Raw? Vegan? Vegetarian? Lacto-Ovo? Pescatarian? Mediterranean? There have been so many diets promoted in natural health circles in America over the last decades. It seems they all have various benefits. And the one thing most have in common is the avoidance of consuming of cows and pigs.
Red meat and pork have no known health benefits. The animals are treated brutally and killed in a gruesome bloodbath that is easy to ignore because so few have witnessed our fellow mammals’ slaughter. Those who are employed to do the dirty work get very low wages and often incur injuries because of the size and weight of the animals and the speed of the work. It is very difficult to watch. Even when Cargill, one of the largest meat processing companies in the nation, allowed Oprah Winfrey into a couple of sanitized areas of a processing plant, they did not allow her cameras to film a cow being killed. Out of sight means out of mind.
We are very fortunate that there are so many other things to eat! This meat can feel energizing because of all the adrenaline in the animal when it is killed, and there is iron in blood and flesh, but there is also iron in spinach, dried fruit, and lentils. There is a tradition of the hunt and the roast, and this holds a special allure and place in our hearts. However, when you realize that is far from how the animals get to our plates nowadays, the romanticized vision vanishes.
One hamburger can contain up to 100 different cows. The US kills 35 million cows a year, and 13,200 pigs an hour. That is a lot of bloodshed, death, and killing. What would our country be like if that stopped? Our cardiovascular health would improve, as would our regularity. Less suffering for the animals coincides with less suffering for humanity.
If you would like to see what really goes on behind the closed doors of the slaughterhouse, it is a great motivator for change, although very sad to watch:
These videos have a louder volume, so you may wish to mute (this also makes them more bearable to watch):
This was filmed at Agriprocessors which was the largest (Glatt) Kosher meat producer in the United States, and the only one authorized by Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate to export beef to Israel, before it was shut down in 2008 by inspectors (best to mute):
Thank you for being willing to read this, and watching some of the videos. I know it is very difficult to consider this topic because for so long we have been removed from the reality of it and since we were children we were taught to eat a certain way. Make sure to be gentle with yourself and go slowly when making changes in eating habits. Perhaps begin with a “meatless Monday.”
This film describes the positive environmental impacts that forgoing meat just one day a week can make:
For a well done documentary about one man’s journey with this issue, watch this clip:
Another inspiring story with regards to getting back to a plant-based diet is that of Dave the trucker. He was dying when he decided he had to tackle this problem head on:
Even the Mayo Clinic recommends “meatless meals”:
Recent articles in the LA Times and the Huffington Post lend weight to this conclusion:
Because of all the droughts we have been having in the US, the cattle are starving, and the herds are shrinking:
Cows are very gentle creatures. There is no skill or chase in hunting them. They are docile pacifists who give their milk and eat grass. They hurt no one, and do not deserve this torture. Pigs frolic and forage, are as sociable and intelligent as dogs, and genetically are surprisingly similar to humans (more so than any other domesticated animal):
The slaughter house is like hell on earth. It is time for the madness to end. It does not have to be this way. Humans have freedom of choice, and when we know better, we do better. And when we learn, we care.
These items can function in place of meats in traditional American recipes when needed, they’re pretty tasty, and the most popular ones are available at supermarkets:
I had a great experience when I asked my supermarket to carry a natural product they did not already have, and they now stock it in the store – thank you Vons!
If you are taking medications or have had surgery, please consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet and only undertake such changes under her/his supervision and monitoring. This is because dietary changes can lessen the need for certain medications. Also, listen to your body – if you need red meat, eat it. If you can avoid it when possible, and still feel good, please do. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice.
I’m currently entangled in a passionate relationship with soda. Almost no other drink comes even close to satisfying me. I am definitely addicted. Seeing how much Coke I was drinking, a friend told me to switch to a “diet” soda. I put diet in quotations because the term is used far too loosely. After tasting it, I realized it was still just as sweet as my typical beverage, perhaps too sweet. How was this possible with no sugar? Well, the answer is Aspartame, an artificial sweetener. After reading up on Aspartame and other ingredients in diet soda, the very thought of taking a sip horrifies me.
Aspartame is the ingredient found in Equal, NutraSweet, and other sugar replacements. While the idea of something replacing sugar in our diet may be enticing, the components that make up Aspartame are not worth the substitute. One part of Aspartame, Methanol, changes into Formaldehyde when digested. Formaldehyde, for those that don’t know, is embalming fluid for dead bodies. It is a well known carcinogen, and is toxic at very low levels. Another ingredient, Aspartic Acid, has been found by Dr. Russell Blaylock of the University of Mississippi to cause damage to neurons in the brain, which can ultimately lead to Alzheimer’s disease. I would prefer sugar to Aspartame any day.
But is sugar the addicting part of soda? I don’t think so. From my personal experience, it’s the caffeine and carbonation. Caffeine is just so infused in the daily life of our culture for its ability to wake us up and to become alert. Since the substance is unregulated, it is highly sought after by almost everyone. Then add carbonation into the mix. For me, carbonation makes up the psychological part of the addiction. The bubbles make he think of something new and fresh, it makes the soda feel like the ultimate refreshment. This combination is why I keep coming back for more and more. I find it funny that I was able to kick heroin and other opiates but I still can’t put down my Mountain Dew.
So how does one kick the soda habit? The most common solution is finding a replacement beverage. Sparkling water with some lemon or another fruit added is a good example. It is a far healthier alternative, and the reassurance of carbonation makes the switch a little easier than with other drinks. The good news is that sneaking a quick sip of soda won’t kill you, so it is possible to ease the switch by simply drinking a little less soda each day, and a little more sparkling water. On that note, if you absolutely need some soda during the day, get a bottle instead of a can. Once the can is popped open, the urge to finish the whole drink is too great to avoid wasting it. Sips from a bottle help tone down that urge.
Now I’m still debating if I want to make this change or not. Maybe I’ll start with one less Coke a day.
By -Hayden Carr
This Raw Hot Cocoa is something I started drinking as I began to try losing weight. I have a hopeless sweet tooth, and wanted to make something I could treat myself to often. This will satisfy your craving without the sugar crash or the heavy feeling from the dairy.
2-3 tbsp. Raw Cacao Powder (such as Navitas Naturals)
1-2 tbsp. Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp. Raw Almond Butter
(optional) ¼ – ½ tsp. vanilla extract
(optional) a pinch of sea salt
*use more milk alternative and less water for a richer consistency/flavor.
Makes about 12oz
- Heat water in pot to just below boiling
- Whisk in cacao, immediately turn heat to low
- Add remaining ingredients and whisk
- Heat on low, whisking occasionally until fully blended
- Pour into mug and savor slowly.
Feeling tired? Exhausted? Lacking concentration? Lacking motivation? Whilst energy drinks, coffee, and pharmaceuticals may offer a quick short-term solution and “hit” of energy, they are not doing you, your loved ones or the planet any favors.
We discovered vegan chef Christy Morgan on Twitter and instantly fell in love with her philosophy and her food. The Green Dove asked the LA-based veganista, who has whipped up dishes for the likes of Alicia Silverstone, to share her journey, insights and one of her fave recipes…
How did you become the Blissful Chef?
I’ve been studying plant-based nutrition for about eight years and teaching for four. I came up with the name “The Blissful Chef” as a way to brand myself and create an image that people will remember. The name fits me well, because to feel bliss is to experience true happiness and spiritual joy. My life, business, teachings, blog, and whole existence is all about spreading happiness and joy to others through food, and helping them access their bliss.
What inspires you?
In live, I’m inspired by all of my amazing friends that do what they are passionate about everyday and those who have dedicated their lives to saving animals. With cooking, I’m inspired by the changing seasons and the different produce that is available throughout the year. I love gardening, and find growing my own food to be a fascinating process. I’m also inspired by different cultures. Often times I just open the fridge, see what’s in there and whip something up.
Your fave raw vegan treats?
I love raw vegan desserts because they are made with wholesome ingredients and they are so rich that I only need a little to be satisfied. If I eat baked desserts, like Uncle Eddies cookies for instance, I can literally eat the whole bag in one sitting. I love raw chocolate, Earth Cafe pies, and my Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse.
If you could recommend one thing about veganism to someone who’s not, what would it be?
Eating a healthy, balanced, plant-based diet I feel is the best thing for our minds, bodies, spirits and for the planet. But if you can’t go whole hog overnight, then start by having two plant-based meals a day (or as much as you can). Slowly start transitioning the “good” things into your diet, like whole grains and dark leafy greens, then start taking away the not-so-good things (meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, processed foods). I have some great tips on my blog for making the transition that are extremely helpful and realistic.
The 80/20 Rule
This is the only thing that keeps me sane and not OCD about my diet. If you can eat super healthy 80% of the time, you can let yourself be a little naughty 20% of the time. Hold on now, Im not talking about having hamburger and fries for that 20%, but if you are at a party or want to go out to dinner with your friends you can have something fried or a piece of cake with frosting. I dont compromise as far as eating only vegan foods, but sometimes I do eat sugar or have more oil than Id like to when I eat out. Im human too! I just have a rule that at home Im making the healthiest food possible, with wholesome organic ingredients, no oil and no sugar. That way I can relax when I go out with friends.
It doesn’t serve you or your health to be fanatical about your diet. But it is the most important tool that you have for creating optimal health free of physical pain and mental suffering. Your food choices will affect everything in your life, so choose them well.
Check out The Blissful Chef blog for more ramblings from Christy Morgan, natural food chef and educator, who continues to study plant-based nutrition with the best in the field, has cooked for Alicia Silverstone, and continues to be sought out for her accessible approach to nutrition and holistic living.
Follow Christy on Twitter @TheBlissfulChef.
Avocado, Strawberry, & Grape Tomato Salad
Strawberries are the most popular berry in the world. They go great in salads and as a compliment to a savory dressing like Balsamic Vinaigrette like in this recipe.
1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn or chiffonade
1 medium carrot, thin julienne
10 grape tomatoes, quartered
6 strawberries, ends cut off and sliced
1 cup yellow pepper, thinly sliced
Pinch of pepper and sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Ten years ago, Marguerite Alston was faced with a major health challenge that would change her life forever. A malignant melanoma diagnosis sent her stress levels off the scale. Her future was suddenly uncertain.
“I vowed at that point in time that I would do all that I can to look after my body, mind and spirit,” she says, now fully recovered. “I wanted to learn all that I could about nutrition and gain a deeper understanding of what I can do to make sure I live a long, vibrant and healthy life and I never wanted to deal with cancer ever again.”
You just have to browse the web or your nearest book store to see the world is obsessed with dieting. Yet if statistics are accurate, were not just tipping the scales, were on our way to breaking them. It has taken many of us years of restrictions and meal replacements to figure it out: diets dont work.
From calorie counting to cutting out carbs, a Pandoras Box awaits those who still dare to follow the latest diet craze. Yet achieving and maintaining your ideal figure is actually more simple than what weve been lead to believe-and it comes with a bonus: vibrant health.
I don’t wear sunscreen and never will.
I stopped using sunblock the moment I stopped being a beauty editor a few years ago. A combination of gut feeling and research told me what I was being told to “protect” my skin with was little more than a poison (and poisonous it is).
Dr Brett Hill is now offering personalised life and wellness coaching. Whether you want help with a specific problem, dietary advice, exercise advice, emotional advice, business advice or all of the above, Dr Brett can use his extensive knowledge and experience to help you get back on track.
Dr Brett specialises in cutting through all of the clutter to quickly find what the core problem/s are and give you real, practical solutions that you can take away and start to work on straight away. Life and Wellness Coaching sessions can be either a one off or a regular monthly session to debrief on progress and then re-goal for the next month.
These life and wellness coaching sessions are open to anyone interested in improving their health, anywhere in the world. These sessions can be conducted in person, via phone or Skype.
Cost: $100 (Australian) for a half hour session.
Life and Wellness Coaching is a paid Green Dove sponsorship.
The English swear by it and the Japanese cherish it, yet in the United States tea is one of the least favored drinks, despite its documented health benefits.
In a nation that is literally fueled by soft drinks laced with chemically produced sweeteners (including the mass-produced bottled drinks that are disguised as “healthy” teas), it’s time to speak up on behalf of an ancient beverage that comes in many varieties, yet is derived from just one powerhouse plant: the Camellia Sinensis.