30 March 2011

My Thoughts On The Crisis In Japan - March 30th, 2011

I heard about the Japan earthquake and tsunami about 2 hours after it happened. I was in complete shock and devastated. Japan is a heavily populated area, especially considering the land size of the country. I love Japanese people and culture. In fact, my step father and step brothers are Japanese and I love them dearly.

I have read many news articles and watched videos of desperate people in Japan. I have seen some videos on Youtube of people in Japan who have been told they are not to drink the tap water, or even take a shower. That is really scary because you can't even cook any foods with water. People are saying they are getting constant nose bleeds, meaning they are probably already poisoned with radiation. Food is contaminated there as well. Japanese people who already have passports are fleeing the country, and I don't blame them. I would do the same thing. But what about those who don't have passports or the means of leaving Japan? Our news and media are not telling us what is REALLY happening over there. The situation, particularly the radiation situation, far worse than what we are being told. It's hysteria over there. The media says that only 11,000 people were killed in the tsunami/quake when the numbers are really much higher than that. You can find videos on youtube of people who are in Japan right now, saying that their news says things quite different than what our news is saying.

I have a few questions though. Is their government finally going to admit to the Japanese people that they messed up and EVERYONE in Japan needs to leave? Is our government going to have to help evacuate these people? Where can these people go to detox and get the radiation out of their bodies? Would our citizens willingly accept all of Japan into our country?


I wish there was an easy solution. I do pray that people have learned that nuclear power is not needed. Clean power needs to be created and we should  be investing a MAJORITY of our money in that, instead of wars, instead of "natural" gas, (which is contaminating tap water here in the US already, I learned this from watching Gasland from netflix), instead of developing genetically modified foods, instead of developing more hazardous vaccines. Technology does move fast, but right now the development for CLEAN, truly clean, energy is needed. We can not rely on fossil fuels, "natural" gas and nuclear power any longer. There has to be a better way. Money needs to be spend a MAJORITY on sustainability. Sustainability is the only thing that will keep our entire world out of crisis. Going back to our roots. Gardens in every back yard and front yard. No more use of pesticides on food or chemicals in the home. I've seriously considered going to live with the Amish, because when the economy collapses they will be the ones we will look to for skills in staying alive and thriving.

Anyway, I think you get the point. I am done with my "rant/opinion" post. I rarely post things like this, because I like to keep my blog very positive, but I hope my "rant" has given you some things to think about.
I hope everyone continues to donate money to Japan, particularly, for bottled water and food. I pray that everyone in Japan is protected from radiation poisoning as much as possible.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

26 March 2011

Earth Hour - March 26th 2011 8:30pm - 9:30pm

Earth Hour is a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people from 128 countries participated in this movement last year. This year's Earth Hour is on March 26th 2011 at 8:30pm. The celebration is about protecting Mother Earth. At 8:30pm people from around the globe turn off all their power for one hour to bring awareness to climate change and to show the Earth that we still do care about her. Earth Hour was started by the World Wildlife Fund, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and protecting animals and the environment.



Our Earth deserves to thrive and be healthy. One person can make a huge difference, imagine what an impact millions can have.
I hope all you take the opportunity to join myself and millions of others in this event.


Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

21 March 2011

Meatless Monday - Vegan Spring Rolls & 10 Minute Peanut Butter Cups

I'm posting 2 recipes today. Both are delicious. The first is vegan spring rolls which are perfect since it's the beginning of spring now. I also love spring rolls. I could eat them all day every day. The second is vegan peanut butter cups because I LOVE peanut butter and chocolate, such an awesome combination.


Vegan Spring Rolls: (Gluten-Free if you buy rice pastry sheets that do not have wheat):
1 package 8-inch square frozen spring roll rice sheets, thawed
1 squash of your choice, julienne
1 can water chestnuts drained and chopped coarsely
1 large carrot grated
2 - 2 inch pieces of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped or grated (optional)
2 cups or more of cabbage-regular or Chinese variety finely chopped OR spring salad mix
2 cups fresh bean sprouts (optional)
1/2 cup organic celery, finely sliced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil


(this recipe makes about 12 spring rolls)
Visit this website to see pics on how to roll the spring rolls. When rolling them make sure they don't touch each other. The rice roll pastry is very sticky.

After you rolls some of each ingredient in the rice roll sheets you can fry them on the stove with some olive oil until they are crispy on each side. OR boil them in water for 30 seconds for each spring roll. Either way tastes great, boiling them is a little more "fresh" tasting. You can also make several of these and freeze them. After they are frozen you can pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.


Peanut Sauce for Spring Rolls
Recipe from www.lovesveggiesandyoga.com
1/3 cup peanut better
1/4 cup maple and agave blend
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup apple cidar vinegar or orange juice
1 tsp ginger powder (optional)

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. I'd add some minced garlic to this as well (only because I really love garlic)


Now for dessert. I copied the recipe from the www.lovesveggiesandyoga.com  which is my new favorite recipe site because it has great pictures on making these vegan peanut butter cups. These are so simple to make and I'm sure all my readers would devour these as quickly as possible. Yum!


Averie’s (Raw if You Want) 3-Ingredient, 10-Minute Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 c melted chocolate (i.e. 2 Full-Size Squares of Melted Baker’s Brand Chocolate because it’s dairy-free, or melt 1/2 c Chocolate Chips, or a Cocoa Powder/Agave/Coconut Oil Mix)

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1/2 Tsp Nooch (i.e. Nutritional Yeast)
Yields: 2 Peanut Butter Cups.  Intentionally a very small recipe, feel free to mass-produce.
First, melt your chocolate (Raw Foodies, use whatever ratios of raw cocoa powder, agave, & coconut oil suits you to keep it raw).  I use the 45 seconds in the microwave trick and melted about 1/4 c worth, which is 1 Baker’s Chocolate Full-Sized Square. (You’ll melt the other square later).

Then, take paper muffin liners and Pour the Melted Chocolate in, just coating the bottom of the liners. 
Mix up the Filling
2 Tbsp PB + 1/2 Tsp Nooch
Optional: Dash of Salt, Dash of Agave, Dash of Vanilla Extract.  This is to your taste and highly subjective, so do as you wish friends, but I think my version is quite Reese’s-like.
If you’re having a hard time getting your nooch well-incorporated into your PB, zap in the micro for 15 seconds.
I love how the nooch actually gives the PB that barely there, ever-so-slight chunky factor like the filling in Reese’s Cups is.
Spoon the Filling into the now-hardened (or somewhat hardened) Chocolate Layer

Pour more Chocolate over the Top.  I melted up 1 more square now. 
Transfer your cups carefully to a plate

Put them in the Fridge to Harden Fully
And look at how chilly & yummy that looks!
Unwrap & Notice the rippled or ruffled Reese’s-like edges.



I hope you enjoy these recipes!
Peace, Love, Wealth
The Progressive Mama
Kimra Diggs

03 March 2011

SAME Cafe in Denver - Organic food that everyone can afford, literally.





At SAME cafe (So All May Eat) you will see a menu of delicious healthy organic food. All the food is locally grown and prepared by volunteers. The menu does not have prices on it. Prices are donations. You can choose to donate your time working at the restaurant or you can donate whatever you can afford for you meal. SAME cafe's “philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy food while being treated with dignity.” They have very little overhead because everyone who prepares the food are volunteers.
I love this idea. It reminds me of times when people used bartering for services and food. I think this idea could really take off and expand through the country.
Learn more by watching this video.

So All May Eat from OrganicNation on Vimeo.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama




28 February 2011

Meatless Monday - Arugula Pesto


I veganized this recipe from Simply Recipes (photo above). It is also raw now too.
2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold 1st pressed if possible)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (or other salt)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
note: if your food processor is not very powerful soak your walnut and cashew in warm water for a 1-2 hours to soften them.

Food processor method: Grind the walnuts and cashews until they are as powdery as possible. Combine the arugula, salt, salt and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl.
Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.
Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.
Serve with pasta, over a salad, cold or hot pasta, or as a sauce for pizza. I love pesto spread in veggie sandwiches.
 
Variations: use the same amount of spinach, basil or cilantro to make different types of pestos. I like making mine with fresh spinach and cilantro combined.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

Change of Heart - What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change

Today I was checking out what of my favorite blogs The Discerning Brute and I came across this book called Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change by Nick Cooney. I started looking around the internet and have found that this book is awesome. One reviewer of the book said "A must-read for anyone wants to make a positive change in the world". I plan on purchasing this book tomorrow because it seems right up my alley.

Here's a description of the book from Amazon.com: "Should anti-war protestors use graphic images to get public support for their cause, or will such images turn the public off? In encouraging the public to adopt sustainable behaviors, should environmental organizations ask for small changes like using fluorescent light bulbs or big changes like giving up cars? Why do most Americans say they oppose the cruel practices of factory farms and sweatshops yet still buy products from these places? And how can non-profits get more people to say yes to their requests to volunteer, donate, recycle, write a letter to a political prisoner, support gay rights, go vegetarian, conserve energy or make other positive changes?
Scientific research has generated a wealth of information on how people can be persuaded to alter their behaviors, yet this body of knowledge has been largely ignored by those working to improve society. Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change brings this information to light so that non-profits, community organizers and others can make science-driven decisions in their advocacy work. The book examines over 80 years of empirical research in areas including social psychology, communication studies, diffusion studies, network systems and social marketing, distilling the highlights into easy-to-use advice and serving as a psychology primer for anyone wanting to spread progressive social change.
 Nick Cooney is the founder and director of The Humane League, an animal advocacy organization based in Philadelphia, PA that focuses on farm animal protection issues. Nick has written for publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and Z Magazine, and his advocacy work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. Nick holds a degree in Non-Violence Studies from Hofstra University and formerly worked conducting nutrition education programs with the University of Pennsylvania's Urban Nutrition Initiative."
 
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

22 February 2011

Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes Naturally

I watched this documentary on youtube and I have to share it with the world.


Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes Naturally








I hope you enjoyed and learned something to help change your life. Please visit www.RawFor30Days.com for more information.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

21 February 2011

Meatless Monday - St. Patrick's Day Happy Irish Beer Bread & Traditional Irish Colcannon Potatoes and Cabbage

I am posting these recipes because St. Patrick's Day is coming up and I have many vegan friends who happen to enjoy some great tasting beers. I also posted a veganized traditional Irish Colcannon Potatoes and Cabbage recipe for all of you wanting to really celebrate St. Patrick's Day right. Enjoy!
St. Patrick's Day Happy Irish Beer Bread 
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 oz stout beer list of vegan friendly beers
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg (optional)

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It couldn't be easier!
 

Ingredients:

  • water for boiling
  • 5 large potatoes
  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. In a separate pot, boil the cabbage in water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In another pot or skillet, cook leeks in soy milk until tender, about 15 minutes.
When potatoes are done cooking, mash them together with leeks, soy milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add cabbage and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

14 February 2011

Meatless Monday - Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (way better than cinnabun)

Our family does a Christmas breakfast every year. While the rest of my family eats bacon, sausage, and eggs; my hubby and I munch on these wonderful vegan cinnamon rolls. This recipe is a modification from VeganYumYum. Her recipe is delicious as well, mine is just has more sugar, more butter, and more frosting. I'm the Paula Deen of vegan food. Haha. This is why I only make this recipe once a year. If I made this recipe every weekend I wouldn't be in the shape I am now.

Ingredients:
Yeast mixture:
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
Dough:
1 cup almond, rice, or other alternative milk
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (Spectrum brand preferred)
2 teaspoons salt
2 Ener-G egg replacer eggs prepared with warm water
Yeast mixture from above
6 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading

Filling:
1/2 cup earth balance margarine (melted)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Sauce:
1/2 cup earth balance margarine (melted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon



Creamcheese frosting:
1/2 cup earth balance margarine
2/3 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Directions (same as a on VeganYumYum):
Combine yeast mixture and set aside to proof in warm area.
From the dough ingredients, combine the alternative milk, sugar, earth balance, salt, and ener-g eggs in a small sauce pan. Heat until earth balance is melted and all the ingredients are well combined, but do not let the mixture get too hot. You should be able to put a finger in it without burning yourself.
The yeast should now be nice and foamy (proofed). Combine it with the warmed liquid you just made; make sure it’s not too hot, or you will kill your yeast.
Place 4 cups of all purpose flour in a large bowl. Add the warmed wet ingredients.
Beat the batter well with a wooden spoon. The dough will be very wet and liquid, much more like a batter than a dough.
Add 2 more cups of flour and mix in partially. It’ll look like a wreck. That’s fine! Turn out the dough onto a large table/kneading surface, scraping out everything in the bowl.
Time to get your hand dirty!
Begin kneading, gently at first. It’s going to take about 8 minutes to get the dough where it needs to be. Add more flour only if the dough starts sticking to the table and there is no more dry flour to be worked into the dough. You want the dough to end up smooth and elastic, and slightly tacky, but not sticky. You should be able to knead it on a bare table without it sticking.
Once the dough is ready, place it in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled plastic wrap, to rise for 90 minutes in a warm spot. If you’re lacking a warm spot, turn your oven on low for 1 minute, then turn it off and place the dough in the oven to rise with the door closed. Remember to turn the oven off after one minute, and remember the dough is in there — no preheating for other things!
Once the dough has risen completely, it’ll leave a little dent when you poke it. If it springs back, it needs more time.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press it down.
You want it press or roll it out into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle. You can use a roller if you want, but it’s not necessary.
Pour the 1/2 cup of melted earth balance on the dough. Brush it so the dough is covered completely. It’s okay if it pools in some locations.
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar from the dough filling above. Sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
Prepare a large baking dish, like a lasagna dish, by pouring in the melted earth balance from the pan sauce ingredients above. Brush the sides of the pan so they are greased. 
Add the sugar, spreading evenly over the bottom of pan. The pan is now ready for the buns.
The following steps are shown in detail in the video above: Roll the dough up gently, starting from one of the short sides. Let it rest on the seem once it’s rolled up completely. Cut 12 rolls with dental floss or sewing thread. Place the rolls in the pan.
Cover the buns and let rise for 45 minutes if you will be baking these immediately. If baking the next day, cover the buns and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. (I think doing it overnight is optimal).
Bake in the morning with no need for more rising. If making the buns for a date in the future, cover the buns and freeze immediately. The day before you are ready to use them, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then let warm up on the counter the next morning for an hour. In any case, when ready to bake, follow the directions below.
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, remembering to remove the rising buns if they are in there!
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. While letting the buns cool whip up the frosting ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.
Liberally cover in frosting and devour them!!!!

Peace, Love, Wealth,
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama



07 February 2011

Meatless Monday - Healthy Vegan Nacho Dip

My family recently became in love with cashews. My 20 month old son eats them raw and my hubby loves the recipes I've been making with cashews. This is one recipe that I created and I hope you all enjoy it. 
Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews (unsalted)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (which you can find at any health food store, it happens to be at the regular grocery store here)
2 teaspoons chili powder (I use the mild kind)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (or other salt)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup smart balance or earth balance buttery spread

1/2 cup alternative milk (almond, coconut, soy, or rice)
Directions:
Pulverize the cashews in a food processor or blender until powdery fine. If your food processor is not very powerful, soak the cashews in water the night before, drain the water and let the cashews dry as much as possible before pulverizing. Mine happens to get the job done without soaking.
Add the nutritional yeast flakes, chili powder, minced garlic, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sea salt and paprika to the cashews and blend together for just about 10 seconds.
On the stove put the buttery spread and the alternative milk in a sauce pan. Heat on medium until the butter is all melted, then add everything from the food processor.
Lower the heat to low and stir everything together. You may want to add more milk if you want your "dip" to be more smooth. I happen to like mine thick. You can also add more seasonings if you want to. I sometimes add more garlic. It depends on my mood.
This recipe is high in protein and healthy fats (which are great for you complexion) and it tastes awesome.
Use this dip with corn chips, veggies, or spread on pizza dough for a nacho pizza. This recipe is very versatile and can be whipped up rather quickly.

And here is a link to the BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies
Enjoy
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

06 February 2011

Super Bowl XLV - Super Grow XLV

I found some very positive "green" and community service things to write about 2011's Super Bowl XLV. This year's Super Bowl is partnered up with the Texas Trees Foundation to plant over 6,500 trees in several communities in Texas. That's a lot of trees!


NFL Football fans please donate here to help the Texas Trees Foundation plant more and more trees around Texas.
Also, the Cowboys Stadium seats are made of recycled plastic. 
Here are some more awesome things the NFL is doing with Super Bowl 45:
  • 13 children from the Make-A-Wish foundation will be attending the Super Bowl this year to fulfill their "wishes".  
  • Any extra food from the Cowboys Stadium will be donated to local homeless shelters.
  • With Habitat For Humanity, construction of the 45 houses in October 2010 and will be putting the finishing touches on them through May 2011. These houses have are being built for low-income families in northern Texas.
I think it is wonderful that the NFL is doing things like the to help the world be a healthier, greener, happier place for generations to come. Read here for more the NFLs community involvement this year.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

04 February 2011

Ways To Wear The Circle Scarf From American Apparel - Fashion Friday

I told all you that this week I would post a few pics of different ways to wear the American Apparel circle scarf. I am gonna go back to American Apparel and buy a few more colors of the circle scarf because I love it so much. Here are a few ways to wear the circle scarf:
 I like this look because it is great if you don't want to feel too "exposed" on top but still want to be sexy. You can wear any type of outfit with the scarf like this and it will look great. This can also make you look a little more sophisticated if you are the type who likes to wear ponytails and are always on the go (perfect for busy moms). Basically, you just wrap the scarf around your head twice off you go.
For this look I made the circle scarf into a high-waisted skirt. I used a shoe lace to hold up the skirt. I think a shoelace works better than a belt because 1. it's more adjustable so you can make your skirt higher or lower, and 2. not everyone has a belt that fits well on their rib cage. This look has endless possibilities. It's a great way to look dressed up and feel comfy at the same time. I love the fabric of the circle scarf. I wish I would have had this scarf when I was pregnant. The fabric is so comfy and breathable, and I could have actually had some "skirts" (made from the circle scarf) that fit properly.
 I felt so "little red riding hood-ish" when I wear the scarf like this. I actually wear it like this around the house. It's so comfy, like wearing a hoodie without the sleeves.
This is the when you just drape the scarf around you neck and leave it long. I like this look because it makes me look much taller than I am, which is nice since I'm only 5 feet tall.
 I made the circle scarf into a long dress. I did this by putting on a tube top bra, tucking the skirt into it, and pulling it up about 5 inches, then folded it over my breasts. I bunched it up in the back and draped it all pretty, as you can see in the next picture. I think this is a great idea for if you have some sort of event after work. You can wear the scarf in another way, then head to the bathroom and have a completely different outfit on. You can even continue to wear your work skirt underneath style. Great for ladies night as well.
 Here is the back of the last look. I love how it draped so nicely.
This look is just like the last one only the tube top bra is exposed. American Apparel has tons of colors of tube top bras to choose from so you can mix and match them with different colored circle scarfs.

I hope all of you enjoy my circle scarf looks. Feel free to email me pics of your circle scarf looks, I'd love to post them on the blog.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

03 February 2011

Meatless Mondays - Know What You Eat

I decided that I'm going to do a "Meatless Monday" post every Monday. I will provide recipes that are meatless, healthy and taste great. I have a few ideas for some things that I'm sure all my readers will enjoy.
For now, here is Oprah's Vegan Starter Kit. Enjoy!

















Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

02 February 2011

The Vanishing Of Bees Documentary - Bee The Change - Know What You Eat

The Vanishing Of Bees is an extremely important documentary that ALL people should watch because it effects everyone in society, here and abroad. Bees are essential for food production and we need to protect them.
 Here's the synopsis:
"Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives.
Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.
Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery."


 
The Vanishing Of Bees just came out and you can find a screening near you.
To learn more about The Vanishing Of Bees and the people who support bee sustainability please visit www.vanishingbees.com .


Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

28 January 2011

The Circle Scarf From American Apparel - Fashion Friday

Today I made a wonderful purchase at American Apparel. The Unisex Circle Scarf is amazing. There are so many ways to wear it. I even discovered ways that weren't shown on the website. Here is a link to video tutorials on how to wear the circle scarf in many different styles. It's only $28 on and I've discovered at least 14 ways to wear it.
Yes, you can turn a scarf into a dress. Next week I'll post some pics of myself wearing the circle scarf in a few different ways. I hope you all enjoy.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

27 January 2011

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my own personal recipe for Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. I'll brag right now and say they are DELICIOUS!! 
Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached flour (or bleached if you want)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup vegan chocolate or carob chips
               (semi-sweet chocolate chips are TYPICALLY vegan friendly)
1 cup raw sugar (or regular sugar, but most regular white sugar is not vegan-friendly)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Spectrum preferred)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup almond, rice or other alternative milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl.
Pulverize the raw sugar in the food processor if you'd like.
Then cream together the vegetable shortening, raw sugar, vanilla and alternative milk.
Add the "wet" ingredients to the "dry" ingredients. Blend it together well but don't overwork it, then add in the chocolate or carob chips.
Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten them to look like a cookie. Place them about an inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes then take them out of the oven and flip the cookies over with a spatula. Then bake for 3 more minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes then devour them.

All my non-vegan family members love these cookies and ask me to make them for them. I hope you enjoy them.

Food & Water Watch - Know What You Eat

"Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping the global commons — our shared resources — under public control."

I think this is a wonderful mission. We all need to know where our food and water comes from. We also need to tell the government to protect our food and water. It's our right to have our food and water to be safe for consumption.
Learn how to have safe tap water from this video.
Follow Food & Water Watch on facebook and twitter here.


Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

25 January 2011

Starting A New Weekly Blog - Fashion Friday

Every Friday I'm going to do a "Fashion Friday" blog post. These posts will consist of fashionable, fair trade and/or vegan and/or eco-friendly made garments. I will post links to blogs that I like and brands that I trust. I hope you all enjoy these new posts.


Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

24 January 2011

Jack LaLanne - Fitness Movement Leader Dies At 96

Jack LaLanne lived an incredibly awesome life. He was so innovative when it came to fitness that he sparked an entire era of health, diet, and exercise. He established the first co-ed gym. Jack LaLanne had several fitness shows geared towards women which at the time it was a radical idea that women should or even could workout with weights to achieve a healthier body. He had a television show that was very popular from the 50s to the 70s. He sold weight equipment, supplements and health foods like protein bars. Jack LaLanne made working out in your living room a way of life for many people who wanted to be in shape.
Jack LaLannes life was transformed from "sugarholic" to fitness obsessed after his mother brought him to a lecture by the famous health icon Paul Bragg. Soon after that lecture he made a gym in his yard and began to inspire many people to exercise. His yard gym soon turned into an actually gym facility. 
Not shabby for a vegetarian body. 
Jack LaLanne was vegetarian at the time he won Mr. America. 
Most people believe you have to eat meat to gain muscles, Jack LaLanne proved this wrong.
Well into his late 80s, LaLanne continued his personal fitness routine of two hours a day, beginning at 5 or 5:30 in the morning. Jack LaLanne was a vegetarian (only at fish and eggs on some occasions) for most of his life and was a huge advocate for eating raw fruits and vegetables. He created his own juicer called the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. Fitness was a way of life for Jack LaLanne. He even called it his "religion". "It is a religion with me," he told What Is Enlightenment magazine in 1999. "It's a way of life. A religion is a way of life, isn't it?"

Let's all make healthy eating and exercise our religion, so we can live a wonderful fulfilling life, and feel good while we are doing it.

To Jack LaLanne, may you rest in peace and continue to be an inspiration to everyone who wants to be healthy and stay that way.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

22 January 2011

Nutrition Can Save America - Know What You Eat

One website I visit often is naturalnews.com . The articles are always great and I always learn something new about food and the food industry. I hope you all enjoy this new report from Mike Adams, The Health Ranger. It's called "Nutrition Can Save America". I especially like this page of it. Please read it and enjoy.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

19 January 2011

My Juicing Journey Has Began

Today I received my first juicer in mail. My hubby and I are very excited about it. We tried a few recipes and they tasted great. We are excited to go to the farmer's market and co-op this weekend to get tons of seasonal veggies and fruits. I'm going to actually try some beet recipes. I'll let you know how it goes. Yay! For being healthy.
Here is the Juiceman juicer I purchased. It doubles a food processor as well. So far we love it!!

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

Farmer's Markets and Local Food Resources

I love going to the farmer's market. This past year we bought some DELICIOUS organic and locally grown reed avocados. My mouth is watering just thinking about them and I'm sure they will be back in season soon. I love supporting my local economy, eating food that is good for me and not contaminated with pesticides, and trying new foods. Just walking around at the farmer's market gives you this wonderful feeling of community. And it's nice to know where your food is actually coming from and to know who grew your food. It's fun to meet the people I am supporting, especially since their entire living is based on me, other locals and local stores purchasing their produce.
The weather is starting to warm up here in southern California. The "slow" season at the farmer's market is gone and the very busy season is starting up. This means the wonderful spring foods are sprouting and farmer's markets are going to have some fresh tasty fruits and vegetables very soon.

This year I look forward to getting some raw honey and bee pollen (because they are very healthy for you), getting some wonderful reed avocados, buying some locally made hummus and pita bread, and buying tons of apples, oranges, celery, beets and carrots for my juicer (which should be arriving in the mail today).

Farmer's markets and farmer's co-ops are sprouting up all around the country. It seems that everyone is learning that eating healthy and organic is the best way thing to maintain optimal health, stay young, and feel good. Organic food is good for you, organic produce tastes better than conventional produce, and organic food is good for the environment. Read more about why eating organic is important here.

Here is a list from The Crescent City Farmer's Market website on why to buy local:
Locally grown food tastes better.
Food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past day or two. It's crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Produce flown or trucked in from California, Florida, Chile or Holland is, quite understandably, much older. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles. In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality. 
Local produce is better for you.
A recent study showed that fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. Food that is frozen or canned soon after harvest is actually more nutritious than some "fresh" produce that has been on the truck or supermarket shelf for a week. Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest, retains its nutrients. 
Local food preserves genetic diversity.
In the modern industrial agricultural system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment; for a tough skin that can survive packing and shipping; and for an ability to have a long shelf life in the store. Only a handful of hybrid varieties of each fruit and vegetable meet those rigorous demands, so there is little genetic diversity in the plants grown. Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and the best flavors. Many varieties are heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation, because they taste good. These old varieties contain genetic material from hundreds or even thousands of years of human selection; they may someday provide the genes needed to create varieties that will thrive in a changing climate. 
Local food is GMO-free.
Although biotechnology companies have been trying to commercialize genetically modified fruits and vegetables, they are currently licensing them only to large factory-style farms. Local farmers don't have access to genetically modified seed, and most of them wouldn't use it even if they could. A June 2001 survey by ABC News showed that 93% of Americans want labels on genetically modified food - most so that they can avoid it. If you are opposed to eating bioengineered food, you can rest assured that locally grown produce was bred the old-fashioned way, as nature intended. 
Local food supports local farm families.
With fewer than 1 million Americans now claiming farming as their primary occupation, farmers are a vanishing breed. And no wonder - commodity prices are at historic lows, often below the cost of production. The farmer now gets less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food - which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm, doing the work they love. 
Local food builds community.
When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the grower. Knowing the farmers gives you insight into the seasons, the weather, and the miracle of raising food. In many cases, it gives you access to a farm where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture. Relationships built on understanding and trust can thrive. 
Local food preserves open space.
As the value of direct-marketed fruits and vegetables increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely. You have probably enjoyed driving out into the country and appreciated the lush fields of crops, the meadows full of wildflowers, the picturesque red barns. That landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape. 
Local food keeps your taxes in check.
Farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes, according to several studies. On average, for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services, thus requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers. For each dollar of revenue raised by farm, forest, or open space, governments spend 34 cents on services. 
Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.
A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming. According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry. In addition, the habitat of a farm - the patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings - is the perfect environment for many beloved species of wildlife, including bluebirds, killdeer, herons, bats, and rabbits. 
Local food is about the future.
By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.

The best website I have found for people to find local farmer's markets and co-ops is Local Harvest. 
Here are two sites specifically for California residents. California Farmer's Market & Farmer Net.
Visit this site to find out how to start a farmer's market in your area if you do not have on near you.
Visit here to read about some awesome tips for shopping at the farmer's market.

I hope all my readers will support their local farmer's market whenever they can.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

15 January 2011

Slow Food & Terra Madre - People Deserve Good, Clean, Fair Food

Slow Food is a international grassroots membership organization promoting good, clean fair food for all. Here is Slow Food's definitions of good, clean and fair.
GOOD- a fresh and flavorsome seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture; 
CLEAN- food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health;
FAIR- accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers.

Slow Food is really about teaching sustainable food growing and selling. They defend food biodiversity. They established a sister organization called Terra Madre. Terra Madre is all about food community, which means making a network of farmers who share, trade and sell healthy, sustainable food.

Terra Madre was created: "To give voice and visibility to the rural food producers who populate our world. To raise their awareness, as well as that of the population at large, of the value of their work. To sustain their ability to work under the best conditions, for all of our good and for the good of the planet. For these reasons, constructing a global network—with information-sharing tools, the means to learn from each other, and opportunities for collaboration in many ways—seemed invaluable. We must continue to have fertile lands, lands on which sprout and grow plants and animals appropriate to those environments, rather than needing to be pumped full of chemicals to make them thrive artificially. And we must also continue to have the people capable of stewarding these lands, to have their know-how, so we can have food that still carries the tastes of our youth."


Check out this link to learn about Terra Madre's project to create 1000 sustainable gardens in Africa.
Donate Here.

Peace, Love, Wealth,
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

14 January 2011

Best Food Documentaries - Know What You Eat Blog Series

I decided to post a list of several awesome food documentaries that I have found around the internet. Here is my list with trailers for each film.

Food Matters


Watch Food Matters On Netflix

Dirt! The Movie

Watch Dirt! The Movie On Netflix

The Gerson Miracle

Watch The Gerson Miracle For Free On Hulu. Click Here.

Rethinking Cancer


Food Inc.

Watch Food Inc. On Netflix

Forks Over Knives

In Theatres March 11, 2011. Click Here To Find A Screening Near You.

The Future Of Food

Watch The Future Of Food On Netflix

Supersize Me

Watch Supersize Me Instantly On Netflix

Fresh

Buy Fresh Here

The Botany Of Desire

Watch The Botany Of Desire On PBS.org Or On Netflix

King Corn

Watch King Corn On Netflix

Hope all of you spend your weekend watching videos that will show you how to empower your health with food.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

09 January 2011

Growing Your Own Food - Know What You Eat Blog Series

There a many reasons why growing your own food is important. The biggest reason is that you actually know exactly where your food is coming from. Let's face it, relying on mass producing farmers to grow your food really has no benefits. Not to the environment (because they use ridiculous amounts of chemicals) and not to your health (again, because they use ridiculous amounts of chemicals). If you eat mostly or only organic that is great. But since most of us aren't eating like that, even if our intentions are to eat only organic, we are still eating junk when we can be eating healthy food that we can grow ourselves. Growing your own food isn't only healthy for you and your family, it will also give you a sense of community and also make you appreciate your food much more. Even just growing one herb or vegetable can make a huge difference in how you feel about food.
I found this awesome idea while browsing the internet. It is an easy way to make vertical garden
Basically you take a shoe organizer, which you can buy at Target or on Amazon. You take some empty 2 liter soda bottles and turn them upside down and make planters in them with soil and seeds like this.
 
And then you stick them in the pockets which are meant to hold your shoes. Poke a hole in the bottle of each shoe pocket so that the cap part of the 2 liter bottle can go out. Then take off the caps. You save water this way because you can water the top plants then the rest of the water will drip into the other pockets which are underneath them. Using the water bottles also helps prevent mold.
You then can hang your vertical garden off a balcony, on your porch or anywhere you get about 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

You can also do raised beds like this if you don't have a small yard.
Raised garden beds are great to save space, especially when you stack them like this.

Growing vegetables is can be an easy task. People who live in small apartments grow food in pots on their balconies or dinning room table. Growing herbs takes up the least amount of space. There are hundreds of websites with thousands of tips on how to grow food when you don't have much space. I love the Garden Girl. She has tons of how to videos and tips for potted plants to large backyard gardens.

Check out all of the Garden Girl's videos here.Here are few more tips on how to add some green to a small space.

I hope everyone adds some green into their life in 2011!
Peace, Love, Wealth,
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

06 January 2011

The Food Empowerment Project - Know What You Eat Blog Series

The Food Empowerment Project seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one's food choices". They believe that everyone no matter what type of income or ethnicity should have access to healthy fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. They are spending their time helping lower income communities have access to healthier foods. In lower income areas grocery stores don't carry organic produce sections at all. No wonder lower income communities have such high rates of obesity and diabetes. It's because they do not have access to anything that is healthy for them. They only have access to processed food when they go to the grocery store. Lower income communities have more access to liquor stores than they do to fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more about these issues here.
The Food Empowerment Project is composed of activists from various animal right, environmental and social justice organizations. These are all issues that I am personally passionate about which is why I support the Food Empowerment Project.

Food Justice from Let Live Foundation on Vimeo.

Please support any organization that brings healthy food to people.
Peace, Love, Wealth,
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

Know What You Eat - My Food & Nutrition Blog Series

I am not a nutritionist or food expert but I do know of some awesome food resources around the internet and I would like to share them with you. Especially since everyone is on a weight lose diet right now or a muscle building diet. I have decided to do a Food & Nutrition Blog Series for the next few weeks since eating healthier is a big topic on everyone's minds right now.
To a healthy 2011!

Peace, Love, Wealth,
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama