Sunday, January 29, 2017

I Don't Understand

My apologizes for not posting a #FeelingVeggieGoodFriday blog this past Friday, but I had the desire to start a regular blog because I haven't written one in a while. My mom and I will be back with another #FeelingVeggieGoodFriday blog next week.

I'm taking U.S. History this year and as I've been reading my textbook, I'm starting to realize that the United States is a selfish nation. We always have been. Now, don't get me wrong -- we've come a long way over time and there are people and organizations in our country who are doing good things for people both in and out of the United States. But when I look at us today, and I read about how we were in the past, there are some things that haven't changed.

I look at the annexation of Hawaii and how we basically just took their nation. We really had no justifiable reason for taking their nation, we just did it because we wanted to. And I can't help but think about what we did to those poor Native Americans who were here on this land long before we were. I was curious about the population size of Native Americans in the United States today, so I Googled it. In a census in 2014, "The nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up about 2 percent of the total population in 2014."  I'm no math genius but two percent of the total population doesn't sound like a lot. I really don't think enough of us look at how destructive our nation has been in the past. And because it was in the past and we can't do anything about it, there's no reason to dwell on it, right?

I'm proud to be a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. I have a respect for missionaries who travel to various places like Guatemala, Africa, etc. to spread the good news of the Gospel. So it makes me sad and disappointed to think that some people used Christianity as an excuse to take over other nations like the Philippines, Hawaii, etc. We used the excuse that the people of these nations were uncivilized and needed to convert to Christianity as justification to go into their nations and take over. It's like my mom said, you can't force anyone to go vegan just like you can't force anyone to become a Christian. All you can do is present information and lead by example. That's not exactly what these Christian missionaries were doing. I believe that it is ungodly, and morally wrong that we used Christianity in this way to justify taking over other nations. This is not to say that all of these missionaries were wrong, dishonest, rude, etc. I'm sure a lot of them probably did lead more by joyful example, rather than cramming Christianity down these peoples' throats. But I look at this photo in my history textbook and it's of three Chinese natives and a Christian missionary. The natives look so sad and uncomfortable and the missionary has this harsh, cold look on her face. This isn't how Christianity should have been back then. And while I know many Christians who are loving and joyful, we all still have room to improve.

I'm not going to pick sides and get all political, but I can't help but think about some of the things President Trump has said. "Make America great again." At the expense of what? At the expense of whom? I believe he's also said something along the lines of, "America is going to come first."  In Acts 20:35 the apostle Luke wrote, "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"   I understand that there are some things in America that need to be fixed, reworked, and changed. Our nation does need help, I fully agree with that. But why do we have to be so cocky, so full of ourselves, so selfish? We need to make the world great again. Or more accurately put, great for the first time. 

So why write this blog? Well, really, after reading in my history textbook I felt like I needed to write something because it just makes me sad and depressed sometimes to think about how we've acted in the past. But I also figured I could tie this in with veganism, of course 😉. Over the last few months I've learned a lot. I am fortunate to have been able to take off the blinders that the world and greedy, selfish corporations had put on me. There are so many things that people need to know, and there are so many things that people can know if they only choose to watch that one documentary, read that one article, or ask that one question for help or recommendation. Why won't you allow yourself to be open and willing to gain more information? What are you afraid of? What is holding you back? We need to wake up to so many things, not just a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle. We must give ourselves permission to learn and grow and experience things that perhaps go against tradition, and that greedy and selfish corporations that don't want us discover. "Big Money" doesn't care about what is in our best interest.  "We the people" must dig our heels in and fight for what is right, even if it isn't popular. 

I am not against our nation. On the contrary I consider myself blessed to live in a country where there isn't war, or famine, and I get to practice Christianity openly and freely. But we have done some dark things in the past. We need to realize that and reflect on those things. It's only the first month of 2017, and we have eleven more months to learn, explore, grow, and effect positive change this year. It's time for us to wake up and see that there is more to this world -- to our lives -- than we've been led to believe.  No one is forcing you to change, but if you open yourselves to the possibilities by watching that one documentary, asking that one question, and reading that one book or article, you might just wonder what took you so long to discover a better and more fulfilling way to live. 

"Don't be afraid to be open minded. Your brain isn't going to fall out."
"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it isn't open." -living life unbound

This blog was like a journal entry. It is merely my thoughts that I needed to get out. Apologizes if it offended anyone.

I am in no way perfect, but I'm learning and I'm happy,


 Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Vegan Microwave Peanut Butter (and Chocolate) Mug Cake! (#FeelingVeggieGoodFriday Recipe -- Recipe #3)

It's the third recipe so I think it's time for some dessert! This cake is the easiest thing to make and is always so satisfying and wonderful.

*Disclaimer: This recipe does not belong to me or my mother and full credit for this recipe goes to

All you need for this recipe is....

  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter 
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I always use 100% pure maple syrup. I don't use the artificial syrup that's loaded with additives and stuff.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Non-dairy chocolate chips for topping (I HIGHLY recommend Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips.)
 Grab a microwavable mug and let's get going!

  • First add the flour and baking powder to the mug. Give it a quick stir using a fork to mix.
  • Next, add the almond milk, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. 
  • Microwave for on high for 1 minute. 
  • Pull out of the microwave and immediately top with chocolate chips. 
You're done! The chocolate chips will get nice and melted and you'll be in heaven, even if you aren't a vegan (which you should be).

Tag us in a photo if you recreate this recipe!

Happy eating,


P.S. You can buy Enjoy Life chocolate chips at Kroger, Whole Foods, Martin's, and Fresh Market.

Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Circle of Life?

Since going vegan in May 2016, I have watched many documentaries on the health benefits of a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet. In some of the films I have watched medical professionals have stated that they received little if any training in nutrition. Do you find that a little disturbing? What if instead of writing prescriptions for medications to treat our diseases, doctors actually wrote prescriptions for the kind of plant-based nutrition that could prevent and, in some cases, reverse our diseases and chronic conditions?

Scientific studies have shown that eating animal flesh and secretions (dairy, eggs) contributes to cancer, chronic illness, and inflammatory disease.  Yet there are many people who insist that animals were created for our consumption -- that this is the circle of life.  Really?  Evidence would suggest just the opposite. In an ironic twist, consuming animals has become our undoing, resulting in epidemic obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, and cancer.

I have nothing against doctors and medical professionals. I don't believe they are in medicine merely for the money. But if it is true that they have not received adequate training in the health benefits of plant-based nutrition, why should you and I not take control of our health by changing what we put into our bodies by leaving meat off our plates and out of our diets? I would much rather spend my money enjoying the wide variety of delicious wholesome plant-based food readily available than on presription medications, hospitalization, and lost wages because of illness.

In the eight months that I have been vegan I have reaped great health benefits, lowering my cholesterol and shedding over twenty pounds. I am a believer! I have also discovered new foods I never knew existed, learned new recipes that have been real palate pleasers, and developed a true sense of happiness and well-being knowing that I am no longer responsible for harming other living beings just to satisfy myself.

Need more evidence that a WFPB diet can not only benefit your health, but also protect our environment and save the lives of billions of animals in the process? Then please check out some of the videos and books listed on our links & resources page, including Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, and Vegucated. Invest a little of your time to dig into these resources and decide for yourself whether the "circle of life" is all it's cracked up to be.

For better health and a better life,

Dee Dee

Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Vegan Veggie Chili
(#FeelingVeggieGoodFriday -- Recipe #2)

I've only made this recipe twice, but I absolutely love it. The recipe makes enough to yield yummy leftovers the next day. It's simple, easy, healthy, and delicious!

This is a recipe that you can easily customize to fit your tastes and preferences. I'll show you what I used, but you can use any vegetables or beans that you like.

I started by chopping up...

  • Two peeled zucchini
  • Half a red bell pepper
  • One whole, peeled carrot
  • About half of a sweet onion, maybe a little more 
  • A few cloves of fresh garlic (3-4)

I then drained and rinsed...

  • A can of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans
  • A can of black beans 
  • A can of tri-blend beans (kidney beans, black beans, & pinto beans)
  • A cup of frozen corn

Rest of the ingredients...

  • Two cans of V8 juice (I used low-sodium)
  • Water, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper (1 teaspoon)
  • Cumin (1 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste)
  • Chili powder mix or regular chili powder (1 1/2 -2 teaspoons, or to taste)

The recipe is super easy to prepare!

  • Just start by sauteing the onion and garlic until their softened on medium-low heat.
  • Next, add a cup of frozen corn and let cook for a few minutes.
  • Following that, add the rest of the vegetables and water as needed. Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes.
  • Lastly add the beans, two cans of V8 juice, and spices. Add water if needed.

That's it! Just let the chili simmer on reduced heat for 20 - 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Prep Suggestions:  You could easily meal prep this meal by chopping up the veggies the night before and placing them in a container in the fridge to just throw into a pot. You could also drain and rinse the beans, throw them in a container, put them in the fridge, and just throw them straight into the pot the next day.

Serving Suggestions:  Bake some potatoes and load them up with the chili.  Serve with a side salad and whole wheat bread.  Be creative and have fun!

If you recreate this, post a photo and tag us so we can see!

Happy and healthy eating,


Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Quinoa Black Bean Burritos
(#FeelingVeggieGoodFriday -- Recipe #1)

Ah!  I am so excited about #FeelingVeggieGoodFriday!  Every Friday, my mother and I will be posting a new recipe we've tried that week. It could be a breakfast, lunch/dinner, or dessert recipe. Some recipes may be a little more complex than others, but they should all be fairly easy for everyone to make. Let's get started with this week's recipe!

Our first recipe is Quinoa Black Bean Burritos, an easy-to-prepare dish that is delicious and satisfying.  Even my non-vegan dad liked it!  It made more than enough to feed three hungry folks with enough leftover for today's lunch.

(Disclaimer:  This is not our recipe; the credit for this recipe belongs to tessbegg on YouTube.)


1 minced garlic
1 brown onion, diced*
4 T. tomato paste
2 t. cumin powder
2 t. chili powder
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 c. quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. capsicum (bell pepper) -- we used red bell pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

*NOTE:  We used a sweet yellow onion since we didn't have a brown onion.  In researching brown onions we determined that the yellow onion with which we are familiar is the American equivalent of the brown onion used in other countries.


1.  Measure out ingredients.

2.  Saute diced onion and garlic with a splash of water until translucent.

3.  Add in tomato paste and spices.  Stir until combined.

4.  Add in quinoa and veggie broth.  Stir until combined on medium heat and bring to gentle boil.  Cover, reduce temperature and simmer on low heat for 25 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.

5.  In a separate pan, saute capsicum with some salt on high heat.

6.  Add in the black beans and capsicum.  Stir to combine.


While quinoa and black beans are simmering, make guacamole by mashing an avocado and seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Serve quinoa and black bean mixture on wrap or tortilla of choice and garnish with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.  Muy delicioso!

Let the fiesta begin!

Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Impossible Dream?

"A dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life for as long as you live...Climb every mountain, ford every stream.  Follow every rainbow til you find your dream." -- Oscar Hammerstein II
I remember the first time I saw The Sound of Music and heard the climactic reprise of "Climb Every Mountain" at the end of the movie.  The Von Trapp family, facing their fears and turning their backs on all they loved and held dear, courageously crossed the mountains on foot to escape Nazi oppression in their homeland and step into freedom in a country not their own.  It brought tears then, even as it does now, because at times I feel much like them.

As vegans with the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of those we know and those we've yet to meet, Joy and I are facing mountains of our own in this battle to end oppression and the destruction of the planet we call home.  Even as we prepare to meet with local school officials to dialogue about nutrition and propose changes that could result in more options for those who have embraced a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, we realize that we are outnumbered by those whose hands are tied, or at least think they are, by government regulations.  We have been disregarded and criticized by some, but we are determined to do all in our power to raise awareness of the animal cruelty, environmental destruction, and health problems associated with factory farming and a meat-based diet.

Sometimes fear rears its ugly head and discouragement sets in with a vengeance, especially when the evidence is so clear but others fail to see it or embrace change that would clearly benefit them. Perhaps that is the hardest part of the journey for me -- knowing that there is a better way but being unable to convince others of it. I know that I am healthier for having embraced a plant-based diet, and I know that they would be too. Yet the fact remains that none of us can persuade people to change who are unwilling to see the value in doing so for themselves. All we can do is be glad for the changes we have made and continue sharing our message with those who are open to receive it.

Being a vegan in a society where big money and politics dictates everything from agricultural policy to advertising is incredibly frustrating.  It is tempting to throw in the towel because we don't believe that we, as individuals, can effect true change.  But progress is being made, little by little, and we cannot afford to throw in the towel even when it seems that we are fighting against all odds.  We need each other, and together we will be able to influence change in our society and in the lives of the people we love.

This dream of making a difference and effecting positive change -- for the animals, the planet, and better health -- will need all the love and patience we can give.  Every day, for as long as we live.

Never, ever, ever give up.  At the end of the day, the fight is worth it.  The animals are worth it.  WE are worth it!

Cheering you on,

Dee Dee

Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.