Camping Out

Scamps. SCAMPS. I am beside myself right meow. We are THREE DAYS AWAY from THIS.

I mean, really. REALLY.

I have been waiting for this ever since Netflix announced they were doing it. Kristin Wiig, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Jon Hamm, EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH THAT I LOVE AND ADORE. SFW, I blog for Netflix. I don’t freaking blog about shit I don’t like, (unless I truly hate it like that one book that one time.) Everyone and their stepbrother, (who may also be a bear and a billionaire, and possibly the head of a motorcycle gang intent on saving some chit) has been waiting for this release. (TWSS)

It couldn’t come at a better time because,

and I’m not going outside for ANYTHING. I’ve even taken to working out at home–mostly. ME! WORKING.OUT.AT.HOME. With my kids and my dog, and the insanity…Just leaving the house feels like a burden that carries the weight of my underboob sweat. It just does. Thankfully, I live in the land of Amazon Fresh and Peapod and Fresh Direct and Thrive Market, and Urban Organic, and most importantly–delivery liquor because,

I mean, dammmmmnnn, I’m even sending my laundry out. Even my delicates. IT’S QUITE POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE, RIGHT NOW, IS HANDLING MY PANTIES. And guess what?

So, even though I am nowhere close to a personal trainer, (unless we’re training to how to bribe preschoolers with candy corn, or possibly training for a rousing game of flip cup) I still came up with an At-Home workout for everyone. Completed entirely with .gifs from the cast of Wet, Hot, American Summer: First Day of Camp.


First, you’re going to need to limber up.

Michael Ian Black is perhaps a bit robot-y, but who GAF? not me?

Now? Power walk like you fucking mean it. Ten minutes, or however long it takes you to look amazing.

Please, don’t neglect your wig.

Swing those legs, scamps! Those man pebbles and ladyflowers aren’t going to fan themselves!

Feel those feelings. It burns like, an easy 6 calories.


Thrust it like you’re making babies.

It’s best to wear cut-off jorts at all times. Natural fibers only.

Now things get really hot…

So, time to refuel.

repeat, like, enough for eight episodes.

Now, you know I don’t eat McDonald’s. I’m pretty sure the only vegan item on their menu is the apple slices. So, that’s not my refueling option of choice after my nightly makeout sesh with Bradley Cooper.

So I made something that goes really well with beer, because, don’t tell me you’re not going to drink a few while watching this wondrous extravaganza. They’re vegan, but once again, I gave non-vegan options.

Faux-ritos and Creamy Cilantro Dip

Faux-ritos and creamy cilantro dip


by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Keywords: bake

Ingredients (4 servings)

    dusting for baked tortilla chips

    • 2 tsp nutritional yeast or 2 tbsp crumbled parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp celery salt
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin

    for the chips

    • 8-10 small flour tortillas
    • cooking spray (all-natural)

    for the dip

    • 1/3 cup vegan mayo I use JUST MAYO, or regular mayo
    • 2 tbsp frozen recaito
    • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


    preheat oven (or toaster oven, like I used) to 400F)

    slice tortillas into strips

    arrange strips in a single layer on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet

    spray with cooking spray

    bake for 8 minutes or until crisp

    while baking, whisk together toppings for chips

    remove strips from oven and spray again

    toss in a bowl with the dust

    for the dip

    thaw the recaito overnight in a separate bowl in the fridge

    stir with mayo and red wine vinegar


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    Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.
    Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.

    Auralgasms #5



    It is no secret that I have mostly reserved my audiobook enjoyment to works of fiction. There is just something about layered voices telling a gripping tale that fills me with a pregnancy of want. Simply put–tell me a story.

    ready for my bedtime story. get to it.

    However, in the last month, I’ve been absurdly busy with my personal scholarship, and desirous of the words held in the books I wanted to re-read, but my time was limited. My recent conversion to a fully plant-based diet made me want to read the books that held this conviction in my mind.

    The Omnivore’s Dilemma

    In Defense of Food

    Salt Sugar Fat

    So I decided to throw caution to the wind, and listen to a non-fiction audiobook. I’ve done it before and enjoyed it, with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and The Devil in the White City, but those books are so…gah…not typical–different–almost fiction in the manner in which they’re told. I never really placed those in the same category as other non-fic books.

    When I purchased the books I wanted to re-read on audible/scribd, I paid no attention to the narrator. For me, this is akin to Sarah Jessica Parker just “throwing something on” to go to a premiere. I’m fucking picky with my narrators. A bad narrator can RUIN a book for me. I’ll either stop the story and never pick it up again, or I’ll switch to the words on pages version so fast it’ll make your head spin.

    The first book I queued up was Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It’s an old favorite of mine. I’ve read and re-read it several times over. It’s one of those books that is the perfect sort of splint for your backbone. It is the gird for my plant-based loins. It answers a simple question: “If I can eat virtually anything, what should I eat?” That’s a BFD.

    I downloaded the book and went about preparing dinner. (because, meta-life, yo.) I quietly chopped vegetables as I the words soothed me.

    About fifteen minutes into my dinner preparation and reading/listening, I thought to myself homeboy sounds just like Leto Atreideswtf?! Sure enough, scrolling through my library, separated by narrator, I realize HOMEBOY IS LETO ATREIDES. That moment led me to scroll through, and realize he’s also Larson’s narrator, and Moss’s, and damn it all to hell, he’s the narrator of the book I’ve been putting off, (which was hugely and highly rec’d to me by a close friend) The Doll Maker

    BTW, I’ve started The Doll Maker, and it’s scaring the fuck out of me–as expected. THANKS FOR THAT.

    Who is the narrator?

    Scott Brick.

    He’s won a few audies, and racked up a fuckton of articles on sites like Audiofile, and the WSJ.

    But the real reason to listen to him?

    BECAUSE YOU WANT HIM TO READ TO YOU. This is the prevailing theme in my auralgasms posts. Do you want this narrator to read to you, and why?

    Obviously, the answer (for me) is yes, or he’d not be featured, but it’s for very specific reasons. To me, Scott Brick’s style of narration harkens back to the golden age of radio. That of Orson Welles and “The War of the Worlds.”  It’s fantastical melodrama. It’s gripping and damn fun. When he narrates nonfic, it’s relaxed and easy to listen to. Even with challenging subject matter–it’s easy to listen to.

    I am truly enjoying listening to a book about how we’ve been completely fucked sideways by the tenets of capitalism; and about how big agri-business does not give a single fuck that they put profit above everything–even sick children.  Sure, I’m getting fist-smashingly angry all over again, but not at the narrator or the author–at fucking Cargill and General Mills.

    His voice is alarmingly disarming. You just kind of sit back and say, “well, huh. how about that?” Then you keep listening. You’re absolutely compelled to keep listening.

    When I was doing research into his narrating life, so that I could design a recipe for this post, I found out something interesting: his partner is THE FUCKING BLENDER GIRL. I mean, I’m a food blogger, of COURSE I follow the blender girl. More than that, he’s FUCKING PLANT-BASED. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! KISMET! It was totally the universe telling me to write this post! 

    The recipe was easy to think about after that. I give you the recipe inspired by this narrator:

    Cuban Chickpea and Plantain Burgers

    (ok, he’s not Cuban, but still…)

    Listen to your gut. #Auralgasms and Cuban Chickpea-Plantain burgers. #Audiobooks #vegan #FitFluential Click To Tweet



    Cuban Chickpea and Plantain Veggie Burgers

    by Cat Bowen

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Keywords: bake entree sandwich gluten-free kosher vegan vegetarian

    Ingredients (9 patties)

    • 1 very ripe plantain
    • 1, 15.5 oz can chickpeas-drained
    • 1/2 ripe avocado
    • 4 scallions, chopped
    • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
    • juice of half of a lime
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp coriander
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 3/4-1 cup binder of your choice–breadcrumbs, tortilla crumbs, coconut flour, dry puffed amaranth–ground, etc etc etc


    Preheat oven to 350

    puree plantain with spices in a food processor

    add remaining ingredients and pulse until just a bit smoother than very chunky slowly add in binder of your choice, until it looks like you could form it into balls

    form into baseball sized balls

    flatten into 3/4″ thick patties

    place on cookie sheet lined with parchment

    bake for 10-15 minutes

    serve as you would a traditional burger or in a lettuce wrap

    to freeze leftover patties, wrap first in plastic wrap, and then foil, and then place in a ziptop bag.

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    Run By Fruiting

    Over a month ago, I switched my diet to an entirely whole-foods, plant-based diet. I was not strict, had dairy at times, and just yesterday I had a piece of sashimi, I have not yet started truly scrutinizing labels, but there it is.

    And–dear G-d do I feel better. I’m not anti-meat. But, BUT, I know the way most Westernized societies consume animal products, and the quality of products they consume, is not sustainable.  It’s also unkind. I don’t want to be unkind. Not to the animals, not to the planet.

    I was a vegetarian for ten years, I did it all wrong. I ate a fast-food diet of fries and junk. I ate a fuckton of processed foods. Macaroni and Cheese, canned soups, bottled salad dressing. I gained weight, looked like crap, broke out all of the time. My hormones were INSANE. My PCOS went off the charts. My endometriosis was insanely painful. Again, hormones.

    The last few months, I was eating a lot more meat. I was convincing myself that I needed more meat because I was preparing for the Boston Marathon, and damnit, I needed meat, right? Sure, I was feeling more sluggish, but HEY! Training for a marathon, here! Completely normal to feel tired! About three weeks before the marathon, ovary pain kept me up all night. It’s happened before, I know what’s going on when it does.

    About a week before Boston, I had one of the worst lady months of my life. Severe pain, nausea, migraines, shaking instability, weakness. I started feeling really, really bad (passing-out, bad) about 3 days before Marathon Monday, so I went to get some blood work done.  My hemoglobin was so low I needed to get a blood transfusion. My hematocrit was pathetic.

    Or in my lady basket. Whatevs.

    I couldn’t run. I was depressed. My PCOS had robbed me of the chance by deciding that April was cyst-rupture month.

    Enter Rebekah Borucki and Danielle Diamond. *at once, a meditative three-way. 😉 They were starting a vegetarian challenge the very day I was supposed to run the Boston Marathon. It felt like as good a time as any. As good an idea as any. So I joined the #XenBliss challenge, and I am so glad I did.

    In the group, there was a lot of talk about going completely vegan. While I’m about 90% vegan, I don’t foresee myself being 100% vegan. Occasional sustainable sushi, vegetarian-rennet based cheese, and humanely raised eggs/milk will probably remain in very small ways in my diet. Mostly in baking, let’s be honest.

    While I previously watched many documentaries and read a lot of literature on the benefits of a plant-based diet, I never took it seriously for me. I mean, I didn’t eat much meat to begin with. I wasn’t being so bad on the environment–on myself.

    40 days meat-free has me re-thinking my thinking. And I’m back to Michael Pollan’s famous quote “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

    Also, plantain chips are from G-d, and serve as proof that he loves us.

    How’s my health now?

    I’m back at the gym. My doctor is superduper impressed, and I feel AMAZING.

    So I re-watched some documentaries, watched some new ones, read some new literature, and I’m educating myself. I’m not a nutritionist, and this is entirely anecdotal, but the environmental impacts are real, and I really want my kids to have a great earth to grow up in.

    Plus, my favorite vampire was a vegetarian.

    Just to let you guys in on what I’ve been watching, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites that are available to stream on Netflix.

    For the recipe to go with this overly-preachy post? A salad that you WGAF that it’s vegan, because it tastes like a miracle.

    Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad.

    Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad

    Why plant powered is working for me and Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad. #StreamTeam #Vegan #fitfluential #plantpowered Click To Tweet Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad

    Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad

    by Cat Bowen

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: marinate/chill/6 hours

    Keywords: vegan vegetarian

    Ingredients (serves 8-12)

    • 1 can rinsed kidney beans
    • 1 can rinsed chickpeas
    • 1 cup frozen, thawed peas
    • 2 avocados, cubed
    • 2 mangos, cubed
    • 5 scallions, chopped (the whole thing, save the root)
    • 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
    • 5 stalks celery, chopped

    for the dressing

    • juice of one lime
    • 3 tbsp recaito
    • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or more evoo)
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
    • 1 tsp chopped garlic
    • 1/2 tsp hot sauce of your choice


    whisk together dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl

    add all remaining chopped veg and beans to the bowl

    toss and marinate in the fridge for at least a few hours or overnight.

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    Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.
    Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.

    The Lies Our Elders Tell Us…and Waffles.

    Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I’ve not been able to work out for a FREAKING MONTH, and it’s driving me batshit insane. I’ve become somewhat more of a fidgety mess. Most things in my life have suffered for my lack of movement. Being on the *insertsportsingacronymforhealthrelatedbenchinghere* list, has taken its toll. … Read more…

    The Marathon That Wasn’t.

    Well, it’s Wednesday. Today is the day I was planning on my Boston Marathon recap. Instead, I’m sitting under a pile of warm blankets, sipping water, and waiting for my next transfusion/infusion appointment. But let’s go back to Friday. On Friday night, I was really quite anxious. I couldn’t put my finger on the issue. … Read more…