It’s that time of the year, Asian new year. Asian new year is one of the biggest holidays in countries like Korea and China. We get to gather around with families that we weren’t able to meet for a while and celebrate each other by eating different kinds of food and talking about how their life has been. This is time of the year, where I want to go back to my own country. I always think about how fun it would be to spend time with family and relatives and laugh about stupid stuff, while I’m in my room laying on my bed. I wish one day I could celebrate Asian new year with my family and relatives.
I’ve been trying to get my dad to stop eating meat since I was four years old. We traveled to Ireland and I remember watching him eat bacon day after day and wanting nothing more than for him to understand the terrible health risks. I’ve always been worried about his health… His “weight loss” diets would always consist of meats and cheese (protein fads) along with Diet Ginger Ale… He would lose weight and looked fit so it worked for him, but I became more and more worried.
I tried to explain to him that natural sugars are okay and animal products were truly the problem. He was raised in a family of ten siblings so if he didn’t eat what was served (unhealthy crappy foods) he wouldn’t eat, period. Meats, processed foods and dairy was on the menu during his upbringing. So when I was young he was hard on me for my decisions because he simply didn’t have the proper knowledge.
As I got older he started to support my lifestyle more and more, eventually taking me to vegan festivals and even dining with me to enjoy high quality vegan foods. He even asked me where he could get a metal straw to help with plastic pollution. I figured this was as far as he would ever go. I accepted this reality and kind of gave up on him, sadly. I figured he would never change and that was okay…Because everyone is different right?
When I got the call last month…it was my dad on the phone telling me he is going plant based after watching “The Game Changers” documentary on Netflix. I was in utter shock. Out of everyone in my life, he would have been the last person on my list I would ever expect to go vegan. For me, this showed me hope for humanity! He is the most “manly” guy I’ve ever met so for him to make this change is amazing. With all the stereotypes about vegan guys being weak, feminine and all that other nonsense animal product companies endorse, this shows me how anyone can do it just letting go of their ego. My dad said, “All the research supports the vegan diet and this way of life is by far the most healthy. I have always known that you are on the right track. Now I am seeing that eating plant based can even build muscle, strength and healthy blood flow. It seems that it can also lower my cholesterol which is elevated at this time. I am so proud of you for paving the way. You are a great inspiration to me and I’m never eating meat again.”
A lot of the time people will tell me they would totally go vegan if they could, but it would be “too hard,” “I tried and just couldn’t” or it’s not the time and they will eventually make the switch… But the time is now. We have the resources. Nobody cares about getting the right nutrients until veganism comes up. People will be eating McDonald’s all day and act like veganism would just be detrimental to their health. Another excuse is that it’s too expensive. It is simply not expensive to go to your local grocery store and buy a can of beans or some vegetables. Research the right foods and stop saying you “can’t.” Stop making excuses to make yourself feel like a better person because it is total BS.
This is a lifestyle. And yes, changing your lifestyle is a big deal but crucial for your health and well being. This switch will change your life, and the ones in it, but only for the better. I hope my dad can be an inspirational success story and help you and your family on your own health journeys.
A vegan Thanksgiving is more sustainable and animal cruelty free. Supporting semen being sucked out with a straw from 46 million male turkeys’ anuses each year is cruel. But having Thanksgiving at all is not necessarily cruelty free. The only ethical way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to spend it educating yourself on indigenous rights.
“Happy Thanksgiving” I am so thankful for the Native Americans who continue to fight for their rights, their lands, refuse to abide by the societal expectations of pretending nothing terrible happened to their ancestors on this holiday.
As we are having a beautiful Thanksgiving feast with our families and friends, remember that today is a national day of mourning for native Americans across the country. So while you’re thinking, “wow, this holiday is so incredible and based upon gratefulness and love between humans,” please don’t forget that thousands upon thousands of Native Americans have been brutally murdered in cold blood (partly) for their lands by white colonizers.
And this question shocks me… but how many people across the country will celebrate Thanksgiving today having never even engaged with or met a native person, can’t name five tribes, can’t name the tribe whose lands they occupy or even can’t name a living native person?
So… why not celebrate gratitude daily? It is one of the most important self-care practices a person can do. Daily practices rather than on just one day covered by blood which is just another white supremacist holiday. I’m not saying we should completely cut Thanksgiving from our yearly tradition but being less arrogant and realizing what this holiday truly represents. Being “woke” can be very emotionally taxing and difficult to talk about; but it’s worth doing the right thing rather than taking the easy way out and staying silent.
Ignorance is not bliss. Even though it would be much easier not to post about these topics and just pretend today is a wonderful day of giving thanks…like everyone else does… so I don’t hurt any proud Americans’ feelings. If you’re not speaking the truth, you’re part of the problem.
So bon appétit, but don’t forget! As we celebrate thanks, for Native Americans Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the assault on their culture and history of colonial violence.
Many women who are convinced they’re in control, sticking to a dangerously low number of calories a day and severely suffering mentally and physically, most of the time have no idea about the seriousness of their situation.
Looking back, it’s hard to explain the level of daily obsession that I suffered over my physical appearance. As a child, I thought of sticking a needle in to my thighs and calves, to see if I could squeeze out the fat. I also had the best idea ever… to just cut my stomach off with scissors.
Suffering from eating disorders in the past I had no idea I was ill and most of the women I spoke to were in denial as well.
I thought eating an orange per day was healthy and that everyone around me wasn’t. I didn’t think I had anorexia: real anorexics, I erroneously believed, ate nothing at all. And I was still eating?
There’s no question that letting go of an eating disorder is one of the hardest things a person can do. It’s also important to note that each individual will follow their own unique path to recovery but here are some steps that may help:
- Recognizing you have a problem: This step is crucial because if you don’t acknowledge that you have a problem there’s no point in changing. If you are not sure if you have an eating disorder the best thing to do is see a registered dietitian or therapist so that you can get a professional opinion. For me, I took an online quiz and then from there I started taking steps to change.
- Decide that you are worthy of recovery and start to make small changes: start to research how you can make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. This might include introducing more balanced foods into your diet and exercise so that if you do eat more you won’t necessarily gain weight.
- Instead of just focusing on your physical appearance and food intake incorporate various ways to practice self-care with your mind, body and spirit. If your body and brain are being deprived, you are less likely to reap the benefits of everything from therapy to mindfulness.
Recovering from an eating disorder is difficult but definitely possible. The most important thing is to accept help and seek support.
There is no perfect toothbrush, but some choices are better than others. Plastic toothbrushes take over 400 years to decompose… They end up in landfills and release toxic chemicals into the air resulting in harsh damage to the environment. In addition to getting washed away into the ocean, the toothbrush is endangering marine life and contaminating our food.
After seeing this piece of art made by an African artist, it was really eye-opening. Africa has a huge trash pollution issue, along with the rest of the world… This art piece is a commentary on plastic pollution.
Knowing that every plastic toothbrush impacts the environment and that one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States alone, creating 50 million pounds of waste- what can we do?
Bamboo Toothbrushes: bamboo is biodegradable. (bristles are not biodegradable)
If bamboo toothbrushes end up in the trash, they aren’t significantly more environmentally friendly than plastic… but if you compost the handles of bamboo toothbrushes by first remove the nylon bristles with pliers then composting the handles… it makes a huge difference. Plus it is really beneficial for our environment.
Then there are the toothbrushes that are recycled and/or recyclable: Some options I love:
Bogobrush is a Company that makes its brushes from compostable bioplastic using leftover plant material from American farms.
Or consider (preserve.eco) Toothbrushes made from recycled yogurt containers which are easily accessible online or in local stores Ojai: Being in Westridge and Rainbow Bridge. Also if you mail your old toothbrushes, not only will they be recycled into new products, but you will also receive a coupon for their online store.
After using these types of recycled toothbrushes another option to help continue supporting the recycling market is by sending them to organizations such as Gimme 5 drop-off/mail-in program. Whole Foods And other companies have Gimme 5 bins located in their stores. You can just look up ones near you.
Note: *Buying recycled stuff when we need to buy new products is the smartest move.*
So now you know the best eco friendly toothbrushes on the market: what do we do with our old ones?
Three months of brushing your teeth is not worth 400 years in the landfills. So an option would be to reuse your toothbrush in different ways until you switch to an eco-friendly toothbrush:
You could easily label your toothbrushes for their different uses around the house: Here are a few options:
-Cleaning Household Items
-Remove dirt from shoes/Soccer cleats!
-Deep clean your desk/Clean beauty supplies
-Spot-treat stains on clothes
-Clean Your Hairbrush out
-Brush Your Eyebrows
These are just some out of hundreds of household uses…
Best of luck on your zero-waste journey! It can be difficult sometimes but if you put in the effort, it’s well worth it. In the meantime, I wish you fresh breath and zero cavities.
Thanksgiving break is coming soon, and everyone seems to be excited for it.
Most of the people go back home, and celebrate with a humongous turkey sitting on the middle of table. As an international student, however, Thanksgiving is not as welcoming as other holidays. I love going back home, but 1 week is simply too short. To go back, we have to endure 13 hours of flight and then another 2 hours to go back home. Then you have to deal with Jet lag, which takes a while to get over.
Time just flies during thanksgiving, and it is exhausting to spend a full day just in plane, but I guess I’m still excited to see my family.
October traditions lead to massive pumpkin waste! In November when pumpkins begin to decompose, unfortunately they turn in to methane. That, of course, is a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a huge part in climate change.
Transforming a plain old pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern is one of the highlights of Halloween. But once we’re done, second nature – we throw them away instead of disposing them in an eco-friendly manner. Pumpkins are organic waste, which means you can compost them, but we often fail to do so. Here are some ways to extend the life of your used jack-o’-lantern and uncarved pumpkins.
Firstly, what you’re going to want to do is split the pumpkin seeds and guts apart. Then cut the pumpkin in half. With the seeds you can either roast them, creating a delicious plant protein snack, or you can store the seeds to grow your own pumpkin patch.
To roast them you simply preheat the oven to 320°
-Boil the seeds in salt water and drain
-Scatter them on a cooking sheet
-Add olive oil and a little bit of salt
-Roast for 10 minutes and you’re done with an easy healthy snack.
Now for the guts – many overlook the endless possibilities of how you can use the guts – If you have a juicer you can juice the pumpkin with apple, ginger or cinnamon, creating a healthy drink. You can use the pulp for these recipes- but if you don’t have a juicer, you can use the guts of the pumpkin for various recipes.
If you have a savory sweet tooth but want to stay healthy around the holidays this might be the perfect drink for you –
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake (Vegan)
-Steam the pumpkin guts for 30 minutes
-Let it cool and using a blender purée
(If using pulp you can skip this step^)
-4 tbsp purée or pulp
-Either 3 ice cubes and a Banana or 1 cup vanilla vegan ice cream
-¼ cup of any plant-based milk (my favorite, oak milk)
-½ TBSP vanilla extract
-½ tbsp pumpkin spice, cinnamon or nutMeg
And enjoy a healthy holiday dessert!
This next recipe will make your dogs love you a little bit more around the holidays – pumpkins are considered one of the best “people foods” you can give your canine companion, supporting their urinary and digestive health!
Pumpkin Flaxseed/oat Dog Treats
Blend: the pumpkin pulp
-1 ½ cups of flaxseeds or oats
-¼ cup of water
– *2 tablespoons of coconut flakes or peanut butter (If desired)
Roll into ball shapes and freeze them
With this same recipe you can make a brightening face mask filled with vitamin A and C
All you do is you the same ingredients, minus the peanut butter and freezing.
If you don’t want to do any of these sustainable recipes you can always donate pumpkins to local animal sanctuary. The animals love them. You can also compost in your own backyard, or find a local composting facility or community garden that will utilize the pumpkins.
Make the most out of your pumpkins this season and let’s all be less wasteful together!