When I told my students that my wife and I were vegan, a majority of them thought I was crazy. They seemed to be under the impression that we only ate sticks and bark :P With Thanksgiving coming up, several of them asked me what we were planning on eating for our meal. When I told them that we were sticking to our guns and remaining vegan, one student jokingly told me that I was "Un-American" (a comment that I found to be both funny and somewhat sad, considering the importance that Americans place on animal consumption). Anyways, I told them that vegans can have amazing Thanksgiving feasts and promised that I would take a picture as proof. So, here is the Thanksgiving meal that Suzanne and I enjoyed with our families.
Suzanne and I made chickpea cutlets and vegan gravy to share and my mom made vegan stuffing, cornbread, and sweet potatoes. Along with that, we had buns, fruit salad, and lettuce salad. Dessert consisted of homemade vegan apple/cranberry pie. Most of my relatives tried the vegan dishes and they were pleasantly surprised by how much flavor the food packed. It was pretty awesome seeing our families enjoy our food.When I showed this picture to my students, they were pretty amazed. Overall, it was an amazing Thanksgiving and Suzanne and I consider ourselves pretty darn fortunate to have such amazing people in our lives.
Earlier, I had mentioned that Suzanne and I had a new change in our lives. Well, here she is! This is Rlio, our new dog. She's a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and we adopted her from a shelter in Aberdeen, SD. Not much was known about her when the people at the shelter picked her up. I guess her owner had lost his job, then lost his house, and although he loved the dog and wanted to keep her, he just couldn't afford to take care of her. When she was brought in, she was very underweight and unkempt. However, the people at the shelter took care of her for three weeks and got her up to date with her vaccinations and operations.
*Despite her excessive partying, expensive wine habit, and "free" lifestyle, we love her dearly ;)
Another new addition to the house is my new fatbike! I've been looking for another way to stay fit during the winter season because I hate running in the snow. I always end up with a wicked head cold and end up feeling miserable for weeks. So, this was my alternative. Its a Surly Pugsley fatbike. Fatbikes are designed to plow through all the elements. This beast will take me through snow, sand, dirt, you name it! A friend of mine recently purchased one and had nothing but amazing things to say about it. He's also an experienced rider, so I felt comfortable in the investment. I traded in my old bike and put the money towards the new one. I also just so happened to purchase it on Black Friday (I had no intentions of doing Black Friday shopping and honestly had forgotten about it while I was there), so I got some amazing deals on top of my trade in, which was super nice. Not only will the bike keep me in shape, but it has also been great for Rilo. Her particular breed requires a decent amount of exercise, so I take her for rides and we have a hoot!
I've found riding in the winter to be quite relaxing and peaceful. I usually go for rides in the morning when there aren't too many people out and about. There's something about the "isolation" that I find calming. It's just me, the snowy landscape, my bike, and my thoughts. It's been very cathartic. Also, winter riding has given me the opportunity to work on my ice beard :P
Lastly, here are some photos of some vegan dishes that Suzanne and I have made the past couple of weeks.
This was a tofu stir fry that Suzanne made. It had broccoli, peppers, sesame seeds, and Jasmine rice. This was another amazing Asian dish that we have experienced. The flavors in this particular recipe were amazing. There was also some ginger in there if I remember correctly.
This was our meal last night. Suzanne made spaghetti with vegan meatballs and roasted brussels sprouts. Again, it was a pretty wicked meal. Needless to say, we have not gone hungry during our switch to the vegan lifestyle. This whole experience has been absolutely incredible and enlightening.
P.S. I have to give a shout out to Compassion Co. for making some of the raddest vegan clothing I have seen. This is a shirt that I recently purchased from them. Did you know that the gorilla's diet is largely plant based? Pretty insane considering how beefed up they are! If you're interested, check out Compassion Co.'s website. Lots of awesome stuff for great prices and they are super friendly.(http://compassionco.bigcartel.com/)
Stay awesome, my friends!