Tag Archives: vegan

Vegan Recipe: Simply Delicious Lentil Soup

4 Mar

Vegan Recipe: Simply Delicious Lentil Soup


Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Your Health

29 Jan

Ten years ago I was frequently exhausted, and spent most of my free time on the couch.  Figuring out my food allergies has changed my life!!  Today I feel healthy, energetic and strong.  Read more about my story on my new blog, truebodymindsoul.com

Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Your Health

Clean Eating

16 May

I don’t know why people are calling it “clean” eating now, as far as I can tell it’s just a more acceptable way of saying vegan. But maybe it’s more flexible.

I try to eat vegan.  I’m a little sporadic about it, on and off again.  I’m allergic to eggs and dairy, so that makes things easier!  But I like the flexibility of following what I feel my body wants and not being too strict about it (although I greatly admire people who are strict!)

I started eating fish and seafood again when I traveled to Africa last August, then I went again October, and I’m back again now.  There are some good veggie options here, Chinese food, Indian food, and Middle Eastern, all great!!  But I’m often stuck at the hotel where there are no good options (if you care about getting protein, which I do.)  For the last several months I enjoyed going to sushi and splurging on scallops when out to dinner with friends.  It was hard to motivate to go back to being vegan even after I was back in States.  I had JUST started eating vegan again in March, when I found out in April I’d be coming back to Africa.

So here I am, eating fish again (well, I have to admit I actually really like fish and seafood, so guess this was an easy excuse.)  Four nights ago I was stuck at the hotel, and ordered shrimp, it came on skewers, with the WHOLE shrimp.  I’m used the to tails, but I’m not used to the little legs, the antennae, and the little buggy eyes staring up at me.  I had to take off their little heads to eat them.  I was not happy about that!  And they didn’t taste great.  I thought maybe they were fresh water and I was used to salt water shrimp?  They just weren’t very tasty, and needed more salt.  Well, I’ve been mildly sick ever since.  Mild stomach cramps and the runs.  It’s possible it’s from something else, but I’m convinced it’s the shrimp : (

Good motivation to eat vegan again!!  Which I have been ever since.  Actually for the last two nights I’m just having oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts in my room for dinner.  Oh well.

The Best Diet on the Planet!

22 Jun

Without a doubt, the best diet on the planet is a plant based diet.  Best for the people, the animals, and the planet!

First let me clarify and say that I eat vegan, but I do own some leather shoes.  I avoid leather, silk, and wool, but I have a lot of issues with my feet, and feel like I have to buy whatever shoes I can wear and not be in pain.

Second let me clarify that I mostly eat vegan.  At home I’m pretty strict, don’t even eat honey, but I’m feeling a little guilty at this very moment because I’m traveling right now and have been more lax. You’d think I’d enjoy the break and splurge on some ice cream, but honestly every time I eat an animal product I regret it, feel guilty, and think, this is actually kind of gross.  I haven’t had much.

So I try.  I started about six years ago.  Every year since then I’ve had months of being strict, and then often had a few months of being a little more lax.  I never lecture other people.  But I do often look at what other people are eating and think, I can’t believe they can eat that!!

My main motivation is ethical.  I’m extremely sensitive to the suffering of others, and will do what I can to alleviate that.  I’m actually not much of an animal advocate.  I enjoy seeing animals out in nature, and have respect for them, but honestly I’m much more concerned about the suffering of other humans.  But I really don’t like to see any creature suffer.  Factory farming in the US is absolutely abysmal and I want no part of contributing to it. Even practices that don’t involve killing the animals are generally harmful.  I feel like the animals are kept as slaves just for our convenience and luxury. I don’t want a cow to be impregnated, then her calf taken away from her, pumped with hormones to produce more milk, hooked up to a machine that causes lesions on her utter, and then pumped with antibiotics to prevent infection.  Just so another species can steal her milk. Just so I can have some butter, when margarine is just as good?  What kind of life is that?  I also have issues with the fact that Americans are so quick to ignore all this, we just want to go to the store and buy everything that’s all clean and neatly packaged, and not spend even a second thinking about the slaughterhouse that the meat came from.  We freak out if a kitten or puppy is treated inhumanely, but don’t even want to know about how the chickens, pigs, and cows that we eat every single day are treated.  It’s hypocritical.  When I eat vegan I feel like I am living in line with my values, and not having a double standard.

Every religion in the world encourages some form of ethical conduct.  The spiritual paths that I follow extend that ethical and compassionate practice to animals and even insects.  I know most Americans probably think I’m crazy when I catch a mosquito and release it outside, but I can tell you from my own experience that there is an absolutely beautiful feeling that results from this practice.  A feeling of bringing the sacred to all life.  A feeling of Connection.  A Love of life.  I don’t claim to be perfect in this arena, and if I had to chose between the life of a mosquito and the life of a child, the child would win by billions (in most of the world where malaria is one of the biggest killers of children, this is a real choice that has to be made.)  The practice is about keeping our hearts open.

My second motivation is for health reasons.  I am kind of obsessed with health and will often make major changes in my life to promote it for myself and my family, and others.  I do not feel good when I eat most animal products, especially dairy.  There is very strong evidence, in fact I would say irrefutable evidence, that dairy is linked with cancer growth, heart disease, and inflammation in the body which is linked to just about everything bad including Alzheimers.  The Dairy Industry is especially insidious in their marketing, for example, drinking milk is NOT associated with increased bone strength, this is a marketing ploy.  Studies that showed that calcium intake was linked with increased bone strength and a reduction in osteoporosis were entirely done with calcium supplements, not with milk.  And in fact, studies that look at the effect of milk in the body show that it weakens bone density! Our bodies lose calcium when processing animal protein.  If you don’t believe me, and don’t believe the studies, then think about this, you will NEVER see the claim that milk is good for you bones on the actual milk carton.  This is because the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires evidence for such a claim, which they do not have.  You will only see this claim in ads, where you can kind of say whatever you want. For example, you can say in an ad “We’re the best” without having done a study to back up that claim, right?  If you want to read the actual studies and see some real evidence, The China Study is an amazing book, it’s the largest epidemiological nutritional study ever conducted.  It also shows clinical evidence of studies done in the controlled environment of the laboratory.  Hi highly recommend it, and either of John Robbins books, such as The Food Revolution.

The third reason is environmental.  I think most Americans are probably completely unaware of the environmental impact of the typical American diet.  I’ll look for the actual statistics later, but a huge percentage of rainforests have been cut down to raise cattle for us; producing beef and other meats uses a HUGE amount of water, like you wouldn’t believe; it takes something like 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound beef (that is grain that could feed a lot of people if eaten by us instead of fed to the cow.)  John Robbins books are really great at explaining these environmental impacts as well.

I tend to have a kind of “all or nothing” attitude with things.  It can be fun at times because when I’m into something I really throw myself into it 100%! But it can also be a barrier because when I don’t reach the perfection I aspire towards I am easily discouraged and give up.  So now I try to have a more flexible attitude about things.  I first became vegan when I was a teenager.  I was so inspired.  I gave away ALL my leather, and really intended to do it perfectly.  But it was hard.  I could easily be vegetarian, but being vegan was just harder.  My parents would have ice cream in the fridge and there were a few times my will power just wasn’t strong enough and I ate some (of course, this was more than 20 years ago before there were a million varieties of non-dairy ice cream.)  The last straw was when I needed to buy some jazz shoes for dance class, I looked all over the place for non-leather shoes, even the canvas ones had a leather sole.  I felt completely defeated.  I gave up, I think I lasted a couple of months.  During all of this, somehow, it NEVER occurred to me to just do my best and stick with it.  Either I was vegan, or I wasn’t, that’s how I saw it.  So, if I may give some unsolicited advice, if this post inspires you at all to make some changes, I would encourage you to just change as much as you can and not feel like you should do nothing, just because you’re not ready to do everything.  Little changes can make a big difference too.