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Vegan Flirt

Let’s go back in time.

I had my first stint with veganism almost 10 years ago. Without doing any research, I ignorantly adopted this new diet, and my body ended up inflating like a balloon. I was eating a vegan diet, but it was all carbs. (Confession: I downed an entire bag of Trader Joe’s Vegan Trailmix Cookies in one sitting). And yet, I was still confused as to why I wasn’t slimming down and getting healthier. In fact, I became extremely annoyed and frustrated.

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I figured that veganism just wasn’t for me, and I assumed the reason my body responded to it that way was because I needed to consume meat. Thus, I continued eating meat — beef and pork, only occasionally; but I ate chicken, seafood, and dairy on a daily basis.

At the time, it felt “right” to consume meat and animal by-products. After all, my family and loved ones did, and it was those meat dishes over which we gathered and shared many a precious moment. No doubt, food can be a very sentimental thing, and I convinced myself that going vegan would only make my family and friends uncomfortable. Plus, I didn’t want to explain my dietary choice at every meal. Therefore, I resolved to remain in my convenient world in which I was able to dodge awkward questions and looks of concern.

So the meat consumption continued. And then, several years later, my body blew up like a balloon yet again; but this time, it was because pregnancy happened…

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More to come! Please stay tuned for my next post in which I’ll be sharing how I finally went vegan!

Thanks for reading!

Have you ever flirted with veganism? Please share your journey!

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

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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?

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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.