“but what about protein?!”

this is probably the one question that plagues vegans most. our concerned meat-loving friends and family inevitably ask this question when they see our plates with nary a piece of steak or a chicken wing. conventional wisdom has told us that we can only get protein from meats (or animal-derived products). but according to this video from the forks over knives newsletter, conventional wisdom is actually quite wrong. people across the board, regardless of their dietary affiliations, are actually getting more than enough protein. what the american diet is severely lacking is FIBER. and where can we get fiber? plants, folks. the benefits of a diet rich in fiber are hard to ignore (lower blood pressure, decreased risk of heart disease, decreased inflammation, just to name a few). there you have it: a little more proof that a plant-based diet is the way to go.

healthy & delicious summer dinner bowl

i’m guilty of being a typical new yorker in that i rarely (ok, never) cook. but just because i don’t cook doesn’t mean i can’t assemble a quick, easy, healthy and delicious meal. when the weather heats up, i like to put together a veggie dinner bowl.

summer veggie bowl

now that it is the glorious season of the avocado, i will use any and every excuse to work some into a meal. i love guacamole, but it’s a bit labor intensive, when done right. so my summer go-to is a bowl of veggies and prepared foods, like this one with baby spinach, grape tomatoes (red AND yellow! the yellow ones are so tasty), store-bought taboule, sabra hummus, and avocado. i love the salad bar at whole foods, but it is slowly making bankrupting me; my alternative is much more budget-friendly. this bowl is pretty high in fiber, so is therefore more filling than it may look. but if i’m extra hungry, i’ll have a piece of multigrain bread (i love food for life’s sprouted whole grain breads) with almond butter on the side. or better yet as dessert, with a slathering of bonne maman raspberry jam.

have you heard of EFT?

up until just a few months ago, i hadn’t either. but in the past couple of years, i’ve experienced a gradual mental focus away from the meaningless distractions in life (namely money and the material stuff it can buy); rather, i’m trying my best to get to the heart of what really matters (love, happiness, health). the journey has entailed subscribing to several life coaches’ newsletters and twitters, reading books by spiritual gurus à la wayne dyer, and making connections with people in my every day life who share my desire to get to the “meaning of it all”. the term EFT (emotional freedom techniques) has come up several times along the way, but it wasn’t until maybe a month ago that i gave it a shot for the first time, thanks to gabrielle bernstein.

gabby is one of the life coach-types that i’ve found most helpful along the way. if you’re not familiar with her, i urge you to look her up. gabby’s weekly newsletter and vlogs have helped me in many ways, but the one i’d like to share with you today has been the most helpful to date. here’s why:

i am absolutely guilty (like most americans, sadly) of being “addicted” to sugar. don’t get me wrong- i lead a pretty healthy life. i like to move (yoga being my exercise of choice) and i love a good green juice. kale has become a staple in my diet, and i really do believe that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” but nonetheless, i have, as i addressed in my post about vegan baked goods, an intense love of sweets. it certainly isn’t a debilitating addiction by any means, but it is something that i would like to gain more control over. so i was thrilled when this “tapping” video from gabby showed up in my inbox. full disclosure: i’ve only practiced this particular EFT once, but it was like the heavens opened up. in that moment, i felt like i had conquered my sugar demons; as gabby promised, sugar was the last thing i wanted. in future moments of weakness i’ll pull up the video, while always remembering that i can allow myself anything in moderation. if your own addiction to the sweet stuff has you feeling like a prisoner, i highly suggest you practice this method. other addictions ailing you? just google EFT for your problem/disorder, and you’re bound to find a video, or a hundred, that can help.

doggie video of the day!

nothing on the planet makes me happier than stories like this one. adopt a dog! i don’t think people realize that dogs do even more for us (emotionally) than we do for them.

yulin DOG MEAT festival in china

it is so hard for me to even write about this– i get choked up just thinking about it. but as an avowed dog lover i feel the need to speak my piece. i will start by saying that as an open-minded, educated, and well-traveled individual, i understand that different cultures have different traditions, and i try my very hardest not to judge those foreign to me. but this is something i just cannot comprehend, however much i realize that chinese culture is so vastly different from my own.

to be honest, i don’t know many details about the festival. i’ve googled it, but am just filled with sadness and rage when i see the images of cruelty to these dogs. as i said above, i understand that people in different parts of the world eat all manner of things that we americans do not eat; but what infuriates me is the treatment of these innocent animals. it is perhaps no different from the way cows and chickens are treated at mass meat-producing facilities in america. but all the more heartbreaking to me because i’ve grown up with the image (and experience!) of the dog as man’s best friend.

i understand that people need to eat. and while i would never condone people eating dog (or cow, or pig, or chicken…you get the picture) i would just hope that these creatures that we share our planet with be treated with some measure of dignity at the end of their lives.

please, i beg anyone who cares even just a little bit about animal rights to sign the humane society’s petition. i often wonder just how much of a difference my signature or form letter to some official somewhere in china makes, but it beats the alternative of doing absolutely nothing.