Book review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
I love anything coconut: it's one of my favorite superfoods. Coconut is amazing and it is a super versatile ingredient to add into one's diet. I strictly use coconut oil for cooking and baking, and it can be used in multiple ways outside the kitchen from toothpaste to skin moisturizer. The multiple health benefits of coconut oil are astonishing: it has been found to help control blood sugar, control appetite, help burn fat and the list goes on. I am always looking for more ways to add coconut into my diet and thus I was very excited to receive the book "Superfoods for Life, Coconut". Note: not every recipe in this book is vegan or vegetarian, but a majority of the recipes are.
Product review by EvG team member Kelly O’Brien:
Before Macro-Life Naturals sent me their products to review, I knew absolutely nothing about the company. A big box arrived at my doorstep and inside was a container labeled 'Macro-Greens'. Macro-Greens is a powdered formula that you scoop into a glass of water or juice, mix and the benefits are almost too good to be true...yet they are! Macro-Greens consists of certified organic barley greens and "a multiple system photo-nutrient herbal blend" (their words) that includes 18 Billion probiotics. I was ready to stabilize my blood sugar while gaining a whole lot of energy, so, put away all of my 'greens' supplements and savored this delicious drink every day! It's pretty incredible when you really start to realize the long list of benefits. Yes, it is gluten-free as well which was an extra added bonus.
Product review by EvG team meber Amanda Shea:
I am always excited to try out new, healthy vegan products to add to my diet. In all honesty, I have never heard of Baobab fruit powder before I received samples for Kaibae. I did a little research on Baobab fruit and found out it originates from Africa. The actual fruit is hard to come by; the next best thing is getting it in powder form. It truly is a superfood because of all the amazing health benefits.
If you drink green juice on a daily basis or have been wanting to incorporate it into your lifestyle, The Daily Good by Aloha may be the perfect addition to your health regiment. It’s especially wonderful for busy people who don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen or shop for ingredients. Appropriately dubbed "green juice in your pocket", The Daily Good is full of amazing organic superfoods such as spirulina for detoxification, wild berries for emotional health, oyster mushrooms for energy and Hawaiian ginger for digestion. The individual packaging makes it easy to slip it into your purse, pocket or leave at your desk for a mid-day superfood, energy boost!
Sustainability & Healthy Living Sweeps Chicago with Luke Saunder’s Passion Project, ‘Farmer’s Fridge’
EvG team member Kelly O’Brien met with Farmer’s Fridge creator & owner, Luke Saunders and shared what she learned about the innovative new concept.
As their website indicates, Farmer’s Fridge is a ‘fresh twist on an old concept’ of healthy sustainable salads and snacks….at your finger tips in a kiosk - aka...a vending machine. This kiosk is unlike any you have seen before though! Healthy primarily organic salads and fresh daily made snacks in eco-sustainable packaging is yours with the touch of a screen. The concept is absolutely brilliant and the very first thought to go through my mind was ‘What took you so long’? In Chicago, there is absolutely nothing like it!
I found out by chance that today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! I'm sure every day is a national celebration for some random ingredient, but none the less I felt inspired to write about this one because I happen to be a peanut butter lover. Funny enough, this is something that I struggled with up until September 2012. Why? Because I knew peanut butter wasn't the healthiest food. I realized one day that very few healthy vegan recipes call for peanut butter and wondered why, since it's just blended organic nuts (I haven't had the sugary or salty variety in years). Then I figured it out.
I met Carlye through the Eco-Vegan Gal community years ago, and I've always felt an extremely positive energy from her, a light you could say. So it was no surprise to me when I heard that she wrote a book entitled Glow to share her beautiful story of weight loss via the plant-based diet. I didn't have to read a page to know that I wanted this publication to be read for the January EvG Book Club, which proved to be a great decision as soon as I began the first chapter. Carlye has a talent for making everyone she talks with feel like they've known her for years and this openess makes her an incredible advocate for the vegan lifestyle and all the joy it can bring.
What a perfect person to have as my first Viewer of the Month in 2013! I'll let Carlye tell you more about herself in her own words:
I was born, just like everyone else, with a clean slate and potential. But, by the age of five I was already addicted to McDonald’s and stuffing down cinnamon rolls that were bigger than my head. My true self became lost and was stifled by all of the sugar, cheese, meat, and dairy products. My mind was swimming, literally, in filth and poison, but how was I to know? I ate like most kids in the U.S.
At nine years old I was put on my first diet and my seemingly never ending foray in the diet world had begun. Being decades younger than everyone in my Weight Watchers meetings was not nearly as horrifying as being teased and ridiculed on a daily basis by the obnoxious boys at my school. Fast forward fifteen years and meet “big me.” Correction, I don’t mean big, I mean huge. Morbidly obese. I had gained 150 pounds as well as a hefty dose of Type II diabetes, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, plantar fasciitis, plantar neuroma, severe allergies, and daily headaches.
One day, while waddling down the book aisle at Target, I stumbled upon Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It seemed innocuous enough so I tossed it in my cart amongst the ice cream, frozen chicken, and steaks. Little did I know, that was the last time I would ever buy dairy and meat again.
As I sat my wide load on the couch and started reading Skinny Bitch I found myself laughing out loud. My husband was going about his business but as he passed through the living room and heard me giggling he stopped and asked me to share the source of my newly-acquired happiness. After several recitations he finally sat down beside me and said, “Okay, you’re going to have to start over.” Together we took turns and proceeded to read the entire book aloud until we forced ourselves to go to sleep that night. We woke up the next morning, quickly finished reading the book, and immediately cleared our kitchen of all animal products. Overnight vegans, we have never looked back.
Immediately I dove in, head first, into studying every piece of research I could find. I knew what was ruining our health, but I wanted to know even more about the process and tools for healing. I discovered superfoods that aid weight loss but, most importantly, aid the body’s detoxification process. Many people who lose significant amounts of weight require surgery to remove excess skin that hangs from the body. I experimented and found a host of other nutritional tools that make the skin more youthful and able to snap back after being distended for so many years.
How can anyone ever fully express the magnificent amount of gratitude they have for a person, entity, or piece of information that literally saved their life? Learning about the truth behind our food and what really happens before the steak hits the plate turned my world upside down and yet I finally feel like I am right-side up. I lost 150 pounds and reversed all of the diseases and disorders from which I suffered without medication. I haven’t even had a cold in over four years. My husband lost almost as much weight as I did and reversed Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. I celebrate these victories every day, but what I celebrate even more is the peace and happiness I feel knowing that I am finally making a difference, every day, one bite at a time. I had to change my diet to save my life, but knowing that as I save myself I’m also saving the lives of innocent, sentient animals along with the planet itself compelled me to share my story.
I wrote the book, Glow: a story of love, cake and what life’s like 150 pounds later, in an effort to make a difference in the lives of all living things. Glow is a guide for losing weight and reversing disease, but it is also a love story filled with inspiration and humor that covers many topics, such as how to use superfoods to boost the body’s healing power, the importance of choosing organic food, avoiding GMOs, and visualization.
I am so grateful for the enthusiastic reception that Glow has received in just a few weeks since its release. People with chronic pain and conditions have been writing reviews and sending me heartwarming, astounding messages telling me that they have not only lost weight, but also found themselves free of the pain that had plagued them on a daily basis for years past. Food is infinitely powerful. The food that we choose to eat is either energizing us and building us to become the people that we were meant to be, or it is killing us. To discount the impact of nutrition on our lives is a grave error and one that many people make. The time has come for healing. As we heal ourselves we will save the animals and the planet that we all share. To me, this is the ultimate trifecta.
My favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video is "Journal/Inspiration: The Importance Of Following Your Bliss". Learning to trust myself and my instincts while following my bliss has been challenging at times. Taking the unknown road can be scary at first. How wonderful that we can find someone like Whitney who takes the time to cheer us on in our endeavors. Through Eco-Vegan Gal, Whitney puts out so much incredible content. She goes above and beyond by telling viewers about everything from eco-friendly battery usage to contact lenses. What makes Whitney stand out even more is her honesty and relevance. I love knowing that if I need great advice or info, all I have to do is check with Eco-Vegan Gal!
Carlye and Glow online: