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The End of the Great Deodorant Dilemma

Death by Lavendar

Ok, tell me… how many different natural deodorants have you tried? Have you found “the one”? Or like me, did you give up? Seems like an impossible task doesn’t it? You are totally bluffing if you tell me that salt crystal worked for you.

First of all, Kudos to any company trying to spare us from the long list of TOXIC ingredients in regular store bought deodorants and antiperspirants. Even if they don’t work that great. Why? Because:

Aluminum –  Is linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and Alzheimer’s disease

Parabens – Disrupt our hormonal balance leading to early puberty in children and an increased risk of hormonal cancers. Also cause birth defects and organ toxicity

Propylene glycol – Causes damage to the central nervous system, liver and heart.

Phthalates – Cause a high risk of birth defects. They disrupt hormone receptors as well as increase the likelihood of cell mutation.

Triclosan – Is actually classified as a pesticide and is carcinogenic. It brings down immunity so it’s not wise to use disinfectants or hand sanitizers with this hazardous chemical.

All of the above and more can be found in the mainstream deodorants. The dangers are certainly no “SECRET” and I am one of the growing many that are ALL for ditching these types of deodorants, but I just don’t like throwing away money on natural products that don’t work, over and over.

I have tried so many “better” deodorants over the past few years. I either felt the perspiration after a half hour or it just didn’t work well to control odor. The one thing for “SURE” is that my confidence takes a dive if I feel I smell. No one that I know wants to be smelly! Toxic brands make millions of dollars because unfortunately, they work well and are cheap. It may be cheap and easy now to run with these regular brands, but it’s a high price to pay later, when we smell great but can’t remember our family members.

Vegans, you may notice that you smell a heck of lot better in general compared to your meat eating days, aside from deodorant no deodorant. We can attribute this to added greens detoxifying the blood and a lack of animal flesh having a heck of a time trying to be digested in our gut. Vegans tend to eat a ton of fiber which help things move along nicely therefore toxins are being removed easily. Superfood supplements such as Wheatgrass also have known benefits of reducing body odors.

With all that being said, I still enjoy the extra barrier a good deodorant provides. I am an active person who also works out, I happen to be in other people’s comfort zones a lot when I am cutting or coloring hair (my forever side job). My thing is, I don’t like sweaty pits – natural, whatever, I just don’t like it. Nothing had been working for me, so I resorted back to the conventional deodorant for the most part.

This gets complicated… I used the natural brand in the Winter if I were wearing a big sweater or I was staying home, and I would use the preferred store brand in the Summer or if I were actually going somewhere.  Sometimes I would apply the natural deodorant first and then I would apply the harmful one over it. I figured that it would create a barrier. Idk? I was not happy with this system. I became so aware of the dangers of deodorant that I basically just prayed each time I rolled it on. Mostly, I justified it with the fact that I eat well, so I must stand a better chance. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Within the last six months, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I just stated that I will find “the one” and then I let it go…

Fast forward to this past August and the veggie fest here in Naperville, IL. My friend and I came across a deodorant booth. Dare I try this again? They had a travel size, so why not? We both decided to try it.

I’ve been walking around surprised and happy ever since because IT WORKS! I can’t believe that I finally attracted the right deodorant! I know, it seems silly if you haven’t gone through the struggle yourself. When I asked my friend Mel about it, I was expecting her to say that she hadn’t tried it yet. To my surprise she did, and she likes it as much as I do.

I am sharing this review to save you from toxic overload if I can. Our bodies just work better when they are not in a constant battle! Trust me, we have enough to fight without rolling on more chemicals under our arms every single day. I don’t make a penny by reviewing this product or by you buying it. I wish I could/and sell it on my site, because I like it that much, but here is my basic review anyway, just because I care:

North Coast Organics Deodorant

There are two to choose from, Death by lavender and Revolver. At first I wasn’t sure about the lavender scent. It’s a woodsy lavender. Revolver, is more manly but I was told that many women like it. I went with lavender. The scent turned out to be perfect, and is much lighter wearing than you might expect.

It applies fine, now that I figured out I was dialing it up too high, which created a messy application. It needs to be just a tad over the level of the container. Then again, I only bought a mini to try.  My guess is that the regular size applies nicer. I will find out soon, because I placed an order yesterday. Either way, this product rubs in nicely using fingertips if need be, and I personally don’t mind doing that because the product works great!

I have used this deodorant these past few weeks during the heat wave without complaint. It also passed the anxiety test when my car decided to break down on a country road where there was nothing but cornfields. Oh, yeah, it was sweltering! My nerves were racked, but I smelled good. My armpits stayed relatively dry while I sat waiting for help, generally sweating, and pondering all the pros of moving back to the city.

The exciting view

If you compare these 5 simple ingredients – coconut oil, carnauba wax, cornstarch, baking soda, and essential oil to the 5 toxic ingredients I wrote about above,  switching is a no-brainer. My husband has been using Trader Joe’s brand and he says it’s ok. I don’t get it because that one does not keep me dry plus it has added cotton. Does that cotton have pesticides? I’m sure it does. No where does it say organic. Oh yeah, and it contains Propylene glycol among other crap disguised as harmless. Good thing I ordered my husband The Revolver.

I bet one could make their own deodorant with ingredients this simple, but I don’t want to make my own everything. I am a modern girl and I only have so much time in a day. I am happy to support a conscious company who will make a cruelty free product with packaging that is recyclable. They’ve also just been certified organic by USDA along with many other certifications. Good to know.

I am happy to have found North Coast Organics. Looking forward to any new products they may offer. If you know of any other brands of deodorant that amaze you, please share them with me in the comments. If you don’t, and are looking to lessen your toxic load and still smell your best, I recommend trying this product and ditching mainstream deodorant – like NOW.

You may not be used to natural products and you may be inclined to compare this to mainstream products in scent or application or cost or whatever… DON’T, because it is different. But different good. It works fabulously toxin and chemical free.

A friend of mine always signs off with “smell ya later”, I say… noooo thanks.

Good luck!

Find this deodorant at North Coast Organics

Find North Coast Organics on Facebook

 

~The Karmatarian

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Irma’s Vegan Pan-Crepes (with The Vegg)

There’s a fun new product out there called The Vegg. Have you heard of it? It’s Vegan egg yolk!!! I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. The simple ingredients that make up The Vegg are also low-fat-plant-based-diet approved! When I got my hands on the new Vegg I wanted to try to re-create the toughest recipe I could think of. Irma’s pancakes. Or what I like to call Irma’s pan-crepes.

Sweet, sweet Irma. Everyone should be so lucky to have an Irma in their life! Imagine having a high school best friend and always hanging out at their house after school. Your best friend’s mom becomes like your second mom and she is super cute, super sweet, loving, kind and nurturing. But one other thing, she has a strong and adorable Peruvian accent which makes it all a bit more interesting. It’s a small language barrier, because you don’t speak that language! However, as you know, there just happens to be couple of languages that we ALL speak… Love and Food!

The first thing Irma will do is offer you something to eat. Scratch that, she will insist that you sit down eat something and she will go right into that kitchen of hers and cook you up something great! This is her love language. And this, you just have to accept. It’s certainly not hard to do. YUM!

It didn’t matter back then if it was vegan or not. It was filled with the intention of love and generosity and that’s all that mattered.

Because we didn’t know.

Now we do.

Anyway, this is my mom’s story. She grew up spending a lot of time over at her best friend Helen’s house and Helen’s wonderful mom Irma is like her second mom. Naturally, being related in all of this, Irma (Helen too) has known me since I was born! I have experienced first hand what has come to be an adopted tradition in our home. Irma’s pancakes. This is what my mom likes to call them.

Although, they are not pancakes. They are not an omelet either. And they are not really crepes. Think combination. Think eggy pancakes crepes. Think different and delicious!

The original Irma’s pancakes are made using mostly eggs, a tiny bit of flour, water and vanilla, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with love. How in the hell do you veganize that!?! Needless to say, I hadn’t made these in a long long time. I thought these were history… until The Vegg happened.

The Vegg is essential for us vegan breakfast lovers! In my best Justin Timberlake… They’re bringing French toast back! There are so many fun things to make: scrambled eggs, hollandaise sauce, omelets, pancakes, quiche, eggs sunny side up. Yes, you read right. It’s really wild! Potato salad, egg salad, etc, etc… virtually any dish in which eggs were once required but you know better so you haven’t had them in a long time. There are endless creations to be made, and if you follow The Vegg on Facebook, you will be up to date with more fun recipes and great information.

The Vegg did not disappoint. In fact, my list is long of all the recipes I want to try with The Vegg. You will definitely see more of this product used in recipes on my blog. Better stock up!

I just hope Irma will be flattered to know that we love her pancakes so! She probably already does. I just truly hope she won’t mind that I veganized them. I know that it may be difficult for her generation to understand why I would want to and I don’t really expect her to grasp it at this point, but I know that her loving heart would agree that kindness to animals and planet and the absolute best thing for our health is to bring these up to date.

The next update will be a gluten-free version. My mom does much better on a gluten free diet, so you know I will tackle that next. I had to pick one challenge at a time here. This was enough for now. And I am happy to report, I rocked it! Thanks to The Vegg!


Irma’s Vegan Pan-Crepes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup of The Vegg that’s been pre-mixed using Plain Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Organic All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup, plus 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp plus a good pinch Himalayan Black Crystal Salt (Indian Kala Namak, fine ground)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Organic Powdered Sugar
  • Fruit for garnish/side
  • 8 inch non-stick skillet

Directions

Premix The Vegg according to package directions, but use plain almond milk in place of water.

Take the 1/2 Cup of The Vegg mixture and add it to a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients: flour, water, vanilla and black salt. Blend with a whisk until smooth or throw everything into your Vitamix. It works either way.

Pour this mixture into a container with a handle and spout such as a Pyrex measuring cup and refrigerate this mixture for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat an 8 inch non-stick skillet on medium-low heat.

Very lightly, spray the pan with cooking spray and pour a good grapefruit size portion of batter into the center of the pan (photos below). The trick is to get the right thickness. These are thicker than a crepe but not as thick as an omelet. You may have to play with it and you might even screw up the first one. Let’s hope not. After pouring in the batter, pick up the pan and rotate with your wrist to evenly distribute the batter to cover the entire bottom of the pan, just like you would if making a crepe or an omelet.

Then wait…..These take a bit to cook and you will see them start to shrink a bit, the edges will start to lift and the center will bubble a bit, and then you can flip it, BUT use your hands… that’s right, and do it fast, cuz these suckers are hot! I used a toothpick to delicately help me lift the edge a bit more, then I grabbed it with my fingertips using both hands and quickly flipped it over, you will see it bubble again. No need to cook this side long at all, maybe 30 seconds. Then gently fold over one side toward the middle and flip again to finish. Move the finished pan-crepe to a plate and use a lid to keep it warm or a warming drawer etc… while you make your next one.

When all of the pan-crepes are finished being created, you will probably want to reheat them slightly, sprinkle with powder sugar and serve. Don’t forget the side of fruit!

Note* You simply cannot make this recipe without The Vegg and the black salt. This gives it the egg like flavor and color. You may even want to use more black salt than I suggest. It’s all personal preference!

This recipe makes 8.

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

PS. I would love to hear about your family traditions! What is a family recipe that you have veganized or would love to try? Maybe it’s one that could really use The Vegg?

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Hemp Milk Ice “Cream”

 

Here’s a random review just because this was SO fantastic! I will probably review products on this blog but I’m not sure if I will review things I don’t like? Time will tell I guess, as this blog makes it’s way.

So I’m at Whole Foods today and just before I head to the check out I remember I want to grab my favorite Ice “Cream” made from coconut milk (Turtle Mountain’s So Delicious, Cookie Dough). I open the door, reach in… but then something stops me because I can’t decide if I might be in the mood for a different flavor? I shut the door, look around, look right and Voila, I spot a NEW Dairy-Free Ice “Cream” by my favorite hemp milk brand, Living Harvest called Tempt. Looking at the price tag I was like, Oh Yeah! About a dollar or so cheaper than my coconut brand (and being on a budget right now, this was the winner). I shouldn’t be surprised to have found this. When I got home and looked on the side of my Tempt hemp milk package, there was the ad. I guess I just overlooked it.

Tried this after dinner and I am in LOVE! Another treat to feel good about that’s also NOT Soy! I don’t know if you’ve heard but soy is not that great.  Too many studies contradicting one another (which make me crazy) when it comes to soy and it’s affects on our health. My motto is simply moderation.

Having coconut on the brain, I decided on the Coconut Lime flavor. It was toasted coconut too and it was GOOD! I will have to try all 5 flavors because this really exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t worried that it wasn’t labeled organic. Hemp seeds don’t need pesticides or herbicides to  grow. Hemp milk is my favorite non-dairy milk  made from hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are so good for us having naturally occurring Omega 3 & 6 which are in perfect balance. Hemp seeds have ALL 10 essential amino acids too!  But this dessert still has sugar folks, so it’s something to enjoy in moderation. Careful not to become a vegan junk food junkie!

Don’t get me wrong, I am still crazy about my coconut ice cream.  But some people don’t love the taste of coconut and I myself am not always in the coconut mood. So when you  are feeling like a real cold and creamy, good for you and the planet, kind to animals dessert which doesn’t have a hint of coconut (aside from the obvious flavor I picked), definitely try this! I wanna say this is as creamy as So Delicious. By the way, I am not affiliated in any way to either company, just so you know. But maybe if I am lucky, they will send me some coupons! Hint hint… lol

Let’s review, cuz I’m feeling like a smarty pants… Hemp milk is good for us.  Cow’s milk is not. Cow’s milk clogs arteries, robs bones of calcium and makes for bad skin! Oh there’s more,  but I will stop here. Baby cows should drink their mother’s milk and humans should drink their mothers milk. Soooo yet another wonderful product to prove that where there is a will, there is a way! Why cow’s milk?! And who started that whole mess anyway?

ps. I have no clue why luck has it that most of the pics are matching my blog so far… I just thought this was kinda funny and wanna say, I did not plan this!

Enjoy the Journey,

The Karmatarian~

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Pushing the Food Revolution Forward ~ Food, Inc. at the Oscars! A Review

 

I’m really excited for the Oscars this year! One of the most important documentary’s of our time is making its way down the red carpet. I’ll be watching in hopes Food, Inc. takes home a golden statue not to mention the hot celebrities and gorgeous gowns.

Food, Inc. was nominated for 5 Best Documentary awards in 2010 including the prestigious Oscar. It won twice for Best Documentary in 2009, being nominated for a total of 3 in that category. But how do you  know Food, Inc is really a big deal? Because it made the Oprah Winfrey show of course!

Food, Inc. promises that you will never look at dinner the same way again… because if you knew the truth… you might not want to eat it. This “Must See” film is a fascinating look behind the scenes of our Food “System” exposing the high price we actually pay for cheap food.

The supermarket is just an illusion~ you’ll be shocked to find out just how little we actually know about the groceries we buy. I have been researching this topic for quite some time and I thought I knew a thing or two. I was amazed at what I learned and found that I had to pick my jaw up off the floor a few times throughout this film.

A well done and powerful documentary featuring Michael Pollan, Author of “The Omnivores Dilemma”, Eric Schlosser, Investigative Journalist, Joel Salatin, Owner/Farmer of Polyface farms in Virgina and Gary Hirshberg, founder of  Stoneyfield Farms, which in my opinion are all knowledgeable, well spoken leaders of the food revolution and have gained my instant respect.

Food, Inc is like a crash course regarding food conspiracy and the greed that drives it. The biggest complaint is that it only skims the surface of what we don’t know and can’t possibly touch on everything we should know in only an hour and 31 minutes! I personally wanted the film to discuss more, especially about pesticides and the cruel egg and dairy industries. I was disappointed it didn’t, however, I’m very anxious and hopeful for a sequel!

“We have never had food companies this powerful in our history”

This film is probably not what you think. It’s not about turning people into vegetarians or even so much about animal rights. It is about our food production which has changed drastically in the last 50 years and the hidden truths that our government and food producers DO NOT want us to know! You can make up your own mind about what makes it on your grocery list after you see this.

There is a lot we don’t know about the power of greed regarding the food industry. In the last 25 years our government has been dominated by the very industries it’s meant to be regulating!

  • Curious why we have diabetes and obesity at epidemic levels?
  • Ever wonder why half the world is starving and the other half Obese?

  • Corn… a conspiracy! Who knew? Cattle, forced to eat corn to fatten quickly, develop deadly E coli strains and the government supports it! Exactly who is looking out for our health? The government supports making anything and everything out of corn. We’re even teaching fish to eat it! Farmers are being bullied by large corporations who control Corn and Soybeans from seed to supermarket and who are genetically modifying our food to tolerate more pesticides.

  • Wondering if your dinner will be from a test tube tonight? Because you may not know that in January, 2008 the FDA approved the sale of meat and milk from cloned livestock and companies are not required to label it!

  • Curious why the big deal about organics anyway and why you should be buying them?

By the way…

“Organic isn’t the alternative. Conventional is the radical alternative, and it has Failed”

There is so much more great information in this film and I don’t want to give everything away… questions you never knew you had will be answered about the food industry including positive steps we can take to change it.

What better film to win an Oscar than a well done, entertaining, informative documentary that can help save lives and change the way America eats. Thanks to this film for an increased consumer demand of organic and humanely produced food! Food, Inc. stresses that the consumer is powerful. I truly hope they take home this award!

So I’ll be cheering for Food, Inc at the Oscars and I hope you will too. Is your popcorn ready? If you’ve seen this film, chances are it will be Non-GMO! If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out! This is seriously one of the most important documentaries you and your family could see. I recommend buying a copy… or 2, because once you see this, you will definitely want to circulate it to all of your friends!

“Our skewed food system is not an accident”… It’s time you knew the truth!



Ps. When the end of the movie leaves you wanting more… be sure to watch the deleted scenes, they have a lot of great added information!

To purchase your copy of Food, Inc. please click here.

*Update* Boo hiss! Food, Inc. did not take home the Oscar, but more awards may be in their future. Hey, a nomination for the Oscar is not too shabby! Oh, and congrats to the Cove!

Please share your reviews, I would love to know your thoughts!

Enjoy the Journey,

The Karmatarian~

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Food, Inc. awards: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/awards

More about Food, Inc on Oprah.com:

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/The-Food-Inc-Documentary
http://www.oprah.com/health/Bring-the-Lessons-of-Food-Inc-Home
http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Truth-About-Food-with-Michael-Pollan

*Quotes taken from the film Food, Inc.

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