It's time for my annual unpopular post. This is the one where I remind you that you can still enjoy Thanksgiving without participating in the Great Turkey Holocaust. If you're the rebellious punk rock type, like me, you can even revel in bucking the trend (as I have done for the past five years). It's not easy for most people though. Even if you want to eat plant based, there is a strong sociocultural compulsion to eat turkeys on Thanksgiving. "Everyone is doing it," as they say. Plus, the poultry industry has heavily programmed the general populace to think mass killing and eating millions of innocent turkeys is just fine for the mind, body, and soul. Quite the opposite. Eating meat slowly kills you.

If you want to accept my challenge and eat plant based this Thanksgiving, it's not that hard. Just make and eat a bunch of vegan side dishes.


A Recipe for Lazy Vegans

Here's a quick and easy and relatively healthy recipe for lazy vegans. It's also very low budget.

1. Cook up some vegan ground "meat" (Beyond or Impossible brands are ideal). Sauté in some olive oil or veggie broth and add a dash of coconut aminos or red wine. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. Cook up a 12 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (I like the lima beans, corn, carrot, and green bean mix).
3. Mix a little bit of the ground "meat" into the veggies. The ratio is up to your personal preference. I use 80% veggies and 20% "meat," approximately. The "meat" adds a little savory flavor to the veggies, but you are mostly getting veggies, which are good for you.

You'll have "meat" left over. Tupper it up and repeat this recipe as many times as you can until it's all gone. Frozen veggies cost about $1 for a 12 oz bag. Vegan "meat" costs about $9/pound, but you are going to get about 10 servings out of a pound of "meat," so this recipe ends up being a little under $2/serving.

You're welcome.




A part of me would love to convince people to go vegan for the health, ethical, and environmental benefits. But fuck that. It's easier to just lead by example. People can't believe I'm 55, in awesome health, and have a slim, athletic body, all because of eating a plant based diet. It can't all be genes, because my family (not vegan) is not especially healthy. They eat fairly healthy and thus they are fairly healthy, but not ideally healthy like me. The secret is no secret at all. Eat vegan and exercise daily. That's it. I mean...yes, avoid excessive smoking, drugs, and alcohol too. That seems obvious to me though. Toxins are, by definition, toxic.

Of course, people could just watch "The Game Changers" documentary too.

The End.


Vegan Tour of Madison WI

For $50 per person, I will gladly take (a minimum of two and a maximum of four) people on a vegan tour of Madison WI.

That price does not include the food, only the transportation in my hybrid electric vehicle (max. occupancy is four people plus driver - me!) and my expertise as a vegan connoisseur and guide.

Let me know.

Punk Rock Joe


Own It

In this increasingly ideologically divided world, it's hard to have constructive dialogues that encourage positive change in people's behavior. I have started to reach the conclusion that it's virtually impossible to motivate people toward change, because people have stopped owning their own problems. They are in a stage of change that we mental health therapists call "Pre-Contemplation" - essentially a complete lack of awareness that there is any problem with their own beliefs and behavior, and everyone else is the problem. Most people today are problem focused and believe that the solution to the perceived problems lies in other people changing their beliefs and behaviors. That's never going to happen, of course. The only person you have control of is YOU. Own that, and quit worrying what shenanigans everyone else is up to. In short, become the change agent for yourself and lead by example.

For example, it would be great if other people and government leaders would accept that man-made climate change is real and do something about it. But they ain't gonna (without some kind of miracle). So, my wife and I have chosen to live more sustainably ourselves, to shrink our ecological footprint. One important change we have made - that has a big positive impact on the planet relative to the small investment of time and effort - is going vegan. We've been vegan for over five years now, so at this point it's effortless and second nature for us. But even when we started out eating vegan, it was not all that hard to do. The biggest challenge was not even ours to bear...some people around us had a hard time with our choice, but we didn't.

The Standard American Diet already averages about 70% plant based foods, albeit comprising a lot of refined and processed caloric junk food, which is bad for one's health. So, we just transitioned the 30% of meat, eggs, and dairy in our pre-2018 omnivorous diet to all vegan meat substitutes. There are many of these nowadays, and many are quite palatable. While these "vegan meats" are not super healthy (many are high in salt and fat and sugar), they are slightly better for health (zero cholesterol, for example) and very much better for the planet (since plant based foods require about one tenth of the water, fossil fuels, and other resources to manufacture, compared with animal based foods) than meat, eggs, and dairy [SOURCE]. A vegan diet is a very manageable way of eating, and it has a huge positive impact ecologically. A whole food plant based (wfpb) vegan diet is even better, because it contains minimal refined and processed foods like corn syrup and refined oil and salt, focusing more on whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and raw nuts/seeds (more like a Mediterranean of Blue Zone diet). After our first year of being 100% vegan, we began to shift to eating a more health- and Earth-friendly whole food plant based vegan diet, reducing the vegan junk food as much as possible (though we still treat ourselves to it here and there).

I cannot tell you exactly how much of a positive impact eating a wfpb vegan diet has on the environment, but it's significant [SOURCE]. What's more important to understand is that the relative return on investment (ROI) from eating this way is super high. That is to say, the positive impacts are big and the amount of change needed is fairly small. A little bit of change in dietary habits has a relatively big positive effect on the Earth's environment. The ROI of going vegan is definitely greater than, say, owning an electric vehicle or bike commuting - both of which are also helpful, but have lower ROIs. The wfpb vegan diet is also better for human health too, so that's a win-win.

That being said, some people may not be able to transition to a vegan diet, even if they really love the Earth. There can be obstacles, including many socio-cultural factors (your meat eating friends may laugh at you!*). I'm lucky that my wife and I chose to transition to veganism together, after reading "The China Study," by TC Campbell (it's about the many health benefits of eating plants vs animals), and also we don't have kids (well known natural resource hogs). So, we can maintain a 100% wfpb vegan household fairly easily. We also live in a progressive, vegan friendly town, where we can find vegan food at many restaurants. Not everyone does. Some people are just rigidly set in their meat eating ways.

But not everyone has to become a vegan to save the Earth. If just 10% of people went vegan, it would have a large impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, that many vegans would force some institutional changes too, like more restaurants offering plant based options. Also, not everyone has to go 100% vegan. Reducing meat and dairy consumption by like 10%-25% ("Meatless Mondays") would have a significant impact too [SOURCE].

Anyway, do whatever you want (it is the punk rock way). But if you are open to trying a vegan diet and love the planet too, consider doing a one month vegan challenge. For one month, try to eat only plant based foods. You don't even have to be perfect about it. If you hit obstacles and get derailed, that's OK. Just get right back to it as soon as you can until the month ends. After about two weeks, you'll notice some health benefits (stronger body, clearer mind), which is motivating to keep it going. If you discover it's not that hard to eat vegan, as we did, you might want to continue it indefinitely. If you hate it, that's OK too. It's not for everyone. Maybe you can just make healthier choices and try to reduce beef and dairy (the biggest climate killers).

Thanks for reading!

*Note: The jokes on your meat eating friends, because they are going to die before you do, if you go vegan.


Good News for Your Health

Hi Readers!

I have some good news. I'll be opening my Functional Nutrition Medicine Coaching Program to eight (8) participants at the end of 2023.

Overweight? Sick? Tired? Depressed? Brain fog? Unmotivated? Out of shape? Generally unsatisfied with your direction in life?

Then this program is for you. You can reach out to me HERE for more information, pricing, and to get enrolled. The program launches 1/1/24 and you have to be enrolled by 12/31/23 (with intake all paperwork completed) to participate.

So, this is your early bird notification (and there is a 20% discount if you get on board between now and 6/30/23).

I am thrilled to be able to take on more participants in my no nonsense Punk Rock Life Coaching program.

The End!


Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day.

Here's your friendly reminder that a vegan diet has the lowest ecological footprint of any diet, hands down [SOURCE]. It's good for your health, good for the planet, and the cows, pigs, and chickens like it too.

If you want to give your positive eco friendliness that little extra push over the cliff, drive an electric vehicle and join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in your local community. It's way cheaper to buy your produce wholesale and locally with a CSA. About $500 for an entire season, May-October, and you get a big box of seasonal veggies every couple weeks.



Eat as Low on the Food Chain as Possible

Hi Readers.

Joe here. Hey, if you don't like cancer (and who does, really?), I have a suggestion for you...


I did a little research, and it turns out that eating animals increases your odds for getting cancer. No joke. Check this out (from the Cancer Council): https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/1in3cancers/lifestyle-choices-and-cancer/red-meat-processed-meat-and-cancer/.

It's been known for a while that eating a vegetarian diet reduces your risk of cancer, although not to zero. SOURCE: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-022-02256-w.

But going the extra step and eliminating eggs and dairy is even better. SOURCE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565018/.

Here are some other SOURCES supporting a vegan diet for cancer prevention:

You be the judge.

The End.


The Pop Up

There was a vegan popup today at the Goodman Community Center in Madison WI. We attended. We ate vegan food there and also bought some vegan stuff to take home. Overall, a fun time.

We discovered a vegan pizza place there that is from Chicago and will ship frozen deep dish vegan pizzas anywhere in the USA. They are not cheap though.

The End.


REVIEW: Mosaic Foods Online Vegan Frozen Meal Delivery Service

I decided to try Mosaic Foods vegan (and vegetarian) online mail order frozen meal delivery, after seeing some positive reviews online.

I signed up for the 18 meal plan, the biggest plan they have (and the best value after discount and free shipping). I filtered for vegan only meals (although they have vegetarian options too, I'm strictly vegan). You have to choose a recurring order option; there is no one time only option like there is with MamaSezz vegan mail order meals. So, I chose to reorder every 4 months, and then paused all order until July. You can customize and pause shipments whenever you want, but you know how that goes. I'll probably cancel my subscription and then restart it when I am ready for more.

First, lets talk about the cost. My total order cost for the 18 meals I chose for my box, after discount and free shipping, was $176.78. That works out to $9.82/meal. Let's just round up to $10/meal for argument's sake. For a mature adult male of my activity level and energy needs, one meal is about one serving. More petite and sedentary people might get two servings out of one of these meals. They fill an average sized bowl. The meals range from about 400 to 600 calories each. However, one of my meal choices was a "4 serving" Thai peanut curry that would probably actually serve two hungry people of my size. So, I kind of got 19 meals for the price. One of the meals was a soup. Another was a smoothie, which I'll try tomorrow morning.

The meals are completely pre-made and frozen, shipped with dry ice (although the dry ice was gone by the time the box arrived in Wisconsin, by truck from New Jersey, so I might not order these meals in the middle of the summer). You microwave or bake them, and eat. I fortified the soup with some brown rice I had on hand, and generally I think you can make these meals go farther by adding rice or pasta to them.

The cost of these meals is competitive with other pre-made meal delivery services, and the cost can be justified by the minimal prep time to eat them. They are convenient.

The meals are pretty tasty too, thus far. I have not gotten through them all yet. These will be nice to have on hand in the freezer sometimes when we are too busy or too lazy to cook plant based vegan meals.

I endorse them.

The End.


Some Good Vegan Places to Eat in Madison Wisconsin

Hi Readers.

I've been doing my own research on good vegan places to eat in Madison WI (by eating at them), and here are some of the good vegan places to eat, according to my fairly thorough analysis:

Ollie's (separate vegan and conventional menus)
Green Owl Cafe (all vegan/vegetarian menu)
Luigi's Pizza (many vegan options, alongside conventional ones)
Toppers Pizza (plant based menu, alongside conventional one)
Ian's Pizza (vegan-izable pizza and salads)
Mod Pizza (many vegan options, alongside conventional ones)
Sookie's (100% plant based vegan cafe)
Nitty Gritty (vegan burgers and vegan nutmilk shakes, listed separately on the menu, alongside conventional ones)
Migrants (Mexican food with many vegan options)
Monty's Blue Plate Diner (diner food, with a separate vegan menu)
Forage Kitchen (healthy vegan options)
Bar Corallini (vegan Italian food options on the menu, alongside conventional ones)
Himal Chuli (Nepali cuisine with vegan and vegan-izable options)
Jardin (100% plant based vegan fine dining, but a bit pricey!)
JustVeggies (online 100% vegan catering and meal plans, with delivery)
Sa-Bai Thong (Thai food with many vegan options)
Chocolate Shoppe (several vegan flavors of oat milk based ice cream)
Level 5 Donuts (vegan donuts)
Naf Naf Mediterranean Grill (it's a chain, but lots of vegan options)

These are roughly in order of my personal tastes and preferences. There are other places too, but I have had the best luck at the places above. Leave a comment if you think another place should be on the list and I will go research it (if I haven't already).

Disclaimer: This is one vegan's analysis and experience. It is not scientific, nor comprehensive. But it's pretty accurate if you, like me, are an average vegan eating middle class American.

The End.


Animals are Fun

If you are like most people, you probably eat animals. But you really shouldn't. Because most animals are like people. They have thoughts and feelings. They love and play. They feel pain and fear. They like to be happy. When they are captured by people and held against their will in animal concentration camps (feed lots), they really don't like it. Would you?

So, please stop eating animals. It causes a lot of unnecessary suffering [SOURCE].

A good day to you.


Punk Rock Vegan Movie

The Punk Rock Vegan Movie by Moby is available free on YouTube, apparently.

The End.



The elements of Salvation are beginning to come together in The Religion. I don't want to have too many religious "tenets," otherwise it will be hard for most people to adhere to The Religion. However, since the goal is Salvation, the tenets must be such that a better physical, mental, and spiritual life is guaranteed. I have been diligently researching what these should be. It still won't be especially easy for most people, otherwise they would already be doing it. But it should be, and is, achievable.

In addition to daily aerobic exercise, a whole food (80%+) vegan (100%) plant based diet, and self care, for physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being, I have been made aware of a need for a complete eschewing* of online social media [SOURCE]. This tenet could potentially fall under the umbrella of self care. However, it is so mission critical to Salvation (physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being) that I think it needs to be its own tenet. That being said, I still think such things as avoiding/minimizing drugs/alcohol/tobacco can still fall under general self care, because it is common sense that those things do not sustain and maintain the physical, mental, and spiritual temple of the human body. 

It is not immediately obvious to most people that social media use is not only an addiction (more potent than heroin or nicotine...if you doubt that, try abstaining from it completely for two weeks), but it is destructive to compassion, empathy, and love, as well as draining those who use it of their self actualization potential. Social media reprograms your mind in toxic ways AND the Silicon Valley social media companies invade your privacy and sell you off, literally, to their advertisers. No good can come of social media. It needs to be avoided for optimal physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being.

So, The Religion's tenets for Salvation are:

1. Adherence to a whole food (80%+) vegan (100%) plant based diet. This provides physical, mental, and spiritual health benefits. It is healthy for the body and mind [SOURCE], protects the planet from climate change [SOURCE] and minimizes animal cruelty [SOURCE].
2. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise more days of the week than not (4+ days per week). The natural endorphins produced by the body in response to aerobic exercise are healing and protective, and they often give a euphoric and energizing "high."
3. Practice radical self care. Here are some tips for good self care.
4. Abstain from all social media [SOURCE].

I may come up with a 5th tenet soon. But the above four tenets are a good start.

*Eschew: deliberately avoid using; abstain from.

The End.


Neg Emo

I'll never understand why some people devote so much mental energy to fear and hatred. There is no return on investment from that. It just breeds more fear and hate, like a cancer that consumes human potential.

You know what does have a good return on investment? Eating ice cream (ideally, vegan ice cream). That's what.

The End.

Clean Blows

I had four BMs before noon today, all of them "clean blows," and I expect more to come before the day is done.

A clean blow is when a BM passes 100% cleanly from your butthole and leaves no trace of poop on the TP when you wipe. Clean blows are a common characteristic of the whole food plant based diet.

Today's clean blows were likely triggered by the massive bowl of whole and unprocessed fruit salad I ate for breakfast today. The soluble and insoluble fiber in fruit really gets things moving through the GI.

The End.



The key to a long and healthy life comprises:

1. A whole food 100% plant based diet.

2. Daily aerobic exercise.

3. Self care.

4. A sense of purpose.

5. Avoidance of drugs and alcohol.

A good day to you!

The End.


Too Much Food

I realized today that our kitchen is the opposite of bare. It's got too much food. So, I need to put a fortnight's moratorium on grocery shopping anything but the bare essentials. Then, we'll set about burning through the surplus food.


Time Boundaries

Time boundaries are a very useful tool. You can use them to achieve goals and you can use them to avoid roadblocks. One of the greatest applications of time boundaries is self care. I like to carve out two hours each day of the week for my own self care. I put my devices on "Do Not Disturb" mode and I get to it. It doesn't so much matter what I do for self care, as long as I don't let anything else interfere with it - like annoying interruptions. I figure the rest of the world can get by without me for two hours each day. And if it can't, then there are bigger problems afoot than I could ever hope to solve.

The End.

Some Facts

If you want to contribute to a better world:

1. Eat a plant based diet (practice kindness/compassion toward animals and the planet).
2. Don't be a dick (practice kindness/compassion toward others).
3. Practice good self care (practice kindness/compassion toward yourself).

Have a great day!

The End.


The Whole Food Plant Based Secret to Longevity

Hi friends. This is your weekly - possibly even monthly - reminder that the secret to health and wellness and longevity is to eat a whole food plant based diet at least 80% of the time (and a vegan diet 100% of the time). This allows you to enjoy some vegan junk food now and then. Never eat animal based foods or animal byproducts (milk, eggs, honey), because these foods are not only destructive to your health but they are exploitative to animals and they harm then planet. I am not lying. These are facts, You may not believe them to be, but no one cares. Eating plants shrinks your ecological footprint and makes you better, stronger, and healthier. It also eliminates an incredible amount of suffering by animals. It's easy to verify what I am saying with a bit of research on the Giant Internet Brain (Internet). I encourage you to do so, but you don't have to. You could just become a plant based vegan and trust in the process.

I bid thee a good day.


REVIEW: Jardin

I'd like to be able to give a good review to the Jardin vegan restaurant in Madison WI.

Don't get me wrong, the food tastes great. But there's not a lot of it on the plate. And between ordering it and eating it there is a long wait. It'd be a good place to take a classy date. Because at the end of the night your wallet will have much less weight. You can make reservations online, but don't arrive late. Or else they'll hand off your table to others who wait. That's the slate!

The End.



I'm not religious, but if I were, I would start my own religion with three simple tenets:

1. Eat a plant based diet.
2. Exercise daily.
3. Practice radical self care.

I don't think being kind and compassionate to everyone, including yourself, needs to be a formal tenet because:

1. That seems obvious.
2. That follows naturally from the tenets above.
3. I wouldn't want unkind and dispassionate people in my religion anyway.

Douchy people tend not to be plant based vegans as a general rule.




The year is off to a great start. I'm exercising daily and eating healthy. I feel amazing.


NY Rezzies

2023 is off to a good start. Chronologically, it started for me at 7 AM on Saturday, given that I was born in Melbourne Australia, the time zone for which is 17 hours ahead of Wisconsin's.

There was a significant risk that my well-established health and wellness plan, which I adhered to fairly well in 2022, might get derailed, due to unpredictable eating patterns and a plan to decorate holiday cookies with family on Sunday. But, surprisingly, I stayed within specifications for both diet and exercise (both of which comprise what is known summarily as Dark Magic).

Today is Monday, the second day of 2022, and the Dark Magic was off the rails, in no small measure because I spent about an hour putting the new Peloton bike trainer through its paces, trying out several of it's ride features. It's outdoor distance and duration rides are not as good as those on Rouvy, using my Bluetooth smart bike trainer in the basement. But from a workout perspective, the Peloton gets 'er done. I burned about 800 calories in total, enough to "buy" myself a bowl of cereal with fruit and flax, as a reward.

I would love to help people improve their nutrition and health in 2023, now that I have my functional nutrition counseling certification.



I found and made a couple good recipes this weekend. Here they are...

Consider going vegan in the new year. It's fun!

The End.