Monday, February 6, 2012

Free Online Plant Based Nutrition Class

I was so excited when I saw this posted on Facebook today, that I had to write a post so all of you can take part in a free online vegan nutrition class with the one and only Brendan Braizer on February 20th, 9:00 pm EST.  If you are not sure who Brendan Braizer is, he is a vegan triathlete who created the popular whole food nutritional line called VEGA and wrote a number of books. 

According to the information posted on this class, we will learn how to boost mental and physical performance on a plant-based nutrition program. The topics will include:

Click HERE to sign up for this free Brendan Braizer class as I just did!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2012
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."  ~ Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Juicing Like Crazy

We got a juicer a few weeks ago and have been going juicing crazy in our house and loving it.  The best part, we didn't pay a thing for the juicer!  That is what you get when you have a mom that buys anything and everything kitchen related on TV and she has to have it even if she doesn't use it.  Well, since my mom passed away about 5.5 years ago, items are slowly getting discovered in the house where my dad still lives.  Since my dad is not a cook at all, the kitchen items are up for grabs.  My husband found a juicing cookbook amongst a ton of other cookbooks and knew it came with a juicer, but where it was, was the big mystery.  After checking all the cabinets in the kitchen, I found it in the last one I looked tucked back in the corner.  To our surprise, it was so clean, we are almost positive it was never used.  We are now the proud owners of the Juiceman II Elite.  It might not be the fanciest or finest, but it does the job and we love it!

So far our favorite is apple, carrot and spinach.  I have to be honest, I am nervous to go the all green juice route, but know that is the best for you.  Will have to work up to that since I love sweet things, going all green will take some time.  My boys are loving it just as much and it is turning into another easy way for us to get them to eat their fair share of fruits and veggies which can be a challenge with a 2 and 5 year old.  The only downside is that we are making more trips to Costco to get bulk produce more than ever since we use it so much.

One thing I feel guilty about juicing is all the waste of the pulp spitting out the back into the bucket.  I have looked online for recipes on how to use the pulp, but everyone's comments are not positive and say as hard as it is, it is best to just throw it away or compost it.  If you happen to have a recipe that works for the pulp, I would love to hear about it and try it!  But other than this negative part, I am loving this juice thing and can't believe we have waited so long to try it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Hoarding

Have you heard the news recently?  Peanut butter prices may rise as much as 40% over the next few weeks.  Some people are saying we could expect to pay as much as $6 a jar.  This seems to be what everyone is talking about on the news, twitter, blogs, facebook and other social sites recently.  Being vegan, we eat a lot of peanut butter in the house as a staple to our daily diet.  We love it on bread, dipped with apples, add it to smoothies and the list goes on. 

So do we believe the media or chalk it up to be all a marketing hype?  Well, it seems that this is one of the worst peanut harvests we have seen in decades.  Which will result in skyrocketing prices in the stores very soon, if not already.  You can read more about it here or just google "peanut butter price increase" and you will get a lot of recent articles on this subject.

What are your thoughts on all of this?  Will you go out and buy an extra jar or two in the next few days or just ride it out?  Will this cause a huge hoarding scare to where we may see bare shelves where once peanut butter used to sit?  Only time will tell, but I am not taking this chance with my two little boys.  Yep, I fell into the trap, went online to and just brought 12 jars of it so we are set for the next few months.  My boys are in the very picky eating stage and pb&j sandwiches seem to be a staple in our house at all times.  Let's just hope it isn't as bad we expect, but if it is, I am prepared so to speak/eat!

Happy World Vegan Day

Happy World Vegan Day, a day late.  Yep, I forgot it was world vegan day.  Better late than never :)  But hope everyone was able to celebrate it in some sort of fun vegan fashion!  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gluten-free Vegan, that's me!

Ever since I had my second child, almost 3 years ago, I have had to deal with eczema that appeared during my pregnancy and has stuck with me to this day.  You know that dry, itchy patches of skin if you scratch too much it pusses and bleeds at times.  Sorry for the details, but it is not fun to deal with, but you learn to live with.

Well, becoming vegan and eliminating the dairy helped relieve some of my eczema, but not completely.  In the past I have been able to hide it pretty well being on my legs, arms, torso, hands, but during the past few weeks it spread to my face.  My first reaction was to freak out as I was starting to look like a teenager with a very bad case of acne, YIKES!  I have used so many products in the past that say it can help get rid of eczema, but nothing has worked for me.  After more researching online, I decided to see if gluten and wheat had anything to do with my flare-ups.  Well, I am proud to say that in just a weeks time of eliminating them from my diet, my eczema that was attacking my face where I felt like I just wanted to pull and itch at it constantly, is very minimal if not gone.  Plus, the horrible patch on the palm of my hand that I have had for the past year is completely gone.  Yeah, I have my hands back to normal.  I sure hope this is the case because I can't believe something like gluten/wheat could be such a culprit on your body and system.

It has been a challenging week finding new items to snack on as i didn't realize how addicted I was to carbohydrates.  I was crazing bread, pizza crust and pretzels.  Plus, going into the grocery store looking for gluten-free products was a huge sticker price shock to me.  I couldn't believe companies are trying to sell gluten-free bread for $8.75 a loaf and it was the smallest loaf of bread I ever saw.  Seriously, that is outrageous!  So my hunt is on to find a cheaper homemade version to make myself along with all new vegan gluten-free foods.  My new culinary venture begins on the gluten-free, vegan path.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegan Martial Artist

I have officially done it.  I am now fulfilling one of my dreams on my to do list, I joined a martial arts school to begin my journey to earn a black belt!  My husband and 5 year old son started two years ago and realized if I don't start now, I never will.  Plus, I had two of my girlfriends interested in joining as well, so we made a pact to do it together.  We are fortunate enough to have the owner provide us a class all of our own so we don't have to learn in front of a ton of people watching us, which has helped tremendously.

Although this isn't the actual style of martial arts I dream of learning, for now I will go with the family flow.  My husband and son go to Kicks Unlimited Middleton and it made sense for me to start there as well.  We are learning American style Tae Kwon Do.  I actually started in mid-July and am really loving it.  It is amazing how much you can sweat by just doing slow stances for about 45 minutes.

Someday soon, I plan on learning Wing Chun which was actually invented by a Chinese women.  Wing Chun is simple and direct art making it seem very fast, this makes it suitable for weaker less athletic types to fight well and on many occasions win the fight. Your age or gender is not important; Wing Chun is suitable for mostly everyone. I came to learn about Wing Chun from watching the foreign film, Ip ManIp Man is a semi-biographical movie of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.  Yip Man if famously known as Bruce Lee's martial arts teacher.

What I love about this ongoing achievement is that I am pursuing it as a vegan.  Another proof that by eating vegan and working out won't make you weak and feeble, but stronger and smarter.

L to R: me, Mrs. L and Mrs. J

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”    ~ Bruce Lee