Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Ooooh beauties… do I have a great post for you —> Skincare. Animal friendly. Non-toxic. Need I say more? Are you interested? Let’s get to it.
Sprout Skincare: I’ve been a fan of Sprout Skincare products for a couple of years now. Although I’m always trying new beauty goodies and sharing my finds with you, there are some that are always going to be found in my bathroom. Enter: Sprout Skincare. This fun little company is owned by Adina Grigore and she’s a total gem – solid gal – good energy vibin’ woman. She makes great products and her love in them shows. So, I was thrilled when she sent me some of her products in their new packaging … as well as offering my readers a treat! Lucky you!!
What did she send me?
Eco friendly, Natural, Non-toxic Skincare by Sprout Skincare (I love the glass packaging)
I was the blessed recipient of her amazing all over cream (I’m playing beauty goddess with it and using it with my new passion, essential oils. It’s a nice carrier product for them). She also sent me a travel size cleanser and toner, which is perfect because we’re planning a camping trip soon. Not only are they a great travel size, but the way to use them is great for camping. You see, the cleanser uses a cotton ball to wipe over your face, and then a quick splash with water to rinse off. That will be easy to do while camping instead of lathering up a cleanser, getting my hands all soapy, etc). She also sent me a kit of her lip balms. Adorable little case for them. As you can imagine, I’m stoked and grateful. Thank you, Adina.
So, what can you get as a reader of mine? Well, I loved the travel size cleanser and toner so much that if you make a purchase and use the coupon code KRISTEN when you check out, you’re getting a travel cleanser and toner for free! How awesome is that?! And, during the month of August, there’s free shipping, too. Double score!
Hop on over to Sprout Skincare and treat yourself to something marvelous. If I can make a recommendation, you will not go wrong with purchasing Adina’s cream. It’s one of my favorite creams ever.
Most of you know that I’m a big fan of Sun Warrior’s sprouted brown rice protein powder. I’ve had many shakes made with this throughout my pregnancy when I’m trying to get my protein intake up. They recently switched to a new package – a groovy looking bag. I asked them to explain the possible environmental and health impacts of their new packaging and how it is an improvement over the former jugs. Here is what they had to say…
As Sunwarriors we have a great stewardship and responsibility to the environment. Part of our mission is to help heal the earth, the rivers and oceans of toxic filth and pollution. In this pursuit we have asked ourselves this question: ”What type of packaging should be used for health products?”
Plastic Bottles- Right now we use Plastic bottles which are the status quo in the industry. But are they the best? Plastic is very toxic to the eco system. Plastic creates massive problems for the waste disposal and contributes to the ugly garbage sites that are starting to dominate parts of our country. Plastic bottles leach toxins–over time–into the food, herb or drink that is stored within it. Also, plastic bottles are not good storage units and have a horrible shelf life for products contained in them.
Glass- Amber Glass is good, but there are some problems with glass. I live near a huge silica processing plant. Silica is the sand used to make glass. To process the silica, the plant has to use massive coal dryers that belch out high amounts of toxic mercury into the environment and leave a huge carbon foot print. Another problem with glass containers is that small glass shards dislodge and get into the products contained within them. This can be very dangerous to the consumers. So the FDA has now mandated that manufactures who use glass X-ray each product to check for shards.
Eco-Friendly Bags- Eco-friendly bags have a lower Carbon Footprint than anything else we could find (container wise). They aren’t perfect, but are very good. Whereas plastic bottles leach contaminates into the product over time and glass bottles can get small glass shards in the product, the eco-friendly bags have little or no contamination at all. On top of that, eco-friendly bags maintain a high quality of freshness with a long-lasting shelf life of over 2 years.
Our biggest reason why we switched away from the bottles is that we tested significant amounts plastic chemical leakage from the bottles into our raw protein powder. We have had people say that the product went rancid- which is impossible because we have no fat in our product and it has to have fat to go rancid. When we tested the product it was not rancid, but our testers found amounts of plastic chemical in the powder that was altering the taste. It turns out that the rancid taste was the plastic leaching into our product.
This put us on Full alert! We looked at other types of plastic bottles, but the bottles we use are the highest quality bottle that packing companies us (that their equipment will handle). Mike Adams the health ranger (a good friend of mine) told us to stay way from any and all plastic bottles and product as they all have toxic chemicals that leach into the product and into the environment.
Our Foil bags have no leaching of toxic chemicals at all. And on top of that, they keep our product fresh for a long period of time. A lot of companies are moving toward bags- New Chapter, Ultimate Super foods, Jay Rob, Sun food and others are all moving away from Plastic Jugs to Eco Friendly bags..
We are concerned about bisphenol A, BPA and other chemicals in plastics and even though they are recyclable they emit plastic chemical into the air and into our water supply as they are reprocessed… It is not good.
We could use Glass bottles, but the new GMP regs will mandate any glass will have to be ex rayed for Glass shards.. That is not an option. Our goal is to have a 100% biodegradable non toxic bags as soon as possible. We are making steps in that direction.
Monday, February 8th, 2010
Raw vegan food… it’s changed my life.
When people first learn that I’m a Raw vegan, they usually ask Why? My initial response is always the same… “Try it and you’ll see for yourself. You’ll be amazed.” Sometimes I follow it up with examples that I can’t help but brag about…
- I have energy through the roof without caffeine.
- I have clear, soft skin that is going to age slowly and beautifully.
- I effortlessly maintain my weight.
- My previously debilitating headaches cease to exist.
- I’m helping my body prevent the common diseases afflicting our culture today.
- I’m setting myself up to win and to reach my goal of being a centenarian.
- I deserve this! My family deserves this!
- Need I go on? Because I can…
This lifestyle is awesome!
I have to laugh with pure rushing joy when people doubt, question, or dare to make negative assumptions about my lifestyle, because I have no regrets. It’s like having a secret key that opens the door to life at its best, and if you don’t have it… then, guess what? You can. But, if you pass it up… well, then I wish you luck (and if you come back for help later, we’ll all be here cheering you on!). (I’m a brunette now, but my laughing expression is the same)
I love my relationship with Raw Vegan food.
I’m so grateful it came into my life. How could I not be? I experienced massive health changes at two levels. The first level of going vegan greatly reduced my headaches, decreased my lethargy, and gave me a beautiful purpose as I set out to save as many animals as I could, along with helping preserve our planet earth for future generations. The second level, going Raw, made me soar to new heights I had not experienced as only a vegan. I experienced life like never before. I felt energy explode in my mouth with every bite of organic raw food. I sensed the cells in my body wake and dance for the first time, and let me tell you… they love to dance!
Raw vegan food makes me feel alive, light, happy, extraordinarily vibrant – from my head to my toes.
And, that’s just the beginning. With fresh, pure, plant-based foods, I’m connected to something that can be hard to describe for people who haven’t shared the same experience. It’s a connection to the earth. To life. To the sun. To the stars. To the moon. To animals. They are precious interconnections that are impossible to take for granted. You know that scene in Avatar where the tribe is sitting on the ground, swaying, and chanting, and they’re all connected to the forest and Eywa at the tree of souls?… don’t laugh, but I actually feel that way when I eat fresh, organic Raw plant-based foods. I feel like I’m experiencing — and deeply connected to — a planet that is alive!
I’ve been vegan for about 7 years, of which 5 have been either high raw or all raw at different times. I eat with purpose and I love it. Now, I sometimes find myself saying to the same people who asked questions years ago…
- Heck no, I don’t miss junk food.
- Yes, it’s super easy to do.
- And, no, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Some of them still don’t get it. One of the fun things about it is that it can be flexible. Many of you know that I’m not a purist with my diet. Nor am I a zealot. And, I definitely don’t stress about it. I do have some cooked foods and goodies on occasion, to which I usually follow it up shortly thereafter with a fresh green juice or salad. I can count on my body to direct me to what I truly crave… alkalizing foods. My body knows better. If I’ve traveled and eaten more cooked foods than raw for a spell, that’s OK because I run back to raw. Every time. Even during the first trimester of my pregnancy when I had about 10-14 days where there wasn’t much of anything that sounded good, and I ended up eating more cooked food than raw food – that didn’t last long. It was an exciting day shortly thereafter when I felt the change ripple through my body, and I couldn’t wait to bite into a juicy piece of organic fruit, to crunch a fresh crisp salad, and to fill my mouth with a nutrient-dense green smoothie - in spite of my all-day-morning sickness! How magnificent to share all of that pure goodness with the precious life growing inside of me.
My flexibility does not cross over into vegan-land however.
I’m not always 100% raw, but I’m always 100% vegan. I’m militant about that, and proud of it. The reason is simple… the vegan aspect of my life reaches far beyond me. It saves and respects both animals and our shared earth, which I refuse to compromise. Why would I? Check out the powerful documentary Earthlings for more information.
These past years have been amazing, and I can’t wait to see how my health continues to soar year after year. What an advantage to live this way! When I look back I am thrilled about my decisions and so happy that I started when I did, but it’s better late then never for those of you still debating on this lifestyle. If you’re looking for more information on living a vegan and raw lifestyle, then check out the following favorite resources of mine.
The China Study
Food Matters dvd
So… why do you love Raw vegan food? How has it changed your life? Or, what do you hope it will do for you?
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
I recently had someone email me through facebook asking the following:
Hi Kristen. I am ready to do some kind of detox at the first of the year, but I can’t spend a ton of money on a “program.” I know there are natural ways that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but wanted to know if you could recommend one that you may have done before you were pregnant. I’m a big fan of yours and trust your opinions. Thank you so much.
As the new year approaches, I suspect this is something on many minds. The new year is a great time to start over, try something new, or intensify what you already do, and take your health to new levels.
So, I’ll get straight to my answer… There are many ways – for free (other than the cost of organic produce and equipment needed such as a juicer or blender). I’m only touching on them briefly in this post, but if you have specific questions about any of them, then feel free to post the question in the comments section. For great tools, books, and resources to help your health journey, visit here for links to my favorite products. Note* I’m not a doctor or nurse or medical professional of any type, so I have to tell you that you should consult one before embarking on any major diet changes… okay, now that that is out of the way… here are some ideas:
1) Go Vegan Cleanse
If you’re not already, then adhering to a delicious all vegan diet is a great place to start. By eschewing all animal products and by-products you’ll not only do your body a heap of good, but you’ll also make animals very happy, and help save our earth. Be careful though, it’s possible to eat a junk food vegan diet, and while that might help animals and the earth, it’s not going to do much for your health. Keep it clean, organic, and fresh! If you want tips and ideas for foods, let me know in the comments section. You can do this for 3 days, 5 days, a month, or the whole year. Just get started, take it day by day, and enjoy the awesome journey.
2) Go Raw Cleanse
If you’re already vegetarian or vegan, then step it up a notch and go RAW! Whoo hoo! Get ready for some major energy when you do that, too. By eating all of your vegan food fresh, and uncooked, you’re getting the most out of your food by way of nutrients and enzymes. As I wrote in the vegan section above, you can do this 3 days a week, or a week at a time, or heck, set yourself a goal for one month of all Raw. Don’t be surprised if you want to make a long term lifestyle out of it, most people do. You’ll be amazed at how awesome you feel.
3) Smoothie (Greens and Fruit) Cleanse
Want to go a little more hard core? Consume all of your meals in a liquid form with smoothies. This is a nice, gentle, and fun approach to cleaning our your digestive tract with blended foods. Basically you drink green smoothies all day (this can include blended salads, green smoothies, and even all fruit smoothies). Green smoothies are great because they’re EASY to make, you can store them for a couple of days at a time if you can only prep them a few days a week, they’re satiating with plenty of diverse options, and they’re totally delicious! You could start with going for 3 days and then seeing how you feel. Or, you could do it every other day, and eat raw vegan the opposite days to get started. You’ll need a blender (regular or high powered will work) for this plan – I’ve written about my favorite blenders here.
4) Green Juice Cleanse
This is for the more ninja folks out there who want to go all the way with cleansing and renewal at an accelerated pace. Essentially, you only consume green juices all day (once in a while you can do an all fruit blend, but it’s recommended that you primarily guzzle down the green goodness). This is harder than a green smoothie fast so maybe you would want to start with just a couple of days and see how you feel. You can set up a program for yourself where you juice 3 days a week. Or, you can go truly hardcore and juice fast for a week or more at a time. Or, you could drink green juices one day, green smoothies the next and go back and forth, too. Keep in mind that on days where you only juice, you should aim for 4-5 quarts of juice a day. You’ll need a juicer for this plan, and I’ve written about my favorite juicers here.
You can do a mix of all of the above plans day by day, or you can go vegan for one week, then raw another week, then green smoothies another week, then graduate to green juices the final week. It’s important to: Be flexible. Have fun. Enjoy the journey. Give it a chance. Remember to watch how you’re body responds and make sure you get enough calories so you don’t lose your energy. Also(!), you might get a little sick in the form of detox (headache, flu like feelings with a snotty nose, skin eruptions, etc), so it’s really important to carve out some resting time for yourself.
5) You can try a program that my friend, Gena, is part of leading (it’s not free, but the price seems reasonable). The program has three levels. I’m not a huge fan of the first two levels, because they include animal products, but for the third level (Gena’s), she’s doing it all vegan! I have not gone through her program or seen specifics/results, so I can’t write about how good it is. But, Gena is an awesome coach, so I have high expectations. You can get more information here.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
I’ve been needing a new purse for a while now. My closet is filled with torture (beautiful as the end result may seem, my Chanel and Gucci bags just aren’t sexy to me anymore). So, they continue to sit in my closet. Meanwhile… this girl needed a new purse (or two!). I’ve been carrying around an old hemp purse of my grandma’s (I think she bought it in Spain about 40 years ago). It’s cute, but too small. And… it has some leather on it (not a whole lot, but it’s there). Still, it’s sentimental to me because it was my grandma’s.
Some of you may be wondering what the big deal is with leather for me. Well, I’m a vegan first and foremost for ethical reasons… to save animals. So, it would seem beyond silly for me to wear or use leather. But, I have it in my closet. I have kept it from my pre-vegan years, but I’m not using it (think: shoes, belts, purses).
I’m not of the mind to just throw it all out either. My leather pieces do have some meaning to me; there are memories with each one. For example, my first Chanel purse was a gift from my mom when I graduated from high school early. My second Chanel was a reward to myself when I was working 80 hour work weeks years ago. The stories go on from there. I have some from my very young childhood (like 13 years old). However, I don’t want to use them or advertise them. I realize that the animal has already suffered for it, and it seems rather wasteful to just pitch it.
From Peta.org: “Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals and tans their skins and hides.(1) Many of these animals suffer all the horrors of factory farming—including extreme crowding and confinement, deprivation, and unanesthetized castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning—and cruel treatment during transport and slaughter.” Read more here.
So, what’s a girl to do? I have no idea. They’re stashed away for now.
Meanwhile… I needed something new. Something that showed my style and beliefs. Something eco-chic. Something cool. Something sustainable. So, I chose hemp. I found two bags and bought them without hesitation. The first one is dark brown and functional. It has many compartments and plenty of room for my girlie stuff (makeup, money, pens, paper, raw snack bar, cell phone, etc.) and the other one I chose is black. This second purse is a little dressier. It’s perfect for date nights with my husband, dinners, etc. I bought them both here (one of my favorite online stores). They’re perfect.