newlyVEG

Daily Experiences of a newlyVEG couple

Whitewash

Do you get asked about milk? Do you hear people saying they would never ever give up their cheese? Do you sometimes get nostalgic cravings for that ice-cream you liked years ago?

If the ethical or environmental aspect of going vegan is not for you, there is always the one concerned with health. To get more convinced (or convince someone) why giving up dairy is a good idea, we strongly (very strongly) suggest reading ‘Whitewash’ by Joseph Keon.

We all, no matter which country we live in, get brainwashed (intentionally or unintentionally) from the young age, that drinking milk is essential for our health. Protein, calcium, and what not. But is it really so?

The author’s thorough investigation of the dairy industry, public health issues, edge-cutting research and studies that have been conducted over the last decades reveals some flabbergasting facts.

The bottom line is that we, humans, are “the only species that consume another species’ milk”.

In such unnatural volumes…

I think it’s impossible to write a review or comment on this book. It has so many details, explanations, examples that one would need to write another book to fit all the comments..

If you are…: a parent, a grandparent, about to be one of them, a health practitioner, an ice-cream or cheese-addict, or just a human being… This book is for you.

No matter which country you live in and what language you speak, if you can read this post, you can read the Whitewash. Buy, borrow, get one by any means (we are not paid to advertise, by the way (; ).

It is that good.

Happy reading!
S & H

Inspiring people. 98 and counting..

There are inspiring documentaries or posts but the most amazing is to see a true living example… Hats off to Dr. Ellsworth Wareham.

What is your carbon footprint?

Rethink. Recycle. Reuse.

Becoming vegans we don’t just focus on a food part, which is of course essential to our daily life and sometimes quite overwhelming – so much, that we start blogging about it(:
…we also start rethinking, reevaluating and refocusing.
So did NewlyVegs.

You know when you read or watch someone talking about transitions happening to them after going vegan…they talk about some clarity of mind that they obtain or regain. That’s it – you can’t find a better word to express what starts going on with and around you.

With all that new information that we get, with the shift in diet, with the changed attitude towards animals, all earthlings, human lives and environment we start resetting our values and re-establishing the whole paradigm of the world perception.

One of the most decisive part here is the people who challenge us.
You can’t avoid people who start asking you (or even sometimes proving you wrong) on the protein part, on calcium or vitamins, wondering if margarine is vegan or if vegans can eat beans or if they can eat out… They ask Why? When? How? Etc…
This all challenges you first to formulate your basic answers, then (if you see the persistence of those people) back them up with fresh and convincing data, then you realize you should make it concise and powerful. Then you realize that people just start interviewing you (:
We don’t mind that though…
In the process of getting these answers you most importantly rethink, you compare your pre-vegan attitude or outlook to the current one, you define what you value the most now..

As for our rethinking, there have been few novelties in our outlook.
What happened to us was that we came to minimalism, we started appreciating less and began to downsize. We rethought what few things we really need in life. At the end of the day – we just need each other, a cup of tea and a roof above our heads. We are still on our way to minimizing (sometimes we get amazed how attached we get to stuff) and our soon-to -come moving out to a new place would help us a lot. More on this minimalistic lifestyle is yet to come (follow up) (:
Another part of minimizing things is minimizing our carbon footprint.
As one of the components of our CF-reduction (with onset of summer) we tried to go car-free. That’s one of the direct carbon emissions. We got our bikes ready and started in June! Even when we don’t bike we try to walk and avoid driving.
We know sometimes it’s hard for people to go completely car-free, but if everyone just did it 50%?…
Just think about – how many times we unconsciously take our car and drive somewhere we could walk or bike or take a bus? That’s become so much inconvenience to us, hasn’t it? We will have to ride the bike….Or we will have to wait for a bus… We will find any excuse not to.
That’s actually not that big a deal. Our problem is that we never reflect on those extra emissions that go up in the air even on a short drive.. We think it happens only somewhere in India or China but not with us. And after all it should be the government to impose the emission reduction, right?…We neither think that walking from time to time, or biking, will actually do so much good to our health.

So we’re “starting with the man in the mirror”.
Bikes will make us less lazy (; more sporty (as it’s an extra exercise on the way to work) and more environmentally-friendly. And it’s fun! We’ve got kiddish bells on our bikes, so that when we ring them, people expect some kids riding bikes and when they see us they smile or laugh (: which is great.

So..That’s where our rethinking has lead us (: That’s just one of our ways to reduce our personal carbon footprint. What’s yours?

Join us (:

Thanks for reading,
H & S

Cha Cha Chia

One of our accidentally discovered super-foods is chia seeds.

We guess you have already heard at least something about this magic seed!
It has this nice poppy-seedy crunch to it and looks a bit like poppy-seeds. The ways we use them are sooo various…

First, it has the property of becoming a jelly! Isn’t it cool?(:
So it creates a jelly-like substance while soaking in water and swells a little bit. If you put them into cup with water and leave them for a while.. You’ll come back and see a healthy jell-o in your cup. We once even tried to put them into juice and we got real jelly with chia seeds! But if you make a huge glass of juice every day or make a morning smoothie, it would be a good habit to add them to your juice and drink it shortly after. If it’s your only breakfast, it will make you feel more satiated as they swell in your belly (:

Another way to introduce them into your daily diet is to sprinkle them on your salad. Like a tablespoon at the last moment. It doesn’t have time to swell and soften down, so you get this pleasant crunch to your salad.

We also put them into our morning müsli along with grains, fresh fruit, berries, other seeds and nuts! I doesn’t affect the taste too much but boosts the nutrient value!

We named the post Cha Cha Chia as we also got hooked on to the Chunks of Energy that you can buy in any health food store or online. Among vegan-friendly ones there are Carob+Supergreens, Cacao+Goji berries, and what not…and, of course, Cha Cha Chia. Have some more info on ingredients, variety and nutrition labels here: https://chunksofenergy.com/shop/category/vegan/
They are soooo nutritive, delicious, addictive, ease-to-replicate and must-try! So, if you have never tried them, go and check at your nearest health food store. They usually can even order them for you!

Chia makes a great egg replacement. Just combine with water to form a gel, and add it to recipes that call for egg.

One more thing we do with chia seeds is a salad dressing! You can mix whatever you feel like and add chia seeds. They will incorporate all the ingredients together in a few seconds. When we make a dressing like this, we don’t even have to add oil – it’s so much lighter! And the dressing consistency is great.

So, now… Why so much fuss around those chia?
Well…..
As we read the other day:
Chia seeds, nutrition-wise, seems to be the latest magic bullet.
—Sophia Ratliff.

As taken from Food Matters website:

Chia – A Nutrient Powerhouse – is notable for:

– Chia is gluten free *for those who are on a gluten-free diet
– It is super high in dietary fibre, making it great for digestion and healing digestion issues. *whoa…here, guys, be careful… You will run to the bathroom much more often, believe us (: sometimes we even need a break from them (:
– It contains 20% Omega 3 ALA, making it a super food for the brain and heart. They provide health benefits on par with fish and fish oil, yet are appropriate for a vegan diet. Chia has eight times more Omega 3 than salmon! *isn’t a great news for vegans?(:
– It contains 20% protein
– It is high in antioxidants (It has a four times higher ORAC value than blueberries)
– Chia contains five times more calcium than milk *did you know that??(:
– Chia contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges
– It contains three times more iron than spinach
– It contains twice the potassium content of banana
– It is food for healthy skin, hair and nails
– It has a positive impact balancing blood glucose levels (making it awesome for diabetics)
– it’s also known for its hydrating and endurance properties.

It couldn’t sound any better, huh?(:

We think, by now, you are ready to go to the health food store (:
Yes-yes, it’s a Must-have in the kitchen.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,
S & H

Kombucha. Oh, mother…

Don’t get scared of the name (:

Kombucha is fermented tea.
It’s light, refreshing, with crispy acidity, slightly & pleasantly fizzy, addictive…and extremely healthy! (:

It’s been made for centuries all around the world. However, when you first stumble upon that name it might not ring a bell… It has so many names! But the essence is one and only: fermentation of tea.

We had been planning on trying Kombucha for a long time, but as soon as we did, we regretted that we hadn’t tried it earlier! (:

So…what are its benefits?
And why should Vegans drink it?

Being vegans we all try to find the source of vitamins and minerals we might lack on a plant-based diet. Thus, one of them is B-group. You can start reading and researching on B-vitamins and all they tell you is that the main source is meat..
However..
Good news! All fermented foods have all the Bs.
Kombucha is not an exception (:
and by the B-content they all can actually beat any meat-source! (;

So, from B-group we get:
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12

But that’s not all yet. Kombucha is a magic drink and it provides us with Enzymes, Antioxidants and Organic Acids:

EGCG or Gallic Acid
Folic Acid
Gluconic Acid
Glucuronic Acid
L(+) Lactic Acid
Acetic Acid
Carbonic Acid
Usinic Acid

You must be asking “how exactly will it help me?”
So, not expecting any health organization, big company or institution to do a study on health benefits of Kombucha (big pharmaceutical companies e.g. are hardly interested in that, are they?) the Kombucha Guy Dave has been conducting a survey for more than 5 years through his web-site and posted some results that you might like. Among the health benefits that people notice drinking Kombucha on a regular basis there are the following:

– it alkalizes your body (despite its acidic taste)
– it improves your digestion
– it (thus) helps you lose weight
– it elevates your mood (due to serotonin increase)
– it energize you
– it boosts your immune system
– it relives constipation
– it cleanses your liver
– it helps with hangovers
– it benefits your skin
– it strengthens and restores your hair

Not bad, huh? (:

However, on the American Cancer Society website you can find a disclaimer that “No human studies have been published in the available scientific literature that support any of the health claims made for Kombucha tea” and even stumble upon examples of lethal outcomes -allegedly- from Kombucha culture..

It’s very useful to inform yourself about that but should not be discouraging.
Some people report allergic reaction (which can happen to any food or drugs),
Others – acidosis..
After all, over drinking / over smoking / over dosing / over doing of -anything- might kill.
But eventually, the rule of the thumb should be “everything within reasonable limits”. Anything new that we try, we never try in bulk, right? So, same here (;
Try little by little.

We named the post “oh, mother” as Kombucha drink is made through the process of fermentation of sweet tea by Kombucha Mother.
Essentially, Kombucha Mother is referred to SCOBY – symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Their activity products actually enrich the fermented tea with so many beneficial properties.

The Kombucha culture vary and may incude:
Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Bacterium xylinoides, Bacterium katogenum, Pichia fermentans, Candida stellata, and Torula species, among others.
Even if you see among others Candida – beware that it’s C.stellata and not that notorious albicans (;
(Taken from American Cancer Society)

Alcohol concern.
Of course, many of you realize that there should be some amount of alcohol in any product of natural fermentation. You are absolutely right. However, the alcohol content is extremely small. According to the American Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Kombucha should be labeled as alcoholic drink because. it contains on average 0.5% alcohol.
This amount though is not sufficient neither to make you drunk nor to even prevent the vitamins from absorption. In this case the beneficial properties of the drink offset the alcohol-related concerns. So it should not be too much of worries (:

We would definitely recommend trying it! You could just buy a bottle of Kombucha in any health food store. And iIf you really really like it (and just for your health) you could start brewing your own Kombucha like we do. It’s sooo easy (;

Remember: Start little by little.
Quoting the same Kombucha Guy Dave “it’s like preparing for a marathon. You always start by Jogging” (;

To learn more, here are some great sources:

* The Kombucha Guy Dave

* Harald Tietze “Kombucha: the miracle fungus”

Thanks for reading!
S & H

Earthlings. No way back.

As we have already started talking about movies….

Last weekend we watched “The Earthlings”.

Well, “watched”.. We stopped it half way through, as we couldn’t take no more. And finished watching the other day.

Documentary.
Live footage.
Shocking-&-making-even-strongest-cry reality.

The filmmakers used a hidden camera, and did the right thing, as I guess noone would behave as they did in the movie, had they known there is a camera.. The truth is just shocking, so get morally prepared, but don’t delay watching it for too long. It’s worth watching. It’s something everyone should see.

You will see the reality as it is. And then decide whether you feel the same about animals. About meat and dairy.

So….saying shortly, our main thought after that movie was “how unfair and cruel humans are”

We, humans, live with some feeling of superiority. Superior to other species. “Intellectually higher” than other species. And at the same time having some extremely consumeristic attitude to those “not high enough”.
Who gave us any right to behave like this?
No one asks themselves.
We take it all for granted.
We’ve gone way to far.

We are all Earthlings here on the Planet Earth.
And killing animals because we are “higher” in development is the same as advocating for genocide (all the scenes from the movie are pure holocaust…), where one presumably superior race of people eliminates all others.. Does it ring a bell?

The most unfair thing is that:
We don’t kill for defending our lives.
None of the animals (millions of species…) killed on a daily basis actually attacks us or poses any threat on our lives. They are innocent. As an example from “the Edge”, of course you would kill a bear if it tries to kill you. But the reality is … we are much more of a threat to the animals.

We don’t kill for survival.
In the areas where people live with little to no access to plants (permafrost, desert or steppes) they have to keep the cattle as a source of clothes and food. It’s a natural environment for them. It’s a natural cycle there. The rest of us live in an abundance of plants around!

We have undermined the nature balance.
Now we kill for consuming. We treat nature as commodity. We use it. For either satisfying our taste buds or for fashion, for fuel and for profits…

It’s not fair to the nature.
It’s not sustainable.
It’s inhuman.

We’ve stumbled upon one response to the Earthlings on YouTube:

By true101story:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e07nq7R5jxk

And another one by Sir Paul McCartney:
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?client=mv-google&layout=tablet&ipadtype=2&utcoffset=-240&v=EtZXOdpU1j8&has_verified=1

And actually, if you’ve heard of the movie, but still hesitant or scared to watch, just read or watch some responses to it, like ours or the ones on YouTube.

At the end of the day you should remember:
“If slaughter houses had glass walls we would all be vegetarians” (…or better vegans)

And this movie for 1.5 hours makes these walls glass for you. So take a chance to see it for yourself.

Thanks for reading!
S & H

Where do you get your protein from?

There’s one most common question Vegans are always asked:

But where do you get your protein from?

As we read it somewhere: it’s funny because no one really cares where you get your protein unless you tell them you are Vegan. (:

it’s coming as a shock for meat-eaters to know that a vegan doesn’t consume any meat or dairy.
The thing is… we all (almost all over the world) are brought up with a glass of milk and we literally imbibe that it’s the main source of protein.
As we grow older, everywhere we are taught and told that another important source of protein is meat.
Years later, we find ourselves in this weird protein-craze. People check nutrition labels on products to see how much protein they contain, eat protein bars, drink protein mixes. Without even asking what we need it for.

So, after going Vegan it’s one of the first things you start researching.

First, let’s see why protein is important.
(You can skip if you know it all (: )

There are two main purposes of protein in our bodies:
growth
– tissue repair

It’s naturally presupposed that maximum protein that we need is when we have our maximum growth. Thus, when we are newborns and kids. That’s why we evolved getting protein from mother’s milk. But nature did not make this milk endless. Why? Because we don’t need it. The rest needed amount of protein we can get from our food. Not from someone else’s mother. Who happens to be a cow. Or a goat.
We don’t eat meat while being babies either. However, slowly we are given meat through our diet. Because the ministry of health told so. Or because they give it at school. Or because it’s advertised everywhere so that we are taking it as a norm? In a fast-pace life we don’t even stop and think if we need it. Leave alone the ethical part..

Thus, growing up we get the taste of cheese, milkshakes, fried meat, grilled meat, smoked meat… Getting addicted to its greasy taste. And meat-addicted, as we are, we justify it with the need of protein. (In a first place). We are convinced by others, by the whole system that it’s normal.

As for the tissue repair, we need protein to balance out the loss of tissue that is deteriorated in everyday life. Thus, the protein plays some essential role for adults. But even here, we don’t need much.
The reality is that we keep on eating more and more proteins, thinking we are deficient in them, adding more foods with higher concentration of protein as if we were starving. Is this how it is supposed to be? The answer is…..

no (:

To find an answer for our daily requirement of proteins hundreds of studies were carried out. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is around 50gr. per day, some nutritionists recommend 70-90, the FAO/WHO (World Health Organization) recommended daily protein intake is 0.75g per kilo of your weight (0,34g per pound), the official US recommended protein intake is at 0.8g/kg.
But looking at the general public, which follow these daily requirements and also consume some more protein – just to be safe – we can see that something in their nutritional intake is definitely wrong.

..Are you still with us?)

So, looking at the results from studies of people with exceptional health, but consuming less protein in their diet, we were more than convinced that 15 to 30 grams per day is sufficient. Here, recommended intake is 25-30 grams per day. That’s it. That’s more than enough protein one can get on a plant-based diet. From a great variety of food!

Let’s take a look at the herbivores like horn-noses, elephants, gorillas, horses, buffalos, or deers. They grow, have muscles and energy. (…and they are freaking strong! (: )

To sound more convincing, we put together a list of some Vegan source of proteins (which one can eat on a daily basis).

Here we go…
Grams. (Remember, you need to get 25-30 (; )
In 100 grams:

16.89 – Oat
14 – Quinoa
12.6 – Buckwheat
9.9 – Barley
7.13 – White Rice
6 – Couscous

36.49 – Soy beans
26 – Lentil
23.86 – Mungo beans
13.22 – Black-eyed peas
8.86 – Chickpeas

3 – Dried Figs
2.45 – Dates
1.4 – Apricot
1.09 – Banana
0.94 – Orange
0.9 – Peach
0.7 – Plum
0.69 – Grapefruit
0.38 – Pear
0.26 – Apple

2 – Avocado (we found it as both fruit and berry)

1.5 – Raspberry
1.4 – Blackcurrents
1.1 – Cherry
0.88 – Goosberry
0.7 – Blueberry
0.58 – Persimmon
0.4 -Strawberry
0.39 – Cranberry

28.38 – Barley grass
25 – Wheat grass
4 – Alfalfa
3 – Kale
3 – Parsley
3 – Collards
2.38 – Seaweed
2.3 – Watercress
2.2 – Spinach
1.4 – Lettuce

6.39 – Garlic
3.38 – Brussels sprouts
3.2 – Sweet corn
2.89 – Artichoke
2.82 – Broccoli
2.20 – Asparagus
2 – Potato
2 – Cauliflower
1.2 – Squash
0.9 – Tomato
0.7 – Celery

Some more?)) here you go…:

23.68 – Peanuts
21.35 – Pistachio nuts
21.22 – Almonds
18.22 – Cashews
15.23 – Walnuts
14.95 – Hazelnuts
14.32 – Brazil nuts
13.7 – Pine nuts
9.7 – Pecans
7.9 – Macadamia Nuts
3.33 – Coconut

32.97 – Pumpkin seeds
22.78 – Sunflower seeds
20.45 – Sesame seeds
18.29 – Flax seeds
15 – Chia seeds

3 – Mushrooms

Tam- ta-da-da…
our Superfood!
50 – Nutritional yeast

Not even talking about soy-products! (Tofu etc.)
(;

With all that I guess we have more protein than any meat-eater…(;
So, if you don’t even try to “get your protein”, it will find its way to your body.

As long as you eat a diet full of various vegetables and fruit, grains, nuts and seeds, you get ALL you need. What is more nutritive, after all, mono-meat-based diet or delicious plant-based diet with a variety of food?

To learn more about that:
This girl has totally made our day (:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=daNuJa_QrYk
Full article on everything you need to know about Protein:
http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/proteins/index.html

Thanks for reading!
S & H

“Vegucated”

Probably the best way of learning is doing something fun!
Movie.
We all love movies.
We are all ready to take 1,5h out of our lives for a nice movie.
In this case it can also be the best way to educate yourself.

“Vegucated”.
Documentary.
The best movie to start changing towards vegan! ..or at least understanding who Vegans are and why.

Marisa Miller Wolfson (filmmaker) made 3 average New Yorkers, hard core meat-eaters, go vegan for 6 weeks. At the same time she educated them on the topic of healthy diet, checked their health along with the doctors throughout these weeks and showed them the reality.

This documentary is an EYE-OPENER.
For those who have no idea. For those who still have doubts.
For us it was a turning point to never touch fish.. and another proof that it was the right decision to abstain from meat & dairy.
This movie inspires. It gives facts. It shows experience of 3 average Americans with their standard diet – anyone could be in their shoes. It shocks. It challenges your morality. And the best thing about it is that it’s not a hyperbolized made-up story, it’s a documentary.
Truth, truth and only truth.

Must-see vegan documentary.

Happy Watching,
S & H

Happy Vegan 2013

So… The experiment started on the NY’s Eve.
To be honest, we hesitated whether we can do it. But I think everyone is facing this fear.. It was not even about refraining from meat or milk. We slowly went from meat-eaters to pescetarians to semi-vegans occasionally eating fish and cheese. These TWO were our ultimate temptations! As we were both addicted to the French blue cheese, Parmesan, Swiss Gruyere…(oh, mouthwatering, huh?) and fish, it was kind of hard to make the first step. But we did it.
Inspite of fears and hesitation, inspired by the idea, other people and what they do, we convinced each other that it’s the right way to go. We made the resolution. And now there’s no way back.
It’s the second month of our journey (:
Now we realize that the most important thing is to start – to make this very first step. We thought that writing a blog with our experience is the best way to show others “a man can do what another man can do!” and explain that Veganism is not just a hippyish way of life or a rebel against the mainstream or whatever comes first to people’s mind..
It’s just a natural order of life. As we evolved. It’s a healthy lifestyle. It’s sustainability. It’s harmony within and around us. It’s the world we create.
And at this point, we realize…it’s not just a one-year-thing… It’s a commitment for life and that’s what we want to do. And now I regret not having been “vegucated” much earlier in life. But it’s better late than never. Right?
So, talking about our food:
No, we don’t just eat grass, grains and tofu.. ))
ALL the vegetables
ALL the fruit
Legumes
Well, yes, grains..
Our own bread
And yes, tofu too (on occasions.. – follow up on this later)
And all the possible blends of everything above..
Thus: pizza, pasta, sushi, rolls, salads, soups, deserts, veggie ragoût.
And we JUICE.(that part deserves a separate post too)
As you see, we don’t deprive ourselves from food, do we? And it’s all yummy (:
We just don’t eat food derived from animals. Why should we?..
We know you will have these “should”s, we used to have our owns.
Not anymore. (: at least, not this way. Not through animals.
Follow the blog for more!

Thanks for reading,
S & H

Vegan. To Be Or Not To Be.

The best on being Vegan we’ve ever seen was on a T-shirt (:
http://www.nonviolenceunited.org
It just embraced the whole point! Not only the food part (:
Here it is…

Front of the shirt reads as follows:

Compassion.
Nonviolence.
For the People.
For the Planet.
For the Animals.

Back of the shirt reads:

Feed the hungry.
Save indigenous people.
Stand up for workers’ rights.

Be kind to animals.
Stop factory/animal farms.
Save 100 animals every year.

End deforestation for grazing.
Save an acre of trees per year.
End grazing on public lands.

Tell the government
to stop killing wildlife for
corporate ranchers’ profits.

Stop wars for resources.
Help end corporate rule.
Make the world a better place.

Help stop climate change.
Stop the #1 polluter of water.
Support a sustainable planet.

Live your values.
Live with compassion.
Stop the violence.

So…? You decide.