Get the Gear!


Now that we have our New Year’s resolutions rolling, our race schedule set, and our travel plans beginning to take shape, it’s time to make sure we are outfitted properly for all our activities.  Whether we are running down the streets of Portland, cycling through the outskirts of Bend, or trekking through the trails in the Applegate Valley, we like to rep one of our favorite vegan/wellness/training blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been fans of Matt Fraizer and his site, No Meat Athlete for over 3 years and have used many of his ideas, recipes, and training plans.  We also have several shirts in the NMA line, including some t-shirts, running shirts, tanktops, and hoodies.  Their is currently a pre-order happening on cycling jerseys, as well as a sale on many of the great NMA items.

If you are in the market for some running or workout gear, or need some good plant-based training advice for your next race, half-marathon, marathon, check out Matt and No Meat Athlete and GET SOME GEAR!

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Web Feast Friday


I don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we are on 18 days and counting on our 2013 resolution to blog every day. We’ve even accomplished one of our 2013 resolutions by hitting the 100 post mark on the blog.  This may not seem like a great feat to those seasoned bloggers,  but coming from a couple folks who can justify doing/not doing many things, we continue to amaze ourselves!  We’ve found a routine that is keeping us on track, and we are definitely taking plenty of pictures and cooking delicious foods that will definitely make an appearance on the blog.  This weeks Feast includes links and lists that can help create routines, or provide ideas to incorporate into your current routine.

Kick your morning off with any and all of these AM activities.

Let’s all commit to this list for 2013!

Lot’s of Top 10 lists always get kicked around this time of year.  This top 15 list is 5 better.

So true.  So true.

For those of you joining us for “Raw February,” here’s some helpful tools.

For those of you still looking to detox from the holidays, or adopting a more detoxifying lifestyle, here’s some tips.

This recipe has Sunday dinner written all over it!

Actually, I’m making this on Sunday.  This too.

This song just popped up while we were watching Girls, and I totally forgot how great of a jam it is!

Web Feast Friday


It finally feels like winter here in the Pacific NW, and we have a brand new dusting of snow on  the hills throughout the valley.  We’re eleven days into the year, and still holding strong to our commitment/resolution of blogging every day!  We have lots of great ideas for posts, and lots of great recipes and stories to share.  We also have some exciting adventures on the horizon that are sure to create even more blog fodder. Snowshoeing is on the agenda this weekend, along with a little wine tour.  In the meantime, sit back and relax the second installment of Web Feast Friday for 2013!

Simple.  Easy.  Indian flavors.  Love it!

For those of you who want to go raw with us next month, here’s a recipe to bookmark.

The EPL household is a big fan of savory waffles.  These just made the cut for Sunday brunch.

Health vegan Twix bars?

We’re everywhere!!!!

We’re hosting a vegan Super Bowl party this year, and you KNOW this will be served!

Lot’s of recipes this week means lots of cooking and baking is taking place.  One such cooking escapade involves a shopping trip to the Asian market, no real plan, and $100 in groceries.  Stay tuned for that story!

We leave you with some winter running inspiration and motivation.  Play outside this weekend and cook some good food.

Web Feast Friday: New Year’s Edition

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Four days into 2013, and so far, our resolution to blog each day of the year is still in effect!  That means we will be treating you guys to at least 360 more posts in 2013.  Both of us have laid out a list of resolutions/goals for the year, and over the course of the next couple of months, we will be posting all the details.  In honor of 2013 and resolution season, we offer up several resolution/make-yourself-better links to assist with the process.  Feel free to share these with us, and we can all be accountabila-buddies!

These tips would easily free up a good 40 hours every week!  Just think about what you could do with 40 hours.

If you resolution is to find a nice vegan guy/gal to court, make sure you read up on these details.

Keep your feet happy and cruelty-free in 2013!

2013 is guaranteed to be BIG year for Team EPL, and it can be a BIG year for you too!

Watch this movie in 2013.

Follow this blog in 2013.

Here’s a load of links from No Meat Athlete that can help you with all your plant-based fitness needs.

Eat/drink one thing green at every meal.  Here’s some ideas!

It’s a new year, I’m glad to be here!  Happy 2013 folks!

Web Feast Friday

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Welcome to the final Web Feast Friday of Vegan Mofo!  Getting involved with Vegan Mofo, and participating along side some of our vegan blogger role models/celebrities has been a tremendous honor and inspirational experience.  Instead of posting random bits from around the internets, I thought I would post some recent highlights from some of our most favorite vegan bloggers.  The following peeps provide us with many recipes, much inspiration, and a network of passionate and enthusiastic advocates for all things vegan.  If you don’t have these folks bookmarked or queued up on your RSS feed, start clickin’!!!!!

–  Post Punk Kitchen was one of the first vegan blogs we started following.  Their forum alone is a great resource for recipes and menu ideas.

–  Vegansaurus single handedly planned the eating/dining schedule for our recent San Fran vaca.  This is a great blog for news, reviews, and the occasional profanity-laced post.  A true inspiration!

–  Will Travel for Vegan Food started out as a Kickstarter campaign, and is now a favorite read of EPL.  Who wouldn’t want to just travel around the U.S., eat vegan food in new and interesting places, and write about it.  That what dreams are made of folks.

–  Hipsterfood combines vegan food with artsy pics and Wes Anderson-ish fonts to create one of our favorite food photography sites.  They also publish Chickpea Vegan Quarterly which is our favorite quarterly vegan publication.

–  Nobody does vegan dessert quite like Chocolate Covered Katie!

–  For those of you who dabble in the raw vegan lifestyle, I give you Choosing Raw.  Plenty of great salad, juice, and smoothie recipes to help you get your raw on!

–  Last but certainly not least, Happy Herbivore.  Lindsay and Happy Herbivore are an institution when it comes to cooking, eating, and living a vegan lifestyle.  Her blog, along with the HH cookbooks, will continue to be an inspirational guide for our Sunday brunches, holiday dinners, and blogging exploits.

In true Web Feast fashion, we leave you with this Black Lips/Rza from Wu Tang Clan gem:

Web Feast Friday: Vegan Mofo 2012


 

So far so good!  We are now 12 days into our first Vegan Mofo as participants, and have kept up our pledge of posting every single day in October!  Thanks for all the views, comments, and feedback over the last couple of weeks.  We really appreciate the support and look forward to continuing our quest to deliver our impassioned vegan content with even more humor, sarcasm, and plant-based love.  We leave you with another edition of Web Feast Friday:  Vegan Mofo 2012.

Fall means cooler weather, soup, and string-based jams:

Sauerkraut and mushrooms just happen to be my two favorite foods.  Jackpot!!

I couldn’t remember if I had posted these before, but with new flavors available, it seemed like a good idea.  These have fueled many long runs and bike rides.  Vegan power food by some super cool folks from TX!

Saturdays used to be college football day.  Now this is what I look forward to!

Curry kale balls.  Yes please.

Good thing about my office is everyone thinks I’m crazy when I drink this.

We’ve mentioned many times that brunch is our favorite meal.  What’s brunch without muffins?

Mad respect and best of luck to all the athletes toeing the line in Kona tomorrow.

Changing the World in One Easy Step

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Unexpected message spoken from this tree as it laid on the forest floor.

As it is when you make a choice that goes against the grain of how ‘most people’ choose to experience life, those ‘most people’ have a lot of questions, and predominantly those questions begin and end with one thing – why?  And because each person is living a unique life experience, the answer to ‘why’ is as unique as that person themself.  In my early days as a vegan, I would often put a great deal of pressure on myself, feeling a sense of responsibility to positively represent an entire community of beings, both humans and animals. I would spend hours pining over how to deliberately mold my words and actions in fear that certain words may negatively impact the perception of what being ‘vegan’ is all about.

It was through this pining that I realized I was focusing on the wrong thing all together, and I instead discovered an entirely new idea. There are times for a revolution, to mix things up and reinvent and spark awareness with tough facts and hard truths, and then there are times for evolution, where time moves incrementally and becomes evident through small choices and shifts in mindset. Whether you are a vegan activist on the front lines fighting for animal rights, or cutting out red meat to lower cholesterol, or simply on a search to accomodate all tastes at a dinner party – it really does not matter. What matters is that we are all on a journey of asking OURSELVES  ‘why?’  Then using our tastes and emotions and experiences and reading blogs and listening to inspiring music and getting uncomfortable and getting fired up and enjoying the unfolding that happens as we tinker with our choices, THEN we can say, “oh yeah, that feels good. I want to feel like this all the time!”

All that I can offer as a blogger in this blogging world is some perspective, some information with facts or laughter or stories that help you tinker with choices that bring you closer to feeling YOUR sense of joy in your life. I will say that I am continually molding my answer to why I am vegan, but the following are many pieces of information that you can use to help with your ever expanding answer to the ‘why’ of veganism, to assist you in your never ending journey of identifying what it is you want and what you do not want.

I’ve been there.

So…what is that one easy step to changing the world? Embrace your emotions, good bad and ugly, and stay curious about how to feel better (okay, maybe that’s two steps.) Being vegan allows me to cultivate peace in the world and within myself by not contributing to a system that harms the earth and harms living beings while allowing me the freedom and fun to explore new ways of reinventing myself and my food. In doing so, and most importantly, I feel overwhelming joy and silliness and optimism and appreciation for life…and it’s in that powerful, loving energy lies the power to change the world!

Why One May Choose to Become a Vegan and How That Choice Impacts the World

EARTH

Isn’t the world awesome?!

  • The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, considerably more then the transportation industry (United Nations report “Livestock’s Long Shadow”)
  • 70% of the Amazon forests have been cut to provide land for cattle to graze, destroying a substancial amount of CO2 from trees into the atmosphere (United Nations report “Livestock’s Long Shadow”)
  • The meat, dairy, and egg industry is responsible for two-thirds of human induced emissions of ammonia, playing a role in acidification of our ecosystem
  • Livestock uses 8% of planet’s water and it takes 100 times more water to produce a kilogram of beef then of grain (United Nations report “Livestock’s Long Shadow”). 90% of the freshwater consumed annually in the US is for livestock (David Pimentel)
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), animal agriculture is the largest polluter of water, contaminating the environment with pesticide, runoff waste, and fertilizers. Animal waste is in the top 10 sources of pollution on earth. The estimated combined rate of cattle, pig, and poultry waste is around 1.4 billion tons annually – 130 times more then the US population produces.
  • Cattle consume seven times as much grain then the entire US Population (Pimentel and Pimentel, Sustainability) and 80% of all corn grown in the US is consumed by livestock, poultry, and fish production all over the world (National Corn Grower’s Association 2000 report). meanwhile 9000 children die a day from hunger and malnutrition (R.E. Black ‘Maternal and Child undernutrition, Lancet 2008) 

ANIMALS

Bits the Pig – my buddy and constant reminder of my love for animals.

  • 70% of dairy cows, 25% of heifer’s, 90% of pig, and 100% of chickens are bred artificially. The primary goal of artificial insemination is to produce animals with a greater genetic capacity to make a profit (Scientific Farm Animal Production)
  • One in seven dairy cows suffer from clinical mastitis, a painful bacterial infection of the udders made worse through milk production. They are housed in small confined areas with only about a quarter being allowed any access to outdoors, until they are milked 2-3 times a day. Instead of grass, they are given high-energy feeds.
  • Under natural conditions, a dairy cow lives 25 years but today only survive 3-5 years (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association) with half killed before age of four once milk production begins to drop. One-fifth of all hamburger is from dairy cows.
  • 98% of chickens are kept in small cages with 75% have been raised in cages since day one. Although their wingspan is 30-32 inches, 4-6 chickens are typically crowded into a 16-inch-wide cage. Nearly half of those birds in confined cages suffer leg abnormalities (Feedstuffs)
  • To reduce cannibalism and other physical damage with chicken confinement, handlers sever portions of the hen’s beaks. According to Chicken Health Handbook, ‘debeaking’ instruments include hot irons, hot guns for gluing, and vehicle cigarette lighters (but no anesthesia). This can cause damaged nerve tissue and extensive painful tumors called neuromas (Farm Animal Welfare)
  • USDA reports in “Chickens and Eggs” that 200 million male chicks die annually. This is because they are seen as industry bi-products, therefore they are disposed of quickly and easily, most often by suffocation, gassing, drowning, or being ground up alive for animal feed.
  • The Animal Regulation Act puts zero restrictions on training methods for animals. Therefore animal exploited entertainment such as circuses will use methods such as muzzling, shock treatment, beating, chaining up animals for long periods, drugs, teeth removal, and other negative reinforcement
  • Rats, mice, and birds are excluded as ‘animals’ in the Animal Welfare Act. It is estimated that between 80-90% of the 17 million animal to 100 million animals used in laboratories each year for testing are these ‘non animals’. Examples of test include the Draize eye irritency test (measure tissue damage in eyes by dripping products inside and lead to ulceration or blindness) and the Lethal Dose test where animals are force fed or injected products such as perfumes until 50-100% are dead.

PHYSICAL BODY – WELLNESS & HEALTH

Love the madness!

  • Heavy use of antibotics in factory farming is leading to new viruses and bacteria resistent to antibotics and potentially leading to ‘superbugs’ (Fish and n-3 fatty acids for prevention of fatal coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac arrest, D. Mozaffarian)
  • The National School Lunch Act mandates the serving of meat or ‘meat alternative’ such as cheese or other dairy in every meal. Ironically, the USDA reports meals have 85% more sodium, 50% more saturated fat, and 25% more fats of all kinds then recommended.
  • Decades of research shows eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats and low in refined grains and unhealthy fats can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes (Annual Review of Public Health 26, “what can be done and how much can be prevented?)
  • Evidence from the Center for Science in the Public Interest estimates the cholesterol and saturated fat in meat, dairy, poultry, and eggs causes 63,000 heart related deaths annually in the US and another 1,100 from food poisoning.
  • High levels of red meat consumption raises the risk of colon cancer and meat cooked at a high temperature may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 16)
  • Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet.
  • Live longer healthier lives. One 21-year-long study that compared meat-eaters and vegetarians showed that the greater the meat consumption, the greater the death rate from all causes combined.
  • Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also “easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.” Read more about it here.
  • This is a great list of physical benefits of going vegan

Changes I noticed since going vegan

  • Crystal clear skin and eyes. I rarely have skin issues and get complements often that I’m ‘glowing’
  • Sleep soundly. Zero issues falling or staying asleep and feel refreshed in the morning
  • Optimistic & happy. I believe there is no such thing as coincidence, and I swear that within a few weeks of eliminating dairy and eggs (already was a vegetarian) my general disposition improved. It is rare that negative experiences trap me anymore – I just feel so great inside!
  • Workout recovery. Another non-coincidence – what used to take 3-4 days to recovery from an intense workout not takes me 1-2 days.
  • Breathing more deeply and have not been sick once. This isn’t an infomercial – my running times and attendance reports at work prove that I am an overall healthier person. Oh – and so does my amazing blood work.
  • I get more excited about cooking. The challenge to make something tasty and healthy then serve it to friends gets me pumped up. I love showing how delicious being vegan can be and cook WAY more often since becoming one.

PHEW! Lots of info friends! For more information, check out the post on our favorite food documentaries. I’m so thrilled to be a small contributor to that unfolding in whatever way it finds you today – stay curious friends!

Black Bean Brownies with Strawberry Glaze

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Suped up nutrition thanks to Vitamin K mofo

I was overcome this week with an urge to bake something and eat the whole pan. It’s probably because I ran the Portland Rock ‘N Roll Half-Marathon this past weekend and I can justify that my metabolism is still amped up, so I need to fuel it…right? That’s what I get for reading too many Runner’s World and Triathlete magazines; I begin to trick myself into thinking their tips are equally useful for a runner who will sit on a curb halfway through a race to house a bag of twizzlers and pet a stray dog. But my argument will always be: why bust your ass running if not for the perverbial carrot at the finishline? It just so happens that my carrot is also deep fat fried and dipped in chocolate sauce.

Yet after a late night of watching Ironman hype-up videos and with our unexpected range of post-run mobility pumping up our egos, our newest gauntlent-off-the couch has been dropped to complete the 140.6 mile Ironman trek in 2014 and made official through our pinky sworn-in ceremony. So I guess that means we will be trading unrefined sugar and chocolate chips for black beans and bananas. But you will have to pry gooey frosting from my swampy, muscular, freakishly veiny hands because that is not making the cut!

Black Bean Brownies with

 Strawberry Glaze

*Thanks Happy Herbivore!

Black Bean Brownies

The name for these brownie poppers were going to be “Bean me up Shoties” until Evan reminded me that no one like puns. BOOOO!!!!

Strawberry Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized strawberries, puréed (about 2 tablespoons purée)
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients together.
  2. Dip brownies into the glaze.

For those people with a passion for the artistic and/or no children and too much free time otherwise spent reading gossip, add sprinkles and cut up strawberries into hearts for a special touch

Web Feast Friday


RIP MCA.  Thank you for creating the soundtrack to my junior high/high school years.

If you aren’t eating these superfruits, start now!!

Meat glue?

Building muscle as a vegan.  Where do you get YOUR protein?

Faux meat for folks who just need their haggis fix.

More great info from Brenden Braiser on what to eat pre-workout.

Here’s a great list of vegan dishes for your weekend Cinco de Mayo festivities.

Have a great weekend!  Play outside!  Cook great vegan food!

Web Feast Friday


Web Feast Friday is a collective of anything and everything fascinating, inspiring, and informative we have come across over the past week.    We hope you enjoy stumbling upon these links as much as we have!

Let Jack take you into the weekend!

Interesting take on guilt-producing food choices of the plant-based persuasion from the True Love Health blog.

Good fat?  Bad fat?  Plant fat?

Couple’s night delight dinner for two from Oh She Glows!!

Vega products should be a staple in any active vegan’s kitchen!