Visiting a Sanctuary

Podcast Episode Intro

Good morning Livingston, Texas! This is episode 020 of “Two Vegans on a Mission” Podcast. Thanks for joining us today! We’re going to talk about our KOA experience in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Then we’re going to talk about our visit to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, south of Houston, Texas.

And, then we’re going to talk about what we eat from our refrigerator when there are no vegan restaurants around. We’re going to give you tips on what to do when you are with family in a restaurant that’s not technically vegan, and how you can make it vegan so that you can continue to eat without harming animals and your health. Thanks for joining us and stay tuned!

Weekly intro

Louisa: Welcome to the “Two Vegans on a Mission” Podcast. I’m Louisa,and together with my husband,Michael, and our dog. Sugar, we’re traveling and living full-time in a Winnebago View Class C motorhome; visiting farm sanctuaries, animal rescues, and animal shelters all across the country.

Each week we’ll share what new camping spot we’ve found, what great vegan meals we’ve eaten, and our latest vegan activist activities. We are looking for cheap sleeps and good vegan eats along the way, so please join us as we strive to inspire, educate, and support all those who are trying to save their health, save the animals, and save our planet!

KOA Review

Louisa: Today’s episode is going to start with a review of the KOA campground in Alamogordo, New Mexico. This was so fun for us because we finally were able to camp with our family. We took three girls, the little grand girls and their neighbor friend and their mom with us overnight up to White Sands in Alamogordo.

It was really a great trip, only about an hour one way. Then we stayed at the campground which is a KOA. We don’t usually like to stay at KOAs because they’re pretty crowded and we like to boondock a whole lot more but, because we had family we wanted to make sure that everybody was comfortable.

Louisa: The first thing I want to talk about is we splurged and got a patio site. That means we spent about $45 for the night, which is really not a bad price, and we were able to get a patio that had a light pole, really nice pole with a light at the top so you could keep the light on for a little while, at least until the dark hours were required to turn it off at ten o’clock.

It had a fire pit and we bought some wood up there so that we were able to put a fire on, which we don’t usually do either. There’s a picnic table, there was a playground, and of course, showers and this one has a pool but it doesn’t open until May because of the weather.

Then we were able to use the coffee corner inside the office store area and in the morning the girls had hot chocolate and we had coffee; all for a nice little donation that we were given so that they were able to keep buying the hot chocolate for other kids.

Louisa: We had 30 amp hookup and we have a slide out, so this was really nice for having a big group like that. There were six of us and so what I’d like to just tell you is our camper now has a dinette that the table folds down and then the cushions from the seats lay onto the flat table part and makes it a nice space for two people.

Our granddaughter, Aiyla, and her mom slept on that area, which was comfortable for them. They’re not really tall people or big people, so it was comfortable for them.

Above the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat, we have another area over the cab bed where the other two girls spent the night and the little ten-year old, Alia, and her eight-year old neighbor. They were up there and very cozy. Nobody fell out, thank goodness, even though I had read in the blogs on Facebook that yeah, sometimes the little grand-babies will roll out, but ours did not so that was good!

Louisa: They liked the little light up there where they could read before falling asleep and then the curtains cover them so that they feel like they’re in their own little space and it was actually quite cozy but not crowded.

Then of course, we have our Murphy bed that we pull out and the two of us sleep on a queen size bed. We have curtains that go all the way around so it feels very private there and if anybody needed to get up in the night, they were able to walk past the bed without seeing us or us seeing them into the bathroom…which is private and nice and big enough for everybody to use.

Louisa: That was a really nice evening. We were outside after dark with a fire and we made hot dogs with cheese and guacamole and ketchup, and yes, they were all vegan so it was really tasty and a lot of fun.

In the morning we got up and we went into the office store area where they have a little coffee corner, so we were able to have some coffee for the adults and all three girls had hot chocolate, so that was really yummy and a lot of fun. They played on the playground for a few minutes and then we headed off to White Sands where we had a ball!

White Sands National Monument

Louisa: Actually, it looks like a big beach because it’s all sand and you take the sliders and you slide down them. Really was a great time so we highly recommend going to White Sands National Park and having some fun sliding if you are in the area.

We give the KOA in Alamogordo, New Mexico five thumbs up or five campfires, whatever you want to say, because we really enjoyed it there. The people were very friendly, very helpful, and very nice and so we’re going to probably stay there again in the future if we want to go “glamping” with the grand-babies and their parents.

Louisa: Now stay tuned as we come back after this break to talk about our visit to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary.

Rowdy Girl Sanctuary Visit

Louisa: I was so excited that we were able to coordinate a visit to the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary with our trip across Texas and into Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama where we’re heading for the RV Entrepreneur Summit next week. We’ll tell you all about that next time on the podcast, but on this episode we get to talk about the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary.

You may have heard of it. It’s been quite popular in the news. I have heard about it from the different videos I watch on veganism and activism and then they were featured on an Ellen episode once and then Jane Unchained has spoken about them.

Shout out!

Louisa: When I saw that we were heading east past San Antonio after visiting our son, I said hey, let’s see if we can coordinate a visit. I called them up and I was able to speak with Celeste, so shout out to Celeste, thank you for getting us in there!

Dr. Will Tuttle Workshop

It just turns out that we were able to show up on the day that Dr. Will Tuttle was going to be giving a workshop. We made arrangements to drive there and as we drove up, we were met by Tommy who is Renee’s husband. (the two that own the sanctuary) He was very gracious and showed us where to park our RV. They were just about ready to start the talk with Dr. Tuttle on his World Peace Diet.

If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it. It’s not a cookbook, it’s not about dieting, it’s all about world peace and the different elements that we would need to make sure we have world peace. He gave us a talk for about three hours and it was very, very riveting and so Michael is going to tell you a little bit about that.

Michael: It was absolutely amazing meeting Dr. Will Tuttle. I didn’t realize that he was a zen monk. He’s been featured in numerous radio, TV, online, presentations. He has taught at university levels and even with all of that, he just was so casual, professional, and just extremely knowledgeable in all subjects related to veganism and environmentalism.

He was well versed in health, nutrition, and again, just made everybody feel relaxed, took questions, and talked for a straight hour. I believe he could’ve talked for ten hours and we would’ve been just touching the surface.

Michael: Also, his wife was there and she added tips on vegan cooking and gardening and clothing, and it just made for a really nice casual learning experience at the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary.

If you get an opportunity, whether you hear Dr. Tuttle online, on TV, or at one of his lectures, please listen and he always will give you some tidbits, information that you hadn’t even been thinking about regarding veganism.

Louisa: Then of course, after lunch we had another hour and a half with him and he talked about being vegan activists. He took questions from the audience. It was really very nice.

Then we went home and we watched Cowspiracy again for the fifth time, and he is featured in that movie! So, if you haven’t seen the documentary Cowspiracy, we highly recommend that as well. That was fun and in a future podcast I hope to interview Dr. Will Tuttle in person, so look forward to that.

Vegan lunch at the sanctuary

Louisa: Next, I want to talk about the lunch that we were provided with. It was really fun to hear Dr. Tuttle but then it was also so nice to be in the house and having the meal being cooked in the background. You could smell the smells and you knew that it was vegan and so we didn’t have to worry about “oh, can we eat this or should we ask for that?”

It’s always relaxing to know that you don’t have to worry about where your food is coming from. Hannah and Michael were making the lunch for us and Michael said that it was from a cookbook called Thug Kitchen Party Grub by Thug Kitchen. That’s T-H-U-G Kitchen.

Louisa: It has some of those words in it that I can’t really say on our podcast because we are a clean family podcast! But, if you look that one up on Amazon, it’s called Thug Kitchen Party Grub Cookbook and the recipe that Michael and Hannah made for us was delicious and something that I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to fix! Only because I’m not real versed in how to cook with tempeh yet, but my husband Michael might want to tell you all about it.

Michael: The tempeh was delicious. It was coated with a spicy sauce and then we had homemade bread, which they offered us onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and then I topped it off with a vegan mayonnaise and we had homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies! So delicious! They had baked chips with that. It was just wonderful not having to worry what’s on your plate…one it’s vegan, and as I’m coming to understand, every time you eat a … Literally when you eat a vegan meal, you’re saving the lives of the animals, the environment, and your own health!

Louisa: Speaking of the animals, this was the highlight of the day was being able to have a mini tour of the sanctuary. The Rowdy Girl Sanctuary has 124 animals that they care for. Now it used to be a cattle ranch and so things were not taken care of in the same way they are now, meaning the animals were raised with love and they were then sent to the sale barn where they would then go off to the slaughter house and be eaten eventually by us and other people who ate animals at the time!

Louisa: But now it’s a sanctuary and it’s so very refreshing to see these animals in an environment where everybody is just so happy to have them around. We got to meet Leo, he’s a sheep and he was probably … I don’t know, he’s up to my waist in height and you can see his picture on Instagram because Rowdy Girl Sanctuary has their own Instagram page.

There’s a picture of Michael with Leo the sheep. Now Leo acted just like a dog. He was chasing around, running around, but he stuck close to his mama, which is Renee, and also to Rika, who is the woman who we met there at the workshop with Will Tuttle.

Louisa: Rika is a mom who’s son or daughter, I can’t remember which one, was a member of FFA and brought home this baby lamb that they were going to then raise up as a project in the FFA group at school. But, she fell in love with the lamb and couldn’t give it away in the end and know that it was going off to be somebody’s meal!

So she was able to give it to the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, to Renee and Tommy and now this sheep is huge and it acts so nice. It’s huge, it runs at you and it’s a little bit scary as it comes down the path but it stops when it gets to you and it likes to be petted and it likes to be around people and it has a wonderful home now. Michael has a picture of Leo with him on the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary Instagram page, so go see that if you like.

Louisa: One of my favorites was Annalise the goat and Annalise is … Talk about personality. She was running, jumping, trying to get the attention, and she’s very pretty but she had these horns that were a little intimidating! So, as she came at you just to be around you, you had to watch out because she might poke you with those horns but she was really quite fun as a goat. I really liked seeing her personality.

Then of course, my favorite though is the chicken! Chirp Chirp was the chicken that I got to hold and if you go to our Instagram page, which is at HeavenInAClassC, you get to see me holding Chirp Chirp and petting her.

Louisa: She’s so soft and she has the waddle, which is that red part underneath her chin, that is just soft and very red and vibrant. Go see the pictures. You’ll fall in love with the chicken, too, and try not to eat what it is that they have to use every couple months to reproduce.

Those are those eggs that people like to scramble. Not something that you really want to do once you realize where they are coming from! In a future podcast we’re going to talk about why dairy and eggs are not something that you want to be eating.

Louisa: But in the meantime, Michael’s going to tell you his impression about the animal side of the sanctuary.

Michael: It was amazing seeing the animals running free in a sanctuary and not suffering on a feed lot. You could see their absolute beautiful personalities! The lamb was running around just like any domesticated dog or cat that you would have!

The thing that struck me was that his owner, when she came up, this animal knew who she was and didn’t want her to leave and absolutely in my mind pointed out that every single animal deserves to be treated with kindness and respect and not eaten! These animals were saved, well taken care of, and we ought to give all animals an opportunity… one, to be in the wild and not have to be saved in a sanctuary and just treated with kindness and respect.

Louisa: And of course, in a later podcast I hope to get Tommy and Renee on so that we can get them to tell us their story from their own point of view.

Louisa: Next up on the podcast though we’re going to change gears and talk about what food we have in our fridge because we didn’t go to very many vegan restaurants in the past week so we still had to eat, so stay tuned.

Vegan meal and preparation

Louisa: In actuality, we did go out to dinner, of course, with our son in San Antonio and we wanted to try something new! We went to a Mexican restaurant that did not actually advertise having any vegan options.

When we sat down and said oh, could we please have something that was like a bean burrito with no greasy lard in the beans? Then I asked the waiter if he could give us some veggies on the side or in a veggie burrito and they were very accommodating.

People find out that we don’t eat animals and we are polite about it. I don’t think we go in there and say hey, what can we have that’s not a dead animal on our plate? We just ask for something that is vegetarian and we say please … We start with the word vegetarian because people are familiar with that and then I say, but no cheese please and I ask how the beans are prepared and I ask it nicely.

Nobody ever gets rude and annoyed with me, I don’t think anyway, because they go out of their way to make a nice veggie burrito and it was really delightful!

Louisa: That was how we make sure we get to eat what we can eat when we go out. We just talk to the waiter and then the waiter goes and talks to the chef usually and then they are able to make something that we can have, so that’s what we did in San Antonio.

But then what we do is we come to a campground now like we are in Livingston, Texas waiting to go tomorrow to take care of some RV registration issues. When you buy a new RV you have to register it in your hometown and since we are domiciled in Livingston, Texas.

That’s why we’re here. Tomorrow we’re going to be doing that. In the meantime, we have to eat and so Michael is going to cook because he likes to cook and he’s going to tell you what is on the menu.

Brown rice & vegeys

Michael: I really like to prepare things that are quick, easy, vegan, and delicious! One of the meals I like to rotate is with brown rice and there are a couple kind of brown rices you can get. You can get microwavable brown rice from Sprouts or Trader Joes or Whole Foods. They only take three to four minutes to microwave and they’re very nutritious.

The other way, you can, of course, if you have an Instapot or a regular pot, you can put a cup of brown rice and remember to put two cups of water and let it steam up for about 15 to 20 minutes for your brown rice that way. Again, I prefer the microwavable brown rice.

Michael: Then what I always do is really important is to add tons of vegetables. This particular meal with the brown rice I had red, yellow, and green peppers, and onions. I always add a green leafy vegetable.

Tonight will be kale and arugula and I just put in tons of greens and they cook down and you won’t even really know that they’re there. Once in a while we’ll add some variety and spice. Each one of these places like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Sprouts has frozen mandarin crispy chicken. It’s golden tempura chicken pieces, which are basically soy and it has an Asian inspired citrus sauce on top of it. You add that to your rice and your veggies and they just add wonderful flavor.

Michael: I always add the spices. One of our favorite spices we add is from Kirkland or Costco. It’s an organic no salt seasoning. It has a blend of 21 organic spices and ingredients from around the world so go get you a big bottle of that! It really takes care of all your spices immediately.

Louisa: And of course, we add turmeric per Dr. Greger into any meal that we can add it to because it’s supposed to be good for us! Also, I just want to recap, this is a brown rice, veggie, chicken stir fry that is really delightful and a great way to replace chicken if you’re trying to do that.

Go to Costco, go to Whole Foods, Sprouts, and what was the other place? Oh yes, Trader Joes, our favorite stores of all time. It’s easy to find food to eat and there are lots of cookbooks out there and we really hope you continue on this journey.

Louisa: That wraps it up for this week’s episode of “Two Vegans on a Mission” podcast. Join us next week as we travel through Louisiana to Mississippi and into Alabama for the RV Entrepreneur Summit that’s being held at Lake Guntersville, Alabama.

We look forward to seeing a bunch of our friends and making a bunch of new ones as we continue on this journey of full time RV living and being vegan.

As always, we thank you for listening and please follow us on Instagram @HeavenInAClassC or you can go to our website and read a transcript of this podcast, it’s www.VegansOnAMission.com . You can leave a comment there, ask a question there, and let us know how you’re doing on your journey to save the planet, save the animals, and save your health! See you next week. Be vegan!

How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.

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