Friday, May 6, 2011


Well well well. It's been a frightening and enlightening past few days.

First, I must confess. I accidentally ate a little bit of cheese in a wrap last night. I was sooo bummed out. I had no idea until later that there was cheese, but sure enough there was. It was shredded cheese and there wasn't much of it (hence not even being able to detect it whilst eating), but I was like, "Ah shit. Two weeks vegan and then I eat cheese." To some non-vegans and those that enjoy making fun of vegans, this "tragedy" seems petty and stupid. But damnit! When I am committed to something, I like to stay committed. I am stubborn. And I hate that dairy products are so prevalent and "the norm" in our society that pretty much anything you order at a non-vegan establishment will include an animal product. It seems like no one really thinks much about these things. Well, I think about it now and I will be much more careful in the future when ordering food.

NOW - on to the more serious of the two bits of news. I have high cholesterol. FUUU...dge. Seriously, WTF? I have never, ever had to worry about high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. etc. etc. I have always been a bit obsessive (almost to a fault) about my health, even when I was not a vegan. I get regular exercise, don't smoke, eat whole foods, drink water, etc. But I must confess (again) - for the past couple of months (and perhaps years), I have started to let things slide. In a way, I "gave up" and "gave in" to certain things, such as coffee, energy drinks, carbonation, cheeses, eggs, and other substances. A lot of my poor health choices came about through stress and certain circumstances in my life. And then they were no longer choices; they were addictions.

After the doctor told me today about my cholesterol, I was taken aback. And a bit ashamed. How did I let myself get to this point? I then reflected on what my diet had been like for the past couple of months and, well, ding ding ding. Here's what it had been: In the morning I would eat at mostly egg whites, but I would include some yolk for flavor - so I was probably eating at least one full egg a day without really realizing it. I would have butter on toast. Coffee with cream. For lunch I would eat way too much cottage cheese (sorry if I am grossing everyone out right now). And sometimes I would include cheese with my eggs. And I would eat cheese here and there throughout the day (string cheese, cheese in burritos, etc.). Milk in cereal. Sometimes more eggs for dinner. (Warning: swear word(s) ahead) Holy fuck. No wonder I have high fucking cholesterol. I never used to eat that much cheese and eggs. I never used to even eat eggs. I was making poor, poor choices and the saddest thing is is that I knew I was making poor choices - I could even physically feel the effects of my choices - but I didn't care. Again, I think I was probably addicted to these foods, but I was also just being lazy and apathetic.

So I've been vegan (aside from the accidental cheese catastrophe) for almost two weeks now. And I physically (along with emotionally and spiritually) better. I know that a plant-based diet is cholesterol free. I know that animal products include cholesterol, especially eggs and dairy. I know that by being mindful, careful, loving myself, and eating a plant-based diet, I will lower my cholesterol. The average cholesterol level in America is 210 (which is bad). The average vegetarian's cholesterol level is 161 (which is okay), while the average vegan's cholesterol level is 133 (which is good). Dude. Go vegan already. I'm sure glad I did.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Day 3: Laughing

If there's something I hate with my whole humorless soul, it is laughter. Psych so hard. Humor is one of the most important things in my life. Laughter has positive effects on one's physical and emotional health. It lowers blood pressure. It releases endorphins. It brings people together. Unfortunately, I know a few animal rights advocates that seem to neeever crack a smile. I am not here to place judgement or to think that I can even begin to understand why they are always so solemn, but I have a feeling that knowing how much misery animals go through each second of the day can weigh a person down. However, as Vegan's Daily Companion points out, "choosing to laugh doesn't undermine the serious work we have to do. It enables us to do it." Why yes, I agree.

So laugh. At least once in awhile. Make it a part of your daily routine. For example, read at least one Onion article a day. Watch a funny show. Talk to that friend of yours who can't help but make you laugh. Adding humor to your life will add to the quality of your life, I assure you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

kill two birds with one stone

I am on Day 2 of Vegan's Daily Companion (which I talked about in my last post). I will write more about Day 1's advice/tip later... Maybe on Day 3 or 4 or 27? I will get around to it, I promise.

Anyway, today focused on spreading nonviolent language. For example, the expression "to kill two birds with one stone" can be changed a bit to become less violent. The author's example was "to cut two carrots with one knife." Nice. Okay. If one has a personal fear of carrots and/or some agenda against carrots, this would be a perfect expression to use. And although I love carrots and eat them most days, I would still use this expression in a heartbeat. Here are some other ways to say "to kill two birds with one stone" without promoting violence toward animals:

*"to blend two slabs of silken tofu with one blender"
*"to order two chimichangas from one Mountain West Burrito"
*"to saute two types of kale with one frying pan"
*"to bake two flaxseed banana bread loaves in one oven"
*"to drink two glasses of organic green sludge in one morning"
*"to make two satisfying bowel movements in one afternoon (thanks to the green sludge)"

So there you have it. Feel free to use any of these nonviolent (for the most part) expressions. Do you have any nonviolent expressions of your own?

Monday, May 2, 2011



It has been almost seven months since my last post. What the vegan fudge brownies was I thinking by being gone for so long? I could go on and on and on about why I kinda sorta totally fell off of the vegan (hybrid) wagon (and then got back on and then fell back off and then got back on and... sigh), but I save all of that trying-to-figure-shit-out stuff for my other blog.

Instead, I am just going to "start fresh." I would like for Her Soy and Beans to be a mix of girl-trying-to-figure-out-veganism, motivation, inspiration, and, yes, the "wild tales" of the occasional culinary experiments in the kitchen complete with recipes and poorly taken pictures.

Let's start off with a book recommendation.

With the help of an always appreciated gift card (thanks, mama!), I purchased Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's book Vegan's Daily Companion yesterday. It is a beautifully designed book full of stunning pictures, helpful hints and tips, affirmations, and delicious (I'm assuming) and relatively easy (I'm assuming) recipes. I believe this book is especially great for beginning/struggling vegans who need the extra motivation to continue on this compassionate path.

So. I have decided to read one passage each day from Patrick-Goudreau's book, contemplate what it has to say, and then transfer those contemplations (and perhaps some direct quotes from the passage) onto this blog. Does that sound like a good idea? Yes? Okay. Good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheezy Macaroni Casserole or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Eating mac and/or cheese will always remind me of eating mac 'n cheese at my best friend's house before we went to preschool. We would eat it out of these pastel plastic bowls that had a distinct pastel plastic smell. This story has nothing to do with the dish I made a few days ago, so you just wasted your time reading what I have written. Or did you? Only you can make the decision regarding time (time, non-existent).

Cheezy Macaroni Casserole

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
up to 1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce of tamari
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 4-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the yeast and the flour in a medium saucepan. Place the mixture over low heat, stirring until lightly toasted. Slowly add the broth, stirring to make a thick batter. Add water 1/4 cup at a time until the sauce is smooth and slightly thick. Add the remaining ingredients except the macaroni, and stir well.

Place the cooked macaroni in a casserole dish and stir in the sauce. Bake for 30 minutes, or until sauce bubbles.

Serves 4 to 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

Recipe courtesy of The Compassionate Cook

Saturday, September 18, 2010

shout out

I just feel like givin' a shout out right now to Meggie Woodfield.

Meggie! Here's a shout out!

Meggie has been a vegan for a couple of years and she has been the one I mainly go to when I have a random question and/or concern. She has been quite helpful. She also inspires me to cook more, be more vegan dedicated, and to eat for HEALTH rather than eating (or not eating) to fit into the latest pair of skinnier skinny jeans.

Thanks, Meggie!

Also, visit her great vegan cooking blog here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

product not tested on owls

Living the vegan lifestyle means making compassionate choices, not just in our diet, but in all aspects of our life. In other words, buy some weird ass natural toothpaste, for PETA's sake. Okay, I will. And I did. Last night. At Sunflower Market. I also bought body wash, chapstick, and vitamins-- all of which do not test on those stupid animals that I hate so much. (That, my phantom phollowers, was a mere joke. I like animals, for the most part.)

I pretty much live in poverty, so I tell ya that it is DOABLE to buy these hippie boner products and not go into the poor house (which is an apartment in Provo with a spiral staircase and poorly painted palm trees on the kitchen wall). You just have to shop wisely, like an owl who likes to shop and has the ability to shop. Shop like an owl and you can get great deals-- compare prices, use coupons, shop at Sunflower on Thursdays to get 20% off (with a student ID card and/or a nice rack), etc. Also, prioritize. Do you really need that stupid shirt from Forever Dark Abyss-- I mean, Forever 21-- or can you spend your money more wisely, like an owl, and throw your cash away on products from companies who aren't douche bags? You'll sleep better at night if you know you didn't slather yourself in Proctor and Gamble products (those animal testing bastards). But then again, you probably don't even sleep at night, you silly, wise owl. Nocturnal, you know? Of course you know. Like I need to even tell you.