Power Bowls

I’m a big fan of Power Bowls (a term I coined myself thank you very much) for dinner mostly, and I call them that because they really are just a big bowl of super healthy antioxidant rich plant based foods: good carbs, power house veggies, plant based protein, and power spices…tastes great, and easy to make! So if you are thinking of transitioning to a plant based diet, or just need some ideas of what the hell to eat other then kale, tofu, and grass, then follow along these easy to make recipes here. [FYI – I pretty much only shop organic, and so probably 95% of what I make is all organic, and yes of course vegan].

Simply start with a grain as your base (yes, these have protein), here are some of my favorites:

  • Farro (I usually get Bob’s Red Mill)
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Pasta (could be made from rice, wheat, quinoa, lentils, or garbanzo beans)
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat

Secret ingredient to cooking/boiling these grains is to use vegetable broth – adds great flavor!

Then, when the grains are almost done cooking, I throw in a variety of what I call power spices (because each spice carries significant health benefits); however, I do recommend getting organic spices! Here are just a few of my favorites:

Next, add in your veggies (yes, believe it or not, these have protein too); here are a few of my favorites, of course this is where you can get creative and add a bunch more:

  • Kale (well of course duh)
  • Tomatoes (also love the heirloom variety)
  • Brocoli or Broccolini
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Bell Peppers
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes/Purple Potatoes
  • Cucumber

I also like to add in a variety of legumes (these are packed with protein) here are some examples:

  • Black Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans, aka Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils

And then sometimes I throw in some vegan meat alternatives (yes, these all have protein as well), here are a few I really like:

Once I have all this stuff done, and cooked, I throw it all in a bowl, and then sometimes I sprinkle on some seeds for added crunch and flavor (you guessed it, these have protein too) – here are a couple of my go-to’s:

And lastly, I like to jazz it up! Here are a couple favorite jazzing ingredients:

I am sure you have noticed my parentheses throughout this post that indicate which food groups contain protein, and as you should have noticed…it’s pretty much every category. Wait, vegan food has protein? I know, mind blowing right?! I did this on purpose to finally inform and dispel that misguided idea that plant based eaters don’t get enough protein, or to finally answer that question every vegetarian or vegans gets asked – “where do you get your protein.” Well, there you have it, this is where I get my protein. Also, keep in mind that this is typically only one meal in my day, this doesn’t count all the other protein I get during the day from what I eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

So what do these magical Power Bowls full of plant based goodness actually look like when it’s all said and done, well here are some examples:

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Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, cayenne, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and garlic. Veggies: diced celery, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, and tomatoes. Meat Alternatives: baked tempeh (baked on a cookie sheet with a little bit of avocado oil, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos). Jazz: red jalapeño sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: quinoa. Power Spices: cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, ginger, black pepper, and garlic. Veggies: red bell pepper. Legumes: garbanzo beans. Seeds: pumpkin seeds. Jazz: red pepper hot sauce.

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Base: farro. Power Spices: garlic, turmeric, black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. Veggies:  chopped red bell pepper, celery, and baked broccolini. Seeds: sunflower seeds. Jazz: organic reduced sodium soy sauce, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. Veggies: tomatoes, and broccolini. Legumes: black beans. Seeds: pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. Jazz: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, red jalapeño hot sauce.

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Base: pasta – organic vegetable radiatore. Power Spices: cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, garlic, and black pepper. Veggies: vine tomatoes, and kale. Meat Alternatives: baked tempeh. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice, red pepper hot sauce.

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Base: pasta – organic whole wheat. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle. Veggies: vine tomatoes, and kale. Meat Alternatives: Organic quarter pound veggie burger – “Original” from Sunshine.  Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Veggies: kale, and vine tomatoes. Meat Alternatives: baked sweet potato, and a cut up veggie burger. Jazz: sunflower seeds, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: a mix of quinoa and white rice. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Veggies: red bell peppers, and kale. Legumes: black beans. Jazz: red pepper hot sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and topped with avocado.

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Base: organic vegetable pasta. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and garlic. Veggies: steamed broccolini, and vine tomatoes. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice, and chopped cilantro.

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Power Salad – Base: organic red leaf lettuce, vine tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, fermenter beet cabbage (great for gut health), and carrots. Meat Alternatives: tempeh. Jazz: I make my own dressing: balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and dijon mustard (also sometimes I add in a bit of veganaise to add some creaminess to is) – mix all this together, and bang you got your dressing!

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Power Salad – Base: organic kale, vine tomatoes, rainbow carrots, and a baked purple potato (loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients). Meat Alternatives: lentils. Jazz: dressing: balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and dijon mustard. I also like to add in seeds and nuts to my salads for extra crunch and protein – in this case I used sunflower seeds.

 

Bang! And that’s my long winded Power Bowl rant! Again, there are so many ways to get creative with this, and so many other ingredients you could use…possibilities are endless! Give it a try, get in the kitchen and power up with a plant based Power Bowl!

We Are All Earthlings

When you hear plant based folk say they are ‘vegan for the animals,’ you may not be exactly sure what the hell that means. Well, this documentary here titled Earthlings perfectly sums up what that actually means, and why we do it for the animals. Earthlings points the camera directly at the truth most people don’t want to see or know about when it comes to factory farming, and the role animals have been given in our society. Full disclosure, parts of this film are hard to watch, but all that means is that the truth is hard to swallow once you really see and understand what is going on…nonetheless, wouldn’t you rather know the truth!

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Think about this for a minute; lets say we humans finally have the technology for deep space exploration, and consequently we happen to discover another planet that does indeed harbor life. But the life found on the planet is not human like (at least what we consider human), instead it’s these oddly shaped life forms, some large (bigger than us), some small (can fit in your hand), some cute, some ugly, they make noises we can’t understand, they don’t speak our language, but they seem to have mothers, fathers, and siblings just like we do. Furthermore, you can see their emotions in their faces, they have eyes similar to ours, they have what we can tell are ears, mouths, noses, and legs and arms. Wouldn’t this be amazing to encounter and see!? Wouldn’t we just look at them in awe and be like ‘wow how freakin incredible are these creatures!’ Surely we would look at them with fascination, intrigue, and want to learn more about them!

Or would we just be like ‘eh, we don’t understand what they are saying, and they seem dumber then us, so lets just start enslaving them, killing them, skinning them, and eating them.’ Imagine if that really happened! Well, we here on earth have been conditioned to be ok with this, it has simply become part of our culture, customs, upbringing, and a societal norm…but why? Why is this the right way? If you take a step back, and pretend you were that space cadet who made that journey to the newly found planet where this new life was found, you would realize that this is exactly what happened here on earth. We have these amazing creatures on our very own planet that we GET to coexist with, and yet most of us have all become ok with the idea of killing millions of them, torturing them, experimenting on them, and of course eating them.

Wowza….what the hell happened right?! It’s simply a matter of a disconnect; people just don’t make the connection, or choose not to, that these beings [earthlings] are actually incredible sentient creatures – not merely just things, they have feelings!! It was only through conditioning that we humans have been brought to the point of seeing these earthlings as things that are ‘food’ to eat. For most, ignorance really is bliss, they might actually know the truth, but instead of confront the truth and make that connection, they simply  continue on blissfully ignorant chowing down on whatever earthling tastes best to them.

You have been condition to think and see this here as a pet, that you love, and treat with respect:

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You have been conditioned to see this as a thing called a cow, that we milk and eat (Mmm hamburger), that doesn’t have feelings or emotions, and that is merely just food:

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You have been condition to see this as another thing called a pig, and that it is also incapable of any feelings or emotions…your conditioned response is Mmmmm bacon (clearly such a stark difference then a dog, no way these things have any emotions or feelings right?!):

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Understand that these conditioned responses are simply due to what you have been thought; this is what you’ve know all your life, this is how you grew up, this is what your family and friends believe, this is what the mainstream public believes, and so you blindly continue on believing as such. People say, ‘well it’s part of our culture’ or ‘it’s part of their customs and tradition.’ Well, not too long ago here in the US slavery was part of our culture and customs. BUT does that make it OK? Does that make it RIGHT? A resounding HELL NO should be your response!!

Dare to think outside of your conditioned response and MAKE THE CONNECTION!! These creatures aren’t emotionless, feelingless, dumb things that are just commodities. These are all EARTHLINGS!!

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Well, this documentary very effectively helps people make that connection; suspend all what you know for a moment, how you think of animals and food, and simply watch this film as a fellow earthling…dare to make a paradigm shift!

(You can watch this documentary online here, or you find it on Youtube, but fair warning the quality of the Youtube versions are pretty terrible)

 

 

 

Obscuring The Truth

You may have noticed that in my previous posts I have repeatedly said or posed the question: ‘why or how is it possible that this information [data supporting the evidence that a plant based diet is better for overall health] is not mainstream knowledge (yet)’? ! If a plant based diet is so much better for you, then why isn’t the general medical profession talking more about it – why hasn’t my doctor told me about this?  Well, it comes down to that fact that there just isn’t any money in prescribing a patient sweet potatoes or cranberries, but there sure as hell is plenty of money in prescribing a patient drugs! Furthermore, so much evidence out there is either obscured, or shown in such a way to be favorable [misleading] to the party actually funding the study. This simply means that you (the general public) are not getting the real objective truth!

 

Put another way, most animal based eaters might be thinking, ‘well if this plant based diet stuff was in fact so much better for our health, and could actually prevent and reverse major diseases, then why isn’t my doctor telling me about it?’ Well, the other reason you are not hearing it from your doctor is simply due to a lack of training in nutrition (yes, believe it or not, your average doctor does not know that much about nutrition and using food as medicine). I mean really, how much in depth knowledge about nutrition can you gain in 25 hours or training….? Answer: not much. And thus, doctor’s don’t lead with this information when it comes to consulting their patients.

 

So yeah, that’s why you aren’t hearing more about this food as medicine stuff, and how a plant based diet really is best for overall health. It truly is a systemic problem (see my post about the documentary Plant Pure Nation).

 

 

Exit The Matrix

If you were Neo, what pill would you take – the red pill or the blue pill? As Morpheus explained, ‘The matrix is a system Neo, that system is our enemy…you have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged.’ Who would have thought that this concept and idea in the movie fits so perfectly as a metaphor for the food system that we as humans live in; and how the vast majority choose to blindly adhere to it (plugged in) simply because that is what they know, or that is how they grew up…they continue on in the so called system.

 

Well if you are ready to take the red pill, and see the matrix for what it really is, then I have the perfect video for you – fair warning here, the production quality of this video is nothing like the movie The Matrix, in fact it is as far away as possible from anything remotely even close to that. It’s literally a recording of a presentation given to a group of people classroom style. I know, your probably thinking “can it possibly get any more boring??.” Nonetheless, this is still one of the BEST (in my humble opinion) videos I have seen that so perfectly, and comprehensively explains the conundrum of choosing to eat animals versus choosing a plant based diet. Or better yet, how we can say that we love animals, love our dogs and cats, and yet be perfectly fine chowing down on a cow, chicken, or pig. Anyway, I could easily explain more about this video, or provide more examples, but I wouldn’t be doing it justice.

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Now I know, the title of this video may be a turn off to most, and it could easily evoke the feeling or thought of “oh geez, another video on going vegan…blah.” But honestly, the information in this video is so damn good, and presented in such a easily digestible way, that it truly is eye-opening! I came across this video when I was already well into my plant based life, and I still found it so enlightening! Just give it 5-10 minutes, you’ll see, the information flowing from this is just too good to turn off. I dare you, be Neo, take the red pill and unplug from the system!

 

By the way, I don’t pretend that everyone who watches this is all the sudden going to become a vegan over night (and unplug from the system), that is not the intention here. The goal here is simply awareness, open the mind and take in the information, dare to to make a paradigm shift!

How Not To Die

Quite the question isn’t it? Well, this is actually the title of one hell of an eye opening book, and this is another source of information I wish everyone could be exposed to! It’s crazy to me that the information contained within is not mainstream knowledge…yet, at least.

The author of this book is Dr. Michael Greger; a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger is also a licensed general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition, and is a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Not to mention he is also the man behind the amazing website and information source NutritionFacts.org. Hop on that site, and you can spend hours learning new information about a myriad of health topics affecting our human population.

No, this is not some vegan book for vegan people, this is a book for anyone and everyone that wants to learn about the best ways to nourish our bodies for health, how to prevent the leading causes of death in our society (hint, it’s not prescription pills and surgeries), and why it is that the general medical community is not talking more about food as a source of healing and disease prevention.

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I love this section here in the very beginning of the book (Pg. 10 Introduction) that pretty much hits the nail on the head:

“In this book, I don’t advocate for a vegetarian diet or a vegan diet. I advocate for an EVIDENCE-BASED diet, and the best available balance of science suggests that the more whole plant foods we eat the better…”

I don’t understand how people can, or simply choose, to ignore the mounds of evidence and statistics offered in this book. Even someone like myself who has already been on a plant based diet for multiple years now was shocked by all the evidence and information contained in this book; I mean it’s simply so glaring! And yes, some people might be turned off  by the physical thickness of this book (it’s a hefty one), but you don’t have to read this front to back if you don’t want to, simply think of it as an encyclopedia on the leading causes of human death (or diseases), and nutritional solutions – just use the table of contents and learn about the particular issues that interest you. But fair warning, even if you do that, soon enough you will find yourself wanting to read the whole thing haha…you’ll see, it’s just too good not to!

 

Click image below to purchase your copy!

The Vegan Starter Kit

When people ask me why I am vegan, or what prompted me to go vegan, it really comes down to information – I was simply exposed to new information that I could not unlearn or un-see. This new information came in the form of books and documentaries. Sure, some people could be exposed to the exact same information but it won’t resonate with them at all; well, not me. I simply could not deny all the facts, data, and research presented in these sources. So what was this amazing new information that I learned you ask? Here it is, these are the sources of information that I wish everyone and anyone would see – they will answer all your questions about the why, what, where, and when of a plant based diet/life. I truly wish this was common knowledge; I’ll take it one step further, I wish this was mandatory reading/viewing in school!

So if someone were to ask me “why or what made you go vegan,” my response would be – “just watch these documentaries here, all your questions will be answered.” I invite you to take a step behind the curtain of OZ, and see the truth! (These are all available on Netflix).

WARNING – EXPOSING YOURSELF TO THIS INFORMATION MAY CAUSE AWARENESS

  1. Forks Over Knives

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This gem right here will answer all your questions about food and health, such as:

  • What’s wrong with eating animal protein?
  • What’s so wrong with milk and dairy? Don’t you need milk for calcium and strong bones?
  • But since vegans only eat grass, where do they get their protein? (ugh, how many times I get asked this question – please do yourself a favor and watch this now, and forever have that damn questioned answered).
  • What about fish?
  • Well then, what the hell do you plant based people eat?
  • Why should I even care about this plant based stuff? (hint, your health, the animals, and the environment ya dummy!)

 

2. What The Health

This is probably one of the most eye-opening documentaries to recently (2017) come out MV5BOGRlYzI3OTMtMWM4NS00Y2U4LTg3Y2UtMzUwYTgyM2M2Mzk5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI5MjI4MTc@._V1_SX772_CR0,0,772,999_AL_about the food industry and human health; and this is definitely at the top of my list when it comes to recommending any documentary! I myself was blown away by all the information presented in this film; it got me so riled up I just wanted to shout it from a mountain top! Finally, a documentary comes out that shines the light on all the corruption going on in the meat and dairy industries to keep the general public misinformed, confused, and most important of all continuing to consume their products albeit at the cost of their very own health. Moreover, this film also does an incredible job of hitting all the points on health in regard to consuming animal products, and all the common questions and concerns of switching to a plant based diet…extremely comprehensive! This documentary is a MUST!!

 

3. Cowspiracy

This one here will help you understand the Cowspiracy_ScreeningPoster3environmental dilemma of sustaining a planet on animal protein, and how switching to a plant based diet can really help save the world (no, I’m not exaggerating – just watch it!). No, this video isn’t going to turn you into a tree hugging environmentalist, or Leonardo DiCaprio; BUT it sure as hell will inform you and create AWARENESS (and that is what’s all about)!! Moreover, this will shed light on what factory farming actually is, and the cold hard cruelty behind it – I know, I know, ignorance is bliss…but suck it up and watch it!

 

4. Plant Pure Nation

2015-06-27-1435380438-2053434-PlantPure_PosterloresAnd lastly, this amazing documentary will help you understand why it is that the information laid out in the last two documentaries is not mainstream knowledge (yet). You may be asking yourself, ok well it seems like all you vegans know about this stuff, but IF animal products are actually not the best for your health, then why would the government still include it in their food pyramid, why are they still serving it at every school, why wouldn’t doctors be talking more about this, why is this the first time I am hearing such a thing?  Here is something to think about; the meat, poultry, and dairy industries are HUGE (as you may already know)! Well, you know what comes with that? Lots of money of course, but also lots of lobbying power. So what does that mean; it means they have the ability to actually influence what the people of this planet eat, regardless of what it might mean for your health. Moreover, believe it or not, it comes with the ability to manipulate or even suppress information! Yes, this is true, the meat, poultry, dairy, and fish industries hope you never see any of these documentaries or become of aware of any of the information they contain. Because heaven forbid, it might actually create well informed consumers, that no longer simply buy their food products blindly just because that is what they have been doing for years. Please, just watch this!

 

So there it is, these are three of my favorite documentaries that I wish every human being could/would watch! I honestly feel like any non-vegan/vegetarian person cannot have an actual intelligent debate with a vegan/vegetarian person until they have been exposed to the information contained in these documentaries. Regardless of what you choose to sustain yourself on, be it animal or plant based, if you haven’t seen any of these documentaries, please do yourself a favor and watch them…I challenge you!

 

As always, I would like to hear from you, what other documentaries would you add to this list? Leave a comment below.