California Vegan

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Love, Vegan Fashion

I have found my new passion, vegan fashion. I love clothes and dressing up, even if I am a slacker sometimes. But dressing up can change your mood and how you feel about yourself. If you dress or rocker-like, you feel tough and sexy. If you dress in a suit, it makes you feel so professional. If you dress like a bum, sometimes you feel less motivated. Clothes do more than just cover your body, they make a statement about how you are feeling each and every day. After becoming a vegan, I was a little worried about finding cute shoes, but there was nothing to worry about, because shoes, purses, clothes, etc. can be vegan and very fashionable. There are vegan accessories and clothes to fit any mood. I may sound shallowto some, but I also think it is cool that other people can look at vegans and realize that they are just like everyone else.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Vegan diet

Though my reason for becoming vegan has not necessarily been weightloss, one of the added benefits of eating a vegan diet is weightloss. I went mostly vegan in January of this year, with boughts of horrible eating during our move from Phoenix to California. I went completely vegan in March. Since that time I have lost 12 lbs, unfortunately with many more to go.

The losing weight is an added benefit, there is always a concern among vegans (actually mostly among omni loved ones about vegans) with getting enought nutrients, particulary Omega 3s, B12, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. These are actually easier to get than one might think. Many soy milks and rice milks are now being fortified (just like milk, which is not in itself a natural source of these vitamins) with vitamin D, B12, A and Calcium. In addition, I take a multivitamin to ensure I get enough B12 and iron. Many dark green vegetables are also full of iron, particularly broccoli and kale. There are also many vegetable sources of protein, including most vegetables and for complete protein blue-green algae and quinoa. Also soy products and tofu are full of protein. Vitamin D, as stated above can be found in fortified milk, but is also gained by sunlight, 15 minutes or so without sunscreen every morning or late afternoon, will do the trick. Calcium is another mineral the vegans easily get plenty of. Many of the dark leafy vegetables have calcium and it has been shown, that due to lack of animal fat, vegans actually absorb as much calcium daily as nonvegans, though they consume less. Omega 3s are another difficult one for vegans. The best sources are flax and omega 3 rich oils, such as flax oil and canola oil.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

It's been forever since I posted. I have been extremely busy with many work projects and school lately. Today I want to post one of my favorite vegan recipes, Eggplant parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup vegan breadcrumbs
1 recipe Italian Tomato Sauce
½ package whole-wheat spaghetti noodles
1 package vegan mozzarella cheese

Bring water to a boil and cook spaghetti noodles according to package. Drain noodles and place in the bottom of a baking dish and top with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat sliced eggplant with olive oil and dip into breadcrumbs. Place eggplant on top of spaghetti. Top with Italian Tomato Sauce and top with remaining grated mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vegan Summer Barbeque

It is summer time and the temperatures and beginning to rise. One thing is for sure, when it gets hot, the last thing I want to do is spend time cooking over a hot stove. When it is hot, I want salads, barbeque, and lot's of fresh fruits and vegetables. I wanted to share a couple of may favorite barbeque recipes with you, since it can be difficult when you go to a barbeque with family and friends. The big question, is always "what can you eat?" I always tell everyone not to worry, I'll bring my own. I am very picky, and don't want to be stuck with a boring green lettuce salad. The funny thing is, whenever I bring vegan dishes to barbeques, the food always gets eaten up before everything else, and I am the only one who seems to leave without leftovers.
Here are a couple of my favorite summer-time barbeque recipes. Hope you enjoy.

Grilled Mushrooms (Gluten Free)

2 cartons button mushrooms

¼ cup canola butter spread

2-3 gloves of garlic

Cut up mushrooms and place in tinfoil. Cube up buttery spread and add to tinfoil. Add whole garlic gloves. Place mushrooms on Barbeque and cook until mushrooms are soft.

Vegetable Shish Kebobs

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup vegan Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup pineapple juice

½ cup water

3-4 garlic cloves

2 carton mushrooms

1 yellow or white onion

1 carton red grape tomatoes

1 carton yellow pear tomatoes

1 yellow bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

½ pineapple cut into cubes

In a bowl mix soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pineapple juice, water and garlic. Add vegetables and let soak for 2 hours. Soak wooden shish kebab skewers in water for 15 minutes to keep from burning. Skewer vegetables and grill on the barbeque until vegetables are cooked.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Joys of Being Vegan

I have been completely vegan for about 5 months now and am beginning to experience some of the wonderful benefits of being vegan. For one, my skin has completely cleared up and looks healthier than it has in years. I am also beginning to see some of those unwanted extra pounds from when I was pregnant beginning to disappear. That is always a big plus. Those lovely pounds have stuck to me like glue since giving birth. My mind is beginning to become clearer and I am sleeping much better than I had in the past. In addition, I am noticing stomach bloat begin to decrease. Which is interesting because those on low-carb diets would insist that the bloat comes from eating carbs. I am also beginning to feel a greater connection to the earth and having a greater understanding of Jung's concept of the collective unconscious, which is basically the concept that we are all connected not just to other humans, but to animals and nature and that everything effects everything else. I guess what I am saying is that I have a greater feeling of inner-peace. This is the best benefits of all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Atkins Healthy? As If . . .

I was reading a post yesterday entitled "Vegan Say, 'Convince Me' Atkins is Healthy." I was highly annoyed with the post, and the most interesting part about it is that the author only argues about vegans being judgmental and such, but never once describes the health benefits of the Atkins Diet, besides weight loss. New studies are beginning to come out that show the Atkins Diet is very unhealthy. In fact, doctors are telling diabetics and those with liver functioning problems to steer clear of low carb diets, because it can send them into to liver failure. No matter what Dr. Atkins said, ketosis is not a natural state for our bodies to be in and is very hard on a persons organs. Remember, Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack, though his publicists state that this was unrelated to his diet. In addition, Dr. Atkins was overweight himself until the day he died. In addition, to the difficulties caused by ketosis, consuming huge quantities of meat can raise your risk for heart attack (see above), and increase cholesterol levels, risk of high blood pressure and constipation. Your body needs the fiber that you get from carbs to move things through. Finally, low-carb recipes frequently call for artificial sweeteners, which are extremely dangerous to one's health. They can cause stroke, cancer, and neurological impairment to name a few. These products have been banned in some countries overseas due to their dangerousness. I can't believe with all that is known about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, that people actually still consume them.
So the answer is "no" the Atkins Diet is not healthy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hello Bloggers

I am make my first post today on blogger and am looking forward to getting to know people out in the community. I guess I start by telling you a little about myself. I have been married for almost fourteen years and have a wonderful four-year-old son, who is blissfully sleeping right now. I have a master's in counseling and am working on my PhD in clinical psychology. I am a vegan and enjoy cooking and vegan gardening. I am interested in animal rights issues, environmentalism, creating a sustainable community and providing my family with whole healthy foods.

I work at home with my husband while I am finishing school and taking care of my son and am pretty busy most of the time. In my perfect world, there would be enough food to feed the earth, clean air in every city, no worries about money and I would spend my day meditating, working in my garden, and playing with my son. My husband and I would go for long walks and discuss social issues over tea every morning. Oh, and the temperature would always be 80 degrees.