Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ellen is not giving vegans a bad name, vegans are...

Okay, I can't bite my tongue anymore.  This whole 'Ellen DeGeneres eats eggs' thing makes me feel like my head is going to explode, but not because Ellen "gets eggs from a neighbor" but for all the negative backlash from the vegan community.  I'm totally disappointed by my fellow vegans.

I've been following it on twitter and here are some of the headlines:  "Ellen admits eating eggs", "Ellen is a closeted vegetarian", "Ellen not vegan as she claims".  They go on and on.  It is repulsive.

If you actually watched the clip (below) you will hear that she doesn't say she eats eggs.  She says "We get our eggs from our neighbor.  They have happy chickens."  She never says the eggs are used by her or that she eats them.
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Many of us live in omnivorous households.  My family still eats cheese, so if you see me at the grocery store you will probably find cheese in my cart.  Does this mean I'm not vegan?  Absolutely not.  I'm sure Ellen has a housekeeper/s, chef, and many guests.  Those eggs can be for anyone.

I feel some vegans just sit and wait for a fellow vegan (especially a famous one) to slip up so they can pounce.  That is not what veganism is about!  It's a loving community full of people that care about animals, the environment and their health.  How quickly we forgot all the amazing things Ellen DeGeneres has done for the animals and for the vegan movement.  Even if she does eat eggs, I still don't think she deserves that kind of abuse, no one does.

Vegans are giving vegans a bad name.  When I went to my first vegan meet-up, I stressed out about everything I wore.  I wanted to make sure everything I had on was vegan so I wouldn't be judged for not being vegan enough.  I was newly vegan and all my clothes, shoes, etc. were things I'd purchased before I was vegan.  I shouldn't have to feel like that.  I should be accepted for the shear fact that I don't want animals to be harmed and want them to have a better life.  We are all in this together, one should not be excommunicated and all their good deeds forgotten because of one detail that probably is being completely taken out of context.

If I were someone that was just dipping their toe in vegan waters, I'd be scared it would be too hard.  Vegans are making it seem like veganism is about perfection, and it's not.  No one is 100% vegan.  It's impossible.  You don't know if everything on a food label is accurate or that the food you are being served at a restaurant is really completely vegan like the menu says.

I love Ellen DeGeneres.  I look forward to watching her show everyday while I cook dinner.  She makes me laugh and laughter is like medicine.  It keeps me happy.   Her being vegan is an added bonus.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why the chicken crossed the road...

My daughter spotted this in our local paper. She is nine and knows an example of veganism when she sees it!
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Perfect Snack...

Hey y'all!  October is apparently VeganMoFo, which is Vegan Month of Food.  A lot of people on twitter are sharing what they eat as vegans.  I thought I'd share what has been my go-to snack for the past few months.  These are the brands I use, but you can use whatever you want.  
Here's what I do.  I like WASA Crackers because they are full of whole grains and this particular kind only has 3 ingredients (if you don't include water).  The whole grain is really what keeps you filled up.   So, take a cracker and smear some hummus on it.  My favorite is Fountain of Health Roasted Garlic Hummus.  Yum!  I used to be a Sabra girl, but this hummus has ruined me for any other brand.   Top the hummus with some of your favorite salsa.  I've been buying Wholly Salsa like crazy, not just because it tastes good, but because I've been buying them for 50 cents each!  Since they are new there are a lot of coupons floating around (my store doubles coupons) and they have been on sale for $1.50 each.  Since this salsa is "fresh" there aren't any preservatives or chemicals I can't pronounce.  Actually, all the ingredients are vegetables or spices plus lime juice.  

I hope you all give this snack a try!  It's great anytime, a good source of whole grain, protein, and a little vegetables.  This would also be  a good snack when you are traveling since you could pick up all the ingredients at any store.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins...

Hey Y'all! Fall is here and I found myself craving pumpkin everything. I'm running low on a lot of things, so Happy Herbivore's Single Serving Pumpkin Muffin was a natural choice. The recipe says it makes one, but I was somehow able to squeeze out two. If I would have had more flour, I would have doubled or even tripled this recipe. I will admit that I felt kinda bad heating up my oven for just two muffins, but I justified it by sticking some homemade sourdough bread in there to rise after the muffins were finished.

I gotta tell ya, these pumpkin muffins were pretty great.  I did have to resist the urge to put a little Earth Balance butter on them though, but not because they weren't delicious, but because I love Earth Balance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lots of green tomatoes...

I've wanted to have my own garden for years.  Once I went vegan, it seemed like a must-have.  My husband built me an 8'x4' raised bed.  Growing your own vegetables is definitely a learning experience.  I can't wait to put what I learned into action next year.  First of all I need to stake my tomato plants.  There are only three of them, but they are huge and they spread out everywhere.  I won't be growing carrots again, much cheaper to buy them (even the organic kind).   I will definitely plant kale, lots of kale!

The weather here in NKY is pretty chilly.  It's starting to frost in the morning and I still have a ton of green tomatoes growing in my garden.  Jenn's grandma told her that I should pick them all, wrap them in tissue paper and put them in a cool, dark place.  They will turn red.  So, that's what I'm going to do.  

Just look at all those tomatoes!  Check out my crazy garden in the background!!!

Now, I don't even like raw tomatoes that much, but I love marinara!  There is a recipe in The Sexy Vegan Cookbook for The Tomato Killer (pg. 200), which is basically a marinara or pizza sauce.   The recipe calls for 2 pounds of roma tomatoes (will plant those next year) but I just use what I have and it always turns out great!

Off to make some Tomato Killer with some of my red tomatoes!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Being Vegan Has Changed Me...

Compassion is one of the best side effects of being vegan.  I first noticed this when I found a spider in my house after reading "Eating Animals" by Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  I was unable to kill the spider.  I've killed hundreds of spiders in my previous, non-vegan life.  In fact, I've even made fun of my husband for being afraid of these spiders because he didn't grow up in the country like I did.   I'm not afraid of spiders, but now I don't want to step on them.  Erin Red once said, "that spider is just  going about it's day being a spider doing spider things."

Now that I'm filled with all this compassion I find myself signing all sorts of petitions.  This morning on twitter I stumbled upon a picture of a dog with hooks in it's mouth.  That is bad enough, but then I read the caption "Live and dead dogs and cats are being used as shark bait.  They are thrown into the water, towed behind a boat until a shark bites."  Absolutely mortifying! I couldn't get the image of that poor dog out of my head.  You can read the full article here.  Please, please, please sign the petition here.  I can't believe I live in a world where this is happening.

On a lighter note, I also signed a petition for Starbucks not to charge extra for soy milk.  They are penalizing people that can't digest cow's milk as well as those that don't want to harm animals with our coffee fix.  You can sign the Starbucks petition here.   

I sign petitions of all kinds now, whether it be about animal rights, school lunches, vegan issues, etc.  I feel like I can make a difference, and if I share it on my FB page and Twitter and others sign, then I really can make a difference.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Juice Cleanse Recap...

Howdy!  So, this juice cleanse was okay.  It could have been worse.  I could have felt like crap like my friend Jenn, the detox dropout.  Although if I felt that badly I probably would have quit too.

Day After 3 Day Juice Cleanse:  I woke up this morning and didn't feel the urge for coffee.  Not really hungry.  Got on the scale and it turns out I lost 3.6 pounds in three days!  Not too shabby!  I wasn't really doing this for the weight loss because I've read that you just gain it right back anyway.  
I took the kids to school and then sat down to eat an apple.  I could really feel my stomach moving.  It didn't feel weird to chew again after not doing it for three days, Jenn said she missed chewing.  The apple didn't really fill me up so I had a big bowl of cereal (Rip's Big Bowl: healthy cereal, lots of fruit, soy milk).  Later in the day Jenn and I trekked to Whole Foods to eat lunch at the salad bar.  I had a lot of veggies and some tabbouleh (a first for me, and I liked it!).  I expected some stomach/gastrointestinal issues, but none so far!  
Overall Thoughts of Juice Cleanse:

-It cost me $69.15 (I only had a couple ingredients already on hand).  That could be a pro or con for some people.  For me, I think it would have been worth paying the extra $15-$20 to buy the juice already made at a juicing specialty store.   There was a Groupon going around recently for a three days juice cleanse for $87.

-I lost 3.6 pounds in three days!  I know I didn't do this for the weight loss, but to get myself back into eating a plant based diet, but that's still pretty awesome!  I have a pair of shorts that are snug when I put them on, but after a while they loosen.  Well, today they were loose when I put them on!

-My complexion is glowing!  Seriously y'all!

-Since the first day of the cleanse I haven't craved anything.  My stomach only growled when it was time to drink another juice.  Most times I wasn't even hungry when it was time to drink, but if I didn't drink it I'd be left with two juices at bedtime.

-I did find it hard to prepare food for my kids.  I was putting grapes in their lunch boxes and almost popped a grape in my mouth.  So, I didn't crave food unless it was sitting in front of me.

-I had to turn down an invitation to dinner.

-I had a headache for two days, most likely from the caffeine withdrawal.  I'm switching to decaf now that it's out of my system.

-Most of the juices were gross, like hold your nose and chug gross.

-The juicer was a pain in the you-know-what!  It needed to be at least rinsed out between each juice.  It had a blade and mesh sort of disc thingie that was really hard to get completely clean.

-I've developed a phobia of beets.

-My kitchen was taken over by juicing for three days.

-I was in a happy mood for the entire cleanse.  Just a reminder, my husband is out of town and I have two kids, and I was HAPPY?  Kinda weird, but good weird.

-I went to Kroger every day for three days.  I always forgot something.

My friend Jenn had mostly negative side effects (bloating, lethargic, headache).  Her complexion did look really good though.  When she wasn't juicing, she ate a whole foods plant diet.

So far today I've been able to stick with eating a vegan plant-based diet.  Lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, a little peanut butter, probably another salad for dinner.  So far so good!

Would I do this again?  Probably too soon to tell.  I will say that if I did I would go the pre-made juice route.  Shopping for the produce, washing the produce, cutting the produce to fit in the jucier, juicing the produce and then cleaning up was really time consuming!

I hope that gave you a little insight into juicing.  I'm happy to say I survived!

PS.  Here's the link to the three day juice cleanse I did.

You can read about Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of the cleanse and my reasons for giving the cleanse a try here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Juicing, Day 3 (last day!!!)...

Hey Y'all!  Well, I didn't wake up at all to pee at all in the middle of the night.  I think it's because most of the juices yesterday were around 16 ounces whereas the first day they were more like 24-32 ounces.  I haven't been hungry at all really and I've generally been happy, which is unusual for when my husband is out of town.  Usually I'm just bummed because he's gone.

7:45am - Apple-Carrot-Beet (breakfast)

-I'm never eating beets, ever.  Cooked, raw, whatever, it's not happening.  They just taste like dirt even after peeling them.

-I only used about a half of a beet in this juice (it called for 2), and my juice still tasted a little like dirt.

-This juice wasn't bad, pretty pleasant except for the tasting a little like dirt.

-I noticed my headache was finally gone!

11:30pm - Great Greens Juice (mid-morning snack)

-This juice wasn't awful, but not good either.  I've been judging them based on if I have to hold my nose or not.  I didn't have to hold my nose.

-It also helped that this juice was less than 16 ounces.

-I made the other three juices for the day, thoroughly cleaned the juicer and sat it by the front door to return to Jenn.  If I don't ever see that juicer again I will be a happy girl!

2:30pm - Tabbouleh Juice (lunch)

-This juice was actually pretty good.  One I wouldn't mind having again.  It called for 1/2-1 lemon, so I used a whole lemon, which is probably why it was so acidic.

5:00pm - Bruschetta Juice (mid-afternoon snack)

-This one was good too.  It only called for tomatoes, garlic, and basil.  It was very garlic-y!!!  It din't make very much, say 10 ounces, but it had two cloves of garlic.  I love garlic, but it burned going down!

9:00pm - Green Juice (dinner)

-This was the only juice I needed to hold my nose while drinking today.  I think I had to do it 4 times yesterday!    Unfortunately this one was 32 ounces!!!

-I was a little excited for the juicing to be over that I took too big of a last gulp and almost hurled green juice all over.

-I'm DONE!  It feels good to take on a challenge and KILL IT!

I'll post again tomorrow a recap to share if I'd lost any weight (fingers crosses) and how I felt about juicing overall.  See you then!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Juicing, Day 2

Okay, so I slept pretty well except for getting up to pee twice (too much info for an opening sentence?) and my bladder was about to explode both times.  I also got up to pee twice before even getting to sleep.

Today I'm making sure the juices are spread out.

7:30am - Purple Power Juice (breakfast)

-Kids helped make this one.  They are fascinated by the juicer.

-Thankfully it didn't even make 16 ounces.  But, this one tastes really good!

-I was laying in bed after drinking this playing on my iPad, the bed was a little too cozy so I decided to take a little cat nap.  I talked to Jenn later and she said that she also took a nap after drinking it.  Maybe it was something in the drink or most likely because neither of us had our morning coffee.  

11:15am - Green Lemonade (mid-morning snack)

-This one isn't horrible, but not yummy either.  I was able to drink it without holding my nose.

-I didn't have all the ingredients so I headed up to Kroger to purchase some tomatoes for my next juice as well as all the ingredients for tomorrows juices.

-I made the rest of the three juices for the day.

2:30pm - V28 (lunch)

-This has got to be one of the worst juices!  Chugged it with my nose plugged.  Gross!

-Still feeling really good or like normal.  Just that slight head ache.

-Jenn is not feeling well at all.  She has to go to work tonight.  She drank some coffee and ate a salad but still feels horrible.  She's had no energy yesterday and today.  I wonder why our bodies are reacting so differently?

6:00pm - Spinach Fennel Cucumber (mid afternoon snack)

-This is where my timing gets off track.  This juice is better than the last, but what isn't?  Still held my nose and chugged it.

-Did the 20 minute Pilates video again.  This time I didn't do it right after drinking a juice.  I felt kinda sloshy last night afterwards.

-Thinking about drinking my next juice is making me nauseous for some reason.  Maybe it's because the V28 tasted so horrify bad?

9:00pm - Bountiful Brassica Juice (dinner)

-A little late for dinner, I know.

-Okay, this juice is gross and really acidic.  I almost threw up after drinking it.  I'm having second thoughts about if I can make it through tomorrow.  Ugh, I just want this to be over!

Wish me luck with my last day!  It's a busy one so hopefully it'll go fast.

Juicing, Day 1...

It's day 1!  I had so many second thoughts this morning.  The idea of juicing is always so much better than the reality.

- I woke up at 7:00am, got the kids ready for school, drank a cup of hot water with lemon (I usually have coffee).  I planned on running to the grocery store after dropping the kids off at school to stock up on fruits and veggies, but Jenn had the ingredients I didn't for the first juice of the day.  Yay, I didn't have to run to Kroger looking like a zombie!

-Woke up with a headache, but I went to sleep with one as well.

-Met Jenn at the kids school to get the juicer and the rest of the ingredients I needed for the juice.

-Got home, washed up the juicer and made juice #1

9:00 am - Carrot Apple Ginger Juice (breakfast)

-This juicer is amazing!  It pulverizes anything you stick in it!  This is going to be fun!

-This is delicious, I think I'm going to like juicing!

-Rinsed out juicer, not too much of a mess.

-Went to Kroger to buy all the fruits and veggies I would need for the next two days.  I left my list at home!  Thank goodness Jenn was there with her list.  We looked like two veggie-loving fools in the produce department.

-Man that bread baking in the Kroger bakery smells good, tummy rumbles.

-I totally underestimated the amount of produce we would be buying/consuming!  I think I left with 6-7 bags of produce.  I bet the check-out lady thought I was crazy!

12:30pm - Mean Green Juice (mid-morning juice)

-Does it look like I drank this mid-morning?  Whoops!

-Set the juicer up again, this time the recipe made 24 ounces of juice!  The first one was only 16 ounces.  Crap, how am I going to drink all this juice today?

-Ugh!  This juice is terrible!!!  I don't know how I managed to drink it all.  I'm sure holding my nose and gulping helped.

-What have I gotten myself into?  There's no way I am doing this for 6 days!  3 days it is!

-Feeling discouraged, but I made the other three juices for the rest of the day.

-Cleaning out this juicer is a pain in ass!

3:00pm - Gazpacho Juice (lunch)

-Drank half on the way to get the kids from school, the rest a couple hours later.

-This juice is pretty bad too, but not as bad as the last one.  It made about 32 ounces of juice!

5:45pm - Citrus Inspired Green Juice (afternoon snack)

-Drinking these closer together so I can fit them all in.

-Why are these recipes making so much!  Another 32 ounces.

-I've been peeing a ton!

-Still not a very yummy juice.

-This juice was better than the last two, but not anything I would ever voluntarily want to drink.

8:30pm - Sunset Blend Juice (dinner)

-Drank this over the next hour.  Not bad at all, but there is a strong dirt after-taste.  I'm thinking it's from the beets or sweet potato since they do come from the ground.

-Another 32 ounces of juice!

-I'm finished with juice for Day 1!!!

Finishing the day at 9:00 with a 20 minute pilates video and a cup of herbal tea.  I wonder how many times I'll get up in the middle of the night to pee?

Today was a pretty normal feeling day.  I had a slight headache all day.  I didn't really feel tired until about 7:30pm.  This day was extremely busy though, so not surprised I'd be worn out.  I noticed my face had a little more color in it already!  That's always a good sign something is working.  It was really hard cutting up fruit and making the kids meals without popping a little something in my mouth.

Okay folks, tune in tomorrow as my juicing adventure continues!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

3 Day Juice Cleanse

Hey Y'all!  My hubby is out town on his annual guys trip.  I decided this would be a great opportunity to try a juice cleanse.  I've always wanted to see if I had it in me to do it.

Stock Photos: Red yellow green. Image: 22213

 Here are my reasons:

-My husband would be far away in case I got cranky from being deprived of solids.

-If the juice cleanse caused me to have zero energy, I can go to sleep when the kids do.

-There are so many BAD vegan foods that taste so GOOD (Oreos, Potato Chips, French Fries).  For quite a while I've been on the slippery slope of not eating enough fruit and veggies and relying on more and more processed vegan foods (Daiya Cheese, Boca Chik'n Patties).  Once you start eating that stuff, your body craves it.  This is a way for me to reset my taste buds.  

I checked into a few options where I would pick up the juices that a business had made.  They were pretty pricey since you are also paying for the convenience of not juicing it yourself.  The only reason I really looked into buying the juices already made was because I don't own a juicer.

My awesome friend Jenn decided she wanted to do the juice cleanse too, AND she just happened to have two juicers at her disposal!   The best part is that I wouldn't be doing this alone.  

I googled "juice cleanse regimen" and eventually came across the Reboot Your Life plans.  The only one that was all juice for three days was the Long Weekend Plan (which Jenn and I refer to as the Tues-Thurs Plan).  Jen and I had also seen the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which is what this program is based on. It was important to me to find a plan with recipes and details about how to do it.  I didn't want to just willy-nilly buy things to juice and then drink them in no order or for any rhyme or reason.  Lots of other people have done this plan, so it was pretty safe to say I wasn't going to pass out or worse due to drinking too much juice!

If I really like it I may do it for 6 days.  Who knows!

Jenn and I were so excited to start juicing that we are starting a day earlier than planned!

Stay tuned to read about our adventures in juicing!!!

Why Am I Vegan?

This is a post that I had originally written on June 7th of this year telling everyone that I was vegan (if they didn't already know), why I was vegan, and that I was always going to be vegan.  I was a little nervous writing it and putting it all out there.  But, I really did get a lot of great responses from everyone.  Here is the post in entirety....

(I'm sorry this is so long, I just couldn't decide what to include and not include).

Mostly the people that know I'm vegan are my close friends and family.  If you don't know what vegan means, it's someone who doesn't eat meat/animals (vegetarian) as well as dairy and eggs (anything that animals produce). 

It all started on June 5th of last year (2011).  My friend Jenn, her mom, and I went to see a documentary called Forks Over Knives.  Jen had been vegan for a couple months already and had really piqued my interest and she couldn't wait for this documentary to come out so we could see it together (she actually saw it twice in one weekend).  The documentary is about preventing and reversing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and easing the symptoms of a whole spectrum of diseases (from arthritis to fibromyalgia to MS) and just feeling better in general and living a long, healthy life.  The documentary was great but I wasn't ready to go vegan (or in the documentary they call it a plant-based diet).  

At the time I didn't have any medical conditions, my blood pressure and cholesterol were normal, I wasn't at risk for diabetes, it was just my weight that bothered me.  Did it make sense for me to make this drastic change to my life?  Well, that night and the next day I couldn't stop thinking about what I had learned.  The individuals featured in the documentary changed their diet only when they had a health scare (heart attack, diabetes, cancer).  I decided that if there is a way to avoid ever going through that, to live until I'm 100 without heart disease, obesity, arthritis, cancer, and feeling great until the day I die, it would totally be worth it.   

So, I decided to take the 28 day vegan challenge starting June 7, 2011 (two days after seeing the documentary).  During those first 28 days, the only people that knew I was doing it was Scott and my friend Jenn.  I didn't want to tell anyone in case I failed or changed my mind.  During those 28 days I read a lot of books and watched a lot of documentaries, I wanted to make sure this wasn't just some fad diet and I wanted to do it for the right reasons.  I learned a lot about nutrition and the way food is produced in our country.  You can't go wrong eating real, whole food.

After about a week on my new vegan (plant based) diet I felt so much better.  I wasn't bloated after meals, no more indigestion, big meals didn't make me lethargic (quite the opposite).  After about two weeks, I started trying vegetables that I didn't like before and they just tasted different, better.  I didn't realize how bad I was feeling until I felt good.  

I have to say that Scott was a bit skeptical but very supportive.  As long as I kept cooking meat for him he didn't have a problem.  After the 28 days were up, I knew there was no going back to the way I used to eat.  I felt so much better and it was so much easier than I could have ever imagined.  I had detoxed from processed foods, didn't crave anything, had more energy, I was rarely hungry, and I was eating and trying a wider variety of foods than I ever was when I was eating meat and dairy.  The best part was that I was losing weight without counting calories and eating as much as I wanted.  

After the first 28 days I started to tell close friends and family about my new lifestyle since I knew it was going to stick.  They were all very supportive and asked great questions.  I knew that the word "vegan" sometimes has a negative connotation and is associated with PETA and crazy animal activists.  When I told people I was vegan I made sure that they knew I was doing it for health reasons and I wasn't going to be a crazy PETA person.  I was just the same old me.    

It's impossible to read/watch information about a vegan diet/lifestyle without coming across how a vegan diet means that you are no longer killing animals.  Since I didn't eat meat anymore, I was finally open to learning about how animals are raised and how they get to your plate.  It's something people don't want to think about and they don't want to think about it for a reason.  You don't know what you don't know.  I have to tell you, whatever you are thinking in your head happens, multiply it by 10.  I read the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran-Foer and there was no way meat would touch my lips for the rest of my life.  Not only are the animals mistreated, but the conditions are horrible and there's so much bacteria and fecal matter that get into the meat.  I had no idea what factory farming was and how it's negatively effecting the environment.  It was mind blowing.  

So, now when people ask me why I'm vegan, I give them these three main reasons: for my health, for the animals, and for the environment.       

After a few months I stopped cooking/buying meat at home (with the exception of a Christmas ham, since we hosted Christmas and I made Scott cook and slice it).  Surprisingly Scott has really enjoyed trying new things (he likes tofu) and hasn't missed the meat at home.  I don't give him a hard time when we go out to dinner and he orders a steak, after all being vegan is my choice, not his).  During my first nine months being vegan, Scott's cholesterol went from 205 down to 149 (under 200 is good, under 150 is optimal and puts you out of risk for heart disease).  He was just eating what I cooked at home for dinner and on weekends).  I discovered that I really like to cook!  

The kids are a different story.  They love hot dogs and chicken nuggets.  I want them to eat vegan, but I also want them to choose it for themselves.  I don't buy hot dogs, but they do eat them when they aren't at home (at a grill out, school, etc).  I always make sure we have a lot of fruit on hand.  They will most likely choose a handful of grapes over a handful of cheetos (given a choice, that is the key).  I try to explain how healthy choices will fuel their bodies and help them play longer, run faster, etc.  I've found many substitutes for foods they love (there are so many meatless options available, they love chick'n patties) and just yesterday we found an alternative to cow's milk that the kids actually like.  I also try to explain how their choices effect the world, but I like to watch them come to their own conclusions.

So, it's been one year!  I've slowly lost 13 pounds (Scott has lost 30 and I think his diet played a small part in that).  I rarely take naps, I have more energy, my face has really cleared up, I'm a lot more confident, my moods are a lot less up and down, I'm more compassionate, and my clothes fit a lot better.  I've survived being vegan on a cruise ship, on vacation, in a steakhouse!  I've been really surprised by the support I've received and the interest people have taken and the great questions people ask me.  

If you are still reading this, THANK YOU, it really means a lot.

PS.  I own the DVD Forks Over Knives if anyone wants to borrow it.  

PSS.  A lot of people say to me, I really wish I could be vegetarian/vegan but I just don't think I can do it.  Here's the good news, being a vegan/vegetarian is not an all or nothing thing.  You can be a vegetarian that eats shrimp occasionally.  You can be a vegan that eats eggs.  Every choice you make helps your health, the animals and the planet.  

PSSS.  If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, watch this four minute video to solidify your decision.  Warning, it is very graphic but unfortunately it's true.


Okay, so what did you think?  This was a few months ago and there's already so much I've learned and experienced since then.  

Welcome to My Blog...

Hey Y'all!  Just wanted to take a second to introduce myself before I start what is sure to be a stream of posts.

-My name is Dana Grothaus and I've been vegan for a little over a year now.  I'm 33 years old.  Here's a post I wrote about why I went vegan in the first place.

-I have an amazing husband that encourages me to do anything that will make me happy.  Yeah, he's pretty great!  When I first told him about wanting to go vegan, he said "Whatever makes you happy, and as long as you don't make me do it."

-We have two bright and healthy kids.  They are 7 and 9.  I feed them a primarily vegan diet at home.  There are a few things things that have been hard to remove from their diets (actually just one, it's CHEESE).  I pack their lunches for school (except on pizza day, see, there it is again, CHEESE).  When they are not at home, that's when the problems arise.  We may have to have a separate post about just that issue as well.

-Some of you may have reached this blog through my other blog, Dana's Dabbling Studio.  I'm a craft blogger who designs hand made cards.  It's a little more than a hobby, just something I love to do.

-I have an amazing friend named Jenn, I'm sure you are going to hear a lot of adventures with her on this blog.  She is why I'm vegan after all!

-As for the name of this blog, "I'm Vegan Y'all", it's because I live in Kentucky.  I'm totally aware of the stereotypes and thought this would be a sort of ironic blog title.  Actually Jenn came up with it.  We were messaging each other one day, I have no idea what about and her reply to me was "We're Vegan Y'all!" and a lightbulb went off.  I wanted to start this blog so many times but couldn't because I didn't have a good blog title and therefore not a memorable web address.

-I really want to be a plant-based vegan.  That's how I originally started out, and then I discovered a whole world of delicious vegan foods and recipes, so many recipes!   Trying to get back into my veggie-loving ways.

-I wanted to start this blog in a big part so my friends and family can get a better idea of what being vegan means.  I started being vegan for all the health benefits, but I will stay vegan for animal rights.  Living in Kentucky and being vegan is an odd combination.  People still don't really get why I don't eat animals.  It's pretty frustrating.  Hopefully this blog will be a way to express my thoughts on certain issues.  I'm not one to spout off my opinion, but I would really like this to be a place to express my feelings.

-Almost everyday I see or hear something and say to myself, "I could blog about that!"

Well, that's about all I have for you now.  I'm sure you'll learn all kinds of fun and embarrassing stuff about me sooner or later.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog!!!