Saturday Reading #7

Guys, today is awesome. Why, you ask? Because I am NOT in my beautiful town of Oakland, and I am not working. Instead, I am house sitting not-super-far-away and I am with my sweetheart. We bought way-too-expensive groceries, we watched Netflix, we slept in.

I am overworking myself. THERE. I said it. Between teaching, grading, class prepping, commuting, writing, recipe development, tasting, and photographing, working with clients, and making sure my own food and exercise habits are on point I am just about going nuts. This only lasts for two more weeks, but boy is it intense. I really needed to give myself an actual two-days-off weekend and just a few hours into it I can finally feel myself starting to exhale. THANK GOODNESS.

These links are a part of a weekly series where I link you to the awesome things I find that are written by women and queers. In busy times, I am quite likely to find my happy place on the Internet. This week is no exception! The stuff I am sharing with you saved my ass between appointments and I am hoping it can provide the same small pause of enjoyment for you, too.

1. Black Pepper and Herb Vegan Goat Cheese by A Profound Hatred of Meat

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I remember when I first went vegan. I had never tried tofu or soy milk before, and I was obsessed with nachos and grilled cheese sandwiches. I had set a date for my veganism to begin (October 30, 1999 for those who are curious!) and then *poof* suddenly I was without some of my favorite foods with no real alternative.

These days, going vegan is SO much easier. Soy milk tastes way better than it used to, and now you can buy about a million and a half other vegan milk varieties. Plant based cheeses are available in most metropolitan places, and they have come a LONG way from the stuff that first hit the market. Some of them even melt! Despite the fact that I love some of these products, they are significantly more processed then foods I enjoy regularly eating, and they use ingredients that I feel are subpar. In comes the dawn of my experimentation with home made vegan cheese.

This cheese is AWESOME. It uses simple ingredients, it is not complicated to make, and it tastes excellent sprinkled on soups and salads or spread on crackers. The peppercorn and herb coating adds fantastic flavor and texture contrast and the cashews give it a creamy fatty consistency that really does it for me.

2. Why do we Have Bad Moods? By Jen Neitzel 

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Jen Neitzel is a personal hero of mine. I worked as a seamstress for her in Portland, OR about five years ago, at a time when I was much less sure of myself then I am now. In the short time I was stitching for her she extended extreme kindness and compassion toward me and taught me a TON about sewing, knitting, marketing, and business.

In the time since I left Portland both of us have gone on to have amazing and beautiful health and recovery journeys (me from my eating disorder and her from Celiac Disease.) Although I have not seen Jen in quite some time I feel more aligned with her than ever!

In this article Jen discusses the phenomenon of the bad mood, where it comes from, what it’s telling us, and what we can do about it.  She gives concrete tactical advice on getting your head out of a grumpy space and is careful to note that when we feel bad OUR BODIES ARE GIVING US INFORMATION. Reading this article was the precursor to me realizing I had over loaded myself. Crying on the way to work? Ah, right. My body is telling me something. Thanks, Jen!

3. Speaking Application for Vida Vegan Con 2015

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Vida Vegan Con is a a weekend long conference in Austin, TX put on by three amazingly dedicated and hard working women, one of which I have the pleasure of calling my friend. They just put a call out for speakers next year, and I am SO excited to apply. Do you want to talk about your experience as a vegan blogger, feminist, fashion expert, yoga instructor, body builder, etc? THIS IS TOTALLY YOUR OPPORTUNITY. I am a big fan of public speaking, but even if you’re not–apply anyway! Stretching those muscles is SO gratifying, and can really be excellent fuel for what you do.

4. Rox Chox made by Rochelle and River

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FIRST OF ALL, can we look at the cuties who make these chocolates? Total babe feminist queers, people who I would give an arm and a leg to support if given the opportunity. SECOND OF ALL, see that chocolate? see those chunks of SEA SALT in it? It is game changing!!!!

The highlight of my week this week was truly coming home from my last work day on Friday and finding a package of Rox Chox on my door step. The ingredients used to make these beauties are impeccable. They’re raw. They’re organic. They’re birch sweetened (A.K.A. sugar free). They use coconut oil. they’re like little angels that dance on my tongue.

I am all about the small business these days (because *ahem* that’s totally what Super Strength Health is!) and I feel more motivated than ever to make purchases I feel good about. These chocolates are really truly incredible- from the taste to the people to the sources of the ingredients. River and Rochelle are taking off for the Summer after mid May, so for reals my dawgs, STOCK UP. As I mentioned before, mine came in the mail and were 100% undamaged, so what are you waiting for?

5. Why I’m done Cleansing by Sara Seinberg 

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I love all the kinds of health coaches there are out there. Sara Seinberg is my newest discovery and she is a bad ass! This post is one that she wrote about “cleansing” and it made me profoundly happy.

She says: ““Cleansing” is a secret diet. Let me clear my throat. CLEANSING IS A SECRET DIET. And I don’t believe in diets. They don’t work in an inside job kind of way, which is what matters to me as a health coach. Diets are cruel, shaming, restricting reactions to a culture that would have people of all genders living under the confinement of a body that’s Just. Not. Good. Enough”

Can I just say something? For YEARS I thought I “should” go on a juice cleanse, a green smoothie cleanse, a master cleanse, whatever. These days I am much more in tune with reality (for me, that would be a totally haywire decision) but I never quite found the words to articulate why the idea of “cleansing” had started to make me bristle. Well, Sara did it– Really simply, with easy straightforward language, she explained it all. That paragraph is just a glimpse of the article, so be sure to go read the whole thing. Also! I’m willing to argue about this subject, because I love to hear opposing points of view.

Happy weekend to all!