This post is going to be a bit out of the ordinary for me but I read a little about this concept of disease shaming and found it interesting so I thought I would share with you my thoughts about it.
When I went Vegan, my reason was for my health and as touchy and particular we Vegans can be about our health the reality is that a Vegan diet does not 100% guarantee you a life without sickness or disease. (Although it does raise the odds of living a healthier life by a huge percentage)
I learned this week about this thing called “disease shaming”. This was a new concept to me. As I thought about it, I had to admit that I have been guilty of doing this, although never out loud to a person but quietly in my mind thinking this way about a person’s health situation.
Disease shaming is the belief that if a person follows a certain Vegan diet that they are guaranteed a life of good health devoid of disease. So if a Vegan gets sick, under the weather, gets cancer or some other disease, a person thinks that it was brought on by a failure of the person to follow the vegan diet 100%, “they must have cheated” or they ate too many processed foods and therefore they are paying the price now.
Blaming and shaming the person only makes matters worse. this shaming does serve a purpose though to the person shaming the other, it’s a self-defense mechanism that keeps us from facing the truth that we are not invincible and that our diet is not the fountain of youth, that will make us live forever and that no diet can 100% guarantee good health.
So I am going to start reaching out to others in a positive manner, stop the blaming and shaming even if it’s only in my thoughts.
If you are interested in looking deeper, there is a book out called “Even Vegans Die” I have not read this book, but according to the publisher of the book, they address disease shaming and body shaming as well as other health and animal advocacy topics as they relate to Vegans. It’s a play off of Dr. Michael Greger M.D.’s book “How Not To Die” which I have read and highly recommend.
Here are comments from the books publisher’s page.
“Even Vegans Die empowers vegans and their loved ones to make the best decisions regarding their own health, their advocacy for animals, and their legacy. By addressing issues of disease shaming and body shaming, the authors present a manifesto for building a more compassionate, diverse, and effective vegan community.
Even Vegans Die celebrates the benefits of a plant-based diet while acknowledging that even vegans can get sick. You will learn how to make the healthcare decisions that are right for you, how to ensure your efforts to help animals will not end after you die, and how to provide compassionate care for yourself and for others in the face of serious illness.
This book offers practical, thoughtful, and sensitive advice on creating a will, mourning, and caregiving. Without shying away from the reality of death, Even Vegans Die offers a message that remains uplifting and hopeful for all animal advocates and all those who care about them.”
Here is a quote from Michael Greger, MD who wrote the foreword to the book.
“Even people who eat a healthy, plant-based diet, can get seriously ill. That’s why this book is needed. Carol, Patti, and Ginny teach us to live wisely while we are still here, not only by eating well but also by caring for ourselves and each other. I want to live well and, if necessary, I want to die well, too. If you do also, then start reading.”—From the foreword by Michael Greger, MD
Thanks for listening,
The Vegan Gourmand
The Veganuary 2017 Survey results are in and are as follows:
- 77% ate vegan food for all of January!*
Of the 23% who did not eat vegan food for the month, 75% were vegan over 50% of the time. And of that 75%, most ate a completely vegetarian diet for all of January. Also, many people are including small slip-ups as failing to complete the entire month, whereas we regard it as a natural part of transitioning. It’s a learning curve! It’s also worth mentioning that a high proportion of omnivores (76%) and pescetarians (75%) completed an entire vegan month. That’s a really fantastic effort by all.
- 97% feel healthier after taking part!**
And 87% have noticed an increase in their energy levels, with another 87% also confirming some weight loss.
- 67% are staying vegan!*
Such amazing news! This figure is made up of 59% of the meat-eaters who responded to our survey, 64% of the pescetarians, and a whopping 75% of vegetarians. Interestingly, 21% are unsure of whether they’re staying vegan or not… If you are one of them, then we recommend you join our Facebook group for kind chat, recipes, and ideas. It’s helped (and helping) a lot of people feel more relaxed during their transition to veganism.
- A huge number are reducing their consumption of animal products!*
95% have stopped eating or reduced their consumption of meat from cows, 94% have stopped eating or reduced their consumption of pigs, and 92% have stopped eating or reduced consumption of chickens. This is life-changing news for animals like Rocky, Ernie and Little Eric!
- 99% recommend Veganuary!*
Veganuary is very much a sum of its parts… We’re nothing without the people who take part. Thank you for trying vegan with us, and for recommending the experience to others. It will make a world of difference to the animals, and to our planet.
*Of Veganuary 2017 Survey respondents.
**Of those who answered this question in the survey.
There is an all new 4 part series called “Prescription: Nutrition”. It brings you the science behind the healthiest foods to eat and takes you on a foodie journey through the world of plant-based cooking.
It featuring experts Dr. Michael Greger, Tracye McQuirter, MPH and chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby from Vedge Restaurant.
New episodes premiere every other week. Unfortunately, it currently can only be seen on Curiosity Stream But you can sign up for a 31-day trial and give it a watch.
Growing up in a non-vegan household in the 70s, my mother would make beef stroganoff. As a kid I really didn’t care too much for it but it was what was for dinner so I ate it. Now, as a Vegan adult somehow I find it to be a comfort food for me. I haven’t had a stroganoff since I was a kid but thought it couldn’t be too hard to replicate a beef stroganoff with all the creamy flavors but as a vegan dish. So here is the recipe I finally came up with and enjoy when I get in the mood for beef stroganoff. It has all the flavor notes and rich creaminess I remember as a kid. Enjoy! Side Note: I know I usually always post images of my recipes but the last time I made this I was soooo excited to have some I completely forgot to take any pictures, sorry….sometimes my stomach overrides my brain.
1 package (4-5 cups) of your favorite pasta, I use Barilla Rotini (or I like to make garlic or regular mash potatoes and pour the stroganoff over the top)
1/4 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Soy Free)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3-4 Portobello mushrooms (I have also used Gardein Beefless Tips instead of mushrooms, although you do need to change the process a bit, cooking & browning them separately from all the other ingredients)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil or vegan butter for sauteing
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (Just read the ingredients on the bottles at the supermarket to make sure it does not have anchovies in it, some brands do, some don’t. I use the Kroger Brand)
1 12oz tub of vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Sour Supreme Brand)
2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth (I use organic Vegetable broth)
2 heaping tablespoons of powdered vegan beef style broth seasoning (I use McKay’s vegan special instant broth and seasoning)
2-4 tablespoons of corn starch with water for thickening
Start to boil your pasta.
Rinse and clean mushrooms then slice them either in chunks or strips.
Saute the onion and mushrooms together in a little olive oil or vegan butter until onions are translucent and mushrooms have cooked their liquid out.
Add the minced garlic and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a medium sauce pan or large skillet add broth and whisk in the powdered vegan beef style broth seasoning then bring to a boil, then lower heat to med-low and add the Worcestershire sauce.
Combine the mushroom mixture into the broth mixture.
In a small bowl or cup mix some water with the corn starch to make a thin slurry. Stir the slurry slowly into broth and then turn the heat back up to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Do this until you get a thicker consistency.
Turn down heat to low and stir in the 1/4 cup vegan butter until incorporated.
Stir in the vegan sour cream until completely incorporated. Do not allow it to boil. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately over noodles or mashed potatoes.
As I travel the country I try to sample the areas Vegan restaurants and sometimes I find the most outstanding Vegan restaurants, and some times not so outstanding Vegan restaurants. But when I find those outstanding ones I like to tell everyone about them and so it is with Allie’s Vegan Cafe and Pizzeria. Opened March 2015
“Allie’s is a family owned, born out of passion to share delicious, healthy food. The entire menu is vegan, locally sourced and organic whenever possible, with many gluten free options.”
All cheeses are made in house.
“Cheeses are made by hand in small batches. This yields a firm cheese that can be grated and melted onto pizzas.”
The plant-based meats are Gardein brand. The Ranch & Caesar dressings are also made in house and soon the ranch will be bottled for sale due to the demand.
Allie’s to my knowledge is the first Vegan Restaurant in Spokane Washington! Congratulations, this town really needed some Vegan options. Spokane is a large hunting hub for the northwest. Allie’s had a lot of bests for me. Best vegan pizza, Best vegan sausage gravy and best chocolate chip cookies.
How did I find Allie’s? Well, the story goes like this: It was dinner time as I drove into the town of Spokane. And, so I did what any self respecting Vegan does when they are hungry and in a unfamiliar city, I Goggled “Vegan restaurant in Spokane Wa”. I was not really expecting much to come up because I had been there before and had not found any Vegan restaurants. But to my stomach’s wonderful surprise I saw a listing for Vegan pizza. It was not only a listing but a listing with 5 stars from 19 reviews, you hardly ever see that! This led me to quickly go to Allie’s Pizza on Yelp and look them up, finding a average of 4.5 stars from it’s 31 reviews.
The Pizza / Food
So of course I quickly called in an order for a half Italian “sausage” and half BBQ “chicken” pizza. 15 minutes later I was sitting down eating one of, if not the best Vegan pizza I have ever eaten. And I have eaten a few Vegan pizzas in my life. It struck me soon after I had devoured the pizza that I should have snapped a quick picture of the pizza, but it was too late. (Check out the food photos on Yelp)
The crust on this pizza was wonderfully, thin but not too thin, golden and delicious, a quality product.
“Dough is made daily and allowed to cold ferment for two days for best flavor and texture. Hand tossed then baked in a brick oven”
The sausage was so close to the real thing that if I did not know it was Vegan I would swear it was the real thing. The BBQ “Chicken” pizza had a smokey sweet BBQ sauce on it and the Gardein chicken was warm & tender. And for all of you who want a gluten free pizza they have that also. I will have to get back soon to try all their other Pizzas they offer like the Mac & Cheese pizza and Thai pizza along with a few others.
They also offer salads & bread sticks. Beverages include, fresh organic juices, lemonade & iced tea as well as espresso using almond, soy, hemp, coconut and rice milks. They also offers local craft beer on tap as well as wine. Oh! And don’t forget the desserts! Homemade cheesecakes & fresh baked cookies. The chocolate chip cookies are to die for! I must say that they are the best tasting vegan chocolate chip cookie I have ever eat’in.
On Sundays between 10 AM & 3 PM they only offer a brunch menu. I went back two days later on my way back home and ate brunch there.
We had the fried “chicken” with sausage gravy accompanied by rosemary potatoes.
Pumpkin Pancakes topped with a fruit compote and whipped “cream” accompanied by tofu scramble. (not shown)
The food again was very good. The sausage gravy was so naughty good! Yes.. I said naughty.
Atania Gilmore is the owner of Allie’s. As Atania and I talked she explained her passion for healthy vegan food and her hopefulness of helping people become more educated and healthy eating and living a vegan lifestyle. She also talked about the benefit to the earth and animals.
She even has a small book store on one wall of the restaurant where she sells vegan cookbooks and books on health.
The main seating area is bright and inviting with wooden floors and local art that is for sale displayed on the walls.
So if you are ever in Spokane Washington and need to fill your stomach with some great vegan food, stop in and say hello to Atania and family. They will take good care of you and your taste buds will thank you.
Here are some quotes from the Plant Pure Nation Website about the film.
“The documentary film PlantPure Nation tells the story of three people on a quest to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time. After renowned nutritional scientist and bestselling author T. Colin Campbell gives a stirring speech on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives, his son, Nelson, and Kentucky State Representative Tom Riner work together to propose a pilot program documenting the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Once the legislation goes into Committee, agribusiness lobbyists kill the plan. Undeterred, Nelson decides to try his own pilot project in his hometown of Mebane, North Carolina.”
“The filmmakers hope to use PlantPure Nation to create broad grassroots movement. They are spearheading the formation of Plant Pure Pods in cities and towns across N. America. Members of these groups will help to plant seeds of change around the message plant-based nutrition in their communities. One tool they will use in this effort will be the same 10-day Jumpstart program featured in the film, to give people the experience of a whole food, plant-based diet.”“The PlantPure Nation movement has already begun! The film team embarked on a successful preview screening tour in 23 cities across the United States and Canada to discuss an advance cut of the film with audiences in April, May and June. Then they held the PlantPure Nation World Premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood on June 25th for an enthusiastic audience of 400 attendees.
“PlantPure Nation was filmed across the USA and features Steve Forbes, Jr. (Editor-in-Chief Forbes Magazine,) Dr. T. Colin Campbell (Co-Author, The China Study,) Dr. Neal Barnard (Founder and President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,) Dr. Michael Greger, (Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture, Humane Society of the United States) leading the list of world-renowned experts, doctors and authors who speak on the topic. The Production team includes Director Nelson Campbell and Producer John Corry & Writer Lee Fulkerson from the acclaimed documentary film Forks Over Knives. PlantPure Nation, however, is not a sequel to Forks Over Knives.”
A new social movement is being launched through groups called PlantPure Pods. Members of Pods will work together to promote the message of plant-based nutrition in their communities. What is a PlantPure Pod? Its easy to get involved.