Thursday, December 22, 2016

Playing blog catch-up: Our ten year wedding anniversay trip to Canada

I have neglected this blog for far too long and what better time to restart writing than now? Since my last blog post in May, lots of fun and exciting things have happened.

Let's recap starting with June 2016 shall we.....

Me and hubby celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary at the end of June by taking our first international airplane trip to Canada. I'm a big library nerd so of course I had to go get a Canadian library card.

Canada library collage

We also were able to meet the Canadian Olympic rowing team at the airport on our way back to the States.

While in Canada, we also ate at some delicious vegan restaurants such as Mo:LE and the hotel where we stayed at Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa in Sidney, British Columbia. If you're a books lover, definitely visit Sidney because they have a total 8 eight bookstores with walking distance of each other so there's a book for what type of thing you like to read. I'll post again soon to cover other exciting things such as my best friend having her first baby and me wining a local boot camp weight loss challenge. Thanks for reading!
Curry tofu scramble with pesto hash browns
Falafel burger with fries and ketchup

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2015 Vegan Oktoberfest

Me and hubby were lucky enough to attend the Vegan Oktoberfest in Los Angeles on October 3, 2015. It was a day filled with good vegan food, running my old friend Bad Ass Vegan and made some new vegan friends. Here are photos I took at the event.

Me in front of Vegan Oktoberfest sign

Vegan German sausage with cabbage, sauerkraut and stoneground mustard
Special Oktoberfest donut from Donut Friend

Coconut bacon and dark chocolate brownies from Charlie's Brownies

Vegan funnel cake topped with powered sugar and strawberries
Vegan mac and riblet grilled cheeze sandwich from the Grilled Cheese Truck

A tale of two buffaloes: buffalo tempeh from Clean South on the left (too spicy for me but great for hubby) and buffalo cauliflower from Sage Bistro on the right (perfectly cooked and ranch was awesome) 
Me and my friend Bad Ass Vegan
Me and new vegan friends Tunsia and her mom Betty
Fried chickn tempeh from Clean South

I've been featured by Black Vegans Rock website!

Hiya! I've decided to restart posting to my blog on a more regular basis and what better way to start than by sharing that I was recently chosen for a feature article on the website Black Vegans Rock! Below is the article I wrote for the website:

My name is Tamara (rhymes with camera) and I have been vegan since August 2009. Being born and raised in the Huntsville, Alabama, I grew up on a diet of fried chicken, hamburgers and other unhealthy animal based foods. When I started dating my boyfriend in 1998, although he was vegetarian his entire life, I still ate chicken because I felt it would help me lose weight. At the time, I was at my heaviest weight of 298lbs. In early 2007, I transitioned to a healthier lifestyle which included changing my hair from permed to Sisterlocks and looking for a way to eat healthier and lose weight.

On August 28, 2009, I read Diet for a New America, and after this, I immediately became vegan. As I read the book, I thought about how my food choices impact animals and realized that by eating animals, I was ingesting their pain and suffering and I didn’t want that in my body so I cut it out completely. Although my boyfriend was against it...over time my (now) husband has embraced the vegan lifestyle as well. He enjoys experimenting with tofu & seitan to create yummy foods that I post on my Instagram account. I love being vegan and breaking the stereotypes that vegans only eat salads and berries. 

An unconventional way I do vegan outreach is through my job as a librarian. As a librarian, one of my jobs is to purchase library materials for seven library locations and I make sure to purchase books and DVDs promoting vegan and plant based lifestyles. By putting this material in the library, I can plant seeds which can help people become the healthiest best versions of themselves.

My family in Alabama has embraced my vegan lifestyle and I was surprised a few Thanksgivings ago when my mom surprised me with a vegan field roast and other vegan foods. Since I live in California, there is a wide variety of places to find vegan food from vegan soul food, to upscale vegan food. Although I live in rural Central California, I am still able to find vegan options.

Since becoming vegan, I feel like I have more energy and don’t get sick as often as others around me do. The biggest misconception I’ve seen is that veganism is expensive and not for black people but what I’ve found is that you can be a 99 cent store vegan, a Whole Foods vegan, or somewhere in between. I am so happy that I live in a time that social media provides a way to contact and meet other black vegans and spread the word about getting healthy through food. Veganism to me is about making healthier plant based choices to honor your body, mind and spirit!

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Library Makerspace Training in Sausalito, CA August 20-22, 2018

Last month, a co-worker and I had the opportunity to attend the first ever library makerspace training at the Bay Area Discovery Museum spo...