Ask me anything

After watching Jamie Oliver's food revolution, we were inspired to eat healthier. We slowly transitioned to being vegetarians before ultimately deciding we wanted to be Vegan. This Blog chronicles our attempts at making a lifestyle change, and all of the reasons we have fallen in love with being vegan.

Post-Partum Update

In the months since my last post, I gave birth to our son- a healthy, 8.2 lb 21 inch baby boy. My sweet Adlai. He is now 2.5 months old, and I am 10 weeks post-partum.

To say that our vegan diet has been going well would be a bold-faced lie. Ben left for Basic in August, and since then it’s been hard to adjust to eating for 1.5.  When he first left, I tried to keep it up, but I would make more than enough for one person. While it was nice to have leftovers, I had too much leftovers. I would end up eating the same stinkin meal for like a week, and then I would be burnt out.  Combined with my huge pregnant body and general lack of motivation for movement- It was too much. For the last 2 months of my pregnancy, I ate whatever I wanted. Not that I was super unhealthy, but I wasn’t vegan. I wasn’t vegetarian. I was lazy. I’m not proud, but I’m not apologetic for it. It is what it is.

Now, 10 weeks post-partum, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s not saying much, because I’m not where I would like to be. But, we’re slowly but surely getting there. This past Monday, the 10th, I switched back to my vegan diet. It’s an amazing difference. I have more energy and I feel better about myself. Learning to love my post-partum body, even after my 2nd child, is a process. Eating a clean diet helps. I haven’t really cheated, or craved non-vegan food. I’m happy with what I’m eating and how I’m feeling, which is really nice. I’ve been getting the hang of cooking for one. Ben is coming home for Christmas later on this week. Over the holidays we will be traveling to visit family. I’m going to try my best to stick to vegan meals, but it’s honestly more important to me to not be a snobby pain-in-every-one-elses ass. We’ll see how it pans out.

We’re back on the ball. I’m trying to make sure that I’m eating enough because I’m breastfeeding and I want to make sure that Adlai is getting all of the stuff he needs. One of my resolutions for 2013 is to fully-totally become Vegan. Here’s to hoping for good, healthy things! 

1 year ago
1 note
I came up with this recipe because of my severe heartburn. I called my midwife, looking for a “natural” fix, and she recommended I eat some Papaya. Well. Papaya smells gross to me and the texture bothers me. In a desperate attempt to find a cure to my pregnancy woe, I came up with this delicious, tasty blend.
Pregnancy delight. 
Two cups of pregnancy tea (or any mild mint tea)
1 cup peaches
1 cup papaya
Agave nectar to taste.
Blend. Add ice. Love your life.

I came up with this recipe because of my severe heartburn. I called my midwife, looking for a “natural” fix, and she recommended I eat some Papaya. Well. Papaya smells gross to me and the texture bothers me. In a desperate attempt to find a cure to my pregnancy woe, I came up with this delicious, tasty blend.

Pregnancy delight.

Two cups of pregnancy tea (or any mild mint tea)

1 cup peaches

1 cup papaya

Agave nectar to taste.

Blend. Add ice. Love your life.

2 years ago
4 notes

Forks Over Knives

Lately I’m sure my friends are getting sick of seeing me post about my new love for all things vegan, health and wellness related. I understand- but I’m not sorry. This search for knowledge about food and how it gets to us has no-exaggeration, hand to God, changed my life in such a positive way.

I’m still not good at the argument. When people ask why I chose this, I have such a hard time coming up with an answer. I guess the easy answer would be something like “It’s disgusting and cruel to eat Meat and animal products.” But I feel like that is the least-productive answer possible. I just feel like when you say things like that, people are immediately put on the defensive. I think the best thing to do is to create a conversation that fosters healthy dialogue.

My most honest and sincere answer to why I became a vegan, is health. MY health. My family isn’t exactly text-book healthy. A look at my lineage will show you battles with weight, diabetes, heart attacks, and colon cancer. I have a loved one that had a below-the-knee amputation before he was 35 because of diabetes. I’m not under the illusion that vegan food equates to healthy food (potato chips and French fries are vegan. J ) But after being on this vegan diet for several weeks, I firmly, strongly believe that what you eat can and will change your life.

I’m not a doctor, a dietician or a nutrition specialist, so I do a really shitty job of explaining it. I wouldn’t have believed it if I wouldn’t have tried it for myself. I didn’t realize how completely shitty I felt, until I stopped feeling shitty. Because I fail so hard at trying to explain the health benefits of a vegan diet, I try to point people who ask me about it in the direction of “Forks over Knives.” It’s a documentary that shows some of the biggest health-reasons to adopt a vegan diet, backed up by doctors, and several medical studies. Watch it, tell your friends about it. It’s on Hulu plus and Netflix. An hour and a half to possibly change your life is worth it.

I know that being a vegan isn’t going to somehow make me “live forever” or anything at all like that. But I know what it’s like to have an older person in your family get sick. I know what it’s like to not know how to help them. I know it’s like to watch them feel helpless about their situation. I know what it’s like to watch everyone else in the family scramble around, trying to make decisions to prolong the inevitable by even a moment.

I don’t want that to be me if I can avoid it. I don’t believe that a vegan diet is a “cure-all” to all ailments, but if there is something I can do to decrease my chances of getting sick in the future, then I’ll do it, because I don’t want to put the worry and the burden that comes with a sick loved one on my husband, or my kids, or my grandkids, or myself. If I get sick in the future, I want to know that I did everything I thought I could to prevent it. I lived a wholesome, healthy lifestyle, and I got sick because well, that’s what God intended. I don’t want the guilt of thinking or wondering “maybe I could’ve done something else.”

Health. That’s my response to why people ask me why I chose to be a vegan. My Health. Even though I’ve been trying to establish a good workout routine, I can make excuses for not getting to the gym, I can make excuses for slacking on exercising. But I will always, everyday Eat- no matter how busy I get, no matter how much my kids have going on, we will (God willing) eat every single day. I believe that we what eat matters in the picture of our health.

2 years ago
3 notes

eurasiangirl75019 said: if you want the sauce to thicken, i would add a binding agent like xanthan gum or maybe grounded flax. What I personally do is I keep it on the heat a bit longer, maybe even with the lid on the pan/wok/whatever your basis of cooking is :) Cashews work amazingly especially if you soak them!

Thank you! What do you typically make your sauce with? Do you just use soaked cashews, or daiya, or silken tofu? 

2 years ago
0 notes

spartan-mama-training-deactivat said: I came across your vegan cry for help and just wanted to let you know Daiya cheese is a wonderful alternative, its the only "cheese" that I like and then just make a homemade mac n' cheese with dairy / egg free noodles (a lot are even though they don't say it explicitly, just look at the ingredients), soy milk, and Daiya. Good luck kickin' the habit :).

Thank you, You angel! I’ll have to give it a try! do you know if the daiya has casein in it? I recently tried a rice cheese that I liked, until i realized it wasn’t actually vegan =/. 

2 years ago
0 notes

My love of Fried Green Tomatoes

      

Let me fill you in on a little secret: I absolutely, hate tomatoes. I don’t like the texture- the centers are so wet and gooey, it grosses me out.

But I don’t know if anybody could love to make anything as much as I love to make Fried Green Tomatoes. I also love to eat Fried Green Tomatoes- they are just the perfect culmination of everything that I love in my life.

1) They are Vegan- which is a win.

2) They make me miss my Nanna. The funny thing about pregnancy is that I don’t always crave foods. Sometimes I crave people, and places or smells. With both my daughter and this pregnancy, I have tremendously craved to be near my Nanna. I just want to be in her house, doing puzzles, cooking, Or going to the beach to feed seagulls, or running errands with my Pops to the post office. Fried Green Tomatoes remind me of my childhood, spent largely with my Nanna in North Carolina. My nanna always grew tomatoes in her back yard. She would come home on her lunch break, pick a few tomatoes, and make a tomato sandwich. I love my nanna fiercely.

3) They remind me of my best friend. Jamie lives in Georgia, so this very southern food reminds me of the southern accent she gets sometimes. It also reminds me of the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes (ahem, one of my favorites.) My very favorite scene is when they are in the courthouse and she says “ Cause she’s my Best Friend and I love her.”

4) My husband loves tomatoes. He makes tomato salad, which is really just a bunch of tomatoes chopped up with vinegar and sugar and basil, and will eat an entire bowl. My husband stays in the kitchen, waiting for my fried green tomatoes to be ready. They are also soaked in his favorite beer, which is a plus.

5) My daughter loves them. I feel good about giving them to her. It’s delicious, southern food but with less shit than a more traditional recipe would call for. My younger sister also loves them. Any vegan food that wins over my non-vegan family members is a super win in my book.

6) The green tomatoes I get come from a local farmers market. Nothing makes me smile as much as a farmers market. Every Saturday, Ben, Noah and I get up early, and head to the market. It’s beautiful to watch the sun coming up over the mountains here in El Paso. There’s local musicians playing guitar, and little kids selling flowers, and local vendors pedaling their crafts. Noah loves to help carry our produce around the market, and I love that the vendors are starting to recognize us. I just absolutely love to be there, and I love to be there with Ben and our daughter.

There is something so calming, and soothing, and wonderful to me about making Fried Green Tomatoes. It’s divine.

Here’s the recipe.

Fried Green Tomatoes

-          Green tomatoes

-          Cornmeal

-          Flour

-          A Beer

-          Oil for frying

      Spices (whatever you like would probably work- I’ve used Cajun spices, just salt and pepper, and seasoned salt, paprika, I’ve done a lot of different combinations and had great success. Use what you’re comfortable with. If you’re not sure, just use Salt and Pepper to get started.)

1.)    Slice Tomatoes.  I keep them about a quarter-inch or smaller. Put the tomatoes in a bowl with the beer ( I used a shiner). Let them soak for at least 5 minutes. 

2.)    Combine equal parts flour and cornmeal in a bowl. Add spices.

3.)    Heat oil to medium heat in a frying pan.

4.)    Take the tomato slices from the beer, and coat them in the flour mixture.

5.)    Fry them for a few minutes on each side. Lay on paper-towel lined plate to drain. 

I don’t know what to call this sauce. I looked around the internet for various dipping sauce recipes, and found a couple that I liked and then combined them.

Dipping sauce

-          ¾ cup veganaise

-          ¼ cup ketchup

-          Tablespoon worstershire

-          Tablespoon Cajun seasoning

-          Tablespoon Tabasco

-          Salt and pepper.

Mix. Chill in fridge for a few minutes before serving.

2 years ago
7 notes
Well Worth Watching.

This film helped me make the decision to become vegan. It’s also available on Hulu and Netflix. An hour and a half is worth it to possibly change your life.

2 years ago
1 note

eurasiangirl75019 said: I use soaked cashews :) I prefer the taste of other "cheeses" but I DO enjoy the melting effect of Daiya.

Thanks! I’ll be giving both soaked cashews and daiya a try here in the next few days- ill let you know how it turns out :)

2 years ago
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brattybitch69 said: daiya has no casein! 100% vegan

Awesome- I will be heading to pick some up soon! Thank you! Have you ever made a sauce with it? Does it melt like cheese? 

2 years ago
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ATTN VEGANS: Help me kick the Weaksauce

My worst enemy in my attempt to be vegan is non-vegan sauces on pasta. I am an absolute sucker for cream & cheese based sauces, like alfredo or mac and cheese. Last night my mom made my former-favorite tomato basil cream pasta. I would be lying if I said I didn’t eat a little. I tried to find a substitute and I bought this vegan boxed-mac and cheese from walmart the other day (who knew they carried vegan-friendly items?). It was like eating damp cardboard. Never again, will I venture into boxed-vegan processed products. Twas gross. 

Anyway, I tried to make a vegan “Cheez” sauce last week. It was good, but not the right consistency. I can’t remember exactly what it called for, but I believe it was some almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, a little tahini, and soy sauce. I didn’t think it tasted like cheese, but it tasted good. 

I’m looking for a good vegan alfredo or cheez sauce recipe. 

I’d like both sauces to be fairly thick, and I’d like the Cheez sauce to mimic the toxic-orange Kraft Mac and Cheese. I’ve heard good things about mixing silken tofu and nutritional yeast, and recently I read something about blending steamed cauliflower with nutritional yeast and milk. 

Vegans of Tumblr, Help me kick the habit. 

2 years ago
5 notes