I know bloggers are supposed to hoard their readers like greedy grubby trolls. DON’T LEAVE MY PAGE, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, I’M IMPORTANT. But I fell in love with another vegan blog today, and I just need to direct you over to ThugKitchen. It actually isn’t that new, but sometimes my head is stuck really far up my ass and I don’t hear about other people’s cool shit because I am trying so hard to make my own. I am sharing some of  ThugKitchen’s photos. So note, all of the below amazing images are from my new fav Interspot, ThugKitchen.com. Just like SexyTofu and iEatGrass, ThugKitchen is proof vegans are funny sometimes. It’s not all about saving the animals and snorting kale (although that’s cool too).

Seriously. I can’t even.

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I like to rant about health here on SexyTofu, and one huge health issue in the US is obesity. The typical American diet is high in caloric, cholesterol laden animal products and low in veggies, legumes and high-fiber whole (whole! NON processed) grains. Some have even linked eating  meat to obesity. Obviously there are many thin meat-eaters, and overweight veg-heads, but someone who consumes a high-fiber, nutrient rich diet low in cholesterol–like a vegan diet–is less likely to be obese. Ahh, the word diet. I have a particular issue with this word, or at least the way we view it. It really only means the way in which we eat; unfortunately the mainstream now finds it synonymous with weird restrictive or trendy eating habits. When someone says they are on a diet, it usually means they are following some zany eating plan. So many of us are removed from where our food comes from, and what it does to our body. We categorize foods as “good” (salad, fruit) and “bad” (carbs, sweets, fats). We think solely in terms of calories instead of nutrients. We may watch what we eat to stay thin, but that doesn’t mean we are eating things to nourish our bodies. In college I had a room-mate who ate nothing but pickles and crudités dipped in fat-free ranch dressing because they were low in calories. While she was at a healthy weight, she couldn’t possibly be getting enough nutrient.

If we don’t change out eating habits and our relationship with food, our future looks bleak. I would love to see my grand-children living in a world where they understand exactly where their food came from, BEFORE it made its way to the grocery store. I would love for them to be taught from an early age about the way the food is broken down in the body, and can therefore provide their bodies with what they need for longevity and optimum performance.
However, I worry this will not be the case. Enjoy this startling infographic that tells us tough-love style what the future of our country will look like if we continue on at this rate. It’s not pretty–see the above photo of the futuristic humans frm WallE. Chew on this.

Medical Coding Career Guide
Created by: MedicalCodingCareerGuide.com

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I love to eat, eat, eat (bamboo rice!)

There is a definite connection between food and feelings. Often if I’m stressed or lonely I find myself eating as a way to deal. In the same respect, food is my “language of love.” I don’t really buy into new agey crap like that, but my ex once babbled on about that book, 5 Love Languages. I don’t think he even read it but was more intrigued by the concept. Anyways, I am not sure what “languages” were listed there, but I know 100% that I show affection through food. Like an old Jewish grand-mother, if I like you, I am going to try to feed you. I know I really like a guy when I am brainstorming dishes to cook for him, or getting up early on a Sunday to bake a batch of cookies that will probably turn out like doorstoppers just because he mentioned he has an affinity for toffee. My preferred way of socializing revolves around cooking and eating, and I will admit openly that I judge people based around their commitment to a good meal. I simply can’t connect with the type of person who “forgets” to eat, because I am thinking about breakfast as I fall asleep.

I think this passion for feeding people is at best learned, if not completely hereditary. Both of my parents love to cook and show affection through food and worked in food service industries—my mother was a chef, my father the Maître d’ at a fancy country club. I am happiest when I am cooking for someone else—literally nourishing them.

That being said, I know I am in a bad place when I don’t want to cook at all. When I take a look at my month and realize I’ve been getting by on salads and smoothies, because my inspiration to cook has all but disappeared, I know I should probably do a bit of soul searching and figure out what my deeper issue is.

So many people have negative relationships with food. They eat to solve boredom or loneliness. They eat because they’re sad, or worse, they don’t eat because they’re sad. Eating disorders are developed based on feelings of self worth. Food is squared off into emotional categories—“good” or “bad.” Food addiction is a real, scary thing—possibly even more terrifying than alcohol or drug addiction because unlike booze and drugs, you need food to live. So while an alcoholic can swear off drink and work hard to avoid it, someone who is addicted to food still needs to eat to survive.

When I am emotionally eating I like to repeat mantras like “cookies are not a replacement for friends,” or “you are not going to be able to talk that bowl of guacamole into sleeping with you, and even if you could, it would be very messy to say the least.” It makes me giggle if nothing else. And if you haven’t been able to tell already, I am bat-shit crazy.

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joy for jerky!

Recently I was given a couple packages of Pan’s Mushroom Jerky to test out, after owner Michael Pan stumbled upon my ode to mushroom jerky. However, before they arrived, Pan warned me that the product is not vegan, as it contains egg white.  (So I guess I don’t really get off on it!)

On using egg whites in the recipe, Pan says:
Regarding the egg whites, they have been in the original recipe for years and are there to improve both the flavor and texture.  We’ve tried removing them, but the taste and texture just isn’t the same.  We’re still trying to come up with alternatives so if you have any suggestions let me know.  In the future, we hope to carry the original recipe, a vegan recipe, and hopefully more flavors.

So alas, this vegetarian friendly product would be something I would have to miss out on. However, I did not miss out on feeding it to friends and co-workers to gauge their opinions!!

One co-worker, who is by no means vegetarian but an avid beef jerky consumer, said the product had tons of good spices and seasoning, although he likes his jerky with a bit of a kick. He also said that he wasn’t a big fan of the texture, although appreciates that Pan’s is much lower in sodium than a meaty jerky. He also liked the shroomy illustrations on the package and before eating it made a joke about how I would have to explain it to our boss if he started hallucinating.

Another co-worker, who is vegetarian but NOT a jerky fan in general, said the texture reminded her of soy protein. Since she doesn’t really like jerky in the first place, her opinion on flavor is void. Hah!

A veggie friend of mine, who—like me—hasn’t had real jerky in years, was a big fan of Pan’s. She called it “chewy and satisfying” and said it did remind her a good deal of what she remembered beef jerky to taste like.

While I couldn’t eat the snack, I did smell it (spicy goodness!) and touch it. It left a bit of a greasy residue behind, which is not the case of the shroom jerky I packed by the suitcase when I visited Taiwan.

Pan’s family has been making this jerky for over 15 years, apparently starting in Malaysia where Pan was visiting relatives. I like that it has only 6 ingredients: Mushroom stalk, egg whites (boo!), sugar, palm oil, salt and spices. I would love to see them using organic stuff in the future, and of course, love to see them nix the eggs!

I think this snack is great for any vegetarian who wants a little jolt of jerky, or even a meat-eater who wants a healthier option than traditional jerky–Pan’s stuff has way less salt and is less processed.

Anyone have any suggestions on what Panco Foods LLC can put  in their jerky instead of egg white so vegans (read: me me me me!) can enjoy it? I already asked about a flax sub—not sure if jerky works the same as pancakes. MMM..jerky pancakes..

Wanna get some of your own Pan’s jerky? Check it out ! www.pansmushroomjerky.com

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Not everybody sees a correlation between food and sex. For me, the connection is so clear I often have trouble articulating it—like the fact that Natalie Portman is the.sexiest.woman.ever. For me, it’s just an unarguable truth.

So whenever I find a like-minded individual who shares my lust for good food and sees its connection to sex, I get all kinds of hopped up. Once, while sharing a lazy spoon with a just-sexed lover, I happened to mention my view that sex and food are of equal importance.

“Right, they both provide essential nourishment,” he agreed. Ding ding ding! The boy scored more points than he did fifteen minutes earlier, when he proved the ability to screw me standing up.

Both food and sex provide the type of irreplaceable nourishment that the body craves. They can both make you feel satisfied and satiated. It’s one of the reason some unhappy, lonely people find solace in food while others try and fill voids in their life by going home with strangers, coworkers and hotties from their acting class (even though they know they will never call them again).

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