Our Top 100 favorite things about being vegan (celebrating our 100th post!)



HAPPY 100th POST TO US! It’s been so much fun sharing our food, laughs, and life with you over the past year and we are excited for hundreds of more posts to come! As a tribute to what plant-based lifestyle has done for our lives, we are breaking the barrier of our normal hump-day laziness to share our top 100 reasons for being vegan (in no particular order).

100 Favorite Things About Being Vegan

  1. Having enough energy to workout, work long hours, cook delicious meals, write a blog, plan and partake in adventures, and live passionate life.
  2. Saving 50+ animals a year

    We found a magical snow elephant snowshoeing this weekend!

    We found a magical snow elephant snowshoeing this weekend!

  3.  All the amazing, compassionate, open people we have met because of our interest in plants
  4. Losing over 60 pounds between the two of us
  5. Creating and re-creating favorite meaty & cheesy meals
  6. Kayrn’s on Green (oh man – our fav)
  7. VooDoo Donut Apple Fritters
  8. Quick recovery time after hard workouts
  9. Discovering new substitutes (and proving that vegan cookies are breathtaking)
  10. MindBodyGreen
  11. Taking a more mindful interest the role each meal plays in the quality of my life
  12. Helping others to discover their healthiest, happiest selves (even a few more plants is great!)
  13. Yumm sauce
  14. Veg-fest’s galore: Portland, Chicago, San Fran

    Rockin' Out at Chicago Veg-Fest 2011

    Rockin’ Out at Chicago Veg-Fest 2011

  15. Eating Animals – good for thinkers of going veggie
  16. Papa G’s

    Deli of vegan deliciousness in Portland

    Deli of vegan deliciousness in Portland

  17. Portobello
  18. That sweet potato fries can be considered a meal
  19. Cruelty free products not tested, or made with, sweet fuzzy loving animals
  20. Daiya – we lika the cheeze!
  21. Post Punk Kitchen
  22. Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
  23. Veganomicon
  24. Predictable and extraordinary poops
  25. Millennium
  26. Vegetarian House

    All vegan chinese restaurant in downtown Portland - and right across the street from VooDoo Donuts!

    All vegan chinese restaurant in downtown Portland – and right across the street from VooDoo Donuts!

  27. Tofutti Cream Cheese
  28. Farm Sancutuary
  29. Food, Inc
  30. Vegan Essentials
  31. Clear skin (not for everyone, but most see an improvement)
  32. Lara & Halo bars
  33. Vegucated
  34. Sweet and Sarah marshmallows
  35. The Vegan Sourcebook
  36. Forks over Knives
  37. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Milk
  38. Mastering the art of making our own meats
  39. Scott Jurek
  40. Sizzle Pie – Spiral Tap Pizza will bring you so much joy100_sizzle
  41. Finding veggie friends using Meetup.com
  42. Asian markets
  43. The Green Owl Cafe

    Where our love from BBQ Jackfruit was born

    Where our love from BBQ Jackfruit was born

  44. Vega products
  45. Soy milk commercials
  46. Food coop’s (and getting memberships to actually support them!)
  47. The China Study
  48. Happy Herbivore
  49. Planning vacations around restaurants, and maybe fitting in some other things
  50. Trumpet Blossom (get dessert peeps!)
  51. Vegan MoFo (vegan month of food)
  52. Chef Chole Coscarelli
  53. Babycakes
  54. Vegan Cuts – sign up for their monthly vegan snack box
  55. Diet for a Small Planet
  56. BBQ Jackfruit (and knowing what Jackfruit is – never would have ordered before going veggie)
  57. Tofu scramble Sunday brunch
  58. The Vegan Stoner
  59. Herbivore clothing
  60. The day that you can feel your body begin to crave vegetables more than junk food
  61. Vegan with a Vengence
  62. Isa Chandra Moskawitz
  63. The Joy of Vegan Baking (best.cookbook.ever)
  64. Taking our love for all beings to another level
  65. Warrior Force protein powder
  66. Sage’s Cafe – and Salt Lake City
  67. Mad City Vegan Fest
  68. No more cholesterol!
  69. Two Beans or Not Two Beans
  70. The Shop ‘N Kart (Our new favorite grocery store.)
  71. Getting creative at Thanksgiving and blowing your families mind
  72. Cinnaholic

    The best part of Berkley after the people watching

    The best part of Berkley after the people watching

  73. Meat is for Pussies  – veggies for bros!
  74. Vegan Brunch (another favorite – you can tell by the amount of pancake batter between the pages)
  75. Finding new and interesting ways to use tempeh
  76. Rich Roll
  77. Juicing – and having your body show you how happy it can really feel
  78. Prepping ourselves for our first visit this summer to NYC as vegans
  79. Dandies marshmallows
  80. Thunderbird Energetica Bars
  81. Chocolate-Covered Katie

    I love a girl that loves cupcakes:)

    I love a girl that loves cupcakes:)

  82. Upton’s Natural’s Seitan
  83. So Delicious coconut milk egg nog (that’s right, I said egg nog mofo!)
  84. Kickstarter funded veggie cookbooks like The Lotus and the Artichoke
  85. Earwax Cafe  – the place it all began for Evan, and we are still mourning it’s loss
  86. Cocomels – sea salt are the bomb
  87. VITAMIX!!!

    The day we finally got rid of our old blender and bought a Vitamix. We had feelings.

    The day we finally got rid of our old blender and bought a Vitamix. We had feelings.

  88. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
  89. Thai food – especially Tom Kha with Tofu NOMS!
  90. Veggie Superbowl menu planning!
  91. Bearded brother’s bars100_beard
  92. Moo Shoes
  93. Cornbread Cafe – I could curl up and live in their menu

    Cornbread Cafe in Eugene - sandwiches of the gods

    Cornbread Cafe in Eugene – sandwiches of the gods

  94. Sea vegetables on everything
  95. Babycakes cookbooks
  96. Slowly beginning to use coconut oil for literally everything
  97. Food Democracy Now
  98. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
  99. Bare Escentuals  – cruelty free beauty
  100. Getting to do this amazing blog for you amazing people every day – we hope you enjoy reading it even half as much as we love sharing it with you. LOVE!

Our Storm Kit



We’ve been watching our fair share of the super storm coverage out east, and can’t help but think about what we would do if we knew a massive storm was barreling our way.  We were used to the occasional snow day back in Iowa, where we typically spent the day at home cooking, baking, and watching movie trilogies.  We would watch the weather the night before, track the storm path, and secretly hope we would get dumped on.

Apparently Southern Oregon doesn’t have to deal with any kind of weather phenomenon like that.  It still got us thinking:  What if we knew we would be “stormed” in and needed to stock up on necessary provisions to wait out the weather.  Here is our top 5 list of shitty weather must-haves.

1)  Some sort of non-dairy milk.  Assuming we have power, baking WILL happen and all our favorite recipes call for some sort of rice, almond, or hemp milk.

2)  Daiya cheese.  We consider ourselves chili connoisseurs and tend to fire up the slow cooker when the weather turns sour.  Daiya tends to be the go-to toppin’ for chili.

3)  Beans, beans, all types of beans.  Whether it be hummus, soup, chili, salads, or burgers, having a selection of beans makes all of these possible.

4)  Bananas.  We are big smoothie fans, and also like freezing bananas and blending them in the Vitamix to create a sorbet/ice cream concoction.

5)  Beer or wine.  No good reason other than Southern Oregon produces some of the best craft beer and wine in the country.  Nothing says snow/storm-day like doing some cooking, drinking, and movie watching.

After going back and reading this list, it’s fair to say that we might actually miss our Midwest snow days.

After going back and reading that last sentence, it’s fair to say that’s effin’ crazy!

Souper Sunday



Since this is the finally installment of our Vegan MOFO:  Souper Sunday edition, I figured instead of posting this evening’s chili recipe and pics, I would take the opportunity to post a few links to some of our favorite soups, stews, and curries.  Have no fear, we will definitely be posting tonight’s chili as it goes down as one of our favorites of all time.  In the meantime, check out these recipes and get them on your cookin’ calendar soon!

This roasted corn and sweet pepper soup was the starter for last year’s New Year’s Eve dinner, which included paella!

Around these parts, we love our southwestern corn chowder.

This tortilla soup has been made so many times when we haven’t been able to decided what to cook for dinner.

Our first stew of list includes TVP!  Awwww yeah!!

Simple.  Easy.  Flavas!!!!

No soup list is complete without French onion soup.  This soup with some bread and a BIG red wine.  Yes please.  As I type this, I can’t believe the last time I made this was last year.

We are HUGE curry fans and this recipe is one of our favorites.  In fact, we have made so many variations of this recipe, I had almost forgotten what the original called for.

We have enjoyed making Souper Sundays part of our Vegan MOFO routine, and plan on continuing this “tradition” long after October ends.  Stay tuned for the recap and pics of our epic chili recipe later this week!

Vegan MoFo 27: German Apple Cake

If you ask me, this is a single serving.

You know those times when you make a cake for someone’s birthday at work and then you forget to take the cake and have to decide once you arrive at work whether you will tell the person that you slaved away on a Tuesday night to make their favorite German apple cake especially for them because you know it’s their favorite or not tell them you made the cake at all so you can have the cake all to yourself when you get home? Yeah, me either. But I do know this…the answer is and always will be eat the cake.

And this cake is especially worth hoarding, mainly because of it’s versatility. I’m rather confident in the event of a nuclear disaster, this cake could be used in any of the following ways:

  1. Insulation for packing dynamite
  2. Replacement for clay in making seed bombs
  3. A weapon (I have a theory that, when thrown correctly, it will act much like a boomerang)
  4. Food for a village – one bite could sustain a person for a full day (those Germans know how to live ya’ll!)

The possibilities are endless. Where the German’s missed the mark with lederhosen,  David Hasselhoff, and that whole ‘European domination’ icky stereotype, they definitely earned my love with this cake…and Octoberfest.

Enjoy the cake all to yourself my friends – and also enjoy this video of what I believe to be the brother of Milton from Officespace housing some funnel cakes as inspiration.


Apfelkuchen. Translated as “edible apple pinwheel”.

Ingredients – Cake:

  • 3 apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter (i.e. Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

Ingredients – Topping:

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the cake, cook the apples in a little bit of water on the stove or in the microwave until they’re just a little soft but not mushy. (Put them in the microwave for no longer than 90 seconds). Set aside.

With an electric hand mixer or by hand using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the applesauce and milk. Finally, add the flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined.

Add the batter to the prepared pan, and arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the cake.

To make the topping, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger and sprinkle over the apples, covering the top of the cake.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before unmolding from the cake pan.

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:

What my phone pictures say about me


Awww yeah!!!

Working in the cellular industry, I can tell you that people consider their phones an extension of their family. I would guess that if you accidentally forgot both your phone and your elderly grandma at the cash register, you would secretly be more upset about the phone. And you better believe that I’ve gotten off the wiz palace with my pants halfway down and forgot to grab my phone so I could write emails and/or, depending on the ‘situation’, play words with friends.

On those days I really need giggles, I will go back through and relive the history of my life through my phone’s gallery. I figured I could either revamp the ‘About Us’ section of the blog, or you can psychoanalyze these selected pictures that tell you all about me without ever saying a word. Enjoy.


These babies came today – 150 mini chocolates for $30 bucks. Now we can finally play ‘how many mini chocolates can you fit in your mouth?’ (I like to play by myself after Evan goes to bed)


vegan mega-meal at Morning Glory in Ashland, OR


I committed to giving up french fries during the month of October. Needless to say, this evoked feelings. (PS – the feelings made worse by a dude in a kermit hat photo-bombing my sorrow)



Nothing says “I’m disappointed” than having to tail this face for 30 miles. *sigh*


My hipster grandpa on a bike. Gangsta.


A ‘moo’ licence plate with a Beef bumper sticker. I wonder if the floor mats are made with the fur of a thousand chipmunks?



I need more information on the whys please. Is this a gremlins situation?


I’m going to re-stage this book and instead call it “Abnormally long chest” or “Beastmaster II: The Beastmaster has PRIDE ya’ll!”



Is it possible for a box to have halitosis?


Drawing the audience’s attention.


I did leave out the pictures from when Evan and I both had cold sores at the same time, the many miming of pooping on things pics, and of course anything where I had a double chin (it’s my blog – that is a GD right!) Oh, and watch Beastmaster like now – you can thank me later.





Pack yo’ lunch, son!


Last week, we outlined the Top 10 Reasons Living in Oregon is Awesome.  Unfortunately, this also means that big-time work meetings involve some serious travel back to the midwest.  This type of travel also presents a crapshoot when it comes to finding vegan food at airports, hotels, or work-sponsored networking buffets.  I know that work lunches can be great, so I was interested to test this theory in a different time zone.

This past week, I flew to Chicago for a three-day work meeting that I genuinely look forward to every year.  What I don’t look forward to is the lack of food options, and the fact that there isn’t any kind of grocery store or market within eight miles of our hotel.  I have learned to bring along standard vegan travel fare like Lara Bars, Primal Strips, and Nature’s Path oatmeal.  I am also always on the lookout for fruit from any kind of breakfast bar, and have become quite skilled in foraging for peanut butter.  I had packed enough food to get by for a couple days, but found myself rationing my supplies by the end of day two.  I decided that in order to survive the longest day of meetings, and still have food for the flight home, I needed to explore the vast expanses of the hotel and see what I could throw together.  Here is a picture of what I came up with:

What you see here is an iceberg salad, two mixed fruit cups, a Cliff Bar, some peanut butter packets, and water.

Day three of meetings went off without a hitch, and I had just enough food left to take care of breakfast and a morning and afternoon snack.  Lunch looked to be an issue as I educated two hotel food service employees that havarti is not vegan.  The day ended with a flight out of O’Hare airport, but not before I stumbled upon a little gem in any vegan’s desert:  the food court.  I quickly typed ” O’Hare vegan” into google on my phone, and found some great info that guided me to a salad bar/vegan soft serve restaurant B Smooth tucked in between a burrito joint and a Golden Wok.  I ended up creating my own salad with all kinds of fresh produce, and had a vanilla-banana milkshake with vegan soft serve.

I ordered a large shake, and they had to go next door to the burrito place and get a cup. I mean seriously, how often do you really get vegan soft serve!

The two most important pieces of information I picked up over the weekend are as follows:

1)  Work meetings that involve travel always necessitate bringing along a grocery stash.

2)  O’Hare Airport is extremely vegan friendly.  Seriously peeps, vegan soft serve in the midwest! And since it is O’Hare you know you will have time to kill between your delayed flights anyway, so eat up!

Anyone have any other vegan friendly experiences in airports?

Souper Sunday! Noodles in Spicy Coconut Soup



Much like the early pioneers and tribal medicine-men, I’m of the opinion that just about any ailment can be cured with some good soup and frivolous dancing. Evan knows that if I’m not feeling well or I had a tough day at work or I’m in the throws of being a ‘lady’, his key responsibility as my friend and life partner is to stop by Lemongrass Thai for a vat of their Tofu Tom Kha. It’s creamy, coconuty, chunky, warm, silky, salty, and sweet – and quite possibly the unofficial nectar of the gods.

It’s no secret to my inner circle that I’m a fan of really any asian cuisine, and when my friend Evonne bought me The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh for my graduation last year, I literally squealed. Every person, not just vegan peeps, need to own this cookbook as it’s straight up stacked with cuisine from India, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea. After last week’s rich fall flavas, we took a field trip to Thailand for this week’s Souper Sunday feast. Sweatpants and microbrew required.

The most delicious cider I’ve ever tasted…pop this in a sippy cup and no one would ever know. (says the person with no kids)


Noodles in Spicy Coconut Soup




  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 candlenuts or cashews
  • 5 fresh red chilies (this makes for a 7/10 on the spice scale, so start with less)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 inch cube galangal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  • 3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, halved and crushed
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 slices galangal 
  • 7 ounces deep fried tofu, sliced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 11 ounces wheat flour noodles or thin spaghetti, cooked


  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • Celery leaves
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lettuce leaves, shredded
  • Crackers



  1. Using a food processor, grind the spice paste ingredients together until smooth, using a little water if needed.
  2. For the soup, heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the ground spice, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and tofu.
  3. Add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 6-8 minutes. Add the tomato to the simmering broth.
  4. Arrange the garnishes on the table. Immerse the noodles in boiling water for a few seconds. Drain and divide between individual bowls. Pour a ladleful of the hot coconut broth into each bowl. Invite your guests to add their favorite garnishes.


Put a wooden spoon across a boiling pot as shown to prevent boiling over.

Check out these other delicious soup recipes from the EPL kitchen:



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Why Acid vs. Alkaline matters: My vegan biopic


Like many people that feel compelled to embark on a wellness quest, my journey began after some alarming test results. It was 2003 and my life looked VERY different than today. I was a hard-core meat and cheese eater, fast food junkie, and only exercised on Monday mornings, usually after a weekend of binge eating that ended with making promises to myself that everything will change tomorrow. Then by about 10:00 AM Tuesday morning, I would be late for work again (I had trouble sleeping too….shocker) and found myself picking up two McDonald’s breakfast burritos to save time. By the time I went in for the doctor appointment in late fall 2003, my life was a mess and I was scared shitless and embarrassed to discover what this lifestyle was doing to my body.

“If you keep on making these choices Hayley, you will be on diabetes medication in a few months,” my doctor calmly pleaded following my full on breakdown in her office where I admitted my binge eating habits (I weighed in at 193 pounds), heavy drinking, trouble sleeping, and creeping depression. “Your body needs your help.”

One of the few pictures of me during my heavy days. I kinda have the same chin as the mom from that Honey Boo Boo show.

Change didn’t happen immediately. First I had to identify my triggers then slowly phase them out  – beginning, sadly, with many of my ‘friends’ who were bad influences, followed by fast food then soda and finally meat in April of 2004. Within a month of giving up meat, I had not only dropped 20 pounds, but my temperament completely changed. The depression went away, I was less angry and more optimistic, I had no troubles getting and staying asleep, and my once acne-laden skin had completely cleared. These changes are the story I find myself telling people who are curious about why I went vegan, with the cliff note version being:

When I gave up meat I immerged from a fog I didn’t know I was in. When I gave up meat, my life began.

Needless to say, I never needed diabetic medications or have needed ANY medications since that day as I’ve had zero health issues, including contracting a flu or a cold beyond 24 hours.

So…what does that have to do with this ‘Acid vs Alkaline’ thing? Well, when you are blessed with worry-free blood tests you can began asking questions about how do I get to be even MORE healthy…is it possible I can feel MORE amazing?! I have since switched doctors, and when I posed this question to Dr. F she asked, “What do you know about the negative impacts of acid in your body?” Well Doc, I don’t know shit.

My niece Kaelyn and me today – she’s bigger and I’m smaller. Just your buck standard Benjamin Button situation.

I have done a great deal of research since that conversation and while I’m knowledgable, I am not a physician.  Therefore, I don’t want to be the one to prescribe my own opinions. I’ve also only begun my journey to balancing my pH, so I will keep you updated on any new amazing breakthroughs physically or emotionally. The following video is the best explanation I have found to help understanding why the relationship between acid and alkaline matters along with a guide to the alkaline/acid levels in common foods.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I loved myself enough to ask for help and admit I have a problem – I guess those 12 step programs aren’t full of crap huh? But as any 12-stepper will tell you, the work never stops. There is always temptation and bad days and a million ‘what ifs’ and justification arguments in your head. It’s during these times that I think back to how far I have come, how amazing I feel now, and how grateful I am to be standing in this place of joy sharing my story, and not in a place of bitterness and self-doubt. Happy learning my friends!

Thanks to www.alkalinesisters.com for the chart!

Web Feast: R-rated and Vegan Mofo Approved!

I’ve been wasting loads of time this week – which means good news for Web Feast and bad news for….who am I kidding, I have no kids or any real responsibilities that can’t be put off until after I’m done procrastinating on my core responsibilities like making money, using the bathroom, and posting this blog.

Evan usually does the Friday posts, but has too much homework tonight so you get me again (he is all done this weekend…WOOHOO!) So because I both love him AND am slightly bitter that I don’t get this one day off of posting, I am dedicating this crazy R-rated but hilarious video that would usually get turned down to him. P.S. not work/home/child/my mom appropriate (seriously mom, don’t watch this – you will be offended by the number of swear words.) P.S.S. As my gift to Evan when he graduates tomorrow, we will playing this same little make-up game. Congrats babe – and you’re welcome.

I must not be an Ultra Runner because I don’t know what half of these mean – test your own Ultra Running knowledge

Not sure what to read after finishing Twilight, Hunger Games, and 50 Shades? Use this sweet site to decide what book you should read next.

I love when I can say that I drank a power smoothie for breakfast, but I secretly know I ate pure sugar and pumpkin. Screw it – it’s October.

Eating veggies doesn’t have to be expensive. Eat cheap my friends.

TOTALLY found my new obsession – a trendy BnB search site. Did you know you can rent out supped up airstreams for the same price as the Marriott? Yes please. (Thanks Brad for the tip!)

I have been listening to this album non-stop. Not only is the band amazing, but anytime I get the chance to act out my secret fantasy of being a sassy black singer, I take it! I am totally jealous of all the people who pull up next to me whilst in a fit of Tina Turner gyration.