Friday, June 18

Favorite Time of Year!

Posted by Sydney at 9:04 PM 0 comments

The official beginning of summer is coming up soon, which is undoubtedly my favorite time of the year.  There are five reasons that I can think of right now:

1.  Father's Day
2.  My brother's 6th Birthday
3.  My 22nd Birthday
4.  Beautiful HOT summer weather
5.  A weekend at the lake

All of these things will be happening in the next upcoming week and I am so stoked.  Lots of celebrations = lots of cupcakes to be made (and eaten!!).

First I thought about getting my daddy a gift, but I know him better.  He is such a cheap-o and would rather me give him a nice card and fix him all his favorites in the kitchen than spend money on something.  Soooo, I have decided on two things:

1.  Carrot cupcakes w/ cream cheese frosting
2.  Chocolate Beer Waffles (he loves dark beer and I love dark chocolate... match made in heaven!)

Earlier this week I got some practice with my waffle-maker (it's been a while and it needed a good cleaning).  I made blueberry-buckwheat waffles from Dawn at Florida Coastal Cooking.  You can see the recipe here.  They are vegan, allergen-free, and sugar-free.  Very healthy indeed!

The batter!  The buckwheat flour makes it kinda grey and funky-colored.

And the waffles topped with some whipped almond cream.  Later on I decided that they were better with some plain ole Earth Balance spread and agave nectar.

Hopefully I will remember to take some pics of these upcoming celebrations so I can share!  Hope everyone had an excellent Friday... yay for the weekend!

Wednesday, June 9

Why I Became Vegan

Posted by Sydney at 7:34 PM 2 comments
The big question.

For many people, it's quite simple and straightforward.  But for me it's actually rather complicated.  I have many reasons for choosing to be a vegan - enough for it to deserve its very own blog post!

I guess I'll start at the beginning.  While earning my dietetics degree at UK, I learned a great deal about vegetarian diets and the many benefits they can provide.  After learning about how all the saturated fat in red meat (which I ate A LOT of) could raise my cholesterol (which was HIGH) and put me at greater risk for heart complications, I began to cut back.  I ate more fish and lean poultry, and I often ate vegetarian meals.  However, I still loved my steak.  Everything in moderation, right???
Wrong!  (At least for me).  For a year or so I followed what I would consider to be a very healthy, balanced, omnivorous diet.  Had my cholesterol checked again... Guess what?  Still high!!  Despite the fact that I was in great shape and exercised a ton.  After this, I began to question all the information that was out there.  I wanted to know more... I wanted to decide for myself what was good for me and my heart, rather than just listen to whatever my nutrition textbooks said.

So I started investigating!  I read books, watched films, and perused news articles.  This is how I discovered factory farming, and how terribly evil it truly is.  As a wholehearted animal-lover, I was revolted to say the least.  After this discovery, I cut back on the meat even more.  I did this partially because of my grief for the animals and partially because I believed that the factory farming was what made meat "unhealthy."  From then on, I avoided meat unless I knew it was ethically sourced.
 Pretty soon, it was almost time for lent.  I made up my mind that I was going to give up meat.  And I did.  Easter came around, and I still didn't want meat.  I was officially a vegetarian.

While all this was going on, I had been noticing several health problems that I won't discuss in great detail here.  In January of 2010 I was finally diagnosed with Lupus (SLE).  I was immediately placed on corticosteroids and a cocktail of other drugs.  Turns out this was a bad idea.  Yeah, these drugs are TOXIC, people.  Over time, they kill.  I decided that there had to be another way.
And another way there was.  I read many personal accounts of people who had overcome autoimmune disorders by simply changing their diets.  I concluded that unless I made some serious changes, I was going to have to suffer with the complications of Lupus for the rest of my life.  I gradually began removing dairy and eggs from my diet until I became a full-fledged vegan.  And so here I am today, living drug-free and and no longer suffering as I was before.

So that's the gist of my story.  Feel free to email me if you want to know more!

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