Superpowers or David Foster Wallace? Why everything just works out for me

I called my mom today and broke the news that I’m very likely an X-Man.

After explaining to her who the X-Men are…

(let’s face it – when the whole ‘Ma, Wolverine and Storm ma’ was crickets, I was successful with “they are GMO superheros and villains”. Luckily I’m fluent at speaking three languages: Affluent Trader Joe’s hippie, sassy hearing impaired elderly, and sarcasm – I will not share which of those is my mother. But she knows.)

…I shared that everything that I think about lately is just manifesting into my life experience. I’m not ready for a meeting…BOOM, it gets cancelled. I’m thinking of calling a friend I haven’t talked to in years…BOOM, they call me. I want to fly back to my hometown in Iowa but it’s crazy expensive…BOOM, work trip to Iowa in two weeks paid for BY work. I’ve been wanting to have a legit chance at writing something to get published…BOOM, my lovely friend writes me and offers me that chance. It’s like The Secret ya’ll – the better it gets, the better it gets!

Mom of course reminded me of the Law of Attraction – that I’ve been beating the drum of joy and gratitude these last few months, singin’ in the rain and viewing all my ‘negative’ emotions as taps on the shoulder from the universe that there is something important to learn NOW. Her loving words to support me through tough times with tough people are, “It’s not them honey, it’s YOUR shit to work through.” So, even on days where I’m handed a sandwich that is 95% shit and 5% Tofurky, I’m calling that shit a Tofurky sandwich and enjoying every bite. Noms Mom. Noms.

Sakyong Mipham talks in his book ‘Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies for Modern Life’ about “being a student of cause and effect”.  When I trace back the lines of time to when the supernatural goodness began, I stop at many platforms/causes along the way like learning about the Law of Attraction and giving up my addictions for healthy food and movement.  In recent history things really began to click after listening to this one speech by the infallible David Foster Wallace. I’m confident the message in this speech was thee ah-ha moment that put us back on the killer path of awareness and optimism, of relishing in the nuggets of joy that exist in the present moment, of practicing allowing not tolerance, and that ultimately ignited the not so coincidental coincidences over the past month.

The only thing that’s rocking my boat at the moment is I don’t know how to use Photoshop to mark up the badass picture in my mind of my signature X-Man look. If I had one word to describe this fantasy look it would be guns. If I had two words, they would be finger guns. Yep, I need two words.


MLK day – celebrate in gratitude


Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr Day, and it’s the hand’s down winner as my absolute favorite national holiday. MLK for me represents the possibility within every one of us – the power of one, the fundamental worthiness of this life for all of us, and the profound yet simple impact unquestioning love and acceptance has on uplifting this life experience – and I love that we can honor and celebrate that ideal as a nation.

Every year, I celebrate in the same two ways. First, I listen to his “I have a dream” speech and, without fail, am transported to a place of gratitude and reverence. Secondly, I use that momentum of gratitude to write down the things I am thankful for in my life and this world – this is what’s swirling in my nog at the moment:

  • I’m so gratitude for this amazing life where I get to hang out with silly, wonderful people whom I love and love me – sometimes despite of, sometimes because of my general neurosis and cringe worthy communication style.
  • I’m grateful for being such a habitual quitter who dropped out of everything that made me feel inadequate, I wasn’t at least fairly decent at, or required me to wear unflattering clothing. *If you’re not a quitter, I highly recommend it – I don’t see the point of spending your time on things that don’t bring you absolute joy/pride/excitement when you could be investing time in things that connect you to the best version of yourself.
  • I’m grateful for stumbling into vegetarianism and discovering veganism – my heart, soul, belly, blood, and every other nugget of my being has improved after those few little decisions.
  • I’m grateful for all the shit I’ve been through. Every single terrible relationship and draining, dead end job and bug-infested apartment and the terrifying loneliness of the Army and the credit card debt and the gaining and losing of the same 30 pounds at least a dozen times… All that junk was just contrast that allowed me to pick and choose “I want more of THAT and less of THAT” – then I had the courage to choose the paths that brought me closer to feeling good! 

PHEW! Lots to feel good about – and that’s just a start. I can’t say it enough, but we are so grateful for each of you that tune in for our adventures in life and food – we read every comment and your well wishes, ‘likes’, and views brighten up our life every day. THANK YOU!

Make it a great week – and happy MLK day!

Friendship Oh No No List


Our highlighted white people problem of the day is that Evan and I like hanging out with each other so much that we turn down hanging out with any other friends. We will pretty much stay exclusively in cordial acquaintance status if they violate too many things on our oh-no-no list. Let’s take a peak at a few items on our oh-no-no list shall we?

  • Not finding public flatulence hilarious 
  • Not having an opinion on the Biggie/Tupac Feud
  • Having any opinions on fantasy football
  • Serious turtlenecks (but dickies are somehow on the ‘we are definitely hanging out you ‘ list)
  • Not laughing at this video: Billy on the Street
  • Or this one:
  • Agreeing we believe everything you do just because we look/sound like you (i.e. white = republican, vegan = pissed off activist, girl = like the sex in the city movies)
  • Lacking a healthy respect for 90’s hip hop (it helps if you know the ending of this sentence: In West Philadelphia born and raised…)

I do want to say that there are a few things that supersede all the oh-no-no’s and automatically qualify you as cool:

  1. Playing air guitar at anytime and/or instinctive head-banging during that one part in Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Getting stoked to cook us vegan food
  3. Loving us enough to tell us what you think and not give a damn what others think of you
  4. Properly rocking an ill-fitting dickie (see oh no-no list)
  5. Flying 1800 miles just to hang out with us (on purpose)

Let’s give a slow-ascending clap for my friend Evonne who is braving the elements of air travel and will arrive in just a few short hours at the Medford Airport for a 2-week visit. Not only does Evonne meet all the criteria of do’s and don’ts, she is actually embarrassingly more cool than us and we’re unclear on why she wants to hang out with two sloppy, smelly ‘adults’ in their natural environment. Her loss in this case.

Evonne is my oldest friend – our mom’s met at the YMCA while still pregnant with us and are still amazing as AARP badass mofo’s who, at over 60 y/o, can ride their bikes across Switzerland, keep up with the kids on RAGBRAI (a 450+ mile, 7 day bike ride across Iowa), and still muster the energy to cut out and mail us clippings from the local newspaper on the different ways we could potentially die as single young women and/or recipes for bean dishes.

Evonna's momma Donna (left) and my momma Denise (left) finishing strong. 80's running never looked so sexy...and so orange apparently.

Evonne’s momma Donna (left) and my momma Denise (right) finishing strong. 80’s running never looked so sexy…and so orange apparently.

Evonne has done more in the past 5 years then I will do in a lifetime, including teaching English in Japan, being a snowboard instructor in Colorado, riding her bike across the US, running multiple marathons, and is now teaching speed walking, badminton, ultimate frisbee, and spinning classes while she finishes her degree at the University of Iowa. She is sarcastic and loves to play outside and loves vegan food and has been known to hit the town with our friend Rachel wearing straight-up footy pajamas just for laughs. If you don’t believe me on her awesomeness, check out these moves (she’s single hot, slightly-crazy dudes in cyberspace!):

Man, it’s gonna be a great few weeks. Yes, we will be posting food in the coming days and weeks as we have culinary adventures with friends.

(from left) Hayley, Evonne, and Rachel before the La Crosse Half Marathon, or what Evonne named as "our movement excursion". Expectations were low and no land speed records broken - but we finished!

(from left) Hayley, Evonne, and Rachel before the La Crosse Half Marathon, or what Evonne lovingly coined “our movement excursion”. Expectations were low and no land speed records broken – but we finished!

Web Feast Friday


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: