Hello there! I am sincerely sorry for the lack of posts on this blog! I have missed blogging so much.
What’s new? I am happy to say that I have a job working as a relationship specialist for Hampton Creek Foods!
Hampton Creek is all about connecting people with healthier choices that are far kinder to the planet and the animals. This is something I care about deeply! It’s part of who I am. I have decided I am putting grad school on hold, because I love being on Hampton Creek’s team so much. 🙂 If you haven’t tried their AMAZING cholesterol-free mayo yet, here’s how you can find it! We beat Hellmann’s in a blind taste test–just try it! 😉
Sustainable + Affordable + Delicious. Just the best!
This company is changing the world. I see the changes every day while on the job, and I’m incredibly grateful that I can be a part of it. Working for Hampton Creek is an opportunity for me to use my passion for something bigger than myself. My heart sings when I work for them. That’s beautiful to me. I truly love going to work!
For personal reasons, I haven’t been feeling like myself for a few months. When I wasn’t working, I was feeling uncharacteristically uninspired and unmotivated in pursing my hobbies, like my beloved blog. I had been struggling to find smiling myself again, but I’ve been doing so much better and taking care of myself. When I focus on helping others, I feel like I am doing something right.
Feeling down is normal, and in life there is no pause button. But sometimes you need a little break for yourself. And sometimes you may need a little pick-me-up. Refresh yourself!
I hope you are all doing well. Whether you’re feeling down or need something to refresh yourself after a long day, this ginger tea will serve as a burst of bright, sweet and spicy sunshine that will warm and soothe your insides.
Refreshing Ginger Tisane (Tea)
(makes one steamy cup of comfort)
Total time: 10 minutes or less
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 heaping teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (try to get organic if you can)
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or to your taste)
- a dash of fresh lemon juice (to your taste)
- Pour about 1 cup of boiling water into a glass mug, or if you’re like my mom, use a small rice bowl. ^.^
- Add the grated ginger to the hot water and let it steep for 2-5 minutes.
- Stir in the maple syrup and squeeze some lemon juice into the tea.
- Enjoy while it’s still warm.
Hope you enjoy, and please let me know how it goes if you try it!
I will post some recipes soon in a week or so, but now I’m off to a work trip in Colorado! So exciting! I’ll try to post all my adventures on Instagram.
Warm wishes–I hope you are taking care of yourself in the best way possible. Do some meditation, go for a run, or make yourself a cup of tea. You deserve it!
Waking up early to make a healthy breakfast is such a chore. Thankfully, Pinterest has led me to the discovery of an easy breakfast solution for people on the go: overnight oats!
This breakfast be prepared in just a few minutes the night before, with no cooking required. It’s perfect for students and busy folks. Overnight oats are usually eaten cold, but these days, I like a warm breakfast, so I will be heating mine up in the morning.
This is like hot chocolate in oatmeal form–something I know I can wake up to!
Overnight Hot Chocolate Oats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Wait time: 3 hours +
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk!)
- up to 1.5 T cocoa powder (you can adjust according to your preference)
- 1 T chia seeds (optional)
- 2 t maple syrup (or to your taste; you can taste and add more in the morning if you want)
- a few semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- a dash of cinnamon
- Mix everything together in a bowl or a mug, cover and let it sit in the fridge overnight while you sleep, or at least three hours (lookin’ at you, night owls!).
- In the morning, stumble to the fridge, take out your oats, and warm them up before devouring. I added some pecans to mine and it was awesome.
I like my oatmeal a little thick, but if you find it’s too thick, feel free to add another splash or two of almond milk. This recipe is super adaptable, so if something is not to your taste, just adjust!
If chocolate isn’t your first choice for breakfast, then
A. I doubt your sanity, and
B. Check out these recipes on Buzzfeed for more flavor variations!
What are your favorite easy breakfast solutions? Please share with me in the comments below!
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Last week, on January 23rd, ‘Speciesism: The Movie’ made its Texas premiere at The Magnolia theater in Dallas. The documentary was written, directed and produced by Mark Devries, who was present at the screening.
Walking into the film, I expected an exposé about the way humans treat nonhuman animals, along with a philosophical discussion. I wasn’t wrong, but I also wasn’t expecting much humor. While I had heard that the movie had some humorous moments, I was surprised to find myself (and other attendees) truly laughing out loud several times. Devries himself narrates the documentary, managing to articulate and raise important questions about complex and heavy issues without boring the audience. He made us laugh, without belittling the issues. For those wondering, animal abuse footage was kept to a minimum.
Devries, who was not vegan when he made the documentary, begins by asking questions. These questions beget more questions, fueling a journey of discovery that includes investigations, expert insights, and conversations with everyday citizens. The film ends up challenging an extremely under-recognized form of oppression ingrained in our society (and the implications, as such)–that is, the conventional, anthropocentric notion that animals hold no value beyond human use.
I appreciated Devries’ rational approach and inquisitive nature, which encouraged viewers to think for themselves. Also, I really would have liked to see more appearances from women and vegans of color and their perspectives on speciesism and other forms of oppression. However, as a conversation starter, ‘Speciesism: The Movie’ definitely has my recommendation. I would love to see a sequel exploring the intersectionality of the issues more in depth.
A philosophical discourse in itself, this is an approachable and stimulating film that serves as a compelling start to a worthwhile conversation we ought to be having about how we treat nonhuman animals, and what that says about us. I gave the movie a standing ovation, as did the other attendees who filled up the whole theater. Regardless of whether or not you are vegan, this is a must-see for anyone interested in animals, philosophy, the environment, human health, systems of oppression, posthumanist theory, or bio-politics.
For those who have seen the film…
If you’re interested in the film’s topics, the movie’s site has some post-viewing recommendations. Also, here are some of my personal recommendations about related topics (for watching and reading):
- to watch // Thoughts From an Asian American Vegan / Forks Over Knives / Earthlings (graphic) / Sharkwater / Blackfish / Racist + Speciesist Vegans?!
- to read // The Animals Reader / The World Peace Diet / Eating Animals / The Sexual Politics of Meat / Veganism and Mi’kmaq Legends: Feminist Natives Do Eat Tofu / Vegans Against PETA blog (I love this blog 110%)
- on my to-do list // Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak / The Milk Documentary / Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory / Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self
Please let me know your thoughts if you have read or watched any of the above, and if you have recommendations.
Also, please see the related articles below for more material relevant to these issues! There’s so much to discuss and read about, so I simply had to include more related articles. 🙂
PSA (for UT Arlington students):
The film’s philosophical points were reminiscent of class discussions from the animal studies literature course I took in 2012, with Dr. Stacy Alaimo at UTA (possibly my favorite literature course ever–take it if you can). Through examining and discussing the works of philosophers and thinkers like Nussbaum, Bentham, Montaigne, and Derrida, the class held regular discourses about the representation of animals in human culture and the ethical implications of our widespread mistreatment of other species. ‘Speciesism: The Movie’ would have fit the curriculum very well. Those of you who have taken Dr. Alaimo’s class, I highly recommend this documentary.
Related articles (check these out!):
- ‘Never Be Silent’ and the Packaging of Neoliberal Whiteness: On Trayvon Martin, PETA, and Being a Black Critical Race Researcher in White Spaces (sistahvegan.com)
- The Biotic Woman: Vegans of Color (bitchmagazine.com)
- Vegan Women of Color Break New Ground (vegnews.com)
- Redefined Palate: Sistah Vegan Project’s Breeze Harper Dishes on Mindful Eating (civileats.com)
Did you see Speciesism: The Movie? What did you think of it? Please share your comments below!
Thank you to everyone who visited the Vegan Club’s booth at the UTA Activities Fair earlier today!
Although I have graduated, I am still pretty involved with the club, so I was in charge of the booth at the Activities Fair today. We handed out a couple hundred mini chocolate chip cookies, soy/almond milk samples, and educational pamphlets with information and recipes!
Here are the top ten recurring questions we received at the booth today. Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with us–hopefully you will find the resources below useful!
- Do I have to be vegan to join the Vegan Club? I’m not vegan, but I want to eat healthier–can I join?
Being vegan is not a prerequisite for joining. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarian, you are welcome to join our club! We are not an exclusive group–we are here to help anyone and everyone who has questions about veganism on campus.From our Facebook page:
Our purpose is to promote the varying aspects of veganism in a positive manner. We aim to inform the public about veganism and its impact on animals, human health, and the environment. We hope to disprove the negative stereotypes about veganism in our efforts; we are not an elitist group and we accept all members who want to learn, vegan or not.
- How can I keep in touch with the Vegan Club?Facebook is the best way to keep up with our events and the best place to ask questions! If you need a recipe suggestion or have questions, people in our group are always ready to help with answers from experience, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can also follow the Vegan Club on Tumblr.
- What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? Why don’t vegans eat dairy?
Here is an excerpt from my detailed blog post about different types of vegetarians, originally published on The Shorthorn, UTA’s student news website on September 18, 2013. Read the post to learn more about students who are vegetarian or vegan at UT Arlington.
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, but they might eat eggs and/or dairy. A vegan is someone who avoids animal products period, including dairy, honey, eggs. Vegans also avoid animal products such as fur, leather and wool. I gave up dairy in high school for a variety of reasons, the first being my love for the animals.
I love cows, awwww!
- I’ve been wanting to become a vegetarian/vegan, but I don’t know where to start–can you help me?
Before you make drastic changes to your diet, be sure to consult your doctor first. You can definitely count on us to answer your questions, based on our experiences, but don’t use us as a replacement for your physician.Here are some free resources that may be helpful to you (check them out for advice and tons of recipes):
+ Oprah’s Vegan Starter Kit
+ ChooseVeg.com (My favorite part of this site is the “Build A Meal” section!)
+ Veg Starter Kit | The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
+ Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating | Vegan Outreach
+ 7 Back to School Vegan Essentials
- Where can I eat vegan food?
The Vegan Club has worked with several other groups to get UTA to install a veggie line that carries vegan options (the chefs are also very accommodating–just ask), though it could use some improvements. Places near campus that have vegan options include Beirut Cafe, Pie 5, Smiling Moose Deli, Cool Berry, Potager Cafe, Freebirds, Chipotle, and Mellow Mushroom. My favorite place is Loving Hut on Matlock, the closest vegan restaurant to UTA (about 15 minutes away). They have a great selection of vegan pizzas, wraps, sandwiches and rice dishes. Pictured below: Loving Hut’s carrot muffins.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=628208733913622&set=pb.132147763519724.-2207520000.1390439568.&type=3&theater
DallasVegan.com has a useful printable dining guide that features many vegan restaurants and options around DFW.
- Are there vegan options at fast food restaurants like Jack in the Box?
I tend to avoid most fast food chains. However, sometimes my omnivore friends insist on going to a fast food place. If I am put into that situation, I turn to VeganEatingOut.com to read up on all the vegan options available–I always research my options before going out, so that I know how to make the best of my options. Here is their guide for Jack in the Box.
- How do you get your protein? I’m into fitness and am worried about getting enough protein as a vegan.
Protein is not as hard to get as you may think! Beans, tofu, and nuts, among many other foods, all have protein.In 2012, UTA kinesiology senior Courtney Redden and her classmates conducted an interesting study about veganism and exercise. You can read about their findings, learn about Redden’s triathlon fitness routine, and check out her workout playlist in my article on The Shorthorn’s site.
The veg starter kits mentioned above (#4) have advice for getting enough protein, also. Still worried that veganism will hinder your fitness goals? Check out this list of top 10 vegan athlete blogs–being a vegan athlete is completely possible.
- How many types of vegan milks are there? Soy, almond, hemp, coconut, rice, cashew and hazelnut are the main types of alternative milks. Each kind usually comes in three flavors, on average (plain, vanilla, chocolate). So, I estimate that there are about 21 types of vegan milk out there! In my personal experience, most of these (if not all) can be found at Kroger and Whole Foods on Lamar St. in north Arlington. Even Target, Wal-Mart and CostCo carry soy and almond milk now.
- How can we get UTA to have better vegan options?So glad you asked!
This is an ongoing effort with us. Here’s a little history…In 2012, the Vegan Club collaborated with seven other student organizations and Student Congress to pass a resolution calling for a vegan dining line on campus. Our hard work paid off. Student Congress voted and passed the resolution UNANIMOUSLY, and the vegan line was installed the following semester.
However, since then, the line has changed to a vegetarian line, sometimes having vegan options…vegans often have to special-order meals.We’ve come a long way in expanding the options (there’s soy milk at breakfast and lunch now), but we have a long way to go. Vegan Club appreciates the dining staff very much, and would like Dining Services to follow through with all of the goals in the resolution we passed.
We want to be in a position to regularly follow up with Dining Services to ensure that the cafeteria does continue to keep plant-based options available and varied for students. Another step that has not been taken by UTA, though it passed in the resolution, is the labelling of all ingredients on the dishes served at Connections Cafe. Even non-veg students, some of whom have allergies or are health conscious, have voiced their concern about the need for more ingredient clarification.Vegan Club needs more enthusiastic individuals to join the group to voice our concerns (that’s you).
We are currently looking for a student to carry out the officer role of Dining Services Correspondent. Because we all have many roles to play as officers, and because many of us are seniors (or grad students, like me) we feel the need to assign this duty to a specific person. If there is enough interest and participation from our members, maybe a dining committee can be formed. If you are interested, please comment on this post, or email veganclubuta(@)gmail(.)com and to let us know of your interest!
- I want to go vegan, but I love [insert food here] too much–do I have to give up my favorite foods to go vegan?
Vegans still enjoy pizza, mac and cheese, ice cream, phở, cookies, even candy bars…you name it! Whatever you like to eat, there is probably a vegan version of it. Eliminating dairy is not a limitation–I always think of it as an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and flavor combinations.
If you have a specific craving, please leave me a question about it in a comment, or make a post in the Facebook group. The Vegan Club is here to help you, so please don’t hesitate to ask us anything you want to know about veganizing your favorite foods.
We handed out two kinds of chocolate chip cookies today, and got many requests for the recipes! Come back on Friday to get the recipes.
Any other questions? Please let me know! 🙂
If you’re new to vegan comfort food, you probably have a burning question about the title of this blog post: How can mac’n’cheese be vegan?! What is this blasphemy? I refuse to acknowledge the possibility. (Can you tell I’ve gotten reactions like this before? hehe)
Calm down, take a breath and stay with me, my friend. The possibilities are endless and wonderful. This Pinterest board lists tons of ways to make vegan mac’n’cheese, including pumpkin, cashews, tofu and even cauliflower. It’s an adventure!
Last week, my friend tipped me off about these vegan brownies on campus, so I decided to have lunch at UTA’s Connection Cafe.
I was excited to find Thai coconut curry noodles in the international line, with a clear “vegan” label. Also, I have since learned that any desserts placed at the vegetarian line will be vegan from now on. Yay!
While there is always room for improvement, I have been previously impressed with the increased availability of vegan options at UTA, thanks to the Vegan Club‘s work with Student Congress and the cooking staff’s cooperation and hospitality. A vegan line has been in place for about a year, but this semester it changed to a vegetarian line. Some vegetarian dishes are veganizeable if students ask for no cheese. Vegan desserts, plus a completely vegan entree in a non-vegan line, were not going to on my list of expectations for a while, but I was pleasantly surprised during this visit.
It’s exciting to have an increase in vegan options all around, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot, it means a great deal to students who rely on the meal plans.
While UTA is surely improving, UNT’s vegan dining hall is a truly dream come true–UTA’s Vegan Club and I paid them a visit recently, to meet up with UNT’s vegan group. It was a worthwhile trek for good company and good food. We were met with more than enough vegan options to choose from, including fresh focaccia bread sandwiches, tostadas, soft serve ice cream and adorable tapioca pudding shots.
It was heavenly, and my first time having tapioca pudding! Special thanks to Ken Botts, the special projects manager for UNT’s Dining Services, for welcoming us so warmly, and for giving us advice on how to improve vegan options at UTA!
For those who may not know, the vegan cafeteria at UNT inspired UTA students to push for more vegan options on our own campus. We probably won’t have an all vegan cafeteria at UTA, but we appreciate the progress and we are grateful for the cooking staff’s efforts here.
What vegan things have you tried at UTA’s Connection Cafe? Have you been to UNT’s vegan cafeteria? If so, what elements would you like UTA to incorporate from UNT’s practices? Please share your experiences with me below, and feel free to contact UTA’s Dining Services to let them know what you think.
- Students need more vegetarian/vegan food options at UT-Arlington (theshorthorn.com)
- Student Congress sees firsthand the need for more vegan transparency (theshorthorn.com)
- UTA Student Congress votes unanimously in favor of ‘vegan’ resolution (theshorthorn.com)
- Vegan Dining Resolution at UTA: hurdles and results (plantcrush.co)
- UT Arlington’s Connection Cafe makes strides with vegan line (plantcrush.co)
Happy belated World Vegan Day! Last Friday was World Vegan Day, and November is World Vegan Month! It is also time for Christmas carols! Yessssss. This year, I couldn’t wait and actually made a playlist the day before Halloween. If that’s wrong, then I have zero interest in being right.
Prepare yourself for a long post below. While you read, feel free to listen to my playlist of of Christmas carols and songs that make me think of winter. Please enjoy! 🙂 Continue reading
I think I can say with confidence that I frequent Digg’s Tacos more than any other place in College Park. The place offers several vegan options, but I always end up ordering my favorite: a veggie burrito bowl with no cheese. I don’t think I could ever get tired of it, and I personally think it is a better value than Chipotle or Freebird’s. Continue reading