Month: February 2011

vegan soup to combat your winter cold

Mind over matter, right?  I’ve been willing my body not to get sick.  From a healing shoulder and holidays to work travel and workload, I’ve been giving myself pep talks and vitamin C because “it wasn’t a good time to get sick.”  Even when Chris, a middle school teacher swimming in germs everyday, came home ill I managed to escape.  Ha–take that viruses.  I win and you lose.  In fact, I was just bragging about my tougher-than-nails immune system last week as I was in contact with a few colleagues at work that had minor colds. You know where this is going.  Wham!  The viruses won and I think they’ve invaded every square inch of my body.  It is the kind of cold that makes you curl up like a baby and whine.  Thankfully, Chris humored me and bought me lozenges to reduce the length of my cold and he even made fresh squeezed orange juice for me.  You read that right–fresh squeezed.  Like from real oranges. When he asked what he could make me …

Carrots Love Tomatoes

Every vegetarian gal or guy that has any space at all should try to grow some of her/his own vegetables either in containers on a porch or in the yard.  How have I gone so long without such a must-have, classic book?  This rare treasure among a sea of gardening guides?  Written originally in 1975 and updated in 1998, Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening , published by the well-respected Storey Publishing, should be the bible which we all refer to when deciding where to thoughtfully place each plant in our garden.  Who knew that beans and onions would hinder the growth of one another?  And how did Louise Riotte know that planting celery near cauliflower would deter the white cabbage butterfly?  There are no flashy photographs in this book nor dreamy prose.  Yet there is such a wealth of information here dispersed among simple and informative drawings.  If only I had known last year that dill may affect carrot growth in a negative way, I may have ended up with carrots that weren’t the size …

love and delphinium

Yesterday the touch of the frolicsome breeze seemed harsh, my beloved, and the sun’s beams seemed weak, a mist hid the face of the earth, and the waves of the ocean roared like a tempest. I looked all about me, but saw naught but my own suffering self standing by my side, while the phantoms of darkness rose and fell around me like ravenous vultures. But today Nature is bathed in light, and the roaring waves are calm and the fogs are dispersed.  -from the passage “Resurrection” in The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran This week has not been a good one.  In fact, the last few weeks have been full of fog and rough waves.  Work, sleep, health, guilt, work, stress, late, cold, obligation, forgetting, fears, thoughts, hurry, work.  Sometimes life seems to be moving so fast and racing thoughts fly by so quickly that we are lucky to be able to reach out to grab hold of one to focus on. Get an oil change, clean the house, make dinner, get the project done, …

finding beauty in nature and imperfection: wabi-sabi

Mother Earth News arrived the other day and I was drawn to an article called “Wabi-Sabi: Finding the Beauty and Peace in Ordinary Things” on page 50.  It was an unusual article for Mother, which usually has a focus on things like growing potatoes or installing eco-friendly heating systems.  This then led me to pick up a four month old copy of Whole Living that I’ve been meaning to finish for too long.  To my surprise, there was an article on page 102 called “Wabi Sabi Your Life: Simple Strategies for Embracing Imperfection.” I rarely read an article more than once and I found myself reading these two articles over and over because I felt so connected to this philosophy. What is wabi-sabi you ask?  It sounds like it should be a side to sushi.  It is really hard to find a proper Webster’s definition, but it is a Buddhist and Japanese idea that we should find beauty in flaws and connect with the natural world.  It is open to interpretation, but it seems to have …

Oprah brings veganism mainstream

Hooray for Oprah!  I didn’t get to watch the entire episode today (shoveling snow with the rest of New England), but I did catch the last 15 minutes and what I saw made me so happy! I will admit it, I wrote Oprah off after she gave Kentucky Fried Chicken coupons to the masses in 2009, in turn causing more of a demand for those poor tortured chickens.   Today, she went back up a notch in my book.  Let’s face it, Oprah is one of the most influential celebrities alive today with approximately 23 million viewers inviting her into their living rooms each week.  If she supports going vegan for a week or 21 days, there is a good chance millions of people will at least try.  Peta and the Farm Sanctuary combined can’t get that kind of attention.  Beyond the results of the immediate reduced demand, I see the long term and feel hopeful that people will actually put some thought into just how many animal products they consume on a daily basis. The comments I …