Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brunch at The V-spot!

My husband and I met with 3 non-vegetarian friends for a great Saturday brunch at V-spot earlier this month. I've had great dinners there before and now a lovely brunch....V-spot is officially on my top 5 vegan places in NYC.

One of my friends and I both ordered the fruit empanadas that came with veggie sausages. You could tell the fruit jam/spread was homemade and deliciously fresh.

My husband got the protein pancakes (also with veggie sausages). They tasted awesome as well. And it's no easy thing making delicious hearty/healthy pancakes.

Another friend ordered the tempeh bacon burger. And she gave good reviews as well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Okara and Courage burgers

Discovered a lovely vegan burger this week...with an even better name...Courage Burger!

A very tasty meat alternative by the company SoyBoy. "Rated the number one meat-replacement product in Eating Well Magazine’s Veggie Burger Challenge"

The burger has this ingredient I've never heard of called "okara". (Okara or soy pulp is a white or yellowish pulp consisting of insoluble parts of the soybean which remain in the filter sack when pureed soybeans are filtered in the production of soy milk. It is part of the traditional cuisines of Japan, Korea, and China) I give it * * * * *.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Perfomance in Sports and Life

2011 will be the year of my first marathon (Insha'Allah). I'm going to hold off on serious training until after the Baha'i fast this March. One can't seriously train when abstaining from food and water sun up to sun down. In the mean time I've been researching what it's like to train for 26.2 miles as a vegan.

Most vegan athletes have heard of Brendan Brazier. He's a vegan Ironman triathlete and runner. Brazier won two Canadian 50 km Ultramarathon Championships (2003, 2006) and was regarded as one of Canada’s top endurance athletes and among the world’s best ultramarathoners.

I decided to read one of Brazier's books this week "Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Perfomance in Sports and Life" to get tips on how to tweak my diet so I have the energy to run 20+ miles.

Thrive is a well researched book. Brazier includes numerous ideas for things to add to my diet and the general concept of being an active vegan. It's a great read for any runner/athlete. The book has tons of recipes and in-depth info. Added plus if you like a raw vegan diet. Some summary notes from the book:
  • Acidic foods can lead to numerous health problems. Try to eat more highly alkaline forming food. The goal is for your body to have a pH of 7.35. Most non-vegan items are highly acidic (cow's milk, meat etc.)
  • "One-step nutrition", eating foods already in a form usable by the body is the key. Complex carbs have to be converted to simple; fat converted to fatty acids; protein converted to amino. It's more efficient to eat things already in the converted form -> less energy used breaking the food down etc.
  • Good amino acids sources: hemp, leafy greens, sprouts. Fatty acids: seeds like flax, hemp pumpkin, walnuts and oil.
  • How to fuel your body before exercise depends on the degree of intensity. High intensity but shorter duration: 3% protein, 7% fat, 90% carbs (A mix of dates and coconut oil is recommended). Moderate intensity: 5% protein, 35% fat, 60% carbs. Low intensity but long duration (ie marathon running): protein 10%, fat 70%, carbs 20%
  • For workouts longer than 3 hours you must train your body to burn fat efficiently and preserve glycogen stores. Otherwise you will tire easily and need to take more breaks to refuel. Easy long exercises like bike riding for 5 hrs at leisure pace will train the body to burn fat.
  • Eat a lite carb within 45 min of a workout so muscles can absorb it and aid recovery (no fiber and less than 20% protein)
  • Eat an easily digestible meal an hour after the workout with protein. (If the meal is hard for the body to digest blood flow increases to the stomach instead of working to clear out lactic acid and aid muscle strain
  • Power foods: Dinosaur kale, sea vegetables (10x the calcium of cow's milk), yellow peas, flaxseeds (high omega 3 and 6), sprouts and quinoa/amaranth
Happy reading and eating :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eating Animals

I finished reading Eating Animals last week in effort to strengthen my resolve against eating fish (the only thing I miss after being vegan). Also it was highly recommended (for example by a favorite veg celeb, Nathalie Portman).

It didn't help with the fish thing. I feel like most of these books spend 20 pages helping me feel outraged against killing pigs/cows etc but only 2 pages on fish. The main thing I got was that over fishing is hurting the environment and many other species are being killed in tuna nets etc.

There were other helpful tidbits.... I didn't realize how far we have gotten away from "normal" chickens and turkeys to the point where most can't even procreate naturally, fly or move. Another thing that stayed in my mind is the amount of chemicals and "fluids" injected in slaughtered animals to try to beef up the priced weight and help them survive their unnatural life. Especially when compared to the amount of antibiotics illegal in Europe but allowed in the US = gross.

If you have time why not read this book....if you only have time for 1 pro-animal/pro-food health book I still think Skinny Bitch is a better read.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Seventh Generation

We already use their paper and cleaning products. However I still smiled reading this article that tree hugger wrote on them, click here.

Seventh Generation uses packaging with 96 percent post-consumer recycled content.

Plus, I had no idea some detergents don't make your clothes brighter by cleaning better but by leaving chemicals in your clothes......"the chemicals permeate fabrics, causing them to selectively absorb and fluoresce light to appear more white or vibrant."

The Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen

My husband and I tried out The Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen this past weekend. It's a cute little place in the East Village, run sort of like a Mom and Pop shop and all the employees make you feel at home.

My husband ordered the vegan chili. It was good and spicy. The shop owner walked by, saw us eating it and said "you should try that with the flax seed crackers". Next thing we know, the waiter gave us flax seeds crackers for free :)

I ordered the vegan eggplant parmigiana. It was pretty good. Whole Earth Kitchen is the first place I've eaten this where they didn't try to replace the cheese with a vegan variety. They just left it out and included tofu slabs in the middle.

For dessert, my husband shocked me and actually ordered more than I did (I tend to have the sweet tooth in the relationship). He ordered a vegan brownie and a chocolate covered brown rice crispy. I liked the crispy but didn't care for the vegan brownie.

The Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen
130 Saint Marks Pl # 2
New York, NY 10009-5843
(212) 677-7597