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Obesity Tax? May 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — rawvegan2009 @ 3:30 am
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Tax Sodas or Fat People? That's the question of many...

Tax Sodas or Fat People? That's the question of many...

This week my parents are here visiting and I’ve enjoyed preparing raw vegan dishes for them. Today, we went to the gym and experienced something I never thought I would. While I ran my 5K, my mother walked and run for over 30minutes. I thought she was done, but she then went over to the stationary bikes. We have both decided to take back our lives, eat healthy, and exercise daily. I couldn’t be more happy because this means I will get to enjoy my mom much longer. With that said, maybe she can stop it with the “I want grandchildren next month”…lol! Just joking, mom:=)


Just like any gym, the YMCA has those massive flat screens on either ESPN, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and NBC. I watched the segment on Time Magazine’s latest coverstory on Michelle Obama. Politics aside, she’s a real inspiration to women everywhere. She’s no dummy and is comfortable in her own skin.

But while I was running the 2nd mile, I noticed Rachel Ray discussing a new proposal for Obesity tax. What the raman noodles! But what, they’re not taxing obese people directly. Here’s the deal.

In December of 2008, Governor David Patterson chose to tax all non-diet sodas to close NY’s budget gap. In attempt to pay for the comprehensive health care plan by Obama, Congress will meet on Tuesday to consider mimicking Patterson’s “Obesity Tax” on soft drinks. Of course the beverage companies are not so pro-Obama on this idea and all those people who cannot go one day without their Coca-Cola or Mello Yellow are just as upset – if not more. 

I understand having an addiction to something. I pretty much was addicted to bread and butter. But I learned that if I did not change my habits, I would leave this world pretty soon OR just live a life full of medications. We won’t go into the horrendous consequences of diet sodas at this time, but should we be upset that the government is trying to help those who drink themselves into type 2 diabetes? 

I’ve read some comments about the possible “obesity tax” coming from Washington and they are too funny. “Socialism” continues to rear its head as some sinful idea that will kill America. ROFL! And others are making up such silly rationals that they aren’t worth mentioning.

Yes, there are people who can control their sugar intake, but what about the children who are constatntly presented with the coolness of sugary drinks. We are not the parents of these children, but they live in our “village” (if I could borrow from the African proverb – it takes a village to raise a child…). I believe taxing sugary sodas will cause parents to think twice and be less negligent. Just because a child asks for grape soda, chocolate milk (also being considered), or a Sprite because the cool basketball commercials – parents should continue to be parents and say “No!” 

So how do you feel about the “obesity tax”? Is the government going to far?This seems to be the biggest concern for those against the obesity tax. But as a vegan, I’m not concerned about it. In fact, if I get the urge I will be reminded of how unhealthy this liquid diabete juice packaged in shiny cans that no one recycles here in North Carolina:(

Is a tax on sugary sodas necessary? We demand that the Obama administration rehaul the health care system, but is discouraging people from sugary sodas acceptable?

When we reply, let us consider that America is the fattest nation on earth and the childhood obesity rate is growing at an even faster rate. 

Here are some links for more review:


Is that the “Mark of the Beast” on my Produce? May 20, 2009

What Do These Numbers Mean?

What Do These Numbers Mean?

Tonight, I was going to post a recipe for all the world to see. The dish was so good that I convinced my husband to try it once he got home from work. Well, the plate was clean in a matter of minutes and soon I shall rule the world. Wooohahahaha! (That’s my vegan-vampire laugh). 

Earlier in the day, I prepared my shopping list and learned a fact that I feel the entire world should know. It’s one of those facts only to be found buried in a book, discussed on NPR or a blog like this:-) Brace yourselves….This news is as exciting as finding out who’s the face of “Dr. Claw”. You know… the evil nemesis of Inspector Gadget and leader of the evil organization MAD.  (NOTE: Some readers may not be old enough to appreciate the awesomely creative genius of 80’s cartoons)

We know that many of our grocery stores are starting to carry more organic fruits and veggies. But what are those round stickers on ALL the fruits and veggies. It’s like the mark of the beast has been placed on every piece of produce.

Well, this sticker isn’t just for scanning purposes. It’s a PLU (Price Look Up) Number. This 4 or 5-digid PLU number is extremely helpful for those of us who don’t want to ruin a salad full of pesticides. So, here’s the legend to understanding your produce:

1. When the PLU number is 5-digits and begins with the #9 the veggie/fruit is organic = an attempt to produce without synthetic chemicals (fertilisers, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones) or GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) – yuck!

2. When the PLU number is 4-digits, it’s conventionally grown =often use fertilisers and pesticides which allow for higher yield, out of season growth, greater resistance, greater longevity and a generally greater mass – double yuck!

3. When the PLU number is 5-digits and begins with the #8, it’s been genetically modified – yuck mouth!

NOTE: There are some veggies and fruits that are not certified organic. This is usually due to the high costs to get the certification for receiving organic PLU numbers.

As I shopped for my ingredients in tonight’s Zucchini and Yellow Zebra Tomato Lasagne dish (recipe shown on tomorrow), I noticed that I’ve been purchasing produce full of pesticides! But know I know the truth and what shall make me free from the captivity of pesticides. In the words of another great 80’s cartoon – “…and knowing is half the battle”.   (can you guess what cartoon this is from?)

Happy Eating and Healthy Living


How it all Vegan…. May 18, 2009

Filed under: My Story — rawvegan2009 @ 7:22 am
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What the heck is "Vegan"?
What the heck is “Vegan”?

While growing up in Oakland, CA and attending undergraduate school at UC Berkeley, I was quite familiar with those crazy vegetarians wandering the streets of University Ave. They smelled like a garden of incense and traveled in packs. Even in a diverse setting as California, I understood a vegetarian lifestyle as something practiced only by a generation of undercover “edumacated” hippies. You know, those white kids that wanna be something completely opposite the lifestyle desired by their 6-figure salary parents. I know! I’m admitting to my own ignorance and stupidity. Today, I’m a bit upset that health education is strategically limited in minority communities. Many are taught to believe the being vegetarian and vegan is only associated with white people who wear locks. It’s ironic how the most natural lifestyle of eating is considered taboo in our world of “processed everything”.  Slow down, Candace. This is just the first post. So, let’s look at two basic definitions of what it means to be vegetarian and vegan.

Most people are familiar with what it means to be vegetarian. A vegetarian omits all meats in their daily food choices. (Please note, that I will never use the word diet because they are fleeting. I’ve chosen to commit to a lifestyle of healthy food choices, instead of a quick fix.) Vegetarian food choices are acceeptable in today’s society. It is way more convenient for you to be a vegetarian than to venture off into the wild n’ craziness of being vegan:-) But what does it mean to be vegan? Vegan food choices involve no animal products whatsoever (no meat or dairy). The choice to become vegan – for me – is not a fad. There are many ethical reasons to not participate in the gorging of animal carcasses and their secretions (thanks Colleen). In future posts, I will share videos, movies, and other resources that educate the person who wants to understand how a person like me could ever commit to NEVER eating food that requires the slaughter of innocent animals.

Well, I want many of you to return, so let me be clear that my goal is not to be a “self-righteous” vegan who looks down on anyone who bites into a nice juicy bacon cheeseburger. I’m not even going to lie and say the memory of burgers, fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, etc. is now so far from my mind. HA! I get hungry watching those tempting commercials, too. But compassion, ethics and a desire to live long enough to fulfill God’s purpose for my life overrides those temptations. My hope is that this blog is an educational tool that empowers readers to change their lives for themselves and not depend on medicines, doctors, and other supplements for a healthy life.

So, what inspired me to become vegan? Here’s how it all began.

Well, there isn’t one day that I can point to because for years I have been in desperate pursuit to loose weight. The ironic thing is that I have always remained active in playing sports and always ready to play some recreational basketball. In the Spring of 2002, I did one of those shake and meal diets from an Atlanta based nutritionist. It was great! I lost 56lbs in a matter of a few months. Yea, I was hot! LOL! But like any other diet, the quick turn around was not a long-term experience. I slowly gained half the weight back. Along with graduation from grad school, planning a wedding 3500miles away, moving, etc….I gained another 40lbs. Yikes! Yea, we enjoyed ourselves a bit much after the honeymoon.
Jekelvin and I will have been married for 3yrs this coming August ’09. Last year, I began exercising and trained to run a half marathon. I ran the Raleigh City of Oaks half marathon and knew there was something more to my training than changing my eating habits and running on a weekly basis.
Which brings me to February 13, 2009. Thanks to the internet, I found 3 powerful resources that helped to catapult my vegan lifestyle.
1) Laura Beck. Laura is a high school friend who’s an all-out advocate for vegan choices. It’s something how being vegan and advocating for healthier food options for children is not as rewarding as promoting Viagra pills. Hmm…Lol! Laura is probably less than half the size she was in high school. My “She-Ro”! When I saw how much weight she’d lost, I inquired and she began educating me about what it means to be vegan. She’s such an inspiration and I’ll have to write a tribute to Laura later:-)

2) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Colleen has a podcast that you can find via her website: http://www.compassionatecooks.com/. Here, you will find a genuine response to all the questions you have about being vegan. I totally recommend subscribing to the podcast and listening to one-a-day. You will not be sorry. Again, I will write a tribute to Colleen, as well:-)

3) Books & Internet Resources. I will share the books and websites that educate anyone interested in living a “real” healthy life not chemically balanced by supplements, powders, or other weird processed foods.

As of today – May 18, 2009 – I have lost roughly 35lbs. Not sure when I’ll post my actual weight in lbs, but want to be as transparent as possible. This means, I will blog about any cheat days but I don’t have that many when I prepare my foods for the day. Look forward to reading about how to really take back your life without paying anyone. We’re responsible for our health and there’s nothing or no one that can stop you from changing your life.

Post your comments and let us share our journey to “real” and “long lasting” health with no compromises!