SOCIAL justice

Sustainability is very important to me but I wonder if it comes at a cost.

I listened to this awesome lecture by Charlotte Gerson, the healthy 88 year old with no doctor and no problems, thanks to her vegan diet. I totally agree with everything she talked about but it really made me wonder about a few things. Really, the only thing that goes against my beliefs are social outings. By that I mean, generally, I don’t eat out, except when with friends. I don’t use disposable cutlery/cups except at parties. I don’t go to malls, except with people. In her lecture, Charlotte says she NEVER goes out to restaurants. She NEVER does anything harmful to her body (putting bad processed substances in) and I can’t help but wonder if it is becasue she is old and doesn’t have to follow social conduct as much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with people, I just wonder if we could all be happy and healthy together without harming the planet. Can we fight for social justice and be sociable?

FoodSafe: A Vegan Adventure

Vegan Food - It's What Should Be For Dinner! mosaic~

I became FoodSafe Level 1 Certified! Yay! Here were some interesting things I got out of the course:
  • “Don’t come to work intoxicated.”
  • “Don’t throw knives.”
  •  I wonder how much the people in the Foodsafe video got paid. Are they actors or “real” people? Hmmmm.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Pigs and Fish are full of parasites like tapeworms and someone needs to remove them before people eat pigs or fish : (
  • (of bacteria on us) ”we are dirty, vile, creatures”
  • “cats are contaminated.”
  • “if in doubt, throw it out”
  • Anything from an animal is assumed to be contaminated.
  • I will never forget the image of cow flesh dripping blood on lettuce in a cooler : (
  • We had a bit of discussion about why would people want raw milk? (why would people want animals milk at all?)
  • I want an Ice Wand! Cool! Ice Wand! Yay!
  • Raw veggies cannot get bacteria! Cool! Just wash ’em (they are not listed as a potentially hazardous food).

Some of my questions were not answered…

Q. If all chickens are assumed to have Salmonella, do other birds have Salmonella? What about crows?

After some googling… I think not. But this book says that crows and seagulls (much like fish) have mercury in them http://books.google.ca/books?id=nCV8elrPxk0C&pg=PA164&lpg=PA164&dq=crows+salmonella&source=bl&ots=eIc0j06UFL&sig=KDEPNvWDNLMEN6cgrfJMG6lmkmk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qNkjT-fnNuGeiQL5j9HMBw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

Q: How does food turn from an acid to alkaline in digestion (like lemons)?

“As I mentioned above, alkaline diet foods have an alkalizing effect on the body because they are rich in alkaline minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of these minerals are very important, but potassium has the biggest effect on your internal pH.” via http://www.alkalinediet.org/

Other sources with info: http://www.brightsmilebeautifulyou.com/blog/lemon_water/index.html#.TyPXHWNWqFg

http://www.goutpal.com/gout-food-to-avoid.html

At first I was thinking, wow most of this doesn’t affect me. But then I realized that is does. Even if I make the choice not to eat animals and animal products many other people still do – and they could contaminate me! Or the people I love (everyone)! Or themselves! Wow! I did realize how much simpler cooking vegan is in terms of preventing disease. Yay. I think haha. We are all so connected, I see it more and more deeply each day.

I also noticed that the course was not very inclusive in some ways. I didn’t like the way we referred to my friends the chickens as “food”. Much of the footage in the videos also featured dead animals flesh being prepared which I found very disturbing.

There were many of my questions that were answered though!

I learned about why people eat cow meat that is cooked on the outside but not the inside (medium rare) but not other animals prepared in a similar manner (ie: chicken). Apparently all chicken is assumed to have Salmonella. Cow is different. Larger risks of contamination mainly come from ground beef because when they cut the meat there is a chance they can accidentally cut the intestines and release feces (poop) into the meat. So ground beef and chicken must be cooked all the way through to at least 74 degrees Celsius for at least 15 seconds to kill any dangerous microbes.

I passed with 92%. Score!

Let me know if you need me to be your FoodSafe person!

OH and I also had another idea. The purpose of FoodSafe is to keep the public safe and healthy…. So what about another course called “EnviroSafe” meant to keep the environment safe and healthy? They could have standards and certifications for waste management and green living! I also thought of “SelfSafe” a program for keeping our minds and thoughts safe and healthy. Imagine that!

Jenni goes RAW!

My relationship with food has shifted recently. Since being back from California I have been super committed to eating RAW organic vegan food. I was vegan before my trip but being around the community in San Francisco and LA really presenced me to the power of raw food.

SOOOO What is raw food?

There are many books and websites about it but basically, in my understanding, a raw vegan diet is based on the science that all living foods (vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit) are full of digestive enzymes (so when fruit rots, it is basically eating itself). When food is cooked these enzymes die. Therefore, raw food is more nutritious.

I eat lots of abundant salads, smoothies, and other amazing dishes. Almost anything can be replicated in raw form with some adjustments.

I did a raw cleans last summer and at that time I decided it was too challenging to continue to eat that way, due to my student schedule and frequent dinner outings with friends.

Yesterday, I noticed something I have been making up that has been stopping me from embracing this lifestyle. I think I heard it on TV or in a movie but I was being stopped by this thought that “real girls don’t eat salads”. The idea that a “burger and fries” are what fun, friendly people eat. I think I was also making up that ordering a salad makes me undesirable or that other people might think I have an eating disorder (she must be hungry with only that salad!)

I now see that eating salad is empowering. When I feel great and love what I put in my body I am fulfilled and happy. I get to choose! Other people probably don’t judge me as much as I make up that they do… but even if they do, it doesn’t matter! I cam free to choose what I eat and when and how much! I get to choose. And right now, I choose raw : )

 

PS: At my 8:30 class on Monday I was so AWAKE and ALERT! No zombie-like morning state for me! Raw food is energizing! And I read online about one guy who only sleeps four hours a day. Think of what I could do with that extra time! I am grateful I nourish myself. It allows me to love, nourish and serve others : )

Vegan visits Portland: The Paradox Organic Cafe

I hade the…

Belmont Combo $7.95

Choose a pancake, French toast or a waffle; sausage or potatoes; one egg or tofu.

I had to get my brother to change my order because I didn’t realize the sausage was vegan (btw BEST VEGAN BREAKFAST SAUSAGE EVER), and I couldn’t miss out on that. The French Toast was also amazing, so thick and delicious (I think they put some vegan creme cheese in the mix om nom nom). I got it with tofu and I put this local hot sauce on it that everyone seems to enjoy.

I love that when they bring your food out they ask you if you want Braggs or Nutritional Yeast with it… most people in BC don’t even know what nutritional yeast is! haha : D

LOVE PORTLAND! OM NOM NOM!

EDIT: OH, and the bathroom was space themed (they had an underwater one too) hehehe

The Garden Diet

I just finished doing a 21 day raw cleanse with my Mom called “The Garden Diet“. It cost some money but they sent us all the recipes to follow and there were a bunch of other people doing it at the same time as us.It was created by this really cool raw family that is super healthy looking and fun having (the website talks all about them). I started it the same day I started working at summer camps so it was really nice to not have to make decision about what to eat… you just follow the recipes! A few of them were kinda gross but from the most part they were delicious and helped me to try new things and learn which flavours I prefer, This cleanse was completely raw and didn’t use a dehydrator at all. I was amazed there were so many recipes using just nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies.

I stuck to it pretty religiously except for the last few days…

I did it because I wanted to support my Mom doing it, anything that puts more vegan food in our house is a good thing, and I am also very interested in raw eating.

The first few days I was EXHAUSTED and this could have just been from starting a new job and not being used to working with kids all day. Wednesday the energy started coming and I felt unstoppable. Everything was great until Thursday of week two, “Water Day”. On thursday itself I was fine not eating and just drinking water. I went to rehearsal and had a full day without really being hungry at all. The next morning however I woke up and was too weak to move, my Mom had to drive me to work and make me some juice and almond milk. I felt like Mimi in RENT when she’s been “doing lots of drugs and not eating any food for three weeks”. Apart from that is was really good though, I’m glad I experienced it and it was a fun/tasty adventure.

If you don’t know what raw food is it basically entails not cooking anything and eating lots of fresh juice, soaked nuts, seeds, veggies and fruits. YUM! Of course this is gluten free and vegan (some recipes used honey but I substituted fruit and dates in those cases).

MMMMMM.

Cannibalism in Nature

So I had a thought last night…

Let’s say I grow some strawberries. Then I wash them and eat them. Of course I choose not to eat the leaves so I compost them. I wait until the compost is ready to be used a fertilizer and then I spread it back on the strawberry plant.

In a way the strawberry plant is eating old strawberry remains…

So nature promotes cannibalism? O.o

FREE Wheatgrass!

image via “A Bitt of Raw“.

One of the raw vegan themed blogs I read, “A Bitt of Raw” is having a wheatgrass givaway! The deadline is Friday. From the limited reading i’ve done on it, wheatgrass is a superfood with tons of health benefits. You should check out the contest and enter, or just explore what wheatgrass could potentially do for you!

Nom nom nom

Being vegan I frequently get the question “What do you eat?” which is both amusing and fun to answer (generally). In my mind the more pressing question is not what I eat but where I eat. I can find something at just about every restaurant but fries aren’t always the healthiest choice. Here are some places I love to visit, let me know if you ever want an introduction : )

Awesome Restaurants in Vancity:

Gorilla Food: Raw, amazing, downtown… The decor is so cool, it’s like being inside of a tree!

The Naam: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This place in kits is purely awesome because of it’s vibe if nothing else (but the food is good too haha)

Sweet Cherubim: A cool spot on the drive, gave me a new appreciation for some Indian dishes : )

Nuba: I’ve walked by this place so many times without noticing it (right by Victory Square)! I was just introduced to it and will definitely return. More than half their menu is vegan and the dim lighting is very chill.

Restaurants I want to visit before death:

One Lucky Duck in NYC

Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco (thank you to Jason Mraz for the introduction)

Life Cafe in NYC (kudos to RENT for the introduction)

The Foundation here in Vancouver (introduction via an SFU contact and the Olympic Resistance Network haha… long story)

In The Bowl in Seattle (thanks to Teejay, see below for more on him)

Chaco Canyon Organic Café in Seattle

(I hope I got all those names right : P)

If eating out and about interests you then you should check out this blog my friend Teejay runs called nomwith.us, they review restaurants frequently : )