Posts Tagged ‘food’

Oh deliciousness

October 19th, 2010 No comments

I don’t actually know why … but what’s cookin over at Vegan Dad made me want to write a Haiku.

–>  Chocolate Cinnamon Babka <– hello … click it already :->

I didn’t actually come up with one.  But I know what I’m cooking this weekend.

Tragic Irony Fail

October 5th, 2010 No comments

Have you seen this one yet?  It’s made it into my email inbox from a couple of different people.  I suspect none of them ever considered what they are saying.

“This is undoubtedly one of the best I have seen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Have a fun filled day.”

(the rest reads like it’s copied from a newspaper article)

“In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother’s cub’s, perhaps she would improve.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species, will take on the care of a different species. The only ‘orphans’ that could be found quickly, were a litter of weanling pigs The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger. Would they become cubs or pork chops??

Take a look…”

(And then the moral exhortation comes at the end of the note …)

“Now, please tell me one more time ……..? Why can’t the rest of the world get along??”

In case the irony isn’t obvious, know that all the people who sent this to me all kill (or rather hire out the killing) and eat pigs themselves.  The people who sent me this email literally embody the negative imagery they imagine (and celebrate) this image negating.

“Why can’t the rest of the world get along?”


“God’s Country” – Land of the Obese

August 6th, 2010 No comments

People.  This is just staggering.

During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-three states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.

Check out this animated obesity trend map at the CDC.

Get 10 self-described vegetarians and or vegans at a table and you’ll see that they’re not all there for the same reasons.  Some are there because of animal welfare concerns.  Some are there because their particular religious tradition has regulations about whether or when to eat meat.  Some will be there because of environmental reasons.  Some will be there because eating low on the food chain is frugal.  Some will be there strictly for health reasons.   Some of these motivations are more philosophical, some are more practical.  In some ways you can’t separate the two.  This is where the word “diet” gets tricky.

I’m primarily motivated by the empathy, conscience, animal welfare-y reasons.  Given the choice between hurt-kill and help-heal I choose the latter.  For me and others like me it’s about more than just food.  You can of course describe my eating patterns as a vegetarian diet. I don’t however, consider myself to be “on a vegetarian diet”.  Being “on a diet” has connotations of being motivated primarily for personal health reasons.  I start from a set of moral/ethical constraints and then try to work from there.  Some days I’m more about Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, some days I’m more about Carb Conscience Vegetarian or Fat Free Vegan.  Sometimes I am a vegetarian who is also “on a diet”.  I have my moments. You get the idea.

Luckily, no matter the primary motivation, it turns out that meat/dairy free eating patterns can be just as, if not more healthy than the SAD (Standard American Diet).  This is where everybody at the vegetarian-vegan table wins.  Here’s a collection of different perspectives from the health front.   There should be 4 videos with this post, if not, refresh.  Thanks and Enjoy!

->  Eating to Starve Cancer – fascinating cutting edge research

Plants, plants, and more plants.  Maybe some fish.  It’ll be interesting to see if the benefit is somehow from fish qua fish or if it’s from Omega’s which you can get directly from, wait for it, more plants.

– > Gieco goes vegan.  No, not all of Gieco.  Just read the thing and watch the video.

For those of you who dig statistical graphs and sentences with lots of numbers ;-> here’s the actual paper,  “A Worksite Vegan Nutrition Program Is Well-Accepted and Improves Health-Related Quality of Life and Work Productivity.”   I wish I could just post the pdf, but there are rules about that kind of thing.

->  The Engine2 diet

The Engine2 Website

(this is me not blogging about the fact that my husband has been checking this out.  Yay!  he’s in the kitchen right now chopping up some mango for breakfast ala Rip’s Big Bowl.  life is good.)

>  Want to try it but don’t know how?  Need a little structure?

Check out the 21-day vegan kickstart plan.  Easy Breezy.  Yes … now.  ;->

Or, check out Weight Watchers – they have a vegetarian-vegan plan and you can do it all online.

->  Where do you get your protein?  Ask vegetarian and vegan tri-atheletes and body builders!

Veg-Athletes group on Ning

Vegan Body


And finally, see what you make of this.  Public health is public health is public health.  They were talking about it then too.  From the back cover

“In this compelling exploration of the “belly” motif, Karl Olav Sandnes asks whether St Paul might be addressing a culture in which the stomach is similarly high on the agenda.  The result is a surprising new insight into his writings. Paul twice mentions the enigmatic phrase ‘belly-worship’ (Phil 3; Rom 16).  The proper context for these texts is the moral philosophy debate about mastering the desires, and the reputation of Epicurus’ philosophy as promoting indulgence.  The belly became a catchword for a life controlled by pleasures.  Belly-worship was not only perjorative rhetoric, but developed from Paul’s conviction that the body was destined to a future with Christ.”

I blogged about this book in a couple of posts, Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles.  You can check them out in the index but you probably should just read the whole book for yourself.

All public health is a complex issue, obesity is no different.  It’s a complicated matrix of governmental policy, personal responsibility, social mores, education, and individual psychology and biology.  Like most everything else, we’re all in this together.

Feeding a Family

April 14th, 2010 No comments

Taking a moment to share some exceedingly decent food blogs and books by and for parents …


Vegan Dad

besides blogging about getting supper on the table every night he’s also baking through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice … very cool

Vegan Lunch Box

author of the book with the same name.  ideas for packing lunch boxes for kids and grown ups too.  go bento :->

And books:

there are often “kid friendly” recipe sections in non-targeted cookbooks too but these are devoted to a specific niche

Better Than Peanut Butter & Jelly: Quick Vegetarian Meals Your Kids Will Love!

Vive le Vegan!: Simple, Delectable Recipes for the Everyday Vegan Family

The Vegan Family Cookbook

Raising Vegetarian Children

and, though not a cookbook, a relevant and most welcome find

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things

Real Men and Diet

April 1st, 2010 No comments

Based on a sexist stereotype, I know.  I had a hard time not putting quotes around the phrase in the title.  But still, the stereotype of manhood somehow being based on or qualified by flesh eating is a live one with a long history in stockbreeding cultures.  That’s a book in itself.  But for now, some glimpses into the world of men who are not part of the the man=meat equation.   Yes I know this is dumb but it is, sadly, necessary.

the vegetarian athlete

Well, now I’m 6′ 6″ tall and weigh 200 pounds – all while maintaining my vegetarian diet and playing ball in college.  I was  also one of the strongest guys on my team. Basically, I’m livng proof that you can be athletic and build muscle – without eating animals.

trend piece on men and veganism

To stay competitive during rugby games, athlete and writer Jay Atkinson of Methuen substituted soy cheese for the real deal last summer and cut out turkey sandwiches. “I needed to extend my career by staying lean,’’ says Atkinson, 52. He was already eating well before he turned to veganism. Commuting to Boston to teach magazine writing at Boston University or slapping on skates to whiz across a frozen pond, he needs as much fuel as he can get. The vegan diet delivers.

Austin firefighters and the Engine 2 diet …

Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)- he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse.

professional hockey player

…  I also continue my free public viewings of the movie Earthlings and want to thank everyone who has purchased the documentary through my website. Buy it and pass it along, it will make a difference. I also want to thank all the people who came to the Anti Seal Hunt Protest on March 13. There were more than a hundred people. That was awesome ‘cause people are seeing a change. The movement is growing and that’s how you make a difference; that’s how you force the government to make changes because, at the end of the day, they need us. They need our votes and the more people that can unite against animal cruelty, the more of a change we will see. At the end of the day, all activists just want to achieve three goals, in a peaceful matter: we want to spread compassion towards all animals; improve your own health and our environment!!!

vegan bodybuilders

Vegan Bodybuilding is one of the best things you can do for your body, your mind, and the environment.

aggressive strength and extreme fighting

For the record, I cut dairy completely out of my diet in 1999 (over 5 years before I ever committed to a full-Vegan diet)… This was due to an allergy that I developed in my adolescent years to dairy that effected my sinuses and everything connecting to them. For a good part of my teenage years, I suffered from severe ear infections and chronic Vertigo (which is completely miserable). It took me a few years of to finally realize that the antibiotics were only temporarily subduing a much bigger problem. I did my research and finally found the source. A lot of people don’t realize how hard milk, whey, and other dairy products are on the sinuses and respiratory system, and the dairy industry would like you to believe that you need milk to get calcium. That notion is as oxymoronic as you can get.

I have to include Howard Lyman here.  “Plain truth from the cattle rancher who won’t eat meat.” …

The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or encountering ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?

As a bit of a post-script … a vegan dietitian suggests vegan nutrition websites.

I’ve been writing in my examiner column about some things to watch for when evaluating vegan nutrition resources. Today I listed my favorite websites for finding reliable information on vegan diet and, for those who don’t read the Seattle Vegan Examiner, I want to reprint them here.

Finds of the year

December 30th, 2009 No comments

of course this is just stuff.  the real good stuff doesn’t come from a store.  this is about some of the other kind of stuff that does.  these were either new or new to me in 2009.

Coconut Bliss


Wow.  I like coffee flavored anything so of course Cappucino is my favorite flavor so far.  This stuff doesn’t mess around when it comes to deliciousness.   Freezer. Spoon.  You can take it from there.

Read more…

Idolatry, Holidays, and the Fun of Sacrificial Victims

November 9th, 2009 No comments

Elizabeth Kolbert reviewing “Eating Animals“,

How is it that Americans, so solicitous of the animals they keep as pets, are so indifferent toward the ones they cook for dinner? The answer cannot lie in the beasts themselves. Pigs, after all, are quite companionable, and dogs are said to be delicious.

Read more…

What Then Will We Eat?

August 13th, 2009 No comments

Love this.  Granted there was a time when I myself was freaked out by the thought of not having a big hunk of flesh in the middle of my plate.  Gasp!  But really ya’ll … it’s just a habit.  Plates of food can look different, can be conceived of differently.   People can quit smoking, stop shooting heroine, stop drinking alcohol, stop gambling all their money away, and yes, people can also get beyond their meat addictions.  Here’s a fun video answering the age old question … “but if I don’t eat meat, what will I eat?”  If this isn’t enough, be sure to browse through my cookbook suggestions link in the sidebar.

via: VeggieDietitian

Creatures, flesh, and my faith

August 4th, 2009 No comments

As someone who holds a position underneath the radar of most conservative Christian thought, I find myself often struggling with the seeming futility of the things I care about.  Why would I hope for a time when we will gaze out into the world and see animals as fellow creatures of God when we can barely look at other people and see fellow children of God.  More days than not I wish I could just forget about what I know, what I’ve seen, what I continue to see about what we are in relation to the creatures at our mercy.  If it were possible to say this literally I’d say that it literally makes my soul throw up.

One of this week’s readings in a little book called “A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People” is from a book called Living Simply, and it’s about how living differently in relation to the world around us can be properly meaningful.  People ask me why I don’t eat meat and there are so many reasons that sometimes it’s hard to give the short quippy sound-bite answer most people are looking for.  I’d like to use the points from this week’s devotional to break it down.  I get the feeling that most people think I’m constantly struggling to fight back my meat cravings, that I’m involved in some sort of ascetic battle against my own mind and body.  That’s just so not true.  I saw the truth, it didn’t line up with my values, I changed my behavior.  Period.  In other words, I’ve reoriented … Read more…

Tofu and tempeh in their own right

June 11th, 2009 No comments

“The author used to think of tofu and tempeh as tasteless, bland, health-store food. Then he went to Indonesia.”

That’s the problem with tofu and tempeh, we just aren’t that sophisticated with it yet here. Certainly not in any mainstream sense.   Too often it’s approached as that weird blob of stuff that’s supposedly taking the place of a traditional blob of meat.   You can’t approach tofu and tempeh as if they’re designed to be meat replacements … if you want meat, eat meat.   If you’re genuinely interested in using tofu and tempeh in your culinary repertoire,  begin by learning what the people who invented the stuff do with it.  Then go from there.  Meet these foods on their own terms and you won’t be disappointed.  Take it from Jarrett Wrisley, who met the curds on their own turf and learned they were plenty respectable in their own right and writes about it in this article, Learning to Love Tempeh.  Of course, a tempeh reuben is one tasty sandwich.