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

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100_eurekamural

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!

Monday meal planning: 5 tips for success

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 Have you ever seen an adult woman throwing an all-out temper tantrum? You know, the kind where she burns anyone near her with the flames projecting from her eyes, the items in her arms get used as weaponry, and/or she flails herself on the bed cursing any variety of events that would make any sane-minded person merely scoff? Well…Evan met a version of this medusa after my first experience with meal planning. I have since reclaimed composure, learning a few ‘what not to do’s’ in the process and educating myself on how meal planning can be less like a day at the DMV and even borderline enjoyable.

1. Enjoy at least one green smoothie everyday. If the rest of your day is filled with oreos and italian food, at least you can say you made this one nutritious choice. Chances are if you begin your day with a nutrient-packed smoothie you will have more of the confidence and energy to keep the healthy momentum going!  The best part of a smoothie is you can change it up everyday to add variety to your routine and, since your body is able to more quickly digest liquid food, it will aid in digestion, ensure hydration, and empower your immune system while giving you instant energy due to the fructose absorption from the fruit. If you don’t already, go out RIGHT NOW and purchase a Vitamix. It is the best investment you will every make. Our typical smoothie includes:

 

  • 1/2 – 1 cup of frozen fruit: blueberries, strawberries, pineapple
  • 1/2 – 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup greens: spinach or kale
  • 1/2 non-dairy milk: coconut or almond
  • 1 – 2 tbsp brown rice protein
  • 1/2 – 1 scoop Vega performance protein powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp chia seeds
2. Cook up a few signature nutritious items.  In the real world where we are always either coming or going with an extreme sense of urgency, leaving a gap between good intentions and desired outcomes. Translation: no time to cook and you end up eating large portions of sugar cereal and crying. Bridge that gap folks, and take some time on a day off to cook a few items such as:
3.  Build your menu around the seasonal ingredients you buy, not around recipes. Doing this step in reverse was exactly what lead to the tantrum. Searching for recipes first and/or choosing more then 1-2 actual recipes will just lead to less flexibility if the week gets zany, a long list of ingredients, and an expensive trip to the store while potenentially leaving you with items that don’t get used. Beside the extras for step 5, shop for the low cost items then use a recipe builder if you have time to cook. The vegetables and fruits ripe in April are:
  • Zucchini
  • Rhubarb
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Spring peas
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes
4. Every meal should include: A bean, a green, and a grain. Follow step 2 and achieving this balance should be easy.  Our go-to combination is just making a rice bowl with our pre-made ingredients such as: brown rice with black beans, tofu, sweet potato, and kale then topped with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and Yumm Sauce.
5.  Make one dish meant for a family dinner. Pick what sounds like fun to make and fun to eat, and commit one day to cooking a sit down meal such as this amazingly creamy Cosmic Kate:

COSMIC CASHEW KALE AND CHICKPEAS W/ CONFETTI QUINOA

FOLLOW LINK ABOVE TO A TRUE HAPPY MEAL

Straight up "EUREKA" yo.

 

Happy meal planning, and be sure to share your ideas with us…we would love to feature your recipes and stories!

 

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