Veg Option Allies and Advocates - Vegetarian Food Festival NYC

Nicole Eisenberg has been a vegan advocate for seven years. Realizing how difficult it could be for those with a plant-based lifestyle to have conversations with omnivores, she founded Veg Option Allies & Advocates (VOAA).

VOAA aims to knock down walls between vegans and non-vegans by joining them together to break bread at delicious events to respectfully engage in conversation.

Hear more about VOAA and upcoming events from Nicole at the Vegetarian Food Festival in NYC.

Social Media @vegallies

Save Marine Life and Reduce Plastic Waste with Beer

IStock - Trash Floating in the Ocean
Reducing our plastic consumption and finding new, innovative materials to make many pre-existing items out is the way to go. One thing that doesn't need to exist, and definitely doesn't need to be made out of plastic is canned six pack rings.

While it doesn't stop it from being eaten, as a kid I was always told to cut the rings with a scissor to prevent animals from getting stuck. People put emphasize on ocean creatures getting stuck in the rings, and forget that local wildlife are affected by our trash habits too. Birds, squirrels, cats, raccoons, possums and chipmunks are more likely to hurt themselves on trash that has made its way on to the city pavement. I once chased a street cat 2 blocks to try to remove a plastic bag handle from around its neck. Since most folk aren't in the habit of cutting or disposing their trash consciously, redesigning or getting rid of certain packaging altogether seems like a good idea.

Guerrilla Wearfare Pro-Veg Clothing - Green Festival NYC

Trying to share information about the impact eating vegetarian, vegan, or less meat in general has on the body, mind, environment and economy is no easy task. Vegheads are usually met with sighs, eye-rolling and complaints about their food choices being respected.

Fortunately, pictures are worth a thousand words, and Christopher Baez of Guerrilla Wearfare has brought his message down to street level with thought provoking tees for every day wear.

Amphora Indoor Hydroponics Planter by Cloud Farms - Green Festival NYC

I love gardening, but living in an apartment in Queens, NY, options are limited. I made the main window area in the front of my apartment a sun room, full of house plants some some edible plants I have growing in containers. My basil is doing great, and I've grown several more plants from cuttings of it. I also have an avocado tree growing from a pit, and pineapple from the scrap top of one that I ate one time.

While I adore picking off basil to eat fresh in my recipes, or dry out to save for later, I could live without all the dirt. Especially since I seem to get spider mites on the edible plants. I found them hiding out in the dirt during the winter. I've changed the dirt and cleaned the plants which did help, but all it takes is one hiding out somewhere to find its way back. I just need to dump everything and start again, but getting some hydroponics in my apartment would definitely stop them from hiding out inside the soil.

The Amphora by Cloud Farms is an indoor, hydroponics, "vase" that grows herbs without the use of soil. It holds enough water for the life time of your plant, so it never needs to be watered, which is great for conservation and efficiency. And laziness and forgetfulness, let's be real. Up to 8 plants can be grown with a single kit, for about a years worth of herby goodness. For more about Amphora, check out my video below with it's inventor, Bradley Ferrada at the Green Festival in NYC.


Twig Terrariums at the Philadelphia Flower Show

I have always loved Terrariums! Mini, self sustaining eco-systems inside of glass that remind us of the interconnections of life, and our part as humans in maintaining that system. Applying that to the bigger picture of the Earth's environment, just leave shit alone and stop messing with it so much, it knows what it's doing.

Plus, terrariums are miniature worlds, and who doesn't love a good tiny thing? Twig Terrariums from Brooklyn, NY do just that, creating small worlds you can hold in your hands.

Katy Maslow, co-founder of Twig, invited me to the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 5-13th where they were exhibiting. I took the time to do a quick video with them in all the hub bub, so come dive into the tiny world of Twig.

287 3rd Avenue Brooklyn, NY

The Philadelphia Flower Show - March 2016


I couldn't turn down a last minute invitation from Twig Terrariums to visit the Philadelphia Flower Show last weekend. I do love me some nature of all sorts. I went down on Friday March 11th and was able to snap some pictures and soak in some flowery atmosphere. Had a really nice day! Check out the Flickr Set.

The Florida Everglades are in Terrible Shape

Photo: Everglades Foundation

Every day we seem to come across climate change and environmental debates. From what is a hoax, to what there isn't enough proof of to make conclusions about, to politicians favoring corporations and abolishing policies that protect the environment. What does one believe with all the confusing and contradicting information out there?

While everyone is arguing and trying to dismiss each other, the physical impact of our neglect and poor decisions are right there in our faces and hard to ignore. So, I wonder often, how can we actually BE ignoring these things?

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower Karaage with Scallion Pancakes

I love the reduced produce section of my supermarket. I always end up with a ton of something random for really cheap. This time it was cauliflower. I had JUST finished watching an episode of Shokugeki no Soma where there was a karaage competition, and I was inspired!

Plant Based Cool Chocolate Mint Cake Topped with Pudding and Strawberries

When I want treats, I just mix things together in the kitchen. I'm no chef, and I don't do measurements. I've just cooked enough in my life to know what amounts sorta work, what causes issues, how textures and thicknesses of batters are supposed to be, etc. So if you are new to baking, or meticulous about measurements, you will hate me. 

But if you are an experienced, clean eating, and plant-based kind of person, the experiments I do around here will give you some ideas. One day I will get more organized for a cookbook, until then, meh.

This chocolate, peppermint gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, dairy-free, oil-free and sugar-free cake with a coconut cream pudding and fresh strawberries was such a wonderful summer goodie. It actually would have been better if the mint was put in the pudding, and not baked in with the cake, but still tasty. 

Cruise Ships and Excessive Water Pollution

If you thought peeing in the ocean was kind of of gross, imagine the cruise ship industry dumping about 3.8 BILLION tons of raw bodily fluids into the ocean every year, the majority of it untreated. Poop, pee, vomit, feminine hygiene stuff. I'm talking the whole lot here, my friends. The whole nasty lot.

The idea that billions of tons of crap is floating around in the ocean doesn't exactly make me want to take a trip to the beach, or enjoy some wild caught fish that could be sick or contaminated any time soon. Gross factor is not the biggest issue here though. The vacationers waste that is flushed into the ocean by these "luxury floating toilets" directly harm whales, dolphins, other marine life, while destroying the fragile ecosystems within the waters.

Gluten Free, Soy Free Asian Dumplings and Noodles

I never spend time cooking for just myself. Seems like a whole lot of time wasted just to eat. Eh, I don't need to impress myself with a fancy meal. If it can't get thrown together in less than 10 minutes or be put in a slow cooker, I don't want it.

However, after I saw a recipe for gluten free dumpling skins from Girl With Spoons official website, I had to get busy! I am not gluten intolerant, just a little sensitive to it, so I try to save my gluten for certain meals I must have and can't make good enough gluten free.

Kickin' Creamy Raw Carrot Pasta Sauce

  • Fresh baby carrots
  • Cashews (sunflower seeds work well too if allergies are an issue)
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Hemp seed powder (why not?)
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (omit if you don't want your pasta kickin'!)
  • Sea salt
  • Water  

Calculate & Offset Your Carbon Footprint!

Climate change, global warming, carbon emissions, carbon footprint and a whole bunch of other words you've probably heard people mention when worrying about the environment. What the heck is a carbon footprint, why does it need to be reduced, and how does one go about doing that, anyway?

Simply put, a carbon footprint of individuals, businesses, systems or other organizations is measured by its total emissions of greenhouse gas. The greenhouse gas total of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions are measured by using a GHG emissions assessment or carbon accounting

Help Plant A Million Trees in NYC

I have been seeing the Million Trees NYC efforts all around my neighborhood for a while now. It started with TD Bank putting advertisements up on their windows, and participating in events around New York City. I spotted TD Bank at The Worlds Fair Anniversary in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens with this awesome nature habitat inside of a truck. If you took a tour of the truck, you would get a cool, million trees reusable shopping bag. The line was ginormous, so I sadly did not get to see the truck, or get the nifty bag. Reusable shopping bags are my jam.

TD Bank Tree Trailer - Worlds Fair Anniversary, Queens NY
The Green Monger

 Then I started seeing trees actually being planted around the neighborhood, and spots drawn on the sidewalk to mark out where future trees were going to be planted.

Global Impact of Climate Change

Asian Development Bank / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Scientists, politicians, and everyone in between have been debating climate change for the last few decades. All this back and forth leaves citizens playing monkey in the middle and scratching their heads trying to figure out what's-what.

Scientific, research, evidence, and some good old fashioned observation will show you that the weather is changing around the world. Climate change is natural, and has been occurring on the Earth for billions of years. More recently though, as industrialization, and the population of humans on this planet increases, so does the acceleration of climate change, and negative ecological situations in general. With so much unsustainable activity going on, the atmosphere is getting an overdose of gas emissions which are already causing trouble to our delicate eco-system. Talk about fanning the flames.

12 Reasons To Shop and Eat Local

 Local, small business shopping and eating is important to the growth and expansion of our communities and cities. The benefits of local shopping impact  health, economics, the environment and your community as a whole. Even doing a portion of your shopping and eating at local, non-franchise businesses can show change in your neighborhood and the surrounding areas.

Awesome Accidental Vegan Instant Pudding

This creation started after a botched smoothie a few months ago. The Indian markets in my neighborhood have Psyllium Husk, which had a packaging that had always intrigued me. I like old school graphics, and they sold me. I looked up what exactly it was, and it turns out, its pretty damned good for me too, so I picked up a box. 

Psyllium Husk is the husk of the seed of the Plantago herb. It it a good source of fiber, and has a lot of intestinal and colon cleansing benefits. Seemed like a good thing to put into my smoothies, so I made one of my favorites; peanut butter banana rice milk. I sprinkled a bit of the husks and chia seeds in it and Vitamixed it up adding rice milk as necessary until it was slightly less thick than I wanted it to be. Chia seeds tend to soak up moisture and thicken it after it sits.

Sustainable Wooden Hula Hoop

getting my LED hoop on.
I LOVE hula hooping. I have a small collection of different kinds of hoops. A quick search of "hoop dancing" on YouTube will have you clicking through many awesome, talented people hooping in all different styles. When I hoop, it is a magically special and invigorating feeling. While I am spinning, I feel at one with the universe.

While hula hoops are great, they clash a bit with my desire to live as eco-friendly and non-toxic as possible. Hula Hoops are made from PVC plastics which are not good for people or the environment during their production and disposal. Plastic is an awesome idea, but it just sucks for the environment. Plastic wastes fossil fuels, and takes takes 450 to 1000 years or more to degrade while leaching chemicals into the air, ground and water in the process.

Much less than 10% of our plastic is recycled. Much of it ends up in the ocean, and the 315 billion pounds of plastic soup patches floating in it are a painful karma for our consumption. With the hot sun beaming on it, the plastic breaks down into smaller pieces and goo that are harmful for the water, the marine life and ultimately, us.