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I’m excited to announce that I was a guest on the Angriest Trainer podcast! Check it out here…
Angriest Trainer 185: The Vegan Episode!!! (53:30 minutes)
According to my phone records, this experience was my “15 minutes of fame” (+2 minutes). It’s crazy to think that “little old me” would end up rubbing shoulders with some influential names in Hollywood. Pinch me!
I’m so very thankful that I was given this opportunity to “tell the world” my story of vegan transformation. At the same time, I was completely outside my comfort zone and super nervous. I’m extremely introverted!
Despite my fright, I wasn’t about to blow my chance to effectively speak up for the animals– especially considering that the vast majority of the Angriest Trainer’s fans are not vegan.
For this occasion, I did 100 Saadatjoo push-ups and I poured myself a little shot glass of Villa Cappelli olive oil. I didn’t want a dry mouth!
BTW– Do you even know about this podcast? Let me explain:
The Angriest Trainer is Vinnie Tortorich… AKA “Hollywood’s Go-To Fitness Trainer.” Vinnie’s simple, but effective approach to getting rid of unwanted body fat is…
“No Sugar, No Grains” – NSNG
I found out about Vinnie Tortorich and the Angriest Trainer podcast because I started listening to the Rich Roll podcast. Rich had Vinnie on his podcast (RRP #12). Vinnie is not 100% “plant powered,” but he is funny and informative. Naturally, I started listening to Vinnie’s podcast, too.
Right away, I appreciated Vinnie’s acceptance of vegans. And more– I realized that the NSNG dietary approach is quite accessible to vegans. (NSNG does not necessarily mean “low-carb.”)
By following this approach for just a short time, I’ve become more lean than ever before, but without being hungry. It really does work. Check out my pages, “What I Eat,” and “#PPNSNG Kitchen” for more details.
A Facebook group called “Vinnie Tortorich’s No Sugar No Grains” was created for fans of the podcast. This is a place for people to support each other, share recipes, and seek advice about all things NSNG. Endurance runners and triathletes in the group discuss how NSNG improves athletic performance. It’s all about becoming “fat-adapted.”
I know this might come as a shock, but in the Facebook group, vegans and omnivores actually co-exist without killing each other. (GASP!) It’s pretty refreshing.
I joined the Facebook group 6 months ago. Initially, I admit it was a stretch for me to purposefully place myself where I knew I’d see animal-based food and read discussions about animal products on a regular basis. Although it was difficult, I joined for 2 reasons:
- I wanted to add a vegan presence to the group.
- I wanted to demonstrate that NSNG can be done quite easily without consuming animal products.
Over these months, I’ve found that the vegan NSNG perspective is still needed. I’ve observed that many former “plant-based” people end up going back to eating animal products as a result of listening to the podcast (in particular, bacon, eggs, and high fat dairy). This is hard to witness and makes me very sad.
In order to support other vegan NSNG fans who prefer not to see animal-based food pictures or enter in discussions about animal products, I joined with 2 others (B.J. & Ciry) to create a dedicated “Plant Powered” Facebook group. (B.J. was the happy-go-lucky Texan interviewed before me on “The Vegan Episode!!!” Check out his blog, “Living Better.”)
Honestly, I’m hoping that the supportive environment of the PPNSNG group will help stop the trend of folks returning to eating animal products. I do sincerely thank Vinnie for talking about the plant powered group and stating in his own voice that NSNG and vegan diets can go together.
Join me at “Vinnie Tortorich’s Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains.” You don’t have to be vegan or 100% plant powered to be a member.
Read “Fitness Confidential,” by Vinnie Tortorich and **Dean Lorey. It’s really the best way to get to know Vinnie. It’s part weight loss/fitness manual, part memoir, and part survival story. (Literally, Vinnie survived cancer and then finished “The Toughest 48 hours in Sport,” the Furnace Creek 508 Bicycle Race.)
Who knows?– It might just inspire YOU to find out what you’re really capable of. It had that effect on me!
(**Dean Lorey was in the opening segment of the “The Vegan Episode!!!” (although he’s not vegan). He mentioned his upcoming new show on CBS this Fall called “The Crazy Ones.” It stars Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar. I’m planning to watch it!)
Here, I challenged myself to create a sugar-free BBQ sauce for tempeh. I was tempted to add a tablespoon of molasses, but I resisted the urge and kept this recipe strict NSNG (No Sugar No Grains). If you want to add a little bit of sweetener, go for it. I imagine it would balance out the acidity just a bit. But anyway, I consider this recipe a success. The Frank’s RedHot sauce provides a little kick.
1 T coconut oil
8 oz thawed tempeh (slice lengthwise, then in cubes)
3 large cloves minced garlic
1 small or 1/2 large onion, sliced
1 large stalk broccoli (finely chop the stem)
15 oz can organic tomato sauce
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 t mustard
1 t Frank’s RedHot sauce
1 t liquid smoke
dash garlic powder
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t chili powder
1/4 t oregano
1/2 t BBQ seasoning blend (I found it in the bulk section of my Co-op. You could probably omit.)
2 t smoked paprika
Melt the oil on medium heat in a high-sided 9 1/2″ saute pan. Saute the tempeh and veggies for several minutes, then add the liquid ingredients and the spices. Simmer and reduce the liquid for about 30 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently. The sauce will bubble and splatter, so you may need to adjust the heat periodically.
I kept the whole meal NSNG by serving this over chopped romaine leaves and under avocado slices.
Of course, this would also be quite tasty on a toasted bun. (Duh. What isn’t tasty on a bun?)
Serves 2 generously.
Thank YOU for not eating animals!
(Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains)
Friday May 17, 2013
I’m holding a 3 day old baby goat. He’s absolutely precious! His cry is adorable. Of course, I’m stating the obvious. All babies are cute.
This little guy should be running and jumping and acting hilarious, like normal kids do. But, he’s not doing that because he has 4 deformed legs that won’t even hold the weight of his tiny body. He’s going to need a LOT of help. He still might not make it.
Sadly, babies are born deformed. It happens all the time. Life isn’t fair. In his case, he had 3 other siblings. He was just so cramped in the womb that he didn’t develop normally.
Here’s the problem, though…
This kid is the product of a goat breeder. It just so happens that the breeder is a “first time” breeder, but that doesn’t really matter. A breeder is a breeder. I’m talking about the dairy industry.
As I already mentioned, the mother goat who delivered this kid had 3 other babies. The breeder didn’t think this one would live. She focused her energy on the other three.
A day or two later, the breeder realized that this kid was still alive. He wasn’t going to just die.
The breeder doesn’t have time for bottle feeding. This kid needs bottle feeding every 2-3 hours for at least a week.
The breeder can’t be bothered with a crippled goat. This kid is completely dependent in every way.
What to do? Of course: Call a goat rescue.
Yes, that’s a very good thing to do. I give her that. It’s very good that she sought help. She did the right thing by calling someone who cares about animals, and who has the experience to help.
But here’s the thing…
This kind of passing the buck (no pun intended) is completely unfair to the goat sanctuary owner. I think it really “stinks” that breeders can basically dump their little inconveniences onto the people who run sanctuaries.
I wonder if the breeder offered to pay for any of the costs that the sanctuary owner will obviously incur, to take care of this kid.
What I just described is just one of the many problems I have with small dairy farms.
But, in general, I can’t stomach the dairy industry on any level.
I can’t stomach dairy products because I can’t accept the mentality that it’s okay to bring life into this world just to turn around and take it away.
Dairy breeders for all species (i.e. goats, sheep, cows) depend on continuous pregnancies to keep all that milk flowing.
Dairy breeders on farms of all sizes are in the business of killing unwanted baby animals. This is simply the only way a dairy can make any money. Extra bodies that aren’t producing milk are a drain on the business. There are too many mouths to feed!
- Male babies are killed because they won’t ever produce milk.
- Female babies are killed because their numbers still inevitably become too numerous on the dairy farm. Farms only need a small number of “replacements” for their “old” and “unproductive” mothers. (Retirement = Death).
It’s really quite rare for a baby animal to get the kind of chance that the kid I’m holding in the picture is getting. But, that certainly doesn’t make it okay to continue breeding animals.
Dairy really does make me sick to my stomach.
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
chopped onion (~1/4 to 1/3 cup)
chopped red pepper (~1/4 to 1/3 cup)
1- 15 oz can organic Cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed & drained
1 T tahini
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t capers
1/4 C ground sunflower seeds
1/2 C oat flour (GF)
dash garlic powder
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t fennel (crushed with mortar & pestle)
1 t dried basil
1 t Italian seasoning blend
1 T nutritional yeast
Use a small food processor to puree the wet ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the wet puree with the dry ingredients.
Divide the burger “dough” into 4 balls. Pour a drop of olive oil on your hands to handle it easier. The burger dough will be sticky and soft– don’t panic!! Create 4 patties. You can just drop the ball right onto parchment paper and then flatten into a patty.
Refrigerate the patties on parchment paper for at least 30-60 minutes before cooking. The time will allow the excess moisture to soak into the oats, which will bind the burgers. Trust me!
Cook the patties on medium heat in a saute pan using the oil of your choice (I use coconut oil). It should take about 10 minutes per side. Shake the pan periodically to make sure they aren’t sticking.
Serve these burgers with a dollop of spaghetti sauce. If you want to dress it up more, add vegan cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh basil.
THANK YOU for not eating animals.
On January 18, 2013, I got my second tattoo, by the lovely Savannah Beck at Mordor Tattoo.
My first tattoo was “Vegan,” on the top of my right wrist. The second is “269,” on the inside of my left wrist. I chose to have these vegan tattoos inscribed where they are visible to others every day of the year. The purpose is to facilitate a dialogue with people who may be interested in veganism. My primary motive is to help end the unnecessary exploitation and killing of non-human animals. A secondary motive is to attract like-minded people into my circle of friendship.
Please visit the 269life website to learn more about the global 269 movement.
Here is the powerful 269 mission statement:
“The nameless, faceless victims whose bodies are used to feed us, obviously had desires and feelings before their throats were slit open with cold, calculated brutality. It’s strange, we define ourselves as a “law abiding, moral” society, and yet routinely massacre innocent beings.
The branding of the calf’s number, chosen by the industry to be “269″, is for us, an act of solidarity and immortalization. We hope to be able to raise awareness and empathy towards those, whose cries of terror and pain are only heard by steel bars and the blood stained walls of the slaughterhouses.
We are all equal in our suffering, and if humanity has any chance of surviving and evolving, we must accept that oppression of the weak – whether excused by gender, race or species – lacks any rationality and fundamental sensitivity towards those who may not cry out using our language, but feel pain no less than us.
So we ask: What will happen with the individual numbered “269″?
Is his life not more meaningful than a pointless, sanguinary practice?”