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Healthy Tuesday: Animals Are My Friends, and I Don’t Eat My Friends

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I have been vegetarian since I was really young.   I started off omitting red meat, then slowly worked each type of meat out of my diet.  It was hard when I was younger.  My mom didn’t really like to cook in general, and I was really too young to cook for myself so I ate a lot of side dishes.  I wouldn’t totally call myself a carb-loading vegetarian, but it wasn’t a perfect diet either.  No one else in my family is vegetarian, in fact they all think I am a little crazy but they have embraced it now.

I honestly am not totally sure how I decided that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore.  I was never much of a fan of fish, and I would never eat veal.  In fact I still remember (sorry for throwing you under the bus mom) one night my mom made veal parmesan for dinner and actually took the time to mold my piece of veal into the shape of a chicken breast and tried to trick me into eating it, but I figured out as soon as I cut it open.  I suppose that is something I wouldn’t have done, but I get where she was coming from.  She was tired of chicken all the time and needed something new.  I mean really I am sure all of you parents out there have fibbed to your kid at one point, or realized that you as a child were tricked by your parents.

How about the time that my dad told me that an artichoke was a fish and I believed it and never tried it until I was in my 20’s.  I didn’t know he was joking, and he forgot he made the joke.  When I was a kid it made sense since he was eating the heart, I honestly thought it was like some weird living sea plant looking animal.  Sounds crazy now, but I didn’t even find out I could eat it until I was 22 at T.G.I Fridays when my friend wanted to order spinach artichoke dip and I told her I couldn’t eat it because I didn’t eat fish.  I can still see the look on her face when she heard me say that.  All those years I was missing out on just how amazing artichokes are.

anyway…..

Now that I am 31, I have a lot more control over my diet, and I am completely settled in my vegetarian lifestyle, I also know what things are vegetables and what things are meat (lol).  I can tell you now exactly why I eat plant-based and it is for a ton of reasons.  Firstly it is the most obvious reason, animal rights.  By now I am sure everyone is familiar with the horrors of factory farming and I really shouldn’t have to preach about it.  At this point you either care or you don’t, but I hope eventually everyone starts to care.  The animals that are suffering just so people can have a cheap fast food hamburger are astounding and heartbreaking.

In this month’s Healthy Tuesday articles I am going to break down the other two less obvious reasons that I am vegetarian into two parts.  This week I am going to cover the environmental reasons, next week I will be back with a his plate/her plate recipe, then on the 16th part two:  the health reasons of being a vegetarian and lastly I will finish off every month with a new smoothie or juice recipe.

The biggest reason for having a plant based diet is for the environment.  The meat industry has a huge impact on the environment that I choose to not be a part of, here is why:

 

Six  Environmental Reasons to Chose a Plant-Based Diet

  1. Our waterways are being polluted:  The waste, antibiotics, and pesticides from factory farms are running into our water supply.  A typical pig farm produces the same amount of waste that 50,000 humans do, but they don’t have the same sewer system to take care of it.

  2. Our Forests are being cut down at an alarming rate:  Since 1967 our forests have been destroyed at an estimated 1 acre every 5 seconds for cattle in order to keep a cheap supply of beef for our fast food restaurants.  At this rate some of our rainforests could be gone in as little as 30 years.

  3. We are using our land inefficiently: The amount of land needed to feed one person on a meat-based diet could feed 20 vegetarians.

  4. We are wasting our resources:  It requires 16 pounds of grains and 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.  Growing that amount of grain for human consumption could feed 16 people and only uses 250 gallons of water.

  5. We are wasting our energy:  It takes more than 10 times the fossil fuels to produce one calorie of animal protein versus the same amount of plant protein.

  6. We are destroying our oceans:  Commercial fishing nets catching everything in its path which destroys coral reefs, home to billions of different aquatic animals.

There are so many other environmental reasons for adopting a plant based diet, if these facts have sparked your interest start googling and you will see so many more.  Even changing one of your meat-based meals to a vegetarian meal can help make a difference! 

Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Tuesday article or recipe!

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Get Fit With My Favorite Music! July Playlist!

Last weekend I took an amazing blogging workshop called The Blogcademy.  On top of learning an insane amount of useful blogging information the three “head mistresses” Gala, Kat, and Shauna read through your blog and give you feedback and tips.  One of the biggest things they suggested for me was to have some more consistency to my posting and to also come up with regular features.  I have been brainstorming like crazy and have some good ideas in the works but one of the first features that I want to roll out is a monthly playlist.  I mean music is one of the things that gets me through a workout when I am at the gym alone, and it can totally set the tone of your whole workout.

You might think, but Kristin we have nothing in common, what makes you think I will like your music. You never know, you might love it and you might hate it, but I put a little bit of everything on there from Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, to Marilyn Manson and a few things in between or louder.  Give it a chance, you might like it, and some of the louder more intense songs might help you beat your squat PR.

My Fit Decision Workout mix: July 2013 from KristinJackson on 8tracks Radio.

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His Plate/ Her Plate #2 -Buffalo Chicken/ Buffalo Cauliflower

Today was a pretty successful dinner.  I decided on making a better version of buffalo wings.  It might not have been the healthiest of all dinners, but compared to the actual version it was pretty healthy.  Nothing was fried and my “wing” was actually cauliflower and Jake’s was bone-less skin-less chicken breast tenders.  We baked both instead of frying and even though we did batter them, it was a very light batter and I used  watered down cashew milk (home made) as the liquid.  I based my recipe of the cauliflower off a P.E.T.A recipe but I modified the batter a bit, I used a bit more water so that it didn’t coat too thick on the cauliflower, and I also added hot sauce hehe.

batter

The batter and my homemade cashew milk

cauliflower4

lightly battered and ready for the oven

all crispy

all crispy

Kale sautéed with garlic and olive oil

Kale sautéed with garlic and olive oil

yum

yum

cauliflower2For Jake, I didn’t really do a step by step, his wasn’t as pretty.  I mean who wants to look at raw slimy chicken?  No one.  We tried to put his chicken in my batter before we baked his and I wouldn’t totally say that it was a fail, but it wasn’t perfect either.  I think if we do this again we are just going to season the chicken with salt and pepper and bake with without the batter.

chicken1I can’t get Jake to eat kale so in order to get a green on his plate I had to make him peas, one day I will get him to appreciate his green vegetables more hehe.

Jake also asked for a dessert, which he doesn’t do too often.  I could not think of anything so I started looking up raw recipes.  That turned into just looking up “no-bake” which landed me to this recipe.  I am not good at listening to directions so I changed this a lot.  I used less rice crispies, less cherries, and added coconut shreds.  I also omitted the white chocolate and vanilla, used less chocolate, and added a bunch of peanut butter.  Does it still count as that recipe lol?

ricecrispymix1

ricecrispy2Now you might notice that that recipe made little cookie like balls, well I guess since I changed so much up mine wouldn’t stick together like that, so I went for the next best thing, a heart shaped bowl.  I pressed it in the bowl and put it in the fridge and out came a huge heart rice crispy treat!

who couldn't love that?

who couldn’t love that?

a perfect dessert to eat while we watch the Walking Dead

a perfect dessert to eat while we watch the Walking Dead

I’d say it was a pretty awesome dinner.   I am now obsessed with the cauliflower idea, and now I am going to use it for other things, like maybe have a barbecue “chicken” night!

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Revisiting my supplements

Lately I have been trying to be better about taking my pre and post work out energizers and I have been really working on taking in more protein.  I still have all my big jugs of Vega products so I have commited myself to taking them more consistantly.

I started back on the pre-workout energizer, I am sure if you have read my blog you know my first experience with it, taking the full scoop and having way too much energy and not being able to calm down from it (thanks to the coconut seed oil lol) Well now I only do half a scoop which is perfect.  I really do notice a difference in my endurance when I am running on the treadmill.  I am still trying to work my way up to running three miles straight through.  Right now I walk the first .25 mile on high incline, run 2- 2.25 miles, walk another .25 and then run the rest.  Gets me to 3 miles in about 36 to 37 minutes with.  I really feel like the energizer helps me, on days that I take it I can pretty much always get that extra .25 or more out of me and days that I don’t I can usually only do 2 miles.  But I am getting there.

Since I am a strict vegetarian I am still struggling to get anywhere near the amount of protein that myfitnesspal suggests.  So I finally decided to suck it up and started drinking a protein shake no matter if I hated it or not.  I am not going to say it is my favorite thing but I have figured out how to modify it to make it dealable.  Really its not that bad I am just a baby.  I have the Vega Performance Protein in Chocolate, I mix it with Vanilla unsweeted almond milk, and I have to admit I add a little bit of agave nectar in there to make it a little sweeter.  For my liking the easiest way to get something down that I don’t like is by making it sweet lol.

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grrr. my scale didn’t budge this week.

I’m not going to lie, I am kind of bummed that I haven’t lost a pound this whole week but I guess I slacked a little bit.  A Sunday cheat day that was way too big of a cheat… and yesterday I had a photoshoot super early and when I got home I fell asleep on the couch in my workout clothes before I made it to the gym.  woops.  I really had all intention of going, I mean I got in my outfit, I just made the mistake of laying down for a moment and next thing i knew it was 5 hours later.  

So this morning I woke up early and went to the gym for a little over an hour.  I went back to the Vega Pre-workout energizer (still at a half of a dose) and that definetly helped me get back into the swing of things and hopefully since I took it so early it should wear off by the time I get home from work hehe.

I have also been coming home from the gym and doing at least 20 minutes of sit ups, push ups, and some weight stuff.  The gym is getting harder to get equipment which is getting frustrating but I guess this nice weather is making people realize that summer is on its way and want to work out.  When I got there this morning every single elliptical, treadmill, and bike were taken and I had to wait a good 15 minutes to get on something.  

I definetly need some new vegetarian soy-free recipies. I spent all last night looking for some new ones.  My staple meal latley has been quinoa, fingerling sweet potatos, broccoli or kale and a field roast sausage for some protein and I am getting kind of tired of it and I know Jake is too haha.  

Image

yum teeny sweet potato.

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