Aquafaba by Zsu Dever: Book Review & Giveaway

Aquafaba Cover hires

Bean water.

I know. Your mouth is watering, tummy rumbling, because those two words placed side-by-side evoke utter deliciousness, amiright?

No? Just me?

Well what if I said aquafaba instead? Naturally this would be accompanied by an intense, piercing gaze and a completely over-the-top, arm-waving flourish of the hands. Because aquafaba is magic. And the magician of the moment is Zsu Dever.

Not to reveal the magician’s secret, but aquafaba is, in fact, bean water. Don’t for a second think that that humble detail makes it any less wonderful, though. In case you haven’t heard, aquafaba—the water leftover from cooking beans or the liquid that comes alongside them in a can—has some remarkable properties.

… 

Read More »

Ragnar Adirondacks 2016 with SHVP

SHVP B Team

I’m not even sure where to begin. This past weekend was a glorious, laugh-filled, sleep-deprived adventure, one of those weekends that speeds by in a blur yet seems to contain a week’s worth of moments. It’s almost hard to write about it now. Sifting through all that happened, I find myself missing everything and everyone so much that my heart hurts.

From last Thursday through Sunday, I was lucky enough to spend all day and night with an incredible group of vegans. We laced up our running shoes in the wee hours of Friday morning and took turns running a 200(-ish)-mile relay through the Adirondack mountains, all wearing matching black gear boldly emblazoned with the words “Strong Hearts Vegan Power.” At four teams of twelve runners, plus a handful of van drivers, we were a force, representing not only vegan athletic prowess but compassion for all beings.

This race was significant for me for so many reasons. There’s the obvious: that it was amazing to spend several days with a massive group of vegans (more on that next), but it was also a huge milestone for me personally. The recovery from my stress fracture after the NYC Half in March was painfully slow—not physically painful, since I was pain-free from about two weeks post-injury, but mentally it was torturous. The initial MRI results were crushing, and when the follow up MRI eight weeks later still showed a small fracture I felt frustrated and betrayed by my body. Another eight weeks later, in mid-July, a third MRI showed no fracture but minimal residual fluid in the bone, enough for my conservative doc to give me another 4 weeks to go.

There were moments where I considered hanging it all up. The swimming I’d been doing during my recovery went from being a pleasant change of pace to this thing that I was doing because I still couldn’t run (in case my coach is reading, that came back around—yay swimming!). It became clear that there was no way I’d be able to build enough mileage to run the Philly Marathon in November and, since things hadn’t been trending so hot, I felt doubtful that the Philly Half or 8k that same weekend would even be possible alternate options. Completing my 9+1 for next year’s NYC Marathon was starting to look iffy, and then there was this Ragnar thing that I’d been dying to run with this group of vegans, which was in September and I wouldn’t be able to even start running until mid-August….

… 

Read More »

Why I Returned This Dress

Dress1

About this time last summer I found myself staring down a calendar filled with events—a bridal shower, wedding, bachelorette party, etc—that would require a certain level of dress, while simultaneously staring into a closet that was sorely lacking in appropriate garments. Clearly it was time to go shopping.

I’m not personally one for shopping (unless it’s for groceries!). I go when I need something specific and make every attempt to get in and out as quickly as possible. This made it especially disappointing when, after hitting several stores, I couldn’t find anything worth bringing home.

I waited a few days and made a last ditch trip one morning while Roman was at preschool. Happily and rather easily, I found a couple items that I actually liked! As it was nearing time to go get the kiddo, I made one final pass through the store, just in case. There was this crepey, patterned pink dress that I initially dismissed as being “too crazy”, but I was feeling optimistic after having found a couple nice pieces and decided to try it on. It looked surprisingly good. I texted a picture to the hubby to confirm. “I like it!” he said. I tossed it over my arm along with the other items I’d selected, checked out, and rushed off to pick up Roman.

Dress2

It wasn’t until I had the dress home and hanging in my closet, wondering what its cleaning instructions were, that I even thought to check the tag. This is something I’m generally pretty good about doing. I find a piece that I like, and, particularly if the material isn’t immediately identifiable to me, I check the tag before I even try it on. Cotton or synthetics? Go. Wool or silk? No. After my recent string of misses, however, I’d been so desperate to get out with something, not to mention bumping up against preschool pick up time, that I completely forgot to check the pink dress.

… 

Read More »

Homemade Hummus

Hummus & Cracker

There are jokes and memes about vegans and hummus for a reason. We like it, we eat a lot of it, and if you ever attend a vegan potluck, you should expect to see approximately one container of hummus for every three people in attendance. It happens: occasionally we live up to the stereotypes.

Of course you don’t have to be vegan (yet 😉 ) to enjoy hummus.

It’s been popularized as a dip for bread, crackers, or crudités, but it can be so much more. You can slather it on sandwiches or wraps, add it to your avocado toast, dollop it on bowls or salads, dilute it into a dressing, or eat it straight up with a spoon (or your fingers if you’re a certain, less-discerning 3 year-old). Not only is it versatile, it’s both delicious and nourishing. Could you ask for more?… 

Read More »

Baconish by Leinana Two Moons: Book Review & Giveaway

Baconish

Years ago, I, like so many hipsters people today, possessed a deep love of bacon. It never reached the level to where I found myself applying bacon-flavored lip balm while wearing a bacon bikini (for your own sake please don’t google this), but I do recall once drafting a blog post professing my love for it. I can happily—and with great retrospective relief—say that I never pressed publish on that one, but the point is that I get it. I get the obsession, and I get why it’s one of the most common hangups of the non-vegan.

Er…bacon tho.

As I approach nearly five years of veganism, and as a former aficionado of bacon of the porcine variety, I can tell you two things:

  1. I don’t miss it. At all. Not even a little bit. Being able to fully open my heart and enjoy how awesome pigs are is so much better than compartmentalizing my dietary choices so I can feel okay about eating a few cholesterol-laden, artery-clogging strips of Group 1 carcinogen.
  2. It’s not the pig part of the bacon that makes it so delicious.

You know what makes bacon so tasty? It’s the smokiness, the saltiness, the subtle sweetness, and the crispiness of it. It’s the sensory-igniting combination of all of these wonderful things at the very same time. That’s why so many people love bacon, and why I love it too.

Love? What’s this present-tense love of which I speak?

Baconish (c) Coconut Bacon BLT

Like so many other things (Okay basically everything. You know there’s a plant-based burger that bleeds now, right?), there is a vegan and cruelty-free way to satisfy your bacon cravings. Make that more than 10 ways to satisfy your cravings.

Enter: Baconish.

… 

Read More »

10 Things You Don’t Need to Do to Go Vegan…and One Thing You Do — Part 2

Vegan Button

For many people, going vegan can feel daunting. It’s a major lifestyle and ideological shift. On top of this, veganism also tends to be brought up in discussion with a whole bunch of other unrelated dietary and philosophical considerations that, when piled together, make it seem utterly impossible or like something you’ll never be good enough at so why even bother? Well, the good news is there are a whole bunch of things that you don’t need to do to go vegan, and only one thing that you do. From the many, I’ve chosen ten things that you don’t need to bother with or can cut yourself a break on. Last week, I shared the first five. You’ll find numbers 6 through 10 below, as well as the one simple thing that you should focus on when making the switch. Life is complicated, but living compassionately doesn’t have to be.

To go vegan, you DON’T need to…

… 

Read More »

10 Things You Don’t Need to Do to Go Vegan…and One Thing You Do — Part 1

Vegan ButtonFor many people, going vegan can feel daunting. It’s a major lifestyle and ideological shift. On top of this, veganism also tends to be brought up in discussion with a whole bunch of other unrelated dietary and philosophical considerations that, when piled together, make it seem utterly impossible or like something you’ll never be good enough at so why even bother? Well, the good news is there are a whole bunch of things that you don’t need to do to go vegan, and only one thing that you do.

From the many, I’ve chosen ten things that you don’t need to bother with or can cut yourself a break on. Below are numbers 1 through 5. Stayed tuned for You can find numbers 6 through 10 here, as well as the one simple thing that you should focus on when making the switch. Life is complicated, but living compassionately doesn’t have to be.

To go vegan, you DON’T need to…

… 

Read More »

Fractured but Not Broken

Race Day SunriseA couple months ago, I dove in and indulged an ambitious notion that had been simmering just beneath the surface, nagging at my brain. I decided I was going to run three half marathons within three months—a manageable endeavor if approached correctly, but something that felt big for me personally. I knew I could do it, but it was hard to admit that to myself, to let that be true. Signing up for all three was like giving my self-confidence permission to surface. You’ve got this, it said. Let’s do this.

Unfortunately, I won’t be running all three. And, truth be told, I may have to bow out of another race or two this spring as well. I wish I could say that that reality didn’t knock back my self-confidence, but it did. I’ve been struggling for the last month. I don’t doubt for a second that I could have finished those halfs, but the absence of running, of getting out there and logging those miles, feeling my legs and breath carry me across the pavement—it’s been crushing. So what happened?

… 

Read More »

Intentions for 2016

Untitled

Last year I felt like I had “goals” for the year. This year “intention” feels more like the right word: a thing intended, an aim or plan. And since these aren’t officially New Year’s resolutions, and since January really felt like an extension of the holiday season for us this year, I have no qualms about posting this in February! Here are some of my intentions for 2016:… 

Read More »

30

IMG_0620

I turned 30 yesterday.

I’ve always been one of the younger ones, often the youngest, among the friends that I keep. It’s never been a conscious thing—just energetically what has happened, where I’ve apparently found myself most comfortable. But this has meant that I’ve seen many of my friends hit this age milestone well before me and have been witness to a whole spectrum of reactions to this particular number.

Most haven’t been especially positive. Even if they weren’t explicitly negative, the admission that one was turning 30 was often accompanied by a grimace, a scrunched nose, or a not-so-subtle tick betraying discomfort. Occasionally I’d mirror the gesture back, asking why? Repeatedly I was told, “Oh you’re so young. When you turn 30, you’ll understand.”

Well I’m 30 now. So here are my thoughts on completing my third decade and getting older in general…. 

Read More »