Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Going, Going, Gone Vegan

red-pill
Image credit: Business Insider

I’ve swallowed the red pill. Its effects have been swift.

The further I fall down this rabbit hole, the quicker I’m learning that it is indeed bottomless. My eyes are now wide open to animal suffering, and I often wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.

I went vegan over a month ago, and I’ve been grieving every day since. As I’m discovering the profound benefits of veganism for the body and the environment, I find it impossible to obtain more information without catching a glimpse of distressed and dying animals. Every website and every video shows a graphic, heart-rending image. I can never seem to turn away fast enough, and then it would be too late. The gruesome image haunts me for days until it’s replaced by another.

It’s all too much. I’m overwhelmed, and sometimes I can’t sleep. But I know I’m not turning back. I’d never forgive myself if I did. I would cease being the role model I long to be for my son, and I can’t let that happen.

I just began this journey, but I already catch myself feeling hopeless and helpless for the animals and our planet. I’m just one less person eating meat. It might make somewhat of an impact, but that’s just not good enough.

I’m on a mission now. I’m going “Man in the Mirror” mode, and I’m starting with me.

More to come! Please stay tuned if you’d like to read more and/or join me on this vegan journey.

Have you ever thought about going vegan, or are you already plant-based and lovin’ it? I’d love to hear your story!

Rethinking Farm Animals
Image credit: The Spokesman-Review

 

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Quick and Easy Vegan Curry

IMG_20171006_165037

Denver’s first snow calls for comforting Indian (vegan) curry. After you’ve had your fill of melting snowflakes on your tongue, romping around in snow piles, and getting hit one too many times from a snow ball fight, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of curry to envelop you in its comforting blanket of mouthwatering spiciness and creaminess.

You might have already noticed that I included apple slices as a garnish. An odd choice, yes; but the sweetness and crunch bring a refreshing element and contrast to the dish. Try it out, and let me know what you think!

Ingredients
15 oz. can of garbanzo beans
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbs Indian butter chicken powder
2 tbs curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup basmati rice

Garnish
Cilantro
Gala apple

In a large pot on medium heat, sauté onion, garbanzo beans, and bell pepper. To the pan, add tomato sauce, coconut milk, butter chicken powder, and curry powder. Mix well.

Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve curry with basmati rice and top with cilantro and apple slices.

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Quick Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers

Okay, I’ll admit I went about this dish the quick and dirty way. But quick and dirty is the way to go when you’re preparing dinner while anticipating your pre-crawling infant’s next move to indeed become a real crawl any minute now.

This dish is so simple and delicious, it’s a sin. It’s too easy. I would even call it brilliant. I’m not only giving myself a pat on the back, but a self make-out session.

Image credit: Giphy

It’s really just a friendly gathering of frozen food coming to life in a bell pepper with delightful, fresh toppings. Hearty, full of texture, and earthy, this is a dish made for autumn.

Here are the ingredients:

-Bell peppers
Don Lee Farms Organic Veggie Bowl, Superfoods, which includes: black beans, quinoa, kale, tomatoes, corn, carrots, wheat flour, almonds, onion, soybean oil, garlic, and sea salt. (available in bulk at Costco)

For the topping:
Avocado slices
Fresh lemon juice
Cilantro
Diced onion

Inspired by Minimalist Baker

Instructions
Follow the microwave instructions for the Veggie Bowl. (Puncturing the plastic wrap and microwaving the bowl for 3 minutes and 30 seconds was perfect in my case.) Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Place halved peppers on sheet and
brush them with grape seed oil (or any high-heat oil, such as avocado). Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove peppers from oven and stuff them with Veggie Bowl contents. Squirt on some fresh lemon juice, and top with avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with chipotle salsa.

Tip: Save and accumulate your veggie scraps for vegetable stock.

Lifestyle · Products · Uncategorized

Buying in Bulk (Vegan Style) at Costco

Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to buy everything fresh at the farmer’s market. And I’m completely fine with that. Frozen food is our friend (New parents: I’m sure you feel me).

I’m finding that there are plenty of tasty vegan frozen food options, AND they’re available in bulk. I discovered this wonderful reality via PETA’s vegan grocery list from Costco. Although I wasn’t able to find every item on the list, I still walked away with a cartful of food to last me a couple of weeks.

Have you made any vegan discoveries at Costco?

IMG_20170929_143505

Lifestyle

The Baby Toys Among Us

When it comes to toys, my infant son has a taste for the mundane. Thank goodness. Toys can get pretty expensive, and most of the time, Lionel shows interest in them for but a few days. That’s why I won’t hesitate to hand him a toilet paper roll to gnaw on or an empty pack of baby wipes for him to crunch between his hands. His recent favorite is a plastic container of breath mints. Just like that, these used-up items are given a new life and purpose: reducing waste, and making my boy incredibly happy and busy.
Am I cheap? Absolutely. However, I’m certainly not depriving my son of fun, education, and exploration. He is expressing creativity by turning these everyday objects into fascinating toys. What an inspirational, eco-conscious little guy.
Lionel shake-shake-shaking a container of breath mints

Lifestyle · Products

All Hail Baking Soda

 It deordorizes, it cleans, it makes awesome baked treats, it relieves insect bites and heartburn, it’s natural, multi-functional, eco-friendly — oh, yeah, and it gets rid of acne.
Moving out of state was no easy feat. I think I handled labor and my kid’s birth more calmly and gracefully than that move. My complexion certainly didn’t appreciate the stress that I was under and responded with large, painful lumps all over my face.
My skin was really suffering, and talk about a real cramp in my style. I couldn’t stop complaining about it. Having been the recipient of my complaints for weeks, my mom came over one day with a box of baking soda. She told me to make a paste using a half teaspoon of baking soda and water, and massage it all over my face. As weirded out and reluctant as I was, my desperation found me following my mom’s directions and trying it out that night.
The results were immediate, and my face was clear of active pimples in just one day.
Baking soda is truly a jack-of-all-trades product, and I will never stop singing its praises. Fancy, expensive skincare products — serums, toners, oils, creams, and even acne treatment — just don’t compare to the performance of baking soda. While I’ve been lucky enough to try out various high-end skincare products, I always find my way back to my faithful baking soda.
Through gently exfoliating my face, it calms any skin eruptions, clears away blackheads, and rinses off leaving behind no residue or drying tightness.
To avoid keeping a glaring box of baking soda out on my bathroom counter, I keep it in a cute bird-shaped creamer.
(Edit: I originally included an image of a box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda in this post, but it was imperative to me to crop it out when I learned that the company tests on animals. Until they become cruelty-free, I will no longer purchase their products.)
Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Handkerchiefs are Green and Classy

photo credit: Daily Mail

With my ever-runny nose and tendency to cry rather easily, I make sure that a handkerchief is always within reach.

Handkerchiefs remind me of days past when nearly everyone had one on his or her person. For carrying around essentially snot-soaked fabric, they really had something going there. Not only was it proper to have handkerchiefs, but it was also very clever. They serve so many purposes; it doesn’t make sense to me why I don’t see more hankie-wielding folks around.

Handkerchiefs are:

Durable and re-usable. There is hardly a Kleenex that hasn’t seen the wrath of my nose-blowing abilities. Unfortunately, that means that I use up to three or four tissues just to blow my nose. I’d blow once, inevitably tearing through the tissue, and I’d need another one to clean my snotty hand and still another one to wipe the remnants off my face. Not pretty.

Eco- and budget-friendly. My hankie, on the other hand, is able to withstand the great force spewing forth from my nose. My hands remain dry, I don’t create further waste and essentially throw money away by requiring more tissue.

Multi-functional. My faithful hankie is always around when I’m in a jam: I’ve used it as a makeshift bib for my son. It’s cleaned up spills and messes, including makeup smudges on my face. Even just the sight of it has brought me comfort whenever I feel my eyes welling up in emotional situations; it’s been a security blanket of sorts.

Sure, handkerchiefs are old-fashioned. And, yes, I’m glorifying a napkin; but it’s certainly a classy one that makes sense. We could all use a little classiness in our lives anyway.