Friday Five!

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for things from the internet that caught my eye/brain, and a little gratitude list. First though, this:

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Feminist Hurt/Feminism Hurts 

The brilliant and thoughtful academic, Sara Ahmed, wrote a beautiful blog post about the ways in which we carry our memories in the form of a temporal embodied hurt. She describes how these memories are often the root of many women’s foray into feminism. We go to feminism because we have been hurt by the structures of patriarchy, manifested through interpersonal interactions within a patriarchal society that inspires fear, discomfort, and violence. She writes, “Feminist work is often memory work. We work to remember what sometimes we wish would or could just recede….It is not that memory work is necessarily about recalling what has been forgotten: rather we gather memories like things, so they become more than half-glimpsed. We bring things into view. Feminist work is often about timing: sometimes we were too fragile to do this work; we would risk being shattered.” It’s a long piece, and it’s definitely written for an academic and/or theory-geek audience, but I recommend it to anyone who can relate to carrying the past in your body.

Peach Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Lemon Cornbread Cookies 

I love the sound of The Edible Perspective’s boozy dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar free ice cream sandwiches. The flavors are some of my favorites, and all combined together seems like it would taste like a dream! I think these would make for nice dinner party desserts!

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 White Liberal Food Police

Okay, so this article is trying to argue that white liberals who are up in arms about the treatment of animals and GMOs (etc.) are always already classist and racist and imperialist. Now, as  Leftist (not a liberal), I am happy to call out the awfulness of much of what “White Liberalism” represents.  So, I’m not upset that they want to attack this particular demographic. However, I think it’s really unfair and misguided to suggest that people who are concerned about how pigs are treated on farms would not care about the workers in the restaurant who served them. In fact, whole swaths of the Left and progressive activism and non-profits are devoted to both of those issues, sometimes at the same time. (Take Real Food Real Jobs, for example). And it’s also fucked up to presume that people who care about animals and GMOs are always already white.

This was also just reflected in an awesome article on Grist, in which Brentin Mock tackles the logic of a recently released report on the state of diversity in the environmental movement. He writes, “Too many believe the poor are too occupied with being poor, or black people are too occupied with being black to be occupied in green organizations.” Au contraire. Rather, “A significant number of talented ethnic minorities are willing and able to work in environmental organizations, but discriminatory hiring practices prevent them from obtaining jobs in such organizations.” YES. Okay, I think I may need to do a whole post on this, so I’ll stop now. Just read the articles and tell me what you think? ::end rant::

Extend the Life of Your Veggies

I appreciate any tips that will help me preserve veggies. Whether you have a CSA or go a little overboard at the farmer’s market, I feel like it’s common for veggies to go bad in your fridge in the summer. Read this Take Part article for ideas on how to prevent waste!

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Stuff From the Week That Made Me Happy 

animal cuddles

movie nights with friends

home cooked meals with farm fresh veggies

writing

catching up with long-distance friends

the arrival of august (which brings us all the closer to fall!)

cool weather walks

Confused Cats Against Feminism” (lol!)

mom

celebrating my late grandmother’s birthday with rummy & white wine (her favorites)

What made you happy this week? xox

“Some Things I Have Been Eating Lately” Wednesday

I know, I know, ‘”Some Things I Have Been Eating Lately” Wednesday’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “What I Ate Wednesday,” but honestly, I just never remember to take pics of every meal on one particular day. So, in lieu of that, here is a (poorly lit, poorly shot) smattering of some of my more recent eats.

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Always lots of green juice and green smoothies. This is a recipe from The China Study All Star Collection that includes frozen grapes, banana, water, spinach, lemon and lime. So refreshing!

photo 4

Protein Granola a la Lacy Davis/Super Strength Health!

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Fresh CSA roasted veggies on greens with some dollops of tahini and avocado.

photo 5

Gena’s Carrot Falafel from her new (amazing!) cookbook.

What have you been eating lately? 

Best Vegan & Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

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This pizza crust is crunchy, flavorful, and provides an excellent foundation for a diverse range of pizza styles. I topped it with pesto one night and a white bean mash/traditional red sauce another time. There’s a subtle sweetness to this crust that makes me think it would also be well suited for something like the grilled peach pizzas with arugula that I’ve seen floating around Pinterest.

(I can’t take full credit for this recipe. It was a team effort with Logan, someone who actually has patience in the kitchen and takes time to measure things…So you can trust it!)

Vegan & Gluten-Free Pizza Crust 

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp coconut sugar, divided
1 Tbsp yeast (1 packet)
1 1/4 c warm water (<110*), divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
Flour mix:
1 c gf bread mix
1 c almond
1/4 c sweet sorghum
3/4 c gf all purpose
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Combine yeast and 3/4 c water. Water must be 110* or less, or else will kill the yeast. Let sit a few minutes and then add 1 Tbsp sugar. Let sit a few minutes more.

Meanwhile, combine flour mix, salt, baking powder and remaining sugar.

Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add olive oil and 1/2 c remaining water on top, then stir all together with wooden spoon until well combined.

Roll out on greased and or floured pan/surface.

half with goat cheese for the non-vegans. half with delicious white bean spread and broccoli for me.

half with goat cheese for the non-vegans. half with delicious white bean spread and broccoli for me.

I realize this is one of those GF recipes with a ton of different flours, which is annoying, but if you’re like me, you bought sorghum once for some random muffin recipe and now you have a whole bag of it and nothing to do. So hopefully this can help you clear out your half-used bags of pricey flour.

Plus, it is delicious and totally worth it.

Nom.

 

What’s your favorite kind of pizza? 

Friday Five!

Happy Friday! I’ve had a good, busy week, full of lots of work and lots of play. Here is a picture of me enjoying an evening on a boat:

on a boat.

on a boat.

And, as usual, here are four things from the internet plus a list of stuff that made me happy this week. Enjoy the Friday Five!

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Raspberry and Pomegranate Smoothie with Green Tea Ice Cubes 

Joy the Baker is more than just a good batch of cookies (but srsly, thank goodness for when she makes vegan cookies). This gal can also make a mean (and by “mean”, I mean, “super nice”) smoothie. I am an -aholic of both green tea and smoothies, so this combination sounds like the perfect way to start a morning!

Masculinity and Veganism

There have been a lot of conversations happening around masculinity and veganism lately. NPR just did a story featuring several vegan men (including the dude from Cro-Mags and an MMA fighter) who “think masculinity should be re-framed as protecting the planet, not dominating it.” There are lots of responses being written pointing out how this frame perpetuates rigid conceptions of the gender binary and problematic tropes about masculinity more generally. Relatedly, A. Breeze Harper (Sistah Vegan)’s new project is on Veganism and Black Masculinity. Looking forward to thinking through more on all of this and the wider implications of the intersections of veganism, gender, race, and class.

Detroit Water Crisis

If you haven’t heard, “the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has shut off the water for more than 15,000 delinquent households.” There’s some really amazing work being done to protest this egregious action, and the link above can tell you how you can help donate to get water back to a household. You could also go here.

Saving Pigs by Eating Them?

File this NPR story under things that frustrate me. This pig farmer from Kentucky is currently on a quest to preserve biodiversity by protecting a breed of pig that is near extinction. The farmer, Travis Hood, insists that the best way to save the pigs is to breed them for consumption. The breed is said to be “as friendly as golden retrievers” and also “exceptionally juicy with a rich texture.” (GAH. How can people actually juxtapose those two sentences in good conscience?!). I don’t know, I’m not a fan of the approach (obviously), but I’m also not a biodiversity specialist. I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts.

look at that muffin!

look at that muffin!

Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy 

being on the boat!

ladies night + homemade veggie sushi

yoga

awesome workouts (thanks LD!)

productive writing days

seeing two good friends pass the dissertation defense milestone

re-watching this in its entirety (#sorrynotsorry)

vegan restaurant dates

cute animal videos

walks in the sunshine

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What made you happy this week? 

xox

Fitspo and Healthy Living Memes: A problem of appropriation, decontextualization, & depoliticization

Anyone who scrolls through social media fora has surely stumbled across memes of hard-bodied women encouraging onlookers to “do it for the thigh gap you always wanted,” “keep calm and go to the gym,” and of course that “nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.” There have been a bevy of critiques of these “fitspo” memes, most among them rightfully pointing out that these pervasive images perpetuate body dysmorphia, fat-phobia, ableism, and are just generally not great for women’s (and yes, it’s usually women) self-esteem.

Fitspo began as an ostensibly positive rebuttal to “thinspo” (short for “thinspiration”),  the name for the disturbing internet culture that promotes anorexia and bulimia through pictures of thin women and intentionally-triggering quotes. In theory, fitspo challenges these troubling trends by promoting working out and eating (as long as it’s “clean,” and not too much) rather than starving. Because being “fit” is problematically equated with “health,” it would seem that this trend is somehow more morally sound than it’s thinspo counterpart. But, as blogger Nattily writes, “It’s the same damn thing.” Why these memes are bad for women and bad for feminism is pretty clear.

But these memes are more than just anti-feminist–they are also disturbing mediums for circulating an appropriated, depoliticized, and decontextualized version of history. These memes often take words spoken by radical (and bad-ass) political figures and turn them into words about the gym or advancing in yoga postures. For example, take this quote by Frederick Douglass, one of the most important figures in the US abolitionist movement:

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Here, Douglass is referring to the importance of struggling for justice, and “progress” refers to taking power away from the “haves” and claiming it for the masses of “have-nots.” The first line of this quote, in particular, is used by activists and organizers who, to this day, are fighting for racial and economic justice.

Now look what fitspo does with this powerful quote:

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progress towards crunches in the wild!

And this:

progress towards juice feast-worthy skin! and poop, probably.

progress towards juice feast-worthy skin! and poop, probably.

And this:

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progress towards tight booty and back muscles. natch’.

I was equally dismayed to discover a Nelson Mandela quote being used for reasons that were not related to, oh, you know, apartheid. Mandela famously said–during his battle against racial segregation in South Africa–that, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Here’s how fitspo decided to apply that:

fancy backbends/apartheid. same difference.

fancy backbends/apartheid. same difference.

 

And this:

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splits on the roof feels equally if not more impossible than battling racial segregation, no?

Oh, and clearly growing this dude’s beard was probably an impossibility Mandela could not have imagined:

smdh.

smdh.

It’s not just “fitspo” that practices this re-writing of history. “Healthy living” memes are culprit to the same tendency. Here is a quote by Audre Lorde, a Black lesbian, civil rights activist, and womanist who said the following words because of her position in the world as a  Black lesbian.

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Lorde suggested that self-care is political warfare because a hetero-patriarchal white supremacist nation tries to destroy anyone who isn’t a white, straight, cisgender, male. Although I recognize that because these memes are largely female-based, that there might be some legitimate overlap here, I find it troubling that the last part of the quote has been erased, and that Lorde rarely gets credit.

For example:

no attribution to Lorde. self-care becomes equal to a white lady going to the gym.

no attribution to Lorde. self-care becomes equal to a white lady going to the gym.

Or if she is given credit, it’s juxtaposed to….self-care through fancy lattes?

#stuffwhitepeoplelike?

#stuffwhitepeoplelike

Or they’ll just do a little tweaking and give credit to someone else entirely:

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Not surprisingly, “political warfare” didn’t quite match the tone of these neoliberal versions of health and self-care.

Certainly this trend appears innocuous enough. What could be so bad about encouraging exercise, or determination, or leisure through pretty pictures and words that sound nice?…What could be so bad is that this is a classic example of appropriation–the act of taking something that doesn’t belong to you and using it for purposes counter to it’s original intent. In some instances that process can be used for liberatory ends–(and in those cases it’s not appropriation as much as it is reclaiming or repurposing)–but in this instance, it’s not liberatory. At best, it’s bad history; at worst, it’s further fodder that works to depoliticize an entire generation of people.

I feel lucky that a combination of my education (undoubtedly an experience of privilege) and my involvement in activism (which is rooted in my lack of class privilege and wanting to fix conditions for other working class people like my mom) taught me these quotes in their appropriate forms. And I realize that it’s not particularly progressive to judge a phenomenon that may be caused by internet users’ general lack of access to this type of historical education (be it formal or informal).

But my critique is not about those individuals who are generating the content. Like most bad things in the world, individual intent is not really the issue. This is about the systemic erasure of politics and movements. It’s about the ways in which our society teaches women to spend more time educating themselves about how to get six-pack abs than educating themselves about Black lesbian womanists, (for example). It’s not that these memes detach us from politics, it’s that these memes reveal that so many have never been attached in the first place.

Friday Five!

Hello and happy Friday! Friends, summer is a tough time for me. I have come to realize that when the weather gets warm I fall victim to a bit of reverse-Seasonal Affective Disorder. Summer for academics means less structure and less time with humans. Even though the work load is sometimes just as heavy, the fact that I don’t have to be anywhere or with anyone is very challenging for someone who is slightly more “E” than “I.” Anyway, I say all that because these Friday Fives are really rad for me because they hold me accountable to keeping track of interesting things and happy things. So, thanks for giving me an excuse to snap out of the summertime sadness!

Hope you enjoy!

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The State of the American Dog

Turns out Esquire magazine has some really good writers, and this article is evidence of that. Tom Junod explains a few really important things: many dogs in America have some pit bull in them, even if they don’t appear to be pit bulls; people Otherize pit bulls in extremely troubling ways; and this astute proclamation: “Their detractors say they are more likely to kill; their advocates say the only thing they are more likely to do is die. We make a habit of asking dogs about their own goodness without expecting or getting an answer. But go to an animal shelter and before they are euthanized, ask the dogs you see there—the pit bulls you see there—about our goodness. You will get all the answer you need.” The whole article is thought-provoking and also moving. As a dog-lover and friend of several pit bull owners, I highly recommend this illuminating piece.

Learning to Grieve

As I’ve alluded to on the blog, the past 12 months have been ones full of major loss. I’ve experiences loss due to death, to breakups, and to moves across the country. This piece by Ram Das encourages us to “counteract our natural tendency to turn away from pain, we open to it as fully as possible and allow our hearts to break.” He suggests that embracing the pain of loss will help us be more present in what comes after–including more waves of intense grief for the thing we thought we were “over.” I feel this so.much. right now. Very grateful the universe popped this into my view this week.

Mung Bean Sprouts, Seared Carrots, Kale Salad with Chile Lime Sesame Dressing

I am admittedly lazy when it comes to sprouting things, but I love when I do, and this recipe is totally going to make me do it again ASAP. Vegan Richa is always full of amazingness, and this recipe combines so many of my favorite things. This is high on my list of meals to make, for sure.

gobi wrap- mung bean salad 098

Do Something About Gaza 

I can’t not say something about the brutality occurring in Palestine right now. This post from Life As It Happens provides a lovely commemoration to Gaza through a reflection of cooking Gaza-inspired food, and also provides a list of things we can all do to support the Palestinian people who are in the midst of so much death and destruction.

Stuff from the Week That Made Me Happy

Lunch with Angela (my first IRL blogger meet up!)

Good workdays

Bike rides and long walks

Delicious home cooked meals

CSA veggies

These pics of animals and their parent/s

Phone calls with friends

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What things made you happy this week? 

Have a great weekend! xoxo