Archive for the ‘good choices’ Category

I read a great article this week in Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Magazine (http://www.mythrivemag.com/), “Prius for the Plate: American leadership in the coming agricultural revolution.” Ethan Brown, CEO and co-founder of Beyond Meat (beyondmeat.com) offers a thoughtful discussion on the barriers to transitioning from MEAT to PROTEIN in the marketplace.

There is a dedicated meat section in the stores I shop. There is a small section, or cooler, containing plant proteins in most stores. Brown suggests that we can succeed if we can shift the paradigm – the sale of PROTEIN instead of the sale of meat and the unfortunate grouping of ‘fake’ meat products relegated to a small obscure location within the store.

The 3 Paths to Plant Protein Revolution:

1. Government Support to provide strong research for plant proteins. The new dietary guidelines (being released Spring 2015) call for further study. It seems like we are going in the right direction, but please encourage your elected officials to push for acceleration of this process.

2. Start with the kids. Get the dairy and meat bias out of our schools. My daughter’s kindergarten food pyramid sponsored by dairy. Let’s force the fast food restaurants to offer plant protein alternatives. Let them make their mark with signature sauces, but make an option available. If the dairy farms are so great, why can’t the kindergartens visit local dairy farms any more?

3. Equal Opportunity within the grocery. I use Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Feisty Crumbles: http://beyondmeat.com/beyond-beef-feisty-crumbles/ and want to share that I fooled my kids on a taco night recently. 🙂 This can keep Catholics away from the obligatory Friday fish fry that seems so prevalent during lent. I can have protein tacos on Friday, maintain my vegan and Catholic choices simultaneously while enjoying tasty tacos instead of deep-fried fish. Try the new Beast Burger and Beastly Sliders. I saw some awesome pretzel slider rolls at Costco yesterday that would be a perfect match!

The foods they are putting to market are worthy of your time. Make a good choice for your health and the Earth. Try vegan. Try Beyond Meat.

Mark

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Selective Ignorance

People start their training for selective ignorance early in life. Until recent efforts to reduce bullying in schools, the victims of mistreatment from their peers often found the pleas for help falling on deaf ears. It always seems justifiable to mind your own business when you look at things from a “how much good could I do, anyways” perspective. This looking out for number one really makes you a big piece of number two.

Let’s talk about the animals. What can I do to help the animals? Vote with your fork. If you find pictures of chickens crammed in tiny crates with other chickens unpleasant to look at, don’t eat chicken. If you are a huge fan of Charlotte’s Web (and so are you kids), say no to pork. When videos of calves being taken away from their milk-producing mothers as soon as their born pull at your heartstrings, say NO to beef.

 

Consume no animals

Many things in life fall into the category where the velocity of daily life and the more and more overscheduled family allow convenience to trump doing the right thing. It takes more effort to do the right thing. Being consistent requires planning ahead. We are a reactive society. Unfortunately people react more strongly to the latest trends on Facebook and Twitter than they do to the ongoing imprisonment and lifelong torture of animals for our food.

I have been out of work for two months now. Keeping your morals about you becomes more challenging as pressures for new work and household budgets mount. There are always choices to make. See them and seize the opportunities. Be right with the world. To help with the grocery budget, it is okay to not have any beer. No beer at all. This did coincide with my brilliant idea to give up coffee and chocolate for lent. Giving up coffee has been an epic undertaking. Epic. Seriously, epic. “Chocolate and coffee are your two main food groups,” says my oldest daughter. So cut back on the beer and I could sleep. Sleep a lot. With my busy family, there is little time for extra sleep. See if this sounds familiar to any families out there:

Morning: Alarms start going off between 6 and 6:30 for morning showers or last-minute homework items. Three kids must all be up around 7 at the latest. My time then gets split between making breakfast and school lunches and water bottles. It is like herding cats, but usually ends well. My wife gets up around 7:30 when she is not on the road and by 7:45 and I am off to the high school. The rest of the crew is ‘ready’ to depart by 8.

8:30 starts my work day which can go until 2:30 when the kids are ready to return home. We have classes at the church, basketball, volleyball, flag football, speed and agility training and the occasional school function that pops up unexpectedly. During the school day, there are orthodontist appointments, dentist appointments, doctor appointments, calls from the school requesting forgotten books or homework, injuries from recess and taking the dog to the vet.

Dinner is a challenge. For a vegan, the amount of pizza that I buy or cook is unreasonable. I am not consistent with what I preach: “Don’t eat animal products!” -à “Here’s some cheese pizza kids…” I am not Rachel Ray or Emeril, nor do I pretend to. The disparity between what I’d like to have my kids eat and what they actually eat is a chasm that I am trying to bridge. We do not sit at the table together consistently as we are not all home at the same time most days. These are lazy excuses.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Doesn’t it?

I cook pasta and serve it with a meat and cheese free red sauce. I make vegetables, but not every day. I add in foods that I believe are important. I talk about nutrition. I garden and talk about the power of plants. I do not force anything on my kids. I want to amplify my parenting and fit it all in around finding a new job and helping my kids increase their performance in the sports of choice.

I commit to stay in shape. I am through 64 days of TapouT XT and have the aches and pains I would expect as a 47-year-old participant that doesn’t get enough rest. I try to run four days each week, including a run of at least 10-12 miles each Sunday. I have a green smoothie about three times a week and keep chia seeds in my diet to give me an edge. I drink tons of water.

I could really go for some coffee right now.

Seriously, is my suffering during lent helping God in any way? I’m not sure, but I am not getting headaches anymore and my productivity is skyrocketing. I took my girls to a mission at the church the two nights ago and heard a prayer that really got me thinking; it went something like this:

                God, please take anything or anyone from my life that is keeping me further from You.

Say that and really think it through. Coffee and chocolate, bah! Beer to save the grocery budget, pish posh. Anything or anyone. Much of the sermon circled the idea that we try to prepare for all manners of ‘storms’ in our lives. We save money for a rainy day. We tell the kids to look both ways before they cross the street. But, the truth is we can’t really control any of it. We spend much of our time worrying and stressing about a myriad of potential life challenges that we have no control over whatsoever. I felt that the point of it all was that we have to trust God and give as much love to our people as we can.

Make good choices people. Love the Earth and those around you as much as you can. Let’s plant seeds of happiness for future generations together. 🙂

Mark

 

 

 

Bring Coffee And A Donut. Set Them On The Desk. Do Not Speak. Do Not Make Eye Contact. Back Away Slowly. And We All Might Just Survive This.

Coffee Quotes | Forward this Picture

Too late.

As I am starting my day without coffee and/or chocolate for day 8 of lent, I thought this article is well-placed. 🙂 Do what you can for others in your own way. The good feelings you get will help improve your performance AND some of your friends may follow suit and give to the community as well.

Mark

Latest Podcast Episode #43 – Speciesism

Don’t give up coffee and chocolate this Lent!

crs rice bowl logo

“As Lent rolls around each year, people ask themselves what they’re going to give up. It’s often chocolate, coffee, TV, or a particular luxury item. However, some people ask, “What extra thing can I add to my Lenten observance?” It might be a few hours of volunteering, or spending more time with family or friends, or just being mindful to set aside some time for prayer each day.

Lent offers us six weeks to enter deeply into the work of returning and rebuilding a loving relationship with God and with other people. Lent is about something more, not something less.

While this might seem like a clever way of making sure fair trade coffee and chocolate are mindfully consumed throughout the Lenten season, we invite you to do something more during Lent.”

 

READ MORE

from http://www.crsfairtrade.org/lent/

 

As I am starting my day without coffee and/or chocolate for day 8 of lent, I thought this article is well-placed. 🙂 Do what you can for others in your own way. The good feelings you get will help improve your performance AND some of your friends may follow suit and give to the community as well.

Mark

Latest Podcast Episode #43 – Speciesism

 

Speciesism – The Movie

…if slaughterhouses had glass walls

A worthy watch. Keep asking questions.

Not Old MacDonald's Farm anymore

Containment Buildings and Waste Lagoons

ACCORDING TO THE FILM:

CHICKENS:

Chickens raised for eggs come from a chicken hatchery where about 50% are born female (they are the “lucky” ones), good for eggs. The other half / 50% are male which has resulted in being ground up or discarded alive. Just not good for those little guys.

Laying hens move into cages with 2 – 4 roommates. Cages are so small. The expected life of one of these egg-laying hens is two years. Imagine standing on a wire floor for your entire life. Sad.

Chickens raised for food have increased breast sizes so that a chicken shown on a rescue sanctuary was too large to walk. They demonstrated the social nature of the free chickens. I wish we could have two chickens at our home. They would help eat the bugs in my garden and be friends for life.

PIGS:

Pig farm. Most on the sanctuary are from North Carolina. Pig farms there are having a negative impact on the environment there. Rick, a former Marine, points out that bacon is no longer being raised on traditional farms, but on family farms. “Farms” where animals no longer see the light of day. Containment buildings with a cesspool containing pig urine and feces. The excess liquid is sprayed over adjacent fields with a giant sprinkler, misting onto adjacent properties. The fields drain into adjacent waterways and contaminate nearby wells. The smell is not good. See aerial photo above.

Things that are tough on pigs beyond the obvious sadness that comes from being locked in a building without seeing the sky:
1. young hogs being castrated without any anesthesia
2. mother pigs live in pens that are too narrow to turn around waiting to have the babies
3. tails are clipped off so that pigs do not chew off each other’s tails during stressful times

COWS:

The film says that cows raised for beef are the luckiest of the mass-farmed animals as they spend part of their life outside. HOWEVER, they do castrate bull calves. Once timing is correct, they are sold to feed lots where they are fed grain, which is harder for their stomachs to digest as it helps them bulk up more quickly.

Dairy cows are in total confinement, connected to milking machines, standing in their own waste. How can they let this be the state of things?

Please don't drink milk

Productivity is important in any business, but there should be moral boundaries

In order to maintain milk production, cows must have a calf from time-to-time. Calves are immediately taken away from the mothers and placed into a structure that looks like a large doghouse. In some cases the mother can hear the calf calling out and returns the call. Can you imagine the stress that a mother would feel knowing their baby was so close and couldn’t be reached. Why must these animals be in prison for their entire lives to serve us?

PETA

PETA makes improvements to lessen the abominations already in place. However these changes are slight and will not make a significant impact unless YOU change your behavior. Vote with your wallet, vote with your fork and MAKE AN IMPACT.

SPECIESISM

Speciesism: The Movie from Speciesism: The Movie on Vimeo.

I Like to Move It, Move It (My Body)

By Bella Phipps, age 8

Here are some ways how to stay healthy and what happens when you do them.

Happy Life

Regular exercise every day for about one hour can increase up to five more years of life to live in a happy and healthy life with your family.

Sporty Fun

When you exercise daily you won’t get fat and you can enjoy any sports that you may do.By doing that sport you can stay healthy if you do it often.

Looks

If you exercise often then you won’t be fat and you’ll look better than ever!

Proud

Just stay healthy to make yourself proud to be fit and skinny.

Staying Healthy Is Important

Stay healthy so that you won’t die as soon as you would if you didn’t exercise and eat fruits and vegetables.

body for volleyball

Bella muscles ready for action

Volleyball Exercises

You can stay fit by doing volleyball because you must have quick feet so that you can get to the ball in time to bump it over the net.To get quick feet you have to increase your feet muscles which takes muscles.When you set the ball it increases your upper body strength.If you are the hitter in your volleyball team or club your upper body strength increases whenever you hit the ball over the net.

Basketball

Basketball can help you stay fit because whenever you shoot the ball into the basketball hoop you increase your upper body strength.When you pass the basketball to someone you increase upper body strength.If your dribbling the basketball it helps a bit by increasing your arm strength and your upper body strength.

Football

Another sport that would help you stay fit is football.Football is a throwing, kicking, and tackling sport and all three of these are increasing and using muscles.

Running And Push-Ups

If you run about a mile a day and do ten push-ups everyday for one month then you might be aching but you’ll be fit and you will burn a lot of fat.

Fruits And Veggies

When you eat fruits and vegetables often then you’ll definitely be  healthy but you also have to exercise so don’t think that only eating healthy will keep you healthy.

Those are some ways how to stay healthy and what happens if you do them often or a lot.

[This article was written by my daughter, Bella Phipps.]

Running!

Jeff Sanders and The 5AM Miracle

Jeff Sanders.com

Enjoy Jeff Sanders and our discussion about food, running, responsibility and how all these things work together.

Mocha Vegan Performance Podcast #27

FOOD!!!

What to eat seems to be at the top of everyone’s list all the time. I remember thinking about people’s inability to suffer in today’s world. I hear the stories of the bible and consider that suffering today can mean that McDonald’s is out of ranch for your Chicken McNuggets…Needless to say, we expect a higher level of comfort today than ever in history.

Food gets real with Denny Krahe

Denny has a great attitude towards food and trying to get the best versions of the food he eats whenever possible. Listen in to episode #25, publishing soon at mochavegan.com/podcast

 

Mmmm, ice cream!

food

Choco Taco