Friday Five!

Happy Friday! Here are five things, from me to you.

1. Vegan Guns

Guns as in muscles. Because everyone knows “the only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the guns show.” (Another ‘name that film!’ Endless love to anyone who knows it).

But seriously, muscles. I’m kind of into them. On other people, sure, but I mean for me. And this is kind of a big deal because I used to only want to look “skinny.” But since I’ve been doing HIIT workouts with Zuzana, I’ve been feeling really strong and powerful and I sort of want my body to reflect that. Problem is, I’ve never had luck with looking particularly toned, and I blame this on my vegan diet. Most of the ripped ladies I know seem to rely on lean meat protein, eggs, whey, and greek yogurt, to name a few. Of course, I’m not going to eat those things, so I thought it was pretty hopeless.

But this week in the New York Times they ran a story about vegan body builders. And it was pretty motivating. Not that I want to look like a body builder, but the fact that muscle definition can be real for vegans, that was cool to see illustrated.  I’ve also been looking more into Brendan Brazier’s Thrive program for athletes, and I’ve been thinking about trying Thrive in the spring to see how it goes….

i just wanna look like Zuzana. NBD, right?

What are your experiences with tone and muscle definition as a vegan?

2. Blueberry Key Lime Tart (raw, vegan, refined sugar free)

The blog “what’s cooking good looking?” has become a favorite of mine ever since I discovered her detox kale salad. She really outdid herself with this one, and it seems like the perfect transitioning from winter-to-spring dessert. Can’t wait to try it!

3. Oscars!

It’s hard for me to tell what is and isn’t surprising about me to people. If you meet me on a day that I’m ranting about hetero-patriarchal white supremacist society, you may be a little caught off guard that I’m a huge fan of the Oscars. If you catch me on a day that I’m gallivanting around the kitchen talking about how baking and yoga are two of my favorite things in the world, you might think ‘okay, this makes sense.’

Either way, the point is, I’ve been watching the Oscars for as long as I can remember. My mom, grandma, grandpa, uncle and I would gather in the living room and watch all the shiny, sparkly celebrities walk down the red carpet. My palate for movies was rather mature, and as young as age 9, I think I remember wanting to see the movies getting “Oscar buzz.” Usually our Oscar-viewing also involved fancy appetizers made by my mom or grandmother….(it’s no wonder I love “themes” so much, right?)

Well, I’m ECSTATIC to report that my mom is in town this weekend and that we’ll be able to watch the Oscars together! I’m having friends over too, and will of course be making theme-appropriate snacks for Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. I already made a dessert that I hope to get up on the blog on Sunday, and am excited to try out some other fancy appetizer recipes that I’ve had bookmarked and pinterest’d for a while.

Do you watch the Oscars? What movies did you like this year? Personally, I’m disappointed with the Oscar picks this year. The best films get ignored (Pariah, for example), and the worst ones get cred (e.g. The Descendents; sorry G.Cloo). But it’s more about the experience of watching than the actual content, so I’m super excited!

4. Banana Union Worker Deaths in Guatemala

Sorry to shift gears into something so serious, but this is an issue very close to my heart. In 2007, I went on a delegation with the women’s labor advocacy group, STITCH, to work with and learn about worker movements in Guatemala. We protested with workers outside of maquiladoras, spoke with human rights activists, and visited the actual plantation sites where Guatemalan workers farm Del Monte bananas. Two women workers spoke with us about their role in their union, SITRABI, and how the existence of the union on the plantation has been the best thing for worker rights. We also learned about the history of SITRABI; how in the 1940’s union leaders were literally beheaded, then their heads on sticks were paraded around the streets as government paramilitaries shouted “This is how all union leaders will die!”The women said that there is still some hostility towards unions in Guatemala, but such extreme violence seemed a thing of the past. (You can read more about my experience here).

Sadly, this week I learned that the violence is continuing. Seven SITRABI members who work on the Del Monte plantation have been murdered in the past ten months, and no one has been charged.

Please take a minute and sign this letter demanding justice for the slain union workers.

5. Classic Movie Tunage 

So, in an effort to not leave you on a downer note, and in keeping with the Oscar theme, I thought I’d leave you with some music from the Oscar nominated “Midnight in Paris.” I have mixed feelings about Woody Allen, but every time I see a film of his, I feel like I’m seeing a slice of “old Hollywood.” A lot of this, I think, is due to his always-charming soundtracks. Enjoy this score as you prepare for your Oscar night (or whatever else you might be doing this weekend if you’re not a movie-loving theme-nerd like me!).

4 thoughts on “Friday Five!

  1. Jess says:

    I saw Brendan Brazier speak at Jivamukti yoga school in NYC a couple years ago and found him so engaging. I really liked his attitude and approach to health and fitness—very approachable. I’m not vegan myself, but I think that for some people, it can be a really positive thing, so it’s always interesting to read about vegan diets and fitness.

    • raechel says:

      Yeah, I honestly don’t think veganism is necessarily the best diet health-wise. I started more for political reasons than health reasons. But that doesn’t mean a vegan diet CAN’T be healthy, and because I can’t imagine ever going back to not being vegan, I’m just gonna keep experimenting until I find what works best for me. : )

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