All I want for Christmas is some gluten-free vegan crackers: Some tips on how to be kind to your body, your family & your friends through the Holiday Season

Here is my Holiday gift list for:

You
For anyone who is interested in being kinder to their body
For anyone who wants to live kinder
For anyone who is living a Fae lifestyle
For anyone who loves someone living any version of Fae Life
Fae Life, simply put, is kind, conscious, respectful living. It means being kind and conscientious to your body, your fellow travelers, your environment. This looks a little different for everyone. Food is a huge part of any individual lifestyle and being kind to our bodies. It is also a volatile subject, especially during the holidays. Our bodies are all different and have different food preferences and needs. Acknowledging, honoring and celebrating our individual lifestyles, eating styles and life philosophies is a kindness that doesn’t have to be complicated, frustrating or expensive. Here are my top 5 gift suggestions for a kind, conscientious Holiday Season:
Gift 1 – Patience. We all have our own pace and our own place on the path. I haven’t eaten meat in a very long time, I eat vegan-ish and stay away from dairy, I would estimate, 85 percent of the time. But I do eat dairy occasionally. My Thanksgiving mashed potatoes had danish grass-fed butter and organic grass-fed half & half and were delicious next to my Gardein Chick’n Scallopini. That is where I am. My husband is a carnivore. He eats meat regularly. I would prefer he didn’t, but it isn’t my place to judge his eating style. He respects mine so in turn I have to respect where he is on his path. He is eating more and vegetarian and vegan meals, so I consider that progress. I know a lot of vegans that would consider this unacceptable. They are free to live their lives their way, I will live my life my way. Me forcing my husband to live my lifestyle will not accomplish creating another vegan/vegetarian. It will only create anger, frustration and conflict in our relationship. That doesn’t benefit anyone. I would rather have him willingly try new foods that happen to be vegan and incorporate those into his diet. It is a kinder way to convert him to a healthier, kinder way of eating rather than using force and conflict.
Gift 2 – Understanding. Being judgement free and understanding of the eating lifestyle of your family and friends is the best gift you can give to anyone. And the best gift they can give to you. I am vegan-ish and gluten sensitive, my husband and my children and grandchildren all eat meat, one grandchild is diabetic, two family members have celiac disease. My family has learned to be very understanding of each other’s eating styles. We are not perfect, but we try to be pretty understanding of each other’s individual needs.
Gift 3 – Provide just one thing that is cruelty free, vegan and gluten free. It is actually WAY easier than you think. I am not talking about going crazy accommodating every guest. But having one or two things that EVERYONE can eat will be a great kindness for your guests. A cruelty free, grain-free, gluten free food option could be as easy as chips and salsa, hummus and Mybread gluten-free pita, a charchuterie board that has almonds and olives in a section of the platter that is not touching salami and ham, and keeping any gluten filled crackers off to the side in a separate dish. Or a crudites platter with a dip made with one of Simply Organic’s dip mixes and tofutti sour cream instead of dairy sour cream. I guarantee the dip will be delicious and both items are available at most grocery stores. Simply Organic has a lot of gluten free, vegan mixes to choose from but my favorite is their Onion & Chive dip. You can make it as directed, but you can also use it to make a really great spinach dip by making it according to package directions with vegan sour cream, then add the well drained chopped spinach, a half cup of vegan mayo (my favorite is Just Mayo), minced water chestnuts, thinly sliced green onion and tablespoon of raw coconut sugar. Serve with a box of Simple Mills almond flour crackers and you are a hero. Seriously!
Gift 4 – Take responsibility for your own food preferences. How is this a gift? Well, it will mean the difference between you enjoying yourself at any Holiday gathering, or sulking in the corner because you can’t enjoy any of the party food and drinks. Bring some gluten free vegan wine, beer or cider and one appetizer or dish to pass. But make a lot. If it is delicious everyone will want some and they won’t care that it is the only gluten free or vegan option available.
Gift 5 – Don’t lecture anyone about any part of your or their eating preference. The holidays are not the time to dive into the horrors of factory farming and global warming. Yes, it’s a critical issue, but not at your Christmas dinner or New Years Eve party. And yes, it’s really frustrating that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity have become a misunderstood fad with confusing and often inaccurate information that is causing real harm to those who actually suffer from it. But again, take responsibility for your food, ask questions to protect your health, but don’t lecture. No one wants to hear it at a holiday party or dinner. Conversely, try not to make uneducated statements and ask inflammatory questions. No, vegans don’t eat fish. No, celiac sufferers can not have “a little bit”. If someone does ask, answer thoughtfully and respectfully. And then change the subject.
Peace, Love and Safe eating to you and yours as you try to stay crunchy through the holidays, my friends. (…and vegan, and cruelty free, and gluten free, and grain free….)

(PS – photo credit to the hubs ūüėČ)

Every Day is a Journey

I took a hiatus from this blog because I was having a sort of “crisis of conscience”. I felt like, who am I to be writing about living a cruelty free, sustainable, green, crunchy lifestyle when I can’t be true to that way of living myself? Not all the time, anyway. But you know what I discovered? That you guys want me to write about these things precisely because I don’t live a perfect, cruelty-free, sustainable, vegan life. I have always been transparent with all of you about what I am and am not. And I share my personal disappointments with you as well as my successes. Well, many of you have told me that you love that I show you by example that trying, and not necessarily being perfect in all areas of the journey, is ok. It’s a journey. And as with any journey, there are setbacks, plateaus, and side-roads, as well as unexpected sunrises. We shouldn’t have to be told that trying our best, while not always being perfect, is acceptable. But we do. Because we live in a very judgmental society. And even the groups that I love and support, the vegan communities, the green economy communities, the environmentalist communities, can be very unforgiving for those of us who are trying our best but still slip up from time to time.

The best example I have for this is, well, cheese. You all know by now that dairy is my nemesis. Where I would never dream of ever eating meat again, I am still, after all this time, having a hard time eliminating dairy completely. I fully recognize that I am a hypocrite with flawed logic when it comes to eating dairy occasionally. I have found some really good vegan cheeses, vegan sour cream, and vegan cream cheese. And at home I am eating almost 100 percent dairy free/cruelty free. But when I am at a social gathering and there is straight up dairy cheese or sour cream based dip, I’m going in. I eat, I would estimate, 90 percent dairy free. But there is that 10 percent when I have pizza with real cheese, a dairy based dip, a real omelet, or a scoop or dairy ice cream.

I am learning to celebrate my 90 percent success, and go easy on myself for that ten percent that needs improvement. I know, intellectually, that dairy is as horrible an industry as meat. But because the dairy product is so far removed from the process and cruelty of dairy factory farming, it is easier to ignore. Easier for me, not for the abused animals. Because I am not facing a bloody, cut up animal, just a beautifully packaged piece of cheese, it is easier to say “just a little”. I would never, ever say that when it comes to meat. As I said, I am a hypocrite. I am moving farther and farther into a full vegan lifestyle, but there are so many pitfalls. I am learning to navigate them better, and not beat myself up when I trip on one, and I continue my journey one step at a time. I will continue to share my journey with you for as long as you want me to. I appreciate each and every one of you who have joined me on this journey.

PS

I also promised an update on the super-food additions to my diet. (see previous blog)

I am still loving my Berkey filter. One of the best investments I have made for my health and well-being! The Maju’s Mental Mushrooms were too gritty (for me anyway) to continue adding the powder to my coffee. But I still take them, just adding it to my morning smoothie instead, along with barley grass juice powder and spirulina powder. I am also still taking my Seed Probiotic and I have to tell you, this is the first time I have stuck with a probiotic protocol and I am loving the results. Not just for the “elimination” benefits, but my entire digestive system is healthier. And a side effect of sticking with the probiotic protocal is that my appetite is easier to manage. I no longer have those insane urges to eat even when I am full. I have found over the past month or so that my eating habits are more “normal”, meaning that I digest my meals more fully, and feel no urge to eat again until I am actually hungry.

All in all I am happy with the results I am getting from adding these super-foods to my diet. I do feel mentally clearer, and more inclined to walk or do a (short) yoga session each day.

Adding Superfoods as a Kindness to Your Body

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The older I get, the more embodiment in this era feels like a science experiment¬†rather than a learning process.¬† As a society we have allowed our food, atmosphere and earth to¬†be¬†altered so drastically that we need to supplement our food and our lifestyle to achieve optimal health.¬† I was skeptical of “super foods” when I first began learning about them years ago.¬† I have always thought that if I eat nutritious foods that I will have all the nutrients my body needs.¬† But that isn’t the case.

I am chronically tired, have a low level of continued brain fog and have carried 40 extra pounds on my medium sized body for about 20 years now.¬† I could just blame it on aging, but that isn’t the truth.¬† The truth is a combination of things.¬† I have a sedentary office job, and I have spotty enthusiasm for exercising after work, even walking by the lake, which I actually love.¬† I eat vegetarian, (veganish), but I eat a high fat, high carb diet several days a week (think rice and beans, gluten free pasta with veggies and sauce).¬† But even that shouldn’t result in¬†this level of low energy and slow metabolism.¬† And it’s not¬† just me.¬† So many people I talk to are experiencing the same low energy and brain fog that I do.

So I have chosen to add a few superfoods to my daily food intake.  Superfoods, in my opinion, are a landmine of overwhelm.  Too many to choose from and  too much information.  First, let me make it clear that I am not being paid to advertise the following items.  They are just a few things I have researched and feel that I would benefit from.  This is a process and what I ingest to optimize my energy and health may change in the coming weeks and months, but this is what I am starting with:

First, I finally got my Berkey water filter.  Berkey water filters are stainless steel gravity filters.  I added the optional fluoride filter because my community still embraces the insane notion that adding the industrial byproduct that is fluoride to our water supply is somehow a good idea.  The chemical fluoride that is added to drinking water is a known hazard and there have been numerous studies showing that osteoporosis and tooth decay are highest in communities that add fluoride to their municipal water supply.

I am also¬† cutting down on my plastic consumption so I no longer have to¬†buy cases of water to avoid my¬† awful city water.¬† I am so very happy with this purchase.¬† Water is life, unless you are drinking fluoridated city water. ¬†Ok, so water isn’t a super food, but it is critically important, so it made my list.

Second, I have added Maju’s Mental Mushrooms to my morning coffee. One little scoop¬†every morning.¬† The benefits of this mushroom blend include energy, mental clarity and sharpness.¬† I didn’t¬†have to change anything that I do in my morning routine so it was a really easy addition.¬† I just add it to my first cup of coffee.¬† (Yes, I have more than one) Although it does mix in to the coffee easily, there is a bit of grittiness, but as long as you expect it, it isn’t too unpleasant and I am getting used to it.¬† I have read quite a bit about medicinal mushrooms and felt it was something I could benefit from.¬† And Maju makes an affordable, quality product.¬† Also, I can buy it on Amazon and I do love my Amazon Prime!

Third, I added (re-added as I have taken it on and off over the years) spirulina.¬† I add a spoonful to my morning smoothie.¬† Again, not a difficult addition as I make smoothies most mornings (in the summer months anyway, the winter, well, that’s a different story).¬† My smoothies always have greens, but I add spirulina too since it is such a powerhouse green.

Last, but certainly not least, I started a probiotic protocol with Seed probiotics.  They are the *new kid on the block*, but have extensive research behind their product.  I read as much as I could about their company and their product  before starting the protocol, and I really liked what I found.  It is frustrating to my that I have to add a probiotic to my diet, but again, this is something we have created with the food and farming practices we have, as a collective, chosen to embrace. Seed is an automatic monthly renewal, which I actually like since I am notorious for starting a regime and then not following through.

So there it is, the four changes I am currently making in order to age gracefully and with as much energy and vitality as possible:
Fresh, filtered, plastic free water
Medicinal mushroom blend
Spirulina

A top quality probiotic

I will be honest with all of you in a follow up blog as well as my social media as to how well it is all working, and what results, if any, I am experiencing.  Feel free to weigh in on this subject either here or on any of my social platforms.  I would love to hear how you are navigating the Superfood overwhelm, what is working for you, and how you are taking your energy back.
Instagram:  fae_life
Twitter:  @Fae_Life  https://twitter.com/Fae_Life

A Journey of Healing and Tolerance

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Lao Tzu

I am not here for the Greenpeace, Peta power players. They are an amazing group of warriors, but not everyone is cut from that cloth.

I am all about creating a safe community for the housewife that wants to feed her family kinder, but doesn’t know where to start. I am here for the business man that is learning that the food industry has horrific practices, but has no idea what to do about it. I am all about the teen or young adult that sees what is going on in the food industry, eats 90 percent kind, but is having a hard time giving up shrimp tacos on Taco Tuesdays. I want to create a safe place for people who are trying to do better for themselves and the planet. I am about promoting community, knowledge and non-judgment.

There is so much judgment from all sides in our society, and in fighting to be *right* we have lost sight of the very real need to heal ourselves and our planet in whatever way we can. We are destroying the land and the oceans at an alarming rate. That is scientific and environmental fact. And we all need to do our part. But to attack someone who is trying to eat kinder by participating in Meatless Mondays because they are not full vegan is counterproductive to healing our planet.

Yes, of course a vegan lifestyle leaves the least carbon footprint on the planet. You can read an excellent article about it here. A vegan lifestyle is ideal for humans, animals and Mother Gaia. But a lot of people just aren’t there yet. Instead of scaring them off with an *all or nothing* approach, how about we try kindness, compassion, and accept whatever steps each individual is comfortable in taking, rather than not taking any at all.

The die-hard meat eaters, the ones who truly believe that animals were put on earth to eat, the ones who, with all their heart, believe that humans are meant to eat animals, are not going to adopt a full vegan lifestyle. Not right away anyway. And some never will. But they can still help a little by being conscientious about their purchasing options. And by participating in initiatives like Meatless Mondays, or eating a vegetarian meal once or twice a week.

Instead of all the fighting and needing to be right, let’s refocus on what is important. Healing our bodies. Healing our home planet. If, for you, that is a full vegan lifestyle, that’s wonderful! If it is eating vegan 75 percent of the time, that’s great too! If you are eating vegetarian and still have some dairy from time to time, cudos to you for doing your part! And if you are a meat eater who participates in Meatless Mondays, has a vegetarian meal once or twice a week, or has switched to almond milk for your morning cereal or coffee, congratulations on helping the planet!

I have not eaten meat in over 10 years, and I never will again. Animal cruelty is wrong. I will never be convinced otherwise. There is no grey area there. What the meat industry does to animals is horrific. And the devastation wrought to the earth is unconscionable. But how can we get more people to acknowledge this and begin a journey of kindness and self agency when we won’t allow them that first step on their thousand mile journey?

Every effort helps.

Every. Effort. Helps.

Manipulate the Crap out of The Matrix

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Tom Campbell from My Big Toe:

“That a million smart people say “yes” is not a good reason for you to say “yes” if you do not have the experience and understanding to support it. Determining truth is not a democratic process ruled by the majority. It is also not something that someone else can do for you. Do not let these smart people sway you to agree with them simply because they are smart.”

and

“The evidence, as well as the key to understanding, lies within your own experience¬†– and nowhere else.”

Scientific fact: We are all connected.  Everything is energy and there is no real separation in energy.  Energy can not be destroyed, but it can be changed.

My¬†focus since the beginning of the year has been on energy and the interconnectedness of everything in my daily life.¬† In acknowledging the interconnectedness of everything, and how this¬†impacts my personal part in creation energy, I am becoming more and more aware of the multitudes of energy pollutants I am surrounded by.¬† And how many I am creating myself.¬† The non-generative energy of distractions such as¬†anger, hatred, blame, the *not enough*¬†and the *not good enough* mentalities, the *lack and limitation* mentality that permeate every day life and living,¬†are polluting my natural energy field.¬† And¬†I have become so used to it that I don’t realize it or recognize it is happening most of the time.

Fostering the energy of fae includes awareness,¬† kindness, non-judgment (still working on that!) and focusing on what I want, not on what I don’t want.¬† Not in a *The Secret* kind of way, but in an actual “this is where I am choosing to put my energy and focus” kind of way.¬† Energy and focus that will direct action and creation.¬† If I continue to give my time and energy to distractors, to complaining, being angry about money or circumstances, disappointment in my body shape, I lose precious energy that¬†could instead¬†be used to create something new.¬† Something that I actually choose to create.¬† I am trying to remember to acknowledge and honor where I am, and my present circumstances, without dwelling on them. It’s a fine line. I am¬†more aware of the energy of my story telling these days,¬† and what that is creating¬†in my life.

Food is another huge part of our energetic signature.  What we ingest becomes part of our energy.  Kind, compassionate plant based energy vs. the energy of slaughter, torture and decay from a carnivorous way of eating creates completely different energetic signatures within our bodies.

5d energy is infusing our planet and our bodies.    I have not been able to tolerate meat for a long time now.  And more recently the little bit of dairy and egg that I occasionally consume is not sitting well with my body.  As a collective, our body vibration is being raised.  We are seeing more and more people turning to vegetarian and vegan ways of eating.  This is not a coincidence.  This is by design.  5D energy is permeating and rewriting our energy signature on a cellular level.  Our bodies and the body of Mother Gaia depend on a more sustainable way of eating being adopted by the masses.

We are also allowing the pollution of our bodies, environment and home planet with the energies of deception, anger, hatred, depression and the *sheeple* mentality that our current advertising and media outlets have encouraged and perpetuated.  We can change this immediately with our attitude, awareness and intent.  We can begin the healing process in one breath, one thought, one intention.  It is a choice.

My world includes the knowledge that we are not alone, that we share this world and this universe with others.¬† Fae Life is about respecting ourselves, each other, our planet, and all of the other realms that we might not be able to see, but are none the less very much a part of this world.¬† I feel that it is our responsibility to be stewards of our own energy for the sake of ourselves, humanity, the others that share this Universe and Mother Gaia. If your knowledge or belief system does not include this concept, that’s fine.¬† But it doesn’t mean that they are not¬†here.

Distractors of legacy take our energy as well,depleting it, twisting it, and¬†dispersing it in ways we don’t intend.¬† The past creeps in, takes¬†over our thoughts, and like an energy vampire, takes energy away from us.¬† Intention¬†plays a huge role in maintaining our higher vibrational energy and focus.¬† It is so easy to get distracted by the past, outside circumstances and past experiences.¬† Honor them for the learning tools that they are, but remember, thought, intention and focus are creating our lives.¬† The outpicturing that we experience as our present and near future is a direct result of our energy, focus and intention.¬† Are¬†we creating what¬†we truly want, or are¬†we dwelling on past misfortune, past mistakes, past losses, and dooming ourselves to repeat those experiences because that is where we are placing¬†our energy and focus?¬† I feel this happening in my own life, and I am choosing to create something different.

There are so many moving parts to our vibrational energy and our awareness. ¬†I try to not let myself get overwhelmed by it all. I just try to be conscious of what¬†I really desire, focus on that, honor and release the rest.¬† That isn’t always easy.

Energy can not be destroyed, but it can be changed with thought, focus and intention.  My focus right now in these volatile, changing, high frequency embodiment experiences we are living through, is to manipulate the crap out of the matrix with my thoughts and intentions, and create something magical for myself, my family, my tribe and Mother Gaia, with kindness, love and joy.  I will keep you updated on my progress.  And as always, stay crunchy my friends.

Cheat Days When You are Vegan and Gluten Free: The Adventure Continues

Being kind should first and foremost include being kind to yourself. Sometimes a kick in the pants has to happen in order to be reminded of that. I renewed my vow to myself as a New Year goal to eat WFPB, cut out the last bit of dairy from my diet, and eliminate overly processed junk foods. I was doing well until: A) Super Bowl and B) an all day work event on Wednesday that culminated in a cocktail reception with an abundance of tasty treats.

 

First of all, let’s talk about Super Bowl. I made a delicious vegan caramelized onion dip and a fresh, awesome (also vegan) chickpea salad spread. I brought potato chips and Simple Mills almond flour crackers. Guys, if you haven’t tried these yet do yourself a favor and pick up a box! I love these crackers. They taste like a *normal* cracker, but without the simple carbs that most gluten free crackers are made with. Vegan, gluten free and a very satisfying crunch.

 

I always make sure to bring something with to an event like that so I have something delicious and don’t feel deprived or left out. I was all set. Then I had a glass of wine. There was a veggie tray with definitely NOT vegan ranch dip. I had a *little* of the dip and lots of the veggies. I ate my vegan dips and spreads with some potato chips and the cracker I brought. I had another glass of wine. Then I hit up the queso dip and taco dip. Not a lot, but some of each. Both, again, defiantly not vegan.

 

I had a hard time sleeping that night. My digestive system was not at all happy with my little *cheat day*. I told myself I would not do THAT again!

 

Then I got to the cocktail reception after our long day on Wednesday. Again there was wine. And there was a really awesome veggie tray with hummus. Score! I had my wine, I had my veggies and hummus, and then I spotted the mac and cheese bar. Wheat based pasta, dairy based cheese sauce, loads of ad-ins. I had a *little* with lots of veggie ad ins. (are you seeing a pattern here?) More wine, and then I decided what the hell, I’m going in for the avocado spring rolls. Deep fried glutinous deliciousness. And there was lemon curd cake. Again, just a little.

 

Let’s just say, it was NOT a good night. I had indigestion, heart burn and nausea all night. I woke up covered in hives. If *cheat days* are supposed to be a treat, this was the exact opposite of that. This was not a kindness to my body. And disassociated eating, not acknowledging where the ingredients are coming from, does not negate the cruelty that occurs from making them.

 

Eating kind, vegan and gluten free has been an adventure. It is an ongoing learning process. I don’t beat myself up about these two incidents, because they were great learning experiences that confirmed that not only is a vegan lifestyle vital for the health of the planet and the kind stewardship of the animals, it is a true kindness to my body as well. Not in a philosophical *love and kindness* way, but in a physically acknowledged way.

Musings on The Game of *Kind*

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If we go with the premise¬†that we live in a holographic universe, and that we are projections from our higher self, then that means that we are, in fact, avatars in a game being played by our higher selves.¬† What I need to find out to succeed in life then, is where are the cheats?¬† What rock is the magic wand¬†hidden behind? ¬†Where is the hidden entrance to the secret¬†passageway?¬† ¬†What do I have to smash to find the extra coins?¬† How do I level up? ¬†I am playing the game called “me” and I¬†have a need to level up. ¬†This level isn’t working for me. ¬†I want more. ¬†More exciting adventures, ¬†better¬†garments, better magic, more coins.
To take this even further:¬† If our thoughts and¬†emotions, our intentions, are the controller, ¬†then¬†what am I creating within the game when I focus on negative outcomes? ¬†What epic monster battles am I creating with my thoughts? ¬†What am I doing to my holographic world with my thought-less actions? ¬†Or even worse, what if I am playing the game with no intent at all, and the game is just playing me while I am oblivious to why things are happening *to me* and to my *world*? ¬† What if I am continually walking past the hidden door to the “more” I am searching for, and my¬†Higher¬†Self keeps smacking it’s forehead because I am not living up to my Avatar potential and I keep missing the clues?
More and more scientific evidence is being disclosed and discussed verifying that this is not a far fetched idea.¬†Click the following link to watch “The Matrix is Real”, a 6 minute overview of what one of the top minds in the field thinks about this subject. And this “Evidence We are in a Simulation“.¬† ¬†And then think about what this means to us individually and¬†collectively.¬† Our thoughts, emotions, intentions and actions impact our environment in significant ways. ¬†We are creating this game in a very real way. ¬†Everything is energy. ¬†Energy creates. ¬†We¬†control¬†the creative energy, the game, with our thoughts, emotions, intentions. ¬†This is not a New Age *woo woo* concept.¬† This is scientific fact.
If we play the game with the energy of *kind*, and consider all of the other players, all animal life, all plant life, all of humankind, all of the beings in the subtle realms that we share this space with, and Mother Gaia herself, then we can begin to see the real power of the game.¬† We begin to see the far reaching effects that we need to consider in our daily lives, our daily game playing, and how we create in the game. ¬†What if playing the game without the energy of “kind” is what is keeping us from leveling up? ¬†What if we start seeing the potential creative power that we hold within?¬† What if we start to consciously play the game of “us” with the energy of “kind”?¬† How will the game change? ¬†How will our avatars change? ¬†How will the world look when we get our shit together and finally¬† level up?

Plastic People

“Plastic people with their plastic lives
Plastic lips tell plastic lies
Plastic drivers in plastic cars
Plastic food from plastic jars”
garbagepile
When I started this blog, it was never my intention to have it be just a food blog about plant based eating and vegan lifestyle.  It is equally important, equally critical, that we do everything in our power to heal our home planet, or at the very least not cause further harm.  But you can not talk about living in harmony with nature, respecting the animals and the planet, without addressing the huge shitshow that factory farming is, and the devastating impact that the carnivore diet has on the planet.
Thank you to @vegan_in_numbers on Instagram for the following info (please visit their Instagram page for info sources):
Shockingly, every hour in the United Sates 500,000 animals are killed for their meat.
An Oxford University study found that a vegan world could prevent 8 million deaths per year and could save trillions per year on health-care costs.
Every second an area the size of a football field is cleared in the amazon to produce 250 beef burgers.
Over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries say that going vegan will help save the planet.
Switching to a vegan diet reduces carbon emissions by 50%.
60% of the world’s biodiversity loss is due to meat consumption.
To that end, a lot of my content is food related. ¬†There are so many great vegan bloggers out¬†there¬†and I follow several of them. ¬†But I don’t think¬†enough¬†is being said, encouraged, about how easy whole food plant based eating can be. ¬†You can get as fancy as you want with your vegan, WFPB cooking. ¬†And sometimes I do. ¬†But there is¬†nothing¬†wrong with a simple pasta (gluten free for me) and a nice marinara sauce along with a big salad. ¬†Tacos with¬†refried¬†beans, loads of veggies and a simple spiced cashew cream, maybe a little vegan cheese if you want it. ¬†Or a nice whole food veggie burger (I love Hilary’s Eat Well burgers) ¬†with or without a bun, and some roasted veggies. ¬†My point is, when we over complicate our meals it becomes¬†overwhelming.¬† I am a big advocate of simplified meals. ¬†Whatever it takes to eat less and less animal products, and have a positive impact on both our health, and the health of our planet.
So, although diet is a HUGE part of caring for ourselves and for the planet, I intend to dive into every day practical matters concerning living the Fae Life.  Living with care and compassion for our home planet, each other, the plant life, the animal life through everyday actions.
This includes being a responsible consumer.  I am not great at this. Eliminating plastic and over-packaging from my personal consumerism is my biggest 2018 goal.   I am getting better, but I could definitely do more.
I try to use parchment paper rather than foil.  But I still use foil a lot more than I should.
I try to buy in bulk and avoid over packaged products.  But I still buy to-go sizes of stuff for lunch when I am shopping before work.
I try to use glass rather than plastic, but I still use plastic zip bags sometimes.
I have switched to recyclable straws!
I use hemp, sugar cane fiber, and bamboo products whenever possible.  All renewable resources.  I have my green bags in my car!  I am trying.
Plastic has become such a huge part of our culture. ¬†Plastic is so easy. ¬†But it is so¬†devastating. ¬†As I write this I am drinking water out of a plastic bottle. Why? ¬†Because I don’t want to ingest all the chemical additives, especially¬†fluoride,¬†that are added to my tap water. ¬†I need to find a better solution. ¬†I suck. ¬†But I am conscious of that fact now, and I am making a plan to reduce my household consumption of plastic. ¬†It’s a process. ¬†And it is largely alien¬†terrain¬†in the US, in my hometown, in my family, in my household. ¬†Plastic became¬†synonymous¬†with progress. ¬†But the¬†cost¬†has been so high! ¬†Most municipalities have a recycling program in place, but that is not enough. ¬†And these programs are really not as effective as we would like to think. ¬†We need to address the very real need to eliminate, or at the very lease reduce, the¬†production¬†of plastic by consuming less of it on a daily, personal basis.
In an ¬†article published on¬†Environmental¬†Health News, “The¬†Environmental¬†Toll of Plastics” is this quote:
“One of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet is the accumulation and fragmentation of plastics,” wrote David Barnes, a lead author and researcher for the British Antarctic Survey.¬†
And:
Since its mass production began in the 1940s, plastic’s wide range of unique properties has propelled it to an essential status in society. Next year, more than 300 million tons will be produced worldwide.
People, this shit does not go away!  It is a *forever* product.  It is poisonous to our bodies, our land and our oceans.  It is not biodegradable. I urge you to read the whole article.  It goes on to say how plastics have negatively impacted our health and environment in an enormous way.  It is imperative that we realize how we are dooming our planet and destroying our health just because plastic makes our life easy.
And I urge you to take just one step this week toward eliminating plastic in your own home.  One small step.  Because that will lead to another, and another.  Together we can re-educate ourselves about the difference between what is easy, and what is right for us and our environment.

Happy New Year, Don’t be a D*#k

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2018 is here.  And so are all New Year resolutions that we will feel bad about breaking within the first week or two of the new year.
My plan, my goal, my resolution, is simply to do better.  Yes, 100 percent vegan and environmentally conscious is the optimum goal, but we are human and life happens.  I am challenging myself in this new year to eat more whole food and less processed crap, but if I eat some crap, then just get on with eating whole foods at my next meal. To cut out the little bit of dairy that I consume occasionally, but be kind to myself if I do eat dairy.  To be less sedentary and actually stick with a short daily yoga practice, but not berate myself if I skip occasionally.  To practice more environmental consciousness in my consumerism by buying less overly packaged foods, stop using aluminum foil, remember my green bags and cut out plastic shopping bags, but forgive myself when I forget to put the green bags back into my car.
The overwhelm of the totality of being environmental conscious and vegan can lead people to quit before they truly begin.  My advice is don’t strive for perfect, strive for one step at a time, one action at a time.  Simple.  Take the best action you can in the moment.  And if you take an action that you aren’t proud of, learn from it and move on.  Let the next action you take be in line with who you want to be.  It’s a process.  Allow it to be a process.  Allow yourself to learn as you go along.  Live it how you need to live it.  And don’t let anyone judge you or your process.
I am not the expert.  There are plenty of experts out there who really know their shit.  Find them.  Follow them.  I am the person who is also on the journey, who is telling you it’s ok if you aren’t at 100 percent yet.
You do you to the best of your ability.  And just try to be less of a dick to yourself, your fellow human beings, the animals and the planet as you go along your life journey in this new year .  One step at a time, one meal at a time, one action at a time.  Our fellow humans, the animal and plant kingdoms, and our planet depend on more of us giving a crap and making an effort.  If we mess up, but get right back to it with our next action, we are still aiding the healing of our plant.  The important part is to try, to make an effort, to start.
Happy New Year!  Here’s to a new year of being kind and giving a crap!

Terrible Vegan

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I make poor choices when I am tired.  This was never more clearly illustrated than when I visited my son and his family in Portland Oregon last month.
We LOVED Portland and can’t wait to go back.¬† It has it’s own vibe.¬† I can see why my son and daughter in law love it there.¬† Great people, great energy, great food! ¬†Including an abundance of vegan options.
The eco-diversity is amazing!  Charming neighborhoods, a Cannon Beach day trip that showed us beautiful sea life up close at low tide, a Forest Park hike that led us to a Witches Castle, a short bus trip to downtown Portland that included a trip to a block of food truck unlike anything we had experienced before.
For the 10 days before we left, I ate a raw, vegan detox diet (diet as in how I ate, not diet as in starving myself.) ¬†I felt great.¬† I don’t think I could eat that way as a lifestyle, but I love how it not only detoxes my body, but my taste buds as well. ¬†I do this detox a couple of time a year and I am always amazed at the results.
Back to our Portland¬†vacation.¬† Our flight left Milwaukee at 5:30 AM, which¬†meant¬†we had to leave for the airport at 3:30, so I was up at 3:00 AM the day we left. ¬†We arrived at 10:00 AM Portland time. ¬†We hadn’t eaten¬†anything¬†yet. ¬†My son suggested we have breakfast at his favorite¬†food truck,¬†¬†MF Tasty. ¬†And it really was MF Tasty!¬† The Chef/owner Eric Gitenstein, is an amazingly creative chef.¬† My husband (who is NOT vegan) had the paella of the day, which looked amazing!¬† (My husband said it was delicious)
MF Tasty
I had the brunch burrito. ¬†It was delicious as well! ¬†It was most¬†definitely¬†not vegan. ¬†I could have had it vegan, but I did not.¬† I am pretty sure Chef Eric would have accommodated my request for a vegan burrito, and as long as he was still able to pile green chilies and his fresh salsa on it, I think he would have been happy to do it.¬† But I did not ask.¬† I was tired, I was hungry, I didn’t ask.
So yes, I went from a raw, vegan detox diet to a brunch burrito. ¬†As I stated above, I make poor choices when I am tired. ¬†Not an excuse, just a statement of fact. ¬†This continued throughout our vacation, at the end of which my son said to me that I was a terrible vegan. ¬†He said it with love and humor, but he is right. ¬†I can’t just continue to be vegan when it’s convenient.
As a matter of course, I eat mostly vegan, I NEVER eat meat, but occasionally I consume dairy and eggs. ¬†I am very transparent about this. ¬†I would say I eat an average of 95 percent vegan. ¬†That other 5 percent invariable happens when I am out at an event, or very tired. ¬†I get lazy, I take the easy way out. ¬†But we all know it really isn’t the easy way out, because the dairy industry and the egg industry are as horrible as the meat industry. ¬†95 percent is not my goal. ¬†100 percent is. ¬†But if I do consume dairy, or an egg occasionally, I am still leaving less of a carbon footprint on our home planet than someone eating a SAD diet. I am still having a positive impact on Mother Gaia. ¬† I am gentle with myself, and the next meal is the next opportunity to strive for that 100 percent. ¬†The past 2 weeks have been 100 percent. ¬†I feel great. ¬†I do not feel deprived. ¬†But the Holidays are coming. ¬†My solution? ¬† I will make a dish or two to bring with so that I do not have to feel deprived. ¬†I will take control of my food choices. I will stop being vegan only when it is convenient to do so.¬† I am very fortunate, my family is very open to trying new food. My goal is to continue my 100 percent and perhaps convince my family to eat less animal products.
¬†I recently read an article on this very subject, The 95% Vegan Movement and the 5% Exception, by Robert Grillo, written in 2013. ¬†It is still relevant and you can read his article here. ¬†I do not disagree with him. ¬†His¬†article¬†is spot on. ¬†My only comment here is that we need to be patient, encouraging and give a¬†hand¬†up to everyone (myself included) ¬†who is trying to get to that 100 percent, who are nearly there, but may slip up occasionally. ¬†I don’t believe that we should settle for 95 percent, but I feel that 95 percent is a pretty good place to be while we strive for that 100 percent. ¬†We need to be gentle with ourselves while we learn to navigate the vegan lifestyle while ensconced in a¬†carnivore’s¬†world. ¬†We have so much early programming to overcome. ¬†So much¬†familial¬†tradition that¬†includes¬†meat, dairy and eggs.¬† Many of us are on our way, but it is not unlike trying to leave a cult. ¬†There¬†is so much programming to overcome. ¬†Sound overly dramatic? ¬†Watch an hour or two of TV. ¬†The food ads are almost all meat and dairy forward. ¬†Think of your family’s Holiday food traditions: ¬†Ham, turkey, duck, goose, cheese, butter, cream, whipped cream. ¬†It’s a lot to overcome, so let’s be gentle with ourselves while we journey to that 100 percent.