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Charlie Sheen’s Vegan Goddess

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I recently had the chance to speak with Rachel Oberlin, one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses, on being vegan. Read the intro. below, and then click the link to read the rest of the interview on OK! Magazine’s site. Feel free to share any comments on my site!

Get ready everyone, Charlie Sheen’s about to hop on stage once again. This time he’s ditching scripted TV for his own self-promoted tour, heading out on the road April 2 in Detroit. Along for the ride will be Rachel Oberlin, aka Bree Olson, one of Sheen’s famed “goddesses” who tells OK! she’ll be by Charlie’s side for his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option” tour.

Rachel isn’t just a Charlie goddess. She’s also recently been awarded the title of “Green Goddess” by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) because of her commitments in leading a vegan lifestyle. Rachel has been meat-free, dairy-free since July of 2010, after reading the witty, underlying guide to veganism, Skinny Bitch, written by best-selling authors Rory Freedman, a former FORD modeling agent, and Kim Barnouin, a former model.

Click Here To Continue for Interview

Kathy Freston Leads Oprah and Staff to Go Vegan

Photo credit: Charles Bush

 

So on the 1st of this month, Oprah dedicated a whole episode to the topic of “veganism.” Um, awesome! The show included special guest Michael Pollan (who holds my dream title of a food expert/journalist), along with New York Times best-selling author Kathy Freston. Also seeing a few minutes of screen time was Lisa Ling, who gave us a stomach-churning peek into Cargrill’s slaughterhouse. (Cargrill is the biggest producer of ground beef in the world, so props to them for allowing Ling to take a look around and report from inside the plant. Also props to them for keeping a comparatively cleanly and non-ruthless environment, although ending the life of millions of cows is an inherently brutal procedure.)

The show centered around a challenge led by Freston who guided Oprah and 378 of her staff members on a one week vegan expedition. In between much discussion about poop and bowel movements (I wish I would’ve counted the # of times busy poop schedules were mentioned), more than a few of the staff members revealed that they will be sticking with the vegan diet, at least for some additonal time. Energy levels, headache cures, regularity, and other positive health benefits were all credited as reasons why many of the staff members will at least be making some kind of changes to their diets. Many also happily saw some weight loss, with a combined total of 444 pounds lost among staff members. Rich, the video editor, alone shed 11 pounds. Just to reiterate that, that’s 11 pounds in one week. Yeah, pretty cool stuff when it’s sourced from a switch to a healthy diet, which is what Freston guided staffers into doing. This certainly wasn’t a week of chips and french fries style of vegan eating, although Freston did show staff members that American classics like pizza don’t have to be thrown out the window. (Simply ditch the cheese for Daiya, and you’ve got yourself a killer vegan pizza.)

Freston has influenced far more people than just Oprah and her staff to increase their awareness of their food choices. After having lunch with the 7-year vegan during a recent interview for Vanity Fair, journalist John Heilpern ended up concluding his article by stating, “I will never become an alfalfa-and-brown-rice man, but since my lunch with Kathy Freston I have decided to give up eating all meat.”

And I’m sure her influence will only continue to spread. Following her last best-selling book, Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness, at the beginning of this month Freston released Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World, which has quickly became one of Amazon‘s top sellers.

Freston uses a very friendly, empathetic approach in how she advises people on making the shift to veganism in the Veganist. “I encourage people to lean into a veganist lifestyle, gradually giving up eating one animal at a time,” she told me. She also acknowledges that you have to find what works for you, which I’m a huge advocate of.

Growing up on ribs and fried chicken, she knows that eliminating animal products won’t be easy for everyone. But she also knows the benefits of doing so.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a Q and A I held with Kathy Freston to get to know this vegan-champion a little bit better. In the interview, Freston discusses some of her own obstacles she faced when going vegan. She also sheds light on working with Oprah and divulges some of her favorite vegan treats. Yum.

Q and A with Paula Deen

America’s favorite southern Food Network star miss Paula Deen is one busy bee. She is the star of several TV shows, owner of more than one down-South restaurant, author of numerous cookbooks, and creator of the bi-monthly magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen. Deen also has her own extensive product line, where you can purchase everything from Paula Deen teakettles to Deen’s Peanut Butter BBQ Sauce. This Georgia native can even be seen making a recent guest appearances on the hit game show, The Price is Right. Tune in tomorrow night for Bravo’s Top Chef, and you can spot Deen making her debut as a guest judge.

While she now juggles an undoubtedly successful career, Deen didn’t come from living the easy life. At a young age, she suffered from the loss of both her parents, and later found herself impoverished with two young boys after struggling to get out of a bumpy marriage. You can read more about Deen’s story here.

In short, Deen turned to the kitchen to find comfort, and through a wonderful stream of events, she eventually ended up where she is today—a warm, busy, butter-loving celebrity chef.

I managed to grasp a few minutes of Deen’s time to ask her about a few of her favorites and to find out what kinds of things you might catch this sweet lady doing on her days off.

Favorite meal of the day?

Breakfast

Favorite comfort food?

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Sweet potato or white potato?

That’s a hard one, but I would have to go with a white potato because of the variety of dishes you can make.

Kale or collards?

Collards

Most utilized vegetable in your kitchen?

Onion

Favorite vegetarian dish you cook?

I would have to say my vegetable lasagna.  It is delicious!

Butter, butter, or butter? Just kidding. If you choose oil for a dish, what’s your go-to type?

Peanut oil

What is your top pick from the selection of pie flavors on your Walmart line?

Pecan pie

Ever watch the Food Network?

Not really, I don’t have time to watch very much television.

In a few words, describe your experience as the grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade?

I absolutely loved being there and sharing it with my family, it was a day we will never forget.

With eggs in so many different baskets, how do you keep yourself balanced and stress free?

I have a great team who I don’t have to micromanage. They keep my head on straight!

Complete this sentence. “People are surprised when they learn that I…”

Love slot machines!

“There are few things I love more than…”

My precious family

Q and A with Vegan Mayim Bialik of the Big Bang Theory

Mayim Bialik, the star of NBC’s Blossom, and more recently, playing the role of Sheldon’s “girlfriend” on CBS’s hit TV show, the Big Bang Theory, has been vegetarian for the past 16 years of her life.  “It was a combination of compassion and affection for all living creatures in their life and death, environmental concern about the impact of raising animals, health, and reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals,” says Bialik about what inspired her to eliminate meat from her diet, eventually influencing her to turn totally vegan last December. The UCLA grad currently lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons, and enjoys whipping up vegan family meals most nights of the week. In a recent Q and A, Bialik gives me the lowdown on everything from her favorite vegan treats to her most anticipated holiday indulgence.

Favorite fruit?
Granny smith apple or pineapple

Favorite veggie to cook with?
I love the challenge of greens: collards, chard, bok choy…

Fav. veggie to munch on raw?
Jicama!

Favorite vegan packaged snack?
The amazing, totally unhealthy Israeli snack: Bissli, onion flavor.

Salty or sweet?
Salty

Favorite on-set lunch?
The Big Bang craft service goddess makes me avocado, tomato, red onion, vegan bacon and soy cheese on a toasted english muffin. Heaven!

Favorite restaurant?  Favorite dish to get there? Real Food Daily‘s vegan ruben and their fauxstess cupcake is the perfect meal.

Best breakfast you’ve ever had?
Vegan breakfast in restaurants is hard, so I make chocolate chip pancakes and a green smoothie at home for my “best” breakfast.

Your go-to brand for vegan ice cream? I like rice dream but I’m not such a big ice cream person… they make a chocolate ice cream sandwich that I prefer to straight ice cream.

Cooking or dining-out?
Usually cooking.

If you enjoy getting in the kitchen, are you more of a baker or a cooker? Wow…both!

Any specialties that you whip up in the kitchen?
Cashew “cheese” is our easiest, biggest healthy hit. Our boys love it on crackers and if you add dried oregano, it becomes ricotta for lasagnes, spanikopita, etc.

If you had to choose, tofu or tempeh?
I’m new to tempeh so I’d say tofu since I know it better.

Do you have a favorite soy product aside from tofu/tempeh?
We are loving seitan in our taco salad lately. We buy the slices and sautee them in a little oil and that’s all.

What’s the holiday indulgence you look forward to the most?
For Chanukah, eight days of fried latkes with vegan sour cream. And we make vegan sofganyot (israeli doughnuts) too.

Is Tofurky on your holiday menu or something else to take its place?
We had Tofurky roast for Thanksgiving. Chanukah requires no Tofurky. My father-in-law and his wife celebrate Christmas and they make sure there is salad and raw veggies for us.

Mayim Bialik’s Raw Cashew Cheese

Soak 2 cups raw cashews in water a least 2 hours
(you can also use macadamias or hazelnuts, but soak those overnight)

Put the soaked nuts into a food processor and add:
-2 tbsp. chopped rosemary
-2 tbsp. chopped basil
-2 tbsp. chopped chives (or scallions)
-2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. salt

Blend until very smooth and enjoy.