Tag Archives: Self-Improvement

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.

How will you celebrate Earth Day this year?

On April 22nd we will be celebrating Earth Day. This is the day when everyone goes out and cleans up a park or plants a tree and thus proclaims they love the earth… yeah whatevs!

"Eco Concept - Earth In Hands " by jannoon028 | via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Eco Concept – Earth In Hands ” by jannoon028 | via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What about the other 364 days of the year? If you really love the earth then do a little more, lord knows it needs it. Some of the easy things to do include recycling, not idling your car, walking, biking. The not so easy things include reducing your consumption to reduce waste, reusing items before getting rid of them, not replacing items that aren’t broken… you get the idea.

So now that we’ve healed the earth, how are you doing? Spring is the time for renewal, shedding layers (YES IT WILL GET WARM AGAIN) and a time for new growth. It’s also a good time to review what you have been doing with yourself for the last four months and re-evaluating. Do you need to fix your eating habits? Do you need to add more activity into your life? Do you have enough love and friendship in your life – all those little things that add up to make you that wonderful you that you are.

So while you’re helping to clean up litter on Earth Day don’t forget that there are 364 other opportunities to clean up the earth and yourself.

PS if you haven’t seen it I have launched a YouTube easy cooking series. Tell me what you think and what you want to see more of! April’s episode should be coming soon.

Love yourself & Happy Veganniversary to me!

February always brings out the lovey dovey in me. Even though we have a good foot of snow in the front yard and another coming over the weekend I can’t help to feel the love.

San Francisco 3.2008 007

This marks the 4-year anniversary of my going vegan, the 4-year birthday of this blog and the 3-year anniversary of when we adopted our beloved Luke. So with all of the crap out there I have something good to hold on to.

Surrounding yourself with great things and appreciating what you have I think begins the journey to loving yourself. We all focus that Valentine’s Day love on so many others that some of you forget to focus on the one that needs the most love –  YOU!

So go ahead and love yourself a little harder this month, and find those things that make you happy and keep you going because you will project those good vibes on to others and I promise you that the lovefests will ensue.

PS: Stay tuned for monthly recipes shows on my YouTube channel. I am excited to launch the January (yes a little late) Episode this weekend!