How to Go Veg without Going Crazy: Article 4. Why Going Meat and Dairy Free is Better for Us.

Okay, I finally decided to get into the hottest subject that concerns both pro- and anti-veg people: is it better for us humans to ditch animal foods, namely meat and dairy, and if so, what are the reasons? There is so much info about this all over the internet that if you start digging, you might get easily confused and frustrated. Especially if you are very new to the idea of living meat and dairy free. There are plenty of individuals, groups, and organizations that seem so passionate about the subject that when they shower newcomers with information,  they scare them away with their enthusiasm (Those guys are crazy! Salad-eating freaks! Anyone giving up animal products must be going insane!). I know, I know. Yes, it’s easy to get carried away when you truly believe that your way of living is the only right way to go, and everybody should … Read the rest of the post

My (Almost) First Track Workout, and a Swamp Monster Breakfast Smoothie!

Today on the agenda: a track workout I did this morning, and my favorite vegan breakfast smoothie recipe! You know that feeling when you complete something you didn’t know you were strong enough to do? And the feeling of accomplishment that immediately follows? Well, that’s just what I feel today! Here are my immediate reasons: – got up early: at 4:50 am to be exact, long before the sunrise! – left the house when the sun still wasn’t up, and ran towards my gym (1.2 mi) to – meet up with a couple local runners; – ran with them towards our high school track (1.1 mi) to do a quite grueling but very satisfying running workout of 8 by 400 m ( 400 meters of hard running followed by 400 meters recovery jog; repeat eight times – 4 miles total); – ran back to the gym (1.1 mi) and got … Read the rest of the post

Week 3 of Marathon Training. Our Surprising Vegan Experience in Pensacola, Fla.

Today’s post is about vegan-friendly restaurant scene in Pensacola, Fla (the site of my upcoming marathon!), and my running in week 3 of marathon training. It’s Monday again! I’m amazed at how fast time goes by these days! It must be all the fun that I’m having with my blog, right? It’s hard to believe that I’m starting the fourth week of my marathon training plan as well as the fourth week of running this blog… but that’s exactly what’s happening. All right, back to the subject. So how was my running in week three? I’m glad to be getting more confident that I’m on the right path! The runs are getting more steady and more enjoyable: on my Sunday morning long run I tapped into that lovely ‘runner’s high’ state by the end and decided to go for another mile and a half on top of the originally intended distance. … Read the rest of the post

Guilt-Free Baking: Banana Nut Bread

Ahhh, who doesn’t love baked goods? Especially those that are rich in flavor, comforting, and don’t require a degree in culinary arts to make? Lo and behold today’s leading character – my Banana Nut Bread! Baking, baking, baking… When I was growing up, my mom was the Queen on Baked Goods not just in our family, but for all of our friends and relatives. I myself didn’t discover the joys of baking until a couple years ago, and – that’s right – I never looked back… There were a  few times in the past months when I had to bake a new item/batch/recipe as soon as the previous one was gone, and I could operate in that mode for weeks… And then I switched to a vegan diet. Ta da! Before I did any research, I was worried that I’d never get to bake anything again… But I decided to be stoic, especially since … Read the rest of the post

How To Go Veg Without Going Crazy: Article 3. Scientists and the Whole Food Plant-Based Diet.

I’ve always been very interested in nutrition and how it affects our wellbeing, and the more I read up on the subject, the more evidence I found suggesting that ditching animal-derived foods and consuming lots of unprocessed, “whole” plant-based foods can make a drastic change in how we feel and perform. Practice shows that in many cases, low-fat whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet can even prevent and reverse certain diseases! In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the scientists and doctors who have been studying nutrition for decades, both in theory and in practice. They were able to determine the goodness of WFPB diet through many years of scientific research and medical practice. Oftentimes, their views on nutrition made them quite unpopular among their more mainstream scientific peers, but that never discouraged them to continue on their own path in search of truth. And truth is exactly what they found … Read the rest of the post

Three Bean Barley Chili

Chili is supposed to be a wintertime meal, a perfect dish for those long, dark evenings when you’re all cozy on the couch with a hot steaming bowl of this velvety goodness … Well, I’ve never been a fan of limiting deliciousness, so why not give it a try in the summer? I first read about the idea of adding a hearty grain to a vegan chili recipe in Scott Jurek’s book, Eat and Run. In the book, Scott admits to never having liked chili before until he tried a chili recipe with grains. According to Scott, they can give a vegan chili that heartiness that meat chilis have. He provides a recipe that he calls Minnesota Winter Chili and suggests using bulgur wheat along with beans and other ingredients. I’ve had my own chili recipe for a few years when I was still eating meat. It always came out perfect … Read the rest of the post

Week 2 of Marathon Training. The Goodness of Carbs. Also: Hummingbirds!

I’m two weeks in into my marathon training, so in this post I’m going to recap how the second week went, as well as share with you a secret of my new favorite energy source! Hint hint: it’s been around all along! This week went by very quickly, and fairly uneventful. My running mileage isn’t very high these days – since I replace 2 days of short runs on my marathon training plan with strength training at the gym, it’s unlikely that I’ll hit really high numbers. (I do, however, run to and from my gym, so it adds about 2.5 miles of running to my gym days.) I followed this strategy last year when I was training for my first marathon, and I was very grateful for all of my strength training on race day: it turns out that being strong all over helps big time in a long … Read the rest of the post

How To Go Veg Without Going Crazy. Article 2: Vegetarian, Vegan, And Other Meat-Free Nutritional Approaches

In the previous article, we covered the differences between species according to their preferences in food sources. If you watched the highly informative video in which Milton Mills, M.D., delivered a speech for the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii, you might have gotten an idea of where we humans fall in this paradigm. However, there are so many approaches in nutritional science that each claim to be the one and only way to go! If you started doing your own research and came across all these confusing terms, names, articles, diets… well, trust me: I know how confusing this can be. In this article, I’d like to break down some of that information for you. So what’s a good word to denote someone who has decided to stop eating meat, either to gain good health or to ‘save the planet’? Vegetarian Vegetarian is the word that first comes to mind. A … Read the rest of the post

How To Go Veg Without Going Crazy. Article 1: Omnivore, Carnivore, Herbivore.

If you’ve never given much thought to your nutrition before, and then just recently came across the idea that eating well can do wonders for your health, you must have noticed: it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the existing approaches and terminology that comes with them. I’m going to put together a few articles to help you get an idea how everything works. Please note: I’m not a nutritional scientist, and oftentimes I’m learning along with you while researching this stuff! That’s why I recommend that you do additional research if you wish to learn more on any subject. In this article, I’d like to focus on the terminology that explains the difference between meat-eating and non-meat-eating species, and find out where we humans belong on this scale. So here we go: An omnivore ( ‘all-eater’ in Latin), according to Wikipedia, is a consumer of a variety of material as significant … Read the rest of the post

Kale and Cannellini Bean Salad

I just love the combination of kale and beans, and find it extremely versatile, both for cold and warm dishes. They can be combined (along with other ingredients) in soups, stews, pasta dishes, salads – whatever your imagination suggests! Today I’d like to share a recipe for this lovely salad that I mentioned the other day. I like to eat it for lunch every now and then: This salad is chock-full of superfoods: the combination of kale, avocado, ginger, and miso paste can make wonders for our bodies! Also, the dressing doesn’t involve any added oil, which is exactly what the big-time plant-based diet advocates suggest. It’s also highly customizable: add or subtract just about any kind of vegetables you want, and you’ve got a new salad! The dressing adds a nice Asian twist to the flavor. PrintKale and Cannellini Bean Salad Prep Time: 15 minutes Yield: 1 as main … Read the rest of the post