Welcome to the second edition of my Saturday Reading series. As with last week and all future weeks, I am focused on the work of women and queers. I chose articles that I think relate to physical, emotional, psychological, creative, and social health this week and I am SO excited to share them with you. Enjoy!
1. Facing Failing Health as a Vegan by Sayward at Bonzai Aphrodite
Bonzai Aphrodite is a vegan lifestyle blog, brought to you by Sayward Rebhal. Sayward writes sweet posts about her life regularly, which I always enjoy but for me, this post about facing failing health as a vegan, hits particularly close to home. Sayward was facing dangerously low protein and cholesterol and in this post she writes about how she figured out how to get herself back to health using all-vegan methodologies. She talks openly about considering going off of a vegan diet, and why she chose not to.
Not so long ago, I faced my own health crisis as a vegan (fairly severe digestive reactions to basically every form of vegan protein) and introduced pasture-raised eggs into my diet for approximately six months. Although I do think it was important for me to add things into my diet at the time as opposed to subtract, I eventually concluded that I felt best on a vegan diet for ethical reasons. Instead of eating eggs, I looked into eliminating most raw vegetables, sprouting grains and beans, and stress reduction to deal with my chronic IBS. (It worked.)
I think it is really incredibly important to keep the human voice in veganism and Sayward’s article does just this. She speaks from a place of both strength and compassion about her journey and steers clear of some of the judgey-preachy stuff that vegans can be known for. (My hope is that a vegan’s compassion can look past animals and on to non-vegans, you know?)
2. To Breed or Not to Breed- by Melanie at Fig and vine
In this post Melanie (a self identified queer-femme) discusses her ambivalence about children from sociological, biological, emotional, and political perspectives. The post is thought provoking, beautiful, and poetic, examining both sides with an open heart and as with Sayward’s piece, no judgement.
“The human capacity to love is truly remarkable and we have big hearts … As queer/punk/feminist/anti-capitalists, we have fought our whole lives to re-define everything, including the meaning of “family.” I think I could, in the end, be totally elated with any child that was mine to nurture and protect and teach, whether they were made up of my genetic material or not.” (Beautiful, right?)
In this post Tyler talks about the fluidity of gender, and how they navigate a world of flux. My absolute favorite aspect is the refusal to choose a side, to pick a way of identifying, to compromise self-hood to fit into a box. Any reminder that societal pressures force people into inauthentic categories is super great in my book!
“Sometimes I feel like my gender is an optical illusion: Light me from one angle, and you’ll see a pretty girl; from another, I look like a pretty boy. I am neither, and I am both. Many people will never understand how I feel, but what matters to me is that I understand myself, even if I can’t find myself in words. The possibilities seem endless.” BOOM.
4. Genius Chickpea Tofu by Sarah B. at My New Roots
In addition to every recipe I’ve ever tried from this blog being standout-amazing, the photography is incredibly beautiful and the content is always super informative. In this article Sarah teaches us how to make chickpea tofu and also talks about the pros/cons/controversy of soy use. Because Soy is such a hot-button issue these days (I can’t TELL you how often people ask me about it) I think it’s great that she takes the time to break it down a little for her readership.
Perhaps the biggest regret of the year is not having the time/space in my life to go to the Body Love conference. The lineup of speakers was an incredible powerhouse of body love power and the workshop titles alone were enough to bring tears to my eyes. (Body love yoga, beautiful post birth bodies, perfectly imperfect: learning to love your body with a physical difference, the self-advocacy toolbox, etc.) By the time this list posts the conference will be wrapping up, but please donate to future conferences, sign up for all the speakers newsletters and blogs, and meet me there next year.
I have learned a lot about making green smoothies in my day. To create the best tasting health tonic possible you need to do a few things:
A) use enough liquid. I make it my business to always cover the blades of my blender to make it easier on the little guy to do what it needs to do.
B) liquid first, greens next, heavier stuff on top. The weight of bananas, avocados, citrus fruits etc. pushes down on the greens and makes the whole process easier. Trust me, it’s a thing.
C) Banana and/or avocado always. A smoothie without one (preferably both!) will be liquidy, grainy, or just all around underwhelming. Trust me on this one. Avocado really is king, and a frozen banana will make it even smoother than an unfrozen one.
D) CELERY. I know, it sounds weird, but you know how a pinch of salt offsets the sweetness of a baked good making it perfect? Celery’s natural saltiness does the exact same thing for a smoothie. That being said, you have to use a Blendtec or a Vitamix, or the celery strings will probably ruin your breakfast. If you can figure out how to buy one of the two of those, do it. Total game changer.
E) for extra satiation, be sure to include some add-ins, like a high quality protein powder and some chia seeds. I can’t get very far on fruit alone in the mornings, and the extra protein and fat really helps.
All this being said, this Orange creamsicle smoothie is the perfect blend of all the above tips. It’s not too sweet, but definitely not savory, incredibly smooth, and very filling. I have it for breakfast almost daily.
|Orange Creamsicle Green Smoothie|| |
5.0 from 1 reviews
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 leaves lacinato kale
- 1 Tablespoon chia seed
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ medium avocado
- 1 medium frozen banana (if you don't have a frozen banana, add 2 ice cubes.)
- 1 orange
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan vanilla protein powder- Preferably Vega Sport for the best nutrition profile and taste.
- Chop up your fruit and vegetables
- Put almond milk in the bottom of the blender, followed by the lacinato kale and chia seeds.
- Weight the leafy greens down with all the other stuff
- Turn blender on low and gradually increase, turning all the way up to high.
One of the best parts about having an awesome relationship with my body is that I get to be curious about what works for me to eat and approach cooking like an experiment. For a long time I steered clear of beans, because they tended to really upset my stomach. Despite this, I have made a conscious effort to lower my soy intake recently and have mostly eliminated protein powders from my diet, and (of course) I felt myself craving protein. I have had some success with adding sprouted lentils and mung beans back into my meals, and with this recipe I decided to take the plunge and see if other small beans would work too.
I used canned beans for the recipe, and I chose Eden brand, because they are prepared with a seaweed called Kombu, which tends to make them more digestible. Be sure to rinse your beans thoroughly to make them easier on the gut!
|Mexican-style savory baked oatmeal|| |
- 1 T olive oil
- ½ medium red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1.5 T baking powder
- 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup salsa
- 2 cups pinto beans
- ½ cup black olives
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 9" cast iron skillet.
- Saute the onion and garlic, adding in fresh squeezed lime juice as they start to sizzle.
- Mix cilantro, nutritional yeast, baking powder, and oats in a bowl.
- Slowly fold in water, salsa, pinto beans, salt and pepper, and black olives. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour mixture into cast iron skillet and give it a stir to incorporate the onions and garlic.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and looks just a touch crispy around the edges.
- Top with salsa and guacamole and serve with a salad or some grilled veggies for a balanced meal!