4.30.2010

I can hear that apple screaming...

quote from my coworker today moments after I laid my first chomp on my delicious organic Fuji. 

Which makes me wonder, wouldn't it have screamed as it was plucked from the tree? And then slowly passed while sitting at the Co-op waiting for me to take it home and... *nom*... When would a fruit "die" if we care to really explore this topic as silly as it may be? 

If omnivores care to really think about this seriously, how can they then choose to participate in the abuse, slaughter and consumption of something that truly DID audibly scream and struggle and suffer before passing? What then?

4.29.2010

examine the small



I was meaning to write a post about the history of carrots but when I started looking into the topic I found the present of carrots to be just as compelling and easier to understand.
I mean, there's a whole MUSEUM dedicated to this very popular vegetable and rightfully so--the nutritional values are through the roof, it's delicious, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. 

I urge you to check out the Carrot Museum website since they have a wonderful database with the history of this magnificent root. 

Some highlights:


Carrots were originally purple or red, with a thin root. A tale, probably apocryphal, has it that the orange carrot was bred in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century to honour William of Orange. Though the orange carrot does date from the seventeenth century Netherlands, it is unlikely that honouring William of Orange had anything to do with it!
The orange colour did not become popular until the 1500's when Dutch growers developed the vegetable by selective breeding to make it less bitter than the yellow varieties, and then it was adopted it as the Royal vegetable in honour of the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family The first carrots were grown for medicinal purpose

Orange Carrots contain beta carotene, with some alpha-carotene, both of which are orange pigments. High in Vitamin A essential for well-being, healthy eyes. These carrots originate from Europe and the Middle East.
Orange Carrot Slice
Yellow carrots contain xanthophylls and lutene, pigments similar to beta carotene, which help develop healthy eyes aid in the fight against macular degeneration and may prevent lung and other cancers and reduce the risk of astherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). These came from the Middle East.
Yellow Carrot slice
Red carrots are tinted by lycopene, (another form of carotene) a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon; lycopene is associated with the reduced risk of macular degeneration, serum lipid oxidation, helps prevent heart disease and a wide variety of cancers including prostate cancer. Originally from India and China.
Red Carrot slice
White carrots lack pigment, but may contain other health-promoting substances called phytochemicals, natural bioactive compounds found in plant foods that work with nutrients and dietary fibre to protect against disease. One might say these are the least healthy of carrots. They originate from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan.white carrot slice
Purple carrots (usually orange inside) have even more beta carotene than their orange cousins, and get their pigment from an entirely different class, the anthocyanins, these pigments act as powerful antioxidants, grabbing and holding on to harmful free radicals in the body. Anthocyanins also help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting and are good anti inflammatory agents. These originate from Turkey, and the Middle and Far East. 
Purple Carrot slice
The Purple Haze variety have a more purple/red and white centre.
Purple Haze Carrot Slice
Black Carrots contain anthocyanins, part of the flavonoid family with antioxidant properties. Flavonoids are currently under investigation as anticancer compounds, as free radical scavengers in living systems, as well as inhibitors of LDL (the bad) cholesterol and the black carrot anthocyanins are especially active.It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties and oil made from its seed can help control scalp itchiness and provides essential nutrients for hair growth. The ancient black carrot has been making a comeback, not so much for culinary purposes but as a source of natural food colorants. These originate from Turkey, and the Middle and Far East.

Black Carrot Slice
The carrot is a member of the parsley family which includes about 2,500 species such as dill, caraway, cumin, chervil, coriander, fennel, anise, parsley, parsnip, and celery. It also includes poisonous species such a poison hemlock, water hemlock and fools parsley.

Several hundred varieties of carrot exist with well over 50 different seeds generally available. 

My farmer is going to be asked lots of questions about carrots this Sunday...I hope yours is too! Be sure to check out the awesome Carrot Museum page and learn more about this radical root!

4.28.2010

Quote of the day!

All souls are the same, just our bodies are different.

-Hippocrates

4.27.2010

Sweet Onion & Black-Eyed Pea Salad


This recipe is from Better Nutrition Magazine, Feb 2010 issue

Serve this simple, traditional Southern dish as a side, use it atop graden greens, or mix it with vegan cheese for a quick lunch!

4 cans organic black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (Personally, for health reasons, I would use beans that need to be soaked instead of canned beans, for more info visit: http://www.naturalnews.com/021761.html)

1/3 cup safflower oil

1 medium sweet onion (Vidalia or Maui), peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 large cloves garlic, each sliced vertically into four pieces

Combine all ingredients, stir well. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cover tightly, and refrigerate at least 6 hours (salad is best after about 2 days).

Serves 6

Per serving: 319 calories; 14 grams protein; 15 grams total fat (1 gram saturated fat); 38 grams carbohydrates; 0 MG cholesterol; 443 MG sodium; 9 grams fiber; 4 grams sugars.

Bom appetite!

4.26.2010

Meatless Monday: A salad that's to-dye-for!

Today I want to share one of my mother's simple yet delicious recipes.  Although it may not seem like much, beets and carrots are beautiful and in season where I live and this salad provides a great way to take advantage not only of the season's bounty but also of the rich nutrients densely packed in these amazing vegetables.

FYI: This salad in its original form is vegetarian (she used to add chopped hard boiled eggs) so if you're down with that you could add some.

Ensalada de Zanahoria y Remolacha (Beet & Carrot Salad)
2 cups of roasted beets (see below)
2 cups of shredded carrots
2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (more depending on how much leftover dressing you like to soak up with bread)
salt & pepper to taste

Roast beets (in aluminum foil, or simply on a baking sheet) for almost an hour at 400 degrees Farenheit to get the most flavor (cooking time depends on size of beets).  Allow to cool and then peel and dice beets. 
Add to shredded carrots  in a large bowl and season. Toss to combine...*nom!*

Enjoy!

4.23.2010

Foodies Vegan-One Year Later

Hi everyone. So I have been virtually vegan now for just under a year or so. And I have been vegetarian for just over a year. As Eco Vegan blogged about yesterday, cheating has been a part of my life here and there. Today, it was DEFINITELY a part of my life. I had a part of a shrimp 'po boy for dinner......and it wasn't even that good! A total disappointment and not even worth the cheating guilt. Though sometimes I can attest that the guilt has been worth it.......for example, I once had an insanely good affogato (vanilla bean ice cream with a fresh cup of espresso poured over it).

But overall I can say that one year later I am very happy with my decision. I feel like I have gotten so creative with food and have really enjoyed shopping for food and cooking in the kitchen. It becomes a sort of a game to veganize a favorite dish or to try out a new recipe. Not to mention the incessant following of our vegan idols (i.e. Colleen Patrick-Goodreau). And my weekly trips to the farmers market or receiving my CSA box at my door, has also created a new fun area of my life.

I also will say that I now, more than ever strongly identify with all of the vegan ideals. I believe that being began is best for my health, I believe in striving for animals rights, and I believe that our planet will be healthier for every new vegan in the world. One thing I will say that has changed in my beliefs since I started engaging in the vegan lifestyle, is the idea of locavorism being a food model for people. I really identify with all the locavore ideals, except the blatant omission of compassion for animals. That part does not sit well with me.

I just wanted this blog to be a simple "check in" to be present to my decisions and what I'm doing in my life. It's always good to do that every once in a while so that you can be sure that your actions are still matching your beliefs.

Happy Friday!

4.22.2010

Cheating?

How bad is cheating? Does the severity of the accusation depend on the item consumed (eather vs. eggs) or the reason behind the act (hunger vs. "cute shoes!")? 

I've been thinking about this because lately I've been a pretty bad "vegan," if we're trying to be strict on the definition.  It's really only been in terms of food -my one true love- and due to stress.  A bit of feta in my veggie burger Monday, a couple of amazing traditional biscotti brought from Tuscani by a coworker yesterday, and such is my life.

I know some vegans who believe it is a mortal sin to not be consistent. And yes, the argument can be made for the fact that we are humans and we tend to err occasionally. But my question stems from the moral weight of the issue...Should I feel guilty? How guilty? And then, why? Why feel guilty?

My lifestyle, the vegan choices I have made are my own. I feel like I should be proud of the decisions I make everyday to live a vegan lifestyle and not focus on the unavoidable egg in the biscotti when I really want to have one.
I know we're all free to make our own choices and no one is going to hold this against me, so I'm really writing this post as a catharsis, to try to relieve myself from a bit of this guilt I carry around everytime I 'step on the stick'* a little.

Do you experience difficulties when face to face with non-vegan delights? Do you give in every once in a while? Whether you do or don't, how do you then feel about it?

here's to honesty,
EcoVegan


*step on the stick is my translation of "pisar el palito" which is one of my mom's many sayings... it means breaking the rules a touch.

4.21.2010

Veggie Couscous




I created this recipe last week when I wanted something cheap and easy to make with whatever veggies I had in my fridge. Here goes!

Veggie Couscous
Serves 5

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 tbsp EVOO
2 cloves garlic pressed or crushed
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 cups of broccoli
2 tbsp sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
3 stalks of green onions
1 small can/jar of artichoke hearts
salt and pepper to taste
chopped basil to put on top

Lightly steam broccoli and cauliflower. Do not cook it all the way, as you will be cooking it some over the stove. In a skillet, heat up EVOO and garlic. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and start pan searing it. Once it gets some color, add in the sundried tomatoes, green onions, and artichoke hearts. Also, add salt and pepper to taste. Prepare the couscous according to package directions. Remove skillet of vegetables from heat. Fold in couscous and top with a chiffonade of fresh basil. Bon appetit!

4.20.2010

Bob Barker is Priceless


When Bob Barker retired from The Price Is Right after 35 years, he said his final goodbye the same way that he always did, with the reminder to spay and neuter animal companions. Daytime TV fans certainly miss Mr. Barker, but we are thrilled to report that Bob is spending his “retirement” vigorously promoting animal rights.
Bob Barker's off-screen achievements to help animals are so impressive that PETA's new Los Angeles office-which Mr. Barker generously funded with a $2.5 million donation and which will house PETA's vital Youth Campaigns, Marketing and Internationals Grassroots Campaigns departments-is named in his honor.
As a longtime animal crusader, Mr. Barker made sure that fur coats were never given away as prizes on The Price Is Right, and he famously resigned from the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants-after serving as host for decades-when the show's producers insisted on including furs in the prize packages.
He does it all, from contributing a vegan recipe to The PETA Celebrity Cookbook to donating millions of dollars to set up animal law programs at eight schools, including Harvard, Stanford and Georgetown. One Afternoon, he called PETA after learning that a Virginia homeowner had hired hunters to kill deer who had the audacity to nibble on the man's flower garden. “For the sake of a few flowers, which....I am happy to replace” he said, “surely a Live and Let Live ethic and common sense can be brought into play.”It took some doing, but in the end, it was Bob Barker's impetus that prevented the slaughter.
Among his other good deeds, Mr. Barker has been heavily involved in trying to persuade the Edmonton Zoo to send Lucy, a lone, ailing elephant, to a sanctuary. Overweight and suffering from arthritis, Lucy spends most of her time inside a concrete-floored barn with nothing do, the Canadian winters being far too harsh for her to go outside.
Mr. Barker is also working to free the bears confined to turn-of-the-century-style concrete pits in Cherokee, North Carolina. The bears pace back and forth incessantly, looking up at tourists from whom they beg for food. Mr. Barker traveled from Hollywood to see the bears for himself but was barred entry. He then addressed a tribal meeting about the bears' plight. “I told Chief Hicks (of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) that I'm not an expert on bears,” Bob wrote. “I'm an expert on giving away refrigerators. But I can tell you that these bears are not properly housed or fed....The cruel bear displays are glaring blemish on the area....”
Mr. Barker has said that he “would like to be remembered as a man who loved living things and did everything he could do to make the world better for animals. And when he had time, he did a lot of television shows, too”. Don't worry, Bob, we already think of you that way.

The article above is from PETA's Animal Times magazine, Spring 2010.

To read more information about Lucy and the Cherokee bears, please visit the links below:




4.19.2010

A Powerful Quote for Monday

Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

4.16.2010

The Botany of Desire by Micheal Pollan


A plant's eye view of the world....quote from the back of the book...

Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Micheal Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires-sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control-with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings. And just as we've benefited from these plants, the plants have also benefited at least as much from their association with us. So who is really domesticating whom?

There is also a PBS program which covers this book. You can find it at the following link:

4.15.2010

Get to know your food and your farmers!


I have had a love affair with farmer's markets for years now. The quality, atmosphere, and fresh air simply cannot be beat! Before I used to buy a lot of my produce there, but would still frequent the regular megamart for all other foods.  When I became vegan however I started buying pretty much EVERYTHING from the farmers market and I wouldn't change a thing.   I am able to ask the producers/farm representatives anything about their products (organic? certified? how was it grown? what variety is this? what the hell is this vegetable?) and base my diet (it is practically ALL veggies after all) on quality produce.  That's why I think it's a requisite for a person eating a healthy vegan diet to go to their local farmer's market whenever they can (some places don't have the blessed year-long markets like we do in CA, I realize). It's important to eat good food no matter what diet you follow, but when all you eat are plants it's great to know that you're buying the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious plants you can get your greedy little hands on.

And why is that? Thanks to small farms and the wonderful farmers that devote their lives to growing good food. 
So, please do me a favor and go to a farmer's market this weekend and talk with the person on the other side of the stand. It'll make the whole experience a little sweeter!


This is Farmer Shawn from Out of Step farms who provides amazingly delicious produce in the Santa Barbara County (Fri-Montecito Market, Sun-Goleta Market, for delivery, and at the IV Food Co-op)
Photos courtesy of David Andrew Montano via Facebook

Chili Addiction




I love chili. I have always loved chili. Something about a big pot of steaming, warming chili just warms my heart. Even when I ate meat, I always preferred meat-free chili. Somehow I prefer the earthiness of the veggies and beans all slowly cooked in one big pot. Last Thursday night my boyfriend and I decided to have a little date night and go to a quick dinner and see a movie (Hot Tub Time Machine was the selection......the jury is still out.......but I did laugh a lot). Since we were limited on time, we weren't able to go to a traditional sit down dinner, and it was then that I remembered that a restaurant called Chili Addiction had just opened up less than a mile from our house. And I got this information from Quarry Girl, a local LA vegan blogger, who I think all the Virtually Vegan sisters read regularly. You can check her out at www.quarrygirl.com.

Chili Addiction is a fabulously red restaurant (that just means that when you go there.....everything is red, including the walls!). As you can imagine, their specialty is chili. They serve up over 47 varieties, 10 of which are vegan. Most of you are wondering how they could possibly make up 47 varieties of chili on a daily basis, well, they don't. They rotate their menu weekly, and when we went, they had 8 chilis offered, 2 of which were vegan. I opted for the "Hom-onious Chorizo" chili, which they describe as: soy chorizo, with Hominy, and you cook it with Johnny's secret blend of spices and...Presto..a perfectly harmonized, savory, and full textured 100% VEGAN CHILI!

We got the chili over nachos......they served us tortilla chips with chili, daiya shredded cheese, salsa, and onions on top. We also got a side of their homemade saurkraut (grandma's recipe) and smothered that on top as well. All that for $8.

Overall our Chili Addiction experience was a good one. The two gentlemen behind the counter were extremely friendly and offered us samples, and details about all the menu items we asked about. Please do them (and yourself!)a favor and visit the store and try out their chili.....I can assure you, you won't be disappointed! -Foodie Vegan

Chili Addiction
408 N. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 203-1793

4.13.2010

A quote from John Muir


The world, we are told, was made especially for man – a presumption not supported by all the facts.… Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?

—John Muir, naturalist and explorer (1838–1914)

if you would like some history about John Muir, please visit the following link...

4.12.2010

Meatless Monday: Original Recipe, Rawlicious Couscous Salad



Ingredients:
1 shredded carrot
1 handfull of snow peas cut into 1/2" pieces
1 handfull chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbps. aioli
condiment with:
hemp seeds
black sesame seeds
chili powder
omega 3 oil
sea salt

Mix, mix, mix & eat, eat, eat!!


4.09.2010

If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.


Michael Pollan (author of such books as "The Botany of Desire," "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and "In Defense of Food") has come out with a new book this year, very appropriately called "Food Rules", in which he simply states general rules for people to improve their diets and, consequentially, their health.

You can read many of the rules and more about the book in his article here
I haven't read his books, and I know some vegans are fiercly against him in terms of his position on animals as food, but as I mentioned last week, I strongly believe in the need to change the way this country eats and anyone that helps inform and encourage people to eat whole foods is on my side, vegan or not.  Even if you don't agree with or cannot comply with all of his rules, take it as a personal challenge to bring one to fruition.


P.S. I recently watched the PBS video version of "The Botany of Desire" (in which the author participates) and it was fascinating (especially the bit about apples! I'll never look at those the same way). Highly recommended!

4.08.2010

Don't break my bars... Eat them!

Even though I love spending time in the kitchen and occasionally bake I have yet to try my hand at homemade bars. My sister (HAPPY BIRTHDAY by the way!) has yet to send me her recipe which she claims is foolproof, so I am lucky that fellow bloggers wrote about this very issue this week; I had forgotten about any attempts to make bars and would have never searched out for some as perfectly simple as the ones I found. Thanks Chow Vegan!


I'm already looking forward to the weekend when my food processor and I will be making these delicious little devils. I hope you do too. Enjoy!

4.07.2010

A case for locavorism

Greetings! This is a very short article that I read in my VegNews newsletter and I think it brings up a lot of good points. I am constantly thinking about the push/pull relationship between veganism and locavorism. This article discusses that "issue". Though I think the 2 can coexist and coexist harmoniously. I definitely look at myself as more of a vegan than a locavore. It's just what I identify with more. But I do think that there is a lot of validity in locavorism and really am striving to eating more locally. I am trying to not eat any veggies/fruits that are not available at my Farmers Market. But I will admit that it's hard, because I am SOOO used to tomatoes, for example, year round! So I'm learning to be patient and getting excited when something "debuts" at the Farmers Market!! Enjoy the article below. Cheers....Foodie Vegan.

http://www.vegnews.com/web/articles/page.do?pageId=1764&catId=7

4.06.2010

Tips for a Healthy Diet at Work

Here are some tips to help you eat healthy at work and also while you are out and about:

1. Become accustomed to taking food to work, making sure that it's nutritionally balanced. Preferably salads which can be topped with walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, raisins and anything else you might like. You can also cook extra food during dinner time and that way you will have left overs for lunch the next day.
2. Drink water in abundance.
3. Choose ingredients rich in protein and fiber. Like seeds, nuts and greens!!
4. To keep it interesting, vary the types of fruits and vegetables you consume. I usually pack an apple, a carrot and a tangerine, sometimes celery.
5. Avoid drinking too much coffee and soft drinks, they will dehydrate you and they are also very acidic. Instead drink green tea which is alkaline!!!
6. Motivate the authorities at work to promote healthy food habits around the office by suggesting they provide a larger assortment of these food in the cafeteria and/or vending machines.
7. Purchase a stainless steel bottle so you can always have water by your side.

4.05.2010

real deal piccata

When I was an omni one of my favorite meals was Chicken Picatta. I remember my stepdad making it when I was a child and how unusual my love for lemon and capers was for a kid my age (I don't think my sisters cared for this dish at the time).

So last year, after months of being vegan and not thinking about meat dishes for a long time I remembered the capers, and the buttery lemon-white wine sauce, and the breaded goodness. It was time to give it a go, vegan style.

Note: Any friend of mine will tell you that I'm not a lover of the faux-meats (I'll try them at restaurants on occasion but I'm not thrilled with the idea of basing your vegan diet on them) therefore this recipe has no "odd" ingredients besides the nutritional yeast and the garbanzo flour. You should be able to find everything else at a regular market.

I came up with this recipe on my own so I'm pretty proud that it turned out so delicious and true to the original flavors. It's a very soulful and comforting meal, especially when served alongside mashed potatoes or fettuccine pasta.
Also, please keep in mind that the quantities are approximate. Trust your instincts more than the numbers on the recipe; if the sauce doesn't reduce enough just give it more time or add more cornstarch.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 block of Organic Tofu (I can't stress organic enough when it comes to soy products) sliced into long thin rectangles
  •  1 cup of flour combined with 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast and garbanzo flour respectively.
  • 3/4 cup of organic soy milk (unflavored, unsweetened) mixed with 2 tbsp of dijon mustard, salt & pepper
    finely chopped parsley (optional) (to add to milk/mustard mixture)
Sauce:
  • Juice from a fresh squeezed lemon (1/4 - 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 small Shallots - sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup White Wine of choice (something you would actually drink)
  • Capers (as many as your heart desires)
  • Non-dairy 'butter' such as Earth Balance
  • 1/8 cup of vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 tbsp of corn starch

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Place each piece of thin tofu in the milk/mustard bath and then into a bowl with the flour. Pat to coat on all sides and then transfer to a greased baking sheet.  Do this with all your slices and place in oven for 20 minutes. Be careful that they don't overcook & dry out.  You want them golden brown.

While the tofu is in the oven, heat butter in a skillet and add the shallots. Cook until transparent and then add the lemon juice and wine.  Let this mixture reduce for 10+ minutes. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch in the water until well-dissolved.  Add this to the heated reduction when half of the original juice/wine amount remains and throw the capers in the sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place the golden tofu on a plate and drizzle liberally with the lemon wine sauce. 

Yum!

4.02.2010

Being vegan isn't just about what you put in your mouth......

Like my Virtually Vegan Sisters, I entered the wonderful world of vegetarianism/veganism just over a year ago. In fact, I recently celebrated my one year anniversary:)

But one tenet that I repeatedly come back to is that being vegan isn't just about what you put into your mouth. Animals are exploited in SO many other ways including in: the products we put on our face/body, the clothes/shoes/etc we put on our body, the pets we buy at pet stores, the animals used for medical testing, etc. Now don't get me wrong, what you put on your plate is VERY important if you are entering the world of veganism. In fact, a lot of people think that being vegan simply means that you don't ingest any animal products. When in fact, most vegans would say that it is SO much more and they try to minimize (to the best of their ability) the exploitation of animals on this planet.

In addition to striving to be a vegan in the kitchen, I am slowly starting to "veganize" the rest of my life. I seek out vegan and all-natural beauty products, I make my own homemade cleaning products (instead of buying the chemical concoctions that most Americans use that harm their health as well as the health of many marine animals who are affected by contaminated runoff), and I avoid any prescription drugs if at all possible, as most of them are cruelly tested on animals.

HOWEVER, I am not perfect and made a "boo boo" yesterday. I was at Ross exchanging something for my boyfriend, when I strolled into the shoe section and came across an adorable pair of sandals that were on clearance for $9.99. I took them home, took the tags off, and wore them today before I even realized that I had bought leather. It never even crossed my mind. It's times like that when I realize how "hard" being vegan means to an average American. I mean, I write a vegan blog for Christ's sake and here I am contributing the very industry I argue against!! Then I calmed down and realized that it is a process. Not much in life is absolute, and this is an example. I am simply doing what I think is best for me and the rest of the world.

What I advocate in regards to other aspects of veganism is to make it be a process. Not many people are going to go through their closets and throw away everything that is leather, suede, cotton, etc. And not every person is going to go through their medicine cabinet and get rid of any makeup, soap, shampoo, etc that doesn't have any animal products in it or that didn't use animal testing. I think a good, reasonable action point is to "finish up" these things in their lives and then make more compassionate choices when replacing them. I.e. finish your lipstick tube that is made of whale blubber, and when you shop for new lipstick, be sure to seek out a vegan company. And when your leather gym shoes get worn out, go online and look for company's that make vegan, all-natural tennis shoes. And when your designer Pomeranian, Fido, goes to doggy heaven, consider going to your local pet shelter to find a new best friend! This way there is no blatant waste (i.e. tossing everything non-vegan into a trash bag, just for everything to end up in a landfill) and you are also making a difference in your compassionate buying power.

Have a great weekend everyone! Foodie Vegan

4.01.2010

You say you want a revolution...

yea, you know, we all wanna change the world!

Ever since I can remember the majority of my diet has come from whole foods. My mom consistently cooked from scratch and I always took a sacked lunch to school rather than eat the cafeteria food or processed "lunchables." When I started cooking for myself it was only natural to continue in this fashion and I came to realize how fortunate I was to have been raised eating good quality food. Slowly I learned about the different food production industries and decided to be more conscious about the source of the whole ingredients as well. Next in my journey was educating myself about nutrition and I took a closer look at the meat and dairy industry and that is when I became vegan a little over a year ago.

But, I realize, this is not natural for many people. At least not in this country at this time.  The majority of the population seeks out pre-made meals, made from god-knows-what and god-knows-where, with minimal nutritional quality and maximum empty calories that inevitably cause widespread, lifelong disease.

It's as if the kitchen is a scary, boring, useless room in the home; its value restricted to freezers and microwaves (how sad!). I, on the other hand, could spend an entire day, everyday, in the kitchen but I can see how this would be extremely difficult for someone accustomed to processed food. Why bother when a meal is just a microwaved minute away?

And this issue is far-reaching; definitely not restricted to meat and dairy eaters; it's about FOOD. Good food. And the lack of it in the home, on your plate, in your school curriculum and cafeterias, at work, in affordable restaurants, everywhere.

The issue is so vast that it doesn't call for change, it calls for a REVOLUTION.

Vegan or not, I have always emphasized (and personified, I would like to think) that it doesn't matter what is on your plate, what matters is that YOU made it from scratch and that you know (or try to know) from where it came.

And, I got awesome people on my side; talented, charming and famous people that are reaching new audiences as we speak!

Ladies and gents, Jamie Oliver (from The Naked Chef, Jamie at Home) is such a brilliant man! I can hardly contain my happiness when I learned and watch the new program he's developed in this country. You'll laugh, you may cry, you'll swoon, you'll start saying "Peas," the possibilities are endless.

He's trying to change this countries relationship to food starting with one city, the unhealthiest in the USA. You can watch "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolutiononline or on TV, so don't miss it!
He also won the 2010 TED award and is currently asking for supporters of his cause to sign a petition.

I really hope you give it a shot and enjoy the show!
The revolution starts in the kitchen so get out your knife and cutting board... y que ¡viva la revoluciĆ³n!