Hey guys! So I, Jennifer, am kind-of back from my moving hiatus. Alexa has posted her favorite vegans/vegetarians post for inspiration, and helped out with the Sunday Reads from last week. Saturday I posted two weeks worth of photos for my 365 project. But I haven’t had much time for any sort of posts really. In fact this is a day late since I was so busy this weekend finishing up cleaning my old apartment. It took forever to prime the walls, clean the kitchen, bathroom, take out the air conditioner, just tons of little things. And to make it worse, we didn’t pack adequate lunches. We should of really taken a break and grab lunches, but we didn’t. So we had a bad case of the hangries, and there was shouting and crying. (oh wait the crying was because of the pain in my food)
So by 3 o’clock I was starving and dehydrated and stopped by whole foods and guzzled a cacao coconut water, moo shu burrito, and some nori sheets. It was an awesome lunch, especially when all you ate all day was a shake, a builders bar, and a very small apple. By the time I got home and unloaded the car I didn’t want to do anything. It was amazing that I even bother making dinner. (which was TJ orange chicken, green beans, and brown rice, btw) It is weird because I joked with Jon that we’ve been eating like “normal people.” We have been eating fairly simple or from frozen dinners since we have been busy with unpacking. Heck, I’ve been eating SANDWICHES with field roast deli slices, which I really liked the mushroom slices. There has been lots of protein, a grain and a veggie sort of deal going on as well. It is all so weird for me.
Anyways, I still have a big to-do list today. One being handing in my apartment keys! HORRAY! Finally done with my apartment. We stayed WAY too long in that small space. We probably wouldn’t do anything different with our apartment situation. I mean priming sucked, but we did stay in that place for three years. Yes it was dusty, yes it was small, but we probably would of been saving in a bigger newer place for a house for a longer amount of time. I am getting side tracked, here are the reads for the week. They are probably fairly fluffy since I’ve been so busy this week. But hey we all need to take a break sometimes right?
So I told my Mom to make me this side for my sister’s birthday (it was right after the move, otherwise I would be making the vegan meals) It was really delicious, and I am pretty sure it will be a staple in our house. It is easy to make and very flavorful. We left out the feta, though you could make a vegan feta to put in it.
Now that I am closer to Trader Joes, I might be able to get cheap freeze dried strawberries and make these yummy energy balls.
Only Emily could get away talking about her mensural cycle in a sponsored post. And man, do I want to make this ice cream cake. (too bad I have like 4 different kinds of ice cream in the freezer)
Just found out about “zoats.” Thinking about maybe making a curry zucchini, oat, and red lentil savory breakfast.
Do I dare make this? I know Jon isn’t a big raspberry or cauliflower fan, but damn it, it looks so tasty! *crosses fingers that there is a good raspberry crop this year at my CSA*
I love this article going in depth about how carrot tops are not toxic. I never knew about it until I googled up way to use carrot greens (I mean they have to leave them there if they are edible right?) I’ve made carrot top pesto and carrot top tabbouleh with good results. So give it a try guys!
I love rice paper rolls. My husband does not. But baking them? Might be a great compromise! I saw the idea from Little Vegan Bear with the Baked Paper Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce. Probably nothing groundbreaking and probably has been done all over the place, but it is NEW TO ME!
Bacon seaweed? Sounds perfect for me! I never liked the fattiness of bacon, but seaweed. I’m down with that.
Not Foods- Sort of
So we moved and our kitchen is a SUPER upgrade from the last, but realistically it is still small and not full of nice equipment. They are older and lower grade, not total bottom line things. Anyways, this article from the Kitchn was nice, as it makes me appreciate all I did in my tiny (and still small kitchen) Homemade Bagels? No problem. Making cookies each week, why not? Rarely did the kitchen size stop me from making whatever I wanted.
Found this website and is making me rethink of all the landmarks near me. I should check out more of these places and appreciate them. Some I can’t believe I missed so many campy and weird places.
Day 187: Pigs at the farm getting a drink
Day 188: Butterfly on a small flower
Day 189: Branch floating in some water
Day 190: I love these silvery leaves. Actually any leaf that isn’t green blows my mind.
Day 191: Super big red hibiscus bloomed.
Day 192: This seemed like a great shot of the apartment before the move- blanket half off the couch, beer opened, nail polish in a shipping box, napkins all over. And Toulouse- sitting right in the middle of the couch. Really cat? You need to be in the middle?
Day 193: Late at night on moving day, Toulouse starts to warm up. She likes how she can watch people from the stairs.
Day 194: The day after moving my niece had her birthday party, and we had to go make an appearance. Gwen decided that she had to dress up as a mermaid after swimming. She looked so stinkin cute I had to take a photo, she even straightened out her tail for the photo.
Day 195: All of Sunday was a confusing haze. So much to clean, so much to unbox, and no luxeries. Luckily I found the record player, power adapter, and records first thing in the morning. What do you play on a Sunday morning- uh Christian hair metal bands! They were my Uncle’s old records, and I think they were a gift since they were still in the wrapping.
Day 196: Toulouse is warming more and more up to the rest of the house, and is napping in our room without sleeping UNDER the bed, next to it but not under.
Day 197: Funny how the different colored hibiscus bloom at different times at work.
Day 198: I forgot to ask my boss what these flowers are, but they are pretty cute. They remind me of sakura/cherry blossoms.
Day 199: Not sure why I love these old dead stumps at work. I guess I like how the bark wraps around the tree rings.
Day 200: Really disappointed with these photos. Jon and I went to the Impressionist exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Our tickets were really early in the morning (well 10 am) so to avoid crowds, which is a GOOD thing. Anyways, when we got out I wanted to grab some beers at the Oval, but the garden was closed, my feet hurt, and we were getting hungry so I rushed with the photos. This was the best one I got. Ugh. Maybe another time.
Once I became a “Flexetarian” (flexible vegetarian: I am working more and more each day to be a full veggie-saurus, but sometimes eating meat -with exceptions- is hard for me to avoid at the moment) I started to take note of the people I follow in media who are vegan and vegetarian. The more I thought about it the more I felt as though they needed a shout-out and appreciation post, because these people are not only health, animal, and Earth conscious, but they are also just plain awesome. This will be an ongoing project, I think, seeing as I find more cool people who love the planet and it’s inhabitants every day.
I stumbled across Lex’s page a few months back after seeing a video from Laci Green that was about internet equality and making the internet a safe place for women. The main reason her page had popped out at me was mainly because I had created a character with the same name during college (she was a super-villain version of me that wore a silly dinosaur suit and had a fat Komodo Dragon as her companion…really old and badly drawn evidence here), Obviously I had to investigate! It turns out that Lex is a super awesome Vegan-British woman who also happens to be very funny and smart. I hadn’t actually found out about her veganism until I was searching through more of her older videos. All I had known was that she was a big proponent of Lush which specializes in cruelty free and natural based cosmetics and bath products. Along with her main channel (listed above) which is updated weekly with varying types of videos she also hosts a channel called “Girly as Hell“. It hasn’t been updated in about a year, but it still has a great amount of informative videos about veganism and cruelty free beauty products, as well as fashion and ‘haul’ videos.
While Daniel Bryan is not currently a vegan, he still tries to maintain a mostly vegan diet while being on the road for WWE. He has certainly mentioned his love for vegan food in a (somewhat) recent interview, but he’s been unable to continue his veganism because of a negative reaction to soy. Many “on the go” vegan products have a soy base, and while traveling at all hours of the night/day (and feeding themselves enough calories for an athletic body) it isn’t easy to keep to a strict diet like that. I also want to mention that he and his lovely wife Brie Bella are, as the call themselves, “locavores.” Being on the road as much as they are, they always make sure to post which local farm-to-table restaurant or coffee shop they visit. It’s adorable and I’m sure it helps out the businesses in some way as well! They also have a grey water system built into their backyard in Phoenix, Arizona. These two are probably some of the most earth conscious wrestlers I’ve ever heard of and I appreciate the fact that they don’t hide it to try and keep some sort of weird “street cred” in the wrestling world. It also helps to add to Bryan’s TV persona from time to time if the story calls for it.
Beside the fact that Daniel Bryan is a super chill guy, he’s also a fantastic athlete in the squared circle. He had two amazing matches during Wrestlemania 30 which led to him becoming the World Heavy Weight Champion (until complications intervened) and is currently the Intercontinental Champion. I could go on and on, and I wanted to post some of his best matches below but WWE keeps a pretty tight lock on their best material. I’ll just post my new favorite photo of Ian and I below!!
Hey everyone! Jen and her husband moved from their apartment into their new house! It’s adorable and I am beyond excited for them. This week for the Sunday reads Jen posted what she could while she still had internet, and there were a few things I had wanted to share as well, hope you all like! – Alexa
OMG, I think I died a little when I saw that someone made an adult vegan choco taco. This was the ice cream dessert for kings (at least when you were a kid)
I’ve never been fussy about my vegan butters. I use it so little, I never really used real butter that much. But this recipe for vegan butter is making me wonder if I should try it out.
Here is a brief history of the vanilla bean.
So Kate from Scathingly Brilliant started to scan her old copies of Delia’s Catalogues. I thought why would anyone possibly need that?! But it is a great reflection of how much I have changed. First I never noticed how “boyish” and boxy all the styles were. I remember them being very “adult” and therefore sexy, for some reason. I also remember how bold the clothing was, and now I am like “I would wear that and not even think twice about it. EVEN the dress with the open field photo, which I remember wanting SOO bad when I was little but was afraid of how many people would STARE at me. I’ve definitely changed over the years, and am so much more confident about myself. I liked my high school (well, enough anyways) but I do think since it was so small the need to blend or disappear completely was strong. Sure I rocked a Daria look (no seriously, it was all about knee high boots, plaid skirts, and quirky shirts) but there was a line that shouldn’t be crossed. I already knew I was different, and I couldn’t wear my vintage clothing unless it was halloween, or look too goth or something. So much has changed. BTW I am pretty sure my sister or I had these dyed shirts.
I love this cute little travel video on The Cat You and Us. I want to do some videos for YouTube about veganism and traveling. But I will have to wait until I get a new computer so I can process the video. Ugh. But this video gave me hope to keep the dream.
This outfit gave me chills. Perfect hair-dress combo.
Alexa here! It’s been a really exciting week for women’s sports, and I want to talk about it some more! I unfortunately did not get to watch the Women’s World Cup, but I do think it’s fantastic that the whole event has been getting a lot of press and opening up doorways for other women’s athletics to get more notoriety.
I really enjoyed this article about how women need to start supporting women’s sports. It’s something I’ve noticed but never really thought about until now. I’ve only recently gotten into sports recently, and it’s mostly been wrestling or UFC but I have grown to love the women’s divisions more than the men’s in some cases. Which leads me into my next link…
Why I’m Done Defending Women’s Sports. I legitimately love watching women’s wrestling. People who don’t already love wrestling don’t seem to understand ( I could say that about wrestling itself but when I mention that all my favorites are ladies I get a weird look). I too, am done with defending them, because they shouldn’t need it.
3 of the top women of WWE’s developmental division (NXT) debuted on RAW last Monday. The Divas division has been stale recently and I’m really hoping that this is the start of something great. While I personally think the division is full of talent the writing for the Monday night show has not done any favors for the women. Story lines are started and dropped for no reason, characters aren’t cohesive, and they don’t get a lot of time devoted to their matches. NXT is a very well written show with good character development and great athletes, and while I think it’s great to add new blood to the Divas locker room I can only hope the influence reaches high up to whoever gets a say as to how everything shakes out. I have hope…but it’s not like WWE hasn’t flopped in the department before. Only time will tell.
Banh Mi Boy
Even though my parents moved to Delaware, I haven’t really eaten at many places in the state. In fact, I don’t think I ate out at all there. I packed my own lunch when I helped my parents move. #veganlife Another time I went down to visit and my parents drove me all the way to Victory Brew-Pub in Pennsylvania. Which is funny, since I went to this place alone. I picked up my Grandparents from the airport, I had everything planned out, but didn’t take in consideration that my Grandparents move at a much slower pace than what I am use to. Both Jon and my parents are seasoned travelers, and we expect very quick pick-ups. Oh no- not my Grandparents, my Pappy requested a wheelchair, and it wasn’t there when they got off the plane. Then when they finally got luggage (not many people that I pick up actually checks their luggage). My Nanna and Pappy described the airport as very fast paced, and I was thinking “duh, it’s an airport!” Now, I know that isn’t fair for me to say since my Grandparents grew up in a slow rural town, and I have almost always used high traffic airports (Philadelphia, Boston, Newark, La Guardia.) Hell, Orlando is a leisurely airport to me. Well once we got on the road there was a huge accident and we had to take a detour.
So by the time I dropped my Grandparents at my parents house it was 1:00 pm and the last thing I ate was a smoothie at 8 in the morning. I was starving and had to find a place fast. A quick search via HappyCow.com resulted in Banh Mi Boy. They aren’t all vegan, but very vegan friendly. The menu is pretty small, sandwiches, salads, summer rolls and drinks. I apologize for the lack of photos (and having not so great pictures), I was just so hungry and rushed to get back home.
The store is located in the downtown area of Newark, so parking can stink. But you will be happy to take the time to find parking. This store has a pretty boring outside, but has a bright orange interior. There are tons of snacks and drinks to choose from. Some are healthy, some were the normal junk food. There was normal soda, or green tea. There was pretty much something for everyone.
So what’s vegan? Each main option, sandwich, salad, and summer roll, has a vegan option. There is a tofu sandwich that comes with pickled veggies, homemade vegan mayo, on a crispy french roll. There is also a tofu salad, using many of the same veggies in sandwich topped with a ginger soy dressing. There are vegetarian summer rolls as well. They have some specialty drinks, but I doubt they are vegan. You could technically get their coffee without the condensed milk to make it vegan. They also have traditional bubble tea but that has half-n-half. They have other flavors, but it looks like they use powder mixes, which most likely will contain whey or some form of powdered milk. Sorry vegans, you will have to stick with canned drinks.
When I went there had a special lemongrass tofu sandwich, which was awesome. They sliced the tofu into long thin strips, and was well pressed. The pickled veggies were thicker than what I tend to like, but the bread quickly made up for it. Lately I’ve been getting lots of Banh Mi sandwiches that taste yummy but lack a strong roll. This one was flakey and full of flavor.
What I love about Banh Mi is that it isn’t very fussy. You can bring someone and know that it will be a fairly safe bet. It is exotic and different, but is served is a familiar form to most Americans. I was originally planning on bringing my Grandparents to the place, but they insisted that they weren’t hungry. I recommend checking this place out when you are in the area. You can even walk down the street to Brew Ha Ha and pick up a vegan donut made by Dottie’s Donuts.
Day 180: Bee checking out the sunflowers
Day 181: This is the dreamiest graphic design for a brewery. I had no clue this brewery opened in Flying Fish’s old Cherry Hill location.
Day 182: Ducks keep on swimming.
Day 183: Toulouse laying down, placing her dainty little paws in the sunlight.
Day 184: Rick told me to photograph his hibiscus flowers. IT IS HUGE!
Day 185: Peeling bark off of an old tree stump.
Day 186: Picked up my Grandparents from the airport and got so hungry I got a tofu banh mi from Banh Mi Boy. Will post a review on the site.
Hello everyone. My apartment is chaos. Packing has begun in our apartment, and there isn’t much room for boxes. It is like a puzzle of moving some boxes to make room for more boxes, then emptying boxes, partially filling others, and then emptying it out again because space is such an issue. Last night my husband and I sat down, ate dinner, watched some TV, and I got up and had a flash of deja vu from when we first moved in. I think the only thing worse than boxing stuff is dealing with my very delicate husband. I haven’t moved often when I was younger, but I lived in a very small house. In fact the house we are buying is BIGGER than the house I grew up in. Okay, there are less rooms, and no yard, but square foot by square foot it is larger. My husband has already thrown his hands up in the air and declared the apartments officially “too full” for anymore boxes. And I have to keep calm and try and make it manageable for him while still getting the job done.
I am also so scared of boxing the wrong things too early. Like we broke down our hutch that we holding booze, stemware, kitchen appliances, and office/art supplies. So we have a bunch of art and office supplies in the living room, and I keep looking at scissors thinking “I know we need these… but I am not sure why I would need it for the move” It stumped me all day what I would need the scissors for and then sudden it hit me this morning, OPENING BOXED WHEN WE MOVE! Duh! Everything in the kitchen I am stumped about which we should pack up, or what we will need the day of closing. Shit, if I could I would just have someone pack my stuff and I would happily just move boxes all day. The heavy lifting is the EASY part.
Well, with all the moving I might not be on that much this week. I already moved my photo post from Saturday to Monday (expect that tomorrow) since we were just so busy. This will be an unpleasant week. Mostly with mediocre food as we plan on just trying to get things cleaned out. Though we will have lots of beer seeing as we keep picking up more beer boxes to pack books (they are the perfect size, just big enough to hold a lot, but not too big to be unbearable heavy). So I will try and enjoy my sweaty days and drunken nights.
Farm Round Up:
What I got:
2 quart of green beans
1 large summer squash
A few small kohlrabi
2 small spring onions
3 asian eggplants
1 small bunch of carrots and greens
1 small bunch of collard greens
1 almost quart of blackberries (oops we were only suppose to have 1/2 pint)
What I’m cooking:
Nappa Cabbage Stir-fry (yeah I still have nappa cabbage from the end of may)
Collards Greens & Black Beans with a tahini dressing
Kohlrabi, squash, pea, and pasta casserole
Green Bean & Eggplant Stir-fry
Carrot greens in shakes (btw this actually tastes bad! Don’t do it!)
Handfuls of blackberries for dessert- maybe served over strawberry Daiya Cheesecake
I’m always trying to brainstorm ways to use my CSA produce in new ways. I get in the habit of making the same thing over and over again (like that eggplant and green bean stir-fry I linked, it’s good btw). One such dish are cherry tomatoes. I toss them in a salad, and that’s yummy but can be boring. So I was happy to see this Polenta Tart with Garlicky White Bean Spread. *drooling*
My old roommate from college is FINALLY getting married. I am so happy for them, as we were all (bride and groom, me and hubby) friends in college. So I was looking at the town near the reception and found this awesome vegan restaurant called Glory Doughnuts. Now I am not sure which I am more excited about- the wedding or the food?
Apparently airplanes can use farm waste and animal fats to power engines. Although I am not loving the idea of using animal by-products, it is interesting to hear that planes are trying to use more environmentally friendly ways for fuel.
A short article about Killer Whales or Orcas that challenges what SeaWorld claims about orcas. Basically spotlighting an 103 year old orca grandmother.
I’ve been following the US soccer team in the Women’s World Cup, and it has been very exciting. Apparently the game was the most watched soccer game in the United States to date. Which brings up an issue to the world, why aren’t equal pay in sports a feminist issue?
There is a huge stigma with miscarriages and stillborns. I’ve linked this article by NPR about the issue before. But I bring it up again because I’ve read a moving blog post by author Katie Coyle. I think we need to talk about all the awkward parts of miscarriages and still borns because it is currently a secret club. Sure things have gotten better over the years. I have slowly been learning more about my Uncle Timmy. He was a still born. My Nanna and Pappy have some regrets. My Pappy said he wished he took a photo of him, my Nanna was never allowed to see or hold the baby. They were young, going through their first birth so I am sure it was especially traumatizing. With that said, I’ve gone through a miscarriage, and I am trying to be more open about it. My experience has been VERY different from Katie and grandparents, and maybe I will write about it on the blog in the future.
So several weeks, maybe even months ago, Alexa sent me this video and I was like “I’m at work, I’ll check it out later” SO after a few weeks I checked it out. This makes me so happy. Side note I loved this interview with her as well. Oddly, what she was going for works on an international level. Mindless animal talks that makes people happy.
How have I not seen this video before? Although cat park is also pretty good too.
If you are like me, the economy is confusing. No matter how many times people explain it I am left a big “huh?!” I mean I know how to deal with my money responsibly but I have no idea how it fits in the larger economy. Point is that John Green explains the whole Greece issue pretty well and everyone should watch it to know what is going on.
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!
There are two main reasons why people avoid soy. One reason is allergies. This is a VERY good reason to avoid soy. There is only a small percentage of people who actually have a soy allergy, even though it is one of the more common food allergies. Soy allergies are commonly an allergy that children grow out of. What makes it so scary is that there are many soy by products in our processed foods. As mentioned in the non-soy proteins post, there are lots of replacements for soy based products, even things like tofu and soy sauce.
The second murkier area for avoiding soybeans is the presence of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are “dietary estrogens” because they are not made by the body, only plants produce them. When most people hear this they automatically assume it effects you estrogen levels and it is more complicated than that.
It is worth noting that soy isn’t the only food that contains phytoestrogens. In fact, nuts and seed oils have more phytoestrogens than soy products. Other foods that include phytoestrogens would be grains and cereals, legumes, and meats (what do you think cows and chickens are eating? Remember your are what you eat.). There are lots of foods we eat everyday with phytoestrogens and no one makes a stink about it, like flax seed (which has more phytoestrogens than soy), sesame seeds, coffee, apples, carrots, rice, and lots more.
Why do plants produce phytoestrogens? Well it is part of their defense systems, and protects them mostly from fungi. But since plants have been producing these estrogens for so long, humans and animals have evolved with them. That means we kind-of use these estrogens in our body too. But it is hard to pin point what makes phytoestrogens good or bad because of synthetic estrogens that are used in cosmetics. But there has been observations that phytoestrogen has helped regulate cholesterol and bone density in post-menopause. It has even been linked to the prevention of many different diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, brain function disorders, and osteoporosis.
So what about hypothyroidism and soy? Some people believe that phytoestrogen interferes with the absorption of hormones in the medication. But after reading through lots of medical journals, most say the effect is minimal. Still concerned? Guidelines that I read said to wait 4 hours to eat soy after taking any medication. That’s all you need to do. So it is probably good thing to eat soy for dinner or lunch, and just exclude it from your breakfast plans (if you take your medication in the morning).
I see men say they don’t eat soy because of the phytoestrogen, actually they say because of the estrogen. Phytoestrogen isn’t the same as estrogen. Studies have shown there is no effect on men from soy consumption. So shriveled testicles, no decreased semen samples, nothing. The frustrating thing about hearing men say this is that there is actual estrogen in milk and meat products.
Overall, all studies that find adverse effects of soy tended to be small studies, or studies performed on other animals. I wouldn’t be too concerned about phytoestrogen levels in soy, and it certainly shouldn’t discourage you from going vegan. As mentioned there is phytoestrogens in meats, most likely since cows and pigs are eating lots grains and soy, which have the plant-based hormone. There is also actual estrogen in milks and meats from animals, which is more likely to have more of an effect on your body than the phytoestrogens.
Day 166: Dew kissed carrot tops- or is it dill?
Day 167: Homemade mango sorbet with the in-laws
Day 168: Took a trip into the city and visited P.S. & Co.
Day 169: There was a huge storm that went by, afterwards the sky turned crazy colors with crazy clouds.
Day 170: The weather has been so cool lately, so Toulouse has been all about the windows lately.
Day 171: Took a picture of a beautiful mural in Philadelphia.
Day 172: Just a little ladybug.
Day 173: This house is part of my CSA, and Jon and I are trying to figure out what it is used for. We are guessing it is where the interns stay… but it looks nicer than where the owners stay. Such a mystery.
Day 174: Still trying to stick to my “not plant photos” rule, and I think I am doing pretty good so far. This is one of the historical building in Philadelphia.
Day 175: I had to take a photo of the worlds cutest beer bottle. As for the beer itself, not the greatest.
Day 176: Starting to make some pickles.
Day 177: A rusty old garbage bin is sitting on the street of my work, but it was kind-of cool looking.
Day 178: Tried the savory vegan lunches at Espress It and will be writing a glowing review soon.
Day 179: What the pickles ended up looking like once fermented.