No Picture
General Article

No Animal Testing Done on Your Skin Cream – Are You Sure?

No Animal Testing Done on Your Skin Cream – Are You Sure?

Making your own beauty products appeal to the concerns of animal lovers and vegetarians.

You can be certain there has not been testing performed on animals, and there are no animal products in your lotions and creams.

You might not realize it, but you may be applying animal products on your skin if you are purchasing off- the- shelf creams and lotions.

Here is why:

In the commercial soap industry, most of the soap on the market is made with sodium tallowate (also known as beef fat).

Glycerin is the by-product of soap making. When the commercial soap is manufactured, the glycerin is removed from the soap. This is a very valued product of soap making and is actually more valuable than the soap itself. It is removed and sold as an ingredient to cosmetic companies. That explains why the glycerin that has been extracted, is most probably from animal fat. Usually consumers are unaware that there is animal based glycerin in their lotions and creams. The label does not have to specify where the glycerin came from, or whether it is animal or vegetable.

Unless you are buying an actual Vegan or Vegetarian cosmetic, chances are your cosmetic has animal glycerin in it.

Another reason why it is better to make your own product is because of animal testing. When you see a label on a cosmetic product that says -this product has not been tested on animals-, then you feel good about what you are buying.

Stop for a minute and think about it. The finished product has not been tested on animals, that’s great, but what about the ingredients?

The preservative in the product has probably been tested on animals, the other synthetic ingredients have probably been tested on animals too.

Unfortunately, animal testing is cheap and easy.

It is really difficult to know if a manufacturer uses animal testing. Chances are, if an ingredient has been developed in a lab(synthetic), it is probably tested on animals.

It is also a good idea to look into the company you are purchasing the ingredient from. I check their supply list, and if I see they also supply animal cages and restraints, I won’t do business with them.

When you make your own beauty products, you get to choose both what you put on your skin and the suppliers you will support.

The best and easiest way to start changing how your skin looks and feels, is to begin with handmade soap.

You can be sure that you have no animal products in your soap, it has not been tested on animals because you are using natural oils and are not adding any harsh chemicals such as the commercial soap companies do.

You will have wonderful, soft, healthy skin because the precious glycerin is still intact in your soap.

Lotions and creams will no longer be a necessity. They will turn into an indulgence.…

No Picture
General Article

Vegan Christmas Dinner – Old-World Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegan Christmas Dinner – Old-World Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Whether you’re planning a completely vegan Christmas dinner or you simply want to add some meatless options to your holiday menu, these savory stuffed cabbage rolls are an excellent choice.

This easy-to-make recipe is simple enough for a beginner, but flexible enough for accomplished cooks to adapt and embellish. It’s budget-friendly too; the ingredients are familiar low-cost staples. And if you live in an area where vegan specialties are hard to find, this could easily become a go-to recipe – all the ingredients are readily available in just about any grocery store.

Served on a bed of fluffy rice or next to a heaping helping of creamy mashed potatoes, this meatless main dish is fancy enough for a feast but has a hearty, satisfying, down-home feel as well. If you don’t mention the fact that it’s a meatless dish, chances are no one will guess! The soy crumbles or tofu provide lots of filling protien, and raisins add a delicious depth to the tangy/sweet tomato sauce.

Note: though this is a very easy recipe, it’s not a “quick cooker”. The cabbage rolls simmer in the sauce for two to three hours, absorbing the marvelous flavors and filling your house with mouth-watering aromas.

Old-World Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Have 1 cup cooked rice and 18-20 large, washed cabbage leaves ready.

Sauce:

7 cups water

One 6 oz. can tomato paste

1/2 cup raisins

6 Tbs. sugar (for richest flavor, use 3 Tbs. white sugar and 3 Tbs. brown sugar)

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. saltMix and simmer all over low heat while preparing filling.

Filling:

3 Tbs. oil

1 medium-large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until limp. Remove from heat and mix in:

1 bag MorningStar Veggie Crumbles OR 1 1/2 lbs. mashed firm tofu and 2 Tbs. soy sauce

1 tsp. salt

1 cup cooked rice

Set aside.

Boil a large pot of water and drop in 3-4 cabbage leaves at a time. Boil leaves 1-2 minutes to soften. Drain leaves and trim out the hard center cores. Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling on each leaf, fold the sides in and roll up as neatly as possible. Don’t worry if your rolls are a bit torn or messy, as long as the filling’s reasonably contained. Carefully drop each roll in the simmering sauce. Don’t stir. Simmer rolls 2-3 hours, occasionally pushing them down with the flat side of a spatula.…

No Picture
General Article

Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Wines – Wines to Try From Around The World

Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Wines – Wines to Try From Around The World

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely known red wine grapes. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country, across a wide spectrum of climates, both conventionally as well as organically.

This grape first became internationally known through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it was and still is often blended with Merlot. From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World, where it soon became popular. For many decades it was the world’s most widely grown premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s and now holds second place.

Cabernet Sauvignon can be made into many different kinds of red wines. As the style of Cabernet Sauvignon is influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest, wines made with unripe grapes usually have green bell peppers and vegetal flavors. When harvested overripe the wine can taste jammy and may even have aromas of stewed black currants. Indeed, the aroma of black currants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of this wine that is present in virtually every style of this wine around the world.

That goes for organic Cabernet Sauvignon wines as well. Take Cabernet Sauvignon by Domaine de Bajac for example. It is a nice wine from southern France, a down-to-earth version of Cabernet Sauvignon from the countryside. Described as having typical flavors of the varietal, one can expect aromas of black currant, and perhaps also mint and even tobacco. This wine is often called unpretentious, and its round character makes it a good choice for many kinds of meals.

Pircas Negras Cabernet Sauvignon Organic on the other hand has scents of blackberry, tea and spice. On the palate one can notice – alongside black currants – aromas and flavors of allspice and earth. This Argentinian wine, which is also vegan, is a strong red wine which could well be paired with Pecorino cheese or mushroom risotto.

Organic Cabernet Sauvignon is often paired with other grapes. A good example is Cabernet-Malbec by Nuevo Mundo from Chile. It is composed of 75% Cabernet and 25% Malbec. It is a nicely balanced mix of scents of fruit and berries on the one side, spice and earth on the other. This 100% vegan wine ages in barrels where it gains some oak and vanilla flavors, as well as its tannic properties.

Whether or not you were familiar with organic Cabernet Sauvignon wines before, it’s worth to give them a try, given that you like red wine in general. Organically grown grapes are usually pure in taste, so by choosing an organic wine you can get to know the real character of these grapes.

If you’d like to know more about organic wines, please visit my website for more detailed information about organic, vegan and biodynamic wines.…

No Picture
General Article

Incredible Advice For Your Next Terrific Home Improvement Project

The best thing about home improvements is that they add to your home’s value. Updating and maintaining your house is also a good way to make it energy efficient and to save money. Home improvement projects might even turn out to be a fun hobby. You can pick up some handy home improvement pointers by reviewing the advice presented here.

Watch for carpet installation sales at local locations of national home improvement retailers. You can often put the carpet in for a lower cost. This is a huge savings since installation and labor can often exceed the price of the carpet.

Small rooms are often gloomy, but you can change that! Get some light into these rooms. This can be resolved through cleaning the windows and opening blinds. If you make the most of natural lighting, any room will seem bigger. Pale colors can be added on your walls for a practical appearance. With a few key changes, you will find that even the smallest room can feel larger.

When planning your home improvements, it is important to pinpoint which room you want to start on. You do not have to work on the entire home at one time. You can work room by room until the house is what you want it to be. Plan out your approach and watch for deals on construction materials and furnishings. Plan carefully when you consider making improvements to your home if you want to save some money.

You can store your supplies between floor joists or ceiling rafters. Even large supplies can be tucked away. Just add some furring strips to two exposed floor joists.

Home improvement projects can make you feel good about your home and yourself. Hopefully, Home Design Ideas after having read these tips, you’ll make good decisions and save some money.…

No Picture
General Article

When Vegetables and Barbecues Unite

When Vegetables and Barbecues Unite

BBQ lovers and vegetarians seldom see eye-to-eye. The accepted stereotype of the beer-drinking, meat-loving, barbecue hogging finds little space for salad munching vegetarians. And yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are a BBQ lover and haven’t tried barbecued vegetables, you are missing out on something spectacular. And my vegetarian friends, without adding a bit of BBQ magic to your palate, you too are short-changing yourself.

Good things happen when two worlds collide.

Grilling vegetables does something special to them. It brings out the flavors, adds a touch of savoriness so that they just pop in your mouth. And meat by itself can get pretty dull after a point of time. A few grilled zucchinis, onions, pineapples and broccoli can go a long way to add some variety to your diet. And let’s never forget the nutrition benefits of grilled veggies either.

If you are on a diet, BBQ vegetables are the perfect indulgence. To be perfectly honest, eating raw vegetables for lunch can get pretty dull after a month or two. Popping them on the grill elevates their taste and adds a touch of drama and satiety – exactly what you need to stick to the diet.

Going Beyond Grilled Vegetables

Why limit yourself to grilled zucchinis alone? Vegetables are very versatile. Given the right preparation, you can make a meal to that’ll get even hardcore meat eaters salivating.

Enter the Kabobs

On a recent trip to India, I was surprised to find so many barbecued vegetarian offerings on sale almost everywhere I went. India is largely a vegetarian country, so the chefs here have adapted the barbecue to include vegetarian fare.

And boy, have they done a remarkable job!

Cubes of cottage cheese marinated in curd and a spice mix, then popped into a ‘tandoor’ (an Indian clay oven, similar to a barbecue), heavily spiced rolls of tofu, pounded peas and soybean mixtures, skewered mushrooms, onions and green peppers – it’s a heady delight. I was a little skeptical if the barbecue oven could really be used to churn out delectable vegetarian fare, but after my India trip, I’m a firm believer.

Try your hand at some Indian style vegetarian kabobs. Google should be your starting point. Trust me, once you try them out, you’ll never see vegetables the same way again.

Beyond Kabobs

One of my favorite barbecued vegetables is the humble potato. Baked potatoes topped with cream and cheese, or chilly, or even some salsa and chopped onions makes for a wonderful treat.

Corn on the cob is another vegetarian staple in our house. Pop it on the BBQ, glaze on some butter, and you’re guaranteed a treat the whole family can love.

Portobello mushroom burgers, sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil, peach, pear, and pineapples with a coating of lemon and honey – all these simple vegetables and fruits taste magical after spending a few minutes on the grill.

The next weekend (or whenever spring breaks), promise yourself to stay away from ribs and steak and give BBQ vegetables a try instead. You won’t be disappointed.…

No Picture
General Article

5 Ways to Make Going Vegan Easier

5 Ways to Make Going Vegan Easier

1. Don’t think of it as a diet restriction:

When you go vegan, you suddenly won’t be able to eat a lot of the foods you used to enjoy, and you may not have any food options at some social spots (like the movie theater or mall). Instead of focusing on all the things you can’t eat, think of veganism as an opportunity to try new foods. Before I went vegan, I had never tried things like hijiki, seitan, or Ethiopian food. Being vegan forced me to expand my parameters – and I am happy that I did!

2. Take a multivitamin:

Aside from nutritional yeast, there is no vegan dietary source of vitamin B 12 (and even most nutritional yeast is fortified). You will have to take a B12 supplement as a vegan. While it is possible to get all your other nutritional requirements on the vegan diet, it isn’t always easy. So, you may want to consider taking a multivitamin (at least until you get a grasp on the nutritional aspects of your new diet). After all, it won’t be any fun going vegan if you get sick in the process!

3. Get some great cookbooks and try new recipes:

Going vegan will be much more exciting and fun when you see all the amazing things that can be done with vegetables. Invest in a few great cookbooks. Then, set a day/days for trying new recipes. Over time, you will have a whole new repertoire of vegan recipes so you won’t ever have to wonder about what to eat again.

4. Get social!

This is probably the most important thing you can do when transitioning to the vegan diet. You will need to seek out other vegans to help you with any questions you have. Even in simple matters, like how to cook tofu properly, the social network can be great support. Keep in mind that your social network doesn’t necessarily have to be from other vegans. For example, when I first went vegan, my (meat-eating) best friend and I organized a weekly cooking night where we’d try new vegan recipes.

5. Investigate what you can eat:

Did you know Burger King’s new French fries are vegan? Or that the Chipotle vegetarian fajita with black beans (not pinto beans) is vegan? We don’t always have time to cook or pack a lunch, so it is good to know what vegan food options are out there. This is especially true for new vegans to don’t have access to veggie-friendly supermarket chains like Whole Foods. So, take some time to figure out which foods are surprisingly vegan. They probably aren’t going to be healthy though – but you can let yourself off the hook occasionally!…

No Picture
General Article

How To Tell Your Boss You Are a Vegan

How To Tell Your Boss You Are a Vegan

If you work in a big company or even in a small cafe, chances are, you are going to get invited into a business dinner meeting, and specially during Christmas time, where a whole bunch of non vegans gather around. Now, of course you want to make a good impression and fit into the crowd, but how would you do that when out of all the dinner they are serving, you can only find a salad and the rest is vegan.

How would you deal with this situation?

I’m going to show you some tips you can apply into this scenario which are going to help you deal with this situation.

The first tip would be to tell your boss you are a vegan beforehand so he or she might consider to put more veggies on the table. Now don’t feel embarrassed about telling your vegan lifestyle to your boss because really two things can happen, either they put more veggies on the table or not.

Of course you want to tell he/she in a good manner. If there is not too much trust between you, try bringing up the subject in a subtle way so it won’t look like you are making a request specially for you.

You can bring up the subject by making some comments about how you tried this vegan pasta or soup and how it can bring some variety to the table. Again you have nothing to lose.

Now my next tip should only apply when you just didn’t have any other choice but to get the salad and people start looking at you weird. First, stand tall and don’t let the weird look of your co-workers intimidate you. Then if someone asks about why you are just getting the salad, tell them you are a vegan but do not go into a debate about the benefits and how great this diet is. Just keep it simple and straight to the point.

I hope this tips give you some confidence when dealing with this type of situation and remember that what others say, should not matter to you in any way. Is very easy for people to judge but not many step up to the plate.

So stand tall my friend, you are in the good path to health.…