Oh my it’s been a while – here’s some vegan ramblings…

fs_walk_logo

Firstly, before I start anything I need you to all know that I’ve just signed up for the 2013 Toronto Walk for Farm Animals raising money for Farm Sanctuary. Please help me raise money for this amazing cause. Farm Sanctuary does such important work!

Make a Donation!

022

It’s been such an amazing year so far. I cannot even begin to remember everything but I’ve been spending much of it researching animal rights, reading amazing books (AR related) and continuing to raise my sweet vegan son.

Oliver is thriving. He’s quite well spoken of the issues – within his understanding and is out to change the world for animals! I am so proud when he expresses just how much he truly gets. I know he’ll have an impact on society when he grows up.

Since I’ve blogged last about Oliver we changed schools. He’s now in a different daycare – this year he starts junior kindergarten!!! The meals and snacks are included right now in his daycare. The transition into this school was less stressful than the other one, but the quality of food is not as good. Vegan they had no issue with – but he’s eating a lot more “veggie deli slices” and dare I say he told me he had french fries the other day!!! I gasped. This wasn’t on their menu – and I’ve yet to bring it up. For the most part nutrient dense foods is our focus. Every meal I can influence has greens in it. Although those greens are limited to broccolli, peas and green beans. I guess I should count my blessings – many children wouldn’t touch even these.

Oliver said to his teacher the other day – after she was complaining about a sore knee that she should go vegan – that would help her body heal. What a dear!

We discovered through Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s website a children’s book collection called “Mitch Spinach” which has been quite good in explaining to Oliver the importance of nutrition (and not the one dictated to us by the Canadian Government). Real nutrient dense foods! More information can be found here: http://www.mitchspinach.com/

This year I’ve been focusing on the “Eat to Live” Dr. Joel Fuhrman way of eating. I’ve lost 10lbs so far – which I am THRILLED about! I feel great. Every morning I have a green smoothie (packed so much with greens I go through pounds of spinach a week!!!) http://www.drfuhrman.com/weightloss/about.aspx

Going back to Oliver’s school experience – you know what frustrates me – or actually infuriates me? Well it’s when my son brings home “creative” that has been made out of oppression. What do I mean? – well the other day Oliver was quite tickled to present me with a “rocket ship” made out a turkey sausage tray. You know those white syrofoam trays that houses the dead animal parts. Ya, well my dear boy was given this to create the ship. I was not cool about it, sadly or maybe not sadly, I reacted. His teachers immediately were told this was unacceptable. I don’t care if they thought I was a lunitic – it was simply disgusting that they thought it was OK. It still had the freaking sausage sticker on it!!! and who knows if they actually disinfected it!!! I was furious. Which in turn made Oliver feel like he hadn’t been dealt a fair hand – why had his teachers decieved him this way!!?? He was able to recreate his ship out of a kleenex box…and now asks the teacher before starting a project about the origin of the packaging.

He still comes home with yogurt containers on occassion. What can I do? I can start a full out war, but I’m certain the stress it will cause my son isn’t worth it. I just find it so disgusting that they are providing animal product packaging for them to create their artwork. Seriously, this can’t be hygienic!

Ok, what other ramblings can I share?
Oh, I became a member of “The Flock” at Our Hen House. What fun! Check them out if you haven’t heard of them – best podcast/blog/website around. www.ourhenhouse.org

The%20Tourist%20Trail
And I have now read “The Tourist Trail” by John Yunker which I recieved as a gift for donating to OHH. So good! Nothing like a novel about eco-terrorists!!!

9781583334416_TheLuckyOnes3.30.indd
I finished Jenny Brown’s “The Lucky Ones” which I enjoyed very much too. Her story is inspirational, and at times hard to believe that she’s such a spunky outspoken person. She’s a force to be reckoned with!!!! I highly recommend it to everyone…and it has the best chocolate cake recipe ever!!!

wild
I’m currently reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I’m really enjoying it.

Favourite blogs lately are:
http://www.carrieonvegan.com/recipes/
http://ohsheglows.com/

Gosh, I know this entry was all over the place – but right now I think that’s it.

Hope you are all doing wonderfully and enjoying the beginning of the warmer weather!

xo Kathryn

Advertisements

I know the Super Bowl has already passed but I wanted to share a post from my friend Shannon. I want to believe that as I have everyone can evolve. One day this will all be a bad memory. One day wings will only be for flying, not frying. Until then, baby steps – and I commend all of you for your best efforts every day towards a more compassionate world!

Continue reading

DIY Two – Washing away that dirt and oil…with oil?

I’ve been on a journey for a while now. Becoming vegan over a year ago was the best decision I have ever made. My body feels great, my conscience is in tact, I just feel like a better person. And with that there have been physical benefits – no I didn’t luck out and become one of these waif like stereotype vegans – as much as I wanted to I know I’m not waif material. And I’m sure some would argue to be super skinny wouldn’t be healthy anyway, but I sure would like to look good in any type of clothing and never worry about it pinching here or being too tight there. Ok, sorry I got off point. What I was going to tell you was that my energy levels went up and my skin seemed to glow. Seriously – I’ve had people compliment my skin all the time and I know I could contribute it to my nutrition.

My recent adventure to become greener and save money lead me to searching for DIY cosmetic projects. Well, this DIY is about oil – more specifically Oil cleansing. I have become a fan. What started as a test project has turned in a habit.1053785_40698773[1]

So for years I’ve heard oil is good for your skin. But I have a history with acne and I didn’t want to revisit it. Despite my success with my new “vegan” skin, I still have the occasional break out, dry patches and extra oil (shiny forehead – which I kinda get embarrassed about – you can only “glow” so much).

I stumbled upon Oil Cleansing in my search for DIY face wash. Well I tell you, it was weird at first, but I kept doing it for a week and I’m quite pleased.

Immediately I noticed the lack of tightness after I cleansed my face. I noticed after a week my pores becoming less clogged and smaller. No dry patches. My eye area was smoother and my make up came off easily. I was warned that due to the oil extracting the impurities I may experience some break outs during the first 2 weeks. I did have a few pimples rear their ugly heads – but they disappeared quickly, unlike when I was using a detergent based cleanser where they’d turn red and scab. These just kinda faded and went away. My skin is less oily during the day and unbelievably soft.

So here’s what I did:

3 parts Castor Oil
1 part Olive Oil
Mix together and pour into a pump like bottle.

On a dry face rub approx. a pea sized amount all over face – as if you are giving yourself a massage. If you wear a lot of eye make up you may want more to break up the mascara. Pay particular attention to the crevices like around your nose where you would have black heads. Since oil desolves oil it gets in to all the areas where oil collects.

Then take a really hot wet face cloth wrung out and place on your face – just like the old barbers do when giving a guy a shave. Gently rub it off. Rinse and repeat. Make sure you’ve gone over your face at least 3 times. Pat dry.

Now doesn’t your face feel like a baby’s bottom? I know right? Love it!

Here’s more information I found that provides a great amount of information on Oil Cleansing along with information on different skin types and different oils. http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

Oh and did I mention it’s cheap and natural.

You will need to get over the “it’s not clean unless it’s tight and dried out” thing. Just let it go. Your skin will thank you for it.

Also, your sink will be a bit of a mess. I keep baking soda in the bathroom for all sorts of things (see my other blog on baking soda – DIY one – Baking Soda https://cookingonlightbulbs.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/diy-one-baking-soda/). Simply put a bit in the sink and with a cloth and some water wipe out all the residue left. Tah dah – your sink is clean. It’s one sacrifice you can make for beautiful skin! Hooray us!

xo Kathryn


Pearly Whites

It’s funny how suddenly things just become important at different times of your life. Well as of late I have discovered the delight of brushing ones teeth after lunch. I know – we’ve all heard if from our dentist since we were children, “Brush after every meal”. Yah, well, I guess it didn’t stick. I figured I had really good oral hygiene morning and night (and yes that does include flossing) that the lunchtime routine could be skipped.

It sort of happened out of peer pressure. I work in an office where I kept seeing people brushing their teeth. At first I thought – weird, who brushes their teeth during the day. I then found myself talking to a colleague commending her on her amazing oral hygiene routine. She gushed over it – said that it restarted her day, recharged her even. I figured why not give it a go.

Well, can I just say – I ain’t going back. I LOVE my new found experience. Recharge is right. Fresh. Confident me. Look out world – “Who can turn the world on with her smile?” – well me of course!

Try it! With cruely-free paste of course. My favourite: Kiss My Face Whitening Cool Mint. Super yummy and minty.

028367831563


Rain fall at work

imagesCA78KFG8

I wanted to share with you all a link I found. At work I like to keep the energy around me peaceful, so I’m often in search of an online radio station that plays spa music or calming sounds. I was pleasantly surprised when I was searching nature sounds and came across this site. It’s lovely. Just had to share!!! Enjoy!

http://naturesoundsfor.me/

and they have an app too!

5469338438830170304


DIY One – Baking Soda

Do it yourself projects have often intrigued me. More so as of late since I’m trying to reduce the amount of wastage I produce, save money and simplify.

As the New Year was welcomed in I made the choice to simplify my life. This started with going through my kitchen cupboards. What I discovered was a shocking insight into my behaviour. You see, I hadn’t completely realized just how often I used grocery shopping as therapy. I knew spending money on frivilous things like the lastest trendy tube top (OK totally joking) was just that, frivilous – but grocery shopping – well that was essential. You support life by grocery shopping. It is your right to shop for food (and anything else under the roof) right?

Yah, well, let’s just say a lightbulb blinded me as I pulled out an embarrassing amount of baking soda (7 boxes to be exact). I discovered in a very short time of organizing my cupboards that if I was locked in my home surrounded by Zombies, I’d likely survive for at least 6 months with all the stuff in my kitchen.

What I discovered next was liberating. I found out that I could indeed live life quite nicely with less. My first mission was to find out what to do with all that baking soda. What a surprise awaited me.

1055C16_s_hr-01

Here’s a list I found on http://www.care2.com/greenliving/51-fantastic-uses-for-baking-soda.html?page=1

I use Baking Soda now every day as a face scrub. It’s amazing. My skin feels super soft. Gets rid of any dry skin. My skin is a typical T-Zone Normal/Oily skin which always feels dirty at the end of the work day. This feels so good to do when you get home.

I created a bath soak with ground dried lavendar and baking soda which can also be sprinkled on bed linens, inside shoes and carpets (you have to vacuum it up after it’s sat for about a 1/2 hour).

The lavendar is another embarrassing find – I had a huge bag of dried lavendar I forgot about. For my baby shower I had made little drawer sachets for everyone as a thank you…and purchased way too much lavendar. Now thankfully it’s being used.

One discovery I made was that not all baking sodas are cruelty free. Sadly the 7 boxes I owned had been involved animal oppression in one way or another…but I did find a cruelty-free brand: Bob’s Red Mill (as featured above in photo).


Piebird

It’s been a long time – life got in the way of blogging but I had to find time to tell you about an amazing oasis called “Piebird”.

We planned a summer vacation going to several drivable spots in Ontario and after planning Great Wolf Lodge and Blue Mountain I was getting a little sick of making alternative options for our food choices, so I reached out to a friend who told me about Piebird – an all vegan B&B. But…before I share with you Piebird I’ll share first about the other two.

Great Wolf Lodge is a family water park that really has it all for kids. It’s certainly exciting and the space is set up to create a sense of adventure and “camp” get away. The rooms were nice and did come with a refrigerator and microwave – this was a saving grace as the food was limited.

Sadly like most theme parks for children the animal agri business has monopolized what they have to snack on. Dairy dairy and more dairy, unless you want meat meat and more meat. Ugh!

We chose to call ahead and speak to the chef at the restaurant in hopes that this would help. We were left feeling encouraged – but when we arrived we didn’t have the options they had promised, nor were they as prepared as they said they’d be. Thankfully we came prepared with food that we stocked in the inroom fridge. For our one dinner at the restaurant the chef made up a yummy (but GREASY) mac and cheese for Oliver. We chose to stick to the “salad bar”, which sadly wasn’t very plentiful. We loaded up on baked potatoes and bean salads.

Great Wolf Lodge was kinda pricey for only having salad bar options, but Oliver loved it and the water park was impressive.

We then ventured north to Collingwood to see the Scenic Caves and Blue Mountain Village – which were impressive, but as usual the town was riddled with non-vegan options. The Caves were beautiful. It was a lovely hike through a beautiful forest. Beware – there is poison ivy everywhere. We stayed at the Westin – which surprisingly was not as nice as the Mosaic I had stayed at before for a work function. We had a kitchen so we were able to cook some meals. We did have a wonderful meal at Oliver and Bonacini. They are in the works of establishing vegan items on their menu. It was nice as the chef was excited to have us test some of the items. From what we tasted it was INCREDIBLE!!!! We started with a salad – simple but good. We then had an unbelievably delicious Golden Beet Ravioli. I cannot remember exactly what is was made from – it wasn’t pasta – it was like a zucchini but not. Sorry I’m not doing it justice but believe me when I say it was outstanding. We then had the most ridiculously decadent dessert that I still dream about – a chocolate avocado mousse with chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis. Seriously my eyes were rattling and heart palpitating as I ate it! So good. We did eat so much that we suffered for it later – but totally worth it!!!!

They made Oliver (again) a Mac and Cheese – sadly too sophisticated for him – he didn’t like it. It was lemony and had basil in it. Geesh! It was very good though. Good thing we had his special Lentil Soup back at the room.

And then there was PIEBIRD!!!!!

A couple of days later we ventured far North to the town of Nipissing – close to North Bay. The drive was quite nice. It took us about 3.5 hours from Toronto. We stayed at a B&B called Piebird. You have to check out their website www.piebird.ca – this is what sold us on going. I was so excited to be staying at a vegan space with animals and nature.

I am sad that I didn’t take more photos. I guess I was so “offline” up there that the camera was an after thought. Their website certainly gives you some fantastic visuals of the property and the house.

The host’s Yan and Sherry were delightful. Down to earth peaceful people. They were calm despite Oliver’s high energy and allowed us to meet their beautiful companion goats Sunshine, Pepe, Ginger and Billy.

Their chickens were also lovely – but steered clear from us as Oliver’s crazy ways was a little intimidating!

Oh and one amazing thing for us city folk – we were woken up by a rooster!!!! Amazing. I know that may sound silly to be raving about a morning song of a rooster…but it was heavenly. And the birds songs in the trees seemed so pure and sweet. The mornings despite the crazy heat wave were cool and fresh.

The food was lovely! All homegrown on their property by them. The food was real food. Nothing about it was manufactured, processed or even topped with a garnish that was store bought. Sherry has a background in nutrition (more info on their website) which is obvious in her cooking. Peaceful food!

The house is a beautiful old farm house that they’ve restored. The grounds and gardens are breathtaking and at the end of the road they have a river that they swim in. I was a little nervous doing so as the river was black as night – and well, my partner and I are horror movie fans…

They back onto a creek that is a little creepy as well. We took a canoe out onto it – black water with seaweed all about. I certainly wouldn’t want to fall into it. But, still beautiful despite the creepy.

The house operates completely on rainwater. Due to the dry summer we’ve been having I did feel a bit guilty when turning on the tap to bathe. Surprisingly though you don’t feel dirty like in the city. I know that if I don’t have a shower every day in the city I feel gross. Up there, it didn’t matter as much.

Also, another environmental do-gooder thing they have is the compostable toilets – so your poo becomes flowers as they put it 🙂

They certainly have shown our family that living sustainably is possibly and enjoyable. Piebird is the happy place they claim and we will certainly be back!!!