Friday Five!

Happy Friday! It’s technically the first Friday of my summer “break,” which, for academics (and educators in general), is not really a break. But while there is always lots of work to be done—-research, article editing, job application prepping—the summer is a time that I give myself permission to be a little less rigid with my schedule.

So far I’ve indulged with long walks around the lake with friends, vlogging (!), fiction reading, and extra-long workouts (yes, this is an indulgent activity for me!). It’s been lovely!

And here is some Friday love for everyone. Even if you don’t get a summer break, Fridays always feel kind of magical, don’t they?

1. Raw Vegan Cookie Dough Candy Bar

This super-simple, 3-ingredient recipe from Nouveau Raw looks amazing. Any vegan can tell you that vegan white chocolate is pretty hard to come by. Although I’m guessing this won’t taste exactly like white chocolate, I feel like it’d be a great substitute!

2. Vegan Women of Color

VegNews had a good article about vegan women of color, and focused specifically on A. Breeze Harper (whose work I admire a lot, and who I’ve mentioned on the blog before), and Lauren Ornelas. As the article notes: “…the world of veganism is rich with women of color who, acutely aware of the ways in which systems of oppression impact their daily lives, are combining animal-welfare advocacy with other forms of activism in an effort to prove that no issue stands alone.” Read more here!

3. Sugar-free Champagne Cocktail

I haven’t had a chance to make this yet, but my aunt made it and got rave reviews in response! This champagne cocktail is sweetened only with fruit and stevia. Looks refreshing!

4. Study shows: “Healthy food no more costly than junk food”

I was thrilled to see this article with such a refreshing headline. This analysts “gathered national pricing data on more than 4,000 foods and then ranked the foods by price based on calories, weight and portion size,” and discovered that “you can always find healthy foods that are cheap.” Of course, you can also always find healthy foods that are expensive, but the same is true of junk: some is cheap some is expensive. Side note: the cheapest healthy food is usually vegan–rice, beans, grains, etc. Take that people who say being vegan is too expensive!). The exciting part of this is that poor and working-class folks aren’t automatically precluded from enjoying a healthy diet. But there are so many other factors to consider when thinking about food access: infrastructure of low-income neighborhoods, proximity to grocery stores with fresh health food, education about healthy diet, time to devote to meal planning and shopping, etc. This information obviously doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s certainly not bad news, either.

5. Orthorexia

Have you all heard this term, “orthorexia”? I had seen it used on a few blogs, but didn’t really remember what it was until I read this article from One Green Planet. Orthorexia is defined as “the extreme limitation and obsession in food selection…individuals fixate on eating foods that make them feel pure and healthy.” Even MTV has addressed the topic: they recently aired “True Life: I Have Orthorexia.” The problem, people say, is that this type of behavior can lead to social isolation, depression, and anxiety.

I have to admit, reading about it (and admittedly taking the time to watch the True Life episode) really made me reflect on my own approach to food. There have been plenty of occasions where I’ll go to a restaurant with friends but can’t eat anything….And not because I can’t find anything vegan (you can usually modify something on a menu to be vegan), but because I can’t find anything that meets my definition of healthy. Fortunately, I can also point to examples of times that I’ve been more flexible, but the episode really made me pause.

I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this. I assume that most of my readers are very health-conscious—have any of you ever felt like your desire for only “clean” food has had a negative impact on your life?


Wow! That was a downer thing to end with, and I can’t send you off on your weekend on a bummer note! (<–also, when did I become a surfer from 1991?). So, a bonus for you. This is a few years old, but this song (and super cute video) always remind me of late spring/early summer. Enjoy this summery jam!

PS: You can listen to the NEW Best Coast album here!

7 thoughts on “Friday Five!

  1. absolutely ayurveda says:

    great list! and about orthorexia…

    it is seriously such a huge problem in the health community. to be honest, whenever i read about it, i feel some pangs as well. for example, thinking about how i feel when i am getting off a cleanse (almost “scared” to eat “bad” food ever again) reminds me to be aware of patterns that might be coming up, especially as someone who has a history with disordered eating.

    i have been waiting (and putting off) a post about orthorexia for a long time, but i really want to write about it soon, since i fear so many healthy eaters/bloggers are orthorexic (or have patterns of orthorexia) and might not be aware that it is a full-fledged ED. you know what i mean?

    and happy summer vacay to you!

    • tara says:

      like i said in my comment below…most are orthorexic
      there is a BIG difference between real bloggers like “kath eats real food” and “pbfingers’ and “eatliverun” who eat cookies from bakeries or go out and splurge on DQ or don’t obsess over having some holy food…
      and then there are are the other bloggers (mostly teens or young ones or those in “wiaw’ or the “so called I am recovered” but not really bloggers all over the place pretending to be “healthy living bloggers”….)
      i mean detoxes? professing foods to be virtuous and make one feel light and pure and “clean”…obsession…orthorexia
      most of these little gals are orthorexic…its plain as day

      and not to offend the blogger of this blog…but mayber YOU need to think about YOU on that one too…

      • raechel says:

        Thanks for the comments, Tara. I think you make a lot of good points, and I absolutely agree that I need to ask those questions about myself (which I do note in the post). On the one hand, I think it has the potential to be a serious problem, but on the other hand, I think it’s a little backwards to turn healthy eating habits into a sickness or disorder. I think there’s probably a fine line between the two, but it’s something I feel torn about, particularly because I *am* a believer in the power of a “clean” diet to improve health and happiness…..But I think you make good points for sure.

  2. IHeartVegetables says:

    That vegan candy bar looks SO good!

    As for Orthorexia, I actually did watch that True Life episode… and it was weird that I DID identify with some of the habits. Not to that level, but I’ve definitely been a little more than “high maintenance” about my phone… and I think it’s an interesting subject.

    I’ve seen Best Coast live, twice, and they’re so good!

    • raechel says:

      Yeah, I’m sure many of us in the healthy food blogosphere can relate…Something to think about for sure…

      Jealous that you’ve seen them live! I bet they put on a great show! : )

  3. tara says:

    most bloggers are orthorexia…i mean come on, think about it.
    it is a serious problem…seriously, you have to see it on tons of blogs, especially these young ones all in a clump on some new lifestyle (paleo or raw or vegan) or eating a “muffin” (ie. protein with egg whites and coconut flour and some other crazy trendy food)…yeah, right…

    Read “Health Food Junkies” by Dr. Stephen Bratman > worth reading.

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