In which I am still weird, queer, and vegan, but now in Virginia

TJ, where have you been? Our lives are empty and meaningless without you! WHY, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US?

I hear your cries, dear readers, and for that reason I have returned. You may rest easy now that your source of incoherent rambles about veganism, writing, and queer culture is back, and you no longer need cry into your pillow at 3 AM, staring up at the moon and wondering if I, too, am staring up at that very same moon.

As you can see, the time away has not done much to improve my general state of weirdness. Continue reading

Actual recipe! Chocolate-Date Pie.

Greetings! I’ve been half-awake for most of the morning, but I’ve still managed to teach some lessons, correct some homework, and do some cooking. As the cooking was actually successful, I thought I would include a recipe here, more so because the creation I speak of actually did not come from someone else’s recipe, and instead came from the depths of my fevered, chocolate-craving mind:

CHOCOLATE DATE PIE OF AWESOMENESS

Ingredients:
-Medjool dates (4 or 5 = good)
-Cocoa powder (I just dumped some in, but uh, a tablespoon or so?)
-Vanilla extract, a few drops (optional but delicious)
-Store-bought mini (vegan) pie crust, because ain’t nobody got time for that
-1 can of unsweetened “classic” coconut milk
-Sweetener of some kind (agave, maple syrup, whatevs)

1. Put dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Turn it on! Process! Hooray. (You can also add a little almond milk for a creamier texture.)
2. Refrigerate can of coconut milk (preferably overnight – should this be the first step? :P), then strain and scoop out the creamy chunk at the bottom. Blend with sweetener until it tastes…ya know. Sweet.
3. Smush the date chocolate stuff into the pie crust, top with coconut whipped cream (and a sprinkle of almonds or pecans, if you like that sort of thing), and then dig in.

Delicious stuff, totally vegan, and somewhat less guilt-inducing than a traditional chocolate pie.

Vegan Stuff!

Greetings, friends. I’m off to the shower in a moment, but I thought I’d share the fact that I’ve compiled a page of links and resources for anyone interested in vegan stuff or plant-based eating. It is, creatively, entitled, “Vegan Stuff,” and you can find it either in the top site menu or right here:

VEGAN STUFF <–Here.

Check it out, peruse, consider, and feel free to leave comments, questions, or your own recommendations in the comment space.

And for now, adieu~!

 

On being “not one of those” vegans

When I decided to start eating vegan, it was with the solemn promise to myself that I would not become an angry, evangelizing vegan. I wouldn’t be “one of THOSE” vegans, I told myself. I would be a peaceful, breezy, “live and let live” kind of vegan, and all would be sparkly and good.

Yeah, unfortunately, that’s turning out to be a bit tougher than I’d first anticipated. :P

Continue reading

VEGAN VLOG 27: Cravings, exercise, and delicious junky junk food

Today, a discussion of my struggles to eat healthily and get enough exercise, plus a tragic tale of egg in my rice.

Additionally, my microphone has betrayed me yet again, so the sound isn’t as crisp and clear as last time. Alas. Someday I’ll sort this stuff out, rly.

VEGAN VLOG 26: Darla + Coffee = Probably Bad, and “Raw, Vegan, Not Gross”

In which I further discuss my attempts at raw vegan eating (including some frozen berry-inspired trauma), Darla attempts to attract my attention by attacking various nearby objects, and I am a good Samaritan tragically trapped in my home for (probably) the rest of the day.

Also, headset = actually functioning, so you may be able to hear me in this video. Hooray!

VEGAN VLOG 25: In which Chicago is cold and I try some raw vegan (non-)cookin’.

So, news flash: Chicago is cold! Also, I’ve been experimenting with raw vegan dishes in an attempt to avoid post-meal regret and general suffering. Hurrah! Also, I’m not sure the camera app on my computer actually uses the headset microphone, as the sound quality on this video is less awesome than I’d expected. Sadface, etc.

In which I walk around the couch a lot and try to eat healthier (also, Chinese!)

So, as it turns out, working from home when it’s freezing cold outside is pretty nice. :D

Unfortunately, this pleasant new development also results in me not getting much in the way of exercise, so I’ve had to improvise. In my previous job, I was both incredibly stressed and receiving a crapton of exercise (lifting children, chasing children, chasing and lifting children at the same time, etc.), and this led me to achieve a quite low weight and the general wan look of someone dying of the plague. While I am pleased to no longer have the plague, it would be nice to achieve some sort of middle ground here, hence my **NEW HEALTH RESOLUTION** (TM).

Yes, friends, every day after my morning lessons, I have been…

WALKING AROUND THE COUCH.

While this may not sound like a revolutionary health resolution, given the shoebox-like size of my apartment and the eyelash-freezing temps outside, it’s turned out to be quite a good method of exercise. I downloaded a step counter app on my phone, and my general routine is to turn on a vegan documentary or health talk on YouTube and then walk around my apartment at varying speeds while the cats race around in front of me, confused but also at least getting their own exercise in the process.

It’s been going pretty well, and I managed to hit 10,000 steps both yesterday and the day before. I’ve also, as a result of all these documentaries, been reassessing the quality of the food I eat, and have been transitioning away from Junk Food Vegan to Hopefully A Bit Healthier Vegan. My diet wasn’t terrible to begin with, but I frequently overuse salt, oil, and sugar, and…yeahhh, I should probably not do that.

Cutting out/reducing sugar has been the hardest, so I’ve been making a lot of juices in my blender – water + fruit, essentially (this is what juice is, for those who were blissfully unaware of the process) – and experimenting with the use of dates to sweeten things, a practice made possible by the fact that Aldi now carries dates. :D

I’ve also been studying the absolute beginner basics of Chinese, because I’m teaching Chinese kids and it would be nice to have some vague sense of what they’re muttering to themselves during our lessons. Is it, “Teacher, you are the best ever and I love you dearly?” Further studies will reveal the truth, I assume.

I’m actually finding that Chinese isn’t as impossible as I initially thought, primarily because I’m starting out by learning the basic-basics: the four (technically five) tones, the general grammatical structure (which is quite similar to English, funnily enough), and the basic pronunciation rules. I still know barely anything at all, but what I am learning is actually making sense, and that’s something I didn’t expect.

So, yes. My free time these days is occupied by cooking, eating, watching documentaries, learning Chinese, and walking around my couch. Just your typical day in the life of a stay-at-home cat parent and ESL teacher. And, of course, I’ve allowed for a great deal of Cat Snuggle Time, because what is life without snuggles? Tis no life at all.