The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Sex Me Up" Sweetskins Soles: Vegan Shoes with a Heart

Crochet Top
image source: Sweetskins

One of my favorite clothing places, "Sweetskins", is now into the shoe business.  I know, they aren't as practical as your "Five Finger Fantasies" but sometimes a girl just has to splurge.  Sustainably that is.  Sex up your Soles with shoes that have a heart (literally!).  With a black hemp upper.  Vegan Shoes Rock.

Crochet Top

Crochet Top
And if you are just running to get your little vegan butt in shape to sport these shoes as "bedroom bling", then try these Vegan, Five Finger Fantasies.  Yeah, not a "sex you up" kind of shoe, but they might do wonders for those Lucious Legs of yours.

Magenta Pink Five Fingers. Get your pink on while being "barefoot".

What are your favorite Vegan Shoe stores??  Do you have "go to" places for "sex ya up" shoes?  Prefer Pleather or Hemp?  Or are you in the "flats" period of your life?  Are there certain websites/stores that you check often for new goods??

I check lots of online places like Vegan Chic, Moo Shoes, Alternative Outfitters, Vegetarian Shoes, etc....I actually haven't bought a ton of shoes recently although my hubby would probably beg to differ.   There is still a tall pair of Vegan Combat Boots made by Vegetarian Shoes that I think I must absolutely have.  To be Ms. Military Girl.  Don't I need those to be a "Militant Vegan"??  I can easily transition from my fivefingers to combat boots to 4 inch heels.  Shoes are so much easier to change than interior design.  Perhaps that's why I haven't done any interior design.  Our "college" futons are doing quite well.  Would love to hear if you guys have some great internet places that you shop.  

Sounds True, Inc.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vegan in the Bible Belt. Churches & Carrots in Petersburg, Illinois.

 Tempeh.  I so wanted to eat this but this particular Tempeh wasn't gluten free.  It was really nice because people put the ingredients of the packages out next to the food so if you did have an allergy, would be easy to see what exactly was in each dish.

Tempeh is wonderful because you can cook it up super quick.  My macrobiotic friend uses a lot of this stuff.  You can buy it made from all different types of beans/grains & you can buy gluten free as well.

 When I was travelling last week, I was lucky enough to be a visitor at the Petersburg, Illinois Vegetarian Potluck.  I know, it's funny.  Well, it was funny to me, because Petersburg is a very small Central Illinois Town know more for Cattle than Carrot Chics, but on this evening I ran into both!  Getting there was half the fun, as my mom & I were running late and taking back country roads.  When we actually saw "Welcome to Petersburg" and saw a church on the little town square, I exclaimed "There's the Church, that's it".  It wasn't.  Okay, the next block, "There's the church, that has to be it".  It wasn't.  The next block, "That church has to be it".  It wasn't.  We did this at least 5 more times and I think I was in total disbelief that there could be so many churches on one square mile of land!  I think it was the very last church we saw!  The Potluck was at the Petersburg United Methodist Church.  It was a small group of peeps from the Petersburg-Greenview Illinois Area and everyone brought a delicious Vegan dish to share.  Yep, right here in the Heartland, Vegan.  

 An Amazing Fruit Salad.  I could almost live on this stuff.  This stuff along with overeating nuts. 

Several Raw dishes and then several others with Daiya cheese-which isn't at their local IGA!  We ate & then watched a John McDougall show about the evils of  Soy Isolates.  The second part was about Fish (And why it is bad) but thankfully we only had one hour of John.  Don't get me wrong, I do support most of what John McDougall says & think he has done wonders in getting information out there.  But I had this uncontrollable urge to laugh throughout the first 20 minutes of the film as he isn't a super high energy person.  It was a little bit more "teachy" than entertaining and I swear I heard him say to limit bean intake to one cup a day so we wouldn't overdo proteins.  Seriously??  Limit Plant Protein like that?  That's fine, but seriously, this girl is eating avocados & nuts & I can eat gallons of Anupy's Dad's Rajmah, so "limiting" beans was just a wee bit out of my league.  I am much more of a Michael Gregor Girl myself-he is super funny & enlightening.  I do love you John McDougall, but maybe you need some Yerba Mate.  I couldn't stop thinking of how "moderate" he may be in other areas of his life as well & that made me have to try to contain the hilarity of my visualizations of this bean & nut limiter in more intimate settings.

 I couldn't get enough of this stuff.  Raw Vegan Crack.  Sweet, nutty, super yummy.  Who needs candy when you have Raw Vegan foods like this?

 Hometown Comfort Food.  Potatoes & Cheeze (Cholesterol Free/Cassava Root based "Daiya" Cheeze).

 Beta-Carotene Boost.  Another sweet & nutritious dish.  Carrots, Sunflower seeds, Raisins.  
Simple Goodness.

 Yummy Bean & Corn Salad.  Simplify it and used canned beans, but use "Eden Organic" Canned because that way you get yummy Organic Beans that aren't in a BPA lined can.  This dish packed a little punch (which I adored) with the addition of a bit of hot pepper!

 This looked great but this gluten-free chic stayed way.  But very easy to make a summertime pasta dish. Going Whole Grain or even Gluten Free doesn't mean you have to quit your favorite carbs!  Just get Brown Rice (for Gluten Free) pastas or Whole Wheat & use your favorite recipes.  Costs a little more for the Whole Grain pastas, but you are probably a lot less likely to be needing so many medicines if you give up all the refined white flours in your diet.  

LOVED.  I love beans & Vegenaise.  I don't eat Veganaise on a regular basis but how fun to have "traditional" types of recipes and use it.  Once again, look for Beans with BPA free cans if you are using canned beans.

 Another dish with gluten, but just as well.  I would have felt guilty for eating this!!  But, um, YUM.  Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.  The Gluten Peeps got several helpings of this.  I bet it was delicious & can you imagine with coffee......

 Yeah, finally we found the right church!  I couldn't believe that there were so many churches in what seemed like one big city block.  It seemed that there were nearly as many churches as homes in this little area.

If anyone is interested in veggie stuff, then check out the Petersburg Vegetarian Society.  The "Got Carrots" gal hosting is going on an adventure & she is going to need help keeping the Veggie Group going.  Maybe you are just Veg-Curious......I got the general idea that several of the attendees were in it for the "health" of it, but I am sure there are some big time animal lovers in this area as well.  Being "Vegan" or eating a Plant Based diet isn't "hip" or trendy in this part of the country.  But, this part of the country needs these types of events.  There are a lot of people making themselves sick from our traditional American Diet.  I can see where some of the Hallelujah Acres type of information might go over big here because it blends the "God Groove" with the "Heal Oneself" groove and puts Carrots over Cattle.  I really hope this little group will blossom!

Do you guys go to Raw or Vegetarian Potlucks/Group gatherings?  Are you a "Midwest" or "Small Town" Vegan or Vegetarian?  What things do you like about being a "minority" in these places??

I go to the Raw potluck sometimes but often the timings of the Raw of Veggie Potlucks don't fit so well into my schedule.  I am certainly a minority being a full out Vegan in the Midwest.  "Full Out" means I check when it says "Natural Flavor"!  A plus of being a Midwest Vegan is that there aren't a lot of people exploring this diet to be hip or trendy.  It isn't pretentious.  The people I know who are vegan in this part of the country have character.  It isn't like you can walk into any coffee shop and buy vegan desserts to go with your fair trade coffee here.  You have to really believe in it & commit to the lifestyle here because it isn't like you are going to do this because all of your friends are doing it.  So I like the sincerity of people.  It would be awesome to have a raw food or vegan place on every street corner like the West Coast, but I will settle for the "realness" of the people I meet.  People build character when it isn't 78 degrees and sunny everyday!  I think it's great that "veganism" is "trendy" in places as well (the beloved West Coast again), and would embrace living there as well.  But since we are here until.......then I do try to see the bright side!

Anupy Singla's "Dad's Rajmah".  One of my favorite dishes in which I eat way more than one cup of beans.
No one comes between me & my Rajmah.  Sorry John.  Don't forget to "Like" Anupy's "Indian As Apple Pie" Facebook Page because this gal is working on her "Vegan Indian" book and she needs taste testers in the Chicagoland Area.  Yes, Vegan Indian.  WOW!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Running off the Grief

My Vibram "KSO's" (Keep Stuff Out).  They are vegan.  But now you have to check all of their "shoes" because they use Kangaroo leather (ick) on many.  But they still have "Vegan Versions" as well.  I love these and would wear them all the time but I think I have already "hippied" out too much for my poor husband, and probably need to sport some of my heel collection just a little more frequently. 

When I first heard how seriously ill my friend was, I thought I would do a juice fast, wake up early, do 90 minutes of yoga a day, and meditate.  You know, to clear my head & send good energy his way.  But instead, we hit the supermarket and made stops in the wine (Frey Organic) and junk aisle.  Okay, I have to clarify....I actually splurged on bunches of organic red grapes, organic blueberries, and sprouted corn tortillas....but still.  The "packaged" junk was "Flackers" (raw, vegan, flax crackers), Baba Ganoush (with tahini but no added oil), Kimchee, and a few spoonfuls of my husband's Veganaise stash.  But my point, instead of being disciplined, and turning inward.  We both watched bad tv & binged.  And drank a little, and basically did nothing (unless moping is "something").  No exercise.  No cleaning.  No getting outside (it was disgustingly hot anyway).  No calling friends.  Nada.

Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor

It got to be too much, so the night prior to his service, I located my FiveFingers and Garmin (I obviously need incentive), and hit the road.  I am not an OCD runner.  Probably because I get bored running where I think it's "safe" and my skin basically screams "Future Melanoma Victim".  So I don't even flirt with it.  But I am a "runner", in the sense that, if I feel the urge or need, my body will just go.  Well, it didn't seem like  my body that night. It just felt like something else carried my body.  Maybe it was because I eat well & am not dreadfully out of shape.  But I haven't really done any type of exercise lately.  I went 7 miles straight and only quit because it was getting dark outside.  At times, when I was really tired, bored, my body just took off sprinting. This was after doing one of the DVD's from the Supreme 90 dvd set (the 20 version of P90x).  Well, I didn't "Run off" the grief, but maybe I diluted it just slightly with a bit of physical exhaustion.

 I will write about Supreme 90 more in depth at a later time.  But yes, it was worth the 20 some bucks I paid for it.  But realize I am a sucker for anything sold on TV (I bought it through Amazon though) and I am a sucker for any workout thing.  Even though I am not a Workout girl now, but I basically think any purchase is "worth it" if I use it for awhile.  It's the little things that you do along the way, that keep your body working.  

Supreme 90 Day System 

When I got home, I ate more blueberries.  Followed by watching (with my husband's coaxing) "America's Got Talent" and there was a woman on the show talking & having her parrot sing.   A parrot that looked very similar to my friend's parrot.  Followed by a hip looking woman belting out "Ave Maria".

 Flackers.  Raw Vegan Flax Crackers.  At 5.69 (retail at Whole Foods) not an item I have ever bought before.  But....since I knew I would be trying to "eat" the sadness away, figured I should try to prevent the "guilt".

 But that doesn't mean you can't make these for pennies at home!  Actually, 5 or 6 bucks for this wholesome stuff isn't expensive if you eat lunch out or grab a morning coffee.  It's just that I generally make trays of this kind of stuff really cheap, so I wouldn't buy this on a regular basis.

 They were tasty but hubby said mine were better.  I don't think so.  I have made lots of different types though & some turn out better than others.

 I also wonder about keeping the flax seeds whole.  Even though they are soaked & sprouted, do we get all the nutrients?  Does the soaking mean that we are able to get the nutrients from the whole seed?  It's easier to make them this way, but I think it may be better to grind the flax if you are in it for the Omega 3's.  Of course, maybe you absorb more of the calories if the flax is ground?

 Funny, the last few weeks have been terrible and I have totally neglected the garden.  Except some water & sprinkling of the DE.  But all of the rain made the garden thrive & now I have LOTS of smoothies here!  And Kale Chips!!  I actually pulled up a bunch of mustard because it seemed like it was taking over & I just can't handle mustard in my smoothies yet.  Although I used it to make "Everything Burritos" the other night & they were great.

 Square Foot Garden.  A technique that you mark each square foot, hence the name.  Use a special soil mix of compost, soil & vermiculite.  And you can plant 4-5 kale plants each square foot.  It's crazy!!  It seemed like the only solution for our complete lack of space & it did stop me from constantly looking for yards to buy without any regard to the living space that occupied the yard.

 This year we actually got the tomatoes planted a little bit more on time.

Another "binge" food.  Organic Sprouted Corn Tortillas.  They were 2 for 5 at Whole Foods.  Gluten Free and just pliable enough if they are heated.  Pair this with Scrambled tofu, mushrooms & onions, or Pinto beans made in the slow cooker and you have yourself super yummy, healthy food.

Some good news.....guess what Superwoman Singla is up to now????  She is going into hibernation and working on a "VEGAN INDIAN" book.  Seriously, I cannot wait!!  Remember, Anupy Singla is the Indian Slow Cooker Queen & most of those recipes are already vegan.  But an entire book that is vegan!!  It will not be all slow cooker food but a mixture of stove top & slow cooker.  Wow.  Think next winter might be even better than last winter!  Something to look forward to anyway.  And I bet that there will be lots of cancer fighting foods in her next book, just like there are in her current one!  Look to all the links on the right to see "Indian Slow Cooker" posts.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
"The Indian Slow Cooker" by Anupy Singla

Just one of the many AMAZING vegan Indian recipes from the "Indian Slow Cooker" Book!
Kala Chana (Black Chickpea Curry)

Oh, and guess what Chicago peeps.  She is looking for taste testers.  So you know what?  That means that you may be eligible to pick up food, yes, homemade Indian Food, take it home, gobble it up, and report back to her via her blog about what you thought about all of it!!  Yes, you Chicago Peeps are SPECIAL!!  But if you want to get in on the action, then you must "Like" her Facebook Page, Indian As Apple Pie, and get in touch with this Punjabi Princess yourself.  You won't regret it.  Anupy is a beautiful soul & you will love her food & her upcoming book. Oh, Check out her "Spice Tins" with Standard Measuring spoons!!  Coming Soon!!!!

Well, I wasn't able to "Run off the Grief", but I was able to make myself kind of exhausted so my mind was sleepier.  And I guess that's all I can ask for right now.

Do you guys make Vegan Indian Food?? Have you tried Anupy's recipes?  What types of things do you do to handle grief or loss?  I wish I was the type to just do wheatgrass shots & stand endless hours on my head, but apparently I am more likely to watch "Extreme Makeover Weight Loss" or "Freaky Eaters" and pig out on Vegan Eats.  Bummer :(