Being Blind to the Obvious

The last few weeks have been hectic for me and the holiday weekend put an interesting twist on my already wacky schedule. So, I admittedly wasn’t 100% present for a lot of that time.

Case in point, I have been looking for my nail file for 2 days (stay with me here, there is a relevant point to this!). I normally keep it in one place as acknowledgement and acceptance of my diminishing memory capacity, but when I looked it was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t a big deal and life went on but there was still this nagging thought in the back of my head.

So, I’m sitting at my desk today, looking at the same things I always look at (except for the Santa Claus decoration that was added over the weekend) and realized I had been staring at my nail file the entire (f-ing) time! It was right in front of my keyboard quietly waiting for me to notice it. At first, I was relieved but then I kind of freaked out. How the heck could I have NOT seen it before?

Aside from the possibility that my office fairies were pulling a fast one on me – it wouldn’t be the first time! – I obviously wasn’t paying attention to what was right in front of my face.

Then I wondered – is that what is happening with the people who don’t see the problems with factory farms, our non-sustainable food supply, GMOs, and mainstream medicine? Are they, on some level aware, but oblivious to their inability to see? Maybe.

Maybe being blind to the obvious is preferable to acknowledging reality when it is so dependent on our ability to be truly present.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Vegan Advertisement in a Mainstream Magazine

I saw this advertisement in a mainstream magazine recently and thought I’d share it with you. I find it very encouraging that the term vegan is becoming more commonplace and is being used correctly and in a complimentary way.

I’m sure the slew of vegan and vegetarian weddings by celebrities and public figures had something to do with it but I take it as a good sign and look forward to seeing it more in the future.

Have you seen any vegan advertisement in the mainstream media? I would love to hear about them on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Tamari or Soy Sauce?

I was recently asked why I use Tamari instead of Soy Sauce and I couldn’t answer. It had been a while since I made the switch and I knew it was for good reasons – just none that I could remember! So I promised to find out.

Here’s the scoop…

Soy Sauce:

  • Made from soy beans, wheat, water and salt; NOT gluten-free
  • Sharper taste
  • A product of China created ~2,800 years ago (wow!)
  • Looses most of its essential flavor (which are aromatic) when exposed to high temperatures
  • In some commercial brands, the soybeans are defatted with hexane; a petroleum derivative (ewh!)
  • Common production shortcuts include artificial fermentation methods using genetically engineered enzymes (double ewh!)

Tamari:

  • Made from soy beans, water and salt; gluten-free
  • Darker color and richer, smoother flavor
  • A product of Japan (evolved from soy sauce)
  • Retains its flavor after cooking
  • Has 37% more protein than soy sauce

I personally use Organic San-J Reduced Sodium Tamari. It contains 25% less sodium and is Certified Organic. According to their website, all of their Tamari is brewed for up to six months using traditional methods passed down for eight generations. They do not add MSG or artificial preservatives to any, and all are certified Kosher, Non GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free. Impressive!

So, now whenever I am asked in the future, I will be sure to remember the outstanding differences between the two and be able to confidently convince someone they are much better off consuming the obvious winner of this ancient competition – TAMARI!

I feel like taking an intimidating samurai stance with a corresponding scowl as I type this!

Maybe I’ll just stick with kickin’ butt in the kitchen. . .

Do you use Tamari, Soy Sauce or both? I would love to hear your comments on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Spiral Diner | A Dallas Delight

I was fortunate enough to enjoy a meal at Spiral Diner in Dallas last weekend on a visit to see my honey, T. It was the first time I had been to the city as a vegan and T had done an excellent job of finding dining options that looked healthy, vegan and yummy. The first on the agenda was Spiral Diner and what a delight it was!

It has the vibe and look of a diner with waitstaff that are also retro and super cool. The menu is fantastic and the self-serve atmosphere makes it fun to mix and mingle with the other patrons enjoying the amazing vegan fare. While you wait at your booth for your morsels of goodness, you can peruse stacks of books of various topics – vegan, animal rights, art, etc.

Eating Animals happened to be near our booth and after me going on and on about how freakin’ incredible it was,  T said he would put it on his reading list. (Read my blog post about this potentially life-changing book if you haven’t read it yet.)

The menu is impressive and extensive. Plus it was such a change of pace to know that I could literally order ANYTHING on the menu. After some pondering, we decided to go spicy and enjoyed Chips & Salsa, The Big Taquito (for me) and The ‘Ate’ Layer Burrito (for T). Everything was incredibly delicious and the service was friendly and efficient.

If you are in the Dallas area, or visiting, I definitely recommend making a stop even if you only can get something to-go. You will surely be delighted with your experience!

Have you been to Spiral Diner? What did you think of it? I would love to hear your comments on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Quinoa is the KeenWow Super Food!

While relatively new to the United States, quinoa has been cultivated in South America for over 5,000 years. The Incas considered it a sacred food and referred to it as the “mother seed.”

For the longest time I would say to myself “key-no-a” every time I saw the word ‘quinoa’. I knew it was wrong but I could never remember how to say the darn word since the spelling was a little funky. Since I have started eating it and using it as a base for lots of yummy recipes, I don’t have that problem.

Now, I just think ‘keenwow’ and I say it correctly without hesitation. It almost makes me feel like a part of some special group of veggies that have used it so much they don’t have to think about it anymore. Yeah me!

If you are not already aware of them, there are many reasons to think of Quinoa as KeenWow:

  • It contains more high quality protein than any other seed/grain
  • It is a complete, stand-alone protein; it provides all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern
  • It contains no wheat or gluten
  • It is light, tasty and easy to digest
  • It is a nutrient powerhouse
  • It is quick and easy to prepare
  • It is low on the glycemic index and full of fiber

This video from Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies shows more reasons to love quinoa and also shows you how to buy and prepare it:

So don’t be afraid to pick some up off of the shelf at your local grocers just because you aren’t sure how to pronounce it or prepare it. That’s what this whole wannabe vegan thing is about right? Trying new things!

Do you have a great quinoa recipe? Please share below, on Facebook or on Twitter.