Category Archives: Self-Help

Garden Update

I figured it was about time I gave you guys a garden update.

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This spring I didn’t have a chance to get my seeds started early so I pretty much planted as late as I ever have. As I was telling my friend Nelson, who does an awesome job running the Metuchen Farmer’s Market, my gardening philosophy is to take whatever I have and throw it in the ground…

So here’s what has come up

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Kabocha Squash

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Kale and Mystery Squash

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Tomatoes

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Tomatoes

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Borage

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Calendula

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Asparagus

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“Permaculture”

I also have these wild flower looking weeds that have really come in, thanks to my lack of weeding and making it more of a “permaculture” type plot. If anyone knows what these are please let me know!

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Mystery Flowers

What do you have growing in your garden??

LIEBSTER AWARD:

I want to thank my friend Charanya from Yes I’m Vegan 🙂 for nominating me. Below are the rules and questions to answer:

Rules for this award:

  • Thank and link back the person who presented the award to you.
  • Have the award on your post.
  • Answer the questions that has been asked.
  • Award the same to other upcoming blogs.

Charanya’s Questions

  1. What’s your favorite cuisine? Too many! Middle Eastern Maybe
  2. What would be the last meal you will love to eat? Something Indian or Falafel
  3. What is your favorite vege? Changes every day!
  4.  Do you watch Game of Thrones? Yes, though I am behind but have read through book 5
  5.  If you are vegan, why? If not, do you think you could be one for few days? at first it was fr health reasons but as I did more research my reasons became more ethical and environmental
  6.  Is there anything your life wont be the same without? Nope not really
  7.  What’s your favorite movie? Too many to name! I love bad movies!!
  8.  Is there any color you loved as a kid? Green, now my fave is red
  9.  Is there anything you would change in your life if life had a rewind button?
  10.  Do you own an iphone or an android? iPhone
  11. 3 words that could describe you: Passion, Loyal, Independent

My nominees are:

1. Vegan Flavorista
2. Earthpages.org
3. A Lazy Girl Goes Green
4. Veganomics
5. The Novice Gardener
6. Vegan Muffin Woman
7. Epicurean Vegan

My questions are:

1. What is your favorite book?
2. What gets you up in the morning?
3. What color best describes you?
4. What do you do for fun?
5. If you could make one thing in the world right, what would that be?

What happens when you lose your mojo

Every once in a while I get a deep sense of mojo loss. The best way to describe mojo loss is a feeling of what you are doing, or not doing, is not that important and you would much rather watch a marathon of episodes of Angel on Netflix.

As much as I would love to watch Angel all day – and I have! It’s important to get back in the swing of things. Here are few tips to help you get your mojo back:

1. Talk to friends, colleagues, peers, anyone that knows what you want to do and are about. Chatting can help you articulate any fears that may be lurking that is subconsciously trying to squash your mojo.

2. Have a heart to heart with yourself. We are often the harshest to ourselves, would you say the same things to another person that you say to yourself? If not, then stop it – be nice.

3. Do something that pertains to your mojo, sometimes we forget why we do what we do and getting back to the roots can help center you.

4. Take it easy, it’s possible that you are feeling burnout, if that’s the case then take a vacation, if you can’t go away then take a mini-vacation, even an afternoon off spent with family and friends or alone at a great spa can help re-energize you.

Reflect, reawaken and remember, you won’t be happy if your mojo is out of whack.

Before you recycle, reuse

Recycling is all the rage now, that’s a good thing though I think people should also consider reusing before recycling. We have so many things that get thrown away that can be used. Most of my furniture is “reused” Aka, antiques and thrift store finds. The beauty about that is that you don’t have to worry about off-gassing materials. So the next time you go shopping think about what you have at home and ask yourself if you really need that.

If you are looking for ideas to reuse items, take a look at this Pinterest page.

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I may use that toilet paper roll seed starter next year!

Please feel free to share any creative reuse ideas!

What are you grateful for?

Plenty of times we lose sight of the important things in life. Sometimes I like to joke about first world problems, let’s face it, most of us are lucky to have those kinds of problems. You know, that difficult decision about what drink to get or what outfit to wear…

Grateful for my flowers

Grateful for my flowers

Every once in a while I like to focus on what is important to me and what I am grateful for, here’s my list:

I am grateful for the wonderful friends and family I have
I am grateful for the opportunity to do something different
I am grateful for the fur babies in my life
I am grateful to be able to live a life of compassion
I am grateful to live in a time that women can do so much
I am grateful for the rain we get since it will give me a beautiful garden
I am grateful for spell check

What are you grateful for?

Why the fuss over iron?

During my Diet Tech program we saw a big fuss over iron and as a vegan I’ve seen a big fuss over iron, should there really be such a fuss? Well yes, actually there should be.

Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Iron is a trace mineral that aids in carrying oxygen throughout the blood cells and in metabolic reactions in all cells. There are two types of iron, heme that you get from animal flesh and non-heme that you get from plants. Iron deficiency is a real problem in the U.S. (it also happens to be the most common nutrient deficiency on the planet) and not just for those who abstain from animal products. Approximately more than 1.6 billion people have iron deficiency anemia, may of them preschool age children and expecting moms. Iron absorption is key to preventing an iron deficiency. While the heme iron is better absorbed dietary factors could inhibit some absorption, these include phytates, some vegetable proteins, calcium, and polyphenols.1

So does this mean that you shouldn’t have anything with your iron-rich foods? Nope, cause that’s going to get old really fast. If anything, you should have a variety of iron-rich foods, and make sure to eat them with a vitamin C source. I love to put lemon juice on my dandelion greens. Raw peppers are also a great source of vitamin C, they go very nicely on a spinach salad.

The iron needs for vegetarians are higher than for non-vegetarians. Since people that abstain from meats are not getting as much heme iron, the more absorbable form, they need to up their intake of non-heme iron (plant-based) by about 1.8 times more. The DRI of iron for men is 15mg and 33mg for premenopausal women. Good sources of plant-based iron include: fortified cereals, spinach, sea vegetables, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds.2

Iron deficiency, symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, decreased mental alertness and pale lips/gums, however, the one thing you should NEVER EVER do is self-diagnose or treat iron deficiency on your own. Is there such a thing as iron toxicity – you bet there is and guess what? The symptoms are similar to deficiency.

So if you suspect you may have any kind of deficiency please go to your practitioner of choice and get the appropriate tests.

Sources:
1. Understanding Nutrition by Whitney & Rolfes, 12th edition, 2011.
2. Vegan for Life by Norris & Messina, 2011.

Summer’s coming – let’s get fit!

Summer is almost here and for many the panic of showing arms and legs sets in. I know I get a bit of summer fever hanging out in the garden and trying to get a little Vitamin D on my arms and legs.

Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So here’s a bit of perspective, a visually perfect body does not automatically equal fitness and health. I repeat, a visually perfect body does not automatically equal fitness and health. There are many “thin” people who have the same lifestyle diseases as the overweight and obese – they have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

So while you go beat yourself up because you can’t fit into those size 2 jeans, maybe instead you should celebrate the good things that came from your annual physical that shows that you are indeed in good health and feeling well.

And if you do need to get fit, well start slow and build up. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Finding your natural beauty

Everyone wants to have that natural beauty, the glowing skin, the great hair and the unbreakable nails. Who doesn’t want to leave the house without any foundation – maybe just a dash of gloss and a swipe of mascara… photo (3)

That’s what I do – I often get comments on my skin, I like to think that it looks pretty good for a 40-something. The funny thing is that I used to think that I couldn’t take any credit for my skin because I have great genes.

I don’t think that way anymore, yes genes have a lot to do with it but so does lifestyle. I try my darnest to get a full night’s sleep, I drink tons of water, I eat plenty of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables – no factory farmed animals for me! And I even get in exercise when I can. I’ve also started to make my own moisturizing oil that seems to feel pretty good.

That’s all well and good, we know that all helps to make nice skin wonderful but what about the glow from within? You know those people who may not have flawless skin but they have something even more beautiful about them. That’s the natural beauty that I aim for. The beauty that comes from living a life of compassion, giving, helping others and just trying to make this world a better place for those less fortunate.

This post is for all those natural beauties, please keep doing what you do. If you have a natural beauty in your life please let us know about them.