vegan

All posts tagged vegan

I’m Vegan and Other Vegans Make Me Cringe

Published April 15, 2022 by Maryanne
Let Go of Your Ego

Though I’ve used cruelty free products since 1996, I haven’t officially become a vegan until last summer.

I think what took me so long was the fact that the certified bat shit crazy vegan troupe was stuck in my brain. I had to separate myself from them first in order to make that final leap.

No matter what I say in this post, some crazy vegan will see it and argue with me. But I dare just ONE vegan to come forward and say, “You’re right.” Because I am. Because non-vegans agree with me.

Vegans make loving animals seem like a cult. Trust me, I’ve been to the Peta House back in 1998, during one of the many times I’ve dabbled in veganism since 1986 when I first gave up meat.

They are downright NASTY to anyone who disagrees with them and use their vegan card as a badge of ego, being condescending to others and being overly proud of their vegan knowledge.

It’s discouraging to those who want to change to become vegan, because they don’t want to be like that. And meat eaters just laugh at us because of how insane we are.

Here are some of the over-the-top, ultra-ridiculous vegan “things” I — as a fellow vegan — disagree with:

  1. Vegans who won’t date non-vegans. This is so ego-driven it’s sickening. You are alienating yourself from others and acting superior. It’s also a missed opportunity. If you date someone who isn’t vegan, you are exposing him/her to vegan foods and helping animals by getting a meat eater to give up meat meals a few times a week. It’s like how plant-based eaters go for their Meatless Mondays. It is NOT a bad thing and shame on you vegans for judging others. Date whoever you want! Do not listen to kooky vegans!
  2. Vegans who don’t keep cats as pets because cats can’t be vegan. This is just wrong. Yes, farm animals deserve to live, but so do our pets. Cats can survive outside, but the odds are against them. If you live in a city, they can get hit by a car. If you live in the country, they could get attacked by coyotes. It’s a thin line here, but not everything is black and white. It’s gray. When I feed my cats, I say a prayer to the farm animals and hope that someday scientists can come up with a better solution. So shut the fuck up you vegan control-freak hypocrite! I have three cats and they will not be vegans because that is cruelty to animals! I took an old cat out of an animal shelter and adopted him. If you see something wrong with this, you are a cruel, weird individual.
  3. Vegans who alienate themselves from non-vegans. This is weird too. They won’t go to non-vegan restaurants. Or they go and look sad the whole time because they’re not getting the full vegan experience. It’s not about YOU! We are on this planet to get along with other people. Just live and let live. I would like to believe that everyone will become vegan in due time. But why shun others who are not? For whatever reason, they don’t make the connection about why eating animals isn’t cool, but who the fuck are we to judge them? I sound angry because I am angry about how condescending vegans can be. There are MANY non-vegans who do great things for animals, whether it’s donating to shelters, adopting not shopping, volunteering for animal rescues, and so on. Yet, you continue to preach and judge them! Fellow vegans, I am ASHAMED of you, and cringe that I am in YOUR elitist club!

We need a NEW name for the vegans who aren’t this way. Those who are compassionate towards others who aren’t vegans but love animals. Those who admire others who aren’t vegan but who are doing their best. THAT is who I am as a vegan. If you’re not a vegan and you’re a great pet mommy or daddy, I ADMIRE YOU! If you’re not a vegan, but you make an effort eating plant-based meals, I ADMIRE YOU! If you’re not a vegan, but you sign petitions for justice for animals that have been abused, I ADMIRE YOU!

Do not let these OTHER vegans put you down. This is not my troupe! I honestly am disgusted by them. And believe me, while many ARE like that, not all of us are.

I would LOVE to hear from fellow vegans who agree with what I have to say. And for those vegans who don’t agree, I DO NOT want to hear from you, because I’ve heard ENOUGH from you for the past several decades and you are DEAD WRONG! I’m so glad I am not like you!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

I Survived The Master Cleanse in 2008!

Published April 7, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo swiped from Google search

On this day in 2008, I began The Master Cleanse. It’s a 10-day cleanse fast to recharge your system.

It was quite an experience and I would not recommend it prior to reading “The Master Cleanse” by Stanley Burroughs, as there is a science to doing it the correct way, as opposed to jumping in blindly.

From my diaries, I am sharing my 10 days right here! (Note, I had just left a very stressful job in journalism at The Montclair Times, where I was employed for seven years. I wrote briefly about it during the cleanse, and I left out more personal things like what my husband (then, boyfriend) and I did. He went on the cleanse with me, which was awesome!

Master Cleanse – Day 1 (a.m.)
So the preparation started last night, with a laxative tea that I’ll be drinking morning and evening to move the stuff along since I won’t be eating any food.

I’ll also be taking a parasite cleanse and enzymes.

I can still take B5 if I get caffinated tea withdrawal symptoms, but so far so good. Yesterday I got on just fine with a quarter cup of tea. I took the B5 and made it through the day with no headache. 

I was very hyper last night and had some insomnia — which never bothers me, I always embrace it. I’m pretty wrapped up in a V.C. Andrews book, “Music in the Night.” That is my night reading.

In the day, before work, I’m reading the newest Marianne Williamson book, but I’m taking a break from that to read the back issues of Pure Inspiration. 

My fortune in the laxative tea said, “YOU ARE UNLIMITED”

How appropriate for the first day of the cleanse.

I’ll finish my tea, check out some journals and start my day with some yoga and weights.

Then I’ll make my first Master Cleanse drink. 

Disclamer: Do not try this at home without taking a Master Cleanse class. These notes are just my experiences. This is an intense cleanse and can be dangerous if not done properly. If my own body tells me to stop the cleanse, I will.

Master Cleanse Day 2 (a.m.)

So I can definitely feel this working … weird things going on in my stomach. Mind you I am doing a parasite cleanse along with the Master Cleanse (yes, I am a tuff one!) 

At one point it felt like someone was writing on my stomach with a pencil. Strange sensations, but nothing painful. My stomach also bloated like a big balloon.

Until 2 p.m. when the headaches began. This is nothing new, as I’ve had a lot of migraines of late when I had all that stress at The Montclair Times. I also felt extremely tired. 

I embraced the tiredness. It reminded me of — not a stressful tired, but a tired I felt in my younger years. The kind of tired I felt when I only slept an hour because I came home so late from seeing Johnny Thunders (shows started and ended a lot later back then) … so I’d go to work anyway because I was always the go-getter, and slept in my car. THAT is the kind of tired I like! A subtle tired, something I never really felt much after the age of 25. It was always like, I was pretty spent the next day when I partied or saw a band … not like being 18 and drinking all day and night and doing it again the next day.

ANYWAY … I napped, Dennis took care of me …. then before I was ready for bed, I felt a sweet euphoria come over me. I was painless and happy. It was a comforting feeling comparable to taking herion. But it was natural and real. This is something I’d feel from time to time when I was a 100 percent raw foodist. Again, I felt like a teenager. Just lying in bed, with Dennis sleeping at my side, looking at the shelves in our bedroom … so at peace. 

This morning I was 4 pounds lighter. I had gained up to 120 pounds (three pounds in a month, due to all the delicious vegan food). This morning I was my favorite weight 116. 

I hope I don’t lose 4 pounds every night … 10 days is a long time! I’m not going to be afraid because I will gain back healthier tissues.

You can drink between 6 to 12 of the Master Cleanse concoction … I only made it to 7. You feel soooo FULL. I wasn’t hungry until 8 p.m. when I started fantasizing about spinach pasta and tomato sauce. That is the only food I am thinking about. Everything looks, smells gross to me at this point. 

I am so surprised with my fast metabolism that I didn’t drink more than 7. REALLY SURPRISED.

I have a feeling I’ll drink more today. I can feel that I’m getting hungry again, and I just had a drink a half hour ago.

***
Dennis is starting the Master Cleanse today. Last night he said, “Should I wait until you’re done, so I can take care of you?” I’m like, “No, let’s just do it together.” It will be easier for socializing. We have a few family obligations this weekend and it will be more supportive — to me — if we are both not eating. 

Master Cleanse — Day 3 (a.m.)
So yesterday I drank the maximum 12 drinks. I lost one extra pound, which is exactly what I wanted. Losing one pound per day will be perfect for me. I’m 115 now and 108 will be a nice summer weight.

I think I’m over the hump. No more caffeine withdrawl headaches — yay!

The eczema on my leg is drying up. 

I have a lot more energy and even the stamina for a lot of things I did yesterday: shopping twice, a long ride with Dennis, not collapsing into bed, but going at my own pace. 

I did have a bit of insomnia again, but that never bothers me, I just embrace it and read. 

I did some light yoga this morning too. The first day I exercised since being on the cleanse.

Master Cleanse Day 3 (evening)
For the first time in a long time, I look just as good as I did when I left the house in the morning — without reapplying make-up!

This can be you too! The Master Cleanse is a natural instant face-lift.

I’m all bright-eyed and soft skin (although my skin is what I get most compliments on) … but the biggest change is my hair!! It’s all soft and silky and shiny. Even the blonde highlights are brighter/blonder! I got a compliment on my hair for the first time in a long time.

I dropped five pounds and I’m down to 115.

A friend said, “You don’t look like you’re on a cleanse!” (Because most people look awful when they are detoxing).

Again I am drinking 12 “lemonades” today. The supposed maximum, but you can go over that if you are super active.

No more severe detox symptoms. I do feel a bit light-headed on occasion, but that always passes.

What I am feeling today is very similar to how I felt when I ate 100 percent raw foods … which I’d like to go back to, in a perfect world, but I just love pasta too much.

And what’s an Italian girl without pasta? I gave it up for five years, just started eating it again when I became vegan in September … wow, what I missed!!

Surprisingly that’s the only food I am thinking of. When I’m off this cleanse it’s either a macro dish of Hunan dumplings or a big bowel of spinach pasta with natural red sauce!

Master Cleanse Day 5 (a.m.) 
Well I reached the half-way point! Nothing out of the ordinary going on. My weight seems to have stabilized at 114.5. 
I am calm, peaceful, happy, energetic … Dennis and I went for a nice walk last night. New Jersey spring weather was glorious yesterday. 

Master Cleanse Day 6 (a.m.)
I dropped another pound, weighing in at 113.5, which is nice. I feel so good and slim. A friend noticed I lost weight and added, “Don’t lose too much more” with a smile 🙂

Master Cleanse Day 7 (a.m.)
Just think, next week at this time I will be munching on some nice yoga bread with Earth Balance Soy Margarine and bilberry organic all natural jelly!

I’m on my 7th day of not eating and I’ve accomplished everything I’ve set out to: 

1. I quit my caffeine (tea) addiction
2. I lost a few pounds. My weight seems to have stabilized at 113.5
3. No more headaches
4. I am more calm, peaceful, spiritual.
5. The eczema on my leg is really clearing up!
And as an added bonus, my hands are soooo soft! Just two days ago they were so chapped from the winter cold (I always forget to put gloves on) — now they feel so silky, like the nose area of a horse (I always love petting that part of a horse!) 

I feel like I’m two years younger. I feel more like 42 than 44. I have the energy and the body I did two years ago! THIS is the real me now … not being all stressed and tired. The Montclair Times did a number on me with all the stress and bullshit.

Master Cleanse — Day 8!
If someone told me, even two months ago, that I’d be going over a week without food, I would have laughed in their face! 

But here I am, on my 8th day without food. The Master Cleanse Lemon-Aide drink, which strongly resembles a Snapple, provides all the vitamins a person needs except B-12, which I started taking two days ago. I am not taking any other vitamins (or even probiotics). I am taking pills for a parasite cleanse. 

Today I feel super amazing. My weight is down to 113, making it a grand total of 7.5 pounds lost! 

Everyone is saying that I didn’t need to lose weight, but I feel much better thinner. Who doesn’t?

Thursday and Friday I can eat mangos, papaya, pineapples and oranges. 

I can’t wait to taste the sweet fruit. I remember how delightful fruit tasted when I was 100 percent raw: juicier, sweeter … each segment of an orange tasted different from the last. I look forward to that, very much. 

Saturday I can eat all other fruits. Saturday night a raw vegetable salad! 

And Sunday back to normal eating. 

I do not feel hunger pain on the Master Cleanse, but psychologically, I MISS FOOD. 

Both of our families were extremely supportive during the cleanse. My mom even said that your body only needs about a third of the food you eat. 

This is definitely a positive experience and I’m going to do it again next year (not every month like some do). 

Once a year tune-up sounds good to me. This time is perfect too: shedding your old skin for spring/summer. 

All weekend I did power yoga while on the cleanse. 

This morning I’m going to do some weights.

Master Cleanse Day 9 (a.m.)
My weight is still 113 and I’m still feeling “MARVELOUS DAHLING!”

I re-read portions of the Master Cleanse books and came to realize that if I can make it through the days coming off the Master Cleanse, eating just fruits and finally a raw vegetable salad, I may go back to eating raw all day and a cooked meal at night (with exceptions for holidays and shore trips). All vegan of course.

No one wants to hear it, but we truly are addicted to food. It’s so comforting, so social, so there for us. 

But once you break out of it, you feel incredibly liberated.

No longer am I thinking about Hunan Dumplings, but how I want to treat my body the best I can.

Without really much exercise, my body is so clean that I can see cuts in my stomach again — fab abs, some would say. Yesterday my biceps felt incredibly hard and I haven’t worked biceps in over a week. Also, as I had one foot on the tub, picking up soap, I noticed how my calf was popping out! 

When people compare the Master Cleanse to a spiritual journey, this is what comes to mind…

As a kid, I was one of the “lucky” ones who didn’t have religion forced on me. I was baptized as Catholic, but that’s as far as it went. I never had to go to church or practice anything. 

Why I put the word lucky in quotes is because sometimes I think not having religion forced on you really isn’t all that lucky. I believe discipline is healthy to an extent. 

Hearing about Lent as a pre-teen, I wanted to give it a shot and give up something I loved for Lent. Probably the first spiritual thing I ever did. 

For three weeks prior to Easter, I gave up listening to my favorite rock band, Queen. But I was mad obsessed. I had to listen to all five albums that were out during that time — every day after school — IN ORDER! If Queen was on a late night show like “Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert” or “Midnight Special” I’d take extra vitamins, thinking this will help me stay up and watch the band. I painted the fingernails on my left hand black and cut my hair like Freddie Mercury and incorporated “dears” and “darlings” into my pre-teen speech.

When Easter came and I started listening to Queen again, my love was there there, but I wasn’t as obsessed over them.

If this is what can come out of my Master Cleanse journey — having food still there, but not being obsessed over it, that can be a major breakthrough in my life. 

Although people see me as a healthy person, I don’t. I am nowhere near the caliber of Jack LaLanne, and all these folks who eat the freshest food, in simple portions.

For a small girl, I eat pasta with gusto. Even as a raw foodist, fruit, vegetables and nuts weren’t enough for me — I had to have GOURMET RAW FOODS. 

And my stomach is like a rock too. I can eat a full meal at 5 a.m. — no problem-o. 

So, let’s see if I can take it one step further. Let’s see if I can go the extra mile when it comes to health. To further detox my body. To live life in peace as it should be lived. To not let obsessions, such as food, rule the body. 

To go back to being that child who was hesitant to run to the dinner table when Mom called. 

Yes, that is the peace I know, while on the Master Cleanse! 

So, when I break this cleanse and after a three-day fruit fest, and my body is ready for “real food” again … it’s not going to be, “Hoo-Rah, let’s have macrobiotic vegan dumplings!” Yeah, I’ll definitely eat them … at the proper time, and feeling blessed for the chance to eat nurturing food.

Master Cleanse Day 10 — LAST DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

So today is my last day on the cleanse and I hope it’s a good one. Out of the nine days so far, I only felt super high energy on four of them. The other five I was really tired, but peaceful and happy.

Whoa, I dropped more weight and I’m down to 111!!! That’s nine pounds gone! I’ll probably lose even more because I won’t be really eating again until Sunday, but if I stick to high raw, I’d like to stay between 111 – 113, even down to 109/110 is good for me. 

Last night I fit into a pair of “wishing thinking” jeans that a girl gave me last fall. I wish I didn’t throw out a lot of stuff I had when I started packing on the pounds, but then again, your tastes change as you grow and change, so it’s all good. There was another pair of pants I always LOVED that I found in a thrift store in the East Village. I tried them on last night … they were still a bit snug, but I was like, “What was so great about these pants? Duh!” 

Then there’s my Tripp fashion “Johnny Rotten” plaid pants, that are only good for winter, so maybe next winter … and I have the vertical b&w striped “Steven Tyler” pants … if they fit, wow, I love those pants. I had them since the 1990s. I’ll try them on this morning. 

My stomach is flat, flat, flat as a board again! 

I’m still detoxing like crazy … I get weird aches in my body. Today it’s my back, like the pre-menstral pains I got as a young adult (that stopped after I gave up eating meat). 

Last night I tasted TOBACCO in my mouth — WTF?!?! I never smoked in my life!! I tried a few cigarettes here and there when drank, but never a steady smoker. Is this second hand smoke coming out of my body? 

So, yeah, the Master Cleanse is cleaning things I’m not even realizing. 

It was a fun trip, but I won’t be doing this again until same time next year … maybe I’ll coincide it with Lent. 

Now the next three days are about coming off the Cleanse. I can’t just dive into a dish of pasta, I have to ease in with certain fruits, then later on a raw salad, then by Sunday I can eat again. But like I said, I want to go back to more juicing, more raw, eating lighter during the day and having a vegan/macro meal at night. 

UPDATE – This was the first and ONLY time I did The Master Cleanse. It was rough going without food for 10 days, and the detox was certainly rough too. Maybe I’ll do it again in this lifetime, but I am in no hurry to do so. Note, if you do this, plan for not really eating for 15 days, as you have to ease back into food slowly. (The first day afterwards you can only eat oranges, then advance to soup, then salads, and finally regular food).

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Bad Vegan, Upcoming Netflix Documentary

Published March 11, 2022 by Maryanne
Bad Vegan documentary

This morning I turned on You Tube (which I watch while having my morning coffee, as I prefer my You Tube feed to the news) and found out there was a documentary made about the downfall of Sarma Melngailis, former owner of Pure Food & Wine. The four-part documentary will premiere on Netflix next week and tells the story of the beloved restaurant owner who became a fraud and fugitive.

I just want to say, that I am in full support of Sarma Melngailis. Yes, it was wrong that she embezzled from her staff and investors. However, I feel she was brainwashed and a victim of her then husband Anthony Strangis. You can decide for yourself when the documentary runs, or just Google the story. It’s all over the internet.

My heart goes out to Sarma, and to her staff. I am in great hopes that they can all have amazing comebacks and regain their losses. However, Anthony Strangis should rot in hell. And that’s all I’m saying on this.

But in happier times, Pure Food & Wine was the hottest raw food restaurant in NYC. Celebrities like Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore dined there. Middle class reporters also dined there–me!

From 2004 to around 2013 or so, I was eating a high raw (and sometimes all raw) diet. I ate at all the raw food restaurants in NYC on a regular basis – Caravan of Dreams, Quintessence, Bonobos… But Pure Food & Wine beat them all, hands down.

And, NO, it’s not about salads you can make at home. It was gourmet raw food at it’s finest! Food was dehydrated at 110 degrees to keep enzymes in tact. Raw chefs created splendid, savory delights to tantalize the palate. Pure Food & Wine had a $10,000 Japanese water filter that produced water that tasted like heaven. I’ve never had water that tasted so good in my life. There were also organic raw food alcoholic beverages. And the waitstaff treated you like royalty.

The tab came out to hundreds of dollars, even for just a couple, but it was well worth it. I went there so many times with my husband Dennis, and friends, that I lost count. It was the only raw restaurant I never went to solo because it was an experience to be shared. It was a small restaurant, with a lovely garden in the back end that you could enjoy when weather was appropriate. I’ve only eaten in the garden twice during the many times I was there.

One time, I saw Sarma herself there. I didn’t say “hello” because I’m a shy person. She was a stunning woman. I was close enough to see her “Lucky Duck” tattoo on her upper arm. She looked intense and intimidating, but she really was a sweetheart. There was the time I was assigned to write an article about the place. I went with my friend Andrew. Pure Food & Wine was always so magical, it was easy to get caught up in the moment. Andrew and I had finished our meal and then realized we hadn’t taken any photos of the food! I shamefully submitted my article with just a photo of Andrew and I at the restaurant. It was accepted, and the editor said, “Next time you review a restaurant, take photos of the food.”

Nevertheless, Sarma came across my article and thanked me personally in an email! I was ecstatic. That was class, and so unheard of in this day and age, especially from restaurant owners. (As a reporter, honestly, covering restaurants is the last thing I want to do. Restaurant owners are the hardest people to nail down for an interview. Celebrities and musicians are the easiest–and most professional).

I give Sarma a lot of credit for participating in this upcoming documentary. Stay strong, Sarma. I am rooting for you!

2006, Maryanne and husband Dennis at Pure Food & Wine
(Maryanne’s 43rd birthday)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Staying In Shape Over 50 with Intermittent Fasting

Published March 7, 2022 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, age 58

Most women over 50 realize that your metabolism does slow down. I’m sure there are plenty of women who could eat whatever they want and not gain weight. I’m not one of them. Even though I lead an active lifestyle and exercise between 5 to 7 days a week (yoga, kickboxing, low impact cardio, light weights, Pilates, swimming, stretching, etc.), sometimes my metabolism is great, other times not so great.

During my older years, I discovered a “trick” to be able to stay in shape without starving yourself, without counting calories (which is dumb anyway because not all calories are created equal), or being obsessed with exercise (doing too much that you don’t have much of a life).

The trick is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is giving yourself a window of time to eat and staying in that window. I’ve done this many times over the years and it works better than any diet. (I’m not a fan of dieting or counting calories – I never did either.)

My time window is from noon until 6 p.m. For the past two weeks I’ve been waiting until noon to eat my first meal. And once 6 p.m. hits, I do not eat anymore until the next day — at noon. In two weeks I lost four pounds of winter weight gain, and am at my happy weight of 129. (I am a petite 5’2″ and a size 6).

I am a vegan, and let’s be honest, vegan food is fantastic! I try to eat as clean as possible, salads, whole foods, vegetables, and healthy protein. But when the weekend comes, I do like to have my vegan “treats” like whole wheat bread, fakin’ bacon, vegan “cheeze” or whatever. Not as healthy as I eat during the week, but I’m enjoying this food and no animal suffers for it. But after the weekend, I used to gain a pound or two and it would take two to three days to get back to my normal weight. With intermittent fasting, it’s easier to bounce back!

Intermittent fasting is healthy. It gives your body a break from food. I did it, on and off, as far back as the 1980s. In addition to not having to worry about your weight, you also feel more energized–and happier in general. The body is able to handle stress easier.

I highly recommend intermittent fasting. But before you begin, do your research and consult with a physician if you have a health condition.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Go Vegan on National Pig Day

Published March 1, 2022 by Maryanne
Pigs, photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
Piglets, photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Happy National Pig Day! I LOVE PIGS SO MUCH! ❤ I took this photo at a farm in Morristown, NJ a few years back. Pigs are very smart animals; as smart as a 3-year-old toddler. If you own a pig as a pet you have to entertain them because they are so smart. If they get bored, they will destroy things in your home. (Cats are similar in that fact). They are also said to be as loyal as dogs.

My favorite pig books include “The Good Good Pig” by Sy Montgomery; and “The Christmas Pig” by Kinky Friedman. Because of my love for pigs, I haven’t had pork or bacon since 1986!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Anniversary of My First Published Book

Published February 6, 2022 by Maryanne
At Gallery U, Westfield, NJ (joking around after one of my early book signings, 2014)

On this day, February 6, in 2014, my very first book was published, “On The Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.” I was 50-years-old. I say my age so I can encourage people, it’s never to late to go after your dreams. During the next few years I had four more books published. Now I’m on a book break and back in journalism, writing for NY Clips.

It seems like yesterday, waking up in the morning with the realization, I’m an author. It was like living in a dream. I did it. I had a book published. It was sold on Amazon and in many stores. It’s now out of print and some guy who thinks I’m a big deal is selling the book for almost a grand.

The year my first book came out, it was incredible. I was on podcasts across the country and did many book signings in art galleries, bookstores, libraries, and even record stores–after all it was a book about music!

While being an author is a big deal, I consider myself more of a journalist at heart. As a journalist, you write about other people (unless it’s an op/ed piece). And that’s who I am–a person who likes a little limelight as a journalist, but prefers to be behind the scenes. As a journalist, they spotlight isn’t on you, but on the subject you’re interviewing. Nevertheless I am an author too. And as uncomfortable as that feels to me, I have to embrace it. I am an author. Five books later, it just seems like a normal thing. It’s on longer anything to get excited about. With my last book, I had my first advance. I still receive royalty checks. But I have several books in the works that I have no desire to finish. Journalism is where my heart is at, at this moment. Tomorrow I’ll begin my week writing an article about vegan meals in NYC schools. How great is that? (Great that NYC schools will have vegan meals. And great that I’ll be sitting home writing an article about something that speaks to my heart!). I am very blessed.

That’s me, in my early 30s, on the cover of my first book

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

Bloganuary Challenge – Day 17 – What Superpower Would You Like to Have?

Published January 17, 2022 by Maryanne
Derick, The ‘Invisible’ Cat

This question is irrelevant for me. I went through all the super powers I could think of and none of them appealed to me.

I don’t want to fly. My head is always in the clouds. What I need is to be grounded.

I don’t want x-ray vision. I want to make people happy, not embarrassed.

And I certainly don’t want to be invisible. I worked hard my whole life to be seen and heard.

But speaking of invisible, I once had a cat who sometimes thought he was. Derick was the first cat I owned when I was single and living alone. Since kittenhood he was extremely attached to me. He’d follow me from room to room. He’d sit on my lap almost the entire day as I worked. He’d be at my side while I relaxed. And God forbid I left the house. He’d sit on the window sill, awaiting my return. If I sat in my backyard, he’d be in the window mewing, demanding that I come back in the house.

I had another cat, Billy Cat. Billy was more shy. He hid often. But in his later years, he competed with Derick for my attention. However, Derick wouldn’t have it. There would be friction between them whenever Derick saw Billy near me or on my lap.

Sometimes, randomly, Derick would take a swat at Billy. Billy would meow so loud, it was like the scream of death. Then they’d get into a rumble. My husband and I often caught Derick just in time. His paw would rise up to swipe Billy, and both of us would say, “No….” in unison, dragging out the “o” to show we meant business without getting loud or yelling. Derick would immediately freeze and his paw was comically suspended in mid-air. Then he would put his head down, and walk away ashamed.

However, Derick was relentless and not one to give up. His future attacks on Billy wouldn’t be so obvious. He would creep slowly into the room, then hunch his body down low as he inched towards Billy, sneaking up on him. My husband caught him, just in time, and said, “Hey! You’re not invisible!”

We laughed so hard over our “invisible” cat.

But I will say, the two did have their loving moments. They slept together, groomed each other, and had many peaceful moments. When Billy got older and had trouble walking, due to arthritis, and later cancer, Derick was a concerned little cat brother and doted over Billy until his death at age 19. Two years later, Derick died. He was also 19.

Does your cat have a super power? I’d love to hear about it!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Bloganuary Challenge – Day 16 – What is a Cause You Are Passionate About and Why?

Published January 16, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo by Mauro Sbicego

Well, what a coincidence to see this question come up for today. A cause I am passionate about and why? Do not read unless you are ready for a mouthful in defense of a cat because I am LIVID!

My cause is CATS! They are mystical, beautiful, loving (YES LOVING) creatures who are misunderstood. I’d had cats (and other pets – guinea pigs, snakes, hamsters, turtles, and dogs) all my life and never had a bad one. Why? Because I KNOW how to treat animals. You do not tease/taunt them. You respect, and train, a pet and the pet will be your friend forever. YES, even CATS (and lions/tigers too; do the research on how loving they are! Even PIGS are loving!)

The thing with cats is, you have to win them over. Once you do, they will love you like a dog does. I had a few cats that ran to the door when I came home, slept near the door when I was on a business trip, and instinctively knew when I was very sad.

So, animal lover that I am, I follow animal pages, on WordPress and Facebook. But after yesterday I will no longer support Facebook because of what I saw and all the hate this video provoked.

Have you ever heard of The Dodo? They make “inspiring” videos about animals. They start out with a tragic sad story, but it ends up happy. Usually I skip the sad part and go straight to the happy ending. However, this disgusting story they posted on Facebook yesterday made me ill. An aspiring You Tube influencer, who, I guess sees herself as a model, made a video taunting her gorgeous cat to give the impression, “I love my cat, but my cat hates me.”

This woman is unstable and knows nothing about cats. Or children. She teased the cat, then put her children in harms way, where the cat reached out and almost clawed them. The cat hissed at everyone. “Influencer” said, “The cat hates happiness. He is a grumpy cat.”

Ginger cats are the most docile cats. I never saw a ginger hiss like that. This woman was dangling her fingers in the cat’s face, putting clothes on him that he didn’t want to wear, and exposing the cat to a noisy household with children who teased the cat.

I wrote to The DODO and said, “I’m sorry Dodo, I love your channel but this is a fail. That cat doesn’t “hate happiness” as the owner says. The cat is obviously stressed for some reason. This family needs to hire a feline behaviorist to get to the bottom of it. I’ve taken in ferals who hissed at first and then became loving cats. You need to work with them, and try to understand them.”

I received over FOUR THOUSAND LIKES! (Damn, maybe I should have promoted my latest book on that thread too?!) HOWEVER, I also met the nastiest people ever on the internet, which solidified my decision to go off Facebook permanently. First, I shared the post in my private animal group. I was disappointed that friends saw the post and it didn’t seem to phase them. Then I read the hundreds of comments from people hating me for defending the cat.

Some of them went like this:

“Who are you, the cat whisperer?” — Yes, bitch, I am. I am a certified feline behaviorist.

“Put that cat in a burlap sack and drown it.” — Wow, what a nice, loving guy! I wonder what your mom thinks of you?

“Treat it like a puppy and smack it in the nose.” — Pure evil. Never smack an animal. But I’ve seen it. I used to work in a dog grooming facility, and dogs would always get smacked. I had to quit. I couldn’t take seeing that abuse on a regular basis. It was a long time ago, but I should have reported the bitch who ran the grooming salon.

“That cat has to be put down.” — WRONG. That cat was a perfect good cat who was ruined. The influencer had the cat since she was a kitten–I saw the pictures on her Instagram page. However, this “influencer” seemed to be too busy modeling for animal crackers instead of training her kitten — and her children. Can we say SELF ABSORBED?! YES WE CAN!

People who mistreat and hate animals, I’m sorry, they are the scum of the earth. Our cats are gentle, loving creatures, who are part of the family. They want to be in the same room as us, no matter what room we’re in, they follow us. Even the shy feral who rarely lets us pet him. He still shows us his belly to say, “I like you.” (Cat lovers understand this).

If your cat is hissing or clawing at people, it’s your responsibility to figure out what is wrong! It’s not a bad cat. YOU are the bad owner. Just like parents. If the kid is bad news, it’s not the child’s fault.

Taking in a pet is a huge responsibility that can last up to two decades, maybe even three (some cats lived until their 30s! Lucky owners!) If you can’t be responsible, DO NOT GET A CAT.

And all this to jack up likes on Instagram, which THE DODO promoted for this crazy woman!

SHAME ON THE DODO. I will NEVER watch their happy ending animal videos again, because this cat did not have one. I hope someone in authority sees the video and takes the cat away from her. There needs to be more strict laws on animal abuse.

I’d love to hear from other animal lovers, and on this issue, I’m sorry I’m not going to agree to disagree. I stand strong on my beliefs.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Happy World Kindness Day!

Published November 13, 2021 by Maryanne

Happy World Kindness Day!

There’s an entire chapter on Kindness in my book “Be (Extra)Ordinary” Have you read it yet? It’s available on Amazon and in Barnes & Noble stores. https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

Acts of kindness, whether giving or receiving, can change the entire mood of the day.

To keep it real, I have to say it can be shocking when someone does something nice. As much as we’d like to believe the world is filled with goodness, that’s not always the case. When someone is kind, it shouldn’t be taken for granted, but it shouldn’t be shocking either. The other day I was driving up the Garden State Parkway and came to a toll collector who was actually pleasant–most of them aren’t. I cheered her on. I let her know her great personality was appreciated. She certainly put a smile on my face.

In my home, there is so much love. I have an amazing husband who adores me (as I adore him!) and three loving cats (who are nothing like the cats on the television series “My Cat From Hell.”). We’ve created a cozy environment, decorated to our artistic tastes. We’re almost always playing music on the stereo and burning candles and incense. It’s easy to be happy and loving at home. It’s a peaceful, fun, enchanting place to be. But when you go out in the real world, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Small chores like running to the bank or grocery store can be stressful.

It bothers me that I’m a happy, fun, lovable person and I don’t always get the respect I deserve from others. I once read that people who are the nicest are also the ones others take their crap out on. They are unhappy themselves so how can they be kind to others? (Well, you know they are decent to the ones they think matter, like the person who signs their paycheck).

I just found a new dentist I like. And I LOVE the x-ray tech; what a great lady! But the receptionist — eh, not too pleasant. In fact, when I was there a week ago, she behaved snippy towards me. It was as if I bothered her by being there. How dare I interrupt her phone scrolling! I reported her and the dentist couldn’t believe it. She said no one said that before. However, when I looked up the reviews, people DID say that. Others commented that the receptionist was a bitch. I have no other choice now than to find a new dentist because the situation was uncomfortable. Life shouldn’t be annoying like this. If everyone takes a breather and THINKS before they react, I’m sure we’d have a lot more kindness in this world.

Maryanne spreading the word of love!

To celebrate kindness, I’m going to share three acts of kindness that recently happened from random strangers; and then share what I have done for random strangers.

Receiving

  1. A few days ago my husband and I were in Whole Foods getting a vegan pizza. It’s unusual that we go anywhere for just one item. The line was very long, but a man in line saw us and said, “You just have one item, you can go ahead of me.” We declined his offer, as we don’t mind waiting. But, how cool was that?
  2. It’s always a great feeling when someone in his/her car lets you get ahead of them in a busy intersection.
  3. On rainy or cold days, the mailman (or mailwoman) walks directly to my door the hand me my mail, so I don’t have to go out to the mailbox in the rain or cold. That is so appreciated!

Giving

  1. Over the summer I found a $100 bill in a hotel. I brought it to the front desk, and a second later, a teenager came to the front desk seeking their lost bill. I felt good that I found it. Not everyone would return in.
  2. I’m a clothes freak. I’m always buying new clothes, but also cleaning out my closets to donate to the needy several times a year.
  3. In a few weeks I’ll be promoting animal activisim for The Humane League at a local pet shop.

All this stuff is so random, but it shows how a little can go a long way!

Tell me about a random act of kindness, regarding giving or receiving, in the comments section below.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats