Our Hen House Interview & Steamed Veggie Bowl

January 4, 2013

Good morning and I hope the first week of 2013 treated you well! Today’s blog post is a little different in that I’m presenting a written interview I did with the creators of the vegan online magazine, Our Hen House (OHH), Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan. You may recall that these two ladies visited me a couple of weeks ago and interviewed Alan and me for their podcast. In this exchange, I got to turn the tables and ask them a few questions, particularly about their experience with following a healthy, vegan lifestyle. I especially enjoyed their comments about how to eat healthfully on the road and what a typical day’s worth of food looks like for them. At the end of the interview, you’ll get the chance to win one of the awesome OHH tote bags that I use all the time, plus see a meal that was inspired by them.

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Our Hen House logo

Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan are two of my favorite people; they are the creators of the weekly podcast and online magazine, Our Hen House, and they’re both incredibly smart, motivated and talented. I look forward to their spirited repartee each week as well as the informative input from the vegan and animal rights influencers they interview.

Carrie: Hello Jasmin and Mariann and thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!  Both of you are such role models for me and the work you do with Our Hen House has been strongly influential in my growth as a vegan and animal rights activist. Let’s start off this interview by having you tell the Carrie on Vegan readers a little about the history of Our Hen House and what inspired you to start it?

Jasmin and Mariann: Thank you so much, Carrie. We are so lucky to have gotten to know you, and are extremely lucky that you write for Our Hen House! The insight you offer is refreshing and honest, and you’re such a rich addition to the animal rights movement. In addition to that, we’re so happy to call you our friend.

But enough sap! Thanks for asking us about Our Hen House! We’re thrilled that it resonates with you. Actually, that’s a good way of answering your question regarding what inspired us to start Our Hen House. The short answer is that we were deeply passionate about providing a positive and accessible forum where we could shed light on ideas and opportunities for anyone to change the world for animals. So we’re elated it jives with you, and it’s our hope is that something about Our Hen House resonates with everybody who cares about animals.

We need to create a mass movement to end the exploitation of animals, and in order do that, we each have got to get involved in our own way, with our own flavor. That can mean anything from getting involved with advocating by way of media, law, grassroots, the arts, humane education, you name it. And similarly, you yourself might feel most inspired or empowered by audio podcasts, videos, in-depth articles, short blog entries, or in-person workshop. We’ve got all of that. The success of Our Hen House lies in you creating your own formula that will allow you to get excited about creating change for animals.

As for the history of OHH, we started almost three years ago exactly, after years of working in the field of animal rights. We feel a question that we should each constantly ask ourselves is, “What can I do in my life to create the most impact for animals?” It’s a question we should each repeatedly reassess. For us, we wanted to go in the direction of creating indie media, and so OHH was born – first as a blog and a podcast, and now we have also expanded into an online magazine. It’s incredibly exciting, and the success is a direct reflection of peoples’ thirst to get directly involved.

Carrie: In case readers aren’t aware of the recent release of your online magazine, can you tell us what that is all about?

Jasmin and Mariann: Yes! As we just touched on, we recently expanded Our Hen House to an online magazine, allowing us the amazing opportunity to bring in even more writers, reviewers, columnists, thinkers, doers, activists, vegan foodies, and all around wonderful people. Since it started, Our Hen House has been a multimedia hub of ideas and opportunities to change the world for animals. We started as just a blog and podcast, soon becoming a nonprofit. The blog and podcast are still going strong, but the new components allow us to reach more people, shed light on new ideas to help animals, and offer various perspectives, so that everyone can identify with one aspect of Our Hen House or another.

We also have incorporated a new “This Animal On This Day” section, where readers can upload a photo of an individual animal (be it their companion animal, a wild animal, an animal in captivity, etc.), along with a sentence about the animal, to be featured on our homepage. And there’s a new breaking news ticker, where we update our readers on current events from the world of animal rights. We also are posting way more videos, vlog-style. Though some of these are available to everyone, other of our videos have been for our “flock” only, which is a core group of committed supporters and animal advocates who are given access to exclusive content, contests, incentives, and other giveaways. Our flock helps Our Hen House stay afloat, since we are indeed reader and listener supported, and we encourage people who dig the content and tools we produce to keep indie media alive and support our efforts to change the world for animals. For those who might just be discovering Our Hen House, we hope you’ll browse around the 1500+ pieces we have available to everyone!

Our M.O. is to be indefatigably positive. There’s so much to be sad and angry about, but there’s also so many positive, accessible, fulfilling ways we can each get involved with changing the world for animals in a way that works for each of us in our own particular life.

Carrie: One of the reasons we have become good friends in person as well as online is that we have a shared respect for Dr. Fuhrman and the Eat to Live (ETL) program. Can either one or both of you talk about your history with food and health? I realize that’s a huge question, but I am specifically interested in knowing how you came to adopt a “nutritarian” diet which really focuses on eating whole, plant-based foods?

Jasmin: Happily! As you know, given our regular texts to one another about things like kale, and black bean brownies (does one need anything else in life?), we are indeed just as passionate as you are about being “Fuhrman-ites.” In so many ways, the ETL diet changed – perhaps saved – my life. To date, I have lost about 100 pounds following a nutritarian diet, a feat which landed me on The Dr. Oz Show a few months ago, with “the Fuhrmanator” himself.

My history with food is a sordid one, which is true for so many of us. I was always chubby. This is something that in and of itself might not be problematic, but by the time I was 30 and weighed 221 pounds, my doctor told me that my triglycerides were extremely high, and I found myself on my way to heart disease. I was already a long-time vegan by then. I have always been vegan for animal rights reasons, and I remain vegan for them. In truth, if veganism were the most unhealthy thing on the planet, I’d still be vegan. But luckily, a healthy vegan diet can in fact be the best thing for our own health, creating what Mariann likes to call the natural and beautiful synergy to be found in the fact that what’s best for us is best for the planet is best for the people of the world is, indeed, best for animals.

That visit to my doctor was a wake-up call to me. I knew I needed to do something radical in order to get my health back on track. I was also feeling fatigued all the time, not to mention depressed, anxious (in truth, I still deal with anxiety sometimes), and my eating was driven by irresistible cravings and addictions. I also drank caffeine over a dozen times a day (no exaggeration!), and doused my food in a ton of oil before even thinking about consuming it. Though I think it’s possible for some people who are hefty to be healthy too, I was not so lucky, and my life began to feel out of control. That summer, I was visiting my friends and comrades over at VegNews Magazine – where I’ve been a contributing writer for many years. They loaned me a review copy of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary focusing on one man’s journey to saving his life through the power of green juice fasts. Mariann and I planned our first 10-day juice fast, set to begin on September 1, 2010. I lost 11 pounds during those 10 days, and instantly began to feel lighter and more energized. We planned another juice fast for the following month, but decided that in between we’d consume only whole foods, which led us (back) to Dr. Fuhrman and ETL. We’d each dappled in his style of eating in our pasts, but we had drifted away.

My own history of food consumption, from back when I was a kid, involved a whole slew of disordered eating, and it wasn’t until I re-discovered ETL as a 30-year-old, combined with monthly juice fasts (10 days every two months, 3 days on the alternate months), that my disordered eating was cured – actually and literally cured. Nowadays, I follow ETL about 90% of the time, and the other 10% I am mindful and conscious about the foods I consume, and I no longer feel the need to over-indulge. I never feel deprived, and – largely because of your blog, Carrie – I feel like I’ve become a pretty fantastic cook. I also took up running about a year and a half ago, and a few months ago, I ran my first half-marathon.

This is, of course, the very short version of my story. As you also know, I’m hoping to share my (not-so-short) story as a book. When it comes to eating, and the way society treats people differently depending upon what they weigh (I’m a perfect example of this), I will talk your ear off. In short, there is absolutely nothing greater than putting healthy, wholesome, plant-based foods into our bodies in order to fuel them, since they are make up the most compassionate cuisine imaginable – and are wildly tasty, too!

Mariann: Like so many people, I have always struggled with food. Going vegan was a wonderful new world for me, but, like Jasmin, it did not end my struggles with food. It just lifted one hideous food-related weight from my shoulders – the knowledge that I was harming animals. But I still ate lots of things that made me feel less than optimal, I still struggled with my weight – which never seemed to be where I wanted it to be — and I still had lots of addictive relationships with particular foods.

One of my issues was that I have always had (and still do have) an enormous appetite – portion control has never been a satisfying solution for me for my issues with food. I also tend to gain weight pretty easily. Once I stumbled upon Dr. Fuhrman, I found out that none of my “food issues” had to continue, and I could eat as much as I wanted as long as I ate optimally healthy things. The first results were that I was able to keep my weight at a place that felt right for me, and I was able, to a large extent, to control the cravings I would get from eating foods like sugar and white flour. Those things were an amazing breakthrough for me, and made my life so much easier. I had a sense of control – not absolute control, but more than I’d ever had before. Now that I’ve been following Dr. Fuhrman (again, more or less) for a number of years, an even greater benefit has come to pass. I feel so much healthier, and I honestly feel I get sick so much less. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that dreaded nascent soreness at the back of my throat and thought, with absolute certainty, “Oh, no, the next two weeks are going to be ruined by a cold,” only to wake up the next morning feeling better, instead of worse. Once you truly pack your body with the nutrients found in vegetables and fruits for a long period of time, you can really start to experience amazing improvements in your immune system. Even our recent tattoos healed so fast it seemed impossible to those in the know! I’m not saying that a super-healthy diet is a miracle cure for everything – there’s no such thing. But I do feel it’s a way of taking your best shot at being as healthy and strong as you can be.

Carrie: I know that both of you travel a lot and, most recently, made not one but two cross-country road trips. How the heck did you manage to not only eat vegan on your journey, but how did you stay healthy?

Jasmin and Mariann: We’ve developed lots of tricks for staying healthy on the road. One is our handy-dandy Tri-Best travel blender, which we use almost every morning to make a smoothie (usually using the free fruit from the motel breakfast buffet!). One of our favorite go-to meals is tofu and broccoli at a local Chinese restaurant, one of which can be found in virtually every town in America, no matter how tiny. We just get it steamed, without sauce, and, yes, we are the people who carry nutritional yeast with us to jazz it up (along with the occasional addition of a touch of hot Chinese mustard). Other easy-peasy food items to prepare in a motel room microwave, which you can get at virtually any supermarket, include sweet potatoes (we like them with salsa), frozen edamame, popcorn, or even warmed up frozen fruit. One of our favorite chain restaurants (which so far we have found only in Texas) is Souper Salad. For less than $8, we got a staggeringly large and delicious salad full of fresh greens and vegetables. There is a lot of junk food offered there as well, but if you choose wisely, you can eat an incredibly healthy and delicious meal.

In fact, staying healthy on the road has turned out not to be a problem at all. As we like to say, every supermarket in the country has a huge vegan section – it’s called produce. The only real problem in staying healthy is the temptation of so much delicious, decadent vegan food to be increasingly found across the country. And, of course, we indulge from time to time, and sometimes even then we can make an otherwise indulgent meal a bit less so, by ordering the healthier option, or asking for things to be steamed instead of sautéed, or leaving the dressing off salads (again, break out the nooch!).

Carrie: What is a more typical day’s worth of food for you when you are cooking at home? Do you have any favorite Dr. Fuhrman recipes?

Jasmin and Mariann: We start off nearly every morning with an extremely hearty, healthy, green smoothie. The ingredients can include any combination of greens (kale is obviously our go-to), frozen veggies, frozen fruit (particularly berries), and possibly a high-quality protein powder (we fancy Vega, Sunspire, and Plant Fusion), a fat such as nut butter or perhaps some kind of seed, an add-on like ginger, unsweetened cocoa powder, or goji berries, and possibly a splash of some kind of non-dairy milk. Our ritual morning hot drink is cocoa powder mixed with hot water (we don’t use any sweetener or any kind of non-dairy milk).

When it comes to recipes, we’re not keen on following them most of the time – at least not to a T. We enjoy blogs such as yours because you provide inspiration and ideas for things like smoothies and salads, but we feel that good recipes such as yours are those which allow room for interpretation.

For lunch, we might make a huge portion of steamed greens, top it off with beans or steamed tofu, and drizzle on some tahini and nutritional yeast. Or sometimes we’ll have a massive salad full of a little bit of everything – seeds, nuts, apples, mushrooms, onions, raisins, you name it. We frequently culminate our lunch with fruit, fresh or frozen. We love taking frozen cherries, blending them up in the Vitamix, and creating a delicious and healthful “ice cream.” Dinner is likely a variation of what we suggested for lunch, though we might include a root vegetable (like sweet potatoes) or a grain (quinoa being our favorite – which, true, is actually a seed and not a grain). Throughout the day, if we get hungry, we’ll have some fruit or perhaps munch on sugar snap peas, which are extremely satisfying to eat thanks to their unsurpassable crunch-factor. We also love edamame. Make food fun to eat and we’re immediate fans. And we’ve never met a kale salad we didn’t like.

As for Fuhrman’s recipes, we are devotees of the black bean brownie recipe he featured in his book, Super Immunity – or slight variations of it. We also enjoy his Anti-Cancer soup, when we have the wherewithal to do all those dishes. But honestly, more frequently than not, we’re drawn to your recipes, Carrie, since we appreciate the commentary you add, and we think you’re a pretty phenomenal cook. You say it how it is, and it leaves us inspired and hungry.

Carrie: Thank you so much for the incredible work that you do and for taking the time to do this interview. Big hugs to both of you!!!

Jasmin and Mariann: It was honestly our pleasure. Thank you, Carrie! Your blog has been a rock for us, providing us with endless ideas and inspiration. Keep it up! Tummies all over the world need you!

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What a cool interview, right? I have read through it several times already and picked up new pieces of information from these two. In addition, Jasmin and Mariann have offered to do a giveaway for one of their tote bags to one of you lucky readers. Alan and I own one and we use it whenever we travel because it’s so roomy and cute (Alan probably doesn’t care about the cute part but that doesn’t stop him from piling his stuff in it):

Rocking the OHH tote bag.

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post with the name or species of an animal that you love, whether it be your family dog or cat or your fascination with dolphins and elephants (two of my faves). I’ll randomly select a winner next Wednesday, January 9th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!!!

As I mentioned, I loved the input from Jasmin and Mariann about tips to eat healthfully when traveling because that is my biggest challenge. In particular, ordering steamed vegetables and tofu from a Chinese restaurant is brilliant. I can’t believe that I’ve never tried making this combination at home before so last night I gave it a go.

My pressure cooker came with a steamer basket so that’s what I used to get started. I just put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot with the basket on top:

Pot with steamer basket.

I gathered these ingredients which included extra-firm tofu (blotted dry with a paper towel), mushrooms, green onions, chopped bok choy and broccoli:

Ingredients for Steamed Veggie & Tofu Bowl.

I put the broccoli on the bottom of the steamer basket because I figured that would take the longest to cook and then I piled on the mushrooms and tofu:

Broccoli, mushrooms and tofu.

The chopped bok choy went on the very top:

Vegetables ready to be steamed.

At this point, I put the pot on the stove, put on the lid (not the pressure cooker lid, just a regular one), and turned the heat up to high. Once I could hear the water boiling, I turned the heat down to low and let the vegetables steam for about five minutes. It looked like this when it was done:

Steamed veggies and tofu.

I made a super simple sauce of almond butter stirred with some low-sodium tamari and brown rice vinegar (a more formal sauce can be found here). I served it with a little of the sauce, the chopped green onion and some sesame seeds to make it look pretty:

Steamed Veggie & Tofu Bowl

Delicious!!! The vegetables were cooked perfectly but still crunchy and the sauce tied it all together. If I were on the road, I would probably just use some low-sodium soy sauce and chopped nuts from my purse if I didn’t have access to almond butter.

Some other inspiration for healthy meals this week came from our recipe link-up party, Healthy Vegan Fridays. Last week’s most popular submissions were these:

1. Raw Pecan Pie Bars from Sweet & Healthy Living:

Raw Pecan Pie Bars from Sweet & Healthy Living

2. Garlicky and Lemony Black-Eyed Pea and Kale Salad from the taste space:

Garlicky and Lemony Black-Eyed Pea and Kale Salad from the taste space

3.Crispy Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms from VeggieGirl:

http://www.veggiegirl.com/2012/12/27/crispy-gnocchi-with-brussels-sprouts-mushrooms/

Add your whole food recipe below and I’ll see you back here on Monday. Have a great weekend!



{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikki W. January 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

What a delicious looking veggie bowl. Yum to that sauce! And a great interview the OHH gals. Love hearing about Dr. Furhman experiences :)

As a side note, I messed up my entry for Healthy Vegan Friday and the picture didn’t show up. Any way to remedy this?

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Carrie January 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

Thanks, Nikki!!! I deleted your entry so you can try again. Have a great weekend! :)

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Nikki W. January 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

Thank you Carrie! You too :)

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janet @ the taste space January 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

What an inspirational story! Btw, I have never seen purple bok choy, unless that is because I gravitate to the baby bok? Anyways, looks like a great combo with broccoli and tofu. :)

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:11 am

I was wondering if anyone would notice the purple bok chou, Janet, and you did. :) I got it at the farmers’ market, I think it is a different variety called joi choy, but it tasted the same. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Erlyn January 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

Interesting interview and a terrific recipe to follow! We eat lots of tofu in our house, so tofu recipes are always appreciated! We have a daughter who loves macaroni and cheese, so I like to make macaroni and cheese for her with a block of tofu plus nutritional yeast and herbs and voila! delicious macaroni and cheez! Tofu is a delight! Thanks Carrie :)

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:12 am

Thanks, Erlyn! I looooove your mac and cheese recipe, btw, sounds absolutely delicious. Can you make me some, please? :)

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Erlyn January 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thank you also for the great link to the page for the simply yummie Almond Butter sauce! Lots of great information on that page as well, thank you! :)

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Jeanne January 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

Hi Carrie!
Happy New Year to you and Alan! I listened to the podcast of you and Alan on Hen House. It was great and agree Alan should have a blog or podcasts so we can hear his sense of humor and advice.
I just made your Saffron Cheese sauce last night again, as it has become one of our favorites. I will try this new sauce tomorrow. Actually all of your sauces have been a hit with us along with all of your recipes.
I am glad you turned the tables on Jasmin and Mariann, they shed a lot of light on the traveling challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed Jasmin sharing her journey on food.
My favorite animals: dogs, dolphins, elephants(what a travesty that is happening to them in Africa) cats, pigs, cows, ah shucks, I love all animals, how can you not!!!
The best thing that happened to me this year was discovering Eat to Live with Dr. Fuhrman and finding your blog which has turned me on to new recipes, other blogs(Hen House) and reading some new books, thank you.
Here’s to 2013 and bright skies ahead!
Take care,
Jeanne

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

Awww, thanks Jeanne for the really nice words on the interview. I can’t tell you how nervous I was for that and it was all unscripted, I had no idea what we were going to talk about. I told Alan that you liked his part, too, and he said thank you. :)

Your kind words made me feel so great, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you have found inspiration in my blog. I really love writing it and connecting with people and it makes it all worthwhile to have a message like yours. I hope you have a fantastic 2013, as well.

Hugs,

Carrie

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Lori B January 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

The veggie bowl looks so yummy and simple! And for the give away, we love cats. I’ve had at least one for the past 20ish years. My kids just LOVE our Igma who is female and has a bit of an attitude most days. ;-)

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

You probably already know that I adore cats as well, big or small, attitude or not. :)

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Jan-Marie January 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

Hi, Carrie ~
I always love reading your blog. That new sauce looks so easy & tasty. What we call stirfry at our house, which is really just water sauteed veggies, make a frequent appearance at our house and I’m always looking for an easy sauce that both of us like. This seems easy enough and quick! Thank you for simplifying it.

As far as domesticated animals, who doesn’t love a Ragdoll cat? We have two and call them our puppycats as they act like dogs. I adore most wild animals (are spiders and snakes animals — ewww) and spending time in the wilderness gives me the chance to watch them in their natural environment.

Have a great weekend, Carrie. Looking forward to what you have to share next week too!

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:17 am

Thanks, Jan! I have never heard of a ragdoll cat? One of my two cats kind of acts like a dog, she plays fetch, at least she used to before she got older and lazy. :)

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dawn meyer January 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

I just came upon your blog a week ago. I am new to vegan style eating and am finding your information so wonderful. I live alone so it’s a challenge for me to cook much – I’d much rather sew: http://www.etsy.com/shop/gisdesigns?ref=si_shop and http://www.etsy.com/shop/GenerationsInStyle?ref=si_shop. These are my only websites and I don’t have an active blog going at this time so I didn’t know how to sign on to the giveaway linky.

I LOVE animals. My favorites are my dogs and my kids dogs – boxer, lab, english springer spaniel. I LOVE horses even though I am not a good rider. I LOVE dolphins and hope to swim with some in the future. I am in awe when I see deer in my yard.

I plan to start making my meals using many of your recipes and I look forward to more of your posts on “Vegan How To”.

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:20 am

Hi Dawn! WOW, you are incredibly talented!!! Thanks for sending along your website links. Do you make clothes for adults as well? I love the colors and patterns of the kids stuff. I am jealous of people like you who have a skill/talent like sewing. I love dolphins, too, I feel lucky that I live near the ocean so I can see them every once in awhile in their natural habitat. By the way, you are entered in the giveaway, the linky tool is if you have a recipe to share, it’s unrelated to the giveaway. :)

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dawn meyer January 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Carrie, Thank you. I have made some adult clothing. If you’re interested, with your measurements I can work with you and see what we can create together. ♥ ♥ ♥

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Nathan January 4, 2013 at 11:36 am

Hi Carrie. Great Blog. I was recently turned on to your site after hearing an interview you did on Our Hen House. I started poking around and see several recipes I will be trying in the near future.

Also, I wanted to win that tote bag for my girlfriend who is also a big fan our this blog and Our Hen House. As for favorite animal, I’d say it is our Great Dane named Athena. She is super loving and gentle with everyone…..except when the door bell rings. Her bark is very loud and is intimidating for sure to whoever is on the other side of our door.

Have a great weekend and keep the recipes coming.

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:21 am

Thanks, Nathan, so glad you discovered my blog! :)

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Xine January 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I’m afraid my favorite animal today is the adorable stubby squid, Rossia pacifica. They’re cute in pictures, but in real life, their cuteness can melt your mind!

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:23 am

Well, now, I just had to go google that type of squid after you mentioned it and, I agree, they are pretty adorable. I used to want to be a marine biologist when I was younger and I have a fascination with marine life. I’m not sure I would have described a squid as cute, but I can get on board with that. Thanks for sharing! :)

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Katie January 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

My puppy Berkeley is my world!

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Kristin January 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Definitely my favourites are the tiger and shark but the rest all come in a close second! Thanks for your awesome blog Carrie, I always find inspiration here.

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:24 am

Ohhhh, I agree, tigers and sharks are exquisite!!!

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Crissie January 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

What a great interview! I was lucky to hear Jasmin speak at VVC in 2011 (but didn’t have the courage to actually TALK to her!).

For the record (and the contest of course) the animal I have been most fascinated with my entire life is the penguin. I love them all, but there’s something about penguins that gets me all mushy inside.

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:24 am

Thanks, Crissie! You’ll have the chance to talk to Jasmin in May at VVC…are you coming? BTW, I love penguins, too.

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Crissie January 6, 2013 at 8:42 am

Yep, I’ll be there! Hoping to break out of the shy comfort zone more and actually talk to people this time :)

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Carrie January 7, 2013 at 5:57 am

Definitely, Crissie!!!

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Jenna Z January 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I LOVE Mules! We owned and showed mules when I was in high school and they are the best!

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:26 am

I don’t know much about mules, Jenna, but I’m sure you’re right that they’re pretty special. :)

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Christy B January 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

What a fun post to read! I love reading about healthy lifestyle tips and maintaining a nutritarian way of eating.

As for my favorite animal, it has to be a deer. I am fortunate to live in a place where I see them frequently in my backyard. They are so peaceful and serene. They bring a smile to my face when they are around.

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Joy Cosby January 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I LOVE pigs and I want one as a pet if my husband will ever let me. :) They are incredibly intelligent and I can’t believe people eat them, even though I used to years ago. :( Anyway, they are my favorite. Carrie, I just love your blog. Reading your entries makes my days better. You are wonderful!

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Rachel Ki January 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Hi, Carrie! Recently started following your blog and I really love it!
I also am a sugar addict and it’s slowly getting better but your blog posts have def helped and let me know that there are other vegan-sugar-addicts and that you CAN overcome it!
My favorite animals are fish because they live unknowledgeably happy in the water. I also love: humans. Sometimes we forget that we are “animals” or living creatures as well, and need to be loved.
Thanks!

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:37 am

Thanks for the comment, Rachel. I’m glad you found my blog and identify with the sugar thing. It definitely helps not to feel alone. It’s a constant struggle for me, but I do feel some control over the situation. I love that you mentioned humans as one of your favorite animals. You are completely right that it’s easy to forget that humans deserve compassion. Thank you for that wise reminder!

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Christine January 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Great interview! My favorite animals change all the time. This is the year of the horse and the bird. For me they represent the free spirit.

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Paulina January 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Fun interview! I am an Our Hen House podcast listener and am glad they have turned me on to your blog. Looking forward to exploring your recipes. :)

I can’t choose a favorite animal, but the 3 (other than my companion cats and dog) that have been on my mind today are bats, bees and cows. I just watched the Jazz for Cows video on YouTube and for anyone who hasn’t seen it, you MUST google it this very second! :)

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:35 am

Just watched the video, Paulina, and it made me smile. Cows are incredible, I love them, too. :)

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Robin January 5, 2013 at 2:15 am

What a great interview. I love the Our Hen House Podcast.

I also love all animals, but I do have a special place in my heart for bunnies.

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mary January 5, 2013 at 5:55 am

Love your tofu dish.can’t wait to try it. Hard to pick my favorite animal but the top two would be dogs and pigs.

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Keli January 5, 2013 at 6:08 am

Hi! My name is Keli and although I truly love all animals, if I had to pick only one for the title “favorite” it would be my corgi-mix, Turkey. She’s the perfect companion for me and I’m so incredibly lucky to have her!

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Teresa Roberts January 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

I LOVE the tofu dish! I am the only vegan in the house, but they love what I cook. I love and respect all animals. But my favorite are dogs, cats and horses. :)

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Kelly G. January 5, 2013 at 6:15 am

Those pecan pie bars look AMAZING! Like I already wasn’t jonesing for pie, lol.

I hate to be boring, but for favorite species I have to go with dogs, because I care for seven of ‘em. I’d also love to adopt rats or mice, but sadly that’s out of the question – they wouldn’t be safe with Ralphie and Jayne around. Both dogs have a nonhuman body count on their snouts. Still love them though. (The dogs and the mice!)

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Melissa January 5, 2013 at 7:13 am

Loved the article and specifically the feedback on ETL and typical recipes J and M make. Appreciate knowing even healthy vegans sometimes fight off food issues. I have always loved horses!! When I was a kid my “specialty” was whinnying to horses and often they would actually whinny back! Ha ha. As a little girl, I actually thought we had a special connection and I was gifted with this magical power that me get their attention. My parents always giggled at my attempts to “talk” to horses and now as a 33 year old woman, I guess it was silly. But horses still hold a special place in my heart.

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:27 am

Your comment about your special powers made me giggle, Melissa. :)

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janet lunsford January 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hi Carrie, loved the interview! lots of great info.
I’m so glad I found Dr. Furhman, which led me to you & others like Hen hs., etc.

My favorite pets are my 2 shelter rescues; Sam & Charley. They help us to stay healthy as they LOVE their walks morn/eves. thanks, janet

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Beth January 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

Yum!! Those steamed veggies and tofu with almond butter sauce looks so good! that is something I could eat everyday. I wish my hubby craved simple foods like that. Planning dinner would be much easier! My favorite animals are our two Boston Terriers, Panda and Bean. Love them so much!

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Nina January 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

Happy Healthy New Year, Carrie!

It’s always such a pleasure to follow you! I really enjoyed reading this interview with the awesome ladies from Our Hen House!

My favorite animals are my Humane Society rescue little pomeranian/sheltie and my cats, but I have (since going plant-based vegan) developed a new love and admiration for cows, pigs & chickens! Thanks again, Nina

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:28 am

Thanks, Nina! I’m so glad you liked the interview. I was really nervous. :) I agree with you that since going vegan, I am so much more appreciative of the beauty of all types of animals. Thanks for sharing.

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Elizabeth January 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi Carrie! Like several other commenters here, I also recently discovered your blog through Our Hen House. As a proud vegan who is also passionate about nutrition, I know that I am going to love your blog! Your steamed veggie bowl looks like it would be right up my alley, and the almond butter sauce sounds delicious. :)

As far as animals go, I I have loved rabbits for as long as I can remember and think they are absolutely adorable (along with cats, bats, pigs, goats, etc…)

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bitt January 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

That tote is tote-ally awesome. I need one! So hard to pick my favorite animals, I love them all (well maybe not snakes). For today I will say birds because they fascinate me and make pretty sounds. And dogs because they are so devoted and loving to me. Great interview. Where can we find the online magazine?

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Carrie January 6, 2013 at 6:31 am

Thanks, Bitt! The online magazine for Our Hen House is actually just the website, http://www.ourhenhouse.org. It’s a dynamic site, updated daily with various columns and a news-ticker. I never remember to visit it daily so I signed up to receive the daily e-mail. Enjoy!

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Angie January 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

These recipes all look delicious!
What a great interview. My favorite animal is definitely a pig!

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Tawni January 6, 2013 at 6:01 am

I enjoy reading your blog. It has inspired me to take whatever veggies, etc that are in the frig and steam them up for a meal instead of always trying to find a recipe. So thank you!!

My favorite animals are birds. I love watching them in the air, so free :)

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Danielle January 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

I enjoy your blog so much! I recently discovered it and read every single post you’ve written:) I wish you’d blog daily! Great interview. Big hug from the Netherlands.

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Carrie January 7, 2013 at 5:57 am

Wow, thanks Danielle!!! That must have taken a long time to read all of my posts?!? I don’t think I could even stand myself for that long, ha ha. Hugs back to you, I looooooove the Netherlands, one of my closest friends lives in Amsterdam and I so want to visit sometime.

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Danielle January 7, 2013 at 6:06 am

Haha… I loved every single post! You should really visit Amsterdam sometime! I live on a houseboat on one of the most beautiful canals and it’s just breathtaking. We should really meet up if you ever plan to visit to visit:) My mother has a business in renting out houseboats to tourists, so shoot me an email of you’re ever interested. Her website is http://www.theguesthouseboat.nl/ so you can check it out. I’m planning on visiting California (santa monica/venice beach) in June/July 2013!

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Carrie January 8, 2013 at 6:09 am

Thanks, Danielle! I will definitely let you know if I make plans to visit Amsterdam. My friend who lives there is visiting the US in a few weeks so I get to see her then. I checked out your mom’s website and it looks fantastic!!! I have dreams of living in Europe someday, although I’ve never thought about living in a houseboat, it is such a foreign concept to most Americans, including me. I would love to meet up with you in LA this summer, let’s keep in touch to set up a lunch or coffee! :)

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Martha January 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

It’s hard to choose a fave. I love all animals (okay, I don’t enjoy roaches, but you have to respect their hardiness!). I’ve loved cats and lived with them for many years. We now have a half-Siamese who chose us, and a 4-month-old tuxedo who we rescued from the street, with the help of a friend. Robert and Junior.

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Denise January 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

It’s a tie between penguins, which I collect , and dogs! I love all dogs– big and small, puppies and old grand-dads, but the greatest dog ever is my yorkie Tina

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Ashley January 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Dolphins & polar bears! <3 Also, cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and fish!

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Azucena January 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm

My kitty cat Oreo will always be my most beloved. :)

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Cadry January 7, 2013 at 6:11 am

What a cool interview! I didn’t realize that Jasmin was on the Dr. Oz show with Dr. Fuhrman. That must have been a neat experience. I liked what they had to say about how it would be easy to get lost in the sadness of the suffering in the world, but that by focusing on what each of us can do in our lives for the animals, we can stay positive. Also, a travel blender? Now, that’s a genius idea!

The bag is super cute! Two of my favorite animals are my wonderful companions and felines, Spike and Jezebel. They make every day sweeter, and I feel blessed to take care of them.

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Kelly January 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I was glad I read the comments about the purple bok choi! I wish our farmer’s market was still open, alas, in January in Maine isn’t always conducive to outdoor markets :)

My favorite animals are my dogs, Ziggy (beagle/boston terrier) and Woody (boston terrier), my cat Stella and my 2 horses, Ranger and Ellie :)

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Heather January 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm

This dish looks yummy! And SO easy – just my style! : )

I love all animals, but my favorite right now is my dog Juno, a Rat Terrier that I rescued a few years back. She is the best, and even enjoys eating all my veggie foods with me.

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Kayle January 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

My animal favorita is a horse! They are the most majestic, strong and powerful creatures. They never cease to amaze me. Plus, they are all plant-strong! :)

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SueC January 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Hi Carrie – Good job on the interview. It would be great advertising to get one of those Hen House totes all the way to the east coast so I’ve got my fingers crossed you draw my name tomorrow! I promise to carry it everywhere……

My dog is pretty lovable so that is my animal of choice these days.

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Shana Brannon January 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I absolutely love your blog. I’m relatively new to the plant based lifestyle, so I learn something new every day thanks to people like you! I started down this path for health reasons, but my love of animals helps to reinforce my decisions.
I adore my three labs, but my first love is cats. I’ve always had them growing up, and I miss the two I lost to cancer this past year terribly. Once I get over their loss, I’m sure I’ll be adopting two more. (Kittens are better in pairs, don’t ya think?)
Thanks for all you do, Carrie!

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Molly January 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm

When I was little, my parents had the worst and my frightening fights. And my cats were always there to comfort me and were all I really had. I adore every single one of God’s creatures but cats will always be my most favorite! Thank you do much for offering the opportunity Carrie & a wonderful question too! :-)

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Linda Dale January 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Hi Carrie. Still love your blog and appreciate your introducing us to Our Hen House. I’m starting to feel encouraged about how many vegan blogs, sites, and FB pages seem to be popping up lately. It would be nice if I could get paid to read this good stuff all day, instead of working, which is actually what I have to resist doing when I am at work!

Choosing a favorite animal is impossible. Growing up I had cats, dogs, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and as an adult I’ve had all those except mice. Right now I have a maine coon cat I rescued (Sophie) who is gorgeous and way too smart. In the exotic category, I’m adore all the big cats. But there is something about cows that really touches me. Those eyes, those moist noses, the soft lowing and mooing, the fact that they’re such gentle giants. Every time I see one I want to get out of the car and go tell it that I won’t ever eat it or any of its relatives.

The tote is really cool. Whoever gets the tote is super lucky – hope its me! :-)

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Molly January 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

When I was little, my parents had the worst and my frightening fights. And my cats were always there to comfort me and were all I really had. I adore every single one of God’s creatures but cats will always be my most favorite! Thank you do much for offering the opportunity Carrie & a wonderful question too!

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Erica Wollman January 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I love elephants!

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melinda boothe January 9, 2013 at 3:46 am

I love cats the most. Big and little. Other favorites: elephants, bears, sloths, monkeys, hedgehogs, big fluffy dogs, bunnies, alpacas, and butterflies.

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Pam Woronoff January 9, 2013 at 5:45 am

I love my dogs! Zoe is “my fluffy girl” and Clydie (a Boxer) could have played Richard Parker in the Life of Pi movie.

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Katie @ Nourishing Simplicty January 18, 2013 at 6:18 am

Thanks for the reminder to steam veggies and for sharing with Simple Meals Friday!

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