Sunday, December 30, 2012

Garden Prep (What I'm doing to prepare for spring gardening in DECEMBER)

On Friday, my partner and I had a surge of energy, so we cleaned up the yard, organized materials, burned recyclables for our garden so we could start prepping for Spring gardening. Technically, I will be gardening in February since I'll be starting Cabbage and Brussels indoors. In the first three pictures, you will see that I made seed starting trays out of water bottles and duck tape. 

I always suggest to people they should use free, recycled,
re-purposed materials to create your own tools/supplies.

To make these trays, cut off the head/lid of the
water bottle, line bottles in rows, then tape.

Remember to puncture holes in the bottoms of each
water bottle for drainage.

The compost pile is full of leaves that I raked up around the yard.

Compost should be 1(nitrogen):3(carbon) ratio.
Compost needs to contain 1 part food scraps to every
3 parts of wood-based materials
(leaves, sticks, bark, ash, paper)

This past summer I grew tomatoes, peppers, and beans here.
Next Spring, I will be growing Cabbage, Brussels, and Broccoli here,
as seen here.

In the making of our herb garden. We had logs around our
house from a tree we had to cut down.


More free materials!
 As I said, I want to create a HEART-SHAPED FLOWER BED. I want it to look something like this, but with the bricks I have found around the yard:

Photo Source: Romantic Garden


Burning brush and wood from around our yard helps
add nitrogen to our soil, and it also helps us to expand the garden.

The garden, on my Mother's property, is currently 35 ft long and 13 ft wide. We're expanding the garden by another 30 ft for maximum yields!

Below I have posted a video from growingyourgreens.com, where "John goes on a field trip to Orange County Farm supply to share with you their hanging vertical garden made from an old shipping pallet. In addition, John shares with you how to deal with pests in your garden organically without the use of man made chemical poisons. In addition you will learn the most important aspect of a vegetable garden the soil and the best nutrients to add to supercharge your plant growth to grow bigger and tastier fruits and vegetables":



Check out the link below to see specific gardening requirements for each fruit, vegetable, and herb:

Vegetable Gardening Guide from Explore Cornell University

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free ways to decorate your yard

I know it's December, and planting food and flowers seems too far away to worry about; but thinking about these things ahead of time is very important to me (since I'll be planting cabbage and Brussels Sprouts as earlier as February next year!) December and January are the best months for planning; and hopefully I can encourage you to do the same ;)

SIMPLE & FREE WAYS YOU CAN SPICE UP YOUR YARD

I remember before I became a gardener, I wanted to transform my yard into a Japanese-secret-garden-scene. I love the mystery in a Japanese Garden; and actually my dream was (and still is) to be able to get lost in the never-ending paths of lush greenery. Doesn't everyone want to have a yard that looks like paradise?
To me, gardening is much more than growing free food; there is an artistic expression in gardening, in that we're creating life and beauty for everyone to admire...

Your home as well as your yard should be a place that comforts and relaxes you. And you can create this atmosphere in your yard by using free, re-purposed, recycled, and reused materials around you. I have two similar posts "Raised Bed Garden Ideas & Using Free materials" and "What's the best, free material to use for raised beds?" if you're curious to see how I used free materials around my house.

To all of you that want your yard professional-looking, I have listed methods on decorating your yard for free, as well as post pictures for inspiration and creativity:

1. ROCKS (or stones)

Rocks can be found (for free) in creek beds, around your house, and in the woods to decorate your yard. You can literally find big rocks anywhere you go. Rocks are also versatile to use when landscaping because you can create a raised bed (for growing food), rock paths, steps, walls, etc. With free rocks alone, I made a small patio and a raised bed!

Raised Beds made of Stone

 TUTORIAL HERE @ "THE SAGE BUTTERFLY"

Walkway made of Flat creek rock
Here is a walkway my Dad made
Raised bed made of creek rock

Spiral design for garden bed, made with rocks. You can see how others construct spiral raised bed gardens in this video: Building a Herb Spiral in Under 5 minutes.


Photo and post here @ Growing The Home Garden

Raised bed for vegetable garden, made of flat rocks

Photo and post here @ Homesteading on the Internet
Cob home made of rock foundation

Picture from Middle Earth Home

2. WOOD (Free pallets, logs, etc)


My partner and I built this!

Photo and post @ Curtis and Kaye Absher


Source: Instructables
  
Source: DIY Network
You could also use BAMBOO as an alternative to Wood. Bamboo is well known for growing abundantly and rapidly, and much more sustainable than cutting down 20-50 year old trees.

3. Homemade Ponds

Ponds are a great addition for an exotic appeal, to your yard; but they can also serve as a water source for your plants, veggies, and fruits. 


Photo and post here

4. MULCH

Mulch is best used for adding nutrients to plants; preventing weeds from growing around your plants; and trapping moisture. Mulch can also be a very attractive way of landscaping your yard. Also, if you don't want to build raised beds (with pallets) or form a raised bed with rocks, you could PILE mulch in long rows without any materials to hold in the dirt/mulch for planting. 

picture source here
 
5. Other props (think unique)


Photo and post here @ Under the Table and Dreaming.
Check out Stephanie's post for more unique ways of
displaying and growing food!

Photo and post here @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Find post and photo here @ Miss Thrifty

As I mentioned, I have two similar posts on re-purposing materials to grow food here: "Raised Bed Garden Ideas & Using Free materials" and "What's the best, free material to use for raised beds?"

Remember to use whatever materials are close to hand; and never buy anything new if you can reuse something old. Below I have listed additional pictures of other unique concepts:

Paint Stumps, pieces of wood or stools like Mushrooms. The next photo also features a painting concept, decorating large rocks for display. Paint rocks with colors that match the color schemes of your home and outside decor.
From Twig & Toadstool
From She Moves the Furniture


Grow sunflowers or other tall plants in a circle. Kids will use this niche to hide and get away to a beautiful scene, like in the pictures below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

COB BUILDING (Straw, clay, & Sand for building DREAM EARTH HOME)

Are you interested in a home made of materials from under your feet? Do you want a house that costs less than a car or a computer? Would you rather have a home sculpted from clean, Earth materials than a home made of toxic, commercial products? Of course you do!
Below I have posted some of my favorite videos from Youtube that talk about how to make INEXPENSIVE DREAM HOMES made of the cleanest materials (straw, clay, and sand.) These videos are to urge you to want to build a home of natural materials (rather than toxic plastic walls, fiberglass insulation, and other flammable products.) Homes made of clay (blended with straw/sand) are fire-resistant, bug-proof, earthquake and tornado-safe; and can be mended and shaped easily if it needs restructured. Clay is also abundant and common in most regions.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

TOP 5 YOGA TIPS FOR BEGINNERS



Hello everyone! Hope you all had a great November (World Vegan Month); it's time to move on to the pleasures December brings us....

As you may or may not know, I have been practicing yoga for the last five years; and within that time, I have learned many ways to improve my skills. I am not a professional, but I would like to think of myself as a guide for beginners. Consequently, I have compiled a list of my BEST YOGA TIPS that will enable you to master your practice.
Here are my top FIVE Yoga Tips:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

P90X, Insanity, Zumba, Julian Michaels: What do these programs have in common?

All of the exercise programs I have mentioned in the title, have three aspects in common: they're pointless, they are marketing off of your unhappiness/vulnerability; and they're stressing your body quickly in a shorter amount of time in order for you to achieve faster results. These "quick" miracles, with the promise you will be gorgeous in 90 days, defeats the body faster -- then you inherently give up exercising because you're body aches, and as you become lazier you find solace in unhealthy foods....Trust me, I know... 

Real exercise is minimal and long, like biking, hiking, running, and yoga. Kenpo is also very fun.

Don't you feel like a ROBOT when you're exercising these work-out programs...following along to their every move...
 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sensa, Atkins Diet, Hydroxycut, Weight Watchers, QuikTrim: What do these have in common?

All of the weight control programs/products I have mentioned, are deliberately promoting an anorexic diet. Sensa helps people suppress their hunger, by sprinkling a concoction onto your food, so you will eat smaller portions. Don't you feel like a science experiment when dousing Sensa on your food?
Weight Watchers is similar in that it uses a number system so you can control the amount of food you are eating. The Atkins diet aims for you to eat all of the low carb foods like meat and vegetables, without fruit, rice, and potatoes.

Every weight loss product and program is going to tell you to eat smaller portions, because they know you're going to keep eating animal products, which have the highest fat and lowest nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, have zero fat and have the highest source of vitamins.

Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Plan your Summer Garden

Before summer ended, I wanted to demonstrate what a regular summer garden looks like. Below is my garden that is located at my grandparents' house, which consisted of the squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cushaws, beans, peas, and potatoes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The best sources of vitamins & how to avoid fat on a vegan diet

When people make the decision to diet, they try to avoid large amounts of calories or carbs, but never think about avoiding fats (meat, dairy, eggs, and oil.) In fact, I hear more often to avoid carbohydrates and eat more fats. Most people want to keep eating meat and dairy (fat), so they try to starve themselves of all other foods so they can continue to lose weight. Of course you can lose weight very fast by reducing your calorie intake, which is why people turn to that technique, especially men because they want meat. However it isn't realistic to believe you will maintain your ideal weight by reducing your calories and carbs. You'll binge out if you reduce calories and carbs for a long period of time.
Veganism makes more sense because you can eat large quantities of calories and carbohydrates from veggies, fruit, grains, and beans which will make you feel full consistently, while giving you large amounts of vitamins that animal products lack. Why don't you eat a LOT of calories and carbohydrates from fruit and vegetable sources so you can lose weight faster and get the most nutrition?

If you're concerned about vitamins on a vegan diet, I assure you that you can get the recommended amount of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and b12 from your calories through these plant-based sources:

Protein: Fruits (bananas), vegetables, Beans, nuts, seeds, oats, quinoa, soy products
Calcium: leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, figs, dates, oranges, fortified soy products (soy milk has 50% more calcium than cow's milk)
Vitamin D: Mushrooms, sunshine, and fortified soy milk
B12: mushrooms, greens, and fortified soy or almond milk (or other Silk products)
Below I have listed the most common ways to replace the unhealthiest of fats:

Meat (for protein and in baking): Beans, Quinoa, Nuts, Rice, and Oats
Dairy (for drinking and in baking): Water, soy(bean) milk, rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk. Store bought soymilk is fortified with 50% more calcium than cow's milk. It is also fortified with essential daily vitamins.
Eggs (in baking): Pumpkin (puree), applesauce, mashed potatoes (for hearty meals), mashed bananas, non-dairy yogurt, and flax meal + water. You can also purchase Ener-G Egg replacer (which contains potato starch and tapioca starch to bind baked goods).
Oil (in baking): Applesauce, non-dairy yogurt
Oil (for frying): Slowly add water or vegetable broth/stock to a heated pan with veggies you're frying.
Sugar: mashed bananas, maple syrup (pure), molasses, or dates (pureed)

Hope this was helpful~

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Government Still Hasn't Found a Way to Help the Poor

Hard problems can be resolved with simple solutions. Albert Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Solutions require change from individuals, even something as trivial as voting with our dollar. 
  Although it sounds that I shift the blame of the Government limiting resources, it is not so. Is it really Capitalism? 
Does it matter who is to blame? 
Perhaps we shift perspective by taking away the concept of Hierarchy... 

I can say, "Government doesn't realize the necessities of poor people because they have never been poor" or "Government officials, Democrat or Republican, create bills, laws, and programs without understanding where poor people come from, the situations they are in, and the stress that encompasses all aspects of their lives"; or I could say, "Government limits the poor getting their needs met: Quality food (organic, fresh, and nutritious), clean water, and decent home". I used to have this thinking, that a "Man" oppresses minorities, low income families, and I suppose I still think that as White men do own, control the most in the first world. And I do believe this country is under a Hierarchy. 
This "Stick-it-to-the-man" was very much my attitude in High School, but I have expanded my views a bit. In fact, lets shift the thinking from "The man", when in fact: you're 'the man', he's the man, and she's the man as well (TOOL reference from Hooker with a Penis song).
In the case of consumerism, we have a choice where our money goes. We may have little choice in jobs, but we do not have to buy 'things'-- we do not have to buy from Wal-Mart, or any other conglomerate.
Instead of voting who becomes in the position of hierarchy, lets vote with our dollar, or begin trading with one another locally. Walmart is notorious for dominating small towns in Rural areas. 
Perhaps a bigger message to those in power would be to completely stop voting. What if 300 million Americans decided against voting for a President; and learned a Trade (message therapist, hair dresser, gardener) to cut out the middle man and support one another skills. The middle man always makes more money than the wholesaler and the person purchasing the product or service usually pays more for the good than necessary. 


What if everyone saved enough money for land, or shared land with family or some community in an effort to live off-the-grid? Solar panels would replace Coal (a finite resource); Rain collection would replace water companies and fluoride-free drinking water; Organically home-grown food would replace grocery stores; building with all natural materials (like Cob Homes) would replace toxic building materials found at monopolies like Lowe's; use bicycles instead of cars to end the Oil industry; quit buying plastic that supports petrol; quit buying paper-based materials that kill trees. 
I imagine it would be quite simple to end these Corrupt, Wealthy, Destructive corporations if we stopped believing that we need them.

It seems the "problem" is that the Poor is seen as entitlement, and our taxes which go to Medicare, Medicaid, School Grants, Food Stamps, WIC, and other programs seem like robbery. Perhaps it is robbery, and the little money we make should not go to things we do not believe help the Poor.
And it seems the "problem" comes from the Poor living dependently. So the solution would be to shift the Poor to live independently from Government and tax-payers. If the case is that we need to help the Poor come to live independently, the solution seems to point to Homesteading. 

Homesteading entails self-reliance on a small scale, where food, clothes, housing, energy, and other commodities are maintained and created off the land. Because Homesteading allows the Poor to grow free food, and other free resources it teaches others how to live within the environment, without destructing the environment, without pollution, and without the demand from other beings (corporations, organizations, tax-payers). 

Growing food does take time, but takes little knowledge and effort. Likewise, building your own home out of free materials also takes little knowledge. ANYBODY can grow food and build their own home out of earth (straw, clay, and sand), which are all free materials. I have several posts on building a Cob home here and here.

As I have mentioned before, cob homes made out of clay soil, straw, and sand are virtually no to little cost because of their availability. Actually the only cost when constructing a home out of all natural materials is the cost of gas in transporting these materials. However, if you're obtaining these materials on your own land without the need of transporting materials, then you will be constructing your own at a cheaper price. Even growing Winter Wheat to dry out to use for straw will allow you to save money.
My perspective of our world is this: with all the waste and trash our society produces, we can feed, house, and clothe our nation's poor. Much food, supplies, clothes goes to waste because of the mass production in America. We simply discard food that we barely touch, and yet it is illegal to dumpster dive. What makes sense in this? (Recently I heard of volunteers get fined by the government from feeding the homeless/poor). 
Not only that, but America demands clothes and supplies from other countries instead of producing our own. Why are we raising cows in India, have them shipped, then stripped of their skin in order to be shipped to America to use for "leather", "suede", "fur". As of now, we could end mass producing clothes with all the clothes in second hand stores.
National Geographic, from their article "Feeding 9 billion" states "A bumper crop of corn piles up outside full silos in Brazil's Mato Grosso state, which sends much of its grain to China and South Korea to feed pigs and chickens. The demand for more crops to feed livestock is one reason experts say we'll need to double crop production by 2050". And what makes sense that America destroys forests and land in order to raise cattle when we could raise crops for feeding our poor?
Traditionally, people have a job, then you need clothes for that job, then that requires a vehicle to get you to that job, then that requires insurance for the vehicle, then you have to buy a house so you're not laughed at for living with your parents, then you get married and have kids which becomes costly in itself. Before you know it, you're $100,000 in debt just to live!

The Poor aren't the only ones with inequality, when Living itself becomes profitable to corporations. It's true you're being brainwashed from advertisements to purchase unhealthy food, or costly clothes, or costly cars, but you bought the Television that brainwashed you! And you're the fool that believed in holding onto Traditions when you have to purchase $400 worth of presents for your family, friends, and extended family at Holidays!

I hear people say they wish they weren't in debt, they wish they didn't have to have a job until the age of 60+ years old, etc, and I think: There is two sides to this story. On one hand, it's too costly to live without a College education, and we want a high paying job so that we can buy a house, and take care of our family, and be comfortable for the future. The Middle class wage is declining while the 1% keep getting richer (as you can see in the picture above). The United States ranks 64th in the world of income inequality, just above Jamaica and Uganda!
And then on the other hand, ask yourself: why did I have children? Or why did I get married to have a costly wedding? Or why did I go into debt for an education, a vehicle, or a house? What were my Other options: living like a Stinky Hippie on a Commune? Well, essentially yes!

There is Government assistance in place that pays for a portion of your Grocery costs, and Kentucky Food Stamps will also pay for Vegetable and Fruit seeds. These are small but beneficial ways Government has helped my partner and I survive without jobs for the last three years. If Government wants to continue their Socialistic society (like having Free Public Library Books and assistance programs), then we could also implement programs that would provide communities (Homeless peoples) with a couple acres of land, build homes out of free, recycled or all natural materials, and teach them how to grow their own food, and implement solar energy. A Man from Texas actually does this for a living, gets funding from Government to help Single Mothers, Poor people, and others to live independently from the Government that once pretended to help them. Watch the video below of Dan's amazing work.



If Government must be in place, and Anarchy is too radical for our society, then I envision a Government that funds groups through Grants which would provide low-income family's seeds to grow their own food, Solar panels, rain collection systems, and other self-sustainable devices as to work towards complete independence for all peoples! At that point, would anyone need money or materials from businesses any longer? I assume there lies the underlying, corrupt problem of why Big Government does not want to help the poor. Corporations and lobbyists actually manipulate the Government, and want to keep people dependent on their products and services in order to get bigger and bigger gains.
The top 1% wants their vacations, their boats, spas, fancy dinners, fancy mansion parties. The top 1% is happy that you made them rich. And you fell for it.


I digress, I have another post which I speak about the details of Homesteading, in this post "How Single Mothers (Homeless, Needy, or Poor) Can Live for Free".

Homesteading is an Investment, which is why it would be better for the poor to be helped by the government to create this type of lifestyle. 1 acre of Land will cost you $20,000 in Kentucky. Fruit trees cost between $30-50 per tree, and equipment becomes pricy once you create a collection of gardening supplies.
But what the government doesn't tell you is that: they don't want you to live self-sufficient and independent from them. Although they give much money through welfare, medicare, medicaid, and the like to all the poor, they still want you to FEED into the system (buy a toxic-home, buy health insurance, buy electric, buy fluoride-laden water, buy a car, buy car insurance, feed your children processed foods, and the list goes on.) Why would they want you to be a homesteader if it means you're going to break away from the things they want you to pay into? Actually I hear of many cases where FBI will spy on Homesteading communities in an effort to bust them for growing Cannabis plants or any trivial case they can profit on.
The other day I heard a strange story here of a man getting arrested then fined $300 for wearing a Peace shirt.

For myself, I have never lived above the poverty line, and my Mother as well. My Mom takes care of eight people, while six people live under a small roof, including a dog. My Mom wishes someday to live with freedom, retired, perhaps living close to the beach. It's a small dream, but the Poor have small dreams. They, we, just want to be happy and comfortable. We don't want much, just our basic needs met: food, water, shelter, maybe a shirt or a pair of pants.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Basic Skin and Hair Needs & the Foods that Work

pic source
It's not unlikely that a woman would use three different skincare products, then follow this regimen up with three different makeup products like I was doing. I remember using lots of facial products to prevent acne, and lots of makeup to cover it up. I am glad I realized I needed to heal within the body, at the source, rather than treating the symptoms.
From 2009 to 2011, I was smoking and drinking heavily, consequently my face broke out severely in 2011. During this time I was stressed from school. The combination of stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, and cigarettes affected my hormones. Once I made the connection that these stressors elevated my hormones and promoted the cystic acne, I immediately stopped smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and began eating green juices, green smoothies, fruit smoothies, raw vegetables, raw salads. Within a couple of months, my family noticed a drastic difference in my face.
Now, I use zero foundation on my face. I wash my face with only water, and maybe use some of the foods listed below. I usually have one break out right before my period, but I combat that with aloe. Of course I grow several aloe plants, so I always have aloe around to use. Fruit and plants for facial care is an overall healthy, effective, and natural alternative to commercial skincare products, and they are also inexpensive. For example, fruit and plants naturally provide nutrients and moisturizes the skin. Coconut oil can be applied on the face, body, and hair as a moisturizer. Another example, sea salt can be an exfoliate for the face.
Many of these plants and fruits can provide a specific skin or hair need. I do not mention it below, but I especially like using tomatoes on the face. Below I have listed many different foods that take care of specific skin and hair needs:

Cleanser: baking soda, oranges, lemons, limes, tomatoes, apples, onions and garlic (sounds weird to use on the face, but they contain antibacterial/antibiotic properties), strawberries, ALOE VERA
Toner: Apple cider vinegar, cucumber or celery juice
Exfoliate: Sea salt, sugar, cornmeal, oats, ground nuts, wheat germ, ground flax seeds
Calming/cooling: mint, oats, Aloe Vera, almond milk
Tighten skin: pineapple, persimmon, squashes, banana peel
Lighten dark spots: Lemon or pineapple
Moisturizer: Oil (coconut, olive, walnut, etc), avocados, Aloe Vera, bananas
Toothpaste recipe: 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp water made into a paste and applied to teeth (credit: Eco Beauty by Cox & Cox


Your skin needs Vitamins A, C, E, B vitamins, and Selenium. Foods rich in Vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Swiss Chard. Those rich in Vitamin C are citrus fruits and tropical fruits. Get your B vitamins through Bananas. Get vitamin E through nuts and seeds. Your skin needs vitamin D as well, so be sure to catch some sun rays throughout the week outdoors. Overall, I recommend eating a fruit dominate diet with vegetables, tender leafy greens, and some grains, beans, nuts, seeds. If a food is good for you to eat, it is probably good for your skin too. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Obesity: Is Smaller Portions REALLY the answer? (No!)

Over-eating is not an issue, it is what you're over-eating on that's the issue. You are what you eat, and the fat that you eat is the fat that you wear.
You can eat as much as you want and more by going vegan! Veganism is a low fat, low sodium, no cholesterol diet. Fats such as meat, dairy, eggs, chicken, and seafood cause acidity in the blood and clog our arteries.
Meat-eaters often limit the amount of calories they intake because their diet is consists of fat. Africans, Asians and Indians are known to be low body fat groups. These cultures eat an abundance of fruit, boiled veggies, rice, and beans. Meat is usually too expensive for the low income families. In America it is cheaper to eat unhealthy.

People with obesity can easily transition into a healthier lifestyle by eating a low-fat vegan diet. The diet consists of energy low fat foods like fruit, veggies, rice (or other gluten-free grain), or beans which can be eaten in large quantities.
These foods help you feel full, balanced, energized without feeling lethargic. You cannot expect someone with obesity to lose weight by refraining their calorie or carbohydrate in-take or lowering their portion size.

Because companies/gurus/"health" programs encourages you to STILL eat the foods you "love" but by portioning these sizes to anorexic standards. I propose to eat large quantities of healthy food. You know what foods are healthy; and you know what foods are bad.

Do you find yourself hungry after breakfast? It's because you didn't eat enough for breakfast! Do you find yourself craving dessert after lunch or dinner? It's because you didn't eat enough for lunch or dinner! Stop limiting the amount of calories you're eating at meals. If it takes you 12 bananas to feel full for breakfast, so be it! Fruit is the best way to lose weight and gain optimum nutrition because it has loads of vitamins without the fat.
The second best food to eat is vegetables. If you have to eat 5 large potatoes to feel full, that's great!

Be committed to eating large amounts of fruits, vegetables, rice, and beans while limiting or eliminating meat, dairy, eggs, and poultry. You may not be used to eating large amounts of food, but what makes more sense: eat large amounts of healthy food or small portions of greasy, salty, fried foods?

Furthermore, we need to eat foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates and sugars while low fat and low sodium (like bananas, dates, raisins, prunes, all fruit). Below I have listed my older posts on how to forever stick to veganism (NO EXCUSES!):

"Vegan is the cheapest diet?!"

http://veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-do-people-think-veganism-is-so.html

"How to Take the Guess Work Out of Eating Vegetarian, Vegan, or Raw Food"

http://veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-take-guess-work-of-eating.html

"The Feminist's Diet & the Media still promotes unhealthy eating standards"

http://veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com/2012/06/feminists-diet-media-still-promotes.html

"5 Quick Cheap Low Fat Vegan Meals/Snacks for everyday"

http://veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com/2012/05/5-quick-cheap-low-fat-vegan-mealssnacks.html

"Losing Weight Fast vs Keeping the Weight off"

http://veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com/2012/05/losing-weight-fast-vs-keeping-weight.html

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Veganism is the cheapest diet?!

First of all, veganism being too expensive is a weak excuse for not eating healthy. Have you ever heard of a heroine junkie quitting drugs because they were too expensive? No, because if you want something badly enough, you'll do anything to obtain it. With that said, veganism is as expensive as you make it. Poor families in Africa and Asia live off of fruits, vegetables, and rice because they cannot afford meat.

What to Grow During the Summer

The best things to grow during the summer are staple foods like potatoes, beans, and corn. Summer is the best time to grow heat loving fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Below are examples of what you can grow in the summer, that I am growing. The potatoes, corn, and peas were not of good quality, but the squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and beans were non-gmo, non-hybrid, and organic, which I purchased "Emergency Food Survival Seed Non-gmo Non-hybrid Gift Variety Pack Retail for $135". Basically the 'survival kit' contains 24 varieties of fruits and vegetable seeds for approx $23 (s&h $5). These seeds seem to be decent quality, considering everything we have planted from this kit has shot up tall and healthy. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

How Single Mothers (Homeless, Needy, or Poor) Can Live for Free

As I have mentioned before, I studied social work while I attended college; and from that I learned to be critical of a society that subtly manipulates women (especially working mothers and single mothers.) Technically, I was not raised by a single mother, because it wasn't until I turned 15 that my Dad left; but I certainly was treated like a second Mother during the time my Mom and Dad were married. When my parents divorced, I became the "Dad" of the house. Being a Mother is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs, considering it takes four people to equal one Mom of four kids. For example, my boyfriend and I are the "housewife" and "handy-man" while my Grandmother is the cook, and my Mom pays the bills. 

I'll also say that it is difficult for a Mom (making just over minimum wage) to have decent clothes, furniture, car, or house. Most single Mothers try to apply for food stamps, child support, or seek some other government aid because a minimum wage job cannot afford necessities and luxury. But what if I told you, just by changing your priorities, that you can live debt-free, mortgage-free, and rent-free without having a career or going to college. Throughout this blog, I have repeatedly stated people should aim to live self-sufficiently and independent. In other words, we should aim to live for free by using the materials around us that are recyclable, reusable, all natural, and biodegradable in order to live cheap, save the planet, and save each other

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to Save the Planet

Source: FreshPeek House: Cob Houses
What I have noticed in the conservation movement is that: most people think they're doing the planet a favor by using their cloth bags instead of the store's plastic bags, when they go shopping. Moreover, they would say they're saving the planet using energy saving light bulbs in place of conventional light bulbs. Although these are smart adjustments, you can only save the planet by making a full, lifestyle transformation. Cloth bags and energy saving light bulbs are not enough! You should be investing in solar panels, wind turbines, land for growing food and building your own home, and live independently from oil, coal, and the like.

To understand the consequences of our earth's climate change, and why we should encourage our government to switch from conventional energy to solar and wind energy, watch the documentary "Six Degrees Could Change the World" on youtube for free.

4 Mistakes I've Made as a First-year Gardener

1. Started root vegetables in starter kits. Root vegetables should be directly sown into the ground they intend to mature in. There isn't enough room for their roots to develop in a small space (starter kits.) Consequently, I wasted about 25-30 seeds trying to start beets, onions, carrots, and greens in starter kits because I was trying to be "prepared."
 
2. Didn't water starter plants as much as they needed. I watered my starter plants everyday or every other day, which seemed to be working fine until the days started getting hotter, sunnier, and my starters were getting bigger. As I was being conservative with water, I was taking away water from my plants. Remember to water your starters everyday, especially if you're leaving them outside to catch sun. They like a little water in the morning and in the evening (if they need it.)

Friday, June 1, 2012

the Media still promotes unhealthy eating standards


Famous weight loss programs/products, such as Weight Watchers, Atkins Diet, Jenny Craig, Sensa, and QuickTrim are telling people to starve themselves (or learn to starve yourself). While advertisements tell women/girls to lose weight by learning to calorie restrict, female figures (i.e. Mothers, teachers, sociologists, etc) tell women/girls they should be happy about their body and proud of their curves.

Overall, we believe women should feel good about their body while protesting media's beauty standards. Although it is not always possible to be proud of your body when you're overweight or even slightly chunky because it suggests you've "let-yourself-go" or "got-out-of-control." Subsequently, weight loss programs want you to restrict your food intake SO THAT YOU CAN STILL EAT YOUR ANIMAL PRODUCTS (meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, gelatin, etc.) The media would NEVER promote a low fat (cooked or raw) vegan diet because they cannot make money off of you that way (because you actually lose weight and save money and can eat as much as you want!!!) Plus, the media would not want you to give up your meat products because that would be like telling you to give up your cell phone.
Considering this, even a feminist woman, like myself, is not happy with her body shape... IF they're eating a high-fat diet. Most women have jobs (or several jobs) while attending college, taking care of kids (which is a four-person job), and trying to have a social life or intimate relationship. And of course it's easy to be eating fast foods, prepackaged foods, pre-made meals, frozen dinners when you're constantly on-the-go! That's what the MEDIA wants you to think. While the media is making you spend more money on skin care products, diet pills, multivitamins, makeup, exercise DVDs, and diet programs -- they're also making you spend more money on expensive, high-fat, low-calorie foods and diet plans. The media is promoting a calorie and carb restricting, anorexic, and bulimic diet!
The media also doesn't want you to grow your own food or eat a whole foods/plant-based diet because big corporations cannot make money off of you that way.

You should be eating for less money, for best nutrition, high-carb, high-calorie, and low fat to get skinny and happy about your NATURAL BODY SHAPE. Want to know how? If you want to look like a goddess, model, powerful, and happy woman: eat all the fruit, veggies, beans, and grains you want! Did I say you could have vegan pasta?!? Did I say you could eat potatoes!?! Did I say you could eat rice!? Yes, yes, and yes!

Get rid of the meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, OIL, OIL, OIL, and limit the amount of plant-based fats like nuts, seeds, and avocados. Since you're getting rid of the fat in your life, eat all the fruit and vegetables as you want (with some beans and grains.)

Eating a plant-based diet comes with an overwhelming amount of benefits. Studies have proven we should take out the fat (meat and dairy products) in order to overcome health obstacles, for example the China Study Many US doctors have seen drastic improvements in their patients health and weight loss when switching to a low fat vegan diet, like John McDougall, Neal Barnard, and Caldwell B. Esselestyn, Jr.

The most natural diet is consumption of fruit and greens, carbohydrate rich, low fat vegan practices. A moralistic diet represents ethical treatment of humans and animals.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How to Tell your Parent(s) you dropped out of college

I admit I sneakily dropped out of college, before my Mother found out, because I really didn't want to make her feel that I wasted my time at college. I absolutely think I didn't waste any of my time while I was in college, just to drop out. College developed my writing, reading, social skills, as well as enhanced analytical nature. I met a lot of great people, and learned from great professors while I was in college, so I have no regrets.


But anyway, I felt uncomfortable telling my Mother to her in person. So, I texted my Mother that I had dropped out while I was hanging with friends for the weekend. My intention was to let her cool off while I was away, and allow her time to think about what I said, which was: I have my own plans, I'll take care of the house, siblings, while growing food and taking care of [my grandparents.]

To be clear, I chose to drop out because I got exactly what I needed to know out of college, which was: you're not doing what you love, and become self reliant by growing food and live in the woods. My epiphany brought my partner and I closer together, as well. We finally crossed paths on our goals, and it was thanks to a documentary called "Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy And Money in a Post Peak Oil World."

When I watched that documentary, my partner and I immediately started drawing up garden plans and tools we needed. Although your dream may not be anything like mine; you can still make a decent wage if you live simply, and have your own marketing scheme without getting a degree. But this post isn't about why you have dropped out: it is about how to communicate to parents, that may be close-minded about your decision to drop out of school. Also, I have a blog post "Is college the right path for you?" that addresses a more pressing issue with college education, which may help you in your argument.

First of all, whether you tell your parent(s) face-to-face or through a social media to tell them about your decision to drop out of school, you need to give them a basic plan of what you want to do INSTEAD of college. 

1. Assure your parent(s) that you have thought about dropping out of school for a couple of months, so it seems that you have devoted a lot of time in this decision. Timothy Leary (from Flashbacks, 1983) wrote: "Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change."

2. Address an alternative plan that gives them some relief. Before you drop out, it would be great if you put a resume/job application somewhere, and received a job. This is so that (if you need time to think about your future), you can assure your parent(s) that you already have a job and you start working very soon. Or if you absolutely do not want to work, or cannot find a job at the time you told your parent(s) about your decision, let them know you are going to help them around the house with chores (i.e. work as their house-maid, and do not ask for money in return.) Although it's not ideal, doing the laundry, washing dishes, cooking dinner, and mowing the lawn for your parent(s) is better than nothing!

3. Mention that you are really sorry for the disappointment or anger they may feel. Tell them that it makes you feel worse than it does them because you have hit a crosswords. Also say that you can stay with friends or other family till  they cool off.

I used these three points to let my Mom know of my decision. She didn't speak to me for about 4 days, but after the 7th day she had lightened up because I was doing what I told her I was going to do (which was help my siblings with homework, chores, and work on my garden.) Honestly, I think my Mom prefers me helping her as her little helper, rather than a moody, stressed-out college student that was never home. Funny, huh?

Keep in mind, the world as well as your life may be shaped my luck or consequence, but the world works how it should. Everything works out how it should. Be patient, confident, and happy with your decision. Do not let dropping out of school define who you are. You are not a drop-out -- you are an individual that has other expectations and desires which has lead to your decision of dropping out of school.

5 QUICK, CHEAP, LOW FAT VEGAN MEALS/SNACKS FOR EVERYDAY

1. BOILED POTATOES (not fried) are very low fat. In fact, eating four, medium-sized, boiled potatoes are as low as 0.5 grams of fat. Although that may be a 400 calorie meal, it isn't the calories you should be worried about -- it's the fat you need to stay away from. It is best to prepare potatoes by boiling in water or baking in oven. If eating potatoes for dinner, strive to eat 3+ potatoes or until your stuffed. Have a salad before eating potatoes.
 
2. BOILED RICE (not fried) are very low fat because 2 cups of boiled rice is 0.9 grams of fat!! Two cups of boiled rice for yourself is about 400 calories. Do not be ashamed of the amount of calories/food your intaking. Because vegans and vegetarians do not eat meat, dairy, eggs, or chicken -- we do not fill up our bodies on fat, so we tend to eat a little more than the average meat-eater (isn't that ironic?)

Earth-friendly chick (Part II)

First I'll mention alternative cleaning products for your home, then skincare, cosmetics, and feminine hygiene. Instead of commercial sprays, detergents, bleaches, and other harsh waste to clean your clothes and your home, use baking soda, apple cider vinegar, washing soda, borax, and lemons for cleaning. These products are INEXPENSIVE, BIODEGRADABLE, SAFE TO TOUCH, ALL-NATURAL, and EFFECTIVE! Food sources and food bi-products (ACV, baking soda) are highly effective, safe for the environment, safe for you, cheap, and do not smell toxic.
Furthermore, shampoo, conditioner, hair-spray, the blow-dryer, nail polish, cosmetics are finite and unsustainable products that can only be made in a factory. Even "natural" products packaged in plastic must later be disposed of in the trash. 

Cleaning your home with safe products is usually a harder task than replacing your skin and hair care with food sources. For example, if you're looking for an exfoliate, moisturizer, cleanser, astringent, or calming mask, use food sources that have natural properties which helps clean your face, body, and hair.  I have listed below food sources that will provide specific benefits for your cosmetic and skincare needs.

Exfoliates for hair and skin are ground nuts, salt, sugar, and oats
Moisturizers for hair and skin are coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, aloe Vera and banana
Astringents (& taking off layers of dead skin) for skin are limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, persimmons, apple cider vinegar.
Calming agents for hair and skin are cucumber, oatmeal, nut milk.
Cooling agents for hair and skin are mint, spearmint, and aloe Vera
Tighten skin with butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant
Cleanser/Shampoo for hair and skin are castile soap or one part baking soda with two parts water. When using castile soap or baking on the hair, it needs to be followed with a rinse (which has replaced your conditioner). Rinses usually include one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water, or herbs. For example, if you are blonde, you should use chamomile or turmeric root (boiled and cooled); or if you are a brunette, use coffee, rosemary, thyme, sage, or black tea (boiled and cooled.) Use the boiled water to rinse your hair by straining the herbs and discarding them in your compost.

Actually, you can use food sources in place of your make-up. For instance, blush, lipstick, and eye shadow can be replaced with beet juice, freshly mashed cherries, and strawberries. You can use blueberries for mascara, as well. As far as hair, teeth, and clothes: water and baking soda are best replacements for the detergents on the market. To balance the properties of baking soda, use apple cider vinegar as a rinse or conditioner. Let your hair and clothes air dry after rinsing with water. If you have space in your yard, build a clothes line...ask your grandparents how to make one.You shouldn't have to use baking soda on your hair but 2-3 times a week. 

I have covered skincare, cosmetics, and the natural food sources you can use. Now I must express a great environmental concern on behalf of women: your menstrual cycle. I have mentioned several times before, including in this post Earth-friendly chick and this post Diva Cup product review after 7 years of use (VIDEO)
where I talk extensively about replacing the commercial, disposable, feminine products such as tampons, pads with cloth pads and silicone menstrual cups. These alternatives avoid adding more waste to the environment. I love using the diva cup because they last 10 years with proper care. And you can learn more about Diva cups in the link I posted with a video.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Compost your food scraps...and get food back for free

Last month, when I shoveled out my year-old compost (to spread on the garden), old food scraps started growing from the seeds that I had threw out. I was so excited that I already had tomatoes and cantaloupe growing without any effort.

I am not sure the quality of the cantaloupe and tomatoes considering they're GMO, store-bought, imported cantaloupe seeds. Although the cantaloupe and tomatoes that grew from my compost are from non-organic seeds, they look quite healthy; and they may turn out very well considering they come from the best nutritional source.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Protein Myth Debunked ("Where do you get your protein!?")

"The story of protein is part science, part culture and a good dose of mythology" says Dr T Colin Campbell. In Campbell's book "The China Study" he states he worked in the Philippines to analyze foods contaminated with Aflatoxin (one of the most dangerous carcinogens), and also research who was most susceptible to the carcinogen. Campbell found that two areas in the Philippines, Manila and Cebu, had the highest rates of liver cancer due to the high levels of this carcinogen found in jarred peanut butter and corn. Manila consumed the most jarred peanut butter where Cebu consumed the most contaminated corn. Campbell goes on to note, "Namely,the children who got liver cancer were from the best-fed families. The families with the most money ate what we thought were the healthiest diets, the diets most like our own meaty American diets. They consumed more protein than anyone else in the country (high quality animal protein, at that), and yet they were the ones getting liver cancer!" (pg 36).
I really enjoyed an article "Why is plant protein better than animal protein" by OneGreenPlanet that outlined the Protein requirements, and how Protein deficiency is practically unheard of (unless you're anorexic). Not only that, but as mentioned above, the average American gets TOO much protein and fat in their diet which fuels heart and vascular issues, thyroid, mental fog, cancer/disease. 
Of course Freelee the Banana Girl always outlines her videos with a great message and information which you can watch in the video below:

For the sake of argument, vegans (at least myself) get triple the amount of protein every day or every other day than the recommended amount from calories (3% from calories.) The best sources of protein on a vegetarian and vegan diet are greens, beans, nuts, seeds, rice, oats, and wheat. All planted based sources of protein are LOW FAT, so there are lower risks of gaining of weight.

I would recommend you obtain your protein from fruits, vegetables, beans (boiled), and rice (boiled not fried.) Because nuts and seeds are high in fat, I do not eat them often (except for harvesting them off the tree during Fall and Winter month). 

It's true meat and eggs contain a high amount of protein -- but that's it! And this "precious Protein" in the form of Animal protein comes with a cost: leaching calcium from your bones to neutralize the acidity of these foods. 

Above all, and putting "nutrition" aside, does eating animal flesh and their secretions justify the slaughter and inhumane treatment of other beings? Veganism is an ethical decision with the health perks.

Is college the right path for you?


There's nothing wrong with getting an education (especially if you can go to college for free). College can develop your reading, writing, analytical, and personable skills, which are essential for survival. Furthermore, there have been many great minds which received degrees and became professors at universities.

However, college focuses on cluttering your time with miscellaneous classes, which costs you MORE money. Unlike technical colleges, universities depreciate the value of hands-on learning.

When you're considering secondary education, ask yourself: Am I creative or technical? Am I permanent or nomadic? Where and when do I feel happy? Where do I feel the most pressure? What skills do I have? Do I have scholarships or grants to pay for college?
Moreover, a great quote from a NYC teacher, John Taylor Gatto, said: "The truth is that
schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders". Additionally, our generation of young adults are completely ignorant and could not change a tire on a car, for example.
Consequently, the youth's mentality or attitude is that technology, or "someone else" will do the processing for me. We have lost survival skills, emergency training, and "street-smarts". It's as if the more schooling our generation obtains, we become more compliant to social rules; and complying to social standards will allow you to reap the immediate benefits: money for 'stuff'.
To add to this point, I have quoted Bruce E. Levine where he underlines the obedience mentality of our youth: "The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation".
To paraphrase George Carlin: 'they want you smart enough to work the machines and do the paperwork, but dumb enough to passively accept horrible jobs with low wages'. 

Another aspect of University that irked me was the reputation or representation of the quality of the school through the performance of sports teams and cheerleading.

There are many other aspects of University I haven't fully discussed, for example the nature of college as a marketing device (aside from the sports teams and cheerleading reputation of the school).

Subsequently, I want to move forward from the problems with University and look towards the ways we can better our school systems, or perhaps your decision to attend University:

First, shift your perspective on the meaning of successful 'Hollywood status' to a simpler status like that of a gardener or local business owner that is able to feed and shelter her family with little materials, but feels peace and harmony. Likewise, you do not need to go to college to be successful, or happy for that matter. As little as 40 years ago, it was just as meaningful to work under someone to learn skills (apprenticeship), as it was to be able to afford college for a degree.

Lets face it, it's not JUST about college education: the problems in education begin with public schooling. Creativity and self-expression are repressed, while math and science is deemed less important or boring to the other subjects.

Secondly, books and education should ultimately be free, as we look towards technology to teach one another and share knowledge! When I was in college, I always ordered my textbooks through the library (to get them for free and use them all semester). If you plan to go to college, look into Inter Library Loan on the college's library website for more information.
At the University I attended, internet classes cost a student three times more than a regular on-campus class. For those who suffer from social anxiety disorders (Autism, Asperger's, etc) benefit in a calm environment like online.

Third, education should be localized like high school -- without the social stigma of high school.

I may come back to this thought to add more useful adjustments to University, but I'm feeling the affects of lack of sleep...

If you are unsure you're ready, prepared, or interested in college, you will find on this blog how to live for free without a degree and with VERY little money. Explore the rest of my posts that discuss growing your own food, living off the land, building your own house out of free materials, and using resources such as the library to further your education. Also, I have a blog post here "How to Tell your Parent(s) you dropped out of college" where you can find the tools to discussing quitting college or not attending college.

Considering I wanted to present a video of education that better-explained the greed inside colleges:



I wanted to end with a article, that reminds us that we do not have to go to college. In fact, there are many successful people that have dropped out of college or never attended university. I love the excerpt: "faulty thinking has led the public to believe everyone needs to go to college even if they can't afford it" paraphrased from Paul Thiel. I would like to add that we need to branch our understanding of all aspects (math, technology, chemistry, reading, writing, etc) The more we attempt to have a basic understanding of these things around us, the more self-reliant we can become. We can stop relying/paying for a "professional", when it is much easier and cheaper for us to do it ourselves. 

Like I said: I am not discouraging college, nor am I persuading anyone to drop-out on a whim. This post is only to shed light on this issue where our society thinks we need to pay absurd amounts of money for a sub-par education! Timothy Leary (from Flashbacks, 1983) wrote: "Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change."

Here is the article that highlights this: Why College may Not be Worth It