Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reason #2 For Becoming Vegetarian + Cupcake Recipe

"You are what you eat". I can't even count the amount of times I heard this as a kid. Growing up on bologna & cheese sandwiches and bologna & cheese omelets I never really thought about this saying. I mean, obviously I don't look like bologna & cheese so it can't be true right? But maybe there's something to this idiom.

My diet, just like almost everything else in my life, has gone through phases. Once I started to do yoga regularly I became more in touch with my body. I felt connected to it in a way I've never experienced before. So when my diet fluctuated from eating healthy to not eating healthy it was very obvious to me how it affected me. Junk food made me feel sluggish, slightly sick to my stomach and overall dreary. The more I started to increase my water intake and decrease my junk food intake the more fluid and strong my body started to feel.

In this post I talked about the main reason I became vegetarian. I'll be honest, it wasn't that hard of a switch for me since I didn't eat a ton of meat anyways. But once I cut meat out from my diet completely my body had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. I immediately had more energy. My body felt a lot stronger and more efficient. Overall, I just felt more healthy. And that's because eating meat isn't healthy for you. There are a ton of anti-meat and pro-meat articles all over the internet. I am not interested in getting into that debate here. I just wanted to share with you some of the health related facts I have found about not eating meat.

  • "Dr. William Castelli, director of the Framingham Heart Study, says a low-fat plant-based diet would lower an individual's risk of heart attack by 85%." (The Kind Diet 2009, p.16)
  • "Meat eating is also believed to exacerbate gout, contribute to rheumatoid arthritis, and to be a major factor in the formation of kidney stones." (The Kind Diet 2009, p.17)
  • "A USDA report published in 2000 estimated that a staggering 89% of US beef ground into patties contained traces of deadly E.Coli." (The Kind Diet 2009, p.18)
  • "Factory-farmed chicken is so unclean that Gerald Huester, former USDA microbiologist, says, 'the final product is no different than if you stuck it in the toilet and ate it'." (The Kind Diet 2009, p.19)
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Information is pretty easy to find online though so if this interests you I would suggest starting at The Kind Life site, Colin. T. Campbell's site and PETA's site.

Source: Chapters
Reason #2 for becoming vegetarian: better for my health. Even though I had been told many times that eating red meat was bad for you, it wasn't until I became vegetarian that I realized just how bad all meats are for your body. Combined with the environmental impacts eating meat has on our planet, my argument to be and stay a vegetarian became a lot stronger.

Again, I would like to stress that becoming vegetarian or vegan is a very personal decision. Although I know everyone can do it, I know it's not for everyone. Just remember that you can improve your health by eating less meat in general. Try a new vegetarian/vegan recipe weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The less meat you eat the healthier you will be.

Now on to the yummy stuff! To go hand in hand with the chocolate frosting recipe from this post I figured I would pair it with the chocolate cup cake recipe from Kim Barnouin's Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I never add salt to my recipes)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Earth Balance (butter), at room temp.
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice (this added the most amazing flavour0
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (I was in a rush and didn't use this)


Preheat the oven to  350 degrees F (180C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with crimped paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the cocoa powder. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl mix together the milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit until lightly curdled.
In a separate large bowl, beat together the Earth Balance and the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Pour the flour and milk mixtures into the sugar mixture and stir until well combined. Add the orange juice and orange peel and stir together but do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each liner about two-thirds full. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, top with your favorite frosting.

Enjoy :) And don't forget to lick the bowl clean!

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