Raising A Vegan Baby

100_vegan_baby_#govegan

Actual question I was asked, “Are you going to raise BB to be vegan?”

(INSERT EYE ROLL)

(INSERT SARCASM FONT). No we’re going to feed him raw meat.

Of course we would raise our kids to have the same values as we do. Isn’t that what all parents do?

I also get the hypothetical “what happens if he’s at McDonald’s for a friend’s birthday party?” or “what if he eats pizza at a friend’s house?”

Life is filled with what ifs, people.

At some point in every parent’s life, way sooner than we want, our kids have to start making decisions in their own life.

My response to those what ifs is always the same…well then I hope we’ve installed good values in him so he will make good decisions. Again, isn’t that the same as every parent feels when their kid leaves the house to be with friends, or drive, or move out? You always hope you’ve instilled good morals in your child.

Our plans for BB are the same that all parents have. I want him to be healthy and happy and well-rounded.

Yes, that includes food. Yes it’s going to be more difficult for him; we’ve been through it too. However, if things progress the way it seems like it’s going then maybe it wont be as difficult as we think. Veganism has grown in the last 10 years and it’s my belief that it’s only going to grow more.

Yes, of course I don’t want things to be difficult for BB. But is that a reason for me to change all my morals? Start feeding my kid meat, cheese, milk, and eggs just because it would be easier for him? Well then why don’t people change their religion? Or their skin color? Or their sexual orientation? Ok, maybe that’s not the same thing, but not harming animals for the sake of my ‘nutrition’ is a very deeply rooted value I hold and hope BB will hold it too.

What The Health Review

what the health_vegan_netflix_documentary_#govegan

Holy shit guys….

I don’t even know what to say…

Watch it. That’s all.

 

Just kidding. I have more to say. But seriously, watch it.

This is a new documentary on Netflix by the makers of Cowspiracy and they did another amazing job.

There is so much information in this movie that I don’t know how they organized it in a way that made it easy to understand and follow. And when I say so much information, the first half hour was LOADED with so much information that I filled up my note pad and had to stop taking notes.

I don’t want to give too much away but my jaw dropped to the floor more times than I could count in just the first 15 minutes with health statistics.

Yes this is a very pro-vegan (plant-based) movie (obviously or I wouldn’t be talking about it) but one thing I noticed was that even if you didn’t give a rip about animal welfare, this movie has so many reasons for going vegan that have nothing to do with animal welfare.

Paraphrasing: when the body breaks down cheese it targets the same receptors in the brain as heroin does (to a lesser extent).  Meaning, it’s highly addictive.

My favorite thing they did was expertly expel the protein myth, the canine teeth for tearing meat myth, and the omnivore myth.

Two of my favorite protein myth quotes that I will be using from now on when I get asked “Where do you get your protein?”

The protein that humans get from animals comes from plants.

The diets highest in protein create diabetes, heart disease, cancer.

I also love that they showed strong plant-based people at the end, including the 300 Pound Vegan; debunking the myth that eating only plants makes you super frail when in fact everyone I’ve seen looks like they’re thriving. When I used to eat meat/dairy I would pick up milk from an Amish farmer and there was a woman who all she ate was meat, milk, and cheese (maybe eggs too, I can’t remember) but she looked like her skin was hanging off her bones.

edger_men in black_alien_#govegan

“Edgar your skin’s hanging off your bones.”

The first thing I said to my husband after watching this was ‘how can we get all of our family to watch this?’

If you figure out how…let me know.

 

First Lady Bans GM Foods From White House Kitchen

I don’t care to discuss my politics or your politics. I don’t care what you think of the current president or the last president. I really don’t. That’s not what this is about.

I found this article about the current first lady banning GMOs from the White House.  She says her son’s health has improved since they started eating organic foods.

I think we can all agree that these are some of the richest people in the country; they can afford the best healthcare available and if something were to happen they wouldn’t have to worry about bills.

It really says something when someone like that bans GMOs in their personal life. Sure they may be pushing bills to approve more and more GMOs in the hopes of getting more people sick, and getting more money (OK I have no actual proof but come on, follow the money).

Read into things and don’t just listen to what people say. Look at what they do and how they live their lives.

Original Article: http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2017/jun/1-2

Vegan Baby Shower

hashtaggovegan_#govegan_vegan baby shower_vegan food

I listened to a podcast the other day, Food for Thought. She was giving advice about how to have a vegan wedding when no one else in your family is vegan. To paraphrase what she said, vegans seem to apologize for ‘pushing’ their beliefs on others.  But when your family is saying “just at least serve chicken” or “don’t you think it’s rude to not cater to how other people eat?”, they are pushing their beliefs on you.  You need to do what is most important for you. People aren’t coming to your wedding for the food.  They’re coming so they can see you start your life with the person you love most.

I wasn’t vegan when I got married but I was pescetarian.  Everyone attending our wedding ate the Standard American Diet so I picked a menu that reflected that. I catered to other people’s wishes at my own wedding, at least when it came to the food.

It was four months later that I became full-on vegan. It was a hard transition for both of our families but the now accept that we are vegan and it’s not going to change. However, we have not always had support.  Even after five years we have people that never make food that we can/will eat when we’re having a family dinner.

So when I was planning our baby shower I went back and forth about what kinds of food I wanted to have. I talked it over with my husband and my mom and finally came to the conclusion that it was a party for me and my baby, plus I’m the pregnant one, so I should be able to eat everything there.

My mom and I made all of the food (picture above and menu below). I even took apart a dish that someone brought that was not vegan (veggie tray with ranch cups) and made it vegan with hummus instead. No one knew the food was vegan until we told them. We got a lot of “this is so good!”, “these are made of black beans?!”, etc.  No one was grossed out when the found out there were no animal secretions in it because you know why? VEGAN FOOD IS FOOD!!! Vegan food is like base zero. Everyone can eat it.

I am so proud that I stuck to my guns and served food that followed what I believe. After all, I’m going to raise my baby that way so I’d say it’s a pretty big part of my life.

MENU (all vegan):

Spicy and mild chili
Veggie tray with hummus
Fruit salad
Cashew cheeses: smoked, garlic herb, sun-dried tomato
Chips
Crackers
Pretzels
Salsa
Chocolate peanut butter balls
Pumpkin oat chocolate chip bars
Rosemary chocolate chip cookies
Black bean brownies
Lemonade
Iced tea

Pink Pineapples

#govegan_gmo_pink_pineapple_hipster_fruit

Yeah cuz regular fruit is not colorful.

 

I had to rearrange some posts because:

Pink Pineapples Are Here To Bring A Little Magic Into Our Lives

I guess I shouldn’t be super shocked at this (full disclosure, I’m not). There is a growing trend of what is called ‘unicorn food’ which means eating very colorful food. (Google Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino or rainbow bagel and you’ll get the idea).

So GMO companies decided to jump on the train and make pink pineapples, that 1. jumps on the hipster colored food bandwagon and 2. cleverly gets people to eat more GMOs.

I mean why think about what you’re eating when it’s a fancy color?

“While people are generally pretty scared of anything that’s been genetically modified, the FDA assures that it’s perfectly safe.” Shocking…the FDA says they’re safe. Just like they said partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame are safe. It has nothing to do with who is on the board and what money they stand to get from it. Also ignoring the fact that many countries are banning GMOs.

Another win for the FDA, Monsanto, GMOs, and ‘health’ care industry and another loss for the American people.

Dairy Pride Act

dairy pride act_plant based_milk_#govegan_vegan

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin State Senator, has proposed a bill in which plant-based milk cannot be called milk anymore. The only milk that can be called milk is milk from animals.

Other than this being udderly (see what I did there?!) ridiculous, it’s a good sign! It means the dairy industry is scared! It means people are using their brains and realizing that dairy milk is not good for them!

This article from Huffington Post is littered with sarcasm and I love it! “If the bill passes, we’re eagerly awaiting the alternative names for almond milk. Almond juice? Almond sweat? Aqueous almonds? To be honest, we’re not sure what else to call it.”

The bill states, basically, that labeling these plant-based options as ‘milk’ confuses customers because we can’t figure out what ‘milk’ means without the help of our beloved law makers. It hurts the dairy farmers because people can’t tell the difference between almond milk and cow’s milk when it’s sitting on a shelf at the store.  Hopefully, this bill will pass and help us stupid customers be able to know the difference!

If you can’t tell that that’s sarcasm, then I can’t help you.

“Almond milk sales rose 250 percent in five years, according to a 2016 consumer report by market-research firm Nielsen. Other milk alternatives, such as cashew and coconut, have also seen increased popularity, reports the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, dairy milk consumption has been on the decline for decades. Department of Agriculture data show that Americans drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in the 1970s.”

Since this is the case, how about instead we petition to call plant-based milk ‘milk’ and instead call milk from a cow “cow juice” or “cow secretions”?

The government is scared because they are subsidizing the meat and dairy industry. Why? Because it makes people sick. Sick people equal TONS of money. If they really cared about our health 1. they’d subsidize fruits and vegetables, 2. they’d only allow organic, 3. we would have free universal healthcare. When you really look into things, the people in power just want money. More and more money.

So where does this ‘help’ end? With putting restrictions on cheese too? With not allowing anything other than animal products on the shelves? Or with having only government allowed foods shipped directly to our house?  Maybe this is extreme but seriously, where does it end?

Vote with your dollars. Vote with your voice. Stand up for injustice and for what you believe in.

I think it’s safe to say that the people know what they are buying, are not confused by the difficult word ‘milk’, and know the difference between the two.

TD for PB

health_purple carrot_tom_brady_hastaggovegan

You may not be a football fan. You may not be a Patriots fan*.  You may not be a Tom Brady fan but this is a touchdown for the plant-based community!

(*For the record, I am not a Patriots fan. I’m a Packer fan through and through. Go Pack Go!)

I wasn’t a Tom Brady** fan before this latest Super Bowl where he did what’s never been done before, and what some would call impossible. He won his 5th Super Bowl. That is quite an accomplishment for any quarterback, let alone for someone that’s 39, which in the football community is ‘old’.

(**I’m still not necessarily a Tom Brady fan. I appreciate what he accomplished and I love that his diet and lifestyle are getting positive attention.)

Tom Brady and his family eat a mostly plant-based diet and have for some time.  In fact, many high profile players have said that he seems to keep getting better and better with age.

According to a Buzzfeed article:

• “80% of what they eat is vegetables”
• No white sugar
• No white flour
• No caffeine
• No dairy
• No nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants)
• Himalayan sea salt (no table salt)
• Gluten-free
• Little fruit (“He will eat bananas in a smoothie. But otherwise, he prefers not to eat fruits.”)
• “The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.”
• Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans
• Only organic foods

Ignoring the meat that he eats, his diet is plant-based and is getting quite the attention. He has partnered with Purple Carrot for a meal delivery service that follows his ‘philosophy’.

top_purple carrot_tom_brady_hastaggovegan

I am thrilled that the plant-based community is getting positive recognition.  And the sample meals sound pretty good but I personally would like something a little more ‘meal-like’ than roasted veggies with a grain but still look good.

samle menu_purple carrot_tom_brady_hastaggovegan

Other than the price, I’m disappointed that the ingredients are not organic, which is definitely something that Brady and his family (as well as mine) follow. We emailed Purple Carrot about it and here is their response:

At this time, we are unable to guarantee that all of our ingredients at 100% organic.
Here at Purple Carrot, we are definite proponents of organic produce. However, sourcing our meals on both coasts does not always allow for us to source organic ingredients. We are working on incorporating more organic products, but are sometimes constrained due to order volume and produce availability.
So if that doesn’t bother you and the price is alright, let me know if you do try it!

 

I Speak for the Bees

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Last week, floating around the internet, Cheerios created a new marketing campaign to help with their public image: #BringBacktheBees.  You enter your information on their website and they send you a pack of 500 wildflower seeds for you to plant to help the honey bee population. Sounds like a great idea right?

#bringbackthebees_honeybees_gmo_cheerio

According to the Cheerios website, 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is made possible by bees and 70 of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees. That’s a lot of food for a lot of people.

Still sounds great on Cheerios right?

Let’s first take a look at the ingredients of plain old Cheerios:

Cheerios_ingredients_#bringbackthebees_gmo

Whole grain oats, corn starch, sugar, salt, tripotassium phosphate, and vitamin E.

Now, visiting Whatsonmyfood.org lets look at what’s on those first two ingredients (that’s all we’re going to focus on in this post).

oats_pesticides_gmo_cheerios_#bringbackthebees

corn_pesticides_gmo_cheerios_#bringbackthebees

corn_pesticides_gmo_cheerios_#bringbackthebees_2

Because Cheerios are conventionally grown that means pesticides and herbicides are used during the growing of these ingredients.  Of the pesticides used on oats, three of them are known bee toxins, two high and one moderate. Ten of corn’s pesticides are known bee toxins – four high, three moderate, three low.

That means two ingredients of one product contain a combined 13 known bee toxins.  (I am ignoring the sugar because I don’t know if it’s regular white sugar or sugar beets, which is also listed as sugar).

These charts don’t talk about glyphosate which is a ‘Roundup herbicide’ that farmers spray on ‘crops such as wheat, oats, edible beans and other crops right before harvest’.  This is a probable carcinogen and ‘A growing body of research is documenting health concerns of glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor and that it kills beneficial gut bacteria, damages the DNA in human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells and is linked to birth defects and reproductive problems in laboratory animals.’ (You can read all about glyphosate in this great article: Why Is Glyphosate Sprayed on Crops Right Before Harvest?)

Supposedly, the reason they do this is to dry out the crops up to two weeks before original harvest date because of issues with moisture in certain areas where these crops are grown.

If these are possible side effects for humans, what about bees that, remember, Cheerios said ’70 of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees’.  According to multiple studies sited in the article How Monsanto’s GMOs and glyphosate are killing off honeybees and leading to global ecological collapsehoneybees who have been exposed to glyphosate have a harder time navigating back to their hive, lost their ability to eat, suffered from a decreased ability to learn, sense of smell, and memories. “Disturbingly, the study also found that bees transport glyphosate back to the hive, thereby poisoning even non-foraging bees.”

It’s your practices, and the practices of your competitors and the creators of the pesticides/herbicides/GMOs, that caused this problem in the first place.

So Cheerios, while I thank you for not using genetically modified ingredients (apparently just in the ‘original’ flavor), providing people with 1.5 billion wildflower seeds (most likely GMO) is literally the least you could do to help the bees.

*If you want to do your part to help the bees and countless others, please purchase organic and non-GMO as often as you can. And maybe get your own wildflower seeds*

Please share this post to help get the word out!

S toave

Harry Potter Vegan Treats

OMG OMG OMG!! HARRY POTTER TREATS!!!

There are so many blog posts about making Harry Potter treats, however they are always conventional. Now Ms. Evanna Lynch, also known as Luna Lovegood, is here to teach us how!

(Reposted from Buzzfeed)

Also follow her on Instagram. She posts a lot of pictures of her cat Puff, Harry Potter events, and vegan related stuff!

 

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies

It’s that time of year again…yep…GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!

There was some exciting news announced this year….certain Girl Scout Cookies are vegan!  One of which is their highly popular Thin Mints!  I know this makes a lot of people really excited.

I decided to research one day to see if they had actually made these changes and I found that along with Thin Mints, Thanks-a-Lot, and Lemonades are also vegan!  Unfortunately, may favorite Peanut Butter Patty Tagalongs were not (bummer).

Fast forward a few weeks (meaning now) and there was an order form at work for Girl Scout Cookies and to what did my eyes see?

20150305_080528

What’s that?  I can’t quite see…

close up

(Sorry for the poor quality)

I did a double take…Tagalong’s are vegan?  But surely I would have found that on their website.  Something smelled a little fishy to me.  So I ran back to my computer and went directly to http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/meet_the_cookies.asp  and what did I see when I got there?

mtc_pbtag_lbb

Taken directly from the GS website

What?! No whey…whey.  Whey is derived from milk.  I decided that I was going to pursue this farther and I reached out to Girl Scouts and politely let them know that Tagalongs were listed as vegan, however there was whey in their ingredients.   Was there some new fangled vegetable form of whey that I was not familiar with? (probably not).

I actually received a response, and fairly quickly I might add.  Here is their response:

Thanks for contacting us. Please be advised that you have wrong information about our Tagalongs cookies being vegan. If you like to have more information about our cookies varieties, please contact your local girl scout council as follows:

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin – Badgerland Council, Inc.
Madison, WI 53713-3267
(608) 276-8500
(800) 236-2710 – Local Toll Free Phone
E-mail: info@gsbadgerland.org
Web Site: http://www.gsbadgerland.org

Sincerely,

GSUSA Information & Referral Center
 

 

Now I don’t know about you but when I first read this I was a little taken back…” you have wrong information”….yep that part.  I was given wrong information by Girl Scouts themselves.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but they are the ones that make up those order forms, are they not?  They are the ones that put the little green leaf next to the cookies that are vegan, do they not?  The answer is yes, they do.  They make all that stuff.

They are completely misleading people about whether or not their cookies contain certain ingredients.  It is pretty shady work in my opinion.  I understand that it may not be a big deal to people (‘it’s not going to kill you’), but it would be a HUGE deal if it contained peanut oil after specifically saying it’s peanut free (I understand that there are peanuts in this particular cookie).

Obviously the Girl Scouts had enough people complain that they decided to make some of their cookies vegan, which mean that this is obviously important to a lot of their customers so to just dismiss my comment like that is, again, pretty shady.

For those of you who read my blog (I thank you!) please get the word out and let others know that these are not vegan and if it suits you, write to the Girl Scouts and let them know how you feel about it!

 

(Also, yes I notice there’s a lot of gross ingredients in those cookies but to each their own).