Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I truly feel that I didn't have a choice...

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm all about being as natural as possible while keeping my sanity and staying vegan. Well, yesterday I did something I didn't think I would ever do.
Actually, my boyfriend (Matt) did it for me.
We did the bug bomb thing on my home.
Ok, he did it. And while it was doing it's thing he took my girls to his mom's so they could play with her dog AND he even changed the oil in my car (a bit overdue, but still super awesome). Best part is he was able to do it all while I was at work and be there early to pick me up.
"What's the most funnest part ever???" you ask? Well, it's putting it all back together.
Some stuff got packed up so it would be protected and still needs to unpacked. Certain things like towels, etc, had to be washed well... I didn't plan ahead as well as I should have and put up more. But I also have to wash dishes before I use them, and I can't help but feel super stupid for doing so much laundry this weekend.
Matt was able to help with some things, but he did have to get back to work and my home is my responsibility so... yeah.
And the girls still need a bath!
So, now you are probably asking why this all had to be done. It's very simple, and it's one word of complete and total annoyance.
Yes, the fleas were taking over. Cats had begun moving into and breeding under my home, and while adorable I'm about as allergic as one can be to them AND they brought in the fleas. And it's the fleas they left behind when they moved out. Fleas that have been eating my girls alive, and I just can't have that. Nope. I believe in live and let live until me or mine are threatened.
Those little parasites had to go.
And now is the time for healing and growing (not for the fleas, though) and getting this place back together.
And the girls need a bath.
Or, even better, we all three need a day at a spa! Yes! lol

I would do anything for my girls! Just look at them... could you blame me? <3 p="p">

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tofu Fried Rice (vegan style!)

You may not know this, but rice is one of my favorite things (foodwise). Jasmine rice is my ultimate favorite, but rice in general is a main staple in my diet. I think that if I did decide to ever go fully raw it would be my one vice...
But this past grocery store visit I ended up with the stuff to make tofu friend rice. Fried rice is pretty easy to make vegan. Just don't use a butter or eggs. If you must add a protein, use tofu. It's also fairly inexpensive to have the ingredients on hand.
I will typically make a good sized pot of rice (whatever kind I have handy, this time it was just a basic medium grain white rice) already cooked in the fridge. Directions vary depending on the kind. I've even found some that say to cook them for about an hour... yeah, no. My patience doesn't go that far. 20 minutes seem to be the average. Whenever asked how to make the best rice, my advise is to always follow the directions. :) (no, I'm not a fan of that boil in a bag/minute rice stuff. Stop being so lazy, get you some real rice... you will NEVER go back to the crap).
Another good thing to have on hand, if you love the stuff of course, is tofu. I typically buy extra firm tofu, maybe firm, but the stuff I typically make works best with extra firm. I didn't even press my tofu this time..
I do try to keep some frozen veggies on hand at all times. I love peas, and something about the firm texture I get from the frozen ones is just the best. This time it was frozen peas and carrot squares (I had a coupon for a free bag, and free is my fave number). Carrots are one of my top veggies to have around, anyway, and the way the frozen peas and carrots are set up are perfect for this recipe and very cost efficient.
One of my pantry staples is some kind of oil. Right now it's a canola and olive oil blend. Not all pans need it, but it can make things tastier and although some may not believe it our bodies require some amount of fat to survive.
Ok, enough of that. Here's the recipe:
Cook the rice according to directions.
Cube the tofu, about a half a block for 2 cups of cooked rice depending on how you like your rice to tofu ratio.
Heat your pain on medium/medium-high heat, and put in a bit of oil if needed. Brown on all sides, if you can wait that long. Some don't like it too crispy, so just cook to your liking. Keep an eye on it. And if it starts popping to the point that you burn yourself, put your shirt back on and turn the heat down a bit.
Set that aside in another dish.
Put a bit more oil in the pan. Add the amount of cooked rice you have decided you want to fry. Make sure as much of the rice as possible has oil covering it (it will be shiny). Kind of move it around and break up any clumps. Then spread it out in the bottom of the pan and let it cook a bit. I like to chop it up with the spatula to kind of check on it. Flip it, toss it, move it around in the safest way you can. The longer it cooks, the crispier it gets and the easier to flip almost like a pancake will be!
Soy Sauce! I forgot to mention the soy sauce.... the amount is up to you. About 2 tablespoons is average, depending on how much you like. I am a soy sauce snob, and will spend a bit more on a good one. The cheap ones taste terrible to me... so fake and... ick. So at this point add your soy sauce a mix well.
I have some fresh chives that I froze a while back. I use my kitchen scissors to cut some of that into little pieces and mix in. Then I add my frozen veggies.
You can add anything else you like at this point. If I had some onion on hand that would get chopped up and added, too. Keep in mind that frozen stuff needs to be added a bit before anything fresh (they obviously have to cook longer). Also, if you don't like crunchy veggies, like onions, you will want to cook them a bit longer too.
And don't worry, it's not difficult to tell when it's done. I like mine a tiny bit crispy, and it makes my house smell amazing...

I try not to make too much of this at once because it is so good that I end up eating almost all of it at once.. yeah, I love food :). Keeping the supplies on hand for your favorite dishes always makes life a little bit easier.
What do you always like to keep on hand in your fridge/pantry?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pancakes. & Pinterest

At first I wanted a veggie burger, but was thinking of finding a recipe and making my own.... but that passed quickly when I realized I probably already have the stuff to make pancakes.
So I did what I normally do when I want to find a recipe. I googled it.
"Easy vegan pancakes" to be exact.
And this is what I found:

Ok, so I didn't exactly have the ingredients, but close enough. Like, instead of all-purpose flour I used buckwheat flour. And I thought it said a tablespoon of cinnamon instead of a dash. I did use soy milk, and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Also, I did mix it a bit too much, and it made such a large batch I am going to save some of the batter to try to make pancakes later.
Buckwheat flour makes them a lot darker, so you can't always tell when they are that golden brown we look for. But they are good. I topped them with some organic strawberry preserves and agave nectar. Washing them down with chocolate soy milk just made them better.

The past couple of weeks have been kinda sucky for me. Everyone knows my allergy issues are pretty serious, and even though I've started allergy shots those can take YEARS to work. And, every once in a while, about every 18 months or so, I get so sick from them I end up going to the ER in need of an antibiotic that will actually work and not to wait for EVER in a doctors office. The worst part was that I had to work while I was sick, and my biggest symptom was a sever sore throat ( I work at a call center, of course). At least I got to sit down all day. And of course it lasted the longest of all the symptoms.
Happily, today was the first day with no sore throat.
This morning I took my girls for a long walk, and then dropped Carli back at home (she is only about 8 lbs) and took Kalifornia for a long run.
And for those who are wondering, yes all of my locks have been changed as have all of my passwords. And for whoever tried to break in after they were changed, you can kiss your own ass. Thank you :)

So now on to the other part of my title. Pinterest.
Yes, Pinterest.
On a smaller scale I'm learning how to use Instagram, though I think I will love that one more... but Pinterest.
Pinterest! Pinterest! Pinterest!
Up until recently, other than signing up for it, the most interaction I had with it was the emails I would get that someone was following me.. or something like that. But now I've decided to jump in... and that reminds me to get it set up on my phone...

Next I just need someone to teach me how to use this old sewing machine I have... or help me sell it... 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Money might not buy happiness, but it doesn't make me cry...

I do realize that money isn't everything, but this day and age it almost is. You can't buy happiness, but you have to buy food, pay bills, etc etc etc.
If you know me, you know I stress out a lot, and a lot of it has to do with money. I've been knocked on my rear so many times that I feel deathly afraid I will run out, again, and there won't be anymore. I might get super sick or in an accident and loose my job, my car might give out and I won't be able to afford to fix it, what if my girls get sick/hurt and I can't afford the vet bill...?!?!?! Yeah, it goes on.
Yes, I have my online shop. No, it isn't doing so well. Am I doing all I can for that? No. Do I realize I could do a lot more? Yes. Do I know what all of those things could be? No. So... that stuff needs to change.
My title as a Vegan Consultant just doesn't pay the bills, though I love to help. I love seeing messages in my Facebook inbox asking about advice, and I've gotten them from some friends I never thought would ask me those kind of questions. I realize that where I am currently living (probably even the tri-state area) there isn't much of a desire for Vegan Consultants, and while I would love to try living somewhere else... well... let's just say I do feel quite stuck here.
I need to make a plan.
I need to set some goals.
I need to stick to that plan, stay in line with those goals.
Unless someone living in a more vegan & planet friendly city wants to give me and my two dogs a place to stay until we get on our feet? Anyone? No?
On a lighter note, I've set up an Instagram... account? Page? Idk what to call it, but I use the name RogueVegan. I am still Rogue, after all. So find me, and help me learn how fun it can be...

Side Note: I know some women out there who search out guys who are in a certain income class, & if a guy doesn't fit into that they won't even give them the time of day. I've never been that way, though I find it funny that some of the "brokest" guys I've dated tried to say I used them for money (how can you use someone for something they don't have?). Another reason I'm not like that is what happens when they leave? If it's just about money, there is nothing solid holding you together. Then you find yourself alone again, but this time used to a lifestyle you can't afford on your own because you've let someone else foot the bill for it all.

First plan: set a strict budget to include savings.
One thing I'm doing to help: starting a container garden again; not only does food you grow yourself just taste better, but they pay for themselves fairly quickly.
Important thing to do: get my savings back to a healthy status.

What I have to do right now: GO TO WORK! lol
What I wish I could do: laundry (I love hanging clothes out to dry) & yoga!

Good day to you all!

Friday, June 1, 2012

My blog got a makeover!

It's something I've been thinking of doing for a while, so here it goes!
Changed the colors, fonts, titles, etc etc etc... yupyup
In my real life I've had a few changes... recently "single" (I hate that label, so I rarely use it, seems to make people think they need to send sympathy your way when really they should congratulate you for not settling for that guy that would never pay you back, left empty promises behind like used tissues, or thought my mom/dad/cousin was super hot), living on my own again (with my two girls, of course), and have a pretty good job (would be nice if it paid more, but I would like to stay with this company for a while). I've still been slacking on the crafting/beading stuffs, that should change soon. I do still have my Etsy shop, trying to keep it stocked and also stop using the economy as an excuse... (bad economy! bad! NO!)
The breakup came about after a series of things, things I told him I wouldn't take again... and after a couple of months of taking it I thought to myself "WTF are you doing?!?!?!? You know better!". What's the use of being with someone that you have to start taking an antidepressant to be with. It's not like he cheated, and he did do some things for me (though half assed & always reminded me constantly of those things) but the bad outweighed the good.
Oh, also I got a couple of plants to begin working on a container garden again. Of course that includes a mint plant, but in thinking I grabbed a tomato plant I ended up with a sweet pepper one. Good thing I like sweet peppers. A tomato plant will be my next one.
I'm also looking into investing in a wheatgrass juicer and the stuff to grow my own. And a sushi making kit and sake set, because I haven't made sushi in forever (lost my bamboo mat) and love some saki.
Oh, OH! The most important thing... I QUIT SMOKING! Yup, a few months ago I just didn't buy anymore. Someone did give me a tip on how to make myself quit, but it involved keeping up with the hours I didn't smoke. Thinking about all that time I didn't have one just made me want one even more.. I do much better ont he "out of sight, out of mind" idea... also, not buying anymore helped (don't know many others that smoke my kind helps a lot, too).
To sum up...
Things have changed, but I'm still vegan! This blog isn't just about tips and tricks, but also how my life is going... and my hair is pink. Sometimes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vitamins: What's your kind?

Finding vegan vitamins is becoming easier and easier as the years go by, especially if you aren't scared of online shopping. I can't remember how I initially found them (probably at Earth Fare) but I have really gotten into New Chapter Organics Line, though not all of their supplements are vegan friendly. I was able to find some great deals on (one of my first go to's for online shopping) though and all was great until it came out that they were selling out to Proctor & Gamble (read more on that disappointing story here). But luckily on my searches I had also found another brand, Deva, that had gotten some great reviews. I checked them out (here is their site) and made the decision to give them a go after seeing they had the supplements I need.
For some reason (I'm sure it's legit, just haven't really looking into why yet) both the New Chapter & the Deva daily multivitamin have a very low amount of magnesium. For the past several years I have had a few issues with my right leg not always wanting to work when I stand up after sitting for some time (made car trips annoying). In the past year it began to affect my right arm as well (being that I don't walk on my arms, it was a bit different though so I wasn't sure if it was the same thing). In that time frame it had been recommended to me to take magnesium for menstrual cramps (as well as other kinds, since I'm tired of taking pain meds all the time) and it turns out that it helped the issue with my right leg & arm. The only bad part is I can definitely tell the difference when I don't take it.
Side note: I was also advised to start taking an iodine supplement. If I am able to eat the way I want to, I am able to get plenty of that from sea vegetables. Since I'm not always able to, I like to keep a supplement on hand though they aren't so easy to find in vegan form... not that have good reviews, anyway. So any suggestions on that would be great (just add to comments, please, or send me an email anytime).
Another side note: I do prefer to get what I need from food. I do believe in letting our food be our medicine, but let's be honest. It's not always the easiest thing to do, or even possible. Money problems, time constraints, etc can keep us from getting what we need at our meals. While I do think it's better to have a bit too much rather than not enough, keep in mind that one can overdo the vitamins. Look into what you need, what fits you the best, and go with that.
That being said, here is what I take:
A daily vitamin: (once I run out of this bottle of New Chapter Organics every woman's One Daily I am switching to the Deva Vegan Multivitamin, with iron- look for the 2 pack specials on I prefer the kind where you only have to take one a day, and can take it on an empty stomach (I do have a sensitive stomach, so sometimes even with food these hurt me).
B vitamin complex: the complex has all the B's you need, right now I have New Chapter Organics Coenzyme B Food Complex, not sure what I will switch to when I run out. My daily vitamin has plenty of the B's, but if I'm feeling just too tired to make it these always give a great pick me up (say if you just couldn't sleep or partied too hard, yeah... these are great).
C Vitamin: Have been taking the Deva Vegan C Vitamin for a while now, and this time of year it is a must have. Also, if you are a smoker (as I was up until recently, and many of my friends are) or are very likely to get whatever is going around (a teacher, have kids, work around a lot of people like as a server or in retail) these are a must have no matter how much OJ you inhale daily.
Magnesium supplement: Today will be my first day on Deva's Vegan Cal-Mag Plus, and I will let you know how it goes. Please check out the link to find out what the "Plus" is for!
Grapefruit Seed Extract: I get the liquid kind and at it to juice (usually orange juice, which I water down so it can last a lot longer). It's extremely bitter and cannot be taken on it's own, but can be used for so many things. I even mix a bit with my shampoo to help keep dandruff & dry scalp under control. I love things with multi purposes!
A bit ago I read an article that lists the 4 vitamins you should always remember to take, and those kinds were on the list. While most of the details have left my memory, it was written by someone who worked in a situation like doctor's without boarders or something, someone that had to travel to many places all over the world where leaving your cell phone at home was in no way an issue (no cell towers, anyway).... if anyone can remember it or send me the link please do so that way I can link it here please & thank you!
That article was a lot of help, I was looking for something to help me in the right directions, but I think things could be better. Would be great if there was a site that let you choose what you were looking for... say, a daily vitamin for a women that's vegan (though having them all vegan really isn't a problem in any way) and then can pick the extra stuff you have in it (like the magnesium for me).

What vitamins/supplements do you take/love? A certain brand you have sworn loyalties to? Please, feel free to share in the comments below. I know getting advice from others has been the main thing helping me stay vegan and healthy at it, too...