Vegan Bytes #26: Heating Up and Cooling Down for the Summer

Welcome to the insider group of subscribers! Our newsletter focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. Vegan Bytes is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, answering your vegan nutrition questions, and providing you with ideas on ways to spread your lifestyle beliefs.

In this issue...

*Vegan Thoughts: Keys to Adjusting Your Cooking Style for the Summer Months
*Quick Survey: Tell Me About You in This Quick Survey
*Question: "My husband says he's too busy to worry about animals. What should I say?"
*Vegan Ebooks: New Vegan Meal Plan for Spring & Summer and More
*Question: "What should I eat for school lunches?"
*Recipe of the Month: White Bean and Escarole Soup
*Hidden Pages: Pages Created Just For You
*What's New?: What's new on Vegan Nutritionista?

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Keys to Adjusting Your Cooking Style for the Summer Months


We hit that magical time of year again where 90 degree weather suddenly springs from weeks in the 70s. It’s hot here, and as the air heats up, I never feel like turning on any appliances in my kitchen. Instead of ditching cooking altogether, I just change my cooking style.

Our bodies are designed to handle certain kinds of foods depending on our physical environment. Have you ever noticed that it’s harder to eat heavy foods in the summer, at picnics and barbecues, and at the beach? Those foods take longer to digest and simply weigh us down.

You’ve probably noticed that most of the cold fruits like pineapple, mangos, and papayas grow in the hot tropics. Not only do they thrive there, but they help the people of those nations cool down. Despite how delicious they are, when we eat them in the depths of winter, it simply confuses our body. In the summer, however, we welcome those same fruits.

Our bodies appreciate the cooling effect of foods most in the hot, summery days. This is the time of year to ramp up your smoothie making and crack out the ice cream maker.

Cool down in the kitchen:

  • Blend up a frozen banana for a quick, smooth, and creamy ice cream treat.

  • Pick one day of the week to heat up the kitchen by using your oven and stove top (preferably in the morning), cook a bunch of pasta salads, beans, grains, and store them for later in the week.

  • When you do have to cook, use a toaster oven rather than the full-sized oven. Most of them are so big nowadays that you can fit a ton of stuff in there, and it uses up a lot less electricity.

  • Make fruit juice popsicles—blend fruit and water in your blend and pour into popsicle molds, stick in the freezer and enjoy a few hours later.

  • Make cold salads instead of cooked dishes; think tabbouleh, whole grain pasta salad, barley casseroles, and quinoa with fresh veggies.

  • Go raw a few days a week.

  • Make cooling herbal iced teas to store in the fridge.

Enjoy the heat!


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"My husband says he's too busy to care about animals.
What should I say?"



My husband says that he's too busy and has too much on his mind to care about animals. Veganism and animals' rights are strong values for me. I'm horrified that he knows about factory farming and still won't ditch meat and dairy. I've told him every reason I can think of to go vegan, and he's very resistant to that. I'm most shocked though that he doesn't care. Any suggestions? Should I just drop the subject?


I know how frustrating and shocking it can be to hear something like that, but unfortunately, it’s not uncommon. And, I can see where people are coming from when they mention things like this… there really are so many tragedies going on around us all the time, and it can be hard to see how adding another worry to the list can be worthwhile.

However, since this is a strong value for you, I don't think you should simply back down.

In a situation like this, what I think it really boils down to is that the person hasn’t quite thought about the process. They may know about factory farming, but they may also be putting up a wall in their brain so they don’t really thinkabout the process. If that same person were to actually witness the cruelty behind factory farms, I don’t think there’s any way they could stand behind their own philosophy of not caring.

Paul McCarney said, "If slaughterhouses had glass windows, we'd all be vegetarians."

Almost no humans can deal with watching needless suffering, and those who can are often mentally disturbed or simply conditioned from years of taking part in the process.

Because Paul McCartney is completely right, we are never allowed to see the killing process. I do know of a few smaller farms that allow viewers, and they make the process much more humane. But, on the vast, vast majority of farms, the suffering any of us would see would surely be too much to stomach.

The best way to handle this type of situation is to approach it from the viewpoint of how it affects that specific person.

After all, that's what they are saying they care about... themselves, and possibly the lives of other humans. They might be interested in the environmental affects of animal farming, but often I find these same people are not really interested in the global affects of their diets either.

So, I approach things like this from the health angle. There are numerous studies about the benefits of a vegan diet and the drawbacks of diets heavy in animal products. You can read up on the studies that show how animal-heavy diets are dangerous for your health and on how plant-based diets can lead to longer, healthier lives.

Check out the rest of my response, and please do feel free to share your opinions on what she should do.


Vegan Nutritionista Downloadable EBooks

Vegan Meal Plans for Spring/Summer

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A Fresh New Vegan You

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"What should I eat for my school lunches?"


Question: I'm 13 and recently became vegan:) But the only problem is my school lunches! Once in a blue moon they'll serve salads and I'll eat, but otherwise I will go throughout the WHOLE Day without eating and I get really hungry! I try to chew gum to take away the hunger but it dosn't seem to work! What should I do?!?!?! HELP!

Answer: Congratulations on becoming vegan... but I do have to warn you to be very careful. You should definitely, definitely not stop eating food at lunchtime simply because the school lunches are inadequate. That's really dangerous for your health and can cause your body a lot of serious issues.

I understand that it can be difficult to find food in the vast wasteland of the school cafeteria, so my best suggestion is to start packing some lunches. It can actually be really easy and quick to make lunches. If you're in a worst case scenario, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will do just fine. Throw in an apple, a bag of crunchy rice chips/any chips you like, and you have a pretty decent lunch that will keep you fuller than gum:)

If you are up for getting creative, you can cut up some vegetable slices and pack a small container of hummus for dipping. Or, throw hummus on some bread and stuff it with spinach or lettuce, and that makes a nice sandwich.

You could also check out Jennifer McMann's amazing Vegan Lunch Box,which is chock full of creative, nutritious vegan lunch ideas. It would help to get some of your family on board with eating healthier lunches so that you could all work together to prepare your lunches.

I hope that helps! And please do eat all three full meals. Not only are you doing the right thing for your body, but you are now representing the vegan community as a whole. You have a chance to show people that vegans are healthy, happy, and we never go hungry!!

Please do share here any other suggestions you have for what she could eat for lunch.


Have unresolved questions about veganism? Join in the discussion on our site by asking and answering questions, as well as commenting on other answers. It's fun and helpful!


Recipe of the Month:
White Bean and Escarole Soup

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One of our readers asked me this week for recipes using escarole and beans as she keeps finding them in her CSA basket. I love escarole; to me it tastes like a soft, light lettuce leaf with a bit more flavor. If you can’t find it, you can substitute any green in for escarole in this soup; kale, collards, or chard would all be amazing.

I adapted this recipe from one of Giada De Laurentiis's soups This makes a delicious springtime soup, and it’s hearty and filling enough to be served on its own.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb. escarole, chopped
  • 4 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz. can of white beans (cannellini or fava are great in this)
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the escarole and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.

Add the vegetable broth, the beans, and the nutritional yeast. Cover and simmer until the beans are thoroughly heated, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Secret Vegan Nutritionista Pages

Vegan Bytes Insider Password

The following pages are created just for Vegan Bytes Insiders... they are special hidden pages that only you can see, and it's my way of thanking you for reading each month.

The following pages are password-protected and will require a password from you. This password will change occasionally and you will always find the most current password in the most current Vegan Bytes Newsletter.

p.s. case sensitive

Vegan Chemical-Free Gas Remedies
The one negative drawback to eating a vegan diet is that you often eat more fiber than the typical person. Doesn't sound negative, right? Well, it can be for your digestive system. Never fear though... I have researched and found several amazing, natural, chemical-free gas remedies.

Take A Fruit Bouquet Workshop
Fruit Bouquets are a creative way to show someone you care, without having to cut flowers or buy chocolates. Take this workshop to learn how to make your own fruit baskets, including pineapple daisies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and grape tulips.

Learn All About Nut Cheeses
Vegan cheeses are abundant in grocery stores across the world, but most of them are still lacking something. Tree nut cheeses are the fabulous and new (somewhat) addition to the vegan world, and their flavor is unparalleled.


Whats new

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