Fiber- Can We See the Forest for the Trees?

Fiber, can’t see it now, shining and glowing, surrounded with gold, placed on top of the high pedestal of Health Food. Dieticians, weight loss books, and health coaches all ask you if you have enough fiber in your diet. In stores, everywhere, fiber fortified foods line the shelves, boasting fiber content this and insoluble fiber that. But is fiber actually that good for you? What exactly is fiber, anyway? How much is good, and how does it even work?

These are really important questions to ask, and there is no easy answer, no magic pill or formula. The closer we look at each of the component nutrients (fiber is a component nutrient of the macro-nutrient Carbohydrate) the more complicated we make these choices for ourselves. So, let’s talk about fiber, and see whether isolating fiber, and targeting it’s levels in our diets, is the answer to our prayers, the cause of all our woes, or just another nutrient that needs balance within a healthy diet.

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Boost your Metabolism

What do scientists and the multi-billion dollar diet industry have in common: they are obsessed with metabolism. Chances are, you are too, because, well, who doesn’t want to be a lean, mean, fat-fighting machine? Your metabolism can play a role in getting you into fat-fighting-form, but contrary to popular opinion is definitely not the reason you packed on that extra weight in the first place. The quality, quantity, and type of food, sustained restful sleep, exercise type and duration, and the amount of water we drink play much larger roles.

So, we are all obsessed, but what is metabolism… and why should we sweat it? 

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Vegan Fashion- The List of Lists!

Do you ever wish there was an index of all the best vegan shopping guides around?  Well, wait no more!  These links are all working as of this date, and they span a range of styles, costs, and special consideration has been given to lists that include sustainable industry practices.  Enjoy!

Our Short List:

PrAna-  Offering great options for men and women, especially geared towards active lifestyles and yoga, this eco-friendly company is often 1/3 the price of market competitors.

Vaute- Vaute is a fashion option for those not willing to lose their stylish edge when they ditch the animal products!  Good trendy options for men and women.

Herbivore Clothing-  Mostly vegan slogan t-shirts, this mainstay represents the message in fun and accessible ways.  Think of them the next time a witty t-shirt can make a mark.

Rawganique-  Known by hippies and vegans alike, this eco-friendly company focuses on hemp goods, natural fibers, and sustainability.

Moo Shoes- Despite the name, they have no Moo in their shoes, and also have belts, wallets and other items otherwise made from animal leather.  Moo Shoes offers classic and stylish items that may even fool your non-vegan friends and family.

Mercy For Animals Shop- When choosing where to shop, consider the beneficiary! In this case MFA!  One of the best animal rights organizations in the world has a shop that helps sustain their cause, and keeps you sporting vegan awesomeness yourself.

 

Original Cult/Lip Service-  I wouldn’t be doing by Goth Vegan duties if I didn’t at least pay them some lip service, get it?  This OG Punk company started using vegan leathers on everything before it was cool.  Now you can find everything from leather pants to those rocker holsters all in veg leather.

 

The List of Lists:

Vegan Kit

Farm Sanctuary

Vegan Online Stores

Peta’s Cruelty Free Shopping Guide

Etsy Vegan Clothing Search

The Vegan Scholar- Brands

Humane Decisions- Designers and Brands

The Friendly Fig- Brands

One Green Planet Shopping Guide

Buzzfeed Eco-Friendly Cruelty Free

Peta’s Vegan-friendly Retailers

Telegraph.Uk Best Fashion Brands

The Bustle- Best Vegan Designers

Compassion Over Killing List

Circus Down, Compassion Up

Yesterday, on January 14, 2017, Ringling Brothers announced that it will be closing this May. In a statement issued to the public, the circus cited rising operating costs, lack of public interest, and mounting legal fees with animal interests groups as reasons for the closing.  This is great news for the animals who will be freed from the circus and will go to animal sanctuaries for retirement. peta4

Circus profits declined  in recent years for many reasons. The operation dealt with high operating costs, expensive legal battles, and changing public opinions. Large, exotic animals and death-defying stunts made the circus popular in the late 1800’s and the first half of the 1900’s, but in a world of CGI and Video Game Fantasies, the thrill of the circus for many was passe. Ringling Brothers themselves cite populations saturated with amazing programs on television, and animal rights activists– who were merely working to raise awareness about the life of animals behind circus caravan bars.

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We Can Pickle That- Snap Peas

Snap peas are incredibly versatile.  They make great snacks raw, and you can basically throw them into any salad or sandwich no problem, and they get  sautéed and added to a lot of stir fries.  Just when you thought you had your snap pea game down, you realize that I, and Portlandia, might have another idea:

In this post, I will go over two different methods of pickling, one the lacto-fermented kind (despite the name, its definitely vegan, it is merely referring to the lactobacillus bacteria that is involved in all open air fermentation) and the other using vinegar.  The vinegar method is faster, but not as beneficial for your gut flora as the fermented kind, however the combination is ideal because the apple cider vinegar serves as a prebiotic while the fermented produces probiotics, and in both cases your radishes, turnips, sweet peas, and another other veggies laying around can live long past their peak time.

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Good Karma Collards w/ Baked Tofu

Something about Collard Greens always puts me in the mood for southern cooking…and while soul food and vegan cooking may not be the most intuitive combination, I assure you it can be delicious!  For this dish we will make a tasty, smoky, meaty baked tofu that we add to our equally smoky and also garlicky and a little feisty collard greens.

I will show you how to get a really fool-proof and satisfying flavor and texture from your tofu and I’ll even show you how to shred those collards with a simple technique that will save you tons of time with all your leafies.

Serves 4-6 as a side, or 2 as a main.

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Taste, Health, and Compassion

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