Super Bowl Sunday | The Perfect Vegan Opportunity

Some of you may be wondering what I’ve been smokin’ when I say that Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect vegan opportunity. Most of you, if you’re into American Football, would normally cringe at the thought of going to a Super Bowl party once you decided to be vegan since it is usually a carnivore’s dream event full of meat, cheese and processed food. That tradition, however, is what makes it such a perfect opportunity for change.

Just like other traditions that don’t make sense, the typical foods served at a Super Bowl party are no longer what most people want to eat and they are certainly NOT things that leave the party-goers feeling good. The beautiful thing is that there are so many other options that seem just as decadent, indulgent and tasty but are NOT animal products or chemicals that will leave everyone feeling like crap.

So, if you’re up for the challenge and you’re either hosting a party or the guest of one, here are some great options to take Superbowl Sunday to a whole new vegan level!

PETA’s Party Picks – 9 amazing vegan recipes that mimic the classics

Vegetarian Times – Ultimate Vegan Chili

Ecorazzi – Top Ten Vegan Super Bowl Recipes

VegNews – Vegan Super Bowl Soiree (includes vegan alcoholic beverage info too!)

Mercy for Animals – Score Big by Hosting a Vegan Superbowl Party

Since the Super Bowl is also known for its commercials, I thought I’d toss in an example that not only advertises an incredible product, it reminds us that sometimes all we have to do is look around us to find the inspiration we need to be a better person, a better example and an advocate for the world we want to live in.

What’s your favorite party recipe? Please share it with everyone below!

The Magical Powers of Neroli

It can be very difficult to find vegan skin care products that are natural, organic and chemical-free. I usually resort to making my own homemade concoctions instead of spending a ridiculous amount of time and money researching, shopping and ultimately being disappointed in the experience. Until now, that is!

I ordered a few products including the Neroli Toning Mist from Annmarie Gianni’s skin care line and not only was blown away by how amazing they are, I also have found a new love – Neroli.

According to the handy information card that is included, Neroli balances natural oils, soothes skin and minimizes large pores. It also has an incredible aromatherapy benefit of enhancing your mood, calming your soul and can be used as an aphrodisiac. Wow!

So I did a bit of surfing to find out more . . . here are the highlights:

  • Neroli is made by distilling oil from the blossom of the Bitter Orange tree
  • Because it is steam distilled (due to the delicateness of the blossom) it takes 1 ton to make 1 quart of oil
  • It has been used to treat headaches, relieve insomnia and reduce nervousness and anxiety

The coolest thing I found out is that it was introduced to the world by Anne Marie Orsini, a 17th century princess from Nerola, Italy. Is it coincidence that another Annmarie, centuries later would bring it into my life and now yours? I think not!

So, now I have it sitting on my desk and every time I need a pick-me-up or my skin feels a little dry, I mist my face and neck, take a deep breath of the sweet, citrus aroma and smile.

If you want to find out how amazing this stuff really is, please visit Annmarie’s website.

Have you used Neroli in your life? Share your tips below!

Cooper the Corgi is My Hero!

I was lucky enough to see the following video the other day and wanted to share it with all of you. Take a look . . .


Cooper not only melted my heart with his bravery and eventual fearlessness, he inspired me to jump in too, even if it is scary at first.

Just like a lot of us who are trying to find a diet and lifestyle that works, Cooper wasn’t so sure he should take the plunge. He really wanted the prize but wasn’t sure if it would be worth it. He was encouraged by others, but still hesitant after surveying the obstacles. He also had tools (gotta love doggy life jackets!) which gave him additional support. But ultimately, it was his decision and his reward.

I feel a lot like Cooper some days – not too sure if I should trust anyone or anything that is tempting me to step out of my comfort zone. I wonder if the things I’m reading are true, if the people who wrote them have our best interests in mind, if anyone really knows what the food we are eating is doing to our bodies and the planet. To be honest, some days I’d rather stay on the pier, in my life jacket and say, “No way folks! I’m not gettin’ in there!”

But then I see something like this video and I feel it in my gut – DO IT! Find out for yourself! Trust what you know and take the help that is being offered. The payoff will be a fantastic ride that only you will ever have the privilege of taking. Because it is YOUR ride, YOUR jump into the lake, YOUR amazing life of fearless vegan adventure!

What has been your biggest leap so far this year? Please share it below…

Inspiration!

Sunday evening is always a combination of relaxation and anxiety for me. I love the ‘calm before the storm’ that it gives me but also struggle with overwhelming thoughts about what the coming week will hold.

In case you are also grappling with drumming up some energy, motivation and excitement about your upcoming week, here’s a great video – especially if you are a movie buff like me!

What do you do to get inspired?

The Tantalizing Taste of Tahini

Aside from having a really fun name to say, Tahini is a pretty amazing and versatile vegan food. It adds creaminess to salad dressings, makes hummus smooth and adds a nutty flavor to any recipe you include it in.

For those of you who have yet discovered Tahini, here’s the scoop [pun intended!]:

What is it?
Tahini is ground up sesame seeds. You can get hulled, unhulled, raw and organic.

How is it made?
Sesame seed are soaked in water for a day, then crushed. The crushed seeds are put into salted water and the kernels that float are skimmed from the surface. These kernels are toasted in some cases, then ground to produce a paste. (There are speedier methods too.)

Why Should I Eat it?
It’s yummy! and a great source of calcium, protein, B vitamins, Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids (help to maintain healthy skin) and Methionine (the amino acid that helps your liver detox). You can see the full nutritional breakdown here.

My only ‘warning’ about Tahini is that a little goes a long way so only use a tablespoon in most cases. Otherwise, it will completely take over the taste of the dish you include it in and that’s no fun. Plus, since it is made up of mostly sesame oil and some recipes add olive oil, it’s best to use in moderation to keep your fat content to a reasonable level.

Even though Tahini is usually easy to find at your local store or online, you can make it yourself. There are lots of videos on YouTube that show various ways, but my favorite was the following since it includes fun facts, is entertaining and promotes a local nonprofit too!

What do you think? Do you like Tahini? Don’t hesitate – make that comment below!

2011 Annual Blog Report

Thank you to the amazing people at WordPress.com who prepared a 2011 annual report for my blog!

Thank you for everyone who stopped by to read, comment and get to know me. I’m looking forward to a fabulous 2012!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Are you ready to make your own decisions?

I just read that Venus Williams has adopted a raw vegan diet. My first reaction was, “Woo hoo! Thank goodness there will be more examples in the mainstream media of people taking responsibility for their own health.” But as I read articles, blog posts and comments about it, I started thinking. Why does it take a celebrity or someone in the public eye to convince us that something might be good (or bad) for our health. Why don’t we evaluate what works best based on what WE are feeling, what works personally for US?

I think a lot of people are slow to embrace veganism because of peer pressure to eat a ‘typical’ diet and not stand out from the rest of the group. I also think people have a basic need to feel loved and connected to the world. These needs are also at the basis of our fixation on celebrities because they DO stand out and try things some people are afraid to try on their own.

So when a celebrity decides to go vegan (and then decides it doesn’t work for them, in some circumstances), their followers who may have decided to try it too all take the same ride but without the long term benefit. The fans weren’t doing it for themselves. They weren’t evaluating based on what they felt or personally thought. They just blindly followed someone else.

To me, blind obedience, in whatever form it takes, is pretty freakin’ scary and is what got us into the massive messes that surround us now.

So, I loudly applaud Venus and anyone else for taking action to improve their health. Not because they are chose veganism, but because they evaluated, investigated and formed their OWN opinions about what is right for them.

What do you think?