Sunday, December 23, 2007
Peter and Jim delve into the kitchens of 3 families. A family eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), The "conscientious" omnivore and a vegan family. They spend a day in the life of each family, delve into their shopping baskets and then even farther to where exactly the food comes from that each family buys. It's an incredibly insightful look into how our food choices affect a large global conscientious and how the little things we do each day have such a big effect. More importantly it empowers the reader to know exactly where their food comes from and what all the labels and claims such as "all natural" and "free range" really mean.
At the end of the book it became clear to me that being vegan was more than just a healthy or ethical choice but a vote that I am making to corporations, elected officials, and so on about what I do and don't like and what I will and won't accept. I've sworn off a lot of companies that pose an ethical dilemma for me and do my best to support local, organic, ethical and vegan companies and individuals whenever possible.
The Way We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason is a must read for anyone who eats, it's even on audiobook if you don't have time to read it.
And that, my friends. Is HOW TO MAKE A VEGAN!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
One day, in the middle of one of my “I hate omni’s” moods while looking up some vegan cookbooks I came across Vegan Freak by Bob & Jenna Torres. The book summary made it seem like an all encompassing guide on how to maintain sanity in a non-vegan world. The books is that and more. I became a vegan for health reasons and although I was always taught that animal cruelty was wrong I never really thought of it in terms of the animals that are raised for human consumption. Vegan Freak made the connection for me. How could I be completely and totally against animal cruelty and at the same time support, in anyway, the factory farming industry? I couldn’t, and from the day I turned the last page of this book I was not only a vegan but an ethical vegan.
Bob & Jenna also take a realistic view of everyday vegan issues. They anticipate the questions of a new vegan and pretty much cover the majority of them. My big question was, “What do I do with all this leather stuff I have, including my couches, loveseats, etc.?” Bob & Jenna already had the answer. Transition slowly and when you can. So when I say I’m vegan and the vegan police do their “leather scan” I’m no longer afraid (mostly because I’m probably wearing pleather).
My favorite parts of the book: Perfection & the Vegan Police, Speciesism, and basically all of Chapter 3 (titled “Hell is Other People”)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
It’s definitely a recipe for people who love to cook, it has a lot of moving parts but it also was my confirmation that vegan food is good food not just tofu in a box. I’ve subsequently bought all of Isa’s books and still lean on her forum’s for support when I need it (ok, I’m on them everyday, I’m addicted!)
You can also watch her show, The Post Punk Kitchen on the website or from Isa’s myspace page. Other highlights of the PPK are: vegan ice cream (ridiculously easy), vegan sushi, and of course there’s a blog on the PPK too.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This is where it really all began in a little juice & smoothie shop in East Point, GA. There was a sign hanging in the window for fasting classes with Arden Zinn the namesake of Arden’s Garden. Arden’s fasting classes came highly recommended to me and so I thought “why not, I’ll give it a try”, never knowing the experience would change my life.
July 8th, the night before my first fasting class. I had no idea what to prepare for. I thought I’d be starving for the next 21 days. One thing I knew for certain was that I wouldn’t taste my beloved cheese for almost a month. So my last meal that night was Cheese Enchiladas, my all time favorite dish. The next morning I met with Arden and 2 other eager soon-to-be-fasters.
After I told Arden that my last meal was Cheese Enchiladas she said this “Milk is not for humans. Cow Milk is to grow calves into 2,000 pound cows.” I don’t know what it was about her statement but it immediately resonated with me. After 21 days of juice and raw foods fasting with Arden my allergies to mold, cats and dogs disappeared, it was so unbelievable that I had it confirmed by an allergist by skin allergy testing to be sure they were really gone. All my life I suffered with allergies to a variety things and I had been on every allergy medication every made. My allergist shared with me that he believed my recovery from my allergies was because I’d cleansed my body of dairy products, which can throw off the immune system creating allergic responses to seemingly normal things around us. That solidified my decision, I was now a vegan.
Arden’s Garden is a local fresh juices and smoothie shop with 5 locations throughout the Atlanta area. All their juices are made from freshly pressed fruits and vegetables and their smoothies are all natural just fresh fruit juice and your choice of fruit. Learn more at http://www.ardensgarden.com/
I thank you Arden for being a powerful mentor, friend and guide to my journey for better health and the best quality of life available to us all!
My next 4 blogs will be homage’s to all the things that have made me into the happy and healthy vegan I am today.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
These "spareribs" are 100% omnivore and herbivore approved (hence a perfect dish to introduce your omni friends to the wonderful of Vegan!). They have a sweet citrus flavor that is at the same time spicy. And the plum vinegar sauce...there just are no words. Not only that but the texture is perfect and it cooks very quickly on the stove top, the oven (or toaster oven) and microwave.
On the back of the box it says that this is VegeUSA's best selling dish, and there is no doubt in my mind why. The taste and texture are amazing and the ingredients are simple and uncomplicated with no high fructose corn syrup in sight. If you're grocery store or co-op doesn't carry these you need to demand them immediately.
If you happen to be in the area try Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe (672 Highland Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30312). They have this, the Black Pepper Steak (a little too close to the real thing for me), and Orange Chicken (not my favorite but will do in a pinch). Some Asian grocers will also carry this brand but make sure it's vegan, VegeUSA has a vegan and a vegetarian line.