Sorry, this is a more serious post and not so uplifting for Valentine’s Day…

In 2006 I went to Washington DC with some fellow (female) students at Stony Brook University to Lobby for VAWA: The Violence Against Women Act. On lobbying days you get to walk in and talk to senators (or their assistants) and tell them why they should be on your side of a particular issue. You can also listen to politicians and sometimes celebrities who are supporting the same issue. I actually got to listen to Joe Biden speak in person, who, despite all of his bumbling as a vice president, happened to be very persuasive and eloquent at the time.  Gabriel Union also spoke in favor of the bill, as she was a victim of rape prior to becoming a star and found it to be an important cause.

It was supposed to be reauthorized last year (2012) but it was halted. Since I am not eloquent enough to explain the details I have quoted some information below and provided links to important sites.

From the hotline.org:

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States. The passage of VAWA in 1994, and its reauthorization…has changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking have been able to access services, and a new generation of families and justice system professionals has come to understand that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes that our society will not tolerate.

The Violence Against Women laws provide programs and services, including:

  • Federal rape shield law.[16]
  • Community violence prevention programs
  • Protections for female victims who are evicted from their homes because of events related to domestic violence or stalking
  • Funding for victim assistance services, like rape crisis centers and hotlines
  • Programs to meet the needs of immigrant women and women of different races or ethnicities
  • Programs and services for female victims with disabilities
  • Legal aid for female survivors of violence

(Information from Wikipedia)

According to the Huffington Post:

The bill authorizes $659 million over five years for VAWA programs. It also expands VAWA to include new protections for LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence, to give more attention to sexual assault prevention and to help reduce a backlog in processing rape kits.

VAWA typically gets reauthorized with little fanfare. But Congress failed to do so last year amid House Republican objections to provisions in the Senate bill that expanded protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented immigrant victims of violence. This year’s Senate VAWA bill includes the LGBT and Native American provisions, but leaves out the piece for undocumented immigrants. 

Go to desertnews.com to read about why there are people opposed to the LGBT and Native American provisions. My favorite quote from that article:

VAWA “represents a ‘feminist’ attack on family values.”

Give me a break.

As a woman and the mother of a daughter, this legislation is of the utmost importance. I think Senator Patrick Leahy said it best:

“It is difficult to understand why people would come in here and try to limit which victims could be helped by this legislation,” Leahy said. “If you’re the victim, you don’t want to think that a lot of us who have never faced this kind of problem, sat here in this body and said, ‘Well, we have to differentiate which victims America will protect.'”

To read more about VAWA: VAWA facts Sheet

Information on how to support VAWA via FB and Twitter

Support VAWA- it would be great to eliminate violence but until then let’s give the abused rights and a voice.

And…

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted by: hoppybottoms | February 5, 2013

Mamas let’s take a vote

Posted by: hoppybottoms | February 5, 2013

The Breast Advice: #breastfeeding

This post is going to be more about my experience rather than a How-To guide…

I have always been interested in environmentalism, when I was a kid I started something called “The Clean-up Club” to go around and pick up trash off the streets. It wasn’t overly successful I was 10 and the “club” consisted of my best-friend and whoever she was hanging around with at the time. And when I was around 11 or 12 I started to detest the idea of eating meat. My point is, I should have known that the natural progression of this would be me ending up a vegan, semi-eco/natural mama who wanted to breast feed and cloth diaper.

If you will learn anything from my posts, it is that younger Kelly was way too quick to jump to conclusions and judge before knowing the facts or experiencing something for herself. Older Kelly knows better. So, a few years ago if you would have asked me about breast feeding I would have told you that I thought it was weird. I understood it was natural but still too weird for me to attempt it when I had kids.  So, when much wiser (although still not wise enough) Kelly found out she was pregnant, the wheels started turning.

Steve and I discussed breast feeding at length (we were both Pro but we just needed to discuss the different scenarios). I wanted to do it, I was dedicated to doing it, but because of some medical issues I wasn’t sure it would be an option. But, I was going to try, and I hoped it was going to work.

So, my darling Lily was born and they immediately put us skin to skin (as requested) to attempt a latch. We tried for a few minutes but it didn’t quite work. Of course, she came out screaming so loudly that my family didn’t realize I had the baby, they thought it was an older baby screaming in another room; she just wasn’t quite ready to stop crying and start latching. I was so wrapped up in the moment that my disappointment with the failed attempt came and went quickly.

If there is anything I can tell you about the experience of giving birth and also attempting to breast feed it is that you will repeatedly hear doctors and nurses speak of your lady parts as though they haven’t been your own private business your entire life. Stranger than the discussion of your parts, is the touching of your breasts and nipples like it ain’t no thing…it takes some getting used to.

After the euphoria of finally meeting your beautiful baby dies down, they come in and ask you, “breast feeding? Bottle feeding? Or both?” My answer “Breast feeding.” This meant constant attempts to feed her: most failed, all painful. It also meant that she was brought from the nursery every 2 hours throughout the night (yes, we decided to put her in the nursery and not room in; I mulled it over a lot, don’t judge me) to nurse. Now, trying to nurse a baby when you just gave birth, have barely slept and you are inexperienced is quite the show at 2am, 4am,etc. But I did it, and I am glad I did.

The lactation consultants (LC) at the hospital are there for a reason- to help you. It is there one job. Use them! For some reason at my hospital the lactation consultants didn’t work on the weekends and I went in on Friday and Lily was born 12:14am Saturday; so they sent in one of the nursery RNs who was sort-of trained, to help me. She was semi helpful.

I lucked out because the LC was filling in for another nurse on Sunday and she was super helpful. Then on Monday another LC was on duty. She came to check on me because the LC from Sunday called her and asked her to see me; talk about service! She sat with me and Steve for a long time while we were waiting to be discharged going over tips, tricks and methods. She truly was wonderful. She even called me a few weeks later to check on me! (I didn’t answer the phone because I had a screaming baby but still…wow).

When we left the hospital Lily had lost 9oz.  It is normal for a baby to lose something like 5-10% of their body weight in the first few days (which I didn’t know, so there is a little bit of info for you), she lost a little more than that but no one was concerned.

Once I got home, I nursed Lily every 2 hours pretty religiously. When I got tired or discouraged, Steve did a wonderful job of encouraging me and reminding me how important it was to me.

When we went for our one week check-up, Lily had only gained 1 oz. The pediatrician (who nursed all of her children, her youngest until he was 4!), said that as long as the numbers were going up there was nothing to be concerned about…yet.

Then at the next check-up she had only gained a few more ounces. It was a positive that she was gaining, according to the pediatrician, but she should have been gaining more. She said that we didn’t have to worry about supplementing yet but if she continued this way I might have to. She asked that I come for a weight check in 2 weeks and if she still hadn’t gained enough, to start supplementing.

Now, I know that there are people out there who will tell you that you never have to supplement. Babies should only be breastfed, etc. But you can tell those judgy jerks to shove it; it is about what is best for your baby and sometimes that is doing something that may not have been your ideal choice.

Lily was colicky. She cried and cried, a lot and loudly, during her first month. So before that weigh-in we decided to start supplementing. We started with just one formula bottle at night to help her (and us) sleep better. It worked. She screamed less and slept more. I still woke up to nurse her throughout the night, but it wasn’t as frequent and she wasn’t AS cranky. I have to tell you that it took a lot out of me to let go of the guilt I felt. I truly felt like I failed her because I wasn’t able to provide her with enough. Eventually, I let go of that but I had to work through it.

A week or so prior to that I started pumping occasionally. Not a lot, because I was nursing her all day long, but once in awhile at the suggestion of the LC. I was using something called a nipple shield (I know, what the hell is it that, right?) to help me and nipple shields can decrease your milk supply but pumping can help that (I no longer use them). I have to say never was I more in aw of the female body then after watching myself push another human out (yes I watched in the mirror) and then breast feeding; women, even if they don’t have kids should feel empowered…we are amazing! Anyway, once we started giving her the bottle at night I would pump because she wasn’t nursing at that time. I noticed that I wasn’t getting a whole lot. I asked my friends who had also had babies and they were getting WAY more than me when they pumped. I looked into different foods and things to try and increase my supply, I asked the pediatrician and nothing really worked. I still drink Mother’s Milk tea occasionally and I was already a lover of oatmeal, both are supposed to boost milk supply.

If you read up, the literature states that a baby nursing gets a whole lot more than a pump but even still it seemed like Lily might be getting short changed in the milk department. So, after a few weeks of supplementing once at night, we started supplementing when she nursed. Her colic almost disappeared. She still cried a lot, but not nearly as often and she slept SO MUCH BETTER (which then made her less cranky later). I should mention that nursing is a LONG process. it can be 30-45 minutes on each side. I would feed her for over an hour and she would still scream when she was done. That is why we decided to start supplementing.

At the next appointment her weight gain was perfect. 🙂

There are some people out there, maybe even professionals who will say that I didn’t go about this the right way. That’s OK. They don’t know my particular situation or my baby. I did what was best for my little Lily, and she is a much happier, healthier baby for it. I wasn’t sure if I could do the breast feeding thing and I did it. I didn’t want formula, but it happened and everyone survived. The biggest thing about giving birth and having a baby (and I am sure this applies throughout their entire life) is that you have to learn to let go of what you want and plan. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out or at least not how you expected it to.

I still nurse Lily and she will be 3 months in a few days. I returned to work a few weeks ago. I wake up at 5am and nurse her; I pump 3 times at work and then nurse her almost immediately when I get home. Then for her last feeding she gets a bottle (and I pump again). Unfortunately, because I don’t produce a lot, especially when I pump, the amount of breast milk she gets is a lot less now. She usually goes to daycare with 2 formula bottles and 1 breast milk bottle because that is all I have. But I am proud to say that I will continue to get her as much breast milk as possible.

All of these birth/baby/mama posts are going to have disclaimers…

DISCLAIMER: I in no way judge those who don’t breast feed. I know that it isn’t an option for everyone. I know some people try and try and there milk doesn’t come in or for whatever reason, they just can’t do it. And some people choose not to and that is cool, too. Some people only do it for the first 4 or 6 weeks and then stop. Do what ya gotta do ladies. No judgments here. We all love our babies and that is all that matters.

Also, I am not a doctor, nurse or lactation consultant so what may have worked (or not worked) for me may be very different for you. I am however, happy to speak to anyone about the rest of my experience with this. In addition, I don’t think I could have done this if Steve (my husband) wasn’t so supportive. He really was a huge part of this working for as long as it has.

PS- I recently started taking More Milk Plus Vegetarian Pills (all natural) to try and boost supply. It has been less than a week but I think there has been a very slight increase. Hopefully, it will keep increasing. 

Some Resources (keep in mind that there are thousands of resources out there and that you should always talk to a professional who KNOWS YOU if you want the best help):

La Leche League

Earth Mama Angel Baby

Earth Mama Angel Baby free download Guide to Herbs and Breast Feeding

Earth Mama Angel Baby® Breastfeeding Products

KellyMom (no not me)

Posted by: hoppybottoms | February 4, 2013

Bottoms up!: The Scoop on Cloth Diapering

I know what you’re thinking…cloth diapers, the big piece of material that has to be folded, pinned, dunked in the toilet and layered with a waterproof cover. Well, those are old news, there is an entire world of cloth diapering out there and it is amazing!

When we found out that we were expecting a baby, the first step was trying to cut corners and curb spending in any way we could, both before and after the baby arrived. One of the things we considered was cloth diapers. Steve thought it would be a good way to save money and I agreed. Of course, I also thought that it was a great way to avoid stuffing landfills with poop! After an extensive amount of research we went with a cloth diapering “system” called Fuzzi Bunz.

I think it is important to explain all of the different ways to cloth diaper and also review how it can indeed be Eco- nomical. I am not going to reinvent the wheel here- below is a chart from diaperjungle.com outlining the different types of cloth diapers (with pictures!).

The 4 Major Cloth Diaper Types – Prefolds, AIOs and AI2s, Pockets, & Fitteds

Prefolds AIOs/AI2s Pocket Diapers Fitted Diapers
 Prefold Cloth Diapers  AIO Cloth Diaper  Pocket Cloth Diaper  Fitted Cloth Diapers
Requires a wrap or a cover Does not requires a wrap or a cover – this feature is built in. Does not requires a wrap or a cover – this feature is built in. Requires a wrap or a cover
May require a fastener such as pins or a snappi Usually fastens with snaps or hook and loop (velcro) Usually fastens with snaps or hook and loop (velcro) Usually fastens with snaps or hook and loop (velcro), sometimes a snappi or pins may be used.
Usually made of cotton, gauze, Birdseye flannel, hemp, or velour. Outer layer is waterproof…usually made with PUL, Procare, fleece, or wool. Outer layer is waterproof…usually made with PUL, Procare, fleece, or wool. Outer and inner layers are not waterproof and may consist of many different fabrics types.
A doubler will increase absorbency. A separate stuffer or doubler lays inside an AI2. Requires and absorbent stuffer material to be placed in the pocket before use. A doubler will increase absorbency.
Usually has elastic and legs and back area. Usually has elastic and legs and back area. Usually has elastic and legs and back area.
More Prefold Diaper Information More AIO (All-in-One) Information More Pocket Diaper Information More Fitted Diaper Information

Pre-folds  or flats, are the first thing that people think of when they hear “cloth diapers.” They certainly require a lot of work; they have to be folded, pinned, covered, etc. There are “services” that clean  the diapers for you, if you want to send them out and not have to worry about the hassle. This does cost money. As the chart states, these diapers require “rubber pants.” This is because the diapers can and will leak. Cotton can only hold so much liquid; have you ever cleaned up a spill with a cotton towel and watched the water drip from the towel as you clean it up…

My aunt used these diapers with my cousins, and I remember them, so I totally understand why people cringe when they think this is what I am going to be doing.

However, while they may be a lot of work, flats and prefolds are perfect for the minimalist who is environmentally conscience. Kudos, to those who choose this system as I assume while it  is the most inexpensive of the cloth diapers but definitely requires the most amount of time and care.

All-in-One (AIO)/All-in-Two (AI2), seem really convenient because they function very similarly to disposable diapers. The waterproof layer and the absorbent layer are attached so nothing extra is needed. They do take longer to dry and might not keep as long as other diapers. Not to say they aren’t good quality but with everything attached it is more likely that they will become harder to clean.

All-in-Two diapers are similar to AIO but the inner “soaker” can be removed for better cleaning and faster drying.

If I am being honest, I knew very little about these until a few days ago. I am anxious to try both an AIO and AI2.

Fitted Diapers require a cover like pre-folds or flats but unlike pre-folds or flats they are shaped like a diaper with velcro or snaps for closure. These can be easier to clean than other cloth diapers.

Last but certainly not least are the Pocket Diapers. Pocket Diapers are fitted but instead of requiring a waterproof cover they have a material on the outside called PUL that prevents the diapers from leaking. They also have a pocket built in that can be stuffed with an absorbent insert (inserts can be made of many materials like hemp or fleece). Fuzzi Bunz is the pocket diaper we chose. These are more expensive than a flat diaper but they have a waterproof outer layer and the inside material wicks away the moisture from the skin  which can help prevent diaper rash (although nothing is 100% effective). The downside is the stuffing of diaper, the upside is that there is no need for extra waterproof protection.

Now, living in an apartment with no washer and dryer keeping up with cloth diapers can be a challenge. We usually go to the laundromat once a week to do our laundry, but cloth diapers need to be washed every 2-3 days to avoid smell and staining issues. Also, babies go through a lot of diapers so unless you have A LOT of diapers you need to continually do wash. We have 25 diapers, and Lily goes through 7-10 diapers a day. Even if we wanted to we couldn’t go longer than 3 days given our supply.

We keep the dirty diapers in soft bag that zippers called the Kanga Care Wet Bag. It does a good job of keeping in the smell of dirty diapers but if there is a really bad poopy diaper, after a day the smell can make it through the bag. Everyone who cloth diapers has a different system some people but diapers in a lined can or pail with a lid; we didn’t have room for this method. For travel we have a Planet Wise Wet Bag to keep the dirty diapers. Both bags can be thrown in the wash with the diapers.

We have found that the diapers, if used properly do an excellent job of preventing leaks and are very absorbent. They have adjustable elastic so they will grow with Lily and we can have them for our next little one, if we take proper care of them (this is true of most of the cloth diapers).

Cost and Cost Effectiveness

So, the big question…is it really cheaper to use cloth diapers? If you look on the internet you will get all sorts of answers and break downs of spending on disposables vs cloth diapers. There is even a section in the,  The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet the book I mentioned in my previous post, about the cost of cloth diapering.

Consider these questions:

Do you have your own washer/dryer? If so, how much will your water and electric bills go up?  I don’t have my own washer and dryer nor do I pay a water bill, so I didn’t have to worry about this cost going up.

Do you use a public washer and dryer? If so, how much will that cost if you are washing diapers 2-3 times a week? We have to use the coin operated machines located in our complex. This meant always making sure to have quarters around and finding the time to get to and from the machines with a baby…way easier said than done! We determined though that even using the coin operated machines it still saved us money.

What kind of detergent and how much will you use? Cloth diapers require detergents free of dyes, perfumes and certain chemicals because they can effect the absorbency and the overall quality of the diaper.  So, you will likely have to buy a separate detergent. We use EcoSprout and have found it to be effective on the diapers. It cost about $20-ish and lasted us 2 months. After a few washes the diapers were getting clean but they started to smell a little so after asking around and doing some research I started to add Bio Kleen Oxygen Bleach Plus to the wash. It is environmentally friendly and cloth diaper friendly. It definitely helped. Recently, we started hand washing our diapers but that is for another post.

I should also add, that when we change her diaper we spray it with something called “Bac-Out” another Bio Kleen product. This helps to keep the soiled diaper from retaining smell or stains and I am confident that it has helped tremendously! (Washing and care of diapers will be another post)

Here are links for information about the cost break down of Cloth vs Disposable

Diaper Decisions

Undercover Mother

Mint Life

Diaper Jungle

You can decide for yourself whether it is enough of a savings to go for it. If you are thinking about transitioning to cloth from disposable, here is some information.

PS- We used disposables for the first few weeks with Lily before we realized we could adjust the elastic on the Fuzzi Bunz to fit her tiny little body. So she was transitioned at  a few weeks old.

The Environment

You can also find differing opinions about whether or not cloth diapering is really helping the environment or at least hurting it less. Some feel that doing laundry that much is wasting water and using a lot of electricity. But even if it uses a little more water, it keeps the dirty diapers from being thrown into landfills which, in MY opinion is worth using a little extra water.  According to what I have read, it takes 250-500 years for diapers to decompose.  Literally billions of SOILED diapers sit in landfills for HUNDREDS of years. Gross!

Some of the materials in diapers can become toxic as they decompose. Not to mention the fact that as they decompose the feces and urine can pollute our water system.

Read the articles below to find out more:

http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php

http://www.livestrong.com/article/149890-environmental-impact-of-disposable-diapers/

To save money and the environment you can also use cloth wipes. I have a  few but I don’t use them exclusively.  I will post about them another day.

And so…

In conclusion (because I am ending this post like a 5th grade essay), I am incredibly happy to have taken the cloth diapering route. It is definitely saving us money especially now that we are hand washing.  I am also proud to not be contributing more than I already do to landfills and water pollution. The start-up cost might be expensive but it will pay off in the end when you aren’t buying diapers every week. We were lucky to receive our diapers as baby shower gifts (although I am already starting to purchase others to try) so the start-up didn’t cost anything. So, if you are thinking about cloth diapering, register for them!

There is a whole community of people out there cloth diapering. They even have their own Facebook pages for swapping and selling diapers, as well as chatting with other users for tips and tricks. On Etsy, you can find homemade cloth diapers for sale and they are cute! It is everywhere, and I hope this trend, which used to be the only option before disposables were released, continues to catch on.

DISCLAIMER: My intention is not to insult those who use disposable diapers. Babies (and toddlers) are a lot of work; I don’t judge those who have decided against cloth diapering because it is something that one must commit to and I understand not taking that plunge. But I do hope that one day they change their mind!

This is a link to a video about cloth diapering

In future posts I will discuss washing routines, cloth wipes and other cloth diaper topics.

Have a great day 🙂

If you are interested in cloth diapering but have questions I am all ears! contact me! And if you are interested in learning more about Fuzzi Bunz or Eco Sprout definitely contact me.

Posted by: hoppybottoms | January 25, 2013

Wedding Planning is Fun but Baby Planning is Way Better!

On November 10, 2012, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl with the most spectacular head of hair. It was the greatest moment of my life (and also the most physically demanding thing I had ever done). Having a baby is amazing, exhausting and amazing. The planner in me struggles with the fact that newborns don’t have schedules or at least not convenient schedules (i.e. waking up at 3am every morning to nurse). I will say, however, that preparing for baby can be outrageously fun. I became best friend with Amazon, Babies R’ Us , and any website that reviewed baby products. My husband and I had to make a lot of decisions about how we wanted to parent our newborn/infant (very different from the kind of parenting that will be required in years to come): breastfeed or formula feed; disposable or cloth diapers; bassinet or crib; so many decisions.

There were so many things to consider, for instance… where are we going to fit any of these things in our 1 bedroom apartment? A lot of time was spent making storage spaces in crevices and measuring to make sure things would fit. I am surprised that our apartment has not sunk into the ground or exploded given the amount of stuff (furniture, clothes, toys, books, etc) we have managed to cram in our small space. Our bed literally sinks; we put it on risers to store things underneath but it is king sized and we couldn’t put a riser in the middle so sometimes we just roll into each other. This was particularly fun when I was 9 months pregnant. The things we do for our children…

In making these decisions the vegan/environmentally conscious side of me thought most decisions were quite obvious; organic everything, reusable everything, natural everything. Then a funny thing happened: I saw the prices. Unfortunately, my bank account made me rethink some of my decisions and made me realize that the best thing to do is be a minimalist; but that so isn’t me (I really want to be but I’m not there yet). So, I had to give in and buy things that may not have been as environmentally friendly as I had hoped. I try, but not everything in my life or baby Lily’s life is organic and that is OK. My husband and I try really hard (he does so with my nudging) to minimize the amount of waste we create and in turn that sometimes saves us money. In the end I realized that baby shopping is fun but the reality is there is no perfect way to prepare or care for an infant. My posts for a while will be about my experience making decisions preparing for the then unnamed baby’s arrival and my experience with those decisions.

Topics to be discussed:

Disposable vs Cloth Diapers – We went with cloth, a decision that was ultimately made by Steve, oddly enough. Great environmentally and on the bank account.

Breast vs Bottle (and all variations) – I started just nursing but as with a birth plan sometimes things just change.

Crib vs Bassinet – when you have a 1 bedroom apartment you wish that a bassinet could be used for more than a few months.

What type of breast pump to buy – I literally researched for 3 hours and still felt like I could make a terrible decision.

…and so much more.

Not being a minimalist, I bought a book to pick up some tips on being cash and eco conscience…trust me I see the irony in that. The book The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, did have some great tips. You might want to pick it up or if you want you can borrow mine 🙂

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

My next post will be about diapers. I love cloth diapers so much I am thinking about becoming a consultant, who even knew there was such a thing?!

I’m glad to be back doing this blogging thing. If you have questions about anything related to eco-friendly babies on a budget, pregnancy, vegan babies (she won’t be vegan), etc. Please post a comment!

Posted by: hoppybottoms | December 7, 2011

It is that time of year!

the Vegan Wedding Planner wants to wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, and Safe Holiday Season!

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Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

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Posted by: hoppybottoms | October 26, 2011

This Vegan Wedding Planner is famous!

OK. Not exactly but I am featured in a book that is being sold on Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble.

I was given this opportunity when I received an e-mail from a company called HAROhttp://www.helpareporter.com/
This site lists opportunities for free publicity. If you are trying to start a business or you are an expert in a certain area, you should join this site immediately! I learned about it from one of the other vendors on http://www.weddingwire.com

This particular book mostly features vegan recipes but it starts out with some stories from people who are vegans and how they transitioned (i.e. Me!)

Healthy, Happy, Thin and Cool as a Cucumber: A Vegan Cookbook and Diet Guide

Read it!

Posted by: hoppybottoms | October 4, 2011

Portobello Mushroom Burgers- Yum!

Prior to my veganism I was not a fan of mushrooms. However, once I changed my diet I decided that it was time to give them another try. I slowly started incorporating them; I don’t love ’em, but I’ll eat ’em.

One of the first recipes I tried was Dijon Portobello Steaks. They were OK, I didn’t quite get the recipe right but I was happy to try something new.

Since then, I have heard a lot about Portobello Mushroom Burgers in general. Sometimes, at work, I order from a vegan deli and they have a Portobello burger that my co-worker just LOVES. Recently, I went out to eat with my Grandma at Zen Palate (so-so) and she ordered a Portobello burger because she had heard a lot about them. A few weeks ago I went to another vegan/organic restaurant with my friend Marisa and she tried a Portobello burger- her review wasn’t great, I think the restaurant made it crunchy instead of juicy like a burger (the food I had there was really good).

So, I decided one day that I would try the burger from the vegan deli by my job. My co-worker honestly can’t get enough of it, so I thought, “Why not?” It was SOOOOOO yummy! So, I decided to try my hand in my own mushroom burger.

 Kelly’s Poppin’ Portobello Mushroom Burger Bonanza

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portobello Mushroom caps
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Soy Sauce
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • crushed red pepper

ast night I put the mushrooms in a bowl and covered them with the vinaigrette. First I turned them over and filled the inside with the vinaigrette and let it sit for a few minutes. then I turned it over put poured a little more of the vinaigrette on top and a little soy sauce, then sprinkled the oregano, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper (very small amount). I don’t measure I just eye-ball many times (most times) that works against me.

I let it sit for a few minutes. Then I put the mushrooms in a ziplock bag, and dumped the marinade in the bag. I squeezed all the air out and put the bag in the refrigerator over night.

Today, when I got home I sautéed some peppers in olive oil, defrosted a whole wheat english muffin, and grilled some tempeh bacon.

I put the mushrooms on the Foreman grill and let them cook for about 5-10 minutes until they were pretty easy to get a fork through.

Then I put the mushroom on the English muffin, added the pre-cooked bacon, Daiya cheese and peppers on top, put the top of the English muffin on and grilled for another 5-8 minutes. I love the Foreman grill it does all of this so quickly and evenly! The only downside was that the vinaigrette leaked (expected) and when I put the English muffin on the grill it got a little drenched (poorly planned), but it still grilled and tasted great.

It was delicious! Next time, I will use a little less vinaigrette but overall I couldn’t be happier that I did this all by myself! It really does have the meati-ness texture and bite (ew) of a burger without the meaty taste. But it is incredibly hearty- very filling.

The side dishes: Collard greens, kale, swiss chard and butternut squash with a little cinnamon sugar.

To make the butternut squash: I buy it fresh (not frozen) but pre cubed. I put it in a little mixture of olive oil and cinnamon sugar and mix it around. Then I heat it on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes at about 400 degrees. SO GOOD! It is myhealthier way of replacing french fries. Although, occasionally I will probably make some potatoes to go along with this meal.

So glad I can add this to my list of homemade deliciousness.

Nighty, night!

Posted by: hoppybottoms | October 3, 2011

Happy October!

I believe that the following video is a great way to start out the month of October and to provide more ideas for what we can do with our Halloween pumpkins…

Watch this

Posted by: hoppybottoms | September 22, 2011

NYC Animal Control

This morning, I received my daily update from the Gotham Gazette via my Blackberry. I haven’t really been keeping tabs on NYC news much, because I just don’t have time. But I noticed an article about an Animal Bill being passed to try and minimize the number of feral cats roaming NYC streets. It seems though, that some think this bill was rushed through in order to keep the city from being sued for things they have done to animals (or not done for animals) in the past…read it and tell me what you think. Try to by-pass all of the TERRIBLE animal puns used by the people (mostly NYC politicians) interviewed. Really, they are just awful.

I’ll just say this– how could animal shelters only have been open a few days a week. In a city with an overwhelming human and animal population! Now they will be open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week (Good). Also, they quote Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayors Alliance for NYC’s Animals, referring to this as an effort to “reduce and eventually eliminate cats outdoors,” in the interim “what you need to do is give them a good life and treat them humanely.” 

Some of that makes me uncomfortable. But go ahead, make the decision on your own.

Gotham Gazette: “Bone of Contention”

 

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