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?… 

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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.

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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…

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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…

… 

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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?

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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:… 

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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…. 

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Goals for 2015 — A Review

2015 Collage

Last January I set myself a number of goals, things to work toward, throughout 2015. They weren’t things that I jumped into as soon as the calendar flipped, nor were they things that I set any definite plans for, but it was interesting to see how many of them came to fruition in one way or another throughout the course of the year. I’d like to do that again this year, to put my goals and intentions down so that I can make note of their progress in the back of my mind throughout the year and check back again in 2017. But before we get to the 2016 list, let’s look back at 2015’s goals and see how it all shook out…. 

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Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies1I wasn’t looking for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. All I wanted was a decent-looking ingredient list that I could tweak and muck up into a fun Halloween treat for a party we were attending back in October. I started with this recipe and, at first, I did just that—turning out a spirulina-tinted, ghoulishly green treat speckled with vegan white chocolate chips. The result was downright delicious. I could tell from the fab taste and texture, however, that if I backed out my spooktacular additions, I might just have a really awesome, straight-up chocolate chip cookie on my hands.

So I took two steps forward and one step back in adapting and arriving at this recipe, but it was totally worth it.

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Main Street Vegan Academy

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 10.01.00 PM(Photo borrowed from my classmate, Kevin, who is front and center!)

Last month I found myself coming out on the other side of one of the most educational, empowering, and connective experiences of my life. I knew going in that others who’d done this had found it to be transformative, so, just in case I didn’t feel the same, I tempered my expectations while still keeping an open heart and mind. And then it happened—all of it—to me as well.

The experience to which I’m referring is the Main Street Vegan Academy (MSVA) program, which informs and equips its students to become certified vegan lifestyle coaches & educators. At face value, it’s a class, a 6-day intensive, but it truly winds up being so much more than an education. When we all first arrived at MSVA, we sat, anticipatory, in that reserved silence that happens when a dozen people who don’t know each other are suddenly put in a room together. Some of us happened to be local to NYC, where the academy is held, but many had traveled across the country or internationally to be there. Victoria Moran—author, activist, speaker, director of the academy, and, among several other admirable descriptors, our generous hostess, since the program is run from her home—took note of this initial awkwardness and assured us that we’d all be like roommates by the time the week was over…. 

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