Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I just don't get it...stop putting plant eaters down!

It happened again...and ugh, I hate it...

I really don't understand why people have to make snide comments or say inappropriate things to vegans. I really can't quite grasp what makes them feel like they have to do that.

Tonight I was at Safeway in Helena, Montana, not exactly a vegan mecca when it comes to food. It's been a long week and I felt like grabbing food at the grocery store and eating in my hotel room. I have a little fridge and microwave so I just did the quick store stop to pick up some stuff. Surprisingly, Safeway had quite a few vegan options (Amy's, Kashi, Field Roast, etc.). I was looking at the little section that has a few vegan options and was holding the mushroom stuffed field roast and a guy walked by and said something to the effect of "ha, what a joke, like that crap would taste good". No, he wasn't on the phone, he wasn't talking to anyone else as I was the only one around. I turned to look at him and he just gave me a snide grin and laughed. Yeah, he was an asshole; in fact it might have been tattooed across his forehead.

Granted, I'm in a huge "kill it and eat it" area of the country so I know I'm probably one of very few vegans here. In the paper this morning there was a write up on how they are going to cull (kill) 175 urban deer and the meat will be donated to the local food bank. Yikes and yuck.

No matter what someones reasons are for being vegan, whether it is for animal welfare or to live a healthier life, it's simply not necessary to try to belittle vegans. I am not doing one thing to hurt you or put you down. I don't walk up to people while they are eating a rare, bloody prime rib and make rude comments. Yes, I post things on twitter and facebook about the cruelty of factory farming, the dangers of eating certain foods, positive articles about eating a plant based diet and information about how being vegan can help your health, animals and the environment. Yes, sometimes I get on my soapbox. I think it's important to know where your food comes from, living in denial can hurt your health. If one person gets something out of it, it's worth it.  

Maybe I don't belittle people because I was raised right..."if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". So I do try to keep my mouth shut and yes, sometimes it's hard. But I certainly would never say anything to a perfect stranger to make them feel bad. Not that I wouldn't get in my car, roll up the windows and curse the person who gets a "half and half/whole milk mixed mocha with extra whip" and wonders why they are 200 pounds overweight. Yeah, that really happened and it was before I went vegan and even then it almost made me want to hurl. 

Eat to help your health, don't just pop pills to make things "better". Eat to prevent disease, don't medicate to alleviate symptoms. Give food a chance, it's much more fun, much more tasty and not nearly as hard as you think it is. And it's a lot cheaper in the long run too! 

The only thing I hope to do is to possibly open one persons eyes to seeing that eating a plant based diet not only helps save lives of animals, but also helps to save your life. There is enough scientific evidence out there to support how a plant based diet can help you live a healthier life.

So what is it? Why is it that friends and perfect strangers feel the need to make comments as if there is something wrong with my choice to eat a plant based diet and to help protect animals from suffering and death and to help the planet. When I told a friend I went vegan she said to me "oh my gosh, have you gone crazy?"

People always feel the need to tell vegans things like: "oh I could probably be vegetarian, but I could never give up cheese". It's weird, it's ALWAYS cheese, it is never "oh, I could never give up hamburgers" or "oh, I could never give up milk". Strange really, because when I wasn't vegan, I probably had cheese once a week or so and I liked cheese. Nowadays there are a lot of really good vegan cheese, there weren't in the past, but now there are. I mean really, cheese, that's it? Odd. 

I feel a bit lucky, because I don't work in an office where at this time of year potlucks are a plethora of meat and cheese filled casseroles and the only veggie option is a salad and even then it's usually not vegan because it's covered in ranch or blue cheese dressing! I have a friend who gets snide comments from co-workers quite often about vegan food. I'm pretty sure that if they didn't know the dish was vegan they would actually like it, but they know she's vegan so they are too closed minded to even give it a try. 

For some reason people have an odd, preconceived notion that vegan food is tasteless. If you just peruse and search vegan cookbooks, you'll see how many options there are. I have a whole bookcase to showcase that fact :) So if food doesn't have meat, cheese, milk or butter it has no taste? Quite the contrary. There are so many delicious vegan recipes you could have years of different meals every night with not repeating one dish if you could cook every night.

So if you know a vegan or someone who is eating a plant based diet, give that person a big "atta girl" or "atta boy" and not "you crazy". Tell them that you are proud of them for making a choice to eat right for their health.

All right, time to step off the soapbox. Now, go eat your kale. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Drugs vs. Food - It's Up to You


I can't comprehend why people would rather pop a pill for an ailment than to make a change in their eating habits. I guess it's easier to be put on medication than to make a lifestyle change and eat foods that can heal your body. 

I'm not saying all meds are bad and I'm not saying some are unnecessary, but with all the research, documentation, studies, etc out there why don't people try a plants based diet to help with their conditions. We know from numerous studies that eating a plant based diet can help many people get off meds for diabetes, heart disease, etc. So why don't people give it a try? Is it because doctors don't think to recommend diet as a medication? Is it because they are too entrenched in the pharma business? Or are we as a people getting lazy thinking it's easier to pop a pill than to plan a meal that nourishes our body? 

Every single drug has multiple side effects, some which can be quite severe or quite annoying to the person taking that drug.  Eating a plant based diet for your health is the best gift you can give your body. It might even help to free you from medications you take, or help to decrease the dosage. It's time to put yourself first, take a bit of time and make a switch. Do it for your health! If you won't do it for your health, then do it for your family, kids, friends, pets, etc give them more time with you by eating foods that nourish the body and help to alleviate and/or present disease. Do it to make a difference in how you feel. 

What are you waiting for? 

Need inspiration? Watch Forks over Knives...Read the China Study...Watch Food Matters...Watch Food, Inc.  Do it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

If you watch one movie this FOK

Please watch Forks over Knives (FOK). It just released today on DVD. You can rent it at Netflix, buy it from Amazon or Watch it on

Forks over Knives Trailer:

Do it for your health, for your family's health, for your friend's health. America has to change the way it eats...lives depend on it! Kids now will live a shorter life span than their parents...that is scary. More kids today are overweight than ever before, more kids today have hypertension before the age of 15 and more kids are developing type II diabetes. Something has got to change. I don't have kids and I think something has got to change.

Don't worry, it's not a movie that is going to make you cover your eyes or turn it off 1/4 of the way in because you won't see animals being slaughtered. It's not a vegan maker movie like Earthlings or Food, Inc. Although it could be if you are concerned about your health and well being. This movie is about eating a plant based diet and how it can help your health, help reverse heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

More people take prescription meds today than ever before. Many of those drugs could be decreased or eliminate all together from someone's daily life if they would simply use food as medicine. Yes, food can be medicine. Thousands of years ago this was known -

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." Hippocrates

Milk, dairy, animal products, meat and processed foods are killing us... please watch this movie and realize the good that comes from a whole food plant based lifestyle. See the results that some of the people got in reversing serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. In as little as 8 weeks there were some astonishing results.

The status quo of the Standard American Diet (SAD) is not okay anymore. I don't want friends and family to die early because of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. It's time to make a change.

For those of you who think (like I used to) that in order to have strong bones you have to drink milk- then why is it that in the countries with the largest milk consumption per person they also have the highest rates of osteoporosis? Think about it? The dairy industry says "milk does a body good". If so, why are the rates of osteoporosis in the US higher than in countries that don't drink milk? Strange, isn't it? I was also brainwashed by those ads with the celebrities with the milk mustaches and having it pounded into my head since I was a kid. I thought I had to drink milk to have strong bones, but it's simply not the case. Milk, meat, animal products cause your body to be acidic, having your body in an acidic state causes calcium to be leached out of the bones to try to buffer the acidity to make your body more alkaline. So all that "extra" calcium that you consume from milk ends up being used, not to make your bones stronger, but to try to buffer the acidic state of your body. And in turn, the bones become weaker, thinner and more brittle.

Eating a whole food plant based diet with lots of vegetables keeps you in a more alkaline state, which means the calcium is not leached out of your bones making you more susceptible to osteoporosis.

One shocking statistic in the movie comes from Norway, it tracks heart disease before and after the Nazi invasion. When Germany invaded Norway in 1940, they took all the livestock to help feed the German soldiers. The native Norwegians ended up eating a mainly plant based diet. The rates of heart disease and heart attacks declined significantly during the time that the Germans were in Norway and the Norwegians had to live on a plant based diet. After the Germans left and the Norwegians went back to eating animal products, their heart disease went back up to levels it was before the invasion. Amazing scientific information!

Think how much money we could save if people were eating a whole food plant based diet and preventing disease instead of all the money that it costs our country to treat all the diseases we should be preventing in the first place. I think a big chunk of our debt could be wiped out.

Make a change, save a least...please watch Forks over Knives!

It's time for this quote from Thomas Edison to come true:
"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." 

Now go eat your veggies.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Raw recipe links

A couple people asked for my raw lasagna recipe and other raw recipes. I didn't develop these myself (am trying to do that more though!) so here are the links:

From Russell James, The Raw Chef - Raw lasagna: - It's GREAT! The recipe I did recently came from a class I attended with Russell James and Teri Vlaskamp of Global Raw, it's a bit different but both are wonderful!

From Kristen's Raw - great raw recipes and great books! Kale chips
Nacho cheesy hemp kale chips - from Kristen's Raw - link has how to make the chips and here is the sauce recipe from her blog -
I make mine in my Excalibur dehydrator, if you don't have dehydrator, google making kale chips and I'm sure you'll find the time and temperature for oven use, but remember they won't be raw and as full of nutrition if you cook them!

The other recipes are not mine, but you could probably google "making raw cashew cheese" and come up with tons of hits. But the one's I used are from a class I took and belong to other chefs and therefore are not available for me to post online!

A few of my favorite sites for raw recipes and info on going raw:

Russell James - The Raw Chef
Kristen's Raw
Ani Phyo
CrazySexyLife by Kris Carr
Karen Knowler - The Raw Food Coach
Raw Food Nation
Raw Radiance
Raw Food Recipes Online
Ginny Messina,The Vegan RD
Choosing Raw
Girl on Raw

A few of the Raw (un) Cookbooks I like -

All of Ani Phyo's

All of Kristen Susanne's Raw cookbooks
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
Raw Food - a complete guide for every meal of the day by E. Palmcrantz and I. Lilja
Becoming Raw - by B. Davis, V. Melina and R. Berry

Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health by Brendan Brazier
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw by M. Reinfeld, B. Rinaldi, J. Murray