Sunday, November 29, 2009

Do You Speak Earth?

Cate Blanchett narrates this call to action for i. speak. earth. I Speak Earth is a movement dedicated to taking action against climate change. World Leaders meet in Copenhagen for COP15 next month. Each one of us can take a stand: spread the word!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eco-Conscious Fashion: What about Leather?




Truth be told, since becoming Vegan, I have not been able to find a great pair of shoes or boots that are hot, stylish, cruelty-free and under $500.00.

Bags...Same Dilemma!
So this raises the question: if you're Vegan and against animal cruelty is recycled leather an option for you?
Ashley Watson is a designer who had an innovative idea: to create stylish handbags and wallets out of gently worn leather coats from charity thrift stores. I'm still undecided as to whether I would wear leather at all but I admire Ashley for her green ingenuity.


Charmoné is a green shoe company specializing in high-style eco-fashionable footwear which uses no animal products at all.

I'm still on a quest to see more quality cruelty-free fashion that doesn't break the bank. Any suggestions!? Email me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Season for Giving

These have been difficult times for so many families in Southern California and around the country. Especially during the holidays, people who have been struggling throughout the year, are now faced with the most difficult fact to face: their children may not get to experience the joys of the Holidays! Every year, I donate (toys, food, or $ if I can) and volunteer my time to a local foodbank or shelter. Charities that help the needy are facing shortages this year more than ever.

I have put together a list of websites with information on how you can help! What could be a more beautiful gift than to put a smile on a child's face and help wipe away the tears from a struggling mother's eyes? Remember, even a $20.00 donation could feed a family or two.

*Shelters are also a great place to donate or volunteer. Most of us think of homeless people as drug addicts living on the sidewalks; but there are many children living in shelters as well! Please do it for the Children!!!

Volunteer Los Angeles -- General information with phone numbers for various charities

LA Fights Hunger Food Bank

California Food Banks -- Food bank information for ALL of California

Project Angel Food

San Diego Food Bank

CA Association of Food Banks

Orange County Rescue Mission

Salvation Army

Season of Sharing

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Thank you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Earth Pathophysiology: A New Perspective

Physiology is defined as the study of the functions and processes of a living organism and all the physical and chemical phenomena involved. Pathophysiology is the physiology of "abnormal states; specifically: the functional changes that accompany a particular syndrome or disease."*

Now, think of the Earth as the living organism displaying the abnormal symptoms of disease and you will see the need for this new perspective. If you look deep into living tissue, for example, you will see membranes, cells, intercellular structures, all of which can be compared to some components of our planet. Examine a Cell; Examine the Earth from space.

Monster storms, superbugs, global warming, changes to the Thermohaline Circulation--these are ways the living earth is fighting back. Like a human body sending out an immune response, Earth is fighting us off.

In my vision of the future, I see scientists becoming increasingly aware of this and hopefully learning more about what I call "Earth's Immune Response" which has been triggering these calamities in recent years. I see society beginning to regard the Earth as a massive living organism, not just a rock. I see new studies into the "pathophysiology" of our planet.

Throughout history, there have been trailblazers calling for change, breaking paradigms, and opening our eyes to new visions and possibilities. I am happy there is a "green" awareness but I warn against being blinded and distracted by Green Greed. Some companies capitalize on the fact that Fad Terms like "Organic" and "Natural" and "light" are moneymakers. A more ethical purpose would be to ultimately improve the quality of life on Earth. It is apparent that our status quo is deteriorating our resources and our planet.

We need to change in order to improve our world for our children and grandchildren to cherish and enjoy. We must not leach all its resources and we cannot continue to parasitically drain the world of its Life.

I propose that a lifestyle change is necessary. Not merely a quick fix. Longstanding traditions must change forever. This is not easy, but if a few altruistic individuals can do it...everyone can do it.

Thank You! Gracias! Dōmo Arigatō!ありがとう Grazie Mille! Khayli mamnoon! Merci Beaucoup! 谢谢 谢谢你 Xie Xie! Do Xie! Shukran! Spasiba! σας ευχαριστώ




*http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/pathophysiology

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Karinna's Seitan Stuffed Mushrooms

Here is a super fun, and versatile recipe that will impress all your meat eating dinner party guests this Holiday Season. The Stuffing for the Mushrooms can be served as a salad without baking and is also great as a dip, in a sandwich, and in "mi Casa" we layer this salad on Tostadas as well.

I have had guests ask me whether it is Chicken or Fish; it has a meaty texture and lots of flavor! This is a multitasker recipe so work at your own pace and add your own flair!!

You will need:

1/2 Package "Chicken Style" Seitan (WestSoy is great and the broth can be used for stocks or a delicious roux) **If your supermarket doesn't carry Seitan, please smile & ask your store manager to order it!
4 Asparagus Spears
3/4 cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise (or regular Vegenaise, just please don't use Mayo)
1/2 c. Flat Leaf Parsley
1/4 c. Green Onions
1 clove Garlic
1/4 c. White Onion
1/2 Ripe Hass Avocado
1/4 c. Sun Dried Tomatoes, reconstituted and Julienned
1/4 c. Vegan Bread Crumbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Earth Balance Vegan Butter
12 Large White Button Mushrooms

Prep:
1. Clean mushrooms, remove stems and set aside, layer cookie sheet with aluminum foil, place mushrooms face up on the cookie sheet, and preheat oven to 375. **Mushrooms are anti-carcinogenic and full of nutrients!

2. While you're prepping the veggies, boil the asparagus spears in seasalted water for 6 mins, drain, then chop into bite size pieces; this can also be done earlier in the day. **Asparagus are great for promoting Prostate Health!

3. Mince Garlic, chop Onions, Parsley, Green Onions, and Mushroom stems. **Garlic is a natural antibiotic!

4. Using the Boiling water from the Asparagus, pour boiling water over the Sun-Dried Tomatoes to reconstitute and set aside. **Sun Dried Tomatoes are full of Vitamins and Lycopene!

5. Carefully open Seitan package, saving the broth for future use, and slice the Seitan into strips (like Chicken strips!) **Seitan is also known as "Wheat Meat" and is made from wheat gluten: a high source of protein!

Cooking the Seitan:
1. Heat pan, add 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil and saute the Garlic, white Onions, and Mushroom Stems. Add 1 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter.

2. Add the Seitan and Sun Dried Tomatoes until slightly browned; s & p to taste.

3. Turn off heat and let cool.


Making the Seitan Salad:

1. In a medium bowl, add the fresh flat leaf Parsley, fresh Green Onions, and cooked Seitan mixture. **You don't have to cool it too much because Vegenaise is made without Eggs, so it won't curdle.

2. At this point, slice the Avocado and while the half is in your hand, small dice it right in the shell and empty into the salad mixture.

3. Add the Vegenaise, and Bread Crumbs and mix it up.

4. This is a fragrant, tasty salad that can be substituted for Tuna or Chicken Salad. I add fresh Tomatoes and fresh Romaine to this salad when I serve it alone. Or continue on to make Stuffed Mushrooms...


Stuffing the Shrooms:
1. Spoon the Seitan Salad into the Mushrooms. I like to pile them high!
2. Sprinkle with a bit of Bread Crumbs.
3. Transfer to Oven and bake for 20 minutes.
The Mushrooms will be juicy! Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Transitions

The seeds planted in my garden are sprouting
Reaching up through the soil
To touch the sky and feel the sun
Ready to smile in the breeze
and taste the raindrops from heaven

The caterpillars resting on leaves are ready to begin
...To change and fly Free!

In my life's garden it is always Spring
Blooming and Fragrant
My spirit lives in the Butterflies in flight,
the joyful dance of petals,
the music of life.

Death and change must not frighten me
But transition me to a better place.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kids LOVE Fruits ... and Veggies too!

They really do! With their young untainted taste buds, they quickly develop a fascination with the textures, sensations, and flavors in a variety of veggies. The key is to introduce them early! Veggies and Fruits can be crunchy, squishy, slimy, wiggly, sweet, sour, and always nutritious!

*Start early! It might sound funny, but I add "sprinkles of joy" (soy lecithin granules, flax meal, or wheat germ) to some of the kids meals. And my toddler twins call colorful bell peppers "God's Candy" because they are so sweet. When they ask for "candy," they are asking for Red Bell Pepper slices!

*It's easy to get creative when you add a healthy dip! Try celery sticks in homemade walnut or cashew butter or sliced raw zucchini in marinara. Finger Foods are always a big hit with little ones.

*Toddler moms: make a blindfold game of "guess the veggie stick" and ask them to describe the textures and tastes!

*Pack healthy snacks in your school aged kids' eco-lunch tote!

*Picky eaters? Parents have to get creative sometimes! Add spinach to any baked breads, muffins, or cookies. Add soy lecithin, soy protein powder, or wheat germ to pancakes, cereals, milkshakes, or rice!

In this society, too many children are exposed early to sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed meats, and fast food! It's no wonder many children develop a dislike of vegetables! It is never too late to start, so please give your kids a chance at a well-balanced, healthy life and eliminate the dislike and fear of vegetables. Remember, most importantly, never force a child to eat something they don't like. Give them time, and be persistent, not forceful. Lead by example, savor a carrot or other veggie in front of a child and watch their fascination and curiosity. They will be thinking "hmmm, i wonder what that tastes like!!"

Have fun with your kids and make veggies FUN!

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