Let’s Eat: A Food Affair

 “Remember all the time you let me walk you to class
And you would kiss my cheek, I’d never have to ask
You’re going away in late September
But here’s a thanks for a summer I’ll always remember.”

 

When I was in High School, Hello Goodbye played a concert in our auditorium and it was one of the funnest nights I can remember. When I saw they were playing a show to celebrate their first album I called up my best friend and decided that for the sake of nostalgia we had to go. This show was also at The El Rey Theatre which is located mid-Wilshire in Los Angeles – The perfect location for an amazing meal, a bar with a cool vibe, and amazing night at a concert. I had never been to A Food Affair, but when I saw the menu I knew that it was a spot we had to try.

 

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I think that attention needs to be paid to detail put int this gorgeous restaurant. Right when you walk into the door you feel right at home. They have the cutest decor and styling – from the mixed matched lighting fixtures down to the silverware this place has put a thought to everything. (Which I love!!!) Even the bathroom was super adorable! (Uh- yeah I did take pictures of that too…)

 

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That Starter Tho:

A Food Affair is a cozy French-America restaurant with gorgeous decor and a menu littered with tons of delicious options. We started off with the bone marrow appetizer with crispy potatoes strings and a salad made of arugula, parsley, garlic, apple, and fennel. If you have never tried bone marrow – Get on it girl! The best way to describe bone marrow is that it is meat butter. The marrow tastes like the tenderest, juiciest steak you have ever had and spreads on a piece of baguette like the softest of butters.  I have only had bone marrow two other times in my life, but this took the cake a the best bone marrow experience I have ever had.

 

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The Main Event:

To balance out the carnivorous starter, for my entree I got the Farmer’s Market Casserole. The Casserole came with these delicious brussel sprouts with shaved carrots and spaghetti squash with a heavenly dollop of burrata on top. Tiffany got the Alaskan Dungeness Crab Cakes which had a mango salsa and a coconut curry yogurt.

 

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My Girls Get Dessert:

 

Once we got the dessert menu we instantly regretted not just getting one of every dessert from the start. Everything looked so go that we could almost not decide what to get. We ended up deciding on the warm chocolate cookie and the creme brulee. While we waited for the desserts to be completed the head chef came out to our table and greeted us. It was really nice he took the time to come out and say hi and gave us a chance to praise his culinary skills. We started with the warm chocolate chip cookie that came out straight from the oven. This is the way a cookie should be – it was partially cooked with a gooey, doughy center and packed with tons of chocolate chips. It has a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and was devoured in what had to be record time.

 

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Next we attacked that creme brulee. It was perfectly creamy and you could taste the fresh vanilla bean that was running throughout the custard. It was topped with little figs and assorted berries and the sugar was perfectly torched and crunchy.

 

When we were finally able to pull ourselves out of the food coma we were falling into, we headed to Busby’s East which is right down the street from the concert venue. Busby’s is a really cool bar that features tons of arcade games, a dance floor, and even a mini golf course. You enter from the street and go up the stairs where you enter the massive bar. They have a ton of beer options on tap so we grabbed some Hefeweizens and grabbed some seats at a high to table.

 

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After a few beers we headed to The El Rey Theatre for the show. The show was way more then I expected and as soon as that first song started I was taken back to my awkward 17 year-old self. This is my favorite part about music – no matter how much time has passed, certain songs have the power to take you back in time and make you remember what you thought and how you felt when you last heard it.

 

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If you are in the L.A. area and looking for a comforting, delicious meal and a beautiful ambiance, then you have to stop and try A Food Affair.  In fact, I would just go for dessert if my sweet tooth was aching and I was in the area. While everything was served to perfection, the desserts definitely made the meal.

 

Until next time my Wild Pretty Things- Stay Hungry!

XOXO

WPT Blog

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Vegan Challenge: Reflection

Last month I decided to try a vegan challenge and remove all animal products from my life. I wanted to wait to post a reflection on the last month until I had time to process everything I took in over the last 4 weeks. The information on how the meat industry and meat itself affect the environment, your health, and the lives of the animals, was extremely overwhelming and really gave me a lot to think about.

 

It’s easy to get into habits and never really think about the impact your decisions are making on the world. This process has really opened my eyes to the power that each of us have to effect change in the world. When we are equipped with the knowledge of how our decisions impact the earth we can make a conscious effort to make better decisions. That does not necessarily mean entirely getting rid of those bad habits, but instead limiting them or looking for better alternatives. This was absolutely the case with my coffee addiction. There is no way I was going to cut coffee out of my life (Coffee is bae ❤ ) but there had to be a better way to have a milky cup of coffee without the blah after taste of almond milk. In week three (Post here) I found the perfect creamer that lets me continue my addiction without contributing to the abuse of dairy cows.

 

I am not ending this series saying that you should give up meat 100% right now or your a jerk. However, if you are going to continue to eat meat, you can effect change my choosing to eat meat that comes from cruelty free, grass fed, local farms. Choosing to purchase from the slaughterhouses that use the brutal tactics seen in Meet Your Meat sends the message to these companies that you are alright with the abuse the animals suffer before they are turned into the meat you are eating. (See post on Meet Your Meat here) Purchasing power is the best way to send a message to a company that you are not alright with their practices. Limiting your meat protein to fewer meals a week or choosing to support local free range farms are great first steps to take towards making a difference.

 

From this month I have found that it’s best to always remain curious and try new things. Some of the vegan options that I tried this month are things I wouldn’t normally even notice. I mean tofu cheese… Who would honestly flip over that, and now my go to recipe for garlic bread with always include Tofuti slices. (Post here) We live in a time when there are amazing alternatives for most animal products. I encourage anyone to try some of the options. You might just find it’s easier to switch to more plant based products that you thought.

 

My Future Eating Habits:

Over the last month I kept a record of my food intake so that I could ensure that I am getting the right amount of calories and the right macros. I have found that my protein intake over the last month was pretty consistently below my bodies requirements. This is not me saying that you cannot get enough protein from a vegan diet, you absolutely can. I at this current time do not posses enough food knowledge to ensure that I am getting that intake. This is going to be something that I continually work on and research so that I can keep making the best decisions for my body and the world. I want to continue exploring a plant-based diet, but I also want to make sure that I am taking care of my body.

Meat isn’t the only product that is making a huge negative impact on the world. Soy bean production causes a lot of destruction to the plant and the environment. Miles of the Amazon rain forest are destroyed every second for the production of soy bean as well as animal agriculture. Excessive use of soy products is hazardous for your health and can lead to certain cancers rapid growth. However, soy is one of the go to ways for vegans and vegetarians alike to get their protein intake. To continue with my journey towards being fully plant based I want to continue to explore new alternatives that don’t have the same negative impact. One product I have been meaning to try is Hemp Tofu which contains 15g’s of protein per 4 oz of tofu. Finding things like this will help me make better decisions and take care of myself.

One aspect that took a lot of thought was my love of food and trying new places. Variety is the spices of life and I LOVE to try a new spot. While I will be eating plant-based most of the time, I am going to allow myself to try meat options once a month. The information I learned is not wasted on me, I do see all of the bad that comes from the meat industry. But, I don’t think this has to be all or nothing. Before I took this challenge, each week I would probably have all my meals with a meat protein with the exception of  2-3.  Since the challenge, I have almost entirely eaten plant-based with the exception of 1 meal. This series has made a huge impact on the way I eat and the decisions that I have made. In the future, I want to work towards a fully planted based diet, but for me right now I want to allow myself the option. This does mean that I will be looking for places that use care in selecting their ingredients from local farms that use good practices. This is a very LA thing that isn’t too hard to find. (Comment below about the availability of these options where you live! I would really find that interesting)

 

 

Another aspect of life that would complicate my decision to remain vegan would be traveling. When you travel a huge part of experiencing another culture is in their food. When I was in Germany, the classic dish was schnitzel. In Prague it was goulash and Belize it was the royal rat (Not really a rat, more like a rabbit) There are always those cultural dishes that connect you with the people and history of that place. These are the kinds of moments that I do not want to miss. I have also considered that there are a number of places where it would actually be very hard to eat anything that was vegan. Meat has become such a staple in many places diets that there might not be to many other options.

So to wrap it all up – I will be continuing on a plant based, leaning towards vegan diet. I am still working towards making the full conversion and I feel god about the positive changes that have come with this process. I would love to hear your thoughts on my final decision. Comment down below!!

Until next time my Wild Pretty Things ❤

XOXO

 

 

 

 

Vegan Challenge: Week Four

This last week of the vegan challenge was a cinch. Thanks to last weeks hunt for the perfect non-dairy creamer, I have my dairy cravings on check and don’t really have any other temptations to eat animal products. I have found some pretty solid go to options which have made it some much easier to eat. (Developed a pretty strong obsession with pretty much everything on Veggie Grills menu – Yum!) Some of my favorite munchies from the week are down below.

 

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Veggie Grill: Rica Burger – This thing is so delicious and comes with a fake cheese sauce!

 

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Whole Foods veggie rolls – These are Bae ❤

 

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Fruit with Chili and lime juice – I always have to stop and get one of these when I see a vendor. So good!!!

 

I’ve also accomplished all of the personal goals that I set for myself. My sugar intake has drastically dropped -Although there was a huge spike when I found out that Oreos are vegan (I can’t help myself!) I am also hitting the gym more regularly and rewarding my body with a workout. The best results I have seen this week is continued desire to make good decisions.

 

I looked into how the animal cruelty of the meat industry has turned many people to chose a vegan diet. I watched a short film called Meet Your Meat which showed the brutality animals suffer before being slaughtered. (I have a full review here) This was the topic that I was most dreading so I decided to save it for last. The film was really shocking and horrifying to watch the way that livestock is treated.

 

This weeks challenge was to head out to Smorgasburg LA, a foodie fest in DTLA, and try to stick to a vegan diet amongst all the delicious options…

 

Smorgasburg LA:

 

Nothing is better then a refreshing smoothie bowl on a hot LA morning. Since I have heard about Smorgasburg LA I have been dying to try the Amaze Bowls. Since my trip to Belize, I have had an obsession for dragon fruit. Belize is where I first tried the delicious pink fruit and made sure I ate it everyday I was there. It is hard to find dragon fruit in LA that doesn’t cost like $8 a piece. So when I see dragon fruit anywhere I have to try it. This was the really cute sign they had over by their booth – I love this!

 

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The bowl I got was called Dragon Bowl Z and contained dragon fruit smoothie with fruit, shaved coconut, edible flowers, and dried fruit. It was as tasty as it was gorgeous!

 

 

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I have seen pictures of these mason jar iced teas everywhere and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. I chose the raspberry apricot and it was delicious and perfect for the heat.

 

 

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The vegan burrito was from Cena vegan. Anyone who gives you that much guac in a burrito is alright by me 🙂 This thing had refried beans, rice, pico de gallo, salsa, Cashew chipotle crema, and a plant based carne asada.

 

 

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Next was the vegan mofongo from The Ricans Food. I have never had a monfongo before, but I am a huge fan now. It’s made out of mashed plantain that are then fried and served with veggies.

 

 

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This is just a table shot – most of these things weren’t vegan so I sadly couldn’t try them, but it all looked to cute on the table.

 

 

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I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t tempted (There was this shrimp thing served in a halved pineapple that everyone we talked to was raving about and I wanted it so bad!) but there were plenty of vegan options to keep me satisfied.

Until next time.

XOXO

WPT Blog

 

 

Why be Vegan? For Animal Rights

 “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.” – Linda Mccartney

 

This was the topic that I was most dreading researching so I left it for last. The cruel treatment of animals is probably the most widely known reason to become vegan. I have seen the horrific photos that Peta uses in their ads, but I have never been brave enough to watch a documentary or video to actually see the abuse that these animals suffer. I decided to choose Meet Your Meat because it has a 12 minute and 48 second run time. Maybe, just maybe I could handle it for that long…

 

Meet Your Meat:

We started the short film by looking at the cruel ways that chicken and turkeys are treated before they’re slaughtered. The video shows thousands of chicken tightly crammed in cages that are littered with dead chicken. Many chickens will die from breaks in their legs caused by being grown to large too quickly. After they’re legs have broken they will remain left on the ground until it dies of starvation. It’s also very common for the chickens to die from hear attacks cased from stress.

There is then a Graphic video of man killing sick turkeys by beating them with a led pipe. The animals are left half alive squirming on the floor for six hours before being taken to the slaughter house. In the slaughter house they’re hung upside down and have their throats slit. They’re then scalded half alive to remove feathers.

5-11 hens crammed in a cage for egg production. Often fight go insane and attach each other. Due to this, they take a hot blade and  burn their beaks off. When egg production stops, they give the birds a hard electric shock to get them to produce more.

Next, they move onto the treatment of cattle. They show a video of a bull being castrated without any kind of pain medication. They also cut off the bulls horns. Injuries and illnesses will go untreated while the cows are growing in their cages. When being slaughtered many are skinned and dismembered while still fully conscious.

There was a video of a cow that has been hung upside down and it’s throat slit as a worker drains the blood into a bucket. As the worker walks away the cow in moving it legs and tongue- still conscious.

In dairy farms, baby cows are taken away immediately after birth. The male calves are taken and sold to veil farms. Veil caves are kept in confide spaces and give a low nutrient diet so they do not develop muscles and remain tender.

Lastly, is the treatment of pigs. Confined in small cages where they cant move, many go insane from lack of stimulation. The video shows pigs tightly crammed into cages with no room to move. We see a mother pig strapped down with no spaces other then the room where her babies are feeding. After being born, their ears deformed, teeth taken out, and they’re castrated all without pain medication. The video has the most disturbing cries from the babies.

There is a video of sick pigs being slammed against the floor head first. Other sick animals are left untreated until taken to the slaughter house. When it does come time to kill them, they move pigs by beating them with rods. Packed tightly onto the trucks headed to the slaughter house, their legs break from the weight of all the other animals crammed with them. The short film ends with a video of two large pigs hung up and killed. One pig falls from the leg constraints and squirms on the floor.

 

Reflection

It was really difficult for me to watch the awful ways these animals were treated. I cried through the entire film and am still pretty shook up. While videos like this can be really horrific to watch  think this is something that more people should take the time to watch. For me I have always kept a my head in the and when it comes to eating meat. I will refuse to eat anything that comes on a bone or is too close to a joint. Those are the pieces of meat that just get a little to real for me. Seeing this video breaks that disconnect and allows you to really see the price that comes with that cheeseburger you’re about to enjoy.

 

The most disturbing thing about this short film was the cries and sounds of panic that over took the animals in they’re last few moments. Mixed with the disturbing footage of the abuse suffered at the hands of men. I was so heart broken seeing the brutality and knowing that there are people out there who lack so much empathy to treat a liking creature like that.

 

I chose this film because of it’s short run time, but it may have well been an hour. ( It crams a lot of brutal videos and information into those 12 minutes!) If you have never built up the courage to watch one of these videos and get a better understanding of the treatment, then take the time to watch this short film.

 

Thank for checking out this weeks Why be Vegan?! Comment down below if you saw this short film or any longer ones on the cruelty of animals.

Until next time!

XOXO

WPT Blog

 

 

 

Vegan Challenge: Week Three

What do vegan zombies say? – Graaaaaains! Graaaaaaains!

 

Last I left you, I was pumped about the 7 pounds I lost and made plans with myself to get up in the AM for a run. Well, I did it! Not only that, but this week I have taken 3 yoga classes, a Pilates class, more cardio, and I lifted weights. I checked the scale before starting this post and I am down another 3 lbs. – That is 10 lbs. in just three weeks. I have discovered that Oreo’s are vegan so we will see how that plays out in my last week on this vegan challenge.

 

One of the myths I wanted to bust was does being vegan give you more energy. If you have seen Scott Pilgram vs. The World then you are aware of the theory that vegans have super powers. In the last three weeks I have sadly not developed any super powers, but  have noticed some changes. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have more energy. Over the last three weeks I have been making healthy choices are far as what I have been eating. Mentally I feel like these healthy choices make it easier to make other healthy choices throughout the day.

 

The largest hurdle in starting to work out is getting over the dread of going to the gym. You know what I mean, right? Those days when you literally give yourself a pep talk while you sit in your car in front of the gym. (This just can’t be me.) Well This weeks work outs have required no pep talks at all – I wanted to work out, I wanted to do something good for my body. While some people say that being vegan gave them the energy to work out, I say that it gave me a clear healthy mind that was more accepting of making healthier choices.

 

Quest for the Perfect Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer:

 

One of the hardest challenges for me through this process is to not use half & half in my coffee. I instinctively gravitate towards the milky goodness that is that evil half & half bottle. What makes this so hard is that some of the non-dairy options out there just do not pair well with the robust flavor of a dark roast. So this week’s big challenge was to find the perfect coffee creamer! Let’s get started with my top 5 list of the top coffee creamer.

Silk Almond Milk:

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Oh, almond milk, there was so much hope for you. You’re probably the non-dairy option that most people would first think of and you pair so well with cereal  and granola. But, boy you let me down when it comes to my caffeine fix. Almond milk does not pair well with the flavors of coffee. It laves this funky after taste that take me out of those moments of enjoying a delicious cup o’joe. Another thing I don’t like about almond milk is that the coloration change when you add it to the coffee. There is something so exciting about watching your coffee get milky – you wont get that here.

 

Trader Joe’s Soy Creamer:

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Soy milk was much better than almond milk in the flavor department. Right from the moment the coffee touches your tongue you just get the delicious flavor of coffee. It is the after taste that I do not agree with – It lingers in an unsatisfying way and leaves you with a weird taste afterwards. I was conducting one taste test session with my cousin Kyle, and she mentioned that this is her favorite non-dairy creamer. She has been vegan/vegetarian for two years and said that the taste has grown on her over that time. So it might just be an acquired taste that I have not developed yet. Still no victories in the coloration of the coffee, unfortunately.

 

Califa Coconut Cream and Almond Milk:

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This stuff was really delicious and offered only a slight, subtle after taste. The coconut milk makes the coffee super creamy and tasty. This brand is also great because they offer the creamer in a wide variety of flavors, if you are someone who is into that. I personally love tasting the flavor of the coffee I am drinking, but I thought that was really a cool feature of the brand as most non-dairy creamers don’t have too many favor options. We start to see a coloration change in the coffee, but it’s not quite what I am looking for just yet.

 

Ripple Creamer:

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I picked this stuff up at Whole Foods and honesty had no idea what I was buying at the time. When I got home I looked up the creamer and found that it is made from pea protein, among other ingredients. Reading this I was really concerned about how this option was going to taste, but all of that was for nothing because it was INSANELY delicious. There was a tiny after taste, but adding a little bit of sugar masked the taste and made for a very satisfying cup of coffee. I would say that this was the first cup of coffee where I was able to fully enjoy the taste of my beverages. Another bonus, you get that milky complexion to your cup of joe – Finally!

 

Living Harvest Coconut Hempmilk:

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Who knew that hemp could be so good as a milk???? This was the boss B@*%h of all of the options. It was super creamy and had no after taste what-so-ever. It wasn’t half & half, but you honestly would not mind – The flavor was pretty on point! The coloration change with this stuff was absolutely picture perfect. If you are looking for the perfect non-dairy alternative for your coffee I 100% recommend you try out coconut hempmilk blend!

 

I hope that this weeks update helps all you coffee addicts who are scared to go vegan and give up their caffeine fix. If you have tried any of thee options or any other options I have left out then please comment below. I would love to hear what you guys are loving! I also am linking some adorable mugs that I have or would love to add to my crazy cup collection.

XOXO

WPT Blog

 

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Why be Vegan? For Your Health.

“I’d be a vegetarian if bacon grew on trees.” – Homer Simpson

 

Last week I looked into the environmental affect the meat industry and animal agriculture have on the plant ( See post here) This week I wanted to explore all the health benefits that are supposed to come with removing animal products from your diet. I decided to start off with another documentary. I have heard amazing things about the documentary Forks Over Knives and decided to give it a watch. I got a lot of great information from Forks Over Knives, but this one was mixed up with a little more fiction mixed in.

 

Forks Over Knives:

The film’s producers call it a movie that “examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.” Through the film we are introduced to many of the patients that were part of Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn studies into the effects of removing animal products from diet of hearts disease patients.

 

Dr. Campbell started a program in the Philippians where he was trying to improve the lives of malnourished children by filling their diets with more protein. While in the Philippians, Campbell came across a study done in India where lab rats were feed two different amounts of protein that are found in animals, 20% and 5%. The result was that the rats that ate the 20% had begun to develop liver cancer, while the rats that ate the 5% showed no signs of liver cancer.  He repeated the Indian experiment including some variations. Campbell completed his research with a large scale collaboration with a Chinese doctor on a study of different Chinese community diets. After several years of recording data and making sense of the results, Campbell, with the help of others, discovered the effects that different food have on the overall health of the body. Overall, Campbell learned that eating plant based foods resulted in the least amount of health problems.

 

Now enter Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, physician at the Cleveland Clinic.  In 1978, when Esselstyn was chairman of Breast Cancer Task Force at Cleveland Clinic, he was unhappy that he was only treating people who were already ill and not looking into preventative measures. So he got to work rummaging through cancer statistics. ” Dr. Esselstyn also discovered that in the 1970s, the risk for heart disease in rural China was 12 times lower than it was in the US. And in the highlands of Papau New Guinea, heart disease was rarely encountered. The link he noticed between all the areas he studied was simple. ” And what was that difference?  Esselstyn: “Virtually the Western diet was nonexistent. They had no animal products. No dairy, they had no meat.”

 

Because of these findings, Dr. Esselstyn took 22 advanced CAD patients and put them on a whole foods, plant-based diet. He evaluated the candidates over 5 years and ultimately ended up with 18 patients, after 4 withdrew from the study altogether, 11 of whom halted their disease.

 

Reflection:

The message of the documentary I can get behind right from the start is how a healthy lifestyle – diet and exercise – is the best way to a healthy and happy life. When I first read the title I thought it suggested that you should be eating foods that only require a fork over those that need a knife – salads over meat. But, what the the title really says is that food should be our source of healing our bodies, not medicine or “going under the knife”. This is a message I can stand behind!

I really liked all of the studies done in China and the Philippines. These studies showed how the people all of these cultures have faced increased disease as they have had access to more animal proteins.

One of the largest errors in the presentation of the findings is that all of the results are attributed to the removal of animal products. Most of the patients in these studies were people who were eating animal products, but they were also eating lots of low-nutrient, high-crap foods too – aka fast food/ processed foods. As amazing as the results were, it is hard to confidently state that it was a direct result from the animal products, as they do state.

While the documentary featured a lot of great information, my research after watching the film provided hole into some of their larger statements. I really liked how the documentary wasn’t extreme in the way it tired to get you to adopt to their ideals. In the last film, they pretty much said if you do not turn into a vegan right now then the world is going to explode. It even stated that you couldn’t just do if a few days a week, it had to be 100%. This kind of scare tactic might work for some, but I feel like it gives a lot of people and excuse to say no all together. This documentary provided the facts to you and let you make your own decision.

 

In case you want to check out the film of the books mentioned above, I have them linked below.

XOXO

WPT Blog

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Vegan Challenge: Week Two

“We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet – for the sake of hamburgers.” – Peter Singer

 

This week was much better then last week – No whole milk lattes, but lots of coconut milk lattes! I have been too busy to keep a steady work out schedule (Or so I still tell myself), but  I did hit the gym once this week- which is about what I have been doing before August first. Despite not working out, I noticed today that my reflection looks like it has shrunk a bit. A jump on the scale shows that I have lost nearly 7lbs in almost 2 weeks. Seeing this makes me feel amazing (And wish I took before photos) – All I have done differently in the last two weeks is remove animal products. This makes me want to hit the gym – I feel excited and driven to get back into old habits. It’s late at night, but I do some calisthenics and plan to go for a run in the morning.

I started to think about other reasons people have chosen a plant based diet this week. I watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainable Secret  and have a much lengthier review here. Cowspiracy is a documentary film that it about the environmental harm caused by the meat industry. I was shocked taking in some of the information, like the fact that 51% of all global emissions of greenhouse gasses comes from animal agriculture. This compared to 18% from cars and other vehicles. I found it so strange that you hear such a wide discussion on how car emissions are ruining the world yet animal agriculture isn’t mentioned at all. It was an overwhelming documentary that for the most part remained pretty unbiased (Minus one large point I discuss in the post here) and offered a lot of great information

Meals:

This week I kept all the classics from my last post and found some other new staples that have great vegan options. First off was the soyfrites anything from Chipotle. The soyfrites is chopped up soy mixed with a variety of spices. It has a great flavor and texture – some soy products can have a gummy or chewy texture, but this is not like that at all. I love home many different options you have at Chipotle too. You can get soft tacos, then a salad bowl, and then a burrito. This makes you feel like you have a lot more options.

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Another option for a quick meal are these Sapporo Ichiban Chow Mein ramen packets. These are nice to have around for when you can’t decide what to get and are so starving your’re about to die. They cook up really quickly and are super delicious

 

 

Family Dinner:

I come from a Sicilian family so it was a no-brainer that pasta was going to be on the menu. I looked up recipes on Pinterest and everything seemed too complicated or out of my skill set. I decided to just wing it and make a pasta loaded with some of my favorite vegetables. I love the texture that cooked kale adds to a pasta dish. I cooked the kale over the stove top with salt and pepper, adding garlic once the leaves were about 1/3 of the way wilted down. cook until the garlic is slightly transparent and then place aside.

My mother makes the most amazing garlic portobellos – I could seriously eat them all day! You heat up some olive oil in a pan and add a whole chopped shallot. When they’re crispy, add the chopped portobellos and cook for 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook for 2 more minutes – Then put them with the kale. Cook the pasta and mix everything together. I added a ton of olive oil to my veggies, so I did have to add any more oil to the pasta. If you feel like yours is a little dry then you can add some non-dairy butter or more olive oil.

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One of my all time favorite foods in the world is a thick slice of garlic bread –  especially garlic bread with cheese on top (WAH – I miss cheese!) I have heard of vegan cheese, but there is no way that you can make cheese out of plants, right? Well, no you can’t, but the Toffuti All American Cheese is pretty delicious and pretty close. It didn’t melt really well, but it had a gooey kind of texture to it that was very cheeseesk. For the garlic bread, I bought a loaf of french bread and cut it in half. I used Earth Balance non-dairy butter and then sprinkled a good amount of garlic powder. I laid down the cheese and baked it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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I was really surprised that I was able to make this meal. Especially, to have it taste so good and have no animal products at all. I know that I always thought making a vegan meal would be super complicated and take forever. This meal took less then 20 minutes and was under $20.

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Do you have any vegan recipes that you love? Comment below!

 

XOXO

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