Going Vegan? 5 Websites to Help Your Transition

As with any major life change, switching to a vegan lifestyle requires research in order to get it right! Going vegan means much more than eliminating meat from your diet; you’ve got to cut out leather, fur and animal products from every aspect of your life. Do you know how to spot meat products in a list of ingredients? Do you know where to find vegan-friendly clothing? Chances are that these questions may have stopped you from really jumping into the vegan lifestyle.

Luckily for you, there are a myriad of websites out there that can not only teach you about the vegan lifestyle but tell you where to find the best products, how to make sure your diet is nutritionally sound and how to spot animal ingredients in commonly used products. Here are five of the best websites for the budding vegan:

1. Vegan Action – www.vegan.org

Not only does this site tell you what a vegan (vee-gun) is: a person who chooses not to use or consume animal products, but also tells you exactly why veganism is a great alternative: for the animals, for the environment and for your health. Look around the website and you’ll discover how to eat vegan and live vegan, news about various campaigns and even an extensive FAQ section full of great answers to the questions you’ve been asking.

2. Vegan.com – www.vegan.com

From information, shopping, recipes and dozens of links, this site is an all-encompassing resource for new and old vegans alike. This site suggests what many others fail to mention: going vegan is a process, not an instantaneous effort. To be a successful vegan, the site suggests “crowding” meat out of your diet by replacing it with great vegan dishes. Rather than eating meat one day and not the next, you’ll have better success with your new lifestyle by transitioning slowly.

3. Vegan Outreach – www.veganoutreach.org

This site is absolutely amazing and should be one of the first that you look at. Full of free booklets, pamphlets and guides, the site aims to teach all there is to know about veganism and making conscious decisions when it comes to transitioning to the lifestyle. Once you’ve looked over the site, be sure to sign up for the free e-newsletter that will come straight to your inbox every week.

4. Vegan Cooking – www.vegancooking.com

Once you’ve decided to go vegan, you’ll need to learn how to choose ingredients and cook for yourself. Many animal products are disguised with clever names; by knowing how to read labels, you can be assured that you are truly following a vegan lifestyle. The site also includes restaurant reviews and travel guides that will help you maintain your lifestyle on the road.

5. PETA – www.features.pet.org/vegetarianstarterkit/

No matter how you feel about PETA, their vegetarian/vegan guide is essential. From Meet Your Meat to free vegan recipes, the site makes it easy to transition to a vegan lifestyle by providing tons of information in one place. If you’d prefer to hold the information in your hands, you can order a print version of the starter kit directly from the site.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle isn’t difficult if you do a bit of research. By utilizing these five sites, you’ll not only learn what it is to be vegan, but how you can easily adopt the lifestyle. Happy cruelty-free living!

About the Author

Jamie Thomas is a vegan writer and web designer who found ways to get money fast by designing and making a static website for easy managing and updating.

*Image: Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Ingredients

1 Pomegranate
2 Pounds Cauliflower
1 Large Bunch Parsley
1 Ounce Mint
1 1/2 Lemons (juiced)
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preparation

1. Remove the arils from the pomegranate and set aside.

2. Break the cauliflower into florets and grate into small pieces. This can either be done on a box grater or by using the shredding blade on your food processor.

3. Chop the parsley into tiny pieces. Make sure to remove any of the thick/tough stalks.

4. Finely chop the mint.

5. In a small container add the lemon juice, olive oil cinnamon and black pepper. Mix well.

6. Add the cauliflower, parsley and mint to a large bowl. Mix to combine thoroughly.

7. Just before serving, re-mix the dressing and pour over cauliflower mixture. Stir to make sure everything is coated.

8. Top with pomegranate arils.

This makes roughly 6 cups of Cauliflower Tabbouleh.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Pamela Braun, of MyMansBelly.com.*

A new, all-natural skincare line for babies and children has just made its’ debut on the green scene! Little Green will pamper little ones from head to toe with absolutely no parabens, sulfates or allergens, which is perfect for delicate & sensitive young skin. Infused with natural moisturizing and healing ingredients like Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Aloe, Little Green is fast becoming a must-have in “Mom’s” home!

Little Green Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

A mild, tear-free, and all-in-one formula gently cleans and nourishes baby’s hair and skin with no alcohol or fragrance added.

Little Green Baby Nourishing Body Lotion

A rich, creamy and nourishing lotion that was formulated and tested to calm irritation and defend against dryness. It is easily absorbed into baby’s skin for soft, silky skin!

Little Green Soothing Balm

Perfect for chapped lips, cheeks and redness due to runny noses and dry patches – and who doesn’t experience that with little ones, especially in the winter months!? This lovely lighweight balm is formulated with Beeswax and Jojoba to moisturize and nourish tender skin, as well as Avocado Oil and Evening Primrose to soothe and protect against summer and winter skin conditions.

Mom” is loving this new line for babies and children, especially the Baby Shampoo & Body Wash! The tear-free formula is extremely gentle for her daughter. Plus, all of the containers can be recycled with ease.

Little Green is available online at LittleGreenCares.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Designing a Nursery that’s a Green Haven

If creating a nursery that’s eco-friendly is on the forefront of your mind, a peaceful and green environment can be created for your little one. Instead of going with a traditional pink or blue room, go with a green room. Not only will it be eco-conscious, but it will be a place of solace for both you and your sweet baby. Doing a little bit of research may take time, but after designing a green haven for your sweet babe it will all be worthwhile.

Look for Products Made out of Sustainable Wood

Start your hunt by searching for furniture that’s made out of sustainable wood. This wood needs to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council in order to be genuinely green. This also means that the trees that were used for your furniture were replaced after they were cut down and that chemical pesticides are also at a minimum. Doing your research will definitely pay off because you’ll have eco-friendly furniture that looks nice and that also cuts back on materials that are otherwise harmful to your child.

Find a Mattress that’s Made out of Organic Materials

Even though it may be expensive, try finding a mattress that’s made out of organic materials such as organic cotton and wool. These types of mattresses tend to be more expensive, but think of it as being worthwhile since your little one will be sleeping on this crib for several years until they’re out of their toddler stage. Raising a baby green will help them be healthy and you’re also helping save the environment at the same time.

Use Wallpaper Sparingly

Even though wallpaper is sweet looking near a baby’s crib, did you know that most wallpaper contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC)? This is a toxic chemical that releases PVC during the manufacturing process which is harmful to the environment. Try not to use wallpaper because of these chemicals. Instead you can find stickers that work just as well and create fun and playful wall art for your child.

As you can see there are small ways that you can implement green into your baby’s nursery and it doesn’t have to be small, you can create an entire nursery that’s green. Help save the environment and create a trendy and eco-chic nursery that both you and your little one will adore.

About the Author

Sierra is a freelance writer and she loves fashion and interior design. In the future she’d love to create an eco-friendly bedroom and would like to include water features to create a serene environment.

*Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is an ancient grain that comes from the Andes in South America. The Incas ate it, along with corn and beans. It is gluten-free and has more protein than any other grain. It’s truly supernatural and super delicious.

Mexiquinoa Salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1 cup cooked black beans
3 green onions, sliced
Small bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest* and juice of 1 lime
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Place 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups broth (or water) in a saucepan, add sea salt and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook until all the broth or water is absorbed, about 15- 20 minutes. When done the grains will look almost clear. Fluff with a fork and let stand until cool.

Place the quinoa into a salad bowl, add the corn, black beans, sliced onions, cilantro, olive oil, lime zest and juice, cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

*Zest means the finely grated peel of the lime. It’s best to zest the lime before juicing it.

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Supernatural Kids Cookbook.*

For hours of creative writing, drawing, and just plain fun – the new two-sided Take it Easel from B. Toys is a budding artist’s dream! No need to waste paper – this reusable easel features an erasable whiteboard on one side and a chalkboard on the other, becoming a tabletop easel or chalkboard in an instant. Just pull the handle up and click it in place when ready to draw and create!

With an extremely handy handle for carrying the easel to the desired location, the Take it Easel is portable, which makes it a great item to pack along for trips to Grandma’s when on-the-go! It holds art supplies right inside when closed, and comes with 10 non-toxic washable markers, an eraser and chalk to get your child started! “Mom’s” little one is having a blast carryng the Take it Easel all around the house to play and draw, and “Mom” loves how easy it is to clean up!

To learn more, visit B. Toys, or purchase one at Target.com or OneStepAhead.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Heart Health Trivia

How much do you know about the human heart? Is your knowledge limited to a few mundane facts that you learned back in grade-school health class? Perhaps you know who is at greater risk for a heart attack or that exercising can strengthen your heart. These are great facts to know, but there is so much more!

Not only will brushing up on your heart trivia allow you to impress your friend’s with your amazing amount of knowledge, it will give you information to pass along to your children. Here are some fun facts about the heart that you may not know:

Average weight: a woman’s heart weighs about eight ounces, while the same muscle in a man weighs about ten ounces.

Shooting blood: if your chest was open, your heart has enough strength to shoot blood in a stream covering 30 feet.

Beats: your heart will beat approximately 35 million times over the course of a year; that equates to about 2.5 billion beats in a lifetime.

Move over Lungs: did you know that your right lung is larger than your left? This is so your heart has adequate space in your chest cavity.

Better than a Bicep: your heart is so strong, on its own, that it could lift a compact car; if it had the opportunity.
Around the World: there are so many blood vessels in your heart that, if you took them out and laid them end-to-end, they could travel around the world twice.

Size: the size of your heart is not one clenched fist, but two. The heart of your child’s heart is one clenched adult fist.

First beats: the human heart is fully-developed by the time you are an eight-week old embryo, though it begins to beat four weeks earlier.

Gallons: your heart pumps, on average, 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body each day; that’s the equivalent of 2,000 cartons of milk or 100 full bathtubs. Incredible!

Think Your Legs are Tired: when you are at rest, your heart muscles work approximately twice as hard as the muscles in the legs of someone running at full speed.

Go to the Dentist: those who have gum disease increase their chances for heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent.

Who Needs Gas: your heart creates so much energy that if it were gasoline, it could power a truck for 20 miles every day.

Stop Smoking: people who have smoked, and quit, have the same healthy heart as a non-smoker within three years of quitting.

Even Your Heart Hates Mondays: according to researchers, more people experience a heart attack on Monday than on any other day of the week.

Women are Faster: when it comes to heart beats, anyway. A woman’s heart, even at rest, beats faster than a man’s.

Heart Transplant: the first successful heart transplant, in 1967, occurred in Cape Town, South Africa.

Laugh it up: when you laugh, the blood flow to your heart is increased for up to 45 minutes. Yet another great reason to laugh your way through life!

How well did you fare? Were these little tidbits of knowledge familiar or did you learn something new? Whatever the answer is, you are now armed with more heart knowledge than the next guy; go out and impress your friends!

About the Author

Author John Fisher is an avid fan of trivia questions and answers, games and activities, such as sports trivia.

*Image: ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Just a sprinkle of Happy Hemp elevates any meal to super-food status by adding nutty goodness and healthy doses of protein, fiber, and essential amino and heart healthy fatty acids to any meal. For example, in the Happy Dill Salmon recipe, Tara Miko adds hemp seeds to the dill sauce to make the meal more nutritious.

Happy Dill Salmon Recipe

Ingredients

1 clove garlic

4 sprigs of dill

1 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp Happy Hemp

3 salmon fillets

Preparation

For the dill sauce, in a blender combine garlic, dill, olive oil, Happy Hemp, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend well.

Pour the sauce over the salmon fillets, cover and put in the refrigerator for one hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon on middle rack and let cook for 10 minutes. Prepare a plate of lemon wedges to be served on the side.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Tara Miko, founder of Happy Hemp.*

Mom” was recently introduced to a dairy-free, soy-free and allergen-free alternative to milk and soy milk – Good Karma Foods Flax Milk! Creamy, with the consistency of dairy milk, but without fear of causing an allergic reaction, the Flax Milk is not only great enjoyed on its’ own, but served over cereals, oatmeal, and more! Light in calories and in taste, the new Flax Milk is available in Vanilla (“Mom’s” favorite), Original and Unsweetened (which boasts only 25 calories per cup!). What’s not to love?!

Why Choose Good Karma Foods Flax Milk?

Organic
Lactose Free
Gluten Free
Non Dairy
Trans Fat Free
Soy Free
Allergen Free
Vegan
Supports Green Farming
Rich in Omega-3s

To learn more about Good Karma Foods Flax Milk, to locate a store near you, or to order online, visit Good Karma Foods.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Can You Really Save Greenbacks with a Green Car?

The competition amongst automobile manufacturers to create eco-friendly vehicles is about to heat up, thanks to the agreement they entered into this year with the Obama administration that will set the new standards for fuel consumption at 54.5 mpg (average) across each automakers fleet of vehicles. And with the leaps and bounds that have been made over the last few years in the way of hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles, there are now green vehicles that have got even staunch gas-lovers looking to save a few bucks on a more fuel-efficient vehicles (although the state of the economy is probably a contributing factor, as well). However, one must ask if the elevated sticker prices that are associated with these technologically advanced vehicles really allow for the savings that are promised. So here’s a breakdown to help consumers decide.

For starters, there is the up-front cost of purchase to consider, and there’s no denying that an eco-friendly car is sure to cost you more than its petroleum-powered brethren, possibly by several thousand dollars (depending on the make, model, and engine type you choose). While most engines can be retrofitted to accommodate biodiesel for as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars, you could be paying significantly more for a brand new electric car with any kind of decent range. So there’s that to think about. Of course, there are government rebates to offset the cost of purchasing eligible vehicles (currently plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars only). You could qualify for up to $7,000 in federal rebates for the car, with an additional $2,000 for installing a charging station. And some states even offer additional rebates (California takes the cake with up to $5,000).

And from there you only stand to save, right? Not quite. While nearly all of these vehicles will save you something at the pump, there’s no denying that some are better than others. For example, if you max out an electric vehicle with a range of about 70 miles each day, you might spend in the neighborhood of $10 each week on electricity for your car. But your regular hybrid may not end up saving you much over time since it uses gas power just as much as (if not more than) electric. Still, it will save you some at the pump. And when compared to the $50 a week you’re probably shelling out for fuel now, it sounds like a pretty good deal.

Well, at least until you have to take your car in for repairs. Here’s the rub. Parts for your hybrid and electric vehicles can be a lot more expensive than those for a standard petroleum-fuel engine. It’s no surprise considering the technology is new, it’s still being perfected, and there are few manufacturers making these engine parts. Add in that they haven’t exactly been standardized and you begin to see the problem. Then there is the cost of technicians, who have to be specially trained to work on your alternative engine. And insurance providers may even charge a little more simply because the cost of repairing or replacing your car is bound to be higher.

Despite all of this, studies have shown that on average, drivers that opt for green vehicles do not tend to spend significantly more for comparable services like insurance, maintenance, and repairs. This is good news for anyone looking to save with the purchase of an eco-friendly automobile. So if you can pony up the extra dough up front, you’re definitely going to save over time. The only real question is: how long are you willing to wait?

About the Author

Sarah Danielson writes for Kanetix, where you can browse quotes to find the best coverage. Compare at Kanetix.