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It’s Not Meat, it’s BEYOND Meat!

beyond-meat-logo-300x300Plant based and vegan foodies love a good veggie burger. Sure, there is plenty of great plant based whole foods out there, but our programmed minds want to chomp into a good burger from time to time.  Right now, we are in the middle of the summer, which is BBQ season. Why can’t us plant based/ vegan folk get in on that BBQ action?

It’s taken me what seems like forever to get my hands on some Beyond Meat Beast Burgers. My local Whole Foods, in Hyannis (MA), is the only joint that carries them, and the couple times I was there, they were out. It doesn’t help that I am on an island, a man-made island, but there are only two bridges to get of this sandbar so, there’s that. We are not to progressive here on Cape Cod. I had to put my name down to get some, and it felt like an eternity before they got a shipment in.

feistybagv3highresrgbIn the meantime, I was able to score some of the Beyond Meat Beefy and Feisty Crumbles. THAT NIGHT we had to have tacos. The Feisty Crumbles we’re nearly jumping out of the bag on into the skillet to get warmed up. I cooked up based on the instructions, added them to my shells, sprinkled some Daiya on and tried not to douse them to much with Franks Red Hot. Hands down, this is the closest texture wise to “real” meat. They were not to dry, although I did add some water when warming them up as I’ve found most plant based/ vegan crumbles dry out pretty quick. The flavor? Soooo on point! I am a taco connoisseur. If it’s spicy, or has a hint of zippiness, it takes precedence over any food for me. My mom was born and raised in Louisiana, and though I was the first to be born back in the North, I swear my taste buds were made for spicy foods. Read more

How to Optimize Protein With a Vegan Diet

I’m reposting this great infographic from Health Perch. Think this diet/ lifestyle is too hard? Try Meatless Mondays, then start integrating more veggie meals slowly. It’s not hard. If a ravenous carnivore like me can do it, you can too! And, bonus, your health will thank you. I dropped my cholesterol 66 points in less than a year just switching over, no meds or magic, just plant based food!

How to Optimize Protein With a Vegan Diet
“How to Optimize Protein With a Vegan Diet” on Health Perch

Congrats, Scott Jurek!

scottrecordWhat else is there really to say, other than congratulations!

Scott is an inspiration to so many already, including myself, this feat just raised his profile even more so. He has proven the human spirit is capable of anything. He has proven that the body, with proper training and nutrition, can achieve greatness at any level.

As plant based folk, we can all rally behind the fact he has been plant based for 16 years. But, I don’t want to minimize his accomplishment and say that should somehow be the rallying cry. Sure, it’s a slap in the face to the protein myth folk, but this achievement is so beyond one’s protein intake or the amount of carbs. He did what worked for HIM, that is what mattered. He set out to achieve this goal, as icing on the cake of an amazing endurance running career.

There are folks out there that are also questioning his time on the trail. They say he was too quick. They say he missed the point of a thru-hike. What? Are you the Appalachian Trail police? Does he have to do it a certain way to meet your qualifications? What are those qualifications? How about this, you worry about you. Let others achieve their own goals. Let other’s choose to live their lives the way THEY want to without your holier than thou attitude.

Scott, and I doubt you will read this, what you have done is beyond the pale. There are only a few that would even conceive of the idea to attempt this feat. You are an inspiration to many. A hero to more than a few. Us mere mortals bow to your greatness and cannot wait to read about your adventure. When does the book come out??

The Campbell Plan

campbellWho says health isn’t a family affair? Thomas Campbell’s father, T.Colin Campbell, is a household name in plant based health circles. Not only with doctors and researchers, but he is well known with regular folk like you and me. In his book, “The China Study”, T.Colin Campbell put together data in one of the largest scientific experiments which set out to prove that eating a plant based diet can help deter and even cure disease.

Years later, “Whole” was released. This was an extension of “The China Study” yet it took a different avenue. I like to think of the two books this way. “The China Study” is the why, and “Whole” is the what and who. So where’s the how?

That’s the direction Thomas has taken here. Laid out in three main parts, “The Campbell Plan” brings a level of cohesiveness that may help those that are struggling with the transition to a plant based lifestyle. The first section is a summary of the research he and his father put together in “The China Study”. Compared to the book itself, the synopsis of it in part one is clear and concise enough to get the point across to those that maybe had a hard time following along with the size and scope of “The China Study”. There’s a bit more to the section than that, but it’s more of the what that I was mentioning before. Like a good baseball line-up, the section is the table setter as it gets you ready for the rest of the information coming in the next two parts. Read more

I stumbled upon awesomeness!!

So I am out of my usual Vega protein that I really love. I have a tub of Garden Of Life though so I check to see what else I had. There it was… some Vega Accelerator. The simple equation hit me, add the two and maybe, just maybe, it’d taste like a creamsicle. Vanilla and tropical flavors should at least be close right? It worked and I am a friggin genius! (just kidding, not kidding)

Recovery done right!!

vegagardenoflifeOrange Creamsicle

2 cups water
1 scoop Vega recovery accelerator (tropical)
1 scoop Garden of Life raw protein (vanilla)
6 ice cubes

Shake it up and BAM!! Liquid gold!


Veganism, are you doing it wrong?!

Passion is a good thing.

It gives you purpose.

It drives you.

But sometimes, it can make you seem like a condescending a-hole!

I’ve known vegetarians and vegans my whole life. I’ve met a wide range of personalities within both lifestyles. Most are caring, kind and considerate. That said, the one thing that seems to be growing in the movement though is the righteous indignation of those that somehow think their cause is better than others.

I was listening to a new podcast today that was recommended to me. I couldn’t finish an entire podcast! Yeah, the vitriol for anything non-vegan was palpable at best. I listened to this podcast episode in particular because one of the hosts had run with a team of runners at the recent Ragnar I ran. I also met the folks she was running with at one of the stops. None of them seemed as catty as the women in this podcast.

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Squeals, Bleats And Cackles: Matt Frazier from No Meat Athlete


I’ve been a fan of No Meat Athlete for some time now and am ecstatic to bring this interview to you. For years, Matt has been at the forefront of a movement, a plant based athlete movement including such names as Scott Jurek, Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll.  From his humble beginning as a blogger, to a pod-caster and now an author, Matt has helped bring a plant based lifestyle into the limelight when it comes to endurance events, and more importantly, health. I recently had the opportunity to read and review his book, you can check it out here.

I’ve been at many races recently, including the 2015 Cape Cod Ragnar Relay, and I’ve seen more and more people wearing “No Meat Athlete” shirts. His message is getting out there further each day, and I’m happy to share his story with you.

VCG: I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you here, Matt. For the readers that are unaware, give us a brief history on No Meat Athlete.

matt1NMA: I started No Meat Athlete back in 2009, really just as a way to document my own experiment of going vegetarian while trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The first six months were just me writing about my meals and workouts, but in that time I built a following of people who were interested in the story. So I started making t-shirts with the name and logo on them, and that was really the beginning of it turning into something much bigger than me. Within two years this little blog became a full-time job, and I went further with it, going vegan and getting into ultrarunning. Since then I’ve published a book and started a bunch of No Meat Athlete groups around the world … it’s become my life!

VCG: When you made your transition to a veggie/ plant based diet were you a runner at that point too, or did you start when you made the transition?

NMA: I had been running for six years or so, and in the process had essentially become obsessed with the goal of qualifying for Boston. My first marathon took me 4 hours and 53 minutes, and my Boston-qualifying time was 3:10, so I had 103 minutes to cut down! And over those six years I had gotten down to 3:20 or so, but those last 10 minutes seemed like an eternity at that point; I had no idea where they would come from. That’s part of the reason I was willing to try a plant-based diet — I didn’t think I’d get to Boston on my current trajectory. So I took a chance on eating the way I felt that I should, and it turned out to work really well: six months later, I ran a 3:09:59 and got in to Boston.

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Guest Recipe: Ultra Energy Bars

In advance of the upcoming book, “The Plantpower Way”, I have been given the opportunity to share one of the recipes. For those not in the know, the book is written by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. A review will be coming soon here, but here’s a break down from the info you can already get on the web.

“The Plantpower Way” is a recipe book in the plant based/ vegan category. Right, another one! What Rich and Julie have done, and where they hope to break some new ground, is to offer a recipe book that answers the questions…

So what do you guys actually eat?
How do I start?
How can I get my kids to make healthier choices?
Is it possible to eat well on a budget?
How can I make delicious, nutritious meals without spending all day in the kitchen?
And of course…Where do you get your protein?

from – http://www.richroll.com/blog/introducing-the-plantpower-way/

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PlantPure Nation Cookbook: Review, Recipe + Giveaway

plantpureSoon, another cutting edge documentary will drop. PlantPure Nation is brought to you by the folks that were involved with The China Study, Whole and the ground breaking film, Forks Over Knives. You may think that if you have seen one of these films that you’ve seen them all. That cannot be any further than the truth.

PlantPure Nation exposes serious hurdles in gaining nutritional momentum via the US Government. From lobbyists who work for big agricultural companies, to politicians so ingrained with those lobbyists, the truth comes out on the how much those lobbyists and businesses control. It is so far reaching, the legitimacy of this film will be difficult to debunk.

Nelson Campbell worked with Rep. Tom Riner to build on this non-binding resolution by developing and introducing House Bill 550, which mandated a pilot program that would document the health benefits of a plant-based diet. But once the bill went into committee, industry lobbyists woke up to the threat posed by the initiative. What followed was one of the most intensive lobby efforts ever in Kentucky. As the bill’s sponsor Rep. Riner put it, HB 550 was watered down to “a shadow of its former self”, turned “from steel to Reynolds Wrap.” from the PlantPure Nation synopsis

Nelson Campbell is the son of Plant Based Nutrition advocate Dr. T. Colin Campbell. This film continues to prove that Dr. Campbell’s work is important as ever. Not only are they fighting to show how beneficial the plant based diet is for us, but the impacts of what it will do to the environment if it were put into play.

As a companion to the film, Nelson’s wife Kim, offers up simple and tasty recipes that even the most novice of chef could pull off. That includes myself. What I really like is the full color photos of each recipe, that way I can tell how my creation stands up against Kim’s. 9/10 it’s not close, but I can try right? She uses a lot of different substitutes for things you might have around that are not plant based. There are recipes for plant based mayonnaise and all sorts of sauces. If you think making the change to this lifestyle might be hard, relax, it’s not. With Kim’s help we can all provide ourselves, and our families, with healthy food that will not only fill our bellies but nourish our souls.

I’ve been given the opportunity to share one of my favorite recipes from the book. Not only do I enjoy it, but even my kids ate it! Keep reading after the recipe, BenBella is offering one reader of Over + Under It the opportunity to win a free copy of the cookbook.

Sloppy JoesSloppy Joes

Yields: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

The bulk of this sandwich is wheat bulgur. It gives the filling a meaty texture and absorbs flavor perfectly. I prefer to use wheat bulgur instead of veggie meat products or textured vegetable protein because those products are highly processed and made from isolated soy protein, which is not a healthy whole food.

  • 1¾ cups water, divided
  • ¾ cup wheat bulgur, uncooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ cup low-sodium ketchup (no high-fructose corn syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat burger buns
  1. Bring 1½ cups of the water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the bulgur wheat. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté all the vegetables in the remaining ¼ cup water. When the veggies are tender, add the molasses, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, and cooked bulgur wheat and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir often.
  3. Serve on the whole wheat burger buns.

Kim’s Hint: If you want to use more bulgur wheat, just keep the ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part bulgur wheat.


So, how do you get a copy? All I ask is that you check out the PlantPure Nation Kickstarter page and view the trailer. If you feel so inclined, support the Kickstarter. I did! Once you have visited, comment here to let me know you did and that will count as your entry.

While you are out there visiting pages you can like the Over + Under It Facebook page and the Plantpure Nation Facebook page. If you did, say so in the comment and I will add in additional entries for the contest.

I will announce the winner Monday night after I get home from work.

Squeals, Bleats And Cackles: Catra Corbett

catra3I’m super excited to familiarize you with this amazing athlete. She is far from meek, and not at all a conformist when it comes to what you would think an ultra/ endurance athlete should resemble. She is her own person and is burning a path for many to follow.

Catra Corbett’s story, while dubious to some, is inspiring to many more. By age 50, she’s completed over 250 ultramarathons, and is an avid CrossFitter. Her bright hair and even brighter clothing has become more than a trademark, it’s become a beacon to those that think they need to fit inside of a box in order to be the person they want to be.
She’s also a plant-based athlete to boot!

Without further ado, here are some questions I had for her and her responses. Enjoy and let me know if you’d like to see more interview like this.

VCG: After reading a bit about your story and background, I’m impressed and inspired to say the least. If you’re comfortable, please give the readers a little background info on why led you to racing? Were you always a runner?

CC: I was not always a runner in fact, I hated running! I was a party girl and into the goth dance scene. I was doing a lot of meth and drinking alcohol. I was selling drugs and one night the cops came in and busted me and my boyfriend at the time. I spend one night in jail. I was scared straight pretty much. I did not do anymore jail time just one night. I was given drug diversion. So I attended a out patient program and went to NA meetings.

I decided to start working out in a gym. A year after that, I decided to start running.

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