Tag Archives: the full helping

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Hello everyone! I am a little late for posting my Sunday Reading post, but oh well. I am good at ignoring self made schedules. I’ve slowly gaining some control in my life again. The last two months have felt a little bit like I had been running in slow motion. I would try my hardest to get certain things done but next thing I would know, hours would go by and I didn’t seem to get much done. But I am finally working on some posts that I started drafts of a while ago, and reading tons of books that has been on my to read list for awhile.

Tomorrow is my birthday and this weekend my Mother and Father in Law invited my husband and I over for dinner. I might of specifically requested for certain vegan meals, and my Father in Law made me the pad thai dish from The PPK. It was pretty yummy, and made the perfect amount for 4 people. My Mother in Law surprised me with vegan chocolate cupcakes. Apparently she found out of the recipe from Mayim Bialik‘s appearance on The Rachel Ray Show. The cupcakes were pretty yummy, and what I like about them is that it is easy for non-vegans to make. You can check out the recipe over here. There was some confusion from her end of which tofu to use (which took awhile for me to figure out too) but the frosting still worked out.

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What’s Behind Slovenia’s Love Affair with a Salamander?

I forget where I’ve first heard about the olm, but it is a cave dwelling salamander that has no eyes, and is only found in a cave system in Slovenia. They are really interesting and beautiful looking. So when I saw this article on my news feed I got pretty excited. The New Yorker talks about the cultural investment the Slovenian people have with this salamander, along with their folklore.

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33 Rescued Circus Lions Airlifted from Peru to South Africa

Here is some happy vegan news! A lot of people argue what would happen to all the animals if we adopted a vegan diet. Although it seems unlikely that the world would go vegan overnight (causing an over population of farm animals) some more complicated cases are wild animals bred in captivity. It is nice to see wild animals get closest to living in the wild that they can. It takes time, money, and effort from humans, but I think the results are worth it.

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Are Humans Smarter Than Animals? Honestly Who Knows?

I love this article. I get very frustrated when we talk about animals and intelligence, because it gets complicated. I remember joking about my cat was smarter than my nieces when they were little tiny babies. Yeah humans are suppose to be smart, but my cat has object permanence, does your baby? Joking aside, there are many things that animals do everyday that is amazing. There is even a squid that can change it’s color AND control it’s shadows. We might not be able to comprehend what that would feel like, how much active thought process does a squid go through to control it’s color changing? It is hard for us to think of walking as something we need to learn since we learned it at such a young age, but it is part of our intelligence.

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After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

This article is one that sums up most of the body love movement. I have heard some crazy fat-phobic people say things like “just eat less food,” and hey I understand where some people come from. Weight and health are two things that are deeply embedded in our minds. But one thing is for sure, weight is more complicated than we think. We are finding that weight can be controlled by more than just calories, including epigenetic, gut flora, and much more. We get so set into the mindset that our weight is “our fault” that when I tell some people about these studies they defend their original thoughts on other things. I remember citing a study that said that people from the 80s were thinner with the same amount of exercise and calories than people today. What did I hear? About whole fucking grains. Really? I then asked that person if they ate more whole grains in the 80s than they do today, answer no. So this is a much more high profile study that shows that rapid weight loss might be more complicated than “sucking it up” and having lots of willpower.

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Making an Informed Transition to Veganism

I am a little bad about helping people with nutritional information. Veganism is easy, really, but it does require us to rethink the rules of nutrition. We have so much programed in our minds as kids- x amount of protein (meat), x amount of grains, x amount of dairy, x amount of fruit, etc. But things get really complicated with a plant based diet. This might partly because a lot of these foods merge into the different categories. And I think since long time vegans get so use to this new way of thinking we tend to ignore newbies, who might not know all the basics. I am always stressing that I still taking vitamins, largely vitamin B12, but still pointing out that meat eaters can be low on the vitamin since animals don’t make the vitamin. It’s created by bacteria. 

Gena has written a great outline of things to look for in a vegan diet. You might need to think about your protein sources for the first year, but it’ll become second nature. Concerned about calcium? Pay attention and you will eventually learn enough information that you won’t need to think twice about your daily choices.


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So our computer turned off and wouldn’t turn back on last week. So my husband was extremely stressed by this since we could technically afford a new computer, but it wouldn’t be the best thing for our wallets. Not to mention the computer we currently have is really sweet. Luckily it wasn’t that bad, we just had a bad memory stick and the wonderful Mac Store scanned all our memory to find out which ones were the bad ones. So we have half the RAM… but we still have 16 gigs, and I don’t notice any difference in speed. So I’ve been spending most of the week trying to catch up on blogs and articles that I’ve been wanting to read from earlier.

I am also starting to feel the spring cleaning bug. I am cleaning out my garden of all the stones so we can start planting some flowers. It might take awhile though, we have SO MANY stones in our small garden space. I am also wanting to start painting out bedroom. It was suppose to be the first room we redo along with our powder room. And now we have settled down and probably will have the time to actually start making our house FEEL like ours. And maybe even start to organize our framed art in a manner that makes sense. Most of the stuff is just smacked on random walls, partly because I was trying to wait until we painted the rooms. So maybe there will be pretty pictures of the newly decorated house in the future.

I also was able to hang out with Alexa last Monday and we will be having THREE new vegan restaurants to feature. Two in central Jersey and one from Delaware. And I just found out of a new all vegan restaurant in Collingswood, so I am pumped to try that out sometimes soon with Alexa or my beau. But Alexa started talking about how she is trying hit certain macros and I thought I would try as well. Well, I am never as close to the protein requirements that the one website calculated for me, but it has been getting me thinking about my calorie intake and protein intake. I definitely do not think this is a way of eating I would enjoy continuing, but it is an interesting way to think since I know there are some people trying to hit a large amount of proteins.

Anyways, I’ve been keeping all these articles in the same post draft to share with you guys. I hope you’ll find them as interesting as I did.

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Mermaid Ivory Stirs Controversy Over How Extinct Species are Studied

This is an interesting article talking about how a scientist who could of possibly discovered expanded territory of an extinct species. How? Well he used DNA from a knife handle that was made from mermaid ivory. I found this article really interesting as it talks about a old animal product that I’ve never heard the term for. Mermaid ivory is the tusks and bones of sea mammals like walruses and the like. It is an interesting article about the flaws in this man’s methods.

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Chow Down on a Plastic Eating Fungus

Part art insulation, part science. This is an interesting look at a potential answer to the question of what to do with all the plastic. This fungus breaks down the plastic, but the scientists took it a step further, they make meals from them. The article has two videos but has a link to their website to show some of the special tools they made to eat these fungi eggs.

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Gastropod: The Maple Boom

Gastropod is starting to become my favorite podcast. Yes, I like many others but I love how much research and technical skills go into their podcasts. But remember that review of maple water I did in the past? I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but I wouldn’t help but think there IS a bunch of benefits of maple water over coconut water (mostly economical and environmental). But at the end it made me want to pick up some more for a cocktail! This is a great episode about the all American maple tree with interesting insight for the future of the maple industry.

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In Flint, Mich., Moving The Farmers Market Drew More Poor Shoppers

A great NPR article about how a farmers market moved in Flint. It moved to a lower income area that was closer to a bus stop and surprise, people started to come. I hear a lot of people complain poor people eat garbage, and that is an unfair judgement. I’ve been to low priced markets, and sometimes they just don’t have many fresh foods. This is proof that lower income families are happy to get healthy fresh foods.

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Maybe It’s Time to Take Animal Feelings Seriously

I would say I am very interested in science. In fact sometimes I wonder why I didn’t try and study more biology, then I remember it is because I just didn’t feel like dealing with animal poop. Granted there are lots of questionable way to deal with animals to research them, but this opinion piece is pleading for scientists to start accepting animals have feelings. It seems pretty silly but I am always a little shocked to hear scientists dismiss animal behaviors, saying it is naive to assume animal think like humans. I always think it would be naive to think they are completely void of feelings.

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Women’s products cost more. Here’s how to avoid the “pink tax.”

There is a lot in this article I already knew, but it introduced me to the term “pink tax.” I do get comments from my husband how some of the things I buy are so expensive, which is funny since I don’t think I buy particularly expensive things it is just expensive compared to what he gets. It is a great article that makes you stop and think before you buy something.

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What no one talks about when they extol the benefits of fasting

Love, love, loving this article! If you are half aware of the body love movement or are aware of various eating disorders you might of read a bunch of people who are totally against fasting. And I know where they are coming from, and mostly agree. But there are various studies that show that fasting limiting calorie intake could be good for our health. This article does a great job explaining what fasting is, what type of fasting they are talking about, the short comings of the studies. A nice read for anyone who is interested in dietary health but don’t want all the worthless hype of fasting.

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SNAP Challenge Recap

Gena from The Full Helping had to take the SNAP challenge for her nutrition class. The SNAP challenge is to live off of $40 for a week per person to simulate relying on food stamps. Gena does a great job talking about the challenges other people faced, and talks about how the challenge isn’t accurate. It is very much worth the read and it thoughtfully written.


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Alexa is ready for the snow!

Hi everyone. I feel like I am failing blogging in 2016. The main two reasons is that one week I went to go visit my Grandfather in Florida. He hasn’t been in the greatest health lately, and even has been in a hospital for most of December with a bad case of clostridium difficile, which I read about in this article about feces enemas. Anyways, we booked a trip for the weekend to visit him once he got better. Let me tell you that trip was EXHAUSTING! I kid you not when I say it was non-stop socializing affair. It also was a humbling experience, I am so picky about the quality of my food but I had to take a deep breath and think about why I was there. I did NOT do any research about vegan friendly places. And I messed up. I eat out so little I forget what things are usually not vegan, like onion rings. But mistakes will be made, and I am just glad I don’t need to eat (crappy) salad again for lunch AND dinner.

All week I was trying to catch up on things from the previous weekend, and then the weekend after I went into NYC to celebrate Alexa’s birthday. It was tons of fun, except the karaoke bar that Alexa booked didn’t put in her reservation for the right day. So we had to book it to someplace different that wasn’t BYOB. Our bottles of soju got opened, and confiscated. No big deal, it was like $10. I was tipsy, and doing fine, then when we leave the guy hands me an open bottle of soju back… which was nice but I had no idea what to do with it. I was drunk enough to think chugging it would be a good idea. Uh… wrong. I quickly got super drunk, I am so glad Jon was with me because I don’t remember much from that night. And I had the worst hangover all Sunday, it even lingered into Monday morning. So let’s just say I was pretty frustrated with my very stupid decision. I should of asked that nice guy to just dump the stuff.

So I have a bunch of articles that I wanted to share over the course of several weeks. So sorry that the list is so long. But I need to break the silence on the blog. I hope everyone had a better weekend than me! I will also have some reviews on some restaurants from Disney and NYC.

Health

A cool study on the effects of ultra marathoners

Women’s health is being ignored because of fat-shaming

I have to agree with this article- don’t join a gym.

I was thinking about making an exercise post like this, but this person got it so right.

People are surprised that I am not anti-GMOs. This article kind-of breaks down why, it is hard to define GMOs.


Extreme health diets are not new. Not saying everyone doesn’t have a grain of truth to their statements, but always use your brain. There is a lot of room food various types of food in your diet.

Veganism

Gina from the Full Helping has some great tips on how to transition to a vegan lifestyle

Scientists Have Found Evidence That Fish Have Feelings Too

There is a Buddhist monk in South Korea making the most amazing looking vegan food

This is an interesting article about some of the not so great representation of veganism.

Other Stuff

If you already know that tardigrades don’t care, then you will find this article about tardigrade stealing DNA cool

I have totally forgotten to share this awesome blog post about ethical fashion by Annika.

Here are some badass women you probably didn’t hear about in 2015

This house is crazy awesome

Rolling Stones released this bizarro interview with David Bowie and William Burroughs


This video makes me so sad to see all this wasted food.


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It if funny reading blogs and hearing people be bummed out about the cooler weather. I am loving it. I love layering clothing, I like snuggling with blankets, and I love a big bowl of soup. Plus I am getting excited about the holidays since we are probably able to enjoy it a lot more this year. I am no longer working with retail, though the framing business does get a little more jobs during Christmas. So all the holiday planning is happening, which is a little less stressful. 

I am also starting to think about what to make for Thanksgiving dinner, which is stressful because I started to plot it in my head then my Mother In Law was like “oh I can make this!” and it brought my plans crashing down. Not because it is us competing to make food, but because I forget there are certain foods that people expect in Thanksgiving foods. Which makes me think, does anyone have any good carrot side dishes? My Father in Law LOVES carrots, but it is just cut boiled carrots, and no one wants them. I don’t think any of us like sweet carrots, so that rules out orange juice glazed carrots. If anyone has any ideas, please share!

Today is all about catching up on posts, and getting a few things done around the house. Yesterday was, ugh, weird. My husband had me buzz his hair and the machine kept making a painfully loud noise. Sure it was working but it sounds like it might explode mid-cut. This led to us fighting right before spending the day with his parents. This worked out in the end, but I think if our hair cutting buzzer whatever you call it breaks again, I am throwing in the hair cutting towel. I don’t know, it just seems wasteful if we have to buy a machine every three years to cut one person’s hair. Though I did get Jon to agree to cut his hair with me next time I make an appointment at Talking Headz. So that will get a post here at some point.

Food

What is neurogastronomy? A new branch of science is emerging on how to study food.

Some of you might of read a study that found animal and human DNA in veggie dogs. This article from Vox pretty much reassures us to not freak out

I would really like to make this black bean cake. It just looks so ooey gooey and yummy!

Apparently there is a growing demand for natural dyes. I have mixed feelings. Yes, natural coloring is better but at the same time it feels weird looking for plant sources for something superficial as coloring.

I am not huge on The Kitchn recipes since most are not vegan, but this one with beans and greens look pretty tasty.

I love gingerbread and pumpkin flavored things! So I am excited about these pumpkin gingerbread spice muffins! She uses a gluten-free mix, but I might do a blend of regular flour with other flours. 

Maybe since my husband and I have been watching the Great British Bake Off, we have been more interested in sweets. This sweet potato cake looks super nice, maybe something to make for a Christmas get together?

I love learning about movements for urban gardening. There are a bunch springing up teaching lower income family how to garden, teaching farming to at risk teens, and more. Bite Size Vegan does a quick video covering some movements that are more exclusively vegan.

Veganism

I found this article about how most coconuts are actually harvested by monkeys! It is an interesting read since the article basically come to the conclusion that isn’t enough information about the topic. I have to say that it doesn’t look like direct animal abuse, but then begs the question, are coconuts vegan?

There is a vegan soccer team? Okay that is a little misleading, more like a stadium that serves vegan food for a team.

Need another reason not to each chicken? How about adult diapers? Yup, this website is all about human rights for people working in the meat industry.

Health

I think I might of posted an article about how honey is just as bad a high fructose sugar, and now I have to bust my own bubble with this article. *sigh* I can’t argue with it because it is true, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about tests, and if anything the study just is proving that the SUGAR in honey is just as bad as high fructose corn syrup, which is still important I think. 

I’ve fallen behind on my workout routine, and this article about the connection between lifting weights in brain function gives me even more motivation to get my shit together.

I spent time when I should of been working (at work) reading about sports bras. It is surprisingly interesting.

Winter Coats

I know that winter coats that don’t have wool can be a hard task. Well, I was browsing on Modcloth an found some cute coats. I love coats, I would love to have 10 different ones to choose from but I know that is impractical, and I still many pre-vegan wool ones. I would donate them, but some have ripped lining or are too cute. I have one vegan winter coat, and it is actually just a blue version of this coat. I love how bright it is, especially when I lived in the city and everyone just had a black coat. Having a colored coat is cool since most of the time you can only see your jeans or black leggings underneath. There is a fuchsia coat by the same company that is vegan as well.

If you are looking for something retro try out this plaid cape! I am thinking about writing a post about getting hand-me downs and thrifting and how it falls in a vegan lifestyle. Sometimes cool throwback things get you to buy vegan.

Any EGL fans out there? Well there are three different cute coats you can get in the clothing style! I love the style but I am much too lazy to wear it, and too cheap to put together an outfit. This coat looks pretty cute, and it even has some little heart pockets! The winnipeg coat has a little bit of faux fur on it! It comes in a pastel blue with white fur or red with black fur. Both are cute, and I kind-of want one. Ugh! I want those and the yellow coat!


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I hope everyone had a happy Halloween. I think Alexa and I sure did. Alexa had to work but still got dress up as Ariel. Then changed for a spooky Halloween party. This year Jon and I wanted to the whole give away candy thing in our new home. We got a good amount of kids. While waiting we made vegan mummy dogs, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes (scary to kids). We watched episodes of Simpson’s Tree House of Terror, seasons 2 to 7. When we finished we watched Ichabod Crane and The Brood. OMG, was The Brood good! I know who I’m going to be for Halloween next year- Nola!

Anyways, we have a big list of articles, probably because I’ve been all about Apple News. I’ve been reading so much more. I probably should take a break because some days I think I do feel a little overwhelmed by facts.

Food:

Not sure how many people will be able to read this, but New York Times wrote a profile on Smarties. I loved them since I was a kid but I love that they are vegan friendly. They also are based in New Jersey and Liz Dee is vegan herself! So I really try and support the company!

I really want to make these!

The New Yorker NAILS the almond milk versus cows milk debate. Okay not all the points! But brings up an important one about our food. We need variety, and we need to know how to handle our waste!

I first heard of savory oats from Oh She Glow’s cookbook with her red lentil oats. Now The Full Helping gives a lot of suggestions, which I should try taking up, especially for pre-run breakfast.

Two good videos from Eat Your Kimchi- one is a 3D chocolate maker! OMG gotta make these chocolates. The other is a dakgalbi recipe which makes me want to veganize it.

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Spoopy Reads:

The New Yorker profiles several different black cats.

Alexa and I were super happy to try these out! They are like creamsicles.

Veganism:

I love this article by The Atlantic talking about taxidermy displays. I feel a similar feeling about zoos. There is this weird contradiction that zoos and taxidermy isn’t helping the animals directly and can be cruel. But at the same time it sparks interest and gets the average person concerned about the well being of the animals. And there is the fact that animals are beautiful, and it is amazing to see an animal that isn’t native to your area and marvel at it’s existence. Anyways, I hope you enjoy that read.

Apparently parts of India are banning cow meat and it isn’t making vegans happy. They have excellent reasons why this is problematic, which is also a reason why I feel like if you ditch meat, you need to ditch dairy as well.

One of my husband’s favorite Simpson’s episodes is the one where Lisa becomes a vegetarian, here is an article praising it.

This episode of Bite Size Vegan made me really happy. She has been trying to document the history of veganism, and found that people have been making the same arguments over time. If you have the time, I suggest watching it. The quotes are really beautiful.

I love learning new “ethnic” foods that are made vegan. This one is a cinnamon spiced milk drink from Puerto Rico.

Don’t go to these type of wildlife attractions!

Health:

I totally back up the Body Positivity Movement. Yeah, I think there is a link between obesity and health, but I think it is more complicated than “I’m fat therefore I’m sick.” I don’t like when people just chalk it up to “dieting” because there are some health habits that we picked up on in the USA that might be BETTER for our health overall (for example we consume more whole grains!) So I was happy to see yet another study that supports that there is more to weight than calories and calories out.

There is an interesting study focusing on the amount of words spoken to a child, and how it effects their ability to learn.