April 27, 2010

A New Direction

Sorry I have been absent a few days. I had to take a little blogging break. Unfortunately, my perfectionist (read: anal retentive) tendencies makes it difficult for me to just sit down, whip up an entry and post. I have to go over everything with a fine-tooth comb at least a million times ... so I am going to take this blog in a new direction ... more of a picture blog. Plus or minus some quips and blurbs here and there. I will post about once a week.

This past Saturday we went to the LA Times Festival of Books with some friends to hear Alicia Silverstone (my vegan guru) speak about her book, The Kind Diet. I was so excited to see her in person ... her book has literally changed my life!

Me & my AAH at the book festival.

Alicia Silverstone, my vegan guru. She's super cute!

Afterwards we had an early dinner at Native Foods in Westwood. Um ... yum! I am sold on tempeh ... can't wait to find a recipe and make some at home.

"Gandhi Bowl" @ Native Foods.

Sweet Potato Fries @ Native Foods.

What I've been eating the last few days ...

First attempt at a Macro-B breakfast: miso soup w/ quinoa, arame & pumpkin seeds.

Artichokes with Quinoa.

Banana Oat Pancakes w/ strawberries, blackberries, Earth Balance butter, flax oil & maple syrup.

Watercress Hummus Wrap. Substitute watercress for red peppers in recipe.

And just for fun ...

Our neighbor's new pitbull puppy, Tiger.

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day to all of you!

I celebrated by meeting up with my Bestest for a sushi lunch. My first sushi run since going vegan. I thought I'd be really tempted by all the amazing rolls on the menu, but I sort of pre-planned what I was going to order in my head and I think it helped. A veggie roll & an avocado roll, paired with the edamame & miso soup they brought out was plenty! Even better ... I ordered the rolls with brown rice instead of the regular white, sushi rice ... I have to say it was great! The brown rice gave the rolls a nice texture and a bit of a nutty taste ... really, really good! But most importantly ... my lunch companion was great and our lunch conversation was great ... there really is nothing like dishing to one of your favorite people in the world. Thank you for listening MLF. I love you!


Vegetable Roll with brown rice & soy wrap.

Avocado Roll with brown rice.

When I got home from lunch I received some fun news ... one of my girlfriends from high school had her first baby today ... Earth Day is his bEarthday. How cool is that?! Congratulations K-Ron! I love you!

I'm looking forward to more Earth Days as the years pass and hoping that we, as caretakers of this Earth, become more aware of our responsibilities. I look forward to celebrating this day with my kids one day ... and hopefully passing on to them that this planet is our only home and we only have one ... we need to be good to our earth, to our animals and to each other. I'm still learning and taking small steps ... but as Lao-Tzu said ... a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Breakfast: LARA bar (Gingersnap)
Lunch: Edamame, Vegetable Roll, Avocado Roll
Snack: Pomelo
Dinner: Granola Bar, wheat crackers
Dessert: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (2)

Please ignore the fact that I ate a granola bar & wheat crackers for dinner ... then washed it down with cookies for dessert. I will get back on track. Sigh ...

Me and my beloved Kitchen.

April 21, 2010

Tofu, Tarts & Spring Rolls

I can't believe it's freezing and raining ... 48 hours ago AAH and I were having a lovely dinner in our backyard with friends.

I made a really easy recipe from The Kind Diet, Ginger Baked Tofu. It's reeeeally easy & reeeeally delicious! I served the tofu steaks with simple sides of plain brown rice & swiss chard. The tofu recipe is super flavorful so the rice & chard balanced it out nicely.

Me, the chef!

Ginger Baked Tofu, Swiss Chard, Brown Rice

The dinner table.


GINGER BAKED TOFU (from The Kind Diet)

Serves 2-4

1 lb firm tofu
1/3 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1 Tbspn toasted or untoasted sesame oil
2 Tbspns minced fresh ginger
1 Tbspn finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 Tbspns umeboshi vinegar
1/2 tspn crushed red-pepper flakes (optional)
1 tspn brown rice syrup (optional)
Finely chopped scallions for garnish (optional)

Cut tofu in half width-wise, then slice in half again. You will be left with 4 tofu "steaks".

Pour 3/4 cup of water into a bowl. Whisk in the shoyu, oil, ginger, garlic, vinegars, red-pepper flakes (if desired), and rice syrup and pour over the tofu, covering it. An 8"x6" dish works perfectly. Marinate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Either drain the baking dish of the majority of marinade, or place tofu on a baking sheet & baste with the marinade. Reserve the remaining marinade.

Bake tofu for 15-20 mins. Turn the tofu pieces with a spatula, baste again with the marinade, bake for 10-15 mins longer. Garnish with scallions & serve warm.

Apple Tart.

For dessert my friend Lauren (shout out!) made an AH-MAZING apple tart. You can find the recipe here.

BTW, does anyone know the difference between a tart & a pie??? Just curious.

Monday's eats:

Brunch: Vegan rice & beans (from Whole Foods) w/ chard
Snack: Pomelo
Appetizer: Guacamole & chips (Food Should Taste Good brand, so good!)
Dinner: Ginger Baked Tofu, brown rice, swiss chard & a side salad
Dessert: Apple Tart (uuuuhhhhmmmm ... YUM!)

Tuesday's eats:

Brunch: Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes w/ sliced strawberries & flax oil
Snack: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie (The V-Chip)
Lunch: Vegan rice & beans (Whole Foods)
Dinner: Spring Rolls (3) w/ dipping sauce
Dessert: Pomelo

Today's eats:

Breakfast: Cereal w/ rice milk
Snacks: Quinoa & hummus, vegan chocolate chip cookies (2)
Lunch: Spring rolls (3) w/ dipping sauce
Snack: Pomelo
Dinner: Oskri Bars (Sesame & Molasses)

I made these crazy-good Spring Rolls last night for dinner. I came across the recipe on a segment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Did you know she is vegan? I love Ellen ... I think she is hilarious, but now I heart her even more. Funny and vegan ... now that's a combo! Here's a little something from her website about why you should go vegan.

Spring Roll filling: basil, mint, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, scallions, carrots, avocado, soba noodles.

Spring Roll.

As a side note ... I need to cut back on the processed foods (choc chip cookies, sesame bars) ... although the brands I'm choosing are better than regular, nasty stuff ... it's still processed junk. I've been slacking in that area for the last few days. Must do better. That being said ... here's the delicious cookies I've been snacking on ...

Happiness in a bag.

April 18, 2010

A Lazy Sunday

I had grand plans of making Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes this morning ... but alas, we woke up at 11:30 and had to get AAH out the door by 1:00. So back to old faithful ... cereal. I did whip up some Red Pepper Hummus & quinoa later in the day and made a wrap out of that. I am obsessed with wraps right now. Good enough for a lazy Sunday.

Whole Grain Cereal w/ Bananas & Rice Milk.

Hummus Wrap w/ quinoa, onion sprouts, red peppers & cucumbers.

Brunch: Cereal w/ banana slices & rice milk
Snack: Pomelo
Lunch: Hummus & Quinoa Wrap
Snack: Red pepper slices & Red Pepper Hummus
Snack: Bobo's Oat Bar (Original)

April 17, 2010

My Weird Eating Hours

My husband has a weird schedule ... thus, I have a weird schedule. I'm a Stay-At-Home-Wifey so I guess I could keep any kind of schedule I want, but it has turned out that I keep my husband's.

You may have noticed that when I post my menu for the day sometimes it starts with breakfast and sometimes it starts with brunch/lunch. I rarely skip "breakfast" ... but when we wake up at 10:30, 11:00 ... sometimes even noon ... I feel weird calling it breakfast. So on those days I call it Brunch or Lunch. Same with my snacks and lunches and dinners ... sometimes my snacks are my lunch, etc. My point is that you should eat on a regular basis at regular intervals ... no matter what your schedule is. I know that one of the "rules" of healthy eating is to not eat after a certain time ... say 7PM or 8PM ... but for me that is hard to do because I don't usually go to bed til 2 or 3 in the morning. If I wake up at 11:00 and try to cram in breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks by 7pm I'd have to eat practically every other hour ... I think that would make me feel sick.

Just listen to your body ... it will tell you when it is hungry and when it's full. Sometimes I wake up famished and immediately devour something ... other times I'm not hungry at all and don't eat for an hour or more after waking. I haven't noticed anything adverse from my unusual eating hours and I am still able to lose weight. So unless you're cramming a gallon of ice cream down your throat (dairy free of course!) right before you hit the sack ... I think you are fine. Like my dear friend Rose would tell me ... DON'T WORRY (insert super cute Chinese accent)!

Today we woke up at 10:30AM ... quickly headed out the door to the Farmer's Market (they are only open til 12:30) ... came home and unpacked all the goods. So my eating day started more around lunch time ... and I just ate my dessert about an hour ago (10:30PM) ... I'll most likely be up for another 3 hrs so everything still has time to digest.

Yummiest Wrap Ever!

I heart my pomelos.

Lunch: Super Amazing Delicious Wrap! (avocado, tomato, cucumber, onion sprouts, pumpkin seeds & caramelized onion wrapped in a sprouted, whole grain tortilla).
Snack: Pomelo
Snack: Vegan Rice & Beans (pre-made from Whole Foods), Swiss Chard
Dinner: Salad w/ cucumbers, tomatoes, olives & pumpking seeds
Dessert: Asian Pear & Oskri Sesame Bar (Molasses & Fennel)

I just discovered the Oskri Sesame Bars today at Whole Foods ... omg, they are amazing! You must try it!

An amazing rose from my MIL's garden.

April 15, 2010

My Huzzz-Band

I ate too much today. Not actually too much as in quantity, but as in my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Since I've been eating healthier my body has adjusted by getting full faster at each meal and with less food. But after spending an hour at Borders perusing vegan cookbooks I was so hungry ... drove home and immediately downed a huge pomelo, a bowl of Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew w/ quinoa & a slice of Peanut Butter Pie ... oh, in like 15 mins flat! Those items are not unusual for what I would eat in a typical day now ... but spaced pretty evenly throughout the entire day. Ugh ... I feel so bloated and sick now ... uuuuuuuuuuuugh ... that was about 7 hrs ago ... I still feel nauseous. I can't look at anything food related for the rest of my day. Well ... I might be eating some wheat crackers as I type this ... but whatever ... that totally doesn't count.

So ... I'm going to talk about something else today. In my first posting I promised I would also write about my life in general ... I am beginning to see that all the separate components of life are really just all intertwined together (apparently it has taken 34 yrs for this light bulb to come on) ... that everything effects everything else. And yes ... my new vegan way of eating is affecting everything. My weight, yes. My skin, yes. My health, yes. My way of thinking, yes. My home, yes. My marriage, yes. My outlook on life, yes. My spiritual leanings, yes. My future, yes. Really, honestly ... all because of what I've been putting into my mouth. I look forward to sharing this with you guys, with my husband and with any little rug rats that I may spring forth from my loins someday. (Ohhh yes, I plan on raising little Vegan Bundles of Joy and I'm very sorry for just using the word LOINS).

With that being said ... my husband ... I am going to sing him some praises now! I may very well have The. Best. Husband. In. The. World. He is amazing. Not because he is perfect or because he is the perfect husband ... but because he is perfect for me. He is always loyal and supportive, he is always my best friend, he always tries his best to make me happy ... and he never asks for much in return. He loves me no-matter-what ... even when I am being terribly unlovable ... and I have been very unlovable many times throughout the last 3 years. To say that marriage was a hard pill for me to swallow would be the understatement of the year ... but my husband is a rock and I am the luckiest woman to have him. Oh ya baby ... times-are-a-changin'.

My All-American Hero (and our babies).

BFF's Fo Life Yo.

Yesterday my AAH (All-American Hero) finished up some landscaping in the front of the house. He brought me outside to show me and I started blubbering like a baby. Not because it is some spectacular Extreme Home Makeover, but because I loved that he had done it all for me. He always tells me that he wants to make the house nice for me so that I will love it and be happy here ... and when I saw what he did I just melted. He has done amazing things with our backyard too ... but seeing the front of the house ... the "Home" part of it ... the part that I see every time I pull into my driveway ... I was just so giddy. I cried with joy. Now that I think about it ... I don't think I've ever cried with joy before ... so I was definitely havin' a moment! I told him what I loved most about it was that he had done it himself. There are lots of nice houses and yards around us ... but the fact that my husband did it all, from the design to the labor ... it meant that much more to me. I love it ... really, really love it! I can't wait to see what it looks like in a year or two when everything starts to mature and bloom. For the first time I can really imagine starting our family in this house ... and that is saying a lot!!!

The front of our house when we moved in, July 2006.

The front of our house as of yesterday, April 2010.

The newest additions ... can't wait for it to fill in!

Cute new shrub ... Red Butterfly Milkweed.

Our baby Japanese Maple.

Cheers to you BB ... iFAT!

Brunch: Oatmeal w/ dried fruit, almond slivers, rice milk & flax oil
Late Lunch: Pomelo, Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew w/ quinoa & Peanut Butter Pie
Snack: Wheat Crackers

Oatmeal w/ dried blueberries, apricots, slivered almonds, rice milk & flax oil.

April 14, 2010

Some Good Eatin'

I've been enjoying some good eats the past few days. One of the things I've discovered about home cookin' is that you can make a big batch of something one day and it lasts you for quite a few after. The Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew I made last Friday has been feeding us for 6 days! When I made meals before (going vegan) it didn't seem to last as long ... I don't know why ... maybe I am making that up in my head??? It seems like the healthier food I've been making is much more satisfying, keeps me full longer and so I don't need to eat as much and it is lasting longer ... ? Well, whatever the reason ... I am loving it!

Monday's eats:

Brunch: Oatmeal w/ strawberries, almond slivers, rice milk & flax oil
Snack: Pomelo
Dinner: Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew over couscous & chard
Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie

Oatmeal with strawberries, almond slivers, rice milk, flax oil.

Tuesday's eats:

Breakfast: Scrambled Tofu, quinoa & chard
Snack: Asian pear & blackberries w/ a little lemon juice
Lunch: Scrambled Tofu & a pomelo
Dinner: Black Bean Wrap w/ avocado, onion sprouts, tomatoes & olives
Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie

Scrambled Tofu, Quinoa & Chard.

Asian Pear and Blackberries.

Today's eats:

Breakfast: Whole grain cereal w/ sliced bananas & rice milk
Lunch: Caramlized Onion & Grapefruit Salad, guacamole & chips
Movie Snack: Trail mix (raisins, dried blueberries, cashews, peanuts, almonds)
Dinner: Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew over quinoa topped with pumpkin seeds
Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie

Caramalized Onion & Grapefruit Salad.

I've obviously been enjoying the Peanut Butter Pie I made ... keeping it vegan & keeping it in moderation (1 slice will do ya!) is key.

Just a couple notes ~

I am currently obsessed with this cereal. I could eat it morning, noon & night.

The recipe for the Caramelized Onion & Grapefruit Salad is from Giada at Home (not a vegan cooking show). So the dressing contains honey. I know a true blue vegan does not consume honey ... I'm not there yet. I don't have an affinity for bees (not that it's a good excuse) so I have not looked into how bees are treated in the honey making process. We are using up the last of our store bought honey and will be switching to honey from the local Farmer's Market ... at least we know that the small beekeepers probably treat their bees better ... and this small step makes me feel better about it. Also, I've read that honey spikes your blood sugar like regular processed sugar so if you do eat honey, keep it in moderation and try to find alternatives.

The trail mix snack I had today I just threw together myself. My husband and I went on a little Wednesday afternoon date to see Date Night ... although I was tempted to treat myself to some candy ... I decided it was not worth it. 1) the candy & ice tea my husband bought cost as much as one movie ticket(!) and 2) the snacking part of watching a movie is just a habit for me ... so I tried to be smarter about it and just pack my own healthy treat. It was pretty good ... even though I lost half the bag when I dropped it on the floor. Oops. Five second rule.

April 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Pie ... Don't Go Crazy!

Today I made a Peanut Butter Pie. It is BANANAS! So good. So decadent. So ... easy to mow down 5 slices. But I'm keeping myself in check ... only one slice tonight.

This brings me to today's topic. Don't. Go. Crazy. I think it is pretty easy to go overboard when you are switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet ... especially if you are new to it. When I went vegetarian back in '06 I didn't do it in a healthy way. I stopped eating meat but my diet consisted of mainly white pasta, white rice & white sugar. I still ate very little vegetables & fruits. Technically, you can have sugary cereal & milk for breakfast, grilled cheese & fries for lunch, pasta with cheesy pesto sauce for dinner and ice cream for dessert ... and call yourself a vegetarian (or vegan by using dairy substitutes). But you know that is not healthy at all ... there is nothing about those meals that would be any better or worse than your old eating habits. I reverted back to eating meat after a year of being vegetarian ... most likely because I was not eating correctly and was craving the nutrients that meat provided. I'm glad that I experienced that though ... this time around I am being much smarter about everything.

The Peanut Butter Pie I made tonight is completely vegan ... but I am not going to devour the whole thing in one sitting. It is still what I would call junk food (albeit a much healthier version) and like everything else in a healthy diet ... it's all about moderation. When you switch to a vegan eating plan you really have to make sure you are conscious of what you are going to eat. You have to prioritize your food. It seems like a big task but once you get into the swing of things it is really, really easy and takes no time at all. Make sure that you focus on whole grains, vegetables, seeds, legumes, nuts, leafy greens and fruits. Also, I wouldn't recommend going too crazy with the soy products (faux dairy, tofu, etc). Yes, I do believe it is much better for you health wise to quit the dairy and use substitutes, but again, moderation is key. There is a whole 'nother debate out there on the effects of too much soy in our diets, but I have not researched it enough to give any concrete facts. I think just using a common sense approach is good. Focus on whole foods! Soy products are just that ... products and they have been manufactured just like other processed foods. Use them sparingly and as a treat! Have soy products a couple times a week ... this is something I have to work on too.

With that being said ... I need to follow my own advice. Ever since going to Art Walk last Thursday and indulging in veg chili fries and cupcakes ... my sweet tooth has been acting up. I haven't been eating a very balanced diet in the last couple of days and need to get back on track ... I can totally tell just by how I feel and how my body is reacting. But, unlike in the past, I'm not going to beat myself up over it ... just balance everything out again. Like Alicia Silverstone says in her book, The Kind Diet, it is much easier to listen to and hear what your body is telling you when you are nourishing it in a healthy way. I really love being a vegan and so does my body!

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie (yesterday's breakfast).

Sautéing veggies for Scrambled Tofu (leeks, broccoli, zucchini, & red onions).

Scrambled Tofu w/ pumpkin seeds & scallions.

*My husband ate his Scrambled Tofu on a Sprouted Wheat Bagel with Tofutti.

I don't have a double boiler so just used a stainless steel bowl over a pot.

Peanut Butter Pie

Brunch: Scrambled Tofu
Snack: Pomelo, few bites of Asian Pear
Dinner: Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew over couscous
Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie

PEANUT BUTTER PIE (from The Kind Diet)
Serves 8-10

1 vegan chocolate cookie crust (I used a graham cracker cookie crust)
1 (10 oz) bag grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate chips
1/2 cup soy or hemp milk (do not use rice or nut milk)
1 1/4 cups peanut butter, divided
1 (12.3 oz) box silken tofu (firm)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 tspns vanilla extract to taste (I used just 1 tspn)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the cookie crust for 4-5 mins to make it a bit crispy. Cool completely.

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler, place a stainless steel bowl over boiling water & melt the ingredients in it. Whisk in the milk until combined & smooth. With a measuring cup, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture, then pour the remainder into the cookie crust. Place the cookie crust in the fridge to cool completely.

While the filling chills, combine 1 cup peanut butter, tofu, syrup, and vanilla in a food processor or blender; process until very smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the chilled chocolate filling in the cookie crust, smoothing it out over the pie as your pour, and return the filled cookie crust to the refrigerator to chill for an hour or until firm.

To serve, return the reserved chocolate filling to the double boiler, or stainless steel bowl, and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter. Stir until the chocolate and peanut butter are very well combined and very warm. If the mixture seems to thick to drizzle, add some soy milk until it is runny enough to pour. Decoratively drizzle the mixture over the chilled pie in zigzags or swirls, or use a small spatula to spread it smoothly over the whole pie. Refrigerate for 15-20 mins before serving.

SCRAMBLED TOFU (from The Kind Diet)
Serves 2-4

2 Tbspns sesame oil
2 cups chopped mixed vegetables
1-2 Tbspns shoyu (soy sauce)
1 Tbspn mirin (optional)
1 tspn umeboshi vinegar (optional)
Fine sea salt to taste
1 (14 oz) pkg firm tofu, mashed or crumbled
1/4 cup toasted seeds (sunflower, sesame, or pumpkin)
Chopped fresh scallions, cilantro or parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a skillet & when hot, add the veggies. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5-8 mins, depending on which vegetables you are using. If the vegetables start to stick or scorch, add a bit of water to the pan. Season the vegetables with shoyu, mirin (if using, ume vinegar (if using), and salt. Add the tofu, and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2-3 mins. Add more seasoning to taste, if necessary. Serve sprinkled with the seeds, scallions, cilantro or parsley.


April 9, 2010

Vegan Treats & Lentil Stew

Last night my husband and I went downtown to attend Art Walk with some friends. It was our first time and I had such a blast! There was a bit of art involved but it was definitely the food that made the event!! The streets were lined with super trendy truck vendors and we all enjoyed some good eats. For those of you questioning if you can splurge on fun foods while vegan ... feast your eyes on this!

Veg Chili Fries (sweet potato) w/ Daiya Cheese.

The consensus on my vegan chili fries was that they were tastier than the regular chili fries. How 'bout them apples? If you are heading to Art Walk in future months, you can get these fries at the Frysmith truck.

Later in the evening we stopped at Babycakes to pick up some vegan treats. I forgot to take pictures of the actual cupcakes, I was too eager to dig in. But trust me, they are to. die. for. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. We picked up a vanilla cupcake (for me), a carrot cake cupcake (for my husband) and a Caramel Coconut Doughnut to share. All vegan. No dairy, eggs or sugar in the entire bakery. Amazing!

Babycakes storefront.

Doesn't get better than this!

Today's eats included:

Brunch: Banana Oat Pancakes & Smart Bacon
Lunch: Quinoa Loaf w/ tofu cream & a pomelo
Dinner: Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew & a big salad
Dessert: Caramel Coconut Doughnut from Babycakes

Banana Oat Pancakes & Smart Bacon

Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew

Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew (from The Kind Diet)

1/4 cup safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 tspn minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tspns turmeric
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn ground coriander
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/8 tspn cayenne
fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 3/4" cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes & ginger, cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. Cook & stir for 2 minutes, then taste for seasonings, try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors.

Add the sweet potatoes, broth & lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 mins or until the lentils & sweet potatoes are soft.


April 7, 2010

Why No Dairy?

Being vegan = getting asked this question a lot. Why no dairy/eggs?

These are my personal reasons:

1) I grew up mostly in Taiwan the first 6 yrs of my life ... dairy is not a big staple of asian diets. I loved tea eggs and I had a fondness for "Fruit Milk" (a bright yellow, fruit flavored milk) and Yakult (yes, that yogurty drink that is very popular now) but other than that I didn't really grow up with a lot of dairy. That is until I moved back to the US. I went from hardly any dairy to scrambled eggs with Cheez Whiz for breakfast everyday ... or fluffy white pancakes ... or sugary cereal with whole milk. It was a whole new world ... ice cream, ding-dongs, cheese slices, butter, egg salad sandwiches, milk chocolate candy bars, cookies ... you name it! You know, all that stuff that's really good for you! So although I loved all those delicious dairy-filled goodies, I never liked just a glass of milk ... gross, no thank you! Now that I'm vegan I can still have all those delicious treats ... they are just not made with dairy milk ... and they are just as delicious. Trust me!

2) Milk is weird. Really, really weird. Think about it. It comes out of a cow's udder. It was a hot, frothy liquid stewing inside the gigantic boob of a cow. I mean ... c'mon! That is gross! Just thinking about it makes me nauseous.

3) We are the only animal on the planet that drinks the milk of another species. If you don't think that's a little odd ... just think about it some more! Just like our mother's milk is designed to grow us into healthy little humans, cow's milk is designed to grow a baby calf into a huge, mooing cow! We are naturally weaned off breast milk ... just like the cows wean their young ... the milk has done it's job ... we've grown, the thermometer has popped, timer has gone off ... ding! All done! If we needed milk so badly why don't we just keep drinking our mom's? Ya, how gross of a thought is that? But we keep drinking cow milk? Again ... it's just weird. A cow doesn't even keep drinking it's own mother's milk. Common sense.

4) I don't believe the propaganda that milk is essential to a healthy body. I very highly doubt that of all the species this Earth/God/The Universe/Life has created ... we just happen to be the only ones that "need" milk to survive after being weaned. Calcium is found in many, many plants & grains. If you are eating a well-rounded, plant based diet ... you are getting plenty of calcium. The key word is well-rounded.

5) The dairy industry is cruel.

6) I don't want to drink a liquid filled with antibiotics & hormones.

7) Eggs ... well, they are tasty for sure ... but again, just the weirdness of it ... it popped out the girly parts of a laying hen, it could have been a chicken and the cruelty to chickens is just ridiculous.

8) I feel A-M-A-Z-I-N-G since I've cut out dairy & eggs. I've lost weight, my skin has cleared up, my energy level has gone way up and my overall mood has lightened. Those 4 things alone are worth more to me than the few moments of pleasure that dairy provides.

9) There are sooooo many options out there now ... soy, rice, almond, hemp ... it is very, very easy to replace dairy milk!

Those are pretty much my reasons in a nutshell. If you are thinking about giving up dairy I really encourage you to do some research ... there is a lot of information out there.

Strawberries from the Farmer's Market.

Quinoa Loaf & Salad

Mmmmmm ... dessert.

Breakfast: LARABAR (pistachio)
Snack: Strawberries
Snack: Pomelo
Dinner: Quinoa Loaf & salad
Dessert: Rice Dream's Mint Carob Chip