This one time at band camp…

american pie-halal-#govegan

A big part of my old job was to schedule all the ins and out of people attending conferences.  Sometimes scheduling a dinner was a part of that.

For this one particular conference I was told that a dinner guest only ate Halal and that I needed to check with the restaurant to see what they could do.  Ok, no problem… but first I had to do a quick search for what Halal meant. Basically, it is a very specific set of rules a Muslim needs to follow to slaughter the animal. (In the simplest of terms).

So me…the vegan…had to call a restaurant and explain the whole situation to them. They asked for me to call back later when the manager was there. When I hung up my co-workers turned around and asked me what was going on because they heard me, the known vegan, use the term “slaughter” multiple times.

I ended up calling back and the restaurant was able to provide this guest with two meals to their specifications but not before I had to say “slaughter” about 10 more times.


Brain Food

#govegan_blueberries_brain food_alzheimers_panara_vegan.jpg

I was really excited to see this article posted on Huffington Post.  I thought I was going to learn a bunch of new information but in the first [paragraph I saw “we partnered with our friends at Panera” and was immediately turned off. Whenever a company partners for something that doesn’t seem like an ad…it’s an ad and they’re trying to get something out of it.

So hopefully you learn something from this. If not, enjoy the sarcasm…

“Avocados specifically are another great way to get the blood flowing. According to research conducted at Penn State, the good fats in avocados have been linked to reduced levels of LDL, aka ‘bad cholesterol.”

Good thing they’re trending among the hipsters! I kid! I kid! Avocados are a great for you!

“They even found that incorporating good avocado fats might be even more beneficial than simply cutting fats out altogether”

SMDH (Shaking my damn head)…Seriously? MIGHT be even more beneficial. Might? How about IS?! Our bodies need fat. The problem is that we’ve been getting an over abundance of BAD fats, like those found in milk, creamers, cheeses, meat, sugar, etc., hence the ‘low-fat’/’no-fat’ products.  So people just automatically think that fat=bad, which is so not the case.  “Low/no-fat” is just another term for “chemical shit-storm”. There is nothing natural about what is being used to replace the fat.  Good fats come in the forms of avocados, coconuts, olive oil, nuts/seeds, etc. These fill you up and give your body the nutrients it needs while also not leaving you feeling heavy, sickly-full, or leaving the residue behind to clog up your arteries.

One study found that delicious blueberries improved memory function in older adults with early memory decline

This info has been out for a while now…I learned this in my high school psychology class and from my recent post about turning 30, we know that was 14 years ago so thanks for that ‘new’ information.

These next two facts I did find interesting:

Broccoli is another great brain food due to its high levels of choline, a chemical found in the brain shown in laboratory studies to be essential in early brain development, as well as positive effects for older individuals who might be at risk for general memory loss and Alzheimer’s

Hurray for broccoli!

As for foods best taken in moderation, be wary of salty snacks and sauces, which have been shown to increase hypertension which restricts blood flow to the brain. Soy sauce, for instance, contains up to forty percent of your recommended daily sodium intake in a single tablespoon. Some sodium in the diet is totally fine, but eating too many sodium-packed foods can impair focus, organizational skills, and memory. When available go for the low-sodium option to keep your mind sharp.

Obviously we know too much salt is bad, especially over processed table salt, and that it’s insanely easy to over eat because of packaged foods (even sauces, broths, ice creams…) but I was surprised that it can impact your focus, organization, and memory. Do you think that the reason there is so much sodium in foods is done purposefully to affect people’s brains? Am I asking a rhetorical question?

I noticed through the majority of this article that they’re toting non-animal product food as being the best for your brain (side note…why aren’t walnuts mentioned?). The only animal product they mention is tuna and how that should only be in moderation…what about other kinds of meat? Can’t mention that because Panara makes a ton of money off oh ‘healthy’ meats?

Doing more research I decided to go to Panara’s website and holy shit you guys! So I clicked on their soups and they’re shown with a really nice picture and the amount of calories next to it (because that’s all that people are concerned about). I decided to check out a pretty neutral one which the Low-fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto seemed like a good choice. The ingredients look ok minus ‘natural flavorings’, canola oil, and animal products…oh and the fact that they’re not organic but anyway. The amount of sodium in one bowl of this soup? 750 mg! One cup of the soup is 500 mg. Screw the calories, THAT is a problem! Why am I concerned about the sodium? Because the called out how bad salt is for you in the f-ing article!

In fact out of their 316 menu items 167 items are 500 mg of sodium or more and 51 of them are over 1000 mg of sodium.

That 316 menu items includes drinks, salad dressings, and cream cheese spreads so if you take those out (78 drink options, 18 dressings, and 12 cream cheeses) that equals a total of 208 menu items that are ‘food’ items which include sandwiches, salads, pastries, soups, etc.  In doing those calculations using the 208 menu items, 80.3% of them contain 500 mg of sodium per item. 24.5% are over 1000 mg.

It varies but it looks like the general consensus is 2300 mg of sodium is recommended per day (1500 mg for people over 51, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a chronic disease).  That means that if you get their large bowl of mac and cheese at 2450 mgs of sodium you’re over your daily limit.

No where on their website does Panara mention that they’re a healthy alternative to traditional fast food. Which is probably good because they’d totally get sued.  However, they know what they’re doing and they know what people think of them.  Many people, my past-self included, thought this was a ‘healthy’ option to Culver’s.

Please be wary of restaurants making themselves seem like a good alternative over another (looking at you too Subway) and do some research for yourself before just assuming they’re a healthier option (ahem McDonald’s salads or yogurt parfaits ahem).

In closing, staying close to nature, knowing what’s in your food, and staying away from animal products will make your brain and body function at its highest potential. And you don’t need a restaurant-funded study to prove it to you.

C is for Cookie

#govegan_cookies_cookie monster_recipe_vegan

Guys I did a thing! I made cookies!

I found this recipe literally on Pinterest. There was no link. It was a photo that someone uploaded with the instructions below. I haven’t baked in a while and with BB (Baby Boy) that becomes more difficult but I thought I could do this recipe easily. *Full disclosure-I had to do it on two separate days because BB wasn’t cooperating* And I don’t have pictures from the mixing process because I wasn’t sure it’d turn out.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups oatmeal, blended in a food processor to make a flour
6 ounces pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Blend the oatmeal in the food processor to desired consistency (mine was a little more ‘oaty’ than ‘floury’). Measure the 2 cups and put in bowl. Mix in the syrup and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.  The consistency will be different than standard cookie dough.


Then put in fridge and play with BB and save for another day. Oh wait…that’s just me.

Cook for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies will stay together better than the dough makes it seem once they’ve been cooked. I used a medium scoop from Pampered Chef to get the same sized cookies (also works great to do one handed while holding BB).


Makes about 12-14 cookies after you’ve sampled some dough.  I also used parchment paper because I’m lazy and don’t like clean-up.

They turned out super yummy! I probably wouldn’t use as much syrup next time but otherwise definitely plan on making these again!


Raising A Vegan Baby


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


(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:

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
Chocolate peanut butter balls
Pumpkin oat chocolate chip bars
Rosemary chocolate chip cookies
Black bean brownies
Iced tea

Pink Pineapples


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!