Let’s Rethink the Pink

pinkribbon

I love fall, but there are two things that piss me off about October: 1.) Starbuck’s stupid non-vegan PSL and 2.) “Pinktober.” I’m all for finding a cure for breast cancer (and all cancers, of course) but do you know where your support dollars go?! “Pinktober” was created by a pharmaceutical company—your money goes to a drug company who makes expensive, toxic, and ineffective drugs and ignores alternative therapies. Please take a few minutes to read this AWESOME article from The Gerson Institute, “Rethinking Pinktober.” 

Also, check this out: A man with stage 3 colon cancer cured his cancer with a vegan diet. It’s incredible. 

Most Cheese is NOT Vegetarian!

calf--it's stomach is in your cheese

This is what rennet looks like. Or should I say, this is what cheese looks like before it’s processed. 

A vast majority of cheese—both domestic and imported—is made with rennet, an enzyme in the lining of a calf’s stomach (lamb for sheep cheese, baby goat for goat cheese). Although, rennet is now being made from the stomachs of pigs, too. Nice huh? Bet many of you didn’t know that. Rennet is used to coagulate dairy products and even though there are non-animal sources of rennet, most cheese companies use the real thing. Via The Natural Connection, this is what a Kraft cheese representative said:

“Kraft Domestic Swiss Cheese (any Kraft Swiss not labeled “Imported” from a foreign country) is made with microbial rennet. Apart from Kraft Domestic Swiss Cheese, it is almost impossible for us to assure you that any hard cheese product which you might purchase from Kraft or any other American source is absolutely free of animal-derived enzymes.”

And did you know that there is only ONE vegetarian Parmigiano-Reggiano? In fact, most imported cheeses use rennet, too. So just buy cheese without rennet, you say? Good luck finding out just which cheeses are rennet-free based on their labels. Companies are not legally bound to disclose their source of rennet. If you’re lucky, the label will specifically state that their products contain a non-animal rennet, or say “suitable for vegetarians.” Another way is to buy certified kosher cheese.

And what kind of cheese do you think restaurants use? Most serve cheap, bulk cheese. Kraft, most likely. Find out next time you think you’re ordering a “vegetarian” meal. Chances are, it’s not vegetarian at all.

One thing that I think is very important for people to know, is that the dairy industry is just as cruel as the meat industry. How do you think cow’s milk is obtained? By keeping cows perpetually pregnant. The calves that are born are immediately taken from their mothers, often killed on the spot, and their stomachs are harvested.

First, I encourage you to kick the dairy habit, but if you don’t, at least know what’s in it. Here’s a list of dairy companies and whether or not they are vegetarian.

calf2

(Newborn calves are often thrown into a wheelbarrow and taken to a cage to await execution)

Feast On This!

Lately, it seems that word is finally getting around about the dangerous effects of milk consumption. How ridiculous was it that the outcome of the (fiasco) fiscal cliff (or at least part of it) hinged on averting a price hike in milk prices?! Parents were freaking out about the cost of milk rising when in actuality, that is the one thing parents should not be giving their children. It is absolutely not a coindence that the U.S. consumes the most dairy, yet we have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Numerous studies have confirmed that when we ingest cow’s milk, our bodies have a reaction to the acid in the milk and in an effort to neutralize it, our body releases the calcium from our bones. Dr. Neal Barnard, head of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wrote about the dangers of milk consumption over at The Kind Life; I highly recommend you check it out. In the meantime, take a gander at this fabulous infographic provided by LearnStuff.com

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Got-Milk-You-Dont-Need-It

Feast On This!

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Feast on This! post, but seeing as it’s cold season, I thought I’d repeat some information from a previous FOT post from a year ago.

A Veggie A Day Keeps The Colds (and Cancer) Away

It’s that time of year. Cold season. Although we can’t always avoid getting the traveling crud, there are ways to boost your immune and shorten the length of the cold or flu. And guess what? They’re all plant-based. No surprise there. Experts tend to agree that it’s best to avoid supplements and go straight for the real thing. For example, eat an orange rather than popping a supplement since you’ll also get magnesium, potassium, folate, B6 and antioxidants.  Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that are also key in fighting many cancers.

When I feel a cold coming on, I reach for kale every time. I steam it for no more than 5 minutes and enjoy it with just a smidge Earth Balance.

Works every single time! I also pair it with some Kick-Ass Immune, an herbal supplement that lives up to its name. It tastes pretty awful, but it’s worth it.


Vegetables:

  • Leafy Greens–Spinach, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens & Kale: are loaded with antioxidants. Steam some kale and spinach and add a little Earth Balance, which has lots of Omega-3.
  • Broccoli, Green Peppers & Cauliflower: High in Vitamin C.
  • Orange Veggies–Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Squash and Pumpkins: are loaded with Beta carotene which turns to Vitamin A, that is rich in antioxidants (which is also cancer-fighting).

Fruits:

  • Apples: contain antioxidants and insoluble and soluble fiber to help the bowels run smooth (always a good thing)
  • Kiwi, Oranges, Grapefruits & Cantelopes: High in Vitamin C and A and oranges and grapefruits are actually cheaper in the winter.
  • Blueberries and Raspberries: Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin B.
  • Strawberries: 8 berries supply 160% of your daily value of Vitamin C, as well as 170 mg of potassium.

Other Good Stuff:

  • Onions, Garlic, Leeks, & Chives: loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium.
  • Ginger: Strong in antioxidants and helps with digestion and circulation.
  • Whole Grains, Quinoa, Barley & Amaranth: packed with fiber, zinc, and B vitamins.
  • Seeds: Lots of Vitamin E

Tips to Staying Healthy

  • Stick to organic: free of chemicals and contain more nutrients.
  • Avoid processed, canned or frozen food (With the exception of vegetables—steam or microwave them) but even avoid canned soups–they’re not fresh and are full of sodium.
  • Keep away from excess sugar. If you need a sugar fix, eat some strawberries.
  • Make some soup with vegetable broth, ginger, spinach, and green onions.
  • Eat some hot salsa or sprinkle some cayenne on steamed veggies to clear the sinuses.
  • Chew (and swallow) a garlic clove to cure a cough—some people swear by it. Just don’t breath on anyone.

Bottom line, stick with fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, and avoid hard-to-digest and processed foods. Don’t forget to drink tons of water and only 100% juice with a low sugar content. Then boil some fresh ginger, pour it through a strainer into your favorite mug, add a bit of fresh lemon juice and settle in with a good book!


Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use… It’s time we looked into holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable. 
-Dr. Neal Barnard

Feast On This!

Lately, I haven’t stuck to my Friday ritual of posting vegan related news and issues, but now I’m back, so feast on this:

The Humane Way

A friend recently sent me a link to Wayne Pacelle’s blog. He is the the President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States and is dedicated to eliminating animal cruelty. I then noticed he is featured in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, promoting his new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.

Pacelle, a vegan since 2004, hopes that his book will help people see “the instinctive connection we have with other animals.” The book comes out April 5th and I’m excited to grab a copy of it. On his website, check out a great opportunity for you to get involved by submitting a photo featuring you and your bond with an animal. Send it in by April 4th and you could be featured on TheHumaneSociety.org and have $1,000 donated in your name to a shelter.

Moe and I not only share a bond, but usually, we share a couch, too.


Messing with Nature?


Researchers at China Agricultural University have genetically modified 200 cows to produce “breast milk.” You can read about it HERE. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised—it was bound to happen. The goal is to create the same antibodies that human milk contains and I can see it feeding children in poor countries, but could we trust it? What do you think?


Follow Me on Twitter!


Yes, I finally joined the masses and started tweeting. One thing I’ve learned is to not let the many anti-vegan tweets that pop up all the time irritate me—they just ain’t worth it! It’s been to connect with others and see what Twitterville is all about! Twitter.


“The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies; they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.”

-Plato

Feast On This!

Have You Discovered Happy Cow, Yet?


Happy Cow is a fabulous vegetarian/vegan resource to locate veg-friendly restaurants, meet other veggie-mites, recipes, and more. Join for free, set up a profile, chat, partake in forums, learn more about being a herbivore than you ever dreamed possible! When traveling, it’s a handy resource for finding veg-friendly restaurants in a new city or town. It proved helpful while I was in California and needing to find places I could eat at. Sign up for their newsletter to keep on top of veggie news, updates, and even contests and giveaways. Gotta love that!


While You’re At It . . . Visit Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine


The PCRM is a non-profit organization headed by Dr. Neal Barnard and 11 advisory board members from around the country. They are supported by subscribers to their quarterly publication, Good Medicine. The PCRM works toward finding preventative solutions through research for cancer, diabetes, and other conditions, while promoting alternatives to animal testing and other unethical testing. Encouraging a vegetarian/vegan diet, they have a great online Free download-ableVegetarian Starter Kit and lots of other literature and fact sheets. They have a great collection of articles for vegetarian/vegan information—just a click away. Check out The Veganizer, a helpful chart with suggestions on how to veganize typical meals. And be sure to read about the lawsuit the PCRM has just brought against the government for deceptive language used on the recent dietary guidelines.

In a lawsuit filed this week against the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, PCRM says the Dietary Guidelines are clear about what to eat more of—vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, for example—but deliberately hide the foods Americans should eat less of. The Guidelines use biochemical terms, such as “saturated fat” and “cholesterol” instead of specific food terms “meat” and “cheese.” This deliberate omission can be traced to the USDA’s close ties to the meat and dairy industries, including fast-food companies such as McDonald’s.

-source

A contribution of $20 or more gets you a subscription to Good Medicine which is packed full of research issues, prevention, and nutrition—a worthwhile investment.


And Don’t Forget to Check-in with the Incredible Progress of the Plant-Based Study at

The Plant Rx!


You can’t argue with these results! Just over halfway through the study, participants are continuing to have amazing results from a plant-based diet. After 30 days, one participant’s cholesterol level dropped 49 points! How’s that for results?!  Stop by and see for yourself and send a link to your friends and family—it might just be what they need to see to change their own diets.


 

“Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use… It’s time we looked into holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable.”
-Neal Barnard

Feast On This!

Foodies for Farmers


Lisa over at Lisa’s Food on the Move gathered a bunch of vegetarian/vegan food bloggers (including yours truly) to put together a collaborative 132-pg digital cookbook called Foodies for Farmers. All proceeds from the cookbook goes to Farm Aid which raises funds to support family run agriculture and make sure that they stay that way. For a minimum suggested donation of $10 you can download this fabulous vegetarian/vegan cookbook that is packed full of amazing recipes from my world famous party cheese ball to a raw Brazilian fig torte. This is a great way to support a worthy organization–through food! A big thank you to Lisa for putting the time, effort and love into this great cause!


Check out the Results at The Plant Rx!


A few weeks ago, I told you about The Plant Rx and their 60-day Plant-Based Health Study. Well, they are halfway through the study and so far, the results are astounding. I can’t say I’m totally surprised though because I know the vegan diet can cure—yes, cure—many chronic illnesses. One participant was pre-diabetic when entering the study, but  now he is in normal range. He’s also lost 17 lbs . . . without exercise! So far, cholesterol levels are plummeting and they’re only half way through! This has been a great study to watch and read the participants’ blogs have been really fun. It’s really wonderful seeing these folks lives’ change and read about how great they feel. Way to go!


Doctor Yourself and The Gerson Therapy

I had ordered my very own copies of The Gerson Therapy by Charlotte Gerson and Doctor Yourself by Andrew Saul, Ph.D.,  both featured in Food Matters. Gerson’s book details a nutritional program for cancer and other illnesses and has been proven to cure cancers when western/conventional treatments fail. Doctor Yourself is about how nutritional therapy has been proven to treat just about every health condition out there from A-Z. Literally. It’s an A-Z guide from acid reflux to vaccinations. Ok, A-V. It also provides tips and tools on everything from Saul’s Super Remedy to A Crash Course in Vegetarian Cooking. I’m sure as I delve through these books, I’ll be sharing what I learn with all of you. But don’t wait for me. Buy your own copies!


 

“Ham and Eggs: a days work for a chicken; a life time commitment for a pig.
-Author unknown

Feast On This!

If there is anything that you read on my blog today, I hope it’s this post. I just watched the documentary, Food Matters on, well . . . food and how it really does matters—more than you think. We all know there is food out there that is bad for us, and that there is food out there that is good for us. Yet, people are still eating these bad foods, with a few good ones sprinkled in and left wondering, why are we so sick? We go to the doctor to prescribe a pill (with lots of side effects) that may or may not take care of the symptoms, not the problem itself. Our reliance on drugs and western medicine is killing us. It’s killing those we love.

I was seriously so blown away, I was practically in tears. I can honestly say I have never been more moved by a film, than this one. Food Matters, focuses on how our food is directly correlated to disease prevention, both chronic and deadly. And what’s sad, is how that research and education has been grossly ignored by western medicine; even shunned. And you ask why? Because eating a plant-based diet and taking vitamins doesn’t make the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies any money. This 80 minute documentary shows us how our diet of plant-based foods and vitamins can and has reversed illnesses such as depression, diabetes, cancer, heart disease . . . the list goes on.  From the film via their website:

“Food Matters’ the film was originally created to help James’ father overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression & Anxiety (read the full story). From that one success a wave of enthusiasm for the film followed and it has now been seen by hundreds of thousands of people in 9 different languages. ‘Food Matters’ discusses:

  • How to use food as medicine
  • Who needs vitamins?
  • Is organic better?
  • How safe is our food?
  • Natural treatments for lowering Cholesterol
  • Foods that fight Anxiety and Depression
  • Natural therapies for Cancer
  • Which drugs might do more harm than good?
  • The best ways to detox, lose weight and keep it off!

It was a truly powerful film. Many will balk and say “If it’s so great, why haven’t we all heard about it?” well, they explain that too. Being healthy, doesn’t make money for those in the “health” industry. Just watch it. Don’t knock it ’til you see it. Spend the $4.95 on their website to watch it online. Get it on Netflix, like I did. It’s a game-changer, folks.

(and while I’m at it, check out the trailer for Forks Over Knives, another amazing food documentary coming out May 6th–my birthday! I can’t wait to this one, too!)


“Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.”

-Dr. Andrew Saul, Therapeutic Nutritional Specialist, Food Matters

“Food Matters is 80 minutes long.  The best 80 minutes that you will ever spend viewing a movie. The information in this documentary could save your life and possibly the lives your loved ones.”

-Be a Healthier You

“I am inspired. I am motivated. I am feeling high after watching this documentary, even though it’s the fifth time I’ve seen it.”

-Kristin’sRawBlogspot.com

“Anyone who is serious about their health needs to see this stunning film.”

-Christiane Northrup, MD, author of the Women’s Wisdom Series

 

Feast On This!

Did You Watch Oprah?

On Tuesday, she aired the results of she and 378 of her staffers going vegan for a week. It was fascinating to watch, and great to see the results of many of the participants. A total of 444 pounds were lost, but 80-some were gained. Several staffers even plan to stick with it. On the show, was Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and Kathy Freston, the Veganist. I was delighted of course that veganism made it all the way to Oprah-Land, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more brought up about the ill-health effects of eating animal products; it focused only on animal welfare it seemed–which is great, too, but I think what is going to make an impact on most people, is how is it’s going to affect them–not the animal. I didn’t feel that it was an accurate portrayal of the vegan diet and all that it is about. Of course, that may not have been Oprah’s aim. I was actually surprised that Pollan seemed determined to put a damper on the vegan diet the whole time, yet I agreed with him that meat and dairy industries need to be reformed. I definitely plan on picking up Freston’s book though.

What did you think?


Make it a Vegan Super Bowl Party

Super Bowls parties are known for being packed with chicken wings, cheese dips and spread, but that doesn’t mean they have to be staples of the shindig. Ecorazzi lists their top 10 vegan Super Bowl foods. The Buffalo Tofu looks fabulous!

Other winning appetizers to bring: Party Cheese Ball, Crock Cheez, Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheez Platter, Cheddar & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip, 8-Layer Dip, Spring Rolls, Avocado Bruschetta,  or Spinach Dip!

One commercial you won’t see aired during the big game will be PETA’s attention-getting “veg-porn” ad, called “Veggie Love.” I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now because it’s been getting lots of internet views. I realize it’s all about getting attention, but I wonder if the money could have been spent in better ways—in a way that would have actually benefited animals and have a positive impact. I love PETA and respect what they do, but there are times I feel they shoot themselves in the foot once in a while.

What do you think of the ad?



“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning “lousy hunter.”

-Andy Rooney

Feast On This!

I guess it’s time to finally get back to my Friday ritual of posting about vegan health and news issues. Those darn holidays sure threw me off ;)

Visit the Doc at The Plant Rx


One of the main reasons I switched to a plant-based diet was because of the health risks associated with animal products. Some people think that’s a bunch of hooey and that the “benefits” of eating meat outweighs the health concerns. I know I’m not crazy and there is now The Plant Rx to back me up! This amazing resource for information on a plant-based diet is run by physicians and medical professionals who believe that in order to live long, healthy lives, we must eliminate animal products from our diet.

Based in Los Angeles, The Plant Rx explains the plant-based diet, offers evidence and testimonials to help novice vegans to the seasoned veteran. Packed full of information, you can read about how a plant-based diet can help those with Parkinson’s Disease, how a veggie diet aids in breast cancer survival, and how to get enough protein while hitting the veggies.

Currently, Jenna and the Plant Rx team, are gearing up for a Plant-Based Health Study that kicks off on January 15th where they will follow and document (lucky) participants who will try a vegan diet to improve their health. You will be able learn about the participants, read their blogs, and cheer them on! I am very excited to follow along this 60 day study and prove to others the amazing effects a vegan diet can have on a person.


I always squeal with delight whenever I receive the latest issue of VegNews. It is packed with awesome information and delicious recipes.


Here’s a few tidbits and food-for-thought:

  • 2009 was the first year on record that meat consumption in the US decreased.
  • 45,000 deaths in the UK are caused by over-consumption of meat (and are preventable)!
  • 190 tons of deli meat were recalled just last fall, and we can’t forget the 550 million eggs recalled in just one month last year!
  • 100,000+ people were studied over a course of 20-26 years and found that animal protein heightened mortality rates. Lower mortality rates were found with those who ate plant-based fats and proteins.

Ok, need to end it on a high (and tasty) note. Be sure to check out on page 58 the Triple-Layer Cheesecake or their Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. I will be trying both!


“My perspective of veganism was most affected by learning that the veal calf is a by-product of dairying, and that in essence there is a slice of veal in every glass of what I had thought was an innocuous white liquid – milk.”

-Rynn Berry, quoted in Joanne Stepaniak, The Vegan Sourcebook, 1998