Monday, December 3, 2018

6th Annual Friendsgiving

Our 6th Annual Friendsgiving is in the books! And, my gosh, it was a fun time with friends. I’m so glad that we have this wonderful tradition with our hometown gang. We’ve known each other since we were kids, so I know it means a lot to all of us. And, of course, with our growing families it’s that much more special, especially now that our kids are becoming friends, too. It really is the sweetest thing seeing them all play (zombies) together!

Each year, one family takes on the tradition of hosting the entire group. The host family typically cooks the turkey while everyone else contributes appetizers, sides, and desserts, all potluck-style!

The Hauperts signed up for an appetizer and two desserts, which, if you know us, we’re all about delicious, but super easy recipes. (Honestly, anything you see on CNC is simple to make. My thinking: If I can do it, anyone can!) I ended picked Life-Affirming Nacho Dip from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, which came together in no time. To go with the dip, I made a batch of homemade tortilla chips using Maria & Ricardo’s Original Soft Yellow Corn Tortillas.

As you might remember, I recently partnered with Maria and Ricardo’s, who makes authentic, wholesome, and ridiculously delicious (non-GMO) tortillas – and the Original Soft Yellow Corn Tortillas were perfect for this dip. I cut up 8 tortillas into triangles and then used my air fryer to cook them. I spritz them with avocado oil and then sprinkled some sea salt on top before cooking them for 5-7 minutes on 375 degrees F. It was so easy, and they turned out great – nice and thick and awesome for scooping up the dip!

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The Life-Affirming Nacho Dip is actually vegan, but not a single person at Friendsgiving noticed. Everyone loved it, especially with the homemade chips!

We enjoyed quite the spread of apps and drinks before dinner. It was a lot of fun catching up and laughing with friends (and family)!

Once everyone had arrived and reheated their contribution, it was time for dinner. We had ALL the fixing this year, including chorizo stuffing, brown sugar mashed sweet potatoes, and so much more!

With 16 adults and 7 kids (all under 4.5 years old), it was a bit chaotic at dinnertime, but I managed to snap this photo of my silly boys! 🙂

Dinner was wonderful and included lots of great food, drink, and conversation. We really do have the best group of friends!

When it was time for dessert, we broke out our two contributions: Birthday Cake Fudge and Snickerdoodle Blondies. Both recipes are from Delish: Eat Like Every Day’s the Weekend and were so easy to make. (The fudge only calls for 4 ingredients!) Both desserts were also a huge hit with our friends! 🙂

This year’s Friendsgiving was definitely a special evening, and it made me appreciate and love our friends even more!

Question of the Day

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving with your friends? 

What’s your favorite kind of dish to bring to a party?

P.S. Want to try Maria and Ricardo’s tortillas? Check out their online store locator to see if they’re at a retailer near you. Also, be sure to keep a look out for a $1 off coupon on the store locator page! 🙂



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Q & A with Quinn [4.5 Years Old]

Hi, friends! Happy Monday to you!

It’s nap time over here, so I wanted to share our Quinn and Mumma day so far.

We were up and at ’em BRIGHT and EARLY this morning, and Quinn had A LOT of energy to burn (as seen on Instagram Stories), so we got our day started by going to the gym.

He played while I took a Body Pump class. Remember how much I used to love Body Pump back in the day. Mal and I would take classes with Dave and Marie (remember them?) ALL the time – pretty much every weekend and then once or twice during the week. I even did Body Pump at home because I was so obsessed. Long story short, it felt really good to be back at it. I definitely challenged myself this morning and left a sweaty, exhausted – yet energized – mess! 🙂

After class, Quinn took a minute to send a letter to Santa. When I asked him what he wanted me to write, he said: “Happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas. Love, Quinn.” The kid is too cute!

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Once we were finished, Quinn mailed his letter via special North Pole mailbox – such a great idea, right? I love that the YMCA caters to kids so much!

After that, we hopped in the car and drove to Goldfish for open swim. On the drive, I ate a banana and drank an iced coffee protein shake with Garden of Life Fit Vanilla, which was quite tasty!

Post-workout macros:

Open swim was a lot of fun, and I was so impressed with Quinn. Just like that, we have a swimmer! He got passed his fear of dunking his head, and now he swims under water. The progression from being afraid to SWIMMING was incredible. It happened so fast, and it was so wonderful watching him enjoy himself so much and visually seeing how proud of himself he was!

Back at home, we were both more than ready for lunch. On the menu for me: A big salad topped with canned salmon mixed with Dijon mustard, chopped red bell peppers, and roasted onions with a scoop of Smokey Red Mustard. Mmm!

While eating lunch, I asked Quinn some questions that Marie (hey, two mentions in one blog post) shared on Facebook after asking her girls the same question. I thought it would be fun to ask Quinn and see what he said. (I love doing stuff like this, so I can remember him at this age!)

What is your name? Quinn
How old are you? 4
When is your birthday? June 9th
How old is mom? 8
How old is dad? 20
What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite food? Applesauce
Who is your best friend? Blake
What is your favorite animal? Birds… and otters, cats, and dogs
What is your favorite vehicle? Monster truck
What makes you happy? Snuggling
Where is your favorite place to go? Billy bees
What do you want to be when you grow up? Police officer
What does love mean? It means you love people

Question of the Day

Parents: Feel free to play along with your kids in the comment section! It’d be fun to see what they have to say! 🙂

 

 



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How The Food Industry Tries to Silence Us (My Appearance on CNN…)

I got a request to be on CNN last Sunday night asking me to discuss the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak. But here’s the crazy thing…

My appearance on national TV really pissed off some people. And no – not because it was on CNN. (My stance on national media has always been to take the opportunity to spread the truth, no matter what outlet). 

So why would anyone be enraged that I went on TV to talk about lettuce?

Let me explain…

There are a band of food industry people who follow my every move and do whatever they can to bring our movement down. This includes people who work with Big Food and chemical corporations and public relations firms who represent these companies. They don’t want an activist like me to have an audience and to tell people the truth about our food supply. This threatens their profits… and when you are a threat, you become a target. It can be scary at times, but I do my best to not let it sway me.

So after my appearance on CNN last weekend, I found myself again being targeted with a tactic called “astroturfing”. This is something they have done to me in the past, often after I make a big public appearance or launch a successful campaign or petition.

Astroturfing is a fake grassroots movement, which is used to make it look like there is either widespread support or disapproval of a person, issue, or company – even if there is not.

When an astroturf campaign is launched, it will look like there are swarms of people on one side of the issue, when in all actuality, it is a small group of people working together backed by public relations firms or special interest groups. Astroturfing is designed to shape and distort media messages to fit a industry-friendly narrative and manipulate public opinion. 

For instance, when we petition a Big Food company and ask them to drop a harmful additive from their food, hundreds of social media profiles (some real, some fake) are activated and flood Facebook with messages in opposition to what we are asking the company to do. When we asked In-N-Out Burger to stop the routine use of antibiotics, several profiles came to In-N-Out’s Facebook Page and told them specifically not to change and not to listen us “fear mongers.” The same happened when we wrote about the risky additives in Boar’s Head deli meats and asked them to improve

Astroturfing also happens behind the scenes and off of the pages of social media. When I am invited to speak at events, a swarm of social media profiles spam the organization who invited me to speak. When I was on the cover of Experience Life magazine and when Yahoo Health featured me in some videos, they tracked down the editors of these publications and swamped them with complaints. It appeared on the surface that the complaints were coming from dozens of separate individuals, but it was actually a small group of people working together to make it appear that way.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, I’m sure you’ve seen astroturfing in action…

The shocking insults and name-calling…

The relentless bullying…

The defamatory allegations…

The canned “industry-friendly” responses…

After you’ve seen it a few times, it becomes glaringly obvious. 

Astroturfing is effective because it diverts attention away from the REAL ISSUES.

It encourages people to talk smack about a person – like Dr. Oz is a “quack” and Food Babe is a “fearmonger” – versus the real issues of having Roundup weedkiller in our food and artificial dyes in our mac n’ cheese. They fear an honest discussion with what’s wrong with these chemicals in our food.

To show you what I’m up against, this is what happened after I was on national TV this week… 

An astroturfing campaign was kicked off by a woman who calls herself “Farm Babe” (wonder where she came up with that name?!). She is a conventional farmer who has worked as a “social media influencer” for Domino’s Pizza, Arctic Apples (GMO), Tyson Foods, and Elanco (maker of livestock drugs). She writes a regular column in Ag Daily – a publication backed by Monsanto and Bayer. Numerous makers of conventional farm feed and GMOs have hired her to speak at their events. She is literally working directly with Big Food and Ag brands. She also has a personal stake in the industry. On her farm she grows corn, soybeans, alfalfa and raises conventional beef on a feedlot that uses grains and growth hormones.

She works with many of the big players in Ag who are proponents of factory farming – something I want to change – so of course, she does not like what I stand for. So it was no surprise that she posted this on her Facebook page after my appearance on CNN:

I’ll address her comments about sewage sludge and antibiotics, but as you see below, her post engaged a swarm of people to send emails to CNN to complain about me and tell them to never have me on their network. Here are just a handful of responses to her post:

As you can see – there were swarms of people contacting CNN about my appearance.

After Farm Babe launched this astroturf attack, a science writer at The Daily Beast caught on…

I don’t know exactly how she got wind of it – but if I was a betting woman (and in this case, I would love to take a bet if I someone is daring enough to come forward to tell the truth about what happened here) – I would bet she was tipped off by Farm Babe herself or other industry-aligned people with an agenda.

The journalist Tanya Basu tried to fact check what I said – but instead FAILED miserably… 

In fact she completely disregarded what I said and made up a narrative that suited the FDA’s response. 

On CNN, I said I choose whole heads of lettuce (over bagged cut lettuce) because there are fewer points of potential contamination. I also made it clear that this wouldn’t always eliminate the risk and that you cannot wash E. coli off of contaminated lettuce. 

I said I like to minimize the touch points in the supply chain when I make food choices. The less processing a product goes through, the better. And this isn’t wrong – especially when it comes to lettuce.

Lettuce is known to be particularly tricky when it comes to food safety as everything ranging from “production practices, harvesting, packing, processing and food handling have all been linked to illnesses associated with leafy greens. E. coli can get into food through manure, contaminated water used during growing or harvesting, or improper food handling at a store, restaurant or home”. Buying a whole head of lettuce does minimize these touch points. 

She went on to state that some scientists have said my “hatred of additives” is rooted in “anti-science” and “perpetuates myths. To back up this statement, she quotes Kevin Folta criticizing our successful campaign to remove azodicarbonamide from Subway’s bread. It is irresponsible that she uses this argument for three reasons. One – scientists do back up the fact that azodicarbonamide breaks down into carcinogens when baked. Secondly – Kevin Folta was the scientist quoted who is a known shill for the chemical industry.

Also, I am correct in stating that the overuse of antibiotics is creating superbugs that can’t be treated with antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization, “The high volume of antibiotics in food-producing animals contributes to the development of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, particularly in settings of intensive animal production… Many of the bacteria (such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Escherichia coli) carried by animals can also cause disease in people. These bacteria, which are frequently antimicrobial-resistant, can contaminate our food supply from farm to fork, such as through slaughtering and processing. Fruits and vegetables may also be contaminated by such bacteria at the farm or later through cross-contamination.”

As you can see, they try to mince my words on purpose to try to destroy my credibility.

What a journalistic fail on this writers fault. She does a real disservice to public safety by spending her time attacking me.

They want me to be scared and go away… 

They want to control the narrative – so that everything you see on TV, in the news, on billboards, and on food packages is pro-processed food, pro-chemical, pro-Big Ag, and pro-Big Food.

I refuse to let them silence me. I will not back down from telling people who will listen what I know. And plenty of people are listening. And this is WHY I wrote my new book Feeding You Lies.

I know these types of attacks will be ramping up as this book is hitting stores in a few short months. In the book, I go into greater detail on the many different ways the industry pulls stunts to fool the public (and the media). It’s eye-opening and you need to know what’s going on!

Please pre-order a copy of Feeding You Lies to show the food industry that you support the work I am doing. Pick up a couple extras for your loved ones, it makes a great gift:

I need every single one of you by my side.

The best way to make astroturfing less effective is to tell everyone about it! Please share this post. 

Xo,

Vani

P.S. Here’s some additional information on Farm Babe’s claims for any science journalists that want to really fact check:

Fact Checking The Farm Babe SOURCES:

1Sewage Sludge as Fertilizer: Safe?

Agricultural use of sewage sludge

Antibiotic resistance of E. coli in sewage and sludge

Biosolids Hit The Fan

2. Big Beef keeps getting bigger, thanks to growth drugs with unclear safety records

The way some meat producers fatten up cattle is more bizarre than you might think

Farm Babe: What you need to know about growth hormones in meat

3. Critical antibiotics still used on US farm animals despite superbug crisis

Crucial antibiotics still used on US farms despite public health fears

4. Most grocery store meat contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria: 4 things to know

Antibiotics in Meat Could Be Damaging Our Guts

Another concern: Drug residues in meat

Watch the CNN clip here:

 

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The Only Side Effects I Have Are Feeling Better and Better!

Festive Weekend

We are getting in the spirit over here!

On Friday I walked downtown for a free mother support group led by a lactation consultant at Bend Yoga. It was great to connect with so many other moms, and I recognized quite a few of them from prenatal yoga! Beforehand, I picked up a smoothie from The Juice Place and strolled the mall for a bit.

After the group, B was ready for a nap so I strolled over to Iron Paffles for my first visit. They make puff pastry waffles filled with all kinds of sweet or savory options. I’ve been seeing incredible flavors on Instagram, and it was the s’mores nutella flavor that had me beelining to the shop. I brought it home to share with Mazen after school, and OMG it was goooood!

B loves his stroller! (And this car seat cover keeps him super cozy)

On Friday night Sarah and her mom took Mazen with them to the downtown Christmas tree lighting event. They had a wonderful time. And note who is missing another tooth!

Meanwhile, Thomas and I ordered Fry’s Spring Pizza + salad through Grub Hub and had a nice little date night in.

All ready for night night! We love the gown-style jammies for easy diaper changes.

On Saturday we woke up to drizzly rain, and Thomas took Mazen to his last soccer game. The difference in game one and this one was night and day – he has gotten so much better (in both attitude and skill 🙂 )

I had a smoothie for breakfast around 10am because that was the earliest I had a free moment! This tropical flavor from Daily Harvest was off the beaten path yet really good.

Mid-day I left B with Thomas, and I took Mazen to back-to-back kiddo birthday parties at ACAC (Matt took over mid-way through) and then we headed to our own party: a “Baby’s Brewing” co-ed shower at Three Notch’d!

The shower was SO fun – we had sliders and veggie platter and pretzel bites and beer. And then cupcakes and cake for dessert. It was great to see a bunch of friends I hadn’t seen since I’ve been hibernating.

The weather was cold and drizzly all afternoon, so we cozied up at home when we got here.

We had the exact same dinner as the night before (leftover pizza) with a new homemade salad.

For entertainment we watched Crazy Rich Asians. I wanted to love it since so many people recommended it but I thought it was pretty cheesy and the plot was predictable and a bit boring. Sorry! It was still fun to watch.

Thomas loves to make big Sunday morning breakfasts, and so we had egg and sausage burritos with oranges and OJ.

B and I dressed in our holiday outfits because it was tree decorating day! I looked down just as a I snapped this to find his little face crumpling. I guess he was doing his impression of The Grinch!

I did some housework and fit in a treadmill workout (I ran for the first time – just a little intervals!) and showered. It’s funny how doing three simple things is a huge accomplishment these days!

Thomas took Mazen to get our Christmas tree, and we spent the afternoon decorating.

I also reorganized our bookshelves for a cleaner look – to balance the busy tree! 🙂

Mazen called the stockings “foot sacks” because he couldn’t remember the word stocking :mrgreen:

It was a jolly ole time!

The post Festive Weekend appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.



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