Sunday Reading 07-25-15 #70

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Another week has gone by and I feel like nothing has gotten done. I blame the weather. I’ve just been so unmotivated. I just want to stay glued to the first floor where the air is the coolest. At some point it will get cooler and I won’t have that excuse anymore. Bummer. 

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Actually my husband has been busy working on our new computer table. He and his Father have been working together on making a custom desk for our oddly shaped third floor (or rather our normal room with an oddly shaped exercise equipment). Our current desk is 43 inches (109 cm) by 20 inches (50 cm), and doesn’t have much space for our computer. The monitor takes up 25 inches, which is pretty much half the length of the desk top, leaving little room for office stuff. So we are making a desk that is 6 feet (72 inches/182 cm) by 24 inches (60 cm), so MUCH bigger. We are most likely to stain the desk, and are looking for some matching shelving so we can get a pinterest worthy work area (yeah right.) Naturally I will be making some posts about our home updates of our finally finished bedroom, office/workout room, and hopefully nursery. Why? Because I assume you guys are just as interested as I am about looking into other people’s homes, best part of looking for a new house btw.

Anyways, I forgot to post this yesterday, so I hope everyone enjoys these articles for the week.

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When Community-Supported Agriculture Is Not What It Seems

I’ve written about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) before, and if you aren’t familiar with the idea, I recommend you quickly read my post before this article. To do a quick summary, it is when the consumer has a direct connection with the farmer, and pretty much pays a share/pays up front for the produce for the year. This New York Times article talks about how the term CSA is being used in situations that is very far from the original definition. If you are thinking about joining a “CSA” it is important to read this article as it helps educate people about what they are actually signing up for.

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Go Fund Me for Hillary Lawson

I’ve been reading Hillary’s blog My Cat Loves Daiya for awhile now. She is very active on many vegan blogs, usually commenting under the name Vegan Peace. Basically, after a bunch of circumstances, Hillary found herself loosing her apartment, and having to share space with a person who doesn’t want to keep her cats around. She brought her cats to an animal shelter and is scrambling to find money for a new apartment (you know, down deposit, first and last months rent, all that stuff.) She has a great connection with her cats, and have been writing about them on her blog. Basically, she took in a stray cat who was pregnant, and kept all the kittens. If you have a few bucks spare, that would be great. Hillary has already been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.

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Beer Bottles Will Soon Include A Reality Check: A Calorie Count

I’ve got so many emotions about this. I love booze. I love the history and complexity of the flavors. I know so much about alcohol that I think many people who meet me think I drink often (not really, more like 3 drinks a week overall? usually less.) As a vegan, I get really annoyed by the government’s viewpoint that alcohol shouldn’t be required to list nutritional information as that would imply it is food. Well, that makes for a lot of confusion for people with dietary restrictions. I had a friend who was allergic to hops, and drinking new beers was a little bit of Russian roulette. But it seems that focus is just on calories, and I don’t like that. It really doesn’t paint a full picture of people are drinking, and unlike hard liquor, beers can have nutritional benefits. Am I saying you should have a beer just to get some b vitamins? No. But there is probably more in a beer than a Kool Aid.

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Watch: Bubbles and balloons pop at 10,000 frames per second

And now for something fun and visually awesome. There is a short video of scientists filming different kind-of bubbles being popped with a high speed camera. Yeah I guess there are facts in there, but let’s face it- it is mostly just cool to watch.

Pregnancy – Weeks 18-19

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Tummy Status

Is it just me or does it look like my tummy hasn’t grown at all? I am thinking my boobs have matched my stomach growth and therefore looks like not much has been growing. I am also sure that my abs are contributing more to my tummy than I’d like to admit. The photo on the left is at 18 weeks, taken in the afternoon. The photo on the right was taken yesterday morning. I am pretty sure my tummy gets more food and my abs get tired at the end of the night from being engaged all day (from standing at work that is.)

Shopping

Got my baby bargains book and what is the first thing I looked at? Tips for buying pregnancy clothing! Duh. And it has been interesting. I got my jeans from H&M and they were WAY too small. I keep forgetting they have smaller jeans than Target, and that my calves and quads are little bit larger than most people. BUT I’ve never had a hard time getting my ankles through a pair of jeans. That was all new. But luckily I had to return the jeans at my local H&M and it turns out that they sell Maternity clothes there! Whoo! The selection is REALLY small, but it should be fine if I need shirts or a second pair of jeans.

Other great finds? I found an American based company that sell Boob (yes that is the clothing brand) which specializes in ethical and sustainable clothing. Best is that they have clothes that are made for pregnancy AND nursing, so they get a longer wear time. ASOS sells maternity pencil skirts that look reasonably priced… which makes me excited! I also have been browsing formal maternity clothing, you know, just incase a friend has a shotgun wedding. I found THIS DRESS which is amazing! But seriously? $150 for a 100% polyester dress? On the other end of the spectrum I found a second hand clothing store that has a maternity filter. Downside? The photos are awful and it will be a little bit of a gamble of a buy.

Snuggling

I think Toulouse knows something is going on. She has been very social lately. If Jon and I are watching TV, she comes down and lays in front of the fan with us. If I am on the computer, she takes a nap in the office with me. Working out on the third floor? Who cares that it is the hottest room in the house! Toulouse is laying down watching me do squats. She has climbed on our bed one night, which she hasn’t done since the temperature has reached over 70 degrees. 

Then it happened. One morning Toulouse jumped on my lap. She hasn’t done her morning snuggles with me in, well, maybe April or May. It use to be like clockwork. I finished making my shake, and then she would climb on my lap every Saturday and Sunday morning. I got excited because when the weather cools down again, my lap might be too full for her to lay on. She got some pets and started to purr… cue baby to start kicking. Either the kid loved the purring, or was hot and trying to kick the cat off. One of the two. Good news is that I can now officially tell the difference between gas and kicks.

Work Outs

I have been a bum in bed every morning. So I decided to try and do the Summer Shape Up Challenge that is run by Gina from Fitnessista. Week One was me remember how little I do squats lately and having my glutes (aka butt) being in pain most of the week. But now that week two is coming around, the sweat has been nice. This morning I ran for a solid 30 minutes, something I haven’t done in awhile, and clocked a pace of 13 min per mile. Okay sounds weak, but I was doing 14 1/2 minute miles earlier. Granted part of the reason for my faster pace is probably based around the awesome weather we had this morning.

Cravings/Aversions

Is just not wanting to cook a food aversion? I think saying craving or aversion is a little misleading. It is hot, and I don’t want to be in a kitchen. Bagels? Yes. Grilled cheese? I’ll deal with that. Stir-fry with rice? Way too much heat! Which stinks since I kind-of want high calorie foods that usually involve baking. Casseroles? Yes please. Oven fries? Sure but I don’t have any potatoes. Produce at my CSA is slowly turning into my more favorite foods, and I have been anticipating cantaloupe. Am I sharing? Hell no. 

I burned a hole in my stash of ice cream from Trader Joe’s and it is making me very sad. I will probably try making some homemade ice cream this weekend now that I have space in my freezer. We got a pizza from Healthy Garden (I should really write a review soon for the site) and it really hit the spot. I’ve been kind-of pouting about tomato sauce from pizza places, and they got it right. Next time we might get a daiya covered pizza.

BB Size

Parsnips? Sweet Potatoes? Who wrote these comparisons! Clearly someone who haven’t shopped at a farmer market or have grown their own vegetables! I am sitting here wondering what size my baby could possibly be, I can’t be the only one who has gotten a sweet potato that weighed a fraction of a pound and then get one that weights over two pounds. I feel like root vegetables vary the most in size! Never fear, my app says here that the baby is the size of a sugar glider! Much cuter, and I remember when I was little I wanted one as a pet so badly. 

At week 19 the baby is the size of a four-toed hedgehog, specifically the species that has been domesticated for the pet trade. This means I have been looking up sickeningly cute photos of hedgehogs in ridiculous situations including Hedgy Potter, a hedgehog building a human snow man, a hedgehog drinking milk, hugging buddies, and a hedgehog getting stuck in morning traffic. Your welcome everyone.

Sunday Reading 07-17-15 #69

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It is too early for the nesting bug to be biting? I have a large urge to plan and move things around in the house. See, we are planning on moving our office to the third floor and using the second floor bedroom as a nursery. Problem is that we hate our crummy Target desk and we have a huge workout machine that is oddly shaped. So there has been a lot of arguing about how big we can build a new desk (we want real wood guys, and we have budget) while still having space for this monster. Once we actually get the 3rd floor painted, and desk built we need to move our stuff and organize it, paint my dresser, rebuild the baby’s crib (taking my sister’s old one) and possibly paint it, paint the nursery, and… geez there is a lot to do XD

I think the sudden motivation comes from the fact that we have lived in our house for an ENTIRE YEAR NOW! A year ago Alexa took over the Sunday Reading post, since I was spending the days unboxing stuff and eating pizza almost everyday. That is pretty crazy, and I am probably feeling bad that our house is largely a big, generic, boring mess. We only painted our bedroom, and we haven’t gotten too much furniture. It would be nice to get a few personal touches before the baby comes, which yeah, we have until December, but I have a feeling that will roll by much faster than what I am expecting.

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Nettie Stevens discovered XY sex chromosomes. She didn’t get credit because she had two X’s.

I love learning about the many women who have contributed to science. I use to love science class, but hated doing the experiments (which ultimately discouraged me from continuing with it in college.) Some people might of seen the nod to Nettie Stevens on google and if so, here is the whole story, and the reason why she often isn’t credited for her discovery.

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Tens of Thousands of Artifacts Have Been Found in Colonial Philadelphia Toilets

Okay, I’m not going to lie, I might of clicked on this link because of the funny title. But it makes TOTAL sense. Major cities had big pits to dispose of human waste, and everyone used them as their own personal landfills. I am finding historical trash REALLY interesting. We like to think waste is a modern problem, but there has been waste disposal issues in the past as well. Just check out this podcast on Victorian horse poop disaster (which is similar to the factory farming waste issues.) Apparently thowing out perfectly good items isn’t completely new either. Many of the items found for Philadelphia’s new museum were thrown out items.

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The Mind-Boggling Bullshit of Health and Fitness

Never read anything from this blogger until now. And I LOVE this article. She pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with the fitness industry, and many things people get confused about. Finding great fitness bloggers and instructors can be hard. Hell, I recently found out a fitness personality who has done some videos I liked had their own YouTube channel. I checked it out… and man was I disappointed. The workouts were fine, she was fun and motivational, but she had lots of pseudo science to share. T_T And don’t even get me started on the lack of body positivity in the fitness industry! Weight and body shape is complicated. When I got weighed at the doctors it was a little adorable seeing the nurses try and weight me at around 120lbs. They inches so slowly up the scale I almost blurted out my weight so they could just jump to 140. I mean I am not THAT muscular, I got fat on me but BMI isn’t so straight forward.

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Understanding Hillary: Why the Clinton America See Isn’t the Clinton Colleagues Know

Yup politics guys. I am a firm believer that we need to talk more about politics with people, and I try not to be obnoxious about it. I found this article interesting since I am clueless about why so many people hate Hillary! I am not saying you aren’t justified to not like her, or not to vote for her, but when I hear liberals say they will vote Trump because they will never vote Hillary… I just can’t. WTF guys, vote Jill Stein not Trump. I am perplexed why fiscally conservative republicans don’t like Clinton either, since she is obviously the better choice over Trump. I mean her tax plan pretty much stays the same, meaning we won’t go in the red. And voting libertarian is just a vote for slashing government involvement, not making better financial decisions. Plus, didn’t Bill Clinton say he would work to boost the economy as First Man?

Anyways, this article goes into why so many politicians like Hillary. They also talk about the shift candidates made once the people started to vote for party candidates. It really opens up some interesting issues, and really makes me like Hillary more. I do think many people who don’t know much about the political system tend to not like Hillary because she is woman (or are influenced by media coverage that is skewed because of her sex), whether they are conscious about it or not. The article is a long read, but still important.

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We asked hundreds of scientists what they’d change about science. Here are 33 of our favorite responses.

If you aren’t reading lots of scientific articles, this might be a great summary of the issues with science today. We read lots of articles about nutritional science, and most of it can be ignored. This article sums up why, no one is replicating experiments, no one is publishing negative results, and there is such pressure scientists are fishing for results. What is interesting is that some scientists give their own recommendations on how to fix these issues as well.

My Vegan Restaurant: Dizengoff

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Dizengoff

1625 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
website | PA: facebook | PA: instagram | NYC: instagram | PA: twitter | NYC: twitter

There has been a growing movement in Philly that it is a vegan friendly city. The funny thing about that statement is that there aren’t THAT many 100% vegan restaurants. Or rather, I am quick to point out there is a polar divide between culinary styles. You have high end places like Charlie Was a Sinner, V Street, Vedge, and Bar Bonbon (high end tapas bars), but then you have more punk/take out style restaurants like Dottie’s Donuts, Blackbird Pizzeria, Grindcore House, Govindas, HipCityVeg, and the like. And if the cuisine isn’t very American, you tend to get more a fast food places that are owned by Asian owners like Su Xing House, Lee How Fook, Veggie Lovers, New Harmony, and Vegan Tree.

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What makes Philadelphia shine is that almost all independently owned restaurants have lots of vegan options. So many, that I know I would never be able to feature all the restaurants that I have been to that I think are worth mentioning (although, maybe I should try?!) Khyber? My husband loved it. Was some dosas? Go to Philadelphia Chutney Company. Gym Rat? There are options at Fuel. Yes, vegan food seems pretty normal in the city of Philadelphia. So if you have a stubborn friend who doesn’t want an all vegan menu, you can pretty much select anything in the city and get something very good.

Dizengoff falls into this category. Not vegan, but super trendy and very vegan friendly. I first heard about the place from photographer Ted Nghiem (who’s photos are much better than mine) And when meeting up with my friend Chrissy, she wanted to try the place out.

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Dizengoff features seasonal food in a middle eastern style. Naturally hummus and pitas are on the menu year round, but aside from that the menu has never been the same each time I have been. When I first went, Chrissy and I pretty much got the two vegan options (out of 4-5 options) which was a fava bean hummus and a hummus topped with beets. It was hard to choose which was better. The fava bean dip was amazing, but the it was nice to scoop chunks of beets from the second dish.

The second time coming I went with my husband. We were originally planning on eating at The Philadelphia Chutney Company, but we got there too early. We noticed Dizengoff was opened and thought it would be a good place to eat. We got Spicy Cauliflower dish, which was a bowl of hummus with tender cauliflower covered in a spicy sauce. The meal was really filling, and we both filled up by just sharing the plate. All of their hummus dishes comes with a side of pickles, a cucumber salad, and a pita. You can buy an extra pita for $1, which I recommend especially when sharing.

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Things to know about the place? Well, the store in Philadelphia is VERY small. It is a hole in the wall and finding a spot to eat might be hard depending on the time you come. They do take out and you can eat in Rittenhouse Square. Just keep in mind that if you take out and eat in the park that you can’t grab a beer to go. No drinking booze in public in Philly. They have a second location in New York City, though I have never been. I can only assume it is equally as small.

Don’t be afraid to ask which dishes are vegan, since the menu is so small the staff is well aware of what is vegan, vegetarian, or not. I love how small the menu is, because it sometimes forces you to take a chance. I don’t think I would of ever picked out that fava bean dish if there was a huge selection to choose from. And the food is fresh and top quality.

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Book Reviews – Vegan Preganancy

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One of the first concerns I had when going pregnant is how my veganism would fit into it. I’ve heard of many healthy pregnancies with vegan women, or various advice for families that are vegans. But when saying telling family that I was pregnant most asked if the whole vegan thing was healthy or not. So I did some research and tried to find some books to help. Answer? Pretty much I had nothing to worry about.

What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting
Written by Heidi Murkoff
This was a book I found at my local library book sale. For a buck, why the hell not? I clearly knew it wouldn’t be vegan but I figured I could apply the information towards a vegan diet. The book was longer than it really needed to be, and it seemed like there was a lot of repeat information. Don’t eat too much, but more importantly don’t eat too little. The author stresses the role of calcium, which is important but she recommends a dairy overload. I was a little pissed by all her dairy suggestions (aside from my personal opinion that dairy is more cruel than meat) is that she completely ignores the fact that most plant based milks contains just as much calcium as cows milk, many contain more. In her defense that wasn’t the case 10 years ago (which I specifically remember.)

What I found more confusing was her system of tracking nutrition. She stressed the following nutrients: calcium, protein, iron, betacarotene, vitamin d, vitamin b12, and vitamin-c. So to keep track she suggests tracking the servings of food for several different categories: 3 protein, 4 calcium, 3 vitamin c, 3-4 green leafy and yellow fruits/vegetables, 1-2 other vegetables, 6+ whole grains and legumes, iron rich foods (no specified servings), 4 fat/high fat foods. Confused already? I get what the author is doing, dividing fruits and veggies up by how nutritionally dense they are. Plus many of these servings will overlap, for example 1 cup cooked collard greens falls under green leafy veggies, vitamin c, and calcium. Many of the whole grains and legumes also count as half a protein serving. The book gives examples or serving sizes for qualifying foods but since the vegan foods tend to overlap it is kind-of hard to keep track of it all. I personally find it easier to just track the calories on Cronometer, but I know that isn’t always a possibility for people.

Then there are other tips, like how to eat healthy in unhealthy situations, which many vegans already know since they have to know how to eat in non-vegan situations. There is a chapter of foods to avoid, which again mostly doesn’t involve vegans since 90% of the off limit foods are cheese and meats of some sort. 

So what are the good parts of the book? Well it was very reassuring to see that healthy eating when pregnant is pretty much the same as eating healthy in general. Yes there are some larger requirements such as iron and calcium. The book also goes over information about eating after giving birth, giving really interesting information about breastfeeding. I was surprised to find out that you need more calories to breastfeed than when you are pregnant! 

This is a book I have no plans to keep. It is going to be donated right back to the library. It isn’t totally useless. The book does some reassuring that a vegan/vegetarian diet is obtainable, which is good. But I don’t like how it recommends 3 servings of protein when most of the whole grains are half a serving, so in theory getting 6 whole grain servings would fill the 3 protein serving requirements. Okay it doesn’t work out perfectly that way but I get a little annoyed when the author stresses that we get too much protein in our diet, then puts it down as a requirement in her book. Most people are probably not going to count the whole grains as half a serving and cut down on the meat.

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The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book
Written by Reed Mangels
Type in vegan and pregnancy in Amazon and this book pops up. I checked my library and they carried it, so naturally I checked it out. Sadly it was largely not helpful for me, a vegan who is pretty well educated in diet. The book largely focuses on diet breaking down most of the chapters by important vitamin, minerals, and macros that pregnant women should focus on, which are things most vegans learn about- protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron. The only new information is pretty much zinc and iodine, which most vegans don’t think twice about.

Otherwise the author goes through the basics about pregnancy, but doesn’t go into the specifics of how it relates to pregnancy. In fact she doesn’t explain many things. There is a birth plan checklist in the back, and some questions are left unexplained. Do hospitals make you get enemas? What are they shaving?! I am still not really sure if these are optional “hippie-dippie” options or just something all hospitals do. I am going with optional since I haven’t read them ANYWHERE on ANY blog or book, and I’ve read people talking about pooping, puking, and peeing during childbirth/post birth. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That being said this book isn’t garbage. I think it is great for anyone who is looking to go vegan in the middle of pregnancy, or just started to make the transition before conceiving. It will be reassuring to parents that you read the book and your child won’t be iron deficient. As for a veteran vegan, there is no information about what types of treatments or drugs that aren’t vegan, which was what I was really hoping for.

There are some recipes in the back, which again is great for brand new vegans. The recipes are really simple and pretty tasty, but nothing amazing. I think I really liked her recipe for baked beans, but sadly involve a lot of baking (hello hot hot summer.) She also had an interesting recipe for cereal bars, which had a little more sugar than I would like, but that is a different complaint for a different day. Glad I didn’t have to buy this book and was able to just get it from the library.

Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide
Written by Sayward Rebhal
This is my dream book. Google vegan and pregnancy, this is the second book to come up on Amazon. I read the reviews and hesitated to buy it, it didn’t seem to have lots of information. This was very wrong of me. Yes, the book is very short, and very small (physically, it easily fits in a purse.) Sayward is treating you like an adult who probably picked up a few other books about baby making. She touches nutrition very lightly, which I like personally since as my review of What to Expect says, your diet when pregnant is pretty much the same before hand. 

Sayward hits the main vegan questions- what drugs can I take to deal with some of the pregnancy side effects? Oh she is listing BRANDS! Thank god! No joke, I read her blurb about heartburn, and saw her comment on tums, left the house, bought a container. She touches the topics of what treatments are vegan, and gives tips that she and other vegan parents had done. She talks about pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding, and raising children. 

Downfalls? Well, the book isn’t very long, which is both nice and flawed. Yes, it made it an easy book to tell my husband to read through for any question family members might have. But I would recommend taking this book with another more clinical/thorough pregnancy book like What to Expect When Expecting. And since the book is so small it can easily get outdated. Those name brand vegan drugs could add non-vegan ingredients to them. And I know one bit of outdated information was on vitamin D. Since the book was written before the discovery of vitamin D3 that can be synthesized in a vegan form with lichen, Sayward says that all D3 isn’t vegan, and says the brand Garden of Life prenatal vitamins aren’t vegan. Since the book is so short, I doubt it will be updated with this new information.

Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Review

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Shop on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

I have always been a big fan of Indian cuisine. I loved how it was very vegetable heavy and you had lots of different options for meals without meat. But as I went vegan I soon discovered how many of those vegetarian dishes were full of dairy. So I was happy when I found the food blog Vegan Richa. Not only did she have some authentic Indian dishes, all vegan, she also had some fun Western/fusion dishes. So when Richa Hingle said she was releasing a cookbook all about Indian food, I knew I had to get it.

Photos

I love the photos that are in this book. It is pretty important to me to have photos of food that are not traditionally made in your area *cough* Vegan Eats World *cough* The Asian Vegan Kitchen *cough* If you are buying this cookbook you probably know a little about Indian food, but not a lot. And Richa’s photos does help paint a picture of what to expect with textures, serving, etc. 

And I can’t stress enough how much this book needs lots of photos. The names of the recipes aren’t too appealing. Richa describes the dish for what it is, but let’s face it, how many different lentils can she use to keep your attention in the dal section? The photos gives a visual that stimulates the reader to pick it and make it. 

Set-up

Nothing too unique about how this book is set up. But here is something I really liked about it. Richa explains why she made the book in the very beginning. Many times I would find this a little pointless with a vegan cookbook as it comes off preachy after awhile. But I think it is important because her book is about a specific type of cooking- Indian food. Some people might pick this book up without seeing it is vegan, so the introduction can be inspiring to someone.

Otherwise it is the same ol’ same ol’ deal. There is a large section about all the different foods you will need, explaining all the Indian specific ingredients, then moving to vegan specific foods. She divides up the recipes in a way that makes it easy to plan a traditional Indian dinner. Then she has the index in the back, which is very easy to use if you are looking for specific ingredients (something I like a lot!)

Writing

Richa isn’t the best writer out there. But as a trade off she is short and to the point. She writes directions that are easy to follow. She also describes various indian staples in a quick no fuss manor. My only disappointment is that since she is so quick to describe things she glosses over the ingredients descriptions in the beginning a little too fast for my taste. But she makes up for it in the recipes, and gives a lot of details of different ways to make a recipe, where they are from, and how it may vary from region to region.

As for grammar, I think I only spotted one or two spelling errors. Nothing huge, and hopefully was fixed in the next pressing. The grammatically errors were minor and didn’t make the things confusing on what the ingredients or recipe needed. I think there was one case where a spice wasn’t listed in the steps. But Richa is so organized with the ingredients, ALWAYS listing them in order of use and grouping them by steps, that it was easy to figure out when to use the missing ingredient, which I think is much more important.

Overview

I can not stress how much I love this book. I got my copy for Christmas, and accidentally had two people get it for me. My Mother took the extra one and found out that she loved the book too. I can only hope that she gives lentils another try because I am falling in love with the potentials of dals. They are so cheap and are very versatile.

What I also love about this book is that there is a lot of ingredient overlap. Many cookbooks that focus on a specific cuisine or cooking style can sometimes fall into the trap of requiring ingredients that are only used in one or two different ingredients. I have many of these ingredients in my cupboard, granted I have a well stocked pantry. And if I don’t have it, I have found a few other recipes that use that lentil that I had to buy, or whatever spice I had to buy.

I love this book and I think it is one of my new favorites. I will probably use it as much as Isa Does It since it uses a wide variety of foods and they are simple to make. None of the dishes are particularly hard, and usually don’t take long to make. Some take a little longer to make, but usually has a lot of down time. I recommend this to anyone for weeknight dinners, and anyone who loves Indian food and wants to make some at home.

Recipes

This cookbook I tried my best to pick at least one recipe from each section of the book to show all the variety that is available. If there was a recipe available online legally, I left a link for people to try it out before buying the book.

Continue reading

Pregnancy – Weeks 16-17

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Cravings/Aversions

When I was trying to get pregnant I was convinced that I wouldn’t get any food aversions or morning sickness, because I LOVE everything. I’ve been getting cravings but largely ignore them. I do my grocery shopping once a week and that’s it thank you. My husband is much too practical to agree to grabbing a pizza on a whim, or run to grab a pint of ice cream. But I do have to say, I have been noticing cravings.

Sugar is back on my radar… sort of. I am still kind-of not digging packages sweets, too sweet you know? But I am craving fruit, but feel bad buying strawberries and eating the whole container in one sitting (mostly for not sharing.) I am crossing my fingers that this craving will last till the end of the month when my CSA starts getting watermelon, cantaloupes, and we can pick pound and pounds of peaches. 

Food Aversions? Hm… mediocre food? I skipped my packed lunch for a clif bar because of soba noodles soaked up too much sauce and was bloated. But I am not sure if that is more disgusting rather than pregnancy. I don’t want to cook anything but never want to eat the easy to make food, like pasta. I also have noticed that if I have too acidic of drinks like powder mixed teas and lemonades I get acid reflux. They probably aren’t good for me anyways.

Baby Music

My phone apps say that my lil bb can now hear, and that they can hear me sing. So far the only songs I’ve caught myself singing have been Chop Suey by System of a Down, Down with the Sickness sung by Richard Cheese, and I Wanna Be Loved By You sung by Shiina Ringo. All very different songs, collectively is a poor representation of what I listen to, and largely inappropriate for children.

Worse thing is that I am trying to think of songs that I know and will sing, and most are not happy. I mean anyone know of Fiona Apple’s most recent album? Love singing it, totally cynical about love.

Kicks?

I think I can feel the baby kick- but it could just be gas. So hard to tell the difference. I mean I know I am feeling something that is a kick, I’ll just wait till I get bigger kicks and then use that to judge which ones are kicks now.

Tummy Status

Anyone stand in front of the mirror and flex your abs, seeing how tiny your waist can get then proceed to hunch over and let all of your tummy hang? Get a super hot and super not contrast going on? Nope, just me? Well, I’ve still been doing that. I’ve noticed my abs actually squeezes in a good bit, but I think my abs get tired by the end of the night and my tummy grows out by the end of the night.

I keep hearing from my Mom about how not pregnant I look, but the other day I noticed my belly button is a little more shallow. Yeah I know my belly button will be poking out, but it is weird to see the slow transition. Weight gain? 5 pounds roughly.

Baby Animals

Most pregnancy apps and books compare baby sizes to fruit, and I think that is just the worst comparisons. I mean a lemon is round, people are kind-of a cylinder with wiggly bits. So I was pretty happy when I found out my one app compares baby sizes to various animals, and I am loving it. Week 16 my baby was roughly the size of a Philippine tarsier… which is so friggin adorable! You know, in an ugly opossum sort of way. When I found this out I texted Alexa this photo with the caption “LOOK AT MY BB!” It was first thing that she saw when her plane from Spain landed. Great way to be welcomed to the US.

What about week 17? Well I have a little chipmunk in my tum-tum. I told Jon this and now he has been eyeing up the chipmunks that run around the area. It makes me a little less mad that they keep nibbling all the plants in my garden. Bad news? While driving to work I almost ran over a chipmunk, which made me feel like the world’s worst mother. Note to self- my child isn’t ACTUALLY a chipmunk.

Clothes

Still in the awkward in-between phase. I put on my sailor dress today and it was… uh…. tight. It has gotten to the point I might cave in and buy a pair of maternity shorts from Target this weekend. So far I haven’t worn any of my special preggers clothes other than my old vintage mod dress, and my brand new sports bra. I might have to get new bras and I hate getting them. So much missing money in my wallet for something not many people see.

Sunday Reading 07-04-15 #68

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Another day late to the game but I guess that is fine. I was getting a little bit of cabin fever last Saturday night, and maybe a little sad that we never did anything really special for my birthday or our anniversary (I said we were going to have a nice dinner together, but it ended up being an emergency at my hubs work and he pretty much worked all night T__T) So we headed into Philadelphia to go to the art museum not noticing there was a big event going on that night at the oval  (the park right in front of the museum) or that it was the first Sunday of the month so admission was pay what you want, so there was a long line snaking around the museum. Luckily we are members and got to by pass the line *phew* 

As for today, feels a little like I’m trapped. Most stores are closed for the 4th of July, and Jon’s back hurts too much to do much. But I guess I shouldn’t complain since tomorrow I will be driving all the way out to Intercourse, PA. Flattering name right? Well, it is very close to Lancaster, which means it has a very high Amish population. For international readers The Amish are a religous group that live a very simple life. From an outsiders point of view, they live in a time capsule, the don’t drive cars, they don’t use health insurance, don’t drink, still wear traditional clothing, etc, etc. But it isn’t as simple as they don’t use “modern technology.” Whenever new inventions come about, they often decided whether or not to adopt it by deciding how it can enrich or tear apart their community. ANYWAYS, this is a long way for me to say I need to buy some cheap fabric for a quilt I am working on. Normally good quality cotton fabric can sell for $14 a yard, and in Amish country you can get it for $6 a yard. Much cheaper right? 

Anyways, hopefully I will post updates on my quilt making, because I think it should be fun. I haven’t made a quilt, like ever. But I figure how hard can it actually be? I mean it is just cutting and sewing straight lines right? Famous last words right? XD Anyways, here are some articles from this week.

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How Years of Macho Marketing is Killing Men

This is a nice article summarizing the concept of gendered foods. I posted one about how food targeted for women are pretty much made to starve us. While men get foods that are pretty much killing them. It is an interesting read, and I am sure most vegans have had that major eye roll moment when a man shuts down veganism because it isn’t macho enough. 

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Samantha Bee is going where Jon Stewart and John Oliver never did

I think this article hits on the nail what I really like about Samantha Bee’s new show Full Frontal. At first I hated but loved what she was doing, but I argued it didn’t give an argument for people who apposed her views. But this article argues that Samantha Bee does alienate people with different views from her, but she holds her viewers to a higher standard. After watching some of her sketches I do feel much more motivated to actually do something about the situation at hand, or to at least get a conversation going with people I know. Not to mention, I feel a little like we don’t want to offend anyone with apposing political views that we never talk about it period. Maybe not giving a damn about how “neutral” you are shouldn’t matter? I am not sold on the idea that we should give up on trying to be impartial, but I am curious on what other readers think.

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The oldest library on Earth was started by a woman, and finally everyone can visit it

I just found this generally interesting. I love libraries. I love to browse, books, movies, whatever. And this looks like such a cool library, the place looks amazing, and hell, I would come there just to read a book I already own! And I found the history pretty interesting as well.

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What the Amish Can Teach Us About Modern Medicine

Since I talked a little about the Amish I thought of this article that I debated sharing a few weeks (months?) ago. Pretty much the article talks about how the Amish community survives with no health insurance in modern America. It is pretty interesting, using a mix of self sufficiency, maintaining good health, haggling, and community support.

Outfits I’ve Been Digging

I don’t normally write posts like this but lately I’ve been looking around for some fashion inspiration. For the first time, in a very long time, I am shopping for clothing. Mostly maternity clothing, and it has been an interesting adventure trying to find maternity clothing that are cheap, but ethical. Which pretty much leading me down the path of making my own.

The fun part of making your own pattern is that the sky’s the limit, and you can draw inspiration from anything. Which is leading me down a rabbit hole of general inspiration of other fashion blogs, and is getting me a little into the fashion blogging spirit. Who knows? Maybe I will be posting my maternity fashions with tips? But for now, let me share what I’ve been digging lately- maternity or otherwise.

I am in love with Kaylah’s new sunglasses. They look so cute with her bright green hair… *swoon.* I really want to grab a pair but right now I need to get my eyes reexamined to get a new prescription, and therefore more contacts. So for now I am stuck with my glasses. I suggest checking out her post because the dress is pretty cute too.

I sincerely hope I am not the only one obsessed with the site Advanced Style. I might not have the most over the top style, but I do have a certain degree of who gives a fuck attitude with what other people wear. And I hate the clothing that is given to women over 40. Even my boss loves to joke that she doesn’t want to “dress like an old lady,” but um…. I politely say she does dress her age. That is why I love this outfit. It is something even a 20-something would need a lot of guts to wear. I love it to pieces, but let’s face it, I pee way too often to wear a jumper/romper. But I can dream right?

Speaking of jumpers, I am in love with the ones that Tracee Ellis Ross has been wearing. Everytime I flip channels and see her on a game show, she is wearing something amazing. Just to give you a little snippet, I love this silver lame jumper! It looks so comfy but fabulous with a pair of heels. Heck, I would wear it over big preggers belly! And sorry guys, you have to WATCH the video to see the jumper, I couldn’t find a photo of it, and it isn’t in the screencap.

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Talk about reflective disco ball bellies- I JUST bought this shirt from H&M. I had the link saved for the blog post and when I checked it out today I saw that it is on sale for $13. I couldn’t beat that price, so I took the plunge and bought it with some preggers jeans and another shirt (that’s a little more casual.) I have to say that I am slowly working on buying some pregnancy clothing since my belly is starting to get a little big. I can get through most of the summer (I think) so I am trying to hold off, but I am still trying to take advantage of sales.

I am not a big fan of this blogger, but I found this outfit on Pinterest. And I just want to ask- why isn’t there more tent dresses at maternity stores?! Outside of making my large belly reflective, I have only one fashion dream- and that is to dress just like Rosemary’s Baby. I think dresses are best thing that women have. In the summer we get free air space flowing on everything below. We only need to pick ONE thing to wear with a dress (…. it’s the dress), none of this matching a shirt with shorts deal. And it is SUPER CUTE. I am in the process of constructing my own tent dress patterns because I don’t know why this isn’t more of a thing, but whatever. I can also scout Etsy and totally embarrass my husband with my fashion choices.

One of my favorite thing about fashion blogs is that you can view so many different types of fashion choices. You move past the mainstream options like preppy, girly, and whatever you see in a fashion magazine. Nope you see real people taking normal clothes and making it their own. I am alway amazed at how Kaylah from the Dainty Squid takes clothing that looks blah on the rack, and puts her own punk/counter culture twist to it. (note first fashion inspiration.) Now I’ve found Sumeyye from Modcloth’s Style Gallery and love how she mixes vintage clothing and makes it her own. I really hope Sumeyye continues fashion blogging because I love what she has posted so far.

And finally, Emileigh from Flashback Summer recently posted a series about her new Maasai inspired outfit. She takes a lot of care talking about why her outfit is similar to the African people. Then posted two entries about how she made the skirt and made her blouse. Both are pretty awesome. The blouse is so cute, I like the longer length of sleeves… for short sleeves that is. I just think it makes them look classier.

My Vegan Restaurant: Home Grown Cafe

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Home Grown Cafe

126 East Main Street, Newark, DE 19711
website | facebook | twitter

When my parents first moved to Delaware one of the first things I did was scope out restaurants in the area that I could visit (and review). It turns out that downtown Newark has a lot of vegan friendly options, Chipotle, Bahn Mi Boy, Honeygrow, Brew Ha Ha (carried Dottie’s Donuts), and Home Grown Cafe. In fact after looking at the menu, I almost immediately wanted to eat at Home Grown Cafe.

They have a VERY vegan friendly menu, in fact you can almost get anything off of their menu. How? They have a bunch of different options and you have the choice of “protein.” They have different price points, most expensive beef, mid range are fish and shrimp, a little cheaper are options like chicken, pork, lamb, and burger. The cheapest? The vegan options my friends! *insert shocked face emoji* And you don’t get stuck with whimpy veggies, you get a choice of portobello mushrooms, falafels, veggie burger, seitan, or tofu. To make it even easier, there are *’s indicating vegetarian options and **’s indicating vegan or vegan modified options. 

When I went with my Mother is ordered their deep fried cauliflower with their Korean gochujang sauce. There were the two little stars so I mentioned I was vegan so to not include the sauce. The waiter made a note on our menu and assured that they could make the sauce vegan. I didn’t touch it since I like my food spicy but my Mother thought it was pretty tasty. As for the cauliflower? It was pretty amazing. I loved how they were too mushy and perfectly fried. I wish they did a better job coating the cauliflower with sauce. If I got it again I would ask that they make sure everything is well coated, and I probably would order the double order of both the Korean style AND buffalo wing style.

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The main dish? I got their bibimbap, which I totally regret. I should of known better to order something so distinctly Korean from a restaurant that serves so many different things. The seitan was amazing, and so was the sauce. But there wasn’t enough sauce for my taste, and the rice was long grain. I know that the restaurant probably makes only one kind-of rice for all their dishes, but something about getting that type of rice in a bibimbap seems wrong. 

I would love to come back and try one of their other meals to redeem them from the bibimbap. But it might be a long time till I go again. Overall I like this place as they try and serve bar food but have everything be fresh. My only complaint is the lack of sauce, that was being used. This is a place I probably would go with another vegan since there are so many options to choose from. Finger foods, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, main courses, the works. There are  lots drinks available, and there are occasionally live performances as well!