Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Vegan Beginings

Recently I realized there was a lot I could learn about who I am today by looking back to who I was at the age of 10. My childhood self is someone I look up to a lot these days. Looking back on it now, 5th grade was where I began paving the path I would walk in this life. Of course as with any path, I have wandered on and off of that path quite a few times. Yet, I am amazed at how the person I was at the age of 10 is still the person I most want to be.

In 5th grade I was an environmental activist who helped change school regulations. One of the accomplishments I am still proud of today was the work I did along with my classmates in an advanced learning program. I interviewed cafeteria workers, did research and wrote a report. We presented to the school board on the negative environmental impact of using Styrofoam. This advocacy led to the school getting rid of Styrofoam plates and dusting off the old plastic school trays, which had been sitting along the wall of the cafeteria.

The future environmentalist came out even stronger with a school fundraiser I participated in. We raised money to buy acres of rainforest to preserve it for the future. (I don’t remember how many acres now, but at the time it seemed like a lot.) I remember the walk from the school to the park where we celebrated earth day. My heart was filled with pride for making a difference and doing my part to save the earth. To me, the tall-canopied trees in Dead Horse Ranch State Park, were rainforest trees growing in the middle of Arizona.

Fifth grade also pointed me towards an important part of my future career, when I won an award for an essay I wrote about how important nurses are. (I spent over a month in the hospital at the age of 7 recovering from being run over by a car. I had plenty of nurse stories to tell even at the age of 10.) It was then, I decided I would be a writer when I grew up. With the confidence of winning an award, I wrote my first short story. Writing is something I never set aside. I am currently working on writing my first novel.

One of the most important moments of my 5th grade year, came the day my teacher showed our class a video which changed my life forever. I came home from school and told my mother I was becoming a vegetarian. She fully supported me in this and we began eating healthier as a family.

Today, those childhood values lead me forward every day. I was vegetarian on and off my whole life before I went vegan. In becoming vegan, I have found myself once again an active environmentalist. It feels good to know my goals as a child have led me into the beautiful life I am now living.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vegan Egg-less Scramble, aka lunch

For Lunch today we got creative and ended up eating brunch. It turned out fabulous (of course) and so I thought I would share.

Vegan Egg-Less Scramble
1 block extra firm tofu
Veg "sausage" (or potatoes or any other yummies)
2 TB Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar

1-2 Tsp Turm
2-3 small Sweet red peppers

1 small onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
Your Favorite Bread

Drain any moisture from tofu by pressing firmly between two paper towels or a small hand towel. Heat frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, rice vinegar, turmeric. Mix in spice so it dissolves into oil and vinegar. Crumble in tofu and cook on lower heat until the tofu soaks up the vinegar and oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook together. Very simple, quick and easy meal!