Thursday, April 30, 2009


The fast has been broken. Well, it didn’t end today actually, it was yesterday to be honest…yup, Tuesday night about 8:00 p.m. In the end, I consumed nothing but fresh vegetable and fruit juices for 48 straight hours.

While that doesn’t seem like a long time in comparison to other fasts I’ve read about, it sure seemed long…long enough to form an opinion, anyway.

After reading up on it, participating in it, and considering the opinions of ALL of my loyal readers, here’s what I think – in no particular order:

1. Most veggie juice is absolutely delicious, and I will be working a lot more of it into my regular diet. Certain green combos are bitter, but if you balance it out with some tastier things, you’ll be in good shape. I will certainly share any especially tasty combos that I come up with.

2. Wheatgrass: Had a two-ounce shot of it at a juice bar. During the thirty seconds that it was dancing around my taste buds, it went from tasty, to not tasty, to “what the fuck?” and back again about ten times. Interesting stuff.

3. There are two types of juicers: Masticating and Centrifugal…I have centrifugal…you should get masticating. It took three minutes to prep my veggies for juicing, one minute to juice them, and seventeen minutes to clean the juicer. Apparently the masticating versions are quieter, more efficient, preserve nutrients better, and are way easier to clean. Here’s a comparison.

4. While on such a fast, weird shit happens…literally.

5. I certainly feel good, but not a whole lot better than usual. Midway through Tuesday, I was very tired (and hungry, naturally), and didn’t do much…happens every time I quit smoking, the body detoxing, I believe. Sitting here on a Thursday night, I’m definitely in the “danger zone.” About now I’d be picking up a bottle of wine and a pack of you know what, but I’m not really feeling the urg…umm…lets change the subject....yeah…let’s do that.

My Final Thoughts:

Considering my experience and what I’ve read, I think I won’t do this, or anything like it again. As I said in my initial post about this, I’ve always been skeptical of these fasts and detoxes, which is why it’s taken me so long to try…they always seemed unnatural to me. Here, purging nicotine from my system was the spark for this whole thing, and I don't know what effect it has had. If it did nothing more than get me used to juicing regularly, I think it was a success, and the rest will work itself out.

I believe (as Kay and Dracenea commented below) our bodies are designed to clean themselves, naturally. However, if you are someone who consumes a lot of unnatural things like pesticide-laden, hormone-injected, refined, processed foods, and animal products, then maybe a rush of raw veggies and juices might do you some good – give you a jump start to make a change. But if you’re eating the things that humans are designed to eat (as I have done for over 2 ½ years), this type of thing I do not believe is necessary.

So that’s it, if you’ve got any other questions or comments about this or something I may have missed, I’d love to hear ‘em.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Damn, That's Some Fast Juice!

Alright, so, I made the switch from omni to vegan a little over 2 ½ years ago. Up ‘till then I had a lot of bad habits. Gorging on terrible foods, drinking A LOT of alcohol, watching too much T.V., and getting less physical activity than Captain Pike did in “The Menagerie.” Yeah, I know.

Anyway, since then, I have eradicated all of these detrimental deeds…except for one. One that I have kept hidden from view since the dawn of The Sexy Vegan, nearly two years ago. I am, and for the past 9 years, have been addicted to nicotine. The Sexy Vegan smokes! (The show was initially called “The Smoking Vegan” because, at the time, I thought that it would be funny, but I settled on “Sexy” since I decided that more people would click on it if it had “sex” in the title, and I really wanted it to be about health…and I didn’t plan on smoking forever).

Over the past couple of years I have made tremendous strides in this fight, reducing cigarette consumption from nearly a-pack-a-day, to just one pack over the course of a weekend, which is where I have been for quite a while now. That is, however, the most idiotic smoking schedule I’ve ever heard of. The first three days of nicotine withdrawal are always the worst, and since I essentially quit smoking every Monday, I go through the worst part of quitting every single week. I could probably handle a couple days of water boarding at this point.

The fact is, my life has changed in so many fantastic ways since becoming vegan (I used to look like that), but this is the one thing that’s been holding me back from being the complete vegan sex symbol…and I’m ready to be done with it.

So I’ve started a juice fast.

In wanting to avoid replacements like “the patch” and “the gum”, I searched for some natural helpers. It’s all about detoxifying, according to this here internet. Get all of that nicotine out of my system, so I no longer crave it. There are much more detailed explanations out there about the workings of the addiction (dopamine release and such), but I’m gonna’ keep it simple. There are also 17,000,000 different herbal combinations, cleansing/detoxing kits, and programs for detoxifying the body and quitting smoking, but I’m going to keep that simple too. They also recommend enemas…and, well, that just won’t be happening.

I’m simply going to consume nothing but juice for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time, and see what happens. Fresh juice, that I juice myself. I have read up on this, and it seems like a viable method to heal one’s body, and has been successful in aiding nicotine cessation. It, apparently, gives the digestive system a rest, and lets the body focus on repairs and cleansing. You’re not even supposed to chew gum while doing this, since the act of chewing triggers the digestive system into action.

I started yesterday, and want to go at least three days. Although I’ve read that the body doesn’t even start detoxing until about four or five days in. I’ve read so many differing articles on this, that there’s only one way to be sure how it all works…and I’m starting my second day of that investigation. I’ll go a week if I can.

So far, I’ve made two different juice combinations:

A. 1 beet + it’s greens, 2 apples, 2 carrots, small slice of ginger
B. 1 tomato, 2 carrots, 3 celery stalks, ¼ of an English cucumber, 1 clove garlic

These make between eight and twelve ounces of juice. You’re supposed to dilute it with an equal amount of water to make you feel fuller, but that tastes shitty. I’m simply drinking the water right after or before I drink the juice…same effect.

In fact, I’m drinking combo B right now with some Swiss chard added. Whew, one clove of garlic is definitely enough. Both combos are absolutely delicious, actually. There will be much more to come on this topic in the coming days. Keep in mind that I’m no expert, and I’m not a doctor (anymore) but I would like to make this a resource for anyone who might try such a thing…so stay tuned...and pray I don’t start eating my appendages, I’m starting to get a little hungry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

HALF-ASSED RECIPE: Pesto Manifesto

Hear-ye, hear –ye! I do, on this day, publicly proclaim that we are no longer shackled to basil-centric pesto sauces! We are free to incorporate an infinite arrangement of ingredients in order to incite culinary inspiration! We are no longer fettered to the…huh? What's that? Oh, you already knew this? You say you saw it in my Pumpkin Soup episode, where I topped my soup off with a bit of non-basil pesto? O.K. well, here’s a variation, smart ass.

As usual, it’s stuff I have in my fridge that I need to use up, and all measurements are approximate:

½ cup baby spinach (packed tight)
½ cup arugula (packed tight)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup cashews
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp fake parmesan
some cherry tomatoes (halved)
your pasta of chioce
salt/pepper to taste

Super easy, this one. While the pasta’s cooking (I used rice spaghetti), add everything except the oil and tomatoes to your food processor/blender. Pulse it a couple times to start blending it together. Begin to slowly add the oil and ramp it up to full puree mode. When you have that pesto-ish consistency, stop adding the oil (you may not need it all, or you may need more…”half-assed recipe,” remember?).

When the pasta’s done cooking, drain it, give it a shake, and put it right into a mixing bowl while it’s still hot. Toss in a couple spoonfuls of the pesto, some cashew pieces and the fresh tomatoes. Combine it all, gently, and serve it up.

Oh, and the fake parmesan: just blend equal parts nutritional yeast, and almonds, and some salt to taste in the food processor. I usually do a cup of each and keep it on hand at all times. Got that one from this guy. His videos are in German, but he has an English section on his site. Seems like a cool dude.

Anyway, what you should learn here is that there are endless combos of greens, herbs, seeds, and nuts that you can use for your pesto sauce. Here are the general rules, in an easy to remember poem format:

"Something green,
Something olive oil,
Something garlic,
And something nut,
Makes you something very…oh and fake parmesan too…
you can’t forget…um…thut."


Monday, April 13, 2009


Being that my weekly farmers’ market trip takes place on Mondays, I desperately raid the fridge all weekend trying to use up whatever produce I have failed to consume. Here’s what I found this week:

1 Stalk of broccoli
½ red bell pepper
¼ head of red cabbage
½ English cucumber
4 shitake mushrooms
1 tomato
some mixed greens

Using these ingredients, I made a sandwich and a salad. But first I made a dressing/marinade that I used for both dishes:

¼ cup of Shoyu (or Tamari, soy sauce, Braggs, etc.)
½ cup of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of agave nectar
1 healthy squirt of Siracha chili sauce
Ground black pepper to taste

I whisked all of it together and separated it equally between two bowls.

On to the sandwich:

I Carefully pulled off the stems of the shitakes, discarded them, and dunked the caps in one of the marinade bowls. I Placed them brown side down in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil, and let them sear. I thinly sliced the cucumber, dropping about 8 of the slices in the same bowl where I marinated the shrooms, and stirred them to coat.

After 2-3 minutes, the shitakes were nice and browned, so I gave them a flip, and cooked ‘em for another minute. As they were off to the side cooling, I thinly sliced my tomato and toasted up a couple slices of whole grain bread. I assembled the ‘wich in the following order: Cucumbers, shrooms, mixed greens, tomato. The cucumber dressing seeped down into the bottom slice of bread, doing that awesome bread + dressing thing. Now that I think about it, I could have brushed both slices of bread with the dressing. Ahh, just another of many oversights chalked up to the haste of a hungry fat guy.

...and the salad:

The only cooking involved with the salad was blanching (drop in boiling water for 15 seconds, then cool immediately in a bowl of ice water), and draining the broccoli that I cut into bite size pieces. I thinly sliced the bell pepper, shredded the cabbage and tossed it all in a bowl with the remaining dressing and cucumbers, then garnished with sesame seeds. Now that I think about it, I could have stretched this salad out, and tossed it with some cold noodles...but I, of course failed at awesoming yet another dish.

FYI: I’m a little under the weather, so I typed this entire post from my bed. No, I don’t have a laptop, I have, well…

Yeah, it's a little computer cart with wheels that I pull up to the edge of my bed. Useful in soooo many ways. Just, my neck’s all fucked up, now, from laying on my side...a banner day, really.

Monday, April 6, 2009

HALF-ASSED RECIPE: Thai Red Pepper Soup

There are many decisions in life. Some as simple as, “Should I brush my teeth now, or just go to bed and take care of it tomorrow,” and others much more difficult, like, “ughhh….I should probably go back and pick up that Plasma Rifle, I’m gonna’ need it for the boss in the Corridor of Peril.” And then there are ones that fall in the middle, “What am I gonna’ do with a giant freezer bag full of diced red bell peppers?”

*By the way, my company produces a massive amount of food every Sunday, inevitably saddling me with fresh unused veggies…veggies that I spend every Monday afternoon staring at, trying to figure out how to not let them go to waste.*

In this case, the decision was a no-brainer…the tried and true user-upper of excess vegetables…and, incidentally, my favorite thing in the world to make, was the answer: Soup.

My initial plan was to toss in the peppers with some onions garlic, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and veggie stock, puree it, and call it a day. Only after I began sweating down the veggies, did I have a thought: Coconut Milk! I think it was a combination of the new bottle of Thai Chili Sauce that I just bought, and the Thai Basil that I held in my hand at the farmer’s market today, but (regrettably) forgot to come back and purchase, that sent me in that just popped in there. While I wasn’t too psyched about turning off my fire mid-sweat, and making a run to Trader Joe’s for the coconut milk, my psychedness for the soup idea outweighed my non-psychedness about leaving the house.

You’re gonna have to pare this recipe down, since I’m starting with a ridiculous amount of stuff. I ended up with approx. 8 -73 servings with this recipe.

These are mostly estimations (hence, "HALF-ASSED"), but here goes:

4 lbs. bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow only) seeded and diced
2 onions diced
3 cloves garlic chopped
8-10 leaves of Thai basil
1 can light coconut milk
1-2 TB Thai chili sauce (e.g. Siracha) to taste
1 TB agave
Juice of one lime
About 1 cup of water
1 TB olive oil

Olive oil in a large pot heating at medium. Add onion, sweat for a few minutes. Add garlic, sweat for another few minutes. Open a window, or you’ll be sweating too. Add the peppers, and cook the veggies until they’re nice and soft, and have released a lot of their liquid (seems lots of things get soft after releasing their liquid…hmm). Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the basil leaves and two TB of the coconut milk, and let it simmer for a few minutes. The amount of water to add may vary…start with a cup and add more. It’s got to be thin enough to puree into soup form. Next step, puree. I recommend a hand immersion blender like this one. It is my single favorite tool in the kitchen (besides my knife, of course). It’s 17, 000, 000 times easier to clean than a food processor or blender, and can do most of the tasks that they can do. Get one, get one, get one!!

Jesus!! All this typing is fuckin’ ponderous man…this is why I do videos!

O.k., so, once it’s pureed, add the basil leaves whole, and let it simmer for just a few more minutes. Serve it up, and garnish with a basil leaf and a little drizzle of the reserved coconut milk. I had to use cilantro for garnish since, as you remember, I failed to buy the basil earlier.


Saturday, April 4, 2009


A dude’s tireless search for the perfect veggie burger. Indy’s got nothin’ on me!


So it was Vegin’ Out’s annual holiday dinner, (yeah I wrote this one a while ago) and this year we ate at Real Food Daily – a 100% vegan restaurant in Santa Monica. After we all destroyed a plate of their fairly awesome cashew cheese nachos, they brought out our entrees. I, naturally, ordered the basic RFD Burger…which, upon service, I immediately regretted, when Dan was served his RFD Burger with The Works. It’s essentially the burger I ordered, topped with avocado, tempeh bacon, and smothered in cashew cheese. Not sure what I was thinking when I passed that up (especially since the company was picking up the tab), although it did look rather unwieldy to consume. I later decided that, if my mission was to evaluate the burger patty itself, abundant toppings would simply mask the truth…and the truth did need some masking.

The RFD Burger is self described as a “tempeh vegetable patty”, however I saw no vegetables or tempeh. I’m sure it was all in there, but everything was processed so finely that there was nothing recognizable. It seemed that there was wheat gluten flour used as a binder to hold it all together, and while wheat gluten can give something a meat-ish texture, it certainly was a large part of the makeup of the patty. This made the patty more soft and squishy than I would like..sort of like my belly, and my ass, and my arms, chest, etc.

The choice I’m constantly faced with when developing burger recipes is: To Wheat Gluten or Not To Wheat Gluten. I still don’t know the answer. I’d prefer not to use it, but sometimes it seems necessary…I don’t know…I’m not prepared to answer this now…o.k. let’s continue…

While the soft, squishiness is somewhat meat-like, it was a little overboard…I don’t even know if having something resemble meat is what I really want, or should be striving for in my own creations. I think a veggie burger, should be just that: a burger of veggies. I want to see them, and bite into chunks of them, and taste them. I don’t want a pulverized mash of stuff that wants to taste and feel like a ground up dead cow.

Speaking of taste, the patty itself had very little. It’s kind of just “eh” when topped with lettuce, tomato and grilled onions, but I’m sure it’s much better with The Works. When I started dissecting it (like a chubby mad scientist), and tasting the patty itself, there was no flavor to speak of. Very disappointing for a restaurant with a lot of winners on the menu.

The (not so) Skinny:

Bun: Nice rustic Roll

Toppings: The works (avocado, tempeh bacon, cashew cheese) looked like the way to go.

Texture: Squishy, and meat-like, heavy on the wheat gluten flour, and couldn’t see or taste any veggies.

Flava’: A Joke (like 9-1-1 in yo’ town).

The good stuff: Clearly freshly made on the premises, and packed with healthy protein. Sizeable portion, it’ll fill you up for sure. Get it with the works.

The ‘eh’ Stuff: Contains wheat gluten, way too much, from my estimation. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get one, there are much better things on their menu.

So there you have it! The first of many thorough veggie burger reviews. Much more on the way!