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

04 January 2011

Russell Simmons - Peace Advocate

Russell Simmons is a pioneering hip-hop mogul, turned creator of the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, ArgyleCulture, and American Classics. Russell Simmons is the third richest figure in hip-hop, having a net-worth estimate of $340 million. He is all these things but now an inspirational book author, practicing Yogi, peace advocate, and strong believer in animal liberation, Russell Simmons is a man I look up to.

As a successful entrepreneur he is an advocate of many things. He was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Slavery Memorial at the United Nations to Honor the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, Simmons joined 29 other top executives in the apparel and home fashions industry to form Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation, Inc. to unify the apparel and home fashions industry to donate new products to help needy individuals and families who fell victim to one of the USA's worst natural disasters. This organization now helps others year round. They have also helped support the Haiti disaster as well. Fashion Delivers has distributed over $55 million in product donations since 2005. That's a lot of clothing to help people in need.

Russell Simmons wants to empower individuals all over the world with his books and talks about meditation and the power we have within us.

I love this video. There are so many truths in it.

I have recently joined the world of meditation and I love it. It makes my days so much brighter and vibrant and clear. It also makes my moods stay higher, where I want them to be. Read here about why Russell Simmons is a proud supporter of meditation. Russell Simmons is also a supporter of the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has provided scholarships for over 100,000 at-risk school children (and at-risk teens and adults and elderly people) to learn to meditate.

If you can't tell by now, I think very highly of Russell Simmons and I support anything that he supports because I know he lives a life of non-violence and peace for all creatures of our planet.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

02 January 2011

My Love For Animals

As a vegan, I proudly support any organization who wants to protect animals in the most peaceful way as possible. I believe animals have rights, just as humans do, to be able to live happy full lives. I am not an extremist or even an activist really. I have no family members who are vegan except my husband and my son. I have very few friends who are vegan. I love many people who eat meat. And some of those meat eaters are reading this and wondering where I'm going to go with this but I have kept my mouth shut for too long.

I think everyone should do whatever makes them happy, but I do believe that people should not stay "ignorant" or "in the dark" or ignore what is going on in the animal world. When exploitation of people is happening everyone cares, but when exploitation of chickens, pigs, turkeys, cows, fish, and sheep happens no one cares at all. If people knew what happened in slaughter houses they would not eat meat. And a majority of people would not kill their own meat to eat it. I don't see people walking up to a cow to butcher it. Some people do go fishing and hunt deer, but they eat other meat as well. I have yet to meet a person who survives on ONLY the animals they kill themselves. I believe people should not eat meat, ever. I also believe humans are only meant to consume meat when there is no other source of food around. We can get ALL our protein and nutrients without animal consumption. Millions of vegan (including professional athletes who are vegan) can attest to that.

I get sad whenever I see a Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham. I actually cried when I saw the ham this year. I, of course, hid this from my family, even my husband, because I don't want them to think that I am weird. Crying about an animal I didn't even know.   

I believe animals have the same feelings we have and have souls just as we do. They feel pain, they feel loneliness, and they feel happiness and joy. If my dog can love me, then's who is to say that a pig (who actually has a HIGHER intelligence than a dog) can't love me as well. When I was younger I went to the Fair with my family. There was a mama pig there. She was nursing her babies then the farmer took the babies and put them in a cage next to her. The mama pig was crying and even screaming for her babies to be given back to her. There were tears rolling down here cheeks. She was trying to tear down her wooden cage (which she actually did break it up pretty good) so she could get to her beautiful piglets. It was the more horrible suffering I had ever seen in real life. This mama pig loved and wanted her babies. She longed to be with her babies. And now as a mother, I understand EXACTLY how this mama pig felt.

I became particially vegetarian after that experience. I was 10-years-old. I didn't have any support during my school age years for being vegetarian, which is why I was only particially vegetarian. To be honest, I didn't even know what a vegetarian was. All I knew is that I loved animals just as much as I loved people, so I did not want to eat them. In high school, I met my first vegan friend named Cherie, who is still a vegan now, though I'm sure her parents thought it was "just a phase". It really upsets me when so many parents think that a teenager going vegetarian or vegan is "just a phase". It's not. It's a way of life. It's a choice of beliefs. Yes, some people let go of these beliefs because it seems easier to them. But I know that once you want to be a vegetarian or vegan you are always one in your heart. I wanted to be a vegan like my friend Cherie, but at the time but it wasn't realistic for me at the time. I didn't have a family life that would support me if I went vegetarian or vegan so I decided to wait until I moved out of the house. One year after I moved out of my house I can proudly say I went full on vegetarian. I was so happy when I did this. I felt relief. I felt like I was finally able to be who I have always wanted to be. I met my husband and soon after I became vegan because he was vegan. It just seemed easier that way.

I recently did go back to eating dairy once in while, though I now regret it. Everything I ate that had dairy in it was unhealthy food anyway. I thought that it would help my breastmilk supply for my son. It didn't boost my supply at all so now I am back to being 100% vegan, and I'm proud to be back. I am excited to raise my son (and possible future children) as vegans.

I believe that veganism is about living a life of peace and harmony between humanity and animal kind. It's a life of love for the Earth and for all the creatures the Universe has given us. 

I urge anyone reading this to look into the facts about how animals are treated. There are thousands of reasons to stop eating meat. Please.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

01 January 2011

Dunia Marketplace In Hyde Park - Boise, Idaho

My dear friend Alyssa told me about Dunia Marketplace. I am excited she told me about Dunia Marketplace because I'm a proud supporter of everything and anything that is fair trade.
Dunia Marketplace is awesome, and now I'm searching for stores like this in my area. They are a non-profit store/organization that sells fair trade items from around the world. Their mission: "We operate in order to provide vital, fair income to people from developing countries, local refugee groups, and local non-profit groups, by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. The income realized by selling the crafts helps pay for food, education, health care and housing. We are a Store with a Story and the stories we tell are meant to help those who hear us understand how their purchases and consumption habits impacts those living in Idaho and developing countries."

Shop their store for Fair Traded handmade items including musical instruments, jewelry, accessories and home decor. They have wonder selection of Fair Trade goods from Idaho, Asia, Africa and South America. has been an active part of the North End and the Boise business communities for fifteen years.

Dunia Marketplace provides fairly traded hand-crafted items and consumables to create jobs, dignity, sustainability, education and hope to communities around the world. The organization also spreads awareness of fair trade through public speaking, off site educational fair trade events, in store field trips, community shopping programs, and telling artisan stories wherever they go. Dunia has a strong base of committed volunteers and incorporating items from local refugee groups tie Dunia Marketplace to the local community. Fair trade means prompt payments, long-term relationships, fair wages and environmentally responsible practices.

Dunia Marketplace also supports local non-profit groups and organizations by having fundraisers at the store.
To learn how to volunteer at Dunia Marketplace please contact Leonise Yates can be contacted at leonise@duniamarketplace.com or 208-333-0535.

Dunia Marketplace is located at 1609 N. 13th St. in Boise's Historic Hyde Park. Off street parking is available behind the store. Their hours are Mon-Sat 10-6 and Sunday 11-5.


If you live in the Boise, Idaho area please support Dunia Marketplace.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama