Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mad World

So I tend to have a bit of an obsessive nature.  Recently I discovered the television show Mad Men on my Netflix, and it's all been downhill from there.  I stayed up until 4 in the morning last night watching this show.  Despite needing to wake up to feed the dogs and oh, I don't know, go to work.

Back to Mad Men: despite its vintage subject, it deals with issues highly relevant to today.  One most intriguing and personal subject is the role that women play during this time period.  Now, before you roll your eyes at me and say, ho hum Landree, it's a gosh-darn television show!  It's not like real life!  I must say that I listened to an NPR feature on the show, and though they say it's a little rosy colored and formulaic, it's actually fairly true to the times.

If you haven't seen the show, women play the role you might anticipate during the late 50's, early 60's: subservient, meek, self-deprecating, FOCUSED ON PLEASING MEN.  I.E. serving them, GETTING one if they don't have one already, pretending to be virginal if that's what men want, pretending to be a vixen in the sack if that's what men want...they are being shape-shifters, even with their friends, though we see moments of truth both with their closest women companions and with their husbands (though again, with their husbands, their true feelings are veiled and presented in watercolors, easily washed away if the husband responds negatively). 

Though women have made great strides along the way here til 2010, something about the show scares me: I find the messages that these women are receiving and believing to be extremely prevalent today.  However, they're now delivered in a much more subtle, cloaked way; thus, we find it difficult to detect when we're being told who to be.  Go through your day, ladies, with a conscious awareness, and see how often we're being told what an ideal woman is.  Everything plays a part: most obviously, the media, but even things like our friends, family, and our religion.  With all these subliminal and forthright messages coming at us, it's difficult to even trust our own intuition, as it is so colored by our society and culture.

This relates to Veganism.  Though all the women whose blogs I read are clearly choosing this lifestyle for a cornucopia of EXCELLENT reasons, as are friends in my personal life, it's clear that other women choose it as a means to an end: THINNESS.  And what does our society tell you being thin brings a woman?  Success and happiness, pure and simple...and what makes a woman successful?  We all may believe different things but I know that within my circle (meaning socio-economic status, city, country), I'm still being told success means finding a man and mothering my own family.  Along with having an incredible career and spotless virtue.

Does it matter that these goals are what bring a person to such a beautiful way of life?  Do the ends justify the means?  I have found that once choosing this lifestyle, the reasons for maintaining it grow in depth and expand in reasons.  At the same time, I can't help but foster anger and outrage at the manner in which we women are encouraged to fulfill certain roles in our culture, making drastic life changes to achieve what is considered "ideal".  To include a disclaimer, I'm not denying that men have their own set of rules and messages that make it difficult for them too.  But fact of the matter is, my paycheck is still less than his and looking at the other discrepancies, I'm noticing a lot of less. 

In this case, less is definitely not more.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nutty for Coconut!

I sure do love coconut. It is delicious and healthy and works in both savory and sweet dishes.

A friend of mine at www.iamawholehumanbeing.wordpress.com recommended cooking rice with coconut milk, so I gave it a shot the other night. I used organic light unsweetened coconut milk and simply replaced the two parts water with two parts milk (minus a quarter cup, so I just used water to make up the remaining necessary liquid), threw the one part brown rice and two parts coconut milk into my rice cooker, flipped the switch and forgot about it!

I made a big batch, about 4.5 cups. The resulting rice was moist, with a stickier texture, and not only that, but it has remained moist and perfect even two days after its original cooking. I'm so pleased! Normally my leftover rice is dry and stale, but when cooked in the coconut milk it retained incredible moisture.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!:)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taking a Nap...

I've been having a bit of a hard day. But God and the Universe look out for me, helping me to keep things in perspective, stop being so hard on myself, and find joy in the small things.

For example, after finally giving up on being productive, I got into my obnoxiously bright pink robe and headed upstairs to lie down for a bit. Before I did, I decided to check out a few vegan blogs I subscribe to, and lo and behold, found TWO posts on the subject of happiness alone.

Along with that, one of the dogs I nanny, Cleopatra, a very large and chubby dog with the sweetest eyes who very rarely ever jumps onto my bed, climbed up and settled down for a nap too.

Stay tuned for my own post and pictures on things that make me happy, and thank you all for being such beacons of light and love!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Hey friends! I was going through some old pictures on my computer (not that old, I just gave myself a digital camera from my birthday this year, but you get the idea) and for my boyfriend's birthday, I made him the most DELICIOUS CAKE I have ever made.

*cue dusting off shoulders*

It's called Triple Chocolate Fat Pants Cake, and the recipe can be found in Babycakes NYC, a baking book I HIGHLY recommend. Instead of making chocolate chip cookies to go on and in the cake though, I caved and bought some Newman's Os, making kind of a cookies-and-cream cake. Needless to say, the cake was devoured at Jeremy's birthday party! And I had no problems bragging about it hehehe, not to mention telling everyone who would listen that it was Vegan and gluten free.

In Babycakes NYC, the recipes are often gluten free and use natural sweeteners like raw agave nectar, and incredibly nutritious coconut oil which has gotten a bad rap for its saturated fat content. For more nutritional info on coconut oil, visit my dear friend's blog here: