Tag Archives: Non-GMO

The Ethics of Veganism…

It's easy and highly tempting for most omnivores to believe that the meat they eat is ethical, that these “food animals” have lived full, happy lives and that they have experienced little to no pain or fear at the slaughterhouse. Yet sadly, the truth is that all living creatures (including those labeled “free range” or “organic”) fear death, just as we do. No matter how these creatures are treated when alive, they all experience the same fear when it comes to slaughter.

This realization leads to ethical considerations which become a powerful long-term motivator for plant-based (vegan) diets. But the welfare of animals is not all there is regarding ethical eating and lifestyle. In addition to animal cruelty we’ll take a brief look at environmental and human rights issues in this article…

  • Animal Cruelty: To meet the modern demands for most meat and dairy products, intensive commercial farming methods have nearly taken over the industry. It’s quite obvious that meat production involves the slaughter of animals, which is reason enough for some people to give it up altogether. But in addition to this, these intensive farming methods also often result in appalling animal cruelty before and up to the moment the animals are killed. Cows, pigs, fowl and other animals that are raised for food are generally being kept in crowded and filthy conditions with injuries left untreated and with no access to sunlight or the outdoors. Opposition to the killing of animals is a common reason cited by vegetarians and vegans, but it’s often overlooked by vegetarians that dairy production also involves slaughter. Milk cows are forced into a vicious cycle of continuous pregnancy so that they will produce milk for human consumption. Their female calves are either slaughtered immediately or used to replace their mothers in the dairy herd, while many of the male calves end up in veal crates; a horrible fate characterized by confinement, darkness, malnutrition, and slaughter.
  • The Environment: Another big reason people for people transitioning to a plant-based diet is to protect the environment. Vast deforestation is taking place in South and Latin America to make room for cattle grazing plus soy and grain cultivation. 97% of the crops are being grown to feed animals for meat or dairy production. Another environmental concern is the methane discharged from farm animals which contributes 18% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Human Rights: Meat and dairy production also impacts on human rights; while people in impoverished countries are starving, over one third of the world's total grain production is being fed to farmed animals in rich, industrial countries. Because of the commercial demand for animal feed, an average Western meat-based diet uses 4 ½  times more land than would be required for a vegan diet and 2 ¼ times more than for a simple vegetarian diet.

Once you embrace the ethics of veganism, there is really no alternative way of living and eating. This seems to be especially true for those who embrace an animal rights ethic. If you agree that animals are not here for human use, veganism is really your only dietary and lifestyle option.

Adapting a plant-based (vegan) diet is easier than ever before because veganism is becoming increasingly more main-stream. More and more people from all walks of life are discovering the many benefits of eating and living this way.  

So perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves, if it is now possible to live a life that involves delicious food and drink, delivers better health, leaves a smaller carbon footprint and avoids killing or harming of other creatures, then why don't we?

Stay tuned…Coming soon…The next series of articles will cover the spiritual/mental/emotional aspects of a vegan diet and lifestyle.

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Your Body’s pH – Is It Acid or Alkaline?

So what exactly is ph? pH stands for “potential hydrogen” which is the measure of hydrogen ion concentration, i.e.; the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. In our particular case, that “solution” refers to our body’s fluids and tissues. Everything, from the healthiest cells to malignant cancer cells, from soil quality to fresh and sea water life is affected by pH.

The pH scale is used to determine how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is considered neutral. As that scale falls below 7 it becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline.

Just as is the case with most health-related barometers, balance is extremely important. Ideal pH levels vary throughout our body for a number of reasons. For instance, our bowels, skin and a woman’s vagina should be slightly acidic, as this helps ward off unfriendly bacteria. Saliva is more alkaline; while our urine is normally more acidic, especially in the morning. Additionally, your body regularly deals with a host of naturally occurring acids that are the by-products of respiration, metabolism, cellular breakdown, and even exercise. So it’s best to resist the temptation to think of acid as “bad” and alkaline “good”. As always, it’s a delicate balance.

By far the most important bodily measurement of pH is you blood. For optimal cellular health, our blood pH must be slightly alkaline, ideally with a pH between 7.365 and 7.4. A general understanding of how our bodies maintain an alkaline blood range is essential for good health. Our body doesn’t automatically “find” the proper pH balance; it works exceedingly hard to create it. Whenever we make poor lifestyle choices or are burdened by a toxic, chemical laden environment, our bodies will have to work harder to create homeostasis (or the tendency to maintain its pH’s stability).

Whenever there’s even the remotest possibility that our body is about to become overly acidic (as a result of poor food and/or lifestyle choices, toxic environmental exposure, etc.) this remarkable body of ours will extract alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium from our bones, teeth, and organs to neutralize the acids. It’s a bit like having a supply of inner or internal antacids. This may be okay every now and then, but stressing or depleting our reserves over the long term can lead to osteoporosis and other assorted health challenges.

Think of the average or standard American diet (SAD). Most Americans are flooding their cells with an inflammatory acid bath multiple times every day (tons of sugar, processed foods, factory farmed animal products, etc.). One of the biggest casualties of this type of diet is the toll it takes on the body, especially the digestive system, liver, and kidneys. Conditions like inflammation, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, constipation, bowel issues, stress (both physical & mental) and chronic disease simple love an acidic diet. Excess acidity also sets the stage for bad bacteria (including yeasts and fungus) and even viruses all of which wreak havoc on our health.

Shifting the pH scale in the alkaline direction is easy with a diet filled with nutritionally dense, mineral-rich plant foods. By eating an alkaline based diet (leafy greens, wheatgrass, spirulina, veggies, sprouts, avocados, green juices and smoothies) as opposed to an acidic diet (high in animal products, processed carbs, refined sugar, energy drinks, etc), we nourish our bodies with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and oxygen. Healthy food creates healthy cells, whereas junk food does the opposite.

Check out this handy alkaline/acid food chart, click on: http://www.wakingtimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Alkaline-Acid-Foods-Chart.jpeg

Tip: Watch this short video on the “9 Benefits of Warm Water & Lemon in the Morning.” Click on: https://youtu.be/zzagCLz5VZU

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Adapt a Plant-Based Diet for Optimal Health

Adapt a Plant-Based Diet for Optimal Health

Eating like a king!

If you are among those people who are looking for the optimal diet that will make you look and feel younger, lose unwanted pounds, prevent disease and live a happy, healthy and long life, you are not alone. No need for any expensive and exotic supplements either, the answer is quite simple. Adapting a nutritious plant-based diet is not only easier than you think, it’s delicious and will do wonders for your overall health while it trims down your waistline and your wallet.

Research has conclusively shown that people following a plant-based diet weigh less, have fewer chronic diseases and live longer than their animal-product eating counterparts. Multiple scientific studies have found that vegans/vegetarians are still slimmer than meat eaters despite consuming the same amount or more calories every day. An additional benefit of plant-based eating is that plant foods are generally less expensive than animal products. And that’s not counting the costly medical treatments needed for the various chronic diseases caused by the typical American animal-based diet. Everyone can also feel good about adhering to a plant-based eating regime because it is better for the environment and animal welfare.

Fruits and Vegetables are the Kings and Queens of a Plant-based Diet

Regardless of what you eat, fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstone of your diet. Fruits are a near perfect source of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and water. Vegetables contain some of the most potent anti-cancer foods and are extremely nutrient-dense, which means more nutrients and fewer calories. It is nearly impossible to overeat if you’re eating only vegetables. Using broccoli as an example, you’d have to eat 22 cups of raw broccoli florets to get the same amount of calories found an average T-bone steak. And as far as protein goes, most people would think broccoli contains little or no protein. Wrong! Calorie for calorie broccoli contains about 75% as much protein as beef – According to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service’s Nutrient Data Laboratory database, 100 calories of broiled beef, top sirloin steak has exactly 11.08 grams of protein and 100 calories of chopped, raw broccoli has exactly 8.29.

Fresh is always best, but frozen or properly prepared canned fruits and veggies are also healthy, as long as they are not covered heavy sauces, syrups or oils. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in unlimited quantities, including a broad range of colors, textures and flavors.

Whole grains, nuts and seeds are also included in a healthy plant-based diet. Whole grains are a good source of fiber, carbohydrate and protein. Products made from 100 percent whole wheat, along with rice, corn, millet, sorghum, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt and are all examples of healthy whole grain foods. Various nuts and seeds are some of nature’s best ways to consume healthy fats. A handful a day will provide all the necessary fat-soluble vitamins; without the saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal foods.

A note of caution: Eating a plant-based/vegan diet (no animal products) doesn’t necessarily equate to a healthy diet, despite what many believe. It is possible to be on a completely plant-based diet and still be eating unhealthy foods. For example, you could eat French fries every day or lots of white bread, rice or pasta and you would not reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. Plus there are tons of “junk,” processed and adulterated foods that are totally plant based. Fried foods are a good example, even though an onion is a healthy cancer-fighting plant food, eating deep fried onion rings do more harm to the body than good. Many potato chips often contain more artery-clogging saturated fat than potato. It’s also important to avoid refined carbohydrate products like cakes, pastries, candies, cookies, which generally contain added sugars. Also avoid all drinks with high sugar content and especially those that contain artificial sweeteners. These types of foods have often been so highly processed that it’s difficult to recognize the original plants or plant foods that they came from. Finally, steer clear of trans-fats, saturated fats and hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) oils they are unhealthy and are easily stored as fat in the body.

Adapt a Plant-Based Diet for Optimal Health


In summary: Eat plants and plant-based products exclusively. If you stick to that, you’re likely to be very healthy. And if you’re like most people who are transitioning to a vegan diet there’s probably plenty of things you might feel you just can’t give up. But the truth is you can, just do one food type at a time, try going a week, and after that week you may decide to go two or three weeks and after a month or so your body and appetites will adjust and you may find you won’t miss it at all. This will give your taste bud a chance to change, and given ample time; change they will.

*Rae Indigo is ERYT500

Do the Yamas and Niyamas Support Veganism?

The Yamas & Niyamas are ethical guidelines and comprise the first two limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras’ “Eight-Fold Path”. They are the very foundation of skillful living according to Yogic philosophy.

The Yamas and Niyamas both consist of specific guidelines (presented as precepts) which give detailed explanations to guide you through all aspects of daily life. The Yamas offer universal directives which a community or society can follow to promote harmonious relationships; whereas the Niyamas deal more with what you as an individual can do to live in harmony with nature.

These Yamas and Niyamas reinforce the principles and purpose of a plant-based or Vegan dietary regime and lifestyle, and this article will explain this close association and how the Yamas and Niyamas apply to Veganism.

The Yamas encourage a collective way of living which discourages negative behaviors, and in so doing, embraces Veganism:

  1. 1. Ahimsa – Compassion and non-violence towards all sentient beings, including animals. As a Vegan, you practice ahimsa, believing that animals have right too, so you avoid all cruelty to animals by using only cruelty free, eco-friendly products.
  2. 2. Satya – Truthfulness, expressing your truth in thoughts, words and behavior. It often takes courage to be practicing Vegan, especially if friends and family, work colleagues and others eat meat you may find yourself socially excluded and/or considered a bit of an odd-ball. By sticking to your convictions you are practicing Satya.
  3. 3. Asteya – Non-stealing and by extension, being generous with your feelings, thoughts and actions. Economically, it costs considerably more to raise and feed animals than to cultivate plants. By practicing Asteya you are enabled to support and cooperate with nature and you’re using less of the Earth’s natural resources.
  4. 4. Brahmacharya – Self restraint, generally Brahmacharya refers to restraint of the sexual energy, however in its broadest sense, Brahmacharya means self-discipline and moderation in all areas of life. The yogic diet consists of eating “sattvic” foods, foods which are easy to digest, and eaten as close to their natural state (and source), which is in accord with a Vegan diet. In addition, a conscious Vegan strives to preserve our natural resources and by recycling whenever and wherever possible, and this indicates a willingness towards moderation and conserving energy.
  5. 5. Aparigraha – Non-possessiveness and non-greed. On a practical level, when adopting a compassionate, Vegan lifestyle, we take the first big step toward becoming established in Aparigraha, and with that, we step into a bright, enlightened future for ourselves, for the animals and for this planet.

The typical Western meat diet encourages you to bulk buy, to store frozen foods and meat, to fill your larder with long life provisions. As a vegan, you strive to eat freshly prepared foods, to support your local farmers market and where possible, eat locally sourced foods.

The Niyamas are more personal observations (recommendations) and relate to actions which you, as an individual are encouraged to do.

The Niyamas encourage a personal way of life which encourages positive behaviors which embrace Veganism:

  1. 1. Shauca – Cleanliness, keeping yourself and immediate environment clean and tidy. Veganism with its emphasis on a “green” lifestyle using eco-friendly practices is perfectly aligned with the yoga practice of Shauca.
  2. 2. Samtosha – Contentment, being satisfied, accepting of your immediate situation; the ideal behind Samtosha is to prompt yourself to be happy and appreciate all the blessings and tribulations in your life, yet at the same time to strive towards spiritual evolution. Sattvic foods promote happiness and contentment, while Rajasic and Tamasic foods tend to stimulate and disturb. There is a Native American tale of two wolves: “…a grandfather is talking to his grandson about how inside his mind are two wolves in a constant fight. One is anger, greed, self-pity, revenge; the other is love, kindness, empathy, hope. The child asks which one wins, and the grandfather replies, ‘Whichever one I feed.’” In the same way, we can choose to eat foods that promote contentment.
  3. 3. Tapas – Relates to self-discipline; the ability to stay focused and maybe go without certain possessions in order to grow, develop and care for yourself and others. Tapas can also relate to the way you prepare and/or cook your food, even starting a garden and growing your own takes time and effort compared the more popular and convenient fast food approach of buying ready-made, pre-prepared and processed meals and then using a microwave.
  4. 4. Svadhyaya – Self study and observation of your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Life is a journey and Svadhyaya can also mean the study of your own mind. A decision to stop eating meat and follow a more ethical plant-based lifestyle which causes the least amount of harm to the environment and animals involves considerable personal study, reflection and observation.
  5. 5. Ishvarapranidhana – Refers to devotion to God. To constantly be aware of the sacredness of life and to hold reverence for all being. This is the highest goal of yoga and perfectly in accord with Veganism, which also holds all forms of life as sacred.

You can see from this overview how the observance of the Yamas and Niyamas offers Vegans a way to live a wholesome and eco-friendly life. By applying the principles of the Yamas and Niyamas to your daily life you it will become obvious how yoga philosophy encourages you to become a vegan or follow a plant-based diet.

Side note on the question of dairy and dairy products: Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do, to nourish their young; but calves born on dairy farms are taken from their mothers when they are just one day old (and raised for veal – violates Ahimsa) so that humans can have the mother’s milk instead. Furthermore, in the case of bovine baby vs. human baby, cow’s milk is designed to nourish the calf’s relatively rapid bone growth (a calf will gain approximately 40% of its full-grown weight in its first six months [400-600 lbs.], while a human baby is meant to gain only about 10% in the same time [14-16 lbs.]). Additionally, there are now Vegan alternatives to cow’s milk (e.g.; soy, almond, coconut, rice and flax milks are some common examples). For more on the dairy issue, watch the film: “The Perils of Dairy”

The ancient Chandogya Upanishad (D II 26.2) says “When food is pure, the mind is pure, when the mind is pure, concentration is steady, and when concentration is achieved one can loosen all the knots of the heart that bind us.” Veganism is one of the main pillars of the purifying the mind.

*In summary – The American equivalent of a traditional Yogic (Sattvic) diet today consists of organic, whole, natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. A modern Sattvic diet emphasizes foods grown in harmony with nature, preferably by organic farmers, planted in good soils, ripened naturally and then prepared with an attitude of love. Foods treated in such a manner carry the highest prana and consciousness. This modern sattvic diet does not include junk and processed foods, excessively spicy or salty foods, fried foods, white “enriched” flour, refined sugars, and other forms of food that unnaturally stimulate your blood sugar and/or your mind. This modern diet avoids meat, fish and alcohol and eggs as well. It does not include genetically engineered (GMO) foods, irradiated foods, microwave foods, foods that have been cooked more than 24 hours previously or stale foods.

My Hero – Birke Baehr…

An Internationally recognized speaker and youth advocate for sustainable food and agriculture, Birke has visited and volunteered at farms around the United States and recently published his first book, “Birke on The Farm”.  Birke has spent the last four years traveling around the United States and Italy visiting organic farms and learning from the farmers who steward those farms. He has attended numerous organic agriculture seminars and workshops; including one with renowned farmer and author, Joel Salatin who Birke looks up to in his pursuit of new thinking about food and agriculture. Birke continues to educate himself in this genre and intends to be a sustainable organic agriculturist in the future. He has a passion for educating others, especially his peers, about the destructiveness of the industrialized food system and the enlightening alternatives of sustainable and organic farming, food and practices. At 11 years of age, Birke was the youngest presenter at TEDx Next Generation Asheville (Aug. ’10) where he gave the talk entitled, “What’s Wrong With our Food System” which became an internet sensation with close to 2,000,000 views.

Here’s the video…

And – young Birke has a website, visit it here…http://www.birkeonthefarm.com/index.html

Raw Vegan Holiday Salad Recipes

Rawsome Salads

Orange, Avocado, Spinach Salad

This salad recipe kind of sounded like an odd combination, but the flavors actually mesh pretty well together. The sweetness from the orange goes nicely with the tanginess of the lime and creaminess of the avocado.


  • 1 orange
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Section the orange and use a knife to cut off the skin from the sections. Try to drizzle any of the remaining juice into a small bowl.
  • In the small bowl containing the orange juice, whisk together the remaining juice, olive oil, lime juice, and sea salt.
  • In a serving bowl, add spinach and sliced avocado. Pour dressing over top and gently toss. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Creamy Sea Salad

Dulse is a popular sea vegetable that is good in soups, salads, or even sandwiches. It has a soft chewy texture and a rich reddish brown color. It can be bought in flakes or as whole stringy leaves. Dulse is a good source of protein, B-12, chlorophyll, enzymes, and fiber.


  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup dulse flakes
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup sprouts
  • Dash sea salt
  • Dash black pepper (or to taste)


Place all ingredients into a bowl. Gently toss. Add your favorite raw dressing.


Coleslaw always seems to be the salad you take with you on picnics. When using the purple cabbage, it’s definitely one of the prettiest salads. Try it and see if it’s also one of your favorites!


1 cup purple cabbage

  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Place all ingredients into a bowl and gently toss.

Simple Green Salad

This recipe is super easy and honestly, you can substitute any of the greens for ones that you like in this or any of the salad recipes. This just has a variety of greens and variety is good for your body! A list of scrumptious salad greens to insure colorful variety…

  • Arugula
  • Cabbage (green or red)
  • Chard, Swiss (green, red or rainbow)
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Kale
  • Radicchio
  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

It’s easy to pick just one type of green to eat in your salad daily (baby spinach is my choice!), but it’s also nice to give your body a variety, here’s a simple suggestion to get you started.


  • 1 cup red kale
  • 1/2 cup mustard greens
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 cup arugula


  • Remove ribs from kale and mustard greens.
  • Chop all greens into bite size pieces and toss.
  • Add your favorite vegan raw dressing.

Raw Pad Thai Salad


  • 2 zucchinis, sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 large handfuls of bean sprouts, approx 2 cups
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (use almonds, peanuts or cashews)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon raw, cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


Toss all ingredients together in a bowl until well coated. Add a dash more salt if desired and enjoy!

Vegan Holiday Snack Recipes

Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenade is a great spread to serve with crackers for an easy gourmet appetizer or hors d’oeuvres. This recipe, which uses two kinds of olives, making a nice color combination, adds to the appeal of the dish. This olive tapenade recipe is both vegetarian and vegan, and can be prepared in just a few minutes. You might also want to try this recipe for olive tapenade with sun dried tomatoes, or if you like spicy food, try this version of olive tapenade with peppers and hot sauce.


  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste


In a food processor, simply process all ingredients for a few seconds, being careful not to process too finely, since tapenade should not be too smooth.

Serve with crackers, flatbread, baguette, or slices of toasted artisan bread.

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

This easy vegan bruschetta is made with fresh tomatoes and basil and drizzled with olive oil. No cheese is needed if you use fresh red ripe tomatoes and flavorful basil. As for the salt, any kind will do, but sea salt or kosher salt will give the best flavor.


  • 12 slices French or Italian bread, lightly toasted
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt


Combine tomatoes, oil, basil and salt in a covered bowl and let marinate at least 4 hours (do not refrigerate; tomatoes will lose their flavor).

Use a slotted spoon to layer on to bread. Serve immediately.

Spicy Vegetarian/Vegan Bean Dip

A classic vegetarian bean dip with spicy chilies and Tabasco sauce. Vegetarian bean dip is great for a casual vegetarian Super bowl or party appetizer. This vegetarian bean dip recipe is also vegan.


  • 1 – 28 ounce can vegetarian baked beans, drained
  • 1 – 4 ounce can green chilies, diced
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce to taste)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Tortilla chips
  • Preparation:

Drain beans and add to blender. Add chilies, vinegar, chili powder, Tabasco, onion powder, salt and garlic powder blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and garnish with green onions.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Vegan Holiday Dessert Recipes

Brownies (egg and dairy free):

Brownies are a classic and simple treat and this recipe makes it easy for the lactose intolerant to enjoy them just as much. The recipe comes from a dessert spot in New York City.

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum.
  2. In a second bowl, mix 1/2 cup of applesauce, 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 1/2 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips.Mix both bowls together.
  3.  Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees.

Gingerbread Cookies:

Take a traditional holiday recipe and turn it vegan with this recipe.


  • 4 tablespoons coarse sugar (turbinado or demerrera or “sanding” sugar)
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup almond (or soy) milk
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Sift dry ingredient (except sugar) into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients, including the raw sugar and whisk or beat on medium until blended.
  3. Stir in the pre-sifted dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. The dough will be quite sticky and you may need to dampen your hands to work with it. Roll the dough into little balls (about 1 Tablespoon) and flatten out to your liking.
  5. The thinner the cookie the crisper it will be – a slightly thicker cookie will yield a crunch on the edges and a slightly chewy interior.
  6. Press the coarse sugar onto the tops of the cookies and bake about 10 minutes at 350 on a greased cookie sheet.

Pumpkin Pie:

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without a pumpkin pie. Here’s a vegan version of the old standard recipe.

  1. Mix 2 cups of pumpkin purée, 1 cup of almond (or soy) milk, 3/4 cup of raw sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon of molasses, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of allspice.
  2. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Banana Ice Cream (dairy free):

All ice cream has dairy in it, right? Well, not so, here’s some awesome ice cream made from a frozen banana.

It’s simple…freeze a banana, put it in a food processor, and that’s it. It takes a little bit of time to get creamy. But, that’s it. Add a teaspoon or so of peanut butter and just a  bit of cocoa powder (optional).

Veganism & Yoga


Yogic philosophy teaches us that food is to be considered a carrier of the life force called “Prana” and is judged by the quality & quantity of the Prana it contains and by the effect it has on our consciousness.

“Sattva” is defined as the quality of purity and goodness. Sattvic foods are pure, clean and wholesome, they’re foods that are abundant in Prana and their life-giving properties leave us feeling calm, alert and refreshed.

Another word common to Yoga philosophy is “Ahimsa”, the first yama of yoga, which asks us to do no harm. Ahimsa = non-injury (literally: the avoidance of violence) and insists upon us not harming other sentient beings – animals or otherwise.

A question often asked of vegans and those who eat only a plant-based diet is “What about plants – aren’t they sentient beings too?” Well no, not exactly. Sentient beings have minds; they have preferences, desires, or wants, and there can be no serious doubt that both humans and animals have interests, including an interest in avoiding pain and suffering and an interest in a continued existence.

Sri Ramana Maharshi, perhaps the most famous Self-realized sage of modern India, was asked what the most important aid to meditation was and he immediately replied “a pure vegetarian diet.” He quoted the ancient Chandogya Upanishad (D II 26.2) that says; “when food is pure, the mind is pure, when the mind is pure, concentration is steady, when concentration is achieved one can loosen all the knots of the heart that bind us.” Vegetarianism, especially veganism, is one of the main pillars of the purifying the mind.

The Spiritual Importance of a Plant-Based Diet for Yogis and Students of Yoga:

The Hathayoga Pradipika (section 58 of the main classical Hatha Yoga textbook), recommends avoiding …fish and meat” In the Mahabharata, which the Bhagavad Gita comes from, the importance of not eating meat is emphasized. The body, emotions, spirit and even our hereditary expressions are significantly affected by what we eat. Sensory inputs from numerous objects disturb us in many ways, not only consciously, but subconsciously and unconsciously also. In Sanskrit the term for this disturbed condition of awareness is called Vyutthita chitta or the disturbed (literally ‘provoked’) mind. Through proper plant-based diet, meditation, and other sattvic activities, we can reduce this state of disturbed awareness and experience a state of undisturbed awareness or equilibrium termed in Sanskrit as Samahita chitta or the concentrated (literally ‘collected’) mind in which the body, senses, prana and the mind all function in harmony.

The key element to the sattvic diet is plant-based foods. Flesh foods (meat, fish and poultry) and animal products (eggs and dairy) increase the animal frequency in the body and prompt animal-like tendencies into action such as the vibrations of anger, lust, fear and even murderous impulses. The energy of an animal based diet adds to the impurities of the mind and the nervous system.

There are those that claim that flesh foods are an essential part of their natural diet and so should not interfere with the unfoldment of their higher nature. But as written by Sri Yukteswar, the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, in his book “Holy Science”, “Can flesh be considered the natural food of man, when both his eyes and his nose are so much against it, unless deceived by flavors of spices, salt and sugar. On the other hand, how delighted do we find the fragrance of fruits, the very sight of which often makes the mouth water?”

Flesh food and animal products promote a tamasic (dull and heavy) effect on the physical body and mind. They clog the pranic channels of the subtle body; the 72,000 nadis through which the Kundalini needs to move freely to do its spiritualizing work, and they tend to make the mind insensitive. The Manusmirti (5.49), an ancient law code of Hindu society, states, “Having well considered the origin of flesh foods, and the cruelty of fettering and slaying of sentient beings, a person should abstain from eating flesh.” It also states (6.60), “By not killing any living being one becomes fit for liberation.” Additionally the Yajur Veda (12.32) states, “You must not use your God-given body for killing God’s creatures whether a human or animal.”

A vegan way of life actively establishes six aspects of Ahimsa:

  • (1) Compassion and non-cruelty toward sentient beings;
  • (2) Safeguarding the earth and its ecology;
  • (3) Feeding the hungry and poor;
  • (4) Preserving human life;
  • (5) Establishing and maintaining personal health;
  • (6) And inspiring and promoting peace.

Yoga, Health and a Plant-Based Diet:

Yoga teaches that a vegan/vegetarian diet is not only essential for the spiritual life, but is also the basis for good health. Not only do those on a plant-based diet live longer, they actually have (according to more than a dozen research reports) two (potentially more) times the endurance than meat-eaters and they are much less susceptible to disease and other health problems. The eating of flesh foods has been proven beyond any doubt to significantly increase the likelhood of the occurance of major chronic diseases like cardio-vascular disease, hypertension, cancer, kidney disease, arthritis and osteoporosis, just to name a few.

People who eat animal products are also at a higher risk of various viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitical infections. With flesh foods being at the top of the food chain they have about 15 times more pesticides and herbicides than plant-based foods. Animal products (i.e.: eggs and dairy) have about 5 times more pesticides and herbicides than vegetable foods. A vegan or vegetarian mother has less than 1% the amount of pesticides in her breast milk as a meat-eating mother.

Yoga and the Optimal Sattvic Diet:

The modern American equivalent of a traditional sattvic diet today consists of organic, whole, natural fruits and vegetables, seeds, grains and occasionally nuts. This diet emphasizes foods grown in harmony with nature, preferably by farmers using organic methods, planted in good soils, ripened naturally and then prepared with an attitude of love. Such foods carry the highest level of prana and consciousness. This modern sattvic diet does not include junk food, excessively spicy or salty foods, fried food, white flour, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, saturated fats and other forms of food that unnaturally stimulate your blood sugar or agitate your mind. This diet avoids meat, fish, eggs and dairy as well. It does not include GM (genetically modified) or GE (genetically engineered) foods, irradiated foods or microwaved foods.

In summary:

The “yoga of food” is the art of selecting foods that increase the pranic forces for healing, purifying, calming and quieting the body and mind. It’s a dietary regime that energizes the 72,000 nadis so that the powerful, spiritualizing force of the Kundalini can move more freely through them, bringing us closer to the primary goal of yoga; freedom from the vrittis (tendencies) of the mind and the subsequent union with the divine.

Non-GMOs after Prop 37 (Video)

You and your family may be on the wrong side of a bet – there are those who are working hard to see that the odds are not in your favor!

When the United States government ignored the repeated warnings of scientists (even its own) and allowed untested GM (genetically modified) crops into our environment and our food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health and wellness of all living beings and future generations were (and now are) put at risk by a technology still in its infancy.

After over two decades, both physicians and scientists have uncovered a gloom trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And ironically, when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.

Watch the following video where TV News reporter Anita Lopez spoke with longtime non-GMO advocate Jeffrey M. Smith, who sees the possibility of a silver lining in Prop 37’s shocking failure at the polls. Smith is author of “Seeds of Deception” and “Genetic Roulette”,   books that examine the dangers of GMOs.

Also, check out: NonGMOShoppingGuide.com