Tag: vegan

The Connection Between Diet and the Law of Attraction

raw foods!

I was turned onto the Law of Attraction (by my friend Jessie!) around the same time I began experimenting with a vegan raw food diet. And after eating totally raw for over a month, I found Abraham-Hicks, the philosophers who popularized the Law of Attraction. Over the next few months I met several others who went raw and got into Abraham around the same time too. What's the connection?

Diet isn't the key to happiness

When I was in grad school, I spent a LOT of time thinking about my diet, learning to cook, and eliminating foods. I was convinced that if I could just find a system of eating that was sustainable, healthy, and kept me skinny I could be happy forever. But after going as far as I could down the "healthy diet" spectrum, I still wasn't satisfied. Sure, I felt super healthy and looked great, but it still didn't solve that underlying "why is diet so complicated?!" feeling.

Enter Abraham, who cleared up the mystery. What you think about, you bring about, and if you think diet is complicated, it will be. If you think a raw food diet will make you feel good, it will. If you think donuts will make you fat, they will. I thought that what I ate greatly influenced my reality, so it did.

Thought is the core, not food

Addressing the basic activities in your life (diet, sleep, exercise) means you care about how you feel. But while tweaking and refining those activities will make you feel good, it won't "fix" your life, because you are still looking outside of yourself for peace. You choose your diet based on your beliefs, but your beliefs are only thoughts you think a lot. If you can take control over the seed of your experience, your thoughts, then you can eat whatever you want.

Is this a trick?!

Sounds pretty great right? Change your thoughts and be able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Well, after a whole year of trying to change my thoughts about food, I can't say it's any easier for me to believe I can eat a whole pizza and not feel sick. But I have reached an equilibrium in my diet, and a way to think about food that brings me peace.

Food doesn't make you fat. It's resistant thoughts about the food. When I eat, all I have to do is question whether I'm truly hungry, or whether I'm being lazy and looking to something outside of myself to make me feel good. If I'm truly hungry, my thoughts are of gratitude and relief. If I just want something to make me feel good, my thoughts go crazy, trying to figure out how much I should eat, can I get away with eating that, oh let's just eat everything in the fridge if it'll feel good.

If you look towards something outside of yourself to feel good, when it is gone it will make you feel bad. The only peace can come from within, and that peace is just a straight up choice. Choose to feel good first, and the rest will work itself out.

welcome to Austin!

Things To Do in Austin, Texas

welcome to Austin!
A reader asked me for suggestions on things to do while visiting my fair city of Austin. Since Austin is my favorite place in the world, I was happy to oblige!

Vegan food!

wholefoods and wheatsville
Whole Foods on the left, Wheatsville on the right
Austin is the best city to be vegan! Most restaurants are very accommodating of special diets, and there are many places that are all vegan or offer an entirely vegan menu.

  • Whole Foods on 5th & Lamar: The Whole Foods flagship store is enormous and has many many mini restaurants/food counters inside. The Green makes vegan and raw vegan food. There is a great field roast burger at The Grill. The vegan dragon roll sushi and any of the other vegan sushi and wraps are incredible. You can get Daiya cheese on pizzas at the pizza place, and soyrizo and Daiya on tacos at the taco bar. All the donuts are vegan, they have infinite packaged and frozen vegan food, and the juice bar is delicious in that super healthy way. Kelly and I eat here ALL the time; they have great patio seating and lots of indoor seating all around the store. Best part? You can crack open your wine or beer as you shop or chill at Bar Lamar in the back of the store.
  • Wheatsville Co-op: Like a baby Whole Foods, Wheatsville has yummy vegan sushi, popcorn tofu, sides, vegan desserts, and vegan frozen food. Beautiful produce selection.
  • Vegan Yacht (food trailer on East Side): Best vegan trailer hands down. The couple who run it, Mike and Danielle, are the sweetest! Try the mock chick'n sandwich!
  • Bouldin Creek: A coffee house and restaurant on South 1st that has many vegan offerings.
  • Mother's: A semi up-scale vegetarian restaurant north of campus. Great food and there is usually a harp player!
  • Veggie Heaven (on campus): THE BEST "healthy" vegetarian Asian food restaurant. They deliver, but eat there because it's such a gem of a place.
  • Conan's Pizza: Best vegan pizza in the city! And they deliver! Get the thick crust with vegan cheese, not the soy cheese (has eggs). We also get onions, black olives, jalapenos and green peppers. We definitely eat here at least once a week!
  • Ken's Donuts: The donuts aren't vegan, but they have VEGAN SAMOSAS.
  • Kerbey Lane: 24 hour diner with a vegan menu. Enough said.
  • Mr. Natural: Vegetarian restaurant and bakery. Good tacos!
  • G'Raj Mahal: Late night Indian trailer with gorgeous outdoor seating; will deliver to some of the bars on Rainey Street.
  • Fast food: (Disclaimer - we don't do much deep research on the vegan-ness of french fries, but we do pass on McDs.) We get fries at Whataburger, Chik Fil A, Jack in the Box, and P. Terrys. P. Terrys has a great veggie burger. Taco Cabana has black bean burritos, a salsa bar, and margaritas!

Bars

Beauty Bar
Beauty Bar
  • Beauty Bar on 7th has good shows and outdoor seating.
  • Cheer Up Charlies is the coolest queer bar on the East Side. Lots of dance parties and live music and good DJS.
  • Disgusting, dirty dubstep night on Sundays at Barcelona on 6th.
  • Barbarella: queers and dancing, always packed.
  • Elysium: Austin's goth bar!
  • The Yellow Rose: my fav strip club.
  • Rainey Street has lots of houses converted into bars that have fun outdoor seating and activities like ping pong tables and hula hooping.

Entertainment

Jumpoline
Jumpoline!
  • Jumpoline: Indoor trampoline park! $7/hour! Best use of $7 you'll EVER find!
  • The Alamo Drafthouse theater serves dinner and drinks while you watch your movie. SO MUCH FUN! They have several vegan entrees.
  • Bingo! Austin bingo halls (I go to Big Star and B12) are BYOB, you can win big bucks, and it's a super fun thing to do with friends on birthdays (only a penny to play on your bday!). You may or may not get shushed for laughing.
  • Pinballz Arcade: skee ball, pinball, video games, and BYOB!!

Outdoor

The view from Mt Bonnell
The view from Mount Bonnell
  • Mount Bonnell: the highest point in Austin. Great place for a picnic.
  • Barton Springs: the best swimming spot in Austin. Circus practice on Sundays on the Robert E. Lee side.
  • Town Lake: you can find joggers, a dog park, Stand Up Paddling, canoeing, Acro Yoga, trails, and beautiful views of the city in this area.
  • Green belt: gorgeous hiking. Sometimes has water to swim in!
  • McKinney Falls: exquisite camping right in Austin.

Shopping

Toy Joy!
Toy Joy!
  • Toy Joy is an incredible toy store with a vegan ice cream counter!
  • South Congress has great boutiques & vintage, street vendors and restaurants.
  • The Domain is an upscale outdoor mall with designer stores.
  • The drag on campus (Guadalupe St) has a few decent clothing stores like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.
  • I love shopping at Savers, which is a well organized thrift store.
  • If you're into athletic wear, check out Luke's Locker on west 2nd. High quality clothes and great service.

My fav head shops

Planet K
Planet K

Tattoos

True Blue
True Blue Tattoo

As for events, Amber Demure has the hookup! Austinites, what are your favorite things to do in this beautiful city?

nacho mom's!

How to eat with a beginner’s mind

nacho mom's!
Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning Beginner's Mind. "It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would."

One of the reasons going vegan for the first time feels so good is because it gives you a beginner's mind about food. Everything is new. Sure, you've had the perfect BBQ, the perfect pizza, and the perfect dessert before, but what about the perfect vegan BBQ? Finding good vegan BBQ is like discovering the pleasure of food for the first time all over again.

So it is with great excitement that I announce the invention of the perfect vegan queso! Nacho Mom's has concocted a cheezy treat that is an exquisite complement to SO MANY dishes! We've been putting it on tacos, pasta (mac & cheeze!), potatoes, English muffins with salsa, chips, and bean burgers. It's delicious warmed up or straight out of the fridge. And ONLY 160 CALORIES in the whole jar! The Fire Roasted version is completely allergen free and the best part is that they are based in beautiful AUSTIN!

Check out Nacho Mom's site for a complete list of where to buy or say hi on Twitter. In Austin I've been getting my fix at Whole Foods (in the snack chip aisle!) and Wheatsville (by the mustards).

4 reasons to eat vegan even if nothing really…

vegan foodz!
If your thoughts and beliefs create your reality, why bother being vegan? If reality is one big illusion and we're all the same energy, who cares? Abraham teaches that there is nothing wrong with eating animals because the animals are so cool with life that they don't care about being eaten. They're just happy to have the opportunity to live in physical reality, whatever the means. Animals can be content in any conditions, that's part of their charm. So why avoid eating them if they don't care?

Also, if you can believe that you can still be perfectly healthy while eating animal products, why bother cutting them out?

1. Our beliefs about food and health are deeply ingrained.

If you consciously direct your thoughts each day, why not start thinking "I can eat whatever I want and never suffer consequences"? It sounds simple, but most people have been fed so much information about what's good and bad about food that untangling a food belief system and creating an entirely new one from scratch is no small endeavor.

When Kelly and I started getting really into the law of attraction and the teachings of Abraham, we attempted to reorient our food beliefs by telling ourselves we could eat as much junk food as we wanted and still feel great. This backfired because neither of us had really changed our beliefs about junk food. After becoming vegan and then going raw for a couple months, we learned that we really enjoyed whole foods and fresh produce. We couldn't deny that preference.

Additionally, having consumed so much food propaganda like King Corn and Food Inc, I had some pretty serious thought patterns to contend with. Changing my beliefs about the health consequences of consuming animals wasn't a battle worth fighting.

2. Thought poisoning

Think about all the E. Coli food recalls. Think about 1000 cows being in your burger. Think about the antibiotics fed to cows and chickens to keep them alive in shitty conditions. Then eat meat and try to never think about any of that negative stuff ever again. It might be kind of difficult. By eating vegan, I never have to worry about my thoughts being poisoned by the media, creating freaky diseases and contamination worries about my food. My awareness of it creates it, so I'd rather not have the option of creating such awful experiences just because I ate a cheeseburger.

3. Whitespace

When you don't have to think about whether or not you're going to have that pizza, ice cream, steak, or cheeseburger, life gets a little simpler. There are fewer things to think about and worry about. Not eating animal products is a meditative act-a way to clean out mental clutter.

4. Feeling good

Sure, I still crave meat and cheese, but only when I'm hungry. It just feels good to eat vegan. There is a more delicious vegan option for almost everything (even BBQ!). You get to be part of a community and feel camaraderie with fellow vegans. It's a fun challenge finding recipe substitutions. The more raw I eat, the better my digestive system works. I am always healthy. And I never have to think about entangling my karma with that of some animal.

Plus, animals are really cute and nice to be around. I'd rather enjoy their company and eat some grass together.

Are you vegan? Why or why not? How do you reconcile being a vegan and a conscious creator?

5 every day, raw vegan recipes

My girlfriend Kelly and I have been vegans for a little over six months. During training for the Illinois marathon this spring, we began eating mostly raw food because of the health benefits. Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet became our cooking bible, because we needed a vegan nutrition guide geared towards athletes.

We just finished up a 30 day challenge where we ate only raw foods (in addition to no alcohol or caffeine!), and are in the middle of another 40 day bout. It took some time to adjust to the raw lifestyle, but now I never want to go back (except for some Parlor pizza...)! Here are some recipes that we eat every day if you ever want to start introducing more raw food into your own diet.


Lately we've been having spinach smoothies for breakfast and lunch. They are extremely easy to digest, full of energizing spinach, and taste like dessert. The protein & flax keep me full for a long time.

1 10 oz bag of spinach
1 frozen banana
1 large orange
1/2 cup orange juice
2 T hemp protein
2 T ground flax seed
1 T dulse
half bag frozen berries
handful frozen blueberries

Put banana, orange, OJ, protein, flax & dulse in the blender & blend until smooth. Then stuff in the whole bag of spinach & blend again. Add the berries last, & blend for a long time so it's smooth! Makes 2 large servings, about 300 calories each.


We eat a lot of magick pellet energy bars for snacks. If we're fruited out, or need something with some fat and protein in it, the magick pellets are where it's at. They are also quite energizing like the smoothies, & taste like a delicious chocolate truffle. They are great to nibble on during long runs! We've adapted our recipe from Brendan Brazier's Chocolate Blueberry Energy Bars in Thrive. They work out to cost about 50 cents a ball. Considering all the serious nutrition they pack, it is a worthy investment.

4 cups soft dates
1 cup soaked almonds
3 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup hemp protein
1 cup unhulled sesame seeds
juice & zest of 1 lemon
sea salt

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, then knead in the frozen blueberries. Roll into balls & then freeze; they keep really well! Makes about 50 small balls, about 150 calories each.


Raw vegan mock tuna is a staple in our house. We copied down the ingredients in Whole Food's "happy tuna" and figured out our own recipe. It's a very savory meal for lunch, & it is particularly enjoyable wrapped in nori with some sliced veggies & chili sauce. We are still working on the pickle component–the preservatives are no good.

1.25 cups soaked raw almonds
2 cups soaked raw sunflower seeds
4 celery stalks
4 pickles
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp dill
2 soaked dates
1 tsp agave
1 tsp dulse
handful of nutritional yeast
lots of crushed red pepper!
sea salt & ground black pepper

Blend everything in a food processor until desired consistency. Stir in 1 small white onion, chopped, and 2-3 more large dill pickles, chopped. Wrap with nori, add other veggies for a more sushi like experience, smear with chili sauce & dip in organic tamari! Makes many servings, maybe 8? I usually count a serving as 300 calories.


Usually we have a big kale salad every night for dinner. If we can't find kale, we use spinach, romaine, or mustard greens. Having salads for dinner totally changed our lives! Instead of feeling weighed down & sleepy after eating, we are energized & satisfied. It's important to have lots of yummy toppings to keep from getting bored. We essentially won't eat salad without avocado, because it is so integral to the taste & full of healthy fat.

the salad (approximately 4 servings):
1 bunch of kale
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1 small chopped onion
5 chopped jalapenos
1-2 sliced avocados
sprinkle of sunflower & pumpkin seeds
handful of nutritional yeast (it's like parmesan! & it's where vegans can get their vitamin b12)

cayenne dill tahini dressing: (adapted from Brendan Brazier's Thrive)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup hemp oil
1/4 cup water
2 T raw tahini
1 T dill
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp agave nectar
sea salt

Blend or stir everything together & refrigerate before serving to get the flavors a-mixin. Our salads are usually about 550 calories a serving with all the avo.


Raw vegan macaroons have got to be our favorite dessert. Even though they are a decadent treat, they contain only the healthiest ingredients. They are actually a perfect snack before a short run! These cookies won't give you that sick I-ate-too-much-sugar feeling & they are AMAZING & CHEWY refrigerated. We copied the ingredients from a package we got at Whole Foods & made our own recipe.

2 cups raw shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 T coconut oil
2 cups soft dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 T agave nectar
sea salt

Blend everything in a food processor, form into little cookie shapes, and refrigerate. Sometimes you might need more dates if the mixture isn't sticky or sweet enough. Makes about 25 cookies, around 100 calories apiece.

Aside from fruit, that's pretty much all we eat right now! We sometimes make raw vegetable noodles with salsa & avocado, & we have been really enjoying our new food dehydrator for kale and zucchini chips!

What are your favorite raw vegan recipes? As soon as we move, we're trying out new entrees!