My Vegan Life

The ramblings about vegan life in the fair city of Brooklyn from a recent college graduate who survived on more than hummus and celery sticks.
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I haven’t posted in so long!!! It feels like forever.

Wait a minute. It has been forever! Shit!

Oh, well. That milk has been spilled and spoilt, as I like to say.

I missed you all. Remember how I said that I was pounding the pavement? Well, I am pounding the pavement. However, I’ve decided to do something a bit different. I’m taking an internship. Yes, an internship.

Now I know that I’ve waxed poetic about how I need a job that will allow me to afford some really crappy mainstream accoutrements like an apartment, clothes, the legendary red-bottomed shoes…and some other crap that I can’t name for you right now. However, I need to channel my frustrations about life into experience that’s even more marketable. So I applied for an internship at a small publishing house in NYC called The Feminist Press at CUNY, and I got it!

I can honestly say that this internship makes me incredibly happy. I  love what I do, and it’s really great to discuss feminism and veganism with people who are veg-friendly. I think between the vegans and the gluten-free, we need to have a good office dinner with lots of yummies. I say we make it happen!

However, I haven’t forgotten my veganism. I also haven’t forgotten you. I have a bunch of things in store for the blog, and I’m going to be showing you how I’m slowly elevating my entire life into a vegan one…..shoes included.

So, fasten your seat-belt, buckle up, and let’s go for a long ride.

Peace.

Wow. I haven’t posted in a long time. 

I know. Don’t kill me.

There are tons of reasons…..but I’ll give you the most important ones.

No.1-Upheaval from school. I graduated in May and said good-bye to my favorite Lehigh Valley all on the same day. I miss it like crazy. The hustle. The bustle. The bar crawls. But most importantly? I miss the peace and quiet. I miss the friends I made. I miss the love I had.

No.2-Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve been searching hard for jobs. Do yourself a favor:DON’T GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE IN A RECESSION! I know the stock-market is something that you can’t control, but what happens on Wall Street definitely affects the happenings on Main Street. When businesses are in a financial crunch, they’re more likely to hire graphic designers-cum-web designers-cum-secretaries in a pinch. Three different jobs rolled up into one (essentially) overworked poor soul. This makes it harder for people (like me) to find jobs. I have experience, yes. However, I do not worship at the temple of Adobe. Therefore, I have to pound the pavement. HARD.

No.3-Emotional upheaval. I’ve had some major emotional upheaval in the past two months. Part of it has to do with the first two reasons. However, an event happened two months ago (which I was SO not prepared for), and it’s hit me pretty hard. Again. There are days where I take pleasure in the fact that I stand on the infinite realm of possibilities in my own life and I’m as free as a bird. Then there are days where I’m contemplating my life and wondering if I’ll ever find a job and all of the accoutrements that mainstream culture says I absolutely NEED in order to be happy. (Note to Ladies: If a guy asks you to fight for them, ask them this question first: Are you going to fight for me?)

With all of this, however, I’m still going strong. I’m really taking an interest in my health, and I’ve been making a more conscientious effort to really work on it. I’ve been drinking my green smoothies for breakfast everyday, juicing fruits and veggies (Who knew that fresh juice could taste SO AMAZING?!?!?), drinking lots of water, and just eating pure, unprocessed food. My ultimate goal is to follow the Ital diet of the Rastafari, as it’s a diet that’s pure, clean, and really promotes a clean lifestyle. However, kicking the salt habit is harder than kicking the sugar monkey off of my shoulder. I’ve been reading up on salt substitutes, and the top two contenders are celery juice and vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce. I’m not too sure about the former working as a flavor enhancer, but the latter has the naturally-occurring compound of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) which is a flavor enhancer that’s used a great deal in Chinese cooking. This means that I’ll be knocking about Chinatown looking for this item.

I’ve got to run. However, I’m going to make more of an effort to post again. I really missed it.

It’s been so long. Oy.

I always get into these ruts where I can’t post anything because I’m not inspired. However, since I have begun a new phase of my life tonight, I will try to post in more substantial detail….soon.

Imagine a salad with romaine lettuce, red and yellow sweet peppers and tomatoes that has been marinated in a salad dressing bath of sea salt, flaxseed oil, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast.

Then imagine a succulent Gardein Chick’n Scallopini sautee’d with mini portobello mushrooms and fragrant scallions. 

Yup.

That was MY dinner. 

Even more amazing?

I made it all by me onesy self.

You got it! No help from the padre, who sat contentedly on the couch doing his crossword puzzle. Even better, no help from the mother, either…although she did poke her head in a few times to make sure I didn’t burn down her precious kitchen. 

It was all of my sweat, tears, and elbow grease…..and it tasted delicious!

In fact, it tasted WAY better than the vegan lunch I paid eight bucks for at my favorite Thai restaurant on Wednesday. That was an epic letdown. I ordered a vegetarian fried rice. After asking the usual question (What’s in it?) and being told that it was vegan, I figured…why not.

It was an epic letdown, let me tell you.

However, this dinner put that crappy lunch out of my mind. It’s given me the confidence to start cooking more in the kitchen at home, especially since I have some new cookbooks in my collection. The one I’m really excited to cook from is “Caribbean Vegan” by Taymer Mason, a vegan microbiologist and chef from Barbados. Reading this book brought tears to my eyes because I saw recipes for dishes that my grandmother and I used to cook on a daily, weekly, and holiday basis. When she died, I thought that I could never really cook those dishes again, but reading this book has given me the courage to try. Another great aspect of this book is the fact that my mom actually wants to cook from this book. I can’t wait to see my mom try the “Grenadian Oil Down,” which is the national dish of Grenada. 

All in all….a good first. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s dish…maybe Trinidad style stewed seitan with Fried rice and salad? Or………DOUBLES!!!!!!!

Karma is a bitch… with a GPS… She’ll find your ass!

One liter of water with 3 Tbps of Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.

That’s how I’ve been starting off my day for the past week. 

Sounds yummy, I know.

To me, it actually tastes good. 

At this point, you’re probably thinking in your head “Is she nuts? Why is she drinking vinegar with water?” Trust me, that’s the reaction I’ve gotten from the people in my house who have seen me preparing it. I’ve gotten used to it by now, so it doesn’t faze me. You’re probably wondering where I heard of such a recipe. I’ll divulge now.

I’m graduating from college in three weeks. I know, Huzzah, huzzah. I’m getting the most expensive piece of paper in my entire life. I’m celebrating my ascendence into the enlightened realm of life. I’m growing up. I’m putting on my big girl pants. I need to get healthy.

And admittedly, I need to look good.

Now, I know that last sentence sounded pretty vain. Normally, I’m fine with the way I look. I eat healthy for the most part,with a little indulgence here and there. However, when you’re notified of the fact that relatives are getting on planes for your big academic coming out party and they will be taking thousands of pictures that will make the sides of your mouth looking as though they’re pinned to your cheeks, you tend to want to look good throughout all of the hullaballoo.

So I’m giving myself a bit of a tune-up. 

My goal is to treat myself internally and externally. That means eating healthy, fresh, food everyday, drinking lots of infused water, and taking care of my skin. My skin care routine includes oil cleanses, lemon sugar scrubs, and clay masks with lavender and grapeseed oils. 

I know, I know. All that aforementioned accoutrements make me sound like some hippie from the ’60s singing Kumbaya around a fireside doing some PCP laced chronic. 

Alay thine fears. That’s not the case at all. When it comes to skincare, my motto is “The simpler, the better.” As a result, I tend to make a lot of my own products. When I was younger, my mom spend a lot of money trying to find products that didn’t irritate my skin. Finally, in my sophomore year of college, I started playing around in my laboratory with different things, and found a mix that worked for me. I’m glad I did, because once I did that, I actually looked forward to spending time in the bathroom. In fact, it’s now my favorite room in a domestic dwelling, besides the kitchen. Most people judge their liking of place on closets. I judge how much I like a place based on the kitchen and the bathroom, since that’s where I’ve spent most of my time as a little girl. My apartment in New York has a great kitchen (for a prewar apartment) and I love my bathroom. I do most of my reading, there, actually. But I digress.

Since I’ve been on this tune up, I’ve actually seen some good things happen. My body’s been working on reducing water weight, and I’m a lot less tired. I also sleep more soundly. As for my skin, it’s slowly getting in shape. It’s going to take a while, but as I said, I’ve got some time.

After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

It’s only natural.

When I’ve got a bad case of the mean reds, I like to play the game of “My Favorite Foods.”

Right now, it’s any dreamy concoction from the magical land that is known to us vegans as Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA.

So far, I’ve been to this place twice in the past two weeks. (I’ll be going again right after my geology final…which tells you something:)) Let me tell you, this place is phenomenal. It’s bright pink with zebra accents, and what’s even cooler about it is the fact that you can watch the pastry chefs and bakers make all of the yummy goodies, and trust me, I have. No matter where I sit, I’m always straining my neck to see them make new treats. Last Saturday, when I went with a group of friends from school, I saw them making the legendary peanut butter mousse bomb cake. That cake is literally a vegan peanut butter cup on steroids! Believe me, it looks as good as it tastes.

Another product of theirs that rocks is their vegan soft-serve ice cream.

Chocolate Marshmallow

Chocolate Marshmallow/Peanut Butter Swirl

Vanilla Marshmallow

So far, I’ve tasted the vanilla marshmallow flavor, the chocolate marshmallow flavor, and a swirl of the chocolate marshmallow with peanut butter silk flavors. They are epic! Now, I’m not really a fan of soy based ice-creams, but Vegan Treats puts every other soy ice cream maker out in the world to shame. The ice cream is rich, creamy, and most importantly, IT HAS TASTE!!!!!! Huzzah! You know how some soy ice creams are watery and bland? Not here! It tastes just as good as coconut milk ice cream…and you know how much I like that.

But the piece de resistance is the sticky bun.

The sticky buns at Vegan Treats are so…..mmmm. Words cannot describe the orgasmic bliss that lies within a Vegan Treats sticky bun. These objects of sugary goodness are rolled like your typical omni-bun, but they have a caramel sauce and walnuts that are just…oooooh! If you and you romantic partner are looking for a bite to share, I suggest this. I was with four people and we couldn’t finish it at all. It was that big. Then again, it also could have been due to the fact that we were eating so much other sweet goodness already. Either way, I brought the leftovers home and it was…..well, I’ll leave it PG…;)

All in all, Vegan Treats is phenomenal cosmic power. I’m really mad that I’m graduating. Just when I’d found something wonderful, I have to leave it…..depressing me all over again. But there’s a cure for this depression…..and I’ll start from the beginning.

Can someone please suggest to me a decent vegan skincare line that won’t break my bank? I mean, seriously. Why is it that finding a decent-priced quality organic skincare line is like finding a needle in a haystack? Now, don’t get me wrong; I could live in Sephora forever. They have great options. But alas, they are EXPENSIVE options. I’m about to graduate from college! Uncle Sam is going to be knocking on my door because my bill is about to be due. I don’t have $60 to spend per item. 

It doesn’t help either, that many of the so-called organic lines (that are admittedly decent and simple) are not really that forthcoming about what’s in their product. If a product has glycerin on their ingredients list, most of the time, that’s usually animal glycerin….which really sucks. I don’t want animal fat in my face wash. It’s that simple. I don’t want animal fat anywhere near me. Furthermore, if you’re marketing your product as eco-friendly, animal fat isn’t really that ecologically friendly, is it? Not really!

That’s enough ranting during finals week. But seriously, if you know of a good line that works….e-mail me. At this point, I’ll try anything (vegan.)

Steps off the soapbox.

Birthday meals……all vegan.

The last picture I took after I realized that I had eaten everything. It was still yummy…….oh, memories. 

Hello everyone!

It has been way too long since I’ve posted. I feel horrible, especially since I have so many things to share with you that have been going on in my life: Research, food, job-search(graduation in two months!), and life in general.

On the research end, I’ve been working hard and doing a lot of reading on my topic. I don’t really post much here, because I read a TON and posting every single thing that I read would actually be me just regurgitating what I have learned so far, and boy, I have learned a ton. What I have learned is actually changing the way I feel about the media and the way humans perceive things. Just a forethought-I will be posting my report on here, but it will be from an English literature standpoint, as per advisor’s request. However, I will be doing my own follow-up to that from a purely media based standpoint. However, expect a post on Fast Food Nation very soon.

Food-Oh heavens. I have been eating so much good vegan food. Spring break, I ate a ton of food. I did learn a valuable lesson, though: One’s diet should not consist of only meat analogs and root vegetables, no matter how comforting the food may feel at the time. It was a really eye-opening experience for me, as I learned one key factor- I like greens. I NEED greens. Hearing the crunch of arugula, raw carrots, raw corn(amazing in the summer) tomatoes, and quinoa underneath my tongue is like hearing a symphony for me. My body cannot do well without any type of greens. In fact, during my menstrual cycle, the greens (especially the darker ones) become even more important.I also learned that my school makes amazing (AMAZING) vegan chocolate cake.

Life in general-Life is good. I’m a lot happier than I was at the end of last year, and there have been some new developments that I hope to keep in my life for as long as I can keep them. I’m not depressed anymore, and I look forward to getting up in the morning. I’m not wondering whether I am valuable or loved by others anymore. I’ve learned that I love myself, which is the most important thing. If others don’t love me, well, that’s a shame. But as long as I love myself, and I can share my love to the world by working for people’s rights, then I feel safe to say that I have accomplished something. 

That’s the most important thing, isn’t it?