Not So Random Thoughts and Recipes

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vegucated . . .

Another film about veganism?! I can hardly keep up! Here's the trailer and a synopsis of the film . . .

Vegucated is a feature-length documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. There’s Brian, the bacon-loving bachelor who eats out all the time, Ellen, the single mom who prefers comedy to cooking, and Tesla, the college student who avoids vegetables and bans beans. They have no idea that so much more than steak is at stake and that the fate of the world may fall on their plates. Lured with true tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover hidden sides of animal agriculture and soon start to wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. Before long, they find themselves risking everything to expose an industry they supported just weeks before. 

photos, Get Vegucated

But can their conviction carry them when times get tough? What about on family vacations fraught with skeptical step-dads, carnivorous cousins, and breakfast buffets?

Part sociological experiment, part science class, and part adventure story, Vegucated showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who share one journey and ultimately discover their own paths in creating a kinder, cleaner, greener world, one bite at a time.

Check out the website: Get Veganated 
to  Take the Vegucated Challenge

So you’ve seen the film, and you’re ready to make changes in your lifestyle. Congrats! You’re here, you’re ready, you rock!

And we want to help you by sending free tips and tricks for adopting a more plant-based lifestyle. We’re taking what we learned from our popular, free 1300-member-strong Vegan at Heart email coaching program and are upping the ante. When you take the Vegucated Challenge, you have two options:

Go Vegan for a Month – Take the vegan plunge and eat only plant foods every day for four weeks


Go Vegan within a Month - Phase out one animal food group each week until you’re vegan by week four.

As a subscriber, you will receive one vegan “challenge” in your inbox every day for four weeks that shares a tip or resource. These challenges take only one to ten minutes to complete. After the four weeks, you will receive weekly challenges for all of eternity…or as long as we’re able to send them…or until you unsubscribe.
We  plan to launch this program on the official film release date. In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to Vegan at Heart, which was featured on and selected as a GirlieGirl Army “Best Of.” Feel free to read some member testimonials. Sign up for Vegan at Heart now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feeling Tired and Sluggish? . . .

Check out 2 new salad dressing recipes on the recipe page ~ photo by db
Someone very close to me is dealing with anemia among other health issues. At one time in life I was also diagnosed with anemia. Since switching to a plant-based, vegan diet rich in greens and whole foods nearly 6 years ago, anemia is a thing of the past for me.

Heather Lounsbury from, Live Natural Live, wrote an extremely informative well-written article that provides important information about iron and malabsorption of iron.

Lounsbury starts out:

Popeye was almost right

But he should have eaten fresh spinach instead of canned. It’s a great source of iron, which increases the health of your blood, especially red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn feed your muscles, among many other things, and in turn, gives you energy and strength.

Lounsbury asks the question: 

What causes the malabsorption of iron?

Deficiency Vitamin C, because Vitamin C aides in iron absorption. In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), or colon cancer.

Iron is mostly absorbed from duodenum (part of the intestines) and upper small intestine. So if you have any digestive issues or food sensitivities, you could be at risk for anemia.

Phytate, which is found in some whole grains and legumes, can limit iron absorption. Soy, which is a good vegetarian source of iron, contains phytate and certain proteins that interfere with iron absorption. Other foods that obstruct iron absorption include coffee, tea (including some herbal), cocoa, calcium, fiber and some spices.

Ms. Loundsbury ends with a comprehensive list of foods that are good sources of iron. This article is short and packed with helpful information.  
Click here to get to the blog 'Live Natural Live Well'

In addition to the blog, 'Doc Loundsbury', a doctor of Chinese medicine, hosts an Internet radio show. I recently listened to the doctor's interview with Gene Bauer, Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary.   Gene is always interesting and informative and this interview is no exception.

Man as GATHERER-hunters . . .

There is this fable out there that for millions of years before the advent of agriculture, man was a hunter-gatherer.

John McDougall MD has some news for you, in this video excerpt. Humans were not so much "hunter-gatherers," as: gatherer-hunters.

So what does it mean that hunting in actuality played a tiny role in the diet of man's longest development?
It means a lot.

It means man was primarily a vegetarian who, as his tools improved, got "lucky" from time to time and could eat animals for very brief moments, before the animal rotted and would produce illness if eaten.

Click here for complete article on Vegsource website

Where Are You?

Josh Tetrick, Founder of, an investment platform for social entrepreneurs, writes an amazing article for HuffPost Food, about the life of a battery caged hen from the perspective of the hen.

Tetrick begins:

Where are you?

Three rows of masks hang on the wall. Barbed-wire encircles the building. Enormous sets of fans bang. Machines power on intermittently, then without warning, shut-off. And the wire floor you're standing on is bizarrely slanted.

How long have you been here? A day? Years?

You're confined. And the doors to the building? Locked. Fear fills you. You're beyond frustrated -- you're on the verge of madness.

He continues:

All that is natural: spending time with your family, taking a walk with friends, or just simply exploring the world outside? Gone. You've been said to be innately gregarious. That you're sensitive and social and remarkably intelligent. You're an instinctual problem solver, too, except this problem -- at least for you -- is absolutely unsolvable.

Cruelty feeds and thrives on abstraction.

Empathy -- the ability to immerse ourselves inside the world of another -- depends on us to consciously take the abstract, and make it real.

But, where are you now? What are you?

Tetrick points out:

When we think of the farms that raise animals for our food, this is not what we envision. Without exception, though, when we eat food that flows from these animals factories, we're supporting all of this. 

This system of factory farming fears craves our ignorance -- but it also fears our empathy. Which one will you give them?

Where Are You?


Beach trash photo by db

On the 'Food Democracy Now!' website:

Dr. Don M. Huber's Warning:

On January 17, internationally recognized plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber, wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack warning of the discovery of a new pathogen and a possible link between Roundup Ready® (GMO) corn and soybeans and severe reproductive problems in livestock as well as widespread crop failure.

Less than 3 weeks later, the Obama administration approved 2 new Roundup Ready® GMO crops, set to be planted this spring... Read on about Dr. Huber's discovery. If it gives you pause, sign our petition to ask Sec. Vilsack to stop these seeds from being planted until further research is done.

  • For 50 years, he's been a scientist studying plant diseases in the U.S. and around the world and spent 35 years at Purdue University as Professor Emeritus of plant pathology.  
  • He has a 41-year military career as a retired Colonel, evaluating natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks.
  • He coordinates the “Emergent Diseases and Pathogens Committee” as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System under Homeland Security.
Click here to watch video interview with Don. M. Huber, Scientist, regarding the concerns about approval for Monsanto Corporation to plant GMO alfalfa and sugar beets.
Roundup Ready® seeds are genetically engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s top selling weed killer Roundup, which is made up of Glyphosate and a trademarked formula of component chemicals. In 2007, more than 185 million pounds of Glyphosate were sprayed on America's soils and crops and that amount has only continued to rise as more weeds develop resistance to Glyphosate.

Did you know...


In 2010, more than 365 million acres were planted worldwide with genetically engineered (GMO) seeds.

The U.S. leads the world with more than 165 million acres of GMO crops, mostly Roundup Ready® crops.

Monsanto owns patents on the genes of more than 93% of soybeans, 80% of corn, and 95% of sugar beets planted in the U.S. -- all genetically modified to be resistant to the weed killer Roundup.
In 2007, more than 185,000,000 lbs. of Roundup were applied to U.S. crops, the year the Bush administration halted reporting of the herbicide's application rates.

In 1992, U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle announced that GMO foods would not be "hampered by unnecessary regulation", freeing Monsanto of the burden of independent testing or labeling of GMO foods for the American public.

Are you eating GMOs?
A Happy Ending . .

On the night of Tuesday, September 18, 2007 a cow was spotted on the streets of Queens. She was tagged for slaughter, but escaped that fate and literally ran for her life. Police and firefighters captured her and brought her to Animal Care & Control in Manhattan. From there, Farm Sanctuary's rescue team stepped in to bring the Fugitive cow, now named Maxine, to safety at our 175-acre sanctuary for farm animals where she will live out her life in peace and comfort.

Thanks to the people who responded to help this cow in need, Maxine will have a life full of green pastures, a warm cozy barn, nourishing food and fresh water, veterinary care, a herd of cattle friends, and the love of shelter caregivers at Farm Sanctuary.


 Musical protest at KFC . . .

Coming soon to a KFC near you . . . . 

”Down On The Farm”

Meet the product of laboratory tests
Stuffed in cages, a maze of metal nests

Drunk on hormones, they grow till they’re grotesque
It barely passes for a life
And at the end the butcher’s knife

They’re just animals, what’s the harm?

Another day of dirty work, down on the farm

Meet the workers, their masks are flecked in blood
See the feathers and the shit ground into mud
Snap their necks, and watch them crumple with a thud
You turn off your humanity,
To try to feed your family

You talk about dominion like a license to do anything you please
But your made-up book has some advice for what to do unto the least of these

Meet your dinner, see it sizzle in a pan
It’s come a long way from the place where it began
You’re the last in a long chain of dirty hands
If that’s too hard to digest
Keep repeating with the rest

They’re just animals, what’s the harm?
Another day of dirty work, down on the farm