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Go Veg, Get Healthy

There’s lots of hype out there about veg(etari)ans being unhealthy. Lately, lots of bloggers have come out saying they quit being vegan because their “body told them to”. That’s strange, because if I were to listen to my body I would be eating cookies for breakfast and sipping margaritas on the daily. Another has let the media spin her story to report that veganism gave her an eating disorder. Hilarious, because eating disorders are a mental disorder one has with food and their body image. If I restricted myself from eating anything that wasn’t completely raw I would probably go insane too.

Regardless of what once-vegans have said about quitting the lifestyle, the majority of people truly believe that a vegan diet isn’t good for you. Which is true, because you should not commit to a vegan diet, you should commit to a vegan lifestyle. I didn’t go vegan to lose weight or drop my cholesterol, but it just so happened to have that effect because it is such a healthy way of eating. I did, however, go vegan to lose the spiritual weight I felt from consuming the lives of previously living beings. Beyond that, there will always be people who don’t agree with what you do.

Of course, the one problem every non-veg has with veg(etari)ans is protein. But really, what non-veg knows precisely how much protein they consume, and truly, are they healthier than veg people? Typically, not so much. Check out this awesome Plant-Based Protein infographic from Vega:

 

Plant-Based Protein Infographic by myvega.com

Vegan Protein Sources

 

If you are curious about a vegan diet being healthy for you, these are some incredibly talented plant-based activists who are inspiring hundreds of people to make the switch to a compassionate lifestyle.

Photo Credit: PLYNNPHOTO.COM

David Carter, The 300 Pound Vegan, is also a defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders. As the daughter of a former NFL athlete, I am ecstatic to see someone in the “macho” ego-driven industry to truly live the compassionate lifestyle. He and his gorgeous wife are extraordinary activists and a compelling example for couples everywhere.

 

Photo Credit: @NOMYOURSELF

Mary MatternNom Yourself, is a stunning vegan chef and activist who creates dishes that will make any living being in this universe happy. Her cookbook is full of recipes and inspiration for anyone who doesn’t have godly skills in the kitchen.

Photo Credit: BADASSVEGAN.com

John LewisBadass Vegan, enlightens people all over the World to commit to a cruelty-free lifestyle by sharing his love for fitness and food in the form of a delicious cookie – Badass Power Cookie. He is positive, encouraging, and dedicated to the most healthy way of life.

Photo Credit: RENEESOMMERFIELD.com

Renee Sommerfield… even her name is beautiful! I’m still having a hard time believing this divine and jaw-dropping Aussie actually exists. But, it’s true, and the World is better for her existence. She graces the pages of every magazine in Australia and has a social media following that adds up to over a million people. But the most outstanding part about her is her passion for animals and activism.

 

 

My passion for veganism stems from my love for animals and food. Once I realized how simple it was to replace dead animal parts with foods made from plants, I never felt better and I never  looked back. In fact, I cannot even imagine biting into a piece of flesh anymore. Because I am so flamboyantly vegan, I have happily convinced several of my friends and family to adapt the lifestyle. You don’t have to listen to my boring ass tell you about the benefits of going veg, take it from these beautiful people:

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.51.27 PM“Haven’t touched meat since the 1st of the year and vegan for almost 5 months.  I see the universe in a different way. I feel happy knowing I can survive and thrive without taking the life of another. Adopting the  vegan lifestyle changed me mentally as well as physically.” – Jaimie, 24

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.36.48 PM“This no meat than is life changing! I have SO much more energy… Now I get it girl! I totally understand what you have been saying all this time!” – Ashley, 29

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.38.21 PM“I wanted to let you know that you inspired me to go vegan. I’ve been 15 days on no meat and I’m feeling good. Thank you so much for inspiring me.” – Dak

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.41.28 PM“It’ll be one month tomorrow!! It’s easier than I thought it would be, although I do eat fish occasionally. And I’ve lost 5 lbs which I’m happy about! And I have more energy! It’s also nice to not feel like exploding after a big meal. I’ve noticed that. I’m not spilling out of my pants and tired” – Haley, 24

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.44.25 PM“I NEVER thought I’d stop eating meat. Now I don’t see how someone could! Thank you for opening my eyes to the awful reality of animal abuse! I wouldn’t be here without you. It’s terrible what they do to those animals. But everyday we’re making an impact whether we realize it or not.” – Cameron, 17

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.45.38 PM“I haven’t eaten meat for a week now! You definitely planted that seed in my head :) I feel great! Don’t miss it at all.” – Dani, 24

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.47.14 PM“Veggie for 4 months. I feel lighter, healthier, happier, and better knowing I’m saving not only animals, but the planet :)” – Kaleigh, 22

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.49.16 PM“My conscience is clear and I feel like a knew person.” – Garrett, 26

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.53.53 PM“My body wants nutrients for good health and my mind want peace for inner happiness so by eating vegan I accomplish both. My body is flushed everyday with quality nutrients and my mind is purified by knowing no living being, whom I care about deeply, is harmed.” – Jay, 30

 

“I love all that you post & all you’re about. Stopped eating meat because of you. Keep doing what you’re doing.” – Alexa

These are testimonies from some of the wonderful people I have helped go veg. It is truly incredible what the power of the human mind can do. Alone, you help save over 100 lives a year by going vegan. With the people above, we are effectively saving over 1,000 lives per year! Anyone who wants to make a difference can start with leading by example to make the change this World so desperately needs.

If you’re curious about how to transition to a vegan lifestyle, click here.

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How to Detox with a Juice Cleanse

Whenever I’m feeling gloomy on the inside and ugly on the outside, I know my body is telling me something. As a vegan, it’s hard to admit that I’m eating wrong, but that’s usually not entirely the case. I fall into slumps where I just don’t give a fuck about what I’m putting into my body and demanding of my body; be it half a dark chocolate bar, 1-6 drinks on the weekend, french fries, and parking my ass in a seat all day with the excuse that “I’m working”. I make excuses and say, “Well I know that all I have to do is detox for a couple days and moderately work out.” But, I have come to realize that that temporary and inconsistent solution will only work for so long and my metabolism will one day come to a grinding halt – thank you hormones!

 

Life is a process. A journey. A science experiment. The more I look at my life from the outside and stop judging myself, I realize that I can learn from my previous experiences and become better inside & out, every single day. If I promise or swear to myself I’m not going to do something, I usually end up doing it. For reasons that stem back to my childhood, I have a very rebellious mind that doesn’t like to do what it’s told. If I tell myself I’m “not eating bread this week”, I’ll end up eating an entire loaf of bread on day 5. It’s a little jolt of defiance that tells some other part of my brain haha we got her! Okay, perhaps this is getting a bit too deep into how potentially psychotic I am, but hear me out: what we think, we become. 

 

If I think I’m fat, I end up letting go of my true goals and desires and play into being fat – eating copious amounts of processed foods, drinking, and not working out. Sure, I’ll never really be “fat” in most people’s eyes, but it’s a personal thing that I’m almost positive every woman understands – thank you media! If I think I’m fit, I stick with my goals and don’t let my fleeting impulses for cupcakes and mochas get in the way of whole fruits/veggies and a daily walk/yoga sesh. Moral of the story: stick with what you know is right and reward yourself for doing it! The ways I reward myself are with manicures, chocolate coconut water, Kure’s Extra Mile smoothie, or ONE piece of coconut creme filled dark chocolate (yes, it exists!). It’s crazy that our thoughts can be changed by ONE letter, from fat to fit.

 

These are all thoughts that lead me to the decision to detox. I truly enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I don’t know why I allow myself to choose processed foods over nature’s fast food: raw fruits and vegetables. At the end of this post you can find resources on juice & raw recipes from amazing people, all of which contain whole, unprocessed foods.

 

Recommendations:

Juicing-Recipes-Detox-Cleanse

Preparation: Start the week before your cleanse by eating only whole foods: preferably raw, uncooked fruits & vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
Length: 3,7, or up to 10 days.
 I usually do 7 days and continue to juice afterward while slowly introducing whole foods again.
Physical Activity: Keep it to a minimum. I stick with a 1-3 mile daily walk with my puppy, and some yoga, or very light & slow aerobics.
Water: Drink it! Whenever you are hungry, drink water, coconut water, or herbal tea (peppermint, ginger, or dandelion) . If that doesn’t fill you up, make another juice!
Support: #JuiceCleanse - Instagram | Juice Cleanse – Pinterest
STOCK UP: Fill your fridge with fruits & veggies. See shopping list below.
Containers: 32 oz. Mason Jars work best, or larger reusable bottles.
After: Stick with whole foods the week after your cleanse. Start with whole fruits and vegetables, salads, and soups.

Juicing Recipes:

Greeeeeeen
2 Celery Sticks
3-4 Romaine Lettuce Leaves
3 Parsley Sticks
1/2 Cucumber
1 Handful Spinach
1 Stalk Kale1/2 Lemon
1 Apple
1 Stalk Chard
1″ Ginger

Red
1 Beet
1/8th Head of Cabbage
1/2 Apple
1/2 Lemon
3 Strawberries
2 Stalks Red Chard
1″ Ginger
2 Stalks Romaine Lettuce10151255_10152090935631347_3252817011991476217_n
3 Carrots

Rainbow
3 Carrots
1 Apple
1 Orange
2 Stalks Chard
2 Sticks Parsley
1/2 Cucumber
1 Handful Spinach
1″ Ginger
1/2 Beet
2 Stalks Kale
1/2 Tomato

 

Love
1/2 Tomato
4 stalks Celery
1/2 Apple
1/2 Lemon
4-6 small Strawberries
1/2 Beet
3 stalks Kale
1″ Ginger
1/8th head Cabbage
1/4 Cucumber

Forest
Handful Spinach
1/2 Cucumber
1/2 Lemon
1/2 Apple
2 stalks Kale
2 stalks Chard
1/2″ Ginger

I always add 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds to my juices, shake it up, and put it in the freezer while I’m cleaning the juicer so it’s extra cold when I’m ready to drink it!

Any combination of fruits and veggies is absolutely delicious once your tastebuds acquire the Earthy taste. I always use a 3:1 veggie/fruit ratio and make sure to add lemon/lime/orange/apple/carrot to cut the leafy flavors.

 

Additional Recipes:

http://www.fullyraw.com/#!juices–smoothies/c6b6

http://www.thecultureist.com/2013/06/24/10-healthy-juicing-recipes-for-detox-cleanse/

http://www.justonjuice.com/7-day-juice-fast-plan/

http://thefoodclick.com/all-beverages/2014-juice-cleanse

Have fun, enjoy, and let me know your thoughts :) 

 

 

 

Consult your health care provider before starting any cleanse program.

People undergoing chemotherapy, diabetics, people with nutritional deficiencies and people with kidney disease should not try a juice fast.  **Please keep in mind that cleanse programs are NOT appropriate for children under 18 and those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from certain medical conditions.

Be the change.

Most, if not all humans, have an innate desire to be noticed for their efforts, to make a difference, or to change the World. Some want to end World hunger, some want to decrease pollution and climate change, some want to save lives, and some just want to make less of an ecological footprint. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year fighting for these causes and creating marketing materials to convince others to join us in the fight. Meanwhile, agricultural subsidies are providing factory farms with the same (if not more) amount of money to do just the opposite: causing World hunger, increasing pollution and climate change, destroying lives, and creating the largest ecological footprint in the history of our planet. This is all proven in a study published in 1997 by Cornell University, meaning the numbers have all increased since then.

It may be a ridiculous thing to read, that the meat industry is causing the most destruction to our planet of all time, but it is true and the facts cannot continue to be swept under the dusty rugs that past generations of profit driven politicians laid down for us. Fat, happy men in suits are negotiating laws and how hard-working taxpayer money is distributed to these hells on Earth we call “industrial farms”. (source)

These are not the picturesque, rolling green hills with happy cows grazing kind of farms. These are warehouses stacked with shit so high and so foul-smelling that no human in their right mind would enter. These are cold, dark, and eery places full of cows, chickens, and pigs who have literally never seen the light of day, other than when they are transferred to the slaughterhouse. (source)

chickens COWS PIGS

We as individuals are not to blame. Society has told us time and time again that we need meat to survive. Every item on every menu in America is littered with appetizers and entrees with mouth-watering names that are appetizing euphemisms for deceased animal flesh. Our selfish desires for meat are ingrained in us from our early childhood. Milk, cheese, eggs, chicken fingers, hot dogs, pepperoni pizza, hamburgers, turkey and ham sandwiches are all staples in a young child’s diet. Did our parents really believe these things would help us grow? That can’t be true. It’s a matter of convenience. If we had to go out and hunt for these animals, or if we had to raise them their entire lives until they were ready to be slaughtered and prepared to our preference, almost no one would be eating animals as much as they do – if at all.
20110213-192768-jack-in-the-box-blt-burger-promo ad_113 bacon ad 3_18_11_Sarah_blog-resized-600 bbqs-galore-meat-party-small-78071157a2b7ad7abad719941f5d73bda6de0

Four months ago when my brothers were visiting to celebrate Thanksgiving, we were eating at a pizza place and everyone was mocking me for my pizza that looked like a salad. I’m pretty sure they ordered extra meat in spite of my hippie-righteousness. I remember looking at my brother Garrett and just being so sad that he didn’t understand why I was making the conscious choice not to contribute to suffering at every meal. I remember leaving the restaurant and almost crying to my boyfriend because no one understood, I wanted to know what I was doing wrong. Little did I know, I was planting tiny little seeds in my family’s minds that would soon sprout and eventually flourish into lush, verdant trees of love and compassion (sorry for the hippie shit).

These are a few of the testimonials I’ve received from people recently, most unexpected, that I was shaping their everyday decisions at mealtime.

“It’s really sad. Most Americans don’t have the faintest clue about this stuff. They assume their food is healthy and nutritious.
I’m going to try 100% vegan for 30 days so I’ll know first hand how my body responds. My only concern with vegan is too much wheat, grain, and oats ( gluten, high glycemic, inflammation causing )
I’m going to try a vegan diet free of all wheat, grain and oats..using root veggies instead as my carbs.
I’ll let you now when I start! I’ll need some good recipes”

“You’ve totally inspired me to alter my diet! Over the past month or so I’ve been limiting meats and being much more choosey if I do end up getting meat–experimenting with lots more veggies. It’s hard because [my boyfriend] is pretty difficult on giving up meat but I usually can make something and leave the meat out for me. Do u have any tips or good recipes for protein? I am such a sucker for cheeses and don’t eat them very often, and Greek yogurt is my favorite thing in the world and eggs. But I’m trying! thanks for all the inspiration!”

“I’m pretty immune to that cute shit, but I’ve started reading up on Western agricultures in nutritional terms, the links range from satiety afforded by eating fatty megaherbivores to meat as a prestige food throughout the millennia of preindustrial history to high-quality protein supplied by mass-scale production of red meat and poultry in affluent economies. I’ve been taking your dietary advice into consideration and I have to say I definitely feel different.”

“Okay so I haven’t eaten any meat other than eggs, fish & shrimp but I bought a bunch of
protein mix at Costco today so I should be set! (: #vegetarian Trying!”

“I felt lazy NOT being a veggie. I grew up with Buddhist beliefs after my mum and I came to the States. She taught me kindness. I just want to be an honest advocate for what I believe in.”

“I have an audio book called ‘Consider the Lobster’ by David Foster Wallace… it’s fairly short, but insanely insightful into the process of how people legitimize and celebrate the cruelty to lobsters, but moreover he applies that theme to the human logic of idiocy to creuelty to other animals as well… Gives me more cause to be vegan… I say we just fucking go for it…no need to be righteous about it, but simply make the right choice, the conscious choice.”

The latter is a quote from the same brother who I thought would never understand. He has now been veg for a week and his passion for the cause is growing ever-strong. This is a text I received from him this morning:

“What I’ve realized from being vegetarian is that the relationship vegetarians have with food is reciprocal, meaning, even though we take from plants for our own consumption, we give back by planting more seeds to continue the growth of that plant. The plants rely on us just as much as we rely on them. With met, they have no need for humans. Cows need a field of grass, chickens find seed, fish survive in the ocean without us, pigs survive in the wild on their own. Humans have STOLEN from animals and given NOTHING back, except for temporary shelter and food, simply to keep the animals alive long enough to murder them… it’s so insane.”

This is all coming from a man I actually felt disappointed in when he couldn’t understand my reasoning. I truly hope that my veg posts don’t cause anger or disgust in me, but rather that they cause anger and disgust for our species. Humans are effectively destroying this planet in order to maintain this unsustainable lifestyle. We must put an end to this. The reason I am so passionate about this cause is because I know for a fact that if we all make the conscious choice we can change the future of our existence. Going veg isn’t about you, it’s about everyone and everything else: animals, plants, air, water, your family, your country, your continent, the World, and future generations.

Here are some things to consider from the planet perspective:

“‘If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,’ David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences” (source)

The chart below shows the amount of liters of water is takes to produce just 1 kilogram of food from their respective sources:
 (source)

“Agribusiness spent  $751 million over the past 5 years on lobbying congress and another $480.5 million in direct campaign contributions over the past two decades. Since 1995, taxpayers have provided $292.5 billion in direct agricultural subsidies, another $96 billion in crop insurance subsidies, and over $100 billion in subsidies to promote the growth of genetically engineered corn and soy.” (source)

I will be posting more about the environmental and health effects meat production is causing to our planet and it’s inhabitants in the near future.

What I have learned is that if you want to be the change, you have to set the example and allow people to become leaders themselves, on their own time. It took just 4 months for my brother to completely change his lifestyle by researching and finding on his own that this lifestyle is what we must do as the “intelligent” species. Please reach out if you ever have questions or need support regarding the veg lifestyle. I would be honored to help!

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