Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My first vegetarian Thanksgiving

It was a nice holiday spent with great friends who made special effort to accomodate my veggie needs. Just to be on the safe side, I brought a few things myself: Whole Foods Portobello Mushroom Gravy and several side dishes (Vegan Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes with Apricots, and Vegan Stuffing). I was so glad I took the trouble to make my own stuffing because our host had only what she made in the bird. I learned some valuable lessons along the way:
  • Only use recipes from trusted sources. I selected 2 excellent ones that worked beautifully from Jill at Persistent Vegetarian State, but I still wanted and searched for the Green Bean Casserole and found many, most complicated. One recipe sounded great, substituting the Campbell's mushroom soup with Creamy Portobello mushroom soup, but the amount it called for had to be really wrong, 32 ounces. My guess is it should have been the small box, not the quart. I followed directions, and thank goodness my husband found a way for us to remove a lot of the extra liquid, which by the way became a tasty gravy. Leading to the next tip:
  • Be prepared to be creative and innovative. My chosen stuffing recipe called for challah bread made into cubes and toasted. I found ready-made bread cubes at Whole Foods. Problem: after I assembled everything, I found that 2 bags was one bag too many, leading to my having to add twice the vegetable broth, plus some additional water. In the end it was delightful, and having a lot more than I needed, I was able to add some Earth Balance margarine to the surplus and make it into balls, then bake them in muffin tins. Yummy!

Last night we met friends for dinner out and I learned that K has virtually given up fish and is now vegetarian, too. They're having a Tofurky tonight, and I can't wait to hear how it turns out. Lucky girl, her man will eat stuffed peppers made with soy crumbles and Tofurky. Maybe in future days mine will, too. But until then, we peacefully coexist and both love animals. To each his own time and place for change.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Still Groovin' the Veggie Way

Wow, three months since my last post! Well, it's been pretty busy. First, we got very involved in the 2008 Presidential Election, working to elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden and all the good men and women down ticket. How cool that we succeeded! Yes we did!

Here's a nice YouTube from the campaign:

After enjoying that, let me tell you that we are trying to singlehandedly hold up the economy! Mr. Maven just got his very own 2009 Toyota Prius, a back sexy one. Gone is the fairly big SUV, and all that gas consumption. The Prius we already have (mine, a 2007 in beautiful blue) gets about 48 mpg and even driving between New York and PA weekly, we only use about 6.5 gals.

Now, it's Saturday and we're tired, but it's been a good week. Last Sunday Nature Maven presented a professional workshop in Chicago, and yesterday did it again in New York. Ahhhh. Rest and recuperation in the country!

And, yes, I'm still meat-free for these past 5 months. I've gained about 7 pounds overall with the return to carbs, but I'm okay with it at this point. Eventually I'll get back where I need to be, or maybe I'm already there.