The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Let’s get the Ugly over with first!

I woke up early for a conference call this morning to discuss the junk food problem and childhood obesity crisis with other children’s health advocates and reporters from across the country. It was an hour’s worth of invigorating discourse on renewed efforts to help limit the mass marketing of unhealthy foods to kids.

Then I got off the phone, only to find out that McDonald’s just introduced their new veal burger. That’s right. A 100% VEAL burger!! It’s first being introduced in Switzerland (no idea when or if it’s coming to the states) and depending on which region of the country you live in, it will be called the McZurich, McZurl or McZurigo.

But you can just order a McDisgustinglyCruel23HoursofDarknessPerDaySmallMetalCrateCantTurnAroundConfinement BabyCalvesHorrificTornFromMotherBloodySlaughter Burger, and I’m sure they’ll know what you’re talking about.

The Bad? This blasted economy. Trust me, every time I post a picture of a nice vegan restaurant meal or a delicious vegan cupcake, I think about all the people who see my photos, but may not have enough money to put food on the table. It makes me really sad.

So, I just thought to share a couple of ideas for when you’re vegan, but short on cash. I’ve been flat broke before and I remember being down to my last few dollars. Survival skills kicked in and I decided to buy food that was nutrient rich.

I went to Big Lots and filled out a long survey in exchange for a $3 gift card and bought some dried black beans and grains with it. Then, I took the tiny bit of cash I had to the grocery store and bought orange juice and kale. I didn’t have much, but I remained vegan and stayed healthy and you can too! Just put your thinking cap on & try to eat as well as you can. I also posted a Veg Friendly Jobs page today for those of you seeking work.

You may also want to contact Food Not Bombs for help if you’re hungry and lacking resources. Food Not Bombs originated in 1980 and serves vegetarian and vegan foods to those in need in every state and on every continent.

And now for the good!

It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s cheap, quick and in my opinion quite tasty! Did you know the “Oriental” flavor of Nissin Top Ramen is vegan? It is! And if you find it on sale, you can whip up a pretty tasty meal for less than 50 cents! Is it as healthy as a raw vegan meal?  Heck no! But if you’re close to flat broke, this will work!

Just try to throw in nutrient dense green~leaf veggies and something for protein. I usually throw in kale, but when I made the bowl in the photo, I thought to try cabbage and I liked it!

I don’t use the packet that comes with the Top Ramen because it has a ton of sodium in it and I like to avoid MSG.

Instead, I usually put a few drops of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, a bit of low sodium soy sauce and whatever spices I have handy. Vegan Teriyaki sauce tastes good in it too!

It’s not your raw vegan organic elixir of wellness, but it will do in a pinch if you’re short on time or cash – just remember to pile on those veggies!

It really doesn’t cost more to be vegan. And your heart will always be rich and full.


[update: I gave up eating Top Ramen a few years ago as part of a New Year’s Resolution! Hurray! And I don’t miss it at all! And P.S. Always double check ingredients! as of this posting, the oriental flavor nissin top ramen is vegan, but you never know when companies will change things…]

  1 comment for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. Wendee
    October 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I’d like to mention something, and it has to do with the issue you brought up about childhood obesity. I have two school age children, and I’m appalled at the amount of candy that’s given to them by the teachers. It seems almost every day I hear about how they “guessed the correct answer”, and were told to, “pick a candy bar out of the jar”. Or how good they were in class so the teacher gave them a sucker. That doesn’t even include the almost daily birthday treats that are brought in, parties, and treats passed around amongst kids. It’s to the point I can’t even give my children an afterschool treat because I know they’ve had enough sugar throughout the day. Now I’ve had my fair share of cupcakes, believe me, and I’m all about a good party and having treats, don’t get me wrong. But I think it’s sending a bad message to the kids. It’s rewarding positive behavior with sugar and setting them up for poor food choices down the road. Everything should be in moderation. What’s so wrong with rewarding them with free homework passes? Or points that collectively can be used to purchase something every other week? They eat so much garbage at school that birthday treats aren’t even special anymore. It’s really sad. And as a parent, it’s extremely frustrating because once they walk out the door in the morning I have no control over it.
    The government wants to know why kids are overweight? Talk to the teachers! Look what’s going on in the schools. They’re eating fried mozzarella sticks for lunch! If I had my way, a Nutrition class would be part of the American curriculum from early on.
    Just my two cents…..
    BTW, great idea with the Raman noodles. I’m really diggin your site. Thanks! ~W

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