Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Is Soy Bad For You?

Posted on: May 16th, 2011 by veggiebeauty 2 Comments

This video is based on the information in this article, Soy and the Thyroid by Mary Shoman: thyroid.about.com This article best sums up the overall arguments on the benefits and detriments of soy in the diet. I am not a nutritionist or a scientist, I have just personally done a lot of research in this area for my own info. I recommend researching yourself and forming your own opinions based on scientific facts and studies from reputable sources.

Review: Beaver Wasabi Powder

Posted on: May 11th, 2011 by veggiebeauty No Comments

Wasabi is a delicious and addictive Japanese sushi condiment; its also very expensive and virtually impossible to get fresh anywhere but Japan. What is a spicy Japanese condiment lover to do? Pick up some wasabi powder and mix your own paste whenever you want!

Check out the Asian section at your grocery store, or check health food stores. Beaver Wasabi powder is a bit pricey (about $3.95) for 2 oz., but it ends up making a good quantity of wasabi. It isn’t 100% pure wasabi, as it contains: mustard flour, spinach powder, and silicon dioxide (which prevents caking). The most important thing is that wasabi is listed as the main ingredient, so you want to look for that when you purchase your wasabi powder.

To get the most our of your wasabi, here is the best way to prepare it:

1. Use equal amounts powder and water to form a thick paste. It should not be a runny consistancy.

2. Flip your bowl containing the wasabi upside down on top of a small plate for about 10-15 minutes; this helps the wasabi to become more concentrated and locks in its flavor and intensity.

You can use the paste straight as a condiment (be careful because a little bit goes a long way). It is traditionally mixed with soy sauce or tamari, but there are many ways to utilize wasabi’s potent flavor. It can be added to vegan mayo, and it is a unique way to spice up hummus.

Health Benefits of Wasabi (source: genuineaid.com)
- Improves wound healing
- Prevents cells from damages
- Improves gums health
- Improves teeth health
- Improves Immune System
- Protects from free radicals
- Reduces Aging
- Lowers Risks of some Cancers
- Improves Iron absorption
- Improves Lung health
- Prevents from frequent colds
- Protects from frequent infections
- Normalizes Blood Sugar Levels
- Normalizes Cholesterol Levels
- Helps prevent constipation
- Helps prevent hemorrhoids
- Supports Weight Loss

Of course, the heath benefits are strongest if you are using fresh wasabi, but this root truly has some astounding health properties. It also tastes delicious and is great for dieters as spicy foods are well known to suppress the appetite. Powdered wasabi is a great way to enjoy wasabi without the high price attached to fresh wasabi. Just be careful to eat slowly, or you will feel the burn!

Maintaining a Vegan Diet on a Budget

Posted on: April 28th, 2011 by veggiebeauty No Comments

It can seem overwhelming to stick to your budget while grocery shopping, especially if you are new to veganism. You may be tempted to stick to convenience foods, and this is the first mistake that new vegans make. They start eating prepackaged foods and then equate veganism with being far too expensive for their lifestyles. Stick with this guide and you can be a healthy vegan without going broke.

Eating healthy is slightly more expensive
The government subsidizes corn and soybeans, hence the reason they are in EVERY prepackaged food in one form or another. The government does not subsidize organic produce, or produce in general for that matter and that’s why it costs more at the grocery store. In an ideal world, eating healthy would be more affordable, but that’s not the current state of our society. Remember, there are hidden costs to eating unhealthy foods. Health problems may not be immediate, but if you eat prepackaged, sodium heavy, chemical laden, preservative full, and nutrient devoid foods it will catch up to you eventually.

Symptoms of eating this kind of a diet: diabetes, fatigue, mood swings, depression, hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and of course obesity.

Eating healthy is the most affordable health insurance policy
Eating a healthy vegan diet saves you money if you look at the big picture. Many of us can’t afford to buy health insurance in this economy. We must rely on our own knowledge and the foods we eat to sustain our health, which should be of higher importance to more people regardless of their financial situation. The best health insurance policy you can have is to switch your diet to a healthy, plant based diet. One of the most respected scientists in the field of nutrition, T. Colin Campbell, wrote The China Study; it is a compelling book extolling the virtues of a plant based diet and how modern medicine and our government keep the real truth from us as far as meat and dairy are concerned. Far too much money is tied up in dairy and factory farms; this is why they don’t want us to think about their ill effects on our health. I guarantee The China Study you will change the way you think about nutrition and food.

This article from nursingdegree.net also shares 57 different health benefits of switching to a plant based, vegan diet.

Avoid the Dirty Dozen
Its not realistic for most of us to buy organic produce, as it is more expensive. If you have a farmer’s market, buy produce locally if you can. Ask the sellers if they farm organically or if they use pesticides. Also, keep in mind that not all foods have equal contamination from pesticides and chemicals.

According to Organic.org, there are the “dirty dozen” to avoid if you can, and they also list 12 of the least contaminated foods. So if buying organic produce is important to you, only buy organic from the most contaminated list.

12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

12 Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

If you don’t have access or money to buy organic, eating nutrient dense food is still a healthier option than a nutrient devoid diet. Do the best you can and don’t stress out about being perfect.

Buy Bagged or Bulk Beans and Grains
Canned and boxed foods are convenient, but they aren’t always the most affordable option. Keep around a few cans of beans for those nights when you are very busy. Try to buy bagged beans and rice for the majority of your meals and you’ll save a lot of money. You can cook up a bag of beans for about $1.00; this equals about 3 cans of beans, which can cost you at least double, to triple this amount. The same principle applies to rice; instant rice has already been precooked so you don’t get nearly as much as a bag of uncooked rice. It takes a bit more time and planning to cook dried beans and non-instant rice, but its worth it when you are on a tight budget. Also, it creates less packaging waste which is great for the environment.

Limit Vegan Specialty Items
It is important to have some speciality items in your pantry, such as nutritional yeast and vegan vitamins to help supplement B12 in your diet. For the most part, you should stick to very basic whole foods: vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, beans, and fruits. Tofu is alright in moderation, but don’t make it the main source of protein in your diet as it is still a processed food and can inhibit the absorption of zinc, iron, and calcium. A lot of speciality items like vegan cheeses, veggie burgers, and dairy substitutes contain soy, so keep that in mind when you are shopping. If you want to use fake meats, consider making your own seitan using vital wheat gluten. That way, you can control what you put into your food and it is much more affordable.

Shop Around
Often times, we only shop at one grocery store because we want to save time. It pays to know your prices and to shop around and find out which stores carry certain items at the cheapest prices. ALDI has incredibly low prices on canned goods and produce. They aren’t organic, but stores like ALDI are a lifesaver if you are on a tight budget. Also, if a canned or bagged item you use regularly is on sale, stock up on it! Food Co-ops are another great, money saving option if you have one available.

Cut Out the Crap
You’d be surprised how much money you save if you stop buying non-essentials and items that don’t contribute to your heathy lifestyle. Things to avoid or use moderation: soda, snacks, processed sugars, candy, cookies, etc…Also, when you go vegan, you won’t be spending money on high priced items like meat and cheese. Use the money you’d spend on those items to buy an organic item or to stock up your pantry with more expensive items like quinoa, flaxseeds, nutritional yeast, and nuts.

Get Cooking!
Eating out is the quickest way to put a strain on your budget. Learning how to cook is the best skill you can acquire if you want to become healthy and stick to a budget while eating a vegan diet. Make sure to invest in some vegan cookbooks andvegweb.com is a free vegan recipe resource as well. You can find a lot of cookware at thrift stores, which is another great way to save money and recycle.

Everyone can eat a healthy vegan diet, especially if you follow these money saving tips. It takes awhile to adjust to shopping as a vegan, but you will find a pattern that works for you and your family with time.

Ignorance Kills Child, Not Veganism

Posted on: April 10th, 2011 by veggiebeauty No Comments
In the news, a recent featured topic regarding the vegan lifestyle has been the child abuse case of a vegan couple from France. Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou fed their 11th month old baby daughter, Louise, only breast milk. The couple decided to go vegan after viewing a television program on factory farming. Their heart may have been in the right place, but being a vegan is the same as any other major dietary change and should be treated as such.

The main cause of Louise’s death was the ignorance of her mother regarding her own dietary health. Mothers need to be careful to eat a healthy balanced diet, regardless of their beliefs. This can be easily achieved with some basic research into the vegan diet. It is not generally recommended to jump into any diet without all of the facts and information. An issue many educated vegans are aware of is the necessity to monitor B12 levels in their diet. B12 naturally occurs in the soil, which is ingested by livestock, which omnivores in turn ingest by eating the animal. It is not solely located in meat, but happens to exist in meat because of the soil. Vegans usually get their B12 from nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, non-dairy milks, and dietary supplements. Sergine was compromising her health by being an uneducated vegan, and this tragically is what killed her daughter, not the diet itself.

Another key factor in Louise’s death was the negligence of her parents. They believed in alternative medicine, and refused to have their daughter treated for bronchitis and ignored medical advice about the child’s extremely low body weight. This was brought to their attention during Louise’s 9 month check up, and they refused to do anything to help their daughter. It is child abuse, neglect, and ignorance that killed Louise Moaligou, not the vegan diet.
This case will obviously call the vegan diet into question, and its really unfortunate since vegans are already such a small minority in the overall population (In 2009, only 1% of Americans claimed to be on a vegan diet). Not only is veganism a very healthy diet, recommended by many doctors and nutritionists, its also very easy to get all of the vitamins and nutrients necessary for a healthy life. Let’s dispel some myths about the vegan diet lacking key nutrients (source: www.vrg.org):
  • Vitamin D- Some mushrooms treated with UVB rays can contain Vitamin D. The most reliable vegan source of Vitamin D is absorbed by the body through direct sunlight.  According to Vegan Outreach, light skinned individuals can absorb their daily vitamin D through 15-30 minutes of direct sunlight. It takes twice as long for dark skinned people to absorb the same amount, so supplements are usually suggested.
  • Calcium- Many studies have suggested that plant based calcium is actually more readily absorbed in the bones than dairy. Dark, leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, bok choy, and spinach have high amounts of calcium. Other vegan calcium sources: fortified cereals and non-dairy milk.
  • Iodine- Iodized salt is a the way most vegans get their daily iodine intake. Just make sure the salt you are using is fortified with iodine and you’ll be just fine.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids- Flax seeds, Walnuts, tofu, and canola oil.
  • Iron- Black Strap Molasses is taken by many vegans as an iron supplement. Iron can also be found in lentils, spinach, quinoa, and in many dried legumes.
In conclusion, the vegan diet is only as healthy or unhealthy as you make it; it is up to each individual to make smart meal plans and make sure they and their children are being wise with their dietary choices. This case is a clear case of criminal negligence on the part of the parents, and should be treated as such. Many vegan mothers are able to raise and feed their children and themselves on vegan diets without any complications. We should not let one couple’s tragic mistake change the fact that veganism is a healthy and natural dietary choice.

 

Home Remedies to Relieve a Tooth Abscess

Posted on: January 27th, 2011 by admin 1 Comment

Before I get into this blog post, must put up this disclaimer. ALWAYS go see your dentist if you have any tooth problems, as an abscess infection can spread to your facial bones and eat away at them. You can even die if the infection gets to your blood and makes its way to your heart. Its not a pretty picture. You need to get anti-biotics and possibly a root canal as soon as possible.

That said, I totally understand how painful and awful tooth abscess and aches can be. I don’t have health insurance right now, and can’t afford to get an $800 surgery that I need to get my root canal fixed. Gotta love the U.S. health care system. I went to the free clinic and they said I needed a specialist to get my tooth fixed, so there’s nothing they can do except extract my tooth. If the situation gets really bad, I may have to do this, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep my tooth.

So the main thing I’m doing now is trying to prevent infection from occurring. This means I need to use great oral hygiene, but sometimes that’s not enough to stop an infection from coming back. I just got tooth pains again after drinking 2 cans of soda after abstaining for about a month…I will never drink soda again:( It rots your teeth, the acids combined with exorbitant amounts of sugars eat away at tooth enamel. No wonder our nation has so many cavities! Damn addictive refined sugars and caffeine!

I was lucky that I had a refill on my amoxicillian that my dentist prescribed from before. I’ve been taking that 3 times a day to help get rid of my infection internally. This does nothing to deal with the intense pain that comes with an abscess. Also, if you want speed the healing process, you need to help the abscess to drain. Here are some affordable home remedies that I recommend to help relieve the pain and speed the healing process.

 

  • Drink a cup of black tea. Use the tea bag and place it on the abscess for an hour. This will ease the swelling and help to draw out the infection from the tooth.
  • Cloves are a great pain reliever. I only had ground cloves on hand, so I made a mixture of olive oil and clove and applied it to the gum on the infected tooth.
  • Make sure to keep the area clean and bacteria free by rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Slice a thin amount of raw potato (make sure its clean) and place it on the abscess to draw out infection.
  • Apply some hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and place it on the infected area.
  • Eat a few cloves of raw garlic. Garlic is a great antibiotic, but only works if its raw.
  • Eat healthy…try a blueberry smoothie. Not only will it cool your inflammation, the antioxidants will help boost your immune system.
  • Drink lots of fluids, as always.

Glittersniffer Cosmetics are Unsafe!

Posted on: January 11th, 2011 by admin No Comments




I’m not sure if anyone who reads this blog uses Glittersniffer Cosmetics. If you do, PLEASE stop. The FDA has recalled a bunch of her pigments. It was found out that not only was she using carmine in a bunch of her “100% vegan” eyeshadows (carmine is not safe to use around the eye area); She was also using soap dyes which are not approved for cosmetic use. Several girls have had severe allergic reactions and have had to go to the hospital for treatment from using these products. There are many other reasons to boycott this company:

  • *There are photos of her packaging her pigments without latex gloves, directly on children’s desk with playdoh out from the child playing.
  • *She was selling a set of badger hair brushes, all the while claiming the whole “100% vegan” slogan for her company. When I challenged her on this, she never replied and her fans told me that they were “farm raised badgers.” Badgers are not domesticated, and animal hair brushes, no matter what anyone says, are not cruelty-free.

 

  • She has horrible customer service, and deletes any negative comments or feedback off of her facebook page. She’s even called girls up on the phone and yelled at them for criticizing her.
  • She intentionally sold “glow in the dark pigments” and said they weren’t approved by that she used them with no problem on here EYES all the time. So unsafe! The same with her neon colors.
  • She repackages many of her pigments and sells them as her own colors
  • She wouldn’t openly list the ingredients of her products.
  • She used these unsafe soap dyes in a little girls makeup kit, knowingly.




Here’s some info on it:
How to get a refund:
http://glittersniffercosmetics.com/re

Lela’s official statement:
http://gscosmeticsscamreports.blogspo

List of unsafe pigments:
http://gscosmeticsscamreports.blogspo

Paypal Community Disputes page for Glittersniffer (there is info on there how to get a refund from Glittersniffer):
https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/F

Proof of repackaging:
http://phyrra.net/2009/11/glitter-sni