Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010


I had never heard of Celiac Disease until I met best friend/heart throb, Stephen. Unlike what you may have heard, eating gluten-free is not a weight-loss plan or a dietary fad; neither is Celiac Disease an allergy to gluten. It's an autoimmune disease. Most people who have CD have no idea.

If you know me in real life, you know all about my whacky stomach acid craziness. As my CD test results were "inconclusive," I've been meaning to give the GF lifestyle a go and see if it helps at all. Of course, with everything going on in life, it keeps getting pushed back.

Enter the Gluten-Free Challenge. The information below is taken from Stephen's blog, The Gluten Freeway.

WHAT: To raise awareness for Celiac Disease (a digestive disease that can lead to malnutrition if not treated) as well as more expansive gluten intolerance, the public is invited to participate in a Gluten-free Challenge--to eat one gluten-free thing a day for a month and on the final weekend, eat completely gluten-free for one weekend.

Celiac Disease affects 1 in 100 Americans. The only cure is to adhere to a gluten-free diet. The goal of the Gluten-free Challenge is to bring family and friends to the dinner table to see that you can still enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal as a family--whether it be a regular meal or a holiday event. The Challenge will also empower people to learn more about this easily treatable disease and help bring awareness to the choices faced by those who adhere to a Gluten-free diet face.


April 1: Registration begins for the Challenge
April 21-May 21: Registrants will receive a daily 'Tip of the Day' and 'Recipe of the Day' email to encourage daily experimenting and to prepare for the Gluten-free Challenge Weekend
May 22-23: Gluten-free Challenge Weekend
May 29-30 (bonus): Visit a participating restaurant in the gluten-free "Chef to Plate" program

WHERE: Nationally

WHO: Everyone

As the challenge approaches, I'll talk more about the GF vegan lifestyle.

Thanks, Stephen. We love you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Victoria's Secret mocks the "love your body" movement

First and foremost, I would like every person to love hir own body, whether it conforms to a cultural standard of "good" or not. Loving your own body is inter-connected with mindfulness and self-love--something we all need.

That being said, the "love your body movement" did not emerge from the "tens," "dimes," runway models, or otherwise culturally idealized figures. Rather, the movement gained momentum in response to unrealistic and largely destructive images of [particularly] women, but also men, portrayed top-down from the media, and perpetuated bottom-up through cultural compliance and self-regulation.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, see create your own positive images for women, love yourself through thick and thin, Love Your Body! Project, and Love Your Body Day. If that isn't enough, a simple google search will reveal pages and pages of resources.

Enter the Victoria's Secret "I Love My Body Campaign." It has been really hard for me to gather my thoughts, namely because this is so offensive and shocking to me. This catalog has been sitting on my counter angering me for over a week (not to mention, why is this even coming to my apartment?).

Let me try and recap. VS is co-opting the language of the body-acceptance movement, and superimposing it over a culturally praised figure that represents somewhere around 1% of the population--and is likely used as "thinspiration" on pro-ana/pro-mia sites all over the internet. Not to mention, the model on the cover is a member of an industry riddled with eating disorders, disordered eating, and/or drug abuse.

I can cope [not happily, but cope] with the fact that VS is not interested in using models that represent the range of what healthy female bodies may look like--a range including bodies that young girls can relate to, that young girls can feel empowered by. But this infuriates me. Leave our movement alone.

If my readers need a refresher on images that represent the "love your body" movement, recall a recent photo from Glamour, or visit an older post of mine, Fat Rolls and Roll Models.

If you have ever struggled with body image issues, supported friends and family with body image issues, or counseled teenagers, college students or adults--you know the grueling effort this movement demands. You know how truly painful, difficult, and scary these issues really are. And you know that it is about something deeper than the body; it's about self-love and self-worth.

I am truly disappointed in Victoria's Secret for stooping to a new low. If you would like to send VS your thoughts, please do so here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2009 LCV scorecard is out

How did your members of Congress score? Check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Here's the deal:

On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.

Participation is easy. By flipping off your lights on March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time you will be making the switch to a cleaner, more secure nation and prosperous America. View the toolkits, to find out what else you can do to get involved including leading the Earth Hour movement in your community.

Set Your Clock

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii

Sparking a Movement

Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and became a global phenomenon. Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 – involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents.

Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour, including:

  • Empire State Building
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Broadway Theater Marquees
  • Las Vegas Strip
  • United Nations Headquarters
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Seattle’s Space Needle
  • Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple
  • Gateway Arch in St. Louis
  • Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens
  • Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro
  • St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City
  • Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London
  • Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Beijing’s Birds Nest and Water Cube
  • Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong
  • Sydney’s Opera House
more info

Tell Your Legislators To Support The Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310)

Take action here.

DIRT! The Movie explains:
The Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310) in the House and the Appalachia Restoration Act (S. 696) in the Senate—will sharply reduce mountaintop removal coal mining. These bills will protect the quality of life for Appalachian coalfield residents who face multiple challenges as a result of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

what to do with sludge?

I enjoyed this resource regarding sludge alternatives from Sludge News:
Prevention -- the cost effective solution -- is the place to start: prevent hazardous waste from entering the sewer in the first place, prevent the exploitation of the myth that wastewater treatment and its associated technologies can fix any problem, and prevent the poisoning of our food supply with sewage sludge.

...Next, initiate a moratorium on the land application of sludge -- because there is no scientific evidence that this practice is safe.

...implement policies that discourage the use of water to carry wastes.

...What to do with the tons of sludge leaving wastewater plants each day?

Don’t put it on food chain crops, ball fields, parks, gardens, or yards. Instead, treat it as the hazardous waste it is. Keep it away from the public - isolate it from life. Put sewage sludge - whether “treated” or not - into lined sanitary landfills with proper leachate collection systems. If it fails the TCLIP test, it should go to a RCRA Subtitle C landfill for hazardous waste. Otherise it should go to a Subtitle D landfill.

Landfills are the only safe interim option we have until we can find other solutions, solutions that do not put sludge into the air (incineration), on our food (land application), or in our water (disposal at the outfall pipe).

say no to sewage sludge in San Francisco

If you haven't read my post on sewage sludge, take a gander, and then take action here.

Here is an update from the Organic Consumers Association:

Sewage sludge contains everything the sewage treatment plant was able to remove from the sewage - plus every new chemical and pathogen formed in the mad synergy of this chemical soup, including virulent, antibiotic-resistant bacteria created through horizontal gene transfer.

San Francisco public officials have helped the toxic sludge industry score a major victory in the Bay Area, where they've been able to convince hundreds of regional (non-organic) farmers to spread the hazardous material on farm land and pasture, and have actually been able to get city residents to take hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic sludge and spread it over their backyard and community gardens.

San Francisco is a strategic battleground to stop the sludge industry from poisoning more farms and communities. In 1998 the organic community rose up and banned the use of sewage sludge in organic farming. Now it's time to ban its use on farms, gardens, lawns, and land in general.