Vegan Eats World Book Review

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I start this review on a sad note- my book fell apart. No I didn’t love the book to death, though I do really love it. What did the book in was the binding was crappy construction. This makes me sad since this has NEVER happened to me before. Sure once or twice I might of had a 10 year old cookbook fall apart on me. But never a new one. What makes it more frustrating is that the publishing company has always made solid cookbooks.

And when I say the book was falling apart, I mean the pages were falling out of the glue binding. This usually happens over years, when the glue dries up. So I bought a binder and put each page into protector sleeves. I never really liked the covers so in the end I have the plus of having a sparkly and teal new book.

Am I saying YOUR future copy will fall apart? No. Probably not. As I mentioned before, I have gotten many books from the same publishing company that are very sturdy. But I probably will recommend investing in the hard cover version of the book. In the end it will last you longer anyways. With that gripe out of the way, please read all the GREAT and WONDERFUL things I have to say about Terry Hope Romero’s book.

Spoiler Alert: I think it is staple in a vegan bookshelf

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Vegan Thanksgiving: Green Bean Casserole

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I remember the first time I had green bean casserole. I didn’t have it until I was in my 20s, it was never a Thanksgiving staple in my family. My brother in law grew up eating it and requested it for the dinner spread. My sister read the can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, frustrated by the simplicity. Really just a can? What are “french onions”? We all gathered around the table and tasted the dish. My sisters and I all agreed it was a mistake and voted off the dish from future dinners.

I didn’t listen. I couldn’t shake off has a very classic dish could be so bad. This prompted me to make a 100% from scratch version of the dish, and made it vegan. Each year I kept tweaking the recipe, and trying out new methods. This year, as I made a pre-Thanksgiving testers batch, I found the perfect match.

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I debated posting this dish since the photos didn’t turn out so great. I thought I could wait till after Thanksgiving and post it with better photos. I mean, this is a dish you could make for Christmas, right? But then after discussing Thanksgiving dinner with my Mother-in-Law, it seemed that she had plans for her own green bean dish. Posting the dish was a now or never deal.

This is a great dish if you are the guest invited to Thanksgiving. It isn’t hard to make, but it does take some time and planning. First you have to roast the onions, then you have to cook the green beans, then you need to make the sauce, then combine into the casserole dish. So it is great to make, getting all the messy work out of the way of the host. Even better is that it is a vegan dish that doesn’t seem “healthy.”

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The plan is simple. Bread and bake onion rings in the oven. Cook the green beans by boiling them for 5 minutes, or use frozen beans (fresh will give the best results). On a stove top make a mushroom-miso like gravy. Cover the green beans with the “gravy” and top with onions. Heat again in the oven. Simple enough.

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Sunday Reading 11-16-14 #11

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This weekend has been a little sad. Saturday was the last day my husband and I will be able to pick apples at our local orchard. We go through several pounds a week, and I not sure how we do that. I can say my husband eat at least an apple a day at his work. Then he loves to eat apple pies, apple muffins, and tops his oatmeal with apple chunks. Me? I do make a light green tea and apple drink, apple cereal, and use them in slaws.

Aside from no more organic local apples, our CSA has our last share next Saturday. Then hits Thanksgiving, which means I holiday season starts. My work will now be open 7 days a week (as apposed to 5 days a well, giving me secured Sunday and Monday off). The holiday season is a bittersweet time of the year. I get excited but there are many ways I dred it. But I HAVE already bought two gifts already, so I am ahead of the game right?

Good things about today? My husband and I are going to see Rosewater and baking an apple pie (at home, not in the theater). I plan on watching a full football game and not getting distracted by the kitchen. Making some black bean tacos for dinner while watching a new episode of Once Upon a Time. Which reminds me, shouldn’t Emma be spending more time with her son? Just saying it’s been all about Emma and Hook lately. Just saying.

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Israel is the Vegan Capital of the World & Beyond Hummus and Falafels

The first link is to a very short article about how Israel has the highest population of vegans. When estimating numbers, people hear low numbers like 1% to 2% of the population being vegan. Israel has a whopping 5% vegan population, and an additional 8% vegetarian! Sometimes positive news that a movement is working is all you need to make your day brighter. The second article goes into detail about the hows and whys, which I always find interesting.

I know that since I live next to Philadelphia I have lots of vegan options, including several all vegan bar, all vegan pizza place, and pretty much a vegan option at all restaurants. I tend to forget how frustrating it can be to eat out in other parts of the world. After reading these articles, I recently saw that Emily from This Rawsome Vegan Life started to post a bunch of vegan food from Israel on Instagram. I hope she blogs about it soon!

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It’s Time To End The Turkey-Tofurky Thanksgiving Food Fight

NPR writes about how people view the morals for vegans compared to omnivores. To me it makes a lot sense. I’ve had many discussions with people about how they try not “think about where their meat comes from” or how they could never “eat Bambi.” There is definitely guilt associated with animals dying. But vegetarian or not, it doesn’t really show all of the ethics people hold.

The article was a little saddening to read that people believe the stereotypes, as if all vegans are righteous jerks who are going to show PETA videos during dinner time. Although I applaud the people go out there and film and expose what is going on with our “food,” I don’t think it is the way to convert everyone.

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The GMO debate: 5 things to stop arguing

This article is neither for and against GMOs, but takes common arguments from both sides. I’ve got a lot of beef with GMOs but I recognize that with overpopulation, we might need them. But the biggest argument against GMOs is that they are unhealthy for people and that isn’t 100% true. Can you make a GMO that is poisonous? Yes. Are there natural foods that are poisonous? Yes, some we even eat (hey there is cyanide in apples, and nicotine in lots of foods, just in very very small doses)

I think the issue is far from black and white. But I do support foods labeling when the use GMOs, and I do think some GMOs do sometimes give too much power to companies. I don’t like the idea that one person or company can own the rights to DNA. There COULD be horrible problems on our environment, less chemicals yes, but what if some of our food becomes a weed? It might be fine for us, but it could hurt one animal, which feeds another, and another. I know some of these arguments are speculation, which is why I am not jumping into any GMO protests.

Lolitas Who Aren’t Asian: Why This Style Is Actually Universal

I use to love the Gothic Lolita style of clothing when I was in high school. I had several copies of Gothic Lolita Bible and I would flip through swooning over Mana’s curly hair and Kana bright color choices. I remember being so excited when I bought my first H. Naoto piece, and then never wore it. (Maybe I’ll make it work and post it?) But I never had the cash to buy such a fancy dress to wear maybe for halloween and possibly a convention like Otakon.

I really liked this small video piece that talks about how the Lolita culture has been popular in Amsterdam. I think if there was a thriving community like that in the US, I might be happy to dress up and grab some tea. But then again, I probably wouldn’t. Let’s be real this style is a fashion and hobby commitment. As Alexa has pointed “kawaii is devotion.” I also like the points the girls make, the clothing choice is less about being sexually appealing to men, which seems to be the biggest assumption about what women choose to wear.

Make Thrift Buy: Seashell Bra Mermaid Top

Annika’s recent episode of Make Thrift Buy really inspired me. I love buying clothing, but I know it isn’t the best thing I can do for the environment. I also know there are tons of animals products in clothing, making it hard to buy reasonably priced sweaters, coats, and shoes of lasting quality. Thrifting is eco friendly and animal friendly since you are not directly supporting industries that use animal parts. But I am pretty bad at thrifting. I hate sifting through all the clothes, and I get annoyed when the fit isn’t perfect.

But unlike some previous make thrift buy episodes, Annika took a super simple shirt, and made something cute and trendy of it. I feel like I could go into any thrift store and pick a shirt that I could use. Is it ground breaking? No. Nothing new here really. But maybe I will visit a thrift store soon to buy some clothing to modify soon.

Philadelphia Adventures & Pink Hair

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Dress: Old Navy | Jacket: Francesca’s | Boots: Unknown

It’d been quite some time since I had seen Jenny or been able to venture into Philadelphia, so when I had to get my passport I figured that was the perfect time to meet up! I know what you’re saying … ‘Alexa, you’ve never had your passport until now?’ and the answer is no! I have never travelled outside of the country before and my Step-Father was supposed to have some work offered to him over in Belgium. Sadly, that seems to not be happening as soon as I’d hoped…but at least I have my passport. 

The weather was perfect for going into Philly. It was sunny and probably around 70 degrees which isn’t my ideal weather for October, but who am I to say anything?! Jenny and I walked all over the city before and after obtaining my passport and got to eat at Hip City Veg, which is definitely my new favorite food destination! But more on that later…notice anything different?

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 “Alexa?! When did your hair become candy colored!?” …my parents will wonder (Mommy was okay with it, just shocked. I still haven’t seen Dad or my Step-Mommy yet so we’ll see). My amazing friend Carolyn has done it once again and made my hair super fun. I have wanted pink hair since college but for some reason I never pulled the trigger. I had tried it once before on my own but the pink completely washed out and I had Anna’s hair before it was cool. 

Who Wore It Best? More like Who Wore It FIRST?

Who Wore It Best? More like Who Wore It FIRST? 

Now that I know someone who understands hair and it’s alien properties I can go crazy and try new things with a professional opinion and it’s so exciting! Carolyn is seriously amazing and wonderful and I don’t think I can say it enough. 

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My accessories from the day were a mish-mosh, as per usual. The two necklaces I was wearing are both from Urban Outfitters (before I completely stopped shopping there for a multitude of reasons), the one pictured is made of pyrite. It is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry because it looks like someone dug these stones right out of the earth and wrapped them in a chain, like something someone would find in an adventure-type film or show. There’s just something so natural and beautiful about it (even though I know this was made in a factory…obviously). My bracelets are a mix of Alex and Ani, Pandora, my favorite skull bracelet and my “Blaze” engraved bracelet on my other wrist. 

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Spin power

  And then Alexa transformed into a magical girl.

 The dress is from Old Navy and is probably one of the best items I have ever purchased from there. It’s a bit of a heavier material but because it’s black I can wear it during every season. It fits perfectly and flows nicely, the only problem I have with it is how easily it started to pill once I wore it a few times. The jacket is from Francesca’s, it is a lovely teal color that goes with almost everything I own currently, and I like it because it’s a bit of a heavier material as well which means I can wear it in the fall, spring and summer without another jacket on top. The hood is a super cute touch too. I got my boots for $20 from a store in South Carolina when I was visiting my parents, and I’m not too sure what the brand name is, but they’ve lasted me up until now since last winter, so I’m pretty pleased!

My name is Alexa and I love food.

My name is Alexa and I love food.

Hip City Veg was certainly the highlight of the day. Not only were Jenny and I starving by the time we got there, but the food was DELICIOUS. I can honestly tell you that I don’t remember exactly what I ate, I know it was some sort of amazing veggie burger Hip City Ranch Burger, sweet potato fries that Jen and I split, and a refreshing green lemon-aid. I just remember everything being perfect and wishing that my stomach wasn’t full so I could eat more, because I’m classy like that. 10 out of 10, will visit again. 

Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #5: Tofurky or Not Tofurky? That is the Question.

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Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaMy Mom is a little M.I.A in the kitchen this year for Thanksgiving. It is up to me to cook. Since I am the one cooking, should I make a Tofurky for myself?

The Thanksgiving tradition of turkey is one that is ingrained in Americans. Hearing what many other people do and won’t do during Thanksgiving, it seems that turkey is the only constant. I’ve met Italian families that serve a soup, a salad, and a pasta dish before the Thanksgiving. I suggested a soup for Thanksgiving once, everyone in my family looked at me like I grew a third head. Some people don’t have mashed potatoes, while I have never heard of a Thanksgiving without them.

I recently was asked if I bought my Tofurky yet for Thanksgiving, and I never even considered getting one. Even before going vegan, the idea of eating turkey freaked me out. I heard about how freakishly huge they were to get that picture perfect roast. The new added weight makes it difficult/impossible for turkeys to walk. So I was already starting to get grossed out. Then the first few years I was able to avoid Thanksgiving since my family was all over the US, and it was GLORIOUS. (secret, I kind-of hate Thanksgiving style foods) But once I started to eat Thanksgiving again, since my husband seems to “love it,” I found that I didn’t care about having vegan or vegetarian replacement for turkey.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to. If you find yourself enjoying faux meats, then why the heck not try and eat some Tofurky? But consider your other options. Tofurky kind-of gets all the credit and is starting to dominate the faux Thanksgiving market. But a Slate Article ranked all the turkey roast options out there. The top two? Tofurky and Gardein.

I wouldn’t worry about calories, proteins, or whatever since it is one dinner for the entire year. But there are plenty of vegan options to give you that stuffed stick to your ribs feeling.  You could just type in “vegan thanksgiving” in any google or Pinterest search and get lots of results. Some popular vegan blogs even have lists of great Thanksgiving dishes in their blogs like Oh She Glows, Olives for Dinner, The Post Punk Kitchen, and Vegan Richa.

Another tip? Have some food prepped the day before. For example a lot of casseroles can be prepped the night before and then baked the day of. Cranberry Sauces are great to make ahead, but the canned stuff is usually vegan. And of coarse pies can be made the night before. If you love crescent rolls, don’t worry they are accidentally vegan!

What would I serve at my Thanksgiving? Well here are just a few of the recipes I would love to make if I was hosting Thanksgiving- and yes, there would be three pies. Blame Jon for that, he loves pie.

Saweeet! Potato Casserole with Crunchy Nut Crumble via Oh She Glows
Spicy Cranberry Apple Sauce via Connoisseurus Veg
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Shiitake Bacon via Olives for Dinner
Quinoa “Stuffing” (butternut squash, cranberries, & pistachios) via Gimme Some Oven
Thinly Sliced and Roasted Root Chips
My classic green bean casserole (which will be posted soon but there is one on The PPK)
Savory Mushroom Gravy via The Post Punk Kitchen
Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits via Appetite for Reduction
Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie via May I Have That Recipe
Voluptuous Pumpkin Pie via Vegan Pie in the Sky
Cosmos Apple Pie via Vegan Pie in the Sky

Funny thing about this list? Some of the food I don’t even like, but it made the list because I know my husband would want it. Cranberry sauce? Blech. Not a huge pie fan, but I sure do love the Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie I make (which isn’t listed on here since I made it myself- future recipe?). I had a sweet potato casserole once and it was awful, but I am willing to give it another try.

As I get older I’ve realized I don’t hate Thanksgiving, I just hate what other people make. They are too heavy and too cream and cheese based. No thanks. I’m not trying to “watch my weight” or eat healthy, just prefer different flavors than other people. So sit and think, do I LOVE turkey? If you do, maybe you should get a faux turkey. But if you could pass on it, I would recommend just skipping it.

Curried Chickpea Salad

Say what you will, but I find that there is almost something artistic about a messy work space in the kitchen.

Say what you will, but I find that there is almost something artistic about a messy work space in the kitchen.

I have been so bored with food recently…and that’s saying a lot! I have wanted to try out new recipes but my budget has been tight and I have had so much going on that I haven’t had the time to do anything, or at least it’s felt that way. Yesterday I buckled down and decided that no matter what – I was going to make at least ONE new thing to eat! I have gotten my body in the habit of trying to eat (or at least ingest) something green once a day and when I don’t get to do that it makes me grumpy. While there wasn’t too much green in the foods I ate yesterday I at least know that what I made was vegan/vegetarian recipes AND they were on the healthier side!

I found this recipe on Pinterest (originally from The Simple Veganista) and tweaked it a bit. I had been eyeing the recipe for a while and decided that yesterday was finally the day to try it out! I always tend to think of even the simplest recipes as time consuming, mostly because of all the chopping they would involve (I tend to add more vegetables or more of a vegetable even if it isn’t called for), and let me tell you…this is SO SIMPLE. There are only 3 ingredients that need chopping – if that even, and the curry sauce is really easy to make as well. 

I am so excited because I have even more for the rest of the week! Can you say LUNCH?

I am so excited because I have even more for the rest of the week! Can you say LUNCH?

The only ingredients that were listed in Julie’s recipe were chickpeas, carrots, scallions, raisins and cashews. I obviously included the chickpeas and carrots, but replaced the scallions for the sweet onion that I already had in the kitchen and replaced the raisins with dried cranberries (or “craisins” if you will). I am not a huge fan of raisins and knew that these would give the right sweetness that Julie used the raisins for in her recipe. I also stuck with cashews because they are delicious. I also added some chopped up radish for an extra crunch and added flavor. Radishes are vegetables that I love but I never seem to use them in recipes that I end up making at home. 

When I threw all of the ingredients for the curry sauce (curry powder, garlic powder, a pinch of salt, lemon juice and hummus) together it all seemed a bit too curry-ish, which I find is hard to accomplish most times. It may have been the hummus I used, I usually like Sabra as my go-to hummus, but this time I had just used the leftover Trader Joe’s (surprise surprise) hummus I had in the refrigerator. The texture was a bit off and it seemed quite salty, so I read Julia’s notes and she mentioned adding maple syrup or any liquid sweetener to take that edge off. After I added a smidge of my Trader Joe’s Maple Agave Syrup is was PERFECT. I put the salad on bread, made it into a sandwich and brought it to work. It’s a wee-bit messy because chickpeas are big and round**, but if that’s the only thing I had to complain about then I would say it all worked out pretty well. 

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I will definitely be making this dish again and I am so excited to be keeping up with The Simple Veganista! I always love discovering new blogs and it’s equally as lovely to find out that the recipes they post are delicious. I recommend this for easy lunches, and the recipe makes a decent amount so you’ll have it for a few people or a few days!

** QUICK NOTE FROM JEN: I’ve made some chickpea salads in my day. I recemmend mashing them quickly before stirring in all the veggies and such. Just get a few crushes to help them stay together in a sandwich.

A Frosted Slice of Sunshine Smoothie: Carrot & Cantaloupe

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I just came home from my trip to Sebring Florida for my Nanna and Pappy’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. And I have to point out, when the average American cuts out meat and dairy from their diet, they are stuck with carbs and sugar! As all vegans do, my husband and I packed a lot of clif bars and snacks, and I was shocked how close we were to eating all of them. Oddly I think it would of been easier to go vegan for the trip if we didn’t have to spend it was family. Then we could of had free reign over restaurants and breakfast.

But when I came home I scarfed down lots of proteins as I didn’t really eat what I normally would during the trip. Then decided I would go on a detox afterwards. And man, did I really need a detox. I am a little hesitant to talk about detox or cleanses, since they have earned themselves a bad rep. I am not really a fan of extreme cleanses where you juice all day or drink lemon water. I prefer cleanses that involving eating more whole foods. In fact my most common detox is a smoothie cleanse, drinking smoothies and soups throughout the day. I like this approach because I don’t deprive my body of calories and fiber that keeps me full. I usually add salads after a few days, and transition into raw foods.

I’ve mentioned my detox diet in the past. I posted an recipe for a Kimchi Detox Soup, which I am thinking I should make pretty soon.

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Well, this smoothie was like a slice of summer in all this cold weather. I used cantaloupe that I got from my CSA during the summer. The cantaloupe was so ripe it was pretty mushy, and didn’t really taste great by itself. Freezing it was a perfect decision, as it was just the texture I needed for a smoothie. 

I use to drink juiced carrot, cantaloupe, and orange all the time. So I thought that carrot would give a great flavor to the smoothie. It is only a small amount but it gives depth to the flavor. It also helps with the body of the smoothie, preventing too much a slushy texture. Plus, you are adding a veggie to your breakfast! You can also add a handful of green to the smoothie, it will just not be such a pretty color.

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Sunday Reading 11-09-14 #10

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You might have noticed we were gone for two weeks, which means I have so much to share this weekend for Sunday Reading! I changed the format a little since there are so much to share, so bear with me guys. I hope I don’t overwhelm you with too many articles, videos, and blog posts. I tried to summarize faster for everyone as well. 

I am also being pretty brief since I just got home from my trip to Florida. Most of my Mother’s side of the family lives there, so we went down for my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary! I will be sharing some photos, a restaurant, and a cool state park. I am just home to be back in crabby and dense Jersey.

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I’ve been a huge fan of The Bite Size Vegan. I find Emily great for teaching people about veganism, whether it is about nutrition or how animals are treated. She covers so much and has the cutest puppy ever. That was why when she started the Nugget Army to help support her YouTube channel, I was happy to contribute. Go check her out, and see what you think.

Check out this cool lady who decorated her house with bottle caps.

Jamie recently posted a review on a manga called In Clothes Called Fat. I love comics, and I love how in Japan they are used as a serious medium for a message. I need to pick up this comic.

The Kitchn had a quick article about galactagogue foods, foods that increase breast milk. I thought it was cool because all the foods listed are vegan. Not saying all vegan food are galactagogue foods, but still interesting meat isn’t on there.

Logical Harmony make a quick cheat sheet of vegan friendly brands at Sephora. She even breaks down how vegan friendly they are!

Heard about Advanced Fashion yet? Well, get an introduction with this interview with the very inspiring Tziporah Salamon. Even if you aren’t a fashionista, she really inspires you to keep faith in art, and doing what you like regardless of age.

Jenny at She Loves Dresses wrote a loving letter to her late father. This is one of many posts where she opens up with her struggles in life. Something not enough people are open about.

(Another) Jennifer at Grimmricksen posted an interesting article about adult female ADHD

The New York Times wrote a humbling piece about how complicated microbiome in our bodies is. We all know that Jamie Lee Curtis is trying to sell us poop-gurt, and all the hipsters are guzzling kombucha, but there is so much we don’t understand.

M.F.K Fisher is well known for her literature about food. Her writing is inspiration for pretty much every food blog, magazine, or book you pick up. But there is a good argument against M.F.K Fisher

While on vacation my husband was looking at my tablet and wanted to make this Spicy Cranberry Apple Sauce.

Speaking of my husband- I really enjoyed Gena’s post on How to Date a Vegan Without Even Trying. It reminded me so much of my husband. I think he only asked two “annoying questions” about me being vegan which was “So you’ll never eat a hotdog again?” and “So you’ll never eat ice cream again?!” Aside from those two very spaced out questions, he never asked something stupid like “Is semen vegan?”

Since I talked about vegans and calcium, you might want to read this post about calcium.

Jess calls out the problem with Plus Size Models. It is a great step forward, but is a small step backwards.

Cara wrote a quick and helpful post about surviving the holiday season. I am planning on posting my own similar post

Crash Course & Self-Love Part 1

I was hesitant to share this Crash Course video on Eating Disorders. But after reading Raechel’s blog post about Self-Love it made me remember how crappy education was for eating disorders. Was I the only one who watched that TV special with Calista Flockheart? All the lessons about about eating disorders seemed to be targeted to the girls, and it came off as a wag of the finger. “Now don’t go crazy with your dieting girls!”

I think if I was shown this video in school my point of view would of been totally different. I think there is so much shame associated with bulimia and anorexia since it is often viewed at dieting gone wrong. I’ve had a friend who was anorexic, and pressures to look a certain way seemed to be on the bottom of the list. It was much more about control over something in her life. She talked about how she had to compulsively look at a watch and take bites when the hands were on certain numbers. Although she might of started to eat this way because she wanted to look thinner, she never talked about that being a concern about what and when she ate.

I also enjoyed the video because they switched genders around all the time with different disorders. They also mentioned many different disorders, saying that their root is similar- different environmental pressures.

Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #4: What’s the beef with Calcium?

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Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaOne doctor told me that soy milk doesn’t have as much calcium as dairy milk, then one doctor told me there is MORE calcium in soy milk than normal milk. Which is it?

I’ve been on and off again vegan long enough to see the calcium in milk shift. Like any young female vegan, I got a lot of pressure about my protein and calcium intake. I spent a lot of the time reading the back of soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, or whatever new milks were coming out. Back then brands varied widely. 

Older brands were completely unfortified. Whatever calcium was present in soy beans was available in the milk. But more mainstream brands would add fortified calcium to the soy milk to match regular dairy milk. I remember being advised to drink the flaky bits on the bottom since that was the added calcium.

So your first doctor is right. If you made soy milk at home, it wouldn’t have as much calcium as cow’s milk.

“But Jen,” you might say “soy milk and almond milk containers say it has 50% more calcium than dairy milk!” And you would be right. Most major non-dairy milk brands have taken up the practice of adding more calcium than normal milk. This might be a way to appeal more to older women, who are particularly concerned about osteoporosis and hot flashes (which soy has been found to help keep in check)

Then you get into the whole world of whether or not fortified vitamins are bad for your health. Most of us know that fortified nutrition doesn’t absorb as well as getting from a natural source. Some people think it is down right dangerous for your health to process vitamins in an unnatural state since it causes unnecessary work for your body.  I believe you should always strive for natural sources but I don’t think you’re doing your body harm by drinking fortified vitamins.

But if you are concerned about calcium, start being concerned about your vitamin D levels. The absorption of calcium is aided by vitamin D. The best vegan source is just getting some sun, 15 minutes a day is all you need. There are supplements that you can take as well if you find that you have a vitamin D deficiency (Alexa takes Vitamin D pills because she works inside all day as an artist and store manager. Be sure to get outside kids – your body loves the sunshine!). Just check the label for gelatin and fish in the ingredients.

Still worried about fortified calcium? Some soy milks are out there with only the naturally occurring calcium, Eden Soy being one of them. There are lots of foods rich in calcium as well. Many beans contain a decent amount of calcium. You might hear a bunch of fish have great calcium, but ever wondered where they get calcium? Sea vegetables of coarse! Most greens have a large amount of calcium, including greens on veggies like turnips and beets. Juice them with oranges to get more of a calcium boost. Sesame seeds, almond, blackstrap molasses, figs, and quinoa are also great calcium sources.

And remember, just like protein, calcium is in EVERYTHING! So it adds up by the end of the day. Unless you have a super specific health reason for needing more calcium, relax. Just eat a little of everything and eat as fresh as you can get.

Blog Recipe Round Up: Cauliflower

This recipe round up is a little more interesting this time around. One reason is because Alexa reviewed a recipe! Whooo! She devoted a whole post to it, but we are putting it up again. Why? If you are searching for a good cauliflower recipe it is simple to find! Duh!

Since there are two recipes we talked about in the past, that means we have some bonus photos! I think it is a little fun to include them to compare photos. Funny thing is sometimes to non-model shots of food seem more yummy than the actual photo!
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Oh and there is a bonus recipe on the bottom! It was featured in the Everything Free Recipe Roundup. I figured I would tack it on the page for any cauliflower fans. I think our grouping is really eclectic. Different food styles, Indian, Chinese-American take-out, pasta, salad, and a side dish. I know mind blowing! So start reading what you should make:

BBQ Cauliflower Salad

I am sure everyone has seen this recipe lurking on pinterest. Even Alexa pinned it, which gave me push to go ahead and make it for this recipe roundup. (Alexa claims responsibility for this recipe by the way) I personally like Fork and Beans, and I remember making her Cauliflower “Risotto” but wasn’t thrilled by it. 

As I started the recipe red flags went up. “Oh this won’t work!” but I wanted to stick the recipe. Maybe something is going on that I am not noticing? When I pulled the cauliflower out of the oven I thought that the cauliflower was too hard. But I bit my tongue and finish up the salad and thought “just wait till you eat it.”

It. Was. Amazing. I everything was in perfect sync. I didn’t follow the recipe to a T since I didn’t have corn, and couldn’t make the ranch dressing since I didn’t have a blender. But it still worked out amazingly. The ONLY thing I would change would be that I would put the BBQ on the cauliflower before tossing in the oven, then again after 5-7 minutes.

Otherwise this is a great recipe to prep for lunch the night before. Got the oven on? Toss in the cauliflower for a few minutes and assemble the night before. It is super yummy!

Bottom Line: Helllllo new lunch fav.

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