Tag Archives: plant strong

Aren’t Y’all Outraged? No? Here, have some more butter.

Like many, I was a bit outraged at this clip of Paula Deen on The Today Show as she admitted to having Type II Diabetes (for the past 3 years!!!).

Courtesy of Gothamist.com/Pauladeenridingthings.com

Now, it’s no surprise that she has Type II Diabetes, which is largely caused by diet, but here’s why she makes me mad:

1) Type II diabetes is a disease that can be REVERSIBLE with diet. However, she’s taking a stick-her-fingers-in-her-ears “lalala I’m not listening” approach to her disease.  But, we’re not idiots, we knew her cooking was bad for us. It’s not like she was keeping a big secret that mass quantities of butter is bad for your health. It’s just her complete lack of wanting to heal herself and be a role model that is infuriating.

Even her son was trying to send her a message on his new cooking show, by trying to make her recipes healthier. Her kids don’t want her to die, but she’s sending them a big FU.

2) She had this disease for THREE YEARS, and didn’t choose to come forward until she had a payday lined up – writer Chuck Wendig says it best in a recent blog post:

“No, instead you waited to tell people until –

Wait for it.

Waaaait for it.

– until you replaced any potential lost income with a fucking Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical deal. Essentially saying, “Hey, my lifestyle actively causes diabetes, but I didn’t want to tell any of you that while you were still paying me to tell you to eat human infants rolled in Cocoa Puffs and sausage fat, and now by waiting three years and announcing a deal with Big Pharma I’m basically telling you that you can live how you want and eat what you want and by god it’s not going to impact the way any of us do anything because Thank the Baby Jesus for mah diabeedus medication!”

Look, my mom has Type II and takes handfuls of medication everyday. She saw Forks Over Knives and it opened her eyes that she doesn’t have to live this way. She can REVERSE her disease with a healthy diet. And you know what, she’s gone vegan since then.

3) Paula Deen bastardizes Southern cooking. Sure, we love our fried chicken in the south. But there is so much more to Southern Cuisine than Krispy Kreme Hamburgers.

Hugh Acheson said it best on a recent Eatocracy post:

“Southern food is a celebration of the people within the community, using the agrarian bounty that is constantly around them. It pays homage to the past but is a constantly evolving, ebbing with the seasons and flowing with the constant progression of the South. It is a foodways that really has had a much stronger emphasis on vegetables and sides than huge portions of proteins, and one that is healthy if we show off the diversity of our crops and cooking styles.”

Is Paula going to change? No. Will she decide to become this great role model? No. She wants to live out her days putting “pie in her pie-hole.”

I just hope that she’s an example to many Americans on how NOT to handle their Type II diagnosis.

Interview with the Happy Herbivore – Lindsay Nixon

Since embarking on this journey, I’ve been exploring the blogosphere for inspiration and recipes. One such blog I’ve recently discovered is the Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon. She features yummy recipes, inspiration, and practical advice for those looking to make a healthier lifestyle change and make a positive impact on our environment (and be friendly to our animal friends).

Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore

Lindsay has recently released a new cookbook that you can purchase on amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders, or IndieBound.org. She was so kind as to include Fish Taco Fanatic on her blogger book tour. Below is my interview with the Happy Herbivore (I’m like a regular Barbara Walters!):

Quick background for those who aren’t familiar with Happy Herbivore. How long have you been vegan, and what made you make the change?

I’ve been vegan for 4+ years. I was initially vegetarian after a health scare (I thought being veg would help me make better food choices) and then I went veganism as an experiment a year later. The positive changes and benefits were so substantial that I stuck with it. I was also persuaded to stay vegan based on the health benefits, the plight of farm animals, the environmental-eco aspect and to help fight world hunger.

I’m new to the plant strong/nutritarian/vegan diet. What advice would you give to make the switch to vegan eating?
Focus on what you can eat rather than everything you gave up. Use this as an opportunity to explore new ingredients and cuisines. I each a much wider diet now than I did as an omnivore.

I’d really call myself plant strong vs. vegan, since I’ve only changed the way I eat, and haven’t totally switched over yet. I have vegan friends who are 100% vegan in everything they do, from food to hair products to makeup to dog food. Did you find it difficult to change your everyday behaviors? Was it a gradual journey?

I’m moved by the plight of animals, which has helped me incorporate vegan into all aspects of my life – beyond my plate. It’s been a changing journey though, as I’m much more militant now than I was in the past. For example, I don’t own or wear leather, but when I was first eating vegan, I could not afford to replace all my shoes, so I sort of stopped buying leather and eventually switched them out as I could. I’ve always avoided products that were tested on animals, so that was nothing new for me.

I changed my eating habits two weeks ago, and I’m already feeling healthier (and lost a few pounds too) – Do you remember what immediate benefits you experience when you went vegetarian and then vegan? 

I lost some weight as a vegetarian but was amazed at how quickly and easily it slipped off as a vegan. What was most shocking was how well my face cleared (it’s still not perfect, but what a difference!) and the fact that I basically eliminated all my digestive issues
overnight. I had a huge surge in energy as well; which led me to run my first marathon 10 mos after going vegan without having so much as ran a 5k before. The important thing, though is like you say to be “plant strong” — keep veg in vegan. A lot of people switch to vegan but then eat a lot of fake meats, fake cheese, and are disappointed they don’t have the same immediate benefits.

I’m a big documentary fan, and Food, Inc. was really a catalyst for me, thinking about the way I eat, where my food comes from, and then making this change in my life. Do you have any must-see movie or book recommendations that you found helpful on your journey to becoming vegan?

I keep hearing great things about Forks Over Knives! A documentary that is not necessarily “go vegan” but quite eye-opening is King Corn and I think it’s free on Hulu.

I love your website and your cookbook is on my wedding registry! I read you have another in the works. What can we expect from your second cookbook that is different, and when is it due out?

The new book — so far it has a lot of world influence, a lot of ethnic recipes; I had some ethiopian and indian in the last book, but I’m really trying to include other tastes here. So far there is a lot of Indian, Cajun, Italian and Mexican.

What is your favorite recipe from your cookbook?
I seem to switch between the queso, nacho cheese and cornbread. I’m equally obsessed with all three, but right now I’m hungry for nachos.

Final question. As you can tell from my blog, I’m a fish taco lover, which isn’t a part of the new plan. Any suggestions on taco recipes I should try?

HH’s chickpea tacos — or you can use my tofu fish filet to make your tacos again!

http://happyherbivore.com/2008/05/chickpea-tacos/

http://happyherbivore.com/2009/06/tofu-fish-fillet/

Lindsay was also kind enough to share a recipe with us. I’ve registered for a cuisinart for the wedding, so I’m looking forward to being able to make this recipe with ease. I hope you enjoy too:

Black Bean Burgers (makes 3) – I love a good and quick meal, and this burger fits the bill perfectly.

15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c fresh cilantro, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
whole-wheat breadcrumbs or instant oats
whole-wheat buns

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. Pulse beans in a food processor until mashed well or alternatively, mash with a fork. Transfer to a mixing bowl and combine with cilantro and spices. Add breadcrumbs or oats as necessary until the mixture can be handled and isn’t terribly sticky, about 1/4 c. If after 1/4 c. it’s still too sticky, refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes. Shape mixture into 3 patties. Lightly spray with cooking spray (optional) and bake 7 minutes. Flip and re-spray (optional) and bake another 7 to 10 minutes until thoroughly warm and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately. Because there is no oil, these patties dry out if you let them sit.

Thanks again Lindsay!

Plant Strong Update

So, other than a weekend full of falling off the wagon (my future mother in law makes the best potato salad ever and I had to try the yumbii fish taco), I got right back on this week. I actually lost 4 pounds already (healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week, so I’m on track).

It’s amazing how much better your body works when you provide natural fuel. After the initial fatigue wore off, I’ve been feeling great. Some things I’ve noticed:

-I feel better when I wake up in the morning.

-I actually feel hungry. Meaning, I’m better at listening to my body and its cravings. I eat when I’m actually hungry, not when I’m bored.

-I don’t really like fries anymore. With the exception of sweet potato fries, as long as they aren’t oily.  I think it’s just, anything that’s overly oily feels like it’s seeping out of my skin after I eat it.

-My skin is clearer.

-Migraines are less frequent.

-Body functions are, ahem, regular.

-Clothes are fitting better.

-I feel satisfied after eating, but not uncomfortably full.

I enjoyed a pita pocket of veggies for lunch, and now back to work!