WIAW: Vegucated

Hey everyone!


[loving the leopard leggings!]

I’ve mentioned a few times that last week I went to a special screening of the documentary, Vegucated. It was really interesting so I thought I’d share a little about it and what I got out of it.

The documentary followed 3 New York City residents who took part in a 6 week social experiment that involved going vegan and learning more about the (TERRIBLE) American food industry. From the website:

“Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.” 

The three participants were the farthest thing from vegan, let alone health conscious at all! But the transformations they made in terms of thinking about their food and the reform that the food industry needs, just shows that giving people a little bit of information can make huge strides towards positive change. Hey, if 3 meat loving New Yorkers with no particular interest in health or animal welfare can be moved to tears at the thought of the how slaughter houses operate in our country, then anyones minds can be changed!

One thing I particularly liked about the film was how they also discussed that you can’t always trust labels like “natural”, “organic”, “free range”, “happy”, or “cage free”. These labels make it seem like the animals are experiencing less suffering and that the regulations to protect them are stronger, but in reality these labels only cover very specific standards. In the grand scheme of things and upon further inquiry, it turns out these labels don’t mean a whole heck of a lot. (There are some companies that are doing the right things of course! But some hide behind these labels to appear more marketable to environment and health conscious consumers!)

Although exposés like this and Food Inc. really drum up a lot of emotion in me and make me want to go and give up animal products all together (not to mention get a job in government so I can get some legislation passed to change the food industry…which I am actually looking into!), I just cannot do that right now. I eat poultry, fish, and dairy products because I enjoy them and my body gets a lot of nutrition from them. I DO NOT EAT RED MEAT (I think this part of the food industry is the most despicable) . I choose reputable organic and free-range options when ever possible and always look for local products as well. Frankly, animal products aren’t a huge part of my diet in comparison with the typical American so I feel okay about the choices I make. If everyone ate even slightly less meat then they do now, think about all the change we could make in terms of environmental and animal welfare. In a perfect world, I would be vegan (we ALL would be vegan!) because I really am an animal lover and an environmentalist…but for where I am in my life that’s just not feasible.

But like I said, I make smarter, more ethical choices based on the information I have taken in and I think that’s half the battle right there. Getting this information about the food industry out there will make consumers more aware of the atrocities that are committed everyday for the sake of our gluttony and will hopefully make people think more about the food they choose to purchase and eat.

Needless to say, I thought this documentary was very well done. In the end, some of the people involved stayed vegan, others vegetarian, but all walked away with a deep enlightenment on how there choices effect the world around them and that we all need to be a little more mindful of the food we put in our bodies.

From the serious side of food…to the FUN side! Lots of good eats to share this week for WIAW!


[turkey cabbage sautee with toasted pita topped with bean dip, cheese, and tomato]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[homemade black bean burger with kabocha, laughing cow, and roasted veggies]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[leftover lentil bolognese on salad greens]


[frozen banana and pb tortilla]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[tofu, bean quesadilla with roasted veg, yogurt, and avocado]


[turkey egg scramble and toasted pita with cream cheese and jam]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[pear and strawberries with peanut flour, flax, and almond milk]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[coconut spelt pancakes with blueberries and peaches]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[lentil and turkey salad]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


[THE BEST CHICKEN MARSALA EVER, sweet potato fries, pear, and laughing cow]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[turkey, bean salad, veggies, and squash]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[perfect grille chicken salad]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[chia bar with carrots and peanut butter]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[tuna salad sushi and salad with roasted garlic dressing]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[tuna, bean, pear salad]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[almonds, pear, and bean/cheese topped crackers]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[butternut squash, chick pea sautee pasta with roasted veggies and toast]

No submissions yet for this weeks Lend a {Healthy} Hand round up! So lend me a hand and tell me something nice you’ve done for someone else this week! Also, SPREAD THE WORD! It’s important that random acts of kindness keep getting done!

Love you all!


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Todays’s Healthy Help: Lent someone my phone who’s car battery died at school!



Thursday Things

Not the most creative title, but it does the job since I have a lot to share in a bunch of different areas!

Recent Product Sampling: 


Vino de Milo



At a local gourmet foods store, I came across a brand called Vino de Milo. After doing a little research, I decided that I had to try their products! Not only do they make really nutritious  flavorful foods…but the ingredients are so unique! Vino de Milo sent me 3 of their dressings to try as well as a jar of their roasted garlic salsa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m usually a homemade salad dressing kind of girl, but Vino’s dressings have become my favorite pre-made brand for sure. They are all made with a different type of high quality wine and this makes for such a rich, different flavor than any other dressing I’ve ever had. I don’t like wine on its own, but I LOVE cooking with it…so I expected that the flavor profile of these dressings would be amazing. And they definitely were! I like how Vino took typical salad dressing flavors and reinvented them  with the addition of high quality wines, spices, oils, and herbs! The roasted garlic was my favorite. I am a garlic lover through and through. The flavor was bold but not so much that it overpowered the foods that I put it on. I will be buying more for sure!

The salsa was another favorite as well! Not to hard to believe seeing as it was ROASTED GARLIC flavored. :) Seeing a trend here? It mixed my love of typical mexican salsa with a more italian feel because of the garlic. Perfect for topping seafood with or even on eggs! Both of which were ways I enjoyed it! Chunky, fresh, and flavorful for sure!

Thanks Vino de Milo!

MoonShadows Farms 


MoonShadows Farm makes all natural skin, home, and food products! I was lucky enough to sample a little bit of each with the package they sent me.

I got to try two of their handmade jams: Red and Black raspberry, as well as a bar of their natural peppermint soap! Oh my god…that soap smells good enough to eat. Not only is the aroma delicious, but it really invigorates your skin! It left me feeling tingly..haha!

The jam was smooth and perfectly sweet. Both varieties tasted like fresh fruit picked right off the bush! I like that they are sweetened naturally with fruit and have no added sugar. Why does sweet fruit need any added sugar anyway?! It’s naturally so delicious!

Thanks MoonShadows!

College and Life Updates: 

Bootcamp is going great! I am really loving having some structure to my workout schedule  I find it not only helps with motivation but I haven’t been fatigued or sore hardly at all because I am working different muscles and body parts everyday. One modification I have made is that instead of doing 5 minutes of straight steady state cardio between the different strength circuits (its really hard to get on and off machines without losing them at my gym), I’ve been doing a longer cardio workout before hand and then just short bursts (like 1-3 minutes) in between the strength portions. Works good for me and makes the workouts a bit more challenging since my fitness level is a little higher than what some of the workouts call for!

Also, school is going great as I mentioned yesterday! I just inquired about switching my major to a double since a lot of the International Relations classes overlap with a Pol. Sci. degree! Might as well get them both done right! And other exciting news that I hadn’t known before is that my IR major REQUIRES study abroad. WOO HOO! I was planning on studying abroad but now nothing can stop me! Hehe!


One more college thing: I am not contributing to the newspaper as a health/fitness writer! This week I am coming up with a dorm friendly workout! Can’t wait for it to be published! I’ll share it with you all as well.

And the promised…

Health Myths Revealed: 

I gathered these from a few different magazines I’ve read lately and I found them pretty interesting so I thought I’d share!

Red Wine is not necessarily the best: As far as health benefits from wine go, it’s actually the alcohol (in small amounts) that boosts good cholesterol levels. This benefit can come from WHITE or RED wine. So drink what you like…but do it moderately.

Organic produce is no more nutritious than Conventional produce: The only thing that’s different is that organic produce has less pesticides ..but as for nutrient/vitamin/mineral content they are exactly the same. And even with the difference in chemical amount, there have been no studies that have shown that ingesting the pesticides actually cause any harm. Only farmers who are exposed to massive amounts of pesticides daily have showed signs of disease.

Wheat is NOT wicked: You all know the popularity of the gluten-free diet fad lately. But unless you are actually allergic to wheat (which is LESS than 7% of the population!) then you are missing out on all the nutrients wheat has when you cut it out. It is an amazing source of folate and when you cut it out you may end up gaining weight actually! Eating wheat releases serotonin by the brain and keeps you more satisfied.

Raw veggies aren’t always better: In fact, some veggies are more nutritious once they’ve been cooked! Tomatoes, for example, increase in their cancer fighting lycopene when stewed. Also, cooking veggies makes them more digestible and less harsh on our systems. But of course, raw veggies do have a place in our diet so a variety of cooked and uncooked veggies should be eaten!

Brown eggs are not better than white eggs: The only difference is that you’re paying a HECK of a lot more for them! They have the same nutritional breakdown as regular, white eggs and unless the packaging specifies that they have added Omega-3′s, you’re not getting any more bang for your buck. The reason the eggs are brown is simply because they come from a different breed of hen.

Interesting info, right?


One more day to make submissions for this weeks Lend a {Healthy} Hand round up! This week is extra awesome because when you submit you’ll be entered to win a HUGE grab bag giveaway I have going on! So definitely don’t miss out!

See you tomorrow for the giveaway winner reveal and the weekly round-up! Can’t wait to share all the good you’ve been doing this week!


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Todays’s Healthy Help: Gave up my machine at the gym today for someone who was crunched for time!