Friday, May 11, 2012

The Herbal Remedy Wife’s Thoughts on Veganism

First of all, what is a vegan diet? In a nutshell it’s a plant-based diet that includes no beef, no chicken, no pork, no seafood, no dairy, and definitely not these lovely chicks that were hatched from a carton of eggs using an incubator. 

Let me start by saying that I am not a vegan - at least not a pure vegan. I did attempt to be a hard core vegan for several months, but it is really challenging to swim against mainstream society - and it's even harder to find tasty vegan cookies. 

Now I would describe myself as more an aspiring vegan, or an every other Wednesday kind of vegan. 

During my exploration with veganism I've discovered that it is probably the best diet for your health, your conscious, and it is the best thing for our planet; knowing this makes me feel great - even if I'm only 97% vegan. 
Honestly, The Skeptical Husband and I had never considered why we eat an animal-based diet, and we never considered how it might affect our health and the health of the planet. Then we made the brilliant mistake of attending a lecture by Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, and we were forced to think about these things. 

Standing before us was a lean, articulate man who looked half his age talking about his journey to veganism. He spoke of how people are socially programmed to eat meat from birth. He talked about the health consequences of a meat-based diet (diabetes and heart disease to name a few).  He shared how thousands of gallons of water are used to raise one pound of meat and how animals are tortured and enslaved during their short lives in order to feed our meat hungry culture. He promised his book would lay out even more arguments against eating the standard American diet.
Following the lecture The Skeptical Husband surprisingly lined up to buy an autographed copy of the book. I looked at him and said, “You know what’s gonna happen if I read that,” and sure enough less than a week later I was a vegan. As the holidays drew near my resolve weakened and the Skeptical Husband was happy that I was willing to compromise and eat a pescatarian diet (a seafood consuming vegetarian). To be honest, showing up to family dinner to find that there was nothing for me to eat but lettuce leaves was starting to wear on me.
I think everyone should explore veganism and the ideas behind it at some point during their lifetime. And the sooner the better! There are a number of great books and movies to educate and motivate you and I’ll let them do the convincing. So if you’re ready, I highly recommend the following:
The World Peace Diet by Will M. Tuttle
         * The Skeptical Husband is reading this now and will post his review in a few days.
Forks Over Knives  Starring T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr
The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn
The China Study by Thomas M. Campbell II
The Kind Life website:


  1. You'll either love me or hate me for this :) & if you'd like to try baking them yourself

  2. Uncle Eddie's awesome Vegan cookies at Whole Foods! Totally decadent. Try them. I would also recommend "Living Among Meat Eaters" by Carol J. Adams which is a big help for Vegans dealing with non vegan family and friends.

  3. Vegan cookies are awesome! And super easy to make - and you can eat the raw dough. If you are interested, I will post my own recipe for brownie cookies for you.

    Also, you might like to read, and add to the above list, "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. It turned me into a vegan literally (no pun intended!) over a weekend. After that, there was no going back, and my transition was effortless.

    Best wishes!


  4. Thank you so much for the book, food, and recipe ideas! Feel free to share more. Also, I would love to know about any vitamins/supplements for vegan diets that you are fond of. I plan to blog about that soon. BTW, my local Whole Foods bakery carries an amazing vegan chocolate chip cookie. It's just that every vegan cookie I tried to bake was a complete failure.

  5. I am going to give you the wonderful recipe I created for "Step Down Brownie Cookies"! I call them step down because the measurements of the different ingredients "step down" in size --makes it easy to memorize the recipe.

    1 cup flour (I use King Arthur Bread Flour because it is yummy)

    3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or vegan sugar

    1/2 cup Earth Balance (since I use the tub version, which is 15 oz, I just cut the tub into 4 sections and use 1/4 of the tub)

    1/4 cup cocoa powder (Hersey's Special Dark Cocoa is great)

    1 TBSP (approximately) unsweetened soy or almond milk (you can also use water, but it gives a slightly different texture to the cookies)

    1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract

    1/2 tsp Baking Powder

    Approximately 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixer, cream together the Earth Balance, sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, and then incorporate into the sugar/butter mixture. Add enough soymilk to make the batter stick together, but not enough to make it too soft. Stir in the walnuts if desired. Shape the dough into balls (about walnut sized) and place on cookie sheet or pizza stone (works great). Dip the bottom of a glass into sugar and press each ball down into a cookie shape. Bake at 400 for approximately 8 minutes. You will need to watch to make sure they don't overbake. They will be done once they rise slightly and then start to fall. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer with a spatula to a plate to continue cooling. When totally cool, the cookies will be chewy and crunchy -- my favorite! I hope you like this recipe - everyone who has had these cookies loves them!