30
Jan

Stocking My Pantry

Over the weekend my husband and I spent a lot of time watching documentaries on Netflix about food (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead), sustainability (Cowspiracy) and GMO's (GMO-OMG!). And then we started making our own pantry stables! The take away from these documentaries is enormous and I encourage everyone to learn more about our food system and it's impact on our health and the health of the environment. I have decided that I am going to try and completely eliminate processed foods from my diet. So over the past 2 days I made my first batch of almond milk, homemade yogurt, oil-free granola, sour cream, 2 kinds of mustard and started the process of making my own cheese! (all Vegan of course!)
I'm using the recipe book The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner. Her recipes were incredibly easy to follow. Each staple has very few ingredients. Some of the ingredients I had to find online as I couldn't find things like Magnesium Chloride or Agar Agar in my neighborhood grocery store. Other ingredients were much easier to find.
For this Dijon mustard I just used white wine, apple cider vinegar, whole brown mustard seeds (which you can get in bulk from Whole Foods) water and salt!

This homemade sour cream was a breeze to make by just combining non-dairy yogurt with coconut milk and letting it rest at room temperature for a couple days.

This morning I am going to attempt to make my own tofu and a batch of whole wheat artisan bread. I can't wait to get started! For now here are the photos from this weekends pantry stock.

Thank you for visiting and stop by again tomorrow for more pantry staples! Bye!

Allison Bost, MSW

This Tiny House Wife

27
Jan

Review: Forks Over Knives the Movie

Recently I have been becoming more interested in the food choices I make for myself and for my husband. About two months ago I gave up all animal products and adopted a vegan diet. For my husband this meant he was giving up about 90% of the animal products in his diet with the exception of milk in his protein shakes and the occasional tuna fish sandwich. We are both obese individuals and made these changes in order to loss weight. Very quickly after adopting this lifestyle we began seeing results. For my husband he's lost almost 30lbs in the past 2 months and for myself I've lost at least 15 lbs just by eliminating animal products.
Earlier this week I picked up a copy of a new magazine called Forks Over Knives and it really got me thinking about the amount of processed foods we still have in our diet. I was curious enough to watch the Forks Over Knives movie on Netflix and I will be forever changed.

This movie presents powerful information about the link between health and diet. The documentary centers around two doctors, Dr. Caldwell Essesltyn and Dr. Colin Campbell. Experts in their field they lay out the correlations between animal products and processed foods with poor health. The film debunks the myth perpetuated by the animal industries that people do not need meat for a source of protein, nor do we need to obtain calcium from animal milk. In fact they presented information about how drinking animal milk causes excess acid in the body which the body balances by leeching calcium from bones. There have found to be more cases of hip fractures, a sign of osteoporosis, in countries that consume the largest amount of animal milk.

Another powerful message was the link between animal fats and heart disease. The fats from animals build up in the arteries and cause blockages. If people are willing to undergo heart bypass surgery, an extremely dangerous surgery, why aren't more people willing to adopt a whole food plant based diet? We are a nation of Fast Food and Convenience Food and that is what is killing us.

Lastly a very small portion of the film hit on the environmental impact of the current Stand American Diet (SAD). Some facts include that we have destroyed 20% of the rain forest in the last few decades. And it takes 10 times the amount of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of animal food than plant based food.

If you haven't seen Forks Over Knives I cannot recommend this film enough. It's on Netflix right now. Go. Watch. Be enlightened, and make smart choices!

Thoughtfully your,

Allison Bost

This Tiny House Wife

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21
Jan

Sustainability

Hello again interweb!

I'm back to muse about my tiny living journey. We have been in our tiny home for almost 7 months and I absolutely love it. It was cool in the summer and it's been nice and warm this winter. Minus the couple nights w/o hot water due to pipe freezes. It's just the right size for myself, my husband and our 2 dog babies. I've been thinking a lot recently about my families environmental footprint and I'd like to share these thoughts with you.

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I started my tiny house journey by just watching tiny house t.v. shows. That expanded into long hours searching tiny house living on the internet. We then ventured to an Earth Day Fair in Dallas, TX and toured some of the tiny houses and got to attend a panel on living tiny. After that we made our decision. We were really going to do this tiny house thing! Excited! So we found a tiny house company and hired them to build our tiny home. We opted not to build ourselves for financial, and convenience reasons. I didn't want to learn how to build a house, nor did we have the out-of-pocket cash to buy supplies. But I did want one and I wanted it NOW. So the company put us on EXPRESS and we had our tiny home built and delivered within 7 weeks!

The downsizing process was invigorating. I was donating EVERYTHING we didn't use to charity and feeling great about it. This was it, we were really helping out the world by going tiny. Fast forward to 4ish months into the tiny house living. Did we like it? YES. We love it. It's easy, we only have what we really need and don't buy a lot of unnecessary things. But there was something missing. We have this tiny house, our energy bill was ridiculously low, our water usage was ridiculously low and we have been saving to buy our own land. But is tiny house living enough of a change? Nope.

We could take much better care of our health. Right before Thanksgiving last year my husband decided he was ready to concentrate on losing weight. We are both obese (terrible word but the truth none the less) and we needed to do a complete overhaul on our whole diet. My husband opted to try one of those meal replacement programs, in his case it's the Herbalife Shakes, and I opted to go....VEGAN. I thought it was just a way I could cut a lot of extra fat and calories out of my diet and eat more whole fruits and vegetables but what I've learned these past 3 months has been not just weight changing (down at least 15 lbs) but LIFE changing. I had NO IDEA how bad the meat/dairy industry is for the environment! That's not to mention the killing of living beings just so I could have extra flavor here and there???  I'll share some of my new-found knowledge with you on another post but for now let's just say I have had my eyes opened. For the past 3 months I've been cooking up a storm and I'd like to share my whole foods journey. Stay tuned for more on my new vegan life journey!

Bon Appe-Vegan!

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