Displaying items by tag: health

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 04:52

Vegetable and Herb Stems: Food or Compost?


Most recipes call for the heads, leaves or flowers of a plant, like broccoli, kale, and herbs such as parsley. But what about the rest of them - the stems/stalks? Don't you feel a little guilty tossing such a big part of your food into the compost? Have you ever wondered if they're edible? Have you ever tried a bite and felt discouraged by the bitter taste or tough texture? If so, I've got an article for you! Check out my latest piece on Organic Authority, entitled: "Vegetable and Herb Stems: To Eat or Not to Eat", and learn about all great ways to eat them!
Published in Health Food
This post goes out to all the attendees of Vida Vegan Con that ate too much Voo Doo Donuts, Coconut Bliss, Upton's Naturals and Sizzle Pie. I know if I had been there I likely would have temporarily kicked my gluten and soy-free diet to the curb and indulged, no matter how sick it made me! And like everyone else, I would have needed to cleanse when I returned - so here's how I would have done it in that hypothetical situation I so wish was a reality. : )
There are many ways to cleanse, and it really depends on 3 things:
  1. How long you want to do it for
  2. How easy you want it to be
  3. How much money you want to spend
The Easy But Pricey Way:
Buy a cleanse off the shelf at your favorite health food store. There are many options, some in powder form, some in pill form, all with different lengths of time involved. However, my experience with cleanse kits has been with small companies that aren't available in stores (yet), but are easily found online. I recommend:
The Inexpensive Yet Questionably Healthy Way:
I've done the Master Cleanse about 3 times, mainly as a challenge - as someone who loves food, it's really hard to fast on lemonade for 10 days! Each time I've really loved the experience and felt physically and emotionally cleansed and lost some weight, but most people can't make it past a few days or suffer from side effects like headaches and weakness. It doesn't cost much to do this cleanse because it involves living off water, maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne pepper. However, though it is popular, it's hard on your system and loading up on sugary syrup all day isn't so great for you. Ultimately, it's OK to do occasionally and for short periods of time if you're in good health overall, but there are much better options.
The Professional and Pricey Way
If you really want to do a cleanse with long term benefits and are willing to invest time and money, consult a professional - this is probably the most effective way to detox. My top recommendation is Rachel Avalon - she's based in Los Angeles but does phone consultations, and she is outstanding. This beautiful woman knows her stuff and has a gentle yet effective approach - she will customize the cleanse to your lifestyle and give you tips to last a lifetime. Three 60 minute consultations with her costs $350 total (and well worth it!).
A less expensive way to get professional help is to buy books. Though they won't be customized to your life specifically, you'll find lots of great advice. My favorite book right now is Crazy Sexy Diet - for $15 it's a no brainer.

The Natural Way
Ultimately I believe the best way to cleanse is to eat healthier. The time and price involved ranges from the quality of food you eat, where you get it from, and whether you make it yourself or buy it prepared. The length of time you do it for really depends on how quickly your body responds - you may even decide to adapt this way of eating permanently!
  • If you ate too much sugar, drastically cut back on it or go without it (I've gone 2 months without any form of sugar, including fruit!). 
  • If you ate too many processed foods and empty carbs, go gluten-free and focus on whole foods. Maybe even try going raw, or mostly raw. 
  • If you ate too much fried food, take a break from salty and oily foods. Salads are great of course, but you can also whip up some incredible salt-free and oil-free dishes with ingredients like rice, beans, quinoa, and cooked vegetables. 
  • If you drank too much coffee, incorporate naturally energizing foods into your diet and have some herbal tea or Teeccino instead.
  • Drink more water!
  • Have more naturally detoxing foods, like coconut kefir, wheat grass, sea vegetables, garlic, ginger, etc.
A really natural way to cleanse is to do a juice fast - drink nothing but vegetable and fruit juice for at least a few days. Make sure you incorporate a wide variety of produce so you get lots of nutrients - this is my favorite green juice recipe. This can be relatively inexpensive if you do it yourself, and if you don't have a juicer already it's a great excuse to get one. You can also go to juice bars several times a day, but that will get expensive and you'll go through a lot of plastic cups. 

Of course it's important to incorporate some exercise into your life at all times, especially when you've indulged in yummy junk food. Here are my favorite ways to work out:
  • Hiking
  • Long walks with my canine companion
  • Biking
  • Roller blading
  • Yoga
  • Strength training (if you're in LA, you must check out The Studio (MDR) - they will get you into incredible shape!)
  • For a great vegan resource, check out Robert Cheeke's book Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness
What method of cleansing/detoxing have you found most effective? Share with me in a comment below
Published in Health Food
My mother in law just has surgery and has a new diet that we are having problems with satisfying. She is on a protein diet, but due to her health issues she cannot digest animal proteins. We have tried tofu and other soy products, but she has developed an intolerance to soy. She can do small quantities of soy, but items like Ensure and protein bars are out of the question. To add to the mix, the other problem is she can not digest anything with high fiber. No veggies, even if they are cooked down to nothing. I thought of beans, but am not sure how her system will react as I understand they are high in fiber. I am running out of ideas on how to get enough nutrition into her diet. Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas?

Published in Health Food

While at the Natural Products Expo West 2011 I sat down with Dennis Godby, MA, ND to talk to him about his naturopathic medical practice, his upcoming event (The Run), and hear what he had to say about health in general. He's incredibly down to Earth and provided some great tips on how the food that we eat and they way that we live effects how we feel, which is very much inline with my opinions. 
Published in Holistic Health Care
Friday, 25 March 2011 15:33

Most Popular Articles on Eco-Vegan Gal

I love Google Analytics. It's an amazing tool that shows website owners practically everything about the traffic coming to their site. And not in a creepy way, it's actually very useful. I'm always most fascinated with the ways people have discovered my site. Today I looked at the Top 50 keywords used to find my site and thought I'd put them in a post to help others find what they're looking for faster. If this is your first time here, Welcome to Eco-Vegan Gal!

Published in Discover EvG & Whitney

Most women (and some men) spend a lot of time styling their hair - spending lots of money and time on hair cuts and products. Unfortunately, these beauty routines aren't very eco-friendly or healthy, as the products as often full of harmful chemicals. This probably isn't new information to you, so perhaps you use organic products. However, you may not know this: most hair dryers give off as much radiation as a microwave - YIKES!

Published in Hair and Nails

Last week I got a taste of the offerings of Salad Bowl Cafe, a franchise that recently opened their doors in the heart of Beverly Hills. I got the Big Create Your Own salad and was allowed to choose 8 out of the 50+ toppings; I asked for mixed greens, spinach, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, walnuts, jalepeno peppers, chickpeas, cucumber, and avocado. I opted for the suggested raspberry vinaigrette, but made the mistake of not asking for it on the side - it was way too much and made the entire salad too heavy. There were also too many jalepenos, which made the salad too acidic. Yet, I really enjoyed it and was impressed at the massive portion and value - salads range from $7.95 - $12.95, which is inexpensive for the quantity.

Published in Restaurant Reviews


"My beau is 42, of a lean build, and is trying to stop eating meat.  However, he has had to re-add animal proteins to his diet in the past after having quit because he lost weight so rapidly.  He has cut back to eating meat this time to about once or twice a week, and is already showing massive fat and muscle loss. Part of the problem is, he's allergic to most nuts, so this is not a protein option, doesn't digest lentils well, and cannot do dairy, either.  I know he really wants to do this, but even I, a vegetarian of 24 years, cannot believe the changes in his weight and muscle tone... Anybody out there who can help?  Please!!"  Thanks - signed, Lover of Man and Beast

My answer:

Published in How To
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