Chickpea Salad Sammiches and the dangers of eating fish

I have to admit I love tuna salad sandwiches, I always have. Tuna was always the sandwich I would make at home when I wanted a sandwich. I still sometimes will eat tuna, like the mediterranean tuna salad at Feast here in Charlottesville, it’s so good. But I’m very concerned about eating fish now, not to mention how unsustainable it is. Eating fish is potentially dangerous because of the widespread, ever-increasing pollution of the waters in the world. The biggest water contaminants are the PCBs and mercury, along with dioxin, DDT, and dieldrin which are among the most toxic of chemicals on the planet.

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My favorite natural hair products

I have really thin hair that needs lots of volume and extra help. Although eating an organic plant-based diet has changed my hair, It’s more shiny and a little thicker then it was before, I still need a little volume. I don’t like using many products anymore, the less the better for me. Many of the toxins we absorb in our everyday life come from the products we use. I recently did some spring cleaning and cleared out all the products sitting around that I don’t really use and that aren’t healthy for me. I love Kevin Murphy products. Kevin Murphy is giving hairdressing a greener face by creating a line that is environmentally friendly without compromising product performance. All products are paraben and sulfate free and made with renewable and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. The products are made using pure essential oils, plant extracts and natural antioxidants. We use Kevin Murphy at Evolve eco-friendly salon where I work. I also love Aveda products, Aveda is also a strong player in environmental awareness. Their products can have a strong fragrance for some who are used to commercial products containing petrochemicals. I find Kevin Murphy products to be more gentle, soft, and delicious smelling. Here are my every day favorites.

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Sticky fingers cupcakes

Sometimes I just really need a cupcake. Even though I eat mostly raw and healthy most of the time, certain days and moments call for cupcakes. Interestingly enough, my craving hit me while leaving the gym after a pretty decent workout. You just never know. I went over to whole foods and picked up a box of chocolate love cupcakes made by sticky fingers bakery. They can be found in the prepared foods section with all the desserts. They are a bit pricey for box of 4 cupcakes, but well worth it! They are vegan, not gluten-free, but vegan and absolutely divine. My sister and I went to the cafe in Washington DC a few weeks ago and I got the gluten-free cupcake there. My sister got the peanut butter chocolate I think. I have to say I enjoyed every minute of eating the chocolate love cakes while kicking back and watching a movie called “Two Lovers” starring Joaquin Phoenix. I love Joaquin, he is dedicated vegan who has made animal rights a priority. He’s also extremely sexy.

Cupcakes and Joaquin….good combination.

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Blue Basil smoothie

I’m not a big fan of hot weather, especially today when it is almost 97 degrees outside and humid as hell.  I don’t really have much of an appetite when it’s hot either, I’m a smoothie girl most of the time. I had some beautiful fresh basil from my bounty basket and fresh peaches that needed to be eaten. I decided to whip up this smoothie created by Sammi McLean who has fantastic blog called veganpandamonium. It was so refreshing I could drink it all day long and be happy as pie.

I used my fresh peaches in place of the pineapple in this recipe, I’m sure the pineapple is also delicious. I also added fresh spearmint.

1 cup of spinach

1 cup frozen blueberries

4 large basil leaves

2 sliced rings of pineapple ( I used 2 peaches sliced)

1 frozen or ripe banana

1 cup almond milk (homemade is always best)

I added spearmint too!

Enjoy!

The blood type diet “Debunked” and the facts about protein

I have been flirting with being vegan for almost 8 years now. I started wanting to become vegetarian back in 2001. I’ve been in and out of vegetarianism and then started becoming more awakened to what goes into my body in general. As my consciousness grows, so does my love and compassion for all animals. I became fascinated with where my food comes from. I wanted to know what happened to the animals, how they got to my plate, how were the farms and were the farmers treated right.? I have become more concerned about the earth and the state it’s in now, and how I can help. I’ve read many books on nutrition and animal welfare, with still a whole lot more on my list of reads. I was recently concerned about my blood type, having read the blood type diet by Peter D’Adamo. I was worried about my ability to stay healthy eating only plants considering I am a type O. Peter claims that type O’s need to eat primarily animal products, red meat being the big staple. Since I’ve been dealing with fatigue and such I thought, maybe I need animal protein, all the while not feeling right about it at all. If I’m not feeling right about what’s going into my body, then that vibration really does manifest in the body, mind and spirit. I know deep down that I don’t want to be any part of animals suffering. And believe me, they suffer big time. They don’t stand a chance on factory farms at all.  John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and No Happy Cows explains ” I’ve harvested cabbages and pulled carrots out of the ground, and I’ve been in slaughterhouses and seen animals have their brains bashed out with sledgehammers and their throats cut- the experiences are not comparable” There is documentary called Earthlings that will show you what really goes on with the slaughtering of animals. I myself cannot watch it, I already know it’s really really bad. I started crying at some of the images.

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Peaches and Cream cobbler topped with coconut cream fraiche

I whipped up this simple and delicious raw dessert inspired by a recipe in this months  Veg News magazine. If you haven’t ever checked out Veg News, it’s the best! I love it.

It inspires me to read it. So many good recipes and inspirational stories. This month also has the vegan weddings of 2012. I think that is so sweet, I hope to have a vegan wedding someday. There are lots of vegan men out there now, so cute. Although it’s not a deal breaker if I meet the man of my dreams and he eats meat, not at all, it would just be so cool to meet a man who cares about animals as much as I do. Just a thought.

Anywho, I love the joys of summer “uncooking” and indulging in nature’s produce. I can’t wait to pick up my bounty basket today from Relay Foods. Relay foods is an online grocery store where you’ll find stuff from the best local stores, restaurants, and farms right in your own neighborhood. I will have fresh, local peaches, yum.

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My Eco-friendly father’s day gifts

I’m not really big on gift giving in general, it alway’s seems like a big waste of precious resources like all the paper we waste, the materials that are mass produced and not sustainable or renewable. Not to mention buying things for people that they really don’t need or want. I like to buy gifts that are eco-friendly and purposeful. I have a serious romantic and sappy side to me though, and I like to show the people I love that I love them. Like my dad, my recent visit with him was so amending and purposeful. I have a huge soft spot for my dad. I was going crazy watching my dad use mass quantities of plastic water bottles. And he wasn’t recycling! I was all tied up in knots about it, but people don’t know, they aren’t educated and they remain stuck in their old ways unless shown something different. I did get him to try my morning green smoothie though.

The next morning he said to me ” Do you think you can make me one of those smoothies again?” He is now making his own green smoothies and loving them. I bought him a brita filter and pitcher so he no longer has to buy plastic bottles.

I also bought him a copy of the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. My dad had cancer in the past and still suffers from some health issues. I tried to educate him on the importance of plant based foods. This book is written on one of the most comprehensive study’s of nutrition aver conducted on a plant-based diet and how it heals cancer. Men are more open to learning if there is some scientific approach to things. This is a great gift for men. I also love how Larry Hagman, who plays JR on the hit show Dallas cured his cancer on a vegan diet, and he swears by it and is now vegan crazy! I love it, that was my favorite show. Larry also talks about the power of juicing.