Livin Veg

Photo on 2011-12-30 at 10.01

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My Experience With Juicing – Inspired by Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

It’s not often I post here anymore. I started a new gig as senior editor for which gives me very little spare blogging time. It’s worth it though. I love what I’m doing and it has tremendous reach. But I’m back to share my experience with juicing.

After watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with my husband, and getting a juicer for my 30th birthday, we decided to attempt a juice cleanse. I thought I’d share our experience and some recipes. Also, we have a rating system so you know which juices worked for us, and which were left wanting.

Rating System

1. Ew
2. Eh
3. Drinkable
4. Yum
5. Delish!

4 apples
4 beets
8 carrots
1 inch ginger
1 bunch spinach

Yum Factor: 5
This was a great start to juicing. Super flavorful and healthy. We’ll have this one again for sure.

4 Plum Tomatoes
1 large Cucumber
2 stalks Celery
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/4 small Red Onion
2 cups Parsley, leaves and stems, roughly chopped and packed into the measuring cup
1 Lime

Yum Factor: 3
I may have put in too much cucumber. I didn’t have one large one, so I used two medium. As a result, it tasted a bit watered down.

2 Apple
8 carrots
1 inch chunk ginger
1 Bushel Spinach
½ lemon

Yum Factor: 4
This was a lovely dinner. This was the last meal on the first day and the idea of making another juice was not thrilling. Truth be told, I wanted to give up. I thought, I’m not going to make it. But, we stuck with it and once I was drinking the juice, I was happy again. No more thoughts of chocolate or pasta.

3 Oranges
4 kiwis
1 lime

Yum Factor: 5
This was great for a morning wake up. The kiwi makes it a bit thicker than some juices which is also nice. I peeled the kiwis, lime and orange before putting them in the juicer.

1 head of romaine
2 apples
1 inch ginger
2 stalks of celery
4 carrots
1/2 lemon
1/2 a bunch of parsley

Yum Factor: 5
This is the best juice every. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I could eat it every day. Super yum.


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Think Cares About Animals? Think Again.

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For years I’ve been visiting the site to view pics of adorable animals. I mean, working in AR, I look at so much sadness each day, I need some snuggling puppies and mouse/cat friendships. But after what I saw today, I’ll never be going back there.

What made me so annoyed?

Well, they posted some pics of a baby dolphin at SeaWorld. (That’s not even the bad part.) Knowing what I know from the animal protection side, I looked through the comments to see if anyone else was sad to see a baby dolphin in captivity at a facility that offers so little space to marine animals.

I found one comment that said,

“I cried when I watched The Cove. And when I saw this little cutie in such a small and limited pool being raised for the entertainment of humans…”

Another girl agreed.

Then came a comment from Roketto saying,

“Okay, can we all agree to boycott comments like this? Please? Personally, I’m offended by having guilt shoved in my face by holier-than-thou environmentalists who are sometimes, but not always, hypocritical.”

Roketto goes on to say how SeaWorld is actually awesome and how the tricks the dolphins learn are “enrichment.”

That wasn’t so bad. It’s a discussion. What killed me was when the CuteOverload moderator said this in response,

“I’m sorry that a comment like that slipped through,” (referring to The Cove comment.) “Rather than simply delete it, I’ll add your comment to the thread and see how the discussion goes. I hope it doesn’t get too rowdy.”

That’s when I got frustrated.

It “slipped through?” Really? That implies that a comment from an animal activist would normally be deleted. They censor people from discussing animal issues on the site. Aren’t they supposed to care about animals? Don’t they think the animals that are so adorable, and that make them money, deserve to be treated well?

And if not, perhaps their animal loving readers should be free to express their opinions. I mean, if they are respectful and coming from a kind place like that original commenter, then what’s the issue?

Yeah. I won’t be going back to CuteOverload.

Oh, and also, my comment, polite and respectful, did not make it through moderation. In case they delete the post and comments, I took a screen shot. You can check it out in the pic. Click on it and you’ll have the option to expand it. The comments in question are at the very bottom.

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Helping to Rescue a Pug from a Car on a Hot Day

While vacationing in Maine just over a week ago, my friends and I came across a pug locked inside of a car on a 90° day. I had a video camera with me so I documented the scary situation.

Check it out…

Learn more about how to help if you find an animal locked inside of a car on the ASPCA website. Also, find out if you live in a state where it’s actually illegal to leave your companion locked inside of a car.


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5 Vegan and Eco Finds in Kennebunkport and Freeport Maine

I never know when I travel what kinds of foods, people and places I’m going to find. Obviously when you vacation on the sea, there is going to be an upsetting amount of seafood in the area. And lobster of course. Not a veg girl’s dream. But, I have found Kennebunkport and Freeport Maine to be delightfully vegan friendly as well as a scenic and entertaining location I for sure want to return to.

To take the guess work out of your visit to the area, here is my round up of veg and eco finds in Southern Maine.

1. Bandaloop in Kennebunkport

Rated the best restaurant in town, Bandaloop is kind and considerate to those who choose not to eat meat and dairy. They have vegan options on the menu and those options are scrumptious.

We had the:

  • Fresh Chiffonade of Kale  – fine ribbon cut kale leaves, massaged with lemon juice, and tossed with minced garlic, basil, hemp seeds, candied pepitas, sesame-tahini vinaigrette and cucumbers
  • Indian Spiced Organic Tofu or Tempeh, Spinah and Vegetables – tangy tamarind glaze in a large bowl with basmati rice and spiced cashews
  • Tofu Taco – warm corn tortillas, sharp cheddar*, cilantro, cumin seasoned tofu, pineapple-mango salsa, roasted poblano hot sauce, herbed sour cream* (*Just ask for this one without the cheddar cheese and sour cream.)

It’s right in town so you can hit it after a day checking out the shops.

2. H.B. Provisions in Kennebunk

For a faster and more relaxed meal hit up H.B. Provisions for lunch. It’s a small grocery as well as eatery. And they have one of the best homemade veggie burgers I have ever tried. Plus, you can pick up some soy milk or fresh fruits if you’re in need of a few staples.

3. New Morning Natural Foods in Kennebunk

We didn’t eat out every meal. Far from it. We stayed at a house our friends rented for the week so we did a great deal of cooking. Thankfully, New Morning Natural Foods carries all my favorite vegan products like Field Roast, Liz Lovely Cookies, Daiya, Tofutti Cuties and more. The people are nice and knowledgeable and they will point you to what seems like any vegan item you might want to find. Also, check out how many local products they carry!

In addition to veg friendly eats, you’ll find lots of items in the town of Kennebunkport made by local artisans. It’s pretty touristy, but frankly, I’m a tourist here this week so I ate it up. Cute shops. Nice people. Kennebunkport is worth a visit.

On Wednesday we took a shopping trip to Freeport, the land of L.L. Bean and outlet shopping. I was on a tight budget so I stopped myself from indulging for as long as I could. At least until I reached one particular shop…

4. Horny Toad in Freeport

Yep. Horny Toad. A stylish eco girl’s dream. Before visiting Freeport I had never even heard of Horny Toad. But my friend Renee wanted to go inside since she had been a long time fan. My hubby and I ventured in just to keep her company and ended up buying more than she did.

The items in the store are more of the outdoor-sy nature, but with beautiful cuts and fabrics. Gary and I each bought a coat made by Nau. (And at a big discount since they are off season.) Both our coats are light weight, made with recycled material, comfortable, stylish and asymmetrical. Plus, when we eventually wear them out, we can send them back to the company to be further recycled. My friend Renee bought a few super sexy casual dressed made from organic cotton.

I learned (from the very kind man at the store) that three years ago Horny Toad bought the eco company Nau. It’s a lovechild from a former Nike designer and a former Patagonia designer. If you visit Freeport, be sure to visit Horny Toad. I always love when eco brands figure out how to balance style, function and the earth.

5. Conundrum in Freeport

After wandering around Freeport for the day, we drove down Route 1 South to find a wine bar called Conundrum Wine Bistro. Our friends had been there several years before on their honeymoon. There was a lovely cool covered outdoor seating area and a wine list that would make any wine snob happy. Also, for the light weights among us (like me) or for the person who wants to try lots of different kinds, they offer half glasses of wine!

At first it looked like the veg options were just going to be vegetarian. All with dairy besides the gazpacho. But the waiter was amazing. He was open to changing anything. Renee and I ordered pizzas with no cheese but instead with caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, arugula and a balsamic reduction. The chefs did an fantastic job and the waiter even said he told them to save the recipe for the future!

Before this trip, I hadn’t been to Maine since I was a kid. Now, after being here all week and seeing sea birds, seals and kayaking through the bay, I know I could spend a whole lot more time taking it all in. I can certainly take a vacation where there aren’t many veg options and make do, but a holiday where I’m able to eat and enjoy is so much better.

If you, like me, find yourself visiting Southern Maine, hit up any of these places and you’ll find the same kind people and wonderful foods and clothing that I did. Knowing how much I enjoyed it and want to come back, we might even run into each other.

Eye Shadow Modern Minerals

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I’m In Love With Modern Minerals Eye Shadow

A few weeks ago when I was looking through my email I saw a message from my favorite ethical flash sale site, Pure Citizen. (Think of, but with labels like fair trade, organic and vegan attached to all the products.) That day they were offering some of the most beautiful eye shadows I had ever seen. Vibrant blues, sparkly purples, light pinks and more.

I immediately went to the site to check them out. The company, Modern Minerals, is exactly the kind of makeup line I was looking for. Beautiful shades and made without artificial colors, synthetic paragons, petroleum products and a whole bunch of other nasty stuff I prefer not to put on my skin.

In addition to being eco, all of their products are vegan. Kind to the earth and kind to the animals while still making this eco girl look fantastic.

I ordered a bunch of colors including dream, mermaid, matcha and summer samba and have been alternating between them all trying to decide which one I love the best. In fact, I haven’t touched any of my other eye shadows since Modern Minerals entered my makeup bag.

So many eye shadows feel heavy, especially the sparkly ones that can feel thick and scratchy on the lid. These go on smoothly and while the color is strong, they are light as can be. Also, the mark of a truly great eyeshadow, they blend very well.

I love nothing better than supporting a company that works hard to be ethical as well as beautiful. Modern Minerals gets my vote on all sides. Check out the site, and some of their gorgeous summer colors. You’ll become addicted, just like me.

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Clothing Swap & Vegan Bake Sale in NYC on May 11th!


Come one, come all! Where? The fabulous charity clothing swap and vegan bake sale happening in NYC on May 11th.

Spring is here and you’ve got closets to clean out. But if you’re anything like me, you like to replace that extra room you’ve cleared with something fun and new. New to you anyway. Most of the items I get for spring are from swaps and consignment shops. It’s the perfect place to indulge your inner fashionista without further putting a burden on our planet.

To make it even sweeter, proceeds from the event are going to support HEART, an organization that goes into schools and teaches kids about human rights, animal protection and environmental ethics.

Check out the flyer above to see how it all works. We’ll have clothes, purses, jewelry, hats, vegan sweets, music and a raffle with prizes like a selection of cookies to take home from the delicious and wonderful vegan cookie makers Liz Lovely. All of this fabulousness is being sponsored by none other than my favorite green site Ecorazzi!

The event goes from 4pm – 9pm. You can come for the whole time, or show up for an hour, grab what you want and leave. It’s all up to you. RSVP (although not required) on facebook!

I hope hope hope to see you there. HEART is such a worthy organization and helps spread compassion where we need it most: in our future generation. They’ll grow up to be humane leaders, changing the world one problem at a time. Watch this short video of HEART and see what I’m talking about!

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Bill Plympton’s “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger” – A Powerful Tool For Activists?

Note: This post was originally written for Ecorazzi.

Famous animator Bill Plympton is no vegetarian, but his new short film, “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger,” certainly makes the case for valuing life.

I went to see Plympton’s full length film “Idiots and Angels” the other night. He was there to answer questions and introduce the movie. As a special treat, he showed “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger” first. When he said the title out loud, I immediately cringed thinking that I was about to see a film version of suicide food. I mean, what cow would want to become a hamburger?

The film (which also made the short list for the Oscars) begins with a calf suckling from his mother in an idyllic field. However, the calf quickly becomes aware of a billboard overlooking the pasture. On that billboard is a picture of a smiling hamburger that says “Happy Burger!” Many animal activists will recognize the humor and frustration in that billboard. There are many like it all around us, ads that make it sound as if the animals lead happy lives, and wanted to become food.

This little calf is just as susceptible to the powers of advertising as the humans who want to eat him. So, he leaves his crying mother behind and approaches the farmers so he can become a happy burger too. The little guy is only a calf, so the farmers laugh him back to the pasture.

Now comes a Rocky inspired montage of the calf weight training and running to bulk up, all with the dream that he will one day be big enough to become the happy burger. Horrific, right?

And now that the calf has become a cow and meets the weight requirements for slaughter, he enters in line with the other adult cows. Each of them looks terrified. They seem to know about their impending doom. But our hero is still smiling and can’t believe that the moment he’s been waiting for is here. That is, until he enters the slaughter facility. His face quickly turns from happy to horrified as he scrambles and tries to escape.

I’ll stop the synopsis there so as not to give away the ending.

After the film, Plympton took some questions. In the credits next to each person’s name it said what diet they followed. Some were omnivores, one a vegan, and everything in between. I asked Plympton, an omnivore, “Did the film inspire you at all to rethink your diet?”

Shockingly, his answer was no. They even had their wrap party at a BBQ/Steakhouse. However, I can’t imagine any viewer watching the film without asking some hard questions. How influenced am I by advertising? Does the animal that I eat have a right to live?

Personally, I think this short could be a powerful tool for animal activists. The animation style is bright and engaging. Because there is no dialogue, the film would work with any audience, no matter what language they speak. The story brings the viewer through an emotional experience filled with both laughter and horror.

Plympton might not be an animal activist, but he sure made a short that will make people question their own eating habits. I highly recommend watching the film.

Check out the first 56 seconds below…


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