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Grapefruit 50/50

Its been a while my fellow vegetarianistas. We do apologize for the long hiatus on posts. Its been quite a busy few months since we last spoke. We have been up to quite a bit between trying new veggie joints and cooking new delightful dishes. All of which will be shared with our readers.

With the summer months approaching we all crave delicious fresh fruit. From sweet strawberries to tart citrus oranges, fruit in its natural state can be an excellent thirst quencher during the hottest months of the year. A fruit that has always been a go to fruit for improving the skin and regulating appetite is the refreshingly bitter grapefruit. Here is an overview of the many benefits and surprisingly unknown dangers present in grapefruit:

The grapefruit is a hybridized fruit in the citrus family. It was possibly a naturally occurring hybrid bred in the isles of Barbados.   The taste of grapefruit is sweet and tart interchangeably. The fruit gets its name from the fact that it tends to grow in clusters resembling a bunch of grapes.

Grapefruit has many naturally occurring properties that are beneficial to maintaining health. Vitamins C,B1,B2 and P are found in grapefruit. Red grapefruit contains the aforementioned vitamins as well as lycopene and beta carotene. Packed with potassium, this fruit is low calorie and lower in sugar than oranges. The seeds in grapefruit are packed with antioxidants.It is always powerful in reducing fevers when one has a cold or flu. It is also a great way to reduce one’s appetite which can aide in weight loss. Eating grapefruit can also assist in lowering cholesterol.

Despite all the wonderful benefits to eating a grapefruit it can actually be detrimental for some. Too much grapefruit can erode the enamel on teeth due to its high acidity. There are approximately 85 different medications that can have adverse interactions with even the smallest amount of grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Even a minutia of a serving like what is present in certain citrus flavored soda’s can cause a drug interaction with certain medications. A study taken by researchers from the University of Hawaii and University of Southern California found that grapefruit can increase the chances of a post menopausal women developing breast cancer by 30 %. Grapefruit allergies are uncommon but do occur in some individuals. Some allergic reactions are an itchy mouth, breaking into hives, stomach discomfort or can result in death.

As with anything, one should practice moderation when consuming grapefruit. It is best to eat this fruit occasionally and use precaution before consuming it . If one doesn’t suffer from any allergies to grapefruit or is not on certain medications that could have an interaction, this fruit can have many benefits and serve as a delicious treat.

ImagePhoto courtesy of Wikipedia.

‘Tis the season for influenza and life’s uncertainties

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Remember my earlier post (well, my only post so far) this year, and how I made the proclamation that I would be vigilant with my blogging, posting, etc.? Well insofar that this is my second post this year, I’m obviously slapping myself on the wrist about my lack of productivity in the Go-Vegetarianista arena. Okay, not really…but I have been getting a little guilt trippy about it.

Part of the problem is the latter part of my subject title. Oh, life’s uncertainties. Considering we’re now in the year 2013, a year portrayed in twenty + year old movies and novels as a year filled with space ships (or at least hovercraft car thingies) pink hair, bedazzled metallic sex uniforms (don’t ask) and the like; I think having this sense of insecurity/confusion about the status quo is normal. None of the aforementioned has come into fruition except for in the Hunger Games depiction of the nation’s capital; in the real 2013 we are left with Twitter, Facebook, and our nation’s obsession with the Kardashian family.

I’m taking a class at Santa Monica College, English 4 to be specific, and we are currently exploring what it means to be modern, modernity as a whole, and the bigger question–are we at the end of the modern age and moving forth into a new? Likely, yes. Anyhow, away from my sociological/philosophical musings and onto the root *issues* of this post.

I am a super confused person as it sits now. No, no, no not confused about my vegetarianism. My vegetarian ways are very much a deep rooted part of who I am. What I am confused about is me as a person what I want out of life; where I am going, etc.

Most people go through this; but I am going through it more intensely. Taking online quizzes about my personality, job preferences, possible psychological issues, my “ideal” city to reside in–if it’s out there, I’ve probably taken it.

As it sits now, I consider myself a very creative person. Presently I am in the process (although not certain if it is a sensible path to begin walking) of completing my BA degree. I enrolled back at community college (I moved out to LA in 2006 without finishing college for a modeling/acting contract–google “Nadya Rousseau” to see all I’ve done if it peaks your interest), with the goal of transferring to a four year university to complete my degree in English (likely in a creative writing concentration). I know, I know–I really do not need a degree to be successful. This may be me just wanting an escape and through the analysis of Hamlet, Pride & Prejudice and other favorites that I read years ago but will need to reread I am escaping quite well.

At this point I know I still love acting but the often draining business elements not too mention the constant barrage of crap material has driven me rather mad. I feel as though my place in life is as a writer, producer, and possibly real estate. The last is really random I know, but hey, I work in a legal department now and have a knack for analyzing liens and property values. Not too mention I like trolling rental websites and Zillow.

*Sigh*. Who knows though? At the end of the day, on this issue at least, my message is simple. We don’t HAVE to know who we are, what we want to do, at all times. Life is not meant to be finite–the universe sure as hell isn’t (Meteorite over Russia, hello?!), so we may as well “troll” life’s possibilities. Why does everything have to have a timeline? End rant.

On to the former blah issue. Influenza has been running rampant through my office and the entire nation!! My poor parents were stricken by it, Lauren, and almost everyone I know, in, and out of the office! Yikes!

What to do? Well thankfully I am now, so far at least, left with only residual fatigue and congestion. I didn’t have to take antivirals, or antibiotics (knock on wood). But this fatigue sure is debilitating! I haven’t gone to the gym in over a week! Which for me, equals guilt trip express!!!

So to end this post on a more veg focused note there are a lot of things we can do to prevent and to combat if we become afflicted with this nasty virus:

1) Take Echinacea. Try to purchase the “goldenseal” variety.

2) Eat raw garlic cloves-at least 2-3 small cloves per day.  Yes, I know, it’s kind of a creepy thought and no I am not a vampire, I just look like one. If the mere thought of popping garlic cloves into your mouth induces extreme fear or nausea or both, consider mincing and/or dicing over a bed of leafy green lettuce (with other goodies of course). The vitamins A & C in your salad on top of the garlic are also wonderful immune system boosters.

3) Take at least 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily! Make sure you purchase vitamin D3-there are vegetarian varieties although at times they can be a challenge to procure. Easiest way to get Vitamin D? Going outside for at least fifteen minutes a day sans sunscreen.

4). Vitamin C!! Get Vitamin C in your greens, tomatoes, and oranges! On top of that though   I suggest taking at least 1,000 mg per day–Trader Joe’s has an excellent variety with bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids  are rich in antioxidant properties.

5). Wash your hands regularly, but use regular soap–Triclosan is not your friend.

6) GET REST!! WE ARE ALL STUDENTS, ACTORS, WRITERS, MOVERS, SHAKERS, FASHIONISTAS, ETC., BUT WE ARE ALSO ALL HUMANS WHO NEED TO CONSIDER OUR BODIES’ NEEDS! THIS MEANS A GOOD SOLID 8 HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT! lol, sorry for the all caps but, this is an important point. 😉

To close this post, let’s allow 2013 to be filled with emotional exploration but of course work towards optimal health via a vegetarian diet!

xo,

Nadya

 

2013–The year of the VEGETARIAN

Happy New Year everyone! Whew–we made it through what felt like an expedited 2012, Mayan calendar and all. 

We, here at Go-Vegetarianista wish to be a little more encompassing this year. Meaning, we want to make sure that any and all issues concerning our readers are covered. Whether that be vegan beauty products, veg food on the cheap, taking care of ourselves (mentally &  physically) or how to locate an AWESOME LA vegetarian restaurant, we want to write about it. 

And why not keep it real? I think it’s time we bring a little more personality to this Go-Vegetarianista–because that’s what makes people want to read. 

Be prepared for more frequent entries and a revamped blog. And happy vegetarian eating to you all!

xoxo

The Go-Vegetarianista team

Proposition 37-Why vegetarians should vote yes.

GMOS are something vegetarians everywhere are all too familiar with. As a vegetarian, I am very hyper aware of the foods I eat, and strive to buy foods that are labeled as GMO free and organic.

Unfortunately, the majority of foods on the market are not labeled as GMO, even if they have in fact been genetically modified. This to me, and too many of my other veg friends is a disgusting, and quite depressing state of affairs. Genetically modified foods are foods that have had extracted genes from viruses, other vegetables and even animals. Can you imagine? The apple you’re eating could very well have been created with an animal gene? 

Proposition 37, a proposition that will be on next month’s California ballot, would require simple labeling of GMO foods. Should the proposition pass, consumers could rest assured that they are not eating an apple, that is well, not really an apple. 

Although I am not a very political person, when it comes to my health, and the health of others I prepare to set up to the plate. Scientists, and manufacturers of genetically modified seeds and pesticides may think it’s ok to sneak this or that into the food people eat–I, and many others vehemently disagree.

Vote Yes on Proposition 37, your body, and the animals that may end up as byproducts in the fruits and veggies we consume, will thank you.

 

http://www.carighttoknow.org/3_reasons_to_label

Vegetarian Discount Card a la Green Menu

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Over the weekend our local library in West Hollywood hosted a vegetarian cooking seminar conducted by the very friendly and well informed volunteers at Green Menu. Attendees came from all walks of life. The turn out was quite large and the vast majority were non-vegetarians.

Chad and Modesty, the heads of Green Menu, gave a very informative speech regarding societal misconceptions of vegetarianism, how essential and non-essential amino acids work in the body and how switching to a vegetarian lifestyle can be beneficial to the environment and our bodies. They referred to research conducted in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s, “The China Study”, to back their claims. Chad briefly surmised Chapter 3 of the China Study in which a study was conducted on rats who were introduced to the most dangerous carcinogen in existence—aflatoxin. Chad encouraged the audience to do their own research on vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle.  The rats were separated into two groups for study. One group was given a strict vegetarian diet while the other group was given a meat based diet. The rats given the vegetarian diet survived while the meat eating group, died.

Shortly thereafter, the cooking presentation began. We learned how to make spring rolls consisting of carrots, cabbage, faux ham and dried black mushroom wrapped in rice paper. In addition we were also taught how to make a very delicious seasoned seaweed wrap filled with faux ham, ketchup, Japanese mayo, stringy carrots, lettuce and cucumber. We met new friends, though not vegetarian, were still very interested in making dietary changes. 

Modesty informed us that Green Menu is a non-profit organization designed to provide discounts to vegetarians through a discount card. She also explained that they have been around only a year and continue to expand their client base. Whole Foods is a participant at certain locales. She confirmed that they are partnered with several restaurants and grocery stores that fall under three categories: Vegetarian, Vegan and Vegetarian friendly. Participating vegetarian outlets are located in California, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

This burgeoning organization provides its members with discounts of up to 20% and is only $25 for the year, making a membership an incredibly valuable purchase. The list of restaurants and locations is impressive, and for those who dine out frequently, one can save up to $200 per year by being a Green Menu card carrier. They conduct numerous hands on interactive cooking classes and have very friendly volunteers all over the country. Wendy, a volunteer with Green Menu was eager to provide info on the organization and quite amicable.

In short,Green Menu is a very ethical, fun, social and socially conscious group. For more information visit their face book page https://www.facebook.com/greenmenu and sign up on their website to receive  all the veggie discounts and perks offered by this lovely outfit.

Drinking shakes the “Mega Way”, is the best way!

Finding a vegetarian health shake that is not only tasty, but also ripe with health benefits is not always an easy task. I’ve found a lot of veg shake mixes to be either void of flavor and ripe with nutritional benefits, or possessing an amazing taste but having an inferior protein source, most often isolated soy protein, which is super processed and just plain unhealthy. So to that end, I hadn’t really gone the shake route for some time, as I was really never satisfied with what I saw on the market.

Two weeks ago, I met Adam Schmidt, a partner and herb specialist at Mega Way shakes, a company that recognizes the importance of true nutrition without skimping on taste.  Adam gave me a sample of the Mega Way Organic Meal Replacement Shake, which is designed to balance the ten body systems— immune, intestinal, nervous, glandular, respiratory, digestive, emotional, urinary, structural and circulatory. What sold me personally was the use of turmeric and Ashwagandha powder, both are incredibly beneficial for anxiety and depression (yes your blog writer is anxiety prone, ^_^ ).  I was also keen on the exotic creamy flavor of the shakes; the mix goes particularly well with almond milk and coconut milk.

Mega Way shakes are completely gluten free and use organic whey protein concentrate as a protein base; two scoops of the shake mix yield 23 grams of protein and seven grams of fiber!  As I mentioned earlier, very few shakes are quite this complete, and 100% free of GMOS, pesticides, and other yucky by-products that get in the way of our well-being.

Along with the shake, Adam gave me a sample of Mega Way’s “Nature’s Optimal Nutrition” liquid multiple vitamin. He recommended that I add the vitamin to the shake, and at first, I was a bit apprehensive (I’m not big on vitamin tastes). After tasting the vitamin version of the shake, however, I was sold—it’s really yummy! I even tried a sample of the vitamin sans shake simply mixed in water and it still packed a good flavor.  The multi has 76 organic vitamins and minerals including 2,000 IU of Vitamin D and 100 mcg of B12; both of course  are critical for vegetarians to obtain regularly.

The shakes are available for purchase on Mega Way’s website, and can be bought as one week, two week, or one month kits. There are even sample kits available for those who are interested in simply trying the products.

Check out more information on Mega Way and try out the shakes by purchasing their one week sample kit, at:

http://www.themegaway.com/order-the-shakes.html

Beauty Products and Animal Testing

Sometimes, just finding a decent vegetarian meal at a restaurant with your non-vegetarian friends is a trying experience. Meat, meat, and more meat, and a cheesy pasta are generally the choices at many non-vegan/vegetarian establishments. Say you’re out with your friends, noshing on a really good salad and sweet potato fries, thrilled to have found an animal friendly meal, when a friend compliments your hair and inquires what shampoo you used to accomplish such a fabulous look.

This is when time may stop for a second. Did you really think what you put in those shiny locks? Often times, many vegetarians and vegans forget the importance of checking the labels of their favorite beauty products.  A vision of vanilla scented shampoos, or the conditioner that has been good to your hair for years pops into your head. Yikes…the products are likely being tested on animals.

Not to get too preachy, but another important aspect of being vegetarian includes incorporating products into one’s beauty repertoire that are kind to the animals we love.

Ultimately the best way to go is to purchase vegan products that boast a “non-animal testing” policy. With a Vegan label, you can be certain that no animals were harmed and no animal derivatives were used in the process of formulating the product. Unfortunately, many of the vegan products are on the pricey end. Rather than depleting your bank account, learn how to recognize animal derived chemicals and be sure the beauty product minimally has a “No animal testing” label.

Remember, we vegetarians aim to maintain a lifestyle that is not only beneficial for our health, but  also good to animals and the environment. At the same time, no one is perfect. Try and  buy products as ethically as possible, but if you find that that bottle of shampoo with the “No Animal Testing” label has a trace amount of biotin–a coenzyme in all living things–don’t fret. You are on the right track, and are doing the very best you can to live a compassionate life!

Check out the below-referenced links for information on animal derivatives often found in beauty products and  links to some terrific Vegan and No Animal Testing beauty products.

http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/animal-ingredients-list.aspx

http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/search.aspx?Testing=0&Range=0

http://www.veganessentials.com/