October is GMO Awareness Month

gmo awareness

This month is almost over and I have not written about GMOs (genetically modified foods) yet. Shame on me! I am a huge opponent of anyone messing with our food supply, especially when they influence our politicians to get their way… meaning “making sure they make billions of dollars and do not have to tell consumers what they are doing.” Can you say deceptive advertising? How about unethical?  Hopefully, most of you know about them, but in case you don’t…

What are GMOs? To answer that question I will let Monsanto tell you in their own words. I swiped this directly off Monsanto’s website: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) – Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (copied) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism.

Who and what is Monsanto?

Monsanto is one of the largest pharmaceutical and agricultural companies that produces genetically modified foods and seeds, drugs, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. This multibillion dollar company has other branches in 100 different countries and is the main producer of genetically modified crops and seeds in the world.

Monsanto was declared the third most hated corporation in 2014. Why is that you ask?

In a Harris Poll this year measuring the “reputation quotient” of major companies, Monsanto ranked third-lowest, above BP (BP) and Bank of America (BAC) and just behind Halliburton (HAL). For much of its history it was a chemical company, producing compounds used in electrical equipment, adhesives, plastics, and paint. Some of those chemicals—DDT, Agent Orange, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)—have had long and controversial afterlife. The company is best known, however, as the face of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Next week voters in several states will decided whether or not GMO foods should be labeled. Monsanto, other chemical companies and the grocery manufacturers association are pouring millions of dollars into misleading and deceptive advertising to scare these people from voting yes. It worked in California two years ago and they are hoping it works again. If you think our government will do the right thing and have these foods labeled, forget it. Michael Taylor, the former vice president of Monsanto now runs our FDA. Who do you think he will side with? President Obama appointed him. Shame on him!

In the menu section of my blog  you can find companies who are GMO free. The only way we can make change is to vote with our wallets. It is up to each of to educate ourselves as to what is in our food.  The buck stops with each of us. There are many reputable websites who already did this for us as well. Here are a few:

Food Babe

Non-GMO Project

Institute for Responsible Technology

Before I forget here is a list of “natural” food companies who pretend to care about your health and also give millions to make sure you don’t know what you are eating. I stopped buying from these companies months ago and will never be their customers again. There are too many legitimate companies who deserve my dollars instead.

natural foods betrayal

Be Well and Be a Savvy Consumer,

Ingebird

Haute Dogs Howl’oween Parade

 

I am guesstimating there was 2,000+ humans and their pets at today’s pet parade. Lot’s more than I expected. Judging by the huge turnout, this event is a big deal in Long Beach. Parking was tough but I found a spot three blocks away in the neighborhood. The weather was typical Southern California…. fabulous!

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I snapped a few photos before the parade began.

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This is Max. He was one of the spectators. I think he was smiling the whole time.

And the parade starts! There was lots of tail wagging. I truly believe the dogs knew something special was happening. At the end of the event awards were given out for the best costumes. In my opinion, all the participants were winners, so I have no idea who won. Look at all the work that went into these costumes and floats!

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Yes! This is a bunny!

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Kitty witch

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Well, that’s the end of the parade…

Now for a big THANK YOU to the wonderful sponsors who helped make this parade possible… they gave out doggie treats to the contestants.

Pussy and Pooch Pet Grooming

Alpha Pet Care  Pet Sitters

Total Pet Spa (they sell doggie wash you can use in between Fidos bath.)

Pet Sit Pros Pet Sitters

It’s a Doggie’s Life  Handmade Dog Treats

Healthy Spot Day Care and Day Spa

Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Doggie Dinners

Dogma Pet Portraits

RSQUE Brand Pet and People Clothing

A few rescue groups were there and brought along some furbabies looking for a furrever home:

Rescue Me Pups

Gone to the Dogs

Halloween is my favorite holiday and this year was the best. I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Be Well and Be Happy!

Ingebird

 

Here’s What I Eat

veg

People ask me what I eat since I became vegan, so I decided to share that information today,  but first a little back story…

First of all, I LOVE food! I worked in restaurants for over twenty years because I enjoy food AND the camaraderie that is shared when dining with friends and loved ones. I never worked for fancy establishments. I enjoy the feel of a family restaurant instead.

Getting cancer changed my thoughts about that.

Hubby and I do not eat out nearly as often as we used to because, too be honest, I am more educated about what is “hiding” in the foods we eat; the additives, hormones, preservatives, antibiotics and most recently, genetically altered ingredients. The majority of restaurants get their food “ready” made because it’s cheaper and faster to prepare. Those premade foods contain the same additives you find on your grocery store shelves. I prefer to make food at home, from scratch, that way I know exactly what I’m eating. For the most part it doesn’t take any longer than it did when I opened a jar, can or box of processed foods to make a meal. If I do buy something processed, I read the label and you can bet it will be organic. The name “natural” means absolutely nothing. It is not regulated by the FDA like the word “organic.”

These days there are so many wonderful websites dedicated to healthy recipes, I cannot keep up with them all. Pinterest is another great place where I go to. Betty Crocker move over, the Internet is the place to go for the latest, healthiest and tastiest recipes, most of them from regular people like you and me. Many are easy to make, so you have no excuse, you don’t have time to cook or prepare something, if you’re a raw food enthusiast, it’s even easier (no cooking involved).

When my son was tall enough to reach the stove, I taught him to cook. It’s so important to teach our kids to be self sufficient. It’s  cheaper to cook from scratch than eat fast food three times a day, not to mention, that “junk” has zero nutritional value! Preparing food as a family is a good way to bond and catch up with what’s going on in your kids lives. If you would like know why eating together is beneficial and how to make it happen, you can visit the Family Dinner Project.

I decided to go vegan because I was vegetarian eight years before that and I use that term loosely. I claimed to be vegetarian but one important thing was missing from my diet… the vegetables! Canned corn, refried beans, salsa and chips don’t cut it and that’s what I was eating. Now my diet consists of eighty-percent raw fruits and vegetables. I don’t worry about how many servings I’m eating, it’s the ratio that matters to me. My diet varies but not by much. For the most part I am a creature of habit. I  want nutritious meals that are easy to prepare and don’t take more than thirty minutes to fix.

This is a typical meal I have throughout the day. Oh, and another thing I almost forgot to mention; I am a grazer, meaning I eat several small meals throughout the day.

Breakfast:

1 cup of organic coffee with a tsp. sucant, organic soy milk
1 slice Ezekiel raisin toast with raw almond or peanut butter

Snack:

Handful organic Medjool dates or
1 banana or
handful raw trail mix

 

Lunch:

Large salad: organic spring salad mix, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, black beans (if on sale, avocado) drizzled with homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing or

Lettuce or broccoli slaw, tomato, hummus sandwich in a wrap (I like to add a smear of Veganese dressing) If its on sale, I add avocado.

Snack:

Seasonal fruit, apple dipped in nut butter (peanut or almond)

 

Dinner:

I switch off sautéing or steaming: veggies (broccoli, sweet onions, red peppers, yams, brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas) I don’t cook all those ingredients for one meal. I rotate them, maybe using four types of veggies at a time. If I sauté, I cook them on medium high heat for five minutes, turn off the heat and let them sit covered for another ten. In order to get the most nutritional benefit from your veggies, they should have a slight crunch when you eat them. I also use either olive oil or coconut oil to cook them in. Sometimes, I put the veggies over brown rice and drizzle organic soy sauce over them. If I have hummus left over, I dip my veggies in it.

Late snacks are similar to what I eat during the day. If its cold outside, I make myself a small bowl of oatmeal with soy milk and raisins.

Now for my daily green smoothie. I make it right after breakfast and drink it throughout the day, along with my eight glasses of spring water. I do not have a water purifier because, to be honest, its not in our budget at the moment. I buy spring water in gallon jugs and refill them four times at the water purifier station at my grocer before buying new ones. I know someone will freak out if they read this but we all have to do the best we can with the resources we have. I don’t have an expensive juicer or blender either. I bought a Breville Fountain over three years ago and it’s going strong. My blender is Black and Decker 700 watts, it doesn’t purify the ingredients as much as a Vitamix, but I am happy with the results. My digestive tract can do the rest.

That’s it. Now you know what I eat. I do have dark chocolate, cupcakes, and cookies on occasion but I make sure I know what’s in them before I indulge myself.

Be Well and Be Happy!

Ingebird