Wednesday, May 12, 2010

♥ Wednesday Favorites: CraftAnon ROCKS! ♥

This Wednesday Favorites I'm featuring some favorite picks from my fellow CraftAnon Street Team Member! Enjoy! ~_^

Skull Balloons Hoodie by Rocky The Zombie:  I'm a huge Rocky fan and she approached me a while back to do some modeling for her awesome designs! I was obviously ecstatic! ^_^ I love all her prints, but this Skull Balloons Hoodie is a favorite I wear all the time ^_^

Kitty Ear Shrug Hoodie by AngryGirl Gear: I've been eyeing up this amazing Kitty Shrug for years! It pretty much speaks for itself, I mean LOOK at it!!! Don't think there's much more awesomeness out there than this! ~_^ 

Purple Leopard Hat by Xannabotx: How epic is this Purple Leopard-spotted toque??  Plus if purple isn't for you, she has lots of other color choices!  

Nature Faery Waist Cincher by Lady Moon Designs: I've had my eye on this Waist Cincher Corset foreverrrr!!! It's absolutely gorgeous and I love all the detailing! Although, you'd better not snag it before I can purchase it! ~_^ 

Victorian Steampunk Corset Arm Warmers by Zen and Coffee: It's hard to choose a favorite amongst all of her amazing arm-warmers, but these Corset Arm-Warmers are just too amazing to ignore! Check out her shop, you're sure to find more awesomeness! ~_^ 

There are so many amazing CraftAnon Street Team Members that it was hard to only pick a few this week! Therefore, I promise more Wednesday Favorites to showcase more of their brilliant talent! In the meantime you can search on Etsy under the tag "CraftAnon Team" to have a look for yourself ~_^
And check out Attack of the Craft! Our new Forum ^_^...we're a lot of fun, I promise! 

Happy Wednesday!!


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Saturday, May 8, 2010

☆ This Mother's Day, Remember the Cows on Dairy Farms... ☆

Yes, that's right, you're about to hear another Vegan spiel ~_^. But before you non-vegans huff and disregard this post, hear it out, especially if you're a mother.

I've been meaning to write about this again for some time, especially with the ridiculous amounts of extra ads I've been seeing everywhere lately for Milk products. >.< If you want the truth and want to do something special this Mother's Day, then read on...

There is quite possibly nothing in the world more sacred than the bond between a Mother and her child. There is some sort of instant connection and an unconditional love that nothing else can match. 

Now Mothers...Imagine your child being ripped from your arms within a day of birth. Then imagine being raped, giving birth again, and have the process repeat itself over and over again. This may seem a bit blunt and harsh, and it is, but it is also only a small glimpse into the life of a Dairy Cow. And before you automatically go into the "well they're just animals" argument; they're not just animals. And they are certainly no different than your cat or dog. Cows are intelligent, emotional, and social creatures. They nurture friendship and even bear grudges. Their bonds to their offspring are equally as strong as yours to your child. When their young are taken from them, they kick stall walls in rage and frustration and literally cry with grief. How heart-breaking is that?! :( 

If you're concerned about the nutritional bullshit your made to believe, time to wake up! It is common knowledge among the medical research field that dairy is bad for you. The Dairy industry has deep Billion-dollar pockets that spew millions into marketing their products. The latest ads are so shameful that they made my jaw drop: chocolate milk is good for you. Even better for you than apple juice, apparently. If you believe this, sorry to be blunt, but you're a moron! Of course it depends on what apple juice we're talking about here, but come on! Seriously!? Oh yeah, and FYI, chocolate milk is perfect for hiding all the blood and puss that pasteurization couldn't. 
The consumption of Dairy products leads to Osteoporosis due to Calcium loss. Yeah, that's right you heard me; Calcium LOSS, not deficiency. Animal proteins decrease the absorbency of certain nutrients by about 50%, calcium and iron included, leading it to build up on the arterial walls as atherosclerotic plaque. On top of that, dairy consumption has also been linked to acne, anemia, arthritis, ADD, ADHD, fibromyalgia, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, poor immune function, allergies, colic, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, autism, Crohn's disease, breast & prostate cancers, and ovarian cancer. And remember that nasty Dioxin? Well it's often found in dairy products, not to mention all the pesticides, hormones, chemicals, and pus and blood found in milk. Gross! Calcium and all those other nutrients claimed to be found in milk are much better sourced from Vegetables. 

Still not convinced? Cows are not magical creatures that lactate continually. They are like all mammals and only lactate when pregnant. So they are kept pregnant their entire short, miserable lives. They are artificially inseminated by what the industry terms as a "rape rack" or by the farmer's arm. No tender loving here. They are milked by horrible machines where their sensitive udders are attached with metal clamps. They are forcefully milked to produce ten times more milk than they normally would. Their living conditions are equally horrible and so is their death after they have been "dried up", abused, and tortured for several miserable years. And don't kid yourself, consuming Dairy also supports the Veal industry! Where do you think those baby cows come from? Dairy cows! The female calves share the same fate as their mothers. 

This really is putting it all quite mildly, the horrors of the dairy industry easily equal, and are argueably worse, than that of the meat industry. If you want more information watch this video ( or check out my longer blogpost regarding the Horrors of the Meat & Dairy Industry if you can't stomach the video (I was literally in tears over it!):

So celebrate all Mothers this Mother's Day, including those poor Cows! Stop consuming Dairy products and do your body and cows a world of good. There are so many alternative products available now that there really is no good excuse. Plus, dairy is nasty, and once you quit consuming it, it will actually taste gross! No joke! 

Don't be responsible for stealing baby cows away from their mothers. Be a good Mama and share the love! ♥ 

Happy Mother's Day!


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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

♥ Wednesday Favorites: Sweets & Snacks! ♥

Keeping with recent posts, I thought that this Wednesday Favorites Post should appropriately be regarding some of my favorite snacks and sweets. I did say that you can be healthy and still have a sweet tooth, didn't I? ~_^ So, here is the proof and my sweet tooth loves me and keeps me happy and healthy... 

1. Endangered Species Chocolate: I am a woman and, stereotypical or not, I LOOOOOOOVE Chocolate! ^_^ So what is a vegan, health freak to do? Well, to start with, cocoa is actually healthy and rich in anti-oxidants. It is unhealthy in most candy bars because there really isn't much cocoa in them at all, just sugar, milk and other crap. So my solution? Vegan dark chocolate! ^_^ There are lots of options out there and once you make the switch you will love it and regular chocolate will taste like crap! I'm not kidding! My favorite is the Endangered Species brand. They are certified Organic, Vegan, Gluten-free, Kosher, and their cocoa is ethically traded! Plus 10% of their net profit goes to help support species, habitat, and humanity! :) 

2. Coconut Milk Ice Cream: There are lots of Ice Cream alternatives now available out there. I've tried anything from the Rice Dream brands, Soy brands, and the latest, Coconut brands! I looooove this yummy "Purely Decadent Coconut Milk" Ice cream alternative because, aside from being Vegan, they're also sweetened with Agave Nectar and beet sugar instead of cane sugar ^_^ Try the Mint Chip Flavor! Mmmmmm mmmmm yummy! It'll make you thankful you're not stealing milk from baby cows ~_^

3. Cosmic Power Cookies: These are seriously the most amazing cookies around! Annnnnnd, what?! They're healthy?? No way! ;) They're packed full of lots of goodness like flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and raisins! Not to mention they're Vegan! Yum yum! For those not fortunate enough to have a Planet Organic in your city the recipe is available online and I HIGHLY recommend trying them for yourself! You'll never look at cookies the same again. ^_^ 


4.LÄRABARs: These yummy treats are made from unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices and are 100% natural, made from whole foods--the way nature intended! Their JŎCALAT line is also made from Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate and is 100% Organic. They are Vegan & Gluten-free and make a great healthy snack!! Much better than a yucky vending machine candy bar, yuck! ~_^

5. Rice Cakes & Peanut Butter!! Ok, so I know, you may think I'm crazy but seriously, there is not much I love more than the combination of a crunchy rice cake and yummy Organic Peanut Butter! ^_^ An easy nutritious snack that makes being healthy rewarding! 

So, before you reach for that tempting candy bar in the vending machine, remind yourself exactly what it is you're looking at. Crap. Pure and simple. Bad for your body, bad for the planet, bad for your mood. The more you remain on a healthy diet, the more those crappy foods will not appeal to you. The last time I gave into a bad candy craving I did not enjoy it. It was actually gross and I realized I really wasn't giving up anything good at all. 
So, stop giving into those gross junky snacks and reach for something healthy! We all have a sweet tooth at some point or another, but there are so many healthy delicious alternatives out there that you won't feel guilty about eating. 

How about you? Any yummy healthy alternatives you'd care to share with the rest of us? ^_^ 



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Monday, May 3, 2010

Love, Life, Happiness: Being Fit & Healthy, Part 2...

It is said that there is nothing that the body can't cure through diet and exercise. 

Diet is absolutely crucial to a healthy body and mind, as discussed in Part One of this segment. However, diet is only half the battle and without exercise you won't get results. 

A few things to keep in mind...

Choosing physical activity that you enjoy is important if you want to stay motivated. And it definitely doesn't mean you are restricted to the gym. Be adventurous and don't be afraid to try new things! Maybe Yoga interests you? Or perhaps something like mountain biking? How about a sport? The options are endless and feel free to change it up as often as you like. 

Now I don't want to hear excuses about not having time. Make time! Re-arrange your schedule if you have to but quit making yourself pitiful excuses (yeah, you know they're excuses as well as I do). Remember, a happy body is a happy mind. ^_^ 
The benefits of exercise are endless! Physical activity stimulates the brain, leaving you feeling happy and de-stressed! It enhances your mood, and fights depression when done regularly. It fights disease (it can reduce the risk of Breast Cancer by up to 60%!!). Exercise will also help you lose weight, boost your energy levels (see? who needs caffeine? ~_^), helps you sleep better, alleviates menstrual cramps, improves appetite for healthy foods, and even makes you poop better! See, it rocks!! Now do it!! ~_^

It is best to workout in the morning if you can, as it helps to boost the brain and body at the start of your day. This means you're less likely to eat crap after a good workout, and you're less likely to make up excuses not to work out later in the day. However fitting in physical activity where you can is obviously better than no exercise at all.

My health routine...

I've fallen in love with exercising (and you will too!!)! It took me a long time to get off my sorry ass though and actually commit to it. I used to be a miserable, inactive slob and never had the motivation. Finally, I forced myself into a routine and haven't looked back since. Now I'd have to actually make the effort NOT to workout! That's how much it's become a natural part of my life. Oh and my depression kicked the final boot thereafter as well. Who knew? 

I personally dislike gyms, but that's just me. One of my best investments was into an Elliptical machine I could use from home. No more getting to and from the gym. Just wake up, stretch, and workout from the comfort of my own home. I love the elliptical because its low impact, meaning less stress on my body, as opposed to running on a treadmill. I do love to run, but Edmonton's weather sucks for 60% of the year, making that difficult. So that's my cardio. I also do a good stretch everyone morning (whether I workout or not) before and after exercise. To tone up, I use the "Skinny Bitch" fitness DVDs. Yes, I'm clearly a fan of theirs haha, but they work!! I've managed to get rid of areas that I used to be self-conscious about because of those DVDs! And they'll kick your butt! No kidding! ~_^

I typically exercise every single day for at least 30 minutes (not including stretching). The Elliptical takes up at least five days a week. The DVDs alternate every two days or so either by themselves or before my cardio. I'll randomly do push-ups and other such things, but I find the others work much better and get me better results. 

So, there you have it. Now, stop making excuses and get on that healthy diet and exercise lifestyle and watch your life (and body) transform!! 

Love & Bruises, 

~Bianca xo 

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