Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Challenge

New Year's  is the perfect opportunity to set goals and make changes. At least 50% of the people I have talked to mentioned something about "losing weight" and "getting in shape." That's great; good for you, but that's not very specific. If you're striving for a healthier lifestyle in 2015, what better way than choosing a lifestyle clinically proven to improve your overall health? I don't expect anyone to become a Vegan overnight; but just this one time, I dare you to try it. I always get comments about how difficult this must be or, my personal favorite, the "Good for you, but I couldn't do it." Well you'll never know if you don't try! If you're looking to lower your cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of diabetes, and lower your blood pressure; give one (or more if you're feeling extra adventurous) of these options a try.
Veganuary is an online pledge to go Vegan for the entire month of January. Instead of listening to what i have to say, why don't you try it for yourself? This is only 31 days of your life. If you hate it, then you can at least say you know what you're talking about. The Veganuary website gives you information on Veganism, refutation of common myths, and over 200 recipes. Even if January ends and you no longer want this lifestyle, at least you can say you tried! I understand that one month is a huge commitment, but it doesn't have to be torture. Think of it as a challenge... I am daring you. I'm at the six month mark right now and I have to say; this wasn't easy. Month one was by far the hardest. Veganuary is the perfect opportunity to improve your health and educate yourself on the power of a plant-based diet. Sign up and take the pledge. It takes little to no time and I promise it will change your life. Here's the website link if you want to check it out: Go ahead and click on it. The blog will still be here when you're done. 
Meatless Monday
If you aren't ready for a huge commitment, this one is simple. The name is self explanatory but it's the simple agreement to give up meat one day per week. That's not so bad, right? It may not seem like much, but you have to look at it from a bigger perspective. If seven people give up meat for one day a week, that's the equivalent of one person giving up meat for a whole week. Now think about that for 52 weeks. Maybe after awhile you'll be able to move up to two or three days a week. Then, eventually, entirely Vegetarian. If you don't like the idea of having this set plan, at least try to cut back some. Make it a plan to make a meat&dairy free meal at least once a week.
Cut Out Red Meat
Red meat, out of all meats, is the biggest contributor to air and water pollution (not to mention you're basically eating a heart attack). If you aren't ready to cut out all meat, you should consider cutting out beef, lamb, and pork. Eating red meat has proven to harden the blood vessels and significantly increase the risk for heart disease. You aren't just saving the planet, you are saving yourself. I always recommend this as the first step to those looking for a healthier diet. Help the animals, help the planet, and help yourself.
If You Absolutely Can't...
At least pledge to buy local, cruelty-free meat. Cruelty-free simply means that these animals weren't tortured in the process. This one shouldn't be a problem for any of you since you still get to eat meat. Most local health food stores sell locally raised meat. When you buy cruelty-free meats, you are not only helping your body but lowering pollution rates, reducing the prevalence of animal cruelty, and stimulating your own economy as well. We all have to make some sacrifices for the greater good. This one may seem small, but it has a massive impact.

Even if you don't take any of my advice for the New Year, at least set some of your own goals. Now is the perfect time to work for that thing you've always wanted. Now is the time to change your life and be the person you've always wanted to be. So set some goals and make a plan to stick to them. Write out step by step what you want and how exactly you will get it. Make 2015 your year because life is too short to be anything less than what you want.

Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner
P.S. Happy New Year & let me know if you try any of these!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Post-Holiday Hangover

The holidays are by far the most challenging time of the year for Vegans. Between the pressure from family members and overwhelming amounts of stress, you can see why this is a common time for people to quit. This post isn't solely directed at Vegans; It's for Non-Vegans too. During this time of the year, it is so easy to let yourself slip into unhealthy habits such as overeating and lack of exercise. So if you're feeling those post-holiday blues, here are a couple tricks on how to get back to your awesome and healthy self.

Ok, don't freak out. This is an entire day of absolutely nothing but tea. When the human body is overloaded with food, it requires more energy to digest and store it all. Unless you are actually preparing for a famine(which I'm sorry if you are...),  you don't need an excessive amount of extra storage. This detox seems to be the most efficient and the quickest fix. Since the digestive process requires a lot of energy, a one-day tea-tox simply allows your digestive system to relax a little bit. By allowing this process to take a break, you are allowing your body to heal and repair what has been damaged. More energy can be distributed to the other systems of the body such as the immune system. Another positive is that tea-toxes generally reduce your appetite as well. Since we are bound to overeat during the holidays, this is beneficial in terms of maintaining appropriate portions. This one, for me, is just like pushing a "restart" button. I always wake up after a tea-tox and feel like a brand new person. One of the downsides to this cleanse is its timing. I suggest doing a cleanse on a day where you have nothing to do because it's easy to get tired and agitated. Sunday is usually my go to day. Also, let me note that there is a difference between a fast and starvation. When done correctly, a fast is very beneficial. Be careful not to over do it.
During a tea-tox I generally drink anywhere from 8 to 12 teas. All teas aren't created equal in this cleanse so it is important to pick the right ones. When choosing my tea, I usually lean towards one containing senna in the ingredients. The Senna Plant is known for it's detoxifying and curative properties. Too much senna can be a problem as well so I generally drink only one or two cups containing it. Other than that I drink a lot of mint and ginger teas. I'll list below some recommendations:

  1. Yogi Soothing Mint Get Regular ($5)
  2. Traditional Medicinals Organic Smooth Move ($4)
  3. Now Foods Senna Tea ($4)

The Infamous Juice Cleanse
No one ever wants to do this. I have yet to hear a single person get excited for a juice cleanse. For me, this one is the most difficult. When doing a juice cleanse, you drink solely homemade, or certain store-bought, juice for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. When I say "juice", I am not referring to store-bought apple or orange juice. I mean a juice blend of vegetables and fruits that cover your daily nutrient need (I will be posting some of my favorite juice recipes sometime in the near future). During the holiday season we are constantly exposed to saturated fats, pesticides and refined carbs. These toxic foods weaken the digestive system making it more susceptible to damage. By juicing, you are giving your intestines, stomach, and liver time to repair themselves and prevent future harm. Since not everyone has enough time to prepare freshly made juices, I suggest going to your local juice bar. If you don't have one, there are pressed juices in your local grocery market. My favorite pressed juices are:

  1. Evolution Juices
  2. Boathouse Juices
  3. Blueprint Juices (Whole Foods Market)
  4. Naked Juices

Fruit&Veggie Cleanse
This one's my absolute favorite. The other cleanses may be short term, but they require a lot of will-power and discipline that, sometimes, I just don't have. A simple fruit and vegetable cleanse consists of only raw, organic fruit and veggies for a specific period of time. Just like in a juice cleanse, the purpose of this cleanse is to rid the body of harmful toxins and allow your body to restore itself. This is exactly why I recommend solely organic food for this cleanse. It just seems counterproductive to ingest more pesticides when the purpose of this is to eliminate them. When doing this detox, I plug all of my food into a counter app to track my nutrient intake (I personally recommend MyFitnessPal). This helps aid in preventing the desire to overeat or cheat. This one is longer than the tea-tox and the juice cleanse, but I find that it has a much higher success rate. My average F&V cleanse lasts for roughly 7-14 days but it is entirely dependent on how I'm feeling. Now before I get questions about protein, this is exactly why I plug it into the counter. If I have treat 12 lbs of spinach, so be it. Specific liver and digestive cleansers consist of apples, spinach, turmeric, beets, and carrots. I try to incorporate these as much as possible. This one doesn't have to be boring and torturous so make sure to switch it up.

Don't let yourself crash after this holiday season. It's perfectly ok to fall of the wagon every once in a while, so long as you get back on it. Cleansing helps kickstart your healthy lifestyle and creates a positive mindset. After all, a positive mindset is the key to all of this. What better way to restart your lifestyle than literally restarting your entire system? There are plenty of easy and efficient ways to do this without breaking your budget so long as you do it correctly. Before I forget, here's my disclaimer: I am not a doctor/dietitian nor am I a master in the art of cleansing. This is just what works for me.

Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Replacements: Christmas Edition

How many Vegans does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two. One to change the lightbulb and one to check for animal ingredients.
Ok, I'm bad at intros.
Anyway, here we go.

Party-Sized Vegan Eggnog
This one's an obvious Holiday staple. Although I don't usually like Eggnog, I actually really liked this recipe.

  • 8 cups Soy milk
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Pudding Powder
  • 2 cups of Vegan Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Whisk together half soy milk &pudding mix. Add the rest of the soy milk. Add rest of ingredients then chill overnight.

Yields roughly 10 cups
You can go buy some Vegan Eggnog from the store and avoid all this work.
Available at local Health Food Stores

Vegan Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Men
I didn't make this. Mine came out much uglier.
(Or women... we're still feminists here.)

  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 flax egg (which I've never used so no guarantees)
  • 1/4 cup Almond Butter
  • 1 1/2 cup Vegan Baking Mix
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Butter
  • 3 tbsp Molasses
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
Add ingredients together and chill overnight. Prep oven to 350 and cut out Gingerbread shape. Bake for 7-9 minutes. 
Yields 20-30 Gingerbread Men.

Check the box for Red 40.
 Peppermint Hot Chocolate
 This one requires zero effort.

  •  1 packet Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Double Chocolate)- another one that's accidentally Vegan
  •  1 Candy Cane
  •  Soy Whipped Cream

Always Remember.
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vegan Saves The World

Meat production is one of the main culprits when it comes to the rising issue of global warming. Global Warming, for those that don't already know, refers to the scientifically proven, century-based increase in the average temperature of our planet's climate and it's detrimental effects. It leads to shifts in atmospheric conditions that cause droughts, hurricanes, and the melting of our polar ice caps. This is occurring due to the the over-emmitance of fossil fuels and a completely unconcerned population. Everyone is so worried about the economy and politics which, yes, are extremely important; but none of that will matter if we don't have a planet to live on.
Meat production alone accounts for roughly 22% greenhouse gas emissions. That's absolutely insane. By cutting out meat, you cut out nearly a quarter of these detrimental pollutants that are ripping holes in the ozone layer. This is the same layer that's protecting us from those harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. You know, the ones that cause cancer. In fact, they can rip electrons away form their atoms or even cut molecules in half.
A 2006 study conducted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has concluded that meat production produces more greenhouse gases than both the industry and transportation contributions. When people think of preventing global warming, they often think of cars and other forms of transportation. While I'm totally advocating for you to walk places instead of drive, that isn't going to save the planet by itself.
So what can you do? I'm not going to ask you to become a Vegan overnight. All I'm asking is that you simply cut down your meat consumption. Participate in Meatless Monday! If seven people cut out meat for one day, this is the same as one person cutting out meat for an entire week. If you're feeling really adventurous, cut-down on or cut-out red meat. Since beef production releases the most CO2, cutting back on it directly cuts down greenhouse gases. Being a Vegetarian makes a major impact on your individual carbon footprint. Veganism is slightly more impactful but only by a relatively small percentage.
Save the Polar Bears :(
This is me asking for help in an issue that affects us all. Although one person can make a massive impact, there is strength in numbers. I love this planet and since it seems as though it might be the only livable one we have, it's time to take care of it. Most importantly, you are single-handedly killing our Polar Bears! The polar bears did absolutely nothing to you. Although being a Vegan does not entirely eradicate the issue of Global Warming, it's certainly a start.
Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

P.S. Do it for the Polar Bears :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Favorites

I love plant food. Really, I do. But just like every other human, I get bored easily. There's only so much kale and hummus a person can take. So here's a list of my monthly favorite, relatively non-planty tasting, packaged foods.
Skinny Pop Popcorn
GMO-free, Preservative free, Gluten Free, all that good stuff.  It doesn't taste like cardboard, so that's a plus. $4.99.

Trader Joe's Meatless Chicken Strips
I don't know if this actually tastes like chicken since I haven't had it in 3 years... But I assume it's pretty close. I think this one is roughly $2.99.

SO Delicious Coconut Milk Cookie Dough Ice Cream
This tastes nothing like regular ice cream. Don't get your hopes up. ~$6.00.

Yogi Teas
All of there tea's are delicious and super affordable (which is great since I got through 1,000 tea bags a week). $4.99.

Trader Joe's Roasted Seaweed Snacks
Self-explanatory. Very very very seaweedy. Only $.99!

 Go Raw Super Chips 
Spirulina is really good for you too. ~$6.00.

 Larabars in general. Preferably the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough one.
I could survive on these alone. $5.28 for a box of five. 

Trader Joe's Medium Roast K-Cups
Can you tell how much I love Trader Joe's? $4.99 and makes 12 cups of coffee... which I go through in roughly two days.

I know a lot of this list is from Trader Joe's. If you don't have one, you can basically find any of these foods at your local health food store or supermarket. If you know of some other fun Vegan foods that aren't listed above, leave a comment or send me a message. 

Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Friday, December 5, 2014


The hardest thing for people isn't necessarily change itself, it's sticking with that change. It's trying not to slip when you want nothing more than that thing you can't have. It's having the will-power to stick to what you say you're going to do when it seems damn near impossible. It's not letting anyone stop you from doing exactly what it is you want to do even when they try. Often times, the commitment of a permanent change is the biggest challenge for people. If you're one of those people, here's some advice from me to you:

Remind Yourself Why You Started
I cannot possibly stress the importance of this enough. There are times when I have to stop and ask myself "Why the hell am I doing this?" This doesn't just apply to being a Vegan. It's the same for everything. Why am I torturing myself by studying so damn hard? Because I'm not content with being mediocre. Because my generation needs to be the ones to change the world. Because I, myself, will be the one to change the world. That may seem unrealistic, but no one worth while got anywhere without some seemingly outrageous claims. Reminding yourself why you started is a constant reassurance of why what you're doing isn't a total waste of time.
Set Cheat Days
I didn't do this and that's one of the major reasons the transition was so difficult for me. Most people I talk to started off being Vegan 3 or 4 days a week. They begin to add more and more days until, eventually, they become full-fledged Vegan. Well, I'm stubborn. I cut it all out at once. Now granted, I'm definitely not perfect. I went 3 months without a single slip. I'm now on month five and I've cheated 5 times. Things change; you have to adjust. For awhile I was really down on myself like "damn, I wasted all of my hard work." Then I realized that's only 5 out of 158 days! Am I really going to stress over 5 days when it only adds up to 3% of my time?
Don't Jump Into It All At Once
I know this contradicts Risky Business a little bit, but when I said that I mean't like a small hop, not the entire canyon. You can't cut out your bad behavior all at once. Well you can, but you're going to need a lot of will-power. If you can do this without wanting to die, more power to you. This is the one and only time I will ever tell you to be realistic. Don't expect to see the word "realistic" on this blog ever again.
Be Positive
I am a firm believer that I can DO anything I want. I can BE anything I want. I can GO wherever I want to. If you say you are going to fail, odds are, you will. Setting yourself up with a negative mindset only generates more negative energy. How can you possibly hope to be supported by others when you don't even support yourself? What if the president got up in front of the entire population and said "Well guys, odds are, I'm going to fail miserably." Would you want him to lead your country?.. Hopefully you answered no to that question.
Make it Fun
Why willingly torture yourself when there are other options? I like to prove people wrong. I'll admit it; I have no shame. It's sort of like a game for me. Not in all things, but definitely when it comes to being a Vegan. I made my roommate eat a Vegan cookie and she loved it. In the very beginning of the semester, we ordered Chinese food from the sketchy place down the street. I obviously got tofu, and she got chicken. She tried my tofu, loved it, and since then, has never ordered chicken. She doesn't know it yet, but I am slowly dragging her to the dark side. So make it entertaining. Life really is just a giant game anyway, am I right? But we'll save that for next time ;)

Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ode to Pumpkin

Oh, Pumpkin. I love you so. Pumpkin is overflowing with antioxidants that fight cancer causing free radicals. They not only aid in cancer prevention, but in weight loss, eye health, skin protection, and muscle growth. Not to mention how much they boost your immune system; which is perfect since I still have the plague (to clarify, I don't actually have the plague). Another fun fact is that they are scientifically proven to fight depression and make you happier. Overall, you can't go wrong with pumpkins. They're almost out of season so get them while you still can! By the way, Pumpkin is a fruit! I'm not sure if I'm the only one that didn't know this... but I always thought it was a vegetable. Anyway, here we go.
Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Smoothie:
Yields 2 Smoothies
1 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 cup Rolled Oats
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin
1/2 Frozen Banana
 • Cinnamon
 • Nutmeg
 • Pumpkin Pie Spice
 • Plant Based or Soy Protein Powder (optional)
1.5-2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup(optional but highly recommended)
Put it in the blender... ta da.

Pumpkin Bisque:
Ok this one is super simple. Let's get real, I'm no chef. I burn cereal. So simple, in fact, that Damen and I were able to make it in his tiny ass kitchen.
What You Need:
  • 3 cups Pumpkin(I'm lazy so I use the canned stuff)
  • 1 1/4 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Olive Oil/ Coconut Oil
  • 3 or 4 minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1 12 teaspoons of Sugar/Stevia
  • 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Salt&Pepper
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Allspice
  • Crushed Blue Corn Chips

The finished product.
  • In a LARGE pot (we made the mistake of using a small one), cook the onions and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until caramelized.
  • Add in pumpkin, almond milk, and vegetable stock. Mix and cook until it is one solid consistency.
  • Add in spices, get creative, all that jazz. There is no set measurement for this.
  • Pour into bowls and garnish with the pumpkin seeds and crushed blue corn chips.

Mission: SUCCESS. Well... kinda.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Survival Guide

This is my first real holiday as a Vegan and to be honest, I am absolutely terrified. For the past 3 years I have gotten so much shit from my family about being a Vegetarian. At least then I could still eat everything but the turkey... but now I am totally screwed. I don't want to stress anyone else out just because I choose to pet animals, not eat them. It all sounds so innocent, until everyone suddenly becomes a registered Dietician and an expert on protein. I'll keep a tally of how many times someone asks where I get my protein from and I guarantee it will be over 50. This is not an exaggeration.
So I've come up with a game plan just incase things get awkward... which I am almost certain they will.
1)Make Your Own Food
If you can, make at least one dish. This is sort of like a peace offering so they don't maul you to shreds. I guarantee that this will help because at least you made the effort to make things go smoothly. I'm making a dish that's usually eaten at Thanksgiving, but in Vegan form. This can also be an opportunity to show your family that eating Vegan can taste exactly like (ok, not exactly) normal food.
2) Be Polite and Easy
For most people, a simple "No, thank you" will suffice. Not in my family. It'll probably take about 30 "No, thank you"s and a dozen explanations on why I don't eat anything with a face. If all else fails, I'll strap them down and make them watch Food, Inc. Don't make your family members go out of their way to work around your diet. It's your choice, not theirs. If they have salad, which I'm sure they will, shut up and eat that. Your host is probably stressed out enough as it is.
3) Cling to the Supportive Family Member
This is my sister. I'm probably going to hide behind her like a puppy until we get past the eating portion mostly because my grandmother scares me. It's one of those things where she cares so much about my health that she forms it in threatening words?.. Also, thank said supportive family member a million and one times. It's hard to find people that will deal with my bullshit.
4) Inform the Person Making the Food BEFORE the Event
Nothing is more embarrassing than when someone offers you 30 different types of food and you have to reject every single one. And frankly, you look like an asshole. If my family doesn't already know, I'll make a point to clarify that I basically eat like a glorified Koala. ("That spruce tree out back will do just fine.")

The main point in all of this is to take this day as an opportunity to make everyone realize that they don't have to work around your diet. The easier you make it for everyone else, the easier it will be on yourself. Holidays are already stressful enough, don't make it even harder.

Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let's Get Dirty

Pesticides are not sexy my friends. They are often overlooked but have the potential to be life-threatening. The word "Organic" basically means "Hello, I'm going to add an extra 5 dollars to whatever you are purchasing. Goodbye."  No, obviously not, but sometimes that's exactly what it feels like. For something to be considered "Organic", it must be GMO and Pesticide free. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 most highly contaminated fruits and vegetables. If you're on a budget, buying organic is not always possible. Although it is always better to buy Organic, it's not entirely necessary for certain fruits and vegetables. Without further ado, THE DIRTY DOZEN.

Most Contaminated
Sweet Bell Peppers
 ▪ Nectarines
Grapes (Imported)

Least Contaminated
Sweet Corn 
 ▪ Papaya
Sweet Peas 
Kiwi Fruit

So what happens if you eat contaminated produce?... well you die. No I'm totally kidding, but there are some pretty brutal side effects. The Dirty Dozen is said to be connected to Leaky Gut Syndrome. I don't know about you, but I like my guts just the way they are. They have also been linked to Heart Disease, Cancer, Hypertension, Diabetes, Crohn's Disease, Allergies, etc. A solid rule to follow when deciding when to go organic is buying non-organic foods with a peel. This is a natural protective layer but be sure to wash whatever you are consuming prior to peeling. There are times when the pesticide is put directly into the soil. In which case you are totally screwed. So be nice to your body and buy organic. 
Turns out it's bad to be dirty.

Always Remember: 
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dude, I'm Broke

One of the common misconceptions about being a Vegan is that it's unreasonably expensive. While this is sometimes true, it is completely dependent on outside factors. I'm in college. While most kids can survive on Ramen, I have to pay for overpriced grass. So here are some tips to get past those pesky price limitations.
1) College Kids
Dining halls are your friend. As Veganism gets more and more mainstream, almost every school has begun to add some sort of Vegan option to the menu. Our school has a whole station dedicated to it, not to mention the salad bar. You'll be fine. Not everyone has a kitchen in their dorm... or a microwave for that matter. If you do, invest in microwavable Veggie burgers or Vegan pizzas. These are surprisingly very easy to find. Look in your local organic section.
2) Make your own damn food
Where are you shopping? If it's a natural foods store, don't get me wrong I love these, it is probably slightly overpriced. That's usually because their produce is local. Which is great... but I'm broke. I would love to save your economy but first I have to survive. On top of this, pre-prepared Vegan food replacements are generally more expensive than their non-Vegan counterparts. Stop trying to buy foods to replace non-Vegan meals and try something new.
3) Frozen Food 
Vegetables are expensive as hell. I don't have a job, but even if I did there is no way I am spending $5 on a damn carrot stick. I don't care how "Organic" you claim to be. We have a mini freezer in our dorm that is just stockpiled with frozen vegetables. Well it was before I got the plague and got shut in my room for three days.
4) Packaged Food
If you're on a budget, the cheapest way to get food is by making it from scratch. Vegan is not for the lazy. If you cut out pre-prepared meals and make it yourself you would be saving an epic amount of cash. Don't have cooking supplies? Get creative. P.S. You don't need cooking supplies to make a salad.
5) Buy in Season
Buying out of season produce is way more expensive because you're buying imports. They can raise the price because the demand for these foods is higher than the supply. They're less abundant and you have to add in travel costs. The best way to find in-season produce is stopping by your local farmers market.
6) Grow Your Own
Not the easiest solution, but a solution nonetheless. Obviously don't do that now it's fricken cold outside. During the winter, I try to keep a couple of herbs growing like sage, basil, chives, cilantro, etc. I don't exactly have a green thumb though so this is usually a fail.

I'll have a list of cheap packaged foods coming this week so keep a lookout :)

And always remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Look everyone. I can still eat the same foods you do... well kinda. This is your basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe but with a few minor modifications. Disclaimer: There was no grass used in the making of this recipe.

What you need:
Yields about 13-15 cookies
    • 2 cups Almond/Quinoa/Rice flour. You can use regular flour but the other options are gluten-free.
    • ½ cup coconut oil
    • 1 cup brown sugar (or Stevia if you are looking for something healthier.)
    • ¼ cup sweetened almond milk, soy milk, or hemp milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or cocoa nibs (cacao nibs are just raw cacao pieces)
    • ½ teaspoon salt

    1) Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
    2) Mix together the brown sugar and coconut oil, then add the almond milk and vanilla. There shouldn't be any separation at the end so mix until it is one solid consistency.
    3) In a different bowl mix the baking powder, baking soda, almond/coconut flour and salt.
    4) Combine the wet & dry ingredients. It's going to be all crumbly and stuff but that's fine.
    5) After this, throw in the chocolate chips & any other additions of your choosing (My personal favorite is throwing in a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, almond butter, or PB2).
    6) Roll into 13-15 balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Flatten the dough with your hands.
    7) Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on your oven.
    8) Refrain from eating all 15 cookies.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't just eat grass and cardboard :)
Always Remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Friday, October 31, 2014

Where Do You Get Your Protein?

Whenever I tell someone I'm a Vegan, the first response is always "Where do you get your protein?" First of all, we don't need as much protein as everyone thinks. America especially has an issue with consuming way too much of it. As most of you know, there are complete and incomplete proteins. When people think of complete proteins they usually think of meat, fish, and dairy. While it is true that these are the easiest ways to get complete proteins, it is definitely not the only way.
Complete Proteins
1) Quinoa (8g/cup)
2) Soy(8g/cup)
3) Chia(4g/2 tbsp)
4) Hempseed(10g/2 tbsp)
Complementary Proteins
Complementary proteins are two incomplete proteins combined to create a complete protein. This would include like nuts and legumes, or grains and legumes.
1) Hummus and Pita Bread
2) Rice and Beans
3) Peanut Butter Sandwiches
4) Trail Mix
5) Spirulina with nuts (Homemade energy bars)
6) Lentils and Rice

What I Eat in a Normal Day:
1 cup Oatmeal(6 g)
1 Banana(1.3g)
1/2 cup Soy Milk (8g)
3 cups Spinach(3g)
2 tbsp Hummus(2.4g)
1/2 cup Tofu(10g)
1 cup cooked Broccoli(4g)
1 cup Brown Rice(5g)
1 cup Black Beans(15g)
1 Larabar Bar(5g)
2 tbsp Peanut Butter(9.2g)
Total: 68.9 Grams of Protein
Since I do endurance training, I need a minimum of 68.75 and a maximum of 80 grams of protein per day for my weight category. The amount of protein each person needs is entirely dependent on their weight and level of physical activity.

Always Remember:

Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fun Things I Can Still Eat

I know it may seem like Vegans survive on celery sticks and grass (which is sometimes what it feels like too...) but that isn't always the case. There are plenty of normal human foods that I can still eat. Most of these are accidentally Vegan, meaning the companies that produced these products didn't actually intend on this happening, but there are no complaints here.
I'm not a very big fan of these but it's nice to know I can eat something out of my dorm's vending machine.
2) Oreos.
Yes. Oreos. Every flavor. Now I'm not sure what exactly goes into Oreos... Like I'm looking at the package right now and I just don't understand. Well that's absolutely terrifying.
3)Unfrosted Pop-tarts
Again, I don't understand how exactly this can be Vegan but sure; I'll go with it.
4)Red Bull Energy Drinks
Ew. This stuff literally tastes like liquid sweet tarts and death.
5)Most Clif Bars
I pretty much survive on these at college. Actually, I survive on my suite-mate's Clif Bars... and the rest of her food. Also, Larabars are actually Vegan approved and are the best creation in the history of the Universe.

Since we're talking about fun foods that ARE Vegan, I think now's a good time to address the fakers. These are the dirty liars of the bunch. On that note, here are some things that, sadly, ARE NOT Vegan :(
1) Pumpkin Spice Lattes
This one hurts my soul so much you have no idea. Seriously. I'm personally offended. Even if you swap out your regular milk for soy you are still drinking condensed milk from the flavoring itself. Not to mention that there are no actual pumpkins in the recipe.
People always forget about this one. Honey comes from bees, therefore it is not a plant source. Anything with honey in the ingredients list is off limits.
3) Marshmallows/ Chewing Gum/ Jell-O
Gelatin. For all of you that don't know where gelatin comes from: It's basically just boiled bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, etc. YUM. Thankfully, the make Vegan marshmallows :)
4)Almost all dark Colas
Most of your sodas and processed drinks contain dyes made from insects or animals such as Red 40.
5) Certain Beers and Wines
Gelatin, isinglass (which is fish bladders), bone marrow, etc. Some Vegan examples are Redd's Apple Ale, Angry Orchard, Absolut Vodka, and Bacardi.
6) Anything with artificial Vanilla flavoring
Nothing better than some nice beaver anal secretions. This is not an exaggeration. They literally take secretions right out of the beaver's ass.

Always remember:
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Did I Become a Vegetarian?

To be frank, meat is gross. I went Vegetarian 3 years ago simply because I realized what I was actually ingesting and to be honest, I haven’t regretted a single second.  I'm sure most of you have heard of the documentaries Food Inc. or Forks over Knives but if not you should definitely go watch them on Netflix right now. No, seriously. Go watch one of them now before you finish reading this. It may seem kind of cliché, but that is the entire reason. I was literally afraid of meat.
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian. 
Actually, no. Probably not. There are a lot of people that don't care about the animals or what they themselves are consuming. If you are one of those people, maybe I can change your mind. I’m not going to go all hippie tree-hugger on you guys, as much as I’d like to, but to put it simply; These animals are abused and neglected. How would you like to be locked up with no sunlight or space to move? There are plenty of people that argue that this is why animals were put on this Earth. Yeah, totally. Animals were totally put here by some mysterious chain of events so that humans could abuse, neglect, and eat their flesh. I really hope my sarcasm is shining through at this point. 
Live simply, so that others can simply live. 
My other favorite argument about giving up meat is that "One person becoming a Vegetarian does not affect the world." Oh really? While it may not seem like I am making that great of an impact, by being a Vegetarian I am saving 100 animals per year. What are you doing with your life? People are so concerned about world hunger but aren't willing to do a damn thing about it. If everyone would give up meat, or even limit it, there would be enough food in the world to feed everyone. Don't believe me? Alright. Here's some proof. By going Vegetarian I am not only saving myself, but others as well. One pound of meat uses 2,400 gallons of water. That’s absolutely ridiculous. There are people that don't have water and we are wasting it on things we don't need.  
You are what you eat.
In my opinion, diet is the best form of medicine. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat.” That’s the truth. What you eat can either help you or harm you. I don’t know about everyone else, but I want to be the very best I can be. There are a lot of people with no concern for their personal well-being because they really don't see their diet as a threat. When I went Vegetarian, I was doing it solely out of respect for the animals, not so much myself. On the other hang, my choice to be a Vegan was entirely based on health reasons. That doesn't mean that I'm not just as eager to save the animals as I am myself because I totally am. “Save the planet” and all that bullshit. It has been proven multiple times that plant-based diets are the best way to go. I could go into this topic for hours so out of respect for time...

Always remember:
Animals are friends, not food.

Jasmine Millner

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Going Vegan: Why Is It So Damn Hard?

Being Vegan is by far the best decision I've ever made. At this point in time, my lifestyle isn't really that much of a challenge. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of days where I would love to devour an extra-large pepperoni pizza by myself... but it gets easier.  So here are a couple reasons why being a Vegan is so damn hard:
1)The transition itself is brutal.
Becoming a Vegan is no easy task unless you have extreme will power (which I do not). I mean, I didn't cut out animal products cold-turkey. I was a Vegetarian for 3 years so my transition wasn't nearly as hard as those who just up-an-quit animal products entirely. Transitioning into this lifestyle is by far the best plan of attack. I started out by giving up red-meat, then meat as a whole, and now I am a full-blown Vegan. When I think back on the past three months... part of me wants to gouge my eyeballs out. Why work so hard for something that seems so pointless? Then I remember why I started and it's all worth while.
2) "Where do you get your protein?"
Fools; protein does not only come from animals. Where do you think the animals you are eating get their protein from? The reason why I respond so harshly to this one is because no one ever asks this question out of concern. This is always used as an attack on my lifestyle choices. My father is the best example for this one. I love him dearly don't get me wrong. Coming from someone who grew up on a diet centered around meat, there is no possible way that he could understand where I'm coming from. When he came to visit me at college, he was practically force feeding me because he was afraid I was malnourished. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is going to agree or understand. 
3) Slip-ups
You. Are. Human. We all make mistakes. Just remind yourself why you started and get back up on your feet.
4) "Being a Vegan is unhealthy"  
*buzzer noise* wrong. Now this one's a little controversial so if you have a problem with it... please turn away now. Humans were never mean't to eat animals. We just needed to adapt to survive. There are even studies now that prove how detrimental dairy products are to our health. Our bodies can't digest that stuff.  Although being Vegan is one of the best diets you can have, it is also one of the worst when not treated properly. Being Vegan does not mean starvation. So back to the main point, I'm still here... so it obviously can't be that bad right?
5)Peer Pressure
Yes. Peer pressure. There is nothing worse than when your friends wave slices of bacon-pineapple pizza in your face. 

SO... Go Vegan. Yeah, it's hard as shit. I'm not going to lie. 

But always remember:
Animals are friends... not food :)
Jasmine Millner