Category Archives: crunchy rants

The End…

Readers, the end is near.

After two glorious months of work and fun school starts again…and they’re making me go.

Readers, I don’t have anything inherently against school. Sometimes I like it. Kind of. Maybe.

Really! I’m not just kidding myself!

And I don’t mind Olive leaving the house every single day to go hang out with strangers in a building where she’s not even allowed to wear pants.

One thing I’m certainly not is bitter against the stupid private school I picked and their super stupid, archaic laws about women’s dress.

Yes, school is on it’s way, and I am…completely…fine…with that…

Please don’t make me go.

I haven’t gone to a single farmers market this year! It’s not actually summer until you get to a farmers market. Naturally, I should be given an extra few weeks/months to solve this problem before being sent back to school, right?

My green beans and peas died in the heat wave this year. OSU gives time off for grieving, right?

I’ve only been on a handful of water slides! How can I possibly go back to school having only ridden a few water slides multiple times?

I don’t want to complain, but as far as summers go, this has been pretty special, even with the downs. I wish I could stay home, bake more, invent more recipes, and try other people’s recipes! I want to spend time with my family and enjoy the special things they bring to my life.

Of course, right now, Olive is stomping her foot into a kick drum as hard as she can while Mike plays what I can only describe as Satan’s chord progression.

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Actual face he makes during crap like this.

Yeah, no, I can go back to school, that’s fine.

Time to Get Helpful!

Howdy readers! Did you have a good Memorial Day? Mine was excellent, momentarily reverent, and full of delicious vegan grillables! Fun fact, my black bean burgers stand up to grilling pretty well, which is good because I was concerned they wouldn’t.

Anyway, the long weekend is over, I’m back to the grind, and desperately in need of some direction. Readers, I don’t know what you want from me. I don’t mean that in an existential, “WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAAAAAAAAAAAAAN???” kind of way. I mean that in a, “Hey, could you tell me what kind of recipes you’d like me to work on?” kind of way. Recently, I’ve noticed quite a few more followers, and if likes on my posts are any indication, some of you guys have bookmarked me. I’m pretty darn excited about this, though I have my suspicions that this has more to do with my recent cake escapades than any of my soup recipes. (Just teasing, you guys are awesome!)

So, I have some followers now, people who either like what I’m reading, think I’m funny, or like my recipe ideas. Hooray! That’s SO COOL! You guys are amazing, thank you so much! That being said, I’d like to know what you want. I’ve been asking on facebook and twitter for suggestions, and so far I’ve only been asked about what one should do with an obscene amount of beets (I’m on it Emily!). Guys, I’m going to tell you now that there is not a single vegetable, fruit, or other plant that I will not tentatively approach and do my best to prepare and there is not a single dish that I am not completely willing to try to veganize (though I’m going to have some trouble if you ask me to take on a Porterhouse Steak).

The thing is, I really, legitimately want to help you guys eat a little better and answer any questions you might have (or point you in the direction of someone qualified to answer it. I am NOT a nutritionist!). I want everyone to be able to prepare themselves a yummy, plant based meal, snack, or dessert, regardless of economic status, dietary concerns, or access to ingredients. So if you could please, please, pretty please either shoot me an email, something in the comments section, a wall post on facebook, or whatever you call the equivalent of those things on twitter (I’m ON twitter, but I’m not down with the lingo), I would really appreciate it and will get to work on it as soon as I can.

Seriously, I’m here to help. Just let me know what you need, ok?

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Please help my mommy! Can’t you see how cute I am?

Let’s Talk About the “Obesity Epidemic,” Shall We?

Readers, if you are under the age of 13 don’t read the next sentence. I think the obesity epidemic is complete and utter bullshit. 13 year old readers, you can come back now.

It’s generally considered that 1 in every 3 Americans are overweight or obese, according to BMI. If any of you have a build that is considered different from the “norm,” happen to be musclebound, or are just really thick hipped, you know that BMI is not worth it’s weight (oh god, I punned, I’m so sorry!). Unfortunately, “fat” is a bad word and the guilt campaign led by people who aren’t overweight is remarkably effective…at making us feel terrible about ourselves! If causing people emotional distress led to weight loss, we probably wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic.

Lots of factors lead to weight gain. Yes, some people eat too much junk food and are incredibly sedentary. Those are people who have an easy problem to deal with compared to people suffering from the other myriad of reasons people are overweight. In my entire life, I have never met a single person who became obese because of that problem alone. Saying that the solution for people is to simply “eat less and move more” is like saying people can raise their intelligence by sitting next to text books. It scratches the surface, but doesn’t deal with what is actually necessary to become healthy.

Did you know that people become obese because they don’t have the money or time to prepare real food? It’s a contributing factor, one overlooked by people who have always had the means to feed themselves. I could buy 1lb of kale for $1.27 right now. I could also buy a box of generic hamburger helper. If you’re trying to quickly feed a family of four, what would be your first inclination to purchase? In fact, even if you’ve bettered your situation, growing up in poverty affects your taste buds. If hamburger helper tastes like home, that’s what you will want to eat. It’s very simple logic.

Other people self medicate with food. Do you have any idea how hard it is to go through extreme emotional pain, find that the only thing you want in the world is a wedge (not slice) of cherry pie and a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and then not eat those things? In my experience, it makes everything worse. Then, you eat the pie and are happy for a second or so, until you go through the incredible amount of self hate that happens when you binge eat. Why do you hate yourself so much? Is it because you’re human? Is it because you’re hurting yourself and your body by ingesting poison? Is it because the pie just didn’t taste very good? No. It’s because you’ve been told, from infancy, that being fat is bad and you could be skinny if you just had a little more will power.

Readers, that’s complete and utter (13 year olds, look away) shit. I think instead of fat shame we should focus on good things, like learning how to eat healthy foods on a budget, or even how to grow our own. (I also believe minimum wage should go up and people should have access to preventative health care, but I can only take on so many battles.) I think people should learn how to exercise when they can’t afford a gym membership (who can these days?) and how to be able to enjoy their food without needing to eat it on the go. I think people should learn how to read a nutrition label and learn what’s worth the value and what isn’t.

Maybe, just maybe, it would also be a good idea for insurance companies to offer better counseling options.

Media, stop calling it the obesity epidemic. Stop telling people that if the rest of the country would just stop being so fat then health care costs would go down. That’s crap and you know it. Skinny people smoke, eat junk food and take crappy care of themselves, too. It has nothing to do, at all, with how overweight a person is and much more to do with how well they take care of themselves. Sure, obesity is linked to a lot of diseases. You know what else obesity is linked to? Poor health habits. Let’s call this what it really is, a “Health Crisis.” That’s something I can get behind, and that is something I would rather see than the picture you show me, every day, of the backside of large groups of morbidly obese people. It’s demeaning, it’s depressing, and it completely wipes away the dignity of the people you claim you are trying to “help.”

People watching, don’t be taken in. Most Americans need to eat better, skinny or not, and BMI is a terrible judge of health. If you are overweight, just realize that changing a few habits will help you feel tons better. If you are not overweight, just realize that changing a few habits will help you feel tons better (see what I did there?). Furthermore, never, EVER, allow yourself to be taken in by the new wave of “fat hate” that’s been everywhere lately. Overweight people are overweight for reasons you can’t possibly understand without a long conversation with each and every one of them. Besides, your hatred of them likely makes everything worse.

After all, the kids laughing at me in gym class didn’t make me want to go for a run; they made me want to hide in the nurses office. Being made fun of in the lunch room or at family gatherings (yes, this happened, though it wasn’t the adults) taught me to eat when no one was around. These aren’t healthy habits! I understand that kids can’t help themselves and can’t be held responsible for their actions, but I must ask where the gym teacher was when I was being tormented, or my teachers. I’m not even sure where my family was for all of this. I have my suspicions that the adults who should have scolded the children were just as disgusted by a fat little girl who couldn’t keep up as my peers were.

So think, very hard, about what you hear about the obesity epidemic. Ask yourself if you actually believe what the news is saying, or if you have a little bit of prejudice towards overweight people. It’s ok if you do, to be honest, I have some, too. Pots often call kettles black in these situations. At any rate, try to get over these prejudices, and for those of you getting fingers pointed at you by the media, don’t take it so hard. Educate yourselves about food and health issues that matter, and take care of the people you love.

That’s really much more effective than shame. Don’t you think?