Sweet Potato Chili

hilary recipe

I discovered this yummy looking recipe by Hilary Larson on the fb page Trying Vegan.

 Bake sweet potato and use for the bottom layer.

The middle is stir fried black beans, Trader Joes soyrizo,spinach and field day organic salsa (with cumin in it).

Then top it off  with a sliced avocado.

 This recipe looks yummy, fast and easy to prepare.


Coconut rose drink – Vegan

Sex, Spirit, Soul Mates and Chocolate....Ivonne's Journey:

This sounds like such a fun drink that I had to reblog and share it.

Originally posted on Chitra's Healthy Kitchen:

Almond Rose Milk


Rose milk has a mild rosy flavour that makes lovely summer drink. It is a versatile welcome drink in many occasions. It is simple and tasty. Rose syrup is easily available in indian stores or you can make it on your own by using fresh rose petals. The sweet and essence can be added as per the taste and preference.

I veganised by using coconut milk, however it can be personalised as per the taste.

Relish this easiest summer drink.

Preparation time-10 mins

View original 105 more words

Ivonne’s Younique Online Party


beauty without cruelty


Hello Everyone

I am having a Yonique Virtual Online cosmetic party until August 26 2014.


Younique is a new cosmetic company whose sales are done through social media online parties.  I am thinking of becoming a party host.

Younique uses mostly natural and/or organic ingredients, along with some synthetic ingredients.

Some of it’s products are vegan.

Younique is considering pursuing a Vegan certification/classification for the following products:

Moodstruck concealers
Moodstruck Blushers
Refreshed Rose Water
BB Flawless
Awake Facial Cleanser
Concealer Brush (Synthetic Hair)


Younique does not test their products on animals.

They are in the process of exploring/procuring official certification as a cruelty-free company. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.








I personally have been using the Fabulash 3-D Mascara.

yonique 2        yonique 1


They even have make-up tips throughout the site.



Under each product there is a link that will give you a detailed list of their ingredients, the source of the ingredient and what the function of that ingredient is. You get to be a totally informed consumer.


mineral powder



Water is the liquid of life! Hydrates, cleanses, and nourishes the skin and works as a natural spreading component, helping to distribute other ingredients evenly over the skin.

Cyclopentasiloxane is a skin conditioner, delivery agent, lubricant and solvent. It makes the product smooth and easy to apply to skin.

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene is an emollient and moisturizer and prevents water loss.

Propylene Glycol is a humidifying and delivery ingredient that helps active ingredients penetrate the skin.

Titanium Dioxide is an inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, and lubricating ingredient in cosmetics.

Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is an anti-caking agent, an absorbent, and a viscosity (resistance to flow) increasing agent.

Ozokerite is a naturally-occurring mineral that is used to prevent emulsions from separating into their oil and liquid components.

Hexylene Glycol is a preservative and a solvent and viscosity agent.

Maltodextrin is used as a binding agent.

Disteardimonium Hectorite is a vegetable-derived suspending agent used to thicken oil-based products and serve as a stabilizer for emulsions.

Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate is used as a surfactant, consistency regulator, and moisturizer. Derived from coconut and amino acids.

Diazolidinyl Urea is an antimicrobial that is used as a preservative to protect against bacteria, yeast, and molds known to cause spoilage.

Acrylates Copolymer is a stabilizer.

Top cardiologist touts vegan diet to patients

This article comes via the Chicago Tribune.

Top cardiologist touts vegan diet to patients

dr williams

Dr. Kim Williams, right, eats a plant-based diet free of animal products and suggests this dietary approach to patients like Ashiqali Lakhani, left. (Terrence Antonio James, Chicago Tribune)

By Julie Deardorff, Tribune reporter contact the reporter

NutritionNutrition ResearchDiseases and IllnessesHeart DiseaseDining and DrinkingOrganic Foods

Is a vegan diet good for your heart? Top cardiologist votes yes, sparks debate.

It’s vegans vs. cavemen as cardiologists square off on nutrition.

Doctor advocating vegan diet ‘experimenting on patients,’ cardiologist says.

Dr. Kim Williams thought he followed a heart-healthy diet: He avoided red meat and fried foods. He ate his chicken breast without the skin.

But in 2003, the Chicago cardiologist realized his level of LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, was too high. Inspired by a patient’s success with a plant-based diet, Williams began using “meat substitutes” for protein. Within six weeks, he says, his LDL level plummeted almost by half into the healthy range.

Now a firm believer in the vegan way of eating — no meat, fish, eggs or dairy — Williams is about to step into a prominent leadership role as president of the American College of Cardiology. When he wrote an essay on the benefits of a plant-based diet for cardiac patients, it kicked off yet another rancorous debate over how people should eat to best protect their hearts.

Heart-healthy diets: What you can eat

Tribune Graphics


Supporters praised Williams, chief of the cardiology division at Rush University Medical Center, for highlighting the widely accepted health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Critics grumbled about the “food police” and questioned whether a physician with such an influential position should be advocating for a diet that many view as extreme.

“Doctors who recommend a vegan diet are experimenting on their patients,” said Dr. Jack Wolfson, an Arizona cardiologist who encourages “Paleo” nutrition, or eating unprocessed foods that can be hunted or gathered, including meat.

Williams says he’s surprised by the polarized reaction and dismisses the idea that veganism is “experimental” given the considerable data gathered on people who eat that way. But he’s also eager for large-scale, randomized trials and acknowledges there are many ways to eat more healthfully.

“Anything someone does to move away from the Standard American Diet will make a huge difference in terms of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease,” said Williams, referring to the nation’s high consumption of sugar, saturated fat and processed foods.

“Given the health implications of diet, putting the issue in front of people who live with an epidemic of heart disease is not a bad thing,” he added.

The debate underscores the personal and complex nature of nutrition science. Though fruits and vegetables are part of any healthy diet, there’s no consensus on the best way to eat, causing endless confusion and frustration for consumers.

Williams’ statements in support of a plant-based diet — an option naturally low in saturated fat — came not long after a study published in March famously challenged the conventional wisdom that people who consume more saturated fat are at higher risk of heart disease.

Vegan products are easier than ever to find in stores and restaurants, reflecting the diet’s increasing popularity. But another trendy choice is the high-protein, high-fiber Paleo or “caveman” diet, which includes grass-produced meats and seafood and excludes grains, potatoes and legumes.

Among those who choose a plant-based diet, many cite health reasons, but environmental and ethical concerns are more important for others.

Vegans eat no animal products — including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and, often, honey. But though Williams eats like a vegan, he doesn’t describe himself that way because of the term’s other connotations. Many vegans avoid all animal-based products, including leather, fur, silk, wool and some soaps and cosmetics, for ideological reasons.

“It just happens that my view on a plant-based diet agrees with those groups,” Williams said. “For me, it’s a health and diet statement.”

generally abstain from eating animal flesh of any kind. Dairy is usually OK, and some eat eggs. Pescetarians are vegetarians who also eat fish and seafood. The term flexitarian refers to people who primarily eat plant-based foods but might indulge when they smell bacon.

Well-planned vegetarian diets, including vegan ones, are nutritionally adequate and appropriate for nearly everyone, including pregnant women and elite athletes, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The National Institutes of Health says a varied vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, as well as lower blood pressure.

But experts also say vegans and vegetarians who aren’t careful can wind up consuming a high-carbohydrate diet lacking in basic nutrients.

“You can eat white bread and Oreos, a bunch of Boca Burgers, and a gallon of sweetened soy milk and be ‘vegan,'” Dr. Ashwani Garg wrote in response to Williams’ essay on MedPage Today.

Garg, a family medicine practitioner in Hoffman Estates, said in an interview that he commends Williams for raising the issue of nutrition but would rather see him promoting plant-based nonprocessed foods in general.

Cardiologist Neil Stone, medical director of the vascular disease center at Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, said the vegan diet hasn’t been conclusively shown to be better than other healthful eating patterns, including the DASH diet and the Mediterranean-style diet. Both emphasize fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds, but they differ in the amount of recommended fats.

Vegetables are also the foundation of Paleo nutrition, “but everyone should be eating some amount of meat and/or seafood on a weekly basis,” Wolfson said. “I’m talking about free-range, grass-fed, healthy animals,” he added. “I’d never tell anyone to eat a burger with a bun.”

Wolfson, who sells duck, pork and beef fat in his office to be used for cooking, points to research that has challenged the relationship between saturated fat and heart disease. But the question is far from settled.

In general, eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in the blood, and high levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. But the impact can vary by individual. For some people, the cholesterol consumed in food has a greater impact on their blood cholesterol.

In addition, researchers tend to study isolated nutrients, but the foods we eat are more complex.

“I don’t recommend focusing on any single nutrient — including fat,” said Dr. Stephen Devries, executive director of the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, a nonprofit that advocates for a greater role of nutrition in health care. “For example, cutting down on saturated fat but replacing it with sugar, leaves you no further ahead.”

In March, the journal Annals of Internal Medicine publisheda review of current literature that concluded the current evidence does not support the idea that consuming less saturated fat will prevent heart disease. Many experts quickly responded that people shouldn’t see the paper as a green light to eat all the steak and butter they’d like.

One complicating factor is that when people cut down on fats they tend to replace them with other foods that are bad for cardiovascular health, such as processed carbohydrates.

“It’s not that saturated fats are good,” Stone said. “It’s what the saturated fat is replaced with that’s the problem. That’s what has confused America.”

Current guidelines from the American Heart Association restrict the consumption of saturated fats to about 6 percent of daily calories and encourage people to eat polyunsaturated fats, such as omega 3 and omega 6, to prevent heart disease. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.

Williams’ conversion to vegan eating began in 2003 after a nuclear scan on a patient with severe heart disease showed startling improvement after she had followed a plant-based diet for six months while also exercising and meditating. He was surprised but later discovered several published studies documenting similar improvement.

Around the same time, he discovered his own cholesterol was 170 milligrams per deciliter, well above the normal range of 70 to 130 mg/dl.

Williams searched the Internet and discovered that he was eating more cholesterol than he realized. He changed to a cholesterol-free diet, consuming protein in the form of vegetable-based meat substitutes and nuts. “Within six weeks my LDL cholesterol level was down to 90,” he wrote.

Now Williams discusses the benefits of a plant-based diet with patients who have high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease. He may encourage those patients to seek out and sample plant-based versions of basic foods such as chicken or eggs, or he’ll search for alternatives and email suggestions.

At the same time, Williams recognizes that guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association don’t specifically recommend a vegan diet because the studies on its effects aren’t definitive.

Like his colleagues, he hopes for large, well-designed randomized trials rather than polls, opinions and analyses of observational data. But until then he’s sticking to vegetable-based protein.

“The day that there is similar data on the dangers of processed soy as there is on processed meat, I will drop it like a hot potato, or perhaps just eat the potato,” Williams wrote in defense of his essay.


Twitter @JulieDeardorff








Brain Scans Show Vegetarians and Vegans Are More Empathic than Omnivores

I love nuero-science. It explains so much of human behavior.

It all comes down to the brains. Empathy is a brain function that apparently not everyone has.

A sociopath does not have empathy for anything–that part of his brain does not function properly nor is it the same shape as someone who is an empath. To learn more about sociopaths read my other blog, http://www.ivonnemontijo.wordpress.com

sociopath brain

I found this article floating around in cyber space. For those of you who love facts and data there is a link at the bottum to the complete study.


Brain Scans Show Vegetarians and Vegans Are More Empathic than Omnivores

They appear to have more of an empathetic response to suffering

Published on July 12, 2012 by Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. in Animal Emotions


brain scans

Every now and again we discover that some of our beliefs are supported by scientific research.Recent research using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) shows that “vegetarians and vegans appear to have more of an empathetic response to both human and animal suffering … FMRI brain scans showed that the areas of the brain associated with empathy (such as the anterior cingulate cortex and the left inferior frontal gyrus in this study) were more activated in vegetarians and vegans compared to omnivores when all three groups were shown pictures of human or animal suffering. Written questionnaires on empathy, in both this and other studies, seem to confirm higher empathy levels in vegetarians and vegans (Preyo and Arkiwawa, 2008; Filippi et al 2010).” (I could not find the reference to Preyo and Arkiwawa, 2008 but the entire essay by Filippi et al., 2010 ishere.)




Empathy and affective appraisals for conspecifics are among the hallmarks of social interaction. Using functional MRI, we hypothesized that vegetarians and vegans, who made their feeding choice for ethical reasons, might show brain responses to conditions of suffering involving humans or animals different from omnivores. We recruited 20 omnivore subjects, 19 vegetarians, and 21 vegans. The groups were matched for sex and age. Brain activation was investigated using fMRI and an event-related design during observation of negative affective pictures of human beings and animals (showing mutilations, murdered people, human/animal threat, tortures, wounds, etc.). Participants saw negative-valence scenes related to humans and animals, alternating with natural landscapes. During human negative valence scenes, compared with omnivores, vegetarians and vegans had an increased recruitment of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). More critically, during animal negative valence scenes, they had decreased amygdala activation and increased activation of the lingual gyri, the left cuneus, the posterior cingulate cortex and several areas mainly located in the frontal lobes, including the ACC, the IFG and the middle frontal gyrus. Nonetheless, also substantial differences between vegetarians and vegans have been found responding to negative scenes. Vegetarians showed a selective recruitment of the right inferior parietal lobule during human negative scenes, and a prevailing activation of the ACC during animal negative scenes. Conversely, during animal negative scenes an increased activation of the inferior prefrontal cortex was observed in vegans. These results suggest that empathy toward non conspecifics has different neural representation among individuals with different feeding habits, perhaps reflecting different motivational factors and beliefs.


Kind Organics Multivitamins


Kind Organic Vitamins is the brain child of Alicia Silverstone and Garden of Life.

As a vegan Alicia was looking for an vitamin made from organic food and not chemicals. She wanted a multivitamin that was made from the types of foods she ate—Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and real!

alicia sliverstone

And that desire is what started the collaboration with Garden of Life.

Garden of Life developed a new technology, which they call Clean Tablet Technology™.

This is an organic way to make a tablet without using the common binders such as magnesium stearate. The finished tablets have a pleasant smell and taste and an organic coating making them easy to swallow.

As a vegan I was just looking for a vitamin that would address my needs as a vegan without having to take a cocktail of vitamin pills and supplements in the morning.

“We are thrilled to introduce Kind Organics—a new kind of multivitamin that is Certified USDA Organic from real, whole foods, Non-GMO Verified, certified gluten-free and certified vegan. Kind Organics is made with over 30 of the healthiest organic veggies and fruits available, such as organic kale, organic sea kelp, organic broccoli, organic parsley, organic ginger and organic blueberries.”[1]


They have a range of multivitamins.  Click here for more info. http://organicmulti.com/Products.aspx

I bought the Women 40+ formula.

womens-multi-40        Kind-Organics-Women's-Multi-60ct-Label-Supp-Facts







[1] http://organicmulti.com/Alicia-Kind-Organics.aspx

8 Scientific Reasons Why Vegan Men Are More Manly

I found this awesome article on http://www.oneingredientchef.com




8 Scientific Reasons Why Vegan Men Are More Manly



It’s common for men to believe that meat makes us manly. Salads and smoothies are fine for the ladies, but grilling juicy steaks is just part of being a guy… or so we’re taught.

I’d suspect that this stereotype is a huge hurdle for a lot of men who would otherwise like to explore a vegetarian diet. Even in my own life, I bought into the “meat is manly” idea just like the next guy. When I first went vegan many years ago, I felt embarrassed to order a veggie burrito at Chipotle for the first time, as if people would laugh at me or something. I realized that was insane pretty quickly, but it is nevertheless a real challenge for most men.

Even now, I am still the only male vegan food blogger to my knowledge and a full 90% of my audience is female. Hmm…

Here’s the good news: the stereotype is complete BS. While it exists in the heads of men everywhere, the data tells a different story. A 2011 poll found that 3% of American men reported “Never eating meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs” while just 2% of women reported the same. In other words, even accounting for a margin of error, there are at least as many vegan men as women. The difference is that men are not as vocal about this dietary choice because it’s not as acceptable for us.

I think that’s nonsense. Clearly, men are a growing part of the vegan population, and it’s hardly making us less masculine. I can prove it. Here’s the science that shows how a vegan diet can actually make a man more manly:

1. Vegan Men Have Higher Levels of Testosterone

If there is one scientific way to measure a man’s manliness, it would surely be testosterone – the hormone that literally defines masculinity. Men might assume that their testosterone levels would plummet by eating nothing but plants, but that’s just the stereotype at work again. A British Journal of Cancer study of 696 men (233 of whom were vegans) concluded this: “Vegans had 13% higher T [testosterone] concentration than meat-eaters and 8% higher than vegetarians.” Not only did vegan men have as much testosterone as meat eaters, they actually have 13% MORE of this manly hormone. On the flip side, too much testosterone can be a bad thing because it leads to higher levels of IGF-I – a risk factor for certain cancers. Surprisingly, the report also found this: “Vegan men had on average 9% lower IGF-I levels than meat-eaters.” A big boost in T and added protection against IGF-I? Win and win.

2. Vegan Men Have a More Attractive Scent

Take a group of 17 guys, put them all on a standard high-meat diet for two weeks and have a group of women rate the attractiveness of their scent. Record those results, then have the men switch to a vegetarian diet for two weeks and have the same women rate them again. Researchers in Prague did exactly that and the results were significant (see this chart below – grey bars on the vegetarian diet). The women rated the vegetarians as smelling considerably more pleasant, more attractive and less intense.


3. Vegan Men Are More Fit

In this era of the super-sized epidemic, obesity isn’t attractive on anyone. Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is a guaranteed way to look better and feel more confident. It turns out, vegans are the only group successfully doing this. After comparing the BMI of vegans, several types of vegetarians, and meat eaters, all categories were at the “overweight” level except vegans. On a whole-food, plant-based diet (like my One Ingredient Diet), dropping extra pounds is almost automatic, even without any other changes. And what about the notion that vegan guys are scrawny? I’d think Brad Pitt and Jared Leto and Mike Tyson (all vegan) would have put an end to that discussion by now…

4. Vegan Men Have Glowing Skin

Granted, a glowing complexion might not be what every man dreams about having, but women find it more attractive. Studies have shown that the more yellow a person’s skin tone, the more attractive they’re rated by the opposite sex. “The healthy appearance of skin yellowness may be attributable to dietary carotenoid deposition in the skin.” It’s only a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e. a vegan diet) that leads to higher levels of these glowing carotenoids. See: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/golden-glow/

5. Vegan Men Are Compassionate Leaders

Real men lead with personal action when others are standing on the sidelines. Right now, there are few choices that can have a more positive impact on our personal lives and the world around us than adopting a vegan diet. Taking a compassionate stand against sickening animal cruelty is manly. Preserving our environment is manly. Improving our health and the health of our families is manly. But eating fast food burgers because that’s what the TV commercials tell us to do? Not so manly.

6. Vegan Men Can Cook

I’ve never met a lady who isn’t attracted to guys who can cook. While going vegan doesn’t directly result in cooking skills, it encourages people to cook for themselves more frequently. Most cities don’t have endless vegan restaurant options and preparing your own meals at home is often a necessity. That was the case for me. After I went vegan, I fell in love with cooking (which turned out well). I hear this from others too – going vegan doesn’t restrict your diet, it expands it. You go down new supermarket aisles and try new foods that you never considered before. You learn new cooking techniques. Food takes on a much larger and more positive role in your life. And if you need some help cooking delicious vegan meals, I know just the guy. ;)

7. Vegan Men Have Less Erectile Dysfunction

Oh yes, we’re going there. ED isn’t just an embarrassing condition, it’s a deadly one. In the vast majority of cases, erectile dysfunction is a direct symptom of heart disease (our nation’s number one killer). As mentioned by Dr. Greger in his, ahem, ‘Survival of the Firmest’ video clip, “Erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease are just two manifestations of the same disease: inflamed, clogged, and crippled arteries.” And also, “men over 40 who experience ED have a 50x (5,000%!!) risk of having a cardiac event.” Of course, a plant-based diet is the single most effective step to preventing and reversing heart disease (and, therefore, erectile disfunction as well).

8. Vegan Men Live Longer

Finally, what could be more manly than being alive and healthy to care for your family? Diet-related diseases are thieves that steal our quality of life and ultimately kill us prematurely – first taking away our ability to play alongside our grandchildren and ultimately taking us out of their lives altogether. The science is consistent on this point – vegans live longer. Studies often show 7-8 years of additional life, and at least 12% reduction in mortality from any cause over the same period of time as compared to meat eaters. These effects are valid for both genders, but are seen even more strongly in men.

So guys, isn’t it about time for us to move past this silly stereotype and embrace the positive benefits that men can experience on a plant-based diet?

A Post worth Re-Posting: “Animals Rights is the Greatest Social Justice Issue Since the Abolition of Slavory”

Originally posted on Girl for Animal Liberation:

Philip Wollen, Australian Philanthropist, Former VP of Citibank, Makes Blazing Animal Rights Speech

Philip Wollen shakes the rafters of the auditorium with this 10-minute speech to the St James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre debate in Australia on May 16, 2012. The larger debate consists of six speakers, three that make the case for getting animals off the menu and three that make the case against it. Wollen is a former VP of Citibank and Australian philanthropist who is known to keep out of the limelight. But he sure rose to the challenge for this debate to deliver a huge performance and a powerful message. Bravo!

Join Philip Wollen and the Kindness Trust on their Facebook page. Watch the full debate with all six speakers.

This is the transcript to the speech:


View original 1,178 more words

Court rules against meat producers whining about detailed labels

Sex, Spirit, Soul Mates and Chocolate....Ivonne's Journey:

While we are all about the not eating of meat I do think this is a great step in connecting people to the food they are eating to beings, especially if the label connects to a factory farm. We can only hope. And any defeat to the meat industry no matter how minute is a good one.

Originally posted on Eideard:

I’m getting really tired of corporations trying to avoid regulatory responsibility to the public by going the Citizens United route – trying the “corporations are people” crap out on every issue.

North American meat producers lost another court ruling in their bid to defeat mandated labels showing where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered, a decision that may crimp corporations’ efforts to fend off regulation on free-speech grounds.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington…rejected the arguments by trade groups representing meat producers including Tyson Foods and JBS USA Holdings that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s labeling rule violated their First Amendment rights by forcing them to issue statements against their will.

The government’s interest in providing consumers with information overcomes any speech claims raised by the meat companies, U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Williams wrote for a divided panel of 11 judges…

A three-judge panel of the court…

View original 202 more words


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