Friday, March 8, 2013

Relapse link dump

I am up to my tits in relapse, people.  I'll have more to say about this, but for the moment, here are links to some posts that are really speaking to me today:

Does it really hurt to have something just once?

Does "everything in moderation" work?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Another health food "vegan" is now a health food "ex-vegan"

Bleargh.  Via Vegansaurus, we learn that Alex Jamieson, as in "Healthy Chef Alex," as in "I tried to leverage my boyfriend's fame after he ate nothing but McDonald's for a month," is no longer vegan.

Suh.  Nore.

Here's the thing:  Alex tells us she went "vegan" for her health.  Tl; dr:  me, me, me, me, me.  Then she decided that "living her truth" (ew) meant eating dead things.  Again:  me, me, me, me, me.  She's part of a deeply boring trend:  people who go "vegan" for their health decide something else would be healthier, and then become "ex-vegans."  I keep putting "vegan" in quotation marks because by definition, veganism is not about health.  It's about not exploiting animals.  It's not about me.  It's about them.

I think maybe Alex needs to read her own web site.  Maybe the part where she talks about being "a complete slave" to her junk food cravings.   Somehow those cravings were bad, but cravings for dead animals are all about "living her truth."

Now me, I'm an addict.  And here's what addicts know:  feelings are not facts.  And your brain can lie to you.  If "listening to your body" means listening to your addict brain, then listening to your body can kill you.

I suppose this all sounds easy for me to say, because in my own case, going vegan did make me healthier.  I've never tried the perfect, most-health-promoting-possible omnivore diet (assuming there is such a thing), nor am I following the perfect,  most-health-promoting-possible vegan diet (again, assuming . . . . ), so I'm not comparing those two hypotheticals, but I can tell you from experience that eliminating animal products from my highly imperfect, junky ovo-lacto-fisho diet immediately improved my health according to a bunch of  objective markers, like blood sugar and cholesterol.  So yay.  No conflict between health and ethics here.

But what if your health and your ethics do seem to be in conflict?  I suggest going beyond "your truth" and looking at some science.   You know, the truth of a whole bunch of people, validated through replicable experiments.  That truth.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I had such a good time at the potluck Sunday!

I first discovered potlucks when I was in college.  I was a vegetarian back then, and I hung out at the food co-op a lot, so the potlucks were all with kind of a hippie crowd.  Everything was always vegetarian, and pretty much on the crunchy granola side of things.  I think I assumed all potlucks were like that.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Lunch

I have a bunch of cookbook reviews on deck, but until then, here for your delectation is today's lunch:  chipotle baked tofu from Vegan Eats World, yellow garlic rice from Viva Vegan, and  "kaleidoscope chard" from Trader Joe's, cooked according to the directions on the package.  All the colors made me so happy.


Recipe of the day: Greek bean salad

I'm going to a potluck dinner tonight and was asked to bring "protein," so I invented the following salad.  I'm calling it Greek because I'm using Greek dressing, and because of the kalamata olives.

Greek Bean Salad


1 cup dry black beans
1 cup dry chick peas
1 cup dry red kidney beans
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 green bell peppers, finely diced
About 4 oz pitted kalamata olives, sliced in rings

Dressing (very slightly adapted from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook):

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
Soak the beans overnight, then drain, add fresh water to cover, and simmer until cooked to your liking.  For best results, cook each type of bean in a separate pot.  Or you can do what I did, and cook the kidney beans and chick peas in one pot, and the black beans in a second pot.  Your chick peas will turn pink, but at least everything won't be stained purple from the black beans.  Drain the cooked beans, rinse them in cold water, and combine in a big bowl in the refrigerator to cool off.  If you don't want to cook your own beans, you could substitute two 15-ounce cans of each type of bean, drained and rinsed.

Once the beans have cooled off, add the other salad ingredients to the bowl and stir.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar, shake it up, pour it over the salad, and stir until salad is evenly coated with dressing.  Keep this at room temperature until ready to serve, so the olive oil doesn't solidify and get yucky.  Om nom nom.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vegan. Girl. Scout. Cookies.

You heard me.

File this one under "information I wish I didn't have."  One of the two manufacturers of Girl Scout cookies makes vegan Thin Mints and something called Thanks-a-lot, which did not exist when I was a Girl Scout but are also vegan.  They also make a version of Tagalongs that are not labelled "vegan", but I didn't see anything non-vegan on the label (maybe it's in the natural or artificial flavors?).  Thanks to The Laziest Vegans in the World, I now have this dangerous information.  And our secretary sells Girl Scout Cookies for her granddaughter's troop every year.

At least they aren't making vegan Samoas -- yet.  That would just be too much to bear.