vegan

All posts tagged vegan

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

Perfect Thyroid Health on Vegan Lifestyle

Published October 25, 2021 by Maryanne
Photo by Christopher Carson (from Unsplash)

Perfect thyroid health thanks to vegan lifestyle.

My thyroid was off earlier this past summer. I heard about others fixing their thyroid with a vegan lifestyle, and figured it can’t hurt. (But of course I was doing this for the animals, which I wrote about in previous blogs).

Just a few months of being vegan, my thyroid is excellent again!! Along with all my other bloodwork! Perfect sugar handling, perfect iron, perfect cholesterol, perfect D, etc.

I always share my age for reference to others — 58.

Fish and rennetless cheese were the last things I gave up. I haven’t had pork, veal, lamb, or conventional meat since 1986. Five years ago I started eating grass-fed beef, but quickly gave that up. Don’t remember when I last had chicken or turkey. Maybe 2017? Note, I’m also taking natural vegan supplements. You have to give yourself extra loving care with a vegan lifestyle, otherwise you’ll have deficiencies. I highly recommend hiring a health coach, like I did.

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

Grateful

Published October 10, 2021 by Maryanne

After having a great vegan meal, including a vegan pumpkin donut, I saw this cute photo op outside of the restaurant. “Grateful” is a beautiful word I like to use every single day. Each morning I get up and write a list in my diary, between 3 to 10 things I am grateful for. Some days I go all the way to 11 or 12!

But what I am most grateful for, is the person who took this photo of me. The person who rarely wants to be in the photos. The person who is confident enough to let me shine. That person is my husband, Dennis.

Each morning I am so grateful for him, because he’s the kind of guy that gets up with a smile on his face. Every. Single. Morning.

We share a great love for music and animals, especially cats. That is our biggest connection. We’re always listening to music in our home. We start our days with music and a cup of coffee–and the cats. The cats who always want to be part of the family, because they are. Three little individual souls who have their unique purr-sonalities. They make us laugh. They snuggle with us. They appreciate us. They are so grateful. Yes, cats are grateful.

Musicians are grateful too. When you ask for a photo or an autograph, that makes their life worth living. Musicians thrive on fans buying tickets to their shows, and purchasing their music. They need us. So don’t ever feel ashamed of being a fan. I am proud to be one!

I am grateful for food. Food that nourishes me and keeps me healthy.

I am grateful to live in a nice house, in a safe neighborhood.

I am grateful for clothes. I love new, upscale clothing. But I also love thrift shopping. Both have their positives. New clothes = new energy! They illustrate who you are today, right now. And old clothes are healthier for you (because they dye doesn’t get into your skin) and the environment.

I am grateful for creativity. I am lucky to be able to make a living as a writer. And in my spare time I take art classes. I am not great at it, so I don’t make money off my art. Nevertheless, it’s fun.

What are you grateful for?

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

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and speaking engagements. She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne 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

Oreos are Not Vegan

Published October 9, 2021 by Maryanne
Photo by Doruk Yemenici

Sugar, cane sugar, and brown sugar are not vegan. They are processed via a bone char filter, just like many alcoholic beverages. I share this because many so-called vegans shame others who eat meat, yet continue to drink alcoholic beverages without doing their homework. This is why veganism is a lifestyle, not a diet. You have to research, research, research. Oreos are said to be vegan. They are not because they have sugar. Always question vegan bakeries and vegan food. I used to not want to be “that person” but in my spiritual growth, I will be “that person” for the animals.

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

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and speaking engagements. She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne 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

In Defense of Vegan Treats

Published October 2, 2021 by Maryanne
(Photo by FitNish Media, Courtesy of Unsplash)

While searching for vegan blogs, I came across a few who that put down the vegan lifestyle because of all the promotion towards fake meats and sugary treats. That was my issue prior to becoming vegan. I saw so many unhealthy products out there I felt I’d quickly fall into that trap myself.

With the help of a hired vegan health coach, I got myself on a regimen of eating 100 percent vegan goodness all week long. Then I allow myself vegan “junk food” on the weekend–or special occasions.

For example, a typical week day meal menu would look like this:

Breakfast: Vegan protein/omega 3 shake with fresh pineapple and arugula greens; oatmeal with walnuts, carrots, blueberries. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Lunch: Kale salad with black beans, fresh beets, tomatoes, nori, cucumber, sesame seeds, Miyoko’s vegan cheese, and dressing of apple cider vinegar (with the mother), first pressed olive oil, coconut aminos, and maple syrup. And fresh herbs: basil, sea salt, pepper.

Dinner: Brown rice with mushrooms, broccolini, stir fried with avocado oil and a smaller side salad.

Throughout the day I’ll drink herbal teas and/or kombucha and/or cold-pressed juice and water. If for any reason I’m hungrier, I’ll have a slice or two of a vegan bread or a piece of fruit, but usually this menu does the trick.

On the weekends–or for special events, like a midweek concert or a birthday–I do indulge myself. Whether it’s vegan ice cream or a cupcake or a boxed Daiya pizza or faux fish, I enjoy guilt free.

Why? First, I’m not on a diet. Since I became vegan, I actually lost weight. Second, socializing and celebrating is healthy. Third, it’s easier to stay vegan if you allow yourself treats, in my opinion. And finally, a treat is usually a meal out at a vegan restaurant, faux fish with a salad, or a vegan cupcake. It’s not like I’m pigging out on boxes of Oreos or eating pasta piled sky-high on my plate.

If you take any health-minded person, vegan or not, gym rat, or yoga chick, they will admit to having something “bad” every now and then. Most non-vegans reading probably have pizza or ice cream or wings on occasion. So why are our treats so evil in your eyes? Yes, some vegans abuse the bad stuff, just like meat eaters who go to McDonalds a little too often. It goes both ways.

Of course you’ll have the diehard vegans who avoid sugar or processed foods at all cost. More power to them. I was one of those people 16 years ago, when I was a raw foodist. So it is possible. But at this stage in my life, balance works for me. Most of the treats I go for are “lesser of the evil” type delights anyway. Though I’ve been vegan a short time, I was health conscious most of my adult life. I’d rather have a vegan mousse made with avocados and cocoa powder than a sugary sweet vegan cake with a ton of icing and sprinkles. But if I did try it, it would be a small forkful. If my husband has vegan whole wheat dumplings at a restaurant, I’ll taste half of one and enjoy my quinoa salad.

Whenever you view what you don’t understand, train yourself to think more in a gray manner. Not everything is black and white. Vegans are excited about the faux meat because it helps people transition to veganism. It’s not a way of life for all of us. There are many like me who prefer an organic home cooked meal over dining in a restaurant, but hey, I love to support vegan restaurants, vegan products, and vegan bakeries too.

Maybe meat eaters can try a vegan treat sometime. You won’t even know it’s vegan. The cows will love you for it!

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

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and speaking engagements. She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne 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

From Vegetarian To Paleo To Vegan — And It Feels Like HOME!

Published October 1, 2021 by Maryanne
Eat your veggies! (Photo by Jeff Danze)

I just got off the phone with a new vegan friend. We shared our stories of how we became vegan. I went first and told her mine was long-winded. It was refreshing to share my on-again/off-again journey with someone so sweet and unjudgmental.

As a child, I did not like meat. I’d hide it in my napkin or feed it to the dog. When I was 22, I decided to no longer eat meat. This was in the 1980s and back then if you were a vegetarian, you were looked at as if you had two heads. People thought it was weird that I wasn’t eating pizza. And if I was stressed and had some vegan candy, I’d hear rude comments, “What do you do when you really go off the deep end? Eat meat?”

But I put up with it. For 28 years. (And the comments were worse when I was a raw foodist for a few years, but that’s another story). During these 28 years of being vegetarian, I dabbled in veganism on and off.

Then I hit my 50th birthday and menopause was upon me. I began having dizzy spells and getting kind of sluggish. Three male nutritionists said I’d be better off with some meat. Against my better judgement, I said a prayer to the animals and began to consume grass-fed beef. But I continued to stay away from pork, lamb, and veal. For some time I followed the paleo diet and I did feel better.

Last year during the pandemic, something happened. I changed. For the better. I wasn’t sad or stressed about anything. My husband and I continued to thrive in our careers during the pandemic. However, I did feel a sense of loss because one of my best friends died, not of Covid, but a heart attack. The best thing I could do for dealing with it was look inward.

I used to meditate in the 1980s. I somehow came across the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and started doing his meditations, and other ones–twice a day. What came out of it was not only being incredibly at peace, but having greater compassion for both people and animals. My husband and I had just took in a feral kitten that was abandoned. My bond grew so strong with the kitten and it led me to study feline behavior.

When I got my certificate, I was looking for a shelter to volunteer at. None of them got back to me. Perhaps because we’re still in a pandemic? I don’t know.

I started following more animal groups on Facebook, to continue learning about cats and other animals.

Pigs were always my favorite farm animal. Protecting them was my biggest concern during my original run with vegetarianism. I never paid much attention to cows. Then watching what loving creatures cows are, on Dodo videos and videos on vegan pages, it inspired me give up meat again.

Then a few months later, while on one of our vacations, my husband and I were in a sea aquarium. A stingray kept going over to him. It seemed they made a connection. Then I saw a beautiful octopus. He winked at me! I can’t eat octopus anymore, I thought to myself. I just can’t.

I’ve been to aquariums before, but this time, due to all the meditation I was doing, I was moved like never before. These are living beings and we are one with them. With that in my head, I decided to stop eating fish. Might as well give up rennetless cheese too. And a vegan was born. Cold turkey. It wasn’t a hard decision to make. All the time I was on the paleo diet, I never stopped buying cruelty free/vegan make-up products. I never stopped going to cruelty free/vegan hair salons. And I never drank alcohol that wasn’t vegan. Absolute Vodka and White Claw were always my go-to drinks.

My husband asked me if I was sure eating vegan was what I wanted to do. He pointed out that I was feeling great, that the dizzy spells stopped, and I was sleeping good. That was all true, so I decided to hire a vegan health coach to make sure I was doing it right this time. I now knew too much, and experienced too much to go back. For months I was following vegan pages on Facebook, educating myself. I saw vegans of all ages thriving on the diet. I knew if I tried one more time I would thrive too. And I wouldn’t go back.

With the health coach, I learned which supplements you needed, and was inspired to experiment with different colored vegetables. I also learned of a service called Imperfect Foods, where you can get cheaper organic produce because it may be bruised or look weird (like a carrot with two legs!)

Now, three months later, I am feeling fantastic and I even lost a few pounds–at age 58! My husband has been eating more vegan meals, and so are my friends when they are around me. I recently signed up as a volunteer for vegan group to help animals.

I’m so happy and at peace with myself. Each day has so much meaning. It’s another day to save animals.

Sometimes I beat myself up and wish I never listened to the nutritionists who told me that I’d benefit from eating some meat. I was a meat eater for almost six years. But I did learn from the experience. The most important lesson is that everyone is on their own journey. People eat meat for their own reasons. Who are we to judge? The best I can do as a vegan, is to humble myself and lead by example. I will never tell a meat eater he or she is a “murderer.” It’s not right. It’s not my business.

But I will go to restaurants and suggest vegan options. I will continue to support vegan companies. I will continue to talk about the fun vegan food I get to eat on weekends (because during the week, I’m a more serious vegan, natural as possible).

It feels good to enjoy oatmeal again, after shunning it for years. And making scrambled tofu brought me back to a beautiful place. It was one of my first favorite vegetarian dishes back in the 1980s.

My husband and I drove past a farm a few weeks ago. He said to the cows, “She’s saving your lives.”

It was a beautiful thing to hear. Yes, I am saving lives. And it feels like home.

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

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne 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

Over 50 Modeling

Published September 24, 2021 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta (Photo by Jeff Danze)
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta (photo by Jeff Danze)
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta (Photo by Jeff Danze)

Shots by Jeff Danze, September 2021

I am 58-years-old.

Writing is my career; modeling has been my side gig since the 1980s. I’m by no means a runway model. I’m only 5’2″ and curvy. However, I continue to do this to show women, that it’s okay to be way over 50 and still look cute (or sexy).

I do not have any plastic surgery or Botox. That is my choice. All my make-up is cruelty free and vegan. My current hair was glazed red last month at a vegan salon.

The Best(?) of 2020

Published December 11, 2020 by Maryanne
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

If we made it through 2020 without getting covid, and worse, without dying, we are fortunate. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to live life to the fullest every day because you really don’t know what is around the corner. It was a crazy up and down year. Surprisingly, there were many outstanding moments for me, but also the most painful news–a very good friend dying on of a heart attack at the age of 56.

Pausing for a moment thinking of my dear friend Vinnie who died last April…

Yeah, 2020 definitely sucked on so many levels, but the eternal optimist in me will keep saying, this is the year to truly count our blessings.

2020 Year In Review

January – The year started off really cool. I actually saw a copy of my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary” in Barnes & Noble bookstore! (https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/) I was ecstatic! I remember commenting that if I died at that moment, I lived the life I wanted. Little did I know, in just a few weeks I’d hear about so many dying of Covid. Just goes to show how crazy life is.

February – I was going crazy trying to score a deal on Billie Eilish tickets–and trying to decide whether to see her in NYC on a Sunday night; or New Jersey on a Monday night. Oh, the innocence of decision making prior to what was ahead. The decision was made for me…all her 2020 concerts were canceled.

March – Covid was in full force in the USA. It was weird. It was scary. But honestly, my husband and I were loving the lockdown. We took it as a time to be creative. We appreciated staying home with the kitties. We were cooperating with the law; and had a good time doing so. I thought during this time I’d write a new book; instead I focused on my singing. My husband and I made a video of us performing together, he on guitar and we on vocals and sent it to all our friends. As our friends were also sending us videos. We all did our best.

In March my clients, Domenic Lombardi passed away. I helped him and his wife write their memories: “200 Letters, 62 Years, and a War” (https://www.amazon.com/200-Letters-62-Years-War/dp/1949798453). What a loss, he was a very cool guy. Domenic and his wife Antoinette were my favorite clients ever!

In April, my book “Love Cats” which became out of print early 2020 was picked up for a second printing by Pink Flamingo Media! For the first time I used a pen name, Krystianna Mercury. Check it out: https://www.pinkflamingo.com/Love-Cats-PF3089.htm

But then, I learned that my very good friend Vinnie Bordogna died earlier that month. My heart is torn into pieces. He was truly one of my best friends. Christmas will not be the same without Vin at our party this year.

In June, there was another loss, Bob Cat. A 15-year-old ginger cat who was the star of the book, “A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen. I read the book back in 2018. The book was out way before that, but it was an upbeat book that helped me get over the loss of my own ginger cat, Bennie, who had to be put down early 2018. Now to hear Bob was gone too … it was just too much. Many tears. Too many tears.

That summer, life picked up. Social distancing outdoor concerts were all the rage. Groups of friends sat on the grass in a white painted square. They were done so well and people had a great time! Drinks, food, sitting on the grass watching live music and the sun go down. Can’t beat that. It was a glimmer of hope in the midst of the madness. In addition to Covid, we had the George Floyd murder and so many terrible things going on in the news. Music kept us sane that summer, definitely.

In August, I hosted my very first ZOOM lecture for “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” We had a blast! I had other ZOOM classes for anti-bullying, and “How to Meet Your Soul Mate.” Earlier in the year when all my live lectures were canceled, one by one, it was the biggest let down. But ZOOM saved the day with some of them, so it wasn’t a total loss.

September was a miracle! My husband and I took in a feral kitten who was abandoned by his mama and papa cats. We named him Happy Lightfoot Ferrell. Three months later, he’s adjusting beautifully! He’s my little shadow who follows me all over the house. And what a sweet cat he’s turning out to be. No more shy and hiding. Taking in a little life, giving him not only a home but a HAPPY home is the best accomplishment! I love our little new family member. He gets along so good with the other two cats, Nicholas Gray and Sammy Keane Clemmens. Happy Lightfoot Ferrell was the icing on the top of a year of madness.

I wish everyone a better 2021; we can do it!

BEST OF MUSIC 2020

Since there wasn’t nearly as much going out as usual, the list will be light this year. My husband saw about five or six outdoor social distancing concerts over the summer. Due to Covid, I think they all did an amazing job for us and unlike other years, this year I’m choosing not to pick a “best” for live music.

Favorite new songs/videos for 2020!

  1. Miley Cyrus “Midnight Sky” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1no1myeTM
  2. Sierra Ferrell “Jingle Bell Rock” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mWKuQDBkls
  3. Billie Eilish “Therefore I Am” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQl6YcMalg

Since there was plenty of dining, I’ve added restaurants this year!

Best restaurants of 2020

  1. Greentruth Organic: https://www.greentruthorganic.com/
  2. Cave Bistro: https://www.cavebistro.com/
  3. Clean Plate: https://www.cleanplateclinton.com/

And since retail shopping was non-existent, I’m linking to the last post I wrote, Clothes Shopping During Covid, mentioning the top three clothing subscription box companies: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/clothes-shopping-during-covid/

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne 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

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Atlantic City, NJ

Published November 10, 2020 by Maryanne

NJ Musicians, promoting one of my favs, Debbie Harry

My husband and I recently stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City. It was so cool I had to give them a big shout out via a blog.

First of all, I’d like to point out that my husband and I are diehard music fans, not “Greatest Hits” types, nor music streaming types. We like to have the actual albums/CDs/tapes. (And I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I wonder how many people had Cher’s “The Way of Love” single who know the flip side “Don’t Put It On Me” was just as great? I was always about both the A-sides and the B-sides.

That said, I went expecting nothing more than a fab time with my husband. We’re a great couple who make our own fun. As we were making our way to our room (we got lost–this place is huge!) I heard Blondie music. The song “X-Offender” which was not a big hit. I was shocked, and immediately got silly and started singing. Followed by that I heard Interpol and Generation X. Bands you don’t hear too often.

I’ve been to the Hard Rock in NYC and Atlanta, and have seen so much rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, but what got me the most excited was a letter Buddy Holly wrote to his family while he was on the road, before he hit it big.

Here, you can also see Elvis’ Rolls Royce, Joan Jett’s hand-written lyrics to “Bad Reputation,” costumes worn on stage from rock and pop stars including Ann and Nancy Wilson, Prince, The Beatles, and Cher, to name a few. There’s also guitars, footwear, and other artifacts. Not to mention lots of shopping. (A side note, the Hard Rock clothing and jewelry line is incredible. Shirts/sweaters/hoodies are form-fitting, cozy, and durable. Jewelry is also well-made).

In the Cafe itself, the food was good. The only issue I had was they were playing more sports videos than music videos. It is the Hard Rock Cafe, right? But that didn’t stop my husband and I from having fun.

There’s also a pool and spa. The room we had offered a super view of the city and water. But most impressive about the room is that they use soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion from a company that doesn’t test on animals! I always bring my own stuff because I’m a cruelty-free supporter, so imagine how thrilled I was to see that!

The Hard Rock Hotel took great precautions due to Covid19. As you entered, your temperature was shown on a screen. There are social distancing Beatles “records” painted on the floor situated 6 feet apart. People stood on them while they waited on lines for restaurants and cafes.

Stores were careful too. You weren’t able to try stuff on, which made clothes shopping impossible. That was the only drawback.

I’m sure people want to know about gambling. I’m not a fan. Not for any moral reason, it just doesn’t amuse me. But, yes, gambling was in full swing.

The hotel staff was the best ever. They truly give the high hospitality. Everyone was so friendly and efficient. Service dogs are allowed inside the hotel and casino.

I highly recommend Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City.

For more information, visit: https://www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com/

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, 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

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

10 Common Foods That Smell Worse Than Durian

Published April 28, 2020 by Maryanne

DurianAlmighty Durian — The King of All Fruit! 

I’ve been a serious durian eater for almost 20 years. I first heard of durian when I was a raw foodist back in the day. I learned that the durian has more vitamins than any other fruit. And that it was absolutely delicious, but had a strange smell.

The first time I tried it, it was durian “ice cream” at a raw food restaurant in NYC. Since it was frozen, it had no smell. I even asked my guest, “Does it smell?” No, it didn’t. A short time after that, I got a real durian, in China Town. That’s when I realized it did have a bit of an odd smell, but it didn’t stop me from waiting for the fruit to defrost and dig in!

Durian is the most delicious thing you can imagine! It has the consistency of custard, and tastes like a cross between hazelnut, vanilla, banana, with a tinge of onion. Weird, but it works! Durian is absolutely addicting. Because of the vitamin content, you’ll be high for hours after eating one (or some of it, as there is truly a lot of fruit pudding in each pod!)

After I first broke my durian cherry, I was so hooked I was hoofing it to China Town once a week, carrying three with me on the bus home. Yes, it’s true, I had a three-per-week durian habit. Friends said I was like a crack addict when it came to durians. I loved them so much, I had one tattooed on my inner calf. And to this day, only one stranger approached me and asked, “Is that a durian?” No one else knows what it is. But it works when I’m in an Asian market, because the workers do not understand what I want until I show them my tattoo. Then they laugh and direct me to the fish area where everything is on ice.

It’s rare to meet a fellow durian lover. I’ve tried recruiting people, but the best comment I’ve heard was from my mother, “I like it, but I don’t love it.” People are mainly turned off by the smell. The durian has been compared to paint cleaner, a gas leak, and even garbage. Yeah, it’s true. Sometimes I’ll pass garbage in NYC and start dreaming about durian.

Okay, I get it, I won’t eat durian around anyone. But why do people get so bent out of shape with the mere mention of a durian? First thing out of their mouths, “It smells.” How original! (Note sarcasm!)

So, since people are so quick to judge my durian, let me put it out there that there are foods that stink worse–and YOU eat them! Yes, it’s true, and here they are in no particular order….

  1. Cold Cuts (aka lunch meat). There’s not much that makes me gag more than lunch meat. It has a nasty stench that makes you think it was slivered off the animal right then and there. This is what I’d imagine a dead person to smell like before embalming.
  2. Cheese. If it’s so accepted for stinky cheese to be good, then lay off my durians!
  3. Chinese Food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chinese food–the dishes that are more on the plain side, like brown rice, moo shu, or vegetable lo mein. But what is that horrific sauce that is orange? The smell is so strong it knocks me over.
  4. Vinegar. First of all, I LOVE vinegar. When it’s on a salad, you barely notice that it stinks. But when people use it in their hair, or if a bottle breaks — hold your nose! Vinegar smells like dirty feet.
  5. Hot Dogs. If you think hot dogs smell good, you are thinking of the onions and sauerkraut toppings. A regular hot dog boiling is similar to what I described above for cold cuts. Blech!
  6. Tomato Juice. I was once seated at a lecture next to a woman who was drinking tomato juice. Now that was an unforgettable foul smell.
  7. Fish. This is one 90 percent will agree with.
  8. Alcohol. This is why I don’t like to dine out. If there’s a bar, you can smell stale alcohol and it ruins your appetite. It’s as if it’s stuck in the wood; even in the fanciest of restaurants, that diseased smell exists.
  9. Coffee with milk and sugar that is sitting around. Don’t get me wrong on this one, fresh-brewed hot, black, coffee is one of the greatest smells. But, cold coffee with milk and sugar, just hanging around for over an hour, has a smell that can make you gag.
  10. Cigarettes. Okay, this isn’t a food, but the way some people are addicted, it might as well be one of the food groups to them. And they are the worst stench of all! There is nothing sexy about cigarettes. When I see someone in the street smoking, I will cross the street just to avoid them. If I’m exposed to your cigarette smoke, I should be allowed to kill you. (That’s a joke).

What foods do you find most offensive? Share in the comment section below!  

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. 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: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9