Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Vegans Do It; The Benefits of Veganism

Before I say anything about how great it is to be a vegan, I want to stress how important it is to educate yourself about the food you choose to eat. Save millions. Become your own doctor.

No matter what “ism” or “vore” you decide on, try learning about the nutrients your body needs and what foods your body can get them from. Remember that you are the only one who can hear the messages your body is trying to send to you. Listen to the messages your body is sending.

When you are hungry, your stomach lets you know. When you are thirsty, your mouth will become dry. This is your body’s way of saying, “Hydration Please!” If you ate greasy French fries, your stomach may let you know, perhaps in the form of heartburn. When you eat healthy food, like a plate of steamed dark leafy greens, your body will let you know. You may start feeling better and more energized. Now of course you can get suggestions from people and books about what food is “good for you,” but it ultimately comes down to having a conversation with your own body. Experiment until you find the types of foods that make you feel good.

After switching to a vegan diet, many report having stronger immune systems. On top of being more resistant to the common cold, vegans are less likely to die from heart disease. Vegans tend to avoid foods containing pesticides, preservatives and chemicals. While going organic sounds expensive, it is actually a cheaper alternative to cancer and type 2 diabetes. Oh, and you get to save the environment while your at it.

Lots of vegans do it for the environment. Raising a chicken here and a cow there can be good for the environment. Raising 50,000 acres of hogs on one ranch is not so good for the environment, and has the potential to produce more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles. Animal waste is only one aspect of the detrimental effects of factory farming on the environment. Precious resources like land, water, and food are necessary to raise livestock. If you’d like to end world hunger, hear this now; five loaves of bread could be made out of all the resources it takes to get one hamburger! Not one cow, one single hamburger patty. Imagine telling that to the skinny kid on the poverty commercial.

Some vegans do it for human rights. Estimates of 25 million people go hungry in the United States every day. If Americans reduced their meat intake by 5%, guess how many people we could feed? Yup, pretty much all of those 25 million who currently go hungry.

Most vegans do it for the animals. Here is the simplest way I can put it; if you can still eat bacon after viewing the PETA video, “Meet Your Meat,” your heart must be numb. These 12 minutes of video could change your life, or at least how you eat.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Simple but Yum!

Here we have two beautifully bright vegetables to brighten up your dreary February. Squash and Yams. Both of these items were grown within 25 miles of my home! Yeah for local food!

These creatures are easy to prepare. Simply cut them in half. The Yam should be good to go, place right on the baking sheet.

For the squash, you will need to scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Then rub the veg with a thin coat of olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt and cumin. Put on baking sheet. Bake at about 425 for 15 minutes. Check them, rotate them, put em back in.

For quicker cooking of the squash, place the squash in a pan that you can add a half inch of water to.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Getting Started

Hi Friends,

This is the picture that is supposed to scare you into eating healthy and staying out of stressful and toxic environments. After this picture I became vegan.

Fast forward too many years later,

I started a vegan blog a while back. I am going to post some posts from my old "True Spirit Food" blog to help rev this new one, "Wholy Healthy," up.

I wrote this last spring, while in Seattle, over looking Elliot Bay.


Before I actually get into any recipes, I want to prep you for new ways of thinking about how and what to buy when preparing the truest food for your spirit, family and friends.

Some rules of thumb:

1) The foods with the least packaging most likely have the least processing. For example, the produce section of a grocery store, if you quiet your mind, you can feel how alive it is. You don’t really even need to put your tomatoes into a plastic bag to get them home! Also, I love the bulk food sections, especially at stores or co-ops which let you weigh and fill up your own jars. This eliminates SO much waste, AND cuts down on how many trips you have to take to empty your trash and/or recycling bins.

2) Always organic. I respect the fact that each individual has his or her own standards for what they are willing to put into their bodies. Personally I’d rather fast than consume poison, or food that was grown with or around poisons.

3) Local local local. Getting your food from local sources not only ensures you are getting fresher products but also supports farmers in your area and cuts down on all the energy used to transport those huge semi trucks from miles and miles and miles away.

For Produce:

1) Having your own garden is probably the best option for the freshest highest quality produce. That’s if you are lucky enough to have the space, land and time for getting a garden set up. If you are not so lucky as to have the time and space…

2) Try a CSA. CSA’s are “Community Supported Agriculture.” These are so great for the community! You sign up for the season, usually pay up front so that the farmer can use that money to buy seeds for the season, but I’m sure some places have different payment plans. Each week or so you either go and pick up a box of fresh produce directly from the farm, or sometimes there are pick up locations closer to where you live. Google CSA’s in your area.

3) Farmers Markets are also a great way to get uber fresh produce. Usually you can talk directly to the farmer. Even if they don’t have an Organic certification, you can ask them questions about their farming practices and find out if their standards meet your standards.

For your Lentils, Rices, Grains, Nuts and other such Spices not available from your local farmers….

Co-ops are great! Usually you can sign up to be a member and attend meetings to help make decisions on what sort of standards you and your community will set for the food you decide to stock. Don’t forget to bring your jars!

Next post I will confess my love for wide mouth ball jars!