Category Archives: Meatless Monday

A Silent Anniversary

Last Thursday I quietly celebrated an anniversary that’s very meaningful to me.  I’ve been a vegetarian for two years.

I celebrated quietly because I took a 24 hour vow of silence.  I did it for many reasons, but mostly to reflect on my two lives; the life before I gave up meat, and the life after.  I took a day of silence to remember the lives that were taken for me, and to pay respect to them. 

I learned some amazing things by shutting my mouth for 24 hours.  I found out how much is going on in my head, it’s busy up there.  Since I wasn’t able to communicate verbally, I had to use body language.  It’s amazing how much can be said without saying anything.  My son and I connected on a new level.  I was afraid he might feel ignored so I made it a point to pay special attention to him.  My husband and I also connected in a new way.  I quietly listened to him, we watched movies and cuddled.   It was a very specail day.  I’d like to do it again because  I feel I have more to learn.

I’m not going to talk about why I have given up meat.  There are so many reasons, and to me, they are really good reasons.  I am going to say that I have never felt better.  Both emotionally and physically.  Since going meatelss, I’ve had a healthy full-term pregnancy, exclusively breastfed my baby for 6 months, and now continue to breastfeed with the supplementation of solid foods.  Even will all these changes to my body, I can honestly say I have never been healthier in my life.

Following my moral compass has brought me so much happiness and meaning to my life.

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, Meatless Monday

Committing to a Vegan diet and other goals

I’ve had a rough few weeks, but now I can say that I’m back!  Life’s back to its regular routine.  I am making some changes though, so I thought I would blog about them.

First of all, I am committing to a Vegan diet.  Indefinitely.  I know there are times when I need to be flexible, but I want to be vegan.  Here are a few reasons why I love it so much:

1. I am actively choosing compassion over killing

2. I feel GREAT when I don’t consume animal products, especially dairy and eggs

3. I don’t have to worry about weight management

4. It makes me happy.

I am undecided about what to do about the animal fiber dilemma.  I’m very torn.  I’m going to work through my stash and then decide later.  For now, I already have it so I might as well use it.  So if I can’t use the word vegan to define myself, I’m going to call myself a herbivore.

Last night I made rice and almond milks, fresh wheat bread, and slow cooked some garbanzos overnight.  I’m very excited that things are going all the way back to the way they were, like when I was vegan the first time.

I need to finish my socks this week.  I had a very difficult time knitting when we had company for the past two weeks.  I’m happy to work on them again.

I’m starting on Day 1 for the 30 Days of Sewing again.  Sewing also makes me very happy, and I just love setting time aside daily to work on it.  It is very fulfilling, and visiting in the Ravelry group is so much fun.  There are so many fun women there and it’s encouraging to talk to them, work through problems, and share our sewing projects.  The group really keeps me going.

I’m going to try really hard to incorporate sign language into the baby’s routine.  We’ve been working on it for a week, and he is responding really well to it.  I feel like he’s understanding what I’m trying to say to him.  I know the key with signing is consistency, so I’ll do my best. 

I know that was very random, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.  I hope everyone has been well.

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Filed under Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, knitting, Meatless Monday, sewing

A new day!

Well, we’re here and finally settled.  I will be blogging more I hope. 

Today I finally started my postpartum diet/ exercise program.  I’m only a few pounds away from my prepregnancy weight, but I had gained a few pounds just before pregnancy.  I also want to lose 5 pounds more than that, so I have 13 pounds I would like to lose.  Honestly my body right now is a million times better than it was 2 years ago so if I never lose the weight it doesn’t really bother me. 

For my diet I am going vegan again.  I will not call myself vegan because I love honey and I love knitting with wool.  Taking wool from a knitter is like pulling teeth! 

Anyway, I’m going on a high raw, low sodium vegan diet and omitting all white sugars.   Honey, pure maple syrup, and agave nectar will be used in it’s place.  So, no meat (obviously), dairy, eggs, or white sugar.  I am going to do my best to take white flour out as well and use whole wheat flour and other grains too.

I plan to keep this up for 8 weeks and re-evaluate the situation then. 

I joined a gym today.  I chose this gym because their childcare facilites are amazing.  I was quite nervous leaving the baby for the first time.  When I left he was all smiles and when I came back an hour later he was sleeping in one of the teacher’s arms.  They said he fussed a little before he fell asleep, but that’s normal.  I’m so relieved, the whole time I was working out I was pretty distracted because I was so worried about how he was doing.  Tomorrow will be much better.

I bought 3 new cookbooks last week.  “Vegan Planet”, “Fresh From the Vegetarian Slowcooker”, and “Moosewood Collective: Lowfat Favorites”.  I had been borrowing the Moosewood one and the Slowcooker one from the library right before we moved so I’m very familiar with these two.  “Vegan Planet” is brand new to me and I’m very excited about it.  I made my first raw smoothie from a recipe in this book today and it was awesome! 

I plan to blog about my cleansing/ weight loss experience weekly.  So here’s to a new day!

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Fry Bread

Fry Bread

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds blended with 2 tablespoons water (equivalent of 1 egg)
1 tablespoon of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance, vegan margarine, or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

Put flax seeds and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender and whip until they are the consistency of an egg.

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.

Combine sugar, salt and Earth Balance in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm water to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the flax seed mixture and mix. Add yeast and flour, knead and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Beat down, cut into 8 even pieces and press into 6 inch circles. Deep fry until golden brown.

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Corn Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 1/4 cup water (equivalent of 2 eggs)
1 cup nondairy milk

1. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, mix vegetable oil with sugar. Add ground flax seeds and water. Add dry ingredients alternately with the nondairy milk.
3. Put batter in a 9 by 9 inch pan sprayed or brushed with olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, earth balance, or vegan margarine
1 cup well chilled butter milk, or 1 cup nondairy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

1. Preheat the oven to 425. To make buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup of nondairy milk. Whisk and set aside.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in butter or earth balance using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add buttermilk (nondairy mixture) and mix until a sticky dough has formed.
3. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few strokes just until dough is evenly mixed. Kneading too much will make the biscuits tough.
4. Press dough out until it is 1 inch thick and cut out biscuits. Re knead and repress the dough until all the dough has been shaped into biscuits.
5. Bake until biscuits are firm to the touch and the bottoms and tops are lightly browned, about 15-18 minutes. Serve hot.

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Beer Batter Bread

Beer Batter Bread

3 C. all purpose flour
3 Tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 12 oz. unopened bottle of beer, at room temperature
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing and serving

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Open the beer and add it all at once; it will foam up. Stir briskly just until combined, about 20 strokes. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake until the top is crusty and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature the day it is made. Cut into thick slices and accompany with plenty of butter.

Serving tip: Serve this bread with hearty soups, stews, and braises.

*Williams-Sonoma Bread recipe book, pg. 54, published by Simon & Schuster Source, New York.

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