Monday, July 25, 2011

HEALTH & HAPPINESS: Cultured Veggies

I go on a lot about alkaline and acidic foods purely because a diet that is highly acidic makes us more vulnerable to developing chronic disease. Acidic foods promote inflammation within the body and we know that inflammation is the root cause of most chronic disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis at al. Eating a highly acidic diet also allows our intestinal bacteria to get out of whack. You've seen those adverts that promote drinking those sugar-laden drinks that help to restore healthy gut flora right? Well, there's a healthier way to do it. Eat cultured veggies! 

Cultured veggies? Yes I know it sounds a little like something that's growing in a petri dish but I'm going to give you some really compelling reasons why they should feature regularly in your diet. But first, here's the lowdown on what the hell cultured veggies actually are.

Here are 8 reasons why you should be eating cultured vegetables:

1. They aid digestion lessening the energy drain on your body (great for anyone that has a weak digestive tract and has a hard time digesting raw foods)

2. They help to eliminate toxins from the body

3. They help to restore a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria within the intestines

4. They help to reduce sugar cravings (hellooooooo this is reason ENOUGH!)

5. Eating animal protein creates toxic by-products in the intestines and by eating the veggies WITH the animal protein, it helps to turn these toxins back into healthy amino acids

6. They are extremely alkalising and cleansing for the body. (They may make you a little gassy to begin with but once you get everything cleaned out then it will all start working nicely!) I had to go there...these things are important! A toxic colon is a toxic body people!

 They increase your longevity. (As they allow you to reserve your body's own enzymes for digestion, your body is better equipped to repair cells, eliminate toxins, strengthen your immune system etc).

8.They are perfect for pregnant and nursing women as they provide a healthy inner environment for good bacteria and can help alleviate morning sickness! Plus the liquid from the veggies can help relieve the babys colic.

The photo is of some cultured veggies called Kim Chi which is a traditional Korean dish of fermented seasoned cabbage and other veggies. (Fermented just means the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms.)

At first you might struggle with the idea of roaming bacteria or yeast in your food but these little dudes are actually a good thing as you can see from the reasons above. Additionally cultured vegetables have had profound positive effects on children with autism.

You can make them at home very easily or you can buy them ready made. If I'm having a good old creativity session in the kitchen I will make it but sometimes I buy it ready-made from Raw Living.

If you are completely new to cultured veggies then I would recommend you buy some first to try and see if you like it. It will be a new experience for you as it has a fairly strong flavour but once you try it, I'm pretty sure you'll like it. It has a kind of tangy flavour and can be eaten on salads, as a side dish or on their own and combines particularly well with a protein or starch meal which can be very heavy on the body.

Raw sauerkraut is also another fantastic source of cultured veggies but don't mistake this for the salted and pasteurised version sold in most shops. (The pasteurisation process destroys the enzymes and the salt is bad bad bad!)
World Vegan - World Peace

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Create Your Own Loving Magazine

Have you been looking for a way to spread the Earth and Animal loving message to the world, but not sure where to start? Well, we hope that this piece will point you in the right direction.

The biggest step of all is an idea. What aspiring thoughts have you had that you think the world would love to hear? For people like us, it is pretty simple, we want to save the animals. This is a great start, however, to ensure longevity, you must have a theme, a look or a concept that your magazine publication will have. It is essential that you create this idea in your mind, so that every-time you publish your next great piece it is in line with all the rest that you done. If you keep on chopping and changing, it can confuse your reader and all of a sudden you have lost everyone that you have worked so hard to get.
Once again, don't confuse things, there is an old saying in marketing 101 'Keep It Simple Stupid' or KISS. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once again, for us it is pretty simple. Think of a few key words and picture what goes with this word. For example, we are saving the animals, so what do you think goes with this - Love, Peace, Compassion. There you go, you have just got yourself a theme and idea, you are ready to get pumping.

Editor-At-Large Laura Hooper Beck decided she needed to make a zine after being inspired by others and recognizing a niche waiting to be filled. Beck recently launched Fat Zine!, which she says cost her about $76 from start to finish, and is paying that amount back with the proceeds of her zine sold online and at the recent San Francisco Zine Fest. “There just isn't that much stuff out there that's body positive for women. I wanted to make something that said, ‘hey, it's okay if you're not skinny, or it's okay if you are—whatever!’ and I did it with a fat-positive bend because hardly anything is,” said Beck. “I want to open up that dialogue more. Plus, I love working with glitter, and my zine has a lot of it.”

Here is a great link to get you thinking about what you need to do. The site is called Micro Publishing. They have very helpful hints and tips on how to get up and running.

Once you have got yourself ready to go, and have done all the fun layouts and articles the next step you will need to do is convert your magazine to a PDF file. There are a number of free programs that can do this for you, as well as some word processing software that can convert files to PDF format, such as Zoho and Open Office. Both wordprocessing packages have their advantages and disadvantages however. Alternatively the magazine can be completely created with desktop publishing software which should also be able to save the document as a PDF file.

Sign up to your preferred magazine hosting website. It can pay to check out a number of these sites because the free options can offer different levels of service. A basic option may only allow you to upload the PDF file without other alternatives such as allowing readers to download the magazine. Different websites also have different levels of advertising that will be presented to your readers.

Now you have to share your voice with the world. The best, easiest and cheapest way to do this is via the big 2 - Facebook and Twitter. Get yourself known amongst the Vegan community. Target those pages that have a large, dedicated following and keep on plugging your work.

We hope that this information has helped. If you have any questions, please let us know - we would love to help spread the beautiful Vegan message to the world.