Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Recovering Carnivore Step #5 – Educate yo’ self

Step #5:

We have admitted that all our ideas about healthy food are crap and that the people who taught us about health don’t have a clue either. We are free to right the wrongs of our dietary past and move on with our lives.

 This is a 12-part series delving deep into each step of the Recovering Carnivore 12 Step Program.

I really got mad when I first heard that the average doctor, who has over 7 years of education, only takes about 3 hours of nutrition courses to become a Doctor.

I mean, these people save lives. At least, that is the way I’ve always viewed them. Doctors are automatic hero’s. They show up at work everyday, they heal, cure and bring people back to life and BOOM! HERO!! It is an amazing thing.

And yet, think about all the lives they could save by prescribing dietary changes to avoid the life saving moments.

We could get into the politics of it all and the money. Oh, the beautiful money. But let’s take a moment to rise above it all…

If we take responsibility for our own lives, rid ourselves of the old ideologies we have about food and eat our way into a healthier existence; we can avoid having to go see a Doctor, to get another prescription, to push our healthcare costs up even higher, etc, etc.

Let’s come together as intelligent, focused and conscious human beings and change not only our lives, but also make a dent in the world doing it.

Recovering Carnivore Step #4 – Say No to the Pillbox

Step #4:

We have made a searching and fearless inventory of our general health and realized that it is complete shit. SAY NO TO THE PILL BOX.

This is a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps.

“Say no to the pillbox” is becoming one of my favorite phrases. It is my mantra, my call to arms, my power-phrase. It’s what I say when I am frustrated with my food choices and need to get back on track. If I were to give a Braveheart-esque speech, this would be how I would finish it.

Before I get too carried away with this… You all do know what a pillbox is, right? It is that rectangular box with the different compartments with the days of the week written on them.

Say No to the Pillbox!!

You might have one, your parents might have one, your grandma, sister, neighbor, etc might have one. The point is, these boxes are a growing trend in American health care. And that scares the hell out of me.

Think about it… every morning when you get up, having to go over to the pillbox and pull out your meds. All the insurance co-pays and trips to the pharmacy for refills. I can’t even begin to imagine how much money in pill form that little box sees over its lifetime. And to think—it’s all because of the foods you choose to eat that the pillbox is even in your life.

Making a decision to adopt a plant-based diet for me is a long-term decision. I hope to never get to that point in my life where I become slave to the pillbox and it’s contents within. It has never been more clear to me that veganism + exercise = a long and healthy life.

Say no to the pillbox and say yes to life!


Vegan restaurants and their hokey names

The title of this post kind of explains it all….

Straight up hokey vegan restaurant names include:

Beets Cafe 

Beet's Cafe is a raw food restaurant on West 5th.

Mr. Natural 

Two locations - one on East Cesar Chavez and the other on South Lamar

Veggie Heaven

Veggie Heaven is near UT campus

Borderline hokey name restaurants:

Conscious Cravings 

Food Trailer near UT campus

 Mother’s Cafe and Garden

Mother's is North of UT campus in Hyde Park.

The only cool vegan restaurant name that is edgy, fun and to the point is…

Counter Culture

This is a food trailer in Hyde Park

Note: This in no way takes into consideration the quality of the food of any of these restaurants. As a guy’s guy and former meat-eater turned vegan, it is just hard to take these places serious based on the name alone. I can tell you from eating at all of these fine establishments, their food is no joking matter–it is all very delicious and healthy!

Real Men… join a CSA.

What is a CSA, you ask?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

It is basically a partnership between the consumer and the farmer. We, the consumer, pay in advance for a share of the farmer’s harvest. Twice a month we receive a box of veggies. In turn, the farmer is able to cover their overhead or start a special project.

Our favorite part is that they deliver the box of veggies to a pick up spot just down the street from our home. Since becoming vegan, we go through a ton of veggies and this helps us stay local, organic and seasonal. We mix that with what we pick up at the grocery store and tah-dah, we are healthy!

There are a few different grocery delivery services out there. There are also other CSA’s out there as well. We decided to partner with Johnson’s Backyard Garden.

First, these guys are always out in force at the farmer’s market. They have a ton of variety and they are trying to continue to grow. That’s where we come in…

By joining their CSA, they are able to move quicker towards their goal of building out their facilities. Plus, it’s just cool to buy our organic veggies straight from the source.

Checkout their website. Go meet them at the farmer’s market. And support your health and your local farmer by purchasing their produce–total win-win!

We got our first box today and it is badass. Or at least as badass as a box of vegetables can be.

Take a look at the box and all the great veggies we got below:

JBG CSA Box November 1st. 2011

JBG Share - Side of the box.

JBG - bottom of the box.

JBG's Stash this week. Click here to see their pic of the spread.

This box contains… drum roll please…

Radishes
Broccoli Raab
Salad Mix
Tomatillos
Green Beans
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Okra
Beets
Rainbow Chard
Onions

If you are going to consider joining a CSA near you, I highly recommend getting to know your farmer before getting involved. The up front cost means you are locked in for the year. Not all CSAs work this way, many offer a variety of options to make it easy for you to join. We chose the year long commitment because of the cost effectiveness. Each box costs us around $28 each.

We are going to go check out Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s operation soon and maybe even help plant and harvest the crops. Real men are definitely planters and harvesters.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you have any tips for joining a CSA, please share in the comments.

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Coming soon to a blog near you… a price by price comparison of the cost of buying the same organic veggies we got from our local farmer, from our local grocer.

Recovering Carnivore Step #3 – Be the change you want to see in the world

Step #3:

We have made a decision to turn our will over to the produce section. We have shut down our deep fryers, put away our steak knives and started going to a Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning.

This is a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps.

Everyone has read the infamous words spoken by an even more infamous person…

Be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Ghandi

The point I am trying to make with the 3rd step of a recovering carnivore is very simple: Love your diet like you love yourself. There is no better way  to influence your friends and family, than living the life you love. They will recognize the changes for the better and start questioning their own eating habits.

There is no need to preach about “being vegan”. Practice what you preach and you won’t have to. The extra energy, focus and natural glow cannot be ignored.

There are also some other mental shifts you should consider. Like…

Changing your vocabulary from, “I can’t eat that because I’m vegan” to “I CHOOSE not to eat that because I’m vegan”.

And…

  • I don’t want to have a triple by-pass at age 50
  • I don’t want to have high cholesterol
  • I don’t want to have type-2 diabetes
  • I don’t want to die from cancer.

If you just want to keep it simple… I just want to look good naked.

How difficult of a concept is that?

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Essentials books, movies and websites to help your cause:

Essential reads for vegans:

Essential movies for vegans:

Essential websites for vegans:

If you have any suggestions to add to these lists, please share in the comments!


Recovering Carnivore Step #2 – Sanity and The Plant Based Diet

Step #2:

We believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore our sanity—FRESH, HEALTHY, LOCAL FOOD!

This is a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps.

This step requires a break down of parts. The first part is restoring sanity into our lives. The second part is how to do it. Let’s look at the parts individually than come full circle at the end. (This is starting to sound like one of my mid-term papers for 11th grade English—boring! I promise it’s not.)

Part 1 – SANITY.

Ever feel your world is spinning out of control? Ever feel like wherever you look there are three sources supporting your life decisions and then five more disputing them? Well, I have always felt this way about FOOD.

They just make it so damn complicated to get it right. Just the other day, Melody asked me if the fruit I grabbed at the grocery store was organic. I went back and looked and it wasn’t. But it was local, grown just a few miles up the road.

Now what do we do?

Do we buy the organic fruit because it’s better for you? Or do we buy the local produce because we are supporting our local economy and reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.

Also, the non-organic fruit is cheaper. Melody says it’s okay to buy, but only if we don’t eat the skin (The skin retains the pest control sprays or something). So now I’m thinking about how long it will take to peal the fruit to eat it and I’m back to thinking I want the organic fruit…. AHHHHHH!!!!

This is exactly the type of over-complicated headaches that I am trying to avoid. Now think about it in terms of the meat you buy.  9 out of 10 times, you will have no idea where the meat comes from. You will never know if they inject the meat with hormones—giving you cancer. You will never know if they give it heavy doses of antibiotics—giving you cancer. Forget about the preservatives to ship it to the store and have it last longer on the shelves—giving you cancer.

Let’s say it’s pre-made sausages. (I used to eat them ALL the time).  After asking ourselves where the meat is from and what they injected and dosed it with, let’s ask ourselves what part of the animal the meat comes from? What did they spray it with? How was it treated? What did they do to preserve it? Who handled it? What type of fat to meat ratio did they use? Is it fat from the same animal?

Am I even asking the right questions about this meat?

This is all before I start to ask myself what the meat will do to my body…

  • Like make my ass fat, or worse…
  • Give me a heart attack.
  • Or, give me cancer.

With the fruit, I am deciding between eating healthy and eating healthier. And that is SANITY!

Part 2 – Fresh, healthy, local food.

This is the fun part… the adventure… the beautiful, life-giving part.

Remember…

  • No one ever died from eating their veggies.
  • No one has ever gotten salmonella poisoning from farmer’s market potatoes.
  • No one has ever gotten fat from bingeing on salads.

Now…

  • Go out there and learn about Super Foods like spinach and kale.
  • Wake up early on a Saturday morning and chat up your local farmer about what’s coming into season.
  • Get a nice “raw glow” going from eating your veggies without grilling all the life out of them.

Embrace life and life will embrace you.

What vegans eat… Pizza Night!

This is the first post on my blog and I want to keep it simple. If you read my bio page, you will see that I rip on pizza night growing up. READ IT HERE.

We have a similar, but different approach to pizza night.

We grab a par-baked pizza crust from Whole Foods for $2-3. Then we grab fresh toppings. Peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, olives–really, anything that is fresh and from the produce section.

Pizza mees en plas

Melody makes an amazing and simple marinara to spread across the crust before layering on plenty of veggies. You will have to consult her for that recipe at www.onmelsmenu.com.  We pop the pizza in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees. Just before it’s done, we throw some fresh basil on top from the garden,

And that’s it!

VEGAN NOTES ———

I’m sure your first questions is… where’s the cheese?

As vegans, we abstain from cheese–any dairy really.  You can try the fake cheese, but they don’t really make any that we like. (Keep trying cheese makers!)

I challenge you to try a pizza without meat or cheese on it. See what you think. I guarantee you will do it again. And you will feel so much better after the meal. No grease. No drippings. No food hangover.