Tag Archives: health

How To Live A More Organic Lifestyle

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Hello Dear Readers,

Here’s a new wonderful piece written by Jess Walter. Enjoy! 

Gourds

Veganism becomes more popular every year, and now around 26% of Americans consider a vegan diet to be a very healthy lifestyle option – but more and more vegans are taking steps to live an organic lifestyle as well. From growing your own vegetables to shopping at the farmer’s market, there are lots of ways to go organic, and doing so will reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that you consume.

If you’re a vegan who is ready to take the next step, we can help. Here are three ways to embrace organic living. 

Buy Organic Self Care Products

Lots of cosmetic products contain harmful chemicals, including your shampoo and body wash, so it can be beneficial for your health to switch to organic cosmetic products. You can even replace your hair dye products with organic hair color treatments, as these products don’t contain ammonia or bleach. A good organic hair color treatment will even give your hair an extra nutrient boost, helping to make sure that your hair always looks shiny and healthy.

Read The Labels

Lots of prepackaged foods contain products that aren’t organic, so if you are doing your weekly grocery shop and you’re not sure what the food contains, take the time to read the label. Check out the nutrition panel and the ingredients, and if you see any products that you don’t recognize, then put the food back – or take a picture of the ingredients so that you can find out more about them online. This can vastly help to reduce your chemical intake.

Consider Getting Your Vegetables From A New Source

You can buy organic fruit and vegetables in most store, but local producers and farmers markets are more likely to stock a wide range of organic products at affordable prices. This means that it will be easier for you to buy more organic products, or you could even go a step further by growing your own fruit and vegetables at home. This means that you know everything that you are eating is organic, and this also helps to promote a more sustainable form of living.

These three simple tips are easy to include, and mean that you will be living a much more organic lifestyle! It doesn’t have to be a difficult task to be healthier; a few small changes is all it takes.

Thank you so much, Jess! I greatly appreciate you!!!

Feel free to leave us a like or a comment below if you have any other suggestions or ideas or simply found this helpful too! 

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Alcoholism vs. Meat Eating

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Hello Vegalicious Ones and Happy Halloween,

How does alcoholism and being a meat eater relate? Well, I have been mulling this idea over for a couple of weeks now and this morning, at 5 am after feeding the dog and cat, I just couldn’t go back to bed because of this post…so here are my thoughts on the topic. This is a post that I will be returning to work on because I’m sure I’ll get more insights over the next few days and weeks.

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How many times have you heard a meat eater say, “I just could not go vegetarian or vegan because I love “my meat” ? vs. the alcoholic  who says, “I can’t give up drinking because it relaxes me after work, makes me feel __________ “(fill in the blank) or whatever. If you’re a vegan reading this, you’ve more than likely heard this excuse quite a few times.

man eating turkey drinking beer

The meat eating addict typically asks, “What’s wrong with eating meat?” vs. the alcoholic saying, “What’s wrong with drinking? Everyone does it! I don’t drink that much. I only drink occasionally…”Ahem! Yea right, you show up red nosed and smelling like alcohol to your VIP job one too many times…and now you’ve lost your job once again, but you complain and tell others that it’s “Their fault …because they are losers!” You also complain that your friends and family are not there for you when you call and beg for money, which would be akin to dumping money into a black hole! Meat eaters say things very similar, like “I don’t eat that much meat or I only eat chicken!” Meanwhile, 56 BILLION farmed animals are killed each year by humans. Tell me again, how you’re not eating that much meat and not addicted, please!

Alcoholics get very defensive about their drinking habits, but so does meat eaters about their eating habits. During this cold season, woe those of you who try to say something to a sick coworker…even if it is with the best of intent…and you tell that person to stay away from yogurt or drinking milk because it is known to worsen congestion and encourages mucus/phlegm production. Well, you might just be in for someone’s full on rageful outburst! (I’m speaking from experience, so don’t go there…It’s not worth it! Let them suffer and keep your mouth shut! Mine flew open…in one instance… but trust me, I wish I hadn’t! I wanted to help, but it was taken the wrong way.) Then you come to realize as with the alcoholic friend(s) that…

Young Alcoholics

…you can’t save them! Alcoholics have to reach rock bottom before they want to change. No one can make an alcoholic stop drinking! That’s a fact! I have one friend who is a recovering alcoholic and we’ve had long conversations about a friend with a serious problem. The advice he gave me was to eventually walk away from my friend, which I’ve sadly had to do. Abusive behavior, whether in my personal life or at work, will not be tolerated…especially when you’re just trying to help someone get better! However, they do not see it as such! They see it as an attack! And when you think about it, meat eaters react the same exact way! I truly believe that most meat eaters have to reach their first heart attack, get cancer or develop diabetes, before they start looking for other answers and realize that there’s plenty of other delicious, healthier options to eat and drink out there!

AA Meeting

Vegans talk about getting their blinders removed to the the truth about factory farming, animal abuse/rights and meat consumption. Alcoholics talk about similar things, like the photo above so beautifully illustrates – wearing a bag over ones head and being ruled by alcohol before reaching the bottom and knowing that they must change before they literally kill themselves. Meat eaters, on the other hand, are ruled by flesh eating and often combine it with alcohol!

One has to ask oneself, “Can I go a day without eating meat? or drinking alcohol?” How about two days? If the answer is “No” then there’s definitely addiction going on!

steak eater

One day, I realized what a terrible, gross and absurd thing eating meat was…to eat someone else’s flesh! YUCK! Stop and think about that for a moment!…….You’re not a meat eating zombie nor a cannibal, right!? Let’s hope not! Yea, I know zombies don’t exist, but one can imagine…and besides we were not designed for it. Nor were we designed to smoke cigarrettes nor drink enormous amounts of alcohol. Common sense would tell you that it is simply bad for your health…and with so much information out there on the dangers of it – one would assume that most people would “get it”! The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently declared that hot dogs, bacon, and processed meats are carcinogenic, but will that stop most people from eating it? I seriously doubt it because addiction, whether it is to alcohol or meat, will rule until the individual encounters such a life altering blow that leaves them with no other options than to stop!

Not alcoholics

What excuses have you heard? What excuses, for still consuming animal products or drinking alcohol, do you have? Are you ready to change that or do you have to reach rock bottom or encounter the words by a physicians such as, “You have to stop now or you will die!” This has been told both to a friends mother and to another close friend of mine. One because of diet and the other due to alcoholism! What will it take for you or a loved one to change?

Chained to alchol...or meat?
              Chained to alchol…or meat?

Further Links to check out:

Hot Dogs, Bacon, and other Processed Meats Cause Cancer… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/26/hot-dogs-bacon-and-other-processed-meats-cause-cancer-world-health-organization-declares/
Meat and Dairy Eaters Anonymous Is Alcoholics Anonymous For Vegans, World Health Organization Declares http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2015/06/03/meat-and-dairy-eaters-anonymous-is-alcoholics-anonymous-for-vegans/

Vegan Dining in Charlotte, NC

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Who would travel across the United States on their day off to rendezvous with a European friend? Well, of course I would! I left Seattle Friday morning and arrived in Charlotte, NC to just in time for dinner. At first, when this trip was presented to me, I hadn’t expected to find any vegan restaurants in this part of the country, but I was pleasantly surprised! Actually, there are three or more vegan restaurants in Charlotte. They have more vegan restaurant options than in the city I currently live in. However, I believe that it is a growing trend everywhere in this country as demand for cruelty free and healthier dining options become more of the norm and more people start realizing that it is not only better for their health eating this way, but also for our precious planet! Not only is it a win-win situation, it is simply also smart business for the future!

Luna's

We studied the menu’s for each of the three restaurants in Charlotte (Bean, Fern, and Luna’s Living Kitchen) and settled on going to Luna’s Living Kitchen. We were definitely not disappointed. First, we started with an appetizer of  Sweet Potato Sushi roll with red bell peppers, cucumbers, arugula wrapped with sweet potato rice and nori leaves, garnished with lightly spiced chili sauce. This appetizer was incredibly delicious and the dipping sauce simply outstanding! My friend, who isn’t a vegan, had a look of sheer delight on his face after the first bite, which was priceless! He said, “I had no idea that vegan food could taste this good!”

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Then it came time for the main meal. I had ordered the “Skinny Witch” burger “wrapped in collard leaves w/ cucumber, greens, an bill’s local ‘piccleville’ pickle relish”. My friend got a kick out of the title, but it was just as delish! Seen here with a raw beet salad. We shared! 

V Burger

Modeling V Burger

My friend went for the Pad Thai, which consisted of crisp zucchini and sweet potato noodles, bean sprouts, purple cabbage and bell peppers served with almond butter pad thai sauce – garnished with fresh cilantro and a dash of their spicy sambal sauce. YUM!

V Pad Thai

The interior of Luna’s is quite spacious and very relaxing! I was impressed with the style and decor. Have a look!

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Luna's II

The picture below was after everyone had left. We were among the last to leave.
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I had to convince my friend that we should have dessert despite the fact that we were both full after this meal…and it certainly did not disappoint. Here is the Lemon Berry “Cheese” Cake…

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…and which I, of course, had to model! The “cheese cake” was perfectly balanced in all its flavors and so delicious that it should have been illegal! SO, Vegalicious ones, if you make it out to Charlotte, North Carolina one day, Luna’s Living Kitchen is one place you don’t want to miss! 
Have a Wonderful Vegalicious Week!
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Dessert

Bzz! Bzz! Bzz! Süße Hummelbiene!

Ignite Your Passion!

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I have a pep talk for you today! I want to talk about committing to yourself and to your health goals starting now! Most of us start out the new year with good intentions. Some of you wrote long new years resolutions, but often these don’t seem to stick for more than a few weeks. All of us can get caught up in the daily “rigmarole” with work, duties outside of work, etc. etc. And not only do we get caught, we get stuck! I want to help you get unstuck and to feel more energized and loved! 

Self-Care

First, the only person who can really give you the love you deserve and want is you! So even if you’re single reading this or if you’re not…you need to go no further than your mirror and take a good look! You are also the only person who can get yourself “unstuck” and move forward towards your goals! How? In the book 21-Day Weight Loss  Kickstart, Dr. Neal Barnard says, “Focus on making short term changes…these changes will lead to long-term habits!” He is right! It’s the day to day little changes that lead to long lasting results! So for example, let’s say you need to get your butt back to the gym, start by going two days a week. Then three…and so on! Build up and don’t give up! Put the dates in your calendar and stick to it! If you don’t plan it…it’s never going to happen!  We forget, we make excuses…La di da di da! I confess! I’ve been there and done that! However, once you get yourself back into a routine and make it a habit then you will start seeing the results! However, you have to make a commitment to doing it consistently for at least 28 days! This goes for any kind of healthy practice, whether it is yoga, meditation or switching to a healthier diet! 28 Days…You can totally do this! Right!? C’mon! Get your calendar out and set some dates…with the most important person in your life = YOU!

Your Body is the Biggest Investment

Again, the main thing is to just start! Commit to yourself and to your life! No one can exercise, eat right, get adequate sleep, or drink more water for you. That is solely your responsibility whether you are single or with a partner this Valentine’s day…and you know this already! Your job is to love yourself, your body and your life so totally and completely, so that it spills over into other areas of your life causing your life to ignite! Sadly, there are enough people walking around like the “walking dead” without fire in their eyes or a light in their souls. Find your passion and DO IT! 

Ignite Your Passion

Take a little time every day for something you are passionate about. Something that makes you excited…and if you don’t know what that is or haven’t found it yet, then it is time to explore! How exciting!!! Try something different! Go out of your usual routine. Take a short trip. Visit another city! Sign up for a class in something that interest you! It doesn’t have to cost a lot! Just pay attention to what makes your heart leap, stirs your inner being and awakens you in the middle of the night! Also, if you’re in a funk in regards to Valentine’s day then ask yourself where can you make a difference for someone else? At school, I had my students make Valentine’s cards for veterans. How about writing a few cards and taking them to a retirement home and ask they be given to a few residents who are without loved ones? That would surely bring a smile to someone’s face! I can guarantee it will! 

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As my friend Oscar likes to say and write all over my home town, “Do Good…Feel Good!”

Do Good Feel Good

What are you going to do today to ignite yourself?

What short term changes will you make? Whatever you do…

…Please remember this!

Everything You Need

“You Actually Have Everything Inside Of You, All Of The Equipment Necessary To Feel If Something Is Right For You Or Not.” ~David Wolfe via Food Matters

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Single Valentines

Wishing You Much Health, Happiness, Love and Fun Adventures!

Nina

Urban Vegan Chic

What Your Doctor May Not Know

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The following is a conversation between a lawyer and his expert witness, a cardiothoracic surgeon. My close friend is the lawyer, so he relayed this story to me yesterday that he’d had after taking the doctors deposition for the case he’s working on. Here is a recording of the conversation that came up after their meeting. This is what he told me.

 

two-men-talkingTwo men talking

The conversation started with me asking him, since he’s from California, if he’d heard that Kaiser Permanente is now recommending a Plant-Based diet as a nutritional approach to health care. He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, another diet!” I said, not trying to p.. this guy off since he’s my expert witness and a very smart man, “It seems like a pretty compelling approach to health.” He said, “All these diets have fairly serious health consequences when you eliminate certain proteins and minerals out of your regular consumption.” I said, “Well, I’ve started a whole foods plant-based diet six months ago and I’ve been reading quite a bit of information and studies about this diet approach to health.” I asked him, “Have you ever read “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell? He said, “No!” I briefly explained it to him, the scope of it. “The study doesn’t reach any specific opinions, but the findings paint a pretty compelling picture of diet impact on primarily cancer. However, the author of The China Study, utilizing that study as the foundation, draws on a number of other peer reviewed studies and articles, as well as overwhelming anecdotal information from a multitude of physicians to reach opinions and conclusions regarding diet. Not only cancer and heart disease, but diabetes, osteoporosis and a variety of other serious health maladies. Clearly, the only significant vitamin that may be lacking from a strict plant-based diet is vitamin B12.”

 

The-China-StudyThe China Study 

 

He said, “Really? You’re telling me that this study documents that you don’t need meat or dairy for adequate protein?” I said, “Yes, clearly! There is without question more and better protein found in various beans and vegetables than in meat and dairy without the serious medical health effects from meat and dairy!” I then told him that I was seeing you and about your involvement with PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and how you had introduced me to this diet, plus had made all of these delicious meals for me, making it somewhat easier for me to make this switch to a whole foods plant-based vegan diet! 

 

BeefFatSpillPCRM600Go Vegan!

 

Then he said, “It’s frightening! Here I am a cardiothoracic surgeon and I have literally no education or training in nutrition. We get nothing in medical school about nutrition and you’re a lawyer who has read some important nutritional studies and who’s smart enough to understand the body’s nutritional needs and how it can be accommodated with diet and you’re telling me something I’ve never heard before after 30 years of cardiothoracic surgery, which is pretty much at the top of the food chain in medicine!” Then I (lawyer) discussed with him the documentary, Forks Over Knives and brought up Dr. Esselstyn, whom he’d never heard of, but he was certainly familiar with the Cleveland Clinic. He made notes about both and said he would watch and read.

preventandreverseDr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

 

He said that, “In medicine we tend to address all of these issues with medications. High blood pressure pills, cholesterol pills, Beta blockers, Ace inhibitors, etc.” He did say that in his personal life his wife had been cutting him back to one serving of meat per week. However, he didn’t see chicken and pork as serious as red meat. I said, “Well, that’s not really so! They are just, if not more problematic! They are still animal protein and also high in saturated fat and cholesterol.” Further, I told him that in America, 78% of antibiotics are being given to farm animals, so we are screwing up our ability to respond to serious infections down the line.” He agreed.

On a final note, from me: The next time you see a medical doctor, before putting your life and trust into their hands, you might want to keep this conversation in mind. It certainly is compelling and food for thought! I hope that you will share it! Here’s to hoping that more doctors will educate themselves further on nutrition and health!