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I have recently purchased a Neti Pot.  I have been wanting one for quite some time so I am excited to finally own one!  Few things in my house are colorful (which is how I like it!) so I decided to get a colorful little Neti Pot!

Using a Neti Pot is an all natural, drug free, way to help keep your body healthy!  The Neti Pot helps reduce or eliminate a variety of physical symptoms that many people suffer from on a daily basis!  The use of a Neti Pot helps with sinus problems, congestions, allergies, eye irritation as well as sharpens your sense of smell and taste!  Additionally, Neti Pots help to strengthen your immune system!

Neti Pots can be used 1-2 times daily and are most effective when used after a hot shower.  The heat and steam from a hot shower helps loosen and moisten the nasal membranes and mucus.  In addition to being a natural healer, spending $20 on a Neti Pot is a much more economic expense than spending money on medication and doctors appointments!

To use a Neti Pot put a heaping 1/4 tsp of super fine sea salt in the bottom of your pot.  Add enough warm water to the pot to come up the the bottom of the spout. (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water)  Make sure your salt is dissolved in the water before you use it.  Bend forward at the waist and tilt your head on one side and slightly forward.  Insert your Neti Pot spout tip in the nostril that is closest to the ceiling.  You do not have to shove the spout in your nose!  As long as the spout is snugly inside your nostril, you’re good to go.  This is not painful or uncomfortable. 

Slowly tilt your pot upward in order to get the salt and water solution to flow through the pot and into your nasal cavity.  You may feel slightly uncomfortable with the feeling of the water flowing through your sinuses until you get familiar with the procedure, but it soon will become second nature.  The solution will flow into your nose, through your sinus cavities, and will drain out the other nostril!  You pour water in one side and watch it drip out the other side.  Once you let about 1/2 of the water go through the first nostril remove the pot from your nose and lean your head downwards and forward to let the water drain out.  Once the water drains, turn your head the other directions and repeat the steps on the other side. 

  Though I went for a colorful Neti Pot, they come in all sorts of different sizes and shapes. So shop around and find one you like! Give it a try, you’ll feel the difference!

So many people neglect their health on a daily basis.  They are not active, they do not put healthful foods in their body, and they drug themselves to relieve symptoms.  Using natural wellness methods, such as a Neti Pot, while maintaining a lifestyle of a whole foods based VEGAN diet is truly the best foundation for great long term health!  

Rinse yourself.  Protect yourself.  Eat life giving food.  And then eat more.

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Weekly Recap

So I’ve been not blogging on Hello Veggie as regularly as I would have liked over the past week or two.  I am suffering from a crisis.  I do not know where my camera battery charger is.  I’ve looked up, down, all around and I have nothing.  No battery charger and a battery light that is solid red.  I’ve been cooking, creating new recipes, and eating up a storm but have taken no pictures.

So, I’ll quit whining and give the friendly audience a recap of what’s been brewing in my home!

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Split Pea Soup

Spiced Hot Apple Cider

Popcorn

Soul Food Casserole

Crepes with Rasberry Drizzle

Hazelnut Apple Crisp

Garlic Cream Cheese Spread & Crackers

Sushi, Edamame, Miso Soup

I would be bouncing with glee if I had pictures of all of these things.  I hate posting recipes without pictures!  It’s not as fun, it’s not as interesting, and it’s not as helpful!  

Also, I did get a Neti Pot which I have been eagerly using 1-2 times daily and I’m really excited about it!

Until next time, wish me luck finding my battery charger… =)

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Sesame Salad

This salad is basically all about the dressing!  And do beware, the dressing is certainly not fat free.  But luckily it is so flavorful that a little bit goes a long way!  The ‘bed’ of this salad could be enjoyed with a wide variety of dressings, I do believe, but I designed it to go with this dressing specifically!  A dressing this flavorful can’t compete with a complex salad!  p10304372  

Salad:

Large bed of field greens

Several carrot peel loops

Sprinkled sesame seeds

Dressing:

2 T rice vinegar

1 T agave nectar

4 T veggie oil

2 T grated fresh ginger

1 T soy sauce

1 T sesame oil

dash of sesame seeds

  Just drizzle a light stream, or a few drops, of this dressing over your salad and enjoy! It is so tasty and fresh!  This salad makes a great intro to any asian-inspired meal!  It’s so quick and easy to throw together and you’ll enjoy every bite!

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Ginger Tea

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Why You’ll Love It:

Ginger is known for it’s ability to reduce nausea and settle stomachs.  It can handle everything from motion sickness to menstrual cramps.  Ginger is known as a carminative, which means it is a substance known to reduce intestinal gas.

 In addition to the soothing effects ginger has on an upset tummy, it is known for it’s antioxidants and as an anti-inflammatory.  Ginger helps reduce cholesterol and fight heart disease.  It will boost your immune system and help fight against all of those nasty germs floating around during cold and flu season!

I recommend one or two cups of ginger tea every night.  I enjoy sipping my hot beverage when I’m done eating for the day, before I get into bed to go to sleep.  Here’s what I do…

How You’ll Do It and What You’ll Need: (two glasses of tea)

Boil 4 cups of water.  Add a sliced, peeled,  1 inch piece of ginger root to boiling water.  Continue a hard boil for 5 minutes.  Ladle into a mug, leaving ginger slices behind, and enjoy. 

Ginger tea is great for many reasons.  Besides the health benefits listed above, making this tea is less expensive than buying other teas!  Organic ginger root is not expensive and it will last you a while!  All you have to do is peel the little piece you want to use, the rest will keep in the fridge for weeks!  It’s fresh, less expensive than bagged tea, and delicious!  Ginger is has a mild spicy flavor.  It is fragrant to breathe in and leaves a warm tingly sensation in the back of your throat.  (think whiskey without the buzz)  

I’ve heard it is great with a little fresh lemon juice and honey (if you’re a VEGAN who eats honey) but I’ve never tried it.  My philosophy is, if I tastes great on it’s own why try to improve it?!  I take my ginger tea straight!

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Classic Carrots

It’s important too keep a strong intake of organic, fresh whole foods.  A tasty and inventive recipe for veggies is always great.  They keep us on our toes and help prevent boredom in our menus!  However, I do believe there is very much to be said for keeping things plain, simple and easy!  I have decided to share my favorite way to eat cooked carrots.  I don’t like them mushy, I don’t like them overly buttery, and I like the flavor to pack a punch!

Most conventional eaters who don’t like their veggies are used to boiling them to death!  Fresh or frozen veggies need NOT be boiled to death!  The opposite is true!  We want to keep their enzymes in tact, to keep them vibrant and to keep their nutrients as active as possible!  Lightly steaming, boiling, grilling, or sauteing is the BEST way to cook veggies!  It only takes a few minutes!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

4 organic carrots, peeled and cut

1 tsp non-dairy non-hydrogenated butter (Earth Balance)

2 dashes nutmeg

2 dashes cinnamon

Directions:

Boil 2 or 3 cups of water in a pot.  Once you reach a hard boil, drop all carrots in and cook for about 3 to 6 minutes.  Once done, drain carrots.  Mix non-dairy butter and sprinkle with spices.

Enjoy immediately!  These carrots are fresh, healthful, flavorful and have a great texture.  I’ve gotten many compliments on them when having guests over.  People seem to think there’s something fancy and complicated involved!  Nope! Veggies are just good.  Let these Classic Carrots be the side for your veggie burger or Spicy Rubbed Tofu!

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Milk

One of the many reasons Hello Veggie was created was to inform people about different foods.  So lets take a look at an All American drink!

When you are a human female who is pregnant your body starts to produce milk inside glands for your baby.  You have milk created in your body in order to nourish your baby, for optimum health and bonding for you and your baby.  This is natural and beautiful.  

Since going VEGAN, I’ve often wondered which farmer first saw a baby calf drinking from it’s mothers milk glands and thought to himself “Mmm, that looks good! I’d like to try some of that!”.  It’s a perverse thought in it’s nature because it is not a natural inclination for one mammal to look to the teat of another mammal for a drink, much less for nourishment.

Why do conventional eaters drink cows milk?

1) Cows Milk has calcium in it.  This is because the cow eats a plant based diet and plants are loaded with calcium.  Do you remember the last time you ate a green veggie?  Have you eaten broccoli, zuke, lettuce, or spinach?  If you have, you were eating calcium.  Dark green veggies are one of many plant sources that is packed with calcium.  What about whole milk?  You know, the thick stuff?  Vitamin D! Right?  The ONLY source of vitamin D is the sun.  Whole milk is just fortified.  Cows milk doesn’t provide any nutrient that you don’t already get from somewhere else.  

2) Conventional eaters have been taught that the milk from a cow is needed and healthful.  Your parents did it, schools gave you a little cute carton of it at lunch, you see it advertised on the lips of hot people.  Why all of the advertising?  Why the push?  Nobody pushes juice or water the way they push cows milk.  It’s because the government makes money from your purchase.  Dairy is subsidized.  And I almost hate to point it out, but there are many people who would have a hard job hit if people were healthier. I do not believe the government wants people to be as healthy as they could be.  Dr.’s, lawyers, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmacies, salesmen…all of these people would feel the dramatic differenc in their businesses if people were healthier.  America pays more for our healthcare system (researchers, etc) than any other country and it has some of the most unhealthy people in the world!  2 + 2 = 7? 

3) Conventional eaters drink cows milk because they don’t know what other milks to drink!  What I mostly drink is organic soy milk, fortified with b12 and vitamin D.  Rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are all other delicious milks to enjoy. (and NONE of these plant based milks have cholesterol like cows milk does) I don’t ever partake in a plain glass of soy milk.  I don’t enjoy the flavor enough to go there.  But for cereal, baking, and cooking soy milk is great!  All of the other milks would probably be tastier if you had the urge to chug some milk.  But since milk is mostly used for cooking and baking, all of these milks would be delicious! 

4) Conventional eaters drink cows milk because they don’t know what cows must go through in order to produce milk in factory farms.  Cows are artificially inceminated, over and over, are allowed to feed their calf for 4 weeks and then their calf is taken from the mother to kill (boy) or be inceminated (girl) and this is how they keep the milk pumping.  

5) Conventional eaters don’t realize how cows milk is bad for your health.  The cows who are milked are unhealthy.  They are pumped with steroids and hormones to make them get as fat as possible as quickly as possible.  They are pumped with antibiotics to keep them alive through the disease covered environment they live in.  But what if I drink only ORGANIC cows milk? What if I just only drink antibiotic free range cows milk?  That is a healthy motive, but unfortunately it’s not quite going to spare you.  

This is a quote from a doctor who has performed the most extensive scientific research study on nutrition over  Dr. Colin T. Campbell PhD, “What protien consistently and strongly promoted cancer?  Casein, which makes up 87% of cows milk protein, promoted all stages of cancer.  What proteins did not promote cancer, even at high intake?  The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy.”  Read whole exert here.  Before I started researching nutrition, I NEVER realized protein was in dairy!  I thought meat = protein and that’s it. But what I would really want to know is WHY people would alter their diet to just drinking organic and antibiotic free cows milk.  WHY do they even want to drink the milk from a cow?  When I drank cows milk, it was just because that’s what I had always done!  Not a strong reason and that’s why I had no problem letting it go.  

This is where the awareness comes in.  You know antibiotics are in your cows milk=bad.  But what cows suffer through to produce it=bad too.  Casein=bad too.  So why drink cows milk at all?  To fit in?  To stick to habit?  To follow the leader?  It’s certainly something to think about!  And be aware, once you let in the logic, research, and compassion for a vegan diet, it will make your life amazing!

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Yes, it is true that here at Hello Veggie I mostly want to post recipes for delicious VEGAN food. However, this pre-holiday season post is dedicated to a recipe for GREAT VEGAN gift ideas. It’s the VEGAN heart and mentality that will shine through these gifts! What is the VEGAN heart and mentality you ask? No, it’s not a cult!

Give a gift that is thoughtful, planned, homemade, ethical, and preferably delicious! If you’re VEGAN, those notions should go right along with your lifestyle.  This post is going to put together a few Holiday gift ideas. They will all be simple, easy, thoughtful, and unique!

Gift Baskets:
Find a container that suits your needs and the taste of the recipient. Suggestions would be an original coffee or tea mug, a pretty planter or watering can, a stocking, a woven basket, or something humorous to hold your goodies.

The Goodies:
Find herbal teas, individually wrapped mini-loaves of vegan holiday bread, stacks of homemade vegan cookies, natural lip balms or mints, a pair of gloves, a book, a journal, a recipe collection, seed packets to plant, or anything natural and petite that can be packed up

The Tags:
Instead of not labeling your gifts at all or using those oblong gift stickers with a picture of Santa Clause or mistletoe, make your own individual labels for your gifts! Get a shiny silver or shiny white pipe cleaner and manipulate it into a star. Hang this star on every box or bag you give. It will be your signature without having to sign your name! Each year you can pick a different shape (star, christmas tree, heart, curlies) to use as your theme.

OR you could buy your own paper from an art or craft store, cut out your own design or shape, and handwrite your message on your own natural paper. Attach your paper (through a punched hole) with a ribbon and let it dangle from your gift (just as you would with your pipe cleaner star)

OR order a personalized stamp with your salutation on it! Use this stamp to directly ink the wrapping of your gifts with “Love Lucy” (insert your own name!). You don’t need to have a tag at all! You can just stamp all of your gifts and skip wasting products for tags and stickers!

Snacks:

As goodies, you can make muffins, breads, chocolates, fruit bars, or ingredient bags!  What is an ingredient bag?  An ingredient bag is a bag (or glass container) and fill it with all the dry ingredients needed to make a goodie or meal.  Attached to the container with the dry ingredients you leave a piece of paper or card stock with the recipe for the ingredients!  The recipient will know what the ingredients you’ve given them are, what liquid ingredients they need to add to it, and how to cook it all up (based on your attached instructions) and have a yummy VEGAN meal or treat!

Hostess:

If you’re attending Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a holiday party at someone’s home, feel free to bring the host or hostess a little gift.  A box of organic tea, a homemade VEGAN treat, a holiday candle, or bottle of wine are all great gift ideas.   No, these occasions do not require a gift but it is a very thoughtful idea that I recommend!  If you are VEGAN and are attending a non-VEGAN holiday dinner, always offer to contribute to the meal and offer thanks if any VEGAN dishes are prepared for you!

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The great thing about being VEGAN is that people are always curious about what you eat! They think it’s weird, interesting, gross, confusing, or any number of things! But by baking and making your own VEGAN goods to wrap up and deliver you’ll be giving a gift that goes beyond taste buds! You’ll be helping to show the world how tasty and normal VEGAN food is! You’ll be showing them how much they enjoy healthful and ethical food! And what do you know? Perhaps the seed you plant with someone may really make a difference!

Just for my oh-so-special-and-loved Hello Veggie blog followers I have added a ‘gifts’ page on my aStore.  So check out the Hello Veggie Store (link located on my page) and browse my gift ideas.  I found a 6-pack of Yogi teas for only $17 or so.  This is great if you’re planning on giving gift baskets this year.  Or if you just want a ‘little somethin'” to give a friend or co-worker or two, these tea boxes are great!  They warm the body and heart and can be sipped on all month!  It’s inexpensive and thoughtful!

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