Video: You’ll never be as happy as Cooper with his corn

Sorry to break it to you, you’ll probably never be as happy is Cooper is with an ear of corn. Unless, maybe, you also enjoy running around in excitement with food hanging out of your mouth — which I may have done myself once or twice. Enjoy 😀

If you’re not following us on Instagram, you should be 🙂

(If you can’t see the video , click here to watch on YouTube)

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Video: Are we natural meat eaters? (hint: no)

Are we natural meat eaters?

No.

If we were, we’d be able to kill the animals with our bare hands, open them up and eat the insides with ease and without being repulsed.

(Not a graphic video) Watch: (or click here if you can’t see it below)

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Vacationing as a veggie and other stuff

I stopped eating meat 10 months ago, it stemmed from adopting my piggies (read more here) yadda yadda, you probably know the details.

[More: Six months without meat, here’s what I’ve learned]

Anyway, Michael and I spent a week in Cape Cod earlier this month and it was the first time leaving our pigs for more than two nights and it was the longest trip I’ve taken since becoming a veggie.

I’ll admit now, I ate a lot of seafood. I don’t normally eat seafood (because fish have feelings, too, duh!) unless I’m in a bind (as in I’ll be stuck eating french fries or some other unhealthy food) or it’s a special occasion.

Cape Cod was a very special occasion. And I really, really wanted to enjoy fish and chips and all the other goods New England has to offer.

First I’ll say the vacation was one of the best I’ve ever had. We stayed at my grandparent’s vacation home in Falmouth (it’s been in the family forever … I know #spoiled). The company was great but what really stood out this time was that I had my anxiety under control, and my meals were (mostly) planned, I didn’t drink much and we stayed active.

Anxiety

I haven’t talked about this much on this blog but I just want to say a few quick things. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. Some days are easy, some are hard but I usually manage to get through life without anyone noticing. When I travel, I typically set unrealistic expectations in my head and the trip never lives up to them. DON’T DO THIS. For this trip, I went in with no expectations, no set plans and had a goal to just relax and enjoy myself. And I did.

Side note: my pigs help exponentially with my anxiety! Nothing beats piggy love.

Food

Michael thinks I’m crazy, and TSA did, too, as they pulled out a bag of lemons, protein powder and a giant bag of almonds from my carry-on bag.

I have no shame. The lemons have been crucial in dealing with bloat and I always have a protein bar or powder with me.

The first day we woke up at the Cape, we hit the gym then the grocery store to get all my staples: fruit, veggies, hummus. yogurt, peanut butter and veggie eggs. (Yes, vegetarian eggs are a thing.)

We probably ate more meals at home than out which I’m 100 percent OK with because we make great food! I even had a vegan sausage with those bread-side hot dog rolls (also a thing, Google it) while everyone else ate their dogs.

The few times we did eat out, I definitely enjoyed some fried fish.

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Seafood platter for two at Seafood Sam’s in Falmouth, Mass

We went to my cousin’s house one night, she made kabobs. I asked if she minded if I brought my own kabobs to toss on the grill. Of course she was fine with that (my family is VERY supportive even though grandma forgets sometimes and offers me turkey). I found a veggie kabob kit at the store, threw them together and brought them over to her house.

I don’t want people to go out of their way for me so I try to do all the work if the menu needs to be altered for me.

I have no shame bringing my own food wherever we go. Example: on Mother’s Day, I brought my own giant salad while everyone else ordered takeout.

The piggies

The boys and our dog stayed home with their Grammy. I missed them terribly but I also enjoyed some time away and not getting up a the crack of dawn to feed them — though I admit, Michael is usually the one who gets up with them!

Grammy said they were well behaved. Pax, however, did steal his sister’s dog bed a few times. Paxton does not like when his routine is changed.

[More: Meet Paxton and meet Cooper]

When we arrived home, Pax looked excited to see me for about 10 seconds, then he snubbed me and acted like a brat for the next 18 hours. Clearly he was upset we left him for so long!

He finally gave in the next night, jumped up on the couch and snuggled me hard.

 

 

Videos | Just some pigs enjoying their pool

We’re only a few weeks into the heat of Florida’s summer and both Paxton and Cooper have wasted no time hopping into the baby pool in their yard. (Mom and dad have a big pool in “our” yard … more about our new house here.)

 

 

 

We moved! Here’s how our pigs handled it

Hello! Sorry I’ve been MIA, we moved, I had a big birthday and, well, life happened!

Our little family moved into a new house not far from our old house about a month ago and we are finally settled in.

Lucky for Paxton and Cooper, they have their own yard! I’m pretty sure that’s a big part of why we chose this house. It also has a pool which I’m so excited for.

 

The boys have an entire side yard fenced off with a privacy gate that has gate access to the pool and a door to the screened patio. They love it! Probably because there is a ton of fresh grass for them — they about ate us out of house and home at the old house. We learned the hard way we really need to manage what, where and how often they eat the grass or we will be left with a yard of just dirt again.

More: A birthday cake fit for a pig

It took the boys about 10 days to get settled at the new house. At first they would both stand at the back sliding door and cry and scream to go outside. Cooper is our little screamer, Pax just stands there and pushes Cooper around.

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They were both timid of the new house, they seemed afraid to go anywhere but the back door where their crates are located.

Slowly and with plenty of treats they began to explore the house. Cooper even made it all the way upstairs. Paxton not so much, his big butt made it up two stairs before he turned around and headed back down.

I laugh now because as much as I wanted the boys to explore, now Cooper runs our house. That little 22-pound pig jumps in our bed every morning and snuggles under my pillow. I now have to make the bed as soon as we get up or he’ll make his way under the sheets and we are left we dirt in the bed. (life with pigs!)

My advice for moving with pigs:

  1. Be patient! There are new smells, sounds and more they need to get used to.
  2. Check and double check the pig yard. I walked around several times looking for anything in the grass that could harm them such as nails. We also checked the fence for holes or weak spots and check all plants! I used a plant identifying app to check every plant in our yard to make sure it wasn’t toxic for pigs or dogs.
  3. When they establish an area they feel safe, sit in their area with them. I did this with the boys at the back door; I’d sit on the floor and scratch them.
  4. Slowly encourage them to explore. Sit in different areas with treats and more than likely, they’ll follow.
  5. If they’re OK with it, assist them in finding cozy places. Pax loved the couch at our old house so I picked him up and put him on the new couch until he finally figured out where the couch was and how to get up on it himself. He still has a hard time getting down so he likes to stand with his hooves on the arm rest and watch everyone.
  6. Get back to your old routine ASAP. This can be hard with moving and unpacking but a routine helped the boys settle. Our routine: the boys stay outside until about 8 p.m. then they both come in and the whole family sits on the couch together. Call us crazy, but it’s our favorite part of the day! Everyone, boys included, have their own spots.

More: Pax ate my plant — again

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Cooper (in above video) enjoying our very overgrown grass.

These are my favorite vegetarian foods

Everybody always wants to know what I eat.

Surprise, there’s so much more to life than eating animals 🐷🐔🦃🐄

I’m not perfect, I eat eggs sometimes and fish or shrimp probably once a month. I get it, we’ve been told our whole lives a meal isn’t a meal unless there’s meat.

More: Why I stopped eating meat (hint: cute pig involved)

It took me a while to convince myself that a main course can be a vegetable, pasta (edamame pasta preferably), beans or a substitute like tofu.

(Note: I’m not an expert, just explaining what I do and what works for me.)

Here’s what I’m eating these days:

1. Edamame

Too much soy is bad depending on who you talk to. I eat soy in different forms several times a week. Edamame is great steamed in shell or my favorite is to cook the individual beans and store them in the fridge to add to salad and wraps. They’re a good source of protein and good carbs.

We make an amazing salad or wrap filling using broccoli slaw, cold edamame, red onion, cucumber, hemp seeds and topped with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar and a few spices. You can add diced cheese for extra flavor. It stores well in the fridge for a day or two (the slaw doesn’t get soggy) and can be eaten on its own or in a wrap.

2. Sweet potatoes

This is my current obsession. Yes it’s a starchy carb but it’s on my good can list. We mix sautéed onions, hemp seeds and sautéed sweet potato rounds and top with over easy eggs. SO GOOD.

I also like to mix sweet potatoes with a bunch of other veggies and toss with hemp seeds for an easy lunch at work.

3. Nut tacos

Don’t laugh! It sounds funny but they are so good. I bake and top with avocado, spinach and red onion. Michael likes them, too. It’s great when you’re craving a junk(ish) dinner.

4. Protein bars

These save me in a bind. I bounce between vegan and non-vegan versions. The non-vegan versions have more protein. I look for 20g of protein and less than 30g of carbs. ONE Bars are one of my favorites.

More: Try this vegan chili recipe
More: Here’s what I eat in a day

5: Chia seeds

I’m hooked on chia pudding right now. Just mix the ingredients and cool in the refrigerator for an hour or two or overnight and then top with your faves,

• 2C almond milk
• 1/2C chia
• 1 scoop PB protein powder
• toppings like sliced strawberries and almonds

More:

• Hemp seeds
Amy’s No Chicken Noodle Soup is a good pantry staple
Tofu dumplings from Publix

More: Do you spend more money when you stop eating meat?

Bonus

I posted a friend’s review of the Beyond Burger a few months ago. I’ve finally had the chance to try it for myself.

Some very sweet friends of ours brought these on their boat for us to enjoy while we grilled out at the sandbar. They were great! The burger definitely gave us our burger fix. It’s true, they smell, taste and had the texture of a real burger.

A few restaurants carry the burgers now so it’s REALLY nice to have that option when we go out to eat.

 

By the numbers: Pax at the art fest

Paxton got a new wagon so he could go on adventures without having to walk. We took him to an art festival in Juno Beach, Florida and we was SO good.

He never tried to jump out and was very accepting to people petting him.

Of course I rewarded him with treats (apple and carrot slices).

Here’s what went down:

4: people who asked if we were going to fatten him up and eat him (rude!)

3: people who forced their dog on Pax without asking — he snapped at two which was his right to

1: person who dumped popcorn in Paxton’s wagon (he sorta asked so it was OK)

4: amount of new Instagram followers we gained

2: People who asked if we were getting Paxton beer (no, pigs can’t have beer)

1: kid who tried to hitch a ride on our wagon

0: pieces of art mom & dad actually purchased

40: people who asked to take photos

40ish: People who did not ask and just took photos (no big deal but I appreciate people asking)

50ish: people who asked to pet Paxton

60ish: people who did not ask to to pet Paxton (again, not a big deal but it’s nice when people ask!)

80ish: people who asked how big Pax will get (we don’t know, and that’s OK!)

3: drinks mom and dad each had to manage the anxiety of so many people!

40: carrots some random art seller gave us because he was going to just throw them all away

200: People we educated about pigs which makes EVERY SINGLE BIT OF THIS WORTH IT!