Christmas Recap

It is so hard to believe that Christmas has already come and gone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or holidays) filled with family, friends, and lots of delicious vegan food!

With a Christmas tree upstairs, I don’t do a tree in my place, but I did do a bit of decorating for the first time. 

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So glad I remembered where I’d tucked away these snowflakes that my late Grandma made years ago! 🙂

I’m officially done one third of my Natural Nutrition program and enjoying a nice break from my studies. Which gave me time to sneak in a couple days of baking before Christmas Day. The week before, I’d made these Peppermint Bark Raw Brownies to share at work.

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Monday, Jem and I had our annual Christmas Baking Day. We like to turn on some Christmas music and make a few different goodies at once, mostly to share with family and friends over the holidays. Since I made the switch to vegan, Jem is lovely enough to let all our choices be vegan. This year we choose to make Thin Mint Cookies, Pumpkin Blondies,  Chocolate Chai Shortbread, and Coconut Sugar Cookies (from Vegan Food Gifts). (The links will take you to the original recipe, but I did make some changes, which I will share with you in later posts.)

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(Please ignore the non-vegan red sprinkles on Jem’s cookies.)

And Christmas Eve I baked a Cranberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (this one, but with fresh cranberries added), and Christmas morning I baked fresh Herb Drop Biscuits. These were my contribution to my family’s Christmas brunch.

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I’m feeling completely spoiled from Christmas! This is all the vegan/cooking/baking-related stuff I was lucky enough to receive.

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Can you detect any themes? Seems as though my family has figured out that if I get kitchen stuff and Lush stuff, I will be a super happy camper!

Not sure if I’ll have another post for you before the end of 2013, so just in case I miss it: have a very Happy New Year! See you in 2014!

P.S. – I am so excited about my new Crockpot, but have never used one before. Does anyone have any favourite or tried-and-true vegan slow-cooker recipes they’d like to share?

Also, I’d love to hear about your favourite moment or favourite gift from this year’s holidays!

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The China Study, Whole and a Future Book Page

Today’s Daily Prompt is to: Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). Daily Prompt: Bookworm

Since the last book I read completely relates to the subjects of this blog, and was fantastic, I thought this would be a good time to share it with you (and maybe some others that don’t follow One Small Vegan).

The last book that I read was Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobsen and just like Campbell’s previous book (with his son  Thomas M. Campbell) The China Study, I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone.

I choose to read this book because I loved The China Study, so was very eager to read anything else by Campbell. I already knew from other sources that a whole food plant-based diet is healthy for humans, animals, and the earth as a whole, but the information given in The China Study still managed to blow me away, especially in regards to the way in which a plant-based diet effects cancer growth. I am also amazed at Campbell’s ability, shown in both books, to explain very scientific information in a way I think almost everyone could read and comprehend, all the while making the book enjoyable to read.

“In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell (alongside his son, Thomas M. Campbell) revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven’t changed.

Whole is an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through cutting-edge thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world.” (from the book jacket)

I really think (and wish) that everyone should read both of these books! Please check them out! The links above go to the books on amazon, where you can also view the table of contents, and quite extensive excerpts from both books.

I also wanted to let you know that I’m currently working on putting together a ‘book recommendations’ page for One Small Vegan. I am a total bookworm, and in the past couple years have almost exclusively been reading books related to food, health, animal rights, and veganism. I also love fiction and memoirs about food and cooking, even when they have nothing to do with veganism or health. I’m not sure at this point if I’ll be writing anything about the past books I’ve read (I’ve kept a list for years), but I will be placing the books into categories and providing links. Once I’ve got the page up it will also be an ongoing thing, possibly with book review posts in the future, as I have an ever-growing list of books I’d like to read, related to the topics I mentioned above.

Questions:
Have you read The China Study and/or Whole? What did you think?

Do you have any favourite books related to health, food, cooking, animal rights, or veganism? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my list!

Was there a particular book, or books, that opened your eyes to a different way of eating?
I’ve mentioned in my About Me page that reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer was what initially got me thinking about making the transition from vegetarian to vegan and that as soon as I bought and browsed through Veganomicon, I knew that I could do it, and did.