Category Archives: Vegan/Vegetarian

Hi all, fresh-foods-fruits-vegetables

Almost the weekend again. Time for some fun. Before that though, lets talk about Vegetarianism.

Well it is a choice that suits my current lifestyle (wait didn’t I eat chicken yesterday?!). Um, for the most part it isn’t all that hard to eat fruits and vegetables, it’s just hard to buy them (I don’t wanna go back to Safeways).

I bet people would eat more fresh vegetables if there was a drive thru grocery store. That would be convenient. I can imagine sitting in line (with my grocery list), making some poor sap run the isles while I moan and groan that “these are the freshest strawberries you could find?”

That store would have disgruntled employees, I know this……

Wow, I just googled drive thru grocery store – Someone stole my idea!!! Smart cats….but, they only sell canned goods and staple items it seems – I guess they knew about the strawberries.

Nice thing about vegetarianism is that there is still many options available in the ‘fast food’ department. Subway and Pita Pit still work for ya, you just need to mind the meats (ie. don’t freakin’ order them). Actually, Extreme Pita proudly displays an “only veggie side” of their grills (as to please the veggies out there).

I applaud people who can abstain from one of the food groups, the problem is some of that animal product is just too tasty. Don’t pass it up – pass it over!!

Ya’ll be safe, eat well, be merry. Till next time,

W with 6 eh’s – Y, because I said so……..

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Tasty Vegan Snack Bars – Yes, it is possible!

ok… I will be honest with you, I am not a vegan or a vegetarian or planning on becoming one. I love meat just to much. However, I do occasionally enjoy having a vegan snack bar. I stumbled across these one day when I was shopping at Naturista’s, here in Lethbridge. This is a relatively new locally owned Health Food Store.

So one day when I was in there shopping for a new water bottle – thanks to BPA’s. One of the employee’s at Naturista’s asked me if I have ever tried a vegan snack bar. At first I was a bit skeptical, however, I thought there is always a first for everything. To my amazement, they are actually quite good.

Some of my favorite vegan snack bars are:

Bumble Bar – ok the name is kind of weird, but the bar’s are quite good. There are mimg_1918any different flavors to choose from, however my favorite one is the Chocolate Crisp. It is a sweet blend of sesame seeds, crisp brown rice and peanuts. I find that this bar is great alternative to a regular old chocolate bar. I have also tried there new one, Cherry Chocolate, however, the mixture of cherries, chocolate and sesame seeds didn’t sit so well.

 

 

Healthy Addictions bars – they got their name right with this one! So far I have only tried the Coco Bliss img_1916flavor and it was quite addicting – I now have a craving for another one! This bar is vegetarian and made with raw ingredients such as – coconut and agave syrup. This is a soft chewy bar with raw agave syrup in the middle and the outside is made of raw cocoa with raw agave syrup. It has a sweet taste, again it made a nice alternative to a  chocolate bar.

 

The Simply Bar – this bar kind of reminds me of a rice crispy square, but available in more flavors. It is aimg_1931-2 natural bar with low calories and lots of protein – 17g. WOW!!! However, this bar is not my favorite. I find that they are a bit dry and sometimes hard. Again, they come in lots of different flavors – I have only tried the Lemon Coconut, and I didn’t really like it. However, I would try another flavor such as the Cocoa Coffee or the Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Again, all of these bars can be bought right here in Lethbridge, Alberta at Naturista’s. I would also assume they could be purchased at any Health Food Store.

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I’m a Meatatarian

Sooooooo this weeks blog is all about VEGANISM! Just in case you are curious, I am most definitely NOT a vegan. I love meat, eggs, down sleeping bags, wine and cheese and especially leather vintage coats and boots! moom32 There is no way that I would be able to become a vegan because my entire lifestyle would change and I would change into a completely different person. Now before you stop reading, I’m not here to bash veganism……..like some people do. I’m writing to look at the differences between  the vegan, the vegetarian and the meat eater!

1. Animal rights- the Vegan Will not eat or use any animal product. Good bye leather boots, sushi and feather pillows. Hello PETA meetings, hemp clothing and surprisingly delicious vegan food. The vegetarian will not eat animals but can still use animal products. Some vegetarians will eat fish or eggs and dairy products. Good bye Teenburger hello veggie burger. As for the meatatarian….Mmmmmm Bacon! I think I have made my point!bacon5

2. Health:

The Vegan is your best bet here, as long as you follow a healthy diet and get enough B12 and calcium. Fruit and veggies do not have any cholesterol in them where as meat does. If you combine exercise with a vegan or vegetarian diet you can actually reduce the cholesterol level in your blood. If you are an Ovo-lacto  vegetarian then you can still get cholesterol from dairy and eggs. It is also true that vegans and vegetarians are less likely to get diabetes. Guess I cant really fight this one can I?

3. The environment:

This is a sticky subject because whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or a meatatarian the environment is damaged through the mass production of food.  It is true that more water and fuel is used to raise cattle compared to vegetable and crop growth. On the other hand, chemicals that are sprayed on crops do not go into the ground because they run off into the groundwater. Either way, we all need to work on being more environmentally friendly. ist2_5186448-recycle“Please take those bottles back and set up a recycling system people!”

Okay back to the food blog!

Whether your a vegan, a veggie or a meathead, enjoy your food and enjoy your life. If fall off the bone ribs make you smile then good on you, but if the thought of eating and animal makes you sad then become a veggie! If the thought of snuggling up with a good book, chai tea and you down comforter makes you cry for the poor duck that is walking around with no feathers well then become a vegan and change your life for the better!rachachurosduck

As for me, I’m going to indulge in some leftover Swiss steak!

Peace

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Vegging Out?*

When I was growing up my family lived in a small farm town in northern Saskatchewan. I was constantly surrounded my animal livestock, in particular, cattle. Because of this I became very disturbed by the ethical concerns with eating the animals that I saw every day. So when I was sixteen I decided to become a vegetarian.

ashley_and_me

It was hard at first, even though I felt it was the right thing to do. I had to get used to the taste and texture of tofu, which for anyone who eats tofu knows it can take some getting used to. My family was thoroughly annoyed with having to cook two meals, one with meat and one without. But after awhile I adjusted and enjoyed my new lifestyle.

I had joined PETA when I became a vegetarian, and with PETA’s influence I decided to become a vegan after about four months. But that didn’t last very long. I was very malnourished and began to get really sick. I was tired and fatigued all the time and I started to get migraines and back pain. My doctor told me that I could either eat some meat again or else.

I decided that I would start to eat chicken and fish again, but I still did not want to eat beef. Partly because I still felt bad for the cows and partly because after not eating it for awhile I didn’t really like it anymore. I actually didn’t eat red meat again for 2 years after that.

I understand that there are millions of people who practice vegetarianism and veganism everyday (about 4% of North America via) and do not have the problems that I did. I went into it unprepared and uninformed. So if you are thinking about starting a vegetarian or vegan diet then it’s important to learn for my mistakes and educate yourself before you start.

 

 

1. Start the easy way. Take your favorite dishes that you used to cook before you became a vegetarian and try cooking it in a veggie friendly way. Try using tofu or a soy meat alternative instead of the meat that used to be in it and add in extra veggies for more flavor and texture.

2. Buy a Vegan Recipe CookBook. Most likely being a vegetarian means that you’ll have to cook for yourself more often then not. Look for a cookbook that fits your taste and lifestyle, or search for great recipes online.

3. Don’t Push Yourself. You may feel really tired and hungry when you first start off eating this kind of diet. Remember that a lot of vegan/vegetarian food will have less calories then what you would have eaten before if it had meat in it. So you may have to eat a little extra to feel full or get all the nutrients you’re used to.

4. Get support from your friends. Try to get your friends to understand your choice. It will be harder to keep it up, especially if it’s hard at first, if your friends aren’t going to be willing to try your food too or eat at a veggie friendly restaurant.

5. Do not compare yourself with other vegetarians. If you are looking for inspiration from people who have been vegetarians forever then you may feel like a failure. People who have been eating this way for a long time are used to it so of course it’s easy. If this is something you really want then it will get easy for you too. Take their advice if it fits your lifestyle, and if it doesn’t then find someone else to help you that you mesh with.

6. Timing matters. Your ability to stick to the diet may completely depend on when you start it. Starting in the summer is good because of the variety of fruit and vegetables that are available. However, in the summer people tend to be traveling a lot and so it can make it hard if you are not going to be somewhere where you will have access to veggie friendly food. Winter is good because of this reason, that likely you will be home a lot and could cook for yourself. On the other hand you may not be able to get all the fruits and vegetables that you want. Figure out what will work for your lifestyle before you start. (via)

 

alicia-silverstone-veg001

Being a vegetarian or vegan can be a very rewarding lifestyle with many benefits. There are many celebrities that use the diet as a way to maintain their hot bodies, including Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, and Alicia Silverstone. Regardless of what reason you are going veg always consult your doctor or a nutritionist before starting to make sure that they inform you of the right supplements to take. That way you won’t end up sick like me.

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The Vegans are Coming!

cow

Veganism isn’t just a diet but is a lifestyle choice that prohibits the use of animal products of any kind (food, clothing, products test on animals). If you’re a meat (or cheese) lover, having the vegans over for supper can be a scary proposition.

Depending on the person, vegans can be relatively relaxed about other people’s eating habits while maintaining their own personal choices. I have a friend who is vegan is delighted when we include vegan choices for supper. She’s known for traveling with her own snacks just in case, and is happy to graze the kitchen, piecing together her own meal. But if you’re inviting someone for dinner it’s only polite to make sure you can offer foods they will actually eat.

There are lots of ingredient substitutions that help to make regular recipes into vegan friendly dishes. For example, 1 egg can be substituted with Ener-G Egg Replacer, or 1 banana (cake recipes), or 2 Tbsp corn starch (these and others via Vegan Action).

moosewood

Below is a recipe for vegan chili (adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen). It can be served with hearty bread or baked potatoes.

If your animal-loving friend is comfortable with other’s food choices then grated cheese or burgers can be served on the side (just make sure the vegan & non-vegan dishes are kept separate from start to finish). If you have lots of people to please at your table then this compromise may be necessary. Pasta dishes can also easily be made vegan (and give you the option of serving meatballs on the side).

But planning a full vegan meal can be easy. This chili is hearty enough you won’t even miss the beef. The Vegan Chef also has tons of delicious recipes you can try and combine to make a completely vegan meal.

Vegan Chili (adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook)

Preparation Time: 1 ¾ hours. Serves 6

Ingredients
3 or 4 19 oz. cans of kidney beans (drained and washed)
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
2 tbs. Olive Oil
2 cups chopped onion
6 to 8 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium stalk of celery, diced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp basil
2 tsp. chili powder (or more to taste)
1.5 tsp. salt
Black pepper and cayenne, to taste
1 medium bell pepper, chopped,
1 – 14 oz. can tomatoes
3 tbs. Tomato paste
Finely minced parsley (optional)

Heat the tomato juice to boiling. Add it to the bulgur wheat in a small bowl, cover, and let chilistand 15 minutes.

In a large pot heat olive oil, add onion, half the garlic, carrot, celery, and seasonings. Sauté over medium heat about five minutes, add bell pepper, and sauté until all the vegetables are tender.

Add tomato juice and bulgur wheat and drained kidney beans to pot. Simmer over lowest possible heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes or longer. After about 15 minutes, add remaining garlic.

Taste to adjust seasonings, and serve hot.

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