Tofurky! You Did It! Gluten-free Vegan Pesto Pizza Goodness!

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I have longed for Tofurky. Not so much that lump of tofu they became famous for making to replace the bird at Thanksgiving but all their other products.

Products like:

  • Deli slices – bologna? Are you kidding me?
  • Hot dogs and sausage
  • Breakfast links. A perfect accoutrement to my tofu scramble.
  • Ground beef.
  • Pocket sandwiches. Hot pockets? I. Want. Inside. Me.

But alas, I can’t eat any of these. They all contain gluten.

You can see for yourself the full-line of vegan foods that Turtle Island Foods makes and how many of them contain “vital wheat gluten” on their website. Not sure why it’s considered vital but apparently it’s in high demand or something. Just not by me.

So, needless to say, when fellow blogger Tuxedo Cat posted a photo of the NEW (not even on their website yet) gluten-free pesto supreme pizza … I waited outside Greenstar, our local food co-op, the next morning at 7:29 am.

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From the above photo you probably can see that it looks exactly like MY meat-free gluten-free pepper and onion pizza (check out other posts on this blog, or follow me on Twitter). This pizza is twinning my pizza.

But, the fact that this store-bought, pre-built, loaded. pesto supreme pizza is available in the freezer section of my local co-op already made… is just shy of a miracle. This thin-crust pie is delicious.

I’m talking really delicious.

A perfect blend of vegetables, cheese, pesto sauce, and a gluten-free meat alternative? Fuggedaboutit.

How good is it? Jen has an aversion to all things fake and hasn’t had an urge to try one of my pizzas. She also avoids processed foods whenever possible and very rarely engages in the same sinful decadence of vegan junk food overindulgence that I enjoy … but she loves this pizza.

Most importantly though, since this pizza came from Tofurky, there may be an oven light at the end of this vital wheat gluten tunnel. Maybe this is the first of many products that they’ll roll out that are gluten-free? Maybe they’ll start rethinking all their other products sans gluten?

Or …

Maybe they will read this blog post and hold a special meeting in the big boardroom at the Turtle Island Foods headquarters in Hood River, Oregon, and have agenda item #1: “Replace vital wheat gluten in all our products with a gluten-free alternative. All in favor. Say aye.”

Aye! It’s unanimous.

Go, Tofurky and …

Go vegan.

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Friday Macro Vegan Gluten-free Dinner

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This is Ithaca’s best non-restaurant and something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

The best restaurant in Ithaca, isn’t a restaurant.

Every Friday night for 18 years, Priscilla Timberlake and Lewis Freedman open their hearts and the doors to their home and serve a three-course meal. But not just any meal. Everything served is macrobiotic, vegan, gluten free and 100% … amazing. Don’t believe me? Just ask T. Colin Campbell since he is known to also dine at this special place just 20 minutes outside of Ithaca.

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After finding a seat at this often-crowded weekly event, Lewis leads the room in a moment of quiet reflection and then instructs everyone on the technique of blessing the meal. After the blessing, Lewis ignites into a very animated live rendition of the night’s menu. Loudly and enthusiastically announcing each of the courses and many of the ingredients (although he sometimes forgets one or two). I am not sure if any other restaurant in the…

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Guest Blogger: It’s Got Vegan In It – A Round-Up of Vegan Cooking Shows! (Updated)

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Our newest vegan guest blogger is Melissa from It’s Got Vegan In It. Her post below is an fantastic round up of vegan cooking shows. I wholeheartedly agree with her and I’m glad someone had the smarts to make such a list. Vegan shows are growing in popularity and yay for that. Go vegans!

Melissa went vegan in August of 2011. Through her blog, she hopes to inspire others around her to do the same, as well as educate people on the plight of animals. A long time lover of all things chocolate, Melissa believes delicious vegan chocolate and accessible knowledge about how easy vegan living is is the key to changing the people around her.

Check out Melissa on Twitter and Facebook. Welcome Melissa!

I’m hoping I live to see the day when a vegan cooking show becomes the norm. I know there are vegan cooking…

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Will I Grow a Vagina from Eating Too Much Tofu?

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Q: Will I grow a vagina from eating too much tofu?

A: That is a valid question. Let’s explore. Tofu, derived from soy, is an excellent source of protein in the vegan diet, as well as a very versatile ingredient in so many dishes. From silken to firm, this white block of goodness takes on whatever personality you ask it to and, when cooked to perfection, adds a delicious bite to any recipe.

However, as any meat eater will tell you, there are certain risks associated with eating too much tofu (soy). So much so, that any time I actually tell someone that I eat tofu, they are suddenly nutritionists who warn me against the adverse health consequences of eating tofu/soy. Or, worse yet, they learn about the little known side effect of men eating too much tofu:

Growavaginaitis.

Supposedly, tofu acts like a super-charged estrogen that when men eat too much of it, they start to form breasts and could begin to grow a vagina. Of course, there are risks and side effects associated with everything we eat, so why should tofu be any different and why should they care?

It’s because soy/tofu poses the biggest threat to big meat.

I’ll say that again because it’s actually pretty clever and would make an excellent t-shirt: tofu poses the biggest threat to big meat.

The industry doesn’t want consumers to have access to viable protein sources. Once we all discover new sources of protein (and regular sources of B12), it’s over. The meat, dairy, and egg industries will feel the pinch — more than they already are. Also, soy is so readily available and versatile that it can be used in place of any meat.

As much as omnivores have had it drilled into them that meat isn’t bad for them and you need milk for calcium and eggs for protein, they are also being fed half-truths about soy. Think about it, if there were an alternative food for everything meat (and dairy), the only reason people would continue to eat those foods would be that they hate animals.

Is there a limit to how much soy you should consume? Of course, there is a limit to how much of anything you should consume (even water). Dr. Greger, of NutritionFacts.org, recommends no more than 3-5 servings per day. That’s a lot of tofu. You can listen to his research in this video and lay to rest once and for all that tofu causes growavaginaitis.

In fact, soy has some decidedly incredible health advantages you can’t find in other foods. From Dr. Greger:

” … studies have repeatedly found that women who eat lots of soy appear to have a lower risk of getting breast cancer and a better risk of surviving breast cancer than those who don’t.”

So, grab an organic (non-GMO) brick of tofu and grill it, fry it, bake it, blend it, scramble it, slice it, press it, and enjoy it! Tofu is one of those foods that makes it easy to …

Go vegan.

Want more? The Skeptical Vegan comes out August 2017 from Skyhorse Publishing! Follow this blog for updates and more on the upcoming book release!

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What Meat is Actually Good For: New Data Revealed

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[New Cordell, OK] Earlier this week the National Meat and Fish Oversight Committee (NMFOC) in New Cordell, Oklahoma announced controlled findings on what “meat” is actually good for. While the study, which was partly funded by the Food and Drug Administration and Tyson Foods, was set out to explore the nutritional and dietary advantages of consuming meat, it instead revealed new, unexpected results.

In a simulated farm setting, milking cows, beef cattle, pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens were carefully observed during a two week timeframe to gain insight into their social and grazing habits, as well as their natural actions, when left to roam freely. This, combined with auxiliary scientific data, led to a new conclusion on “what meat is good for.”

“Our team at the NMFOC has solid evidence and will report out our findings in an official dossier later this year,” announced Bradford Cummings, the Director of NMFOC at a recent press conference. “We have concluded, beyond any other known evidence or fact, that for the health and well-being of our subjects, meat is best left on the animal. Uneaten. The structure of the beasts, in relation to their flesh and skin, seems to benefit from not removing the meat from their skeletal bones. The meat, along with muscle and skin, seems to actually assist in keeping the animal in one piece. Which the animals seem to enjoy.”

This statistic goes against the commonly-held belief that meat is intended for human consumption, requiring the slaughter and butchering of each animal and the subsequent packaging and promotion of their flesh.

Cummings later went on to comment that not only do the animals thrive when their meat is left in tact, but they seem to become less afraid of humans and become more sociable and, as he continued, “… are actually quite adorable when you get to know them.”

Go vegan.

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Vegan Cheese? Do You *Even* Know What’s In That!?

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IMG_5700 I think one of the more interesting aspects about being vegan is the reaction you get from your friends who knew you as an omnivore their entire lives. They are very inquisitive about what I eat and, what I really love, are concerned about my health. Aside from the standard “where do you get your protein?” my favorite reaction is …

“You eat that? What’s in it anyway?”

My own mother is guilty of this. If I offer her vegan cheese, for example, she would immediately ask that question. What’s in it anyway? As if the vegan version of food is somehow terrible for you and you should question every ingredient. Where this becomes particularly hilarious to me is that she never once asked me what was in anything I ate when I was an omnivore. Ever.

So now for her, and all the other curious and concerned…

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MeatyVegan Exclusive: Interview with Film Star Lexi Love

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Why shouldn’t a follow-up vegan celebrity interview with Rob Bigwood be none other than multi-award-winning entertainer Lexi Love. Model, actress, and star of countless adult films and music videos; Lexi Love also happens to be vegan.

Lexi was nice enough to answer a few questions about being vegan and offers us an exclusive glimpse into her life and into her refrigerator.

MV: How long have you been vegan and what inspires you to stay vegan?

LL: I’ve been Vegan for 8 years, it’s the way I live. I hope to inspire others to eat healthier through a vegan diet.

MV: I know Riley Reid is also vegan, do you know any other actors in the industry who are vegan?

LL: I don’t know Riley Reid, and I haven’t made films in years, but if she has a twitter I’m going to follow her and add her to my Vegan list.

MV: What is your favorite vegan food and what non-vegan food do you miss the most?

LL: Favorite food is a toss up between kale, Chanterelle mushrooms, and vegan pizza. Most non-vegan foods have been replicated or are able to be replicated … so now there’s really nothing to miss.

MV: What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

LL: Fresh homemade vegetable juices, lots of greens such as mâché rosettes and kale, fresh fruit, gluten-free vegan bread, Daiya cheese, Braggs apple cider vinegar and amino acids, daRosario Organics truffle vegan mayonnaise, Chanterelle mushrooms, and raw cashew butter.

MV: Do they have craft services on your film sets? Do they provide you with vegan options?

LL: When craft services were available on set, they’d always make a special meal for me. Every set I’ve worked on, craft services or not, always kindly accommodated my Veganism.

MV: What “level” vegan are you? Do you still wear leather? Do you sometimes wear leather for your films?

LL: I don’t wear leather jackets, I gave them all away years ago. I still wear leather shoes until more options become available. I read labels on items I purchase to see what they are made of and won’t buy them if they are made from animal skin or other parts. The producers and directors I have worked with have always been willing to work with me on wardrobe and have never tried to force me to wear anything.

MV: Are you a cat person or a dog person?

LL: I have a very cute iguana. Cats and dogs are great but unfortunately agitate my allergies.

MV: Did you see “Blackfish”?

LL: I haven’t watched any of the documentaries. I read a decent amount but don’t watch much of anything.

MV: Who is your celebrity crush? And what celebrity would you want to make dinner for?

LL: Since I don’t watch TV or go to the movies very often, or watch music videos, I don’t know enough about any particular celebrity to have a crush. But, if I was to make dinner for any celebrity I think I’d choose Prince.

MV: Do you ever hashtag #foodporn? Because that’s kind of ironic.

LL: No. I think it could be offensive to people who don’t enjoy porn and I wouldn’t want to push them away from healthy eating with a hashtag.

Bonus question: What’s next for Lexi Love?

The next place you will be seeing me is in Director’s Cut by Adam Rifkin and Penn Jillette. Which I am incredibly excited about :).

PS – Feel free to check out vegankitchen.tv … they are awesome!

Watch for Lexi in the upcoming “Director’s Cut” and follow her on Twitter, “like”her on Facebook, and … of course …

Go vegan.

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MeatyVegan Exclusive: Cowgirls & Collard Greens: an Interview with Kayle Martin

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One of the most rewarding aspects of being vegan and being a vegan blogger is that you quickly become part of an extended family. Vegans from coast-to-coast meet up online and, sometimes in person, to share recipes, thoughts, ambitions, goals, time, and ideas. There is a vegan celebrity underground.

I’m not talking about Woody Harrelson and Joaquin Phoenix, although they can both attend our next potluck, I’m talking about the Vegan Zombie, The Fat Gay Vegan, Happy Herbivore, Guys Go Vegan, Tuxedo CatWill Travel for Vegan Food, Peaches and Greens, Melisser Elliott, and Kayle Martin of Cowgirls and Collard Greens.*

Kayle is a two-time breast cancer survivor, a graduate of the Living Foods Institute and the Founder and Chief Cowgirl of Cowgirls & Collard Greens, a cowgirl themed vegan lifestyle website and blog. Kayle actively shares her cancer story at conferences, on national radio programs and has been featured in the Keep A Breast magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, and most recently was a guest on The Vegan Zombie’s cooking show. In her free time, Kayle juices greens, counsels newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at her local hospital, seeks out new vegan restaurants, and lives a life full of fun! And I was luck enough to grab her for an interview.

MV: Who is your #1 vegan celebrity crush?

KM: Can my vegan celeb crush be female? Those who are close to me know that my all time favorite vegan, is Kris Carr. Kris is a fellow cancer survivor (cowgirl), New York Times bestselling author, the star of her own film, Crazy Sexy Cancer, as well as the author of several books with similar titles. If it weren’t for Kris Carr, it’s not likely I’d be having this interview with you right now. She’s the primary reason that I am vegan. I’ve met her twice briefly, but sadly I’ve had bouts with verbal diarrhea both times. It would be a dream come true to spend some quality time swapping stories and recipes with Kris while hanging out on her farmette in Woodstock, New York. Can someone please make a cowgirl’s dream come true?

MV: If we opened your refrigerator right now, what would we find?

KM: That’s a really good question, and perhaps an embarrassing one too! This may be the interview where I come clean with something … cowgirl doesn’t cook. Can you believe it? That probably sounds pretty strange coming from a vegan, but to be truthful, I am on the go quite a bit. I joke that my nickname should be “Vegan on the Go”. But to answer your question, I do have the basics in the refrigerator, and by that I mean, vegan condiments. Vegenaise anyone?

MV: How long have you been vegan and how long do you plan to stay that way?

KM: I’ve been vegan for nearly six years after being vegetarian for most of my life. I’ve never understood the whole “I used to be vegan” thing. It puzzles me that people can revert back to eating meat, dairy and eggs after knowing (and feeling) the the amazing benefits that a plant-based diet provides. Plus, being vegan means trying to suck less, right? Who wants to suck more, I mean really. This cowgirl is vegan for life. Yeehaw!

MV: You used food to fight cancer. Do you think that others are missing out on a tasty cure?

KM: Of course I do! I became a raw vegan within a few months of my initial cancer diagnosis, and within a matter of days I felt the most amazing I had ever felt in my whole life. Drinking green juice and eating raw fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds really put a pep in my cowgirl step! I truly believe that food can heal and serve as medicine. Plus, being vegan is not only tasty, but it’s so good for you! There’s a great t-shirt that Compassion Co makes that says, “Anything you can eat, I can eat vegan” and that’s exactly how I feel. Being vegan is both easy and delicious!

MV: What are your top two favorite books on being vegan? Favorite movies?

KM: I have to say that Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is one of my favorite “vegan” or health related films. There’s so much inspiration in that documentary. I often tell people who are curious about veganism, health or wellness to watch it. If the grossly overweight truck driver in the movie, can make the change anyone can! As for books, I am sort of obsessed with vegan cookbooks which is really strange considering I don’t cook. I think they are pretty and make nice, colorful additions in my kitchen. My most recent purchases have been Eating Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones and Cookin’ Crunk by fellow country vegan, Bianca Phillips.

MV: Sweden boasts a 10% vegetarian/vegan population, do you think the U.S. will get there?

KM: I do. In the six years I have been vegan, I have seen a tremendous rise in the interest of veganism and plant based diets. You see vegan items on nearly every restaurant you go to nowadays. My hope is that veganism isn’t just a fad or trend, but that it really sticks. The results are really the proof. I have kept 25-30 pounds off on a vegan diet just simply by my food choices alone. Someone quote me please; veganism is the future, and the future is vegan.

MV: Why are Swedes so cool and what is your favorite country to visit for vegan foods?

KM: Swedes are cool, though I can’t say I have ever visited Sweden. I hope to someday. Hands down, my favorite place to travel is Italy. While not super vegan friendly, they like their meat and cheese, I did manage to get by on a 100% raw vegan diet when I traveled there a few years ago. You’d often find me stopping to purchase raw fruits and veggies at small local grocers and at farmer’s markets. Because I am not on a 100% raw food diet anymore, I think traveling in Italy will be much easier the next time around.

MV: What do you hope people take away from your website cowgirlsandcollardgreens.com?

KM: I’d like folks to know that being vegan isn’t hard and that anyone can do it. It’s a matter of setting your mind to make the change, just like any goal in life. Because of a cancer diagnosis, I went vegan overnight, but some people might need to make small steps to change their lifestyle gradually. Perhaps through my story and my blog, people can recognize that I am healthy and feel great even after not one, but two breast cancer diagnoses. In fact, I was never sick while undergoing allopathic cancer treatments, and I believe plants had a lot to do with it. My greatest hope is for people to take their health into their own hands. If I can inspire just one person to live a happier, healthier life, then I have done my job.

MV: Where’d you learn to dance like that?

KM: Ha ha ha! You mean like this?

As a child, when I wasn’t on horseback, you could often find me singing and dancing. I used to tromp around the house making up dance routines to Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. I was even in a “show pop” singing and dancing choir in both junior high and high school. Can you say sequins and cummberbuns?

MV: If I were coming over for dinner tonight, what would you make me?

KM: See answer to question #2. Ha ha! You might be out of luck if you come to my house for dinner, especially unexpectedly. Knowing me, I’d probably grab some fresh vegan tamales from my local co-op. I’d steam them, and top them with salsa, guacamole and some vegan sour cream. If you came for breakfast, however, I’d make you The Green Cowgirl, my delicious cancer-fighting green juice. Check it out here. Either way, just give me a heads up before you head over; I’d like to at least pretend to be prepared!

I will, Kayle!

You can find out more information about Kayle by visiting her website: www.cowgirlsandcollardgreens.com, “liking” her on Facebook, or following her on Twitter.

Go vegan.

* There are many, many, many more vegan bloggers, writers, chefs, and celebrities I’ve become close with. Too many to list here.

Kimchi, Our Vegan Dog

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Kimchi, our poodle mix recently got her hair cut in time for a recent 80° day. The following day it snowed and was 20° and she needed a sweater. Welcome to an Ithaca spring.

When we went vegan we decided we would do what we could to have our companion animal vegan as well. In addition to loving her vegan dry dog food, she loves kale, bananas, apples, and gluten-free waffles. Pretty much everything every vegan eats.

Dogs are natural omnivores and can thrive on a plant-based diet just as easily as humans. All the required nutrition she needs can be found in plants and she has boundless energy can can jump at least four feet straight up in the air.

Kimchi was adopted three years ago from the Tompkins County SPCA, one of the nation’s premier no-kill shelters. When I started learning more about SPCA and no-kill facilities, it also happened to be the time that Nathan Winograd was the Director. He has since moved to California and continues to be a prominent voice in animal rights and celebrated author.

“Millions of healthy animals are [killed] in shelters every year. Nathan Winograd wants that reduced to zero … Winograd is helping to save thousands, even millions.” – Reader’s Digest

Kimchi would have loved Nathan (and she loves, Jim, the current director who helped place her in our home). In addition to barking whenever someone walks into a shared hallway, Kimchi loves to frolic across all of Cornell University and is friends with all the other dogs on West Campus. Duncan, Pepper, Molly, and others love to spend time with Kimchi and are constantly asking her where she gets her protein.

She ignores them.

Go vegan.

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Guest Contributor: Top Vegan Athletes Changing the Face of the Vegan Lifestyle

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Article contributed by reader Melissa Grant

By virtue of the extensive study and discovery of vegetarian and vegan diets and their various nutritional attributes, more and more people, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, are turning to these diets as a healthy alternative as well as for ethical animal welfare reasons. While for some, the vegan diet is instrumental in a particular and religious social setting, for others it is very much an individual choice, and while gaining popular ground in North America and Western Europe, it still faces numerous challenges and to some degree stigmatisation. Is cutting out red meat and especially fish, renowned for its wealth of nutrients and attributed to the good health of so many societies really a wise choice? Yet asking such a question, while valid in one sense seems redundant in another, and not just because studies have debated for and against the potentially harmful consequences of eating red meat.

Not only have several cultures survived on such diets for thousands of years, but some of the world’s top performing individuals who require an above average fitness level have turned to a vegan diet as an instrumental part of their regime. They have grown up in Western society and their genetic code is not, one may argue, optimised to diets which are commonly practiced elsewhere, yet for some vegan athletes, it is part of their key to success, proving that a vegan diet, when practiced effectively and conscientiously, not only leads to a good quality of life but gives the human body the sustenance it needs to be a high performer.

Of course, this means that in several areas, some additional compensation has to be done where the required intake of protein, iron, and vitamin B12 can be challenging to come by outside of meat. But as several athletes are able to attest, it definitely isn’t impossible.

Olympian Heroes

Due an impressive performance in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain has seen an immense renewed interest in professional and amateur sport as more and more people are inspired to get out and get active, in part thanks to the athletes who helmed the nation’s impressive 65-medal tally. The first to begin this tally was silver-medallist Lizzie Armistead, a long-time vegetarian (since the age of 10, basing her choice on not eating animals) who championed a demanding 87-mile road cycling race. Though Lizzie is not entirely vegan, her example suffices because she gains the majority of her nutrients from the very stuff which grows out of the soil, and is yet another athlete from a long-line of Olympians to make this decision. Australian swimmer Murray Rose, an avid vegan aptly nicknamed “Seaweed Streak” won four golds in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, and American sprinter Carl Lewis improved his already substantial tally (four gold in 1984) with his 1991 victory at the 100m World Championships which he hailed as “his greatest race”, completed after turning vegan.

Muesli Equates to Muscle?

Yet veganism is perhaps an unsurprising lifestyle for Olympians participating in endurance sports, more open-minded in the sense that athletes, while muscular, do not carry around a lot of brawn. What of the bulkier types, participating in sports such as American football and wrestling? Meet Jim Morris, winner of the 1967 “Most Muscular Award” in New York.[i] While Jim did eat meat during this time, he made the decision years later to improve his health by changing diet. “It was only after I retired from competition in 1985 that I started considering my health and eliminated what I had over the years identified as the cause of my digestive, respiratory and joint problems, namely all animal sources,(beef, fowl, dairy, pork and fish). I continued having fish on rare occasions as my “treat”.” Jim continues to body-build, and has been named as PETA’s “most senior pin-up” advocating not only the rights of animals but several studies into the nutritional values of vegan diets, proving that meat isn’t necessarily instrumental in physical well-being.

Another popular athletic legend is the recently-retired NFL football player Tony Gonzalez, former tight end for the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs. Gonzalez is esteemed for his impressive record for most single season receptions and most touchdowns by a tight end, and most career receptions and reception yards by a tight end. Though Tony’s diet would eventually revert back to eating chicken and fish, he owes much of his career-fitness to trying alternative diets.

Strongman Patrick Baboumian, marathon champion Brendan Brazier and fighter Mac Danzig are also high-performing athletes who have switched to veganism, and credit much of their success to the diet. Attributing nutrition not only to fuelling training but aiding in recovery, it turns out that plant-based meals are the way forward and are substantial enough to allow the body to build up a healthy mass, even reporting that after switching to these diets, they felt better overall. This goes against the grain of popular public belief that such diets are unsustainable for an athlete, but recent studies in this field are providing more and evidence that this isn’t necessarily the case, and having real-life examples can only help as well.

Changing Perspectives

In 2012, Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times “Well” blog consulted with experts David C. Nieman, a professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University, D. Enette Larson-Meyer, an associate professor of human nutrition at the University of Wyoming, and Nancy Clark; all three are very active individuals, participating in marathons and other competitive sports. All three concluded that yes, vegan and vegetarian diets are possible, using the example of vegan distance runner Scott Jurek as a case in point. Most specifically, they addressed what has been a long-time question for athletes regarding getting enough intake of vitamin B12 which is plentiful in red meat, stating that now, many cereals and snacks are supplemented with the crucial mineral.[ii]

As more and more people are learning about the benefits of vegan diets and discovering that not only can they enjoy a greater quality of life, but also achieve some of their most ambitious goals with the aid of high-profile public figures who have embraced the lifestyle and found their own lives more fulfilling because of it, veganism is becoming an accessible and healthy option for aspiring athletes and will continue to do so for years to come.

[i] Greatveganathletes.com “Jim Morris, vegan body builder.” Accessed 3 April, 2014.

http://www.greatveganathletes.com/vegan_athlete_jim-morris-vegan-bodybuilder

[ii] Well.blogs.nytimes.com “Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet?” Accessed 3 April, 2014.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/can-athletes-perform-well-on-a-vegan-diet/

Photo of Jim Morris © PETA. PETA.org

MeatyVegan Exclusive: Interview with Rob Bigwood from AMC’s “Game Of Arms”

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For the first in my interview series I wanted to chat with someone who I thought would fit the MeatyVegan image and what’s meatier than a professional vegan arm wrestler?

Rob Bigwood currently stars in AMC’s new reality series “Game of Arms” and he took the time this week for an exclusive interview with MeatyVegan. What I really loved about this interview is that, while I knew Rob was vegan, I didn’t know he was an ethical vegan and his answers to so many of these interview questions are right in line with my own beliefs.

I used to be a pretty impressive arm wrestler in my youth but when you see the guns on Rob you really can get a sense of true power and muscle. Proving, once and for all, that plant-power is true power and anyone who wants to argue this point, is welcome to go arm-to-arm against Rob Bigwood.

MV: Rob, you’re a professional arm wrestler and a vegan, doesn’t this mean you’ll never beat a meat eater? Don’t you need meat to be strong?

RB: I beat meat eaters all of the time! There are much healthier and cruelty free sources of protein and eating butchered animals limbs isn’t my thing.

MV: Most vegans are asked “where do you get your protein?” I’d like to ask, where do you get your haircut?

RB: I like this question a lot! I’ve been going to place in downtown Manhattan right off of Broadway for the past two years, but I also have a soft spot for Astor Place Barber.

MV: What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

RB: Fresh Direct was just delivered this morning so this could take a while. Organic broccoli, almond milk, almond and peanut butter, coconut oil, Earth Balance, beans, berries, wheat bread, avocado, spinach, there is too much to list … should I keep going?

MV: Has your role on AMC’s new show “Game of Arms” led to other acting offers? Will we see you in the next Julia Roberts’ romantic comedy?

RB: Ha! I’m a terrible actor and feel extremely awkward in front of the camera. But I wouldn’t mind a scene with Scarlett Johansson, just saying …

MV: How do you train to arm wrestle and is the arm you don’t use to compete with basically weak like an overcooked green bean?

RB: The best way to train is to actually arm wrestle. It hits all of the weird angles and positions that are impossible to duplicate at the gym. I compete with both arms, though I was warned not to after the surgery on my right elbow. My right hand, forearm, and bicep are stronger at the gym then the left but it’s the exact opposite on the arm wrestling table.

MV: What inspired you to become vegan?

RB: Growing up we are conditioned to ignore where our food comes from with clever advertising. I never connected that the hotdog or cheeseburger that I was eating was once an innocent animal that had its life viciously robbed. It was somebody’s mother, father, brother or sister. All animals have the same feelings and share the same fears.

MV: What inspires you to stay vegan?

RB: Because I know in my heart that it is the right thing to do despite what others think or say. Animals need a voice and things (factory farming) need to seriously change.

MV: If you could have one non-vegan food converted to vegan food and taste exactly the same, what would it be?

RB: I haven’t found an amazing vegan Reuben yet. Please tell me where I can find one!

MV: If you weren’t arm wrestling, what would you like to be doing?

RB: I’m actually an Interactive Art Director. I design mobile apps, websites, and anything else interactive. We just launched the new Comedy Central app for Android and Apple devices and it’s a pretty awesome!  I’ve also worked on some other huge brands including Air National Guard, Citi, Emirates, MSG and Pepsi to name a few.

MV: What would you say to the younger readers who want to get stronger about being “powered by plants”?

RB: Do a little research on balancing the right nutrient dense proteins and carbohydrates but most importantly listen to your body. Vegan food can taste amazing and is the complete opposite of boring. There is absolutely no need to contribute in taking the lives of millions of innocent animals each year. Forks Over Knives and Peta’s Vegetarian Starter Kit are a few good places to start.

I couldn’t agree more.

Watch Rob Bigwood prove that plant-power can dominate on AMC’s “Game of Arms.” Upon airing, the premiere of “Game of Arms” was watched by 1 million viewers, with 626,000 of those viewers among adults 18-49. It is AMC’s highest-rated reality series premiere of all time. Check your local listings.

Go vegan.

If You Stop Selling Cigarettes in Drugstores, Shouldn’t You Stop Selling Meat?

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Marlboro Recently the Tobacco-free campaign where I live has been plastering the buses and the radio with the “duh” messaging about selling cigarettes in drugstores. Why would drugstores still sell cigarettes when they also sell the drugs and medications to both help quit as well as deal with the nasty side effects and diseases of smoking?

Why does my gym give away free pizza and bagels?

They have a captive consumer that completes the “circle of death.” Drug companies (and doctors) rely on sick people to survive. Healthy people contribute nothing to the global economy so let’s keep Americans ill.

CVS drugstores this year made the very smart decision, in spite of the fact they will lose billions in revenue, to stop selling cigarettes. The pressure from the public and the obvious disconnect in this messaging will eventually force other drugstores to follow suit and stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products…

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