My Vegan Experiment

Hello there!

I sort of promised to give you all a heads up once I finished my vegan experiment. (To any new readers: I decided to try veganism for one week just to see what it was like.) So here it is!

I understand that one single week is not enough time to actually get a real feel for it, and to experience all those health benefits I’ve heard about, I would probably have to keep it up for at least four-five months — which is not gonna happen any time soon… Because my experience was a rather bad one actually.

I did my research beforehand, so I knew what I was getting myself into (gosh, it sounds like I was about to give up eating all together, but you get my point) The cafeteria here at Augie has a pretty great vegan department where you can find everything from hot dishes to salads, beans, lentils an all that jazz, so finding good tasty food wouldn’t be a problem.

The first couple of days went great, and I told myself on multiple occasions that “I think I could make this a lifestyle, seriously!” I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I felt that I ate plenty, loved the food and I left the cafeteria feeling full after every meal, so full I didn’t get hungry again for hours.

However, the problems didn’t really reveal themselves until day three, when my appetite just disappeared completely. I still tried to eat as much as I could, and I felt full, but it’s ridiculous how whole foods fills you up! The caloric density of vegetables, beans, lentils, tofu and grains is pretty low, so you really need to eat lots of it to get enough “fuel” — something I remember struggling with back in my fitness days when I ate loads of lean meat and veggies as well — it kills your appetite.

2013 – Yup I used to be a body builder . . .

Anyway, this time around I tried to add more nuts and peanut butter to get those calories in, but as you may know, I usually swim 2-2.5km (1.2-1.6 miles) or run 5km (3 miles) every morning, so the equation didn’t exactly add up.

By the end of the week I was so fatigued I wanted to sit down in the shower after my workout. I also lost almost 2kg (4 lbs) during those days, (most of it was probably water, but still) and I wasn’t feeling well at all.

So I do not recommend veganism to anyone who struggles with eating enough of those low-calorie foods… It sucks, and I’m not going to give it another try in the near future, that’s for sure.

There ya go! That’s all I have to say about veganism for now.

Have a delightful evening,

Norway, January, Veganism and Movies

Hello and Happy New Year to you all!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but now that my vacation is over, it’s time for an update!

After two wonderful and utterly relaxing final’s weeks with four big exams and one theatre show, I went back to Norway to celebrate Christmas with my family.

(And oh, no, I’m not being sarcastic about the whole final’s week thing. Those last two weeks before Christmas were fantastic, and probably the two most relaxing weeks of the entire semester. I tried a new study technique this fall which helped me finish up everything three weeks before it was due, so while everyone else were pulling all-nighters and stressing about getting things done, I studied two hours a day and watched movies and went to the pool the rest of the time.)

Christmas in Norway was great! I don’t think I’ve ever looked as much forward to it as I did this time, and even though I only stayed for ten days, I tried to enjoy every second as much as possible.


Best sis


It’s not every day you get to meet two of Steven Spielberg’s creations: E.T and Gizmo (aka Gremlin) <3


Father & Daughter time <3 Got a new microphone and he’s teaching me how to do audio for film

Naturally, I found it rather unpleasant to leave my family once the break was over — and it took me a couple of days to recover from the homesickness I felt when I first landed here in Sioux Falls. It’s so strange, that after one and a half years of living abroad, I still enter the security control at the airport crying. You would think that by the age of 22, and after six trips across the atlantic, it would get easier… but it doesn’t. However, once I get through the security, wipe my tears away and put in that intense effort to rescue the remaining parts of my mascara, I’m pretending that I’m the independent woman who’s about to travel to America again. Baah, I just love my family so much !!


This January is the so-called “Interim” or “J-term” here at Augustana, which means you only take one single a class, with a full semester’s curriculum, during the course of one month. Pretty intense stuff, but I’m taking “Movie Aesthetics” so I basically spend 90% of my day either watching movies, studying movies, writing about movies or working on my own movie projects, so needless to say — I love it.

As far as new year resolutions, I actually don’t have any, because I think that the other 364 days of the year are just as suited for self-improvement as new years eve. However, I have one announcement to make: I’ve gone vegan!

Which means that I don’t eat any animal products whatsoever: no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey and yeah, you name it. However, Brittany and I are only doing this for a week, so just a couple of more days and we’ll probably go eat steak, yum.

But if you as a reader, for some reason, decide to make veganism your lifestyle, please do your homework first. Without meat or dairy, it may be hard to get sufficient amounts of for example vitamin B12, omega 3, protein etc, so make sure you know what you’re doing.

Oh wow, that sentence looks full-bred American, doesn’t it? I don’t wanna get sued for promoting diets that may cause deficiency diseases in my readers you know… And I used to make fun of all the diet and drug commercial disclaimers over here.. Oh gosh, I guess I’ve adapted to the system now, heh.

Bless you all,

Birthday Girl

I want to give a big thanks to all the beautiful souls who sent me such lovely gifts and birthday wishes this past Friday. You’re awesome!

I started the day in the pool as usual, before I enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the cafeteria (Yes, french toast is my favorite,) then I went to a couple of classes, finished up some papers, went to yet another lecture — where the whole class sang for me, AWW! Then after a long day, I shuffled back to my room and found this waiting for me!


After dinner at the Texas Roadhouse we went to watch the volleyball game — where the Augustana Vikings won, and then Brittany, Karen and I went back to Brittany’s house to paint our pumpkins for Halloween.




The essential “place-your-pumpikin-in-front-of-your-face-pose”IMG_0903

Just like last year



When I came back to the dorms later at night, I found another super sweet gift from my former track teammates hanging on my door. That made the day complete and I could go to bed feeling very happy with the day’s celebrations.

I just have to say that it’s wonderful having friends who have “outgrown” the typical “Let’s throw her a huge party and get super drunk, because that is so much fun OMG” As I’ve said before, I’d rather spend the night talking about life at a nice restaurant with a group of awesome and creative individuals. So this night was “right up my alley” and I’m very grateful for having such amazing friends 🙂 Thank you

Swimming and colds

Hey y’all!

Right now I’m in bed going on my fourth hour of my Netflix marathon. Fun Saturday you said? Well, I managed to catch a cold on Wednesday, so I figured I might as well try to get better before the weekend is over. Bah, I hate colds… but the good news is that it’s getting better. Yay!


Yesterday we went to the movie theatre to watch “Everest,” which by the way was pretty awesome! We watched it in 3D, and I found myself stuck in the weird state of wanting to sit at the edge of my seat because it was so exciting, and at the same time I just wanted to lean back and snuggle up, praising God I don’t feel the need to climb Mount Everest. Halfway through the film Karen even said that her heart rate was uncomfortably high at times. Go watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

I also took some headshots for a friend’s medical school application. I think I might have to start an “Headshot Service.” As you know, I love everything that has to do with film and photography, and the fact that she got me a gift card to an amazing restaurant was really an awesome bonus!

And oh, on Wednesday, before I caught the cold, I sat a new personal best in distance swimming. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might remember that after I got a stress fracture in my ankle, I started swimming three times a week. The first couple of times I had to take a break in between every single lap, and after about 20 of them, I was so exhausted I thought I’d pass out in the shower. At the time, I didn’t know anything about technique or breathing and I had more than enough with trying not drown. But after a lot of trial and error, combined with intense studying of tutorials on YouTube, I’ve gradually improved — to the point where I’m now able to swim 100 laps (2.3km) non-stop.


I’ve never had anyone show me how it’s supposed to be done, so my technique is probably a little (or very) rough around the edges. But I’ve had both a pool guard and a coach ask me if I would want to try out for the varsity swim team, so it can’t be that bad haha. I do however, suspect it has nothing to do with my actual technique, but rather the fact that they see me in the pool every morning at 6 AM. Hard work beats talent, right? Just in case you wondered, competitive swimming is completely out of the question. Parts of the reason why I decided to leave track & field behind, was so that I’d have more time to pursue my real dreams, and those dreams do not include competitive sports — unless, of course, I decide to make a sports documentary or direct a sports drama someday.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked a number of times, “Why do you even bother waking up and work out at 6 in the morning if you don’t HAVE to??!” Well, the answer is simple. I have a very busy schedule, and no matter how I twist, turn and schedule things, I only have 24 hours in a day. It’s also a common fact that I hate doing homework at night, and that I prefer getting everything done before supper. That way I can relax and do something fun before I go to bed. If I didn’t work out in the morning, I would probably sleep in until 8:30, and then I’d already be almost three hours behind schedule. So if I’d want to get a workout in during the day, I’d either have to do it at night (when I’m tired from a long day,) or around lunch time… but then I’d have to redo my make-up and do my homework at night… Do you see what I’m trying to explain here? Those hours after supper are dedicated to film work and relaxing. I’ll highly recommend everyone to try and make morning workouts a habit. Give it a week and see how it goes!

Well, I should get back to my Netflix marathon. Talk to ya later,

Just a quick random update from Augie

At this very moment I’m sitting in the Huddle, (a café on campus) doing some scheduling for next week. For some reason I thought I’d have so much more time on my hands now that I don’t do track anymore, but I was kinda really wrong. Never have proper scheduling been more necessary haha! I’m taking 16 credits, I work as a section editor in the yearbook, became a member of the film club, Cinema Falls – and after lunch I’ll head to a meeting with some people who wants me to direct a short program for TV. I still don’t know the details, or if I even want to do it, but we’ll see.

Yesterday I got the results from the most recent MRI scan of my ankle, and it showed that the stress fracture has healed! Thank God!

But because of a scar tissue and a bad ligament it’ll probably still hurt to run for the next few years, but it’s not a “harmful” kind of pain. So I’ll give jogging a try, in addition to the swimming.


Oh I almost forgot, my last couple of blog posts have mostly consisted of school and homework, but on Sunday I did actually indulge in some time-off! “The International Crew” had an exclusive lunch at a Chinese Buffet, and it was delicious.


Yesterday, our Professor agreed on having the lecture outside in the nice weather, pretty sweet!

This was a random post.

Have a blessed day everyone,
Maria Lavelle

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