George and Julia's Vegan Underground

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Bent Bento

We took a field trip to where else? New Jersey of course. Madison to be exact. So where are a couple vegans going to eat? I wanted Mexican and Julia was hungry for something Asian. Hmmm, what to do? And then, there it was, an answer to our prayers, the Bento Grill sign read “Mexican With An Asian Flair.”

We got the “first time?” speech from an enthusiastic gentlemen who seemed to be in charge. The Bento Grill was set up like a Chipotle but there was a twist. Their “Asian” soft tacos were actually steamed buns(Julia got those). Instead of salsa, they had four different Asian sauces. The only vegan one was the Korean barbecue. I went for a more traditional wheat tortilla. Throw a healthy helping of vegetables and tofu, we had a unique dining experience. It seemed more Asian than Mexican but we both agreed, it was filling, a real winner. We’ll be back. They really should advertise it as veg-friendly.

Vegans That Rock!


It’s Friday.  Are you ready to rock?  In the 90’s the “kids” had a new found interest in Punk Rock.  California bands like Pennywise, Rancid, Bad Religion, Green Day, The Offspring and Sublime were being signed to major labels.  Although a part of that scene, the band NOFX never did.  

Although not actually “Fat,” the NOFX lead singer and bassist Michael John Burkett is better known as “Fat Mike.”  We call him Vegan Mike, because he is.  Mike used to sing songs that mocked non-meat eaters.  Now he puts out a compilation CD that supports PETA.

As “Cokie the Clown.”

“We (NOFX) are a big supporter of both Animal Rights and PETA…A lot of that stuff is for health reasons for me because this shit is just not healthy anymore. It is just so poisonous.”

Fat Mike is currently one of the owners of the Thistle Hill Tavern in Park Slope Brooklyn.  Perhaps that’s why Thistle Hill has the best vegan burger in town.  You go Mike!  Keep being all silly and punk rocky.  You’re a Vegan That Rocks!

Dr. Greger’s Guide to Preventing Death

Julia will tell you that ever since we’ve been living our own little vegan utopia, I have become an annoying nutrition nerd.  Sometimes nothing sparks animosity like telling someone you are vegan.  In such situations, if you choose to debate, it’s good to do a little homework.  This lecture by Dr. Michael Greger, is great ammunition for such an occasion.  His recent lecture gives the strongest reasons to go vegan, to live.  I urge you to take 55 minutes to watch it.   It may change your life or it will at least make you go hmmm.  It focuses on the 15 leading causes of death.  It turns out a vegan diet can prevent all but one of them (except accidents), treat half of them and actually reverse the top 3.

Top Killers:

1.  Heart Disease
2.  Cancer
3.  Emphysema
4.  Stroke
5.  Accidents
6.  Alzheimer’s
7.  Diabetes
8.  Kidney failure
9.  Influenza and pneumonia (respiratory infections)
10. Suicide
11. Blood Infections
12. Liver Failure
13.  High Blood Pressure (essential hypertension)
14.  Parkinson’s Disease
15.  Pneumonias due to solids and liquids 

Please enjoy now:

So Let’s Review:

●  1 egg is equivalent to smoking 5 cigs a day for 15 years
●  Vegans have an average cholesterol of 150
●  meat products, dairy and eggs paralyze the arteries causing chronic inflammation
●  cholesterol drug lowering medication create brain-related risks like memory loss and increase diabetes
●  lowest incidents of all cancers lower in vegetarians than in meat eaters
●  chicken triples your risk of cancer

●  vegan blood is less hospitable to cancer in fact vegan blood fights cancer 8 times better  (-9% vs. -70%)
●  insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) grows and spreads cancer
●  A vegan (not vegetarian) diet causes IGF1 goes down
●  high potassium foods prevent strokes
●  bananas – but not even top 50 for potassium
●  top 5 tomato, orange concentrate, greens beans dates
●  meat eaters 2-3 times to become demented (Alzheimer’s)
●  some obesity linked to virus in found in poultry
●  You must jog ¼ mile to burn off  one sardine
●  To burn off 2 chicken legs (steamed chicken, skin removed) = 3 miles
●  Harvard study says 3 things are bad for kidneys: animal protein, animal fat and cholesterol
●  a vegan diet help in the treatment of kidney functions after just one week
●  there is serotonin (the happiness hormone) in plants especially plantains, pineapples, bananas, kiwis,               plums and tomatoes
●  butternut squash seeds have been proven to treat social anxiety disorder
●  meat born bacteria can creep up into women’s bladders and cause urinary tract infections
●  chicken is the worst offender of fecal bacteria
●  Meat industry proposing a maggot mixture to be sprayed on meat – low cost simple method
●  vegan diet can treat liver failure because you are getting less toxins from meat
●  high blood pressure , essentially only found in meat eaters
●  vegans are the only population that are not overweight, even vegetarians are overweight
●  increased risk  of Parkinson’s disease from dairy consumptions through
                exposure to pesticides, neurotoxin chemicals  (especially in cheese)
●  there are 100,000 deaths a year  from prescription drug side effects (not overdose, regular side effects
            (this means ACTUALLY 6th leading cause of death is doctors)
●  vegans have a 40% less risk of developing cataracts
●  FDA had no discussion at all about the health consequences of eating meat because “if they did, they would be unable to justify eating meat at all.


Vegans That Rock!

It’s Friday.  Are you ready for Vegans That Rock?  I bet you are.  There’s been a lot of press lately about vegan fitness buffs, bodybuilders and extreme athletes.   This 80’s guitarist is one of those.  Our plant-strong friend gave up booze 23 years ago and meat, 27 years ago.  Today he is vegan and in the best shape of his life, benching twice his body weight.  As guitarist of the multi-platinum band Def Leppard, Phil Collen gets his rock energy without steroids, chemical enhancements, or animal products.  Clean vegan living is all he needs.

What made Phil go vegan?  “Eating dead bodies started freaking me out, you know? I always kind of loved animals and stuff but I think it really hit home…when you actually figure out what you’re eating and all the suffering that the animals go through. So that was it for me….I was only eating, like you know, milk and coffee and chocolates and stuff like that but you know I actually read this book “The China Study” and saw the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and that really kind of put an end to the dairy stuff as well.”

Collen’s typical meal is mixed greens, veggie burger, hot chili peppers with soy sauce.  Like Russell Brand and Ozzy, Phil Collen joins the long list of vegans converted by viewing the documentary Forks Over Knives.  If you don’t want to become a vegan, best steer clear of that movie. 

Current, Vegan Phil at age 52

When Phil’s vegan son was 7,  he said “Look, kids at school are going to give you shit at some point so just tell them that they’re “eating assholes and eyeballs.” Cause you know, that’s what they put in burgers and hot dogs and that’s the current fare for most young kids…It works every time.”

Mr. Muscles, Super Dad, a defining 80’s guitarist, is there anything this vegan can’t do? Phil Collen you’re an inspiration and raise the bar for vegans everywhere. Keep lifting, fathering and rockin’.  You are truly a Vegan That Rocks!

Juiced Up Thursday

Sorry for the later post of today’s Juiced Up Thursday. My world has been completely inverted since last week, and my head is still spinning. I’m also in the process of packing up my place and moving. Ah! I have to admit, I did not make a juice today, and I am really jonesing for one, so maybe later tonight I’ll hit up the garden for some yummy kale. Anyway for today’s Juiced Up extravaganza, I thought I’d point you all in the direction of a FREE MOVIE!

Now playing, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

This is a great movie about how juicing can change your life for the better and I definitely recommend it. If this doesn’t change how you look at fresh juices or inspires you to buy a juicer, then nothing will. Great movie and definitely worth checking out.

Reboot your life with Fat Sick and Nearly Dead!


Vegans at a cookout

George and I headed to cattle country in Ohio. We were probably the only vegans in a 50 mile radius, but we still managed to make it work. We bought some vegan boca burgers and George made some sweet potato fries. And of course it’s corn season and it’s a vegetable both vegans and carnivores can munch on.

We made it work.

Vegans That Rock!

He may not be the most famous rocker to come out of Seattle, but his unique style of singing and screams in the early 2000’s spurred an indie cult following for his band, The Blood Brothers. Though his band has broken up, this vegan rocker has taken his talents to Jaguar Love and Neon Blonde. His voice has been described as sounding like “a child being tortured.” But don’t fret, this rockstar may tickle the fancy of young tortured souls, but Johnny Whitney enjoys living a lifestyle that’s guilt-free.

Johnny has never been shy about his vegan lifestyle, and has encouraged a nationwide vegan pizza movement. When Peta2 was divulging into entertainers veganism, they were quick to hit up The Blood Brothers front man and keyboardist. Well keep on tapping those casio keys, Johnny Whitney, because you’re this weeks Vegan That Rocks!

Vegan Pizza es delicioso

Juiced Up Thursdays

Everyone knows juice is Magic but the key is getting a nutritious drink without canceling its benefits with massive amounts of sugar from fruit. Because you are removing the fiber by juicing, that sugar spikes in your blood just like white sugar. I’m no doctor but am a big follower of Dr. Greger’s Nutrition Facts. I welcomed a recent topic that has been a concern of mine for years: what is the best sweetener to use. As it turns out, there are only two that are actually good for you. No, it is not agave nectar. One is molasses and the best one, I have included in today’s juice called:

“Date with Destiny”

Kale (2-6 stalks) – prevents osteoporosis, anemia, heart disease, colon cancer. It’s a great source of Vitamin A, B-complex and minerals. Now that’s a magic veggie!

Blueberries (handful) – still one of the highest fruits in anti-oxidants. Eat blueberries, age less.

Carrot (1 small) – flavonoid compounds in carrots protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers

Spinach (1 handful) – iron, minerals and disease prevention to the max!

Broccoli Stalk (2 inch) – Don’t chuck those stalks, use them in juice. It’s low calorie, lots of dietary fiber, photo-nutrients. A superfood for sure!

Lemon (1) – a natural preservative, aids in digestion and eliminates pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.

Dates (2-4) – replenish energy, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, great source of beta-carotene, iron and fiber.

That’s right, the best sweetener is “date sugar” which is actually just ground up dates. Bob’s also sells it by the bag. If you’ve got a Vitamix you can just plop real dates into a smoothie or add it to the juice. Because dates are a whole food, you get the fiber and all the nutrition that goes with dates. So make a date with dates. It’ll be sweet!

This juice is a winner! So give it a try! Tell yourself or your juicer to “date me.”

Delicious Rawlicious

Meetin’ Up

Even for the vegans, raw food is a hard sell.  We give up meat, milk, butter, eggs and now…heat?  Some believe that raw vegans hate themselves.  The opposite is true.  A meal of raw food actually “does a body good.” but if it’s going to be loved, it’s got to be incredible.  I’ve recently fallen in love with the restaurant Pure Food and Wine so I have experienced raw food greatness.  When Canadian mini-chain Rawlicious set up shop in NYC, I welcomed our friendly neighbors to the North.  Canada has an impressive list of celebrity vegans so it’s not surprising that they were “bringing it.”
I was excited that Julia was game for this outing.  It wasn’t just lunch,  it was also the monthly gathering for the vegan Meetup group, “NYC Vegan Eatup.”  When vegans get together, there’s lots to ramble on about and this was no exception.  There were introductions, observations, conversations.  Julia and I agreed, it was a really fun bunch.  These were our people!  Even though we had just met, we had so much to talk hear and share.  There were 20-25 people representing NYC Vegan Eatup. Open about a month, Rawlicious had to bring their A game to this mean gang of hardcore vegans.  Blog posts, emails and word-of-mouth reviews were sure to follow.


 Rawlicious was delicious.  I had the Rawich (Onion bread with guacamole, tomatoes, cucumbers & alfalfa sprouts drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette).   Like most of the bread cooked under 118 degrees, it fell apart immediately.  It became a knife and forker but Julia agreed it was a fine lunch.  I also had the strawberry milkshake (Nutmilk, strawberries, avocado, agave, vanilla) which is not to be missed.

Better Late Than Never

Julia ordered the Pasta Bolognese (noodles made out of zucchini, tomato marinara, basil pesto & crumbled seasoned nut loaf topped with pine nut parmesan) but it never arrived.  I shared my sandwich but her missing meal was a severe buzzkill as everyone chowed down.  Julia eventually got her dish (gratis) and, as our new friend described it was “refreshing.”  I tried it and it was in fact, a stellar dish and an unusually large portion for a raw restaurant.  The consensus crowned the pizza as King even though the two slice portion was a bit small.  I’ll probably try that next time.  Yes, there will be a next time!
We followed our new Vegan Eatup friends to Babycakes bakery.  Stay tuned for the details on that.

Raw Kitchen, Clean Kitchen


Grand Central goes Vegan

Do you ever find yourself waiting in Grand Central for someone to come in from upstate or Connecticut? As the time wears on and the grumbling in your stomach gets worse, take a moment to explore the dining concourse. There isn’t much veg-friendly places there, but Cafe Spice (the only Indian place) has taken the steps to identifying there is a booming vegan consumer out there. No need to think anymore about if you can eat it or not, because Cafe Spice had labelled the vegan dishes at their station. The lentils were my favorite, although they were a little bland. The kara curry was waaaaay too coconutty for me, and I’m a snob when it comes to Channa masala because my homemade masala is boss. It’s no Dawat or Tamarind, but it does taste okay and it’s better than Curry in a Hurry.

After you’ve dined, head up toward track 19 and visit Joe’s art of coffee for dessert. They have an incredible vegan cookie selection. But beware, it goes fast and they run out.

Other Acceptable Veg-Friendly Restaurants in Grand Central Terminal:

Two Boots: They have vegan slices for sale. Very yummy, but I still hate Daiya.

Hale and Hearty: Good vegan soups, and also can work a sandwich to be vegan

Manhattan Chili Company: A few vegan chili options.

Zaro’s Bread: Okay bagels and coffee. Vegan sandwiches available upon request

Hot and Crusty: Decent bagels

Dishes: Fresh juices!

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