More from the Unlikely Vegan by Phil Shainmark

8/6/18 – I wanted to write some more about the idea of trying something new, or changing the way you think about things. I was talking to my father in law, who is very much not a vegan, and he was saying that it’s strange to think about not eating things you like. And that’s when it hit me: the things we consume, come to define us. For years I smoked, I was a “smoker.” Even after friends started quitting, and restaurants started banning it, I still smoked. I could not picture myself without the cigarette hanging out of my mouth, or in my hand. But when my wife and I decided to quit, we quit. And it was easy, though I still chewed tobacco. I never (and still don’t) miss smoking. I quit chewing tobacco after my kidney was removed. I woke up and found out I had been totally out of it for 3 days, so instead of asking for my tin of Skoal, I told my wife to throw them out. I gave up drugs and heavy drinking. And I don’t miss them.

It wasn’t until I was talking about it with Mike that I realized that, just like a hoarder, people come to view all of their stuff as an extension of themselves. So do we with our foods, drinks and other things we ingest. It’s probably also why I don’t specifically care if other people aren’t vegan. Not eating animal products isn’t “who I am.” It’s just how I choose to fuel my body while staying true to my morals. It’s probably also why things get so hectic on social media in the Vegan vs Meat debates. Everyone is seeing it as an attack on them PERSONALLY. This is why I always suggest just to try it. Or do a “meatless” Monday.  If you try it and hate it, stop. If you try it and like it, great. As with most decisions, when it’s the “right” one it’s not difficult. It’s not about not liking something, I love meat. I also really liked cocaine. Can’t do either anymore.

Anyway, my mother is coming in this month, so we’re hopefully going to do a potluck and try some new vegan restaurants.

9/3/18 – Last few weeks I’ve had some AMAZING meals. A good friend of mine came to visit, and he took me and my wife to a new restaurant called Sparrow + Wolf. I cannot say enough about this restaurant. They have both vegan and meat dishes and they’re working to make the menu 50/50. From the wait staff we learned that the head chef was on a board of urban produce growers, and that a lot of their produce came from those gardens right here in town. They had some vegetables I’ve never even heard of like Romanesco and Salsify. The Romanesco was prepared with Thai chili peppers and onions and peppers. And the Salsify was done in an Asian BBQ style with pears and maple.

We were so impressed with the food that we couldn’t shut up about it. The owner overheard and let us meet the chef. This place was so awesome, that we ended up going back a week later when my mom was in town. That time we had a tomato and cucumber salad with sea beans, roasted broccoli with avocado, and Mushrooms with hummus. Plus all the dishes we had the previous time. I cannot tell you all the ingredients, because I have no idea. But the dressings and sauces were perfect for EVERY dish. They are changing their menu to a “fall/winter” style in a few weeks. And you best believe we’ll be going back.

A few days later, we tried a place called Blinders Burgers and Brunch. They are a Vegan burger place. I had a bacon cheese burger, using the “Impossible” burger patty. I’d heard of it before, a 100% vegetable based burger patty, that looked and felt like meat. Over all the burger was excellent. It didn’t quite taste like a bacon cheeseburger, but it was like 75% of the way there and your brain kind of did the rest. They have rosemary fries as a side option, and they are delicious, especially with the curry ketchup they have available.

And finally, my wife got me a Trader Joe’s brand Jackfruit curry and jasmine rice microwaveable meal. I had it for lunch and it was AWESOME. A little light on the curry flavor for my taste, but it had a nice kick and the curry flavor that it did have was delicious. I’m not sure how much it cost. But it was definitely a great tasting, quick meal.

I have been riding with a few guys recently, friends of friends, and we had occasion to grab some food the other day. These are all people prospecting for a motorcycle club (and their club president). Pretty hardcore guys. So I told them that I don’t eat any animals. There was a little pause in the conversation, and then one of them asked me If I cared what they ordered. I told them I didn’t care, and that it doesn’t bother me what they eat. The conversation immediately picked back up, and one guy was pointing out to me that they used an air fryer, so there was no egg wash on the fried pickled and mushrooms. It ended up being a great night, and we’ve since rode some more places together. I only mention these things in the hopes that someone who is on the fence about trying veganism reads this and realizes that the internet isn’t real life, and that people are generally super cool about things. Especially if you’re not trying to be forceful, or mocking their choices.


Common Foods that Moderate Cholesterol by Susun Weed

| by Merlian News

Renowned herbologist Susun Weed writes, “If you are concerned about cholesterol, I have some great news for you. A variety of delicious foods have been shown to be as effective at moderating cholesterol as any drug…. They have a positive impact on total cholesterol and triglycerides too. And, as a bonus, most of these foods help prevent diabetes and lower blood pressure. See below for a list of these cholesterol-lowering foods. And remember to eat them cooked, frozen, dehydrated, fermented, or coated in oil for maximum benefit. Enjoy! Here’s to a healthy heart the Wise Woman Way.” From www.susunweed.com

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The Unlikely Vegan – Part Two, by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

So after another month I can say that this is no longer even an “adjustment,” it’s now just the way I eat. And the benefits just keep coming – my energy levels are higher than they were pre-cancer. Hell, I barely drink coffee in the morning anymore. If I have a cup it’s because I like the taste, not because I need it. I found out this week that there’s a 100% Vegan doughnut place near the only other shop I ever worked at. Gonna have to head over there at some point. It’s not near anything I normally go to, but I LOVE doughnuts, so it’ll be worth the trip.

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Flax Seed: The Low Carb Whole Grain by Laura Dolson

| by Laura Dolson, About.com

“It may be tiny, but it’s mighty: The flax seed carries one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. And while it’s not technically a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, while the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in flax leaves grains in the dust. Additionally, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance — many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied. Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese…”

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The Unlikely Vegan by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

My name is Phil. I’m 37. A husband and a father of 2 kids. My son is 7 and my daughter is 4. We live in Las Vegas. I’m told I’m a big guy at 6’1”/265 lbs. I ride a Harley (though I prefer Honda or Yamaha) and help my father-in-law with his motorcycle business. I have tattoos from my finger tips to the side and back of my head. I’m a gun owning Pagan anarchist who loves meat and cheese. But, after a whole bunch of soul searching and an AWESOME conversation with my cousin Gary, (who is one of the most honest, caring, cool guys I’ve ever met) and his awesome girlfriend, I just couldn’t allow that hypocrisy in my life anymore.

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The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth

| by Merlian News

The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth from Dr. Joseph Mercola, at www.mercola.com . People have known for centuries that bone broth is good for you: it helps heal your gut and aids digestion, it inhibits infection and reduces joint pain and inflammation. Dr. Mercola writes, “According to an old South American proverb, ‘good broth will resurrect the dead.’ While that’s undoubtedly an exaggeration, it speaks to the value placed on this wholesome food, going back through the annals of time.”

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FDA Targets Homeopathic Remedies

In December the Food and Drug Administration announced a major change in policy regarding homeopathic remedies. As reported in The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR, the FDA has proposed a more aggressive approach to testing and possibly banning, homeopathic drugs that it considers dangerous, especially those intended for children and others with serious illnesses, such as cancer. Critics of the policy change note that while most natural remedies are known for having fewer side effects than many mass market drugs, this could open the door to eliminating otherwise effective “non-pharma” remedies.

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Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe

Eating For Beauty is a well illustrated, delightful easy to read book, by David Wolfe-a raw food enthusiast. You can literally eat yourself beautiful to wonderfully exotic recipes for skin-glow, hair-building, nails, bone strengthening and much more. This book is filled with information about the importance of good nutrition. There are clear explanations on exactly what zinc, iron, chromium, manganese and certain minerals do for the body and which foods supply these nutrients.’

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3 Delicious, Detoxifying, Bone-Building Herbs by Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

| by Merlian News

Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at the bone health, overall health, and detoxification properties of three flavorful easy-to-find herbs. I also give you a scrumptious recipe to get you started. Fortunately, as you’ll soon see, detoxification can be a pleasant — even delicious — experience! I’d like to start with a decorative herb that more often than not gets ignored. Don’t overlook the.… from www.saveourbones.com

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Japanese Pumpkin Side Dish by Nancy Mehagian

It’s the season for sweets, including pumpkin pie, but professional cook, Nancy Mehagian shares a side dish recipe for Japanese pumpkin that’s fast, healthy and delicious. Nancy has been a massage therapist and Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner in Los Angeles for nearly 30 years. She is the author of the culinary memoir, “Siren’s Feast, an Edible Odyssey”.

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