Thursday, February 23, 2012

In case you didn't know...

If you stare at some hoopers for long enough with an excited (and not in your pants) kind of way, they may just offer to let you hula hoop with them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, Improved Me

Since I went veg and began hula hooping, I've been on a self improvement trip. Not self-improvement the ol' _____ for Dummies way, but the "oh, wow, I didn't realize I did that" kind of way. I don't typically do New Year's Resolutions, but I'll buck against that norm by stating my goals for this year:
- get more serious about hula hooping; participate in classes; meet new hoopers in my area; watch more hoop videos; learn more tricks.
- buy an LED hoop (because I am way too lazy to try to make one and I know how bad I am about postponing things like that) once I feel that I've truly earned it.
- pick up additional activities such as (but not limited to) music, dance, contact juggling.
- be a better vegan by putting more forethought into the items I may purchase that *could* be made from leather and choosing an alternative instead, looking into the Indian dishes I eat so regularly and steering clear of what may be contaminated by butter, and requesting that a Starbucks Barista re-make my soy vanilla latte WITHOUT THE DAIRY WHIPPED CREAM!

When I began hooping a few years ago, the original purpose was to have fun and lose weight if I could. Now that I've done it for so long, I know that when I hoop on a regular basis I end up feeling better. I get that rush of exhilaration from doing something I absolutely love, the hormones from a serious cardiac work-out, and the pleasure of knowing that I am doing something that many people don't know how to do. I've been a real slacker over the past months. At the moment, I don't want to hoop outside unless it's daylight due to the cold wintery weather. Granted, I realize that if I just got out there and did it sans coat I would quickly warm myself up, but that winter lazy streak grips my bones. I've got to shake that off.

So, cheers! Here's to an improved version of the veganhula girl.

Monday, December 19, 2011

You should watch me hula hoop.

This is my first ever hula hooping video and I think it turned out a lot better than I thought it would.  In case you don't hula hoop, let me tell you that when you are doing it you notice all of these little mistakes that you've made... and surprisingly enough, most of those mistakes aren't that visible in the video.  To someone who doesn't actually hula hoop they might not even be visible.  Of course, the ending to this video is pretty damned funny to me... you should watch it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recipes and things

Wow.  I won't lie, I totally forgot about this blog.  This year has been insane.  Relationships have died, school has been crazy and then calm, new friendships have started.  It's been a roller coaster ride that has only recently become something that's more good than bad.

Having said that, recently I've made a few things that are absolutely delicious.  Have I shared them with other people?  Oh, yes.  So, I'll take it one step further and I'll share with you as well.  The first recipe is for mock tuna salad.  When I shared it with a new acquaintance she was so excited about it that she managed to save some of it for her mother to try.  As far as ease goes, I don't think you can get much easier than this recipe, even if you choose to make it with dried chickpeas instead of canned.

1(15 oz.) can chick-peas, drained (or 1.5 c. cooked)
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup minced celery
2.5 T. minced dill pickle (about 1 pickle-slice, give or take)
1/2 T. nutritional yeast
1 green onion, chopped
1 t. soy sauce
pepper, to taste

Combine in a (1) food processor (the easy way) OR (2) in a bowl and manually mash it with a fork. 


That stuff's pretty amazing.  I actually don't use any of the amounts listed above - I just wing it.  I also deviate from that by adding mustard for an extra zing.  Before I went veg I used to make tuna salad with mustard instead of mayo... apparently I'm very unusual in that respect (I have yet to meet anyone else who did that), but it's really effing tasty.

The other delicious thing I've made and shared this week were pumpkin cranberry walnut muffins.  Now, I've been dying to make cranberry walnut muffins for weeks.  Every recipe I found for them included vegan yogurt and I refuse to buy that shit.  So, I haven't been able to get my cranberry walnut baked good fix.  Yesterday, however, while I was looking for a good recipe for morning muffins in my Vegan With a Vengeance cookbook, I saw that the Pumpkin Muffins recipe had an optional cranberry/walnut add-in.  I thought: I love pumpkin muffins, I love cranberry-walnut muffins, could they be just as great together?!  And, to some, they are.  I added a cup of the cranberry-walnut mixture at the very end, but here is the recipe for the pumpkin muffins themselves.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


The only thing I suggest for that recipe is to sift the spices.  I didn't do that and ended up with a few random spots of muffin that were solid clove or allspice and that's just way too intense for my mouth. 

If you run across any wonderful recipes worth sharing, I'd love to see them!  I love food an unreal amount.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Hello - as an introduction, my name is Ashli and I'm a vegan.  Typically, non-vegans think of "vegan" as some sort of profanity, some deranged PETA flag-waving crazy person whose most basic goal in life is to free as many bunnies and rodents from medical testing facilities everywhere.  I, however, am not one such vegan.  To prove this fact, I go out to eat with a non-vegan pretty regularly and my nearly 7 year old son is not a vegan (although he does eat as a vegan at home, usually).

Also, I hula hoop.  I've been learning since last Spring, and today was one of the few days we've had so far this year that included nice hooping weather.  Today was the first day in 2011 that I whipped out the hoops and headed to the park.  Surprisingly, after a winter hiatus, I still have skills, but they're still not as good as they were at the peak of last summer.  Ah, last summer... when the pounds just began to shed off of me so fast that I couldn't keep my pants on right.  Oh, the pairs of underwear that people saw without my intention all due to my new-ish diet and my fantastic form of exercise.  I was the envy of the workplace, but that really wasn't my purpose.

I mean, yes, when I went vegan/health-nut and began hula hooping, I did intend for my weight to drop... but not quite so dramatically.  Granted, my weight did not change until a good 9 months into the whole vegan thing after I began to really get good at hula hooping.  I have a waist again!  It's amazing.

So, why do I do it?  I got into hula hooping because of my aunt Kim.  She's basically the only other Queen of Awesome I've ever met.  She's a nurse in the baby wing of one or two hospitals, a midwife, a mother, a wife, etc.  She started hula hooping and got really into it.  Now, she owns quite a few LED hoops, mini-hoops, poi, and she may have begun fire-hooping as well.  It's really amazing to watch her do her thing, and when I started hooping I began going to her and my uncle for advice on how to get where I wanted to be.  I'm not quite there yet, and I've got some retraining to do this Spring, but I'm excited all the same.

As for going vegan... I went vegan because I'm a "be nice to your neighbor" kind of girl.  I read a book that sprung information I'd been trying to avoid all of my life about how the animals are killed before they're processed.  Yeah, I'm just not into that.  Let's bludgeon you on the back of your head and see how you like it... So, I take it upon myself to not do harm to animals, even by extension.  I don't want anyone to harm an animal on my behalf.  So, I went vegetarian at first and I managed to love the lifestyle.  Then, I took out dairy and egg just to see if I could do it.  And now I'm at the point where I check for weirdly named byproducts on my labels - be it food, shampoo, or lotion.  I actually love the high-maintenance part of my diet because it restricts me from a lot.  And, although I don't have the self-restraint and willpower to go through with a lot of things, I somehow manage to have just enough to tell myself that no, I do not need to eat that donut.

So, I'm going to try to tell you my story as it goes along.  Not necessarily of weight loss, or how to live a healthy life, but just the fun part of being who I am.  Maybe I'll even include some links to some really awesome recipes that I've come across.  At the moment, I don't know.  Let's just wing it.