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!
I’ve been on and off again vegan long enough to see the calcium in milk shift. Like any young female vegan, I got a lot of pressure about my protein and calcium intake. I spent a lot of the time reading the back of soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, or whatever new milks were coming out. Back then brands varied widely.
Older brands were completely unfortified. Whatever calcium was present in soy beans was available in the milk. But more mainstream brands would add fortified calcium to the soy milk to match regular dairy milk. I remember being advised to drink the flaky bits on the bottom since that was the added calcium.
So your first doctor is right. If you made soy milk at home, it wouldn’t have as much calcium as cow’s milk.
“But Jen,” you might say “soy milk and almond milk containers say it has 50% more calcium than dairy milk!” And you would be right. Most major non-dairy milk brands have taken up the practice of adding more calcium than normal milk. This might be a way to appeal more to older women, who are particularly concerned about osteoporosis and hot flashes (which soy has been found to help keep in check)
Then you get into the whole world of whether or not fortified vitamins are bad for your health. Most of us know that fortified nutrition doesn’t absorb as well as getting from a natural source. Some people think it is down right dangerous for your health to process vitamins in an unnatural state since it causes unnecessary work for your body. I believe you should always strive for natural sources but I don’t think you’re doing your body harm by drinking fortified vitamins.
But if you are concerned about calcium, start being concerned about your vitamin D levels. The absorption of calcium is aided by vitamin D. The best vegan source is just getting some sun, 15 minutes a day is all you need. There are supplements that you can take as well if you find that you have a vitamin D deficiency (Alexa takes Vitamin D pills because she works inside all day as an artist and store manager. Be sure to get outside kids – your body loves the sunshine!). Just check the label for gelatin and fish in the ingredients.
Still worried about fortified calcium? Some soy milks are out there with only the naturally occurring calcium, Eden Soy being one of them. There are lots of foods rich in calcium as well. Many beans contain a decent amount of calcium. You might hear a bunch of fish have great calcium, but ever wondered where they get calcium? Sea vegetables of coarse! Most greens have a large amount of calcium, including greens on veggies like turnips and beets. Juice them with oranges to get more of a calcium boost. Sesame seeds, almond, blackstrap molasses, figs, and quinoa are also great calcium sources.
And remember, just like protein, calcium is in EVERYTHING! So it adds up by the end of the day. Unless you have a super specific health reason for needing more calcium, relax. Just eat a little of everything and eat as fresh as you can get.
This recipe round up is a little more interesting this time around. One reason is because Alexa reviewed a recipe! Whooo! She devoted a whole post to it, but we are putting it up again. Why? If you are searching for a good cauliflower recipe it is simple to find! Duh!
Since there are two recipes we talked about in the past, that means we have some bonus photos! I think it is a little fun to include them to compare photos. Funny thing is sometimes to non-model shots of food seem more yummy than the actual photo!
Oh and there is a bonus recipe on the bottom! It was featured in the Everything Free Recipe Roundup. I figured I would tack it on the page for any cauliflower fans. I think our grouping is really eclectic. Different food styles, Indian, Chinese-American take-out, pasta, salad, and a side dish. I know mind blowing! So start reading what you should make:
I am sure everyone has seen this recipe lurking on pinterest. Even Alexa pinned it, which gave me push to go ahead and make it for this recipe roundup. (Alexa claims responsibility for this recipe by the way) I personally like Fork and Beans, and I remember making her Cauliflower “Risotto” but wasn’t thrilled by it.
As I started the recipe red flags went up. “Oh this won’t work!” but I wanted to stick the recipe. Maybe something is going on that I am not noticing? When I pulled the cauliflower out of the oven I thought that the cauliflower was too hard. But I bit my tongue and finish up the salad and thought “just wait till you eat it.”
It. Was. Amazing. I everything was in perfect sync. I didn’t follow the recipe to a T since I didn’t have corn, and couldn’t make the ranch dressing since I didn’t have a blender. But it still worked out amazingly. The ONLY thing I would change would be that I would put the BBQ on the cauliflower before tossing in the oven, then again after 5-7 minutes.
Otherwise this is a great recipe to prep for lunch the night before. Got the oven on? Toss in the cauliflower for a few minutes and assemble the night before. It is super yummy!
Bottom Line: Helllllo new lunch fav.
Oh man! I am so excited to be back! Our host had too many sites on their server, which is why our page was taking so long to load. So for one week the site was locked, and we couldn’t make any changes, but it was still viewable. Then we had to spend another week with the site being 100% down. It was awful and I was itching all week to work on the site.
But now the site is back up, and everyone can see our new link buttons on the side, and our big ass blog directory! But first let me share this super easy recipe.
This recipe I’ve been holding on to for awhile now. It just seemed a little boring. I mean sloppy joes? With lentils? I mean don’t all vegans know about this? Surely?! Well, I gave some leftovers to my husband for work and everyone at his work commented on how clever it was. Sometimes when you are drenched in a subculture, you forget what is or isn’t common.
So even though this dish isn’t something uncommon with vegan blogs, I think it can still reach others to give inspiration. The recipe is also really non-vegan friendly- meaning if you are a non-vegan and you making something for your vegan guests, this is a great option. Quinoa and lentils are pretty frequently used in recipes, and the only “hard” work is reading the buns ingredients to make sure there aren’t any eggs or milk in them (which milk is often added to pre-made breads!) I used sprouted buns, but they taste best with the cheap fluffy white buns.
First let me talk about how I added new buttons on the side. There are some new blogs that Alexa and I have been following and I wanted to reflect that. I made new cute and chubby buttons, and made a new page with a link to ALL the blogs we follow. I didn’t realize how many there were on feedly and bloglovin until I made a big list. So check those all out!
I kind-of forgot why I like having fashion posts. I forget why I think fashion blogs are a powerful movement. We all know that there are tons of standards of beauty, and we even get told things that contradict each other (like my Grandma saying I was too thin, but fashion models are clearly thinner than me). But fashion blogs give the people the power to say what is in. Sure there are lots of fashion blogs with really common body types in the industry. There are also some that are totally different.
There are blogs we follow that have skinny girls, girls with glasses, girls who are curvy, girls who are short, sizes that are large, girls who have wide thighs, girls who are flat, whatever. It really puts into perspective that we all have different body types. In fact, most of the fashion blogs I follow tend to have totally different fashion senses and body types.
I think Kate from Scathingly Brilliant made a great point in her Truth in Fashion post– posing in front of a camera in outfits really helps your self confidence. When I first started to do fashion posts I harped a lot over how I looked, little wrinkles in my clothes, my belly poking out, my arm looking fat whatever. But I learned a few things
1) I learned how I look good while posing. Sometimes I look awkward in a photo and that okay. We all can’t be perfect, so never get discouraged about a “bad picture.” In between taking my own photos and getting photos taken professionally for my wedding, I learned some people are just bad at taking photos. I had a string of bad photos taken of me in college, so when wedding photos came along I was a little nervous. When I got them back and saw that I looked great, I finally came to the conclusion some people are simply bad at taking photos. There is a difference between getting candid photos taken and being able to pose. Confidence in yourself makes a big difference on how you look.
2) Accept how I look. I look the way I look, and somethings I can change with make up or certain styles. But there is a difference from how you look on camera compared to real life, which is a big thing to discover. Some people “know” but it is really hard to understand until you start jumping in front of a camera.
3) Contrapposto Bitches! If you took an art history class or learned about Greek and Roman sculpture you probably had to learn about contrapposto. If you never heard of the term, it is basically when I body is posed with one leg bent/flexed, while the opposite arm is bent/flexed. In the process it slants your hips and shoulders. Once you get it, you notice that models today pretty much replicate the look. It is the secret to posing for every body type and sex.
I only mention these things since sometimes I feel a little silly posting photos of myself. But honestly, I think everyone should be doing it. Everyone needs to get over their fears about getting their photo taken because the fear of it really makes people tense. The end result is more bad photos.
Hello everyone! Co-Blogger and Partner-in-Crime Jenny had nominated me for the Liebster Award and I couldn’t be more excited! Jenny made her Liebster Award post here a little while ago – but for those of you who didn’t get to see it, I will break down the rules nice and simple for ya.
- List 11 facts about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions given to you by whoever nominated you.
- Nominate 5-11 bloggers with LESS than 200 followers.
- Give 11 new questions to your nominees. Now, I don’t know too many bloggers outside of Jenny – but I do know a few. So hopefully they will be able to answer my questions when I get finished with this.
11 Facts About Meow
1. I am a Cartoonist & Illustrator while also working as a manager at my local Toy Store.
2. I didn’t really like beer until I started dating Mr. Ian, now I like it way more than mixed drinks.
3. My parents are both divorced and re-married, making my family tree somewhat difficult for new friends to understand. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
4. I have recently had to remove most dairy from my diet, but the one thing I will ALWAYS cave for is ice cream…tummy aches here I come!!
5. I stopped eating any sort of cow-related-meat in 8th grade when I realized that I just love cows way too much.
6. I first thought that I wanted to pursue a career in animation, but saw just how much work was needed to be able to pull it off correctly and knew I wouldn’t have the drive. I respect animators so much! I then thought I wanted to draw for Marvel or DC Comics, in the same style and everything. Once I realized that I simply can’t re-create those looks in my work I also came to find that I wouldn’t like working for either company as much as I thought (still love a bunch of the people who DO work there though!!).
7. I got my cat Miso for my 16th birthday and she has since become my cat-baby. Best birthday gift ever!
8. My favorite mediums to work with (on my artistic projects) are colored pencil to sketch and watercolor or gouache to paint.
9. There are SO many different tattoos that I would like to end up getting in the future, I am just too poor right now. They include outlines of the silhouettes of my 3 house cats on my right arm, Blaze’s halter and lead rope on the opposite arm, a friendship tattoo with Jenny, and a giraffe on my back.
10. Mr. Ian and I have officially been together for 5 years! Go us!
11. My favorite color is red, my favorite color combos are black & white (so classy!) and pastel pink, lavender and mint green (so cute!).
Another week went by. I went practically the whole week without sitting on the computer, and learning the joys of tablet using. (IE just browsing the internet!) Alexa stepped up and posted three times this week! Sweet. She had a bunch of posts that she has been working on, so she was glad to finally get them up.
I hope everyone is having a great time this October season. I’ve been watching a lot of horror films and drinking pumpkin beers with my husband. Forget pumpkin spice lattes, I am really into seasonal alcoholic drinks. So I just wanna take a moment to talk about scary movies. It is a love hate relationship. Horror films are known for being pretty weak, and mostly for thrills. So almost every year I get excited then annoyed at finding good horror films. Well, I really love Suspiria, the Italian horror directed by Dario Argento. So I watched the movie created after Suspiria, Inferno. Man. It was a mistake.
Visually the movie was pretty awesome, and has a lot of cool scenes. But the plot was confusing and all over the place. The basic story is about Rose who lives in an apartment in New York City. She discovers unsettling information about the building she lives in. She sends an letter to her brother about it. Not reading the whole letter, her brother Mark arrives in New York not knowing what is distressing his sister. Once he gets into New York, he can’t seem to find her, and stays in her apartment to figure out the mystery.
I am not sure why Mark is the main character since he seems to be the thickest and most easily prone to witchcraft compare to all the characters. The first hour has a formula of female finds out the secret of the building, they become frantic, they start to run, they get killed in a horrible way, Mark walks in a is terribly confused. But the story hardly follows Mark around, and hardly any personality was given to him.
The movie has some merits. I personally love movies from the 70s about witchcraft or the occult. The color is the film is amazing, more so than Suspiria. The underwater ballroom scene was a great way of building suspense. There are plenty of extravagant deaths in the film, which I found in some ways a negative, but if that is what you are like, this movie will be a gem.
I normally wouldn’t go on about a movie, but it just left me with such a downer. I love Suspiria, and it is one of the film I watch every year for October. So I was expecting so much from Inferno. Anyone else have some Halloween movie suggestions? I would love to hear them! But moving on, I know you want to see my favorite reads.
Hey guys! It’s me Jen! I’ve been missing all week due to really unpredictable electricity. For some reason the power randomly flickers which causes my computer to crash. It was happening so often, at random times of the day, that I just turned the computer off and ordered a battery backup. I kept the computer off until it came in the mail. Which has been cool since Alexa got time to post all her backed posts! Yey! So I hope everyone enjoyed reading those.
I know everyone is excited for the fall and pumpkin spice everything! So I thought I would do a sampling over pumpkin spiced goods. Ranging from drinks, to syrups, to baked goods. But everything is sweet. Most were pretty good, but everything I think I would change ever so slightly. But check out which ones to give a try!
This was really tasty. I was a little surprised how nicely it came together. I first used it in a soy latte in a coffee shop. It helped it was an amazing latte without the syrup, but the syrup added the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. Though I might amp it up to 3 to 4 tbsp for more mediocre lattes.
The syrup also works well in smoothies. I used it to add some sweetness and flavor to my husband smoothies. It would also be a great topping to for various other snacks like yogurt bowls, cupcakes, cookies, or ice cream. It makes a lot of syrup, so I would recommend even halving the recipe so it doesn’t go bad in the fridge.
Bottom Line: Great to make for the pumpkin spice season, put it on everything.
Part of me feels as if the initial Sailor Moon craze has died down a bit – so I am even more sorry for the delay on these posts! The good news is, however, that I have plenty of material to catch up on. Again, the point of these segments is to simply look at the differences between each episode of the new release of Sailor Moon Crystal and the original adaptation of Sailor Moon. I originally wanted to go through and do EVERY episode…but then I remembered how long the original show ended up being. I am going to review the first arch at least and if I like where it is going I will go further with the reviews! But for now, we’ll start with episode 2…
In this episode we meet Sailor Mercury! It is very clear to me already that they are speeding the story up as opposed to the original, where you meet Mercury in episode 8. I actually don’t mind this so much. The viewer gets the idea that Sailor Moon, while the leader of the team, cannot defeat everything all on her own. It builds off the idea of togetherness and team work which is a really great model for girls (and even women) to see and put into practice. Not that every woman on earth needs to rely on someone else all the time, but we are all part of a team in one way or another, I think.
When Ami Mizuno is first introduced the only thing we know about her is that she has good grades. The best grades even, in the whole school. This leads to the other kids assuming that she has little to no friends because she is only ever seen studying, even on her lunch break during the day. When we catch up with Usagi and her friends they are chatting about how all Ami does is study, goes to cram school after school ends, and how her mother is a talented doctor. They all go on to assume that her family is loaded, puts her in the best cram school that money has to offer and that must be the reason for her expertise. Instead of making assumptions Usagi just listens and waits to figure out who Ami is for herself. This is a very interesting and good thing about her as a character. Most kids of that age (15-18) usually take the words of friends as fact, so for her to do some of her own investigation seems to make a strong trait. When they do eventually meet up, thanks to Luna who had been scouting her, Ami is immediately accepted by Usagi and they become fast friends. I also think that this is a good lesson to teach girls and women alike. I feel as though we’ve all been taught somehow to label each other or silently judge from afar, when in reality we could meet our new best friend if we’d just be open to it.
It was made very apparent that Luna’s “Secret Base” was actually in the basement or some hidden room in the arcade that Usagi would frequent. In this incarnation you just find her in some top secret facility. Again with the telling and not showing. It’s not the biggest deal in the world but I found it kind of fun to find out exactly where she ended up going to report back every night.
The episode’s climax is Usagi trying to fight the Demon (controlled by Jadeite) to free Ami and the other kids who have been brainwashed at cram school. She can’t do it on her own and Ami transforms into Sailor Mercury! I think I said it in our last Sailor Moon post…but I REALLY dislike the cgi transformation sequence. I think it looks incredibly tacky and I don’t see the need for it. Yuck…but that’s besides the point. This episode was a good introduction for Ami and Sailor Mercury and it’s refreshing to see that we didn’t have to wait for seven episodes to pass before doing so.
Labor Day has come and gone, which means that Summer is making a swift exit. With the last “real” summer weekend going by, we all decided to go on a day trip down to Cape May to see the beach and the Brewery.
The night before we left my friends Jon, his brother Matt, Keith, Mr. Ian and I all went down to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park to see The Gay Blades play! I haven’t seen them in quite some time and they really put on a great show. I was first introduced to this band by my boyfriend and long-time-companda Mr. Ian. They are a local rock/alternative group (but on their facebook page they describe themselves as “Genre Trash pop”…I’ll take it) that reside in Brooklyn, NY. Their first two albums are excellent if you’re into that genre of music, and their concerts are like one giant party so I’d also recommend seeing them live if you ever get a chance!
Here’s one of their most recent music videos off of their second album.
The next morning Keith, his wife Jenine, Mr. Ian and I got up nice and early to drive down to Cape May. I had been to Cape May a bunch of times when I was younger, my family would go with all the kids and make it into a fun day trip or a nice long weekend. It is a really pretty beach town with a lot to offer, and since it had been a while since any of us had gone it was all very new and fresh. We also decided that it would be a really nice wrap up to summer to hit the beach and be kind-of “shore tourists” for a day. Our first stop was a little restaurant called George’s Place. We stopped there on a whim and came to realize that they had an AMAZING breakfast menu (not too sure if it was very vegan friendly, but I remember it being veggie friendly). Whenever I get the chance to go out to eat for breakfast I always tend to lean toward the sweeter side of the menu — which lead to one of the most delicious waffles I think I have ever had.
Hey everyone … I finally MOFO’d!!! (It was definitely in September I SWEAR.)
I won’t lie to you, I have never actually made my own vegan meal before. That’s crazy right?! I have always just thought they would take a lot of time to prepare and I normally don’t have all of the ingredients that are necessary for them. When September rolled around Jenny told me about “Vegan Month of Food” and recommended that I try out a vegan recipe. I was definitely up for the challenge and then I found out that the recipe I made…wasn’t challenging! I was actually really proud of myself by the time it was done, and I like to cook, so I was happy during the entire preparation process.
I stumbled upon this recipe from Vegan Richa via Jen. She’s been following her (beautiful) blog for quite some time and now I am going to make it one of my favorite blogs too!
For some reason I never seem to remember how much I love cauliflower until it happens to be in a dish that I make. I know that it’s really good for you, but I think I always find it to be daunting when I see it in the grocery store and figure I’ll never finish the whole head. After preparing the cauliflower for this recipe I have continued to make it that way up until it was all gone. Hurray! This vegetable is just so versatile that I actually found myself saying “wait…save that because you could use it for this dish instead”.
I also love collard greens, but I find that I have a harder time figuring out how to prepare them as well. I have only ever had them once before this, and it was when my Step-Mother prepared them (oh, they were delicious) for us when my parents were living in South Carolina. I like the bitterness of the leaf as well as feeling like I am eating something good for me. Lettuce can be tricky sometimes! Anyway, this was also very easily prepared – just throw your greens into a pan with a smidge of sesame oil, pinch of garlic salt and a pinch of salt and you just wait until they are a bit wilted. Done! Delicious!
I’d made quinoa before, and while this was an easy preparation it never occurred to me to add things in while it was cooking. I don’t know why though, I guess it’s only because I never add anything to rice while it’s cooking and I make them the same way? The world may never know.
The only thing that was REALLY intimidating me throughout this experiment was the Peanut sauce. On Richa’s site the recipe originally called for almond butter, which I neglected to purchase. Luckily Richa mentioned that the almond butter could be substituted for with peanut butter! I love peanut butter!
I would definitely make this recipe again. It was a hit with everyone who tried it out and it was extraordinarily easy to make. I also think it has enough flavor but isn’t too intrusive so everyone can give it a taste without fear of disliking it. Thanks Richa! I will certainly be browsing her blog for more delicious recipes sometime soon.
*Note: I actually had extra food after making this meal, which was great! I saved some for Mr. Ian to bring to work for lunch, and the rest I saved for myself for lunch! The only thing I didn’t have leftover after giving Ian his portion was the collared greens, and this recipe is so simple that all I had to do was throw it in the pan with some garlic powder and oil and it was done in just a few minutes. I was so so pleased with the overall outcome of this dish.