Top Lady Products of 2011 Healthier, Organic, Toxic and Cruelty Free

“Healthier, natural, organic & cruelty-free cosmetics, body and personal products”

Cruelty-free products and are NOT tested on animals. If we choose to poison our 
own bodies knowingly I guess that’s our business, though I do urge you to become more informed

Choose to be cruelty free because it’s the right thing to do. There is just no need to make animals suffer if the ingredients are nontoxic in the first place. Besides, we have willing and able humans who test our products.

Unfortunately cruelty is not the only reason, every day the average adult uses nine personal care products containing 126 potentially dangerous chemicals. Choosing cruelty-free beauty and body care products ensures that you’re only are helping to protect innocent animals, but reduces your exposure to toxic products that affect your personal health.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It’s one of the most sophisticated sponges ever created. The last thing we should do is put potentially toxic ingredients on our skin the bottom line is what we put on the skin will make its way into the body.

Many of us are worried about the aging process and go to lengthy extremes to prevent it from taking place the easiest way in preventing aging is by avoiding synthetic chemicals, whether they are present in our diets or through the skin care products, we can help slow down the aging process by choosing more natural means.

The first step to reducing animal testing and personal toxic concerns is to read labels carefully and not purchase products that contain any of these toxic ingredients. Heres a list of toxic ingredients to avoid.

Listed below are some of my favorite products of 2011.

PUREOLOGY: Shampoo/Conditioner: Environmentally friendly with 100% Vegan ingredients and natural, organic botanicals.  Purology developers have a strong commitment to the wellbeing of the environment as well as providing a high end product. Sulphite free, vegan, enviroment friendly. Sold at salons. Not Tested on animals, earth friendly.

DR. BRONNERS MAGIC ALL IN ONE SOAP : Completely biodegradable and vegetable based, scented with organic oils, my two favorites the rose and the lavender, they leave my skin feeling clean, soft and have a nice light scent. Sold at Choices and health food stores. Not Tested on animals, earth friendly.

Continue reading

Choose The Top 6 Eco Packaging Suggestions

Top 6 Eco Packaging Suggestions

1. Choose renewable and recyclable glass. You don’t have to worry about the numbers because all glass can be recycled. If you’re worried about the amount of energy used to ship your glass contained products then look for local labels.

2. Numbers. If you must buy plastic know your numbers, check the bottom for numbers that tell you the plastics are recyclable, like #1 and #2. (See the City-by-City guide to learn what can be recycled in your city.)

3. Buy Dry Goods. If you’re picking up something like broth, the powdered kind goes a lot further than the canned. If you must buy canned make sure you look for BPA free cans, not all aluminum cans are the same;  producing recycled aluminum requires 95% less energy than producing aluminum from bauxite, an aluminum ore, but you wouldn’t know what one to choose because they don’t label cans, the bonus to skipping  cans is you can skip cancer causing BPA. If you have to buy canned choose companies you can trust to use BPA-Free cans

4. Buy in bulk, shop where they sell bulk and fill up your re-useable container, you can also use your own  your own coffee mug for your daily java at your local cafe, other places to re-use your container is at the salad bar! The choices are endless.

5. It’s in the bag! When you cart home all of your bulk goods please us a non-plastic bag! Use cloth bags  instead of plastic.

6. Good things come in small packages. Often foods like cereals that come in smaller boxes contain the same amount of, say, mueslix, as the bigger boxes that are just full of air. Compare product weight to be sure. Or you can make your own cereal from your bulk products you just bought. The bonus! you will know whats in it and it will probably taste better.

Top 5 Eating Habits to Heal the World

Top 5 Eating Habits to Heal the World

1. Support local growers, be it through farmer’s markets, farm-fresh food box deliveries or just keeping your eye out for local labels at the grocery store.

2. Go vegetarian or reduce meat/dairy intake–meat production uses up to 20 times as much energy as growing grain.

3. Choose fair-trade coffee, sugar, chocolate and anything else you can find fair-trade so you can be sure you’re not supporting “sweatshops in the fields”.

4. Buy certified organic to avoid pesticides and spare waterways, wildlife and workers troubled encounters with toxic pesticides.

5. Pass on resource-intensive, packaging-heavy fast food and heavily processed junk.

Eco Product Review “PLASTIC”

I come across a lot of very cool products and this one by Pela reminds me of why it’s so important to educate people on the usage of plastics. I attached this video from their site:

Plastic even though recyclable doesn’t make the list of  the most eco-friendly material. Plastic bottles rank right up their for the most anti eco-friendly materials out there including plastic bags and plastic containers. If you eliminate the scourge of bottled water, you will be eliminating one of the biggest problems facing our environment. —Charles Moore, founder, Algalita, and discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The production of plastic not only hurt’s the health of people in the factories producing it but also to the people living in the small towns around the factories.

Plastic containers leach chemicals into the water we drink, foods that we eat and containers our food that we buy comes in, even worse when we heat foods in plastic containers and plastic wrap in the microwave  we are releasing toxins into our food. Plastic containers show evidence of chemical release even when not heated.

The problem is plastic is still used just about everywhere, it’s harmful to the environment, it takes centuries to break down and when it does, it separates into tiny toxic particles that contaminate the ground and water, ending up in our streams, oceans, rivers and drinking water. Know your numbers. If you’re buying something that comes in plastic, check the bottom for numbers that tell you the plastics are recyclable in your area, like #1 and #2. (See the City-by-City guide to learn what can be recycled in your city.)

Environmentally  the usage of plastics is devastating, especially for animals; tiny pieces of plastic are consumed by fish, and those fish are eaten by humans this is causing widespread harm and health concerns. On top of that, land animals who eat it have been found dead by suffocation as plastics become lodged in their stomaches and throats. Some have even been found with plastic rings caught around their necks causing them to choke. This includes, fish, birds, small animals like rabbits and marine life including sharks, seals and turtles.

It’s known that plastics cause cancer,  thyroid issues, neurological issues the risks are everywhere. Please click here to read what the Canadian Cancer Society say’s about plastics. A highly informative way to educate yourself about plastics is by watching a documentary called Tapped. Tapped examines the role of the bottled water industry and it’s effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

So yes plastic is made from oil. By using less plastic you help to preserve our natural resources. Plastic is cheaper than organic materials such as stone, glass, and solid metal. Therefore, manufacturers cannot help but to use plastics but we must make better choices if we strive for a healthier future.

If you know of any great non plastic companies out there please feel free to share them with me, I’ll put them on the blog.

Meals From Mars

As a vegetarian it sometimes feels foreign like I’m on another planet when discussing the all to popular question”To eat or not to eat animals for food.” While vegetarianism has been practiced for over a thousand years in some countries, it is a relatively new concept in the West. And so, with the question cropping up more and more , I thought I would share with you the questions I get asked most often. “What’s wrong with eating meat?”

For me it’s comes down to this. “I object to the consumption of meat because it is the flesh of another being, obtained through her slaughter, without her consent.  The food we call “meat” — more accurately, the body parts of pigs, chickens, cows, and other beings — is unnecessary in a human diet and is too much a product of exploitation for me to condone its use.”

Food is a very personal thing for many people, and as members of a culture raised to view the corpses of other animals as food, it can be daunting to imagine a life without those bodies on our plates.  I agree that there is definitely a period of adjustment we have to go through when we eliminate animal products from our diets.  However, once that period of adjustment is over I gaurantee you will find that I you don’t miss it.  Not even a bit. I swear!

I know the reality is we can’t educate overnight, people are still going to use animals for food, clothes and exploit them for entertainment and science, however we can reduce this suffering and reduce the consumption of products by sharing our thoughts and opinions as well as making more informed product choices. I am not telling you how to live your life, but I am asking you to reconsider your thinking process. Reducing consumption has huge benefits not only in reducing suffering but also benefits in health and environmental impact.

“I was meat free for a while, but I felt tired all the time because I didn’t get enough protein.”  In saying that I belive people are open to the change, unfortunately they revert back. This is a statement I hear a lot This makes me wonder what the reality of that process was for that person making the choice,  I wonder did they do enough research in their meal planning?  Did they get the support from their families and friends? Somehow society failed to support them but with the right tools it’s easy, healthy and has long term benefits.

Protein can be obtained through a variety of plant-based sources.  (Beans, lentils, soy protein, nuts, grains) all contain a healthy amount of protein.  I am not a nutritionist, and you should speak with one if you have specific concerns, but there are a number of great resources are available, especially on that wonderful tool called google. If you are really serious then have a proffesional meal plan for you. The Vegan Project is a good start if you live in Vancouver, BC. If you don’t, research something local in your area. If you can’t find anything, contact me and I will find some great resources to get you started.

What will happen to all the animals if we don’t eat them?  Animals are currently bred and raised specifically to be slaughtered and eaten (or otherwise exploited by humans). The same that would happen to giraffes, caterpillars, rhinos, wolves, seagulls etc… they will live out their lives in an environment that allows them to thrive in a sustainable way.

God put animals on the Earth for people to eat. I don’t practice any organized religion, so I don’t feel qualified to respond to this question. I do however feel that something can’t be right if one “god” is saying respect all living things and another is saying animals are our food. Makes you wonder?

I don’t eat red meat. I only eat chicken. Chickens are still exploited by humans for their bodies and by-products.  They deserve just as much consideration as other animals, and I do not endorse using those animals without their consent.

People have been eating meat for thousands of years! People have been doing many things for thousands of years that are unnecessary today.  We can live healthfully and happily on a vegetarian diet, and by doing so, we ensure that other animals live healthfully and happily as well.

The way animals are treated in agriculture is terrible. I always buy humane, free-range, organic meat, dairy and eggs. Those methods of food production are also problematic, unfortunately.  Any system in which animals are being farmed for their body parts or their by-products is ultimately using those animals without their consent, and thus is not consistent with an ideal of non-exploitation.

How can you justify spending your time helping animals when there are so many people who need help? I think people and animals living under oppressive systems deserve equal consideration, and they all need allies in their struggles for equality.  In fact, I devote much of my time to helping both human and non-human animals.  Choosing to avoid meat consumption helps to keep actions in line with the goal of a world free of exploitation and oppression.

Animals are better off being raised on farms than living in the wild where they face predators, disease and starvation. Animals in free-living situations are not being forced to do anything they do not want to do.  I oppose subjugation and exploitation, and animals being raised for food, clothing, entertainment, or science are being used without their consent.  I would prefer that they were living free and able to make their own choices.

 I believe in the circle of life. I believe in non-exploitation.

Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we? We have the choice to live happily and healthfully on a diet free of animal products.  Some animals do not.

Don’t dairy cows need to be milked? Cows only produce milk to feed their young.  In order to continually produce milk for human consumption, they are kept in a continual cycle of pregnancy.  This is traumatic and oppressive, and I choose not to drink cow’s milk so I do not support that system of oppression.

What are your thoughts on organics? “Organic” does not mean anything in terms of animal liberation; it simply refers to the food that animals are being fed.  While organic food has many positive qualities, it does not mean that animals are not being oppressed.  “Organic meat” and “organic dairy” still require that animals are kept in cages, exploited and oppressed, and used without their consent.

I hate PETA! I don’t like them either. I think their campaigns are disrespectful and hurtful to both human and non-human animals. They make everything good look like a force of change, I think that there is a better approach than bombarding people with an argument, it’s better to have people experince the process and make their own decisions. Being a vegetarian is a healthy living choice. It’s a choice to respect the lives of animals as well as embraces the responsability in protecting the earth.

If you have a question about plant-based eating please write me a comment and I would be happy to reply. If I don’t know that answer I’ll go find it for you.

Green Clean

You don’t have to give up shaving or chain yourself to a tree to be environmentally friendly. The decisions we make every day as consumers can make a big difference.

Canadians have not been given all the information about the products they buy and are completely unaware of what’s in them. Take personal care products, for example. The average adult uses nine personal care products a day, containing a total of 125 chemical ingredients, many of which most of us can’t pronounce, never mind assess their safety. Check out my post on Toxic Beauty.

While the beauty industry likes to add so-called natural ingredients to its products, such as ginger and ylang ylang, “the truth is you’re drenching your lips, cheeks and hair in a largely untested and lengthy list of petroleum-derived, genetically modified, carcinogenic or animal- (even whale-) derived ingredients.”

There are approximately 10,500 chemical ingredients stirred into the personal care products that line shelves, neither Canada or the U.S. requires much testing for these products. We look to our governments to keep us healthy and Canada has not been a leader in these things. Europe has been ahead on this, getting rid of carcinogens in beauty products, the United States started catching up after bio-monitoring the population and finding that we are carrying a soup of chdemicals in our blood and breast milk.

You can however go to the health food store and find lots of great toothpastes, beauty products and cleaning products that are free of chemicals but you also have to keep in mind that not everything at the health food store is chemical-free. It’s a bit of a wild west, so you want to be a little bit dubious in what’s out there. Read the labels and ask a sales clerk to what products have the least amount or next to no chemicals.

Let’s face it we love killing bacteria, well at least manufacturers have us convinced we do, the problem is many of those products we are using contain triclosan to help us do it. This disinfectant can prompt the growth of resistant bacteria; what’s more, it can turn carcinogenic. Use vinegar instead (and remember that not all bacteria is harmful!).

Please inform yourself: not only can cleaning products keep their ingredients a secret, but they can label themselves organic, natural, non-toxic and biodegradable without any actual certification. If you’d rather not use household cleaners like vinegar, baking soda or Borax, definitely choose trustworthy green brands like MethodSeventh GenerationDr. Bronner’s and Begley’s.

Well that’s my thoughts on products, it’s a win-win in my  opinion, you stay chemical free and anything that goes down the drain wont be polluting our earth. You can also feel good to know that no animals were tested on. Who doesn’t love that! Happy shopping and cleaning, let me know if you find any great products out there.

Deconstructing Supper with John Bishop of BISHOP’S

The film follows chef John Bishop, who owns the five star restaurant Bishop’s in Vancouver BC, Canada, John’s customers challenge his knowledge of food and he is forced to explore how food is grown and what is really in it. More and more customers begin to ask questions about the food that was being served and he realized that he himself did not know the answers. A person whose whole life is food even naming the restaurant after himself, Bishop is stumped when a customer asks him if the food he is serving is genetically modified, he confesses that he doesn’t know what that means. In this film Bishop travels take you from Canada to England and as far as India to discover the new and the old ways when it comes to growing food.

Even though this was filmed in 2002, I would say it is even more relevant today as more and more attempts are made to bring additional GMO crops into the food chain, both in the US and abroad. We are also seeing the real cost for oil beyond what we pay at the pump. Most food is trucked an average of 1500 miles, large scale commercial agriculture uses huge amounts of oil and those chemicals used on crops are usually petroleum based. Did you know that the USA is borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf, this oil is destroying the planet and our food.

The greatest thing to me is when people get involved change happens, just by saying no. We can use this as an inspiration for all of us to ask questions and make real choices about what path we take on what foods we put in our bodies; our loved ones too. Discover how to make better choices, buy local, buy organic when possible, get your food from places that care about the food they sell, educate each other and collaborate with your family on how you can all work together to attain optimum food for health and earth.

If we all “deconstructed” our meals what would we find; if we knew would we still want to eat what was on our plate? Shopping local is an easy way to do this in order to know what you are eating. When you eat out ask questions so restaurant owners know that this is important to their customers, after all they need us. It was because of customers asking questions that John Bishop investigated the state of food and made a change in his restaurant to serving primarily organic and locally produced products.

I leave you with this: keep in mind that we have the power to make change as consumers. Businesses operate by our demand. Big and small companies need our business. It is time to stop following the dictates of these companies and tell them what we want and what we will buy. Watch the film, keep learning, ask questions and let’s keep working together to achieve what we all deserve: optimum health, healthy food, healthy land and a long happy life.

Bishops 2183 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver BC Canada V6K 1N7
604 738 2025

Edible Flours Vegan Bakery ~Open For Business

Edible Flours natural vegan bakery is open! I just had dinner with a few girlfriends at Radha last night and my friend Julia said she’s been there almost everyday since its opened and its delicious! While I actually haven’t been yet we plan to meet there next Friday for coffee and treats.

Vancouver has long needed a bakery offering egg free, gluten free, wheat and soy free all natural baked goods for a long time. The NYC couple who moved to Vancouver were just not satisfied with the lack of and started their own bakery. I’m glad they did.

There are so many reasons to choose natural unrefined goodies and desserts. Whether you are lactose intolerant or have celiac. Whether you are vegetarian for the animals or trying to do the best that you can for the earth. Even if you are just looking for the healthiest and best quality products you can find Edible Flours natural bakery offers them all. Treats can be made to order, and delivered too!

Check them out! Located at 2280 West Broadway, Vancouver (Kitsilano) 604-734-8351

You can change the world one bit at a time~ Paul and Alli (Edible Flours)

100 Mile Diet Eating Local

Eating local, Eating for global change

I think leaving a small footprint is so important, it’s also important to buy and eat organic food as much as possible. I also think we should try to eat vegetarian as much as possible too. If our earth gets any more polluted with pesticides and fertilizers for rasing food than having a small footprint won’t even matter. Not eating organics allows the conventional farmer the right to pollute our earth and our bodies.

Eating locally also called the 100 mile diet or Locavore celebrates every aspect of real food. Where it comes from, how it grows and how you can enjoy it.  This initiative can set out to create change for something  good and something we can all be a part of.

Grassroots grocery delivery services are popping up all over the place. In Vancouver the one that appeals to me the most is SPUD.CA I mean of course one of the biggest appeals for me to sign up was the fact that I don’t have to lug around heavy bags  from the supermarket to my apartment anymore. I also liked that they had a vegan recipe section.

There are many reasons why I have decided to sign up for SPUD.CA some of them being. I am doing my part in supporting local farmers (contributing to BC’s sustainability) I am reducing my carbon footprint (no bags, limited imports) I have access to organics all the time. It forces me to explore other foods.  There is also a section on your invoice that will tell you how far, on average, your items have traveled and how much less they have traveled compared to the average for a supermarket. (Super Cool) I know it in my heart that I am doing the right thing and I am single-handedly saving the world  (ok not really but it’s a start) you know the quote:

I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~Edward Everett Hale


Most people who think about food and sustainability are aware of the 100-Mile Diet. While many would love to achieve a 100-mile diet, most of us leave it as an ideal to work toward rather than one we work to achieve. The 100mile diet, under new definition states that all protein and produce must come from within 100 miles. So for source less available such as rice, flour and spices from further afield, this makes a lot of sense. It means that the “fresh” foods, i.e. those that will perish rapidly, are traveling less.

The negative side of eating locally and the negative side’s positive side

It takes a while to become re-accustomed to what’s in season. This means that you can’t eat peaches in winter (unless you take the time to preserve some during that season) Something I am going to try this summer for sure. Also it could make it challenging for international dishes that call for things like mangos and coconut. I say stock up in summer and find a way to preserve.

The positive side of making this shift is that the seasons begin to take on greater meaning. Fall becomes more than “the season between volleyball and skiing.” and you start to look forward to root vegetables, brussel-sprouts and cozy family dinners. There are ways to join in on the 100 mile diet in Vancouver.

Vancouver Peeps check this out

The 100 mile diet Vancouver is providing local resources, FAQ’s, recipes, information. Also a great get started guide. Check out the Why Eat Local? section.

For a larger-scale perspective, provides a snapshot of how much milk, beef or salmon Canada imports (that’s right, we import salmon), how far it travels on average and how many grams of greenhouse gas emissions are saved by buying locally. As well as informative articles, the Vancouver based site also has a directory and links for buying locally.

This seasonal food chart is also very useful for priming your taste buds for the seasons (it also works well as a shopping list).

There are some great blogs out there about eating local and being local, like Sarah Eltons Locavore, or the blog Locavore, I like this one. Another interesting one is the Glenbrook North Zero Waste Blog and a good food blog Once Upon A Feast, though it’s not vegan it’s easy to replace the products with vegan ones. I also really enjoyed a film called No Impact Man, though some of his ideas were a bit extreme it gave you perspective on what NOT to take for granted. Hey meat eaters! If you are going to eat meat for peat sakes make it local at least. If you are eating for the 100 mile diet send me your thoughts, Id love to hear from you.

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority”

~Elwyn Brooks

“Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables.  They probably get jet-lagged, just like people” ~Elizabeth Berry

BC Vegan Wines (via Epicurvegan)

Including me many of us a have already switched our plates to a more plant-based lifestyle or at least switched to having more meat free dishes, and, as the health benefits of eating plant-based become more mainstream so do our local BC wineries, they too are taking the main stage. More vegans and vegetarians are pouring a glass with their meatless meals. We may be more health conscious, but we don’t want to give up good taste or great wine, we just want to make sure that the wine we pick fit’s with our ethics around our food. For those of you that are not vegan or vegetarian don’t you want a pure wine free of impurities? Epicurvegan provides a helpful list of local BC wines that fit’s just that. Thank god! Below is the information I kindly borrowed from Epicurian. Check out the site.

BC Vegan Wines via Epicurvegan