I've also added a widget to the blog where you can see the map without leaving the page (check the lower right hand side of the screen). Seeing the information laid out like this is sure to make you want to analyze your relationship to this inadequate food system.
Make the last days of the year count and make 2011 a better year for your health, your karma and your planet: go veg!
I hope this chilly December has been treating you well and that your stomach has been enjoying the bounty and utter deliciousness of root vegetables as mine has. (Nothing like a big bowl of mashed potatoes to cheer me up!)
Being that it's the last Meatless Monday of 2010 I would like to challenge you to make a new year's resolution of sorts by making all your 2011 Mondays a day where you go veg and treat yourself to a scrumptious and nutritious vegetarian meal (vegan, if you dare).
What's more--you have tons of people on your side, ready to help you find great recipes that flatter the herbivore in all of us. Meatless Monday has a myriad of recipes to choose from, and you can even access them from our Virtually Vegan Sisters blog (thanks to blogger widget technology).
Just look to the left of this post for ever-changing veg recipes to keep you inspired every Monday of 2011!
Cheers to a bright and more compassionate new year!
Below is more information about Democracy Now, but first I'm embedding an updated video of today's report (it'll update daily so you can watch it here or directly on their website).
ABOUT: "Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other."
Even with my No Present philosophy, the Holidays are still pretty hectic....but in a good way. This time of year I find myself spending more time with friends, family, and cooking in general. Those are all things I love! So I have (as I mentioned last week) lagged a bit on my VVS posts. That is where the "apologies" of my post title comes from.
And now for the WINE part. I was just offered a position as a Pourer at a new tasting room in Santa Monica. It is called Wine Expo and has been an existing wine shop on the Westside for years now......and 2 months ago they opened an adjacent tasting room. So I will be working there......starting tonight! The specialize in small producers, specifically Italian reds and sparkling. More details to come....but please feel free to come by and have a flight!
2933 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404
|Pumpkin Butterscotch Trifle|
You should check it out and get inspired!
Last month she participated in "Vegan Month of Food (MOFO)" and presented really unique recipes all month long. Don't miss it!
Are you ready for 2011???
Eco-Vegan, aka Ana Belen
Best thing I've heard today: ELT aka eggplant lettuce tomato sammich (as well as one of my many favorite songs). Can't wait to make my own version as well as tempeh barbecued ribs! I'm ready for the summer :)
And, my world has involved lots of honey, actually...
which brings me to the topic of BEEgans. That's right--vegans that are A-OK with eating honey (from sustainable, responsible and small sources, of course).
You can read more on this topic of veganism and honey consumption on the wonderful Native Foods Blog.
What I have to say about it is simple: bees are insects-not animals. So, the initial argument that honey is an animal biproduct is misleading. If we follow that logic and exclude "insect biproducts" in our diets and lifestyles there goes soil and pollinated vegetables and our entire agricultural experience as human beings.
That being said, I do understand that what most vegans are opposed to is the fact that many bee operations are abusive, put bees under considerable and unnecessary stress, and have them pollinate pesticide-drenched crops leading to a doped colony and sub-par honey, etc. Therefore, the problem is the industry rather than the mere honey which is why I only buy and consume honey from small, local farms that respect the bees and their OWN need for their glorious gold goodness. The honey is meant for their own, after all. But it's such a rich food for humans (medicinal! delicious! healthful! BEST sweetener option EVER) that completely doing away with (all forms of) it simply to call myself "vegan" is ridiculous to me. That's why, I guess, I'm not vegan-- I'm beegan.
On a similar note, I will say that I have been riding the leisure train in regards to veganism. Aside from my cooking, which is "usually" 100% vegan, I have been indulging (if that is the word) in whatever yumminess I see in front of me that others cook or at restaurants. That has included a lot of cheese and a lot of seafood.
I haven't been feeling "bad" about it either. I have really been making the conscious decision to eat these foods. I'm not sure what that means or what I should be feeling, but that is just what's going on. I will say though that I have been making some delish vegan dishes at home lately: Thai coconut soup, pumpkin curry, split pea soup, etc.
So for now, I'm living the life of moderation. Happy Holidays......till next week!
Hopefully it'll get you thinking about our upcoming American "Thanks-giving" holiday and how you'll spend it this Thursday.
As soon as I realized that I didn't need meat to survive or to be in good health, I began to see how forlorn it all is. If only we had a different mentality about the drama of the cowboy and the range and all the rest of it. It's a very romantic notion, an entrenched part of American culture, but I've seen, for example, pigs waiting to be slaughtered, and their hysteria and panic was something I shall never forget. ~Cloris Leachman
*Also, note that yesyerday I made a post entitled "Simple Shoes", but it for some reason posted back on 11/15/10. So if you are interested in reading about or getting some new eco-friendly, hemp, vegan tennis shoes.....then check out the post!
Also, I don't want to pass up the opportunity to share this awesome video with you all. It's not related to veganism, but it'll certainly make you hopeful. Plus, the illustration is awesome. Enjoy!
1 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (this replaces the ham that is usually in this recipe; it gives a smoky flavor)
EVOO drizzle (since it's a fresh drizzle, use really good olive oil; otherwise leave it out)
Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium, high heat. Add onion and spices and cook for a minute or two until soft. Add the split peas and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the peas are al dente. Add the liquid smoke. Take an immersion blender and insert it in the soup and puree to your liking. Some like it completely pureed and some like it super chunky. You can leave it as is also if you'd like a more brothier, really chunky soup.
Top with a sprinkle of paprika and a drizzle of EVOO. Enjoy!
Simple was recommended to my by Eco Vegan and my good friend in Georgia. I went online and checked them out. They have a great website and each of their pairs of shoes has reviews listed, which is super helpful. I wanted to make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for working out and can get wet in the rain.
Here are some of the materials used to make Simple Shoes (as per the top of my shoebox I received today).
Latex-is a natural rubber. It's easy to mold and provides lots of cushioning.
Recycled car tires-We collect used and landfill-bound car tires, cut them up, and use them as outsoles.
Bamboo-is an endless resource because it's so plentiful......it's super soft too!
Organic cotton-Our cotton is 100% organic.....that means no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or additives.
Water based glue-We use all water based glues. Better for the shoe makers and better for you.
Crepe-A natural rubber. It's tapped from the hevea tree.
Recycled inner tubes-We reuse rubber from landfill-bound car tire inner tubes on many of our shoes.
Hemp-Is soft and one of the strongest vegetable fibers available and it grows like a weed.
Fact: Sugar give you an initial high, then you crash, then you crave more, then you consume more
Fact: Sugar is a mood altering drug
Fact: Rats when given the choice to drink water tainted with saccharin or intravenous cocaine, 94% preferred the saccharin water. Sweetness is more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.
I learned these intresting tidbits from my Goop newsletter this week (www.goop.com). Read more from Gwyneth Paltrow's interview with Dr. Frank Lipman. He is an integrative medicine doctor based out of New York.
"Yoga is an excellent promoter of relaxation as well as a good form of nonaerobic body conditioning."
-- Andrew Weil, M.D.
This active version of Bridge Pose calms the brain and rejuvenates tired legs.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (SET-too BAHN-dah) setu = dam, dike, or bridge,bandha = lock
The Bridge Pose is a powerful tonic for body and mind. It provides an invigorating stretch for the chest, neck and spine. Traditionally, its benefits are said to also include:
- Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
- Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid
- Rejuvenates tired legs
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with support
- Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache and insomnia
- Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis
It is also held to be a therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis.
Contraindications/Cautions - Use caution if you are currently or have experienced any of the following:
- Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
Step by Step
- Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
- Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
- Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
- Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it's resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Modifications & Props
If you have difficulty supporting the lift of the pelvis in this pose after taking it away from the floor, slide a block or bolster under your sacrum and rest the pelvis on this support.
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (pronounced ACHE-ah PAH-dah, eka = one, pada = foot or leg)
On an exhalation, lift the right knee into your torso, then inhale and extend the leg perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, then release the foot to the floor again with an exhalation. Secure the foot again and repeat with the left leg for the same length of time.
Once the shoulders are rolled under, be sure not to pull them forcefully away from your ears, which tends to overstretch the neck. Lift the tops of the shoulders slightly toward the ears and push the inner shoulder blades away from the spine.
Deepen the Pose
Once in the pose, lift your heels off the floor and push your tailbone up, a little closer to the pubis. Then from the lift of the tailbone, stretch the heels back to the floor again.
A partner can help you learn about the correct action of the top thighs in a backbend. Perform the pose, then have the partner straddle your legs and clasp your top thighs. He/she can brace your outer thighs with his/her inner legs. Next the partner should strongly turn the thighs inward and encourage the inner thighs down toward the floor (as you resist the tailbone toward the pubis). Recreate this action in all backbends.
Please consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program.
Information courtesy of Yoga Journal.
I sought a fabulous recipe from the fantastic Colleen Patrick Godreau (in The Joy of Vegan Baking) and I was surprised to find she didn't have one! Shock! Horror? Well, kind of, but then I saw she had something called "banana crumble," checked that I had all the ingredients and therefore decided to go for it.
It was AMAZING! Wowowow!
A combination of bananas foster and a pecan-oatmeal cookie, served alongside a generous serving of Tempt vanilla ice cream (made from hemp milk) of course... Seriously good eats.
I highly encourage you to do it next time you find yourself with a couple of overripe bananas. Simply slice them and arrange them in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of brown sugar. Then combine your basic crumble (oats, flour, earth balance, vanilla extract, etc) and bake until crispy on top and bubbling on the bottom. Serve warm or at room temperature. YUM!
It's a very honest look at the guilt many people associate with a vegan lifestyle, and it's true that there are moments where we stray and that's perfectly acceptable. If your definition of vegan is limited to a 100% full-time, life-long commitment without the ability to forgive and move-on from a minor lapse in judgement, I'd say your in for a bad time. Instead, accept that mistakes will be made but that it's not the end of the world.
One small setback isn't going to keep me from fighting the good fight!
Some of the confessions I relate with:
“I still wear my wool sweaters. If someone asks, I say they are vegan. Nobody knows the difference, and I still buy anything new entirely vegan. Isn’t that greener anyway?” (reuse! reuse!)
“I cheated while I was pregnant. All I wanted was an egg. So I ate one. Then I ate another. It was anti-climactic. But I listened to my body. Not planning on doing it again.” (I'm okay with eating eggs from chickens I can meet and greet)
“While in Italy with my Partner, I ate pizza and loved every minute of it. I felt guilty, but I sat in the moment with it and enjoyed it.” (er...yea, traveling is tough)
“I have no intention of donating or selling my old leather shoes. I’ll wear them til they have no more wear in them.” (all two pairs of them!)
“I bought sardines for my cat, and found myself eating the whole tin.” (in my case it would be anchovies...)
I am not at all shocked that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association stood up against this blasphemy! Ha. Having children eat vegetables, whole grains, etc........that is PURE madness!
They must be living under a rock to not at least relate to or comment on how even slightly reducing people's consumption of meat (or even just animal products) can significantly affect their health in a positive direction.
I have an M.B.A. and I understand business, profits, gross margin, etc. But it seems highly negligent of the NCBA to turn a blind eye to research that is now out there. It reminds me of the "Tobacco Trials" and how the heads of Phillip Morris, etc all stood up on trial and took a vow that they were #1 telling the truth and #2 that there is no connection between cigarettes and cancer.
Shameful, I say.
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (I used roasted fresh pumpkin!)
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (I used almond milk + a splash of vanilla)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tbsp honey (or agave)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
Go here, the story I'm referring to is almost halfway down the page:
It's one thing to stay in the heart of a Spanish colonial city-and quite another to stay in a Spanish-colonial mansion. Located smack in the middle of Granada's historic district, the sprawling 19th century Hotel Spa Granada has five garden courtyards, a lagoon-like swimming pool in the center and 15 expansive guest rooms (some with ceilings as high as 18 feet) that are decorated with handicrafts from a local artisan. A free spa treatment is included with every night of your stay, but the rates are so shockingly affordable-a 60-minute massage is $20, an aloe facial is $10-that a full day of pampering hardly qualifies as a splurge.
I have this romantic notion that I could go there for like a month and go on a meditative journey......or write a book.......or take an extended pleasure vacation with Virtually Vegan Boyfriend;)