to excess or made artificial (pills, energy drinks, etc)

    In my opinion there’s nothing at all wrong with a cup og french pressed coffee each day, BUT you will be addicted so I don’t know how you feel about that.

  • jana

    I really desire to involve myself in this mission. There are quite a few things that I look forward to change and get rid of. Good luck everyone! I hope that you can reach the goals you have set!

  • Sayward

    @ jana – Yay, join us! =)

    Good luck with whatever you decide to tackle!

  • Kat

    Oh look, it’s that girl who stops by every few months to check in and enjoy reading all your veg*an exploits! I’m not in a position to cut back on my vices (I just can’t do school without caffiene!) but I wanted to share MY salt story. I salted EVERYTHING when I was younger. EVERYTHING. It was joked about that I must’ve inherited this behavior from my grandmother, and when I realized in high school that so much sodium probably wasn’t good for me, I resolved to change it. Cold turkey. 2 days later I fainted in the shower. Turns out my body doesn’t absorb iodine very well. I wasn’t craving the sodium, I was craving the iodine! A few months ago I made another try at it, but this time I added a kelp supplement. No problems with fainting, but my mood and energy levels improved. My boyfriend came home a couple weeks ago with a bag of kelp that he picked up at a local small-town grocery store, and I’ve been putting that on everything now instead of salt. It’s so flavorful and now I don’t have to take it in a pill. Hooray for thoughtful significant others!

  • Sayward

    @ Kat – I’ve wondered about that, but I don’t use iodized salt, so I don’t think it’s the case for me. However, this month I *did* start eating way more kelp than ever before. So, maybe there’s something to it . . .

  • Vivienne Grainger

    Are you familiar with Bragg’s Amino Acids? It’s a dark brown liquid that can substitute for salt in almost every application (maybe not homemade hot potato chips, but honestly, I can’t think of any other). I skimmed the comments, so someone else may have talked about it; if so, my apologies.
    You can cook with it, add it after, use it for sweet or savory foods … only thing is, it adds color, and will darken white or pale foods.

    And for those of you who are trying to kick caffeine, get yourself some whole cardamom pods, and you won’t have the caffeine-withdrawal headache which is completely immune to painkillers. Cardamom binds to neural receptors that register this pain, which actually comes from dropping blood pressure. Wikipedia actually has a good description of this mechanism under its “Caffeine” article, but doesn’t mention the cardamom hack. That comes from Ayurvedic medicine.