Carnage – A Mockumentary

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I don’t know if any of you saw this mockumentary, but I wanted to talk about it today.  It’s by the BBC and Simon Amstell.   The film shows the “history” of veganism from 1944 to 2067 with the focus on people in the future trying to come to terms with their carnist pasts.  The young people of 2067 don’t understand how people could have eaten animals, and this mockumentary explains the mind-set and attitudes of people regarding animals that helped with the exploitation of animals.

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The movie is actually quite funny, starting with the portrayal of early vegans as absolute nut-cases, as is the usual portrayal.  However, as the United Kingdom begins to deal with extreme weather due to global warming, the attitudes about veganism change.  In case you didn’t know it, animal production is indeed one of the leading causes of climate change due to the cutting down of vast forested areas, and the huge amount of emissions from intensely factory-farmed animals.

https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/

In the movie, following the invention of a device that allows humans to hear the thoughts of the other animals, veganism goes mainstream, and by 2067 no one eats other animals.   There are some video shown of factory-farming, however the clips are not nearly as graphic as some of the slaughter-house clips you can see on your own on YouTube.

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I hope that many people watch this mockumentary which is available onYouTube and the BBC website.  It’s engaging, funny and a wonderful way to present the facts without being “preachy”.  I really hope that this makes a difference in people’s lives.

https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/carnage-review

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBCaIYAG7IPKs7mafExL1nQ

 

How the Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet Worked for Me

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I wrote a post two weeks ago, about going to see Rip Esselstyn talk about the plant-based rescue diet he recommends in his latest book, and how I was planning to use this rescue diet in order to reboot my diet.  I’d been relying on prepared vegan foods too much, and since prepared food is not good for you, even if it is plant-based, I needed a rescue.

So, here I am, after my initial seven days to tell you how it all went.  First of all, most of the meals I prepared were his “bowls”, and they were all delicious!  I also tried some of his oil-free dressings, and they too were really good.  In the future, I’m going to make my own hummus, since it’s really easy and you can make it without any oil.

Talking about oil, on Thursday I did have a terrible craving for “naughty” foods, including potato chips.  I can tell you that I didn’t eat any and instead had some red seedless grapes that astonished me by how good they tasted.  One of the most difficult things I found on this diet is that I had to eat, not drink my food.  So, no morning smoothie for me.  I missed that, but found that I really like drinking cold water in the morning.  I still drank my coffee, only without sugar, and I put some non-sweetened almond milk (even though that wasn’t recommended).  The other huge change is that I ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast.  I’ve never really enjoyed oatmeal, but I was able to put some maple syrup in it, along with cinnamon and various fruits.  I’ve used oranges, bananas and blueberries, which were good and pretty filling.  Some days I have either a Halo orange or a banana around ten o’clock or so, and other days I’m good until lunch.

My lunches either consisted of a large salad with one of the oil-free dressing along with a good number of chickpeas thrown in, or a concoction of fresh veggies that I cooked up, oil free, which I put on some toasted oil-free multi-grain sandwich thins.  Again, if I got hungry in the afternoon, I just had one or two pieces of fruit.

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Again, my dinner usually consisted of the “bowls” that I got the recipes out of the book.  Thursday night I made whole-grain pasta along with fresh vine ripened tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and broccoli that I cooked up with some oil-free tomato paste.  That was also a good meal, and I served it with a large salad.

The physical results from these seven days are that my pain that’s associated with Fibromyalgia has lessened somewhat, and I have less brain-fog.  I’ve also lost about 4 pounds, which is always nice.  Am I going to continue?  The answer is yes!  I like the way I’ve been feeling, and want to see if I continue to feel better the longer I stay on this plant-based, no oil or preservatives diet.  Has it been easy?  No, this is not something that you should do without a meal plan.  Also, like I said I plan on making my own hummus, and continue to make my own salad dressings.  This requires planning and cooking – not my strong points.

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While this diet is not easy, and it does come at a cost – time to plan, time to cook, I am trying to look at it this way – What is the cost of your health?  Do I want to be sick and have to pay for that with my time and money, or do I want to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can?  This choice is up to me, and I choose health!

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72 year-old Annette Larkins, Vegan

Rebooting my Diet

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I’ve been Vegan for a few years now, and while I feel really good on this lifestyle, as a fifty-something woman dealing with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and the other aches and pains that come from (those dreaded words) growing older, I felt that I really needed to make a change with my diet.  No, I’m not talking about beginning to eat meat and dairy again.  Instead I mean that I want to start eating the way Dr. Michael Greger promotes in his book How not to Die.  So, luckily, I was able to go and see Rip Esselstyn on his book tour promoting his new book, The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health.

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While my diet is mostly healthy, I haven’t been eating the way that I should.  As you probably know, there are a lot of prepared food products out there for Vegans.  While these foods make life easy, they’re not exactly healthy.  I’ve been eating half-a-bagel at breakfast with vegan butter, and then there is the wonderfully delicious mandarin orange chicken (I prefer the Gardein brand).  However, since these are prepared foods, they of course, are not really good for you.

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Due to the increase of pain related to my Fibromyalgia, I decided that I really had to change my food consumption to only whole plant-based foods.  Lucky for me, along came the Rip Esselstyn book tour.  I’m so glad that I went to see him.  A lot of the recipes for vegans require that you are able to both afford and go to a store such as Whole Foods.  While Whole Foods is a wonderful experience, I absolutely cannot afford to buy much there.  That’s what’s so good about the recipes in the Engine 2 book.  I will be able to buy everything I need at my local grocery store.  So, I originally thought that I would start this on Tuesday, however, I just realized that I should probably read the book and then start – know, what a novel idea!  I’ll let you know when I start, and how it goes.  Wish me luck!

 

Good Things This Week

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In a conscientious effort, I’m trying to keep myself looking at the positive while working against the negative, so here are a few good things about this week.  I finished my Entrepreneur Seminar, got some really good information (and free gifts), and am feeling energized to continue along this path!  Then of course, I’ve been trying some new recipes, and making up some of my own.  Here is one that actually came out really good.

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Steamed veggies

Steamed Veggies:

Green cabbage, sliced thin – I used about 1/8 of a cabbage  (Just a note, green cabbage is incredibly cheap)

¼ onion, sliced

About six baby carrots, sliced thin – use as many as you like

Some mushrooms, depending on how much you like.

I then put all these in a bowl  and mixed some herbs and spices in.  Use whatever you feel like.  I put in some sage, rosemary, garlic, marjoram, thyme and sage.

Steam for about five or so minutes.  My steamer is pretty small, so I made a few batches.  This made enough for my lunch.  I added a little soy sauce for the extra flavor.  I also had a baked red potato to round out the meal.  I also saved the leftover water, since it was infused with the taste and smell of the veggies, spices and herbs.  I used it in the soup I made last night.  Very good!

Vegan cooking is so easy.  I’m not saying that all my improvised meals are good, however, I’ve had more hits then misses lately.

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I’ve been working out every morning, and walking before lunch.  I’m starting to feel pretty good.  I’ve also added Sun Salutations to my daily workout, and find that the proper breathing is helping with my stress.  Another “good thing”.

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The full moon peeking out from behind the trees at dusk.

I hope that you’ve had a good and productive week and that you’ve found some things to be grateful for.  I’m glad that I’ve been making the effort to spend some time looking for the positive.  Here are some pictures I took this week.  The first is sunrise the day after the snow, and the other is one of my hemlock trees draped in snow.

 

Vegan Recipe, a new Blender & Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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I haven’t posted a vegan recipe in a while, so I thought that since I’ve just concocted a new one, I would share it.  This one is for stuffed roasted acorn squash.

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Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

I used two medium to large acorn squashes, cut in half, scoop out seeds and fibers, rub a small amount of oil on insides, put in pan with about a half cup or so of water, cover and bake at 400° or until the insides are soft.

While the squash is roasting, make rice, I used one cup of brown rice along with spices.  I love sage, rosemary, thyme and basil.

Then mince about half an onion, and some fresh mushroom, I used about a half cup each (next time I’ll use a full cup).  Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil along with minced garlic and spices such as sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, coriander, and whatever you like.  I also added some sun-dried tomatoes that I had on hand.  Once the squash is done, scoop out as much of the flesh as you can without compromising the skin, and mix the squash with the finished rice and everything you sautéed.  Then pack the mixture into your roasted acorn squash.  Simple, simple, simple.  I served this with left-over Italian bread and a salad.  It was quite a filling meal, and very delicious.

I’ve had a blender for 31 years that has served me faithfully.  However, about three years ago, it became clear that I could no longer pull the entire thing apart to clean it.  The little seal at the bottom was going to fall apart if I continued cleaning it.  So, as I used this blender every day, I was waiting for it to begin to seep.  However, it didn’t.  I realized not that long ago, that at some point the thing was just going to stop working.  Not only that, but it was never made to be used constantly, nor to be used to blend up all kinds of fruit.  When I came to this surprising revelation, I knew that I would have to replace it.  Along came the Black Friday sales, and I knew that now was the time.  So, my daughter and I went out after dinner one night and bought one that was on sale at BJ’s.  I can’t explain how this has changed my life!  I can put all kinds of fruit into it, and it actually works!  How wonderful is that?  And, most importantly of all, I got it at a bargain price.

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Okay, and now for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  What a great movie!  As a Harry Potter fan, this movie was simply magical.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  The acting was good, the story-line was interesting, and the movie-making was magical.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and do so.  3-D is great!

Looking for a Little Happiness

The past week or so has been a little bit difficult both within my home and outside of it.  However, I’ve been collecting the wonderful things that have happened.

One of them is the fact that my library re-opened and I’ve been spending the entire day on Saturdays there writing away on my NaNoWriMo.  Yay me!  Another good thing was that my daughter and I were able to go to the restaurant Not Just Juice which serves both vegetarian and vegan food.  Yum!

Since the weather is getting a bit colder, I made my Butternut Squash soup for the first time this season.  I’ve been looking forward to making more soups and stews with the cold coming.  What a treat this was after a long Spring and Summer of hot-weather salads and other dinners for the hot weather.  Comfort food here I come!

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As a way to “hide” from the cruel cruel world, I’ve been trying to read more than usual.  So, here are some of the books that I’ve recently finished.

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And, of course to round this all off, there is the lovely little thing called nature that is all around us.  Here are a few of the pictures that I’ve taken recently.

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The Super Moon!

 

What have you been doing in order to find that all illusive thing called happiness?

 

Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes for a Heat Wave

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New England has been suffering from extreme heat and humidity – days with a heat index of 105°  etc.  So, I’ve been looking for some meals that I can make that don’t need any form of cooking.  Here is one easy meal that I’ve found that requires no cooking, baking or grilling:

Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes

As many large tomatoes as there are people you’re feeding.  My daughter and I have one each and use another just for more tomato.  Lettuce leaves for garnish.

I stuff the tomatoes with Mashed Chickpea Salad:

Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup celery, diced

½ cup carrots, diced

½ cup onions, minced

1 tablespoon or so hummus (any kind you like)

1 tablespoon mustard

Dash of garlic powder

Splash of lemon juice

Place chickpeas in a medium size bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork.  Add remaining ingredients and combine.  Add more hummus for a creamier taste, if you want.

Take tomatoes and cut off the tops, scoop out the insides (I just put those into a bowl and eat them with my meal); then stuff with Mashed Chickpea Salad.  Place on a bed of lettuce and your meal is served!

Enjoy!

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