Sunday, December 21, 2008

My House is Green - Kind of, Sort of...

I've been on a green path for 3 years now, from vegetarian to vegan and living consciously aware of my impact on the planet. I share my thoughts, ideas, dreams, etc with my husband of nearly 16 years, who I'll call EJ. He will listen, but never really engage. I often wonder how intently he is listening and how often he zones out.

In the 18 years that we have known each other he has never bought a book. He received a book as a gift one Christmas and he tried reading it, but soon lost interest. Well, EJ bought a book this week and the book was Green Collar Economy by Van Jones. When asked why that book, he said that he didn't realize how many African Americans were interested in the ecology. (Say what?) He then said that he didn't know that there are jobs available now and jobs that will be created in the near future that are dedicated to the ecology. (Say what?) EJ also said he was interested in opportunities that will help inner city residents and those in low socio-economic groups obtain access and education about "going green." (Say what?)

I said to him that we must practice what we preach. He then turned to me and said, "Teach me what you know." My house is going green!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Living Cruelty Free In a Cruel, Cruel World

shoes Pictures, Images and Photos

While reading Youngbon's essay at Baby Boomer Vegan I could identify with the path her journey is taking. Youngbon said she first became vegetarian for health reasons and along the way something inside her changed. The same thing has happened with me - I've changed. I care more about living creatures, both human and non-human. I care about our planet; my vocabulary has changed (carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, living green, sustainability, eco friendly). This has been my path to veganism.

I have come to realize that being vegan is MORE than eating no animal products. It involves not wearing, buying, using, animal products and products tested on animals. Cruelty Free is the path I have meandered my way onto.

Veganism is life affirming and it connects me to the power that is greater than I am. This in turn helps in my spiritual formation. I've heard and read carnivores who opinioned that vegans think more highly of themselves than they do of others and that vegans make their lifestyle seem better than those who misuse animals. But I wonder if vegans feel more connected spiritually to the universe, to the creator and it comes across as arrogance. I'm sure there are some who try to force others to live by their philosophies, belief system, and spiritual truth, but I hope this is the exception and not the rule.

This is the life that has chosen me and I freely embrace it. To otherwise is to live as an apostate. Truth has made me free - cruelty free.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green Smoothie - Recipe #2

smoothie Pictures, Images and Photos

1 cup parsley

1 stalk celery

2 med oranges (or 1 large)

1 pomegranate (seeds only)

1/4 to 1/2 lemon


Remember: If the taste of the veggies is too overwhelming just add more fruit. Green smoothies are best made with blenders with very powerful motors. If you don't own one, I suggest that you blend your green veggies first with a little filtered water then blend the fruit. You may have to strain the fibers from the veggies to get a smooth tasting smoothie.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Power of Green!

green vegetables Pictures, Images and Photos

Here's the story: I began having cold symptoms on Dec 2nd, by Dec 3rd I had post-nasal congested, ear ache, and a dry cough, by Dec 5th all symptoms were gone except the dry cough and small amount of mucus. It may seem that I'm giving too much info, but I'm amazed that my cold didn't last by 2 days 3 if you count the onset. Loving Husband was congested for two weeks.

What I did differently than he was that I continued drinking green smoothies, had vegetable broth with cayenne pepper, and drank warm lemon water. I stopped eating solid food. I also took liquid form of goldenseal. I also made sure to get plenty of rest and limit my exposure to stressful events.

Loving Husband decided to continue eating solid food including diary, took a traditional over-the-counter cold & flu medicine. He was insistent that I take this medicine and eat to "keep up your strength." I think he was wrong this time. I feel great! I'm starting a green smoothie fast on Dec 11th.

The reason I haven't posted in a while is that I've been busy with this Wii & Wii Fit that I purchased.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Have A Cold...

Courtesy of my Loving Husband, I have a cold and I feel miserable - more so than usual. I always have muscle and joint pain because of lupus and fibromyalgia, but never the sneezing, congestion, coughing, and itchy watery eyes. These are the same symptoms he had before getting full fledged head cold. I bet it happened on Thanksgiving when he kept kissing me and thanking me for cooking. That tells you how often I cook and I'm a really great cook.

So even though I feel listless I am heading to the health store for some herbal remedies. I'm getting zinc, echinacea, goldenseal to go along with the vitamin c I already have. I'm drinking ginger tea with lemon. It may sound like I'm doing too much, but once one thing is out of balance my system goes haywire. I don't like the fact that this mucus is in my nasal passage, in the back of my throat, and it refuses to budge. It grosses me out just thinking about it. My head hurts, my ears hurt, and my throat is sore from this dry cough.

Since I have no appetite I'll drink smoothies today along with freshly juiced oranges.

I'm off to the store because Loving Husband is working.

Photo courtesy of SCol22

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Green Smoothie - Recipe #1

smoothie Pictures, Images and Photos

Green smoothies are so delicious. This recipe was inspired by Ravynn. I thought I was buying ingredients she listed, but I forgot the written list and so I bought what I thought was on it. This smoothie is delicious.

1 cup spinach
1/2 banana
1 lime
1/2 cup pineapple
coconut water & jelly-like insides of 1 coconut
1/2 cup water

Blend and enjoy!

image by thagokae on photobucket

VitaMix Blender

I bought a VitaMix blender and I'm using it! When I first heard of this blender several years ago I must admit that I thought it was overpriced. I didn't think I really needed such a powerful blender. Truth is I didn't need it then, but I do now. I purchased a centrifugal juicer and it's okay. I find that it's wasteful - leaving all the pulp behind - and it's so time consuming to clean.

I have enjoyed fruit smoothies for the past week. They are delicious and allow me to get my fruit servings in for the day. After a week I can feel the difference in my energy level and my digestive system. I've now had my first green smoothie and it was soooo good. I will now be able to get my veggies in with no problem.

Although I've been vegetarian (vegan more so than not) for nearly 3 years, I must confess that I don't like vegetables. It goes deeper than not liking them, I can't eat them without gagging. Never could even as a kid. My mother tried her best, but I wasn't having it. It's a wonder that my body has held up this long. No doubt that my poor diet has contributed to my current health woes and has more than likely exacerbated the autoimmune diseases that I have.

My vegetarian lifestyle has reversed high cholesterol and pre-hypertension. I can hardly contain myself when I think of the healthy, life-giving, healing nutrients in live, whole foods.

This blender is the best thing I've bought in the past 5 years. I'm not exaggerating.

photo by tofutti break on flickr

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day - 2008

The theme for World AIDS Day 2008 is "Leadership." Leadership is the power and authority to make a difference by action and example. The overall purpose of the World AIDS Campaign from 2005 to 2010 is to ensure that leaders and decision makers deliver on their promises on AIDS, including the provision of Universal Access to Treatment, Care, Support and Prevention services by 2010. - continue reading

Photo by Benny Solz on Flickr

Living Long and Living Well

I watched a repeat of "Oprah" show about Blue Zones, places that have a large population of centenarians - people living into their 100s. I was so inspired to live better, to live healthfully.

The Blue Zones are towns in the countries of Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, and US. The one US city was Loma Linda, CA where there is a large population of Seventh Day Adventists who are committed to eating healthy vegan diets.

I was a little surprised that Loma Linda had so many active seniors. The air quality is usually bad there. Well, the air quality is horrible in Southern California period. I know that there diet and there spiritual practices contributed greatly to their quality of life. I'm in prayer on how to implement life-giving habits into my life. I want these behaviors to become who I am, to define me.

Here is a list of what persons living in Blue Zones had in common:
1. eating a plant based diet (organic, home grown)
2. physical activity daily
3. stress free work
4. social support - spending time with family and friends
5. rituals & sacred time
6. purpose for living

This way of being can be achieved. It is possible. I plan to examine each one on the list and see what I'm currently doing well and where I need to make improvements.

Photo Credit: Photo by Phillie Casablanca on Flickr.