Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Know The Ingredients

Newsletter from Environmental Working Group popped int my inbox this morning with a few tips that I thought were worth passing along:

Most people use around 10 personal care products every day, with an average of 126 different ingredients. We'd like to believe that the government is policing the safety of all of the concoctions we put on our bodies, but it's not. Instead, these unregulated products pose uncertain dangers for our health and our environment.

How to read a label
Every personal care product must list its ingredients. Here's how to navigate the label:

Start at the end, with preservatives. Avoid:
Words ending in "paraben"
DMDM hydantoin
Imidazolidinyl urea
Triethanolamine (or "TEA")

Check the beginning of the ingredients lists, where soaps, surfactants, and lubricants show up.

Try to avoid ingredients that start with "PEG" or have an "-eth" in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).

Read the ingredients in the middle. Look for these words: "FRAGRANCE," "FD&C," or "D&C."

For grown-ups
Many parents pay more attention to their kids' environmental health than their own, but adult bodies can be affected by toxic chemicals, too. EWG's Safer Shopping List has nine common-sense tips to reduce everyone's exposures. For instance, buy fragrance-free, skip the nail polish and use fewer products.

Just for kids
Extra caution is in order for kids because, pound for pound, they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Their immature metabolism and organ systems are typically less capable of fending off chemical assaults. Even subtle damage to young bodies can lead to disease later in life.

Follow EWG's top five tips for kids:

Use fewer products and use them less often.
Don't trust ad hype. Check ingredients.
Buy fragrance-free products.
Avoid the use of baby powder.

Always avoid EWG's top six chemicals of concern for kids:

2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3 Diol
Boric acid and sodium borate
DMDM Hydantoin

Thursday, March 24, 2011

READ Before You Speak Please

In response to some soy nonsense sent my way on Facebook today:

Please read this before you go off commenting on soy and how it is the devil. Read up on all ideas and all sides before you start casting out comments and criticisms.

The China Study

The science is clear. The results are unmistakable.

Change your diet and dramatically reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Respected nutrition and health researcher, Dr. T. Colin Campbell reveals the truth behind special interest groups, government entities and scientists that have taken Americans down a deadly path

Even today, as the low-carb craze sweeps the nation, two-thirds of adults are still obese and children are being diagnosed with Type II diabetes, typically an "adult" disease, at an alarming rate. If we're eating healthier, why are Americans stricken with heart disease as much as we were 30 years ago?

Drawing on the project findings in rural China, but going far beyond those findings, The China Study details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The report also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists. The New York Times has recognized the study (China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project) as the "Grand Prix of epidemiology" and the "most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease."

"After a long career in research and policy-making, I have decided to step 'out of the system'. I have decided to disclose why Americans are so confused," said Dr. Campbell. "As a taxpayer who foots the bill for research and health policy in America, you deserve to know that many of the common notions you have been told about food, health and disease are wrong."

"I propose to do nothing less than redefine what we think of as good nutrition. You need to know the truth about food, and why eating the right way can save your life."

Early in his career as a researcher with MIT and Virginia Tech, Dr. Campbell worked to promote better health by eating more meat, milk and eggs -- "high-quality animal protein ... It was an obvious sequel to my own life on the farm and I was happy to believe that the American diet was the best in the world."

He later was a researcher on a project in the Philippines working with malnourished children. The project became an investigation for Dr. Campbell, as to why so many Filipino children were being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. The primary goal of the project was to ensure that the children were getting as much protein as possible.

"In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer..." He began to review other reports from around the world that reflected the findings of his research in the Philippines.

Although it was "heretical to say that protein wasn't healthy," he started an in-depth study into the role of nutrition, especially protein, in the cause of cancer.

The research project culminated in a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, "this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease."

The findings? "People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease ... People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored," said Dr. Campbell.

In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. The China Study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and irresponsible scientists.

The China Study is not a diet book. Consumers are bombarded with conflicting messages regarding health and nutrition; the market is flooded with popular titles like The Atkins Diet and The South Beach Diet. The China Study cuts through the haze of misinformation and delivers an insightful message to anyone living with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and those concerned with the effects of aging. Additionally, he challenges the validity of these low-carb fad diets and issues a startling warning to their followers.

And while you are at it read this too:

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life And Our World

“Like blades of grass bursting through a crack in a thick slab of concrete, something is seeking to break through the walls we have put between us and our kinship with the Earth. It is the awesome power of Creation itself. It is the same force that turns the tides, brings rain to parched earth, entices the bee to the flower, and ignites new life in countless species.

Maybe we aren’t on a one-way road to oblivion. Maybe we’re standing at a crossroad, facing what may be the most important choice human beings have ever faced, a choice between two directions. In one direction is what we will have if we do nothing to alter our present course. By doing nothing, we are choosing a world of pollution and extinctions, of widening chasms and deepening despair, a world where humanity moves ever farther from achieving its highest aspirations and ever nearer to living its darkest fears.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

VEGAN Bucket List

What a GREAT IDEA!!!

How many can you check off March 22, 2011? I'm making a goal of getting another 5 under my belt before years end:

  1. Swim in the greenhouse pool then dine at the Ravens' Restaurant at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino, Calif.
  2. Join the cookie/brownie/fudge-of-the-month club at Allison's Gourmet.
  3. Ask your (non-vegan) family or friends to try a vegan meal, day, or week. It's the perfect birthday gift!
  4. Hear former cattle rancher-turned-vegan, Howard Lyman, speak.
  5. Eat a veggie dog from a street cart in Vancouver, BC.
  6. Write a letter to a vegan activist who is in prison.
  7. Visit Portland, Ore.’s vegan mini-mall. Leave with a tattoo, cookie, message t-shirt, and a few snacks for the road.
  8. Perfect a signature tofu scramble.
  9. Meet your vegan superhero. Whether it’s Gene BaurJohn SalleyKathy FrestonWayne Pacelle, or Tal Ronnen, go to one of your favorite star’s public events and thank them for their work.
  10. Accept that your veganism is bigger than you and your circumstances. Don’t get bummed about it.
  11. Devour a cowvin cookie at Sticky Fingers Bakery in Washington, DC.
  12. Splurge on a beautiful Matt & Nat bag that you can carry with pride for many years to come.
  13. Take a VegNews Vacation to India. Or Thailand. Or… I travelled all over South East ASia as a vegan last year, does that count?
  14. Be vegan until 6pm, and then stay vegan until the following day. Repeat.
  15. Have a pizza bake-off with every vegan cheese to discover your favorite.
  16. Design your perfect custom cinnamon roll at Cinnaholic in Berkeley, Calif.
  17. Rub a pig’s belly at Los Angeles’ Animal Acres or New York’s Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
  18. Work with local businesses to add more vegan options to their menus.
  19. Veganize your grandmother’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Then share with everyone.
  20. Host a cruelty-free Halloween party with caramel apples, spiced (and spiked) apple cider, and pumpkin carving.
  21. Dine at Candle 79 in New York and Millennium in San Francisco, not on the same night. Go with people whom you truly adore, and feast on appetizers, salads, entrees, drinks, and desserts (multiples of each). Share everything so you get to taste it all!
  22. Become a vegan myth-busting machine—even if you never need to bust vegan myths.
  23. Attempt to work out as hard as Brendan BrazierKenneth WilliamsTonya KayRobert Cheeke, or Scott Jurek.
  24. Read The Face on Your Plate when you need a little extra information about animals and why they are too amazing to eat.
  25. Order a Vegan Treats’ Peanut Butter Bomb cake to celebrate your birthday.
  26. Give fun vegan gifts such as cookbooks, baked goods, Vegan Etsy jewelry, and wine every chance you get.
  27. Take a vegan tour of Los Angeles stopping at Eko ZonePure LuckShojinReal Food Daily,Native Foods CaféVeggie Grill, to start.
  28. Sail the Caribbean, practice morning yoga, and visit exciting ports of call on the all-veganHolistic Holiday at Sea.
  29. Try vegan ethnic food, such as Filipino, Korean, or Sri Lankan.
  30. Inspire at least one person to become vegan. My Dad has been vegan since Jan 1, 2011!!!!!
  31. Trek to Toronto in September for the annual Vegetarian Food Fair.
  32. Devour the Portobello Stack with red potatoes and cauliflower mash at Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale.
  33. Purchase 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson and never have to buy another vegan cookbook again.
  34. Volunteer for Food Not Bombs. It doesn’t get much better than providing hungry people with free vegan food.
  35. Make the VegNews Mac & Cheese. It changes lives.
  36. Hold a Vegan Bake Sale for your favorite animal charity.
  37. Grab the ‘D’s BBQ Joint wrap at Seattle’s Hillside Quickie and have a picnic at nearbyVolunteer Park.
  38. Don’t judge meat-eaters. They’ll just stop listening to you.
  39. Eat kale daily.
  40. Join Twitter and Facebook, follow or friend a bunch of your non-vegan acquaintances, and send along great recipes, videos of cute farm animals, and timely vegan news.
  41. Attend the North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest conference.
  42. Help the environment by opting for a bicycle or running shoes over a car.
  43. Savor the four-course open-to-the-public Friday night dinner at NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute.
  44. Remind your non-vegan loved ones that if it’s good enough for President Clinton, it’s good enough for them.
  45. Cook an entirely vegan holiday dinner for your friends and family.
  46. Start a balcony herb garden.
  47. Visit MooShoes in The Big Apple and purchase a truly fabulous pair of vegan footwear, then march in the annual Veggie Pride Parade.
  48. Order a custom-made birthday cake from San Francisco’s MaggieMudd ice cream shop.
  49. Rekindle your childhood love of PB&J.
  50. Create something that helps humans feel compassion for animals: a video game, children’s book, ‘zine, novel, movie, or blog will do!
  51. Vacation at the all-vegan The Lodge in Grenada.
  52. Get caught up on your veg-friendly reads by joining the VegNews Book Club.
  53. Eat at both Native Bowl and Homegrown Smoker vegan food carts in Portland, Ore.
  54. Donate all your non-vegan clothes to charity.
  55. Try Chicago Soydairy’s mozzarella sticks. Recover blown mind.
  56. Read or re-read John Robbins’ timeless classic, Diet for a New America.
  57. Go on a Vegas-style bender at Ronald’s Donuts. Bring on the bear claws, old-fashioned, and chocolate-dipped doughnuts!
  58. Adopt a turkey in November, then savor Native Foods Café’s Wellington for Thanksgiving.
  59. Host movie nights and show Bold NativeForks Over Knives, and Babe.
  60. Attend a volunteer night at the PETA headquarters in Norfolk, Va.
  61. Eat a huge vegan sundae at Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in New York City.
  62. Send a vegan care package.
  63. Make your own seitan sausages, in every flavor you can imagine.
  64. Become a vegan hostess extraordinaire by throwing holiday parties, brunches, bonfires, barbecues, fondue nights, and so on.
  65. Take a Wanderbird Cruise to Alaska or the Caribbean.
  66. Spend an afternoon handing out Vegan Outreach’s “Why Vegan?” brochures.
  67. Attend the Texas State Veggie Fair, then head to Spiral Diner for amazing vegan eats, deep in the heart of Texas.
  68. Spend a week at The Gentle Gourmet B&B in Paris.
  69. Read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
  70. Memorize five quick comebacks to the question “Where do you get your protein?”
  71. Read Crazy Sexy Diet, and see if you don’t turn into a green-juice drinker. We dare you.
  72. Devour soft-serve ice cream from New England’s Like No Udder, the world’s first vegan ice cream truck.
  73. Write a well-thought-out letter to the editor promoting veganism.
  74. Have your vitamin D and B12 levels tested.
  75. Start a Vegan Drinks meet-up in your hometown and get to know your local vegans, boozily.
  76. Demolish the garlic fries at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Brush teeth.
  77. Take a cooking class at Spork Foods in West Hollywood.
  78. Attend a Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down, then book a few extra nights at the sanctuary’s B&B.
  79. Own at least one cookbook by Isa Chandra MoskowitzColleen Patrick-Goudreau, and Ani Phyo.
  80. Visit the Chicago Diner and feast on the tempeh Reuben, mashed potatoes, and cookie dough peanut butter milkshake.
  81.  Find a vegan restaurant in every city you visit, no matter how remote!
  82. Study the history of the women’s, civil rights’, gay rights’, or any other social-justice movement that has bettered the lives of beings who were once treated as property. Learn from them!
  83. Watch Earthlings at least once. Then, if you feel yourself getting burned out or losing your drive for veganism, watch it again.
  84. Eat beignets and the chocolate soufflé at Madeline Bistro in Los Angeles.
  85. Write to Food Network and request more vegan content.
  86. Make soup in five minutes flat using a Vita-Mix blender.
  87. Rescue a companion animal.
  88. Keep warm in a winter coat from Vaute Couture.
  89. Donate money to your favorite animal charities.
  90. Try Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Then try not to put it on every single thing you eat.
  91. Volunteer to muck out stalls at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary or Animal Place.
  92. Attend (or, even better yet, have!) a vegan wedding.
  93. Read every issue of VegNews ever published.
  94. Attend the Genesis Awards. It’s swanky, fun, and you can actually see a difference being made—not to mention rub elbows with fancy Hollywood types.
  95. Admire the work of your favorite vegan artist. (Don’t have one yet? Check out Gretchen Ryan,Peter Max, or Sunaura Taylor.)
  96. Study T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study as if your life depended on it.
  97. Make your own dim sum! It’s stupendously satisfying, not to mention delicious.
  98. Pen your own vegan manifesto. Keep it in a place that’s easy to see, just in case you need at reminder.
  99. Stay at the Vegetarian Country House Hotel in England’s Lake District.


Celebrity fitness trainer and vegan Bob Harper has announced his new line of vegan supplements.

And they are GLUTEN FREE TOO :)

Music to my Ears!

A new study may help to dispel the commonly held belief that eating soy products can reduce a man’s chances of fatherhood.

The results, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, showed their semen volume, sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology remained the same throughout the study.

Read more here: Don't worry, fathers-to-be. It's okay to drink soy

The Gluten Debate

A very interesting read today in the Globe and Mail on the ongoing gluten and wheat debate.

The gluten debate: cutting the wheat from the chaff

I was told in January that I had a wheat sensitivity, so for over a month I abstained from all things containing wheat and gluten. It was painful. Gluten is in everything. After about 6 weeks of being off the ever present wheat/guten, I slowly started re-introducing it to my diet again.

Now, keep in mind I never had any of the following to begin with, and the reason my Naturopath asked me to test my diet was because of my ever present adult acne (I have been plagued with acne since I was 13 years old and this was an attempt to get off the proactive and on to a chemical free regime)

abdominal pain
eczema or other rashes
a “foggy” mind
numbness (arms, legs or fingers)
joint pain

While I was wheat/gluten free I never noticed a change in my skin, not even the slightest. It simply stayed the same, no better no worse. When I started adding wheat/gluten back in, it again did not change, no better no worse.

So this little experiment makes me beg the question: How much of an "sensitivity/intolerance" must one have before symptoms start showing?

Clearly for me, my system was not all that fussed by wheat/gluten and I am happy to not have to aviod it any longer (though there will be no bread binges happening).

That being said, I do not discredit the gluten issues others may face and feel for them, as I would anyone who has to avoid anything for fear of pain and suffering.

Hopefully science will start to look at this issue a bit more seriously in the future and at some point a solution will be found.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Idiot Bites the Dust

Ugh, here we go again.

Another pretentious, overzealous thesaurus user recounting their demise from vegan to omni.


Goodbye and good riddance, we don't need your kind thanks


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Farm to Fridge

These videos may be hard to watch, but if you are a meat and dairy, take some responsibilty and educate yourself on where your food comes from. Staying in the dark and continuing to be ignorant is no way to go through life. Take ownership of your choices and be informed.

Investigation Reveals Cruelty at Pig Factory Farm from Mercy For Animals on Vimeo.

For more info/videos, please visit this site: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Something for me to Remember

A great piece on how sometimes we vegans are quick to reply, defend and argue and why we do this.



Controversy erupted at Bowdoin College last week after the campus’s main dining facilities went completely meatless for dinner as part of “Meatless Monday,” a national nutritional awareness campaign started at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dozens of students held an impromptu barbecue outside one facility in protest. Two other students sold McDonald’s cheeseburgers while simultaneously raising funds for a local humane society. Another group of students ate buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken inside the dining hall. Opinion both for and against the awareness campaign has been published in The Orient, Bowdoin’s student newspaper.
Read More: